Springing Forth

spring in the garden 2014Spring has well and truly … especially after today’s heat and winds. Mulching and feeding and planting out are the main tasks for October.

Go to the October Notes and you’ll also find some tips on soil pH – well worth testing over time, since it will dictate nutrient availability. In short, the majority of plant nutrients are available in the pH range 6.5 – 7.5 and soil microbial life and also nitrogen fixation (by legumes and their bacteria) is most active within that range. If microbes are active, mineral reserves that would be otherwise locked up are made available to plants (eg. Potassium, Nitrogen, Phosphorus). Most veges and fruit prefer this range but there are outliers, as outlined in the notes. Soil is complex. But the most complex systems are also the most stable (as organic grower and guru Eliot Coleman says) so the better your compost is – made with a diversity of manures, nitrogen and carbon sources – the better your soil will be in the end.

October features a lunar eclipse, on Wednesday 8th, and a solar eclispe, on Friday 24th. Brian Keats says that during this fornight there will be many planetary influences taking place (well, it is Spring and changeable). He’s also warning about Weather – during 5th – 10th, 12th -17th and 21st-25th October. Take note!

At a Newstead level, besides direct gardening, October is busy with our annual Fundraising Dinner and getting ready for it. Grow, broad beans! Enjoy October in the garden. And our many scarecrows.

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