Romancing the Soil

| 9/12/2012 11:19:20 AM

A photo of Shannon SaiaConventional relationship wisdom has some old standbys, the things that everyone knows that a relationship cannot last without. You know what they are: communication, commitment, patience, being friends, blah blah blah. They all basically point to the fact that in order to endure, a marriage must be built on a strong foundation. 

The same is true for the garden, and anyone who has been married to their garden for a long time will be happy to share their wisdom with you, and let you know how it is that their relationship with their garden was able not only to last, but to flourish. I’m not exactly long-married, but my garden and I have been together for five years now, coming up on the seven year itch, if you will, and I’m starting to understand what all these other, better gardeners are talking about. And like all of my other deep, private thoughts and epiphanies, I feel compelled to record this one here. You ready? Here is the gardening wisdom that I’ve been collecting of late: 

It’s the soil. 

It’s the soil. 

It’s the soil, stupid. 

That last one is particularly harsh, and yet I have actually read something that said that, more or less, in an online gardening discussion thread titled something like, I love gardening but I suck at it, wherein people like my good self can commiserate. But some people don’t understand what it means to commiserate. Some people think that people looking for moral support and a shoulder to cry on are actually looking for answers, and they feel compelled to provide them.   

9/16/2012 2:29:06 AM

8:48 PM 9/15/2012 Shannon, it is the soil that makes the garden. I found it useful to bury the semi composted material in the garden bed. What I do is pile the yard debris up from the last leaf/grass mulch to start the process over the winter. By spring it's well on the way to become compost but not nearly finished. Then I bury it under the top layer of garden soil about four to six inches. The process completes over the course of the garden year slowly releasing the nutrients needed. I haven't used fertilizer on my raised beds. I have another source of excellent garden fertilizer. My good friend has horses. Like 20 horses that produce an abundance of you know what. I've considered hauling a few loads of the good stuff out to Terra Nova Gardens. Is there such a thing as too much love for the soil. I think maybe so. I planted radishes in my raised beds this year and the tops grew to three foot tall with a radish the size of a pea. That indicates too much nitrogen Oops. Have a great day in the Maryland garden beds.

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