Winter is anything but sleepy...


Date:03 Jun 2024

About 600 BC the Isrealites were commanded to let the land lie fallow in the seventh year..

Moving to modern day we do crop rotation and cover crops. We also do mono crops, permaculture and a list of other forms of looking or not looking after the land. 

One thing thta I don't normally do is lots of winter crops, so I put the garden beds to sleep, essentially letting them lie fallow for 3 months of the year. This is done with a layer of grass clippings, a layer of compost and then autumn leaves as a mulch.. Last year I did gat a lot of forest pine needles where I could see fungal growth to boost the fungal activity. 

Come winter 2024 I had a major project of adding Olla pots to 12 of my 14 beds. 1 I did as a test bed last year. No normally I am a low till fan, but watching a you tube soil scientist, there is some merit in responable tilling, and it may not be as damaging as we believe, plus, the crops we grow are annuals, which in nature thrive on disturbed loose ground. So with a mixed thoughts of what I am doing is good or bad, knowing that the last bed really benefitted with the better moisture control all the beds were dug up, olla pots played and connected, refilled and the 3 layers added on top.

The results are great, the fungal growth is beter than last year, so no harm there. The earthworms seem happy and certainly not reduced in number, the soil tests are a great guide that not much needed to be done, so a little sulphur in the tomato beds, some gypsum and sheep and chicken pellets were added in small amounts, the clay heavy bed had some sand and a little more gypsum.

Looking at all the earthworm and fungal activity the garden is anything but sleepy. The microbial activity is kind of invisible but I have every confidence  that that is all alive and well. 

Now to sit and plan the spring garden. Almost time to get the peppers started. Spring onions and carrots, corriander, spinach and silverbeat, lettuce. broccoletti pak choi and a few cabbages are growing in the garden and onions are in trays till they are big enough to transplant.

Hope every one is well, warm and enjoying all the winter comfort foods. Good luck with all the planning, seed catalogue browsing and remember we can't all order everything we see😂

Winter is anything but sleepy...