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, August 13, 2020

garden news-making my soil richer


recently i was working in my garden plot which is 400 square feet
i was all by myself in the community garden for 3 hours

around the garden is our orchard which is outside our fenced area
folks in the neighborhood like to walk their dogs through the orchard around the fence 

on that day two different folks walked by to chat with me
they both said we have been admiring your garden for months as we walk up here in the orchard
we especially have admired your tomatoes
how do you get them to grow

they shouldnt have asked me
i told them how i replenished the soil in this originally wore out plot

other gardeners have come back to ask what i do 
this is what i tell them

the original soil for our community garden was bulldozed down onto this spot when they built the church that is next to the garden
all that soil was just old clay dry soil from the top of a hill that got leveled off for the church

the soil is mainly what i call a grey clay with not much in it

my plot had sat empty for a long time and had been walked on and had the soil packed down
in fact in places it was like cement
i had to use a rock bar to dig it out in places

organic gardeners have a saying
put a 5 dollar plant in a 50 dollar hole 

i dug out a hole that was 3 ft x 3 ft and the depth of a five gallon bucket
i made my original bed layouts 3 ft x 8 ft beds
so i did my holes in these segments gradually over several months until i had done all 400 square feet
in that hole i layered cardboard original soil compost mulch newspapers

i repeated those layers until i got about 6 inches from the top then i just alternated compost with the original soil
i also added in those layers a sprinkling of an organic fertilizer and soaked the layers with a mixture of fish emulsion plus molasses plus sea weed
see picture below of what that stuff looks like

i then covered it with a layer of pine straw to just sit for a few weeks
when it was time i planted into the bed

after all the beds were finished this way what was left was a rich rich soil the plants love

in my walkways between the 3ft x 8ft beds i buried these 5 gallon buckets so the top of the bucket was on the surface

the bucket had 3/8 inch holes drilled all around the sides and under the bottom of the bucket
a concrete block in set on top to keep varmints out

in the bucket i added a slight amount of compost with a few worms then all i do is add the vegetable waste from our kitchens
i have been doing this worm bucket composting now for 2 years
i end up with a bucket of worm compost that i harvest every 4 months 
it gets all dumped onto my garden beds right before i plant my veggies
the bucket gets loaded with worms as they multiply and move in from the surrounding garden

one bucket i didnt add any worms just veggie scraps and within a few weeks it was full of worms
they are able to move out into my garden back and forth via the holes in the bucket
i will harvest about 25 gallons of worm compost from the 7 buckets i have buried

the mulch placed in my walkways are put in a trench thats about 1 ft deep
every year this mulch deep down in the trench is dumped also back onto the garden when it has turned into compost then the mulch is replenished in the walkways and the process starts all over again

so as i wrote recently now that my soil is in good shape throughout my garden all i do after i harvest is i add a layer of compost plus an organic fertilizer that is forked into my beds with a garden fork
i then soak that in with my solution of fish emulsion plus molasses plus seaweed
then i cover all this with a layer of mulch until planting time

thats how i am able to grow those big tomatoes and have a nice veggie garden

now in texas i built my garden beds framed with limestone rock
the soil was too rocky to dig in 
then i bought already made good rich garden soil into the bed and just planted my veggies 
overtime i did what i do here in santa barbara to keep the soil replenished

if they would let me here in the community garden i would have just built 3 ft x 8 ft garden frames and filled them up with garden soil or just made my own soil like i did to start with 

thats how you put a $5 plant in a $50 hole

you end up with great tomatoes and a beautiful garden

the organicgreen doctor 


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