Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A couple more links to bookmark...

This is a nice site with cute and clean graphics. They have seed sowing and transplanting times in neat little graphic charts.

I printed them out and put them in my 3-ring binder.  I'm a visual person so i really like these comprehensive little images:

The rest of the site is nicely organised and illustrated.  There are tips and suggestions as well as season-spanning photos of their garden's growth.

This site is to a garden planner software. I am seriously considering using this, i think it will eliminate some guesswork and i could easily make multiple orientations to mull over.  I plan on beginning the free 30 day trial tomorrow when i have time to sit down and play with it.  They ask $25 for subscription, and i don't think that is a bad thing.  I watched the little demo and it looks like it has all the little details i need.
You can plot your garden or bed size, place your crops, and the crops have a little shaded halo to show how much space the plant needs. They apparently have a database for Square Foot method as well.  I am hoping to see if they will let you do a hybrid garden- by that i mean classic spacing and square foot spacing in the same chart.

Since reading Steve Solomon's  "Gardening When it Counts" i have gone a bit skeptical on the SFG method.  According to Mr Solomon, just because you can grow 60 lettuces in so many square inches, your lettuce might look pretty and provide a lot of food, the available nutrient level won't be very impressive.  He stresses the idea that your home grown veggies should  provide maximum nutrition, especially if you intend to go 'off grid' when it comes to veggies. Nutritionally deficient home-grown veggies are worse than less fresh store-bought and worse than none at all.  I think i agree with this.  The majority of his book is dedicated to explaining and teaching how to achieve the proper fertile balance of the garden soil, not to make the veggies grown in it as healthy looking as possible, but to make sure the veggies have every opportunity to become as highly nutritious and productive as possible.
So to help maximize the nutrient value of each plant, that recently maligned "old fashioned" wide spacing of plants, is actually the best way after all.  As if the farmers of old didn't know what they were doing all along.

But there are some items that i am not really looking to maximize the nutrient potential, i just want to snack on them.  Things like radishes, or things that don't mind being in poor soil, but do very well when intensively planted in extra fertile soil.
I do want to try intensive plantings of corn. With a small garden, there isn't any other method that will give you more than a couple dozen ears in a season besides intensive.  And if we aren't subsisting on corn, i'm not worried that it won't be as nutrient rich... i don't think corn is all that good for anyone anyhow.

But my cole crops, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens and green beans... they must be as nutritious as possible because i want those to make up the bulk of our summer and fall eating.  The squashes also need to be up there nutrient-wise to have over the winter months when we won't have as much fresh veggies to choose from.
Anyway, fascinating book.  And great websites with good info.

I'm going to have to make an entry of just Bookmarks one day. That way if i ever have another destroyed laptop scare, i at least won't lose my Bookmarks permanently. I know there is a way to savy the bookmark list to my external drive, but i would have to update it often. Here i can just mention the new bookmarks every few days when i come across one.

I need to not worry so much about this blog being dull. Its really just a journal after all... mainly for myself since i have such a bad memory.  Blogs have more bells and whistles than any of the free journal programs i have tried.  This blog site is very easy to use and i won't lose it like i did the last time my computer crashed...  i lost the journal entries i kept during my pregnancy.   That was really upsetting.  Had i blogged it, they  would still be safe and sound.

Oh well, off to find something constructive to do...


Faith said...

That's worth looking into. I've never heard of closely spaced plants lacking nutrition that wider spaced plants have. Has he got research showing that the plants actually contain less nutrition?

With intensive methods, you always do enrich the soil with lots of compost to feed the plants, so you'd think that if the plants were growing healthy, they have the same nutrition....

Try Delicious. I really like it!


icebear said...

I understand that he goes more into the nutritional difference in other books. I know there have been studies done by other people about widespread soil depletion and insufficient crop rotation, over irrigating and such and the logic seems to work between the two.

I'll have to look it up in the book again, i don't think he cited his source for that study on nutritional value in GWiC.

He does have the illustrations of the root systems of plants and discusses how their root zones can interfere with the nutrient uptake and growth of other neighboring plants. The illustrations are enlightening, i never realized how extensive the roots of even small garden plants are.
His explanation of chemical fertilizers also support his stance. Just because the substances from chem fert are present in the soil, they aren't always available to be taken up by the plants in the form they are present in. So he is big on his own recipe for organic fertilizer which he formulated based on his idea of plant nutrition....and its fairly inexpensive to make yourself.
It might be less expensive than fortifying intensive garden soil... but i will see how it goes this year!