Friday, January 30, 2015

forty-nine days to spring

it's only forty-nine until spring and time for a look at the garden...the bachelor's buttons in the corner box are still holding some color...persistence is a trait in many plants...these seem determined to hold on fro the next season...the arborvitae is looking robust and has added about a foot of new growth since planting...we kept it well watered ( with a generous assist from nature in the form of a preternatural abundance of rainfall last summer ) and it has become well established to the extent that we can throttle back its watering schedule in its second season...the alfalfa is still green as is the winter rye ( third photo )...not dormant, but probably not setting much nitrogen either...we will be leaving both to grow until about three weeks before planting day and then we will be turning them under to fortify the so8il for a new crop...the winter vetch in the fourth photo looks a bit less will recover though and serve the same purpose as the rye and alfalfa...the clover in the bottom photo is thoroughly matted down and beaten back...which was expected and will allow us to experiment with masanobu fukuoka's "do-nothing" approach...we will be planting early spring crops in that bed before the clover recovers and begins to grow again...this will allow the beets, turnips, sea kale, cucumbers, and potatoes we plan on putting in time to establish themselves...then, once the clover recovers, it will provide nitrogen and weed control by shading out weeds...the first year of trying out a new system will doubtlessly involve some failure and so some learning as well...time to start thinking in serious terms about the next season...spring won't wait.

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