2019 Gardens, All sizes

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Re: 2019 Gardens, All sizes

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:19 pm

Soil test is important, especially pH. Nutrients can't be absorbed by the plants, if the soil is too acid.

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Re: 2019 Gardens, All sizes

Postby Ol Timey Farming LLC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:58 pm

This year I started a new business (Ol Timey Farming LLC). I started late as the ground here in south MS was way too wet in early spring (Got my SA stuck 3 times trying to bush-hog old cow pastures I was making into crop fields). So I planted 2 acres of cowpeas to add organic matter to those fields and add nitrogen while killing weeds (the peas grow fast). It worked but my 1950 Super A had a problem turning the soil over after bush-hogging the peas. I have a 2 bottom tractor mounted turning plow (A-295A I think) and after only going 15' the plows were full of pea vines and would clog up with dirt and vines. SO I tried more bush hogging AND then used a 6' disc (pull type). It has 18" discs and even it would fill up with pea vines and was a pain but I finally got the fields disked. So now I'm planting fall and late summer crops and even expanding to a 3rd acre so I can rotate between the 3 and have 3 years between crops so hopefully if any virus or disease in a crop will be gone by time I rotate crops and return to that plot. I am making 4' raised beds and have my Super A set to straddle over them. I'm looking for a 200 type manure spreader to also ride over the raised beds. My ultimate plan is to have no-till and add manure to raised beds and use my SA to pull a home-made 2 ripper/subsoiler set at 6" apart offset and go over each bed with it in both directions making 4-(16"to 20" deep) ruts in the beds to break up hardpan and mix the manure into the beds. I'm also building (digging mostly LOL) an irrigation system for the 3 acres. The 3rd plot I'm only putting clover in this winter and will till it in in spring and plant red beans in summer so it will have good nitrogen by next fall (also putting 2-4 tons of breeder chicken manure on it too). I'll also have a small 1/4 acre perennial bed with herbs,flowers and onions and garlic in it. I'll transplant some of them into the main crop fields as the flowers, onion and garlic are all good for pollinizer bugs (bees etc) and attract good insects while also keeping bad bugs out. I'm learning as I go and modifying my plan as needed but so far things look good for this "Ol Timey Farmer" :) good luck to all and keep that ol iron running in them fields ya'll

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Re: 2019 Gardens, All sizes

Postby Ol Timey Farming LLC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:25 pm

outdoors4evr wrote:Not wanting to start a 2020 Gardens thread, I'll post it here.
I'm prepping a garden space for next year. The ground is mostly clay and potato sized rocks (not very good garden soil). I have added and spread 5 yards of aged horse manure (been resting for about 1.5 years) and tilled it in. What should I do between now and next spring to improve this soil? Horse manure usually has a lot of seeds in it.
Should I water the garden to get the weed seeds to sprout and then till them up?
Should I plant a cover crop like winter wheat and till it under next spring?
Should I till in a bale of straw so the ground will be able to hold some water?

I feel like soil tests will just tell me that I have lots of rocks and horse crap.

I would water it and see if weed seeds will germinate, then disc that under and plant a fall/winter cover crop, here in south MS we can grow clover and any grain as a cover crop (grain is for organic matter and deep roots to break hardpan and get deep nutrients) I personally only plant clover as cover crop as the organic matter and nitrogen (legumes fixate nitrogen in soil) are what my soil needs most. Manure is good but without testing the soil you may actually make matter worse (in my case I need to watch out for too much P as the chicken manure I use has tons and can accumulate to dangerous levels if not watched). Adding organic matter will help (straw) but know IF your low on N (nitrogen) then adding the straw will only make that worse as rotting material needs extra N to decay. Adding things like alfalfa hay is better as it has 12% nitrogen too. If soil is slightly alkaline I would add cotton seed meal as it has 12% N and is slightly acidic to correct your pH. Otherwise I'd add the alfalfa or grow a legume like austrian winter peas or clover and till them in in the spring. Note, MS is way different than you as I'm in zone 8b so winter here is shorts n a tee on Christmass day, ask your local extension office (MI state ag college) as every state has an ag school that helps farmers and most do cheap soil samples if not free for locals. Also talk with them about cover crops there as the clover I use here I'll plant late this month to early next month BUT it will grow all winter till it blooms in early spring and I'll till them under when 50% are blooming (before seed) But in MI you may need to already have planted a winter kill type there so you may need a different cover crop so ask the school extension office there to get what your area needs and can grow best....

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