Monday, March 31, 2014

Rainy Day Beach Farming

The garlic is growing.

Some more eager than others. 'Music,' a porcelain strain, is always slow to start but is better for it.

Here, the earliest of varieties -Turban strain 'Thai Purple.' To the right, another Turban 'Xian.'

'Xian' is a much desired Chinese strain. Turban garlic has always grown quite well for me, but with this lot nearly every clove has rotted. I must remember to contact the farm. Contact the farm (reminder).

'Japanese' or 'Sakura,' another desired strain of the Asiatic variety, has been showing signs of weakness, but nowhere near as much as 'Xian.' It is also a very eager grower.

The regulars at the garden are now calling me the scientist. I am experimenting with mixing my own fertilizers, which I think is a good thing, although despite their claims I am not being scientific (measuring, observing, recording) but I am using my soil test results as the basis for my additions. Above you see Feather Meal (long term nitrogen), Humic Acids (micronutrients), Langbeinite (potassium), Corn Gluten Meal (nitrogen and wee bit of phosphorous) and blood meal (nitrogen). 

Prior experience with corn gluten meal at the fowl-heavy beach farm warns me of the feast and stomp of local geese. Pretty heavy, they do significant damage while chomping down on bits of corn. My reasoning is (hello scientist) that I will be able to discourage them via the scent of bird feather meal (aka dead birds). No, there isn't a significant odor to it, but neither is there to the cornmeal and somehow the geese still find it.

Each row then got a pass of the rake, breaking the winter-skinned soil. After spreading the fertilizing mixture I made another pass of the rake to fix it in place and hope the birds will fear the feathers of the fallen (much doubt).

We had several nights well below freezing lately; it doesn't feel like a month has passed since there was snow on these plots. But soil temperatures are up, above 50 degrees F, and ready for potatoes.

Reds and yellows placed in a trench easily dug thanks to the saturated (by sandy beach farm standards) soil. Afterward I covered with a couple of inches of composted manure and the remains of my fertilizer mix.

Grow potato grow.

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