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prep for fall

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by pagarden on August 01, 2006 04:14 PM
i know this is early but i'm already thinking about prepping for fall/winter. last few years i've added peat moss. added composted horse manure about 3 years ago. this fall i'm thinking of doing more so next summer will be easier. my garden is 8x16ft. so i want to add greensand (not sure how much), some manure (have to ask at the local feed store where i can get some composted- if not i'll buy bagged stuff) since the local farm said since my corn was sort of miniature it was an indicator of low nitrogen since i've grown corn for about 3 years now. till it all in and then throw some straw on top. 2 winters ago when i did that the ground was so much nicer in spring. last year tried to use mulched up leaves but it really wasn't as thick and didn't seem to protect the soil as much. so i'll cover with straw and then in the spring i won't remove the straw i'll just move it a bit so i can plant and leave it there as mulch. sound good? any other suggestions? my ground seems to be a bit better than when i first planted- i have compacted soil. it's not quite orange clay, but it does get pretty hard. it's not light and airy and it's not sandy. it's more on the hard side. when it dries out it cracks and when it's too wet it puddles. now if i leave the straw as mulch do i have to worry about more bugs?
by johnCT on August 02, 2006 02:04 AM
PA, if you really want to know exactly what your garden soil needs, get a good soil test done. Stuff like manures and compost is ALWAYS good to add, but things like greensand is usually not worth the extra expense and you should positively ID whether or not your soil could use the iron or not. I just can't emphasize enough how invaluable the information a soil test provides can be.

In the mean time, get some compost and manure cooking. It will be ready in time for fall amending.

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John - Zone 6
by Budman on August 02, 2006 05:11 AM
I was thinking of planting clover in my garden this fall as a green manure crop to till under in the early spring as I am sure it will add some more nitorgen and organic matter at the same time. I was wondering if anyone else has done the same and what the Pros and cons might be. Can you all explain what greensand is? I have never heard of that and am curious.
by pagarden on August 02, 2006 01:20 PM
i was thinking greensand so it will lighten up the soil. i started compost but it's sort of stalled. it's not crumbly- it's still lumpy. i think i might head up to the store and get some compost starter stuff to get it going again. where can i get a soil test done? i suppose i could ask at the local store too.....
by Soilmover on August 02, 2006 01:32 PM

I've been planting a cover crop of clover in my sweet corn patch in the late summer after the corn is all gone. My father and I pull all the dead corn stalks out, run the tiller through, broadcast the seed and lightly rake it over all the same day. Then till it all under in again next spring.

Local Farm store sells clover seed out of a bulk bin for only $2.71 a pound. Its so cheap I can't see why not to do it. Plus in my case it keeps all the surface dirt from blowing away in winter in case there isn't a lot of snowcover.

Lots of people around here use buckwheat also. I just like the clover.
by Budman on August 03, 2006 06:18 AM
Thanks Soil Mover. I saw the seed in the bins over at the Co-op and remembered how good clover is for the soil, so I figured to give it a try. Now I am definitely going to do it. Like you said, it should help out on the soil erosion during the winter months as well. We dont get much snow cover down here, unfortunately.
by tkhooper on August 03, 2006 09:32 AM

Try a stale beer,

Or activate some yeast and pour in there,

Or a stale coke,

Even coffee with sugar will help,

It really isn't necessary to buy some expensive stuff at the store.

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by Wrennie on August 03, 2006 10:00 AM
Budman greensand is greensand definition

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 - Summer Camp '07, July 14th weekend, won't you join us?  -
summer camp thread 1, 2, 3,4
by Bestofour on August 03, 2006 12:48 PM
Doesn't the clover hang around forever. I hate that stuff - can't get rid of it.

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 -  -
by Budman on August 04, 2006 07:11 AM
Thanks for the link, Wrennie. I had never heard of that before, but looks like it has been around a very long time. Wrens are one of my favorite birds by the way....
TK, I will try out your compost recipe, but the beer doesnt go stale in my house very often [grin] I will try the coke, though.
Sheri, the clover does hang around but the rabbits and my chickens dont seem to mind... [perplexed]

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