More Spinach

May 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm (Vegetables)

spinach harvestIt’s still coming with no end in site. This batch is four days worth of spinach salads. I couldn’t keep up so boiled it down in a pot. My corn is sprouting. Corn is very easy to transplant and sturdy. I just planted kale and sunflower seeds. Next: potatoes.  Some plants I harvested a bit early just to clear room for the new seedlings. I had to replenish the soil of nitrogen so added by energizer-bunny compost into the earth, mixing old soil with new fertilizer. We’ll see how  this works. Once I get my beds built up, I will then add an irrigation hose to make watering easier.

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3 Comments

  1. John Marshall said,

    Have you already written about your compost recipe? If so, can you point me to it? I’m comparing compost methods. Not that I’ll be able to use one where I’m going, but I want to at least start the research and planning.

    You are seeing more of these sharecrop arrangements and coops, where you don’t have to own the land yourself, but others will let you farm on theirs for a part of your crop or a money fee. Sometimes as just a favor. Oh, and I bet your readers would enjoy a bigger picture of your garden layout and a description of what it where.

    Lets hope that the Food Safety Modernization Act doesn’t take away our ability to farm or garden. Under this legislation, even private victory gardens could become illegal unless they conform to draconian health regulations at ruinous cost.

    If we have to draw a line in the sand, it is there. If the ability to plant things in dirt and share what grows up out of it becomes illegal, then we really have no rights at all.

  2. chapelmouse said,

    Hi john,

    Interesting info on sharecropping and coops!

    I have no specific compost recipe. I am basically winging it. However, I can suggest some guidelines:

    1. Get a pH soil meter and keep track of your soil’s acidic vs. base content. Play around with different dosages of Carbon (ex. hay) and Nitrogen (ex. lawn clippings, dung) in your compost according to present soil pH. The goal is a neutral solution.

    2. Build your compost pile in a location with plenty of sun. You want to keep your compost warm.

    3. Layer your compost, starting with organics, then fertilizer, then garden dirt. The repeat until you fill up your box.

    4. I built a compost box with two bins and access doors. When one side is filled to the top with decaying layers, I open both doors and begin shoveling the pile from one side of the bin to the other. I would never waste my money on tumblers. Tumblers are hotter but don’t turn as much as a bin and cost $$$. My bin cost me ten bucks. You can build wood bins like mine from scrap wood. The wood of course decays, so they are temporary– a few years. I painted mine.

    5. Don’t use pressure treated wood! I used a couple 2×4 of pressure treated wood and the copper is toxic and can leach into your compost. I don’t fret over alleged cancer stuff, but as a precaution will paint over the pressure treated wood, and replace the studs fairly soon. For readers who are confused by this statement, let me say I garden not for health but to learn how to do something (even if wrong) and to save a little money. This harvest I must have grown over $100.00 worth of spinach in my tiny garden! I also learned how to grow it in a more time efficient, less labor intensive manner.

    6. In summer for suburbanites like myself, I have less grass clippings. Plus, my lawn bag ends up with a lot more weed-seed. (I have no poisons on my lawn) So, I am not using it but mixing in more bunny dung, hay, and mulch. I just purchased a shredder-chipper for fruit tree pruning. In summer, also will have a lot of rotted fruit (about one-third of fruit goes to rot).

    7. Periodic water your compost. I find it deteriorates faster. A good compost pile will make dirt in about two months. A simple heap, left alone with no aeration, will take a year or more!

    8. Full coverage of the pile will keep temperatures up. If you build a bin like mine, you can keep a tarp on top. High temp 90 to 140 degrees kill weed-seed. Ironically, if you don’t turn, the compost at the bottom actually cools off! It’s the microbiotics that keep heat up the pile

    Let me know if that helps at all John. I really am in the process of learning myself and have to give it a couple more seasons to see if I can improve or try new things. I’ve done heaps before, and they are the worst.

    Godspeed.
    Charles

    • charles said,

      dear John,

      I will soon post a pix of my compost/mulch bins. REal simple. My biggest drawback is they are not temperature tight. Need to be more enclosed.

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