Monday, April 14, 2014

It’s a dirty job

Winter was tough on my garden.

Perennials have become non-perennials, and their demise left some divots in my flower beds.

No problem. I’ll just buy some dirt to level things out.

Dirt? There’s no such thing as dirt any more, at least not in garden centers.

They have topsoil, potting soil, garden soil, vegetable garden soil, garden soil for raised beds, and mushroom soil.

They recommend testing the soil, amending the soil, preparing the soil. Mixing in compost and manure to add nutrients. Mixing in perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss to aerate the soil and retain moisture.

If I did all that, I’d be taking much better care of my soil than I do myself.

What ever happened to just plain dirt?

It has to be around. I see it all the time. Under my fingernails. In the corners of my house. On the floor of my car -- and my garage. I hear the whine of dirt bikes on nearby trails. I’ve even made a dirt dessert out of crushed Oreo cookies.

I guess dirt has gone all upscale. Bought into branding. Trying to differentiate itself in the market.

Good for dirt. Sorry, I mean SOIL®.

But back to my garden. I dug around, found some old dirt, spread it out, and now everything is ready for planting. I’m not even going to bother with nutrients or mulch or other fancy schmancy soil amendments.

There are so many colorful, interesting flowers at the farm market, I'll just buy replacements for those that don't thrive at my place.

Now that winter's finally over I can get outside and keep up with the garden. It's a dirty job, and that's half the fun.

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