I know. It was a bit late that I had my soil tested, but – apart from it being too clayish – we’ve always had a good feeling about the soil of our veg garden. The catalyst for sending the soil in anyway was the loam I bought for filling up the terraces we built, where we would like to plant berries and herbs next year, and I was concerned with the lead content – who knows where that loam comes from.  I am happy to say that all is well on the lead front.

  • Vegetable Beds

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  • Bought loam

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  • Interpretations

The veg bed soil is a bit acidic (and the recommendation is to apply lime, which we’ll do next season) and could use some Phosphorus, and it is low on Nitrogen (but then N is hard to test for, since the amount of it fluctuates a lot, and the sample was taken after many rainstorms). The bought loam (with N = 18 ppm), if used for vegetables, has the right acidity level but needs Phosphorous.

I’ve been a bit quiet because a friend of Amie’s (E, who is 5) is staying with us for the week and I am using every second that they’re at play to rewrite my novel. When it’s just Amie and I she doesn’t let me work on the computer, or read a book, and often she has limited patience for garden work. Now that her friend is here on the extended playdate she lets me do all those things for long stretches of time.

We’ve had some good weather but there is still too much rain. A couple of days ago the forecast was for “big hail”  so DH and I ran out to cover all the beds with landscape fabric: the whole garden was wrapped up. The hail luckily didn’t happen, but the fabric gave some protection against the torrents. Still, except for the beans, radishes and peas, all the fall plantings (lettuces, carrots, kale, broccoli, chard and then some) I sowed a couple of weeks ago came up, but the tiny seedlings have in the meantime been eaten (slugs again?) or washed away.  I need to sow indoors, maybe set up a seedling table near the big picture window in our living room.

So far I’ve harvested 2 lbs oz of green beans, 3 lbs Keuka Gold potatoes, 3 lbs Red Norland potatoes, some Swiss Chard, 20 heads of lettuce, and lots of basil and thyme… Not quite the bounty I was hoping for at the end of July. Especially the Keuka Gold potatoes (which I slashed down in fear of Late Blight)  were a disappointment – though I must say they conditioned that soil nicely, and it is now teeming with earth worms.

The weather and my inexperience have been factors, and I’m happy to say that neither of those are permanent! So I’m hopeful for August. I’ve asked the Riot group for recommendations on a pressure canner and outdoor stove (propane, natural gas?) and we’ll be buying those soon, so those tomatoes had better ripen!

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