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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 22, 2018   #31
jtjmartin
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I sure agree with this. I pick up hundreds of bags in the Fall - already wish I had more!

Then again, I would think that leaf mulch is already "pre-shrunk"!

Jeff

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The Law of Leaves states that no matter how thick a layer of leaves you start with, in the end it's not enough.


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Old May 23, 2018   #32
PureHarvest
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Not tilling was a good side effect for your tiller not working. Your soil food web is still intact now and can continue building the matrix. Plus you preserved the organic matter/carbon that is stored in that soil that was previously forested.
After you cap that plot with wood, the worms and microbes will do the work for you.
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Old May 23, 2018   #33
Rajun Gardener
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That looks awesome!!! Nice job on getting that garden set up!!

You're lucky to pick that up free, stack it high and let it shrink.

I'm glad the tiller didn't start, it saved you from bringing weed seeds to the top to germinate.

Now the battle with the deer starts... Did the plants survive last night?
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Old May 23, 2018   #34
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by jtjmartin View Post
I sure agree with this. I pick up hundreds of bags in the Fall - already wish I had more!

Then again, I would think that leaf mulch is already "pre-shrunk"!

Jeff

The stuff I get is pretty well rotted down. Im sure there is room for more shrinkage.


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Not tilling was a good side effect for your tiller not working. Your soil food web is still intact now and can continue building the matrix. Plus you preserved the organic matter/carbon that is stored in that soil that was previously forested.
After you cap that plot with wood, the worms and microbes will do the work for you.

Sometime the universe seems to help us by interfering. Thats how I look at it.


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That looks awesome!!! Nice job on getting that garden set up!!

You're lucky to pick that up free, stack it high and let it shrink.

I'm glad the tiller didn't start, it saved you from bringing weed seeds to the top to germinate.

Now the battle with the deer starts... Did the plants survive last night?

Yes they did survive. I checked early this morning just after sunrise, but alarmingly did see some fresh paw prints. The prints were very close together. Im wondering if a very young Deer got in under the Fishing line, just to poke around a little?


I setup 2 lines. One about waist high, the other chest high.


I know this wont keep them at bay forever. As much as I hate fences, Im pretty much forced.
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Old May 23, 2018   #35
PureHarvest
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You should check out this product.
Came highly recommended by two people from different industries.
Works using simple barrier and odor.
I'm setting some up today to keep the deer off my sunflowers and Dahlias.
They have ate most of the tops and buds off of my Echinaceas, which are usually listed in the deer-proof/resistant lists. My deer can't read apparently.
Gonna put some around them too.
https://www.plotsaver.com/
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Old May 23, 2018   #36
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My mother's deer love her echinacea. I'd be leery of any deer repellent, because so many don't work as well as advertised.


An 8' wire fence is effective. Dig it a few inches into the soil so ground hogs and rabbits don't dig under it.


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Old May 23, 2018   #37
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
You should check out this product.
Came highly recommended by two people from different industries.
Works using simple barrier and odor.
I'm setting some up today to keep the deer off my sunflowers and Dahlias.
They have ate most of the tops and buds off of my Echinaceas, which are usually listed in the deer-proof/resistant lists. My deer can't read apparently.
Gonna put some around them too.
https://www.plotsaver.com/

I checked out the link, very interesting. I do like how they included the research and grant study. Since your giving it a whirl, please do let us know how it works. Feel free to chime back in with your results.


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My mother's deer love her echinacea. I'd be leery of any deer repellent, because so many don't work as well as advertised.


An 8' wire fence is effective. Dig it a few inches into the soil so ground hogs and rabbits don't dig under it.


Nan

I had a suddenly crazy idea earlier when I was working out there. What about a natural fence? I keep mowing down these god-for-saked wild blackberries. They grow at an alarming rate. I had a vision of just letting them grow wild, around the perimeter. They have seriously nasty thorns on them, and grow very dense.


I then decided that I had been out in the heat too long, and needed a break. Im going to go with fencing of some kind.


More Mulching today. Finally got the rest of the load out of the truck. Moving kind slow on this project. As we get older, we really need to learn to listen to our bodies, and know when to say ""enough".





Looking at the distance between the rows, you may be wondering why I left such a gap. The reason is based on experience. This gives me enough room to drive my mower and trailer between. I can drive in and dump more mulch, or drive in to harvest.




Got 17 Sugar Pumpkins planted. Didnt have enough mulch so I made do. Will probably be Monday before going back for more wood mulch.


I also got the KY Wonder Beans planted. Did those in a 24 foot raised bed up between the greenhouses. I did both sides of the bed, so 48 foot total.
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Old May 23, 2018   #38
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Wide spacing is good. My tendency is to crowd plants in.


You could also make that middle row a double row, with paths on either side. You can access every plant either from the right or left.
Like this:
--------------------row 1
===========row 2 &3
--------------------row 4


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Old May 23, 2018   #39
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
Wide spacing is good. My tendency is to crowd plants in.


You could also make that middle row a double row, with paths on either side. You can access every plant either from the right or left.
Like this:
--------------------row 1
===========row 2 &3
--------------------row 4


Nan

Very true. I suppose it would also depend on the crop that is planted in the middle. Obviously this would lend itself better to some crops then others.
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Old May 23, 2018   #40
GoDawgs
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Deer are definitely a problem, depending on the year here. They seem to like the brassicas in late winter and early spring, happily munching on kale, collards and broccoli. In summer they love the field peas. They never touched the tomatoes or peppers.

In the summer of 2015 they were having a ball with the field peas, eating 2' plants down to 10". I read about the fishing line fence and put 20 lb fishing line around the bed at three heights; about a foot high to touch browsing noses, a line at 3' and one in between the two. And I put up the game cam.

One morning not long after the fence went up I found it torn to pieces. This is what was on the game cam:



Looks like 8 or 10 points of appetite! I ended up pruning that whole bed of field peas back and they grew back with a vengeance, thank goodness. And thankfully, with the peas "gone", the deer moved on to greener pastures. Haven't had any more problems the last two years despite some hoof prints here and there.

Maybe if you set the line back from the plants enough that they can't even get a taste, the line will bother them. And I'd add a third line.
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Old May 23, 2018   #41
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They can't see those lines in the dark; they can't see my deer fence in the dark. On occasion a deer is running at night and runs hard into my fence. Now I use white zip ties on the fence to warn them away.


And some deer will certainly eat tomato plants and tomatoes, although they didn't eat GoDawgs'.


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Old May 24, 2018   #42
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Deer are definitely a problem, depending on the year here. They seem to like the brassicas in late winter and early spring, happily munching on kale, collards and broccoli. In summer they love the field peas. They never touched the tomatoes or peppers.

snipped for brevity..

Maybe if you set the line back from the plants enough that they can't even get a taste, the line will bother them. And I'd add a third line.

Deer are funny. I can say that they have never attacked my peppers. Tomatoes yes. Beans... most likely the "free loading" groundhogs. This year my Sugar Snaps, Lettuces, and Cabbage seem to be safe.


Glad you mentioned about setting back the fence, because that is exactly what I did. Its about 3 feet outside the garden area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
They can't see those lines in the dark; they can't see my deer fence in the dark. On occasion a deer is running at night and runs hard into my fence. Now I use white zip ties on the fence to warn them away.


And some deer will certainly eat tomato plants and tomatoes, although they didn't eat GoDawgs'.


Nan

I think Deer are opportunistic grazers. Whatever they happen upon is good enough. Im really wondering though if anyone has successfully established an area just for Deer to munch on, just to keep them away and happy. But then you run the risk of inviting more to the area.
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Old May 24, 2018   #43
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I was planning to go dwarf trees too, then I read this article and then bought the book. I have 3 apple trees now I am going to grow using the pruning techniques discussed. Just thought it was a clever idea and it makes sense. https://www.motherearthnews.com/orga...s-zm0z15onzdel
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Old May 24, 2018   #44
FourOaks
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I was planning to go dwarf trees too, then I read this article and then bought the book. I have 3 apple trees now I am going to grow using the pruning techniques discussed. Just thought it was a clever idea and it makes sense. https://www.motherearthnews.com/orga...s-zm0z15onzdel

Thanks for the link. Ill have to check it out this afternoon when time allows.
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Old May 24, 2018   #45
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I think Deer are opportunistic grazers. Whatever they happen upon is good enough. Im really wondering though if anyone has successfully established an area just for Deer to munch on, just to keep them away and happy. But then you run the risk of inviting more to the area.
I grew crimson clover last year as one of the cover crops I was experimenting with. Never again. It's a huge deer magnet! Maybe planting a plot of that a good way from your garden might help?
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