I don’t consider myself a novice garden any longer, perhaps more of a journeyman at this point. I have a few years of successfully germinating seeds and getting them to supply me with enough to work. I don’t believe I have had to purchase tinned tomatoes in almost five years. Though this is the first year, after trying for several, that I actually have ready a sufficient amount of compost. The house we bought last year came with a compost heap, and all last summer it was fed kitchen scraps, grass clippings and countless eggshells, which gets company everyday. The contractor who was renovating the kitchen tried to convince me to install a disposal – Are you crazy, and lose all those vital nutrients.
Now, this is the largest mound I have had to tend it to date. And, I will confess it was not turned with any frequency. So, finally the other day, after which I hope was the last frost, I climb into the rotted mass and started pitching. Skimming the top to one side I discovered moist, dirt. This dovetails perfectly with my present need. During the winter fair amount of trees got cut down around area that was once used for a garden. The hope is to remove the shading canopy over the plot. Given the profusion of mint in the area I know something is going to grown there, and I also recognize that I have a few years ahead of me in trying to get rid of the mint. I like to sink my mint in a large pot in the ground just to thwart its meandering nature. The spearmint that got planted in another garden spot has in informed me, that a container will not always stop the march of this determined herb.
Not only am I tracking its roots to the nodes, and beyond, I am digging up wheel-barrel full of tree roots that have moved in deep within the soil. All winter long, when the weather allowed, I went out digging up sections knowing, hoping spring will come. As I started finishing up my churning of the earth ready for one last push, the incorporation of that massive pile of compost I have discovered that this plot of ground is flush with earthworms. What a great sign for this rebirthed garden. Earthworms consume decaying matter and aerate the soil something I definitely want in the hard clay base I live on. I was ever so vigilant to make sure that I covered them up after uncovering them. I mean I love the fact that a pair of Blue Birds has decided to make a home in the birdhouse, but I will not intentionally share my earthworms with them. So, after discovering I had a very alive piece of land and squishing countless lavas between my fingers I am anxious to see how well things thrive in this new land I will be tending. The hardest part is not the backbreaking shoveling on the dirt, but rather, the waiting.