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The Dirt on Good Soil | With Local Expert Dave Peters

A truck load of Olympic Mountain Fish compost, aka soil food. - Bill Mickelson/Staff Photo
A truck load of Olympic Mountain Fish compost, aka soil food.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/Staff Photo

If you’re one of the growing number of folks aiming to grow veggies this season, whether in the community p-patch or your own backyard, one of the most important components is the soil in which you’re planting.

You can’t just put anything straight into the untreated soil and expect it to grow.

But you also must be careful to not put any harmful materials into the soil if you’re planning to eat what you grow.

“It all comes down to what you are planting,” Kitsap County Recycling Coordinator and compost expert at Emu Topsoil. “There’s a book called ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ and I’d add to that ‘Right Soil.’ ”

If you’re planting a vegetable garden, working a good amount of compost into the soil is probably a good idea, Peters said, but you’ve got to know what you are dealing with. Oftentimes each individual plant requires individual attention.

“Talk to people who know plants,” Peters advises. Talk to someone at a nursery, or talk to a master gardener. We are blessed with a wealth of master gardeners in this county, we probably have more than most counties in the country.”

There’s even a master gardener hotline here — (360) 337-7158.

Also see the Master Gardeners' parent program, the Kitsap WSU Extension online at

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