Suffering from the Winter Drab

By Erica Barry, Seth Berman Gardeners

Sometimes I think it’s not even worth going outside until Spring. Especially cloudy days like today, I look out my window at the bare brown canopy branches with off white-grey sky that looks just as dreary as the dirty snow left in giant mounds in the street. Then I go outside….

Photo by Seth Berman 

There is more than this stunning Spring Witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) and the sturdy evergreens. Take a look at the rocks, and their aqua-green mossy sheen in this gloomy lighting. The grasses have small tufts of fresh green growth and the ground is soft, hopefully spongy, but maybe just soaked.

While you are soaking in the limited sun, and minding the miniature beauties in your winter wonderland, please mind the paths. Dry, frozen or soaked it’s equally important not to damage the soil structure year-round.

To make a long story short, stepping off your paths and onto the garden soil compacts the soil structure, which is formed over time by tiny living things and their byproducts. If your garden grows well, it’s because the soil is alive! The relatively large(r) inhabitants in healthy soil cant get around in compacted soil. Worse, water and Oxygen can’t soak into and pass through the soil. Connections are broken in the large, intricate network of fungi passing water, nutrients & harmful elements back and forth like a vascular system.


Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis, 2011

“Dormant But Not Forgotten” by Michael Tortorello, 2013

*** Protect your soil’s structure with a garden path. Limited Time offer: Hire Seth Berman Gardeners to install your stone path and every 10th stone is free, on us! Offer Valid thru March 19, 2013. ***

Written by Seth Berman

Seth Berman

Seth Berman is a master gardener from Cambridge, Massachusetts

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