'Tis been a Summer on the dry side. Despite the humidity the rains not cometh that often and the garden has suffered in the heat.
Finally I'm getting a bit of height from my shade plantings -- Pigeon Pea and Frangipani-- but I could have done with that elevation earlier in the season.
Keeping up the water has been a hard task. Although my terracotta pot system keep plants alive, they don't irrigate to a volume that promotes keen growth in sand, and supplementary hand watering cannot match a succession of downpours.
So I lost some plants. The vulnerable seedling types.
Around the corner, at the school garden we had to abandon most of the planting out program because we -- the children+ -- could not keep the seedlings alive.
And just when you think there's a problem in the making (what with the heat and all), the gods have dumped a big load of grass clippings on my nature strip so I'm now mulched up to Pussy's Bow.
Now that's a rare occurrence.
So with the mulch a'mulching and the fact that this Summer I've planted out the whole patch --with plants --I have a grand estate.
And creeping over the aerials , various cucurbits (Tombochino, Cucuzza squash, Snake Gourd, and iffy choko vines.) beans, yams and passionfruit.
My hope was to have little shaded spots among the veg patch I could retire to read and ponder existence, but such options aren't mature enough yet. Maybe I could look to dying like Marlon Brando's Don in The Godfather:Vito Corleone Dies the Perfect Death. As it is no one can find me out back so maybe even not demising there (or anywhere) is a good idea.
I was late with corn planting, but the stalks are away...and the spuds I chitted are coming on. I planted them in part shade.
Into the soil this last week: Madagascar Beans, Black Beans, Buckwheat, more Sunflowers, Tommy Toes, a large number of Piper lolot/Pepper Leaf divisions and a sprinkling of Huauzontle. I'm only guessing seasons with most of these.
And I planted out my first wee seedlings of Trigridia in the hope I can sponsor a few bulbs.That I got the seeds to take is only part of the journey.
This is what I seek: the bulbs (pictured right).
So rain: come on down!
In all that my best performers are the squashes: Serpent Gourd and Tombochino...and the passionfruit just keeps on coming.
ON MATTERS FERMENT
I started cooking up some microbial juice...Wash waters + whey (from yogurt making)+ raw sugar+ a dash of milk +Gogo juice... in my big green drum with some more water added.I want to top the fluid up primarily with kitchen wash waters ( rice rinses, water from boiling veg, drained whatever...) so that I generate a harvestable volume.
I'll ferment it for a week then start draining and using.
So far so good. I have a sweet smelling mix that's beginning to bubble.I based my concoction on this ferment mix from Nicaragua. (see discussion HERE: Aloe Vera fertiliser.) but i'm relying on whatever knowledge I picked up making beer and sour dough bread.
While i'm keen to add more stuff i don't want a mash as i want to decant this mix directly into watering cans through the tap at the bottom and have enough fluid to coat the whole garden from each batch. But i will add pulped aloe vera once the ferment takes off. The process is aerobic.
One little trick I learnt is that i drain my kitchen of its veg/grain wash water and rinses by emptying the fluids in a galvanized watering can placed atop my hot water system near the back door. So it is warmed while it waits to be decanted, festering a medium that is attractive to wafting bacilli.
Compared to brewing up weed or manure teas I'm liking this concoction.I may later experiment with manure tea bags ( a little jiggling) but for now I'm hoping the GoGoJuice and whey lactobacillus will act as inoculant that will aggressively multiply.
And when you make yogurt, for instance, a little dab of inoculant from an old batch will do you. Success is all about conducive medium and temperature envelope
The primary advantage with manures --aside from their N:P:K --is that they a microbiome.
For now I may be winging it but I will do more homework...
My thinking is that i may have the nutrient needs -- the N:P:K plus rest -- of my garden covered but my soil micro biology may need a helping hand.
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