I have a nagging feeling that writing a garden blog lessens the amount of time I spend obsessing about my garden. Weird, eh?
There’s simply less time and desire to piddle away in my usual easily-distracted way…look, a squirrel!..surfing Internet waves of information and getting sidetracked by other waves.
No matter. I learn from you and I enjoy writing.
I just need a little more discipline. I’ve strayed some from last year’s goal of learning as much as I possibly can about vegetable gardening and the soil that supports it. Thankfully, a lot of that learning stems from doing rather than reading. And Doing-Time is approaching.
So I’ll sort of do something. Make a list.
One of my favorite ways to learn is experimenting. I’m lousy at it. But every once in a while I do it right and learn something.
I’m starting a list of experiments for the coming year’s garden.
Tomato fertilizer. Last year I went a little nuts with this one and learned very little. I tried whole fish, coffee grounds, pet fur, aspirin, eggshells, banana peels…yes and more.
Too many variables with no comparison plants. The encouraging thing was that they all did well. The discouraging thing was that I wasn’t sure why. It could have been a fluke; nice weather, for all I know, or the worm tea that was sprayed on every plant. This year I’m scaling back; one little experimental homemade fertilizer on one or two plants.
Worm tea. As much as it pains me, I want to confirm what I saw last year using aerated vermicompost tea…that it’s amazing. So I’ll restrain my sprayer hand and leave some control plants to fend for themselves.
Coffee grounds. Broken record, eh? Yeah, I love coffee grounds for the compost pile. But I don’t have a real handle on whether it’s equally effective to turn them directly into the soil a couple of months before planting. I might section off part of the corn crop and see if it does better than its neighbors with an early shot of Java.
Chicken manure. It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve had access to to hot poop, and I wasn’t composting then. With any luck, I’ll have some fun figuring out how it reacts in the compost pile, what proportions to use, how fast things heat up. I have a bad feeling that even with all the fall leaves I collected, I’ll still be running short of brown material for the compost pile.
Seeds. Maybe this doesn’t qualify as an experiment. Oh well. Extra credit essay then. I’ve saved a few seeds in the past, but this year will be a little more concerted effort; tomatoes, peppers, beans, cukes, sunflowers, maybe onions.
There. I did something. Now I just have to remember where I put my list.