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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Jul 29, 2017 9:33 AM CST
When you visit the most northern part of North Holland at this moment, you will see large parts of land covered in water. Surfaces all as flat as a mirror, neatly finished off with a small dike to keep the water inside: it looks like the bulb growers have prepared their fields to grow some rice.
That is not the case: this is happening as a part of the routine of cleaning the soil. By ‘putting the land under water,’ as we literally like to call it, for a period of three months, all the weeds, moulds and other dangerous soil life are killed.

This way of cleaning large parts of soil was invented about 25 years ago by a farmer who hated using large quantities of chemicals to clean his fields. He knew there was another way, and it didn’t take him long to figure it out: right after digging up the bulbs, he ploughed a nice little dike around the field, put a water pump in the field and let 10 cm of water cover the whole part (getting the water to do this in the northern part of the Netherlands is no problem: shortage of water has never been an issue when you’re below sea level and with this much rain!). After the first year of trying his new technique, he was happy to see that it had worked fantastically! The lack of oxygen had caused everything he wanted to go away to suffocate, die off and get out of the soil: in the year that followed this new idea, he had better harvest than ever.
Water
At that moment the farmer had no idea what kind of impact his idea would have and what a leading trendsetter he was. Nowadays, nearly every bulb grower puts nearly 25% of their land under water during the summer, to clean their land of all unwanted soil inhabitants without using any sort of chemicals at all.
A fun little extra is that by doing this, bulb growers have accidentally created a Valhalla for birds. In the beginning, there are a lot of ducks, seagulls, geese and other birds native to North Holland; in the months of September and October, innumerable other birds of passage fly by the northern Dutch country. Because of this, our area is slowly but steadily becoming popular for birdwatchers, and during the weekends, there are as many birdwatchers in September as there are flower-lovers in April.

All-in all, if you love watching birds as much as looking at flowers, I would advice you to pay the coast area between Petten and Den Helder a visit in September or October! When you visiting the North of Holland you might want to visit Land van Fluwel for a coffee, lunch or maybe more…
Met vriendelijke groeten,
Carlos van der Veek
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 29, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Interesting! Thanks for sharing.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Jul 29, 2017 10:51 AM CST
Rj you certainly do come up with some interesting information!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Jul 29, 2017 11:22 AM CST
hostasmore said:Rj you certainly do come up with some interesting information!


Cornucopia of useless information Gary! Smiling
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jul 29, 2017 7:46 PM CST
I've spent the day trying to work out how to flood the top of a sand hill in the middle of the desert.

You're probably good at Trivial Pursuit. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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