Is intelligent gardening really wise, or just lazy? – Everyday Leader

Is gardening clever seriously clever, or just lazy? Doesn’t make a difference, it will work for me as I age out of feeling like laying flagstone, prying up tree stumps, or unnecessary pruning. 

Or digging. I at last wised up to the fantasy of Sisyphus, the ancient king doomed to roll a rock up a mountain, only to enjoy it tumble back again down and possessing to trudge after it to start out rolling up uphill once more. Anything about unlimited, ceaseless toil. 

So, with gardening becoming my hobby, and speaking about it remaining my get the job done, I have begun to temper what I do in direction of working at gardening. Which implies planning forward to doing away with needless jobs, shedding some of the litter, removing or changing bothersome plants, and choosing others do the large lifting. 

The largest chore I have, other than twice-annual marathon weeding and spreading fresh new mulch, is digging my scattered handful of compact flower plots and my 4×30 foot raised bed veggie backyard garden in the spring for summer months crops, then digging them once more in the fall for stuff that grows more than winter season and spring. 

Took me awhile to determine out a easy recipe that usually takes the chore out of digging the dust. When I manufactured a new raised bed a few of several years ago, I dug the clay inside of over a shovel deep, then employed a borrowed tiller to break up the clods. There’s a temporary window of chance for digging new dust, when its neither also wet and clumpy or really hard and dry as concrete. Medium sizing hunks of clay still left to sweat a working day or two shatter into crumbs with a rake or the back of a shovel.

Oh, and I fractured and loosened the bed’s base that the tiller scraped much too clean and tough for roots to penetrate. Then I unfold some organic subject atop the soil, a couple inches of bark mulch for bulk and an inch or two of compost or manure for richness, and combined it effectively with the refreshing indigenous dust. And finally, I unfold a layer of tree leaves and bark mulch in excess of it all, and I’m completed.  

For the rest of my gardening daily life, I now adhere to a simple two-step program: Every single time I dig the beds I just use a trowel or my turning fork to evenly dig in the aged mulch, then spread new mulch, then include vegetation. Undertaking this gets less complicated just about every time, and my major Yazoo clay has come to be as rich and crumbly as caramel cake.

At times I improve my own things to include to the dirt. Last tumble I sowed crimson clover seed more than a bare location of my lifted mattress, and already it is a foot thick, with roots escalating deep and loosening the soil while converting and storing nitrogen fertilizer from slender air and drying out the wet soil. In a couple of weeks I’ll slice it down, let it dry a pair of days, then only slice it halfway into the soil.  

And this is where earthworms begin performing their point. They take in the dug-in clover, and at evening appear up to nibble my tree leaves and carry it all way down deep in worm-compost loaded holes, perfect for air, drinking water, and roots to penetrate deeply. I make “my girls” even happier by at the time a calendar year frivolously dusting beds with cottonseed food, which has equally all-natural nitrogen and protein that will help beef up skinny, pale, see-through worms into grime-digging monsters.  

Clever, or lazy? No matter, it suggests no far more really hard digging. Do it proper when, mulch with leaves, probably improve wintertime clover, and feed the worms. They’ll get it from there.  


Felder Rushing is a Mississippi writer, columnist, and host of the “Gestalt Gardener” on MPB Think Radio. E-mail gardening queries to

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