I love surprises, no matter how small.

Like these, for example, which I first noticed about six weeks ago:


The radishes I planted in April have done wonderfully.

I know there are many of you out there that abhor radishes. I used to be one of them. But if you toss them with a bit of olive oil and roast them, they are absolutely delicious. The boy gobbled them up.

The peas are also looking happy:

This year I wanted to know exactly what the dirt was made of, so to speak. I took a few clumps of soil from very different parts of the garden and took them to Echter’s Greenhouse for a soil test.

It took about 20 minutes and was $4 a test, which I thought was a worthwhile investment, though I’m sure the results are not particularly surprising to Colorado gardeners who actually know what they are doing. (For example, I was resoundly mocked by my neighbor for going over to borrow “the flat spade-y thing”.)

And the results? Well–the pH of the front garden soil which has had dying grass and dandelions for years was near perfect at 6.5. The newly dug up area near the house that hasn’t been touched for 2 years is not terrible at 7. And the beds I so diligently dug up and amended last year?  The pH is 8! Maybe that’s why things didn’t seem to grow as well as the community garden. Or it could be that none of the soil has any nitrogen. Potassium and phosphorous were okay, which seems to be typical for Colorado soil.

I’ll be adding blood meal for nitrogen, but are there any fixes for the alkalinity of the soil? Googling tells me that my choices are basically sulfur or adding compost yearly and waiting a few years for it to correct, neither of which sounds terribly appealing.

Buying starts tomorrow and hopefully getting them into the ground over the next week! Yay for Spring!

2 thoughts on “Harvest/Planting

  1. Shree says:

    Don’t add more than 3″ of compost at a time and till in – ideally to a depth of 6″. You can sprinkle more occasionally as top dressing.
    (Starbucks’ free “Grounds for grounds” = Desi-budget way to add organic matter)


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