• Jolene Roehlkepartain

How Are You Tending to the Soil of Your Life?

Growing up, I discovered the five steps of successful gardening: 1. Plant seeds. 2. Water. 3. Provide sunlight. 4. Add compost. 5. Weed.

But there’s one more essential step: Sift the soil.

Adding compost may enrich the soil, but it doesn’t address a major problem that can easily spread: the hidden rhizomes proliferating underground. A soil sifter solves that.

Rhizomes are different than roots. A weed with a root can be dug up, but a rhizome easily breaks off. It’s a weed that spreads horizontally underground. You may get part of it and not realize that there’s more.

That’s where a soil sifter comes in.

With a soil sifter, you dig up large parts of the dirt and dump them on top of the soil sifter. Then you “sift” through the soil so that the good, rich soil falls through the sieve while all the rock, sand, debris, roots, and rhizomes remain on top.

You toss the harmful stuff and keep the rich soil. Then you sift more soil…until your dirt transforms into a rich environment for growth.

Invasive species spread via rhizomes, such as kudzu (the vine that ate the south), Japanese knotweed (known as the Godzilla weed that grows through concrete), and Creeping Charlie. Unfortunately, some people like certain invasive species, such as English ivy, Lily of the valley, Chinese lanterns, and tansy because they look nice. But these weeds bulldoze over everything in their way, including the flowers you plant.

As I sift the soil in my yard, I wonder, “How do I tend to the soil of my life? How can I separate the invasive species that are trying to take over everything and reclaim the rich soil that helps me thrive?”

Good questions to sift through over and over.

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