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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 July 30, 2012   #1
arivaraci
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Default Adding 2000sq ft to my garden

Dear husband finally cut the trees that allows me to add quite a bit to my garden.

Problem - I cleared the area (@2000 sq ft) and decided to mulch it with straw to keep the weeds at bay until I double dig in Sep/Oct. I thought I had been very careful finding straw not hay, but the straw seeds have germinated below the layer of straw. Although I have no "weeds" per se I now have a lot of straw growing up through my 3-4inches of mulch.

Should I spray, turn over or leave it (or is this a nightmare I can't wake from)? I am lost.
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Old July 30, 2012   #2
kurt
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If you do not plan on growing in it for a while just turn it or better yet let it grow( more mulch).Why put a bunch of chemicals into soil?I put straw in the lawn once a year and just mow down the straw growth with my mulching blade mower.I have never seen it come backup after the cut .
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Old July 30, 2012   #3
arivaraci
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Awesome!!! Great news... phew!
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Old July 30, 2012   #4
meadowyck
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Are you doing the straw bale garden, since you are gardening where old tree roots are?
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Old July 30, 2012   #5
arivaraci
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Well, I had thought I would dig. And I have dug about 30 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet deepAnd the roots almost killed me, but I think that row is good. We will see as I get the rest of the area dug. If the roots beat me I will be looking for alternatives. Although I am not a big fan of containers. Growing some dwarfs and eggplants this year in containers, and I am not a good momma to those.
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Old December 6, 2012   #6
arivaraci
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I am in the process of turning over the 7 rows in the new area. And had the great idea (I think) of putting in a bunch of leaves from the yard into the trenches to help with the deeper clay. I am on row 4, each row is 30 feet. So I am second guessing my choice to layer the leaves on the bottom of the trench. There is quite a bit of green and yellow straw being tuned over, too. I began composting this spring and was planning on using that in the spring before planting. (Although that's its own issue - haven't kept it wet enough.)

Is this going to be problematic in March when I begin my greens? Or in May when I begin the beans and tomatoes? Should I continue to turn the leaves over with the straw top?
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Old December 6, 2012   #7
Redbaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arivaraci View Post
I am in the process of turning over the 7 rows in the new area. And had the great idea (I think) of putting in a bunch of leaves from the yard into the trenches to help with the deeper clay. I am on row 4, each row is 30 feet. So I am second guessing my choice to layer the leaves on the bottom of the trench. There is quite a bit of green and yellow straw being tuned over, too. I began composting this spring and was planning on using that in the spring before planting. (Although that's its own issue - haven't kept it wet enough.)

Is this going to be problematic in March when I begin my greens? Or in May when I begin the beans and tomatoes? Should I continue to turn the leaves over with the straw top?
I am not saying what you are doing is wrong. Turning under any organic material is generally good for a garden. However......

At some point you may want you give the soil a rest and let it naturally develop a structure and ecosystem. By that I mean quit destroying the worms tunnels and the fungus structures. Let the worms till in the organic material for a while. See if your soil doesn't respond?

To do this you simply lay a paper barrier and pile up the organic material over that. When you plant just pull away the mulch right where the plants go and pull the mulch back around the base after. It works surprisingly well. Worms are hard workers, much harder workers than lazy gardeners like me.
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