So cultivated

L’Homme sings the praises of cultivation for the garden.

L’Homme in action

Being anal-retentive, I always appreciate how neat and tidy it makes the garden look, but he reminds me that it does ever so much more than remove weeds: it also brings more oxygen to the roots and loosens the soil to make it easier for those roots to respond to their little jolt of energy.  It certainly does show in the plants’ response — after cultivation, we notice that they seem to spring into action, growing significantly taller.

I sometimes think it’s mostly a matter of attention paid.  Back when I used to have houseplants, I tried to regularly dust the leaves of my ficus tree because it gave the plant such a boost.  Maybe removing that layer of dust allowed more light and thus more photosynthesis, but I prefer to believe the plant just appreciated the massage.  I think the garden babies feel the same way.

See how happy they look?

A side note: L’Homme recommends the Long-Handled Wire Weeder from Johnny’s Selected Seeds for this work.  You can see him using it in the photo above.  I like watching him use it, because it’s almost a flowy movement, sort of like using a crochet hook.  I said that I like watching him use it, because I’m not too good at it.