As I Punched My Dibble Into The Soil

As I punched my dibble into the soil to make holes for my garlic cloves the holes kept caving in. I realized the ground was dry. Having dew on the grass in the mornings made me think plenty of moisture was in the dirt. If the dew evaporates, and doesn’t trickle down to the ground, that is not the case. I had to hand water garden plants and put the sprinkler on the lawn. I will have to water the onion patch before I plant it. I’m used to pre-moistening the ground in the summer before planting seeds, but the last time I noticed the garden soil it was damp. In fact it’s still damp, in the shadows. About a fifth of the garden is shaded by the fence on the south side because the sun is so low on the horizon. Luckily i don’t need a lot of room for a winter garden.

I discovered an ancient pile of stall cleanings that turned as black as coal. It’s so well decomposed that the shavings are not evident. It’s truly compost, and if I don’t use it up before the rains, it will turn to dirt. It’s the way I should have been making compost all along, but I’ve been too impatient to amend with it. The dark brown un-decomposed shavings looked like peat moss so I was decorating with them instead of seriously considering the soils requirements. Each shovel full of this “black gold” weighs about as much as a wheelbarrow full of leaves, so it’s nutrient dense and getting spread on all the corn patches to a depth of two inches. I’ll still fertilize the patches in the spring but this gets the job of growing healthy soil started early.

I was surprised to see two damselflies mating. It seems too late in the season, but then I realized that their eggs will overwinter, while they will not. The garden is growing in significance as a place of it’s own identity. It’s not so much “My garden” as it is “The garden”. I work and play in it, observe and enjoy it, but I don’t “own” it. I serve it’s needs and follow it’s directions, and it has an independent existence from me. It will go on without me and I’m only a passing influence. Calling it “My garden” makes me feel responsible for how it looks, and keeps me ego bound to it’s aesthetics. When your children are raised, and your requirements of taking care of others diminishes, it’s time to expand your interaction with the spiritual aspects of life.

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