It's been said in every gardening book and how-to article written that the foundation of growing vegetables is building the soil to give your plants nutrients to thrive. Conventional farmers/gardeners believe building the soil is pouring on liquid fertilizer. Organic farmers and gardeners do it with natural fertilizers -- in most cases some sort of animal manure and/or compost, and a good gardening practice of plant rotation. This picture shows the proof is in the pudding. I've been building the soil in the garden for 15 years with compost using horse manure. The row of corn on the right has nothing in the soil. It was a strip of yard that had grass growing on it for 15 years and we rototilled it this spring to make it part of the garden. You can clearly see the difference between well-built soil, and the not-so fertilized soil. This is the first season for this non-fertilized section. But don't fret! By adding compost/animal manure to your garden this year and into fall, giving it a good cover for the winter, by next spring your garden soil will be well enriched and the plants will suck up the nutrients. It only takes a year to build good soil, with a little help of natural, organic materials, (unless you have have hard-packed clay or some other type of not-quite-dirt soil - that may take a little more work). The links are all highlighted on how to do it. For some, this can be a technical, scientific process looking at all the elements needed and assuring your soil has it all - even beyond the big three -- nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. There's even a program to have your compost tested to assure you are creating the correct proportions of nutrients. I've also read that certified organic growers are required to have their manure tested that they use in the compost to assure no chemicals were fed to the animals and passed through to the manure. That's actually quite interesting and I often wondered what's in the feed my dad gives his horses -- he says it's all organic (oats/molasses), and typically, oats are not a GMO crop so hopefully he's right. I'm not a techy weenie. Yes, every good master gardener knows you need to test your soil, but this inactive MG doesn't practice what she's supposed to preach 'cause she doesn't take the time to do it. She takes the time to build compost, layer it on, and watch the plants grow and be happy. A soil test IS advised.