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Old 10-24-2012, 01:04 AM   #31
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chibikaie you just reminded me I use to add alfalfa meal or pellets to the dirt depending on what was available.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:40 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by dr.tran View Post
This weekend I am about to till and replace the top soil. I want a nice fresh start.

BTW has anyone here compost? I want to get a red wiggler compost going for the fall and winter. But I have a feeling it will never be enough for an entire garden.
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Sounds pretty interesting. I plan on doing a hot compost for now. I hope its not too late.

DON'T TILL THE GARDEN! In my belief and studies, it's absolutely not necessary to till, ever. A fresh start would be better accomplished by adding a 1/2" layer of org. compost to the top of your beds and letting it do the work from there. I've owned a biological soil remediation company, tilling is one of the best ways to destroy anything beneficial you've already got in the bed. To put it bluntly, you're slicing, dicing and killing off most of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil that actually make your garden healthy. Think about it like this, if you take the filter media out of your tank right now, rinse it under tap water (maybe a little bleach as well) to "start fresh"... you're definitely going to start fresh by having to re-cycle your tank. The micro-organisms that are present in the soil are keeping the immunity for the soil. Adding compost increases that immunity, increases nutrient uptake to the rhizosphere. Furthermore, shredding the microbes, in this case... fungi, are exactly what you'll need to grow healthy berries, they thrive in fungal rich soil. Do your bed a favor and don't till. Get some fish hydrolizate online, and kelp (ascophyllum nodosum) amendment as well, and top dress your bed now before the winter... you'll be glad you don't have to till.
http://sustainablegrowthtexas.com/pr...ion_chart.html


And btw... it's definitely not too later to do thermal compost (as long as you have a big enough pile). Two years ago, during 2 weeks in February, I had my compost pile up to 160 degrees, and it had been 20 degrees outside or colder. It's totally possible.

Get yourself a large, shallow tuppermade bin. Line it with soaked newspaper, eisenia fetida (red wigglers), and food scraps. Keep it inside for the winter... feed the buggers and wait till spring to release them to the bed... you'll have many more too!

My thoughts...

p.s. the picture with the sunlight has a visible ring of steam coming up. This is during that cold spell I spoke of
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:02 AM   #33
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Thanks, it's still a work in progress. Don't be ashamed to post a starting pic. We all start somewhere!

The variety of blueberries is unknown, there's two different varieties growing wild on our property. They are a big nuisance here... very evasive and difficult to remove, unless you have goats
Ok cool. I think I will take you up on your offer. I just gotta finish planning to make sure I can fit it in the scheme of things.

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I have managed to kill mint three separate times (well, once was "failure to propagate" which I was assured was not the same thing), so I'm definitely not one to give any advice. I could not manage to do the aquaponics thing, either. I was recently given a pot of live mint, which is doing okay so far. (I keep trying because it is supposed to be easy to grow, in fact difficult to kill, and my rabbits have expressed a preference for it.) Let me know if you would like a few plantlets, as it needs to be repotted soon. I also have around 1/4 cup of alfalfa seeds if you would like to try some as a cover crop.

If you would like any rabbit droppings to work into the soil to enrich it for the coming season, please let me know! I will be happy to bring you as much as you would like. They are parasite free (I checked them myself recently, plus rabbits don't really carry much of anything that can be transmitted to humans) and the poops don't smell unless they get wet.
If you want, I have mint plants galore. I was actually about to get rid of some because I have huge patches of it. Dang I could have used some alfalfa seeds. lol I'm just lazy to go to the store. But I have an experiment I'm going to try next year with alfalfa hay. Aquaponic style to have a unlimited supply of infusoria for my fry. hehehe

And rabbit poop? Interesting. Poop research in progress
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:08 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by manik View Post
DON'T TILL THE GARDEN! In my belief and studies, it's absolutely not necessary to till, ever. A fresh start would be better accomplished by adding a 1/2" layer of org. compost to the top of your beds and letting it do the work from there. I've owned a biological soil remediation company, tilling is one of the best ways to destroy anything beneficial you've already got in the bed. To put it bluntly, you're slicing, dicing and killing off most of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil that actually make your garden healthy. Think about it like this, if you take the filter media out of your tank right now, rinse it under tap water (maybe a little bleach as well) to "start fresh"... you're definitely going to start fresh by having to re-cycle your tank. The micro-organisms that are present in the soil are keeping the immunity for the soil. Adding compost increases that immunity, increases nutrient uptake to the rhizosphere. Furthermore, shredding the microbes, in this case... fungi, are exactly what you'll need to grow healthy berries, they thrive in fungal rich soil. Do your bed a favor and don't till. Get some fish hydrolizate online, and kelp (ascophyllum nodosum) amendment as well, and top dress your bed now before the winter... you'll be glad you don't have to till.
http://sustainablegrowthtexas.com/pr...ion_chart.html


And btw... it's definitely not too later to do thermal compost (as long as you have a big enough pile). Two years ago, during 2 weeks in February, I had my compost pile up to 160 degrees, and it had been 20 degrees outside or colder. It's totally possible.

Get yourself a large, shallow tuppermade bin. Line it with soaked newspaper, eisenia fetida (red wigglers), and food scraps. Keep it inside for the winter... feed the buggers and wait till spring to release them to the bed... you'll have many more too!

My thoughts...

p.s. the picture with the sunlight has a visible ring of steam coming up. This is during that cold spell I spoke of
Whoa!! Wicked cool! I have a ton of greens now I just have to find enough newspaper and browns to do this layer compost.

Well in terms of tilling, how do you feel about vertical tilling as opposed to the conventional tilling? I hear its suppose to give you the same benefits of no tilling but in a very very short amount of time. I would love to do the no till method but I don't have enough time for the microbes to improve the soil to optimum levels.

I will most likely be doing a halfway in between organic and conventional gardening. I plan on tilling it and adding in compost and then cover cropping it. Then the following years I won't be tilling the land.

That or the square foot gardening seems to be very very interesting. I haven't made up my mind but I think I will try a little of both. Shouldn't hurt.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:31 AM   #35
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DON'T TILL THE GARDEN! In my belief and studies, it's absolutely not necessary to till, ever
Millions of gardeners and farmers might, just might, totally disagree with that. Including Rodale Gardens. In fact many people will on the first go round double dig. Tilling helps to relieve the compaction that has occurred and loosens up the soil and aerates it.

I have seen no till done here. In fact one of my organic buddies who does it as a business does a no till. After the first planting though. And he adds tons of hay and/or straw to it to help alleviate compaction in later plantings. Plus he mulches everything so it won't naturally compact from rain and sprinklers.

Quote:
tilling is one of the best ways to destroy anything beneficial you've already got in the bed. To put it bluntly, you're slicing, dicing and killing off most of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil
If this were true we'd have totally sterile soil. That's simply not the case. It's more like you've cleaned out 1/2 of your filter media. The bacteria is still there but it's being allowed to rejuvenate. Plus if your turning compost into it it's more like adding a strong dose of beneficials to the water like what the guys do on "Tanked"with a new setup. And that's more like taking a line bred strain of fish and adding a different mate in for better genes. A 1/2" of compost is better than nothing. But not much. 3-4" would be better. Depending on what I am planting I'll add up to 6" of compost.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:41 AM   #36
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Oh, would gladly trade mint for poop and alfalfa seeds! They start easily indoors in hydroton (I have some of that too if you need it), I was never quite sure what kept dooming mine. I had quite a mold problem. And then you can have the mint back when it is made into convenient little fertilizer pellets by the bunnies.

I wish I knew more people who garden. I could probably supply like five different compost heaps year round and my parents don't want even one in the yard.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:46 AM   #37
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I just built a raised garden bed this summer because I wasn't sure the soil was good. It was always under shade but since the trees were removed, it gets sun almost all day.

I used a garden claw to break up grass layer and then used 2x8 to create a rectangle and added peat moss and garden soil in a ratio I found online. I didn't fill it up all the way, maybe added 3-4".

this is was our first attempt and it was a huge harvest of tomatoes since that's mainly what we bought beginning of the summer and they were planted too close that it was a jungle of a vegetable garden. By the end of the summer we barely ate the tomatoes and give it away. We grew the small cherry sized tomatoes called sunset gold, it's a sweet variety, beef steak and cherry tomatoes. Only plant that died pretty earlier was the black tomato plant whcih i was looking forward to eating.

I used 1" PVC pipes to build a cage after seeing how much they were charging for cheap ass wired tomato cages, which I still bought but not as many. I drilled holes in them to stick the rods through. I was thinking of building a PVC irrigation in the soil but didn't do it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:15 AM   #38
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Mach six, try using the wire for concrete reinforcing. I've built so many from one roll. Openings are about 4x4 or 6x6. easy to get your hand in to grab the harvest.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #39
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Oh, would gladly trade mint for poop and alfalfa seeds! They start easily indoors in hydroton (I have some of that too if you need it), I was never quite sure what kept dooming mine. I had quite a mold problem. And then you can have the mint back when it is made into convenient little fertilizer pellets by the bunnies.

I wish I knew more people who garden. I could probably supply like five different compost heaps year round and my parents don't want even one in the yard.
Awesome thanks! But I'll give it to you for free. I have just been lazy trying to find them in stores. So i put this off for more than a year. lol
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:55 PM   #40
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I dug into the bottom of my compost the other day. I have black gold. The stuff looks amazing. The egg shells are still in tact.. It's best to pulverize the darn thing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #41
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I'm getting ready to fill my planters with new dirt (first time in 4 years since I've changed it) and will be planting some veggies, the growing season's hitting here in FL
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:27 AM   #42
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I'm getting ready to fill my planters with new dirt (first time in 4 years since I've changed it) and will be planting some veggies, the growing season's hitting here in FL
You're a little late for warm crops like tomatoes though. I put mine down second week of September. You are a little warmer than my area though
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:38 AM   #43
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Hey chibikaie,

I was trying to get you some mint but it looks like the storm already took some.



I can still get you some if you like. It might not look pretty but they are tough and will bounce back. I just wish I knew what mint this is. Can't tell if its peppermint or not.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #44
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Hey chibikaie,

I was trying to get you some mint but it looks like the storm already took some.

I can still get you some if you like. It might not look pretty but they are tough and will bounce back. I just wish I knew what mint this is. Can't tell if its peppermint or not.
That's okay, I still have a couple sprigs in the pot that are still kicking. I'm getting planters and a new light soon, so I'll give that a go.

Do you want any rabbit manure for the garden still? I'll start collecting so you'll have a nice clean pile by next week. Oh, and by the way, I'd like to biy a moina starter culture from you.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:58 AM   #45
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Oh thanks but its okay. I have been collecting my hamsters bedding and planed on composting that. Just been busy and haven't gotten the chance to touch the garden yet.

I'm going to get some of the plants for you and grow it indoors for now. Who knows? Maybe mines is more hardy and might work better. Or at the very least, some insurance just in case.
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