Building Rich Soil
Annette Shrader visits with a life-long gardener who shares organic methods for building soil full of nutrients and microbes. Trench composting, hugelkultur, vermiculture and permaculture are discussed.
- Hugelkultur is a no-dig raised bed using logs, branches, twigs, leaves, grass clippings. The gradual decay of wood is a consistent source of long term nutrients for plants. Logs and branches act like a sponge, storing rainwater. The moisture is released during drier times. Decaying wood generates heat which should extend the growing season.
- Research has shown that flower-rich plantings not only attract beneficial insects to your garden, but can actually increase their local populations and increase crop yields thru improved crop pollination and pest control.
- Trench composting: dig a trench or any shape hole approximately 12" deep in an empty space in the garden. Deposit 4-6" of compostable material, then cover with the soil.
Born and raised on a farm, I’ve always appreciated the smell and feel of fresh earth. When we purchased our home 35 years ago, it had some land, but not a single flower. I began the process of plotting and planning garden beds and borders, and have not stopped. Looking out at this mature landscape, it gives me a sense of accomplishment here in my own botanical garden. On her producer role with Volunteer Gardener, Annette says “These are treasured experiences. The passion that people have for their gardens sends me home feeling refreshed, and challenged.