September 19, 2017
The leaves on some of the trees are beginning to change color already. They go from lime green to pale green to gold, yellow and then brown. We have some of each already so I guess we will be watching the changing on into November. Then when they fall "FREE MULCH". I can never gather up enough leaves so I was glad to learn that pine needles, used as mulch, do not make your soil more acidic. That was a gardening myth that I was raised with..
I used pine needles around my strawberries because they like acid soil. This year I will use them in my walkways because they don't break down as quickly as straw does. If you have kids that go barefoot this probably wouldn't be a good idea. I have cats that go zoomie so I don't care..
September 20, 2017
I just read that some industrial scale farmers are beginning to use cover crops to get organic matter into the soil. There is no way us backyard gardeners can ever get enough compost and mulch so large farms can't either. Unless they grow their own. It could be the answer to sustainable agriculture. I didn't think we could feed the world without using fertilizer and pesticides but screwing into organic on an industrial level could be the answer..
Cover croping with vetch, which is a legume that takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and deposits it in the soil, can reduce the need for fertilizer as well as water. Rye grass planted between corn rows, to be tilled in in the fall, keeps the soil covered all summer and adds humus to the soil when turned under. Rotating crops also helps with insect problems..
September 21, 2017
I had an awesome garden this year. With all the rain and cold in the Spring I didn't know how long a season we would have. It turns out everything got the time it needed to mature. The melon ripening is running into the pear ripening so we're on the fructose express here. I got Brussels sprouts for the first time in five years, and learned to plant them for afternoon shade..
I found a salsa maker lady that picks her own stuff, so I got fresh salsa all Summer, and canned salsa for the Winter. Spinach all Summer too. Perpetual Spinach is a garden must. I got to squrit squash bugs with soapy water, and I've pretty much learned to ignore the white flies..