Im getting rolling eyes about my garden.

Hello,
Id like to hear from you about my garden I put in. The neighbors are apparently baffled by it. I'm not 100 % sure either . I will give you a brief description and why I did this. And criticism will be greatly appreciated. This is the first garden I've put in in about 10 years. I gave up because I bought horse manure and the weeds from it overran my garden year after year and I couldn't kill them off. Primarily morning glories that choked my plants and made a jungle . I became motivated by the No work garden book by Ruth Stout.
The garden is 30 by 16. Its tilled horse manure at least 15 years old. I put 4 bales of hay on it a month ago. And spread it around . 3 lbs of 10-10-10 fertilizer and made 4 rows of garden fabric 4 feet wide. And laid them with two inches spaces between them. And I have treated timbers covering every edge of the fabric. So it wont move or blow away.
I pick up one side of the fabric , spread the hay aside. and put plants in . Then cut a hole in the fabric so the plants will fit through the fabric. . Wherever I want the plants at. Then I put the fabric back down and the timbers to hold it.
It is a bit time consuming to do this. To get the plants in and the holes cut in the right place. But weed control has been a major issue here. Every year.
The fabric is for weed control. The hay is there to turn to mulch for next year. And was my original plan for weed control. I didn't know it didn't work on morning glories until I got Ruth Stouts later books. So I added the fabric.
I bought two flats of plants
The Rows are east to west.
Row 1 is north.
Row 1 has 36 corn plants about 1 foot apart in three rows. And 3 tomato plants 3 foot apart centered.
Row 2 has 10 tomato plants about 3 foot apart
On row 3. I cut the fabric lengthwise down the middle and put in 6 eggplants , 2 foot apart. And four pepper plants about 2 foot apart.
Outside the fabric rows . Far south. In the soil I put in about 40 onion sets. And I have a 2 foot section about 25 feet long left over.
And the 2 inch spaces between the rows for other plants. I'm not sure what to put in there but I'm out of plants. I have Beet , broccoli, and carrot seeds I could put in there. I've got sugar, snow peas and provider bean seeds too.
The rest of the flats. and the partial sun items lettuce, celery, more onion sets I put in another small rough soil plot by the house as it gets partial sun.
I did the fabric technique three years in a row and it works pretty good. But not with the hay under it. I've not ever used hay before. This is my main concern. Will the hay do something bad sitting there all year under the garden fabric. Or am I ok.
Id really like to have a continuous mulch garden and put on 6 inches of hay every fall. And let it sit and compact through the winter.
And I was going to just cover the plot for the year and kill everything off and start next year.
But I came up with this idea.
I haven't left much out.
Anything wrong with what I did.
Thanks
Diesel.
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None4U wrote:

Since you go on to use inches this is probably in feet. Perhaps you should recall that the USA is about the only country that still uses such primitive measures. I thought it was because they have 12 fingers and toes but apparently polydactyly isn't so common so there is some other reason.

It is a wonder there is anything left after that long. It must be chilly around there.
I put 4 bales of hay on it a month ago. And spread it around .

I take it this fabric is porous?
So where do you walk? In the 2in slot? You should leave a path for you and your barrow otherwise you will compact the soil.

Not ideal. North-south is better. The sunward sides of the E-W rows will get much more sun than the pole side. If you run them N-S both sides get the same, of course in the antipodes we run them S-N.

Is this sunward or poleward? I am guessing poleward so if the tall stuff is at that end it is OK.

I don't know your climate so I am not sure about planting onions, peas and broccoli with the summer veges. I would grow these through winter but my summer is very hot and my winter is cool but does not have snow or ice. Somebody who is more familiar with your region would advise better.

If the fabric allows air and water to penetrate there shouldn't be a problem.

I don't see anything really bad about what you have done, there are a couple of areas to improve. It might have been quicker and cheaper to let all the weeds come up, nuke them and then use mulch for weed supression but since you have bought the fabric you may as well use it.
I am dying to know what the neighbours said.
David
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What sticks out to me is the 4 bales of straw which have a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 50 to 100. Four bales probably weigh about 240 lbs (109 kg) probably need a pound of 10-X-X to give a C/N ratio of 25, to keep the microbes from sucking up all the available N in consuming the straw's C. This disregards any N that may be in the 15 year old horse manure. You could also use 30 gal. of fish emulsion, or 4 lbs chicken manure, or 7 lbs of horse manure.
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wrote:

Feet.

The US government has a vested interest to keep people stupid.

Yup.

The fabric is 4 feet wide. Except for the corn the plants are in the middle. Theres four feet between the rows. You just walk on the fabric

Oh ,

Sunward, and the tall stuff is north.

Ohio, growing season is May to Oct. Snow is in Dec to April. Were just past frost risk now.
I would grow these through winter but my

The ground and Everything freezes . Im not familiar with any winter gardening techniques here. Everyone plows .

It does

The neighbors said it looked like crap and wont grow anything through the hay. With the hay laying around. It looks pretty nice now with the fabric on it.

Before I put the fabric on it. I put 2 lbs of 10-10-10 on it. Now that you mentioned fish emulsion. I have a gallon of concentrated fish emulsion with no use. Im going to put that on there to get rid of it. The hay was 240 lbs. The fabric does flow water and air.
Can I keep putting hay on it every fall for mulch. And get good soil after a couple years.

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Just smile sweetly at them and ignore them.

Yes. Read up on feeding earth worms and how to build up the number of earthworms. What is best for earthworms, is best for your soil.
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Amen
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Yeah, but I don't know why you are using the fabric cover. Normally, you would put down your amendments (manure, rock phosphate, wood ash, small chunks of charcoal from fireplaces or BBQs), cover with newspaper or cardboard to suppress weeds, and cover all with mulch. After a couple of weeks, poke holes in the layering, down into the dirt and plant. The mulch and paper will suppress the weeds, and retain the moisture. The manure, and the bi-monthly feedings with fish emulsion will allow the microbes to consume the mulch, and the life cycles of the soil microbes will feed and nourish your plants and make topsoil.
See if you can't get the following books from your library to further explain what is going on:
Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis (Amazon.com product link shortened) /ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815176&sr=1-1
Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture (Paperback) by Toby Hemenway (Amazon.com product link shortened) 580298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid71266976&sr=1-1
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wrote:

I have teaming with mocrobes here now, i wil start on it tomorrowq morning.

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None4U wrote:

Making paths would be better you will compact the soil under the fabric. Tomato plants in the middle of a 4ft bed each 3 ft apart is rather generous spacing. You can fit more in, you could (for example) zig-zag them up the bed so they are still 3ft apart but every 2ft or so along the bed, once your soil is getting better you can go closer still. There is no rule that says you need neat rows.
David
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Who gives a rat's posterior about the neighbours? It's your garden and you created it for yourself, not them.

I can't imagine the hay would do anything worse than insulating your soil so it will not warm up early in Spring and will stay a bit warmer in Autumn. But then I expect it will just breakdown anyway and do so fairly quickly if you have healthy soil with a good earthworm population.

Nope.
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| Id really like to have a continuous mulch garden and put on 6 inches of hay | every fall. And let it sit and compact through the winter. | | And I was going to just cover the plot for the year and kill everything off | and start next year.
Without the weed suppressor fabric you might be screwed cuz hay is generally full of weed and grass seeds. I'd be using straw instead, then the worst you'd probably get would be some wheat or whatever made the straw.
My personal trick to get a plot cleared for the following year is to use discarded carpet from a dumpster behind a carpet store. Every time they recarpet a home, that's where the old carpet goes. It's old enough usually that it no longer has chemicals in it. Water gets through, light and weeds don't. If you can leave it for a full year, there won't be any plants left alive under it. Covered from early fall to late spring might be enough if you don't have bermuda grass. You can cover the carpet with wood chips if it's unsightly.
In spring, just sweep off and roll up the carpet, hoe up the plot, add soil amendments (I only add to the soil in the rows or mounds where the vegies will go, not the entire plot), plant and mulch. No need for weed fabric.
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You can also mulch with grass clippings, and leaves.

Carpet doesn't feed soil organisms.

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wrote

Diesel wrote. Thank You everyone. I appreciate the in put. I'm going to leave everything as is. Its been cold here two days but the plants are looking much better in the ground. They're at least standing up. The lettuce looks better too. They were all droopy. and root bound. I'm gonna switch to straw. I got the hay for free so I took it.
Thanks
Diesel
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I would love to reply to your post, but alas... I can not read, much less reply to any post involving a reply from "billy" I'm not trying to be caustic, but...talk about someone that has (apparently..at least to me) no life except on this NG. I will read any new post, but if there is a reply from "him", I will read no further. I have rarely seen a group with a poster who is so full of himself. On one hand it's funny, on the other it's annoying. It makes me reluctant to check the group...and I hate that. Not trying to rant...I'm just saying..............

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Citation puleeze ;O)
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snipped-for-privacy@peoplepc.com says...

If you don't like anyone, _use your killfile_ don't announce, don't react and don't complain.
Check the group. Killfile judiciously. Kill threads that are too annoying to you.
Survival on the nets requires an appreciation of the medium's strengths and weaknesses, your strengths and weaknesses and a judicious use of the *all* the tools available.
30 years on the nets suggests to me that information, communication, discourse and argument have to matter more to you than others' projected personas.
As for the appearance of being on USENET all the time, watch the timestamps. I deal with a collection of posts at a time. --If I'm on a roll it can look like I'm online all the time even though I usually deal with this at random intervals.
Those who are retired, or who have access to the internet at work's MMV.
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Take phorbin's advice. There is no reason for you to have to read my posts. It isn't obligatory to read all posts. If you can't just delete, or skip over my posts, then "KILL FILE" me. Lord knows, I've used it often enough.
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- Billy
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A healthy newsgroup needs all kinds of personality types, each with a different style of writing, views on life and on gardening techniques. I see gardening as mostly art, some science and with a little wonder. Take what you want and ignore the rest. This is a free speech area. Lets not censor anyone!
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Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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None4U wrote: ...

the trouble we've had here with weed fabric and mulch is that the mice just love burrowing under it and chew it up to use as nest lining and eventually it degrades...
we have a healthy population of snakes, but they do not control the rodent population. owls and hawks don't do it enough either.
the wild areas we used to have have been converted to managed areas to keep the rodents population down. before we did that i was regularly trapping mice. yes, i know about carrying capacity, etc and all that...
the house itself was not designed with rodent warfare in mind. that has been the most troublesome aspect. luckily a few fixes have been made to keep things from getting stir crazy, but i have to keep some snap traps around for those that find their way in the walls in the winter (they don't get inside).
my tightening of the base/foundation seems to be holding them off from the crawlspace so far. no food or water down there for them and plenty of wire mesh they won't chew through (if they can't smell food or water on the other side they go elsewheres) or so i continue to hope. :)
this is a long winded way of saying good luck. :)
songbird
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