The value of adding in nutrient rich hummus, compost, and fertilizer to soils is widely known to be essential when starting a garden. But many don't understand that the soil is a complex, living ecosystem. This is an important concept to remember and use as part of your ongoing gardening philosophy. Your soil is home to a wide array of essential microbes, enzymes, worms and insects, and the many of these organisms live in symbiosis in a way that is beneficial to your garden's health. A healthy ecology will result in robust crop yields and contribute to your plant's ability to resist climate preasure, disease and pests. The end result is a more beautiful garden with higher quality fruits and vegetables.

In addition to adding in nutrient-rich organic matter you should also use a microbial inoculant to your soil. A quality microbial inoculant will enhance the soil with valuable microbes, enzymes and minerals, which in turn support a healthy ecosystem for healthy plants with a strong nutrient uptake. The result is more delicious, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. The best time to add in a microbial inoculant is in the evening using a watering can or a hose-end sprayer. You should dilute the inoculant following the instructions on the label and heavily moisten the soil.

Explore Regular Foliar Feeding

Plants do not exclusively absorb nutrients through their roots; they can also drawn in nutrients through their external stems and leaves. Research has shown that applying nutrients directly to the leaves – a process also known as “foliar feeding” – is an effective way to increase micronutrient absorption and overall plant health. Just as you did prior to planting, moisten the crop with a water-fertilizer mix (preferably organic) with your sprayer. You can ramp up the effects by coupling the liquid fertilizer with a microbial inoculant – the very same product previously mentioned. The microbes will enhance the process by introducing additional antioxidants, bioflavinoids, vitamins, and other micronutrients, all of which are natural byproducts of these microorganisms. The result is nutrient-dense crops that are healthy, robust and disease resistant.