2010 Garden - September
The best part of growing a garden is the ambiance it creates in that space. Walking through the greenery and flowers, watching the plants develop, leaves me in awe of Nature's process. No chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides were used in this garden. It remains 90% unblemished from the action of insects.
Most of what you see are actually the volunteers from seeds in last years compost. Due to the late start caused by the time it took to rebuild the soil, what was planted (in any remaining bare spots), was done so in mid August - mostly fall and winter crops (cilantro, lettuces, kale, chard, onions, cabbage, carrots, etc. primarily using seeds collected from our 2009 plantings.
The corn on the far right above, a volunteer that came with the alfalfa meal amendment in the soil, is bearing 6 ears of corn. Though only 2 are of any size, it points to the fact that under the right conditions, produce can potentially bear several times the norm in production. As of Oct 1st, a second, younger volunteer corn stalk is now showing beginning signs of developing 7 ears of corn. This late in the season, it is not expected that any will fully mature, but it inspires us to plant an heirloom corn variety sooner next year, and in soil similar to this - well amended with Silica Rich, Liquid Gold, the new Bio-Buildand worm castings.
Above: In the background stands the almost 11 foot tall sunflower (a late season volunteer) with its 40-50 flowers. It was rooted in a combination of last year's highly amended watermelon bed (still growing Emmer Wheat during the new soil remodeling) and this year's new soil blend. Obviously a dynamic combination. Silica Rich, Liquid Gold and self-grown worm castings were the major amendments to this bed.
The center of the garden to the right of the white bucket, is the remains of last years compost where the garden cuttings wintered over and fed the worms. All but the very center island where the spent sunflowers still stand, was dug up and layered out across the garden beds to enrich the soil as it was being built up with the new mix. Today the excavated area is now the compost pile for this year's cuttings to provide an ongoing source of beneficial bacteria, fungi, worms and future soil for the adjacent garden.
With each layer of garden cuttings, I am topping it off with a thin layer of soil from my other compost piles to speed the decomposition of the cuttings and provide a more suitable home for the worms. Worms do best in a combination of both soil and produce or cuttings, since the bacteria in the soil is an essential part of their habitat. I have also innoculated the compost pile with spoiled milk whey from an organic farm to further enrich the bacteria content (the worms go crazy in whey/soil mixes!).
A multitude of very healthy squash leaves of 20 inches in diameter skirt this side of the garden.
The okra below is of the Mammoth variety which characteristically develops large pods like these. The shiny object is a quarter.
Here are Dahlia flowers across 4 feet, all from a single tuber planted with our Silica Rich, Liquid Gold and self-grown worm castings.
Soil-Based Organisms and the Human Microbiata
Dynamic Gardening Part 1 - Vermicomposting
Worms in Your Soil are the Prime Indicator of Soil Health
Dynamic Gardening Part 2 – Soil Composition
The Importance of the Soil's Biological Terrain, Soil Composition and Humus Soil Depth on Plant Growth
Dynamic Gardening Part 3 – Build Your Soil
How to Build Your Soil for Maximum Plant Health & Production
Dynamic Gardening Part 4 – Worm Castings
Worm Castings & Red Wrigglers – Your Garden's Best Friends
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