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Sunday, December 06, 2020 Gritty Walmart

Entry 406 of 417
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I thought of a way to steal Chistmas. Doh... wrong diary.

I mean... I thought of a way for me to (possibly) get the best soil health over the winter. Its just an untested idea but here it goes:

Because we get 5x the rain we really need, it can deplete some of the good stuff from the soil. Covering the ground with plastic is pretty much the best way to retain the nutrients. A cover crop or thick straw mulch is a big help too but there is a third option which is to also rotate plastic covers overvthe garden areas. A plastic cover helps reduce the excess rain, but the way I figure it, some rain is probably a good thing. The plastic covers quickly makes homes for rodents because it creates a warmer, drier, protected place to vacation during the winter. So I am thinking that using plastic over, say, 6 out of 7 of the garden areas but rotating one sheet of plastic to whichever was the unprotected plot everyday would create a seven day rotation where each plot could get rained on for a day and the voles would either have to abandon that plot or get eaten by a cat or bird hopefully because their protection suddenly moved.

So this would give some of the benefits of the rain, like activating worms and soil biology and neutralizing the ph wherever its off a bit... It would add oxygen to the soil to have the plastic for that one day a week. And it isnt hard to move one piece of plastic it takes five minutes maybe to just drag it from one spot to the next, and secure it with some old iron pipe or metal barrels. Five minutes a day to maintain seven garden areas optimally seems worthwhile. Rather than having depleted nutrients or too many rodents.

One last note: As long as the temps stay below the 70's the low angle of the sun wont overheat a covercrop under a plastic sheet. The cover crop might get matted down when it rains or snows but as long as it is free of the plastic for one day a week, it should survive. Thus, plots with cover crops could be protected from excess rain also without destroying the cover crop? I will be trying this scheme this winter. Most of the plastc sherts I am using are 15 x 15 but I have one thats 30x30. Its still moveable at that size.

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