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March 26, 2013 at 12:00 am #63335
I love Ruth Stout and her gardening methodsMay 3, 2013 at 12:00 am #63356caverdudeParticipant
The above blog post is about what I’m doing this year with gardening. I show how I have begun. I basically dig 1’x1′ holes and mix 1:1:1 rabbit manure/yard waste compost/top soil. I put 1/3 of the mix in the hole then 2/3 in garden boxes. Take a look at the photo’s.June 7, 2013 at 12:00 am #63384beastParticipant
being the sort of person that does not buy things and also recycles just about everything
i make my own potting soil and even add the same stuff to my gardens. here are some of the
things i add to make the soil healthier for growing bigger harvests.
sawdust… as long as you arent using black walnut youre pretty safe but you need to know
your soil pH before you add much. acidy soils do not need pine sawdust, it makes them
more acid, oak will do the same just not as bad
planer shavings…these actually hold more moisture than the sawdust and last longer, they also
make and keep the soil fluffier for easy root development, taters and carrots grow nice this
way, the same applies for shavings as sawdust, some woods are just more acidic.
rabbit manure… worms and plants both love this stuff, rabbit manure is the only manure you can
put straight on a plant and not overdo it
grass clippings… these tend to get hot in bulk, specially if they are wet and green, dry them first
or mix them with sawdust and compost them a while before addign them.
moldy hay… same as grass clippings, just chop it up with the lawn mower before adding it
shredded paper… this stuff does work but you want it mixed in good or it compacts and forms
something akin to hardpan, it will eventually rot away but not for a year or so
pet fur… yes it helps!, it not only holds moisture which helps yopu not have to water as much
but the scent keeps some pests away, just mix it in good or it will do the same as shredded paper
kitty litter… the clay kind, it does wonders for sandy soils, makes them a bit stickier so they
hold more moisture, a little epsom salt does the same, just dont add too much
now that you have made your soil healthier and planted your garden, you can use most of these additives
as a mulch to help keep the soil beneath moist longer and cut down on weed growth, then next season
just till the mulch in and make your soil even more healthy :)June 30, 2013 at 12:00 am #63413ladyaprilParticipant
Do you want bigger plants in your garden? Put lava rocks in your soil–that is how I got a zucchini so large, we actually named it monstro lol!! Lava rocks help soil retain moisture, add to soil structure, boost microbe activity and improve crop health and yields. It can also help create an “oxygen pumping effect” which can allow for your plants to get to quite large.July 12, 2013 at 12:00 am #63423August 12, 2013 at 12:00 am #63436caverdudeParticipant
I am thinking of coming up with some kind of markers that I can stick in the ground next to plants and just numbering them 1 to 1000 or so, though I can’t see using more than 100 right now. I am not doing row gardening but if I did then I guess you might have one maker per row. Row 1 to 20 or whatever. I do square foot and container gardening as such my garden is not organized neatly. I even put different plant types in the same square foot sometimes. If I had something like flags on a stiff wire. The flags only contain numbers 1 to whatever. I would place one next to each plant type. Then make notes, as to what I planted, when, results, and yield etc. Might be a good way to go. Actually if the marker had a top like a button where you could fit a 3 digit number that might be ideal.December 9, 2013 at 12:00 am #63472todman2112Participant
welcome to indiaFebruary 19, 2014 at 12:00 am #63504Samuel1988Participant
First post on this forum!
I have an allotment (a patch of land in the UK for food growing) and was thinking of making a drip irrigation system to water my fruit & veg.
Any advice/tips from anyone who has tried this?
My plot has a slight slope to it.
Is it simply getting hold of water barrel, some old hose pipe, drilling a hole in to insert a tap and stick the hose to the tap?
Many thanks for your help,
SamuelFebruary 20, 2014 at 12:00 am #63505Samuel1988Participant
Poundland are currently selling the above in bare root form for… £1 and I did get a few but I was wondering if it is worth investing in a few more but this decision relates to the following..
My aunty has planted 4 fruit trees in two different big patches and I would like to utilise the space between so I was thinking of using one patch as a ‘forest’ garden style fruit patch.
The other I am either going to do the same or I will try to grow the above in cordons just to see how it goes.
If I was to try growing it in cordons would it/could I fit in more plants as opposed to growing in bushes (thus I will be in poundland asap again)? Are yields increased?
How would I go about doing it?
Thanks for your help,
SamuelJune 21, 2014 at 12:00 am #63559beastParticipant
The unsustainability of organic farming
By Henry I. Miller, fellow at Stanford University, and Richard Cornett, communications director for the Western Planet Health Association
10 Hours AgoCNBC.com
“Sustainable” has become one of the buzzwords of the twenty-first century. Increasing numbers of universities offer courses or even programs in “sustainability,” and many large companies boast substantial departments devoted to the subject. In April, many of the iconic multinational companies in the agriculture/food sector were represented at a three-day “Sustainable Product Expo,” convened by Wal-Mart — the largest retailer in the United States — at its Arkansas headquarters.
But, as with many vague, feel-good concepts, “sustainability” contains more than a little sophistry. For example, sustainability in agriculture is often linked to organic farming, whose advocates tout it as a “sustainable” way to feed the planet’s rapidly expanding population. But what does “sustainable” really mean, and how does it relate to organic methods of food production?
An organic produce sign stands over a display in the produce department of a Kroger supermarket in Peoria, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An organic produce sign stands over a display in the produce department of a Kroger supermarket in Peoria, Illinois.
The organic movement’s claims about the sustainability of its methods are dubious. For example, a recent study found that the potential for groundwater contamination can be dramatically reduced if fertilizers are distributed through the irrigation system according to plant demand during the growing season; organic farming, however, depends on compost, the release of which is not matched to plant demand. Moreover, though composting receives good press as a “green” practice, it generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases (and is often a source of pathogenic bacteria in crops).
Read MoreWal-Mart looks to organics to revive grocery
The study also found that “intensive organic agriculture relying on solid organic matter, such as composted manure that is mixed in to the soil prior to planting, resulted in significant down-leaching of nitrate” into groundwater. Increasing the nitrate levels in groundwater is hardly a hallmark of sustainability, especially with many of the world’s most fertile farming regions in the throes of drought.
A fundamental reason that organic food production is far less “sustainable” than many forms of conventional farming is that organic farms, though possibly well adapted for certain local environments on a small scale, produce far less food per unit of land and water. The low yields of organic agriculture – typically 20-50% below conventional agriculture – impose various stresses on farmland, especially on water consumption.
A British meta-analysis published in 2012 identified some of the stresses that were higher in organic agriculture. For example, it found that “ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching, and nitrous oxide emissions per product unit were higher from organic systems,” as were “land use, eutrophication potential, and acidification potential per product unit.”
Read MoreOrganic food just became the ultimate battleground
Lower crop yields in organic farming are largely inevitable, owing to the arbitrary rejection of various advanced methods and technologies. Organic practices afford limited pesticide options, create difficulties in meeting peak fertilizer demand, and rule out access to genetically engineered varieties. If organic production were scaled up significantly, the lower yields would lead to greater pressure to convert land to agricultural use and produce more animals for manure, to say nothing of the tighter squeeze on water supplies – all of which are challenges to sustainability.
Another limitation of organic production is that it works against the best approach to enhancing soil quality – namely, the minimization of soil disturbance (such as that caused by plowing or tilling), combined with the use of cover crops. Such farming systems have many environmental advantages, particularly with respect to limiting erosion and the runoff of fertilizers and pesticides. Organic growers do frequently plant cover crops, but in the absence of effective herbicides, they often rely on tillage (or even labor-intensive hand weeding) for weed control.
Read MoreOrganic problems for Whole Foods
At the same time, organic producers do use insecticides and fungicides to protect their crops, despite the green myth that they do not. More than 20 chemicals (mostly containing copper and sulfur) are commonly used in growing and processing organic crops – all acceptable under US rules for certifying organic products.
Perhaps the most illogical and least sustainable aspect of organic farming in the long term is the exclusion of “genetically engineered” (also known as “genetically modified,” or GM) plants – but only those that were modified with the most precise techniques and predictable results. Except for wild berries and wild mushrooms, virtually all the fruits, vegetables, and grains in European and North American diets have been genetically improved by one technique or another – often as a result of seeds being irradiated or undergoing hybridizations that move genes from one species or genus to another in ways that do not occur in nature.
The exclusion from organic agriculture of organisms simply because they were crafted with modern, superior techniques makes no sense. It not only denies farmers improved seeds, but also denies consumers of organic goods access to nutritionally improved foods, such as oils with enhanced levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
In recent decades, conventional agriculture has become more environmentally friendly and sustainable than ever before. But that reflects science-based research and old-fashioned technological ingenuity on the part of farmers, plant breeders, and agribusiness companies, not irrational opposition to modern insecticides, herbicides, genetic engineering, and “industrial agriculture.”
Commentary by Henry I. Miller and Richard Cornett. Miller is a physician and molecular biologist, and a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology in the US FDA and is the author of “The Frankenfood Myth.” Richard Cornett is Communications Director for the Western Plant Health Association, a California-based nonprofit agricultural trade group.
Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2014.January 5, 2015 at 12:00 am #63620
OK, it’s deep winter, so it’s time to start thinking, planning for next spring, and now’s the time to do it :)
I found this interesting article on how to grow better, bigger and more tomatoesI started may 28th planting 4 tomatoes around a garbage can with holes drilled in the bottom rim and a second row up about 10 inches… buried the can to where the top holes just barely were above the ground… put in two shovels full of compost… then I fill the can up with water ever 2 days and try not to water the leaves… these four plants are now 5 ft 4 inches in less that a month and a half and loaded with green tomatoes and about a hundred sets of tomato blossoms…
January 5, 2015 at 12:00 am #63621
July 9th after a week of record high temps and very little rain…the plants here are loaded with tomatoes inside the cage and full of blooms too!
Another article on Keyhole Gardening, this is something that intrigues me very much, we have LOTS of rocks that could be incorporated into this design.
Keyhole Garden Bed Method, a Compost and Garden Bed in One.We didn’t have space for both a garden bed and a compost heap so we chose to use the Keyhole Garden Bed Method to create a raised bed that would combine both!
We reused cinder blocks and recycled cardboard for this lasagna style garden that was super easy to construct. Benefits include water conservation, recycled materials, feeds itself naturally and it saves space!You can make your bed look twisted by planting rows in a spiral fashion. Those little cones are solar lights.Draw out your keyhole shape using two sticks with a string approx 3′ long. Simply place the first stick in the center and walk around.Draw a circle in the center, this is where your compost basket will go. Then draw a wedge, this is your access to your compost. Place your wedge on the north end of the bed as this area will received the least amount of light.Use bricks or any material you can find to create your outer walls. You will only need to build this up to 30″ high. The bricks work great for those that need a raised bed with an area to sit on for gardening, especially ideal for wheelchair accessibility.Place a chicken wire or other wired material cage in the center of your bed. We used wire fencing that was 4′ wide. Layer the bottom of the bed with cardboard, twigs, newsprint etc… building your layers up with soil ending with at least 12″ of just soil about 6″ down from your cage and sloping toward the bricks outer layer.
Compost goes in the cage and the bed is watered through this opening. As the recycled materials and compost break down, they will feed your plants.
To see all the instructions visit the link below.March 25, 2020 at 4:16 am #62322cutting321Participant
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