Brown Thumbs > Green Thumbs

The successful gardener is often related to the green thumb, a person who can grow anything. The brown thumb is associated with a person who is best at killing things. The color brown depicts the idea of death and decay. The idea of a green thumb is crap. Every great gardener starts out with the brown. Here’s why.

Survival Thinking
A person can survive approximately 3 minutes without air, 3 hours in a harsh environment without proper shelter (the exception is in freezing water), 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. This is the Rule of 3’s in Survival Training.

These Rules are worth knowing because they relate to animals and plants. How? Soil and climate are the shelter of plants.

Soil and Climate
Plants don’t get the luxury of having mobility. A proper shelter though can be created by having the right soil conditions and the appropriate season to plant them. Seasons come in time and you can find planting information from your local agricultural extension, use it and find the planting info for DFW here. Soil is a different story.

Living soil comes with a right combo of clay, silt and sand. However, the most important feature is not in the soil chemistry, but the biology. The life in the soil is a much more complex aspect to grasp and it’s the most essential. In one teaspoon of rich soil is a combo of more than a billion different types of organisms swarming, feasting, having sex and dying all at the same time. With all this activity, nutrients are being exchanged, created, absorbed, and recycled. At the same time, various microbes find shelter around plant roots and create a beneficial relationship with plants known as mutualistic symbiosis. Mutualism is beneficial to both organisms and as a side note not all symbiosis is good.

What does the bacteria get? It gets shelter and essential starches made by the plant. The plant in exchange obtains all the nutrients that the bacteria and soil life are crapping or in some cases regurgitating. Life is beautiful.

Brown to Green Thumb
With all of that said, I’m going to stop on the soil life rant. It’s vital and key to successful gardening. If you’re going to start growing things, grow your soil first and then proceed to planting. Cheers to all of you brown thumbs.