Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yesterday's Images from the Gigantic Garden

Summer is coming. We hit 100 degrees the other day and I'm feeling it in the mornings when I go to do the chores. The garden is starting to take off. There are seedlings everywhere and every few days I plant more from the greenhouse. Take a peek at some of the things growing in there:

Last year's Christmas tree trunks (the goats ate the needles)
made a great bed edge and trellisses for vining plants.
This border is mainly flowers to attract bees and butterflies but
also contains beans and pumpkin which should vine up the trunks.

Garlic interplanted with peas, romaine, and beets.

This is the west edge of the garden planted with pollinator
attracting flowers as well as tomatoes, pumpkins and fruit trees.

Some of the romaine which is farther along.

The dill reseeded itself from last year and was the first to grow.
Permaculture literally means permanent agriculture. The idea behind this garden is that the soil will never be tilled, allowing the natural buildup of organic matter as plants die and compost and waste is also added to the rows. While this method drives my neighbor a little crazy (he often offers to drive his tractor in to turn the soil for me) it is a mimic of nature. Think about a forest and the thick leaves and waste matter covering the forest floor. That waste matter is going back into the earth and adding nutrients to the new plants that sprout up. It is a habitat for earthworms and beneficial organisms that help build soil.

This year I can already see a huge difference from last year's attempt. The soil is thicker with organic matter, holding water better than before, and that means I have to run the sprinkler a lot less.

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