Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Climate’ Category

From the time we are just wee, little ones learning a catchy rhyme, “Rain, rain, go away.  Come again another day!” Until the present time when we stand aghast to read the news about yet another terrible rain event in the form of one or more hurricanes.

Rain is one of those things that we hate one minute but know the next, that we can’t exist without.IMG_0371

The most important element that we need to support life (any kind of life) is WATER!  It comes to us in the form of rain.  Rain fills the oceans and pushes the brooks into the streams, which form the rivers, etc.  So, we cannot do without rain!

 

Some climates have to live with little, or no rain, as in deserts.  Other places like rainforests, have to figure out how to handle the deluges.  As I recall the cliché is “feast or famine”!  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are usually in the “feast” category…but not always.  This is where our skill, as gardeners and farmers, comes into play!

Our gardens have to handle both an excess of water, or in the dryest season of summer hold onto the little we get.  In other words, sometimes we need to deal with drought, just as we need to deal with the occasional flood.  Generally in the PNW,img_5618 the rain is frequent, but light. It keeps us constantly damp it seems, but doesn’t rain enough to get down to the deep roots where it’s necessary in order to be of any use to the plant above.  So, what are we to do?

As gardeners (I’ll include farmers in that all encompassing word) we all know that along with water, the most important ingredient is the SOIL!  Just like water, soil comes in different forms as well.  In a desert, it’s sand.  In a rainforest, it is almost pure compost. If it rains in the desert, the water is gone almost as soon as it hits the ground, because sand does NOT hold water and the dampness is burned off by the sun.  In the rainforest, the water is enclosed in the rich, deep compost, held in the shade, and available for whatever time is necessary!

What do we learn from this?  In a desert, there are no plants dropping leaves, or falling onto the ground to rot…so there is no compost forming naturally.  In the rainforest, there are trees and plants galore, which shed leaves, break off branches, and support animals that leave their detritus.  All of this falls to the ground, rots and becomes compost.  Now, if we could just get the two together!!!!

THAT is where the gardener begins to display his or her skills, and brains! compost-hand

Essentially, there are three things you need in order to create good soil for your garden. The growing material itself (which we call the soil); water; and air.  We aspire to “perfect” this combination in order to grow our crop, be it vegetables or flowering plants.

BUT, the bottom line is that we need to take the RAIN and hold onto it long enough, and deep enough, for the plants to utilize it.  If a plant is watered and just the top of the soil is dampened, the roots have no way of getting to it.  That is an unhealthy situation.  The roots will aim upward to get to the water, leaving them vulnerable to the next burst of heat, which will dry those roots out, and eventually kill the plant.  Water deeply!  THAT is the weak spot in our rainy climate.  We think because it’s always raining, we shouldn’t need to water, but that is NOT necessarily the case.

We need to figure out how to adjust the soil in order to hold and convey the water down to the roots of the plants.  This is done by combining our soil with compost.  That compost also loosens the soil, allowing space for air to be incorporporated.  A good equation!

In Israel, they have turned the desert into farms.  Go to this site and read how they created this miracle.  But, certainly this is not what we have to do in our PNW gardens, is it?

The Spruce has a wonderful article about building soil to hold water.  It would be worth a visit.

Here’s a link from the University of Maine, Extension Service telling everything you’d possibly need to know about soil,

Here’s to Happy Gardening…and perfect rainfall!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve been sick.  The last month and a half I’ve been definitely flying “half-staff”!  And of course, it coincided with “June in our Gardens” here at Horizon House.  Fortunately all the activities had been set up,  It was supposed to be time to sit back and enjoy.  Unfortunately, I was so miserable, I only got to about half of planned events.  That’s what pneumonia does to you, I guess.  I’m still struggling, but every little step toward health gives me hope that this too shall pass!

My normal weekly activities usually take me on, what I call, “checking the fences”, when I travel to all three garden levels to see how everything is growing, if there are things that need attention, or mysteries I can perhaps help the gardeners solve .  I haven’t been able to do that.  The last week I have gotten to my own little succulent garden, but I can’t do much except fill the little birdbath.  I got my husband to accompany me once, and he helped me schlep the hose over to give everything a good soak.  What would I do without him???  Anyway, even the thought of dealing with a blog has not enamored me, or “called out” to me.

green8-edit_custom-7d4826e40d0a8898c4bb931e5da33f2a3582fcca-s300-c85

NPR-(Woitek gurak/flickr)

This morning, however, I saw an article on my NPR page about Madrid’s (Spain) “Wall Gardens”.  They are vertical gardens that actually help with the soaring temperatures in the city.  How neat is that?

I don’t think it’s easy, by any means, but what a concept!  I loved it!

Doing this with vegetables seems to be a more common idea.  Here’s an article by the NC Extension Service.  Nebraska Extension Service also has an informational page concerning this concept.

Is this something we could think about doing in our own gardens?  I’ve been trying to think of a wall here at Horizon House that might be able to support something like that.  I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m not giving up on the idea!

Read Full Post »

The Sharing Gardens

A Master Gardener from Northern New England moves to the Pacific Northwest. Here are gardening experiences encountered along the way.

Hot Saucers Ultimate

Hamilton College's Ultimate Frisbee Team

This Veggie Life

A Vegetarian | Nature Lifestyle Blog

A Transplanted Gardener

A Master Gardener from Northern New England moves to the Pacific Northwest. Here are gardening experiences encountered along the way.

Karen Whalen

A Writer Sharing Her One in a Million Journey with Adrenal Cancer

Camp Merrowvista

The official blog of Merrowvista summer camp

G Chek Flys!

My Photography and Aviation Interests

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Wausau News

Health and Freedom News

Lyons Bonsai

A Novice Bonsai journey in Ireland

A Bridge to the Garden

Seminars for Gardeners about Gardening