Saturday, November 26, 2011

A new cycle begins at the garden

I just cleared my plot this week after a productive season growing mostly cherry tomatoes and different lettuces and some beans. I tried green peppers this year and managed to produce one pepper from two plants! My strawberries, on the other hand, were juicy and delicious! I just wish I had room to grow more of them.

The green plant in the spiral above is a mimulus, a california native also known as the monkeyflower. I planted it a year or so ago and love the yellow flower it produces in the spring. But it has really spread all over my plot so I'm removing it and will try to transplant some in the tree wells.

After clearing my plot, I planted a bunch of fava beans. Last year, I grew fava beans and enjoyed a big harvest in the spring. This year I'm growing fava beans to enrich my soil with nitrogen. Instead of letting the plants produce beans, I'll cut them down right as they begin to flower and turn them into the soil. Fava beans are an excellent nitrogen-fixing plant. In the early stages of its growth, the plant will take nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil. But once the plant starts to flower it takes nitrogen from the soil. To learn more, check out this video.

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