GARDENING: Build your own soil for stronger, healthier plants

DIY soil is a superior product

‘Black gold’ from the bucket is spread around established plants and covered with straw mulch to protect the soil. (Contributed)

Loretta Fritz | Contributed

Bees and bee-friendly gardening were the focus of the Sooke Garden Club in 2018. This year the emphasis has been more down to earth. Literally. It’s been about the soil. As for the importance of soil, the Club’s calendar notes: “We don’t grow plants. We grow soil … and let the soil grow the plants!”

It’s true that we can buy good soil and soil amendments, but over time this can become expensive. Building and amending soil by composting at home, on the other hand, is both practical and economical. Moreover, the end result is a superior product.

Did you know that compost is a natural slow-release fertilizer that doesn’t get washed away in with the rain? Compost enriches existing soil, improves its texture, and helps it retain moisture.

And by improving overall soil fertility, compost contributes significantly to the growth and health of plants and to crop yield as well.

In short, composting is a fantastic way to create an excellent and free garden soil amendment. It is also a socially responsible activity in that it lessens the amount of methane-creating food and garden waste going into the landfill and encourages a healthy soil ecosystem.

This month, with harvesting well underway, leaves beginning to fall, and the supply of kitchen/garden waste on the upswing, the Sooke Garden Club is digging into the topic of composting. Kayla Siefried, site manager and community education coordinator at the Compost Education Centre in Victoria, is returning as the featured speaker. Her focus will be on Composting Essentials.

This informative session will delve into what it takes to produce a soil amendment that is rich in beneficial microorganisms and nutrients (and often referred to as “black gold”). It will cover the six factors for composting success, how to choose the best composting system to address particular needs and circumstances, and how to increase the rodent resistance of outdoor compost piles.

Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. The meeting will also feature the final parlour show of 2019. New members are always welcome. Questions? Visit our website at sookegardenclub.ca or email us at sookegc@gmail.com.

•••

Loretta Fritz writes for the Sooke Garden Club.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Victoria artist in residence seeks seniors to share stories of life with students

The meeting is part of an intergenerational project focusing on face-to-face conversations

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Most Read