Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Why gardeners dig, Part 1: It is healthy and enjoyable


A new series that examines the merits of digging. 
I cannot promise not to give it my own ‘spin’.

Digging is a healthy and enjoyable activity.
Cathi fell about laughing at the very thought. But don’t knock it. I used to love winter digging my allotment on a crisp autumn day. Especially when I used to think how much good it was doing.
At the age of fourteen I hated everything to do with gardens. My conversion came when forking out couch grass rhizomes in our new garden in Hartlepool.  I fell in love with soil! It’s beautiful smell! My green genes were switched on - for the rest of my life. I partly jest, but am also serious about the green genes. Something made one of our hunter-gatherer ancestors first till the ground.
I am aware that my mania for minimum cultivation, and the use of glyphosate, does not sit well with enthusing young gardeners. Even at horticultural college, we could not allow students to use chemicals on their plots. Plots which they dug! Far be it for me to take away from young people that first intimate contact with soil...digging!

9 comments:

  1. I must admit, I do find digging quite therapeutic sometimes.
    Leslie

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    Replies
    1. And the hens love it too!
      -Jeanette

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  2. But they are eating the worms...... however their manure is rich in nitrogen. An excellent example of recycling. Just like me feeding the rheas with my brassica haulm.

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  3. Between the hens and the compost heap, we don't have much waste! The chickens try their best to keep the slugs down too.
    -Jeanette

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  4. What a year for slugs and snails. I will be blogging about them soon. I think all my frogs and toads help.(I'm told old Yorkshire gardeners used to keep a toad in their greenhouse)

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    Replies
    1. Simon Fielding20 July 2012 at 10:16

      Like you, I don't dig - much! I do find that having an untidy garden, with hoed weeds left in situ, tends to stop slugs going for my veg! That's my excuse, anyway!

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  5. Thats very advanced thinking by you. I completely agree, slugs prefer to eat decaying organic matter. What have the slugs to eat in a very tidy garden other than the hostas?

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    Replies
    1. Simon Fielding23 July 2012 at 13:16

      Nothing advanced about it! Just common sense, an essential garden tool!

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  6. yes, but most so called experts will tell you rotting debris encourage slugs and it just might -although I doubt it. But as long as they keep eating the debris it is ok with me.

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