Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sunny sunflowers

I know I seem to go on and on about the weather and it might be a bit boring to readers but it is such a vital part of my business that I have to spend some time thinking about it every day. While the rest of the country swelters we are having such good weather that I am smiling every time I walk out of the house. I'm sure that I really annoy all those people who moan about the cold summer when I tell them it is the best summer ever. Hey, they had a hot one last year so it is my turn, lol. We have only had a few days over 30 C so far this summer but I am sure our 40 degree days are coming, I am just enjoying the coolness while it lasts.

Although they are late because of the cool weather my sunflowers are opening now. I always feel great when I look at sunflowers, they are always so... sunny. I really should have put in a lot more.

I have noticed so far that they are not working well as shade (I did put in a couple of beds with sunflowers on the northern side of the vegetables to provide summer shade) as they seem to retard the growth of the vegetables around them. Damn, I was hoping to use them a lot more for this purpose next year.

So far I have found that yacon and Jerusalem artichokes work ok as shade but sorghum and sunflowers do not. I am still on the fence with the corn as I didn't have enough corn germinate to properly test it. I didn't actually test the sorghum for this purpose as I already know that it retards growth of nearby broadleaf plants.


This is a photo of D block today. Since I have harvested most of the seed off the beds I was saving for seed it is looking so much neater. I am sure the neighbours are also happier.

I put most of the water saving crystals and compost in beds on this block and I am thinking that I might check tomorrow to see if there is any difference in soil organisms between the unimproved beds and the improved ones. The plants are definitely growing better but that would also be because of the better weather than last year as well.
I am hoping that as the compost breaks down I will have less problems with the root knot nematode that infests this block.




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