Cleaning up the garden is a fall tradition for most gardeners and often involves removing the old plants for chop-and-drop or composting. But you could be missing out on a simple way to boost your soil!
When you go to clean up your garden this fall instead of pulling your plants up try cutting them at the base.
If you make this simple change each year your soil will start to improve. The reason is that when you pull up your plants, all the roots plus some soil come out.
This causes a fair bit of soil disturbance and it also removes a large amount of organic material from the soil!
But if you cut the plants off at the base then you don't disturb the soil and you leave all the roots in the ground.
These roots will help to hold the soil together as they decompose over the fall and winter. As they decompose the roots will feed beneficial soil life like earthworms.
Plus leaving the roots means organic material stays deep in the soil which is a great way to incorporate more and more organic material in your soil every year.
This will also improve the structure of your soil which will make it easier for future plants to spread their roots and access the water, oxygen and nutrients they need to grow.
All in all this is a simple a quick way to boost your soil that many people are missing out on. If you cut your plants off at the base instead of pulling them by spring the roots will be gone and you will be left with better soil!
What do you think? Do you do this already or do you pull the plants up roots and all? Please leave a comment--I would love to hear from you!
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