|A sense of humus|
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In organic growing, we try to work with nature as much as possible, Recognising the vertical organisation of soils, organic growers try to interfere with this organisation as little as possible. This gives rise to various forms of ˜no-dig™ gardening and the concept of no-inversion tillage.
We say, deep loosening, shallow turning.
Loosening soil means putting tines through the soil to cause slots or cracks, but does not imply turning over. Loosening helps to get air and water into soil and helps soil organisms and plant roots to penetrate into soil.
There are good reasons for cultivating soil, to control weeds or to create a seed bed. Organic growers need to do this too, but they turn soils only shallowly, going just deep enough to accomplish the task at hand, and leaving soil to its natural organisation.
Generally organic matter (compost and raw organic material) do not need to be dug in, but can be left on the surface and covered with a mulch layer, or just lightly scratched into the surface.
Nature has created this thin soil layer all over the world. That shallow layer has to do a lot of work, to produce plants which become food and produce oxygen. Soils store and use carbon, oxygen, sulphur and many other nutrients and are a vital part of the cycling of these nutrients in the ecosystem. It is only a very thin, fragile layer to do all this work - best that we work with soils, and encourage them to remain organised the way they need to be.
Nature does know best.