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Back to Eden Gardening Thread~Note: pic heavy thread.

Discussion in 'Gardening On Your Homestead' started by Beekissed, May 17, 2017.

  1. Nov 20, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    It's in the 40's tonight......is it winter yet?

    Bee, I have a huge supply of composted wood chips. We put them in the barn, the horses poop on them, Dh scooped them up with the tractor bucket and shook them out on the pipeline. Then he put more wood chip mulch in the barn. In a few months, rinse-repeat. We sprigged Bermuda and Bahia grass in 2 pastures and shook wood chip mulch over them, then I broadcast several types of winter grass and clover seeds. The mulch is helping to protect the seedlings.

    We collected some cardboard and put it down, then covered with mulch. It helps keep the weeds down. Wish we had more cardboard!

    I believe whether you use wood chips or hay, the results will be improved soil and better cover for the soil versus bare dirt between rows. Being on sand, I love growing mustard greens in the mulch. It is so easy to wash them clean!
     
  2. Nov 28, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Got my hay on the garden and will start spreading it tomorrow if the Lord is willin'. Will apply a light layer of leaves under it where I can.

    Can't wait!!!! 100_0220.JPG
     
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  3. Nov 28, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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  4. Nov 29, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I'd never used round bales for much of anything before, so today I got my first lesson in rolling out round bales. It's hot, scratchy work and appears easy at first, but they don't all roll out neatly into nice neat mats. The first one did, which lulled me into thinking "This will be a piece of cake!".

    Wrong. o_O

    The first was first cut hay, been sitting around rotting for a couple of years I'd say. Came off that roll in a nice, neat mat like it was designed for this purpose...a nice 4-6 in thickness. Cool!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The second one I did was a partial, second cut hay bale...whoever baled that needs a new baler. It was all crinkled up inside and didn't roll at all and those longer strands of the timothy grass and such made it extremely hard to fork and spread evenly. The second bale, much larger and a full bale, same hay and baler...didn't roll worth a shuck. This hay was baled this year so it's got a lot of green in it still, which is going to bode well for the garden, but it also has a lot of timothy seed.

    Fourth bale, first cut and rotten like the first bale, rolled out more evenly than the newer, second cut hay, but had a really rotten side that made it roll out unevenly.

    [​IMG]

    I should have worn long sleeves, but it's awfully hot here today(end of November...whoever heard of having to wear shorts and a Tshirt at this time of year???), so I'm itching and sneezing like crazy and blowing black mold out of my nose. :confused:

    BUT...I got it done in just a few hours, by myself and with plenty of breaks to eat lunch, get drinks and do this or that~while also applying bags of leaves prior to the roll out and putting hay and leaves in my apple rings. It would have taken me, by me onsies, all day long and into the next day to shovel that many chips to the depth I'd need and to spread them all out.

    Leaves on in a thin layer before applying hay...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hay and leaves layered into the apple rings...

    [​IMG]

    Old Jake really loves the hay...

    [​IMG]

    Still a lot of green left in this second cut hay...

    [​IMG]
    The soil in the middle of the garden, right under where we drive the truck in, so it's pretty compacted compared to other sections. This is what the wood chips have done...this was scraped up with just a blunt nose wire cutter, so very easy to move, crumble, plant into. NOT our typical soil, which is a greyish hard pan clay that you'd need a backhoe to scratch up.

    [​IMG]

    I still need to go out there and do a final tuck and fluff of the more uneven applications into thinner areas but at least the entire surface of the garden is now covered at a 4-12in. depth. :woot




    Here's an interesting little vid of what the soil looks like under hay that had been sitting on it for a few months...

     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  5. Jan 5, 2018
    igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Enjoys Recycling

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    Following to see how things go. I was thinking bte but no chips available so thought maybe hay will be the answer. I'm going to give it a try as a mulch in a raised bed.

    @Beekissed have you tried gypsum to help loosen your clay soil? I used it in the holes where I planted aloe. When I dug it up a couple of years later the aloe roots and gypsum had done a beautiful job of loosening the soil. I amended with composted mulch in spring and by the following spring the soil was much improved to a good depth. One of the ladies at the garden center told me about it.
     
  6. Jan 5, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    No, I've not tried that. How much gypsum would a person need to loosen clay on a garden my size? How much does it cost? My garden is around 35x 55-60 ft.
     
  7. Jan 5, 2018
    igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Enjoys Recycling

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    I will look at the bag tomorrow and see what the rate of application is and let you know. It isn't an instant fix but it does help over time.
    Thanks for the video too!
     
  8. Jan 5, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Does it have to be plowed or tilled into the clay? I'm doing no till now, so way of doing that now, especially with the hay and chip covering.

    Was reading this article on it...

    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/using-gypsum-in-garden.htm
     
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  9. Jan 8, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Drew out my first garden plan of the year this weekend. I say first, because that normally changes numerous times and then I go out there and just stick things anywhere, willy nilly, forgetting all about the neat rows and blocks I had planned all winter.
     
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  10. Jan 23, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Been in the 60s here today and is still 55* and raining. Been raining off and on all day. Makes all my joints hurt but it's still a pleasant change to be sitting in here in my summer nightie, not having to wear woolly socks to stay comfy.

    I checked under the hay today in the garden, just a few spots where I knew things should be growing...rhubarb was up a half inch out of the soil and a few garlic seeds were showing roots and shoots coming out. Both of these things are under a good 6in. of hay, so I don't worry they will be frosted when next the cold hits. Still...it was good to see them, tender green showing.
     
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