Down and Dirty with Rich Soil

Rich Soil

People are willing to steal rich soil. Fortunately for those with rich soil it is very hard to steal. This time of the year many people are thinking about their gardens. The three S’s of gardening are critical factors. They are Selection, Soil, and Selection. Let us talk more in depth about soil.

Thomas_Jefferson_garden_at_MonticelloMany people just look at it as dirt. Companies such as Monsanto think we should sterilize the dirt. If you have read prior entries you know Monsanto is not somebody I take advice from. I prefer to take my advice from someone like Joel Salatin. I really am trying to make a better home for earthworms.

I figure if I have happy earthworms I should have extra for a day fishing with the children. While they are growing they are improving my soil. A rich soil is very complex with more organisms alive and kicking in just two handfuls than there are people on earth. Rich soil is alive and is always changing and not a mechanical device that we can treat chemically.

I am guilty as the next person about putting amendments into my garden soil. There is a simple process called a soil sample that you can take and send in for free a lot of times for a free analysis. The instructions say you should get a good sample by mixing from several locations. I will admit that I am referencing instructions because I have never gotten one done.

This is one of those action items you should do what I say and not what I do. I started out in my garden location with a sandy loam. It was a very tan color and despite not getting soil samples I can see the changes in my soil. I now have a light brown soil that crumbles.

The crumble factor of my soil has gotten there over several years worth of adding lime and some 10-10-10 fertilizer. It also has heavy amendments of composted animal manure and other things that we have incorporated. I can see the changes in the type of weeds and plants that come up.

I should document the changes that my soil has gone through. I really should do a soil sample. One day my goal much like most gardeners is to have rich soil. I think if I get there my earthworms will multiply and I can spend more time fishing!


Down and Dirty with Rich Soil — 4 Comments

    • Thank you very much. I am honored that you would stop by. I love Polyface Farms and what you all have accomplished there. It is a model and inspiration for millions. I just wish I had known about it when I lived in the Valley back in 1998.

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