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Garden Updates and Notables

As we grow the soil on our small farm in this second year, we're noticing that a lot of plants have taken off much quicker than we'd expected. We had rocks in our soil, hardpan soil that we needed to break down to clay and then convert to loam. Right now, wherever the new plants have been planted, the soil has worms already.

We planted those plants (front yard cottage garden, side yard ficus hedges, back yard fruit trees, etc.) in a 50/50 mix of native soil and Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost. We made sure that we watered the compost in at the base of each of the plantings by hand so that all the soil above the planting hole got watered in. That gave the compost a chance to blend with the native soil and unlock the nutrients to a form that the plants can uproot.

After about a month of hand watering, we let the irrigation take it from there. Once a month though, we would still hand water because there is NO IRRIGATION SYSTEM that could water as well as hand watering after composting to get everything mixed well enough and deep enough.

Last year, we composted on top of those wells again in the fall, and we only made time to compost tea all the wells about 3 times.

Here are some images of our Four Oaks Farm in April:

These roses in our front entry remind me of my grandmothers as she had an old rose collection in her front yard this very color.

Heirloom purple rose bush blooming profusely in front of house with double white entry doors.

These very tall roses were purposely left that tall and not re-pruned after January 2021. These are the first ones we see when we wake up in the morning.

Two large pink rose bushes in a garden with antique green fence behind it.

and these have been flowering since we moved here. They're in our orchard and forever they will be. They actually produce very large rose hips which we love to eat in the winter because they're very meaty.

Short yellow rose bush blooming profusely on a hillside garden.

Every morning starting in January, about this amount of mulberries come off of this small 2 year old pakistan mulberry tree. It's the first tree of the year that gives us fruit in our garden.

I planted a large pakistan mulberry tree at a former clients' home many years ago and it had longer fruit on it. I think that as this one gets older, it will also get longer fruit.

Hand holding many mulberry fruit showing the tree in the background in a garden.

This statice came with our garden and was on her way out, but we kept watering her and top-dressing her last year with Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost so she's healed.

Purple statice planted in the soil.

This loquat has grown double her size since we planted her last fall. The soil here is particularly poor as it had 4" of DG on top of it that we removed. Then we made our 50/50 mix of native soil down below and Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost. It's doing very well considering.

Healthy loquat tree planted in ground with decomposed granite surrounding well.

We also planted our navel orange in the same manner and she has many fruit coming in. We have to pay particular attention to watering here on this side of the home. It's on the northwest side and since the soil is so poor, there's very low drainage still. So we water this side of the house once or twice a week depending on the weather.

We will compost tea this side more than usual this year using Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost to break that up and help build good soil structure.

Navel orange tree planted in ground with a red rose bush in a terra cotta container in the background.

I don't know if you've seen the blog from last year when we planted our back vegetable garden, but we planted celery starts into this bed. We are STILL harvesting this and throwing the stocks into soups and green juices. This was quite successful.

Profuse celery grown in hunter green metal trough.

Our potatoes all sprouted after the few frosts last year and gave us plenty from our in-ground beds. We were shocked because that was terribly hard soil to start up, till and grow in, and it still gave us plenty. This is only part of the harvest.

Large white bowl showing swiss chard, small ceramic bowl showing mulberries and basket of potatoes and asparagus.

We have so many more potatoes coming from our raised beds still that we haven't started harvesting yet, but we'll start on those soon.

One thing we notice is that since we moved in and started up this garden, there are more birds on our property than we've ever heard in our lives. They sing to us all day long.

So far we've managed to grow the soil at the plants only. Now we're going to start top-dressing ALL THE SOIL as time and money permits. That way we can truly create a living soil where we can pop a seed into and it will easily grow something beautiful and delicious for us.

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