Observation about our gardening efforts, Caroline and mine.
Last year we worked very hard. We stooped over and spent hours and hours trying to pull weeds out of the hard-pan ground. We tried to coax carrots to grow, lettuce was playing hard to get and cabbage never got past the mini stage.
This year we worked hard but we started with some 9 cubic yards of mushroom compost. We spread it, tilled it in and made raised beds. The soil became a dream to work with. We bought straw to use as mulch between the plants and the rows. Weeds still grow but we can pull them easily and the plants that are doing well…they must be almost 2-3 times as big as last year!
It’s not all roses as we have some problems: potato leaf rollers have set upon one of our varieties of potatoes, cauliflower plants are huge but there’s no sign of the heads of cauliflower (do you know why that would be?) and the same goes for broccoli (all leaf and no eating bits). It’s been a very hot and dry year and we have tried to keep up to the watering but I imagine we could have done more. But on the whole the organic matter has been a whole lot of magic.
Moral of the story-garden motto
Say what you will about crop rotation, drip irrigation, tilth, micro herd, good seeds and so on, as far as I’m concerned the moral of the story and a motto to garden by is to add organic matter or more plainly put:
Horse shit really works! So if someone tells you that something is a load of horse sh@$, ask them how much they want for it. We’re likely in the market for at least 4 cubic yards next year.