You can walk on the soil even when wet!
Correct advice to conventional gardeners is not to go on the soil after heavy rain. I do the opposite and rush out to plant. My soil is firm and settled, not loose and crumbly. Broken up, wet soil is susceptible to damage.
I regularly chastise Elaine, my bridge partner, when she delights in informing me she has been ‘fluffing up her soil today’. She thinks it looks nice. After years of my nattering, she does know it is bad for the plants and also the soil.
Some gardeners would say my settled soil is compacted. They would be wrong. Some experts would also tell you my soil is compacted. Still wrong! My undisturbed soil between plants becomes firm and cohesive. Below the surface, there is is a network of channels made by roots, worms and other soil organisms. It is well aerated and well drained.
Many gardeners wrongly consider ‘aerating’ the soil by cultivation is beneficial. It is actually harmful. Roots that might have benefited are ‘chopped away’. Nature doesn’t do that. I invite visitors to my gardens to walk on the soil and go wherever they want, whatever the weather.
One day with my students, I histrionically illustrated my point by jumping on the wet herbaceous border screaming ‘YOU CAN JUMP ON IT - EVEN WHEN WET’!
I have updated this post