I got a few sprigs of aloe from a friend and planted them this morning. I’m hoping they’ll do what comes naturally to aloe and give me a lush bed of the stuff. It’s the first of what I hope will be many medicinal plantings.
Right now I’m in the first week of a four-week course on soil. It’s given by a university in England through an organization called Futurelearn – it’s a MOOC, if you’re familiar with that term. It’s free, and so far it’s been very informative.
So far I’ve learned that soil is classified based on its particle size. Sand has the largest particles, then silt, then clay. It makes sense now that clay is so hard to work with as a soil, because the particles are so tiny and packed together. That’s what makes it so heavy.
Living in Florida, of course my soil is mostly sand. We were asked to post pictures of a cross-section of the soil where we live this week. Here’s mine:
Rich soil that is good for growing should have several layers. Mine only has a very thin top layer, an intermediate layer of roots, and then pure sand. The top layer is the only soil worth growing in, which is why I have to either amend my soil or build raised beds and buy soil for them – which is what I’ve been doing.
Soil texture is important for water management, and of course sandy soil drains very quickly. Sometimes that’s good, but it also means that plants need more water, as the soil doesn’t stay moist.
Next we’re going to test the texture of our own soil. I’m pretty sure what my results will show!
Wow, have I neglected this blog, or what? I thought it had been a few months since I’d posted – it’s been two years. Argh!! Turns out a full-time career as a librarian and a part-time career as a writer aren’t compatible with being a successful full-time OR part-time gardener.
I did have a good carrot crop this year, and I have four loaves of carrot bread in the freezer now. But that was the only crop this year. Right now there’s nothing growing, as July is just too hot to grow anything here in FL. I want to plant potatoes in the fall. Right now I think one crop at a time is all I can manage.
I have eight years left to retirement, when I intend to be a full-time gardener and a part-time writer. I’ve been thinking about the best approach to the garden until then, and I’ve decided to concentrate on building my infrastructure – all the raised and in-ground beds I have planned, rain barrels for my gutter downspouts, and some new tools – while I can still afford the supplies. After retirement my income will be reduced, of course, but I’ll still be able to afford seeds!
Right now, I need to pull some weeds. 😄
It’s really cold today. I’m glad I work indoors. It’s supposed to warm up to normal (mid 70s) next week – I hope it stays there for a while. I’d like my two weeks off to be productive.
In other freezing news, I just ordered a new freezer. It’s a 7.2 cu. ft. chest freezer, a Kenmore. It’ll be delivered on 12/24. I got $15.00 off, the price was $20 less than the Lowes freezer to begin with, and the delivery charge is less also. The only regret is that it only comes in white – I would like to have had black, to fit in with the decor better. But that’s okay.
I’m picking up my first box from the CSA tomorrow. Woo hoo!
I’m still having connectivity problems at home, and haven’t had time to figure out what’s going on yet. Posting may be a little sporadic until I get this solved or get far enough ahead in my writing to schedule some posts. Ack!