summer 2013

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Last year, we did not use the soil we had to fill my raised beds.  It's very telling that there is a brick factory a few miles down the road.   I had 9 yards of top soil delivered and dumped.  We had a lot of composted horse manure from my daughter's 5 horses.  I also bought a couple bales of peat moss and a few bags of perlite and vermiculite just to help loosen up the soil.  My husband used a tractor and skid loader to mix everything together and spread into the raised beds.  I have one bed 5ft x16 ft and 3 more 4ft x16 ft.  Each bed is 2 ft. high.

In two of the beds we placed t-posts and nylon mesh fencing to have a trellis for support for tomatoes and peas.  These I will move around so I can rotate my crops.  That really helps cut down on spreading disease and depleting nutrients,   As you can see, everything is kind of ugly right now, but there is some sign of life!

The crimson clover I planted as a cover crop is starting to peek through.  The purpose of a cover crop is to curb erosion and replace nutrients in the soil.  When the clover blooms in spring, you dig it into the soil. It increases the nitrogen, so you can use less fertilizer.

The garlic I planted last fall  is starting to emerge too.

  This is our spring house  It is hard to see now, but in a few months you will see a spectacular poison ivy crop.

These are my sunflowers from last summer.  They are the remains of the sunflowers that are seen in the picture in my introduction page of this blog.  I left them standing for the birds.

  Most of the seeds are eaten now.

More about dirt.   I had my soil tested at Southern States last summer.  PH was close to 6.5, lead and arsenic were very low.  The delivered soil was an unknown and I wanted to be sure it was safe.  The animals we get the manure from are ours.  They are healthy and fed hay that we grow.  The straw and manure removed from the stalls  sat around for months.  On cold days you could see steam coming off the pile.

Future Compost
Horses and hayfield in the background

Well, that is all that is going on this week.  Still haven't gotten my indoor lights yet.  Will really need them by the second week in March.  I want to start a lot of perennials this year.  It is still too cold for my ladybug garden clogs.  I hope to put these boots away soon!

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