Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Loyal To My Soil

Posted on 6/13/2012 by the Salt City Sinner

Here in Salt City, temperatures are on the rise, and the sun is aggressively radiant - so much so that driving East in the morning or West in the evening is an exercise in driving blind. Things are popping up everywhere (both in terms of greenery and continued political discontent)!

Not long ago, I posted about my plot in Sugar House Community Gardens.

When I planted and added my first soil amendment (coconut husks, which absorb and re-release water in an almost magical way), my plot looked like this:

Well, brothers and sisters, feast your eyes:

Thai basil, radishes, beets, onions, bok choi, mystery beans, peppers, Swiss chard, amaranth - you name it, I'm growing it.

My bok choi, which I have had to pinch five or six generations of flowers off of to encourage leafy growth, is going NUTS (as are my onions):

I even have one winter squash plant that I might have to trellis eventually. I also have the mystery beans, which could be either bush or pole beans at this point, and those might require trellising.

So far, other than the coconut husks, I have fertilized with Dr. Earth's organic fertilizer, which smelled so evil (but organic evil, not chemical evil) that it had to be good. It did the trick!

In the near future (this week) I will also fertilize with guano, which is one of the most nitrogen-rich natural substances on Earth. I suspect that Batman manure would be even more nitrogen enriched, but sourcing THAT stuff is hard.

A few tidbits I have picked up from gardening this year: first, you can water tomatoes too much. Don't be fooled if they look wilty and thirsty - you can do as much damage by over-watering as by under-watering. Second, if you are growing a leafy green that blooms (like bok choi), watch for flowers and trim them when they appear. This makes your bok choi shoot out more tasty leaves, which leads to skyscraper bok choi like the plants I'm growing.  The same thing is true of basil - make sure to trim the flowers to encourage additional leaf growth.

Happy gardening, everyone. In my next installment I'll talk about tomato leaves and what their color can tell you about deficiencies, and what to do about it!


  1. My eyes! So feasted. Be careful with that guano my man as it is mondo rare and our supplies of it have not yet been replenished from the last time there was a run on it right before we discovered our current phosphorus rich fertilizers! Back in the 1800s! <3

  2. What a beautiful lay out! STUNNING growth... I am jealous.