Question: The soil on one side of my house is heavy clay and plants don’t seem to do well in it. What’s the best way to improve this soil? Adding compost is a great way to improve a clay soil. Photo by Kate Kurtz Answer: Organic matter is your best tool to lighten a heavy … Continue reading Lightening a heavy clay soil
Question: What makes that "fresh earth" smell in spring? Actinomycetes as seen under a microscope. Photo courtesy of Tom Loynachan. Answer: In a word, geosmin. What is that? Geosmin is an organic compound released by a group of soil microorganisms called actinomycetes. Actinomycetes are filamentous “prokaryotes.” In other words, they are microscopic organisms whose cells … Continue reading What’s behind the “fresh earth” smell in spring?
Question: What’s better for the environment, fertilizing with synthetic fertilizer or with animal manure? Are they both the same once you put them on the soil? Answer: This question is difficult to answer in a short space. Both types of fertilizers can be beneficial to the environment and both can damage the environment. It depends … Continue reading What’s better for the environment, synthetic fertilizer or manure?