Posts Tagged ‘Permaculture’

Hi everyone, It’s been ages since I have posted anything, as you may be guessing, it’s because of the growing season! Being the owner of two gardens (one is an allotment) you can mostly understand that I have my hands full!

In the meantime, other than the news that things might go quite well for me this year on the allotment side, I have gotten hold of a nice handy little A4 companion planting guide which can be printed out and stuck at the back of a shed door, inside a greenhouse or in a gardening notebook.

Companion-Planting_afristar

Unfortunately when printed out (at least with my printer), the black text seems to be a little faded.

I hope this helps you out with your planting in the meantime whilst I spend time away from the interweb, many updates are in the pipeline, but for now …

I just came across this interview on Alchemy Radio (An online alternative podcast / show) a couple of days ago, Dr. Wayne has good plans and future transition options for a better future for worldwide society.

alchemy

Dr. Wayne speacks about various subjects such as water retention / sustainable regeneration, aquaponics, land regeneration, Permaculture, Free courses online etc.

Find the interview Here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/alchemyradio/episodes/2017-04-27T10_54_41-07_00

 

 

Some of you may have heard a few people making the statement: ”I am a no dig / no till gardener” what they meant about that is that they do not follow the standard of turning or rotavating their soil every year especially in the Winter.

serveimage

Woodchip Soil Amending – year 1 and 2 onwards

No Dig gardeners do a little bit of digging, but only what is necessary such as digging a hole to place a plant in it’s final outdoor location. They Do Not however, systematically dig / till the soil every year.
One of the arguments used to justify this ficticious practice is that they are bringing up nutrients which are / have leeched deep down.
Gardeners the country over, including very experienced people on Allotments have no actual clue about the sub surface bacteria and how they are exposing these beneficial organisms to the elements and also burying them too deep which kills them off!
In permaculture we call it the Soil Food Web and it comprises the entire system from soil microbes, to fungi mycelium, the plants, moisture, decomposing matter etc…

Nature does the work for us, we just need to learn to observe and only intervene by taking advantage of the observed clues, one good example is with the Austrian Farmer Sepp Holzer, he noticed as a boy that Strawberries grow much better and produce larger / jucier fruit when stones were placed beside the plants, he also noticed how White Clover also helped (Nitrogen Fixer).

The below image describes a better understanding of exactly how the different organisms in the ‘Soil Food Web’ play their roles which interact with other organisms in the system:

soil food web

If for example, you buy a house or start a garden somewhere and you find that the soil is heavy clay, you will of course need to dig and place soil amendments (preferrably natural) in the first year on a once off occasion, thereafter only an annual surface layer of mulch is needed to feed the system with fresh compostable material, nature literlaly does the rest and after a longer period of time you will have a very healthy soil system on that particular patch of land.

So, a few bags of clean sharp sand to help break up the clay, perhaps a few bags of compost and I would say as much woodchip as can be obtained, these materials should be worked into the soil up to the depth of perhaps of one spade blade. If your woodchip is fresh, you should not grow anything in this soil for at least a year, so this year you could at least use the space to host a row of pots which will hold plants for this one season, next year you will grow directly in the ground.

Rotovating or working the soil every year destroys the food web and basically resets it everytime, in the case of using a rotovator on heavy clay, the blades actually compact the ground under the bed being prepared and pretty much can cause this layer to become a water barrier, this I have seen first hand and the plot in question was always flooded at certain times of the year … In my whole opinion, using a rotovator is only necessary in the first year of soil amandment.

If you have a perennial weed problem (weeds which die down in winter and re-sprout from sub surface root networks in spring) you can use sheet mulch (aka lasagna mulch) after your soil amendment is added and then your final layer of the woodchip or mulch layer of your choice.

I challenge any skeptics to do a control experiment where they dedicate half of their beds to a no dig with mulch method and see the difference year after year …

Woodchip is a great soil amendment and adds nutrients into the soil slowly, I have observably proven this to myself last year on my Allotment where I stashed a few wheelbarrows of woodchip on a section of my plot because otherwise the communal woodchip would likely have been finished by the time I needed some.
Once I dug my pond out, I covered the mound of woodchip with the soil from within the pond, about 6 months later I finally started a new project in the place of the mound of soil where I discovered the very well composted woodchip and noticed when digging that the topsoil layer was darker within a few inches under the topsoil line, when I compared this to a section just a meter away, the soil was lightly coloured and only darker very close to the surface line…

Below is a great video proving and showing from day one to 8 years on, the soil is even dug down seriously deep to prove how far the amendment reached until the soil quality becomes poor again.

 

Important Note: If you obtain free woodchip from your local Tree Surgeons, always ask what tree/s were chipped! Basically, Broad Leaf are usually Alkaline or Neutral PH (Oak is Acidic though) and Coniferous are Acidic PH, So use Conifer Woodchip for pathways as less weeds will germinate amongst the mature rotting chips as well as a mulch for Acid loving plants like strawberries and Blueberries. Use the Broad Leaf for your beds and as a soil amender!

Video courtesy of youtube channel OneYardRevolution

I have been meaning to do this for ages and here it finally is, I have a dedicated page with a calendar for seed sowing and planting.
Click Here to jump straight to it, but keep in mind it is a page tab at the top of the screen near the ”About Growingarden” tab.

seasonal

Soon I will update the other months such as March onwards so you can order your seeds in advance and also prepare / think how you would like to arrange your garden design this year.
Keep in mind, newer concepts like Companion Planting, Planting for wildlife especially Pollinators etc. Some herbs are pungeant, they release off strong odours which repel and confuse pests.

Remember, to keep things interesting, think what did not work so well last year and apply one of the Permaculture Principles ”The Problem is the Solution”- in other words you can fix a problem by turning it into a solution and working with it instead of against.
For an off -the-head example: If you have had problems with slugs and no matter what you do, their numbers never drop and the population keeps staying high, get a duck or two! Ducks love them and you will be introducing a pest controller into your system which will produce eggs and even meat if you wish, lets not forget they also have a built in rear compost spreader as well! 😉

This Seasonal Growing Calendar is only valid for Cold Weather  / Temperate Climates such as in the Northern Hemisphere / Europe/UK where frosts are expected during winter.

There a are a number of plants due for sowing in February, as well as some which show up in the Janurary list, these too can still be sown now …

baby-carrots

Young Carrots Growing In A Container

Indoors:

  • Round Seeded Peas (See explanation / description in January Sowing Calendar – Click Here),
  • Aubergines, Tomatoes and Peppers (Especially Aubergines, these plants really do need a good early start in order to have a chance of baring fruit in our climate), Peppers take long to germinate (Sometimes almost a month so going by what a general seed pack says will almost always spell disater) and Tomatoes can always do with an earlier start – just be sure to have a nice indoor spot for them to grow on in whilst waiting for the last frost date,

Outside (Polytunnel or Green house):

  • Oriental Greens and Winter Lettuce Varieties again for planting in March, (See varieties list in the January Sowing Calendar),
  • If you are in a warmer part of the country, Carrots can be sown inside Greenhouses and Polytunnels to produce an earleir Crop – you can consider these ‘Early First Earlies!’
    NOTE: I would still reccommend experimenting though, I have some carrots which were sown late outdoors with no cover at all and I am in what is considered a ”warmer part of the ountry” these Carrots have survived well on a windy site without top cover, albeit looking worse for wear, they are alive and will definitely improve when the weather gets better

In the Metro London newspaper today I read an article which is basically reporting on a possible push for the all out ban on Diesel engined vehicles starting in London to help the countries ”commitment” in reducing emissions.

I am not a fan of mainstream media at all and this is why! (They either don’t know themselves [yet can still call themselves ”Investigative Journalists!”], or they are perhaps deliberately keeping quiet on the subject below?)
Most people do not know that the Diesel Engine was actually designed with Bio Fuels in mind! The inventor himself spoke of this in the days of his creation, In fact, there are companies out there that not only produce kits which you can install in your Diesel engined vehicle, they even offer a full installation as well.
These kits are filtration systems which enable you to run your vehicle on Frying Oils which you can obtain for Free from restaurants and Take Away shops such as fish and chip shops etc!
It doesn’t mean that you have to choose between Diesel or Bio-Fuels only, you can run your vehicle on both albeit not at the same time so, Diesel can be the back up once your supply of Free Vegetable Oil runs dry for a period of time!

Don’t like the idea of installing a filtration kit? No problem, there are people who pre-filter and refine these oils for you and you pay them per liter! I have heard that there is one operating in the Elephant and Castle area of South London and I think they are based at a Farmers Market. The pre-filtered / refined Bio Fuel can be used directly in the Engine itself without any modifications being done!

heathrow

Stop Heathrow Expansion! Clean Air Is More Important Than A Stronger Economy For The Rich …

Another article I read today in another newspaper on my commute home, states that ”staff at Heathrow Airport” are to be given a £2000 incentive per vehicle, if they switch from diesel Engined vehicles to Petrol ones, they claimed in the article that staff drive 27,000 Diesel Vehicles into Heathrow, reading on, it became clear that these are not personal vehicles but all the combined vehicles from contractors and essential equipment at the airport!
So the agenda is clear, with the push for a Third Runway at the busiest airport in the World, which is in the city that has been rated as having the worst air quality in the whole of Europe… it’s obvious that there is some kind of underhand corruption going on. I don’t know about you, but honestly, I couldn’t give a Cr*p about what some business think tank says about our economy if ”we don’t listen  and not build a third runway” .. I really couldn’t care, isn’t it obvious /common sensical that we would rather have clean air and healthy bodies than a predicted better economy?
What good is having a secured low waged job at Heathrow only to be diagnosed with Cancer well before you get to retire?!?

People Need To Start Thinking For Themselves And Not What Their Newspaper Tells Them!

The Conspiracy Starts Here:

diesel-engine-conspiracy-biofuels

Rudolf Diesel: Intended The Diesel Engine To Be Run On Bio Fuels

1: The Government does not give companies with Diesel vehicle fleets any tax breaks if they use Bio Fuels in their vehicles,
2: With the above in mind, then do they really want to meet or exceed their targets for low emissions? Why can I get a tax break if I fill up with Diesel but not when I fill up with Bio-Fuels despite receiving a Receipt from the Fuel Supplier?
3: Currently, the Diesel engine is an already existing design which works with Bio-Fuels without much needed modifications (If any at all), So Why Ban Them ?!?! They are basically Getting Rid Of The Solution!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Please do make use of the comment’s section, anyone can comment even without logging into a WordPress account or Discus, just select the guest option …

Article ”Ford and Diesel Never Intended Cars To Use Gasoline”


References to Mainstream Media Articles on the subject:

The Standard (Article from 2016)

The Telegraph (Article from January 2017)

Image obtained from theFREETHOUGHTPROJECT.com