Sunday, November 30, 2008

An early summer report

Things look so great now. The lawn isn't dry at all and everything looks very green.

I have got the bug of making compost in the actual garden bed rather than on a special pile and then transporting it. The handcart is a real boon. I can get a huge load of grass clippings from the pile left here regularly by a commercial lawn mower man and the wood mulch from the pile Malcolm makes when he uses the mulcher. This gets loaded onto the garden. Well the place where the broadbeans have come from anyway. Then I water it, add rock dust and lime. Then I add the various wondrous liquid feeds I have.

The liquid fish waste gets diluted 200 to 1. Then the worm wee gets diluted and added on. Then I use the diluted contents of this blue bin of comfrey leaves, nettle and a bag of chicken manure suspended in the water. Of course this latter stinks to high heaven and I am not sure that it is altogether right, because it must have e-coli in there.

Today at the edible garden tour run by our Transition Town group, an older guy told us that he cold presses his comfrey in a bucket with holes in over another bucket with a brick. The liquid which emerges doesn't stink and is very concentrated. I might try this but would have to get nettle water in somehow.

Anyway there is some new soil-to-be waiting out there. Not sure whether to plant the corn plants there but might try even before it changes itself into compost.

The other thing I did tonight was suspend some jars from apple trees. Inside each jar is 1 tbl molasses and 1tbl of vinegar and water, stirred of course. We have corrugated cardboard wrapped around each tree this year, or rather each branch of each apple tree. It is tricky to suspend them safely.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My first good carrots

Finally I have learnt the art of growing carrots. Buy King seeds or use Koanga Garden seeds. I made the soil very fine before sowing. Used only rock dust and no nitrogen. Thinned well by two granddaughters who needed plenty of instruction. Watered well after thinning. And boy do they taste good.

Good veges coming from the garden now

Gosh I realise that I now use the following to feed my tomatoes, greens and sweet corn:

Worm wee diluted
Fish concentrate very much diluted
From the blue barrel – comfrey, nettle, and chicken manure in a barrel of water, diluted.
Compost tea, made by aerating a panty hose full of compost for three days, having added 2tbl molasses and 1tsp humic acid. I use a $13 acquarium pump. All Elaine Ingham inspired, thanks to Ken Ross of Northland. So easy and cheap to make and teeming with microbes.
Bokashi buckets buried. Not doing these so often at the moment.

Those are the foliar feeds.
And of course when the soil is depleted I add compost itself and lime. The woodash in the soil under the potatoes and the tomatoes is obviously doing a good job because the stems are so strong.