When it comes to amending your garden soil for the next planting season you have many options. Most of which cost you money but with a little planning and some helpful neighbors you can improve your soil for FREE.
1. Coffee Grounds. Most people throw coffee grounds away so neighbors even the local coffee shop are often willing to give you the used coffee grounds. Tomatoes, blueberries, and other Nitrogen loving plants thrive when coffee grounds are added to the soil or compost.
2. Yard waste from yards not treated with pesticides and herbicides make great mulch of organic matter for your garden soil and compost. Think of how well the plants on the forest floor grow. The forest is self mulching/composting.
3. Manure from farms and stables. Farmers have a lot of natural fertilizer hanging around and many are willing to give it to you if you haul it of. Get the older dried out manure that has already started to break down pretty well. It is ready to add right to the garden at the point. Only have fresh? Toss it in your compost bin. Older the manure the better. Top dress your garden with manure or make a tea by steep the manure in water for several days to reach the deeper roots faster.
4. Veggie trimmings and waste. Your neighbor next door or your local restaurant needs to get rid of this stuff and many are willing to pass it on to you for your compost.
5. Tree trimmings from your local power company. Most local poser companies are more then happy to leave a pile of mulch in your driveway rather than paying to put it at the dump. They turn the trees to mulch as they trim so their is nothing left for you to do just spread around your garden and share the love with neighbors.
6. Put old newspaper to work as an underlayer for your mulch. It snuffs out weeds and decomposes over time. For bigger areas lay sheets out in a thick layer, water, then cover with a mulch matching your landscaping. In tight spaces wod it up soak it down, and squish it in before covering.