Living in Harmony with Nature and teaching others to garden the natural (organic) way, with emphasis on practices that lead to NUTRIENT DENSE produce!

Harmony Gardens

Harmony Gardens
Bey Home designed by Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. 2002

Welcome To Our Site

Our intent is simple: to provide useful information on gardening, health and sustainability issues. We will include class and meeting announcements, gardening information, and book reviews. The articles that Calvin writes for Garden Thyme, the Master Gardener Newsletter will be included. We will try to make this site easy to use and relevant.

About Me

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Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States
Harmony Gardens is the home of Calvin and Doris Bey. As the name implies our goal is to live in harmony with the Laws of Nature. We are concerned about the environment, energy efficiency, organic gardening, alternative health, and sustainability issues. We love our Stitt Energy Systems Inc. energy efficient home, which received a First Place NAHB National Award for 2003. Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist. Each year he teaches classes in Organic Gardening in February and March and again in September. Doris is a retired RN. Calvin and Doris have put their energy efficient house up for sale (by owner). See first post for description, pictures, and house design.

September 18, 2010

Fall Cover Crops

Time to Plant Beets and Carrots

The August heat and dry weather have made gardening a real challenge. Don’t be discouraged. As the weather gets a bit cooler, it will be time for rejuvenating the garden. Fall gardening can be easy and enjoyable. I am getting excited about planting my fall carrots and beets. They do well and are easy to grow. I will be starting mine the last week of August. This year I am using pelleted carrot seed. Its basically an organic coating on each individual seed. The value of pelleting lies in the ease of sowing the seeds in a much more uniform distribution, thus minimizing the thinning process. The coating dissolves quickly when placed in the soil. Pelleted seed is about the size of turnip seed.

If No Fall Veggies -- Plant a Cover Crop

We know it is important to build a healthy soil i.e., a soil that is alive, full of microbes, adequate minerals, and a reasonable organic matter level. Cover crops can be useful for reaching these goals. There are many choices. For simplicity in the fall, I have settled on two crops --Oats and Austrian Winter Peas. The peas have the advantage of

surviving the cold winters, growing again in the spring and fixing nitrogen in the soil. The oats has the advantage of quickly covering the site, and dying in the winter, thus leaving a heavy mulch cover that helps to curtail the development of winter weeds. I plant my early spring crops where I have the oats.

Oats and peas can be planted together, but the timing of the combination planting is tricky. If you plant the combination too early, the oats smothers out the peas. If you plant the oats too late, it does not make a dense stand, and the effectiveness as a mulch is minimal.

I use oats and peas, separately. By planting in early September, you should have a stand that looks like the peas (on the left) and the oats (on the right), by early November. They make a pretty sight.

Both oats and the peas are available locally, but generally only in 50 pound bags. I buy a bag and repackage for small garden plots. If you want some oats or peas, or information on how to sow, send me an email. I would be pleased to assist. Once you try these crops you will be hooked.

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Garden 2007

Garden 2007
Heirloom "Country Gentleman" Corn