Sunday, June 19, 2016

Backyard Project Update - Green Manure/Fertility Crops

Green manure crops growing on the hugelkultur beds with a log-ends 'gardener's path' in between.
These seeds were planted in the beginning of winter. The birds couldn't believe their luck and feasted before they flew south. The heavy rains washed many of the seeds to the bottoms of the mounds.

The green manure plantings are not doing as well on the hugelkultur beds as those in the Rock Garden beds that were planted in the spring. This picture was taken on the 3rd of April.
The spring sun is heating up the rock masses which transfer the heat to the soil supporting an early start for the spring growth.

This was taken on the April 6th.
The green manure plants are thick and starting to flower. It is time to start digging them into the soil.
These raised beds have been filled with young soil that needs building up before perennials are planted. Spreading cover crop seeds is the best way to add fertility, smoother weeds and hold the soil together. Annual ryegrass and vetch add a large amount of biomass in a short time and when turned under add valuable organic material to the soil. Peas and other legumes support soil organisms that can fix nitrogen out of the air and make it available for other plants. The vetch and pea flowers attract beneficial insects needed for pollinating other plants.

This picture was taken on April 12th. The digging in starts.
An apple tree has been planted in Rock Garden Bed #1. It will anchor the guild of plants in this bed. More on that later.

Rock Garden Bed #4. The green manure crop has been turned under. 
I have wanted to see how a straw bale garden grows. Two straw bales are placed next to the wood chip path in this, one of the sunniest Rock Bed gardens.
Things are humming along in the new garden beds.

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