Monday, June 6, 2011

Spot the difference

You know those spot the difference games that you find in those books designed to keep children occupied on long trips? Well I though I would put my own one together. Knowing you are all highly intelligent adults I have taken it up a notch over those kiddy ones. So can you spot the difference between the following pictures?

These are two seemingly identical garden beds. Both are the same size and shape and are only meters apart. They get very similar sun and water, and the same varieties of seedlings where planted, and around the same time. In fact the bed that's not doing so well has even been replanted a few times now. The poor little plants in this bed just keep getting eaten by pests. While the other remains mostly untouched. So the big question is... What is the difference between these two beds that causes this?

Well I can't know for sure, but I can tell you one major difference... Soil quality. When planting the seedlings it was obvious there was a soil difference. One was dark soft and spongy, while the other was hard and gritty. The soil in this bed thankfully is improving as the layers of organic matter on top are starting to weave their magic.

But still why have the bugs devastated the plants with poorer soil quality? I put it down to the same reason why people with poor diets contract more illnesses. Plants in poorer soil are weaker and less healthy. While mother nature is truly wonderful, she is not very compassionate for the weak. Compassion is a human quality. In the wild the weak get eaten.

The moral of this story... look after your soil, and your diet.

And by the way, did anyone spot Wally?


  1. You're a Wally! LOL. I found Wally....after your prompt. Isn't that a wonderful example of the importance of soil, soil, soil! Thanks.

  2. Stuuf's looking really good mate. I speant about 3 hours just pulling weeds from my garden bed - I was pleased to see some vegies surviving underneath the canopy of nettles.

  3. Stuuf - by the way - is Swedish for stuff. You all thought it was a typo but I was being cosmopolitan and awesome!

  4. Great example. Many gardeners put way too much effort into planting and pest control and way too little effort into soil building. Enough mulch and you can grow anything!

  5. Lots of people spend a fortune every year pouring stuff in to condition their soil. The way we're doing it is to try and improve the soil year after year, with lots of organic matter and letting the chooks work their magic. It's a much slower process, but more affordable! I'm hoping it will pay off - the poor soil can be very frustrating - but in a couple of years we might have a really fruitful garden where everything grows! :)

  6. Hazel well done for finding Wally. But how did you know it was me with a red striped beanie on?

    David those weeds where just looking after the soil for you while you weren't using it. And David you are a befästningsmu, that's Swedish for Wally.

    Linda Woodrow so true. I know from personal experience. It took me awhile to learn that.

    Celia I agree, and it's not even just a matter of cost. It's also about a greater sustainable return. In my case I am hoping these beds will be highly productive soon. The soil appears to be improving every time I work with it.

  7. hey jas could you post a picture of you entire veggie garden? would love to see how it and your pond has progressed.

  8. Amy yes I should update the dinning room window view. Thanks for the poke with a very long stick.

  9. Oh yes, Wally was the first thing I saw :)

    I planted cauliflowers at the same time in around six different beds, and they are all performing completely differently.

    It's nurture!

  10. Ali well done, we now know you have 20/20 vision. 6 beds all performing differently... I find that frustrating yet at the same time it is one of the things I love about gardening. That's why mixing things up and planting them all over the place is probably a good idea.


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