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Old 10-15-2014, 08:36 AM
two bits two bits is offline
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Two bits, corn is a HEAVY feeder and really depleats Nitrogen, don't plant your corn in the same place next year and where it was planted I'd plant some type of legume next year as they fix nitrogen back into the soil.
I'm thinking of tomatoes there next year. And maybe pole beans? Yes, maybe a row or two of bush beans. I have permission to use the space. If I had a long term commitment, I would add manure and compost?
I have to be prepared to walk away from it. I usually rotate crops, but its hard in small spaces.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the great topic and replies!

Im in the process of doing exactly this with a section (25x35) that was grown up with grass and many small Chinese elms ( sprouts -6in dia). Three years ago I cut all the trees out then have been mowing it to try and kill the dang elms. Mid summer I borrowed a buddies tractor with bucket and dug all the roots out and flipped the dirt (sandy loam). After letting it sit for about a month I tilled it both directions to about 4-6in. Now, 1 month later I just added nice load of manure and tilled once more. I hope to add as much mulch and leaves as I can before it freezes for the winter.

Any further advise is welcome! I'm not a new gardener but it has been well over 10 years and I'm a bit rusty.

Thanks,Mike
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the great topic and replies!

Im in the process of doing exactly this with a section (25x35) that was grown up with grass and many small Chinese elms ( sprouts -6in dia). Three years ago I cut all the trees out then have been mowing it to try and kill the dang elms. Mid summer I borrowed a buddies tractor with bucket and dug all the roots out and flipped the dirt (sandy loam). After letting it sit for about a month I tilled it both directions to about 4-6in. Now, 1 month later I just added nice load of manure and tilled once more. I hope to add as much mulch and leaves as I can before it freezes for the winter.

Any further advise is welcome! I'm not a new gardener but it has been well over 10 years and I'm a bit rusty.

Thanks,Mike
I commend you for not giving up.

If you want to plant as soon as the soil warms up next spring, I recommend you till the leaves and mulch into the soil. The bare soil will warm much quicker and where you have the leaves/mulch, will stay wet and cool. So wet in fact, that you will have trouble tilling.

From experience! And I was surprised.
I now till all I have into the soil, or I pile it nearby until the soil is tillable in the spring, then I add to the soil.
I add mulched leaves, compost, horse manure w/sawdust, & rabbit manure if I have it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:08 PM
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From sod to a bountiful garden? If you have been following this thread, you should be convinced by now a garden can be made from your neighbors best lawn. Not without some work mind you, but heck, it is worth it.
With permission from the owner, I will be using that portion of his yard again this year. I grew sweet potatoes, cabbage, and sweet corn in that portion. I tilled it before winter set in, and again a couple weeks ago, it is ready to plant. We have been waiting for the rain to stop and the soil to warm up here in southern Indiana.
I plan to plant Romano Italian pole beans, Roma II bush beans, and an assortment of tomato plants.

My second garden was also enlarged last year to accommodate cabbage and pole beans. Once the cabbage was harvested, I planted 75 cloves of garlic in that portion. Pictures to follow.
I am always anxious to start planting every spring. But, over the years, I have noticed that if I just wait, everything grows better once the soil is warm enough. Planting early just lets the plant set there waiting like me, for the soil to warm up. Seeds have an optimum warmth temperature that tells them its time. So, my advice is to be patient. The plants and seeds that are planted late always catch up to the early starters. Or do the early starters wait for the late comers to catch up?
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:47 AM
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... I am always anxious to start planting every spring. But, over the years, I have noticed that if I just wait, everything grows better once the soil is warm enough. Planting early just lets the plant set there waiting like me, for the soil to warm up. Seeds have an optimum warmth temperature that tells them its time. So, my advice is to be patient. The plants and seeds that are planted late always catch up to the early starters. Or do the early starters wait for the late comers to catch up?
A lot of our friends start seeds indoors and transplant. But, our observation has been they do not produce any larger harvests for that effort.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:17 PM
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A lot of our friends start seeds indoors and transplant. But, our observation has been they do not produce any larger harvests for that effort.
I think you are referring to vegetables that can be sown directly in the garden, such as cucumbers, squash, melons, etc. I seen corn too!

I think starting therm seeds early may give you a second crop, but very few do. They're burnt out by then? Or not aware that you can? That is the difference between gardening for the pantry and just fresh vegetables. Not only quality, but quantity.
I plan to start seeds (cabbage, brocolli, Brussels sprouts, & cauliflower) June 15 for a fall crop.
I will start some seeds directly in the garden then also. Carrots, turnips, and a 2nd crop of bush beans.

I guess it will depend on the space I have at that time.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:05 PM
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The best way to turn grass to garden is to start the season before and kill the grass with glysophate [Roundup]. You will probably hit it more than once. The first application should get 90% of it but you will need to spot treat after that.

Glysophate only kills on contact with the plant, it takes about 2 weeks for it to be noticeable on the plant. It is about the only herbicide that will kill grass. IT IS NOT ACTIVE IN THE SOIL, contact with a clay particle neutralizes it.

Grass is hard to deal with in your garden because it grows readily from roots or rhizomes. You get a clump in your garden and you have to dig it all out, or it will quickly grow back. OR, you can hit it with a little squirt of glysophate. Grass is a real problem because it is always trying to creep under your fences where it is especially hard to dig.

But, be careful with it. It will also kill your garden plants. I try to do what spraying I need early in the spring. The grass greens up first in my perennial garden, so I can kill the worst of it without endangering things like my asparigas. I carefully use tiny amounts to touch up through the summer. In my annual garden I till annually so there isn't much grass in the center, but I go around the fences with glysophate before I have anything growing. I don't use any herbicide in my annual garden while it is growing in the summer.

Glysophate is a great tool that makes gardening much easier. Growing enough to feed yourself will be a strain especially at first, so I have quite a bit in storage.
A good discussion except the name of the chemical I believe is glyphosate. Some people use old carpet or cardboard to kill the grass. Remember that any chemicals you use in a garden end up in your food. I would not worry about roundup especially after a couple of weeks, but some people do.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:03 PM
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I don't advocate herbicides. I never let grasses with rhiazomes get a foot hold. If these roots are turned under, they will die. I always recommend plowing a garden, especially new gardens. This is done in the fall and allowed to lay fallow all winter, then a disc is run over top.
Since plowing is becoming a vintage art in large communities & cities, the rototiller has become the norm. If roots are broken up and left to grow, you actually have spread the grass problem. Continuous cultivation is the key to any open ground. Only cultivate the surface, dislodging any new growth. Surface cultivating kills all those new grass starts, germinating seeds. An example would be to pull up your favorite tomato plant, replant it. Do this every week an see how good it grows. Eventually it will die.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:17 PM
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I don't advocate herbicides. I never let grasses with rhiazomes get a foot hold. If these roots are turned under, they will die. I always recommend plowing a garden, especially new gardens. This is done in the fall and allowed to lay fallow all winter, then a disc is run over top.
Since plowing is becoming a vintage art in large communities & cities, the rototiller has become the norm. If roots are broken up and left to grow, you actually have spread the grass problem. Continuous cultivation is the key to any open ground. Only cultivate the surface, dislodging any new growth. Surface cultivating kills all those new grass starts, germinating seeds. An example would be to pull up your favorite tomato plant, replant it. Do this every week an see how good it grows. Eventually it will die.
i agree ,,,i dont use herbicides,,,and why are weeds such a bad thing to start with ??,,,as long as they are kept from competing with the plants your growing they dont hurt the soil ,,,after all its the weeds and grasses that help build the topsoil to start with,,,i keep them down with tilling /pulling /hoeing ect

my garden will likely never be "weed" free,,,and to this point isnt but i still get great crops out of it ,,i try to give my crops a head start by killing the weeds and then keep them beat back just to make it easier to harvest
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:37 PM
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A weed is a plant that is in the wrong place, weather it be eatable or not. Weeds\grass compete for the nutrients of your vegetables. And yes, my garden isn't completely weed free, but its not over grown either. I like starting a fresh garden in the spring weed free. By the summer, sure there are a few.
An example is, if you broadcast turnip seed, carrot seed, then the weeds would be the same size as your vegetables, competing for nutrients. Weed free will let you do this. If not weed free, I suggest you plant in rows so you can cultivate between rows.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:17 PM
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2nd year garden plot. Somewhere in my album is pictures of the sweet potatoes, sweet corn, and cabbage that grew here last season. I am erecting fence panels for pole beans.



Picture of the garlic in expanded garden. I had cabbage in this plot last year w/row covers on them, remember?

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Old 07-01-2015, 07:13 PM
two bits two bits is offline
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For a 2nd year garden plot. It is doing great. Last year.......


And this year...........



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Old 07-02-2015, 03:43 PM
ppine ppine is offline
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I agree with bilmac, although many will disagree. Use glyphosate and/or cover the sod to kill it. Tillage breaks up the soil, but destroys its structure.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:39 PM
two bits two bits is offline
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I agree with bilmac, although many will disagree. Use glyphosate and/or cover the sod to kill it. Tillage breaks up the soil, but destroys its structure.
Yes, I disagree! Over tilling is different than mixing in amendments and cultivation. Actually breaking new ground for a garden has nothing to do with soil structure. Tillage helps the soil. Breaking up the soil lets in oxygen, moisture, and humus, and adding the amendments such as compost, manures, mulch. Soil structure can be improved by crop rotation.

http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/...f-compost.html

Here is an article on improving soil structure this winter.
http://preparednessmama.com/improve-soil-structure/

You guys can spray all the weed/grass killer you want, I prefer not to and advocate such. Don't you get enough chemicals in your food already? You may kill the surface grass, but the root wad is still there, especially in new gardens such as lawns and set aside properties.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:42 PM
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You know , my gardens aren't weed free, but they don't really need to be. They just need to be controlled where they don't compete with my vegetables. I am satisfied with the garden plot, next door, easy access, and free for the using.



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Old 07-09-2015, 08:43 AM
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We moved and managed to put in a couple of raised beds, 3x11 ft. I used dirt from existing beds which was mostly mulch. Big mistake. One bed produced the most spindly sorry tomatoe plants possible. I have 3 compost tubs and managed to add one tub of compost to the beds. Added purchased manure, ashes, leaves bagged dirt and slowly the plants are looking better. At least the leaves are finally green. Pulled most of the tomatoe plants and planted peas.
The other bed had a couple cucumber and various peppers. It's starting to produce a few peppers and couple of cuces. I hope to put in at least 3 more beds this winter plus a small green house. Most of the fruit trees seem to be doing well. It all takes time.

I do try and keep things weeded or plan on using black plastic.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:30 AM
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I don't see many mentioning ashes, but yes, I use them too. I burn 5-6 cord of wood each winter and it all gets spread on the gardens. I also clean my compost bins out and spread onto the vacant areas of the garden. Then I give it a turn under with the tiller. Then, its ready for the winter snows.
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