Returning organics 🌿
Digging the leftovers from harvest back into the place they came from goes a long way toward replenishing as much that came out as possible – both nutrients and organics. Below you can see I have just finished up the corn bed with a final harvest. Before anything else, I pull out, break up and trench back in as much organics as possible, as soon as possible.
⚠️Of course, this works only when you then don’t plant the same veg in the same spot next year, otherwise the bugs that are attracted to come munch and break this lot down (a good thing) stay and munch on the same kind of plants next season (not so good). THAT is about CROP ROTATION, and a story for another day.
Dig trenching hole to fill with what came out of that bed.
Dig next hole, covering organics as you go.
Organics are now covered and next hole dug ready for filling
Fresh is best 🌿
This bed is finished. Time to trench it in.
Long hole is dug, spade width and about 30-40 cm deep.
Weeds at the bottom, filled with a heap of greens.
Dig next hole, filling previous onewith soil.
We dig harmless annual weeds in as well, low down in the hole, bits of foliage and failed veg, last seasons’ straw mulch… nearly everything that grew in there for the season except what we have eaten. It is important if at all practical to trench it as soon as you can after clearing the bed, since once it is all pulled and starts to die off, if it is laying around on top, the nutrients will begin to vent off into the air. Burying whilst still green and plump is ideal, to get both the moisture and the full nutrient load back into soil, STAT. My first set of pics above show the corn stalks which had already started drying off – less than ideal, but sometimes that happens. I got distracted with…life.
This is also true if you use no-dig or composting methods too – any organics that lay on top will contribute limited nutrient. Covering is the key – with soil, with another mulch or even an old wet carpet etc in the case of a compost area. Because we choose trenching here (and sometimes no-dig layering), there is always soil on top, to lock it all in.
Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿