Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fall planting contemplation..

Watermelon, cucumber, sugar pumpkins, squash.. these are all on my list for fall planting. I'm also considering leeks, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and yes.. I haven't given up on some more tomatoes.
I'm also thinking of spreading out my veggies, and what I mean by that is utilizing the eastern side of the house, and determining if I'll have more luck there.
I'm also having an issue with my cat. Now my cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. I've been successful at keeping her out of my garden via a bird net, but literally you have to circumnavigate the piles of carefully scraped together gravel/leaves/mesquite residue to reach it. I'm a bit concerned that by cultivating the eastern side I'll be inviting her to infiltrate the non-cat contaminated sections of my yard. I wish there was a beneficial usable reason for cat excrament. I know that sounds crazy, but for crying out loud how could that much "crap" for lack of a better word come out of such a small creature?
Peta will hate me for this, but thank goodness she's halfway thru her life cycle. I'm foreseeing only barn cats in my distant future. ha ha.
I also read about watering your space down, and covering it with plastic for 6 weeks to kill any pests that may hinder future growing seasons. I haven't heard about this before so I thought I'd solicit any tips about this particular method. According to what I read it will make temperatures under the plastic heat up to 140 degrees chasing off nemotodes, and killing weed seeds.
Is 6 weeks to long to put off planting for fall??


  1. Don't solarize! Soil is full of beneficial microorganisms that feed your plants. Solarizing is like a broad spectrum antibiotic. It won't kill the especially nasty stuff but it will kill all the microorganisms that do good things for the plants.

    Fun microbiology fact: When plants need a nutrient, they send out chemical signals into the soil, which are picked up by long strings of fungus called hyphae, which then seek out the nutrient and move the nutrients back to the plant. In forests, this can happen over the course of miles! There is a forest in which the hyphae from the fungus is considered to be the largest organism in the world!

    Yes, there are many benefits if solarizing. There are also benefits to feeding your plants Miracle Grow but I don't recommend that either. The best thing you can do for your plants is add good compost to the soil (which has multiple benefits to the soil. It adds organic matter, is a good source of nitrogen and nutrients and it add microbes to the soil. You can also grow a cover crop. Cut down on disease but rotating crops and pairing crops with plants that increase the beneficial insect population (like white allysum with your brassicas.) If you have a zero tolerance for allowing weeds to go to seed in your garden, you will have the problem nipped in a few years. Or, if you really want to you can buy a weed flamer...but in a garden your size, that would be mostly for entertainment! And use aerated worm tea. It's amazing stuff.

    Many people may disagree with me. They may be right, too. That's what's fun about gardening.

  2. Awesome! Thanks for the info! I just bought some fish bone meal that is awefully smelly, but I hear that does wonderful things too.