Like many people here in the UK I’ve been sowing seeds. I give myself extra work by growing almost all of my early plants in modules. This keeps my plants away from slugs, voles, birds, and the worst of the weather, and allows me to give the optimum tmperature for germination using electric propagators. In fact if I had been sowing seeds outside this Spring I’m not sure how many would have made it. As well as needing a bit more work, sowing seeds in modules, rather than sowing them directly in the ground, creates the need for a suitable growing medium. I had read a book which suggested that mixing dried cow manure and river sand makes a good seed sowing compost, but I don’t have either to hand. In the past I have relied on bought in ‘multi purpose’, sieved and mixed with sand, but with the volume of seedlings that I grow, and the trees and shrubs in pots, this is expensive, not particularly ‘green’, and may in fact be responsible for creating some of the disease problems that seedlings suffer from. This year I have made some changes to the way that I go about sowing seeds.
This was supposed to be an Update with pictures, but there seems to be a problem with uploading the images. No idea why, but it’s not temporary. Back to the Polyculture stuff.
The corn is not performing as well as I’d hoped. I’m not sure why that is, but they may be getting too much shade from some adjacent sunflowers, or the crimson and persian clover ground cover may be too competitive. The performance is not uniform, so may be down to seed quality. I’ll try another variety next year. The Crimson clover, Persian clover, and Bladder senna, are all flowering. The Bladder senna has some plants with a pure yellow flower, and some with a really nice bronze/orange tint. The pictures are lovely, but only I can see them….
A while ago I reviewed The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe. It’s probably one of the most important books that I’ve read so far. In the book, Carol frequently refers to another book, Buffalo Bird Woman’s garden, particularly when discussing food preservation. Buffalo Bird Woman’s garden is an account of Hidatsa American Indian gardening techniques, as told by a Hidatsa woman, born about 1839. The techniques were told to the author of the book, Gilbert L. Wilson, in the early 1900’s. I found another reference to the book recently, so ordered it, and what a gem of a book it is.
A few of my recent posts have not had pictures. It’s difficult to take them when your hands are covered in soil/compost/muck, so today I did a quick walk around, before work, and again afterwards, to help keep you up to date with what our place looks like, and what we’ve been up to.
This is a particularly busy time of year, with the need to complete any Winter jobs, and with the new Spring work requiring action. The last few days has seen me doing both kinds of work, but with mixed results.