Google+

Planting on Uncultivated Soil

Planting seeds on uncultivated soil is initially a substantial challenge. This is a big first step in the transition to natural farming. In throwing seed onto bear ground we often lose a battle against birds and other pests that eat the seeds. Uncut straw thrown onto the ground in every which way in the spring before the weeds make a comeback is a useful defense against birds but seed thrown in and allowed to drop through may still be eaten by moles, insects, field mice or rats, crickets or slugs.

Seeds soaked in water and then distributed into moist clay can be helpful. When the seeds are worked into clay and sieved through a narrow gauge chicken wire they produce small pellets containing seeds. These pellets can be distributed into the field. They drop through the straw. Many will germinate even in very wet weather. Pests will not eat the clay but the seeds will germinate, establish roots and the young plants will come through as the straw settles. Planted clover, alfalfa or beans from the previous year, may have effectively added a kind of green manure and humus from the previous year and may still be active, but stunted by spring rains. Planting early enough can produce plants that effectively compete with the weeds. Plant when winter weeds have died back and before summer weeds start to come in. The straw will settle and various mulches such as wood chips, decomposed or partially decomposed leaves or chopped, decomposed leaves, or composts added directly to the straw mulch as the clay-seeded vegetable plants start to come in. These methods including a strong emphasis on the use of a straw mulch are recommended by Masanobu Fukuoka in “One Straw Revolution.”

The seeds will not have been necessarily distributed one per clod and will come in all over the place. You will need enough of a plan to recognize what is coming up or where it is coming up. You will have a few surprises, but eventually you will get better at it. You can try some areas with just water soaked or moistened seed and compare results with seeds imbedded in clay. Planting on a hillside or between fruit trees or even in a vacant lot are useful places to experiment. If you have access to a lot of straw and permission to use land you may not own, you can have as many experiments as you like.

Many vegetable crops once established will come back on their own the following year. Many will need to be reseeded in the following season. One can try many vegetable seeds both with and without clay protection. These include radishes, beets, carrots, spinach, turnips, leeks, onions, cabbage, potatoes, peas, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, and various kinds of squash. Cucumbers and squash will need some kind of above ground trellises on which to develop. Broken or bent branches often work well with cucumbers as they grow over the raised branches and are protected from rot if kept off the ground. It’s often hard for tomato plants and eggplant to compete with oncoming weeds and thus require special handling. Kale, Swiss chard and mustard greens that traditionally do well in cool weather can be put in even earlier. Spices and herbs grown from seed also generally require assistance in getting started. Some plants like potatoes will grow back and dominate in some areas once they have been established. Depending on your weather you can also try to grow some rice, barley or more traditional grains. You may not get much of a crop but you may get a bit of straw to use at the beginning of the next growing season.

 

Richard A. Hudson is a writer, reader and blogger committed to exercise, proper nutrition and health.  He’s interested in politics, economics, alternative energy, gardening and sustainability and has written brief essays on many of these topics on his bloghttp://richlynne.wordpress.com.  Despite his generally positive and optimistic views about globalization, he wonders whether we will survive current destructive forces that increasingly promote warfare among political and social classes. He is also beginning to think about the declining influence of the know-it-all baby boomer generation just as the next generation born in the 60s begins to slowly stumble into a dominant position in the U.S.

 He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Chicago (1966) and subsequently spent 42 years in academics, gradually developing all sorts of interests well beyond his basic training.  He ended his academic career in 2008, having published about 100 scientific papers, reviews and commentaries.  In his last several years in the academy, his role as Dean of the Graduate School afforded him many opportunities to interact with students from all over the world seeking graduate degrees.

Entertainment

Franchise’s Fourth Episode Features New Cast Up to Old Tricks

  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Film Review by Kam Williams Franchise's Fourth Episode Features New Cast Up to Old Tricks According to Murphy's Law, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." And Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul provides cinematic support for that pessimistic principle. For, this kitchen sink comedy relies on the domino effect to exacerbate the ever-mounting misfortunes visited upon the beleaguered Heffley … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Cop under Fire

  Cop under Fire Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America by Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. with Nancy French Foreword by Sean Hannity Worthy Publishing Hardcover, $21.99 272 pages ISBN: 978-1-617-95857-1 Book Review by Kam Williams “David Clarke refuses to bow a knee to political correctness, and he refuses to give his party over to the hands of black activists whose politics would destroy America. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Scrapbooking for Beginners!

  Scrapbooking for Beginners!   When it comes to the arts & crafts/hobby world, there is one that has climbed the charts of popularity over the past few years. Scrapbooking calls out to a variety of people who, let’s face it, are truly sick and tired of cellphones clicking away, yet never producing PAPER copies of your grandchild’s photos. I realize that these electronic photos are simpler to use as backgrounds on laptops and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Catch Spring and Summer Stripers with these Tactics

  Catch Spring and Summer Stripers with these Tactics By Craig Lamb Fishing between seasons is a time of transition, and especially between spring and summer. Game fish species migrate from shallow spawning grounds out into the comfort zone of cooler, deeper water. Dialing into where those fish might be, can be tricky and especially so for the nomadic striped bass. Stripers like a cooler thermocline where they follow and feed upon … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Would Curry Versus James be the Ultimate NBA Championship?

  Would Curry Versus James be the Ultimate NBA Championship? By Amy Lignor   Yes…there are questions, quite a lot of them this year when it comes to “Who will take it all in the end?” But the most talked about continues to be whether or not LeBron James will reach his 5th straight finals, and, if he does, could Stephen Curry finally top a spectacular season with the Warriors by beating the ultimate LeBron and his Cavaliers and taking … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

The Best Car Investments of 2017…So Far

  The Best Car Investments of 2017…So Far by Amy Lignor   When the automobile industry ushered in its ‘best’ with the New Year, the rankings were released by U.S. News & World Reports, as well as other critics out there. And some have most definitely lived up to the hype. As we get ready to place the first half of 2017 behind us, and more and more buyers are looking to invest in a new automobile, it’s time to review what can … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Traveling to the “Stars”

  Traveling to the “Stars” by Amy Lignor   Astronomy can be daunting if you’re just starting out. After all, there’s a whole universe out there to see. The best way to begin, however, is not by investing in those expensive telescopes. Instead, simply travel to the most amazing areas in all of America and start…looking up. There, in the night sky, you will see the most incredible sights as you gaze at constellations, shooting stars, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]