For those who think I'm straying from food, I'm not. The subject of this post is vegetable gardening or more specifically preparing your soil to grow gorgeous and plentiful veggies. A workshop was put on by Can You Dig It! a local organization that supports people in connecting through community gardens. I was there to learn about soil because I take care of a large veggie garden with two of my Aunties. Last year was not as successful as we would have liked so this year we are putting more time and effort into learning and preparation.
The workshop was hosted by Jodi Peters. She is certified in permaculture and passionate about creating living soil systems that support growing a wide variety of vegetables. While I recommend contacting her for an in-depth workshop, I wanted to share a few tid bits. As someone who has gardened since childhood, I thought I knew about soil. Well I am happy to say that Jodi taught me a thing or two and I am anxious to get dirty. Oh spring! Come sooner!
A few interesting points:
- Soil doesn't need to be tilled if it is healthy. What? No back breaking shoveling? Sounds good to me. Think of soil as a webbed system. If you chuck a shovel in, the system breaks - not a good thing.
- Excess disturbs the delicate balance of the soil living system. This can be excess fertilizers, excess shoveling, excess mulch, excess anything... My understanding is that it is better to coax the soil back into balance than try to force it.
- Soil should be mulched with brown matter over winter and green matter during the growing season. Mulching is way more important than I realized.
- Your own pee is a great way to add nitrogen to the soil. Dilute it and maybe only use it weekly if your soil system is healthy, but yeah, pee is good for your garden. Hilarious! I peed in my garden the moment I got home!
Honestly there was so much more. It was a packed two hours and I could tell that she was really just scratching the surface of soil health. I am going to use my blog to document our garden success this year and, as I found out today, it all starts with the soil. Here is a current shot with just a few onions poking up that survived the winter.