Friday, June 24, 2011

New beginnings

Well, I have decided that it is time to begin pulling up the current plantings and begin planning for the next season. Working by the example of what farmers and others are doing, it seems that it is just too hot at this time of year in FL to make much work. And with the lack of rain (until yesterday) and below average soil, I feel it best to start clearing the garden, and work on making the soil much more improved for better production. Now, I haven't pulled up everything mind you—my watermelons and tomatoes seem to be doing pretty good (finally got some tomatoes growing on the heirloom plants I started from seed, and I planted these before the ones from Lowes). But I am systematically pulling unproductive plants out and either throwing them on the fire pile or the compost pile.

As far as watering goes, I still haven't figured that out. I can water my garden for hours—hours—and not see the results I get after one good rain like we had yesterday. I think the obvious answer is that there is more water when it rains, which saturates the ground and keeps it from draining so quickly. But how do I replicate that when there is no rain.

One thing I plan to do is definitely put down either row covers or straw over every row to help hold in moisture. I also plan to get as much organic matter in the ground as well so the water doesn't drain so quickly. Our local zoo offers composted manure for whoever will come get it. I will be checking in to that as well.

I haven't decided whether I will plant anything this fall, or just let the ground rest. I would like to do something, even if only one crop. May try greens again. I had OK luck with those last fall.

1 comment:

FNFCG Admin said...

Zoo poo is free and available - 1 warning - it may be quite hot for the garden so you may want to get it now and let it mellow!

Good luck! Check out possible cover crops such as cow peas or black eyed peas for our area. Nice way to revamp the soil.