D. Lopez, This week in the garden

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Healthy soil equals healthy productive land. It turns out that the question of soil is everyone’s business, whether you are a gardener or not.

Soil treatment is most often neglected on a daily basis. Gardners, it’s time we lead the way by educating others. Here are some thoughts.

“Soil extinction is not just another ecological challenge. It’s an existential threat. If we do the right things now, we can significantly reverse the situation and regenerate the soil in the next 15 to 25 years,” insists Sadhguru, global leader of Save the Soil Organization. In his toolkit, he provides supporters with fast facts to push for change. For example, a teaspoon of soil contains more living organisms than there are people in the world. And 95% of the food we eat comes from the ground. Good reasons to examine our habits.

At the micro level, an individual can modify a few things that will have useful results. Remember that if you only change one thing, it can add up over the course of a year. Adding new habits every year can be an act of creating a more stylish and health-conscious lifestyle.

Reduce plastics. Plastic is currently an indestructible substance; it is not as recyclable as first promised. It appears in the soil, in the blood of humans, in insects and in the oceans. Support businesses that use glass bottles and cardboard packaging.

Hold on to your leaf litter. Leaf litter isn’t just a haven for critters, it’s the best mulch, insulator, and root protector for your plants. Move it to another area of ​​the garden, if you have a patch of lawn that you want to enhance. Leaf litter contains many nutrients and organisms. It will decompose well in direct contact with soil.

Gopher dirt is gold. When the gopher lifts lower level soil, dirt from the mound can be used to create a microbial plug elsewhere. For example, if there is poor drainage in an area of ​​the garden, I will create a hole and fill it with loose gopher soil. No poisons or other offensive tactics are used against gophers. I’ve been known to put a bottle of wine upside down in the hole and kick it. The gopher won’t come back for a while. If the gopher digs too close to a plant, watch out for symptoms of curled leaves, air has entered a chamber near the root ball. Filling the hole with crushed dirt will cure it.

Deep watering. Watering the top layer of soil can produce an undesirable situation during the summer months. The soil will want to create a crust with heat. Emulating a light rain in the early morning or early evening will keep the moisture in longer. Clay water stakes or clay subterranean oya disturb the soil the least.

California Plants That Grow in Clay Soil: Wild Lilac, Yarrow, California Poppy, Pink Honeysuckle, Penstemon heterophyllus, Showy Penstemon, Coyote Mint, Arroyo Lupine, Coffeeberry, California Redbud, California Mugwort, California Fuchsia, Toyon , California buckeye, California buckwheat, Narrow-leaved milkweed, Oregon grape, brook dogwood, blueblossom, California flannelbush, and coyote brush to name a few.

Compost and worm bins. Other gardeners can be generous. Consider old-fashioned trades lemons for worms if you don’t currently have a system in place. In some areas, food composting is now allowed in your weekly green bin service. If you buy soil amendments, use organic preparations such as peat moss, wood chips, grass clippings, straw, compost, manure, biosolids, sawdust, and wood ash . Avoid lime, vermiculite, perlite, fine gravel and sand.

Drive less. According to the scientific magazine “How Stuff Works”, there are approximately 2.7 million miles of paved roads in the United States, 94% of which are covered with asphalt. Asphalt is the residual waste of processed oil. Asphalt increases heat temperatures and releases fumes with cars. Plan your outings more efficiently with fewer errands per day, week and month. All of these fumes eventually settle, affecting the air, water, and soil.

Stay on the trail. When you see signs on your hikes and bike trails, please respect. Restoration work can take years. Some plants spread by spore systems and are fragile when first emerging. In my forest garden, we leave fallen limbs to consciously decompose matter on the forest floor. Plants make their own compost.

Finally, soil degradation is a natural process but has been accelerated by human activity. Agricultural processes, deforestation, animal grazing, intensive cultivation, pollution and construction works. It is the topsoil that provides most of the nutrition for bacteria and fungi to bring fertility. We humans overly manipulate this layer in a negative way. According to Andy Lopez, aka The Invisible Gardner, there is a cure. As a teacher, consultant, and member of various horticulture boards, he offers solutions and products as part of his life’s work at www.invisiblegardener.com.

Some dirty stuff worth looking into.

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