September 2008


LA Eco-Village gardeners cast rock dust and clover seeds this weekend with the goal of beginning our first (in recent history) layer of green manure.

Interstitial spaces will be filled with clover, which is a legume that will fix nitrogen in the soil as it aerates and maintains the moisture in the soil. Having a layer of this green manure is like having ten other gardeners with you. When you go out to plant, instead of preparing dry, deficient soil for the seedlings or seeds, all you need to do is pull up some clover and the soil beneath it will be perfect for planting.

While we were working, we came across a green lynx spider protecting her egg case

Green lynx in amaranth

Green lynx in amaranth

The okra is looking good

And the newest of the giant squashes found a smart place to hang: right on top of two wrought-iron posts from the fence below it. I’m not sure if that is helping it or hurting it, actually . . .

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Squirrel (from Wikimedia)

Squirrel (from Wikimedia)

There are squirrels eating fruit – lately they’ve been taking bites out of all the unripe persimmons… grrr. I tried to scare it off by moving toward the tree menacingly… but it just sat there. So I took a small rock (not big enough to harm it) and chucked it at the squirrel and it finally ran off.

Anyone heard any ideas on how to curb squirrels?

I’ve seen folks put huge nets over their trees… which seems a little intrusive. Anything simple, easy, humane, non-toxic?

A week ago, I (and somer) tore out our bedraggled tomato plants and seeded fall crops. I am growing spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, mizuna, radishes, arugula… and maybe something else. It’s great to the little sprouts poking their heads up above the soil. It looks like I’ve got plenty, so if any neighbors want transplants, let me know.

Onion Harvest

Onion Harvest

I planted onions around February, if I remember correctly. I’ve been using a few of them as green onions (though I try to resist and let most of them really grow to maturity) and a few have “walked away” (one of those things that happens in front yard gardens.) Of the survivors, the tops are starting to fall over, so I went ahead and harvested some today. I am not sure exactly what to do with them now. Do I wash them off? Cut off the tops? Keep them in the dark? I was talking with Erik Knutzen (of the great homegrown evolution blog) and he said that when harvesting garlic, you don’t want to cut off the top, because if you do, then the bulbs want to sprout right away. Any advice from folks? What’s the best way to handle these beauties?

(written in late July)