Protect Your Soil
After you go to the trouble of enriching your soil, make sure that your
work doesn't go to waste.
- Protect your soil structure.
Go easy with the rototiller-overtilling can damage your soil's structure
and porosity. And if you're building a new structure or an addition,
remember that heavy equipment can compact your soil. Avoid moving equipment
over tree root areas, which causes long-term damage to trees; if you
can't, use a mulch (6 inches of wood chips or 4 inches of 3/4-inch crushed
gravel) to help cushion the roots and soil.
- Fight erosion. Keep
your pampered soil on your property. During the winter, plant cover
crops such as vetch, field peas, or barley in your garden; they'll keep
your soil from blowing away, protect against compaction from winter
rains, and might even add to your soil's nitrogen level (if you choose
a legume or other nitrogen-fixing plant). Also, put a buffer of non-cultivated
vegetation between your yard and any surface water (see Lakescaping
for how-to information) to trap sediment and to filter fertilizers,
pesticides, and sediments from stormwater.
your friends help you. Earthworms, birds, bees, and beneficial
insects are susceptible to many pesticides, including weed killers.
Instead of automatically reaching for a bag of weed-and- feed or a
jug of bugkiller, use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to keep your
garden pests in line. See The
Ten Most Un-Wanted Pests for more information.
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