Soil Building

Soil building encompasses many different things, as the soil is its own living and changing ecosystem. While it's possible to grow plants without soil, the vast majority of gardeners use it -- soil is everywhere in all of its myriad forms.

Here, we explain all things soil-based as well as the things that are used to improve that soil. Our writing team provides insight into not just soil types and textures, but also composting, cover cropping for soil improvement, mulching for the myriad of benefits it offers, and so many more things.

We'll explore different organic fertilizers and how they work, techniques like the Back To Eden or no-till methods of gardening, and even delve into the many forms of mulch that can be used to reduce erosion and maintain soil moisture.

Organic gardeners know full well the value of having good soil, and the interplay between organic matter and mineral inputs is key to guaranteeing that you have a living, beneficial, and healthy soil food web. To many, the soil is an entirely new frontier waiting to be explored... and so we'll explore it along with you, step by step.

With a little know-how, you too can improve your existing soil in the yard, learn which amendments are necessary or unnecessary in your situation, and optimize for the best outcome for your specific plant types.

The striking blooms of crimson clover grow as a fall cover crop.

Soil Improvement

9 Fall Cover Crops for Fertile Spring Soil

Nourish your soil all winter with fall-seeded cover crops that protect from erosion, improve fertility, and break up soil compaction. Former organic farmer Logan Hailey shares the top 9 science-backed cover crop species, plus the best ways to terminate them in the spring.

plastic mulch pros and cons

Mulch

18 Pros and Cons of Using Plastic Mulch in the Garden

Plastic mulch can dramatically reduce weeds and improve yields through soil warming and moisture regulation. However, it has a dark side for the environment and soil health. In this article, former organic farmer Logan Hailey explores the science, safety, and practicality of using this product in your garden.

Mixing perlite pellets with black soil

Soil Improvement

Should You Add Perlite to Houseplant Soil?

Gardeners are always looking for an edge when it comes to getting their houseplants looking great. So what about adding Perlite to your houseplant's soil? Is it something you should do? In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton investigates.

Gardener using homemade Fertilizer on Garden Plants

Fertilizer

How and When to Fertilize Your Vegetable Garden

Not sure how or when to start fertilizing your vegetable garden this season? Depending on what hardiness zones you grow in, this answer can vary. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares her strategy for fertilizing vegetable gardens, including when and how to do it based on your hardiness zones and the type of vegetables you are growing.

Bed with mulch and green lawn

Mulch

15 Different Types of Garden Mulches & Where to Use Them

Are you looking for the perfect mulch to use in your garden this season? There are many different types of mulch you can use depending on your gardening goals. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen shares some of her favorite types of mulches and where each type can be put to best use.