Who or what are the diglings?

Since I made up the name, I guess I get to define it. Diglings are little creatures that dig and till soil to grow food and other plants.

They can look like the creatures in the picture above. They are also my family.

And they look like the creatures in the picture below.


The soil food web is the community of microbes, worms, insects and larger animals that lives in healthy soils.

Just being in the soil, living, eating and pooing as creatures do, the soil food web helps to fertilise, suppress disease and make fluffy, well-draining soil – all essential for thriving plants.

A friend once lamented that growing food is so hard, and asked why we can’t just stick a plant into soil and it grows as a plant should. After three years of growing food in stubborn urban soils in two gardens, I understand her frustration. But I have observed that it is possible to stick a plant or seed into soil, and it will grow as it should if the soil houses a lively soil food web. When we have lively soil, gardening becomes easier and more pleasurable.

I, a human digling, am learning to team up with soil diglings, to grow healthy soil so that the soil grows healthy plants. This is the first guiding principle in my gardening. The second guiding principle is that although I want to grow food, I do not want my garden to look like a typical farm. So I am learning about edible landscaping, that creative and challenging intersection where food cultivation and aesthetics meet.

This blog is about my delight and discoveries, madness and mistakes, fun and failures in my quest to grow a beautiful, flavourful garden in my home in the city of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. I had put off starting this blog for a while. One of my big reasons was that I didn’t think I knew enough or had good enough results in the garden to blog about gardening.

I know more now but never enough. I have better results now but not with all my plants and not all the time. More significantly, I know now that mine will be a life-long journey of murdering some plants while nurturing others to fruition, of life after death, and death after life. So I might as well start writing about it all now. Besides, the voice inside nudging me to write and share is getting too loud to ignore.

Welcome to my garden. Please wander around and stay a while.

A digling,

More information on soil food web