January 29, 2020
I got a bag of fir shavings for my greenhouse aisle and they really brightened up the place. It smells nice too. No sooner were they spread out than my garden companion Annie curled up in the aisle for a nap. I hadn't realized that she may be tired of laying on wet ground. I've enjoyed the way she curles up on the tops of my mounds but thought she was just being symmetric..
Girls do be like that sometimes. The cauliflower plants in the greenhouse are huge, and take up the whole bed on the right side. They've thinned themselves out to only three plants but are forming heads. The plants outside are getting eaten by the birds, so overwintering crucifers requires bird netting..
January 30, 2020
I've just read an article that said you can have too much organic material in your soil. I've always kinda wondered if that was possible, but I thought plants planted in pure compost would thrive. Apparently there is a 5% level that is deemed excessive. Sounds like a very small number to me.The study was done based on urban gardeners using raised beds. Typically they don't use native soil, and sometimes fill the beds with purchased compost..
Potassium levels get too high and can turn the leaves yellow and kill the plants. If the organic matter in your soil comes from the decomposition of mulch, it's fine enough for the plants to use, and can't exceed nature's intent. Rototilling in organic material can be a problem if it doesn't have time to decompose before planting. It robs the soil of nitrogen and the plants can starve..
January 31, 2020
I pulled up the cauliflower plants that were getting eaten by the birds and a slew of whiteflies hit the ground around them. They were able to overwinter in their adult stage this year. It was another warm winter and the pond did not freeze over again. The warm spring has got me enthusiastically gardening as if it's already March..
Weeds are sprouting on all the planting beds so hula hoeing them now helps me stay ahead of the game. In honor of discovering you can have too much organic material in your soil I've commenced adding a five gallon bucket of compost to the tops of all my mounds. It feels a bit like defiance but trickle down decomposition of mulch is the soul of organic gardening..