As you know we recently built new vegetable beds and added new topsoil along with compost & mulch. Normally we would work our soil in the fall, but we didn’t have that luxury this time. We were not able to plant everything until after last frost date as well. Our soil needed some nitrogen. Crystal dropped off goat manure to our garden back in January. Giovanni has put it all in the back to compost. Well guess what? All that goat manure is now composted. This past weekend, Carolina, Pasqualina and I added the goat manure to the soil. Here’s a photo of the goat manure and the goat who gave us the “black gold.” Thank you Crystal for not just the goat manure, but also dropping it off at the garden. Next step is to get the back of the shed ready for fall composting of turkey, goat and, and cow manure.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Last year we picked up dozens of burlap bags from Larry’s Beans. We discovered a number of uses for burlap.
- On Service Raleigh 2014 the volunteers cleared the pathways, spread out the burlap bags and then spread out wood chips on top to suppress the weeds.
- We use burlap as mulch. When we harvest an area of the garden, we lay down a piece of burlap to cover the soil until we plant something else. It helps with moisture retention and limits erosion of the soil we’ve worked so hard to build. We all know that soil is the most valuable item in our garden and we should be doing whatever we can to keep it from eroding away.
- Where burlap really shines is for direct seeding in mid-summer. With the heat and lack of rain, burlap is a valuable tool to improve germination rates. “Giovanni” lays a piece of burlap over newly sown seeds making them germinate much faster. Not only does it help keep the area moist by preventing evaporation, it prevents seeds from being washed away when it rains.
- Burlap also came in handy during the Polar Vortex this past winter. The wrapping does not necessarily keep them warmer, it just protects them from the desiccating cold winter wind. Burlap also helps when you don’t know the exact last frost date.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Every inch of the garden is planted with lots of veggies such as tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, all sorts of peppers, turnips, herbs, leeks, lettuce and cucumbers. We added topsoil, city compost and some mulch. The garden looks great, but our veggies are not showing any signs of growth. We did get a lot of rain and it’s been super hot lately. Looks like we need to add some manure to the soil. We can’t use fresh manure, but we can use aged manure like cow, chicken or goat.
Back in January, Crystal a neighbor dropped off some goat manure that we put behind the shed to compost. It should be ready to be used now. This weekend we plan to spread that out in the beds and dilute some of it to water the veggies. If you want to help, drop us an email. If you have manure, drop it off in the back on the right side of the compost bin.
The photo on the left is what our plants look like right now :( We need manure to make them look healthy like the photo on the right.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Salvatore planted potatoes about 4 weeks ago. They are showing face and looking good. However, we did notice a big hole in the potato pen this weekend. We’re afraid something is getting to them.