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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old May 23, 2015   #31
heirloomtomaguy
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So i am also going no till with an organic compost top dressing. I also top dressed with neptunes harvest crab shells and growilla bloom fertilizer. Not to mention a heavy dose of all three beneficial nematodes. When i planted i dress3d the hole with Micos. Only time will tell how things are going.
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Old May 23, 2015   #32
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So i am also going no till with an organic compost top dressing. I also top dressed with neptunes harvest crab shells and growilla bloom fertilizer. Not to mention a heavy dose of all three beneficial nematodes. When i planted i dress3d the hole with Micos. Only time will tell how things are going.
Should work, it is very similar to what I do and it works great here in Oklahoma. Except you are adding more ferts. So if anything should work even better.
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Old May 23, 2015   #33
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is no-till like Back to Eden gardening?
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Old May 23, 2015   #34
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is no-till like Back to Eden gardening?
Back to Eden is a no-till method, but it is not the only no-till method. There are many types of no till. I have a whole list of no-till and minimal-till educational videos in my organic playlist on Youtube. Maybe watch a few?

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Old May 24, 2015   #35
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I decided this evening that I am going no-till. I decided this after the engine on my tiller locked up! I can't complain too much, its so old it has points ignition. Probably from the '70's.
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Old May 24, 2015   #36
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Here's a funny addendum to this story. I just figured out that my EZ-Flo injector is not working at all. I found a TDS meter and tested the water coming out of the drip tape. It is exactly the same as tap water. I can see bubbles in the output line of the EZ Flo. They don't flow; they just sit there. And the solution in my tank isn't changing color at all, like it should as it gets diluted.

so I am organic(ish)....by complete accident.

All my plants look great. I am growing mostly compact determinates, and they are already chest-high. I have small tomatoes on them now, and look to have ripe ones in about three weeks.
Haha, I had the same issue my first go around with mine.. I ended up switching to the red flow disc and it corrected the issue.. The tank will just pressurize if there isn't enough output on the drip tape side.. I start the water off slowly, watch the bubbles and once they flow in the right direction I'll speed it up some.. A side note: I am able to inject goopy fish emulsion with no clogging.. So far so good.. BUT stay away from General Organic's Diamond Black (Humic acids) as it clogged the heck out of my filters and stopped flow.. I'll try diamond nectar maybe next time..
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Old June 5, 2015   #37
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I'm in my third year of almost no till and like the results. I still work compost, organic fert and rock dust into the top inch of my beds twice a year, dig decent size planting holes for my tomatoes and peppers and hand pull weeds. Other than that I do not disturb the soil. I'm doing it both with conventional beds and "Back to Eden" wood chip mulched beds.

The one thing I would like to do that I have not done since going mostly no till is plant a cover crop. I have been watching some videos from a famer named Gabe Brown and am inspired to try cover crops again. I used to plant winter rye and then chop it into the soil. Is there any cover crop that will grow for a relatively short period of time put on a good amount of biomass and die in the winter in the North east?

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Old June 5, 2015   #38
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I'm in my third year of almost no till and like the results. I still work compost, organic fert and rock dust into the top inch of my beds twice a year, dig decent size planting holes for my tomatoes and peppers and hand pull weeds. Other than that I do not disturb the soil. I'm doing it both with conventional beds and "Back to Eden" wood chip mulched beds.

The one thing I would like to do that I have not done since going mostly no till is plant a cover crop. I have been watching some videos from a famer named Gabe Brown and am inspired to try cover crops again. I used to plant winter rye and then chop it into the soil. Is there any cover crop that will grow for a relatively short period of time put on a good amount of biomass and die in the winter in the North east?

Glenn
I think what you are going for is the semi-hardy and tender covers that winterkill. Rodale Institute has been working on these types for a while now. Here is a link:

Choosing the best cover crops

Remember something that might overwinter here in Oklahoma might winterkill in your climate. So what I like about that list is they show the hardiness temps.
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Old June 5, 2015   #39
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Scott,

Thanks I'll check the list out.

I know you have watched the videos from Gabe Brown because I saw some comments you made on them. I know he is farming and I am gardeneing and there is a big difference in the two. But, to see them roll down a cover crop so that it is the mulch (armor) covering the soil and then plant right into it was really cool. What a great way to easily increase soil organic matter and surpress weeds in one shot.

Glenn
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Old June 5, 2015   #40
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Scott,

Thanks I'll check the list out.

I know you have watched the videos from Gabe Brown because I saw some comments you made on them. I know he is farming and I am gardeneing and there is a big difference in the two. But, to see them roll down a cover crop so that it is the mulch (armor) covering the soil and then plant right into it was really cool. What a great way to easily increase soil organic matter and surpress weeds in one shot.

Glenn
Right. It's just a matter of scale and equipment. I do something similar but with a mower. Same net effect as far as the soil is concerned. That's why I have applied for that grant. As you can see a mower works fine, but it would be too much work on acreage. So hopefully I get those 250 votes for the grant and pass the review after. It would let me scale this whole thing up dramatically.
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Old June 5, 2015   #41
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Scott I wish I was on Facebook to vote is there any other way to vote?
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Old June 5, 2015   #42
Redbaron
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Scott I wish I was on Facebook to vote is there any other way to vote?
Worth
I wish there was, but there isn't. I am seeing about 1 in 100 views actually voting for various reasons. I am guessing the other 99's main reason is they either can't or don't want to verify with Facebook. But I do have close to 150 votes and 15 days to get the last 100. Guessing most of the 150 came from Tomatoville. ie People who have been following The Red Baron Project for a few years now. I am very grateful whether I get the grant or not.
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Old June 12, 2015   #43
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Right. It's just a matter of scale and equipment. I do something similar but with a mower. Same net effect as far as the soil is concerned. That's why I have applied for that grant. As you can see a mower works fine, but it would be too much work on acreage. So hopefully I get those 250 votes for the grant and pass the review after. It would let me scale this whole thing up dramatically.
The house behind mine was vacant last year. I mowed high grass like that and used it to mulch a huglkultur bed I had just put in. I planted sugar snaps to fix nitrogen and some herbs.

That bed is GREAT this year.

I found that mulching with grass clippings forms a crust over the bed that holds tons of moisture in and improves the soil structure.

I put in another huglkultur bed that same year and mulched it with wood. That bed can't support anything. The plants in it are showing several different defficiencies. Grass clippings are great.
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Old June 12, 2015   #44
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I've always been a no till gardener but not on purpose. I didn't know what tilling was when I started gardening so I never did it. Then when I found out what it was I didn't want to do it because that was about the time when no till gardening was starting to hit its stride again.

I would recommend no till to anyone.

One important thing. If you're using wood chips as a mulch you need to rake them out of the way before planting stuff. Wood chips lock nitrogen as they break down but the nitrogen lock is localized to where the chips are. If you bury them in the hole you will have severe nitrogen deficiencies.

I have this problem in one bed. I'm going to try to innoculate that bed with oyster mushrooms to hopefully break down the wood faster so the bed can grow things again.
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Old June 17, 2015   #45
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I think I over-did it.

I have a massive whitefly infestation in my high tunnel. My dwarfs have it the worst. I am wondering if making the soil too rich has something to do with attracting pests.

My high tunnel plants that are supposed to be "compact determinates" are all 6-7 foot tall giant hedges. The first year I grew Taxi in unimproved soil, the plant got about 2 1/2 feet tall. Now my Taxi is a 7' tall bush. It is no longer a compact determinate, by any means. I planted one row of indeterminates in the high tunnel, and they are ridiculously gigantic. They are up to the high tunnel roof already.

My outdoor plants are getting so big that the rows are growing together. It's going to be one massive jungle of vines that all grow together.

But my giant plants are not giving me giant yields, at least not yet. It could be the whiteflies. It could be the weather. Or I could have too much nitrogen in my cow field dirt.

I don't exactly have any regrets. This has been a learning experience. Maybe when I expand my garden next year, I will grow a different crop where I have tomatoes this year. I'm thinking if I was growing many other crops besides tomatoes, I would be having a huge success. Unfortunately, there's not a market for tomato vines w/o fruit on them.
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