The Helpful Gardener
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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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applestar
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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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Ozark Lady
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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

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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
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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]

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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:
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lily51
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Some info on hay to respond to some comments.

Alfalfa hay is fed to all sorts of livestock, not just horses.

Hay is nutriional; straw is the stalks left over from wheat harvest. It is for bedding and is not for nutrition. There are many types of "hay"..even grasses cut and baled are hay.

Hay baled at the correct moisture content (very low) and dried properly can last a long time as long as it does not get wet in some way. If hay is cut and allowed to get wet in the field, it is ruined.
Hay bales that are stored in a loft wet create their own heat, self-combusting and creating barn fires. That's why "tunnels" are left in the stacks for fans if needed.
For this reason, if I was building a structure, straw would be my choice, not hay.

And by the way, "hayrides" are really "strawrides".

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Alfalfa hay is a rich source of calcium, and alfalfa is a deeply rooted plant, the roots can go 25 feet, so it really brings up the minerals and is a wonderful feed for animals.

I feed it on the milking stand, and then, I pick up the wastes off of the floor and soak it to feed...alfalfa tea to plants, particularly ones that might need calcium.

In another forum, a gentleman posted that he buys alfalfa pellets at a feed store and uses these to make manure tea for his garden.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Alfalfa pellets tea -- I do that too. It seems pellets are the easier way to find alfalfa around here. Not very expensive either. In fact I have better luck finding alfalfa pellets than alfalfa meal (I used to look for this as possible organic fertilizer), and very hard time finding alfalfa hay.

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I have both hay and pellets. The pellets are mixed into their food.
And the dust at the bottom of the bag, is made into tea, and the dust in the bottom of the feed bin is too.

Actually, I have alfalfa tea, brewing in the garden right now, and two containers of manure tea.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Alfalfa is VERY high in nitrogen, more so than other grasses and grains...

HG
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Dry Farming Tomatos

There is a farm in Santa Cruz Co. called Molino Creek that sells dry-farmed tomatoes which are the best I have ever bought in a store...I think the timing, climate and soil type are crucial when trying a no watering method... variety's too must play a huge part in success I too part ways with ruth on that aspect of her style of gardening .. but I know it saves a ton during the high hot season. We bake in Oregon and it is bone dry!
The guys at that farm say the're plants roots go down over 15ft where it's cool and moist and they mulch very deep with grown out cover crops.
Reminds me I want those seeds! :lol:
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Getting back to Ruth Stout's hay mulching

That reminds me, that yaer when we used alfalfa hay to mulch and horse manure, our tomatoes were tall and gave so many fruits we didn't know what to do with them...I thought it was horse manure, but now, I think it was alfalfa too. The only reason we bought alfalfa that year was because straw was not in the store, when we went, and it is pretty far. Hmmm, then alfalfa is the best as a mulch in terms of fertilizing?

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alfalfa hay

A friend told me he puts alfalfa feed pellets in his holes when planting...hmmm says skip the rabbit just use the feed pettets lolin response to me getting rabbits for poo..funny advice i thought and prob a good idea too! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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It seems to be so, but bunnies are so cute!

CTx
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Th oddest thing I've ever seen -
I put down 4"-6" of hay over part of the garden earlier this summer (early May). In the drought we're in, it's normal to see cracks in the soil where I live (much clay, black gumbo).
There is decomposition occurring under the hay AND CRACKS!!! It seems like I've lost a lot of subsoil moisture but the hay has managed to keep some of it in (at least at the point the soil contacts the hay). There is considerable decomposition occurring there. Perhaps I should water heavily to help the decomposition???
I'm considering Vetch next year. It's more work but it adds nitrogen to the soil and is much cheaper than hay. If the vetch grows thick enough there should be comparable moisture savings.
On second thought, maybe a hay/vetch combo? Grow vetch for nitrogen/moisture and follow up with an overlay of hay to reduce moisture loss.
Have to see how the vermin respond to the additional habitat this fall/winter. Owls are not something I want with small dogs...

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Ah, yes alfalfa pellets, decomposing hay, all the same thing really...

When we break down greens we add nitrogen. Nitrogen is bacterial food, and bacteria add sticky humus and more nitrogen to the soil. Shade and moisture allow for habitat (hot and dry don't).

I bet bunnies add a few good things in the biological mix, and they are cute.But they use some of the nitrogen in the alfalfa ( which is very high as far as organic goes)...

Adding fungal side is harder, but builds soils faster. Try shredded paper under your hay, maybe a layer of leaf mold in between (there are SOME trees in Central Texas, right? :wink: ) And vetch DOES add nitrogen; but getting rid of it later might be tough. I'd compost unless you are talking about acreage...

HG
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"there are SOME trees in Central Texas, right?"

Yeah, we have trees but it's so dry that yesterday I saw 2 of them chasing a dog down the street.

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Newbies like to bring up old threads!

:oops: And I have to say I just HAD to bring up this one. I am a great admirer of Ms. Stout and have been mulching for many years.

Using the Stout method I have had many successful gardens, including the one I have now.

Yes, I have gone over to raised beds, and I have used alfalfa pellets and manure, but I ALWAYS mulch heavily with leaves, grass clippings, and hay or straw. I do not till the mulch in EVER.

I have never been disappointed in my gardens, and they are a heck of a lot less work than my dad's gardens ever were. I love Ruth!

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Re: I want to talk about HAY as in Ruth Stout

I just ran in to this thread (because applestar recently linked to it) and just HAD to bump it. It hasn't been touched for three years and I'm sure a lot of newer people here have never seen it. It is a great discussion of various no-till methods, with a ton of good information from Ozark Lady who is living the homestead life and has personal experience of all this.

It has a whole bunch of good links, to Ruth Stout videos, Emilia Hazelip videos, a TED talk by Jamie Oliver, info about biochar, info on dynamic accumulators, etc.

This thread is a whole education on organic no-till gardening all by itself! Enjoy, everyone!
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Re: I want to talk about HAY as in Ruth Stout

I mulch with grass clippings in the summer and with hay in the winter. In the winter I put it on the rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, and the current and azalea bushes. I have a lot of weeds whether or not I mulch with hay. All part of gardening.

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Re: I want to talk about HAY as in Ruth Stout

I have not seen the video but I grew up on a farm. There are several kinds of hay. We use to let the grass & weeds grow about waist tall before cutting it to make hay. If you let grass & weeds grow too tall plant stems get tough as wood cows and other animals not eat woody plants that is like trying to eat dead sticks. Most of the plants will be making seeds when cut for hay so you never want to put that on your garden. No one in our part of the country cut hay early for 2 crops that means, double work and double gas burned in the tractor. My grandfather use to look at his hay field every day when it got near the time to cut and bale hay. He also watched the weather you need 5 days of hot sun and no rain to bale hay. Some farmers will plant a field of red clover for make clover hay. Some farmers plant a field of Alfalfa for Alfalfa hay. Both of those are full of seeds too. If you leave a bale of hay out in the weather it rains on it and the seeds grow. Soon the whole bale of hay will look like a large bush of many plants. LOL.

You can get a garden full of seeds from cow manure, from cows that ate hay. Rabbit manure never has seeds.

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