Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Soil Begging to be Touched!

The rain is gone, fruit trees are budding and  throwing out their first blooms. Apricot, peach, plums. Yum. Can hardly wait.

My hands itch to immerse themselves in the soil, to tidy up the mess the garden has become over the winter. Though no snow storms ravaged the land, rain is our winter fare.

Fortunately this year was a good rain year. Water high in the reservoir means no rationing. If those who garden heavily want to water their yards without counting out every drop, they will be joyful for the abundance.

I've pulled myself out of that group of gardeners, tending roses and other plants that don't thrive without constant individualized care. The soil here is one of the worst. Being part of the flood plain you'd think it would be rich. But this is the Pajaro River, one of the most endangered rivers in America.

Previous flooding over generations, before my house ever existed has created a hard pack over my yard. It's a dichotomy to me that the city is surrounding by some of the richest soil and biggest agriculture in the world. When you go to the store to buy strawberries, inevitably they will have come to you from Watsonville, or Salinas Valley.

Early land owning farmers of the region had enough sense to stay away from the non-arable land where I live and delegated it to the Chinese hired labor to scratch out their existence.

So I sit here scratching my head how to live with the land peacefully. It's still a process for me. I have left off from cultivating, improving my soil with bone and blood meal, growing my own worms, composting and digging into the compacted clay, hard tack soil in attempts to urge it along into something abundant. It's been a losing battle fighting off the local predators, weeds, bugs and mammalian alike. It's not true companion planting will do it. It's not true lady bugs, miniature wasps and lacewings can completely obliterate the problem unless you have a lot of money to invest. They don't know enough to stay within the confines of your own garden, but like to travel on. I've let things go fallow.

I have a small front yard. and instead of being the shame of the neighborhood it was at one time, the jewel. Do we all know, however, one of those houses where everyone driving by either averts their eyes, or points? My method of scattering seed instead of planting from the nursery has put me in that category for some.  I've made enough adjustments to keep from being reported to the neighborhood association. (Yes, we have garden police here.)

It was questionable whether or not my yard completely full of Flanders red poppies was unsightly or beautiful. Eventually, the decision came down to fire hazard. That was a drought year and the three foot poppy plants had dried out quite quickly. I could see their point as they crackled where ever I walked. I pulled them all up and through them in one of the many compost bins in my back yard.

But, poppies have plans of their own.

Many seeded early leaving behind another crop the following year.

Rather than deal with another hassle, I judiciously pulled them up as soon as they bloomed.

We shall see if any of them dare to raise their lovely red heads this year!

1 comment:

  1. We are almost always dry in the summer here in Michigan. I've tried to plant more native flowers and have a wildflower garden beside the house too. I still water since I like for the grandkids not to have stubble to hurt their feet on - but only in our small back yard. The front is left to my blue spruce!


Blog comments are always welcome. I read, and enjoy, each of your comments. I will approve your comment as soon as possible.

If you don't have an account and don't want to sign up for one, you can still leave a comment. Enter your message and a name, even if it is Bunnykins.

You may use name and URL. Entering a URL is optional. If you have a site and you want to share it, this is a good opportunity to do so

Or you may use the Anonymous button.

Thanks for taking time to comment!