Tag Archives: sheet mulch

Growing ginger, waiting for rain

Heyheyhey!

Today I’ve finally done some work in the garden! Inspired, and a bit stressed, by the prospect of rain. The clouds are heavy and very present, the air heavy with humidity. And we haven’t finished mulching! This is no disaster but better for us if we mulch while the grass is dead, to keep it that way. So today we went around the village of Puerto Engabo and asked for cardboard and got mostly old egg cardboard. Then we rushed on home thinking it would rain any second and mulch as much as we could with the small amount of cardboard we had gathered. And then I remembered I had bought ginger (that already had sprouted a bit) at the market in Playas and that now was the perfect time to do it as the rainy season will start any second now.

About growing ginger: it doesn’t like direct sunlight, but filtered so I put it in the one shady and sheltered spot furthest away in the garden since we wont be harvesting in a long time and not often. It needs a lot of mulch since it likes humidity, the soil must never dry out! We sheet mulch so the soil will probably, hopefully, be rich and moist and happy. I chopped up some extra cow manure that Rachid had brought to make sowing soil and sprinkled it over the dry grass we had gathered in a panic.  Then I put the cardboard on top, cut holes in them and inserted the ginger about ten centimeters into the mulch. Then I breastfed Soleiman that could bear it no longer that mommy was doing something else than giving him my full attention, as Rachid did the final touches and added the seedless straw on top. Now it better rain like crazy!

Ginger is a beautiful plant, looks like a sort of grass and it makes bulbs that you then harvest (after a looong wait). It is not the root, you can read a better text about growing ginger here. I have only grown ginger once before in not-at-all-tropical Sweden, indoors and that went great although I kinda neglected the plant. I highly and strongly recommend growing ginger wherever you are, as it is delicious, healthy, beautiful and so easy to grow. Yesterday I also took bits of a lemongrass plant and put them on the banana circle, so soon, Nadija my friend and the owner of this garden, will be making all sorts of amazing thaifood. Mmm….

Enjoy photos!

Ginger

Ginger

Cardboard puzzle, you have to overlap them so that no grass can come through!

Cardboard puzzle, you have to overlap them so that no grass can come through!

Ginger anyone?

Ginger anyone?

Sprouted side up!

Sprouted side up!

One bed mulched!

One bed mulched!

Will the lemongrass survive?

Will the lemongrass survive?

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Allotment symbiosis

Hej everyone! The chicken tasted great thank you for asking! Very lemony and yummy and all the surrounding veggies also got a nice acidity which I balanced out with some sour cream mixed with parsley. First time in a while that I felt food-happy.  Today the sun decided to make a guest appearance and mingled with the clouds, so we went to the plot and continued our sheet mulching venture. The lawnmower man had been at it again and we have collected tons of grassclippings and fallen leaves. Last time we were there we hade pretty much taken all the compost material that  our alotment neighbours had thrown in the line of trees next to our plot. Pretty much everyone throws it there so alot of it had accumulated. This time it was again refilled, since it’s autumn people are uprooting all the dead plants to have naked beds. Don’t do that! Just leave them on the ground and they will give back all the nutrition they have sucked out of the soil. Today I have a different type of recipe for you!

GARDEN LASAGNA

a bunch of newspaper

organic material

grass clippings

On your weed/plant covered garden bed, uproot everything but leave it on the garden bed. Add organic material (such as small twigs, compost, straw, manure, compost soil, leaves, grass, old plants, seaweed etc) and spread out over the bed until it is a 30 cm thick layer. On top of this put newspapers. They should cover everything so that no weeds can come up through them. (The newspapers kill everything underneath since they allow no sun to come through). On top of the newspapers put grassclippings or some other seedless organic material. Leave until spring and enjoy perfect, weedless soil and absolutely no digging!

So basically what sheet mulching is, is making your whole garden into a compost meaning you don’t have to dig and transport the soil but just make it on the spot and at the same time avoid weeds. Does it work? Stay tuned for more plotting for independence!

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