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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 October 18, 2015   #76
Cole_Robbie
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I dug out the bottom of an old hay bale today:


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Old October 20, 2015   #77
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The best material I have scooped up has been where the hay bales sat and rotted. I am thinking it is probably mostly composted hay.

But that's not to discount the help I get from my bovine friends:
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Old October 21, 2015   #78
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The best material I have scooped up has been where the hay bales sat and rotted. I am thinking it is probably mostly composted hay.

But that's not to discount the help I get from my bovine friends:
Cool pic.
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Old October 21, 2015   #79
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But that's not to discount the help I get from my bovine friends:
Awesome pic, made me think of those deal with it gifs lol







Last edited by Runescape; October 21, 2015 at 06:19 PM.
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Old October 21, 2015   #80
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LOL. Thanks, both of you.
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Old October 22, 2015   #81
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Cole, that is a really good picture.
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Old January 30, 2016   #82
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Thanks, Salt

I've been back at it the past few days. It's been sunny and in the 50s here. My family's tilled gardens are still mud pits, but I can drive out into mine and put down more new material for raised no-till beds. They don't seem to understand how I can garden in January, but it's because they don't understand the no-till idea.

The cow field areas I am driving on are not that muddy either. The top layer of topsoil I'm scooping up is high in organic matter, which makes it shed water easily. The reason the tilled gardens are muddy is that the tiller pulls up the clay subsoil.

I read that all life on Earth, past present, and future, exists in three forms - living tissue, recently deceased tissue, and humates. Humates are the black dirt that every living thing will eventually decompose into. That's your future, and mine too. With every shovel I scoop up, I try to appreciate the life that made it. I'm going to grow as many tomatoes as I can before I turn into that black dirt in the shovel.
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Old January 30, 2016   #83
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Yeah I will post some pics of my soil after 1st year no till when i get a chance. Its amazing how much better it is, and now I can get free Alpaca poop from a guy 3 houses down the street. Plus I have a fairly big pile of composted horse manure and another of 2 year composted leaves. The areas I added rabbit poop and straw to last year grew winter rye on their own and those two rows have the best soil overall. I gotta get me some rabbits. Oh and nice pic Cole!
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Old January 30, 2016   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Thanks, Salt

I've been back at it the past few days. It's been sunny and in the 50s here. My family's tilled gardens are still mud pits, but I can drive out into mine and put down more new material for raised no-till beds. They don't seem to understand how I can garden in January, but it's because they don't understand the no-till idea.

The cow field areas I am driving on are not that muddy either. The top layer of topsoil I'm scooping up is high in organic matter, which makes it shed water easily. The reason the tilled gardens are muddy is that the tiller pulls up the clay subsoil.

I read that all life on Earth, past present, and future, exists in three forms - living tissue, recently deceased tissue, and humates. Humates are the black dirt that every living thing will eventually decompose into. That's your future, and mine too. With every shovel I scoop up, I try to appreciate the life that made it. I'm going to grow as many tomatoes as I can before I turn into that black dirt in the shovel.
Very well put!
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Old January 30, 2016   #85
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Good thread all-around.
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Old February 2, 2016   #86
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I am going no till this season. Using a cover crop.
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Old February 2, 2016   #87
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Humate him do it.
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Old February 2, 2016   #88
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LOL...
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Old February 24, 2016   #89
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Despite the snow in today's pic, I have had mostly nice weather lately. When those rows get to the old peach trees in the background, I will have doubled my garden space from last year. Last year's rows get a light layer on top and are ready to go again.

Right now, I'm thinking that I'm not even going to use fertilizer. This soil is so good, I don't think I have to. It's like pure compost. Everything will be on drip, so I can buy an injector and fertigate if I have to. But I don't think I will have to.

One of my truckloads of dirt is about a thousand pounds. It makes about 10-15 feet of row, say 4 big plants to a truckload. I'm getting 40-50 pounds off of one plant of Taxi, which is supposed to be a 3-4' tall compact grower. Mine are twice that size. I'm turning 1,000 pounds of soil into 200 pounds of food, and that's just the first year. Consensus wisdom is that such a thing is not possible without fertilizer. I suspect the original source of that conventional wisdom was the companies selling fertilizer.
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Old February 24, 2016   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post


Despite the snow in today's pic, I have had mostly nice weather lately. When those rows get to the old peach trees in the background, I will have doubled my garden space from last year. Last year's rows get a light layer on top and are ready to go again.

Right now, I'm thinking that I'm not even going to use fertilizer. This soil is so good, I don't think I have to. It's like pure compost. Everything will be on drip, so I can buy an injector and fertigate if I have to. But I don't think I will have to.

One of my truckloads of dirt is about a thousand pounds. It makes about 10-15 feet of row, say 4 big plants to a truckload. I'm getting 40-50 pounds off of one plant of Taxi, which is supposed to be a 3-4' tall compact grower. Mine are twice that size. I'm turning 1,000 pounds of soil into 200 pounds of food, and that's just the first year. Consensus wisdom is that such a thing is not possible without fertilizer. I suspect the original source of that conventional wisdom was the companies selling fertilizer.
I woke up to no power a cold house, 5 inches of snow, with the wind blowing 45mph...
A Blizzard... Won't be planting anything for awhile.
But speaking of dirt, I got 10- 10ton loads of "pond silt" a couple of years ago, that had been sitting for 3 years before that. Those piles sure could grow some nice weeds, but I'll let them sprout weeds then take the bobcat and move/remound them to kill the weeds about 4 times a year, the piles have pretty much quit sprouting seeds last fall,
plan on spreading some out this year and see how some tomatoes will grow in it. It's pure black and nice and fluffy.
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