Saturday, November 22, 2014

setting up

it has been cold here with lows well below freezing every night and highs not much above and this has had an impact on the garden...but it is an anticipated we are looking for and have plans to use...the alfalfa is laying down ( top photo ) but since it had time to develop a third true leaf before the cold hit it should be will set nitrogen until a few weeks before planting day when it will be turned under, adding organic matter as well as nitrogen for next season's crops...the clover is laying down as well ( second through fourth photos ) and the cold has finally gotten to the asparagus asparagus a is turning a bit brown in all those shots as well...but the weakened state of the clover is what we are looking will be compromised by the cold , but not killed and that is an opening for us...we have no plans to turn the clover under...instead we will be intercropping spring root crops in the bed while the lover is still weakened enough to allow them to germinate and get a the clover recovers it will provide nitrogen for the crops while controlling weeds by shading them out and pretty much strangling whatever manages to emerge in the way of experiment...and one whose outcome we aren't sure of...a learning's a community garden but it's on a university campus...the bottom photo is of the burrow some critter left behind as it dug into a cache of jerusalem artichoke tubers...we have had our share of critter issues this season and this is just one more...but with something of a twist...if rodents are chewing up the tubers they are doubtlessly leaving bits and pieces behind and when you do that you have something i'll call the fantasia effect...remember when mickey mouse hacks the broom up into pieces only to discover he had created a lot of smaller brooms...most pieces of a jerusalem artichoke tuber...unless they are extremely miniscule...can generate another plant in the spring...they are aggressive colonizers...the critters may be unwittingly generating more food.

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