Tag Archives: No Till Gardening
Lucie and I are presenting another Layer Mound Workshop. This one will be at the Sebastian/Roseland yard of Joann McGrath. The property is on a sandridge, and this workshop will be the first bit of work we will be doing on this yard, though we expect to be helping Joann to transform her property to
In April bull dozers came to the canal behind our property and pulled down all of the deep shade that had grown there. The water management district had a project to do back there, and in a few days my west side fence that had been buried in the deep shade of Brazilian pepper trees
This fall and winter there is a great deal to see and to eat in my South Florida Garden. I have gained a little extra time this year to spend at the homestead garden and I can see how that is paying off. I have been harvesting turmeric and ginger that grew all summer in
Sweet potatoes are good for the soil. All summer long their vines and heart shaped leaves keep the soil covered. The mulch below the vines breaks down in cool comfort. The swelling potatoes gently move the soil repairing any compaction issues that existed before them. I find the soil below the potato vines to be black, well aggregated (lumpy) and loaded with worm castings. The weeds that are coming up around my transplants are easy to slip out of the soil where the potatoes were. The new crops are growing as if all of their soil needs are being met, and the soil is holding moisture much longer than the native soil.
In my In The Garden articles about the Lasagna Layer Mounds the garden amendments straw, manure, and alfalfa hay are frequently mentioned. They are the ingredients for the garden mounds, but they are something else as well. Of course we know manure is a waste product from livestock farming or ranching, and we know straw,
Fall is the beginning of our cold crop planting season in South and Central Florida. Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Basil and Beans that were started in August may be getting ready to fruit, and may ripen fruit before our first frost. If you are starting those plants now you will have to protect them from the
I made a new friend who is not yet gardening and was rather intimidated by it and quite sure it would take him a long time to learn how to grow food. He mentioned to me that he thought he should take a Gardening for Dummies Class, and that what I had to offer was
My garden grows beautifully. All I do is feed the soil with lots of organic wastes. I don’t dig, I don’t worry, I don’t fertilize plants and I don’t spray plants. All in all I would say that growing the No Till No Dig Way is an easier, more successful way to nurture a food garden.
For many years I let my gardens fallow over the summer all the while feeling quite sure that there were crops that we could grow here in South Florida in the summer time, but I couldn’t figure out what they were, and I didn’t know who to ask. In order to save you the same
The conventional approach to composting is that we should turn our compost piles. I have already discarded the conventional approach to gardening: I won’t turn the soil. It occurs to me that it is past time to re-examine my approach to composting.
This summer has been a whirlwind for me. I picked up some part time work at a local organic farm last winter and the job lasted way into the summer. A couple of months before the farm job started I began volunteering at the Community Vegetable Garden at Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Just as the farm
“I prepared my bed, just as you instructed when we discussed preparing my garden. The soil was in pretty good shape already so I simply raked-out compost I prepared over the winter and then spread straw on top of that to keep down the weeds. When I planted my vegetables, I sprinkled the bunny and
Photos by Nan and Adina Heathcote Botanical Garden recently decided to create a community garden. I was fortunate to be at the first meeting about a year ago, and I was able to get involved with this project at the beginning. This community garden is currently focused on growing for a Sarah’s Kitchen in Port
After I wrote the article Garden Pests: Nematodes I received a comment from Naomi. She wrote “Wow, mind boggling how many things can go wrong in a vegetable garden!” Her comment made me realize that I did not bring home the point of my article very well. While there are lots of potential problems […]
My neighbors grow in compost not because it is the organic or no till or healthy thing to do. They grow this way because it fosters the most vigorous plant growth and the most flavorful vegetables, in a place that once seemed much less hospitable for growing food.
Many growers have forgotten about legumes as nitrogen fixers, or have forgotten how to use them to help build garden soil. This would be unforgettable information except that it is easier to buy a bag of fertilizer. The bag of fertilizer method is easier for sure, but it is more expensive, hard on soil, and is a potential pollution threat to our water ways. Legumes lock up nitrogen for future use. Plants know how to tease nutrients out of soil, and how to attract and make deals with bacteria, fungi, and protozoa for the nutrients they hold in their bodies. Growing legumes enriches the soil and the microbes in the soil with nitrogen that plants are able to use.
To grow in an organic manner in such a way as to decrease the cost of your inputs, increase the health and disease resistance in the garden, and increase garden yields, a grower must focus on the soil. This focus must be on maintaining optimum populations of the microbes and the invertebrates that are present in healthy soils.
The concept of this no dig bed is simple. You don’t till or disturb the soil below, and you create a mound that roughly approximates a balanced pile of stable scrapings. This is a great way to start quickly and these mounds feed the soil below as the growing season progresses attracting beneficial insects and microbes to your growing area, and you won’t have to fertilize the plants growing in these mounds.
I intended to write about what I am doing this summer to prepare my no dig garden boxes for the winter growing season, but this blog has taken it’s own direction instead. Today I write about Synergistic Agriculture and my evolving garden practices. This summer I have been growing in gardens I would have left
South Florida in the garden: It is July now and you have decided that you want to be ready to grow vegetables for your family when our first planting time comes NEXT MONTH!?! Yes, some of us will start putting seeds in as soon as August. Don’t worry you don’t have to. September and October