Friday, April 27, 2007

Down & Dirty

"You can bury a lot of problems in the dirt."

I don't know who originally came up with this quote. Perhaps a savvy gardener who understood the Zen factor in putzing around the flower beds.

Or, maybe Tony Soprano. He might have invented the term 'pushing up daisies,' too.

Whatever the case, you can bury a lot of problems in the dirt.

But, what if your biggest problem IS the dirt?

Testing soil is something people hardly ever do, though it's a nifty way to finger somebody else for your garden woes. Some plants need special types of soil. Nurseries sell what's pretty, not what's guaranteed to grow.

Why test your soil?

Because flying blind isn't exactly saving the world...

- When plants start suffering, the first thing we do is layer on the chemicals.
- Gardeners use 4 times more chemicals per square foot than farmers.
- Runoff from lawns and gardens is a bigger water pollution problem than farms and industry combined.

* Soil tests expose the failings in your soil, not your abilities as a gardener. I've got lots of things growing that I never should have planted (I just don't tell anybody.)
* Learn what your soil has an abundance of and also what it's lacking. Then you can amend your soil with dirt cheap organic matter that improves your odds.

Get your soil tested.

No comments: