After a dry March, the rain is pouring down today.
Almost all the snow has melted, even in our veggie field, which is usually the last to be snow-free. And that means the soil is very vulnerable to erosion at this point in the year, when few living plants are growing in the soil and holding the soil with their roots and buffering the soil with their stems and leaves.
That's why we cover many beds with landscape fabric, which helps keep the soil in place. Other beds are covered in leaf mulch. Like this bed of garlic, just beginning to send up green shoots into the air.
We might be used to thinking that beds that look like this -- bits of leaves, tiny twigs -- are 'messy'. But, the soil doesn't like to be exposed and so this covering of plant residues is like a blanket, protecting the soil and its creatures.
What do your garden beds look like at this time of year? What plant materials could you use to protect the soil? Grass clippings from autumn, leaves from deciduous trees, or perhaps simply the plants that grew there last year?