keys to successful gardens come before any plantings and lie in the soil...


  • sand • allows for drainage
  • clay • has inorganic molecules to nourish plant growth, acts as a binding agent.
  • soil • allows plants to have support, take root, gain nourishment and withstand predators
  • vermiculite • allows for organic supplementary material that aerates the soil, retains water & promotes root growth.
  • perlite • a volcanic material, like pumice, light-white rock that retains water in dry times.
  • sphagnum moss • allows for organic material to retain water to withstand dry spells.
  • rocks allow for control of excessive water and provide minerals and microbe homes.

Select a site and watch for the following as you collect leaves and worms:

  • light changing from dawn to dusk -- draw a map of where the sun is from hour to hour.
  • water sources and flow -- note nearest water source and rainfall; make a map of flow.
  • driest portions of the existing terrain or ground cover -- map out where the sands are thickest.

    You are ready to select plants that are appropriate to the conditions of

    • Water or rain and irrigation
    • energy or solar radiation
    • air or winds
    • landscape or soil