On Thursday, the clay soil was white from lack of rain, so I watered. On Friday we had at least three inches of rain, plus another three inches on Friday night. More sprinkling followed today and the water was standing in he backyard as the sun was setting.
More rain could come on Tuesday, which is great for roses, mint, berries, Butterfly Bushes, Crepe Myrtle, and Buckwheat.
We may even have enough berries this year to eat. The Triple Crown Blackberries are loaded with flowers, even in the deep shade behind the house.
Tonight I cut roses for the altar. Two Veterans Honor were in full bloom, so I took them to a neighbor.
For the altar I cut Queen Elizabeth roses and Easy Does It. Earlier I was frustrated with the short stems of Easy Does It, because it is a floribunda, more known for color than for long stems. Now the same plants are boasting long-stemmed roses with various degrees of bloom, from opening buds to prune-worthy.
The cover crop is Buckwheat, which I will sow more generously wherever we have mulch. Although Almost Eden told me Buckwheat can suppress weeds, now I understand how to use the plant to attract beneficial insects near the roses while improving the soil and supplanting weeds.
The worst and fastest spreading weed is Bermuda grass, which has the habit of extending itself and planting new plants from tip rooting. Therefore, sun and rain are a bonus for its growth. Now I can see how the shallow roots of Buckwheat simply deny a place for similar plants to grow.
|Buckwheat has many virtues |
and no vices for the Creation gardener.
The divine engineering of soil improvement is beyond comprehension, with so many complications. Here are some notable examples of God's Creation at work in ongoing soil renewal:
- Fungus needs organic carbon for its growth, so the value of leaf and wood mulch is infinite. I carry large pieces of bark and wood chunks fallen from trees, simply because daily supplements add up.
- Every single plant creates a little universe of energy and dependencies: fungus, bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, springtails, sowbugs, pillbugs, centipedes and millipedes, earthworms and moles.
- Insects and spiders join the birds in an everlasting battle of the prey becoming prey, from the dead earthworm dragged away by the ants to the bird consumed by bacteria, mites, and creatures of decomposition.
- Plant roots plunge into the soil and expand their network through fungi, adding carbon to grow the fungus that grows the plants in the soil.
- Plants shed organic matter to feed the soil. Like the earthworm, the slug will shred the plant material, speeding its reduction to basic organic chemicals for the plants. Unlike the earthworm, the slug will merrily chew, disfigure, and destroy the young plants, which only escape by becoming stronger.
- Good soil accumulates more carbon, more organic matter, and supports more roots that improve the soil and feed the vast soil population, from the microbes to the moles.
|The adult Hover Flies need plants like Buckwheat|
in the adult stage to lay eggs around the pests,
where in a role reversal, the eggs have pest insects for breakfast.