August 2009  
In This Issue
August Garden Tasks
Get Ready for Fall
Quick Links
 Dear Reader,

Yes, we are still waiting for our supplies of Humisoil — but the first load should arrive next week. Happily, we have taken steps to avoid a similar s
ituation in the future.
Roland in the garden
Let me explain how we managed to run out.  Humisoil is ancient natural humus that exists in large quantities around the Anchorage area of Alaska.  Whenever a structure is built, about 4-5 foot deep of this spongy material has to excavated and removed from the construction site.  It is too soft to build on.  Originally, it was dumped in the ocean; more recently it is trucked to a special landfill.

Our supplier, recognizing the amazing microbial riches in the humus, excavates it very carefully, tests it for soil life and screens out any extraneous material.  It is then shipped down to our warehouse in trucks that would otherwise make the trip empty (most food has to be trucked up to Alaska).  

Naturally, the Humisoil cannot be processed during winter when it is frozen. Because it is so porous, it also cannot be processed when it is very wet.  We obtain most of our supplies in Spring but this year did not plan for the enormously increased demand.  This summer, the rain kept falling in Alaska and we kept waiting for a dry spell so the Humisoil could again flow South.       Some of you purchased the fine Vermicompost that we were using as an alternative to the Humisoil.  I personally visited the worm farm and was very impressed by the quality of production.  It is amazing to see millions of red wriggler worms working away to produce the Vermicompost.
  Please let us know how you liked the material so we can decide whether to keep it in stock.

The summer is fast ending and it is a good time to start preparing for the fall and winter.  This months article is a few reminders of how, with a little planning, you can extend your season all the way into spring.

Have a bountiful harvest.

Roland Evans

Organic Bountea

August Garden Tasks
(August 15th — September 15th)
Hopefully you are harvesting your tomatoes, beans, squash and corn.  August is a month that often gets neglected in gardening advice columns.  So this month, I will extend the garden tasks section into the article below — Get Ready for Fall.Cabbage


The Bountea Growing System:
  If you are fall planting, use the Bountea with M3 as you would in the spring.  Add Root Web if planting a new crop where Brassicas have been grown (see below).



Get Ready for Fall

August is a hot month of constant watering and heavy harvesting.  Many think of it as a prelude to the end of the gardening season.  For those who plan a year-long harvest, it is the beginning of the busy fall season.  This year, make the intention to help your garden produce more for longer.  Brave the heat and prepare for fall gardening.
Harvest to Prolong Production
Harvest all vegetables regularly and often.  Most plants keep producing longer if you remove buds, flowers, fruit and seedpods.  Tomatoes, beans and summer squash prefer almost daily cropping.  Keep harvesting the sprouts and flowers of Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflowers); they are tasty and nutritious.  As soon as production wanes, be ruthless and clear the ground.
Collect and Composting
You can never have too much compost or organic mulch.  Keep separate piles for compost making and mulch collection.  Collect and scavenge as much organic matter as you can.  Compost all green material as soon as possible and keep excess brown material (leaves, wood chips, sawdust) for winter mulch.
Organize and Stratify Seeds
Look through your seed packets and order cold weather crops such as winter lettuce, Brassicas, pea greens, beet and turnip greens, spring onions, etc.  All varieties that grow in the spring can also be planted in September.  Consider storing excess hot weather seeds (tomatoes, beans, corn, squash) in plastic bags in the freezer for next season.  Pop seed packets of spinach, lettuce, chard and carrots into the freezer (stratify) for a week before sowing.  Germinate seeds in damp paper towels and then plant indoors in a cool place.  This allows you to monitor the number of plants you will grow.
Prepare the Soil
All leafy greens like rich moist soil with plenty of humus and soil life. Even root vegetables (carrots, beets, celeriac, turnips) grown in the fall need plenty of organic matter to prevent hard freezing.  Add lots of compost and the Bountea with M3 when preparing the soil.
Brassica roots do not connect with mycorrhizae, so it is unnecessary to add Root Web when preparing ground for the cabbage family.  However, Brassicas also deplete mycorrhizae in the soil; add R
oot Web
when you are planting a different crop after Brassicas.
Shade, Mulch and Protect
Consider covering a cleared portion of your greenhouse with shade cloth to help seedlings and transplants get started.  Make shade tents with row covers or shade cloth. Get your row covers and plant protectors ready for the first cold snap.  Mulch the ground as soon as seedlings pop up to keep soil temperatures moderated.  Build up layers of compost and mulch around plants as they grow.With a little planning and some early preparation, you will still be harvesting lots of vegetables all through the holidays.  Enjoy.

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