Mulching in Portugal.
I read on Yggdrasil's blog, and this time it focuses on mulching the garden, but we don't have good experiences with that in Portugal. I know the method of Ruth Stoute, who worked a lot with hay, thus feeding the soil. But we have found another method for that. We feed the soil with compost, and not with a layer of litter. Here in Portugal you immediately get a lot of snails, ants and beetles in your garden, because it offers them a lot of protection by crawling under it against the sun. Especially in the end of May and the beginning of June, these animals make their move and eat themselves in the round. In fact, the spring growth that is just starting in Belgium and the Netherlands has already ended here. Also in the months of October / up to and including April it is not advisable to use mulch, as at/at this time, the weed seed is shooting.
What may seem common in the Netherlands and Belgium, here in Portugal is another direction that can work against, to put it mildly. There in N.L. and B. it rains a lot, and here in P. we are happy that there is rain. The soil here is also completely different, more rock flour, (stone dust) and counteracts snails, ants and beetles in their development, precisely because the sun shines and the soil gets hotter, which they can't handle well. This, while in N.L. and B. you can be happy that the ground is warming. It is an incomparable world, and that, while the distance is not so great now, 3000 km.
Also with the application of the compost, a layer of litter would be quite counteracting, mixing with the soil. The rock flour reacts particularly well to the compost, it is a precondition for the bacteria to do their work of decomposition, for the benefit of the plant growth, and that is what it went and continues to do.
What is possible here, to grow vegetable plants in the summer, is a greenhouse with shadow effect. It can generate its own power, if the shadow effect is used for power generation, by turning the sun. A technical solution, but with many advantages. This about having shade for plant growth in general, and especially for Portugal. Summers here are hot and long. 32 degrees today.
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