- Avoid bare soil as much as possible. Bare soil will erode and lose water at a faster rate than mulched surfaces. Your plants and the wildlife will thank you for the covered soil.
- Feed soils top-down through mulching. A covering of compost and/or well-rotted manure, topped by straw or natural (no dyes, no chemicals) wood mulch, on each of your beds/borders will feed the soil, encourage beneficial insect and worm development, and retain moisture for your plants.
- Minimize tillage. If we observe a healthy forest, we notice that the forest floor is littered with dead leaves and decaying trees and branches — a wealth of organic matter left undisturbed to benefit the soil and life underneath. Every time we till we not only bring unwanted weed seeds to the surface, we destroy the delicate balance of life that has been created in the soil. Create a habitat for invertebrates.
- Tread lightly on the land. Life on this planet is a complex, inter-connected web. We, as humans, are only one of the many and varied life forms walking this world. It is not ours to abuse.
- Create habitat for songbirds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Plant trees, shrubs and insectary (flowering) plants to provide food and shelter.
- Learn about and treasure “weeds.” Most “weeds” are only plants growing where we don’t want them to be. Many, such as dandelions, have multiple, beneficial purposes.
- Practice polyculture at every opportunity. There’s a significant difference between organic monoculture and planting a community of interdependent plants in a manner the replicates the complex layering in nature.
- Know your plants. The more you know about your plants’ soil, light and water requirements, the happier you will all be.
- Plant some trees and then plant some more…