Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Edible Forest Gardens: Vol 2. Chapter 6 -- Garden Establishment

Construction Sequence:

  • Broad scale site prep. -- grading, drainage, irrigation, tilling, cover-crops, clearing
  • Staking out -- paths, beds, key plant location
  • Bed-by-bed site prep. -- double digging, amending
  • Planting woody plants
  • Sheet mulch
  • Staking out patches
  • Plant herbs
  • Aftercare -- watering, weeding
The discussion on planting reminded me that I need to take some care with managing soil horizons as I build mounds and swales. Need to keep topsoil above subsoil. 

Edible Forest Gardens: Vol 1. Chapter 5 -- Underground Economy

On to chapter 5 of Edible Forest Gardens: Structures of the Underground Economy.

Random notes:
  • Manually deepening shallow roots before planting offers major benefits.
  • Rhizomes are botanically stems. Their leaves are adapted into defensive scales.
  • Check out Wild Roots, by Douglas Elliott.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden update

I harvested some salad greens from the garden tonight. The garden has been enjoying the warm weather. I have finally had to start regular watering. Now I need to figure out when to harvest the fennel.
Plants were purchased at the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale and were planted in May.
The italian parsley seems particularly happy and the squash has some nice large dark green leaves. The basil was not doing well, so I picked up another basil plant from Trader Joe's.

Edible Forest Gardens: Vol 2. Chapter 5 -- Site Preparation

After resuming my reading in Edible Forest Gardens, I picked out some techniques that seem promising for site preparation: 
  • Rock dust
  • Cover Crops
  • Mulch -- 1/2 - 4 inches. Not next to woody trunks. 
  • Torching weeds
  • Infiltration Swales
  • Double Digging
  • Radial Trenching -- sort of like double digging for trees (figure 5.10, p. 361)
  • Mounds -- but need to consider the impact of soil texture transition
I found the last line of the chapter to be telling: 
One thing is true, though. If you skip site preparation, you are likely to regret it for a long time to come.