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-   -   I think I'm going no-till (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=36006)

Rockporter July 30, 2017 07:43 PM

Salt, you get me listening to music every time you post that link, lol.

dmforcier July 30, 2017 07:44 PM

Here. Have an antidote. [url]https://youtu.be/e3W6yf6c-FA[/url]

Cole_Robbie April 21, 2018 04:29 PM

I'm changing the plan this year. I just sprayed my entire garden with roundup to kill off the emerging weeds and grass. I did not like doing that at all, but if it is any environmental offset, I am going to try growing without black plastic mulch this year. It's too much backbreaking work to lay it by hand, plus my weeds just grow up over it, where I bury the edges. I am going to try growing mostly flowers this year. Many of them will be from seed, at least that is the plan, and seeds would have no chance out there on their own.

It was satisfying to kill the horse weed that has plagued me for years. The weeds in my rows are actually not bad, because the plastic has been down for years. I have a lot of old carpet I am going to lay as weed barrier as well. It seems to work a lot better than the real stuff, which lets seeds sprout on top and grow through it.

FourOaks April 21, 2018 05:19 PM

Well man, you gotta do what you gotta do.


Any idea how long you should wait for the Round Up to fizzle away? Dont know if you have considered it, but after your flowers pop up, put down a pre-emergent to control future weeds?

Cole_Robbie April 21, 2018 05:27 PM

My cousin, who used to work for Monsanto, says that as soon as the stuff dries away, you are pretty much good, a matter of hours perhaps. I would never follow that advice, personally, but he is the one with the education in that matter. I have rain forecast all week, which should be good enough for me, to be assured it has washed away.

nbardo April 22, 2018 12:29 PM

Glyphosate (roundup) binds very strongly to organic matter so it doesnt leech out of soil much. It will stay there until it is broken down by soil microbes. My understanding is that its essentially harmless unless applied to leaves, which is why once it dries or is in the soil its harmless. The main risk with it is overspray and blowing in the wind.


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BigVanVader April 24, 2018 09:29 AM

Dang dude, I could never spray my garden like that but I understand your reasons. I wish you luck with the flowers. My stuff has been selling great so I am for sure increasing my flower selection again next year. Looking at Harris now and getting a big order together. Any suggestions? [url]https://www.harrisseeds.com/cart[/url]

Cole_Robbie April 24, 2018 12:46 PM

Most of my seed attempts have been failures. Zinnias (except for Crystal White), marigolds, celosia, and some dahlias are what I have been able to start from seed. I have not planted my garden yet, so I have a lot that I have not yet tried. Portaluca also seems to do ok from seed if containers are direct-seeded.

Harris did send me a catalog of rooted plugs from greenhouses that are affiliated with them. The two places closest to us are

[url]www.bgardens.com[/url]
[url]www.waltersgardens.com[/url]

Greatgardens April 25, 2018 05:49 AM

FWIW... I still till a strip for my tomatoes, and then put down 3-ft plastic film. I used to bury the edges, but then I decided to try just using plastic ground pins to anchor the film. Then I put down an apx. 1-ft. band of weed preventer around the perimeter. The only real weeds I get are where I cut the openings to insert the plants. Works really well for me, and the ground pins can be used for several years before they need replacing.
-GG

Edit: Speaking of no-till... my neighbor surprised me last year -- he went out and dug about 1 foot holes in his back yard, then planted determinate tomatoes and peppers in the holes. Left just enough room to run a push mower between the plants. I thought "no way!" But his plants did fine and appeared to yield OK. I'm still amazed that they did well. But we did have plenty of rain, so competition for moisture was evidently not an issue.

Cole_Robbie April 25, 2018 09:33 AM

The problem I have with tilling a strip is that it then becomes sunken ground. I have to till three strips, and then rake the outside two onto the middle one, if I want any sort of raised bed. It's way too much work.

The other thing I learned about tilling is that my soil is so bad that I am better off to bring in new topsoil to make a ridge to grow in than I am tilling up the old clay to make a bed out of that. I get much bigger plants from a small ridge of high quality soil than I do from a big bed of worked clay. My top soil is very thin, 3-4" or so, and the sub-soil is awful for tomatoes.

FourOaks April 25, 2018 09:44 PM

[QUOTE=Cole_Robbie;697071]The problem I have with tilling a strip is that it then becomes sunken ground. I have to till three strips, and then rake the outside two onto the middle one, if I want any sort of raised bed. It's way too much work.

The other thing I learned about tilling is that my soil is so bad that I am better off to bring in new topsoil to make a ridge to grow in than I am tilling up the old clay to make a bed out of that. I get much bigger plants from a small ridge of high quality soil than I do from a big bed of worked clay. My top soil is very thin, 3-4" or so, and the sub-soil is awful for tomatoes.[/QUOTE]

Cole.. im honestly surprised you havent done something along the lines of AKMarks setup. Believe me, it works. I use 36 5/7 gallon bags, 2 plants per bag. I mix fertilizer in an IBC tote and use a shallow well pump to move the nutrients to the plants.


Im in a similar but unrelated soil situation. Mine has traces of some disease, and more importantly, it drains like a swamp. My only choice involves, containers, grow bags, and raised beds. I use GH Ground Cover in between the beds, but leave those beds bottomless. Im hoping that yearly additions of compost, leaf mulch, etc will slowly improve the soil, but I know it will take several years. I have about 4.5 acres, and nearly every square foot has drainage problems. In the Winter and Spring its a swamp. Summer and Fall the soil is hard as hell.


I know you want to get out of the produce business, but you might try it, just for personal use.

Cole_Robbie April 26, 2018 10:19 AM

It's mostly economics. I happen to live in an area of the country with very good soil and very low produce prices. I think hydro is great and I would love to grow that way, but the initial outlay of money takes years to re-coup. I know of one successful greenhouse tomato grower here. He has Cherokee Purples right now for sale that are quite good, but I think he is still only getting $2.50 a pound for them, and that's before most people here have even planted a garden. He has a team of migrant laborers who live on his farm and keep the wood stove burning overnight.

I pulled out a lot of Johnson Grass roots over the winter. I suspect my tomato disease spores may have been living on those roots. We shall see.

As far as soil-building taking time, that is true, but if you can find good soil existing somewhere already like I did, soil-moving is much faster.


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