Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Garden Lessons in Soil & Patience


I have been pursuing a yearly garden and returning garden for 4 years now. I am happy to report that even though I might not have had the best yields I’m definitely learning a huge amount.

 In my first 2 years of gardening I found that gardening is truly a patience sport.  You cannot rush a plant to grow it will not happen overnight it’s almost like the proverbial pot waiting to boil, watching it doesn’t make it grow faster. For me sadly this was a hard lesson that took me 2 growing seasons to learn and go with. I’ll admit sometimes I still wish I could rush things.

Second important lesson gleaned from the garden is texture and chemistry of soil composition. I have developed soil envy when I go places and look at the years of work that goes into a rich garden bed. This year I have figured out that the weeds I see tell me the soil chemistry. Knowing what is going on without testing your soil but by looking at what is growing naturally tells you so much about the area you are cultivating. By looking closely at the weeds growing in my garden and the surrounding landscape, I can maintain the soil’s quality more effectively. I noticed after research that a lot of the weeds that grow in my garden are acid lovers. So when I looked at the plants I planted those that were acid loving grew better and those who did not care for high acid levels did poorly. The presence of clover in my lawn also indicates a low level of nitrogen in the soil. So now I know for next year what I need to add or balance in my gardens soil. Weeds can be our enemies, overtaking our gardens. They can aggravate to no end, but weeds can also be friends to our gardens they give valuable clues to what is going on in the soil. Good or bad, they are here for a reason; weeds are nature’s band-aid, healing injured landscapes.


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