Soiled Rotten!

It’s under your feet.  Soil.  You may take it for granted.  But did you know that, just like you and our wider planet, soil can be healthy or unhealthy?

Soil is what trees grow in.  Soil is also what we grow most of our food in.  So without soil, we wouldn’t have much shelter…or building materials…or beautiful gardens…or food.

The quality of our food depends very much on the quality of the soil in which it grows.  Generally, the healthier the soil, the healthier our food.

But what is healthy soil?  Healthy soil is ‘alive’.  It contains worms, lots of microscopic creatures, bacteria, fungi etc…and carbon from plant remains.  (Did you know that soil is a carbon ‘sink’?)  All these things improve the structure, the fertility and the water-holding and draining capacity of the soil.  And our food plants love it.

Our soil is a really big link in the chain of life and death.  It is the life in the soil that decomposes dead plants and animals and other organic matter.  This in turn feeds living plants.

But you need to keep feeding your soil.  If you don’t, the living organisms in the soil die and you starve your plants.

How do feed your soil?  Do you buy and then cart home expensive supplements in bags from shops?

Or do you recycle what you have at hand?  Kitchen scraps can generally be used to make compost and feed worms.  Garden ‘waste’ can also be used for compost, as well as free mulch.

I have just finished collecting this year’s autumn leaves.  Near to my house are some steep paths that become dangerous with too many leaves on them.  I also have some older neighbours whose trees provide more leaf bounty than they can use.

So I do my neighbourhood a favour and I gain free mulch and a good workout.

Simply applying a thick layer of mulch is a quick, easy and inexpensive way of building up your soil.  Your plants will love you for it.  Here is some of my ‘new’ soil, built for just some physical activity and time.

What do you have close at hand that you can use to feed your soil?  Share your ideas below in the Reply box.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!