|The Rosetta Nebula is far more subtle in a telescope,|
but quite beautiful
Like astronomy, gardening makes people more observant about Creation. When I owned a reflector telescope with a 10 inch mirror, the weather affected all viewing efforts. A telescope as tall as a man is best at gathering light. For instance, a 10 inch mirror is three times better than a 6 inch in gathering light, and 10 times better than a 3 inch mirror scope.
Deep sky objects (outside the solar system) are best viewed without a moon. I found the clearest nights were on the days up to and including a full moon, which was also a good night for frost. High pressure zones means good, clear, cold weather. Outdoor football games often focus on the full moon in a cloudless sky.
After a full moon we often had rain. Hence, the old wives' tale - plant after a full moon, so the seeds germinate and take root. Our helper scours the weather reports for the best time to help with the yard. I look over the projections as well. Our last project preceded three days of rain, so the newspapers had plenty of water to hold them down and start the decomposition, with leaves on top to complete the blanket for the winter. Next spring, that area will be filled with bee and butterfly plants.
I also watch what the plants do throughout the year. We have a couple of warm days coming up, but the roses are dormant. The crepe myrtle bush is ready to drop leaves. Even the weeds are retreating and giving up for the winter. That is why careful gardeners do not freak out over annual weeds like the dandelion or crabgrass. The plants have done their best and left their seeds for next year.
|Dandelions are nutritious herbs.|
Dont' believe Scotts Lawn and Garden.
Therein is another key difference. Mulch defeats shallow rooted weeds by monopolizing the nutrients at the top of the soil. Later the same weeds will go steroid as the released nutrients (still there) become available to them. Thus the Jackson Mulch Method--mulch on top of newspapers--will defeat the shallow rooted weeds by denying them sunlight to germinate and grow.
Dandelions get around the Jackson Mulch Method by their production of air-borne seeds. Dandelions came over as herbs, and they are good for the soil and birds, so I do not mind having a few growing in the mulch. Many people eat organic dandelion leaves as salad, because of their high vitamin content.
Creation gardeners wait for spring, for the earliest signs. That is why I planted a number of hardy bulbs - they need the winter to perform their magic before the spring flowers have enough sunlight to bloom. Bulb flowers already exist below the surface. They only need a little warmth to push above the soil. The second part of their cycle is gathering solar energy to feed the bulbs for the next bloom cycle.
A weighty question will be - should we have some tender (spring) bulbs? I can picture one of the exotics, like elephant ears. I know Dutch Gardens will send me a catalog, so I can covet every single one.
We have a nation of city-slickers now. They know little or nothing about gardening, farming, or the infinite complexity of relationships in Creation. Much of the foolishness in our leadership, church and state, comes from this office desk mentality, where common sense is divorced from policy.
Our favorite brown mulches are made from the leaves we save each autumn after they fall. These support fungal dominance unless ground up into very fine pieces (in which case they are open to bacteria, who beat fungi into the material). It is also our experience that leaf mulches grow more fungi (or at least grow fungi faster) than do wood chips.
Jeff; Lowenfels, (2010-09-10). Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 2097-2100). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.