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May 23, 2013, 07:17 AM
new garden
I'm going to open up a new veg garden
i have cut down trees, and removed
its 100ft x 30ft
half of it is good top soil. the other half is clay, the top soil was removed by a overzealous bull dozer operator
question,,[1] should i add manure to soil before discing or after discing and during tilling
[2] should i add other nutrients beside manure*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 23, 2013, 08:48 AM
Good morning, Frodo. I see you're back from your week away. Did you make the dollar you expected to get for your work Smile ? Sounds like you're really refreshed and ready to tackle a big garden project. Bet you spent your dollar on seeds!

And by the way, if you're a veteran, you can get 10% off your seeds (and other products) at Lowe's and Home Depot.

[1] I assume you're adding either professionally processed (bagged) or well rotted manure?

We've gardened for years (my father grew up on a farm), and this is what we would do. Assuming the manure is well rotted, I would spread it out on the soil, then till it in.

If the soil is still in lawn or full of roots or really tough, I would probably disc to break it up, then till with manure added. Do you have one of the small or the big huge rototillers?

The manure should be more or less at root level of the plants to provide maximum benefit, and tilling is a lot easier than double digging (which I did) unless you enjoy back breaking work.

[2] Assuming again that the manure isn't fresh, you could add well rotted compost if you have some.

Other than that, I think I would till the sandy area with manure, and test a small patch before planting the entire formerly sandy bed.

If there are some soil deficiencies, some (like dryness and poor tilth) will show up right away. Others, such as nitrogen deficiency, will take longer to be visible.

You don't want to plant a large garden and find that the soil is still deficient. My yard had a lot of sand and it took 2 - 3 years of adding peat moss, straw, compost and nitrogen rich plants before it began producing well.

What you could do is till in the manure, test the soil and see if there are any deficiencies.

Do you plan to mulch your garden? When I first began gardening and changing lawn to garden, I used a lot of top mulch, including several bales of straw. Neighbors didn't like the sight of straw, called code enforcement, and I was forced to turn the straw under. The alleged basis was that straw attracted rats. (So do cinder blocks and building material, so I was told.)

It proved to be a good idea, though, because the straw as it decomposed apparenly enriched the soil at the base of the roots, so I had a great garden that year.

You could consider adding some straw to the sandy area, but unless you get good straw you might get a lot of weed seeds as well.

Are you starting a compost pile? If you do and decide to till it in (as I eventually had to do because of the nosy neighbors), be aware that decomposing compost inhibits seed starting. I tested this theory and found that anything planted near freshly turned under compost either didn't sprout at all or sprouted poorly.

The other option for the sandy area is to green manure it. Grow buckwheat, wheat, clover, or other green manure crops


then till them under at the end of the year.

Do you plan to plant both spring and summer crops? Companion plant? One thing you can do is interplant spring and summer crops closely together recognizing that once the spring crops are harvested the summer crops will expand into the area. This is especially applicable to vining crops.

Good luck, and have fun with your new garden.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 23, 2013, 11:47 AM
I plan on working the soil this year. to get ready for next year. the manure is fresh from the field. scraped up and dumped out into a truck. i am currently burning all trees/branchs/weeds on the garden area to utilise the nutrients . yes it will be a summer/fall garden with mainly turnip greens in the fall
summer is new potatoes,purple hull peas, lima beans,string beans, squash
i have a small plot next to the house with the tomatoes and bell peppers/ bannana peppers already growing
and black berries and rasberries
i dug out a hole with a post hole digger, filled with potting soil/ planted the plants
they are happy!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 23, 2013, 12:09 PM
concerned about the "topsoil removed by an overzealous bolldozer operator." that takes forever to replace, or a few truckloads.

only thing you can raise on clay is taxes.

soil is a mix of four things... sand, loam, silt, and clay. really good soil will be a loam/silt mixture with a little sand in it for drainage. loam is mostly organic material.

I'd drag your topsoil back over the manure and till the dickens out of it. some fine sawdust in the mix helps drainage initially until the worms process all that manure for you. so this is the time to dump that shop vac and sweep up the shop.

leaf mulch is marvy to till into the soil, as well. I heartily endorse compost piles, which need some regular skunk water from rain barrels and turning to keep perking. you can just spread that on top, and the worms will work it in for you over a couple months. toss mosquito hormone pellets into the rain barrels per label recommendations, the wigglers never grow up, and they'll add protein to the bugs making your compost.

sweet clover and peas make good green manure. yeah, peas. eat two or three crops, and till it down when summer sun stunts the vines. clover also feeds the bees in the area, and you may get a breakaway colony started in your yard someplace. leave them, they're friends.

it's become pretty clear that the neonicotinoid insecticides are pure hammer death to bees by now. look that up on wikipedia, and write down the seven chemical names. avoid that carp in your garden. they're all systemics, and probably not good to be eating them, either.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 23, 2013, 03:26 PM
Worms love coffee grounds, so I've read. So be sure to add them to your compost or sprinkle directly on the soil. They're great free aerators.

Do you have children? If so, and if you want to plant a children's garden, you've got just the ticket with your legumes and squash.

Bean pole tents and field pumpkins are great for helping children learn to garden.

And you probably know that you can create your own potato starts by letting them sprout inside the house, then cutting them up with one sprout per start.

You could actually use the weeds in your compost pile, along with fresh grass clippings and food products. The fresh greenery will help the compost decompose quicker. And be sure to till under or compost the greenery from the legumes.

What do you plan to do with the area this year as it's being prepared to keep the weeds down?

Never thought of using a posthole digger but that's a good idea.

Swschrad... leave it to you to find a use for clay!
May 23, 2013, 05:15 PM
i will keep it burnt off by throwing the limbs and sticks that CONSTANTLY fall off of all the trees
along with pine straw. leaves i have cats so i am not worried about mice.
the mice worry about cats
i figure it wioll take about a year for all the manure and stuff to make good soil.

this will give you an idea of what the land looks like. the garden is going behind the blue shed

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 23, 2013, 07:31 PM
Um, the first photo was apparently moved. The second photo looks like a forested area. If this is your planned garden, you have a lot of work ahead of you! There are a lot of trees to be removed.

I must really need new glasses. In the second photo I see a table with a blue tarp underneath and something on it that looks like the business end of a small cannon. Am I missing something?
May 24, 2013, 02:43 AM
photobucket messing up. you saw the album. but were only supposed to see 1 picture. the plot of trees has been removed. it was a lot of work*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 24, 2013, 05:28 PM
Actually, I only did see one photo.

There were dozens of trees in the photo. You took them all down? Were any of them good trees, like walnut, that could be used for woodworking?
May 24, 2013, 08:34 PM
sweet gum, pine, no hard wood
i situated the garden on an angle, so i only took out trees that were 4" and under. no big ones
then the rest was all cleared of all under brush. all thats left is trees 5" and up . next is for a small tractor with box blade to level the humps. plant rye grass, for the deer,*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 25, 2013, 10:37 AM
That's mighty kind of you to consider the deer and plant especially for them. Wink

But you know the word will get out and the deer will be coming to Frodo's for a banquet...this year and they'll expect it next year too. "Let's go to Frodo's" will become their rallying cry when they're hungry. Your garden will be THE place to go.

I can understand why you aren't planting your garden until next year. Even with 4" diameter trees you'll have a lot of roots to deal with. I'm having that problem now as the trees have taken over and crowded out the perennials.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 29, 2013, 09:21 PM
an electric fence is a "gotta have" around here
or the little buggers will eat everything

tomato,bell pepper, bananna pepper, rasberry, black berry
the picture behind the shed is the site of the future garden. i have cleared trees and brush
just need to clean it up and till it

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 29, 2013, 09:55 PM
I'm just not having any luck with Photobucket and your photos. Now I'm being advised it's a private album and don't see any photos at all.

Sounds like you've had some experience with deer before.
Jun 07, 2013, 11:54 PM

heres the proposed garden site...just looks like a bunch of bushes right a tactor to disc it up comiung next week
and a tuuck load of fresh manure coming the week after

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 08, 2013, 07:39 AM
Quite a truck patch you have started. Congrats. We have been growing our own for years. Nothing beats a tomato plucked, washed, and sliced all in 5 minutes for along side your supper.

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jun 08, 2013, 08:18 AM
Frodo, looks like an interesting place to start a garden - mix of sun and shade, depending on the time of day. I think you'll have a lot of fun creating and working in your garden. And I'll bet you'll have some quadriped visitors very soon.

CommonwealthSparky, you're so right; there's nothing like fixing a meal from your backyard. Add some herbs and you have a fragrant journey to and from picking your supper. Beats going to the supermarket and trying to find produce that wasn't grown halfway around the world.
Jun 08, 2013, 01:44 PM
here in Fla. tomatoes are in abundance in the stores and very cheap, BUT, they are absolutely tasteless. I guess the growers are more concerned for shipping ability than taste. I don't know why people buy that cr#p, when it is easy to grow your own most anywhere and you will find out what a tomato is supposed to taste like. Unfortunately, WE live in a small community with small lots, so we can't grow all we would like to so just having delicious tomatoes will have to suffice
Jun 08, 2013, 03:15 PM
have you tried planting in a plastic storage container?*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 08, 2013, 04:35 PM
Nona, the store tomatoes could be one of the Frankenfoods, the GMO's engineered for maximum growth, shipping and storage ability. Taste doesn't factor into the equation. They're even worse than winter tomatoes.

Container gardening is an option, especially if you as a woodworker (which I know you are) can make a rolling stand so the containers can be moved around between sun and a bit of shade as necessary.

But the problem with container gardening is finding containers that aren't made in a certain Pacific Rim country with a reputation for poor (if any) quality control, and contaminants in its products.

Farmer's markets are also an option, but I've found that some of their food, especially corn, falls into the Frankenfood category as well.

Sadly, mass marketing as well as the perhaps false conception that food must be mass produced to feed the masses regardless of flavor seems to be the current mantra of commercial food production.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 09, 2013, 04:05 PM
we have a short growing season here, by time the weather warms up from our winter ( we usually do get a late hard freeze, believe it or not )then by time tomatos and other veggies are ready to produce, it starts getting too hot for them. the reverse is true after the summer Of course there are the ever present bugs. So we only have a small window of time to produce veggies. My wife and I do have a small area that we plant tomatos and we have found a variety of tomatoes that taste good in " Sams Club " but the only problem with them is that you cant be sure they will continue carrying them, so we tough it out the best we can