I bet you knew all plants need food to survive...but what are we feeding are plants? If you just till up your soil and plant you might be feeding them a bunch of clay. If you add organic matter you will be feeding them great nutrients for your plants roots to absorb and grow. The most important minerals are nitrogen, potash, potassium and phosphorus. What happens when your plants get these and how can you help your plant get them?
Nitrogen: This encourages leafy growth. Your plants can get this from rain and snow. You can help by giving you plants animal manures (remember not cat or dog droppings)
Potash: This helps build your plants tissues, and root development and helps with disease resistance. You can help by adding animal manures and compost.
Potassium: Helps your plant grow and make fruit. You can help by adding wood ashes.
Phosphorus: Promotes development of a good strong root system. It also helps to get your plant to grow more quickly. You can help by adding bone meal, and rock phosphate.
I am a big believer in organic matter... so start a compost pile today!