Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garden 2012 Layout

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This year's garden took a bit of a twist.  I did a bit of reading over the winter to figure out where I could make changes to improve things, which, compiled with the issues that I had last year, led to a pretty different looking garden.  Using primarily Toby Hemenway's book "Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture", I reconfigured what I wanted to grow on a three-dimensional plane in order to get more from my garden.  While Hemenway pushes forward great ideas in terms of long-term growth (i.e. perennials), his section for seasonal gardening is regretfully thin.  Fortunately, the ideas from his book translate fairly easy, it's simply a matter of trying to pair the plants together correctly.

As the chart above shows, the east side of the garden, where I had shade issues last year, became a home to lettuce and carrots.  The idea was that the carrots would occupy the underground space, while the lettuce and their light root system would overtake the ground layer, which would have a longer season anyway because of the shade.  Similarly, the Kale would be hidden below some of the canopy of the shade.  As of now, the kale has grown a bit too slowly for my taste, as well as the lettuce.  However, the carrots seem to be doing quite well, which is leading me to wonder how the soil quality is.

Speaking of soil quality-- I did add a bag of hummus to the garden.  The soil seems a bit depleted, so I was hoping that adding the hummus would help add some sustenance and also aid in the soils absorption of water.  I'm feeling as though, however, the soil is still nutrient deficient, as the peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants aren't growing too quickly.  Growth seems a bit stunted, and I had hoped the nitrogen-fixing of the beans from last year in the place where the tomatoes were placed would help.

To continue with the idea of layering the plants, I had included a cucumber plant, which I had wanted to run rampant below the tomatoes and peppers, but they seem to be growing too slowly and I'm imagining that the plants will only grow 3-5 feet at the longest, based on their growth pattern as of yet.  Which, of course, means weeds are taking over and eating up the nutrients. 

Returning to the eastern section of the garden, the celery seems to be doing well.  Better than last year, at least-- I'm not really sure why, considering everything around them (other than peas and beans) aren't doing particularly well.

I had also hoped that the squash would take over the section that last year had been almost abandoned because of the soil depth issue-- I had added 2 cubic yards of soil to give it a little more depth, but I have seen almost no growth this year, which has been a bit frustrating. 

Lastly, the section against the sunroom has been doing pretty well.  The garlic was left over the winter, and has grown very quickly (and thickly).  I paired the garlic with onions, shallots, and potatoes, covering the entire section, with a few squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini which I believe would provide coverage from weeds.  So far, that has worked around the shallots, but the plants around the onions seem to be growing slowly-- although not as slow as in the other bed.

Of course, the slowness of growth could simply be because of the cool, rainy summer we have had this year.  Who knows!  I'm hoping for the best.  How's your garden going?  Any tips you'd like to pass off to help me?

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