Winter downpours give gardens a real hammering, because heavy rainfall can wash away our most precious resource - topsoil.
Busy earthworms and microbes are vital to healthy topsoil. They make humus, the amazing sticky substance which binds the soil together and helps hold water and nutrients. Between now and spring, take a few steps to protect and feed the soil:
- Shake all the soil off the roots when you're pulling out weeds and crops, or better still, dig them back in.
- Sow a cover crop (such as buckwheat). A cover crop doesn't just protect the soil from erosion, it's a living carpet which adds nutrients and suppresses weeds.
- Spread woodchip mulch to feed hungry microbes and kick start the humus factory.