Yes, the garden has been undergoing much experimentation as we learn ever more about the specific needs of our soil. Our hope is that this year we will have learned some effective growing methods that can be passed on and improved upon in future years.
We added a Bone Meal fertilizer to the entire garden over the course of last week. We chose Bone Meal because our soil was particularly lacking in phosphate and Bone Meal has a high concentration of this nutrient. We also chose Bone Meal instead of just phosphate rock because it had other supplementary nutrients as well. Since our soil is so young we feel giving the plants any extra boost we can will be beneficial.
When fertilizing, we chose to add Bone Meal to half of the Carrot and Swiss Chard bed and see if there was a noticeable difference and there was!
Notice in the picture how the carrots to the right of Sedgewick(the little gnome) are bigger and greener than those on the left! They appreciated the phosphate!
We also chose not to fertilize the large mesculn bed. We made this decision because we harvested the entire bed today cutting each plant down so just a small amount of green is left. This is done to stimulate new growth. Each plant could potentially produce two more harvests. Now that the plants are trimmed we will fertilize the bed feeding the new crop as it emerges. Our first harvest of lettuce was...bitter...this is simply the nature of a young garden that is working to establish a nutrient base. However, since it has been such a rainy season the second harvest of lettuce has great potential for better flavor.
Another experiment we have begun is trying different trellising methods for the cucumbers. One area of the garden has tri-pod style trellising constructed of sticks and the other section has a row of plastic fencing. As the cucumbers grow and begin climbing we will be able to see if there is a difference in the growth of the vegetables and we will see if one method is sturdier than the other.
We will be sure to tell you the results of all of our exciting experiements and projects real soon!