Yesterday me and Mika cleaned out the chicken and goats and collected the straw for the veg patch: we put it with the strawberries. Every years we’ve put grass cuttings or straw, and the stawberries are still doing well. Mika also used our little green house (an old bed structure covered with shower curtains – how’s that for recycling!) and planted some tomato seeds inside. Meanwhile I was clearing another section of my no-dig veg patch to sow fava beans and tomatoes of my own. The spinach, radish and rocket in the first section are doing very well, though I’m still waiting for spring to give a kick-start to the rest. I’ve been planting, more or less, in sections, though I’ve also done some mixing just to see what can grow together. I’ve still got some space to think about. Maybe carrots and courgette?
Looking carefully amongst the straw and grass I’ve found some radish, rocket and spinach growing! I’m curious (and not a little impatient) to see how they develop.
This afternoon I went into the garden and put some ashes down on top of the garlic (ashes are supposed to be good for garlic, but not for other plants, so I’ll see how that does). I also put a line of wheat down, with hops that, in the summer, they’ll form a sort of wall to protect the rest of the plants from the excesses of the heat. I put mulch of top of it to protect it from the birds (mmm, big juicy grain!).
Some news from the veg patch: there are some radish and rocket already growing. I’m still waiting for the lettuce, spinach and garlic to take hold.
For a couple of years me and my girlfriend have been working on a veg patch in the traditional way of digging it up. We haven’t weeded much, just put down mulch when it’s needed, and the weeds we do take we put back on the floor, helping to mulch everything. You can find it described on Biosfera2030 (in Spanish, but you can click on the posts to see our veg patch, “la huerta”, and its products).
This year I read The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka and got inspired to try something: no-till farming. This afternoon I went out with some seeds (spinach and radishes*), threw them out onto grassy-weedy ground, covered them with a bit of straw (for mulch and to protect against birds) and gave them a bit of watering. Without digging the ground up. I’m interesting to see what comes of it.
*I was meant to plant some lettuces seeds too but accidently nicked Mika’s rocket seeds, so I have rocket too.