Archive for the ‘Mulching’ Category

WEATHER TURNS TROPICAL SO VIGILANT WATERING NEEDED – FOURTH WEEK IN JULY 2010

The garden becomes a place to have breakfast this week as the weather is warm if a little overcast. The cabbages, kale and broccoli are under attack however. The cabbage white butterfly has become very active. The advantage of having a small garden is I can easily enough inspect the leaf undersides for eggs and caterpillars. A quick rub with the thumb puts a halt to their gallop. Last year I had netting over the brassicas at this stage so I’ll be comparing whether caterpillar damage will be controllable this year or not.

Apart from the caterpillars the plants need watering and mulching to conserve moisture. Strong plants withstand attacks from predators so watering in the morning is like preventative health care for the plants.

AFTER THE HARVEST, MULCHING – SECOND WEEK IN AUGUST 2009

Mulching space where crops have been harvested and cleared. Sowing green manure.

As I remove plants following a harvest, for example, of broad beans and peas, I am left with very good bare soil. Nature does not do bare soil, so it is good to cover it with a mulch of grass clippings or even cardboard.

Another good option is to sow a suitable green manure, which really just means a quick growing crop that is to be dug in and added to the organic matter and improve the soil structure for another crop to be sown either in the autumn or in the following spring. One thing I’ve discovered is that soil likes to have something growing in it as the roots of any plant, even what we call weeds, encourage soil microbes which would not be encouraged if there were no plant roots.