Summer is officially over, and so I spent part of the last two weekends tearing out spent plants, and preparing my vegetable garden for autumn.
I keep reminding myself how horrible the back garden looked when we moved in last year. Even though things are still a huge mess, the current disarray is a vast improvement on where we started.
Eventually, I'm going to re-work my garden paths, but for now, I'm using redwood planks as modular paths.
My soil is incredibly dense, so I've been adding compost, sawdust and coconut fibers to loosen things up, and to add nutrients to the soil. Coconut fiber, otherwise known as "coir," is a great alternative to peat. It's an agricultural by-product. (Too bad it's shipped from so far away.) I got this block of coir from craigslist. The woman who originally bought it had big plans for indoor worm-composting that never got off the ground.
Coir comes in a crazily dense block, which needs to be broken apart, and soaked in water. It expands in size as soon as it gets wet.
I think our earthworms appreciate the work I'm doing. Loosening our rock-like soil must improve the worms' ability to move through the dirt.
I dug the dampened coconut fibers into my garden soil, making an effort to mix things quite well.
Yesterday, I was planting shallots and garlic. The directions on the shallots told me not to break up the bulbs. I'll admit that I found this weird. But what do I know? I guess they grow like lilies, which are in the same family.
After I placed the bulbs, I sprinkled more coir on top, and then replaced the garden soil. We should be enjoying garlic and shallots next summer.
Do any local readers want to stop by our place and get some garlic to plant? The minimum order was more than I can handle, and I'd love to share. We've got (organic) California Early White garlic, which is a soft-necked variety, and described as easy to grow and good for beginners.
One Year Ago
How to handle injured waterfowl during their rehab (very carefully).
Two Years Ago
I go to France, to see my dad who is very ill.
Three Years Ago
A huge oil spill in the San Francisco Bay.
Four Years Ago
Discussing the sensation in Robb's feet.