welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, December 12, 2019

santa barbara country n news-winterizing the garden


in the austin area my garden at the country n was about 900 sqft
here my garden area is 400 sqft

in austin i had to mostly shut down the beds in the winter only growing plants that could withstand the deep freezes that would come through the area
i used row covers but sometimes if it got real cold it would wipe out most of what was in the garden
i would shut down a large portion of the garden to rest for the winter

the technique i would use is the same as what i do here in santa barbara

i would clear off my garden bed
add a generous real generous layer of compost on top striving for 4 inches
add a sprinkling of a good organic fertilizer
work that into the soil with a garden fork
rake it smooth
soak it with a mixture of fish emulsion sea weed molasses
cover it with either a layer of pine straw
cover it with a layer of cover crop which included bean peas hairy vetch and oats
letting it grow all winter long
when it was time to plant
i would cut the cover crop off at the soil level
feeding the tops to the chickens since it would all eventually end up in my chicken generated compost
some gardeners would just turn over the soil so the tops would be down into the bed
dumping its nutrition into the soil
these cover crops also fix nitrogen into the soil

in the spring all i had to do was just plant my plants like my tomatoes or peppers etc since the soil was allowed to enrich itself during the winter months

here in santa barbara it doesnt freeze
i still do the same thing i did in the country n to the soil
leaving about a fourth of my beds unplanted for the winter months
letting those beds rest and get richer

any bed that i am going to plant for the winter i do that compost fertilizer liquid fish emulsion seaweed molasses mixture before planting

i have several beds sitting empty growing cover crops with a light sprinkling of pine straw over them
in march or april i will start planting my spring crops in them
like tomatoes peppers beans okra basil egg plant etc

i know im doing the right thing for my garden since i am now at the point where i can garden with just my hands and hand tools
digging down in my beds reveal a deep dark rich soil with earthworms in there
when i started over two years ago it was mostly a gray clay dominated soil

a garden rule is if your worms like your soil your plants will also

in my beds in the pictures above i have planted
a bed of onions
a bed of garlic
a bed of broccoli which are huge
a bed of cabbage
a bed of carrots
a long bed of sweet peas a 3 ft version and an 8 ft version
a bed of dinosaur kale curly leaf kale red kale

in texas some of this would freeze
here they just grow big
providing us with produce all winter long
interspersed in these beds are lettuce cilantro spinach multiplying onions

over the years i have figured out how much to plant so that we usually eat all thats produced
we dont have a lot that we have to freeze or can
ie we eliminated all the work that can come with over producing in the garden

winterizing the garden here in santa barbara is easy to do
you just plant it and fertilize it and water it and harvest it
then eat it

the organicgreen doctor

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