Thursday, July 14, 2011

Update On The Straw Bale Garden

Hi Friends,

Well the garden is going gang busters. We have our first tomatoes and one cucumber. The plants are very healthy in all three growing mediums:  hay bales, tire container, and 33 gal trash cans.

There are lots of blooms and fruit. It is interesting that here in the desert, there are not many bees. It seems that the wind and other insects take over the job of pollenating the veggies.

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You must water and water everyday in the straw bales. It also would have been better if we had started earlier. Several of the bales that were in really good shape took much longer to decompose. They must decompose before you plant in them. Otherwise the bale will steal the nutrients away from the plant. I must say my lavender is also very happy planted in the bale. The only plant that seems not be doing well is the comfrey plant. I may have to move that one. So overall, I can say I will plant again next year this way.

I removed the boxes that were originally around the plants for wind protection. I used branches from a fallen tree for tomato stakes.  It worked very well. I hope you enjoy the pictures. We used an old gate as you can see and some tires to make wind blocks on that side.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Give Moringa Tree Roots Room to Grow

Hi Folks,

I am transplanting my 5 young trees to new trash can containers. I have noticed over the past two years, that Moringa seedlings only grow well in large containers with depth. They seem to sense that they do not have enough room to grow when planted in small containers.

Moringa trees have a tap room that goes deep. If you keep them too long in a small container thay will cease to grow and begin to lose ground on their health. They don't grow well when their roots are confined.  A 20 gal container in the smallest after a certain point to keep them healthy. Even as babies it seems they grow faster in bigger containers. Planting them in the ground would be the best move except that here it gets to 10 degrees and lower. That would kill the trees. I must keep them in a movable containers for our harsh winters. So today the 5 young ones will go to bigger homes. Use two people when moving them. It is difficult once  they are 4 feet tall to move them into a bigger container without breaking them.  You must support the length of the tree while shaking it loose from its old home. 

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When your tree reaches 4 to 5 feet cut the top off. It will then branch out from the lower parts of the trunk. You want more leaves and branches within reach, not a tall tree where the leaves are out of reach. Use your leaves. If there are too many, dry the leaves so you have powder for winter. They are a food to use for health. 

If your tree is not growing as it should, it may be the container, the need for organic fertilizer, or not enough sun. Keep it wind protected as well.  Don't let it sit in soggy soil.   the lower picture is an example of the tree branching out from the root. There is a squash plant growing in this one as well. I don't suggest this. I was not sure if the tree had made it so wanted something started in the pot. That was a mistake, since the tree is alive and the container is not big enough for both. I have to try a squash transplant to hay bales today.

Talk to you later,
Kate, The herbladyisin 
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