The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

Me too!

(Just a pinch between the chhek and gums... :P )

HG

SquashNUt
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I was wondering if you found you had more volunteers with trench composting. I put some squash and pumpkin seeds in holes and I don't think they will ever qit sprouting. I have started microwaving them for a few minutes to kill them before they go out now.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

jennymisek
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:12 pm
Location: zone 4 Central Wisconsin

If you put vegetable seeds or grass clippings won't that just make those items grow there? Grass clippings have seeds in them, and I am curious how that won't just turn into a lovely clump of very rich grass!

jennymisek
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Location: zone 4 Central Wisconsin

To prepare my future flower garden, my current plan is to till up the existing grass. Can put it into the soil for decomposing? Or are the seeds that are on the grass bad for the future bed?

Then I will bring in some top soil (we have nice red clay here) and mix it with some compost (purchased commercially as I don't have a pile yet).

Till the top soil, compost (is mushroom compost good?) and top soil all together.

Then plant the lasagna bed. (I have read that this method may attract critters, any ways to prevent this?) Also, is there anything I need to put on top of the lasagna? I have seen some talking about burlap...

Being in WI with freezing weather ahead, when is the best time to do all this work, and get the lasagna bed going? Also, as I prepare for the lasagna, what do I do with all the ingredients? Just keep them in a big bucket or something so they won't stink?

Thanks for the continued help!
Jenny

SquashNUt
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I think if you cut the grass after it goes to seed you may have problems but not if you mow often.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

jennymisek
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So as long as the grass is an active lawn just till it under?

opabinia51
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I actually don't recommend tilling to anyone because it breaks down soil structure and kills beneficial soil organisms. Just turn it under with a shovel. Less destructive.

SquashNUt
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i usr a tiller in the spring and in the fall. The rest of the time I use a pitch fork to work my soil. I am starting to find that it only times a few minutes to work a 100 foot square bed now in my 3 year old garden. It is accully easier than running a tiller on my back and shoulders.
I may work the top of my beds a bit more this fall to get some of those stray weed seedxs to sprout.
Some one tryed to talk me into solarizing my beds but, I feel like I would be destroying all that compost and manure I hauled in.
I would like to find a way to get rid of the pig weed in my garden though. Grows pretty darn fast.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

The Helpful Gardener
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Squashnut, stop chewing up your soil!

One time and once only; that's the first time I do a new bed. I borrow or rent a tiller and turf out the space in question beforehand (anyone suggesting that you just till turf under has never tried it).

Repeated tilling just breaks your soil into dust and eventually the dust blows away or washes down (or away). This is how the Dustbowl happened (with the added effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides). Turning things over with a fork is easier than that bucking bronco and MUCH better for your soil. Probably won't bring up all that weed seed from lower in the soil profile, either...

Is it a little more work? Maybe (and I doubt it), but as Christopher Lloyd said "The most interesting gardens are high-maintenance gardens". The best gardens too, I might add...

HG

SquashNUt
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I tottally agree with you. i tilled some of my garden and hand dug some of it this year and the ones that i just used my pitch fork on have way less weeds in them. Next year will be the forth year on my oldest beds and they will not see a tiller.
I do plan to just rough up the top of the soil a few times to let weed seeds germinate and with any luck a few larve and eggs will get eaten from the pests in my garden.
I am trying to adopt a policy where the worms are the king, With sheet composting and no chemicals. i figure if the worms are happy so will be the microbs and benificial insects. I like the idea of a garden that can be ran with composted and fresh kichen waste. I am also lucky enough to have 4 people who drop off rheir grass clippings once a week. I have checked none of them put any thing on their lawn.
Being organic just gets easier every year.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

opabinia51
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You are right Squashnut, organic gardening does getter easier each year. And your plants will show the benefits of organic gardening after just one year! Sheet and trench composting are definately the way to go. Let the worms to all the work. It's also good to have a compost pile in the corner of your yard as well. I also have a worm bin at my front door.

SquashNUt
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Too, cold here for worm bins. My garden has about 10 worms per shovel of soil so I just feed them out there. and they were free.
Do you remove all of your garden wastes in the fall or dig them In?
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

The Helpful Gardener
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There you go Squashnut. That's the ticket...

opabinia51
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Actually, the premise of a worm bin is such that you can have it indoors. They do not smell and take up very little space. So, should someone live in a cold climate, they can still put the bin inside. A friend of mine actually has her ten worm bins in her garage.

Yes, I simply turn all of my smaller weeds right back into the soil. The larger ones (that I have previously missed :oops: ) get thrown on top of the compost pile.

And weeds like Dandelions are chopped up and thrown on the pile as well. Just a small armount of root will develop into another plant

SquashNUt
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When I asked about removing plantds from your garden I was asking about your plants, not weeds. i know some people remove all veggie plants in the fall some turn them in where thwy stand and some leave them standing untill they plant again. What is your methos?
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

The Helpful Gardener
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Careful what you leave. Some like brussel sprouts, cabbages and their ilk (crucifers) will develop club root if grown in the same spot year after year and tilling them in would help perpetuate that fungus...

opabinia51
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Oh, I actually throw my Squash plants onto the compost pile and pretty much turn everything else right into the soil. Though, this year I am doing corn and I will be chopping up those plants and most likely adding them to the compost pile.

Hope this is what you are looking for. :idea:

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

Yes, Scott's advice is sound. When turning vegetables into the soil it is important to still use crop rotation strategies. If you grow the same plant in the same place year after year, bacteria, fungi and insects that prey on that plant will accumulate in the soil and disease the plant or other plants that are in the same family.
But, simply turning them into the soil shouldn't really be a problem. When I turn something into the soil (especially some dense like a cabbage) I chop it up into smaller bits first. For that matter, I do that with my compost pile stuff as well. 8)

grandpasrose
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Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

I'm a little slow joining this discussion - I never till anything. When building a new garden, we just build it right on top of the sod! We put thick layers of old black and white newspaper down, then soil, leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, manure, etc. on for a year or so in the outline that we plan to garden. By the time the newspaper has decomposed, the sod underneath has decomposed as well and turned into it's own compost! We then plant, and continue year after year to add mulch of the above items, and have gorgeous lush gardens.
I began this way, because about ten years ago, the disks in my back began degenerating so badly that I could not do alot of digging. The things we discover when we have to rethink the way we do things! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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That's the way to do it Val. I personally don't use newspaper but, that's just a personal choice. And good on you for using the black and white newspaper. The colour articles contain dioxins that are bad for plants and humans.

opabinia51
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A great addition to trench composts is eggshells. Eggshells contain calcium but, also have a beneficial NPK value (refer to NPK Thread) that will also benefit plants. I personally get them by the bucket load from my university cafeteria. They even give me the bucket!

Anyway, be sure to crush the shells first.

opabinia51
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Yes, now would a be a great time to get those trench composts into the garden. I put my last one (for this year) into my vegetable garden last Saturday. Get them in now, then on October 1st (or round their abouts) you can start on your sheet mulch. (as I am planning to do).

Incidentally, what I did for greens (for my trench last weekend) was: I topped off all my 12 foot Jerusalem Artichokes and cut them up, and placed the cuttings in the trench atop some leaves. I have a total lack of weeds to put in my trenches now, because I densely planted Fall Rye in August.

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