Last week we discussed a surface level few of general concepts of getting your garden ready for the coming winter months. Today we take a deeper dive into what might be the most important and most overlooked part of the process, building soil.
I once heard famous soil scientist Elaine Ingham say something very close to the following…
As gardeners and farmers you have been tricked into thinking your job is to grow plants. It isn’t, the plants themselves have tricked you into doing their bidding, by growing soil for them. You can’t grow a plant, it is impossible. If you think you can hold a seed in your hand and wait for it to grow. We grow soil and micro organisms and they grows the plants.
This was if I remember at Permaculture Voices 2, many years ago. I had said many versions of this myself by that time but hearing it this way, this exact way, “the plants themselves have tricked you into doing their bidding, by growing soil for them” it just really stuck with me. They tricked us!
That juicy tomato, that sweet cucumber, that blend of bitter leaves that gives us our minerals, all of it is a trick! Sneaky little pricks those plants, giving humans what they need so we will give them what they need. And it turns out as you will see today that under the soil, the sneaky little buggers do the same thing, giving the soil critters what they want in return for what the plants really crave, which as it turns out isn’t Brondo after all.
Join Me today to discuss…
- The short short version of how plants get what they really crave
- Why that means when we grow soil, what we are really doing is providing habitat
- Things we can do in winter to grow soil, suppress weeds in the off season etc. Pick and chose what works for you!
- Tractor livestock especially poultry at the end of the season
- Cut back all plants that have finished production leave the roots to rot in the ground
- Mulch heavily
- Tarp your beds to kill back all growth
- Plant cover crops, my favorites are
- Daikon Radish
- Purple Top Turnip
- “Winter Pea”
- Grains (rye, wheat, triticale, oat)
- A few thoughts on where to buy seeds for cover crops
- Apply compost (conventional, worm, mushroom, anything)
- Soil drench with compost tea (Garrett Juice0
- Feed the critters (sweet feed, molasses, old chicken feed, leaves, etc)
- Plant winter crops (broccoli, carrot, etc.)
- Use tunnel covers and keep cropping
- Add worms to your garden
- Final Considerations
- The ideas I gave you are not everything you can do
- They were not in any specific order
- No one will do all of them, everyone should do several of them
- Winter is coming it always does, you don’t control that but you control what you do with it
Resources for today’s show…
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- Join the Members Brigade
- Join Our Forum
- Walking To Freedom
- TSPC on Discord
- TSPC Group on Telegram (group chat)
- TSPC Telegram Channel (just messages from me)
- Jack on Parler
- Jack on MeWe
- Join Me on Odysee
- Cori on Instagram
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