Plans

10 Nov

I planted the peonies a few days back. Peonies come in sections of root with buds, kind of like rhizomes except not. They are supposed to be planted somewhat more elaborately than I did, but half this yard is fourteen inches of fill dirt on top of broken pieces of concrete, and the other half isn’t much better.

I make do with leaf compost and coffee grounds to a great extent. Coffee grounds are about one percent nitrogen, and I mix them with used wash water that doesn’t have stuff like soap with sodium in it, and water the ground with that. 

Also I use biocompatible dish soap from Oasis that has a little nitrogen in it too. And this all does a nice job of feeding green life and increasing soil friability.

That’s all I’m planting for awhile. Next it will be digging for awhile. I want to dig a long narrow bed with a deep narrow trench around it, and stuff all the yard debris in the trench and then refill the dirt, which will leave me some dirt left over for potting soil in February. Also some half-finished compost in the trench, to get it started rotting, with some light winter watering. The soil rarely freezes here.

The actual bed is in relatively decent shape since I’ve been composting on and around it for a number of years, in between and during growing tomatoes and other stuff.  It gets the used potting soil after the frost kills the potted flowers, and sometimes more finished compost.

The trench of debris helps keep soil life fed and helps keep water from exiting the inner bed horizontally, as organic matter makes a better sponge than deserty soil, which acts more like a filter. Also it’s a way to keep your composting subsurface and thusly incorporated into the landscape. This is called Hugenculture. There are many variations on this theme.

I’m not sure what I’m going to plant in the bed because I don’t know when I’ll be done with it. Depends on the ankles and knees.

Spinach, beets, carrots and dill come to mind. I want to plant a lot of dill for the swallowtails. 

Then somewhat later on I have another free spot, but there are daffodils in there somewhere and I want to wait until after they come up, which is sooner than you might think. 

I bought Cherokee Purple and Purple Calabash tomato seeds, so I want to get that going somewhere. These are both terrific heirloom varieties that I’ve had some luck with in the past, in this hot climate. The Purple Calabash is a really old variety and exceptionally hardy. They are both like eating wine.

It would also be nice to find jalapeno seed from real jalapenos instead of these mild jalapenos that seem to have replaced hot ones everywhere, like Capsicum zombies. 

And I need another tree, I have a good spot. Something tough that grows fast.

I live in SE New Mexico at 3300 feet. It’s challenging in some ways, this high southern desert. 

Maybe an oak. A pin oak? Chinkapin? 

It’s nice to have a kind of short list at the moment. A lot of this place just grows itself these days. I like that. It’s kind of the whole point of the endeavor. Stability and life.

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2 Responses to “Plans”

  1. Mary Sunshine 2013/11/11 at 9:42 am #

    Thank you for introducing me to the concept and practice of hugelkultur. What a wonderful thing for wimmin to know.

    Like

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