Urban soil is generally poor in nutrients and needs special care if you are raising crops. If you are an enthusiast for growing your own plants this simple 8 steps will help you increase significantly the fertility of your soil.
1.- ORGANIC MATTER
Manure is a time-proven method to enrich the soil and increase the levels of hydrogen in it, but beware of overusing it because you could end up salting your ground and killing anything you plant.
Not only does it stabilize the more volatile nutrients, but it also speeds up the formation of humus in your soil. Be careful of applying 1/4 inch per season, and you will start seeing development in your herb garden in a matter of weeks.
Chickens are your best friends when it comes to helping you distribute organic material in your soil. If you put them in your garden and dump your organic material they will shred it and distribute it evenly while they are looking for things to eat, and adding to it their own droppings to enrich your soil
4.- USE DEEP ROOTED PLANTS
Certain plants like Comfrey or the Stinging Nettle have long roots (up to ten feet long) that take out the rich minerals found deep into the subsoil and bring them up to the surface, where they can nourish your soil.
5.- COVER CROPS
The channels opened up by the decaying roots of the cover crops allow oxygen and water to penetrate the soil while at the same time processing nitrogen from the atmosphere into components that the soil can use
6.- COVER IT WITH MULCH
There’s nothing more harmful to your soil than “being naked”. Use organic mulches to protect your soil against extreme temperature and retain your soil’s moisture, increase fertility by promoting the decomposition of organic materials, and aid the nitrification of the soil.
7.- PERMANENT BEDS AND FOOT PATHS
Using permanent beds for your soil is key to prevent it from being compacted by people passing by. At the same time, you can mulch your paths and take advantage of people walking over them to shred and grind the materials of your mulch which you will then add them to your beds already shredded very finely.
8.- LOW-TECH TILLING
Tilling is a necessary step before planting your main crop, but you want to be careful and not mix too much the soil or else you’ll loose the rich crumb at the top. Chickens, mulching, and using a broadfork are good tools to till your soil and prepare it for your crop.