all around greens

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Cover crop: da non sottovalutare.

Un’interessante testimonianza sull’impiego delle coltivazioni da sovescio qui.

Un paio di estratti rilevanti dell’articolo ve li riporto:

‘… This past summer, without a preceding fava cover crop, the garden was pale in comparison. This year, we won’t make the same mistake…. Yet another job of cover crops is to break up hard packed soil…’

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Ranunculus ficaria.

Erbacea caratterizzata da piccoli tuberi che si sviluppano a livello delle radici.

Come tutte le Ranuncolacee è tossica per la presenza in ogni sua parte di anemonina, il cui tenore è massimo dopo la fioritura. Le api non bottinano i suoi fiori anche se molto appariscenti. Benchè il processo di fienagione riduca il contenuto del composto tossico gli animali la scartano sia nel fieno somministrato che al pascolo.


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Rooting hormone.



an interesting recipe to propagate plants:

here’s all it takes to make your own rooting hormone dip.  Find a healthy, vigorous willow tree and take several cuttings of its branches with plenty of fresh green leaves on them.  Any variety of willow will work.  Where I live, willows leaf out just ahead of almost any other tree in the spring, so if you don’t have a willow tree of your own, keep your eyes open in spring to locate some in the wild or in parks.  Look near running water or in swampy areas.  Spring is a good time to propagate things from cuttings too, so it seems fortuitous that willows are conspicuous at this time.  Strip a small pile of leaves from the willow branches and chop them up finely as you would a culinary herb.  Including some of the very soft willow branches in with the leaves is fine.  You should have 2 cups (~ 0.5 liter) of well chopped willow material.  Put it in a large non-reactive container, such as a stoneware bowl.  Cover with 1 gallon (~ 3.8 liters) of boiling water and let it steep overnight, up to 24 hours.  If you can’t boil water, room temperature water will do, but let it steep for a full 24 hours.

That’s your rooting hormone dip, ready to use as you would any commercial rooting dip.  After it has steeped you can store it, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to two months apparently.  But if you have easy access to willows, it’s probably best to make up a fresh batch each time you want to propagate from cuttings.  This willow rooting solution has the added benefit of retarding fungal, bacterial, and viral infections in the cutting.  So you can soak your stems in the willow solution immediately after cutting them if you need to get your pots and soil ready.  Pretty nifty, I’d say, for a product that’s free for a pleasant hour or so of effort.’

thanks Kate

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Do you know that powder of cinnamon is good for plants?

Ground cinnamon can protect cuttings from fungi that would cause rotting before rooting, as a mild fungicide. Press cut stems into powder of cinnamon; the moisture from the stem will pick up the proper amount. Then plant it in a pot with sterile potting mix.

Use cinnamon also as a substitute for rooting hormone.

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What’s kind of soil?

This is a melted soil: it’s a right and balanced mix of inorganic ( sand, silt and clay) and organic materials (plant and animal rests).

When it’s wet it forms, after compression, a little ‘ball’ . But it, easily, grinds.

This kind of soil permits roots to grow without obstacles. Sometimes we can find some stones, but they can be eliminated by hands, and in any case prove that there is an important sandy component.

Sand is a soil improvers.

Near stream it’s easy to find a part of silt: very nutrient for plants, even if it carrys a lot of weed seeds.

Clay permits to soil to ‘stay togheter’ and to plant to grow correctly.

Organic materials rapresent the ‘food’ for plants. It’s presence in quantity is tied by color: more it’s dark and more it’s rich in organic materials.