Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weeding & Cultivating the Grow Beds

Everyone please look at the Tools section of the Foundation website at www.growfood.com and learn about the Two-Way Hoe, if you haven't already. This and your rake are the tools that will make weeding SO MUCH EASIER, when you know how and do it soon enough.

Now go to the Learn section of the website and click on the Weeding chapter. This is a quick read, but VERY important for you to understand and implement on a regular basis. Believe me, if I didn't weed this way I couldn't begin to grow and maintain a 1/2 acre garden in the little time I have. Each of the Mittleider gardening books also has a chapter on proper and timely weeding. I recommend them highly.

The simple keys are:
1) Weed as soon as the first weeds appear, and do it thoroughly!
2) Pulling down your ridges and raking them back up again only takes about 5 minutes per bed, and eliminates the large majority of weeds as they first germinate.
3) Lift the PVC pipe out of the bed and run the 2-way hoe down the center between your plants to eliminate weeds in the planting area.
4) If using T-Frames, place them on one side of the bed in the ridge, leaving the planting area open for weeding, watering, and feeding.
5) Proper and timely weeding eliminates the need for ever using herbicides, and reduces pest and disease infestations as well.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Preventing Freezing in your garden

Q. I have a farm in Afghanistan, which is about 30,000 square meters (3 hectares, or 7.5 acres), in which mainly grapes are grown. In the cold winter the grape vines are buried under the ground because of the very cold weather and then in the spring the vines are exposed to air and light, then the vines become green.

Mostly this works, but in some years, after the plants grow their leaves and grapes, the weather becomes cold again for only one night. All the grapes freeze and become black in color, and there is no time for the plants to grow new fruits because of the arrival of the winter.

Is there any solution for this problem other than a green house, because it will be too expensive to cover all of the farm. Is there a way to warm the plants for one night only? This year the whole yield of grapes was frozen. Please help.

A. 1) Watering everything, including the ground as well as the entire plant, immediately before it freezes, can sometimes save a crop if the frost is not too hard.
2) Another solution may be to have many small fires burning throughout your vineyard during the time temperatures go below freezing. In America this is done with propane and kerosene heaters, but that would probably be too expensive for you. We also use fans to blow the warm air throughout the orchard,
garden, or vineyard.

Labels: ,