The less you walk on soil, the better your plants will grow.

Reader Contribution by Staff
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This kohlrabi plant growing in the pathway seen here was sown (accidentally) at the same time as those in the row beside it. It is stunted compared to those in the row because the soil in the path is very compacted — demonstrating the benefits of maintaining permanent beds and paths in your garden.

Photo by Cheryl Long

Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years.Connect with her on.