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WildeHilde
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Location: So.Oregon

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:
"Ensnar'd in flowers, I fall in the grass."
Marvell

Joyfirst
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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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WildeHilde
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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:
"Ensnar'd in flowers, I fall in the grass."
Marvell

Joyfirst
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It seems to be so, but bunnies are so cute!

CTx
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Location: Central Tx

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...

The Helpful Gardener
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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
Scott Reil

CTx
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Location: Central Tx

"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.

Leolady
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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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rainbowgardener
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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!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

estorms
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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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Gary350
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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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