We have been working hard to get our soils back in tip top shape and I thought i would share with you a rather easy and cheap way of getting calcium into your soil.
Calcium is an important element in any soil food web and without it plants cannot function to the best of their abilities. Therefore it is crucial that we focus on getting our calcium levels up.
A process avaliable to most home gardeners is as follows....
We save up all our bones from soups, broths and so on and put them in a big air-tight bucket until it is full.
When it is full we make a big fire and throw the bones in - this part of the process is very smelly! you leave them on the fire untill they are all broken down and then store them in a container for use.
The best way to use this bone ash is to put it straight into your compost as you build it, on the carbon/dry material layers. That way it will compost down with all the other goodies and be in a better form for your plants and soil micro-organisms to use it. Easy as that!
Many people use egg shells on their garden hoping that this will provide for their plants calcium needs. Eggshells take a very long time to break down and wont be avaliable to your plants for many years to come. We dont have time to wait around for this, so burning your bones and applying through the compost is a sure fire way that the calcium will be avaliable to your plants immediately.
Although we are not scientists, home gardeners are patrons of the soil and the more we can find out about ways to deliver to our plants their basic needs, the better our soil will be and the healthier the food we eat will be!