Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

At a Snail's Pace

I'm TRYING to take a lesson from the snails and move at a slower pace in my backyard. This goes against my nature because I like to get things done quickly. But with the current water restrictions, and what I believe could be a total ban on landscape watering in the not to distant future, I'm trying to create soil with good water holding abilities. This takes some time . . . so I must keep reminding myself not to rush! Slow down and be patient! It's all about the journey and not the destination!!!!

In some areas of my yard there is wonderful rich soil where years of leaf matter have decomposed into a pretty nice loam . . .  at least by Florida standards. In other areas . . . Compacted soil, red clay or builder's sand . . . Not so great. 


These are the areas that I have to work on the most. I've been reading about a permaculture practice where they place sticks and twigs on the soil, add compost on top, then wait for it all to breakdown before planting in the newly enriched raised bed. This is called the hugelkultur method - which is a German term which roughly means "mound culture."  You then have to be REAL patient while you wait for the twigs to break down. I'm not that patient, so I dig wide and deep planting holes, line them with the broken twigs, compost and leaf matter before planting the plants. I figure that the compost enriches the soil now, and in time, the twigs and leaf matter will further enrich the soil as they break down.Click here to read more about the hugelkultur method.

Photo Source: Pinterest (www.permaculture.org.au)

I like the permaculurist's idea of retaining as much dead plant material on your property by either composting it, or breaking up the small branches and twigs and placing them top of the mulched beds. It seems to make a lot of sense to retain as much organic material as possible instead of dragging it to the curb.

I once read a book called Zero Waste House which was very interesting and eye-opening ... I highly recommend it if you're into this sort of thing, and even if you're not! I know I could never have a completely "zero waste home," - - - I won't give up my toilet tissue - - - but I wonder if it's possible to come close to a zero waste yard. Sounds like it might be a fun experiment!

Afterall, gardening really is just one experiment after another. Sometimes we're successful, and sometimes we're not.  The best part is we keep learning, and when we're successful we get beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables. Who knew science could be so much fun!

2 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Gardening does take time, and it's hard to be patient when we want instant results.

Wishing you a lovely Christmas and a great 2015, with beautiful flowers and foliage in your gardens.

FlowerLady

Elizabeth said...

Nothing has tested my patience quite like gardening (my son has come close a time or two). . . and it is indeed a journey. I'm looking forward to watching yours unfold.

"Zero Waste Home" looks like an interesting read ~ I'll have to check it out. :-)

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