Today's theme is soil improvement

>> Wednesday, March 7, 2007

With clay soil, this theme will be repeated over and over, every year, for a very long time.

First, the easy part, I plan on starting a routine spreading of Nutri-Mulch into every bed. This is actually Turkey manure. Utah has a very large number of Turkey farms about 50 miles south of where I live. I like buying locally so this works out real well. the NPK rating is 1.75-1.0-1.25 and it is loaded with trace minerals that all plants need.

I'm starting with the four raised beds, which measure 4' by 4' and are 10" deep so I'll add about 1 cu ft each and mix in well.
I built these beds in March 2005 for vegetables. The soil stayed loose over the winter without being covered and is very nice and workable. I'm thinking of making row covers and a cold frame to extend the season in spring and into winter.

The perennial beds pose a different challenge. I spread Nutri-mulch into the front two beds, F1 (100 sq ft) and F3 (64 sq ft), as well as one of the three in the backyard, B3 (262 sq ft), about 2 cu ft. The beds still need much more but this all I have on hand.

The large Wood Hyacinths are beginning to come up. I put these in last Fall and it is a welcome site for something to start showing.

I moved the floribunda Rose 'Honey Perfume' from its place in the backyard, in front of the shed, to a similar location in the front yard in front of the house.

I had planted this rose, in the backyard, the same day I planted the floribunda Rose 'Tuscan Sun', in the front yard but the 'Honey Perfume' did not like its home nearly as well. I think maybe the micro climate it was a little drier in front of the shed even though both locations are south facing, against vinyl siding and get full sun.

I probably need to incorporate a little more organic matter to the bed in front of the shed. There's that mantra again, 'more organic matter'. You can never have too much!

Tore out the Salvia Plumosa from the front perennial bed in F3 and threw it away. This photo was taken last July. By the end of the year it had gotten ratty looking and not very healthy. I liked it at first but I don't think I could give it enough room to spread like it wants to do.


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