Jake L.
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How Will You Prepare Your Beds for Next Season

Typically, I used raised beds. My soil mix is 4 parts compost, 4 parts worm castings, 1 part topsoil, 1 part leaf mold. I add this mix to my raised beds. I will then dig trenches into my beds where there will be space in between plants. In these trenches I will be adding rabbit manure, chicken manure, coffee grounds, fruit scraps, and then repeat this process for each trench I dig. After covering up these trenches with a sprinkle of soil, I will moisten my soil with Epsom Salt Water. I will mix 1 teaspoon of epsom salt to every gallon of water. I drizzle the solution onto my raised beds. I then take my Crushed Eggshell Soil Amendment and very lightly sprinkle a layer on top of my moistened soil. After adding my soil amendment, I will add a half inch of Leaf Mold on top of my beds. After this, I wait until spring time and start planting. :D

How do you prepare your beds?

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Sage Hermit
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Is epsom salt good for your beds? I never heard of using it on beds.

I plan to make raised beds also and set up a water pump to water my plants on a timer. I am probably not going to do much ground planting, tried that and the plants need to be taken indoors real early. For soil I'm using pretty acidic soil and amending it to raise the ph and add organic material and compost but I have not given that aspect much thought so I will have to see.

My biggest concern is pests but good soil is a very good start, the problem is I am not really sure what to do yet.

I have made a bed around a large pine tree and I raked all the needles and need help with how to ammend the soil so that both treen and plants can have better health. Thank you and Ill take my answer off the air.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

Jake L.
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Epsom isn't good to use purely, but as in a mix with water. Epsom Salt contains Magnesium and Sulfate.

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rainbowgardener
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Epsom salt is recommended sometimes, especially for tomatoes, but it is inorganic and it is a salt and like any salt can build up in your soil and be damaging. Go very easy with it.

I have raised beds also. When I built them 8 yrs ago, I had top soil trucked in to fill them, then added compost, potting soil, wood ash, leaves and whatever else I had around at the time. Since then I just keep adding compost and leaves. In the fall when I pulled finished stuff, I put down a new layer of compost and then a layer of fall leaves over that. In the spring, I will crunch up the (by then weathered) leaves a bit and turn all that under. Then I put down new compost, in the planting holes and as top dressing and then once the soil has warmed up, more mulch.

That's pretty much all I do and it works fine.... There are eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit scraps, etc IN my compost (all but the eggshells well broken down).

Around a large pine tree is a very difficult place to grow things, generally its shady, the pine tree soaks up all the water, so it's dry, and it's pretty acid from all the needles..... What were you thinking of trying to grow there?

Tater
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I farm/plant 3 acres. I am in the process of moving my 80 tons of composted horse manure over as much of the suface as it will cover 3-4"thick (Next is the fun part as my acreage is waay too flat the rain we seem to be stuck with)

Hook up the Suffolk-Punch draft horses and lay off high rows 32" wide-400' long mixing the compost under for the next 3 months. Till the high rows smooth and lay drip tape cover with olive mulch and TRY to smother weeds then plant plant plant... seed the walkways in rye (16") and start over with the compost pile but this year I have found tons of leaves to mix in . and tryto keep the lights on from all of this effort. Tater

Bloody Boots
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I use raised beds, when I've harvested a bed and ready to lay it down for the winter, I add about 3 inches of compost and then 3 inches of chopped leaves. This is all covered by a burlap mesh to keep it from blowing off .

Come spring, I turn it all over, add a little more compost and good to go!

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kimbledawn
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This year I am trying a few things that I have learned about here. I have raised beds in my garden also. I will be adding a layer of compost from my pile, a layer of biochar, green sand, and composted manure. I will also try clay spray to deter vine borors this year.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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rainbowgardener
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Tell me more! What is "clay spray" and how does it deter the vine borers? One of my resolutions for next year's garden is also to work against the zucchini root borer. Put row cover over it and wrap the stems in foil...
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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I have that! Surround (superfine kaolin clay) right? But I did not think to try using it against vine borers. :oops:

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kimbledawn
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When I read about it, they said that the klay changes the color of the leaves and it confuses the moth so they don't lay the eggs. I don't know how true it is but I will try it this year.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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gixxerific
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I do the manure, compost, leaves, coffe grounds, grass clipping all year thing.

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rainbowgardener
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Wouldn't the clay spray clog up the leaf pores and interfere with transpiration and photosynthesis?

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Ozark Lady
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Most of the time, I don't do alot of preparations.
I tidy up by removing the cages, and bed covers, putting away the covers that were used for frost tunnels. And in general simply tidy it up.
Sometime throughout the winter, I will gather up my seed starting pots from the garden potting table, and scrub them up good, discard any that break etc.
I do take photos all season long. In this way, I have a journal to look back on for last seasons growing, and to spot issues as they develop.
My preparations is often reviewing these photos and comparing them to earlier years of that same bed. If I see what could be disease or a decline in fertility. I flag that bed, for improvement.
If the bed is good, then it simply goes into the rotation and the best of all will usually get the early spring crops.
I take advantage of my early spring gardening enthusiasm, and plant the best beds... unamended, undug, unmulched. Then, I select the worst bed of all, and make some exploratory digs... I am looking to see who is in my dirt... grubs or earthworms. If earthworms are plentiful, I simply add manure and mulch to feed them. If however the grubs won the toss... I then dig the bed, rescuing earthworms as I go... and I let my chickens have some fun... they will dig for days. I will turn it again, and again let chickens have fun... then I will amend it, and cover it up with leaves, for later planting.
I would love to gradually reach the fertility that Ruth Stout had and not have to ever dig a garden bed... haven't gotten there yet.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Turk
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I also have raised beds. I add worm castings and will be testing the pH, Nit, and Phos to get an idea of what else needs to go in. If they need nitrogen (likely) then I'll plant a bunch of legumes for the nitrogen fixers. Mostly just lots of tilling, tossing and weeding.

Someone mentioned tidying up. Boy are we EVER tidying up. We don't get a TON of rain but we sure get a lot of grass seeds. I've been weeding for a week straight and still have lots to do but am excited for Spring to come around and to have a completely ready garden.
If you see a weed, pull it.

Everyday brings a new Google search.

Tater
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I have heard and read that paper towel card board "necks" around cucurbits work well for borers. Just thought I would throw it out there for discussion since it came up.

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rainbowgardener
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Someone else here suggested foil wrapped around the squash stems to prevent the borers. Similar idea. I'm going to try it this year!

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gixxerific
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rainbowgardener wrote:Someone else here suggested foil wrapped around the squash stems to prevent the borers. Similar idea. I'm going to try it this year!
Copper too I believe works for borers.

The Helpful Gardener
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The clay is super ionic; sticks to surfaces, rather than working into stomatae. Fine for plants...good for soil as well.

I like ALL the borer stuff, but know that almost ALL my plants got borer last year and I just sliced with a razor til I found them and CUT them :twisted: . Mess with my squash; I CUT you... :lol:

Bed prep? I piled some compostables on the beds in fall (sheet composting of a sorts) I will rake them off (adding the rakings to the big pile) and plant.

Bed prep sounds like a lot of work. It doesn't have to be, and some good things happen when you leave soil alone...

HG
Scott Reil



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