An English In Kentucky


















Monday September 25th 2017Tim Candler9


      End of last year into the early months of this year, Winter Oats grew green and pleasant, rich and full as a ground cover in several of the garden beds. Their happiness through the nightmare of Winter was a joy to behold, not even a sign amongst them of wintering pests, they shrugged off cruel frosts, they contained a quality of unblemished usually reserved for the more invasive species of plant. Then, when the weather turned, digging over the Winter Oats wasn't so damaging to a mind and body anxious for sustenance, purpose, and a little exercise, after months of sitting around, mumbling about this and that. And the thing is, through this year, Vegetables in those beds that had given a brief home to delightful flocks of Winter Oats and which had witnessed the barbarity of rendering a perfectly happy Oat into green manure before ever it reached maturity, did noticeably better.



       Technically the Winter Oat has active, deep, fibrous roots, its leaf can maintain photosynthesis at low temperatures, it's a cold weather annual plant. Last fall was dry, last winter was no more bleak than usual, relatively stable in the mild range, moist with no extended extreme periods of something like minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit and if there was anything resembling one of those Polar Vortexes then I've completely blanked it out. As some may be aware September is almost gone, October is one of those funny months, kind of the opposite of March into April. In every respect October has a delinquent capacity that can never be trusted, it's an obnoxious rain gutter jammed month, and this means I basically have a couple of weeks to secure Winter Oat seeds, otherwise ground cover is down to Turnips, Mustard and those Korean Radishes, all of which can contribute to winter diet but which I strongly suspect are prized by end of season Stinkbugs, which as everyone knows are the sneakiest Stinkbugs of all.   



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