Mother Earth spends centuries creating her masterpieces. Here’s how you can work with Mother Earth instead of against her.
1. Open and aerate the soil
Move anything you want to plant elsewhere. Pull out any weeds, spent flowers or vegetables, and toss them onto the bed you are creating. It’s called the “Chop and Drop” method. It is Mother Nature’s way of composting. These garden scraps feed the soil and add structure, too.
Stick your broadfork into the soil and gently lift. If the Earth is compacted, gently lift, push the fork in farther, and gently lift again. This technique allows nutrients you’re about to add to do their thing. There is no need to turn over the soil; you’re just lifting and opening it up. By forking the soil, you’re less likely to hurt any of the organisms that feed on the organic matter and make beautiful soil for you. In this method, you’re not breaking up the soil structure underneath; you’re only lifting, adding air, and allowing moisture to penetrate deeper into the soil.
2. Feed the soil
Now it’s time to feed the organisms in the soil. Toss your “food” around the garden area. No need to be neat about it. Here are some things you can add: (Use what you have on-hand and is local).
Coffee grounds—don't have any? Ask at your local coffee shop.
Tea leaves and bags—not the shiny kind of bags, make sure they are compostable and don't have a metal staple.