March 17th Featured Guest

Len Pense:

“What do plants really need to grow?”  Every pack of seeds you buy says “does best in loose well drained soil.”  What are you going to do when the property you bought in the Ozarks has more rocks than soil?  Len Pense presented a solution to the Springfield Herb Society.  He has been building raised beds for more than 10 years, with stunning results.  His secret?  A mix of 50% cotton burr compost, 35% peat moss, and 15% rice hulls.  To build a standard raised bed, which is 4 ft by 16 ft by 32 inches begin by laying down 1/2 inch hardware cloth.  Cover this with landscape mat.  The box is built of concrete blocks stacked two high.  The cotton burr compost, peat moss and rice hulls are mixed on a tarp and put into the bed.  At this point you need to add some fertilizer.  Len sells his “Essential Elements” a perfectly balanced fertilizer that has all the nutrients your garden needs along with trace elements.  Lens also reminded us that we could provide our own fertilizer if only we’d learn to compost.  The garden bed is completely soaked.  The tempurature of the soil is checked before planting.  If the soil is warm the fertilizer is still composting and planting should be delayed for a couple days.  Len offers classes on building the garden beds, planning & planting, canning, cooking, and more.

For more information, products and class schedule see Len’s website at Gardening Revolution.

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