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Soil compaction, or the compression of soil particles, can be a major yield-limiting factor in a garden. Russell Landry has the dirt on what to do about this common.

Here is an extended list of what every grower new and seasoned alike should—but might not—know.

Like humans, most plants inevitably grow old and then die, and as plants age, yields are affected negatively. But if this natural decline is slowed down, it is possible.

Combatting Soil Compaction

Powdery mildew is a common name for many species of fungi that infect the leaves of both indoor and outdoor plants. While it is difficult to eradicate completely, it is.

Companion planting is a form of polyculture where certain types of crops are planted in close proximity to one another to boost crop yields or deter pests.

There is still so much to learn about the role of calcium in plants, but this common metallic mineral certainly already has applications for preventing and treating.

Just what exactly is that black powdery stuff growers are often asked to put in their soil, and how does it work? Here is master gardener Russell Landry with an.

Working in a minimum of four inches or more of well-rotted organic matter will compensate you with big dividends. Materials such as grass clippings, leaves, yard waste and compost are the most readily available supplements for urban and rural growers. Other manures can be added as well. Cow, chicken, horse, sheep and rabbit manures are some of the most popular choices.

The microbes feed on the tasty morsels you add in the form of organic matter and begin to leave behind nutrients in the soil that can be quickly absorbed by the plant's developing root system. It is also important to feed the bacteria with sugars. High fructose products are best and include molasses, corn syrup and maple syrup. Bacteria will thrive when fed often with these sugary blends.

Soil conditioners

Good cover crops for a fall planting include winter wheat, winter rye and oats. They are fast growing and relatively easy to roto-till. They do not fix nitrogen but they are fast growing and add organic matter quickly. These essential crops can be sown during most times of the year. They can store large amounts of nitrogen from the soil for use in the next growing season.

Other more common soil supplements include sulphur (S), gypsum, lime, or dolomite limestone and magnesium (Mg) sulphate or epsom salts.

They protect the soil from wind and water erosion while conserving moisture and preventing weed germination. The organic matter contribution is an added benefit to the soil as certain types of crops can extract nutrients from the soil and leave them in readily available forms for quick uptake by the plants once they are ploughed back into the soil.