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Garden advice

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mattjm1017, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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  3. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Compost bins out of fencing it comes in various mesh sizes and is cheaper than the plastic alternatives and fencing around the garden works to keep chickens out but only slows down or discourages other critters.

    It slows down critters that can burrow or climb and discourages critters like deer (but doesn't prevent them unless quite tall from jumping over) bears will sometimes just say coming through.

    I deal with chickens, deer, some burrowing critters, and chicken predators. Haven't seen a bear on the lot yet, but they are around. Lucked out last year and didn't have to dispatch any woodchucks. I think that the coyotes cleaned up on those I didn't get to the prior year.

    There are also mink, weasel, coyote, fox, muskrat, raccoon, skunk, and beaver that I have to contend with, six of them have a taste for chicken.
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  5. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Ok, so I have decided to try the grass clippings in addition to the other stuff. I put them on the strawberries to protect them from the cold night temps and that is working well. I have started spreading the clippings over the garden.
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  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'd rather mulch than weed any day. Heavy on the grass in the seedbeds and don't be shy with the wood mulch on the walkways. I'm not a fan of straw but use it when I don't have enough grass available. If your neighbors are chemical free, ask for theirs. Two of mine dump all of theirs right next to my garden fence.

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  7. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Nice photo. I have about 2 acres of chemical free grass. I never took advantage of the cuttings before because of my allergies but screw it. :cool:
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Mix the "greens" with the "browns" in them 'post piles and it will do your garden a world of good. I made a batch of soil to use in planting a new plum tree yesterday, used a quite a bit of organic matter.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Yup. Wire fence bin is the way to go. Keep the pile large, keep it hot, bury food scraps, and the critters won't bother it and it will compost fast and smell free.
  10. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    How do you turn the soil with all those clippings and mulch?
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I use a pitch fork.
  12. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If you mean turn compost- pitchfork. If you mean garden soil- I never do anymore
  13. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    i meant soil.

    mine is rock hard every year. does the chips stop that from happening?
  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    What chips? I would mix in compost or lots of shredded leaves/grass clippings/other compostables the first year. Keep it mulched with shredded leaves. What normally happens is that the worms do the tilling for you.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You need to add lots of organic matter to that soil, I'd suggest that you get a tiller and have a very thick layer of compost (enough to make up at least 50% of the tilled depth) spread on your soil and till it in. If the soil is so devoid of organic matter that your earthworm count is low, make the compost layer at least 67% of the tilled depth prior to tilling.

    The first year here I had loam delivered to make raised beds and added many yards of composted manure, I've added more organic material every year, either from my compost bins or purchased. The first three beds now have worms whereas the first year there were very few worms. The fourth bed is getting worms. It takes a lot of organic material to make good soil. Keep adding it every year. I've likely shoveled close to 100 yards of organic material into the various planting areas the past 6 seasons and am still making it.

    I also was lucky as I had access to a large pile of composting manure on the lot next door. Otherwise it would have cost an arm and a leg to get the equivalent stuff delivered.

    Do not bury wood chips without also burying a lot of greens, as they will lock up any nitrogen until decomposed.

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