It’s been a great bloom year for roses, hydrangeas and azaleas. All the rainfall we’ve had over the last couple weeks has eased our drought situation and green growth is exploding everywhere. Mowing my yard every five days now. Vegetable plants are busy putting on fruit. Seen good looking harvests of green beans, cabbage and the like posted on Facebook. PeeWee sits in his regular spot at Farmers’ Market in downtown with an impressive set-up of produce as usual.
I used an inoculant in the soil around my tomato plants this year. Inoculants improve growth rate, bloom proliferation and fruit production.
By the numbers: Did you know that there are 70,000 soil types in the U.S.? That one tablespoon of productive soil has more organisms in it than there are people on the planet Earth? That 1,400,000 earthworms can be found in an acre of healthy cropland? And, ouch, 4, 000 gallons of water are needed to produce a bushel of corn, but 11,000 gallons are needed to produce a bushel of wheat.
Continue to plant with pollinators in mind. Many times we plant too much of one thing, which is not what Mother Nature intended. Diversity is what creates a healthier environment. Bees are essential pollinators for 1/3 of the U.S. food supply. Farmers in California, particularly almond growers, have started to plant bee forage habitat in hedgerows, ravines and other places on their property. It’s estimated that if a farmer would set aside up to 30% of their land for bee habitat, few bees would have to be trucked in to do the job of pollinating. Research has found that if commercial honeybees are brought in, the “natives” make them go buggy, that is, the non-natives work more effectively alongside the native bee population in the field. Some farmers are exploring the planting of bee friendly crops that are commercially viable such as canola and camelina for the bio-fuel industry and cuphea and echium for the cosmetics industry.