- Author: Dustin Blakey
The first week of December is California Healthy Soils Week. To help "celebrate" the occasion I was asked to give a lecture on some tips to keep your garden soil healthy. If you're the type that likes to watch videos, then you can watch the recording. (It's about 1 hour including the questions at the end.)
If you're like me and like to get the short, bullet-point version, here it is.
Dustin's Healthy Soil Tips:
- Know your native soil (Try this link!)
- Make permanent paths
- Treat beds like beds: don't stand or walk in them and keep them covered—with mulch
- Add organic materials like compost
- Rotate crops; be sure to include cover crops
- Till gently; here's an article to learn more
Note: Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners who watch the video can receive 1 hour continuing education credit.
- Author: Sarah Sheehan
Set in the middle of an elder community in Bishop, the Sunrise Garden has flourished for seven years providing information to Inyo-Mono Counties Master Gardeners and delectable bounty for its residents.
So far this season, the six varieties of tomatoes grown both in sun and shade are yielding impressive numbers. The tomatoes are counted and weighed as well as notated for their size, color, shape, flaws and flavors twice a week. The varieties this year are: Better Boy, Big Beef, Carmello, Champion II, Early Girl and Jetsetter. On August 29th we picked more than 44 lbs of tomatoes which we donated to the residents.
While tending the garden a careful watch is made for any evidence of pests or decline. To this end, the watering system is regularly checked, plants are water sprayed from below to dislodge pests and their cages shaken to rid them of excess water.
Green bell peppers are also grown in sun and shade and they too are thriving with 18 inch plants having as many as 24 peppers. So our task is to thin and cheer these green jewels on. The only issue we have had thus far is a little sunburn as it has been an unusually warm summer in the Eastern Sierra.
These tomatoes are grown in two other sites around Bishop and it has been noted that the same tomato variety has a slightly different taste dependent on which location it was grown. At the end of season we will be posting our results.
The tomato gang: Carolyn Lynch, Joan Nash, Marti Holton, Sarah Sheehan, and Denyse Racine.
- Author: Dustin Blakey
As you hopefully are aware, our Master Gardener program has a Facebook page. Now, part of my job as the adviser to the MG program is to go online to make sure that our posts on this blog and Facebook aren't bogus. I'm supposed to review everything for accuracy of the content.
This morning I logged onto Facebook to do my morning due diligence with reviews, and I found an interesting post was on my personal news feed. (A miracle!) This short post, "The Burdens of Expertise" was somewhat ironic since I was logged on for the purpose of seeing if anything needed my "expert" attention on our Facebook page.
I thought this was an interesting read for Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, docents, and other groups with trained volunteers, especially if they find themselves in positions where they repeatedly get asked the same questions that seem to have obvious answers—to an expert. Those who know me probably recognize that there are a few items on the list I could improve on, but I never really felt it was a burden. That's why I like my job.
If you have any expert insights yourself you'd like to add for others to read, feel free to include them in the comments below. If that's not a burden. ;-)