Soil. Yes I said soil not dirt. We have to build up our soil so that it is healthy. Humm… What do I mean by healthy? This is something that has perplexed me for sometime, but knowing myself well I knew I was just making it hard and difficult. So I stepped back and analyzed this from a more observational stand point and broke it down so that I understood what most people wanted me to understand.
What is soil? It is Organic matter (leaves, grass clippings,), microorganisms (nematodes, worms, fungus, bacteria,) and minerals (calcium, metals, and so forth). In a base such as clay, silica(sand) and silt. When put together and not disturbed for a while it forms soil. Which is really healthy for plants. Oh I know there are some organisms that are not really healthy for plants but those can be beaten down in a way with planting certain plants such as Marigold(which kill certain nematodes), and other plants that help bring in nitrogen fixing organisms(BEANS).
I try to think of soil not being disturbed so how you might ask do I take care of the weeds. Well one I pull them I know that disturbs the top layers but not the under layers. I don’t till because not only does that compact the soil making it harder for plants to grow their roots out it disturbs the community I am building in the soil. I take the approach of the forest gardener or lasagna gardener. I heap more organic matter on top the soil add a few things to amend it like bone and blood meal(made from dead animals I know but it is more organic then most fertilizers and adds calcium and phosphorus that tend to leach out of soil that being used by plants at the moment. )
So what is a forest or lasagna garden you ask. Well to me it is Newspaper thickly applied to smother weeds (remember no tilling) then grass clippings, leaves, compost, more clippings and leaves newspaper over this and finally more leaves. This left to sit for a month or two to compact it down then I plant in it. No muss or fuss.
So stay tuned for more information on Organic Gardening.