Friday, June 3, 2011
Now that I've had the No Dig beds for a few weeks I've made a few observations. One is compost without soil mixed in requires daily watering to keep it even semi-moist. It's easy to do but the splashing water does put compost all over the poor plants leaves. I've had to water each morning, when it hasn't been raining, to keep the plants hydrated and seeds moist. Of course it is recommended that started plants be used in a no dig system but I just had to go against the grain. Most of the seeds did sprout and are slowly growing in the cold, wet spring. My second observation was that the straw and alfalfa decompose rather quickly in some areas of the beds leaving low areas. Hopefully these do not have an adverse effect on the plants that have grown in those areas.
Some of these areas have dropped over 6 inches while the beds on average have dropped 2 inches. I have discovered the seed free bedding straw I purchased in not indeed 100% seed free. I have a few blades of straw growing where I mulched a few tomato plants back when it actually started to get warm. Overall the vegetables seem to be doing fine though they seem to be a bit smaller than their counterparts that were planted in last years beds consisting of compost, soil and steer manure. I'll post up more on their progress as the weather stabilizes and possibly even allows me to finish painting the exterior of my garage and house.