|Norma Boeckler - Nature.|
I rushed to plant the last bare root roses, so the hole were not finished the way I wished. Sassy and I bought six bags of mushroom compost, easy to carry, to move, and to pour on plants. I put a pyramid of soil on each new one and will add the same to earlier roses. They have to match, you know.
The rototiller generation, by reading their manuals instead of studying Creation, think soil is like a cake mix. Put the ingredients in and beat it to a froth. Instead, soil is an ocean of life fashioned in the beginning by the Creating Word - to feed other plants, animals, and us.
Cakes are delicious but their ingredients are no longer alive. Soil is alive with billions of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, grubs, springtails, slugs, sowbugs, pillbugs, nematodes, and larger creatures like earthworms and moles. There is no reason to osterize the soil with a rototiller when the creatures will pull organic matter down and transfer nutrition to the roots via fungi tubes. In fact, mixing destroys all those delicate connections, which must be rebuilt.
That is why the running joke about organic vegetables is - they are 90% smaller. Sure, put a ton of manure on top of the garden area, destroy the soil structure with a tiller, and plant. That will do it. In the fall, rake all the leaves over the garden - in the spring, rototill them into the soil. Make sure Briggs and Stratton engines run the Creation and obvious results will follow.
The best way to soften and fertilize the soil below is to provide a layer of organic matter--mushroom compost, manure, newspapers, wood or grass mulch--above. The newspaper layer will stop most weeds and yet will not block the normal passage of air and rain. Newspapers are complex foods for the soil creatures, and they love reducing them slowly. They also like the dampness and dark created by the newsprint.
I also splashed each rose today. I sprayed water on the canes and put a stream of water at the base of each plant. Rose canes do not look dry until they are splashed. Then - "I bet they liked that a lot." Jerry Baker (Plants Are Like People) suggests splashing plants frequently, because they like morning showers as much as we do.
Splashing each one gave me a chance to check for canes that need pruning. I found about six, but I will wait until they are dry. Wet pruning is not a good idea and should be avoided, but I do it when I need roses on a dewy morning.
I am also using rain water and aged city water for new plants - where I can. As my landscaper neighbor said, "If you want your flowers to do well, use as much stored rainwater as possible. If you are out of rainwater, set out water for 24 hours or so, to get the chlorine out."
I told him, "My mother did that and had the best flowers in the school. Everyone wondered how she did that. She smiled and told them she grew up on a farm."
Creating More Wild Strawberries
I am happy with how easy wild strawberries are to transplant from Jackson Mulch to Jackson Mulch. I am going to plant them around trees and put them in areas where they can establish themselves and fruit.
I can dig a clump of them, set them down in a patch of Jackson Mulch (pulled aside), and water them. Wild strawberries are perennials and loved by birds.
Weeds Are Bee Plants, Stop Hating on Them
The first thing to appear in spring are the early weeds. Dandelions are all over the lawns here, but they were preceded by speedwell and many other small weeds. They are early food for the bees, before our gardens are producing pollen for them
|Speedwell, or Veronica, which you can easily kill|
with broad leaf weed killer.
Look at this picture before spraying.