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Friday Favorite: Seeing Results

August 7th, 2015

It’s nice to see results for our efforts. Sometimes in gardening it can seem like they are slow to come, especially when you are trying to improve your soil. I’ve been working on the soil in the back garden for two summers now and when I harvested garlic I could see a noticeable difference between the areas I had added amendments, chicken litter, cover crops, and compost and areas that I didn’t do anything to.
soil 3
On the left you can see the original soil, on the right the soil I have been working on improving. Below you can see the original soil’s texture in the top image and the improved texture on the bottom. Notice how the clump of soil in the bottom image holds together, the top one is powdery and falls apart.
soil 2
soil 1
I notice a huge difference in the moisture retention in the areas I’ve improved. They need stay damp for much longer than the other areas. I’ve always said that gardeners grow soil not plants. I spend the majority of my garden budget on quality compost and soil amendments. The results are quite nice and the plants I do buy grow much better as a result. I can hardly wait to see how the soil looks in 10 years!

How is the soil in your garden? Have you noticed an improvement throughout the years? 

2 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Seeing Results”
  1. Nebraska Dave on August 7, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Susy, my garden soil is the nirvana of soils. Nearly 100 years ago my garden area was the bottom of the Missouri river. The corps of engineers redirected the river for flood control. As a result the top soil in my garden is 18 to 24 inches deep. I’ve added to the sticky river bottom soil fall yard waste that’s a grass/leaf mixture a foot deep over the entire garden area. In addition to rich black soil, a natural water table is only a couple feet deep leaving the garden almost always moist under the mulch but not soggy. It’s really the best garden site ever. I just try to keep the natural ecology in tact and harvest a few things along the way. One of the amazing things about this garden area is no bugs. I really need to plant some flowers that would attract the pollinators even though I haven’t had pollination issues, it’s still nice to see a few butterflies and bees around.

    Have a great soil improving day.

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  2. Julia at Home on 129 Acres on August 7, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    As a first time gardener, I’m finding it really interesting to learn about how I should treat and care for my soil. I’m finding our soil is really good and productive and not very weedy (even though it was a huge weed patch last year). I’m guessing maybe because it’s been untouched for years and years? My parents are having huge weed problems with their garden, and I think it’s because the soil’s tired. Have you posted before about the specifics of how you feed your soil? Or are there any resources you can suggest?

    Reply to Julia at Home on 129 Acres's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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