Improving Sub Soil Structure with Nature’s Growing Helper

Turnips

Turnips

By

Jannie Vaught

Another morning in the garden and as I was tending and doing more summer clean out, I realized that some of my raised beds were compacted and hard to dig into!!

Gasp!!

It is always so light and fluffy; so I decided to hand dig 12 inches down and pull out all old root and plants, next I got out my seed packets of Turnips and Beets. In no till farming much success is being made by using tap root plants as the growing helper.

Great idea!

So I heavily planted. The next bed I planted beets. That done I got busy with re-planting some mustard and collards. The use of taproot plants serves two results. Bulking up the garden soil and also breaking up compacted clay with the plant that dives into the soil to make the bulb. Excellent. Improving the sub soil structure is what I am really after. You can always add to the top but if that hard pan is blocking nutrient and water penetration this makes if difficult for a good root system to develop for all the next plants I will put in.

So Turnips it is!!

It’s a good thing to have nature assist the gardener. I will also plant Crimson Cover and Hairy Vetch as my nitrogen fixing cover crops. Both of these are also tap root breakers and plus are lovely to look at. A plus for me, I like something pretty to look at. And both have great flowers, which attract the bees.

Win, Win again!

Remember this is not an overnight fix, improving soil is a longterm continuous process so don’t give up. As Autumn is here, the garden is still busy and the learning is always happening, as I tell myself daily, “It is an experience!” I hope the turnips grow big and bust the clay and also we will have some good eating greens to enjoy,

Growing deep and growing green with Jannie