holes as pots

Hi All,
My back yard is very hard soil. I am expanding my litter garden into it this year. So my idea was to dig holes and use the holes like you would pots, without the blowing over, expense, etc..
So yesterday, I started digging my first 10 holes. Oh my goodness. I had to use an axe to loosen up the hard pack! Two on the holes I had to give up on do to rocks the size of water melons. Each hole was about 12" deep. I tossed a weed, root side up, down each hole, then filled back with dirt and organic Canadian peat moss. Peat moss to acidify and to hold moisture. My soil is very alkali.
Interesting. When I went to put the dirt back, it only filled about 1/3 of the hole. This is fine as I wanted mostly peat moss anyway. But interesting none the less.
Many thanks, -T
Yes, there were sparks.
10 more holes to go!
Day before yesterday, I planted my two new Ponderosa Pines. So far they seem happy with their new homes. Got the ones with a dirt plug attached.
yes, I am rambling.
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On 5/20/2016 11:20 AM, T wrote:

Don't worry, all gardeners ramble to themselves. It's when you ramble in front of other folks that you get the strange looks. I've been known to tell some nosy Parker that I was praying for them. Then they look embarrassed.
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On 05/20/2016 01:21 PM, George Shirley wrote:

I mean, an axe! I just wanted to dig some holes!
Oh but the weeds no long laugh at me now that they are going down the holes. Now which one of you is the biggest!
I do love the way this peat moss feels in my hands. Goodness I have tried almost everything else, including organic compost.
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T wrote: ...

when it gets too dry here and i have to dig in the areas with clay that i haven't amended yet, i can jump up in the air and come down on the shovel and barely make a dent in the soil.
in the areas i've worked in leaves, wood chips, ashes and have planted things like winter rye it works much better.
have you tried planting winter rye in the early fall? (the grain, not the grass seed)

exactly! free stuff from mother nature, harvested sun energy, minerals, nutrients, all worm food and more plant food.

keep scrounging all the organic materials you can. makes things much easier in time, concentrate them to help keep them moist (for an arid climate).
i had some friends drop off wood that is rotting that they can't burn. i don't use it in gardens, but along edges to help smother things (put down a few layers of cardboard and then hold the cardboard down with the wood chunks). eventually the raccoons and other critters will break all that down. any humus is good humus. :)
songbird
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On 05/21/2016 07:13 AM, songbird wrote:

What would be the benefit? I had thought of buckwheat to attract pollinators and squash bug parasite, but there is an allergy to buckwheat in my wife's family as she is afraid of it.

As I kept throwing weeds down the holes, your words kept going through my head: "Free organic matter". Some of these weeds are like a big dandelion, but with five times the leaves. I had to squash them down with my shovel!

I keep a couple of paper bags in the garage with all the plant discards from the kitchen. But, so far, the weeds are so prolific, I hadn't had to use them.

Boy the weeds sure have a new attitude. No more making fun of me. No more singing when it rains. Now they say "I am not a weed! He is a weed. Milk weed. Tumble weed. His name is Noxious! Noxious weed! NOOOOOOOOOOO!" No loyalty among weeds, I guess.
Thank you for all the help! -T
Anthropomorphize? What me? Okay it might have been the wind. (No, I can't pronounce it.)
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T wrote:

winter rye (the grain) is not buckwheat (but buckwheat is an excellent cover crop because it does grow very fast and has large leaves). winter rye puts down very fine roots which help break up hard soils. the time i planted it here in a few of the heavy clay soil gardens when i turned it in the spring it was like shoveling through butter in comparison to what i usually had to work through. i would do it again each fall if i could.

i remove any tops that have seeds before burying but they certainly do help over the long run.

worm compost them in buckets, that stuff is gold!
...

y.w. :)

ha...
oh, the other way to get topsoil is to truck it in. around here topsoil runs anywhere from $10-35/cu yd not including delivery fee ($10-100/load depending upon how well you know someone :) ). that's really the easiest way to get decent topsoil for a garden if your property is poor (from then on all you have to do is to keep it balanced or improve it even more).
we had some topsoil brought in when they built this place for the front yard where the septic drain field is at. to cover it. this is why we have any topsoil at all. otherwise it would be all sand (fill) and clay (the subsoil that was here left from farming).
by all rights, they should not have even built here. and if they'd known they were going to garden so much they should have built up the back yard where the gardens are at so there wouldn't be so much work. now i can't truck stuff in easily, but back then they could have brought in another 30 truckloads for a few thousand, but that would have alleviated many many hours on my part of fixing a rather broken situation...
ah, well, ... it's always a recommendation of mine to get the layout figured out and the water flows set up before doing anything else with a landscape. just observing for a while during rains and seeing what needs to be done. saves a ton of headaches later.
songbird
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Winter rye makes a VAST amount of organic matter, both roots and tops. It will help to condition your soil and provide lots of nearly-free organic matter.
As for the milkweed, leave a few for the Monarch butterflies.
Your veggie scraps are not helping in the garage - put them in holes, too, unless you have started a worm bin or compost pile. Else they might do some mice some good, right there in your garage.
--
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