Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recovering from the Rain

 Le Grand Jardin, ( The Big Garden) now mulched and growing nicely.  Asparagus to your right, garlic and onions at the top, beets to their lefft and the 85 tomato plants. The bare spots were under water for a couple of days so seed germination was low. I will be reworking those beds and planting summer veggies soon!
 Potato patch is finished, now I can let them grow. we dug two 8" trenches 2ft wide and planted the seed potatoes. Then, as the plants grew, we filled in the trenches.
 The melon patch. After 12 inches of rain in less than a week the weeds took over and the melon seeds rotted in the soil. The tomatoes around the border survived though.
After pulling (and I admit mowing with the push mower)  the weeds are clear, and 4 bales of old hay later, a new melon patch. You might be able to make out a row of tomatoes on the right fence row.

We figure, after nature "blesses" us with a foot of rain all at once that we would take advantage of the situation and protect our number one renewable resource - the soil. All of the weeds that sprung up have stored their respective nutrients - nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous (and many others), that was already in the soil. They also stored energy from the sun. The weeds were mowed and left lying where they fell. These will compost down which will add these nutrients to the soil. A thick layer of mulch will suppress further growth from the weeds, preventing them from going to seed.

The soil absorbed heat from the last few days of the sun and a good deal of moisture. Just beneath the hard baked crusty layer on top is rich, moist, well-aerated earth perfect for pumpkins, melons, and tomatoes. The mulch keeps the moisture from evaporating off as well. In addition, the mulch will break down over the summer adding a thick layer of organic matter to the soil.

In essence, our soil is a battery that is storing energy for our next crop.

This is Old Solar Agriculture.

No comments:

Post a Comment