I KNEW it would happen one day; I am starting to run out of subjects to discuss in this column which I have been writing for two years.
Normally I’m three or four copies ahead, busting with ideas and all of a sudden, I’m devoid of ideas, much like when I’m asked, “what do you want for tea tonight?”
So, maybe going back to the beginning may be the right way to go.
Our gardens, no matter if growing vegetables or flowers or trees need soil, though of course there are some plants that require only air or water to grow, but they are few and far between.
Some of you may have a plant or two at home, growing quite happily.
But what is that substance that we walk on, albeit often covered by other material that means so much to our way of life.
Soil is the thin layer of material covering the earth’s surface composed of five ingredients – minerals, soil organic matter, living organisms, gas and water.
Soil minerals are divided into clay, silt and sand which are classed as soil texture.
There are kits available to help you establish just what soil type you may have and are easy to use.
The suggestion is that one takes a sample from different parts of your garden for an accurate picture of your garden area.
When done, gardeners can either plant according to the soil type or change the mixture by adding chemicals to the soil, thereby making it more suitable to the plants you want to grow.
Soil is our support system, helps anchor roots, hold water and store nutrients.
Soil is home to various creatures like earthworms and a myriad of microorganisms, whilst it is also the backbone of our food security.
Without this medium where would we be?
What would we eat?
How different would our lives be. Just keep in mind that the meat we eat, the cattle and other meat sources rely on grains and food from the soil to live, so just how important is that soil.
Maybe we have never ever thought of it in this way.
Maybe just like electricity, we move a switch and presto the power or lights come on – but what if they didn’t?
Yes soil is very important to our wellbeing, our very lives depend on it.
Soil also helps to regulate the earth’s climate and according to Google, stores more carbon than all the world’s forests combined.
Healthy soils are fundamental to our survival. Given the right conditions there are a number of trees that are called mother trees and as the roots spread they grow and clone new trees, The Banyan is one such tree while in America in the ‘Fishlake National Forest’ in Utah, there are a group of genetically identical trees that stretches across more than 100 acres of land. Called ‘PANDO’ which is Latin for ‘I spread’, this group of quaking aspens is considered one of the largest, by area and most massive living organisms on earth.
So once again the right soil conditions allow unusual things to happen. Why not let it happen in your garden?