|California Dreamin' - ivy covered porch.|
When gardeners tell me about their proposed work, the first thing they discuss is getting out the rototiller and flailing away at the soil.
|Sell the family car and get a real rototiller.|
Resist the Rototiller Temptation
Note well - every single rose I have grown has flourished with no churning of the soil. The first ones were planted in the lawn, with mulch placed around them to turn the lawn into compost.
In other situations, the mulch was laid down first and the roses planted in the freshly composted soil.
The best formula comes from Jessical Walliser - laying down cardboard and mulch in the fall, planting through this layer in the spring.
Essential is sprinkling red wiggler earthworms around the gardening places, to speed up decomposition of the organic materials used. Although gardeners normally say that earthworms digest organic matter, they simply carry the bacteria that do the work of digestion. But earthworms are not slackers. They are all muscle and power through the soil:
- To swallow the soil and grind it finer in their gizzards.
- To sweeten the soil with their calcium glands.
- To add nitrogen to the soil with their little kidneys and manure.
- To open up soil by tunneling.
- To pull down scraps of dead plant material.
- To entice moles to chase through and mix the soil in pursuit of them.
- To die donating even more fertilizer, but not before having many generations of baby worms to carry on the work.
| Our Crepe Myrtle burst into flower on the second bloom cycle,|
enjoying well fed soil beneath.
What We Resist Doing Is Good for All Creatures Great and Small
The leaves I leave promote the growth of bugs, which feed the birds. The leaves are gathered for birds' nests and the bugs feed their young.
Mulch and leaves favor beetles and spiders that devour insect pests, so the result is not only better soil, but a denser mix of creatures in the yard.
Given the wisdom of Creation, we should not be surprised that God has also designed the finest engineering and management systems to keep all this going. When pests increase, the pest eaters also grow in number and balance the armies fighting for survival in the garden. Each creature is engineered to perform one or more expert tasks.
The Creation gardener does not need to do so much as to resist doing:
- Resist the rototiller.
- Let the rake rust away.
- Put down the toxins.
- Stop fretting and sit by the garden and watch the creatures at work.
As I wrote before, the best workers in the Creation garden are often the least admired, seldom honored, never coveted - starlings and grackles, dandelions and mints, spiders and beetle.
| We stopped for a diabetic appointment and gave|
the Creation Gardening book to the PA who loves roses.
She was simply overwhelmed by the roses grown without toxins
and loved the book. As anyone can see from the bloom size compared to my hand, this Bride's Dream is gigantic and flawless.