The words “dirt” and “soil” are often interchanged, but to a gardener, there’s a big difference. “Soil” is what gives life to a garden – full of organic matter, minerals, and nutrients. However, not all soil is created equal, which is why it’s great to get to know your soil first.
Today, Joe takes a look at how to take a soil sample for testing, and then visits the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to take a closer look at soil and the process of testing it. Joe talks to David Hardy, Section Chief for Soil Testing at the NCDA. David shows us the ropes of testing soil and how the process happens.
A great way to boost the nutrient levels and bump up the organic matter, naturally, is with compost. It’s the single best amendment you can add to your soil. It’s helpful to know where you can go to get good compost and to know that it is going to be just as high quality as the stuff you could make at home. Frank Franciosi, President of the US Compost Council, gives us some guidance on how to find compost that is healthy, where it came from, and how to use it.
Later, Chef Nathan cooks up something that grows better with great soil, Thyme and Rosemary seasoned root vegetables.
For more information:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Compost Suppliers Across the Country
Episode 225: Backyard Composting in the 21st Century
Pat Kosters says
Saw your program in April 2014 about harmful chemical residue in compost that killed your tomatoes. What show and what is the chemical residue that stays in manure that ends up in compost?
Joe Lamp'l says
Pat, here’s a link to give you what you want to know, along with links to additional information on the subject: https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/killer-compost-it-happened-to-us/
Thank you for the video. It plays for me, but the time bar at the bottom of the screen does not move at all. Do you have a video explaining how to make compost and/or a compost bin?
Joe Lamp'l says
Ron, enter those terms in the search bar on our site. It’s possible we’ve added information on making the compost bin since you last checked. Also the videos that show how to make compost and the compost bin are within full episodes which you can find by searching on in our search field as well on any page.
Your show is my favorite show on tv! Watch it religiously… This episode was extremely helpful and informative, starting a 1 acre organic farm and locating compost in the quantity and quality we need has been a challenge, thanks for the great resources!!!
Joe Lamp'l says
Wow Megan. I can’t imagine a nicer complement! Thank you.
BTW, If you haven’t seen episode 410 on the Weedless Gardening, there is a short segment on what happened on my farm / garden using composted horse manure. It turned out to be tainted with persistent herbicides that destroyed quite a few of my crops. I also wrote a blog post about it with more detail. And the U.S Composting Council has a lot of great information and links to more information. As an organic farmer, this is a huge deal.
Good luck with your farm, and thanks again for the kind words!