Saturday, 2 November 2013

November 2013.

My potatoes are growing strongly and we will soon be harvesting baby ones.  Its great in the garden this time of the year, everything is growing well and the insect pests haven't got going yet.

I gave the potatoes (spuds) a foliar spray with diluted seaweed extract a couple of weeks ago because they seemed to be outrunning their food supplies a bit with their rapid growth.  The growing tips were healthy looking but very pale green.  Within a couple of days of applying the seaweed emulsion, the growing tips were back to normal and the spuds continued their headlong rush to maturity. 

I was quite impressed with this response, and decided to do some reading on the subject of foliar sprays.  

I was re-reading my back issues of the Australian Organic Gardener Magazine, and came across an article on this subject ("Ä good brew" by Simon Webster March/April 2012 edition pages 47-51).  Its a great article and I am ashamed to say I didn't realise its importance when I read it the first time.  I will pass on some of the article's main points in my page on Plant Wellness.

In the article Simon mentions Dr Elaine Ingham, chief scientist at the US organic research institution, The Rodale Institute.  She has done some wonderful work on soil microbiology, composting and compost tea. If you are interested check out Elaine's Video.

I have only recently got where I want to be with hot composting, and my crops are starting to show the benefits.  The next logical step is to try my hand at brewing compost tea (the way it should be done).  I plan to set myself up with a small compost tea brewer, and see how it goes.