Tag Archives: soil

Building Friable Soil in Your Garden


Okay. So I am lazy today. I am going to cheat and use something I wrote elsewhere here.

I visited one of my reader’s blogs (he has several) about his raised bed garden. He described how he built it up and what is growing there. He is enjoying eating fresh produce.

As a gardener, I have opinions about creating good garden soil. I decided to express mine to him via a comment on his post. Then I thought I would share it here, in case another gardener out there is like me and looking for new ways to improve the garden dirt. So here goes:

Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours. Not sure how long you will be gardening where you are, but if you do the following through the winter, you’ll be amazed at the tilth improvement by spring — that is if you have the organisms (like worms) in your clay soil to break garbage into compost.

Anyway, here goes. Take all your PLANT matter kitchen scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds and dump it into 6-8″ deep holes in your raised beds. Cover the garbage back up with dirt. Mother nature turns it into a rich compost. If you do it for multiple years, your soil turns black and needs no tilling because the soil is friable. I have red clay. You’d never know it to look at the soil in my raised beds.

I also compost horse manure, used chicken coop bedding and spoiled hay in a pile for a couple of years. Once well broken down, I use that to start new raised beds, followed by the winter in-the-ground composting. I grow luscious vegetables with no added fertilizer.

As I re-read what I wrote above, I realize that my writing improves through a similar technique. I keep adding tidbits here and there, letting the matter percolate in my being. Over time, each bit of advice or new skill learned builds my skill set.

How about you? How do you improve either your garden or your writing?

Earth Hour


Earth Hour.

My new friend is introvertedblogger.wordpress.com. She’s a mum of three, living in Canberra, Australia. She blogs about living introverted in an extroverted world. As an introvert, I identify.

Anyway, she made me aware of a concept called Earth Hour. My personal twist on the subject is to do something more natural, more earth-friendly as part of my daily living.

For example,  I have become fanatical about turning off lights, television sets and the like when no one is in the room. My husband is hating me as he leaves a wake of electrical consumption ablaze wherever he goes. He may leave the TV on in the bedroom and wander, via the kitchen, to his office. His bedside lamp and the TV will remain on. The kitchen central switch light, as well as the zonal spotlights over both sections of counter space, are blazing. Nine times out of ten, he’ll have turned on the small kitchen TV set while fixing his coffee. The coffee pot is on, in case he decides to swill the dregs — an atypical choice. He likes to return to the bedroom 45 minutes later and find things as he left them.

He is adjusting, unhappily, to the change.

Also, I grow many of my own vegetables using sustainable gardening methods. I pick weeds and pests by hand and use a hoe. I enlist the help of our small flock of hens to rid the raised beds of slugs, beetles and stinkbugs. I use cheesecloth to deflect cabbage moths instead of using toxic sprays. I use raised beds, augmented with our own plant waste garbage, egg shells and the manure from our horses, so there’s no need for a rototiller. The earth has great tilth.

So, I am simpatico to Earth Hour.

I prefer heat from a wood stove to the heat pump. I cut the wood from my own wood lot, culling dead or diseased wood to make the wood lot healthier. I prefer my notebook computer, which can run on batteries for hours, to my laptop, which needs recharging after 60 minutes.

Each act is minute. Cumulatively, each act matters. I halved our electric bill through my new obsession. My husband liked that.