Got an idea i just cant shake

baymule

Sustainability Master
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
5,204
Points
363
Location
East Texas
If I'm going to building a house next year I would at least like to get it dried in before winter sets in so we could move in and stand up internal walls and finish the inside over the winter.
Would you cut logs and stack them up for a log home? That would be so cool. With your sawmill, you could cut some beautiful wood for the inside that would be unaffordable otherwise.
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
4,334
Reaction score
4,696
Points
277
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
Would you cut logs and stack them up for a log home? That would be so cool. With your sawmill, you could cut some beautiful wood for the inside that would be unaffordable otherwise.
That's kind of the plan yes... I need access to hundreds of mature white pines and several mature hardwoods preferably hard/sugar maple for flooring. But I'll take any closed grain hardwood like white oak or even soft/red maple.
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
619
Reaction score
499
Points
117
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
what did you end up doing?

to me i will mix things in if i am redoing a garden, but otherwise i only disturb a garden area on the surface to clear weeds if i need to do that and where i am planting i may put down worm compost/worms as my fertilizer. otherwise the garden and soil are left alone.

when thinking of longer term nutrition in a garden you do not want to use nitrogen to increase the decay rate of organic material if there are no plants actively growing in that area because then if there are any free nutrients and no plants to soak it up or other ways of locking up those free nutrients then they may leach away.

tilling also increases the rate of decomposition and disturbs the fungal network in an area (it also moves weed seeds around).

i keep after a lot of gardens and tilling would take a lot longer than if i can skim with the stirrup hoe.

when i do need to go to more extreme measures the method i use to clear weeds or topgrowth or a weedy area that has dropped seeds is to dig a fairly deep hole (about a foot and a half is usually good enough here in this clay) then i will skim the surface layer of weeds and soil into this hole and if there are weeds in there that may come back up from the roots i'll cover it with newspapers/cardboard and bury it again. this isolates the weeds and weed seeds from the surface and will be much easier to take care of than if you were trying to keep up with a lot of newly sprouting weeds. i can scrape a fairly large area with the stirrup hoe in an hour or two.
 

Lazy Gardener

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
2,370
Points
232
Location
Central Maine, Zone 4B
Novel approach. BUT... Down side to that is that you are feeding that seed bank for eons to come. Better to go over the area repeatedly, every few days, and get those surface weed sprouts while they are at the thread stage.

I'm toying with the idea of using a flame weeder to see how effective that is. Would require a side by side plot for control comparison. Then, there's the consideration: how much would the flame weeder disrupt soil organisms. Again... side by side comparison with identical sowings of follow up crops would tell the tale.
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
619
Reaction score
499
Points
117
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
Novel approach. BUT... Down side to that is that you are feeding that seed bank for eons to come. Better to go over the area repeatedly, every few days, and get those surface weed sprouts while they are at the thread stage.

I'm toying with the idea of using a flame weeder to see how effective that is. Would require a side by side plot for control comparison. Then, there's the consideration: how much would the flame weeder disrupt soil organisms. Again... side by side comparison with identical sowings of follow up crops would tell the tale.
you've never used a stirrup hoe then? it's specifically for that sort of purpose. it scrapes and cuts off weeds and it does not disturb the soil layers so you are not moving weed seeds around much at all.

and by feeding the weed seed bank for eons. no, this is a method for the extreme times when you want to take an area back from weedy growth to a bare dirt garden. once you've done that then you shouldn't have to do it again if you can keep on top of it. a stirrup hoe will let you do that.
 
Last edited:

milkmansdaughter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
1,308
Reaction score
1,525
Points
217
Location
Alabama
@flowerbug I had to go look up "stirrup hoe". I've never used one, or even seen one used. That seems to be exactly what I need around here as I have been trying to reclaim a garden area that has been part of a lawn for several years. I'm told that it was a prolific garden YEARS ago. There was no evidence of a garden when we got here 3 years ago.

@Chic Rustler you've done amazing things in your garden these last 3 years. I doubt tilling (or not tilling) will really harm your garden in the long run. Why don't you try tilling half of it, and then compare results next year?
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
619
Reaction score
499
Points
117
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
@flowerbug I had to go look up "stirrup hoe". I've never used one, or even seen one used. That seems to be exactly what I need around here as I have been trying to reclaim a garden area that has been part of a lawn for several years. I'm told that it was a prolific garden YEARS ago. There was no evidence of a garden when we got here 3 years ago.

@Chic Rustler you've done amazing things in your garden these last 3 years. I doubt tilling (or not tilling) will really harm your garden in the long run. Why don't you try tilling half of it, and then compare results next year?
to reclaim any kind of lawn area i would strip the sod and compost that or bury it deeply enough. it's excellent material for either purpose. :) i've done it here in various spaces as needed.

getting this:




turned back into this:



took a lot of work and i moved a lot of bulbs so it is much easier to care for now. i can stirrup hoe that whole thing in a few hours. the close weeding around the edges in the thyme will take me several more hours.

i'm interested to see how it goes next year with all the things i moved and work to open up the central area so i can plant it again with garden vegetables. likely the deer will be visiting so i can't really put a ton of hope on it being super productive, but i can get crops from there anyways. it's got some of the best soil on the lot since it was brought in topsoil.
 

Lazy Gardener

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
2,370
Points
232
Location
Central Maine, Zone 4B
I don't use a stirrup hoe. Use a rogue hoe instead. It has a 4" triangular blade that is razor sharp on all sides of the triangle so that you can cut the weeds in a forward, back, motion or side to side. @Beekissed introduced me to the design, and I love it.

thanks for the clarification. So... what you are doing is burying the weeds that have been decapitated by the stirrup hole? basically trench composting. Yes, that is an effective method. I usually go one step further and make weed tea, then dump that into the trench.
 

thistlebloom

Power Conserver
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
25
Reaction score
44
Points
41
Location
Idaho panhandle 48th parallel
I don't use a stirrup hoe. Use a rogue hoe instead. It has a 4" triangular blade that is razor sharp on all sides of the triangle so that you can cut the weeds in a forward, back, motion or side to side. @Beekissed introduced me to the design, and I love it.

I love my Rogue hoe also, I have two sizes, the really small head (which I thought would be good for close work) and the 6" blade which I use almost daily at work. They are really well crafted tools. My son is a wildland firefighter and they use a lot of the Rogue tools, which I think is a good testament to their quality.
I have good stirrup hoes also, but between the two styles I'll use the Rogue every time.
I also found them through Bee, over on The Easy Garden.
 

Lazy Gardener

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
2,370
Points
232
Location
Central Maine, Zone 4B
Every time I see a stirrup hoe, I think, "that looks like the most unwieldly, awkward tool I've ever seen." Even the looks of the Rogue make sense to me. And, it handles very well.
 
Top