Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I've been up to lately!

Yes, I've been gardening :-)

I can tell you one thing for certain, my hands aren't going to look like a fairy princes's on our wedding

Today I worked on planting the tomatoes.  I put in some chicken manure for the nitrogen content and eggshells for calcium.  I am figuring the plants may need extra nitrogen because the wood chips that I am putting over the surface of the soil take nitrogen out of it. 
I also sprayed them with a secret (shhhh!) mixture to try and prevent the early blight that Washington tomatoes tend to suffer. 

Here it is:
1 TB Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp dish soap (as mild as you can get, ours is "environmentally friendly"...which is also the cheapest brand at Costco:)
1TB Baking Soda
1 Aspirin Tablet
1 Gal of water

The aspirin tablet actually isn't specifically for blight like the baking soda is.  Tomato plants naturally make salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, to trigger natural defences against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Thus, Aspirin is an activator of "systemic acquired resistance" (SAR)  A lot of times, plants don't produce salicylic acid quickly enough when attacked by a microbe to prevent injury. Especially if they're going though the shock of being transplanted.  Spraying aspirin on plants speeds up the SAR response.

"Why are you using wood chips?" you ask.  Well, we're trying out a method we learned about recently called "Back to Eden" gardening.  I would encourage anyone who has a garden or who is interested in having one, to visit the guy's website and watch his full-length film.  Many have grown very successful gardens this way.  Basically, the chips keep the weeds from growing, protect the soil from erosion, retain moisture (so you never have to water!) and over time add organic matter as they decompose. 
Sounds too good to be true, huh? 


The peas are looking good!

This was yesterday's project.  The green beans (Blue Lake Pole I think) are planted along the fences, and there are some Scarlet Runner beans and Louisiana Purple Pod beans on the arch ;-)
The poor little onions are starting to look a little better.

Meanwhile, the busy bees have been doing their job...very well.  The orchard has quite a bit of fruit!

Back at the Bowes house, Valerie and Mommy have been hard at work in the garden too!  Valerie is very excited about learning to garden this year.  I'm so glad she wanted to take it up!!

She's been pulling weeds all day!

I have another exciting post to put up soon, until then, I leave you all in miserable suspence. ;)

1 comment :

  1. Oh, Lydia! THANK YOU for posting all the wonderful photos and valuable information. I am eager to watch the film. I'm like your sister, a 'newbie' in the gardening dept. I can use all the help I can get! Love to you and Richie!