Gardening –even more than most things — is simple. It’s amazing how complicated folks can try to make it. It’s almost as if people don’t like simple things —- or think because they’re simple they can’t work. Oddly enough — that’s usually what does work — simple stuff.
It’s nice to have someone to guide you and help you when you first start gardening —- but rest assured if you had no one —- and not one book —- you could be very successful and learn to garden. How? By starting to garden and following nature’s example. The earth has been growing things successfully for a long time — so just look to it for help and how to.
Bare Earth vs Covered Earth
Have you ever noticed that the only time you ever see bare earth is after man has been on the scene? Forest floors are covered with leaves, pine, and rotting debris. Fields untouched by man are covered with thick grasses. The soil is filled with life and organic matter.
The Conventional Garden
The conventional way to garden (I guess its also known as the modern way) is to till the soil and leave it bare. When you think of all the bad things that result from that, it’s almost hard to believe that the vast majority follow right along and do it that way.
When the earth is bare, organic matter is oxidized from exposure to air and sun. Thus, the nutrients (supplied by the organic matter) disappear. The soil washes away with rain and wind. The soil that remains is compacted by the rain. And in drought — it doesn’t hold moisture as it would if had the organic matter in it. As the things necessary for healthy plants disappear, disease and pests appear and take a stronger foothold.
Man then tills the soil again. Many times this compacts the lowers layers of soil and makes good root growth impossible. Then he adds chemical fertilizers — usually with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium — but nothing else. All the minerals and other things that plants need for health are still not there.
Result – Fruits and Vegetables with less Nutrition
Why is hard for some to figure out why vegetables produced conventionally today, have way less nutrients than those produced 50 years ago? Of course they have less. They have to get nutrients from the soil — and it’s not there.
Many feel they can’t mulch because it gives the insects a place to hide and that disease is spread by the mulch. Although I can understand those concerns, when you look to nature and see what she’s been doing for thousands of years — I’d rather go along with her and cover my soil with mulch.
If you have problems with insects and blight —- believe me — mulch is not the cause or the main problem. The benefits of covering the soil far outweigh any possible negatives.
I know I couldn’t garden without it — nor would I try.
Other Posts on Mulching
Organic Gardening is easy, efficient, effective — and its a lot healthier.
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