To me, dirt play is just pure fun. (Those are my daughters and their friend in the opening photo.) Just look at all those soil critters!
As we girls get back to playing in the dirt for the season, another compost pile gets ‘flipped’ to ready the area for planting. Nutrients are all there and accounted for. Moisture level is perfect — not too wet, not too dry, juuuuust right. No additional inputs are necessary via herbicides or fertilizers. It’s all right there, bio-ready. Ready for plants or seeds.
There are dozens of 7-to-8-inch long wriggly earthworms and several other decomposers like the the giant ox beetle grub. This is a sign of healthy soil and though I don’t see them I know they’re there: trillions of other living beings like fungi, bacteria, nematodes. They are doing the heavy lifting free of charge. They guarantee the successful growing seasons.
Lasagna gardening or, as I like to call it, lazy gardening, is my way. Why bring the compost to the plant when you can plant right into the compost?
Earth — the soil under my dirty toes — is alive. The only ‘tools’ needed to work it are a pitchfork or a screwdriver or perhaps a dull-bladed shovel. Why destroy what is so perfectly designed by Mother Nature with mechanical methods? With muscle, sweat and a few calories, I gently and purposefully turn the soil, enriching it with oxygen and carefully removing competing plants (grasses, etc.) from within. I know what I plant will do just fine without me, converting minerals in the soil into nutrients for my body.
A little love put by me into the Earth is in turn a whole lot of love put right back into me.
Coming soon! A composting-building and bed-layering exercise.