Nocturnal
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:55 pm

how best to prepare bed for my kale/lettuce and for strawber

I'm trying to make the soil organically awesome for two separate garden beds.

One will be devoted to strawberries, and the other to brassicaceae/kale and asteraceae/lettuces

Any input on how to use the following components to craft some awesome soil?

Chicken manure
Coffee grounds
Compost that has varying degrees of rottedness, primarily made up of chicken poo and wood shavings and also grass
Fresh seaweed
Crushed-ish shells and little bit of sand and pebbles from the beach (natural deposits found around rocks)
Crumbling cedar stump and hemlock needles (mixed... under a hemlock growing out of a cedar stump)

User avatar
Meatburner
Senior Member
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:00 pm
Location: SW MO zone 6b

Re: how best to prepare bed for my kale/lettuce and for stra

What do you mean by "awesome soil"? Are you wanting to know about just for one planting season?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27655
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: how best to prepare bed for my kale/lettuce and for stra

Nocturnal wrote:I'm trying to make the soil organically awesome for two separate garden beds.

One will be devoted to strawberries, and the other to brassicaceae/kale and asteraceae/lettuces
Strawberries will need slightly acidic soil, kale and lettuce would be better off with neutral or even alkaline soil. Strawberries need balanced nutrients with somewhat higher
N and P in early spring, then switch to higher P and K to promote blooming and fruiting. The greens will do better with higher N.


Any input on how to use the following components to craft some awesome soil?

Chicken manure
Chicken manure shouldn't be used just before planting -- ESPECIALLY for food crops that will be in direct contact and eaten raw. Put this in a compost pile to age first (I'm thinking at minimum 3 months).

Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds will be good mixed in both beds.

Compost that has varying degrees of rottedness, primarily made up of chicken poo and wood shavings and also grass
Same issue as Chicken Manure -- it MUST be finished compost if made with manure. Also, unfinished compost is still breaking down and could tie up nutrients. Nearly finished compost *might* be incorporated into the soil -- buried in a band away from immediate planting area or tilled -- then allowed to meld into the soil for at least a month

Fresh seaweed
Crushed-ish shells and little bit of sand and pebbles from the beach (natural deposits found around rocks)
These need to be rinsed to eliminate most of the salt if from seashore. It may be safer to put the rinsed material in the compost pile.

Crumbling cedar stump and hemlock needles (mixed... under a hemlock growing out of a cedar stump)
hhemlock needles would probably be excellent for mulching the strawberry bed. The stump could also be crumbled into mulch for either bed. I would also consider burying the crumbling stump in hugelkultur concept (not necessarily in a big mound however)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Nocturnal
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:55 pm

Re: how best to prepare bed for my kale/lettuce and for stra

Meatburner- uh, sure? I'm planting and moving established plants around now.

Applestar- thanks for all the info!
Of course the sea material well rinsed, the seaweed is supposed to be great as a fertilizer tea, and I figured the shell would be a good source of slow release calcium and phosphorus... but I've never tried either before.




I'm trying to do what I can right now for my garden with what I have, I've been away for 6 months and am getting a late start.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11227
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: how best to prepare bed for my kale/lettuce and for stra

If you want to build your garden bed naturally, it is best to start with compost and adding organic matter (fully decomposed) to the soil.

Start by building a compost pile.

Ideally, this would be done in the fall so it would be ready for planting now.

Get a soil test so you know what you are starting with and how much and what you need to add. You can ask for organic recommendations otherwise you will get synthetic fertilizer recommendations. You can test the soil for each area separately.

It also helps to do a little research on the plants you want. It helps to know your planting dates and what kind of conditions your plants need. Some will be short crops that can be planted in succession like lettuce or longer ones like strawberries and asparagus which can be around for years. Some will be grown in the cool season and others need the warmer days to really start producing well. You need to know what can go together with like soil and watering needs as well as how much space each one will need.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”