Moving Things Around

14 Aug

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I was writing to people today about gardening, about experimenting with different soil mixtures, with plant placement. About paying attention to where the light is and where it will be soon, about rain and what she will do if you put a plant here, as opposed to there, when she comes, if she comes.

I was planting tomatoes today. It’s an odd time to plant frost-sensitive plants, but tomatoes have issues with setting fruit when it’s much above 90°F. I got tired of watering tomato plants for months with no fruit, and then losing a fine crop of ripening green fruit to the first frost.

So I am thinking about these things, again, as I have so many times over the decades. Where is the light going? What will shade, what will provide heat? What may provide support for vines? How can I make a bigger window?

And, as always, where will rain be?

I remembered about Hugelkultur, which is like growing plants on top of a mulch pile, only more complicated. The organic matter is buried, it retains moisture and blocks water loss, it decays and feeds the life in the soil, who in turn feed the plants. It should even generate heat. So I want to play around with that.

Every time I get inspired to a new round of change in this garden here, I go around and find stuff I’ve used before. Soil of different mixes, bark, rocks, trowels and my shovel. Pots, buckets and trays, wherever I last thought to leave them. Piles of branches. That old jug of fish emulsion, the leftover coir.

And I start in, yet again, moving things around. That’s what a good gardener does, she pays attention and she moves things around. She doesn’t kill anyone just for being strange, and she certainly doesn’t poison anybody.

She learns how everybody rolls, and she makes adjustments. Like a horticultural chiropractor. She knows her role in her world, and how to use her skills to play it.

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