Growing Swiss Chard forum: Good Overall Information

 
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Imagestormyla
Jun 23, 2011 5:29 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
How long does compost last?
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 23, 2011 6:21 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
I use composted stall cleanings, part shavings/straw/manure. I turn in about 3-4 inches fall or spring & it generally lasts the year. I mulch w/used straw. I amend the soil w/peat moss & vermiculite when I first open a new bed. Every third or fourth year I amend w/Ironite, formulated for the SW. I alternate captured rain water w/well water, which is high in calcium.

I'm beginning to turn in wood chips, as data from organic market gardens that have been composted yearly for 10+ years is showing an accumulation of phosphorus, gradually growing to the point of toxicity. The wood chips create a long term nitrogen source for the mycorrhiza colony necessary in a healthy soil, w/out creating the phos. load that yearly composting does.

I water every couple of weeks w/manure tea from my donks, who don't get grain.

The low humidity (5% today), lack of atmosphere to cut the UVs, little moisture & high heat in the summer cause the soil bacteria to rapidly break down organic matter. That is why there is very little top soil naturally in the arid West... or any desert. Where I am, we get an average of 18" per year, & this year we'll be lucky to get 8" I'm thinking.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 3:18 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
That sounds like you are really in tune with what your soil requires Jay. It is so interesting how the earth varies so much throughout the country. Do you get much erosion? I have one bed near a windy high trafficked road that is constantly losing soil to the wind. I amend that bed at least 3 times a year.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 30, 2011 4:13 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Erosion? That would take water, right? Hilarious!
There's enough clay in the soil that it tends to form a crust as it dries, so it doesn't erode much from the wind unless there's something rubbing on it (row cover, branch, gopher). But mulch tends to leave.

We got .4" of rain a couple of days ago & the high humidity ( Hilarious! ) is just killing me! It was clear up to 23% earlier, now I see it's back down to 12%, but the wind is blowing & it's 90ยบ... I'm already thinking there's just 10 more weeks of summer. Hilarious!

I love gardening, it's just a real shame it has to happen in the summer. Big Grin
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 4:26 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Hilarious! Hilarious! No, it doesn't take water for the erosion. That soil over in that bed gets to be like sand sometimes and just blows away. First the mulch blows off then the soil. I keep trying to cover it with living mulches, but it's a huge beds and it's slow going. They help keep the soil in a lot. Our soil doesn't form crusts.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 30, 2011 4:40 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
The trick here has been trying to figure out how to prevent the crust so that seeds can raise their tiny little heads. Finally have a system... burlap bags. Thumbs up
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 4:52 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well That is pretty good thinking. It's 90 degrees here today too but very humid. My romaine finally bolted yesterday and today. I'm going to start some more lettuces over in a shady area.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 30, 2011 7:22 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Yeah, time for a second crop of lettuce & get those fall rutabagas, carrots & beets started.

Finally figured out how to do a drip system & still rotate the beds. Now to just implement the plan! Thumbs up
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 7:35 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I started my beets about 10 days ago and have thinned them twice already. They are growing gangbusters.

I planted two different types this year. I guess it's OK to post some fruit here. The other day I harvested a gallon and a half of blueberries and there are still tons left on the bushes.

Thumb of 2011-07-01/stormyla/05f498 Thumb of 2011-07-01/stormyla/e7e031
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 30, 2011 8:33 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Lovey dubby I love blueberries!!! I so wish I could grow them here, but they want an acid soil & give that up right now. Hilarious! So I make a little piggy of myself on grocery store berries. Big Grin
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 8:48 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I wanted to grow some blackberries this year. I bought some dormant plants that never woke up. Thumbs down

I'm lovin' Carol's avatar du jour!! Thumbs up
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 30, 2011 9:01 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Did you see the pic of her changing a tractor tire in white clothes & sandals?!
Hilarious!
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 9:02 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
No!
AlohaHoya
Jun 30, 2011 9:08 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Thumb of 2011-07-01/AlohaHoya/e26b0e
I tip my hat to you.
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 9:36 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
That a girl!!! Thumbs up Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.
AlohaHoya
Jun 30, 2011 10:47 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Convention be damned!!

(Actually, it will take me so long to wear out my work clothes...(old old clothes...they last 10 lifetimes)...I love to dress up!!!
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagestormyla
Jun 30, 2011 10:53 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Oh for sure!!

OK, here's an update on the grapes.

Thumb of 2011-07-01/stormyla/2f4df2
ImageDonkeyJay
Jul 1, 2011 6:48 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Those look lovely!
I think the free grape vines I got are dead. The man who gave them to me has a distinct tendency not to follow instructions & I think he soaked 'em for several days. I've got them in a bucket of potting soil right now & they aren't doing a thing, & the canes feel dead in the hand. Bummer.

Got a little rain in the evening yesterday... I haven't been outside yet, so I don't know how much. I think the monsoons have officially arrived!
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagestormyla
Jul 1, 2011 8:43 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well, I hope that is at least partially a good thing!

Carol, Do they grow grapes in Hi?
AlohaHoya
Jul 1, 2011 9:41 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I haven't seen any vines.... I hope someone starts because 'come the revolution' all us winos will be s.o.l.!!!! Big Grin
Leap. The net will appear.

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