Sunday, April 26, 2015

My 2015 Spring Garden

I would like to give you a tour if any of this interests you.  It's only going to get better as these gardens mature.  Each is designed to conserve water and make gardening easy.

This Earthan Bed is buried in the ground. 
To avoid water loss due to evaporation the water circulates below the soil and is wicked up as needed in this Earthan Bed.  Combined with the usual mulching techniques water loss is kept to a minimum.  This requires a very small pump which could be powered by a photo electric panel.  I'm using a 9 Watt pump in the Earthan Bed above.

I believe this design could be utilized on a commercial scale to save water in California

My Dutch Bucket Hydroponic garden is being tested for leaks and is ready to be planted
Hydroponics have the distinct advantage of providing constant moisture and nutrients to the roots while conserving water.  Nutrient solutions can even be adjusted depending on the growth stage of the plants so that blossoms, and larger fruit can be promoted.

Earthan Beds with lettuce and water cress.
This uncovered cold frame helps to get germination started when it's cold.

Looking back across an Eathan Bed toward the vertical garden, and wicking barrels.
I use water cress and flowers as ground cover to fill empty spaces.
All of my Earthan Beds receive bio-nutrient rich water which returns to a sump tank after flowing beneath the garden beds.

Asparagus and beans planted in the Hugelkultur Bed
Hugelkulture uses decomposed wood beneath the soil to hold water and feed mycelium.  Mycelium can grow hundreds of feet, and sequester nutrients and water from far below.

These squash were started in Soil Blocks then transplanted into baskets which protect from gophers
Soil blocks are basically free.
They protect starts from transplant shock, and from becoming root bound.
After removing a dead tree, I gained a sunny spot for a new garden.  I used old plywood to create a walkway. This garden will get some run off, so I built a dam at the edges to capture and store the water in the soil.

This 30"60" vertical garden contains 48 lettuce plants.
I made it out of drain pipe, evapoative cooler pad, and an old bath tub

These wicking barrels store water below, and use ropes to wick the water up into the soil.
They do not require watering from above, so there is very little evaporation
Wicking barrels are inexpensive, require no electricity, no hydroponic solutions, and fit on a balcony or in small yards.

Lettuce growing in a Kratky bed.  It does not get much simpler than this. Fill it, seed it and, and forget it.

This Earthan Bed is planted with garlic and a volunteer California Poppy
Earthan Beds are my prefered method of gardening.  Combining the best attributes of hydroponics with soil gardening.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Earthan Beds - This one has spinach

Chard and a tiny agapanthus growing in an Earthan Bed.
Each Earthan Bed has a 4" pipe in the center is where I feed my table scrapes to the worms.

Radishes and a sage plant in another Earthan Bed

Hugelkultur bed with cilantro, and lemon balm

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