|Gardening Tips (May 2002 Newsletter)|
This is the time of the year to be thinking about, or getting ready for winter vegetables.
If you have some ground already dug up, now would be a good time to spread some rock dust (as I mentioned last issue). It has 60 different minerals and the major ones (calcium, magnesium and potassium) are in small amounts.
This is a more balanced way of putting on minerals than say dolomite or lime because dolomite is high in calcium and magnesium. You might already have enough magnesium in the soil, so by adding dolomite you can end up with a toxicity of magnesium - this is as bad as a deficiency. Rock dust is the best way to go if you are unsure of what is in your soil.
I also recommend cow manure to be by far the best animal manure to use. The cow is the only animal having four stomaches. They use bacteria in the gut to break down grass. This is a similar way in which the soil breaks down organic matter into humus. Like all manures though, it is always best if it is composted first before using. If you can't or don't want to make compost, the following method may be helpful if you have the time.
We would also like to share with you some of the special things we do to grow fruit and vegetables.
One of the first things is to start preparing the soil as soon as the previous crop is finished. The remains are dug back into the soil and a legume crop is planted. This is a big-leafed bean which covers and protects the soil over summer and allows the soil microbes, worms and biodynamic preparations to work, improving the soil so it can grow for you highly nutritious vegetables, full of taste, minerals and vitality.
Before each growing season, the legume is incorporated into the soil and finely crushed rock dust is added. This is full of minerals (approx 60) so you are getting most of the minerals you need in our fruit and vegetables. Any fertilizers if needed are certified composed animal manures.
Where possible we keep seeds from our own plants and use open pollinated types rather than hybrid. Our potting mix is made from certified materials wherever possible.
Finally, the organic and biodynamic certifying bodies audit each producer annually to ensure our compliance with their standards set so you, the consumer, can be assured to get the best product possible.
Till next time, Happy gardening.