The key to delicious garden grown food is healthy and strong soil.
The key to healthy /strong soil is building it up with mulch, compost and recruiting worms and other useful organisms.
1) Minimize tilling and digging. [keeps good soil structure-and weeds]
2) Use compost, grass clippings,leaves/leaf mold and organic mulches (will help and improve the soil structure and texture)
3) Always keep the soil covered with crops* or organic mulch.
*Whenever you are not growing a crop, sow a cover crop to keep the soil active and fed or cover with good compost and mulch.
Build and rebuild the soil- The best way to do this is composting and worms. Invite the worms to your soil with good amendments and plenty of “food” (decomposing food scraps and vegetation)
GREEN Manure (cover crop)- Grow in empty spaces- between seasons- during a down year to rest/recharge the soil or to overwinter; after cut back and work into the soil before the plants go to seed. Cut back with mower, clippers or scythe, leave on ground or remove and top the area with compost or leaf mold and prepare for planting. Cut material can be added to compost pile.
As the garden is being developed you will need to add a source of phosphorus. Crops with enough phosphorus show steady strong growth. This means more and vigorous production of crops. Strong mature are less susceptible to drought,disease and frost. Rock Phosphate is also rich in other needed elements such as boron, zinc, nickel and iodine. It is also a slow-releasing long-term food and it is bio-available to the plants and soil.