Saturday, January 30, 2021

Tea Is For Sissies

Well, it's about time to refresh our raised beds here in the Catican Compound. Now usually, that means we've pulled out all the plants so the beds are totally barren. Come January or February, I nuke the soil with a mix of organic and chemical fertilizer and composted worm and chicken manure. All combined, I aim for triple the recommended dose of soil amendments. I then let the beds lay fallow for two months before planting. February and March are San Diego's rainy season, such as it is. The rain steeps the fertilizer into the soil and probably mellows it as well. 

I've been doing this for the last couple of years with great success. This year, however, we've got two beds with firmly-established plants we don't want to pull. We've got an eggplant and herbs in one and cayenne in another. The third has flowers which wife kitteh says she will repot so I can have a go at that one as usual.

For the two planted beds, I looked up how to make tea out of fertilizer, thinking I could replenish them that way and not risk the roots of our plants by turning over the soil. I swear, I ought to wear a dress to do what they recommended.

You take a pillowcase full of organic fertilizer and steep it in a 5-gallon bucket for two days. You take out the pillowcase and discard the solids. The tea is then cut with water and used to water the raised beds. After that, you drink a Fresca and call your friends to gossip about the neighbors and discuss the latest episode of This Is Us.

No, no and no. Today, I bought the manures and some compost. I've already got the granular fertilizers from my good friends at Dow Chemicals. This year, I'm just going to sprinkle the granular stuff, pour on the fertilizer and cover it with the compost. It will be done as crudely as possible, on the leaves, on the soil, in the air, on the ground. I might even fling some at the neighbor's dog, the little swine. I'll then water the living daylights out the beds to wash off the plants and get the steeping going.

After that, I'll drink a beer and listen to some country music. No tea.

Right now, my cayenne are all producing the largest, meatiest peppers yet. I fertilized the bed with chemicals 6 weeks ago and the plants are responding nicely. They got shaded out by the cotton, but they've recovered well. This new program ought to be just the thing to give the troops.

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