Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter's Back

The cold weather has returned :-(
Don't know if it got to 40f today or not. There was a bit of white on the hill to the south of us this afternoon. sigh. Oh well, it's January for crying out loud, it's supposed to be cold.

Saw an article on the damages done by glyphosate herbicide the other day. Apparently it doesn't break down as fast as it is suppose to, building up in the soil, chemically binding the soil minerals up, which weakens the plant allowing disease organisms to attack and kill the plants. The binding of trace minerals also makes the plant less nutritious. And the main seller of that type of herbicide wants our beloved governments permission to release alfalfa that can survive larger doses of the herbicide. NO, NO, NO, WE don't want your chemical crap....OR your genetically altered plants.

Healthy soil with a lot of biomass, bacteria and fungus doesn't need to be treated with external fertilizers. If the bacteria and fungi in the soil are not killed, they can convert the biomass that is in the soil into the nutrients that the growing plants need. So provide biomass for the soil bacteria to eat and your plants will be happy. Don't be super neat in the garden, let the residue from the garden rot in place, the soil bacteria will love it.

Garden On.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A new year, a new garden

As you have probably noticed I don't Blog much. The written word is not my normal mode of communication. I have one heck of a time putting thoughts on paper because of lack of spelling skills which causes a major disruption of thought flow. So please excuse the lack of posts.

The weather here in south central Washington state is being strange again this year. Our normal weather for the end of January is cold (20 to 40F) with snow. Today it was 50ish and rainy and has been so for the last week. Normally December is rainy with chances of snow, this year, Snowy and cold. It will probably be a repeat of last year, cold early winter, cool late winter and a wet cool spring, with a warm (not HOT) summer.

Having read 'Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden', I'm going to growing squash and try drying some. Thinking of doing a three sisters planting with sunflowers instead of corn, as last years corn didn't do well. Also this area has many growers of sweet corn. Beans, lettuce, beets, cabbage and tomatoes are on the list. The Strawberry patch is going to be moved to a new spot. More raspberry plants need to be obtained. The Moon and Stars melons will be repeated as will the cantaloupes.

This fall/winter I have read several books on Perma-culture and gardening (see the book list page), which have given me many ideas that I wish to implement. Water harvesting, fruit/nut tree guides, insect habitat, perennial vegetables. Bactria and fungus, worms and beetles, sheet composting, cold piles and hot piles, ponds and greenhouses, trace minerals and deep rooted nutrient accumulators ,bio mass accumulators and ground covers. The depletion of the soil by current farming practices and how to restore the same. ugh, time to get off the soap box. (but not to far)

The piles of wood chips that were delivered last fall are being moved to the garden paths. The chip that were placed there last spring are decomposing nicely, adding humus to the edges of the beds and holding water for the beds. Several compost piles have been built from the chips and other materials, which will have to rot over the summer.

Have been searching for a source of terra-cotta ollas to use as pither irrigation, But $30-35 per 1.5 gallon jug is a bit excessive IMO. Does anyone throw terra-cotta or know someone that does? Have asked Annie's Granny to check on the availability down in southern AZ. May have to cobble a couple of regular TC flower pot together as others on the net have done.

Garden On.