Thoughts on building soil

  • When you are attempting to build a new garden bed area, decide where the paths will be and where the planting areas will be. Only walk on the paths and avoid walking on the planting areas. This protects the soil structure, allowing the worms and other microbes to build tunnels and connections easily destroyed by walking on them.
  • Think about feeding the soil. Some techniques such as lasagna gardening and sheet composting work on the idea of feeding the soil microbes. Rather than building a compost pile on the side of the garden, the items are composted in place.

    Just like the lasagna you would eat, lasagna gardens are made of layers. These should be layers of "brown" and "green" items. Sheet composting is really the same thing though the layers may be put down at various times of the year. In our garden, a lot of brown goes on the ground in the spring as I break up the dead growth from the previous year. Then as new growth happens, items are chopped in place to put a green layer down. You'll be surprised at how quickly those layers begin to disappear into the ground, feeding all those soil microbes.

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