Common Sense Home Good News Letter 2/25/24

“The weather twisted and weaved between extremes, one day bringing a rush of warmth and brilliant sun; the next day bringing plunging temps and a blanket of clouds. What were the best ways to protect the plantings from this wild weather?”

I’m over 50, and I can’t remember having quite such abrupt temperature changes as we’ve had in recent years. (Our forecast has a nearly 40 degree swing in high temperature predicted from one day to the next this week.) I also don’t remember so much haze in the sky, or criss cross patterns in the sky. Whether or not the two are related may be up for debate, but whatever the cause, it makes our garden microclimates more critical than ever.

We can’t change the forecast, but we can impact how it affects our gardens and other plantings. I highly recommend the use of ample organic mulch to protect the soil. It mitigates temperature swings, and buffers too much or too little water. Over time it adds organic matter to the soil, which is critical for a healthy soil biome.

For more tips on dealing with this wild weather, see “​Garden microclimates​“.

Another way to protect your plants is to build mycorrhizal connections in the soil. ​Mycorrhiza (fungi) ​in the soil form symbiotic relationships with plants and between plants. This allows the plants to pull nutrients from a much wider area. It also allows the plants to communicate more easily with each other, sharing information about pests and diseases. Mulching helps fungal networks to grow, as does minimizing soil disturbance.

I’ve got to head out to visit grandma and grandpa, so I need to wrap up, but I’ll be back with more tips for resilience in these changing times next week.

All our best to you and yours, Laurie (and August, August, & Duncan)

This week’s featured articles…

It won’t be long before the feed stores have live chicks coming in, but before you jump into backyard chickens, there are a few basic preps to tackle. See “​Raising Chickens​” to get you off on the right track.

Spring is a good time to forage for dandelion roots and greens. The greens are milder before the plants send up flowers, and the roots are plumper and sweeter. Though they get a bad wrap from those selling herbicides, dandelions are a good source of food and medicine. They may help regulate blood sugar, aid digestive, and provide an array of nutrients.

​Learn more about dandelion benefits here.​

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