What better way to get the garden in order than to re-establish beds and get them planted out. On occasion I have found that I have been weeding and mulching beds and not getting to plant them only to have to come back and re-prepare to plant. So we are focusing on just get them ready and plant immediately. Today’s focus was on two narrow beds that had a lot of edge which is great for small greens, however as we have way too much garden for only four of us we are moving the greens all into one main area at the top of the garden nearer to the kitchen. This will make it more efficient for harvesting and then this area that is a bit further away we are planting out to vegetables that will be harvested all at once when mature. For example the garlic and now potatoes. So I reshaped the two narrow beds into one double reach bed and loosened the soil with the garden fork. We still have rather heavy soils even though they are getting darker with humus and organic matter. Then added six big wheelbarrow loads of our wonderful Bio-Digester Chicken Compost (BDCC) (See previous posts) and set out the potatoes for planting.
I buried them in deep and then added a nice medium layer of mulch. We will need to add more mulch later so that the potatoes stay nicely covered.
Another area that I have been addressing on a regular basis is to keep on top of the woody weeds that wish to take over the pastures that the cows are grazing. Mainly lantana and tobacco bush and a few other species. The pastures up the back which are closer to the forest are being re-established and so are a bit sparse in grasses and then nature moves in plants of its own. I am doing a style of Holistic Management/cell grazing to build the pastures, which I must say is working well with a bigger percentage of grasses showing. So to help this along when I go up to bring the cows in each evening I go a bit earlier with a machete and mattock and systematically remove the unwanted plants.
We had volunteers and students managing the cows for a few years and so the “weeds” have taken hold but now that we are doing the animal systems I am applying myself to get back on top of things. I find that I actually enjoy to engage in this process and always feel a fulfilling sense of achievement each time after each stage is addressed.
©2016 Tom Kendall; diyfoodandhealth.com, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, simplicity, permaculture, self reliance and homesteading, potato planting and pasture managemant