This is the tool I am using to loosen the garden soil and mix in the compost. We have good soil that was tilled deep last summer and lots of compost/manure added, so it was easy to hand till this year. Excessive tilling can compact the soil rather than break it up. With this tool I just turn it back and forth and loosen the soil to the depth of the tool's tines. It is a gentle, quiet way of tilling and it gave me a chance to unwind after work and time to think about how I want to plant my garden. I have the packets of seeds I bought laid out, planning where they will all go. We are still finishing up our moving the shed and expanding the garden project, as you can see by the landscaping timbers in the picture. As I dig in our garden I see lots of earthwarms, I can't believe how many I have come across. This is a sign of healthy soil, earthwarms eat their way through packed soil, depositing behind them rich compost, which they have digested from nonliving organic matter. The result is crucial aeration and enrichment of the soil. Earthworms are extremely sensitive to environmental pollutants, pesticides and herbicides often unintentionally eliminate earthworms. Their loss can lead to dramatically lower soil quality. The number of earthworms in a certain area can be an indicator of toxic contamination in that soil. With the amount of worms I have in my soil, I know it is not contaminated and I plan to keep it that way, no pesticides or herbicides will be put into my garden.
I bought seed potatoes and onions sets. If the weather holds I will have them in the ground by the end of the weekend.
Dakota Jewel (red) potatoes