Monday, August 22, 2016

Backyard Project: Soil Building Continues

These are a few of my favourite tools that I haul around to work on building up soil in different beds. Not shown are my trusty wheelbarrow - a birthday gift from Ron, and my pruning shears that I always wear on my hip when gardening.

I have planted 4 different types of potatoes to add biomass to the soil. Any potatoes we harvest will be a bonus. 
A deep layer of straw covers the soil. Drip irrigation hoses have been laid around the beds to help with the watering until the irrigation contractor can come and install an irrigation system.

This fooled me. At first, I thought it was a drip hose out of place. Then it moved.

Once I realised what it was I was pleased to see her. She and her snakelets were residents before the backyard project began and I was concerned the recent rock bed construction had chased her away.
We are getting used to each other. She doesn't slither away as quickly anymore and will often just stay put and smell me with her flickering tongue while I work. She appears to have made a new home deep down between the new rocks.
Snakes are a sign of a healthy garden. They eat slugs, frogs, and insects and leave the plants alone. 

I am experimenting with mounding up different materials around the potato stems. When the light is blocked out new potatoes are encouraged to grow out of the stem. Soil is usually mounded up but there is not much extra so I am trying to find other materials on hand that will do the trick.
I am beginning to understand that gardening success is a combination of active observation and experimentation.

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