organic matter ???

Hi All,
I just watched a video:
Watch This BEFORE Buying Garden Soil for Vegetable Patch
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He makes the point that you have to add organic material
even to the best imported soil. He makes his point at
9:00 on the video.
What is the best way to get this kind of stuff into
my ground pots? Can I buy a bag of this stuff on
Amazon? What is it called?
-T
The stuff he had was from down under.
Reply to
T
T wrote:
...
...
you can buy bagged compost at many garden centers. it is often composted cow manure or composted chicken manure added to perhaps some other fillers.
most composted cow manure is very poor in terms of nutrients, but yes, it is an organic material and can be useful in a garden if you have poor/heavy soil.
study composting and how to do it and i've often mentioned ways of getting organic materials for free or low cost here.
as a side note, i hate raised beds as he's done there. huge expense and added labor.
you can also tell that he is in a pretty wet climate, which is not the same as where you are at. raised beds in arid climates are asking for baked and too dry roots and more moisture loss from the breezes.
if you want to see what arid alkaline soils can do with compost check out the greening the dessert (search on that phrase on youtube and you'll find some videos about that). i've been watching them from the start.
songbird
Reply to
songbird
Horse manure is really great stuff if you can get it. Maybe check with a nearby stable or agricultural college; any place that keeps horses is invariably generating "horsepucky" and may well be happy to give it away for free. Alpaca or lama manure might also be good but I can't say for sure.
J
Reply to
jeff
An organic farmer once cautioned on using stuff from a stable because it may contain considerable pesticide used to keep flies down there.
Where I live there are a lot of mushroom houses and depleted mushroom soil is available. The only concern is weed seeds.
Reply to
Frank
We have a flock of sheep and don't use pesticides in the barn, so we have a good supply of sheep manure. In fact, we're going to shovel out the sheep barn in November to throw on the garden. Then again before the annual shearing in May.
There are a lot of mushroom houses across the state line in PA but we haven't tried any of them yet.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
I usually till it into the soil. My wife sometimes uses it as a mulch during the growing season to smother the weeds.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
I built a three-bin compost system some years ago. Each bin is 4 feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 8 feet high. We fill one with weeds each summer and rotate using them each year as they compost. Here's a picture:
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Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
Do you have shredded paper, veggie/kitchen waste, coffee grounds? Can you buy some red wiggler worms?
Reply to
Muggles
When buying compost or manure, make sure you know where it originates.
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Ross.
Reply to
Ross
...
if you can find some plain cardboard (usually places will give it away for free) or newspapers you can put that down first and then top with your mulch and that will do a great job of smothering weeds for a while.
i much prefer it to using herbicides.
the problem with late fall application of manures is that if there is any run off during the winter it can move those extra nutrients into the surrounding water ways.
best to apply nutrients when plants are actively growing. don't waste 'em! surface tilling in is better than leaving them exposed (all the volatile components will dry off as compared to the soil microbes being able to get at them).
songbird
Reply to
songbird
Hi Paul,
The bin looked open.
And does it get hot enough to kill weed seeds?
-T
Reply to
T
I tried that on some little trees I am truing to get rid of. First I cut them back to the ground. Then I placed a big old piece of cardboard on top of them with a big old rock to keep it in place. The SOB's just grew out around the cardboard. These were 2' x 2' pieces of cardboard!!!!
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next attempt, I am going to try to girdling the branches.
I really, really, really do not want to use round up on them.
Oh and they are completely immune to cussing at them!
Reply to
T
Ya. I have heard the bad stuff can ruin your garden!
I will make sure and get something that has been hot composted.
Seems to me that scat would be so full of grass seeds that hot composting would be the only safe way.
I have tried burying table scraps, but it does not depose. Seriously.
What Happens When You Bury Kitchen Scraps in the Garden?
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Did exactly as he said.
Could not figure out what those balls rolling around my garden were. Then I realized it was avocado pits from two years ago that worked their was out of the soil.
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
No wonder I have no worms!!!!
Reply to
T
T wrote: ...smothering...
little trees coming back from seeds or coming up from roots or what? is it a bush? do you know what it is?
cardboard is cheap enough and it can always be put down in bigger pieces and a few layers and overlap the seams so light doesn't get through.
one thing nice about it though is that it is also an organic material which will eventually end up as worm/plant food. in your rocky soil you might have a hard time burying what bits of it are left, but to keep them from blowing away ...
in one low spot here what i did was cover the cardboard with chunks of bark that a friend gave me from his firewood splitting. so it just looked like a layer of bark being used as a mulch. after the 2nd season i had to refresh the cardboard so i did that, but that gave me four years of weed free coverage for an area that was otherwise always a lot of work to keep after all the weeds that would sprout there. as a low spot any seeds from the surrounding areas would get washed into there or blown there.
recently we came into 550 engineering bricks so we've covered the entire low area there with landscape weed barrier and then put the bricks down so i won't have to redo the cardboard any more and we have a brick path from and to nowhere but it is a good temporary spot to store and use the bricks until we decide to do something else with them.
if you're going through all that just cut them off with some loppers. they work really well and are not that expensive. i have a pair that i can use to chop off branches up to three inches thick and they don't need any electric power or anything do use them, just a little muscle power. :) i use them to keep any sprouting trees out of the north hedge and to trim branches or to cut up brush into smaller pieces. very handy. i use them quite often as we have a lot of honeysuckle bushes that can use trimming.
what you could be doing with them is letting them grow and then cut them off and using that organic matter as a top mulch to hold in moisture. eventually they well break down and turn into humus (in an arid climate that's going to take a lot longer than here so you should get a few years out of them).
around here pieces of wood laying on the ground last several years. where they are weeds aren't - ok, well weeds will grow around or through them in places. i still like them left as larger pieces instead of going through the effort of chipping them (some people buy wood chippers to deal with brush and leaves, but i want the organic materials here to last as long as possible so i never have chipped anything and don't want the added expense and maintenance of yet another machine to deal with).
songbird
Reply to
songbird
T wrote: ...
some chemicals are unaffected by hot composting.
decompose. :)
an avocado pit is a big chunk of pretty hard organic material so it takes some time to break it down.
the other thing is that most gardeners have more moisture and soil to work with to begin with. in an arid climate things are going to work much more slowly.
in a moist bucket with worms if you put a fresh avocado seed in there it will sprout. i dry mine out for a few months before putting them in, or if you have a way to crush them or cut them into pieces then they will turn into humus faster, but i see no real reason to add work to the process if i don't have to. i like to keep things simple here. :)
they need moisture and organic matter and enough depth to the soil to escape the heat (if they are earthworms) in the middle of the summer. for me it freezes solid here too in the winter so they also like to get down below the frost line if they can. if they can't they'll hibernate or leave cocoons behind for the next generation to continue when the conditions improve again.
in the middle of a prolonged dry spell you can dig down and find them curled up in little balls waiting for the rains to return.
the common composting worms (the red wrigglers) live near the surface and you may not even have them in your area other than in some woodlands, but then perhaps not if those woodlands are isolated enough that they were never introduced there.
when i first started worm composting here it was during a spring dry spell - i could not find a single red wriggler even under logs or at the bottoms of some of the ditches. so i did use the belgian night-crawlers to get going and they have done pretty well, but eventually i did get some red wrigglers for the surface layer of the worm buckets and i also found a few other species of worms here to use in them so i have around 4-6 species of worms in them and around the property.
i like worms so when i come across a good book or article about them i'll put it on the reading list. :)
songbird
Reply to
songbird
ide, 6 feet deep, and 8 feet high. We fill one with weeds each summer and r otate using them each year as they compost. Here's a picture:
The bin is open to the air; the sides are woven field fencing and the remov able doors in the front are metal mesh stapled to 2x4 frames. My wife, who uses the compost, says that she does indeed get weed seeds in the home grow n compost. However, every year we get a pickup truck load of compost which does not contain any weed seeds at the county landfill for $10 . For starti ng seeds, she fills the bottom 2/3 of the pot with the home brew, then make s a sterile mix of county compost, peat moss, and perlite for the top third . Any weed seeds in the bottom section die out before reaching the surface.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314

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