All the products referred to in this soil building section for food gardens and orchards can be found in our Yardener's Tool Shed; click here
Here's the deal. Technically after the garden has been built and is planted we are not managing the soil. We are managing the food source for what's called the soil food web; all the critters living in a healthy soil from the earthworms down to the smallest bacteria. If we feed the soil food web with organic matter every year, it is the creatures making up the soil food web that feed the soil and in turn feed our vegetable plants.
Soil management then entails keeping a 3 to 4 inch layer of organic mulch on the surface of the garden 365 days a year. As the thickness of the mulch goes down, we add more material. It is that simple. The paths of the garden are covered with wood chips and the beds of the garden are covered full time by some organic material such as straw. In fact straw is probably the best food for the soil food web available in most areas. Notice we are not digging the straw into the soil. The earthworms pull the straw down into the soil and distribute it to the rest of the soil food web.
If you put a layer of straw mulch over the garden after your first roto tilled it, you should not have to roto till that garden ever again. The worms and the other creatures in the soil food web will keep that soil loose and friable. After three or four years your "good" soil will go down 12 to 15 inches and all you did was keep a layer of straw on your garden 24/7.
Compost Tea For Veggie Garden Soil
Compost tea brewing systems can be found on our Yardener's Tool Shed: click here
Beneficial Microbes for Vegetable Garden Soil
Beneficial Microbes cab be found on our Yardener's Tool Shed; click here