avoiding major garden clean up, planting your garden now
- I was originally going to call this planting crops now, but thought
some of you would not read it as you were not inspired right now.
we advocate a no till system. You all saw that we just scraped off
the grass, dug the paths, smoothed the soil over the 4 plus foot wide
beds we created and planted. We did not dig the soil. We let the
microbes be the tractor. To continue this process, one way would have
been to cover the areas not planted (in between the winter plants)
with leaves. If you did not do this, you can sill go through and take
out any weeds or grass now easily.
I cleaned up a 40 x 40 garden in about 4 hours, meaning I pulled out
the weeds. This will take 6 times this amount of time if you wait
until May. After I pulled out the weeds I broadcast seeds on the beds,
and it was to wet to mix the soil, so I left them on top. If I had
had some leaves I would have put a l leaf deep cover over the seeds.
Sorry, do not mean that you should count, but just a very, very light
cover. If you think about it all the seeds that nature distributes
are not covered. This is of course why each plant makes so many
seeds, because many of them do not land in a place that works for
them. So we loose some seed this way.
If you do plant seeds in your garden now (I would broadcast the seeds
heavily so there is no room for weeds), we would love for some of the
thinings to go to the victory garden. we are overwhelmed with
requests for plants.
okay so if you want to plant seeds now, what do you need to do.
walk down your paths and weed anything that does not belong. Leave
the plants that you are eating. then put on what compost you have.
Will put out another email about saving your compost, if you did not
start that practice.
All of the gardens that we planted last year, had plenty of material
for growing healthy plants last year. What you need to add this year
is just your compost, a light sprinkling 1/8 inch of your own compost
and you will be plenty to plant
If you do not have any compost yourself, then go to rexius or lane
forest products and pick up 3 to 4 - 5 gallon buckets of compost. If
you have smaller buckets, then borrow their 5 gallon buckets to
measure it out and then put it in your smaller buckets (they charge
you per bucket no matter what the size. Make sure it is organic.
You can also buy the compost in plastic bags (yuck) from various
supermarkets and plant stores around town, make sure it is organic.
It would be good to do the soil microbes again as well as lime and
azomolite. If you are coming to the spring seed and scion wood
exchange (and we highly recommend it) we will have a table there and
will have microbes. There will be a minimal cost, say 5 dollars and
how to mix them up. Another 7.50 will get you lime and azmolite. you
will need to bring 1 very small bottle, 1 maybe peanut butter size jar
and 4 quart size plastic bags.
then broadcast your seeds. Don't worry if you do not have compost yet
and/or lime, azmolite, lime or microbes yet, plant anyway. If you
are not ready to receive wonderful vegetables at this point, then I
highly recommend that you plant clover and/or fava beans so the ground
is covered. You can get all these seeds at the seed exchange, but I
am highly recommending that you do not wait until March 14th. Coast
to coast has clover and I believe fava beans. Later if you have
planted clover and/or fava beans, we will recommend that you leave a
few of these. Fava bean leaves are wonderful in salads.
Now is a great time to plant arugula, mustards including kyona (or
mizuna) which is wonderful in salad, most lettuces, swiss chard,
spinach, kale, collards, peas, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and
potatoes. If you are going by the book here, some of these are not
recommended yet, but this is an early spring, so I am recommending
them all now. People here as in New England believe that gardens
begin in May or June. This is not what the books say for this region.
Many people do not understand that greens are mainly not damaged by
freezing. Yes that 15 degree freeze in December decimated a lot of
lettuce and swiss chard. The winter before this one, my lettuce and
swiss chard made it through easily. I see now that most of my swiss
chard which seemed decimated in December is coming back. Part of why
it is so important to observe the warming and make use of it during
this global warming stuff is that we adapt ourselves to our new
environmnet, not go by the books. In New Orleans they do not plant
greens after may as they will bolt.
Everyone here has seen lettuce and spinach bolt when it gets hot which
last year was not until August, but we believe this will not be the
case this year. You can always plant spinach and lettuce in an area
where it does not get full sun, but once the temperature hits 90 it
will bolt anyway.
We are establishing demonstration gardens in all neighborhood, if you
would like your garden to be one, contact me. This way we will keep
hours in the demonstration garden, some hours for everyone hopefully
who wants to learn more.