Thursday, May 20, 2010

knotty twisty twirly

knots, twist & twirls
Last August, when we moved in to our Brooklyn apartment, the backyard was a jungle! It was pulsing with life - insects, bugs, snails, birds. The mosquitoes were out of control, but other than that I loved it! I hardly weeded because I would rather see lots of green, green, green than brown, brown, dirty ground! Plus, I don't know a weed from a flower shoot or something that could be beneficial to the bug and garden's eco system. I reigned in the madness, but just kind of went with the flow of the garden. 

Now, I am reading about polycuture gardening and it makes complete sense to me. [Side note: I think I might try it in the next raised bed.] 

Polyculture is agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, to imitate a natural ecosystem. Rather than monoculture, which is a single crop planting, the crops help each other! Whether it's symbiotic relationship is through: the soil - one plant sucks up loads of nitrogen (leafy greens like spinach and lettuce,) while another provides nitrogen, legume crops such as beans and peas put nitrogen back in the soil. Or maybe a low, ground covering plant helps keep moisture in for a tall, stalky plant. No matter what way you cut it, it's awesome and jungley and I don't have to weed as much! 

Pictured above are the beckoning tips of some twisty plants, the jungle floor - or the plants growing en masse, and the first splashes of color from a yellow cool bird-of-paradise looking flower with a knotted dying bloom.

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