When you mow, don’t remove the grass clippings. They’re beneficial to the grass, and you reduce the need to fertilize by putting back the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements that came from the lawn.
To soften and aerate sandy-clay soil, spread grass clippings, cedar chips and finely chopped leaves. I top these with corn, cottonseed and alfalfa meals to bring in the earthworms and feed the microbes. Within two seasons, hard, sun-baked soil will turn soft and pliable.
When you spread sawdust from horse stalls on your gardens and beds, be sure to add plenty of cottonseed meal, manure, compost and wood ashes to improve the pH and tilth of the soil. Sawdust depletes nitrogen from the soil and plants as it decomposes.
Listen to Jo Anne Boudreau on Herb Talk Thursday morning from 8 to 9 on KMQX 88.5, 89.5, K249 97.7, K72AZ 93.3 FM Radio and www.KYQX.com.