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Create Healthy Soil For Healthy Plants

MARIPOSA COUNTY – Anyone who likes to garden knows that healthy plants come from healthy soil. But most of us in the foothills aren’t blessed with that. We have to work at making it.

You’ll learn how to make your soil the best that it can be at a free “Nurturing the Soil” workshop by Mariposa County Master Gardeners president Betty Massey on Jan. 11, 10 a.m. to noon at the Senior Citizen Annex, 10340 Fiske Road, Greeley Hill.

Massey will tell you why and how to amend your soil and discuss the basic steps for successful composting. You’ll be able to examine a variety of samples.

If your soil isn’t healthy, you’re doomed to gardening frustration. Most foothill soils are not the best; they often lack phosphorous and calcium. Many areas have clay, rocks or hardpan as well.

You don’t need fancy – and expensive – bags of amendments from the big-box store. You can create your own amendment yourself by composting.

Everything alive becomes compost eventually; it’s just the process of decomposition. But you can speed things along by learning the right things to add and the wrong things to avoid for optimum results.

Massey will describe how this happens. Whether you have a pile or a compost bin, you put in green things such as grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and brown things such as straw, sawdust, or dry leaves, add water, let the mixture breath and after a while, you have the black gold that makes your garden grow. While the greens and browns are sitting there, microorganisms, macro-organisms and worms are living their lives, munching away on all that good stuff (and pooping) – breaking it all down. All you have to do is wait.

Please register at (209) 966-2417 or online at so we know we have enough handout materials.

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