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 Post subject: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:22 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Southern hemisphere
Have you thought about using a green manure cropp between seasons?

When we were on the coast we green manured every year. The neighbours thought it was just weeds till I explained its compost grown in situ.

There should be a seed supplier near you that will have mixes for all seasons, we can but 4 types here winter spring summer and fall. They are formulated to increase organic matter by decomposition so nitrous holding plants etc. they look after themselves and for $10 you get enough for 40-50sq meters of bed. You are basically growing weeds that are usually veritable and legume crops that will be turned in brush cut etc to kill them before your production crop goes in. Alfa or Lucerne same thing is also great if gust run over with the mower, it should winter in Cali. We are a lot colder and it's a prime candidate for a winter manure, water a couple of times to get it up and forget till a month or two before plant out. I would think mulch it as you plant your seeds and it would be good. It is a nitrogen fixer and I have used it a lot over the years especially in the permaculture place I took care of. We would slash it and add it to the existing beds thick. Made the most flaky black soil in a couple of seasons.

I have been a bit lax in posting this, I am sorry. Your post recently about improving your chilli growing had reminded me. I was just going to PM you but I think this is something all growers could use in any gardening situation. If you have sandy and clay type soils then they can be improved with the addition of manure and mulch and compost. A rotting green plant does the job of all of them.

Add manure like usual to speed up break down but have the compost on hand.

I don't turn it in, they are mostly veg herb and legumes here I gust brush cut them to lay on top and add some chook hoarse and or cow. I use a lot of hoarse as we have plenty available cheap. I have not also had issues using fresh hoarse on plants over 6" just water it till it has lost the green liquid.

Hope this gets your chillies going a bit better, can't hurt your monster baccy either I suppose.

Cheers


Last edited by pilchard on Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:22 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Southern hemisphere
You guys seem to call them cover crops, I would stay away from the clovers as you will never get rid of them but here is a link to read more


http://eap.mcgill.ca/publications/EAP51.htm

Most gardening forums I am on are dedicated like this one to certain species of plants but it is rare to see questions about soil improvement, especially when it is so easy to improve what you have at home. When I was on the coast I basically had sand, yellow beach sand . In 6 years I turned that beach sand into a thriving loam, it was still sandy but the top 2' were humous rich and water retaining.i have never grown better carrots, long and deep. I now had worms and bacteria and a suitable growing area for my veg, herb and baccy crops.

Food for thought guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5541
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
It's good idea, Pilchard.

I did grow more legumes during the season in an attempt to add some nitrogen into the soil. Will do more, next year.

I will read that 'green manure' link shortly....

My garden area lies fallow for maybe 3 or 4 months each year. I let everything that will come up grow as it may.

I must locate some horse people ... who have a tractor with a bucket! I don't want to load my pickup truck by hand!
:-)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:40 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Coastal Texas
I used a cover crop of oats this fall/winter for the first time. It grew in so thick that no weeds or grass grew in there at all. When it came time to get the garden ready for spring I used the weedeater to cut it down, let it sit for a week or so to breakdown some and then tilled it in. I know grass and weed seed can stay viable for a few years so hopefully if i keep this up it'll eventually help keep the weeds out. It was the easiest thing to grow. Just broadcast it out there, give it a light pass with a rake or tiller and let it sit all season. It was kinda cool having a nice healthy green patch in the yard all winter. Although if there are alot of deer in your area it may become a deer magnet. Oats cant handle the hot weather so I don't have to worry about it popping back up but in colder climates I would try a different crop. I got a 25 lb bag of oats for about $5 at the feed store. Cheap & easy. Im all about going cheap!

Hopefully this picture works...

Image


Last edited by Baylor on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5541
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Wow!

That is beautiful, baylor!
How nice!

I'll put up a pic of my small hillside where I worked today...

I sure do wish I had a better plot to work with...
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:31 am
Posts: 251
Baylor wrote:
I used a cover crop of oats this fall/winter for the first time. It grew in so thick that no weeds or grass grew in there at all. When it came time to get the garden ready for spring I used the weedeater to cut it down, let it sit for a week or so to breakdown some and then tilled it in. I know grass and weed seed can stay viable for a few years so hopefully if i keep this up it'll eventually help keep the weeds out. It was the easiest thing to grow. Just broadcast it out there, give it a light pass with a rake or tiller and let it sit all season. It was kinda cool having a nice healthy green patch in the yard all summer. Although if there are alot of deer in your area it may become a deer magnet. Oats cant handle the hot weather so I don't have to worry about it popping back up but in colder climates I would try a different crop. I got a 25 lb bag of oats for about $5 at the feed store. Cheap & easy. Im all about going cheap!

Hopefully this picture works...

Image



I am a commercial tobacco farmer and we use wheat as our cover crop . We plow it under in early spring . It will lay for about two to three months until we are ready for planting . Wheat roll bales will rot and make the best compost I have seen . Rich stuff .


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 Post subject: Re: Att: Rusty soil improvement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:35 am
Posts: 65
Location: Australia
I grow Broad beans in garden beds when im rotating crops here.Broad Beans are one of the most effective green manure crops, adding valuable nitrogen to the soil.The bean straw we bale is handy also. I keep a few every harvest for gardens...


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