Joyfirst
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Thank you guys for the interesting thread. I loved the video.I used a bit of rock dust in my beds. Biochar next - first I ahve to go camping, since I live in the condominium- no way to create my own. :roll:

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what she used was spoiled hay..and she said that when the weeds sprouted on top of the hay (she puts it on real thick) she said she would just turn it upside down so the weeds grown would just smother.
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Just spread two bales on the veggie garden yesterday; turned back some of the area I did last week and you can see the difference already! Moist, darker, teeming with worms (and I expect lots of other biology). And what a difference in the weed populations in the hayed areas vs. the control area (getting a good shot of weed seed today; lambsquarters and purselane, as I am comparing a green mulch of weeds to the hay).

HG
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gixxerific
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HG so are you saying you have a hay mulched section and a green mulch mulched section as a control area?

When you say "moist, darker" are you saying the ground, the mulch or the plants are darker.

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Hey Gixx,

Plants just went in yesterday, but the soil is much nicer (moister, darker)...

And yes, I have one section of garden I am growing a green cover on, purselane and two varieties of lambsquarters ( three if you count the volunteer crop as seperate from my Chenopodium album seeds...). I will stick some maters and squash in there once they are sizeable, just knocking back the greens before hand...

Ate until full on fresh lambsquarters yesterday (eating the tops off as I transplanted from the green bed to the sides of the rows in the main garden). Beats pruning, and I really think that this is my favorite green now, better than leaf lettuce! Who knew? Early, wicked hardy (as we say in these parts), and I am getting a great crop already...

The wife is still suspicious of eating "weeds"; if I'd tucked it in a plastic tub and told her it was designer greens she would probably be loving it... hmmmph... :roll:

HG
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HG you should deprive one of nitrogen for kicks. they are like an N flow test with purple indicator.
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Neat idea, toil... I can do that...

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Whew! Went on a shopping expedition today: Some stuff for a new tomato support idea (thank you TZ!) at Tractor Supply where a very helpful elderly gentleman found me the hardware needed to do what I wanted to do (He asked me SEVERAL times *how* I planned to pound down a 7' post -- He seemed relieved when I relented and got the 6' fence posts that were on sale), a hay farm where a dour elderly gentleman sadly told me he's behind in hay-making because his sister-in-law has cancer and that NOBODY has hay because of the rain except for a feedstore, a gardening co-op where an elderly gentleman and I discussed the merits of Spinosad, and I was able to tell him about its honeybee toxicity until the compound has dried (thanks RBG! :wink:).

I also bought 2 kinds of premium potting soil: Pro-mix Ultimate Organic and Gardener's Gold Organic, a bag of humus, as well as my usual favorite -- Bumper Crop Organic Soil Conditioner. Whew!

At the feed store, they had two different kinds of hay -- Canadian Timothy hay (regular -- I think 45lb? square $6.49) and NY mixed alfalfa hay (65lb square $10.99). Straw was $5.39. Initially, I was going to get 4 Canadian hay, but decided to get 2 Canadian and 1 NY, plus 2 straw.

I'll break them down into flakes and use them to turn a narrow 15"x12ft space into a Sauce Tomato Bed. I also need to make another narrow bed for DH's Wax Begonia Bed by the front porch (I had to buy them -- just could not grow them from seed :roll: But I'll mix in my seed-grown Salvias for a nice arrangment) I'm thinking I'll get cuttings from that hanging Lobelia basket too.

Oh! Oh! ALMOST FORGOT !!! :oops:
The whole reason I posted in this thread is that at the feed store, I was explaining what I was trying to do with the hay and why I was asking them the 20 questions about what's in the hay, why I really want to try the alfalfa-mix hay for the extra nitrogen and potassium, etc. and was telling her how I've been trying to find "spoiled" hay but with no luck, and saying how silly it seems to intentionally "spoil" perfectly good hay. The lady who turned out to be the owner told me that if I leave my name and phone number, she'll call me on those occasions when she gets moldy hay that she can't sell. :() ... I may end up with more hay than I'll know what to do with.... :wink:

As it turned out, as soon as I stepped out the door to go get the hay/straw bales, the sky opened up and we had a sudden shower. I drove home in the rain, perfectly happy that my 5 bales were already getting a good start to being spoiled. :lol:

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Great story Apple, maybe I should have you shop for me. :lol:

Did some shopping myself today not that extravagant though.

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AS is having a Three Straw Revolution... :lol:

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Ha ha. :lol:

Here's my modified hay bale Sauce Tomato Bed. It only took 1-1/2 bales of hay. It also turned out that one of the square bale dimensions is exactly 15" :()

The ground was pretty much solid overgrown white clover. I fork/fractured the area, scattered some wheat bran, kelp meal, a bit of Dr. Earth Veg fertilizer because it was there, then almost finished unscreened compost -- enough so almost no green was showing. Then topped with flakes of the good alfalfa mix hay. The sides are timothy mix hay flakes held up against Rabbit fence, and the top 3 large squared portion of the fence should provide the first courses of "tomato cage." I'll Florida Weave type tech once the plants are taller.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6985.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6990.jpg[/img]

Almost done, just have to fill it, but I need DH to finish pounding the fence posts the rest of the way in before I can secure the fence. (I couldn't wait and HAD to try putting the hay in. 8)

You said you filled yours 1/2 way with unfinished compost, then with purchased finished compost, HG? With tomatoes, I think I might have to tweak that a bit -- put my usual mix of garden soil and Bumper Crop on the bottom and use some of the good potting soil I just bought on top (I plan to mix them all up.
:idea: I think I'll scatter some bokashi in the bottom to lure the earthworms even more -- do you think all this might be too much and "cook" the tomato plants?

This won't have the moisture holding capacity of full hay/straw bales like yours, but I'm hoping it'll do. At least I got the rain barrel all set up on this side of the house (I was using it to water the bed :mrgreen:)

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I was a bit worried about "cooking" as well, AS, but found that my half finished stuff (with all its pine needles) takes quite a bit to fire it up, and the compost was well finished.

The hottest thing in the pile has ended up being the hay; digging into one of those bales now is pretty toasty, but some of the potatoes I tucked in there are shooting up, so not hot enough to cook them I guess. Seems like the heat was just enough to boost everything along; the corn and beans are ripping right along, and the squash is catching up nicely in the past few days...

I doubt the bokashi will fire things up too much in an aerobic situation, and will keep things from getting stagnant at the bottom; why not? You have added another interesting wrinkle on my experiment and I can't wait to see how it turns out. Your way of doing it seems incredibly space efficient, and mutable to any space at all, no matter the shape. Very cool!

HG

P.S. Spoiling hay on purpose does seem silly, but most farmers who stack the stuff beyond the capacity of the barn end up with a few skunked bales that animals won't touch. Perfect for me though...
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Here it is planted! :clap:
I packed it in. It's going to be a jungle by the end of the season :shock: I'm still thinking of adding leeks between the toms and maybe a couple of bush beans.... :roll:

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7012.jpg[/img]

It looks like this from the side (this was before I added the extras along the side)
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6992.jpg[/img]

I also made a new "bed" for cotton plants where it used to be grass and clover by putting down flakes of hay, then poking holes and planting, then filling with potting soil. You see it in the foreground. These are Brown cotton.

In case you're curious, those are 3 kinds of cabbages (NJ Wakefield, Red Acre, and F1 Caraflex) under the row tunnel. I have Lincoln shelling peas behind, and sowed Delicata winter squash and Pie pumpkin between gaps in the pea plants. They germinated about 3 days ago. We'll see if this succession scheme will work. 8)

-- update
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7594.jpg[/img]
-- update as of 7/16/10 after removing the insect screen row tunnel and harvesting the cabbages:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7630.jpg[/img]

----

Here's another bed for Green cotton along the back of my "Sunny Meadow" garden. The colors in the cotton plant are complementing the color of Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' very nicely :D
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6996.jpg[/img]

-- update as of 7/16/10 with cotton starting to bud
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7634.jpg[/img]
Last edited by applestar on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Looking good AS, I really love what you are doing. I can't wait to see what the end result is. Still rethinking my way of gardening everyday.

A never ending learning experience I must say.

Rock on Apple.

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Me too Gixx; we all teach each other with our little experimants and AS has more than most... :D

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Some of the plants are wilting :( Some worse than others. The big mystery volunteer tom in the back is the only one completely unaffected (It was the only one planted from a 1 gal pot. It's at the lowest point in this sloping bed.)

Too much water? Not enough? Too hot? Cooking in the root zone?

It was cloudy with some threat of rain most of the day yesterday, then overnight temp plummetted to 50's. There was actually dew this morning (haven't had a dewy morning for nearly a week), and some of the plants had recovered some (peppers especially).

I HAD to water today -- we're in the middle of a drought and every thing needed a good soaking. Some of the plants remain better. I think one tom is a goner. Yellow Bell and Bell Star are the worst affected.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7069.jpg[/img]

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"Too much water? Not enough? Too hot? Cooking in the root zone? "

I don't think we have any way to answer those questions, but you do. If it were me, I would try digging down into the root zone on one of the badly affected ones and see what's going on down there. Is it damp and mushy or dry or hot or ??
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In my hay bale gardens only one potato survived out of the ones planted directly in bales; the rest are completely disintegrated, and the temps still there suggest cooking may have been the cause... :(

In the center where I filled with compost, the crops closest to the bales are head and shoulders ahead of the ones in the middle, furthest from the hay. This suggests two things, that increased heat may have helped root development, or that the increased ciliate population of hay in combination with the high bacterial population, released massive amounts of nitrogen. I am leaning towards the latter as the one plant not showing this differential has been the runner beans, which are the same size throughout the bed... that suggests to me that the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen maintains the equal sizing...

Watering in your situation accomplishes two things, both moisture and cooling, and it would be hard to overwater that bed, I think. Water more and see if it doesn't help, but it would be hard to say with which issue...

A soil thermometer would be a big help, even a meat thermometer like you use on a turkey would help... there is certainly some composting still going on in this method and the heat can be more than one might think...

I added extra fertiliizer to the middle plants; Bradfield 5-5-5 Tasty Vegetable (yes, organic); we'll see if they catch up...

HG
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Interesting about the heat issue. I guess we're both finding out some caveats about this method. Soil thermometer? Oh I have one of those, but it's in the completely DIAGONALLY opposite corner of my garden in the compost pile, and is way too far to go and get. :lol: :wink:

We had a good soaking rain (FINALLY!) this afternoon, and we're getting a cold spell (overnight air temp went down to 51ºF, 60's during the day today) Most of the plants appear to have recovered. I lost one tomato plant (Valencia which is too bad because I only have one other) and an Alaska Nasturtium. Cubanelle Banana Pepper might not make it. A Bellstar tomato is looking limp but may yet recover, and the rest of the Bellstars and Yellowbells, as well as the other Alaska and a parsley are still looking slightly hangdog.

I don't know if it's actually the cool weather/rain that's helping or that the bed has had the chance to mellow a bit. I think I said earlier or elsewhere that, normally, I would allow at least 2 weeks for a sheet mulched bed to settle in before planting.

I'm wondering if you planted the potatoes WAY ahead of the normal schedule, while it's still really too cold under normal circumstances, they might make it. You would then have EARLY potato harvest out of the haybale raised bed.

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Let's talk hay!
I got several old bales down today, to mulch, the garden soil is already cement. Some one or other is hogging all the rain! :evil:
My hubby insists that we got 30 minutes of steady rain this morning before I got up, well, you can't prove it by my soil!

Anyhow, I did get alot of things mulched, but OMG I am itching.
Does everyone itch like crazy from putting out hay?
I did my sneezing and watery eyes thing too!
Allergies and hay don't seem to get along so great!
Once it is down, I do fine with it, but the breaking bales and placing it, just really gets me all itchy! You get the stuff off, but all the tiny scratches still itch! Sheesh.

Mulching is up close and personal, I was eyeball to eyeball with several cutworms today. Bt to the rescue... and now, now that I sprayed, it looks like rain! Going to wash all my Bt off.
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A little bit OL, but I used some skunked stuff which seems not to hit me as hard...

Sorry to hear about cutworms but don't worry about BT washing; bacteria stick like glue (actually make their own in the form of polysaccharides).

Pertty darn hard to wash away...

HG
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Some details on EH's Synergistic Garden are described [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20060716042140/www.fukuokafarmingol.info/faemilia.html]here[/url] and other pages on the same website.

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great link, AS!
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I took the time to reread this whole thread since I just recommended it elsewhere :wink: and had a thought about OL's hyper-fungal naturally leaf mulched beds. :idea:)

You know those chickenwired hoops you use to keep the chickens out, OL? After a bed is done growing stuff and you've cut-- not uprooted -- the plants and laid them on top of the mulch, how about using them to keep some chickens IN for a week or so to scrabble around, eat any bugs and their eggs, larvae, or pupae, and leave their blessings... They would likely shred up the leaves in the process (you don't need a mechanical leaf shredder :lol:) Feed them and water them in there as necessary: Chicken tractor. Then let that bed compost away for a month or two. This way you've added the necessary N and bacteria to offset the high C/fungal. 8)

Just had another thought that if you confine your goats in a smallish paddock full of leaves for however long is appropriate every day, they might eat and trample the leaves as well as leave their "processed" blessings there as well. Not sure if this is a viable idea without goat experience of my own, but I thought I'd toss it in. :wink:

You've got most of the animal components/members of a permaculture --What's the right word? ... Homestead? Farm? -- It's just a matter of putting them to work.

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I began the original garden with chicken tractors.

I took horse fencing, and built cages that fit what I wanted for a bed, and it was 4' high. We then used the landscape timbers to secure the bottom of the wire boxes.

I removed all surface rocks, then we placed chickens in there. These were young ones, so I knew the manure wouldn't be wonderful.
You folks do know the age of the animal affects the quality of the manure.
You can't count on baby animal manures to do much more than add humus, since they use up most of the nutrients in their food.

I left them there, food and water offered as usual, and I had to cover half the roof, due to heat issues. The trees were still pretty small back then and not alot of shade. That was 15 years ago, so imagine how much smaller they were.

Instead of moving the tractors, I kept building more, allegedly they were suppose to deposit "gifts" on a thin layer of hay and then I was to lasagna it and on and on. I moved the chicks, not the tractors from one bed to the next.
1. Baby or young chickens don't do alot of scratching.
2. They did do good at eating the weeds.
3. They didn't really place enough manure to amount to anything.
4. I did keep adding hay, but it just never did build up into the lasagna mat that was shown in the book "Chicken Tractors".

It was basically a bust. The chickens were great lawn mowers, weed eaters, and that is about it.

But that is a great reminder, I have alot of something ( I have tried to id it, it is a nettle, a basil, or a mint that family somewhere) and it is out of control. If I pen the young chickens there, they will definitely clear that out for me. Goats won't eat it. And since I have 16 baby chicks and more that I need to go get. I have enough to get a couple tractors up and going. Then I can pen the baby ducks there after weed removal, and let them have a slug-fest.

All of my chicken wire garden cages are up at the bag garden at the moment. The beauty of them is they are sections, so I can re-arrange and make them to fit a 4' bed or a row of bags! Some are 3' widths and some are 2' widths. They aren't overly secure without the timbers of the raised beds, but they encourage animals to stay out of there! I had chickens digging up the plants, and dogs digging in the soft dirt to lie there. And no... I did not let sleeping dogs lie... she is over 100 pounds, not good lying on my bag garden!

Here they are at 2 weeks planted:
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/000_0350_phixr.jpg[/img]

The original garden, once the plants are larger, and well mulched, with hay, I simply remove them and let the chickens help with bugs.

The forest garden is doing great, I did add some bone meal, wood ashes, cottonseed meal, and fish emulsion to half of them. But, growth wise, I can't tell any difference. They are doing fine!
Here is the forest plants at 3 weeks:

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/000_0352_phixr.jpg[/img]

So far, I am well pleased with both the forest and bag experiments. The bags are filled with topsoil, amended with aged manure. I do plan to mulch both with hay to keep the weeds down, but, I am waiting till the plants are larger to survive the slugs, for now mulch is a bad thing for them.
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Ah, I knew ducks should go in that scheme somewhere but I couldn't figure out exactly how. 8)

I still need to make those cages. I have the 24" wide chickenwire, but have to go get the tubing. Remind me again what they are specifically so I can ask for it when I go to the big box store? Do you buy them in lengths or as coiled up tubing?

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That was getting long, so I decided to tackle the goat issue in a new post.

I have discovered that copper is lacking in the soil here. Sheep are very good at processing copper and you must be careful not to overdose them, however, goats are not. So, you must supplement them with copper.

I have been doing some reading on the mineral deficiencies in the local soil, and looking into amending the soil with copper to help the plants as well as the animals. I have discovered a very accurate indicator of copper deficiency is alkaline soil, and sulfur water... we have both here. The only thing keeping my soil at neutral to slightly acid is the leaves.

From a goat health viewpoint: I do not want my animals to eat anything off of the ground! Worms and coccidi are parasites, and once they are passed in feces, they do their life cycle, some in snails, and then they are in the lower 2 inches of weeds, and when an animal eats there, they are ingested.

Therefore, I want to keep my goats eating above the first 6 inches. Leaves that have hit the ground could be contaminated. I can't keep poultry above that 6 inch mark, so I just have to plan on dealing with their parasites, in as organic a way as possible. Diatomaceous earth to the rescue, inside and outside the animal!

Also, my dairy goats are big pets, they are well trained, but they weigh as much as I do, and walking them on a leash just isn't a reasonable option for me. In order to have mobile goats that I can move to one area or another, I need pygmies! But, even pygmies are strong little rascals for their 50 pound weights, and can be a handful to lead, when they want to go elsewhere. It is much less effort to simply cut brush and take it to the goats hay rack and feed them up high, than to try moving the goats to an area.

I am also reading: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Herbal-Handbook-Farm-Stable/dp/0571161162

I had the old version of this book, but it burned in the fire. But, the hedgerow chapters talk about the good herbs for the goats hedgerow.
And that is in the preview to the book! Yeah!

Makes sense, if I can amend the soil, get the mineral deficiencies worked out, plant a decent hedgerow of herbs, and get the animals health at the top of the ladder... the manure from them, will then have everything that I need in my garden? Well, that is my theory at least.

So, I am researching these areas, if anyone has additional information on these, please share.

I am not attempting the fungal issues until I get the minerals, and the balance of ph, npk, etc worked out with alot of humus to stop this turning to cement thing! One step at a time.

Leaves are buried in the compost bin, under that lousy first load of topsoil, so they are out of harms way, and since I can't get to them, I am using hay for mulch. But, I am planting herbs for hedgerow, with the idea, of harvesting the whole plant come fall, both for goat feed, and to use along with hay and leaves to balance my garden.

So, I need to find the herbs that contain the most copper, naturally and are not dependant on finding it in the soil!

Scott, would herbs, since they are organic, and less woody than leaves still have your amoebas and stuff?
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Ozark Lady
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Apple, I find the flexible 1/2" pvc in the area where they have the parts to make your own drip system at Lowes.

It is a coil of about 50' length? Costs about $20.00. I also get rigid pvc in 3/4" size, and cut it to 12", these I drive into the ground, and then just slide the 1/2" into them, when I want to anchor the bed. I couldn't do that at the bag garden. The rigid is not necessary, but it makes it more stable. The sides of the raised bed keeps the shape, notice the sprawl at the bag garden where there are no legs, and no boards to hold them in place.

I used chicken wire scraps and pvc, to make a trellis for my peas to climb, it worked great! I do have photos of the peas, but they are not reduced in size and loaded on Photo Bucket at this time.
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Thanks Ozark Lady! :D

To return the favor -- as chance would have it, I was flipping through How to Grow More Vegetables and on p.24 Ch. 2. Sustainability, there is an entry [my emphasis in red]:
Sunflowers (sunflower seeds are very high in fat; maximum to avoid copper toxicity = 0.62 pound per day)
For what it's worth. :wink:

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Ozark Lady
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I feed the goats Black Oil Sunflower Seeds on a daily basis. Along with oats, corn, alfalfa pellets, and other grains, and pellets.

They are milking just about a gallon per day, per goat, so I needed to keep their nutrition high, and knew the BOSS would do that. I wasn't aware of the copper link to them though.

Thanks, you know, I should grow my own, and quit buying them, they are about 18.00 per 50 pound bag. Another hedgerow plant! Yeah!

I wonder if all sunflowers are created equal? I have some corn that is high protein stalks. Hmmm?

I really need a microscope, to determine what has amoeba's etc growing on them!
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Amoebas are a hard find in a regular 'scope without staining. I had to spend a Saturday with Paul Wagner (SFW New York, or was back then) to leanr how and I still have a hard time...

GREAT link to the EH article, AS; just famous stuff. WHo knew EH was influenced by Ruth? Not me! 8)

And between you and OL kicking it back and forth I have just had some fine education...

This is the stuff I always thought possible and always wanted to see here at THG; it has been a long time coming but we are creating a new reality in gardening through these discussions. I couldn't be more pleased and proud to be associated with gardeners of this calibre and mindset, and I thank my stars you all settled here on a daily basis...

:D :D :D

HG
Scott Reil

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applestar
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Check this out. It's a [url=https://www.ibiblio.org/london/permaculture/mailarchives/permaculture-UNC/msg00083.html]Dynamic accumulator list[/url].

I initially found this list at a different website, but it was unattributed and I couldn't tell if it was an original list created by the OP. Well, this one appears to be the original, dated 11.5 years prior to the other one. :o Obviously ideas and information like this has been kicked around the block a few times, and they're coming back around our corner :mrgreen:

ETA: ... and guess what? Only one on this list that accumulates copper is... drum roll please... DANDELION!! 8)

PPS (well you know what I mean): Not ignoring your joyfulness HG. Just was too singlemindedly excited about finding a legit list to post. :-() I like it here too, and I love being able to intelligently discuss my wacky ideas, that are apparently not so wacky after all. :wink:

The Helpful Gardener
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THAT's what I'm talking about, AS. What once was lost now is found, what once was nuts now is knowledge... :lol: 8)

I want to talk about hay as well; the corn in my bale gardens is telling me the hay thing is totally righteous. The corn next to the bales is a foot taller than the corn in the middle of the bale bed where it isn't next to the hay.

A FOOT TALLER! Cilliates eating bacteria munching high nitrogen hay.

BOOM!

:flower:

Wacky? Or wonderful?

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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Ozark Lady
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Looks like I need to let the dandelions go to seed, with a seed bag over them, then go scatter those seeds all over the pasture!
Thanks Apple.

I couldn't find the link I was looking for. I came across a map, and you clicked on your state, then your county, and it told you... according to the university studies what the soil is normally deficient or rich in mineral-wise. I was going to post the link, so folks could see what their soil basically has, before they begin amending it.

Copper deficiency leads to many diseases in animals and humans.
If your soil is deficient, and you are not amending the copper, it could be that your wonderful vegetables would be deficient in them too.
Think of Tomato End Rot... calcium deficiency.

Some weeds will help in some of this, and hay might or might not have those weeds in it. I am researching herbs to add both to the mulch, and the pasture.

So much to learn! But, while we learn, we apply what we do know, and our food supply gets better with each new piece of the puzzle.

Many years ago, when we first started a garden in the forest, and I mean many years ago. We double dug the beds. Then we added a layer of leaves, a layer of rabbit manure, and then soil, and kept layering it. Well, the layers were too big, and we did this the same day we planted it. The plants took off, looked great. Then their roots left the soil area and hit the too rich area, yuck sick, then they hit the leaves, which tended to allow too much airflow and the plants were dry! How tight was your hay?
In a bale that is not opened, they are squeezed tight, and if you grow in it, you find it doesn't dry your plants, like hay that is loosely tossed into a cage would do. You want the hay fluffy when it is on top, to allow air in. But the hay should be tight when on bottom to limit airflow and hold water.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Latest photo:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7371.jpg[/img]

Only ones that are not doing so well are Cubanell Banana pepper and nasturtiums. I think the pepper just doesn't like the heat. I'm going to dig him out and transplant him in the mid-day shade end of the Hot Pepper Bed. Anaheim and Aji Dulce are doing well though. I still have time to sow an edamame in his place, or I'll just sow some bush beans. I think airpockets/too fluffy hay is probably the issue for the nasturtiums like OL said, since they seem to manage OK in my clay-y soil elsewhere.

BTW, I just downloaded a game app for iPad called "Farm Story" for the kids. You have a market farm that you plant with various produce and sell. I was watching DD play -- she said, I'm harvesting strawberries now. Now I want to plant... oh, I have to "PLOW FIRST" "It won't let me plant until I plow, and it costs money to plow" :shock: :x Now WHO do I contact about incorporating no-till and preserving soil foodweb in the next upgrade! :wink:

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That is odd Apple.
I usually just direct sow cubanelle peppers in the hottest part of my garden, and they will out perform any transplant that you plant!

But, the cubanelle do like my clay soil! And with little amending they grow well.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

hit or miss
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Keep up with posting the great info folks! You already have me totally changing the way I garden with these in-depth discussions. I've always been a fan of hay for mulch but have gotten away from it the last few years as, believe it or not, it's really hard to come by here in Kansas. Every farmer has gone to large round bales or giant square bales, 1000 to 1800 pounds a whack.

We got a nice rain last night and this morning and I have been out pulling weeds to start a compost pile. :shock: I cut some seed heads from some brome grass I've been encouraging to grow and seeded some of the areas I tore up while pulling weeds. Sort of a "throw down some seeds and walk away" experiment. I'm going to wait for the seed heads to drop their seed where they're at and cut the grass to add to the compost.

Thanks again for all of the great knowledge here!

Scott

The Helpful Gardener
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Scott glad to hear you are liking. And got rain. Send it on when you are done with it...

AS, gotta go with OL on this one. NEVER saw a pepper that didn't like heat. HAS to be someting else...

HG
Scott Reil

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I've posted update photos to this: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=139211#139211

and here's the New Sauce Tomato Bed today :(). Very healthy with no sign of disease (knock on wood). Just that one yellow leaf that was apparently due to senescence:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7640.jpg[/img]

fannyfarmer
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Hay-Hey-Hay

Hay is good! Anyone who hasn't grown potatoes under books of hay hasn't lived right. I just throw the pieces on the open ground or grass or weeds and cover with a book of hay--that is as wide a chunk off a square bale as you can peel off with one hand. No weeds, few bugs, easy harvest......no digging!

The greener the hay....the more nitrogen. Alfalfa hay has lots of legume tops and will feed and mulch. Green (chem-free) grass is very high in nitrogen, while corn stalk and straw bales eat up nitrogen, but provide good structure for compost (which is what Ms Stout did right in the rows. What a woman!) Therefore, a combination of these is the quintessential way to go......... :lol:
Hit the garden-skip the gym!

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