When I started my small garden plot last year, I was appalled at the state of the soil. Looking back at the blog post, I didn’t say much about it, but I recall loosening the soil and discovering a thin layer of topsoil over greasy red clay. I worked some leaf compost into the plot and went from there. I also noticed that in digging up the roughly 80 square feet of garden, I found only a couple of earthworms.
At the end of the growing season last year, I seeded the plot with crimson clover as a green mulch and leaf mulched the swiss chard in hopes of having some of it survive the winter. This spring, when I started planting, I noticed that the soil seemed much healthier – black and a bit deeper, and nicely crumbly. Most excitingly, when I was digging up some of that weird 6-leaved running ground cover that had crept in from the edges, I found that I couldn’t lift a spade of soil without turning up at least one earthworm. Fantastic!