Organic matter is a soil conditioner that you add to your garden soil that contains organic compounds. It is decaying material, plant, or animal. Animal manures, compost, and green manure are all examples of organic matter that provide many benefits to plant life by dissolving minerals within the soil and improving the ability of plant uptake of both water and needed nutrients.

Organic matter improves soil structure and at the same time, feeds a large variety of beneficial insects and microorganisms that exist in a soil ecosystem to make it healthy. There is a large population of beneficial organisms in the soil. The less likely harmful microorganisms will be able to survive. Beneficial organisms feed on harmful microbes like nematodes and other soil-borne diseases and release nutrients return to the soil at the same time.

Compost is the most commonly used source of organic matter with the organic home gardener and can be made from a large variety of organic material. Garden debris, grass clippings, yard trimmings, paper products, along with fruit and vegetable scraps are only a few materials that can be added to a compost pile to produce a rich humus soil amendment that will greatly benefit a garden soil structure.

Aged animal manure from chickens and cows are two other examples of organic matter that will significantly benefit a garden soil structure. It should be stored for at least a six month period of time before using it because fresh it can burn your plants. It is best to add animal manures to a compost pile and let it age and decompose with other sources of organic material.

Green manures also have other benefits that are just adding organic matter back into the soil. Alfafa when grown as a cover crop, or green manure, will break up or loosen a compact soil with its deep root system. In contrast, a cover crop like clover has the ability of nitrogen fixation, the process of converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants. Clover is also beneficial when left to grow as a ground cover to suppress weeds and prevent erosion. When clover is allowed to flower, it is especially attractive to beneficial insects and pollinators.

Organic matter also is a great source to improve fertility in healthy soil. Plants need certain nutrients to grow strong and can defend themselves from fro diseases. Organic fertilizers made from natural decomposed animal, mineral, or vegetable sources will replenish what was taken from a soil naturally. Organic fertilizers also are slow-release sources of nutrients, meaning that nutrients are more readily available for plants when they need them. With this method of fertilization, there is no sudden change in soil makeup that could harm the microbial activity in healthy soil.

Organic matter provides a large variety of benefits to garden soil. Recycling organic material and returning the natural nutrients into the soil is healthy for both you and the environment, and organic gardens can not exist without organic matter.

Organic gardening is gardening in harmony with nature. Grow healthy and productive crops in a way that is healthier for you and the environment.

Author's Bio: 

An observer of organic farming, Focus on Bio-solution for sustainable