As if I didn’t need a reminder of how important compost is to a vegetable garden, note the tomato above. It’s on its way out, but it grew with no supplemental water in hard-packed clay soil contaminated with lead and zinc in a hot side yard. Why did it do well while the rest of my vegetable garden did not do as so good this summer?
I didn’t have enough compost for the rest of the veggie garden so I bought some at a nursery. The homebrew compost obviously had much more life in it.
And life is the point. Soil is a living thing. Plants, particularly vegetables, need microbial life to thrive.
For more on the importance of microbial life read the USDA’s soil biology primer written by Dr. Elaine Ingham.