Re: [fukuoka_farming] Synergistic Veggie Patch about start !
- Thanks Jamie.
----- Original Message -----
From: "jamie" <jamie@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 1:47 AM
Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] Synergistic Veggie Patch about start !
> Hello Steve, no frustration from me regarding your questions, I know from
> experience how many questions there are when you finally come to start.
> add my comments between your questions for clarity.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Walpole [mailto:stevewalpole@...]
> Sent: samedi 22 février 2003 13:18
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Synergistic Veggie Patch about start !
> Greetings fellow gardeners,
> I know this might frustrate a few but I am still a little nervous before I
> embark on setting up my new Synergistic Veggie Patch and I have a few more
> I have finally got to the point of obtaining some space at our community
> permaculture garden over here in Sydney Australia. I have decided after
> reading articles, contemplation and observation that Emelia's Synergistic
> Agriculture is the method that I am going to put into practise. I am very
> new to any form of agriculture, but it is high time I mulch the theory
> I was wondering if I could bounce a couple of questions off you all,
> regarding the setup of the Raised Beds / Crop Rotation etc? If you see I
> have strayed too far away from the fundamentals or from your experience
> you please alert me.
> The raised beds:
> Question 1. It is the final month of Summer over here in Sydney being
> February, but it is hot until April atleast. Average day around 30
> Celsius. Should I wait to get started on the project in late Autumn when
> true Autumn is here or start preparing the beds now??
> Whatever season, it's always a good time to begin. There's always
> to do, especially in a warm climate like Sydney.
> Question 2. I intended when suitable to start the process in this order.
> Because Emelia started the Crop rotation in April for the Northern
> Hemisphere for her example, I was concerned that Spring was the order that
> she wanted us to follow??
> Getting in the autumn before is very useful for establishing plants in the
> newly built raised beds, you might want to plant simply green manures for
> now, beginning with daikon or other long root vegetables, then mustard and
> then finally winter rye (I advise this cycle of planting to get as much
> physical growth for above and below ground before the main growing
> I'm in a USDA Hardiness Zone 8b/9a, though it may be that in your climate
> there is no real end to the growing season). If each of these will grow in
> your 'warm' temperate climate then you should be well placed for the
> spring to plant out the usual 'European diet' vegetables. All of these
> plants are to be left in the ground or cut and mulched on the surface of
> beds. But perhaps pavle might give you some insight into how they grow
> vegetables in the South of Italy and Sicily, where crops are grown year
> round. Though don't forget that you will need to concentrate on feeding
> soil to begin with on newly created beds.
> Step 1. There is currently grass were I am going dig up the site of the
> raised beds (which gets all day sun). Therefore, firstly I am going to dig
> the grass up. Did Emelia tend to cover the base of the new bed with
> Newspaper etc as layer to protect against weeds before raising the bed ? I
> am also going to use the basic three bed rotation approach Emelia
> I had patches of quite dense grass and found that during digging the beds
> was able to remove most of the grass; roots, stolons and all. It's worth
> taking the effort at this stage to remove as many of the volunteers as
> possible as there'll be quite enough to deal with that sprout from the
> seeds in the soil - for this reason don't forget to cover the soil
> immediately you've dug the beds to try and stop these seeds germinating.
> Emilia was very happy to use newspaper of all descriptions and cardboard
> for a surface mulch, especially when planting potatoes to 'clean', through
> allelopathy, new ground. She would cut a hole into the paper mulch, put in
> the potato and then cover with a mulch of straw and then just harvest the
> potatoes by lifting the straw. This is an old trick of Ruth Stout's I
> Step 2. Secondly, my understanding next, is to only make the raised beds
> high approx, as the dirt dug from the trench. So I am going to dig the
> trenches around 20cm? deep, hence the raised bed would be around 30 cm
> because I will add some mulch from the worm farm and a layer of wheat hay
> protect the soil from drying out while the new seeds are establishing.
> add some Wood Chip? to the trench for a pathway.
> Recently, Emilia changed her mind on the depth necessary for the beds. She
> used to believe that the beds should be as deep as the soil would allow,
> after researching this question she realised that the feeder roots of most
> plants sought to feed close to the surface and only those roots necessary
> for anchoring the plant need go deeper (after Faulkener). Your height
> certainly seem deep enough. Worm casts are excellent and so is wheat
> Hay can be used but it does decompose rapidly in comparison to straw so
> will need to be added sooner and it can also contain many volunteer seeds,
> so make sure you're happy with the source. Wood chips for the pathways
> sounds good, if they are mixed conifer/deciduous fine, but if only
> coniferous remember this has the effect of acidifying the soil and
> down into unstable phenol compounds rather than humus - this is, after
> the way conifer forests have maintained their integrity across millions of
> years, poisoning the soil so other plants find it difficult to compete.
> Step 3. Next the irrigation system of a slow drip? Any favourites ? Does
> this piping go under the soil? If so how deep?
> The preferred method of irrigation is by black plastic pipe, two pipes
> placed 10cm (4 inches) from the edges of the top of the raised bed, the
> water emitting from holes punched every 30cm (12 inches) by a hot nail.
> Using professional standard drip irrigation is not only more expensive but
> always becomes clogged and must be regularly cleaned using toxic
> Porous tubing will likewise quickly become clogged, especially in areas of
> hard water. The pipe lies on the soil and is buried beneath the mulch
> surface to keep the water cool and to reduce evaporation from the soil
> Step 4. I presume I need to wait till Autumn most likely to start sowing?
> in Autumn start planting the companion planting seeds as per the
> instructions on Emelia's article courtesy of the Fukuoka website.
> Plant during the period advised on the packets of seeds you buy. Don't try
> to follow Emilia's instructions regarding spring planting until September.
> However, it may be you can be a little adventurous in your planting and
> plant whatever seeds you can get hold of that will grow in your climate
> and across your winter. If you follow the simple concept of getting as
> different plants in the soil, you will quickly increase the fertility and
> balance of your soil. If you find a happy combination then write back and
> let us all know what worked - write back even if something doesn't work as
> it all helps.
> From the info I have gleaned this appears to be some of the basics?
> Any further suggestions would be most welcome!
> Hope this helps, if not ask more questions. If you've done some reading
> sure others will be pleased to fill in the details you couldn't find.
> Kind regards,
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