Garden Planning part one: Dirty Talk | picky to plenty

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Like a lot. I was in a car accident nearly three months ago and it has turned my world upside down. While the accident wasn’t too serious, thankfully, it was enough to cause me health problems I’ve been dealing with ever since. One way to cope with stress is to do things I love — cook, write from the heart and dream.

There’s something about being up to the elbows in fresh soil that is oddly soothing. Caring for a vegetable garden is a satisfying journey that begins with the dirt. While it’s too early to get my hands dirty (though seed planting begins in only a few short weeks) I can cope with the stress by daydreaming about this year’s gardens.

One of my biggest mistakes in gardening last year was not paying attention to the soil. My raised beds thrived because they had great soil, the newer ones in the front however, terrible. Here on the Niagara Escarpment we have a lovely red clay soil… not so good for growing. While we did add a few yards of soil to the plot and some manure and compost, it was not enough to create an atmosphere where plants would thrive. Case in point, my midget pepper and bean plants which were barely half way up my calf when they reached their maximum height.

via Garden Planning part one: Dirty Talk | picky to plenty.

9 comments

  1. “While we did add a few yards of soil to the plot and some manure and compost, it was not enough to create an atmosphere where plants would thrive.” Assuming balanced soil mineralisation and a neutral pH, time is the cure to this outcome – the process of building soil organic matter and microbial activity does take time to work. Regular vermicast tea applications will help.

  2. I totally agree that getting the soil right is the first and most important step to success and dreaming is the second. Gardening is great when you are stressed.

  3. We have had great luck making raised beds with Lasagna Gardening Techniques. Layer of cardboard (brings up the worms) covered with brown/green layers of compostable materials (dead leaves, grass clippings, straw, compost – as a top layer if using it the first year). In a year it was worm-filled glorious black loveliness.

    1. We to have had great luck with lasagna gardening. By using a bit of compost soul under a top layer of straw we could plant it in the first spring, though creating it in the fall works better giving time for it to “cook”. Best soil, full of worms, I’ve ever made.

  4. Yes, the soil is so important. On our allotment we add all the manure from our chickens as well as any other organic matter we can get. Woodchip goes on the paths for a year and when it starts to break down gets added to the beds.

    1. On an agricultural scale we can reverse climate change by increasing soil carbon, from the garden to the plains, soil is the key to everything we need to live.

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