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Mulch for garlic

Post in 'The Green Room' started by laynes69, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I know straw is probably the best to mulch our garlic, but is there anything else I could use? I planted 7 or so varieties some gourmet and I need to mulch the row for winter. I have a ton of leaves, but heard they mat down. Come spring I'm thinking of cutting some of the cover crop (winter rye) from the garden for mulch once the plants have came up. Any other ideas?

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If the leaves are shredded they won't mat. That's what I use. Throw down amendments first- compost, grass clippings, etc- then thick shredded layer of leaves. Hit them with a mower a few times if you don't have a shredder- I hit them once, then hit them again with the bagger on my mower- been doing this for the 8 or so years I've grown garlic. I pile it on really thick and pull some off in the spring just to let the heat get at the bed a little more.

    [​IMG]
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Pine straw is my favorite mulch, but it is really high acidity. Not sure if what garlic likes in terms of acidity. But it holds up well, keeps the weeds down, and doesn't mat.

    I'm harvesting a bunch this weekend as the white pines around here are nearly done...and after the 40MPH winds we're supposed to get today...most should be on the ground come tomorrow.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would think grass clipping's? I now have 25 bales of straw that the chickens will turn into mulch for me but thats going to take awhile.
  5. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    That's a great idea on admendments before the leaves. I did put about 3 or 4 pounds of 12-12-12 and lime tilled into the soil before planting. We are in zone 5 so how deep would you mulch? 3 or 4 inches? Jay that straw will be perfect once those chickens break it down.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats what I am counting on. Soil was strip down the center of my garden after the rail road was pulled up. Is grass clipping's use full?
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Chicken manure is usually pretty "hot". Be careful with that stuff or you could burn the plants. Great fertilizer, but use with caution. Add a little at a time until you get comfortable with quantities.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats cool less to move....
  9. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    My FIL is turning loose 50 cornish x and 25 layers (not sure what kind he ended up with) loose in the garden next weekend. Should be interesting to see how quickly they break everything down. The garden is 50x50 fenced...and full of organic material.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I am now at 100x40 That would be cool it it was fence in like that. The coop is just a foot away. You got me thinking now!
  11. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Planting a cover crop for the garden will help amend the soil and add nutrients back. I dont get took many grass clippings so I dont use them often. A coworker of mine piles them 6" deep around her plants and it keeps weeds down plus feeds them. I wouldn't use the fresh chicken straw for mulch. I would compost it, or like said let the chickens break it down and till it under in the soil.
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    ok whats a good cover crop?
  13. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I mulch 6" deep or more. It will settle a fair bit with a rain.
  14. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I plant winter rye. It has a very large root system, which keeps soil in place and supresses weeds. Plant in October, it will sprout and start to grow then go dormant. In the spring it will then continue to grow. Once 12 or so inches it can be tilled under or cut and tilled. Vetch incorporastes nitrogen, but never used it along with clover. I just paid 17.00 for a 55# bag of rye. I planted last Saturday and it's a few inches tall already. The important thing to remember is after tilling in the cover crop to wait between 2-3 weeks to plant. During that time the nitrogen is tied up breaking down the matter. We have heavy clay soil and between some sand, manure and green manure (cover crop) our soil does well. Search cover crops and youll find many different types. A cover crop is a great way to incorporate a ton of organic matter. Just don't let it go to seed, it could become a nuisance then.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Sounds good, how late can it be planted? I still have beans, broc, brussle mustard, carrots,parsnips all doing very well.
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Winter rye is like freakin super-crop.
  17. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Not sure in your area. With the weather around here, probably late October. I still have peppers in the garden, so I tilled inbetween the rows and planted. Once I remove the peppers, I will throw some seed down. As long as it has a chance to root and grow some it would be okay. Its a cheap way to build up the soil. Super crop it is!
  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Smart man....My rowes are now 2 tillers wide. Where did you find the seed at? Got the gf looking for some at tsc now.
  19. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Found it at the local co-op. I called rural king and for wheat I believe it was 60.00. Just call around or talk to some farmers they should lead you in the right direction. Your lucky having the chickens for they will be your source of nitrogen. I'm going to check around and next year plant some hairy vetch which fixes nitrogen much like beans which are legumes. This way I won't need any fertilizer. If ph is low don't forget to lime or spread some wood ash. After a couple years you'll have beautiful soil. I had bell peppers this year the size of quart mason jars. It pays to do it right.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Between you and lukem I should have a awesome garden. Not bad this year over 100 qts but it has room for major improvement. With 4000sq ft. (And also solortowood) I listen closely.
  21. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I think your zone should be close to ours. When I had our little greenhouse I would plant broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in march. When everyone else started plantin we were getting veggies. It's a good hobby, but takes alot of time.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    For use its not a hobby yet. We need the food. Now once the economy changes then it will be a hobby. Hoping we can still pull another 30-50 qts this fall. I have a grow shelving system I used when my sister had cancer and thats what we have started all of our seed from. We our looking at a food budject over the winter under 100.00 a month for a family of 5. Is our goal. Three frezzers are full and over 100 quts of jars. Cant wait to plant the cover.
  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I still have tomatoes producing...picked about 10 lbs last night and made 6 jars of salsa. Peppers still going gangbusters...give away about a gallon of jalapenos a week, and have 100+ bell peppers on the plants. My fall crop of lettuce and snow peas are producing like crazy.

    I throw all the leaves, straw, grass...manure...whatever in the garden for the winter instead of planting a cover crop. I till it in before the freeze...and then again in the early spring. It composts much better under ground...but a lot still stays on top.

    In the spring the soil is nice an fluffy and holds the moisture better with all the organic stuff....
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Nice, we got 12 qts of mustard green cook up and frozen last weekend. That's a job! Few qts of hot pepper jelly. Zucci still going 6 qts of green beans. Brocclli and brussle sprouts lookin good!
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We use shredded leaves too. I have this giant bag that attaches to the riding mower's bagger in place of the bins. It allows me to collect a lot of shredded leaves quickly.

    Last winter we used winter rye and it has made a nice improvement where we did this. But my neighbor said to try buckwheat. He loves it because it is super easy to break up with just a hoe in the early spring. I think I will give it a try soon.

    PS: I used a mix of red clover and vetch one year. Won't do that again. If you leave any little fragment uncovered it starts to spread quickly in summer.

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