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Latest Activity: 9 hours ago
Moving an Established Fig Tree. Delayed post from Nov 2017
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.
I am still a month away from seeding. I don't till my soil because I have growing beds in Spokane and will have them in Newport. I also mulch very heavily, and I use well-composted manure, horse, beef and chicken, with straw. I never walk on the growing beds. The beds are no wider than four feet so that I can reach all plants. The beds can be any length.
To seed the beds, I either do block seeding, which is to dedicate one area to a plant, say beets or carrots, scatter the seeds on the bare ground, randomly. I cover with a light layer of soil or compost. When seeds begin to grow, I give them more compost.
For seeds that I start in the greenhouse, I sow into seeding trays and when the sprouts get big enough and when all threat of frost is over, I transplant into the beds, usually in rows. A layer of mulch goes down.
With brassicas (cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, collard greens) I put down a layer of compost, then a light layer of straw and toss seeds into beds. At harvest time, I use a pitchfork to loosen the soil around each plant and lightly pull. The loosened soil doesn't harm those wonderful worms. Worms do the work for you, bringing nutrients from deep in the ground, to the top. Also, the frost heaves will do some loosening.
At harvest time, I use a pitchfork to loosen the soil around each plant and lightly pull. The loosened soil doesn't harm those wonderful worms. Worms do the work for you, bringing nutrients from deep in the ground, to the top. Also, the frost heaves will do some loosening.
You can find lots lots of information for no-till gardening by Googling, "Permaculture".
HOW TO BUILD A PERMACULTURE VEGETABLE GARDEN
The video demonstrates a more complicated process than I do in Spokane. However, it gives you the basics. I have been building soil for 40+ years. It is just perfect., I am starting from scratch at Newport and will follow this process for most of the new beds.
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