Monday, May 30, 2011

What is compost

What is compost?

Compost is, literally, fertile dirt.

That is to say, not the barren gray top soil you’ll find on a building site or in a conventional farmer’s field. This is the good black stuff that smells sweet and makes nice little crumbly clumps. It contains the perfect balance of nutrients that your plants need to be healthy and that the microorganisms and beneficial insects like earth worms–key components of healthy soil–need to thrive.

You can make it yourself using common kitchen and yard wastes that would otherwise go in the landfill using a process Mother Nature has used to recycle things in the natural world since time began. Want a list of things you can put in the compost bin? Plantea lists 163 of them! Then you can use it in place of expensive mulches and chemical fertilizers. As a mulch, compost helps retain moisture and shade a plant’s roots.

As a soil amendment, compost breaks up heavy clay soils, allowing more water and air to penetrate to the root zone of garden plants and, if added in high enough quantities over time to keep the organic matter of the garden soil at 4-5%, can provide sufficient nutrients for even nitrogen-hungry vegetable growth.

Info from Julie at Terminal Verbosity.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gems of wisdom gleaned from the Garden Guy

About watering: Water more frequently with weather heating up - same amount of time, but more frequently. So if we were watering 35 minutes every three days, then set timer for 35 minutes every 2 days, or if needed, 35 minutes every day. To know when to water, we should check if plants leaves are a bit wilted in the morning. If so, then water. If not, don't water! So change frequency, not duration!

He suggested we do foliar spraying of our plants. Use 1/4 cup fish emulsion/seaweed mixture in a hose sprayer, and spray all the plants at least two times a week, possibly three! Go to Poco Verde landscaping office down the street across from Home Depot to buy the mixture all ready to go, about $9.00) or buy his mixture at Whole Foods for double the price! No need to be a soil chef, for the mixture is already available with molasses to take away the smell!

Dave suggested creating grape arbors over the entire garden for shade and good eating. Then we won't need the netting!
He also suggested planting blackberries along the east wall, (Kids would love this!) and lots of flowers to draw the bees, and then we won't need to plant flowers in our beds, and can plant more veggies and fruits!

Dave also suggested foregoing the shed and all the city code issues by putting in individual lockers along the south wall! . . .Then we would have more meeting room area, and a place for a small greenhouse to start seedlings to plant in our beds!

Plant corn in groups, not in a line. Those plants are wind pollinated, and need to be together.

Dave liked the manure tea approach, and Mike's addition of steer manure to his bed; he thought that soil looked great. There is a weed problem with this approach, and it is best to use manure from horses that have eaten alfalfa.

What did he say about thrips??? mildew??? What did he use the milk for? He diluted it 1/10, put it in a mister, for what???? Did he ever talk about the buttermilk?

Dave said our garden was the best in the valley! We planted late, but avoided the frost and cold weather, so our plants in our garden are doing better than in other gardens!!!!

Pat Derx

Friday, May 27, 2011

The taping of The Garden Guy segments

The Garden Guy video

Thanks to everyone who showed up yesterday and participated.  Dave was a lot of help and we may get to have him out again in the fall for fall planting suggestions.  We all had a great fun with this.  We found out that LIVE TV is a lot of hurry up and wait. - Pam Smyth

Go see the video here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Garden Guy is coming!

The garden is going to be filmed LIVE Thurs. May 26 at 8:20 AM and 9:40 AM for THE GARDEN GUY Show on Channel 3.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Strength in Community

Friday evening socials where friendships continue to be built, and a lot of learning takes place.