4 everything there is a season:
is a good time: to have your soil evaluated; to prune roses, shrubs and bushes; to apply compost and put mulch or chips on areas of the yard that need nutrient; to remove plants and trees that are dead or not growing well ; to have / use biodynamic organic sprays for leaves to help fruit to mature; to cover sensitive plants for winter; to deal with erosion areas; to glean remaining produce; to collect and dry seeds; to build a winter cold frame; to replace organic material in your cold frame; to plant in your cold frame; to plant winter crops as seedlings.
is a good time: to prune trees and cut back last year’s growth; to create an effective food storage operation so that your fall and winter produce will last as long as you need it to; in late winter, to start sprouting seeds to plant as seedlings in spring gardens; to create a culinary herb window garden; to plan your summer garden; to build containers to harvest water.
is a good time: to have soil evaluated; to plant new trees and plants; to build raised beds; to put in a new garden area; to have / use biodynamic organic sprays for soil fertility and root growth; to dig up rocky, sandy and clay areas and bring in new soil; to plant deep- rooting plants for erosion areas; to harvest rain / snow water; to direct seed in cold frames to grow into seedlings for summer gardens.
is a good time: to have soil evaluated; to have biodynamic organic sprays applied for soil fertility and root growth; to have / use biodynamic organic sprays for increased growth and fruit; to deal with molds and pests; to harvest produce; to collect and dry seeds; to build a cold frame for winter crops; to collect your seeds for a winter garden; transplant spring seedlings; to start winter seedlings by direct seeding; to remove the used organic materials from cold frame and put it on an area of your yard that needs compost.
I was creating a flyer for the Urban Farm Project here in Reno I had the idea of putting on it the farming, gardening activities of every season in an attempt to get people 1) more motivated about their urban domains of food production and 2) to place the flyer on their refridgerator as a reference on what they can do every season or perhaps hiring COE to help them!
Feel free to print a copy off this blog. Put it somewhere to remind you of where to focus your attention each season. It is not a completed list. If I have missed something feel free to let me know what it was and I will add it to the season that it belongs.
The second section includes my urban garden bed preparation for winter.
1) Built a block boarder to hold in soil that was eroding all over the sidewalks and out into the city drain. I used a run of the mill block that you see everywhere. Since I already had them, I used them. You can harvest bricks, pavers and an assortment of boarder creating items from houses being remodeled and habitat for humanity in your area usually has recycled building materials.
A few months ago the house across the street from where COE and I have been renovating began to be remodeled. I approached the new owner about the piles of bricks and pavers being thrown off the house and around the property. Since he was not interested in them, he wanted a modern look he was more than happy to let me have as many as I wanted. For me it is very important to be sustainable and thrifty. For the new owner he saved himself quit a bit of labor as well as dumping costs by me taking the materials off his hands. Whether you need the items or not at the time you come across them should not be an issue. You can store them, share them with others and if you are going to create and urban farm you will find so many uses for these used materials.
2) The bricks created a raised bed and since there was not enough soil in the garden bed. I had to bring in soil from other areas of the yard where too much soil was an issue. I added several wheel barrows of depleted soil. I will be building many different types of layers on top of the soil to fortify it. It is not necessary to have good soil, nature and I can make it good soil by spring.
I left about 4 inches of room from the top of the bricks to the soil and will be filled in with soil makings.
3) I was lucky to have piles of horse poopy here in the property that was delievered here a few months ago. I spread a medium layer of horse dropings over the soil. There was a bail of straw that was left from last fall which was rotting slowly. Rottening is perfect to rebuild new soil. I spread out all the straw on top of the soil and horse poopy. I was able to use the straw. Otherwise I might have had to move it, take it to the dump more than likely. Again sustainabilty, using what you have, using what you can find close, using what someone else might have, saving money, saving labor, saving time and most of all saving out planet. The less we consume the less is manufactured and the less that ends up as waste in a land fill some where.
4) I had some old stumps and limbs, old dead wood laying around. Instead of tossing the old wood into the old garbage can I placed big chunks all over the garden bed. The old wood will break down slower giving the bed long term fuel, food to break down and turn into soil over time. Remember not to add materials that have toxic chemicals, those items should be removed from your yard properly, discarded properly of.
5) I watered the garden bed area to keep the material from blowing away and to assist with the breaking down. While I watered I thought good thoughts to the water coming out of the hose onto the garden bed. I thought good thoughts to the soil, the insects, the materials and to the forces of nature that will be working to break it all down and turning it into the best garden soil. This will support every need of the plants and provide very nutrient rich food for the bodies of the people eating it and in some cases animals as well.
6) There is a load of rich compost coming in a few days to place on top of what is there so far. It will get about a 3 inch cover of compost over the top. If you have a place in which you can create your own compost piles, go for it. The more your hand and heart are involved with what grows. Creating whats needed on your own land makes better medicine for the earth and will provide you with medicine as food back to you. More water. More good thoughts.
7) Lastly another layer of chips, wood chipswill come and be added to the top. Water and good thoughts.
In Nevada it can be extremely dry even in winter, check your garden bed weekly to make sure there is enough moisture to create the break down of the materials. Winterizing your garden bed for spring should be an annual activity.
Grow Food, Be free & Live for a Living!