7 Ways to Keep Your Soil Healthy ...

Learning some ways to keep your soil healthy is important on a number of levels. For one, it ensures that whatever you're growing will be in better condition, and it also ensures that whatever you grow in the following years will be healthier. Soil can cause everything from molded plants to unhealthy crops, but if you know some helpful ways to keep your soil healthy, you can rest assured you're good to go.

1. Buy Organic Fertilizer

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One of the best ways to keep your soil healthy is to buy organic fertilizer. This gives your soil toxic-free minerals found in organic soil, which is better for the earth, it makes your crops taste better if you grow your own food at home, and helps your plants thrive more heartily so they're less likely to die off sooner. Though it isn't as cheap as its toxic-filled counterparts, organic fertilizer will pay for itself when you see the results.

2. Get Your Soil Tested

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Depending on your location, you could have especially dry soil that prevents optimal growing conditions. You could also possibly have soil that's been subjected to toxic treatments. You can get your soil tested by a professional or even perform a do-it-yourself test at home. Learn more at organicgardening.about.com.

3. Compost

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Composting is a great way to take care of the soil. It gives back organic materials to the Earth, and in return it will help you produce hardier, healthier, and more luscious plants. You can compost all your leftover fruits and vegetables, plus other items like egg shells, coffee grounds, and more.

4. Say No to Chemicals

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Choose sprays, treatments, and fertilizers carefully. Spraying excess chemicals on your soil depletes the soil of its natural mineral content, which is what helps plants thrive. Many options at mainstream home and garden stores are full of unhealthy chemicals, so look online or go to a natural home and garden store.

5. Avoid Toxic Lawn Treatments

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It's nice to have someone come do your lawn for you, but many treatments used by large companies are full of toxic chemicals. This not only depletes your soil's natural mineral content but also isn't healthy for you either. Call around to local companies to see what they have to offer and ask them what they suggest for natural lawn preservation methods.

6. Stay on Top of Pests

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Certain forms of pests can actually harm your soil if you're not careful. While earthworms are nothing to be afraid of, some varieties can lay eggs in the soil and cause your plants to die quickly.

7. Water Regularly

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Last but not least, if you're in the midst of a summer drought, be sure you water your lawn regularly. Dry soil can be hard to reverse and once soil reaches a certain point of dryness, it's hard to bring it back to life quickly enough to save your plants and seedlings. Since it might cause your water bill to rise, watch the weather to see when rain is expected and opt for a low-emissions watering system to save even more.

To learn more about ways to take care of your soil, check out some of these resources below. Remember to speak with lawn professionals in your area to see how they can help, or try more natural gardening tactics yourself instead. Do you have a tip for taking care of your soil?

Sources: organicgardening.about.com, extension.umn.edu

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