Day6 in this 6-day video series: Preparing patio pots for winter veggie planting.
First a video re “Leaf Layer Added to Leaf Trench Highway”, then some animal habitat pics (below the video):
Patio Veggie Pots 6 of 6 (video):
Leaf Layer Added to Leaf Trench Highway (pics):
Leaf Trench Highway with a fresh layer of tulip magnolia leaves. The trench along the walkway is three feet deep and filled with different organic/yard debris layers. The layers will break down and form rich compost in about 6 months to a year.
Leaf Trench Highway extends along the back corner of our yard to Salamander Resort (left). Besides storing organic material (twigs, leaves, straw, manure, pulled weeds), the trench also feeds the fedge (food hedge) along our property line. Pineapple guava, fig, and pomegranate trees, as well as annual veggies, grow in the compost-making veggie bed.
Critter level, perhaps the head height of a raccoon, skunk, or possum, of the entrance to Leaf Trench Highway. Personally, if I were a salamander, I would crawl under the leaf litter. Lots of tiny tidbit treats (FOOD!) under those moist leaves.
Dishwater ready for the compost pile. Dishwater with soap and food (left bucket) is considered “blackwater”; rinse water is considered “greywater”. We pour blackwater directly into the compost where microbes and micro-critters will process it. The greywater rinse water makes a fine treat for most of the garden, with care not to pour it directly on fruit/vegetables.
Happy planting veggies on your patio and see you tomorrow (Happy Thanksgiving!).
Day 5 in this 6-day video series: Preparing patio pots for winter veggie planting.
First a video re “Patio Veggie Pots”, then some animal habitat pics (below the video):
Patio Veggie Pots 5 of 6 (video):
Soil Making in Leaf Trench Highway (pics):
Horse manure ages in leaf Trench Highway, on top of many layers of garden debris organics.
Mushrooms pop out of Leaf Trench Highway’s manure after the first rain. Good stuff! Having the fungi/mushrooms means the manure will break down faster.
Later that year, Tony harvests compost/rich soil from the trench.
Anita dumps a new load of soil critter food. These apples were “debris” for a neighbor that wanted under her tree “cleaned up”. The soil critters and we are sure happy to have the mess!
A short retaining wall is added to Leaf Trench Highway. The short wall of re-used fence boards will allow a higher pile of organics to be heaped into Leaf Trench Highway, yet keep the walkway clear. Note how the block keeps the sledge from splitting the dry fence board.
Leaf Trench Highway’s short retaining wall in place, holding back tulip magnolia prunings (limbs and twigs). Lichens, mosses, and algae so abundant! Does life get any better?!
Figure 2.11 White Clover and Leaf Trench Highway. Leaf Trench Highway is about making soil — the 3 foot deep trench is filled with green mulch (for example, a whole lot of pumpkin vine prunings), then covered over with old (cool) manure and compost. Potato starts are dug in. Harvest, 6-9 months later, yields full-grown potatoes PLUS a long, deep trench of beautiful soil to use elsewhere in the garden. The white clover attracts pollinating insects to the potato flowers, adds nitrogen to green mulching, and is a sheltering go-between for critters to travel from one garden bed to another. Laying the slate pavers on soil, and not on sand or cement, allows soil fungi, microbes, and larger animals to pass through the soil, thereby assisting the growth of the clover cover crop.
Figure 3.37 The After of Salamander Resort. One year later and the resort is still operating. Driftwood creatures, a thriving beet crop, and Salamander Sunny Swimhole hide the goings-on eight feet below. See Figure 3.36 for “The Before”. Watering the pond waters the beets waters the compost waters the wood chips waters the oak rounds waters tank cavities waters Salamander Shady Shallows, AND waters the adobe clay earth surrounding Salamander Resort. Water + Cavities + Microbes + Mollusks (slugs and snails) + Worms + Insects = Happy Salamanders. The half wine barrel pond, with a 5’ x 5’ sheet of pond liner, was home this spring to Pacific Tree Frogs (and tadpoles). Many types of insect on the wing visit the pond. A salamander must be living somewhere in all that! Note some habitat features: clover on the slate path links this habitat to the rest of the garden, the pond’s surface rocks provide a critter rest stop, the “fedge” (food hedge of fig, pineapple guava, loquat, and pomegranate) along the fence provides flowers and food, and the compost in Leaf Trench Highway at the base of the fedge attracts its own ecosystem of soil makings and critters.
Happy planting veggies on your patio and see you tomorrow.
Day 4 in this 6-day video series: Preparing patio pots for winter veggie planting.
First a video re “Patio Veggie Pots”, then some “celebrating leaf liter as animal habitat” pics (below the video):
Patio Veggie Pots 4 of 6 (video):
Celebrating leaf liter as animal habitat (pics):
Leaves, leaves, leaves -- habitat everywhere! The 4 aspects of habitat (food, water, shelter, and space) are all found in a moist pile of leaves. A lot of the fallen leaves will become the topsoil's newest, freshest, and most-microbe-infused organic matter.
Tulip magnolia leaves alongside path and deck. Some of these leaves were removed (please don't use the term "cleaned up" because they were not dirty in the first place!), and some leaves were left as is. Those left in the garden bed and around the edges of the path continue to provide habitat AND nutrition returning to the garden.
Figure 3.44 Pacific Chorus Frog (Pacific Tree Frog) in Oak Leaves. Note the camouflage pattern to its skin, how well it blends in to the brown leaf layer. This frog species can switch from a green phase to a brown phase, but not immediately. Although the process is not instantaneous, the color scheme changeability comes in handy as the seasons change. The Pacific Tree Frog’s skin also helps us identify it — there is often a “triangular or Y-shaped dark spot on the head.” [Stebbins (2003), page 222.]
Figure 4.110 Found Treasure. Every day, run of the mill, unpretentious yard debris. Treasure to be found when wanting to create a natural look for your once in a lifetime, diamond in the rough, First Class habitat.
Figure 4.111 Secret Passageway. Yard debris is used to hide the habitat and loosely cover the gap under the fence. Remember that the organic yard debris is habitat itself, even before critters reach the Shangri La of Potato Bug Submarine.
Figure 2.28 Leaf Underpasses and Overpasses. pages 50-51 No, fallen flower petals and leaves are not leaf litter AND they need not be cleaned up. How did such a rich resource become so unwanted anyway? Especially if not too thick a layer, leaves left to return to the soil provide habitat for microbes and small animals, which in turn provide food for larger critters.
Happy planting veggies on your patio AND rustling in the leaves. See you tomorrow.
Anyone care to speculate why a deer might wander the sands of north Salmon Creek? Spotted these fresh tracks near the tide line last week?
Deer tracks along the tide line:
–What comes to mind to me is how deer are good swimmers. I used to live on the south shore of Long Island (NY) where deer would swim across the bay for a change of food and shelter. Perhaps the Salmon Creek deer are comfortable walking the surf line, an easy and direct transport to fresh food and shelter. Not too many people at 3AM, either.
–I wonder if the deer seek salt at the tide line, like a salt lick, during winter cold snaps.
Walking the beach — what a great place for questions!