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:
Or has been working the soil long enough to have arrived.
"Steve Young" <bowtieATbrightdslDOTnet> wrote in message
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
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
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.
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
Tell me what preys on spider mites and silverleaf whitefly and I'll tell
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
It has a huge effect on soil biota, and that includes many BENEFICIALS:
ground beetles, tiger beetles, mycchorizal fungi, predatory nematodes,
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)
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
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
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.
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
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" <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.
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
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:
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.
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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