Straw and Rain

Well straw anyway , the rain never showed . I got the entire garden
covered with straw today , and it's looking like I'm headed in the right
direction . My soil is in much better shape now than a couple of years
ago . When I started gardening here 4 years ago I didn't realize how
easily the best part of the soil would wash away . Not only does the
straw slow the flow and help control erosion , but it puts much-needed
organic material into the soil . Except for about 3" of topsoil , what
we have here is clay silt and rocks - rocks from grain-of-sand size to
bigger than I can lift alone .
It erodes easily ... but what I'm doing works . I have high hopes for
this year . I'm using a 50/50 mix of compost and manure plus a
tablespoon of Epsom salts to enrich the soil in each hole I plant a
seedling in . I'll be using the same in the hills for cukes/zukes/etc
... and this year I don't have a major construction project (and my
wife) looking over my shoulder . Depending on the weather , I expect to
get the rest of this years choices planted by Thursday some time .
Tomorrow is my annual VA physical and probably more rain , but Thursday
looks good .
--
Snag
Reply to
Terry Coombs
Our garden is on a slight slope, so my wife came up with a method to slow e rosion. She made raised mounds perpendicular to the fall line of the hill s o that the water gathers up behind them and slows the current. On the long paths between garden sections that follow the fall line, she dug dips betwe en the perpendicular mounds and made small hills between the mounds, again to slow the rush of water and channel it behind the mounds where the vegeta bles are planted.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
We've never had to do those things. Happens we live on the dirt deposited for thousands of years on an ancient sea, now the Gulf of Mexico. I have often wondered how gardens are done on sloping ground.
When we were in Yemen we found out how it was done for eons. Take a mountain and plateau the sides with a ridge on the outside. Even water was used up completely, going down the mountain side. I was amazed at the quality and quantity of the vegetables in those gardens. Of course there was a lot of human labor used up for centuries but they did get the food.
I'm still happy to be a flat lander.
George, in 90F Harris Cty, TX
Reply to
George Shirley
I have done a little terracing too . Probably later this summer if I have time , or during the winter I plan to add some cedar board as retaining "walls" to accentuate the terraces . My rows (for the few things I plant in rows) are all perpendicular to the fall line .
--
Snag
Reply to
Terry Coombs
ow erosion. She made raised mounds perpendicular to the fall line of the hi ll so that the water gathers up behind them and slows the current. On the l ong paths between garden sections that follow the fall line, she dug dips b etween the perpendicular mounds and made small hills between the mounds, ag ain to slow the rush of water and channel it behind the mounds where the ve getables are planted.
My wife grew up in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. She said they taught about terrace farming in elementary school back then.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
I grew up in Orange County, Texas. Made money during planting season and harvest season for rice. Planting you stood with a flag so the people on the tractor sled planted the rice starts in a straight row. During ripening and harvesting we kept the rice birds out of the fields waving those same flags plus getting to fire the little cannons that were gas fired. Also slung 40 lb bags or rice in stacks to be put on the train later.
Here 60 odd years later, I went through Orange County and there were no rice fields. Lots of jobs were lost as California took over the rice growing along with Arkansas.
Every other kid in elementary school back then was a rice farmer's, truck driver's, etc. kid, who also worked in the fields. That was 65 years ago and was about the only way a 12-year old could get spending money or else you worked in the local one owner grocery store owner. My Dad worked in a refinery for 40 years but we sure ate a lot of rice when the strikes hit.
This country boy went on to work in several US states and at least four foreign countries. To old to wave off crop dusters anymore. But I still have the memories. Now I'm passing the history of us to our great grands.
George, happy to have good memories at this age
Reply to
George Shirley
...
in some places they have farmed for so long that each season they take dirt from the bottom of the field and move it back to the top.
it helps a great deal to have the terrace edges planted with something to hold the soil in place and also to mulch any bare dirt so the rains don't hit it so directly to break it off where it can wash away.
a contour line can be detected by an A frame or any kind of level. contours are great to know for an area because if you are going to do any terracing you'd want the terraces to be level and on contour lines to keep as much water in place to soak in instead of washing your topsoil away.
here it is so flat that our contours only vary by a few feet over the whole course of the property. still i do plan and arrange everything to take the water flows into account as even with such small drops it can still take your topsoil, organic matter and nutrients away.
and i have to be aware of what is potentially coming at us from "uphill".
formatting link

songbird
Reply to
songbird

Site Timeline Threads

HomeOwnersHub website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.