opabinia51
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Fall Preparations

To date I have planted, mowed and turned over fall rye, I have layed down a layer of apple leaves beneath the soil and I am about to put a layer of seaweed down on my garden. Other than manure, is there anything else I need to do for Fall Preperations with the soil of my vegetable garden? :roll:
Last edited by opabinia51 on Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wow! No, you are doing a great job of prepping soil; lasagna gardening is a great way to improve your soil without a lot of labor (let the worms do the hard work; they like it!) :). A little compost tea might get things kicking a little harder, but other than that you have a great jump on next year...

Scott

opabinia51
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Thanks! :D What exactly is compost tea? I have rot it that I use on my compst pile, would that be similar?

opabinia51
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Compost Tea

For anyone interested Leaf Mold Tea is made by placing your leaf mold in a burlap sack, filling a barrel with water and leaving the sack in the barrel for 4 or 5 days. My guess is that compost tea is made in the same way.


:shock: :roll: :x :lol: :o :) :D :shock:

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Sure enough!

:D

Scott

opabinia51
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Yah, just thought that I should mention that through much research I have discovered that clover is another good cover crop (that is also a dynamic accumulator) but, you plant it in the spring.
So, as the plan continues; I have done what is listed above to the soil and I plan to rotatill the garden on March 1st and plant white clover seed on the same day (I wanted Crimson Clover (it's really pretty) but, couldn't find any).
After about two weeks (My hope is that clover will grow as vigorously as the Rye did) I will mow it, wait two to three weeks mow it again and then Turn the clover over and break it up. Finally, on that same day I am going to spread Kelp Meal over the garden and then just let it sit for the Rest of April and plant all my Vegetable Seeds and already started plants on or about the first of May. Should be a great year for vegetables. (Better than last year)
Last edited by opabinia51 on Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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You should grow mutant monster veggies in the soil you're cooking, Opa!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Scott

opabinia51
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Yah! I am hoping that the veggies will be great!

8) 8) :P


When I was young, our neighbour used to grow these amazingly huge and delcious vegetables in his garden. (This is the same neighbour who grew the purple potatoes that I have been searching high and low for, and I've found a source for them as well :D ) So, I am hoping to aspire to his gardening prowess.

opabinia51
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I think that NEWT already has a title for Companion planting but, I thought that I might as well put this in here as well;

Yes, Marigolds. Marigolds seem to be the wonder companion plant for the Vegetable garden. They don't seem to have negative interactions with any Vegetables, legumes or the like. They do repel insects and help other plants to grow.
My plan is to buy a couple of flats of Marigolds and plant them in and around all of my other plants in the Vegetable Garden. :shock:
Also, it is a good thing to look up Companion Planting on Google to see what Vegetables suit eachother with regard to insect repelling and nutrient additions. Some vegetables actually inhibit the growth of others :( so, it's best to do a bit of research now and plan the general shape and construction of your vegetable garden before planting.

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Thanks for the tips, Opa!

Scott

opabinia51
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Hmmm, been thinking a lot lately about no till lasagna gardening. So, I am no longer going to till my garden this year (or ever for that matter). Anyway, with the idea of Lasagna Gardening: I have been thinking and this fall instead of doing what I described above, the plan is to plant the Rye and do all that then to lay down a layer of Manure (either Horse or Steer) then a layer of apple leaves then a layer of grass clippings, then a layer of shredded Maple leaves, then a layer of shredded Red, Green and Brown Seaweed and finally a layer of Manure (Chicken in the non potatoe/corn areas and Horse in the potatoe/corn areas). I think that this will create even better soil. Also, I have been thinking about inquiring at my local supermarket as to what they do with their leftover spent lettuce and put that in as a layer. Probably in between the seaweed and the manure.
There is a community garden in town that was built on a vacant gravel lot and they started by putting lettuce and other greens that they had recieved from local supermakets, etc. Anyway, just with the addition of that over a layer of cardboard, a year later they had the best soil! :D I am personally a believer in alternations of greens and browns though... do the real compost thing. :wink:

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All my organic buddies are believers (and converting me into one at the same time...) :D

Scott

opabinia51
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Yeah, it was you and I belive Newt who first swayed me to this no till idea and at my organic gardening club meeting last month, I had my epiphany. So, no till in March. Keep those Mycelia in tact, let those bacterial colonies proliferate and for goodness sake; let the worms live! Let the worms live!!! :lol: :idea: :idea: :idea:

And I guess I have the president of my Organic Gardening club to thank. Who sends a newsletter out each month from her Organic Nursery (from where I buy my tomatoe plants and seed and organic fertilzer) who got me onto the idea of Lasagna gardening

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And no telling how many you have reached here, Opa. We're doing good works here, my friend... :)

Scott

opabinia51
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Seeing that Lasagna Gardening is the current topic in this thread I thought that mulching would be best suited in here. Anyway, I have been doing a bit of research on mulching and found this site:

https://www.houstongardening.info/mulch.htm

I personally don't agree with laying down plastic over your beds just to keep the weeds down as it does absolutely nothing for the soil, takes thousands of years to break down and can have nasty chemicals in it that can slowly leach into the soil. Plastic itself (just carbon chains with various functional groups) is not harmful but, when you start adding things to such chains to make the plastic more flexible or bendable... that's when the problems start. Anyway, plastics are there as well.

opabinia51
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It is only July but, now is the time to start thinking about Fall preperations. As in, "Am I going to do some trench composting this fall?" or "What am I going to use for my sheet composting this fall?"

If you answered "YES" to the first question, you are going to want to have some space set aside for your trenches. I personally just planted some Brassicas today for a winter crop. A trench could go on either side of each row. Planning like this can save a lot of headaches come September/October.

Now is the time to be collecting coffee grounds from coffee shops, cheap manure from farmers and any other such items that will be in short supply this fall when you are sheet composting. I personally have been collecting manure and coffee grounds all summer and spring.

Also, cover crops. I have been looking around the nurseries and there have been some sales on Rye and other cover crops. Keep your eyes open. I also picked up a mix of Rye, Vetch and peas the other week. Cheaper than buying it the day of planting.

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Good tips Opa! I hope to have time to make the rounds early next week at the nurseries and such to get my supplies, as I need a LOT of them!

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This is a good time to shop garden centers; the fall is a mini-season and they don't discount then. NOW is when it is very quiet in the garden centers and they run specials to drum up business, so you can often get the best deals of the year...

opabinia51
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Hear Hear! 50 percent off Fall Rye is a great thing! And free winter vegetables at the Garden Path! (Thinning time, bring a bucket and some gloves)

rrrbs29
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OPa? I guess I am a bad person. Last fall I layed down weed control plastic on my garden bed rows. I put miracle gro planter mix down and mixed it in with my soil. I have a great lil garden and very very few weeds that poked through. However, inbetween my rows I do have weeds. My reason for using it is because I have a wrist injury from nursing and surgery that didn't help. For me doing things that make life easier down the road and still allows me to somewhat be able to grow a few yummy things is ok with me. Pulling weeds and hula hoeing is not a good thing in my case :( I know ya'll have monster gardens he-he). I was wondering how big is your garden? An acre or more? I really enjoy this forum and have learned alot from everyone.

opabinia51
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Oh my goodness no. My garden(s) are all relatively small. My main garden (where I grow most of my food) is about 20x30 ft. I hope to one day have a garden that is about an acre.

That will be a lot with house on it and the garden will be ecological. A food forest to be precise. But for now, I make do with what I have. And I am ever so slowly converting people in my area to use organic techniques like I have outlined above.

I actually strongly discourage using synthetic pesticides like miracle grow because they provide only soluble nutrients to your plants. Most of the soluble nutrients that you added were actually just washed away. The plants only recieved about 10% of them tops. Furtermore, when a plant recieves a jolt of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) it grows extremely quickly resulting in poorly developed tissues. The plant(s) is therefore that much more susceptible to disease and not to mention water stress.
Also, synthetic fertilizers do nothing for building soil structure. In fact, with repeated use of synthetic fertilizers, all of the nutrients (and humus) that were in the soil become used up because there is nothing to replace them. If you add organic matter (like leaves, seaweed(if you have it), grass clippings, mulched weeds and so on) to your soil you are in essence building new soil. The water carrying capacity of the soil will increase dramatically, reducing the amount you have to water. Nutrients will be in abundance and will be stored in insoluble forms that the plants will always be able to acquire when they need them.

Your plants will grow like you have never seen them grow before, you'll get better and prolonged blooms from flowers, your fruit and vegetables will taste better and you won't need to spend vast amounts of money on things that really don't work that well.

That said, organic fetilizers work well too.

rrrbs29
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Thank you so much.. I think I have you beat or about the same size of garden. About 20x40 he-he. Plus about that size for what I call my nursery. I grow herbs and flowers, but in pots. I am going to check into the organic fertilizer! There is plenty here on this dairy, but I refuse to use it. I am just now getting rid of the stinging nettles from when hubby put in there :( And I refuse to use the horse manure too. It's just me with the weed thing. I will still use my weed control sheeting on my rows. I gotta with this wrist injury problem. I agree I really try to keep things spray free, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya have to do to win over the pests. I want lady bugs really bad! Hubby said there is this little wasp you can get that will eat aphids and things like that.

opabinia51
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Check out the beneficial insects thread in the organic section (I think) it has lists of beneficial insects and plants that will attract them. Cosmos are always a good flower to plant. You may want to get your husband to find some small pieces of wood and drill some holes in them (not all the way through). Hang the wood around your garden, Mason Bees (a solitary bee) will lay their eggs in the holes. Not to many mason bees around this time of year but, in February or a bit later the bees will be out again and lay their eggs in the holes. That will give you a bumper crop for the following year.

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