The heat wave is upon us… August is the hottest month in Denton and we are gearing up for the brutal heat this week and in the future. We are looking forward to the fall crops, but also focusing on eking through next months temperature extremes. All week we will be mulching and watering to help keep the root zone cool and plants healthy.
Mulching with grass trimmings is easy, readily available, and extremely beneficial. It reduces the risk of soil drying out which is crucial since we haven’t had a good rain in some time and the temperatures are in the mid 100s. Cool soil allows for beneficials to thrive and help build healthy root systems.
This weekend I (Andrea) researched more options for our aphid and overall insect control. Sepp Holzer’s “Permaculture, A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming, and Gardening” suggested to provide a habitat for predators so that nature can balance itself out. The take home message for me from this book is that nature is perfect and disease and infestations are kept in check by diversity. So by increasing the amount of diversity a balance will come and health of the overall system will improve. One method of increasing diversity is to add logs, leaves and debris throughout the garden to give predators a place to hide. We’ve started this practice today and will monitor further changes.
I’m (Matt) also looking into preying mantis’s and other predatory nematodes, researching mushroom cultivation, primarily oyster and shitake mushrooms, and green house growing. We are both very busy with this venture, taking in as much quality information as we can and applying it in our garden. We are both increasingly interested in farming on a larger scale, and want nothing more than to grow delicious food for our community. We will be attending the market this weekend and hope for everyone’s sake it cools off by then.