It's Saturday May 15th and despite the cloud and intermittent showers it is definitely feeling warmer. Which is great news for our plants and seedlings as they are really getting going. We will be planting out tomatoes and aubergines very soon, and hoping that the last frost is behind us, we have heard of some people in Scotland who have already planted their tomatoes, I hope they are safe, it seems very early and very risky, the slight gain in growth is minimal. We shall see!
The Bracken is back!
If you look closely at the image above you will see the bracken amongst the spring onions in bed 3 (3rd from left), in fact all the beds have bracken starting to pop their snakes heads above ground. It seems that the plant/organism knows when it has a better chance of photosynthesis where there is less root of other plant material. for instance in the fully grown bed of winter purslane on the right these is very little bracken.
Anyway around 2 hours later we managed to clear what we could find from the beds in this image, (there is still more to do) with minimal damage to the salad beds. in fact they are thriving.
Spot the difference? - no bracken, and over 6 kilos of salad leaves harvested from bed 3.
Improving Soil Health
There is no doubt that we are having a beneficial impact on the soil health. Compared to last year the plants are thriving and are growing at an astonishing rate. They look healthy and we have very little damage from slugs if at all and virtually no weeds. This is all due to the No-Dig method and by keeping a clean compost surface by removing yellowing older leaves and by not disturbing the soil structure below which contains thousands of dormant weed seeds which when exposed to light and warmth, germinate (this functions as a mechanism to help the soil repair itself) and become the unmanageable mess the most gardeners dread. We maintain the beds by pulling any tiny weeds if we see them as we harvest. We are looking forward to a truly abundant summer and we are really excited about all the amazing crops we will be bringing to market.