Thanks Mrs. Spit... and Rows and Greenhouses


Posted on : 10:48 AM | By : Anonymous | In : ,

Thanks very much to Mrs. Spit who commented so nicely on my last post about raised beds vs. rows.  She had a great point that when you grow veggies in a bed, it's harder to turn the soil at the end of the season because you have to dig it by hand.  It takes a great deal more effort, and is not as effective.  There are some that don't ever turn their beds once they are made, but you end up with inevitable depletion of the soil.

I can understand using a rototiller, and we have access to a very nice one.  However, in our quest to be sustainable and petroleum-free, we have a conflict between food production and sustainability.  

One thing that we are for sure going to do is build a large greenhouse and use it all year.  We are designing it to have a passive solar feature, a large brick or concrete wall along the north side which will absorb heat and radiate it back into the house.  It will be glass rather than plastic.  I also want to try biomass heat and do my compost inside where it will radiate heat and keep it warmer in there as well.   We should be able to do all kinds of leaf vegetables and herbs throughout the winter, and I also want to try a peach tree and an olive tree if I can keep the temperature above freezing.

Now we have to find a way to till the earth without petroleum, but we aren't prepared to have animals the first year.  Maybe we should try a donkey like described in this great innovative post by Pratie Place.

Comments (1)

I have to say I dont have so much gardening experience but we did have a really useful visit from some famous organic gardening advisor at the allotments last year.
He said that you should avoid rotivators as they compact the soil and that raised beds should not need digging and indeed digging is detrimental to the soil condition. All that is required is as much organic matter on top through the off season as you can manage.
Hope it helps and remember raised bed also have better drainage and dont pull the back muscles as much. It is also easier to keep pests off the higher beds.
Kind regards