Category Archives: Soil

Stop Tilling Your Soil! Go No-Till

Farmers are giving up the plow and doing what’s best for the life of their soil. The wise ones are at least, as they’ve learned the benefits of no-till farming.

What’s Wrong With Tilling

First, you have to understand soil. Good soil is made up of complex organisms and structure, just like a human city. Tilling the soil is the equivalent of destroying a city with a nuclear bomb. All of the living organisms are destroyed or displaced, and the infrastructure is no longer usable. Just as people don’t thrive in bombed out cities, plants don’t thrive in a soil structure that’s been destroyed. Continue reading Stop Tilling Your Soil! Go No-Till

The Introduction of Earthworms to The US

earthworms
Red Wigglers

Most people don’t think much about earthworms, but gardeners do, and most gardeners think that worms have always been in our soils, but they haven’t.  Canada and the northern states of the US had no earthworms after the last glaciation until the Europeans showed up.

It is believed that earthworms first arrived in the US around the seventeenth century. It’s thought that they arrived in the soil that was used as ballast on the ships coming from England. Their arrival changed forest ecosystems forever as they chewed their way through the leaf litter on the forest floor.
Some forest ecologists blame these European earthworm immigrants for the demise of some species of salamanders and ground-nesting birds, animals that depend on the forest leaf litter for habitat. Continue reading The Introduction of Earthworms to The US