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tacman7

No Till Raised Bed Methodology

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On 3/12/2019 at 6:14 PM, Mr Goodfellow said:

 I have a book on Lasagna gardening if you want me to list a diagram of the layers.

Yea, that would be great. I've never heard a theory about use sand here and then put this and that.

I've had problems with some dirt I bought locally getting really compacted.
Not sure what I need to put in to keep that from happening.

I have last years dirt and a lot of vegetable cuttings from cooking starting to compost. Not sure if I should put stuff like that on the bottom or on top.

I also have some of those clay balls that we found at an abandoned grow. About half an inch diameter. They hold water I guess, wonder if they would keep the soil from compacting?

 

 I have my crimson clover seed and bio live. I'm going to try the popcorn enzymes thing. But the bio and the popcorn are for later in the grow I think...

I'm also buying a yard of some dirt my neighbor recommends, not sure if I want to keep it separate to try growing in it straight or mix it in my beds.

Decisions, decisions.

 

 Summer coming soon, trying to get in shape!

 

 


 

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I'll try to find it. I did it sort of for bad soil where I last lived and you basically have 3-4 layers of different things and then repeat. So, you can go as high as you want.

Sticks and heavy brush trimmings work good for one layer to create air spaces in the compacted dirt. So, for instance, if you are in a lawn area you don't even have to remove the sod unless you need it. You can spread newspapers on top of it first and it will choke out the grass and decompose. It also gives a barrier for worm protection/shelter. Then maybe brown leaves, then maybe a layer of sticks/limbs/heavy brush, and then green grass clippings, and then a layer of compost and repeat, without the newspaper. And top it of with some soil you already have and compost. The layers create airspaces, and a great place for worms to take hold and roots to thrive. 

That's basically the idea. You basically collect all of these common yard items and some compost and soil and layer it up to prevent tilling. I did it for growing a huge cantaloupe hill that had four plants going from the top in all directions. It was about 4 feet high at first and the plants took of hard. The soil and layers settle and break down and it all works real nice.

peace

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Thanks, I have more of a working theory now!

I had last years pots which I thought should be good dirt without too many nutes.

Then I bought a yard when my neighbor got a delivery.

So we stirred up a big pile and two (of the 6)  boxes ate it all. Lot more dirt than pots!

I'm going to have to get more dirt. I was going to go to HD and get some garden soil but that stuff has guano, kelp, and other stuff that's supposed to last two months.

I just want plain dirt, I'll check and see if my local hydro place has something like they mention in the video.

I live in the desert but we have trees with natural mulch around them from 20 years of growth. I might do some looking before I get spending too much.

Thanks again!

 

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9 hours ago, tacman7 said:

I live in the desert but we have trees with natural mulch around them from 20 years of growth. I might do some looking before I get spending too much.

 

Use caution when getting mulch from around trees. Especially evergreen trees like pine and cedar. The PH can be out of control. If there is not a lot of vegetation, then expect the Ph to be extremely high. Pine needles are often used as a ground cover for weed control, blocks the sun and the acidity prevents growth. 

Test it, put a shovel full in a pot, add water and test the run off. Fruit trees and leafy trees, you should be all good. 

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Also, check the landscaping places if you have any. They sell plain dirt, topsoil, compost, and normally a variety of things for the yard. It's much cheaper and closer to what you need and you can buy it by the bobcat bucket full. Real good if you have a pickup or a friend with one. 

If you're doing the layering method, you could add one layer or two of good commercial compost (nothing like homemade, but good for what you want) on the lower sections and let the roots go down for it when they're ready.

One of the best additions is fresh grass clippings from yard cuttings. Try and chose grass without chemicals or pesticides. It also works super well for above ground mulch. It smothers out the weeds and supplies the plant with slow release nitrogen as it decomposes. It'll sit there almost the whole season, too. Doesn't look as fresh, but works better than bark.

I haven't located the box with my books in it yet. It must be out in the barn. I'll keep looking, and you keep reminding me. It's a pretty basic book written by some woman who either made it famous or just uses the method. It makes good sense in the desert, where tilling shitty dirt does almost no good. You would still have to add about as much of the same thing to get it better. And then it still wouldn't drain as well. 

By building your soil above the shitty lawn dirt, you'll have a mix that gets a lot of oxygen and drains very well. Then every year, just add another layer or two. The coarse layer of sticks and stuff help to get that height without as much dirt. And it's creating the oxygen spaces below. The roots love it. I did cantaloupes on a huge hill I built with that method the year I left to move, and they killed it.

I lived int he desert of west Texas and that's why I bought the book. There was no way to make that dirt any better. Being above ground is the way to go in that environment.

And, if you can make the investment, construct some poles and buy that sun/shade screen. It isn't super cheap but it'll allow you to garden normally as almost anywhere else. Lack of humidity is the worst thing in that environment, but you can also buy misters to do the job under your screen for plants that need it. 

The garden centers and landscaping places are best bets. If your in a town, drive around looking for people with maybe a tree cut down or just tree limbs pruned for the year. You should find somebody with a pile of crap out front this time of year. Or, last place I lived, our land fill had a huge place to bring trees and limbs for free if you were a resident of the county. That's where I got all my firewood, lol. But they also had huge piles of tree limbs. They turned into mulch and gave it away. But you could haul a truck load of limbs back to the house if you have that in your town.

Lots of kooky ideas, and I'm learning more since my finances took a crap. Happy hunting. It'll be a real fun project. 

peace

 

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Here's the Google link for lasagna gardening. I think you should be able to find lots of you tubes, too. Some do it in raised bed with hard sides, but I liked it open. Lasagna Gardening

The book is the same name written by Patricia Lanza, and it was through Mother Earth News.You should be able to get it at the library, too.

peace

 

Edit: oh yeah, tons of You Tubes. You'll find the one that looks right to you. I have to go back and study it more too. Good simple stuff. Happy dirt building!

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1 hour ago, Justcozz said:

Use caution when getting mulch from around trees. Especially evergreen trees like pine and cedar. The PH can be out of control. If there is not a lot of vegetation, then expect the Ph to be extremely high. Pine needles are often used as a ground cover for weed control, blocks the sun and the acidity prevents growth. 

Test it, put a shovel full in a pot, add water and test the run off. Fruit trees and leafy trees, you should be all good. 

I like the now avatar bro! Smokin' Joe! with the OG chain! I was thinking yesterday about finding another one. That dog is ugly!

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Yep, it was time for a new one. Almost did a stoner smurf, but Paps already nailed that one. So I stuck with a cooler version of what I already had.

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2 hours ago, Justcozz said:

Use caution when getting mulch from around trees. Especially evergreen trees like pine and cedar. The PH can be out of control. If there is not a lot of vegetation, then expect the Ph to be extremely high. Pine needles are often used as a ground cover for weed control, blocks the sun and the acidity prevents growth. 

Test it, put a shovel full in a pot, add water and test the run off. Fruit trees and leafy trees, you should be all good. 

Not many things grow around pines they are so acidic

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My garden area is technically a raised bed, but about 4’ deep, 60’ long and 25’ wide. Full sun from rise to set. It hasn’t been used except by the deer and squirrels for about 10 years. Going to spend the next few days prepping it. Bringing in the rototiller and building a taller fence to keep out the animals. I haven’t dug down to see what the soil looks like yet. Guess I should dig a hole and see before I spend too much money. Here is a pic before I start. Hope the veggies like their view.

32E4201E-D9FA-4704-9C17-7FC4AD298E3D.thumb.jpeg.2c1f3375bdf6bb42cac243f7ed0549b3.jpeg

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Beautiful view for gardening! wow. For big areas like that if you can afford to, drop a few bales of peat moss and some good manure. Till all that into the natural stuff and you're be golden to get started. Get some White Dutch or Crimson clover to till in next year. And Bocking 14 Comfrey is a good natural pant for fertilizing. Make sure to read about it first though, as it can be invasive but the B14 isn't as bad. It's a tuber, so even a pinch of the root will grow a new plant. So, some minor planning would be advised.

Dang, it would be nice if I could scrape up the cash to take a northwest trip in the next year or two. I'd definitely swing by on the way!

peace

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I went out and dug down a couple of feet in the garden are, it’s pretty sandy, well mostly sandy. Guess I need to have some soil delivered. I figured it out and the math says 55 yards. That will give me a foot deep across the whole area. Then till it into the existing soil. That’s way too much money. Maybe I can cut it in half and only do  rows for planting.  Time to start checking prices in my area.

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Try using lots of beneficial mulches to add bulk. Sometimes in out the country you can find sources. Maybe even straw. But peat is always good and a manure compost mix with some soil would rock. Till it all in for best results. At that size, I might do all of that, but to only 25% of the area. And do that every year or as you can afford to. 

One quarter of that space would give you more food than you can eat. It's amazing how much you can grow in a small space. You could even do a small stand of corn if it grows in time there. Otherwise beans, melons, squashes, greens... 

One of the best gardens I ever had was maybe even smaller than 25% of yours but close. It was all I could handle and was fun as hell. But, that was in western North Carolina in some of the best dirt ever and the perfect growing environment.

That's a huge area. Maybe get an area you can open enough to get a small tractor in it. Might get some help from the feed stores on dirt sources, too. Farmers and ranchers always know the best places.

Then start growing cover crops to condition the rest of the area naturally as you add to it.

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My neighbor just moved, he was going to bring me all the manure I wanted. So that’s out. I’m thinking of doing about half the garden area. That will still be about 750 square feet of space. So still plenty big, and not need as much fencing. 

 

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Anybody move in over there yet? Maybe see if you can contact whoever owns it now and arrange to go shove some up. heh. The feed stores might be another good place to find a farmer wanting to unload some manure. Horse is really good too, I think. I'm actually thinking out loud about how I'm gonna find all of my stuff. I better start writing all of these ideas down. I need all of the same stuff.

Baqualin must be covered up trying to get ready to move. I haven't heard from him this week. He has good ideas on soil building.

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5 hours ago, Justcozz said:

My garden area is technically a raised bed, but about 4’ deep, 60’ long and 25’ wide. Full sun from rise to set. It hasn’t been used except by the deer and squirrels for about 10 years. Going to spend the next few days prepping it. Bringing in the rototiller and building a taller fence to keep out the animals. I haven’t dug down to see what the soil looks like yet. Guess I should dig a hole and see before I spend too much money. Here is a pic before I start. Hope the veggies like their view.

32E4201E-D9FA-4704-9C17-7FC4AD298E3D.thumb.jpeg.2c1f3375bdf6bb42cac243f7ed0549b3.jpeg

I would love you and Mr G views! How sweet it this, The Wide Open Country with Mountains! Yea boy, what a nice place to live and Grow!

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Yeah it’s sold. The new owners have only been here the last two weekends, slowly moving in. I haven’t met them yet, but they have 3 horses, so they will probably be happy to get rid of some manure. I’ll ask next time I see them. Should have gotten it from the old owner before he took his tractor with him. I’ve got a trailer to haul it, just don’t want to spend 2 days shoveling shit...lol

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Hey Garden, we're never satisfied. I was looking at pictures of the flowers on the Gulf Coast area today and was thinking how nice and green it is back there, lol. Then I think of the beach... Guess what I think of when I lived at the beach; the mountains and being out west, lol. :no

 

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Just a gobsmacking view Justcozz!! And that garden will be stunning.

Maybe you could offer a local farmer, to allow a cow, or some sheep, or goats, to hang out in that pen for a season, and let them hoof till it and fertilize it for you at the same time. Yes you loose a year of vegetable growing, but it is much easier on the back.

Lovely lovely place man!!

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Great idea, but I’m leasing and not 100% sure I’ll be here next year. Renewing the lease this month. But the deer love that spot. So they have been fertilizing it for several years. That and the fruit trees. Maybe I should till up the ground around the fruit trees and move it to the garden. 

We do have an amazing view here, the other direction is treeless mountains. The valley I’m in is right on the line between forest and desert. Perfect spot for motor sports, sand dunes 30 minutes north for dirt bikes, groomed snow trails for snowmobiling 30 minutes south. Along with several lakes for fishing and water sports. 

 

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23 hours ago, Justcozz said:

Great idea, but I’m leasing and not 100% sure I’ll be here next year.

Oh hell yeah man!! I completely understand that!! 

Of all of the United States, I've been to or in, either working, or as an Army brat, or simply wanderlusting, the northwest area,  I'm totally ignorant of, I'm sorry to confess.

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It's worth a trip for sure. It's very diverse. High desert climate on the east side of the Cascades and rain forest type on the west side. Everything east of the Cascades is like Montana type weather. Washington, Oregon, Northern Cali, Idaho, western Montana, and the corner of NW corner of Wyoming, are a one of a kind. But, it's BIG country. Lots of space between things east of the Cascades. Just the opposite on the west side. There, you can hardly see 20 feet into the forest it's so thick. Also, because of all the people. 

peace

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