Organic Gardening Makes Good Soil

Organic gardening is really all about the soil. You can grow healthy veggies hydroponically with chemicals. Enriching your soil with organic matter is thought to balance out the beneficial microorganisms with the pathogens, making your ecologically diverse ground a haven for enriched plant growth.

This is not always true. I have a tiny millipede in parts of my garden that eat the roots of my spinach plants. I’ve also lost watermelon plants to them. Whatever it is that eats them is not being introduced to my soil in spite of quarterly applications of compost and semi annual hay or straw mulches.

I pulled up the last watermelon vines today and weeded the area that they covered. I got an entire heaping wheelbarrow full of weeds, as opposed to 5 or 6 weeds from each of the mulched mounds. I realized that not only does the mulch slowly decompose and add nutrients to the soil, but it retains the nutrients in the soil by not allowing the weeds to use them up.

Hauling the weeds off, composting them, and spreading the compost back on the garden are totally unnecessary if you mulch heavily enough, but so far it seems like all the leaves that have fallen are on other people’s property. A leaf thief I am not……yet.

Caught a ground squirrel in the garden trap. They haven’t been a problem since I caught 19 in one summer. That knocked down the population so that our two dogs and the surrounding coyotes could keep up. I’ve only seen them eating the peas and poppy pods, but maybe all those teeth marks in the cantaloupes were not from the mice.

They are not nocturnal so you will see them more often in your garden, and freak you out because you’re just sure they’ll eat everything. Mainly they just hide so you are forever wondering where they went. When you give up looking they scurry across your peripheral vision because they are good at avoiding your eyes. One even had the audacity to dig a tunnel in the garden that led to the outside. He could come and go as he pleased until I caught on.

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