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Great discussion, gang. Mind if I chime in a few thoughts?

We have a tendency to think of clay as an entity unto itself, but it is simply another state of the breakdown of a parent material (you may know parent materials by the more common name of ROCKS :lol: )

We start with a mountain. It becomes boulders which become rocks, which become sand, which becomes silts, and finally, clays. The increased surface area is what makes it so amazingly colloidal (a sponge for nutrients), but this can be a two edged sword. If there is no biology to break the bonds that bind that nutrition to the soil, it can just lock up there. We often see this with calcium, a very colloidal ion. Clay is not inherently more nutritive, but it tends to be from its nature...

The other huge issue is compaction. Clay tends towards a flake like form; think of throwing up thousand of sheets of paper high into the air. As they settle we spray with a hose. Soon we have an inpenetrable, impermeable barrier of soggy paper right? Say we find something to ball up the paper (like polysaccharide exudates from roots and bacteria) and put hoses and beams between the sheets (fungal hyphae and roots). Suddenly there are spaces in between that allow for the free exchange of gasses and air, which encourages living things, which furthers our natural release of tied up nutrition...

Suddenly clay soils are not a bad thing but a good one. We now have a soil that will retain nutrition rather than allow solubilized ions to wash away. What was once our problem now becomes a solution...

OL, exactly right about sand; it's just a raw material for more eventual clay. A temporary fix at best.

Toil, right on about the roots. They are our best claybuster we have because they encourage ALL the other factors...

and TDB, an elegant synopsis. I have waxed on about minor details, but you hit the nuts and bolts in a most thorough manner. I am SURE it was helpful, in the best traditions of this site. Nice job. :D

HG
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Some data gathered

Originally posted by TZ - OH6
I have tried to amend clay soil with bags of compost, mulch, and peat moss, and it is difficult and expensive to get enough into the soil to change the consistency for any period of time. For the longest time it seemed that each spring I started out with the same compact clay soil I amended the year before. When I broke ground for a new plot a few years ago I decided to hit the problem with a big hammer and am very happy with the results. This is what I learned.

For 30x30 garden with clay soil I wouldn't try to make a perfect garden the first year via purchased bags of amendments etc., but rather do some major bulk work for long term soil improvement that will pay off in the second year and beyond.

This would mean adding a large quantity of cheap/free bulk organic material, which is rarely fully composted. Wood chips, which are high in lignin, break down into long term stable humus, which will really help your clay. The rough texture also helps mix with the clay and break it up, while fine-grained bagged compost and peat moss tend to just coat chunks of clay.

There are many sources of bulk material. The guy I get to chip my brush also trims trees and keeps his own piles of composting chips, more than he needs, and he keeps offering it to me. Many areas have local municipal composting facilities (many counties take yard waste and tree trimmings and provide the mixed chipped mulch free of charge). You can also check out local race tracks and fair grounds for big piles of free manure mixed with lots of straw and sawdust bedding material. If you can find one of these sources you can get much more raw material by hiring/renting a truck and/or trailer to load up bulk material compared to what you could buy in bags at the store. If you have a mushroom farms nearby you may also be able to get bulk mushroom compost cheap.

Starting a new garden from crappy residential soil is a lot different than rejuvenating an existing garden or working with deep rural soil. House construction strips off topsoil, compacts the clay subsoil and then puts on a thin layer of topsoil and sod for the new lawn. This results in a garden that is only one shovel blade deep before hitting a clay pan that roots can't penetrate. It doesn't much matter what your soil test tells you if you are only working with a thin layer or topsoil.

Digging a short trench two feet (three shovel blade lenghts) deep will give you an idea of what the roots have to work with, and how much bulk organic material you need. If you have easy digging then plants will have no trouble and you can get away with adding a little bit of compost and your choice of fertilizer based on a soil test for a good first season, but if you have to hack down through clay, doing some serious ground breaking and rough amending would help in the long run. You might have to add a bit more nitrogen fertilizer (organic bloodmeal, or inorganic urea lawn fertilizer) when adding uncomposted woody material but the organic material will hold onto the extra nitrogen and make it available in the following years.


One of my new garden plots was bad clay, and for a 20 x 15 ft area I added a 5 inch layer of half composted wood chips (two pickup beds full) and mixed that into the top 12 inches. It didn't grow everything well the first year, but at the end of the first year what once was yellow clay was now chocolate brown and the consistency of potting soil. Soil texture nd plant growth just improved after that. This was a lot of work with a shovel (too rocky for a tiller) but well worth it. If I had more money and less enthusiasm for hand digging I would have done it right and brought in a back hoe for a half a day to break all the way through the clay layer (down to about 18 inches) so that roots could get to the water table, or bought some lumber to make raise beds. In either case a great deal of organic matter would still have had to mixed into the soil.

Twenty feet away past the original construction zone, I have a plot that is topsoil all the way down, and soil that has been growing grass/weeds is naturally high in organic material from roots so it didn't really need to be amended right away. The first year it didn't get any compost because it didn't need it yet, and that gave me time to gather compost material and let it mature. From that point on I could simply add the recommended thin layer of compost (2") every year to maintain organic content.


This is from another thread about the same [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20889]topic[/url] on page 2 in the compost lobby.
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The Helpful Gardener wrote: We have a tendency to think of clay as an entity unto itself, but it is simply another state of the breakdown of a parent material (you may know parent materials by the more common name of ROCKS :lol: )



HG
Boom! yet again, see this is what I was trying to convey to a certain individual but he just didn't get. Thinking to modern I believe. Thinking with his bag of fertilizer and not with soil and nutrients that he already has. I just can't get over the comment he made about MOST soils lacking in nutrients. :?

Oh and thanks for everyone bearing with me. And HG heck no I don't mind you chiming in. I was actually waiting for your input. :D

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The Helpful Gardener wrote:

We start with a mountain. It becomes boulders which become rocks, which become sand, which becomes silts, and finally, clays.


HG


I know I'm gonna regret this but you forgot ............which becomes silt which become clays and finally into humus. Razz Keeping a Low Profile
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In a word? No. I completely disagree.

Humus is comprised ONLY of living material. We can convert a mineralized substance into a living one, but in NO way shape or form does humus enter the mineral cycle otherwise (post edit; as sedimentary rock, I forgot :oops: ). Clay is as small as we get without solubilizing the mineral into component ions...

Do NOT confuse weathering with decomposition; they are seperate funtions for the most part...

Feeling regretful yet... :?: :lol:

HG
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I somehow knew that was coming in one form or another but hey I'm learning and that's all that matters. :D

I see what you are saying though. thank for showing me up once again. Keep 'em coming. :D :oops:

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Showing up?

Nah, just showin'...

S
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You know I meant that with much respect. :wink:

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HG, what about microagregates? I guess they can be mixed in but not part of humus?
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I'm gonna go with no until I figure out this mess from the USDA Agricultural Research Service:

Microaggregates (5 to 50 um) in Midwestern prairie soils are composed primarily of intimate associations of diffuse filamentous humic substances and smectite. The humic material coats surfaces of the smectites and bridges from one smectite quasicrystal to another and between different locations on the same quasicrystal thus holding the microaggregates together. Sodium saturation and dispersion readily separates humic substances from the smectite surfaces, thus suggesting that the humic substances are bonded to smectite surfaces primarily by cation bridging involving polyvalent cations (primarily calcium (Ca)). The humic substances associated with smectite surfaces in soil microaggegates have a carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio of about 10 and are a mixture of alkyl, O-alkyl, and carboxylic C with little aromatic C. This humic material has modern radio C dates and is relatively bioavailable during incubations. Discrete particles of rigid organic C are physically associated with coarse clay particles (primarily quartz, feldspars, kaolinite and 10 A-illite). Some of these discrete particles appear to be entrapped or enmeshed within the microaggregates while others exist as discrete particles separate from the microaggregates. The discrete C particles have a C:N ratio >15 and are dominated by single and condensed ring aromatic structures but also contain some aliphatic and carboxylic C. Radio C dates of the discrete C particles are old (70 to 730 Years Before Present (YBP)) and during incubations C in the discrete particles is biologically less available than the C associated with the smectite surfaces. These discrete C particles are believed to have a charcoal core that has adsorbed small biogenic organic molecules while in the soil.





-wall-

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As I see it the polysaccharide glues, plant and animal mucilage and all the other humic components are still humus, just binding together the clays or silt particles, even sand, as we get to macroaggregation. Add water in sufficient quantity and you can dissolve many of these (but not the carbon).

It does harden into something else for sedimentary rock, hence my hasty addition, and we can susbstitute humate as humus. I am likely drawing too firm a line at a time when the rest of my lines are quickly erasing; I should probably question my thinking more stringently. :)

But note it talks about humic substances ASSOCIATING with smectite surfaces; that's not becoming mineral, just attaching in a colloidal fashion, I think.

And define a"diffuse filamentous humic substance" for me. Hyphae? Actinobacters? I think they are just talking about biology and trying not to use the word. Chemists and geologists... hmmph. And all joined around a charcoa core... terra preta anyone?

Don't worry about not understanding this stuff, Gixx. I'm not real solid on it myself but it isn't written to be clear, it's written to get someone a doctorate and so scientists can talk to each other without informing anyone else that might need the info... :roll:

And the plants don't read anyway... :wink:

HG
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One definition of a plant...
A blooming idiot...
Most of that whole discussion went Zoom right over my head.
Is there a way to say that again... in hillbilly english, and without the scientisteze... ha ha.

I got lost in technical terms... can you break it down... I think I must be blooming... ha ha
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How about this OL dig a hole, plant a seed and watch it grow. :lol: That's a little better isn't.

But than again should we dig the hole or even water it, Ruth what is your opinion on this? :? :roll:

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I am not sure that Ruth dug an actual hole in the soil, mostly she just dug down through the mulch to get contact with the soil for the seeds.

She started with 8" of mulch, over the entire garden.

I have beds, and yet, it is difficult to keep just 2" of mulch on the garden year round. I usually can get to the 8" mark first thing in spring, with hay, leaves and all. But, it begins to break down.. and continues to break down... I soon have 2" or less. Until I can consistently hold the mulch at the 8" mark... I lose moisture, I have harder soil, I do not have the fertility noticed by Ruth and the One Straw Revolution guy.

I still water daily or nearly daily. :oops: Well, I did build the raised beds so that the clay soil would drain... and drain it does. Until I get enough humus there, and mulch holding, it will continue to drain very well, too well... :lol:
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OL, I think I have a good way of explaining aggregates (er, I think so anyway).

Let's say we stuff everyone in a small room and say nothing. I mean they are in a crowded room. How will they be grouped? Big clumps right? Now say we tell everyone in the room they have to hold hands with two other people. Or we tell half the people to hold hands.

How do they look now? Microaggregates are kind of like that. In soil, that leaves room for air yet somehow holds more water.
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Ozark Lady wrote:I am not sure that Ruth dug an actual hole in the soil, mostly she just dug down through the mulch to get contact with the soil for the seeds.

I know that's why I said it. Speaking in half thoughts again. Maybe to get others to think.

She started with 8" of mulch, over the entire garden.

I have beds, and yet, it is difficult to keep just 2" of mulch on the garden year round. I usually can get to the 8" mark first thing in spring, with hay, leaves and all. But, it begins to break down.. and continues to break down... I soon have 2" or less. Until I can consistently hold the mulch at the 8" mark... I lose moisture, I have harder soil, I do not have the fertility noticed by Ruth and the One Straw Revolution guy.

I still water daily or nearly daily. :oops: Well, I did build the raised beds so that the clay soil would drain... and drain it does. Until I get enough humus there, and mulch holding, it will continue to drain very well, too well... :lol:
Do you not have more mulch to put on the beds? I have to reapply several times a year, but that is good meaning the mulch is breaking down and that's what we want.

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Yes, and no. I have leaves to spare.
What I need is lawn mower set up to feed leaves to it and let it grind them up... I don't own a lawn mower. I wonder, if I put leaves in a bag, and walked on them... would they shatter into smaller bits? Perhaps a burlap bag, so it doesn't break so easily?

And I still vacillate between... are the leaves good or bad. Somedays... the leaves are good win, and I pile them on... some days the leaves are overdoing it wins, and I pull them off. A double-minded person gets no where... I have got to go whole hog one way or the other!
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I'm looking into getting a shredder/chipper for the unlimited supply of leaves I have just up the road. Just an idea. I brought h9ome several truckloads last year but like you said they don't break down very fast when they are whole.

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Gix, my shredder/chipper is one of the very best things I've ever purchased. We have a hundred cajillion leaves (part of our property is wooded and there are woods all around us, as well as fallen branches galore).

It used to be a pain to figure out what to do with all the fallen branches all the time.

Now, I look at them with my eyes gleaming. "More MULCH!!!"

And of course being able to shred all these glorious leaves is a wonderful thing.

I bought mine locally through eBay... it was a $700 chipper/shredder that I got for a steal at $300. They don't have to be that expensive but I wanted something that could handle 3" wide branches.
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I have been looking for my scientistese to hillbilly dictionary and just found it...

It says under "Microaggregation by diffuse filamentous humic substances"

"The dead and living goop holds together the rock dust."

How's that? :lol:

About scientistic folk, Fukuoka-sensei says,
"He pores over books night and day, straining his eyes and becoming nearsighted, and if you wonder what on earth he has been working on all that time-- it is to become the inventor of eyeglasses to correct nearsightedness"
and
"People find something out, learn how it works, and put nature to use, thinking this will be for the good of humankind. The result of all this, up to now, is that the planet has become polluted, people have become confused, and we have invited the chaos of modern times."
We need to move away from scientistese and start speaking hillbilly; the plants do not need the big words and the even worse ideas they often convey. Understanding nature is important, but not imperative. Observe, as Fukuoka-san and OL have done, experiment as Ruth has done, emulate the masters as Emile has done. These will all get you to the best possible results for you, your garden, and your planet.

:mrgreen:

HG
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A friend of mine used to talk about "misinformation disguised as B-S-."

If you put enough big fancy vague but nice sounding words around something, people don't notice that the underlying information is wrong or ideas are terrible!

I have a little chipper-shredder that I bought on ebay for $100, but it is smaller, doesn't handle branches more than 1/2" in diameter. But it's great for my purposes. But the leaves I lay down for mulch in the fall I don't shred. I just lay them down. By the spring they are pretty weatherized. When I trowel them under I just crunch them up a bit by hand. But I only have a few raised beds to deal with, so I can do labor intensive. Otherwise lay them down on a tarp and run the lawn mower over them.

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rainbowgardener wrote:A friend of mine used to talk about "misinformation disguised as B-S-."

If you put enough big fancy vague but nice sounding words around something, people don't notice that the underlying information is wrong or ideas are terrible!

I have a little chipper-shredder that I bought on ebay for $100, but it is smaller, doesn't handle branches more than 1/2" in diameter. But it's great for my purposes. But the leaves I lay down for mulch in the fall I don't shred. I just lay them down. By the spring they are pretty weatherized. When I trowel them under I just crunch them up a bit by hand. But I only have a few raised beds to deal with, so I can do labor intensive. Otherwise lay them down on a tarp and run the lawn mower over them.
Have you ever used your shredder for leaves or garden vegetation, if so how did it work? That's what I would want something around $100. I don't really have any trees that I could chip except my willows that are always dropping their tiny little branches. Not totally sure it would be worth it for me I could just do the mower thing myself.

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Yes, I use my chipper for chipping up woody plant stems to go in the compost, leaves, and small size brush into wood chips. Works great for all that and I've had it a few years now.

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I like that... The dead and the living goop holds the rock dust together...
I get it! Thanks.

I was thinking of how clay makes the humus hold together so well, and thought about mentioning it, but it seemed to go the wrong direction of the thread.

Someone had told me: Don't ever put sand on clay... it makes cement.
Being nosey, and not believing it... I picked one bed, and dumped the kids sandbox on it, at the end of summer. And it has only proven... no cement... just sand setting on top of clay! ha ha

I have double dug it twice, and it still reverts back to sand setting on top of clay.
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OL, I think you just have the clay/humus thing backwards; it's humus that hold clay together. But it's hard to tell without a college education and a $50,000 dollar microscope, and the plants don't care anyway... :lol:

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Clay holds the water too close to the top to promote deep root penetration. Granite sand is the only we have found to keep the clay from binding. I have staked 1000's of dollars of tree plantings on that fact. We have dark red clay no plant I have seen will THRIVE in straight clay.

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Tater, nobody diputes that; it's like asking a plant to live in straight sand or any straight mineral; wouldn't work at all

And the compaction is another factor; by its mechanical nature alone (forgetting the colloidal features) clay sets up like cement mostly on its own... we all get that... and the high K levels in granite sand would aid in aggregation too...

I just think (and OL seems to agree) that sand by itself is at best a temporary fix, while using compost and clay busting plants will turn your clay into about the finest soil you have ever seen, and if you don't mess with it, there is nothing temporary about it, it's forever. It will take longer but last longer...

Just seems a better solution... especially if you are betting a thousand trees...

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Nice tunnels.
My hubby was stationed in North Dakota when he was USAF. And we were amazed, they grew all the crops that Arkansas did, it low tunnels.
These were necessary for them, due to short growing seasons. And they don't have our red clay!

With the tunnel system, I could almost, not quite, grow year round... if I had it set up properly and enough discipline to get out there and garden when it is cold... But, you, in Georgia, you should really be able to do the year round gardening.

I didn't see any red clay... I saw beautiful soil that looked like river silt... Good job!
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thanks I was trying to reset the big words so I could understand.

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Last year I followed a site called 'wintersown' and planted seeds in plastic milk containers and other containers-I put dirt that we have here (Clay) and mixed in a little sand my hubby had piled up for some project and in the spring when my sprouted seeds were ready to plant. I cut open the plastic containers and out came BRICKS. Yeah, bricks. I litterally could not break some of them and of course the little plants died because they couldn't get free

This year I bought potting soil. I've been amending the soil for four years now in my garden beds, but I didn't want to use my amended soil to plant in the containers because I'm very attached to keeping it in the beds I've worked so hard for-how stupid is that? Anywho, the potting soil will also wind up eventually in the beds.

I've added some small amouts of sand to my beds a few years ago and like the others say, it winds up on top of the clay-another of the world's great mysteries.

The soil in our back yard (which has NO plants in it) is so hard a guy with a small backhoe couldn't get through it to dig a hole for a tree we wanted to plant. Luckily the side yard where I have the garden beds is a little better.
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clay and sand

Very interesting... we have people writing in from their own experience who say put sand and clay together, you get cement/bricks; some who say you get sand sitting on top of clay, and some who say you get good soil that way.

I don't have personal experience. I also have nearly pure clay soil (my hillside is treacherous when wet, wet clay is VERY slippery!). But I've never put any sand in it. Maybe I should try the experiment in one spot, just to see what happens. I can say from experience that when you add lots and lots of compost and mulch to your clay, it turns in to lovely loose friable loam.

I think it must be one of those site specific things where the results depend on the exact composition of your clay/soil and what kind of sand you use.

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I have heard way more bad about sand and clay. I myself would stick with the compost. It may take longer but the end result would be better in my opinion. :)

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No mystery to someone from New England; we know freeze/thaw cycles will push up more than sand. Around here it will push up potato sized rocks that were buried by glaciers a long time ago!

But a plant root will stay in place through thick and thin; that's its job. Fukuoka-san started his orchard in "bare red clay, so hard you could not stick a shovel in it." At first he cut weeds and bracken as he had been told, and dug them into holes around the trees, but saw he was getting nowhere. Then he tried burying wood (hugelkultur anyone?), and that was better, but it was still hard work to get the trees down the mountain. So he decided to grow his wood in place. He used six acacias per acre to break up deep soil (they also fix nitrogen) and...
As for the surface layer, I sowed a mix of red and white clover on the barren ground, but they finally came up and covered the orchard hillsides. I also planted Japanese radish (daikon). The roots of this hearty vegetable penetrates deep into the soil, adding organic matter, and opening channels for air and water circulation. It reseeds itself easily and after one season you can almost forget about it.

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As the weeds came back in to the barren soil, Fukuoka-san let them grow until mid season, cutting them down and scattering more clover mix. "As a result of this weed/clover cover, over the past twenty-five years, the surface of the orchard soil, which had been hard red clay, has become loose, dark colored and rich with earthworms and organic matter."

As Fukuoka-san says, "I have found a way to take it easy and let the orchard manage itself." 8)

Sometimes what seems logical is nonsense; sometimes what seems nonsensical is logic. It is a most difficult human task to sort them out, and simply doing is our best tool to accomplish that... :)

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Ya gotta love Mr. Fukuoka. He was truly a genius, and an example to follow

But let's not replicate his anti-science prejudice, which now seems tragically near-sighted (making his quote here about glasses a bit ironic). There is no difference between "hillbilly" and "sciencese", other than imaginary and arbitrary.

Here's how it works: "sciencese" can say in one word what takes a sentence in "hillbilly". So once anyone learns one of these terms, they can communicate faster, and since it's a scientific term, anyone who doesn't know it can ask anyone else who does (or wikipedia) and get the same definition. So less chance of crossed wires.

that's pretty useful.

so if you see a term you don't know coming from me or anyone else, just ask them to explain, and if you feel like it, learn the term. it might come in handy.
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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I recall a saying:
Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see!
You hear of different experiences, and the results are often variable... you can't just make it a generalization.
You can see many results... what you can't see in the garden, is where all of the really most important things are happening. I believe even pests, start from the dirt... a truly well nourished plant does not give off the "Come eat me" signal to bugs.
I appreciated the explanation of the freeze and thaw cycle pushing rocks up. I wondered about that.
We double dug the beds.. and although clay, it is never that hard, I suppose due to the forest, all the huge trees roots have already broken it up some. We used a screen with about 1/2" holes, and sifted out the larger rocks. Well, not bad, still small rocks, nothing of any size.
Every year, I find fist sized rocks in the beds...I know it does not rain rocks, I did wonder if the kids toss the rocks in... but they are partially buried. It seems unreal to miss that many large rocks when digging the beds. Now I know how they get there... Thanks.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

After I read One Straw Revolution, I came up with the idea to grow espalier fruit trees where I'd grown corn and sunflowers + beans, cukes, and clover during the summer. When I planted the corn and sunflowers, I no-till, no grass remove) sheet mulched compacted lawn (about 2" top soil, then SOLID BLUE CLAY) about a month before sowing the seeds.

After they were done, I cut the corn and sunflower stalks with loppers, laid then down and added enough compost and soil to cover them, then mulched with straw and sowed (as in scattered) some Daikon seeds.

The first of the container-grown apple and pear trees came in November. I went to dig holes for the fruit trees and the soil was already loose and black as far as the garden fork went in -- what is that 11"? I just pushed apart the corn/sunflower stalks enough to plant and left everything back where they were. By spring planting, they were mostly gone. Each tree has nodding onion growing at its base. This year, I planted morning glory and Moonflower, sweet potatoes, and honeydew in the corners (away from the fruit tree roots), planted tomatoes and eggplants as well as let some red clover, yellow dock and carrot-gone-to-seed take over in between the trees. This fall, I planted some Egyptian onion top sets and garlic between the trees. (Hmm, I really should be posting this in the Permaculture forum...)

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gixxerific
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I am the author of this thread if that matters, so you can talk about your dog if you want.

This has gone in a better direction that it started, My anger hid my true mission.

Good talk guy's. :D

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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Allegedly, in the old days, water was brought inside and heated for a bath.
The correct order was: Father, all sons, then mom, the girls and finally the baby (babies). By the time the same water was used to wash everyone, the water was pretty dirty... hence the phrase:
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater... came into common use.

Bet ya didn't know that!

Don't throw out all science terms, I agree sometimes they can be very exacting in explaining what you are trying to convey.
But, I would say, be prepared to also explain it in hillbilly, or common man's language, when it bounces right over someone's head.

The intent is to convey information, and you need to understand what you are conveying... and be able to be concise, and also able to explain.

So, use scienceze.. just stand ready to explain what you just said...
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater...
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Gerrie
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:10 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Wow, Applestar, you really inspire me. I'm learning something here every day. The clay isvery slippery and slick when wet, last year I fell four times and believe me, when I go into the chicken coop, I'm real careful-don't want to fall into wet poop, that's for sure!

Ozark Lady I've had the same experience with the rocks, the first couple of years, I got mad at hubby for not doing a great job of getting them out of the beds when he tilled (before I knew not to till anymore) BTW anyone want to buy a $2000.00 tiller? Hubby thought he'd try to till the back field with it til our born-here neighbor told him 'it will grow rocks if you til it'.

That said, I agree compost amending is the best way to get good soil out of clay. I asked for compost for my birthday. :D
The spiritual life is first of all a LIFE, it is meant to be lived-Thomas Merton

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gixxerific
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Stones and their resurfacing, all the time here. You would think I have a rock garden. I just picked out a bucket full a few weeks ago, and will do it again I'm sure in a few more weeks if the frost ever gets out of the ground.
Last edited by gixxerific on Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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