Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 11 - The Soil

We feel very fortunate that the soil in our neighborhood is deep and rich. Although there have been many people living in our property over the years, the story about the old Italian lady that grew HUGE onions sticks in my mind...that coming from my "Old Italian Guy" who lives directly behind me and grows an Italian garden each year.

Soils will deplete over time and I have tried to do some things to reverse that. I believe that the soil here in my garden plots have actually gotten better over the years. I do the following:

1) The first thing I did was a double dig from the John Jeavons book, "How to Grow More Vegetables: Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine". He is a Northern Californian and has a website.

2) I plant a cover crop in the winter. I have been using this Soil Builder Mix and have found to have improved the next years crops.

3) I have two worm bins that I started with the help of Rick of The Compost Club. I add compost from these into my garden on a regular basis as the bins fill up.

4) I do a little spot fertilizing with an organic mix that I buy at a local nursery.

This is what I do with my veggie boxes. I will discuss the fruit trees in a future post.

Harvested today:
1) Three Zuchinni ($1.50)

Totals (Year-to-Date): $42.00


  1. Hi!
    Oh how I want to seeeee some photos ;-)

    I too, am fortunate to have deep topsoil, though there is a layer of sticky clay in there.

    Do you rototill? I am composting and using straw for retaining moisture. For the most part this is a good system. Two weeks ago, after harvesting the garlic and potatoes, I gave in and had the neighbor rototill. I felt a little bad about this, as it seems devestating to the structure of the soil, not to mention all the critters (worms, etc) who do so much for their environment. What do you think about this?

  2. I have not had to rototill. My plots are not really conducive for rototilling and after reading John Jeavons book found that it was not really necessary. Remember that rototilling only takes you down the first foot at best. The double dig method gets you twice that... I recommend reading Jeavons book, although if you have a really large garden, you may not have that option.