By Jannie Vaugh
We have been waiting for this day. Also arriving are the sneaky garden bugs. Have a look at the underside of your cabbage and mustard leaves for aphids or the dreaded stinkbug! Get the soap and water in the sprayer ready. It could be another buggy year. I have been told that Rescue stinkbug traps are worth trying and are just one of the many things to combat the invasion. Also, catch and smash, encourage ladybugs to come to the garden and keep the sprayer full of water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of dawn dish soap. And spray under the leaves and also around the plant. Diatomaceous Earth food grade is very helpful also.
This is a good time to talk about definitions. Often you will hear things like compost and make soil placed together. Here is what Dr. Elain Ingham says about it. You can watch some very informative video on youtube of her. Dirt vs. soil. Dirt is the mineral component of the soil, sand, rock, boulders, pebbles and parent material. Dirt and soil are two different things.
What do you have to add to turn that into a definition of soil?
You have to add organic matter and organisms. The organic material feeds the organisms. All working together to make nutrients that are available to the plant root system. That’s why we compost. Leaves, fine ground wood chips for carbon, grass clipping and all the leftover plant material we can find is piled wet and turned to make this needed organic material. And don’t forget manure. Goat, alpaca, rabbit, chicken, horse, and cow. All good to add to the pile to feed those fungi and bacteria making the mycorrhizal fungi, nematodes, protozoa a good banquet table to get and keep our web of soil life alive and thriving. Keep composting the Dirt. And nutrient-rich soil happens. Can’t have one without the other. Also when we rake leaves and grass clippings we are gathering small or large amounts of Dirt along with the leaves also dust on the leaves are full of dirt minerals and microbes. So all around us are the components of what our garden is needing.
What to plant now according to USDA Planting guide. Asian greens, beans, snap and lima, cantaloupe next week. Swiss chard, corn, cucumbers, and eggplant. greens, cold and warm season, Pepper transplants, Irish potatoes, pumpkin, radish, summer squash, turnip, and Tomatoes. Yipee!!
But keep a cover handy, we might have a cool spell! Watch the temps. These are the days we have been dreaming of and its time to sharpen those shovels and get the garden ready. There will be a garden workshop at the LLano Library this week March 22, 5;30 to 7;30 Back to Basics and plant swap. All those who have extra seedlings to share, pot them up and bring them along.
Outgrowing green and building soil with Jannie