December 08, 2017
Dirt clods are the result of microbe exudates in the soil. The finest of soil particles are bound together by the adhesive nature of microbial excrement. Clumps are formed in multiple sizes and shapes like chunks of gravel, and this allows air and water to pass between them. Clay soil particles are so tiny that when they bind together they cut off water and air circulation. Plants can't grow in this medium so adding organic material begins the process of soil fertility. When you break your dirt clods open and find pockets, tunnels and fibers you know you're on the right track towards primo ground..
I smelled burning leaves today. It was aromatic and fragrant like pipe tobacco smoke. I liked it. I'm going to hell..
July 14, 2018
I put the sprinkler on my carrot row at 7:00 one evening and left it on for an hour. When I went to pick carrots the next morning I couldn't pull them out of the ground without breaking the tops off. I thought I'd have mud, but was surprised at how dry the ground was. My soil has a very high drainage rate that I'm still learning about. The clay particles help keep the carrots from pulling up, but I also suspect the sticky substances that the microbes secrete to bind the soil particles together contribute.The pathway next to the carrots has been weed-eated four times now and looks like lawn..
I like it. Very low maintenance. Nature's preference. Bare ground is just not natural. I wonder if microbes depend on plant roots to remove their waste products?..
July 15, 2018
I took a peek under the tarp I put over my 10'x10' weed patch and am very impressed with the results. It looks like the aftermath of a wildfire. Black dead stems and no leaves. I couldn't have done better with a torch. Occultation is now a part of my gardening tools and I'll start making other, smaller areas weed free. I didn't write down when I put it on so I don't really know when to take it off..
I think I'll just leave it on until I need to plant more corn. Keeping a garden journal has no downside that I can determine other than forgetting to post to it. It's convenient to be able to look back on the last year's garden notes and decide what you want to do the same, or different. Jotting down quirky things ends up educating you because it can take years to connect the dots..
July 16, 2018
I got the Fall planting of cauliflower in yesterday and plan on getting broccoli direct seeded today. I wasn't going to plant broccoli this Fall but I found a half a pack of seeds, and discovered an 8' strip of open space between the outgoing rows of carrots and beets, and decided it was too much fun to skip. That's when you know you got bit by the gardening bug. You don't even want the end product, you just want to go through the process of creating it. The dirt was inviting. It was weed free, thinly mulched, damp and open. I could just run my finger down through it to make a furrow. Sprinkle in the seeds, cover thinly, water gently, put a board over it and wait..
All the work of thinning, fertilizing, watering, weeding, transplanting, and shading the transplants is fun for me. I even enjoyed thinning the beets today. The soil was moist and the morning was cool. The cranberry colored stems contrasted with the dark green leaves. When I was done the little ones were all fallen over but that's what happens when you remove their bros. They will be back up and perky tomorrow, rewarding me with their beauty..