I look for black, watery muck with lots of decomposing vegetation, such as sphagnum moss.
Need weed-free potting soil or garden additives? Visit a nearby swamp or bog to collect weed-free decomposing vegetation for the garden.
Whenever I go fishing or find myself around swamp or bog, I take along a five-gallon spackling pail — the kind with a tight-fitting lid. I look for black, watery muck with lots of decomposing vegetation, such as sphagnum moss. Using my hands, I scoop the stuff into my pail, take it home and pour it into a container prepared with drain holes. Once the water has drained away, you have prime potting soil or garden additive — with no weed seeds! Developers may be filling in America's wetlands, but I'm doing my very best to dig them back out.
Surf City, NJ
(Country Lore, November 1991)