Soil Health Question

I have a flower bed which I plant annual flowers. I put mulch on the flowers. Each fall when the flowers dies, I dig the flowers into the soil, and then dig my leaves into the soil. Does this mean my soil getters better each year since nothing leaves the bed in the sense that I recycle the dead flowers. Or am I missing some? The flowers or plants give off oxygen so does some chemical get lost in the process.
Thanks
Tom
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You are benefitting the soil by adding organic matter, yes. Better than 'mulch', which I take to mean shredded hardwood, is pure compost, or shredded leaves, grass clipping, what have you from around your yard.
The other thing you can do is utilize a 'cover crop' in winter, such as wild mustard, winter rye, clover, or other nitrogen-fixing plants that are tilled under while still green in early spring.
Dave

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Hi mary,

For me, I will not dig it into the soil, instead I let it cover the soil as mulch. This will reduce the soil lost by wind or water erosion.
The nutrient release by fast decomposition of till in organic matter, will also lost due to no life form to take it up.
Regards, Wong
-- Latitude: 06.10N Longitude: 102.17E Altitude: 5m
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This is about the best link I have every found about soil. Enjoy. http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/soil_quality/soil_biology/soil_biology_primer.html
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wrote:

It should improve. Additions of inorganic and especially organic fertilizers will improve the soil. I add a couple heaping tablespoons of composted cow manure to each transplant hole preparation and get outstanding growth and color from my annuals. Turning the soil helps too. Think about using a different annual in the same spot next year (crop rotation), as not every plant uses the same minerals.
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