The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Planting for a 4-Season Harvest, Part 4

Mulch Replaced After Soil Heats Up

Staking tomatoesAs with the peas, the leaf mulch is raked aside before planting and afterwards, when the ground heats up, is raked back again.  This mulch is also necessary over the winter to keep my clay soil from compacting and getting water-logged; it makes early planting possible.  Using mulch year after year also loosens and lightens the soil.

No special preparation for planting may be needed; often I just make a furrow and plant.  But for long-rooted crops in clay soil, better results will be obtained when a two-foot strip along the row is loosed with a spading fork.  This applies particularly to beets, carrots, parsnips --- all your crops, if there's time.  It's not too much work, and the whole garden can be done in a few years by alternating rows --- in any one year I never spade up the entire garden.  Read more....

This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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