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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 June 28, 2018   #16
bower
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Lots of work visible there! And also see a laughing face in the rock border in the third picture. Any hope of finding some labradorite when you unearth those rocks?
Alas there's slim chance of any labradorite here. We do have a lot of jasper, agates and such. Some of the jaspers/carnelians are incredibly beautiful. I've spent a lot of time on our local beach, seeking peace time, and there with the water on them you see the carnelians, agates, jaspers even cherts in their true beauty. There is some feldspar around but not of the radiant kind. Fellow rockhound.
There's a lot of manganese in the rocks here, you often get split faces that have a lovely purple sheen. I'm not sure why we have so many rocks that split very flat, but that is a useful feature in the garden.
I think all gardeners or farmers in this place must have a positive appreciation of rocks!!
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Old June 28, 2018   #17
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Ah, for power tools!
I want to revisit my old vegetable garden on the other bank. It's really not bad for planting considering I plowed a lot of stuff into it back when. But a (knowledgeable) friend said it was too rocky for a tiller. Maybe a tractor?....
I live in hope.
Mostly work with hand tools... but Love my power tools.
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Old June 28, 2018   #18
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Tourist = "Where did all these rocks come from?"

Northeast Farmer = "The glacier brought 'em."

Tourist = "Really. Well, where's the glacier?"

Northeast Farmer = "Went back for more rocks."

Down south here we make walls around our gardens with those rocks and trees. Cuts down on wind damage just a bit if you make it high enough. But, most of all, we don't have to move the rocks and logs so far. With a little bit of masonry cement, you can have a right fine set of walls/dividers/wind breaks around the garden.

BTW, I always did like that glacier joke.
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Old June 28, 2018   #19
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If you put a pile of rocks on a pond liner with a pump recirculating a nutrient solution, I think you could grow a great tomato plant. I have not tried it yet, but it is on my bucket list of crazy gardening ideas to try.

Those rocks look like good exercise. Stretch first, and use good form when lifting to prevent injury. Keep your mouth open and exhale as you lift. Grunting is a good thing.
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Old June 29, 2018   #20
KarenO
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Beautiful property Bower. Love it!
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Old June 29, 2018   #21
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Where did you live in the Ozarks?


I grew up on various farms in southwest/central Missouri. We weren't poor, we were subsistence. If we had more money, we would have been poor.
Mountain Grove Mo 10 miles north of town.
Then the Ouachita National forest just across the border from Arkansas.

Dad left Texas running from the heat and lack of rain.

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Old June 29, 2018   #22
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Saw a rock in the picture that reminded me of this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichenometry
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Old June 29, 2018   #23
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@Ted... "Went back for more rocks"
The funniest part, it's likely true in the long run!!
Building rock walls is a great idea. I don't know why we don't have more building here using the natural stone. Maybe because there's no raw materials for mortar here?
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Old June 29, 2018   #24
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@Ted... "Went back for more rocks"
The funniest part, it's likely true in the long run!!
Building rock walls is a great idea. I don't know why we don't have more building here using the natural stone. Maybe because there's no raw materials for mortar here?
You can see old dry stack stone fences all over parts of central Texas built over a 100 years ago.

Read a piece years ago about the men that did it and moved on to another property.

Here is one I found just now.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...gIfnymq0D-uFS7
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Old June 29, 2018   #25
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You can see old dry stack stone fences all over parts of central Texas built over a 100 years ago.

Read a piece years ago about the men that did it and moved on to another property.

Here is one I found just now.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...gIfnymq0D-uFS7
Very nice!

I guess one of the issues here is the amount of freezing and thawing we get in the run of a winter. There is no guarantee that what is made of rock will be in the same place come spring time. Building without mortar is a plus because it tends to crack badly after a few seasons in this climate. So there would be maintenance on a stack stone fence but not too hard to fix it.
You can find huge heaps of stone here bordering any field that was once farmed. Sometimes 3-4 feet high and 4-5 ft wide or bigger... The fact that no machines existed here to do the work, and was done by hand or possibly with the help of a small pony, just leaves me in awe of the gumption these folks had, to make something of a difficult place...
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Old June 29, 2018   #26
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If you put a pile of rocks on a pond liner with a pump recirculating a nutrient solution, I think you could grow a great tomato plant. I have not tried it yet, but it is on my bucket list of crazy gardening ideas to try.

Those rocks look like good exercise. Stretch first, and use good form when lifting to prevent injury. Keep your mouth open and exhale as you lift. Grunting is a good thing.
I like that idea Cole! Be sure to pic and post your rock tomato experiments!
Re exercise vs injury - I was really careful with this rock, and why I took several days just working for a short while at a time, instead of trying to finish up directly... also why I was satisfied to get it just close to where I really wanted. Back in the day I had no qualms about pitching into rocks that were too big to move... on one occasion, according to the doctor I had ripped the muscle off the bones in my ribcage in the process. ... ouch. I had to take "complete rest" to heal it - lying down doing nothing was not an easy task, but it was better in three days.. and a lesson to me.
Unfortunately I am now at an age when I seem to get out of shape really easily, and then become injury prone when you least expect it... I should take up some kind of exercise routine for the winter as snow shoveling is too sporadic and no substitute for the wood cutting I used to do. But I love "work" as exercise!!! Garden projects are the best.
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Old June 29, 2018   #27
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Bower, I love your property, the eclectic designs, so free flowing, and the greenhouse

Kudos to you for managing with these big rocks. My back hurts just looking at the pictures
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Old June 29, 2018   #28
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Tx, Taboule. If I'd known about that boulder I might not have been so ambitious!
It is really a pleasure to work with a natural feature that isn't flat... the design has to emerge from it's own character.

My first garden here was built on the flat gravel scar that was left after building. So I made raised beds and laid them out as a compass. You can see the basic shapes in winter, and of course I used stone to enclose the beds - we have so much of it around, might as well...
I spent a lot of years digging organic material into those clay beds, but they are still kind of poor. However the herbs and perennials that I planted here and which survived and/or naturalized, don't mind it a bit. The garden in August is a riot of flowers, and the paths are overgrown for the most part...some of the perennials are huge. It is a "no care" permaculture that doesn't require any watering or other effort, but it does benefit from some weeding in spring and from occasional reduction of the more invasive things to keep it diverse. In recent years I've been reclaiming some space outside the compass for garlic and vegetable beds. It is also a lot nicer when the paths are whippersnipped as we did last summer... so I want to do that again.
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Old July 3, 2018   #29
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Really enjoyed reading this thread. Bower, the scenery, rocks and vegetation remind me a lot of the BWCA and Northern Ontario fishing country, not that far from me.

Your ability for long term planning and working around obstacles is admirable! I see now why your greenhouse (and loved seeing that too, finally) is so important to your growing ambitions.

Now if only those danged moose and bunnies would stay away!
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Old July 3, 2018   #30
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We weren't poor, we were subsistence. If we had more money, we would have been poor.
We used greasy beans for money
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