Devine Chatter — garden RSS



How to Buy Good Quality Compost

A local farm dumps manure/bedding in a field all winter long. In the spring there appears a sign "Free Compost". Don't be fooled. It may be free but it is not compost. Compost is organic matter that has been mixed to the correct carbon: nitrogen ratios received oxygen to encourage the movement of aerobic microbes. This movement creates heat which when over 131 degrees will kill pathogens and weed seeds. A big pile of manure/bedding would have to have temperature monitored over at least 15 days and turned at least 5 times to destroy weed seeds and pathogens. Yes, there are many people that do like to add aged manure to their gardens, as long as you understand the difference....

Continue reading




Testing your garden soil

Garden soil testing can be broken down into 3 categories - physical, biological and chemical. Physical - It's fairly easy to give your soil a physical test at home Structure - squeeze a handful of damp soil, open your hand. Does it fall apart? If it does then it's too sandy. Poke it - if it crumbles apart it's good. If when poked it retains its shape than it has too much clay. Drainage - does rainwater drain away quickly or does it sit on top of your soil. Roots need oxygen that is in the air spaces. Too much water clogs up the air spaces. Water retention - after a good watering does the soil stay moist for days or dry...

Continue reading



Which is worse? Late blight or chickens in the garden

I found late blight on the tomato plants on Labor Day weekend. I sprayed them often with vermicompost tea and I think it did slow the blight spread. Hardly any of the tomatoes were getting infected. I had one plant with several huge tomatoes that were slowly becoming vine ripened to perfection. Yesterday, the chickens got into the garden - I had accidentally left the gate open. Well let me tell you, chickens KNOW which tomatoes are the ripest and juiciest.

Continue reading