Monday, April 30, 2012

Urban farm challenge April 2012

The Urban farm challenge this month was gardening........ so where to start?
actually one thing I did differently this month was to add a soil amendment. I have noticed that even though my soil looks very rich - full of worms and well draining, I was not getting a high amount of flowers and fruits.  I often add seaweed and fish emulsion, my own compost, comfrey tea and lots of mulch. I believe these are all known as conditioners in that they add a wide variety of different goodness to the soil. I don't know how accurate those little ph meters are, but my soil acidity is just less than 7 which seems perfect.  Still there seemed to be something lacking, and upon lots of research I learned that the sandy soils around this are are often lacking in potassium.  aha! that is what is need for fruiting and flowering.   I am not about to go and have my soil tested, but I figured if that was the only new thing I added, and if I noticed a marked improvement, then maybe my research was right.  Sulphate of potash - you only need a teaspoonful in a couple of gallons for fortnightly foliar feedings, but boy has it made a difference!
Bingo, suddenly I had beans on my winged beans, and the eggplant is bowed down by all the new little eggplants.  Even in the flower department everything seems brighter and more colorful.  I have lots of new seedlings coming up - I plant seeds directly into the garden, and here my little herb spiral is filling in.  As soon as the plants come up I tuck them in with some fluffy sugar cane mulch.  
 I tend to plant just a few  seeds at a time so that I have great diversity and then I continuously sow more seeds  throughout the season.   Just in this small section I have spring onions,  bok choy and amaranth, with cucumber and long beans on the trellis to the left, with lettuce on the other side of the trellis and winged beans climbing up the pigeon pea and pawpaw behind.  This works well in my tiny garden.
I thought just the natural ingredients I was adding would be enough, but clearly they needed something more.  How do you determine what needs to be added to the garden?  Why don't you join the challenge and link up to win some great prizes.  I won some great gardening gloves last month!  Next month will be foraging.... mmm I have never been very good at that.

12 comments:

  1. You obviously made the right choice as everything is looking ultra healthy.
    I am not sure if I asked you this already but do you pull of your Bok Choy leaves as you need them or do you pull out the whole plant, I only have 2 plants and was hoping to get as much out of them as possible...

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    1. Maureen,
      Well, something is going on with my black beans, and my tomatoes are very spindly still.... there always seems to be something. I harvest my bok choy the same as my lettuce - by picking leaves as I need them - the bigger, outside leaves. As they get older I cut the middle growing section off to stop them bolting.

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  2. I agree with Maureen. Your plants are loving whatever you've done. I like potash especially for fruiting crops like tomatoes, peas and beans. I usually add some to the soil before planting but I think I'll try some foliar feeding as well. See if I can get results as good as yours.

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    1. Missy, I saw that you added potash before planting - this is the first year I have added it. I like foliar feeding - it seems to go right to where the plant needs it.

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  3. Fantastic! I think you are very clever. I never would have figured that out. Well done.

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    1. well veggiegobbler, you have your own little fertilizer machines scratching around your garden on their fluffy legs. lucky you!

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  4. Dearest Africanaussie,
    OMG, I found so many technical terms (chemical) necessary for gardening!!! You made me realized that growing eggplants and all is not so much of an easy task, p;) Yes, your picture showed us how well you've done and congratulations for the good results, my friend♡♡♡ Take Care and have a lovely new week.
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Miyako,
      There is always so mcuh more to learn, and so many different names it seems for the same thing.... I am really hoping to be able to harvest lots of veggies this year.

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  5. Lots of great info! Thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. Clint,
      You are welcome, I don't know what I would have done without the wide world of blogging. there is so much good information out there.

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  6. You have such a huge variety of plants in such a small space. I don't know how you manage to keep it all moving along. It's a fantastic garden.

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  7. Glad you was able to figure out what was needed for your soil, without having to spend a lot of money on a soil testing kit. As always your garden looks great.

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