Plant ‘Em High

By Steve Sprinkel | March 09, 2016
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I began to plan my winter planting early, counterintuitively irrigating my fields in September so I could reduce the amount of dust raised by tractor cultivation and to make my beds sit as high as they could above the level of the land. Without the water, the dry beds would just collapse, as would a castle made of dry talcum powder instead of dribbled beach sand. You got to get it up so the water will drain.

Once bedded, or raised, the lifted ground will dry out faster when it does rain, and one can go back in and work the soil earlier. Shovel up a few long ridges in your garden nine inches high. If you are of the container/box persuasion, you are well ahead of mere shovelers. Many is the rainy season I have waited for the ground to dry out enough to re-plant only for another deluge to set me back another 10 days.

But don’t postpone your yen to garden until you’ve raised your beds in wooden boxes. You may starve before that project is done.

Pardon my future hindsight, but I have counted on the clockwork January Dry Down for years, against all predictive reasoning. More often than not, between the rains of December and the wet promise of February and March, a wee respite opens unto us and you had better have seeds, transplants, fertilizer and full fuel tanks ready.

Feel free to fi le this information away until next January and see if an early wet is followed by a sneaky dry.

Article from Edible Ojai & Ventura County at
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