How Does Manure & Other Organic Matter Help Plants Grow?
Posted on May 13, 2019 by Devon Metcalfe
Whether you’re an expert gardener or a green-fingered enthusiast, we all look for ways in which we can improve our gardens. One of the first steps in preparing your garden for a new season is to get your garden soil up to scratch.
This means finding the right organic nutrients to allow your plants to flourish in the way you hope they will! Manure, compost and other organic matter can indeed aid your plants and improve your garden, but how does it all work?
Finding Out the Soil Type in Your Garden
Most soils are a mix of silt, clay and sand but in some cases, one element can greatly override the others. Clay soil is made up of smaller particles, but sandy soil is made up of larger particles.
To start getting the most out of your garden in terms of plant growth, you need to determine which soil type is in your garden. An easy way to do this is ask the neighbours! If you’re new to the area, then your neighbours should be able to share their experiences of what plants grow best in the soil.
Alternatively, there are a few other ways you can test your soil to establish the type. One is to squeeze the soil when its damp and rub it between your fingers. If it feels gritty, it’s mostly sand. If it feels slimy, then it’s mostly clay. Furthermore, if you can make a ribbon by rolling the sand between your hands and it can hold vertically, that’s another indication the soil is clay. If it breaks and can’t hold at all, this is likely to be because you’ve got sand soil.
How Does Manure Help Plants Grow?
So, how does manure help plants grow? Well, it can be mixed with compost to create an excellent fertiliser. As the soil absorbs the manure, essential nutrients are released. This then enriches the soil which can help the plants grow. One of the most important benefits of manure is that it can condition the soil, which helps it to retain its moisture levels – particularly beneficial for sandy soil!
What Other Organic Matter Can Help Plants Grow?
It’s not all about manure. There is a wealth of organic matter that can be used to enrich the soil. This could be anything from dead leaves to vegetable peels. That’s why when we create compost heaps, we use all manners of things from the home and garden. Organic matter is essentially another word for anything that was once alive and is now dead.
The Benefits of Manure and Organic Matter for Your Garden
Organic matter and manure can benefit your plants in a number of ways. To start, sandy soil can be difficult to work with because it dries out quickly. Organic matter sucks the moisture up, holding it for longer periods of time. What’s more, it can also make some nutrients more readily available for your plants. As it breaks down, it can reduce erosion by holding the soil together.
Similarly, organic matter can help clay soil in terms of drainage. This is because it’s small particles can hold together tightly, leaving much less air space in the ground for plant roots. When asking how does manure help plants grow, the way in which is can push apart tiny particles to create more air space is a huge factor. It means the soil has better drainage so it doesn’t stick together as much, staying light and looser for your plants.