new garden question

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Have about 500 sq ft that I want to make into garden for next year....this area is grass now. what is best way to get this area ready for next year? I just today found a source for coffee grounds today, and was thinking to spread coffee grounds over grass and then cover with plastic....then till next spring.....I don't know if this is best plan....any advise appreciated.....
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snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

Cheap Dave, lazy Billy here to recommend that you look at the web sites below. http://ourgardengang.tripod.com/lasagna_gardening.htm http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagar den.htm http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Garde ning.aspx
Lasagna gardening is no dig gardening, although if you could double dig it the first year, and that would be the end of the digging. http://www.wikihow.com/Double-Dig-a-Garden http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s-5-19-934,00.html http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/double-digging.html
Either way be sure to add your amendments to the organic material, manure, phosphate, and potassium, when you prep the garden area this Fall.
Plastic (clear) is good, if your trying to kill off weeds with solar heat (solarization), but it will keep the moisture out as well (not a good idea to my mind). Lasagna gardening will pretty much bury the problem of weeds.
Oh, yeah, coffee grounds can be used on blueberry plants and potatoes with no harm, but compost them first before you used them on any other plant.
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wrote:

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-No-Dig-Garden
http://www.fbga.net/Lasagna%20gardening%202004.htm
I'd not bother with the plastic and instead cover the area with cardboard or old felt carpet underlay. Whatever comes free and second hand. A carpet layer will often have second hand hessian underlay they are happy to part with for free.
Coffee grounds, food scraps, leaves, grass clippings. Chuck it all on top of the hessian or cardboard and leave for a few months & you have a garden.
rob
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wrote:

The video on this page is a laugh. The joker mows his leaves up to make mulch TWICE. He mows them TWICE. Roftl. Once is more than adequate. Twice is just wasting time you could be on the couch with newspaper or snoozing.
http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Inexpensive-Mulch
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wrote:

Let me explain a little further.
The joker mows up his leaves. He opens the catcher and explains that the leaves are somewhat mulched up.
He then explains that he will mow them again.
Eh?
He wants them mulched up finer.
Why?
He spreads them on his drive way and mows them up again.
By that point my leaves are on the garden & I am on the sofa with a nice cup of tea & the newspaper.
rob
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I think this system works even better if you chuck all thos things under the free top layer. I like to let the worms get at it and do a lot of work for me. But then my soil is rotten and hard and wormless so I also dig up some worms from my veg garden, dig a tiny bit of soil so thye at least have some soil cover and then do what you describe.
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wrote:

hmmmm.......doh. This makes good sense, in that the worms don't have to chew thru the cardboard/hessian/whatever before they begin to work.
Same weed reduction results, but faster soil improvement results.
Thanks for the idea, Wormwrangler.
Charlie
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I would suggest that you first lay down your soil amendments (manure, rock phosphate, potassiun [wood ash, what ever]), then your cardboard, or newsprint, and then cover that unsightly mess with the mulch of your choice (I prefer alfalfa), then if you want to go full gonzo, spread some green manure seeds (I'd go with rye or buckwheat to condition the soil [make it looser], or some legumes to add more nitrogen to the soil). In any event, the worms will thank you for it.
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wrote:

No disagreement witcha on this and what I have done also, but my take and thinking, after Fran's post, is lay down a good layer of worm bait and food, such as cooked rice and pasta, veggie trimmings, rotten fruit and trimmings, etc., *under* the cardboard, with amendements, in order to give the crawlers a head start on doing their business, and then continue with the layering. Just a slight variation on the procedure to which we subscribe.
As far as the alfalfa, one needs to find the right balance perhaps. I think parts of my garden suffered from alfalfa meal overdose this year. At least I had what appeared to be nitrogen burn on some things that I likely OD'd with too much alfalfa meal and blood meal. Particularly in my potted mix.
Charlie
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May I see the wine list?;o)

No argument, but I doubt that worms would see much difference between cardboard or newsprint vis-a-vis leaf mulch, or straw.

I've had the same problems with alfalfa pellets, which I use in my lettuce patch, but with a much lighter hand in pots now. Manure Chicken Diary cow Horse Steer Alfalfa Fish Emulsion N 1.1 .257 .70 .70 3 5 P .80 .15 .30 .30 1 1 K .50 .25 .60 .40 2 1 You can see that alfalfa is almost three times stronger in "N" than chook doo.
I still use it (pellets) in the lettuce, and carrots because I don't want to bury the plants under mulch. Otherwise, I've never had a problem with baled alfalfa as a mulch.

The tomatoes are starting to come around, producing a little more each day. Koralic came in first, followed by Stupice. Everything else is very green.
Happy to report that we no longer need to put on music for dinner. The crickets arrived two nights ago. With the stair lights on, it is nearly magical outside in the evening. (We eat late.)
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wrote in message news:h5bfs1

I think the operative word, Billy, in my suggestion was 'chuck'. I could substitute it with the word 'bung' to try and reflect the approach I am taking.
No just 'do nothing gardening', but 'close enough is good enough gardening'.
rob
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It's just Mr. Occam and his razor again. No sense making anything more difficult than it has to be. But tell me again, why is Chuck underneath the Hessian with a bung? All sounds rather "kinky" to this country boy. Must be what comes from spending your life up-side down ;O)
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wrote:

Dammit, Billy, I done tolja ta quit callin' me Chuck!!!
And it's a damned log I'm *tryin* to stay under, not some effing German mercenary and they ain't no bungin' involved, of any sort, you old effer!!!
*Charlie*.....not Chuck
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What's up . . . err, hmmm?
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wrote in message news:h5bfs1

I should have written felt underlay, and whatever Chuck is doing being felt in his garden I, hmmmmmm, don't need to know more about thank you very much.
As for the bung, if you want to offer me one just make it substantial please in the back pocket.
rob
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OK, that's it. Spankings all around ;O)
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wrote:

Methinks you only make it worse, you old scoundrel! ;-)
Charlie
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wrote in message news:h5bfs1

I note charlie responded to the spanking comment. As for me Billy, just pass me the bung mate. Used note & brown envelope & I'll keep quiet. Cheers.
rob
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. . . and in gardening news, I just discovered that many of my plants are hermaphrodites. Only in California;O)
Since we're in the garden, he said, leaning against the fence. I like sweet corn, not super sweet, I still like to be able to taste the corn flavor, but I've noticed that even with trying to select the perfect corn, not only I, but my CSA as well, seem to produce corn that is starchy. On the other hand, I can go to the local market and get corn that is sweet, that I presume was picked all at the same time. What's up with that?
I think I'd be willing to grow some hybrid corn, just for the sake of having good corn on the cob, while I'm learning on my "Golden Bantam".
What corn works for you?
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In article

Silver Queen was our favorite. Currently not enough sun here but with our oaks dying maybe light enough too soon.
Bill whose basil is unbelievable and yes it rained again today HARD.
..................... Dinner From Rec.recipes again
Chorizo Cabbage Scramble
This started out as a typical recipe for unstuffed cabbage but has been seriously adjusted in the direction of TexMex.
1 small head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups) 1 lb bulk Mexican-style chorizo 1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice 1 small onion, chopped 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with chipotle OR 1 can plain diced tomatoes + 1-2 Tbsp minced chipotle en adobo 1 Tbsp brown sugar 2 tsp salt
Crumble and cook chorizo in large skillet. Drain fat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add diced tomatoes with liquid from can. Add minced chipotles if using plain tomatoes. Add rice and brown sugar. Stir until the rice is well mixed in and the brown sugar has disolved. Add shredded cabbage and stir together with chorizo mixture. Cover and cook about 15 minutes until cabbage has softened and flavors have blended. Add salt to taste if needed.
The scramble can be eaten as-is or used as a stuffing for tacos, tamales, etc.
.............................. I use long grain rice
--

Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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