Ironite Questions?

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Why not pull it around in the spring too, when grass is growing well? It'll give you green stuff for your pile. Collect spoiled produce thrown out from a commercial establishment or 2.

I'm not in favor of this, uncomposted carbon will steal vitality from your garden for at least 3 months.

I think you're right, but I have much the same problem and tilling is the only way to get the material into the hard clay. It gets better each year and my sight is toward the day I can do less to none.

It does, but the ultimate goal is increased carbon, which is accomplished.

Yes it does, less is better. It's said that recently disturbed soil requires twice the nematode count per square foot to be effective.

Have you asked the earth worms?

They're not resistant, you've simply cultivated an inviting environment, rather than an environment that's hostile because of natural beneficial predators, i.e. BT, nematodes, beneficial microbes & funguses, or any of these handy helpers: http://www.basic-info-4-organic-fertilizers.com/beneficialinsects.html

Or has been working the soil long enough to have arrived.

ah, just as I thought :)
Steve Young
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"Steve Young" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote in message wrote

The kind of grass we grow makes almost nothing when cut. It's fine bladed. It's not worth the effort to drag the huge thing around for the few pounds of clipping he'd get. They're left on the lawn so we don't have to start fertilizing it like our neighbors do to theirs. You keep removing the grass and soon you have to start fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer almost doubled in price this year. Commercial establishments are not close to where we live, and because of liability, will not give away spoiled produce. People were apparently eating it themselves and not giving it to pet rabbits and goats.

We use it mainly for soil amendment, not as a fertilizer. It's needed to break up the fine clay. I switched to chemical ferts this year. Because of the high PH problem I can't use bone meal for phosperous/minerals or wood-ash for Potash/minerals anymore. The PH finally came down to 7 in the gardens. We can't get enough grass clippings or green weeds to make a good compost mix. I don't keep livestock anymore nor do any of my friends so no more manure. No more green cover-crops after that nightmare with winter rye and clover. What's convenient where you live may not be convenient or possible everywhere.

And I read that exposing the harmful nematodes, insect pests, their grubs and eggs to the sun and wind and cold in spring kills them in large numbers. So more turning over of the soil is better. I don't buy beneficial nematodes so that's not a problem for me.

Yes, they all said the leaves, twigs, shredded bark and chipped branches, kitchen waste etc were delicious. :)

They are resistant. Any Ag Agent will tell you about the resistance of crop pests. Why do you think they keep developing new ways to fight pests? I didn't create anything. God created it. It was woods until 4 years ago. This is new garden that laid fallow for 2 years. It was never sprayed with anything. It was organically fertilized 4 years ago with sulfur, compost, blood and bone meal and woodash. The garden that year was fine with a minimum of pests. It was very productive. No sprays were needed and none were used. It's a shame the BT, nematodes, beneficial microbes and funguses weren't pleased with these natural organic products. A real shame because the earthworms loved it to the point the moles had it looking like a mine field. What should I have used, something like 5-10-5 ?

This garden is only worked for the second time and never worked without adding organic material. Each tilling or turning turns under organic matter including partly rotted leaves, weeds and kitchen waste. Whatever is on the pile on that side of the property gets turned under. Unlike you we don't have sandy soil. We have a hard dry clay that's low in everything but calcium and moisture.

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So what are your natural predator numbers like?
Do you have lots of tiny birds in the garden? I get WF each spring but within a week there is not a sign of them because all the tiny birds feast on them.
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wrote in message

Tell me what preys on spider mites and silverleaf whitefly and I'll tell you.

No "tiny" birds but the hummingbirds in the flower beds. We have the normal size birds, plenty of them, and they do peck at the ripe fruit. The pears and ripening tomatoes suffer the most bird damage.
I get WF each spring but

What tiny birds feast on them? Give me the names of the birds. Google them so I know what they are. Also, how do they pick them off the underside of the leaves without hovering in the air? Only hummers hover and they don't eat whitefly. They're nectar eaters. I know of no birds in TN that eat whitefly.

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Marie Dodge said:

It has a huge effect on soil biota, and that includes many BENEFICIALS: ground beetles, tiger beetles, mycchorizal fungi, predatory nematodes, etc. etc.

But just a ways up the thread you complained about it disappearing quickly...then when you later said it was tilled *twice* and turned yet again before planting in the spring, it seemed reasonable to bring the subject up.

That's one of top tips right there...no matter what soil you have.

Yeah, but before I moved here, I gardened on heavy clay. Breaking that was enourmous work. (Even though I was 26 years younger!) The main part of that garden was broken with a tiller and 6 yards of trucked in mushroom compost. And it never had anything but hand tilling again. (It was divided into several long beds, raised up on one side like a terrace, running across the slope.)
When we added a couple of beds to it, it was hand-double dug with huge chunks of blue clay (some of the most solid chunks were hauled off). Took all the compost we had. Set up a few raised beds and never more than hand tilled them, either.
And never even hand-tilled without adding some additional OM.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

After enlightenment, the laundry.
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wrote

And these prevent insect and spider infestation how? Farmers are no-tilling for years now and still suffering from pest infestation. With all those beneficials in their soil how do you explain that? Also, those of us with hard droughty clay either turn under organic matter or give up gardening. We have no choice.

Of course it disappears quickly. The soil is full of microbes, earthworms, and all those beneficials you talk about. It's broken down rapidly in a warm climate in alkaline soil. More has to be added all the time. Once is not enough. I don't have your soil type where you can toss some compost on the surface and plant.

Then there's no comparison. No mushroom compost to be had here.
And it never had anything but

You're trying to compare apples and oranges - your situation to mine.

We wouldn't have to till them either if had a truckload of mushroom compost over the three gardens and was 25 years younger.

I always add compost or some kind of organic matter when I turn the soil over.

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On Mon, 18 Aug 2008 23:44:47 -0500, "Marie Dodge"

I saw Home Depot selling it, and I know for sure The Natural Gardener in Oak Hill sells it. The Great Outdoors on Congress, It's About Thyme in Taylor, Barton Springs Nursery and Garden Center on Bee Caves Road.
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wrote:

Where are you talking about? What city in which state? Oak Hill? Great Outdoors? I can check with our local Home Depot but I have never seen it there.
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On Tue, 19 Aug 2008 21:35:20 -0500, "Marie Dodge"

I misread and thought you said you were in Central Texas, but I can see you are in C. Tenn. Let me know a more specific spot and I will find you an outlet to buy these products.
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I live way out in the country. Murfreesboro is the closest city or town.
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http://www.fertrell.com/soil_amendments.html http://www.fertrell.com/outlets.html
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"Steve Young" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote in message wrote

Thanks. It's odd they have no prices listed for their products. People have to call for prices.
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On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:19:42 -0500, "Marie Dodge"

That's because prices change. Gas has gone up 75% in the last 8 years.
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wrote

Oh, I wonder how other sites keep their prices listed then. This is the first site I've been to in years that doesn't list prices. How am I to know how many lbs of feathers or other amendments to buy? What rule are you going by? Lets say for 1000 sq ft garden.
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Actually, I gave you the first link so you could see the amendments used for organic farming, perhaps learn some of the tricks / solutions we have at our disposal.
I gave you the second link so you could use it as fodder for searching out a dealer near you. It is a list you could poke and learn. But, alas, all you want to do is whine about money.
There's a reason why po folks is po folks :(
Steve Young
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"Steve Young" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote in message

Alas, I don't have your income and you seem frustrated that not everyone can afford organic gardening. Why does it bother you so that not everyone has that kind of money? There was no info there as to how much the products are or how much is needed for the average garden. So tell me since you're familiar with the prices... how much would I need for 1000 sw ft garden and about how much would it cost?

Yep, unexpected emergencies. Family issues. Job loss. Two serious accidents in the recent past. High cost of living. We're not all as fortunate as someone like you.

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Is you joshin'? It's too expensive to not have to buy lots of harmful chemicals for the garden? Or do you mean you can't afford to waist money on the rarely needed natural products (which tend to cost the same or less than any other product for the same use) when you have to save funds for lots of costly chemical swill?
On organically balanced garden with diverse plant species needs no artificial soil ammendments and is less inclined to pest or disease problems, incurring few costs. A garden that is out of balance (probably from chemical use) will be more rather than less susceptible to return of diseases and pests (for many reasons, such as the fact that harmful insects bounce back more quickly than the beneficial insects pesticides also eradicate), inducing the "need" for further purchases of costly harmful chemicals.
In short, organic gardening is gardening on the cheap! Non-organic methods feed into themselves -- expense builds on expense.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
visit my temperate gardening website:
http://www.paghat.com
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snipped-for-privacy@paghat.com (paghat) wrote:

I killed filed Marie enough is enough.
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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wrote:

So have I.
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wrote:

What harmful chemicals? Organicide? Neem Oil? Pyrethrum? Malathion (the cheapest).... I don't follow you.
Or do you mean you can't afford to waist money

Excuse me.... Malathion was one of the cheapest of the lot. The organics didn't work. I tried them first as you already know.

Exactly! This is an unusual infestation in the one "balanced" garden of diverse plant species.
A garden that is out of balance (probably

And yet this one garden has never once been sprayed since this is it's second year of use. It laid fallow for 2 years after my accident.

You haven't priced organic products then. Are you getting all your fish emulsion etc. for free? Here it's $8.99 a small bottle -enough for one tomato or pepper plant for the season.
Non-organic methods

Yep! That's why I should have bypassed the expensive useless organic sprays as soon as I saw the first insects appear rather than use them and let the population build as it did.

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