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Location: Planet Earth
Latest Activity: Jan 16
The ducks have a new yard, my future tomato and bean garden. 12.22.17
Ruth, I've seen robins about all winter. Never before. And I mentioned the confused Sandhill cranes coming and going. Gotta be the climate change. My garden is now covered in snow. It better be gone by the time I return from Florida on March 6th!
We still have snow in the forest and the first signs of spring have not yet appeared. We drove to Spokane today and they are farther ahead than Newport, as is normal. The soil in the greenhouse measures above 52 degrees F; I planted some peas, beet, radishes, and brought some red wiggly worms for the compost bins. The solar panels began to work again once the sun rose over the tops of the forest.
Randy, that flooding, is it a curse or a blessing? The Nile floods renew and refresh the nutrients in the soil. What about your flood? Those pictures of the young seedlings make my back ache. I know how hard that work is. The photos present farming at its best.
I didn't know daikon radishes were helpful for soil compaction. Thanks.
Today my snowdrops bloomed. The Helebores have been blooming for a couple of weeks. Today as I drove home in the dark, just after 6PM, my car thermometer said 86°F. Robins have been setting up housekeeping locally, I've seen three without really looking for them.
I worked all morning yesterday helping my SIL cover his "ginormous" new greenhouse with plastic. It took 10 of us. Check out their website, to see the bare-bone structure in their recent newsletter: http://silverthorn-farm.com
Many farmers, including my SIL, plant daikon radishes after Fall harvest to do just what you commented about, Joan. Perhaps I should try it.
Easy to see where the hard pan is on this daikon radish. Photo courtesy of Kevin Elmy http://www.friendlyacres.sk.ca
Another idea I read, plant daikon radishes and let them winter over. Their roots go down into the hardpan and break it up.
No-Till Tool For Clay Soil: Daikon Radishes
"daikon radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger J. Kern.) as a cover crop to improve soil health, break up soil hardpans and control weeds. Although daikon radish — also known as Tillage Radish® (trademarked by Cover Crop Solutions), forage radish or Japanese radish — has many benefits, it’s their tilling and breaking soil hardpans ability that sparked interest on a recent #groundchat."
"The daikon radish’s “super carrot” taproot drills down two to four feet into the soil with a pressure of 290 psi, forming channels in the soil after they desiccate and decay over winter. It’s these channels that reduce compaction and improve soil tilth, which improves water infiltration and surface drainage. The channels also allow the soil to warm up quicker in the spring!
“It is the fine secondary roots that do the most good,” [in breaking soil hardpans], says Kevin Elmy of Elmy’s Friendly Acres Seed Farm. When the taproots hit the hardpan, fine roots are sent out to find a crack in the hardpan. Eventually the roots crack open the hardpan.
The author gives directions on planting, nutrition, problems they encountered. The funniest one was when the radish hit hardpan and started growing into the air.
Thanks for the tips, you all. Fava beans, eh? I just might have to try them.
Daniel -- fresh fava beans are wonderful. Years ago you could find them at Natures stores for a short time in June, but lately it seems really difficult to get them except for dried ones.
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