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Northeast Regional Reports

Mud Season in the Northeastern Garden | Regional Report

How to prevent soil compaction in spring

Here in the Northeast, spring is a myth. In between the polar vortices and heat and humidity that exile us indoors, we have a short window of wobbly weather: a season of thaw and, if we’re very lucky, steady soaking rains—both of which make mud out of perfectly good garden soil and give the season its true name.

Good garden soil is alive with microorganisms working hard to maintain a friable structure that allows for the passage of oxygen and water to the roots of the plants. The soil’s structure is especially fragile during mud season, when it is held in suspension and all too easily destroyed by human interference. We always mean well. Old-school gardening methods called for annual and semi-annual tilling, double-digging, turning, and cultivating—ostensibly to “loosen” the soil. But we know better now.

Leave your soil alone

This is the number one way…

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