Second try and want to do it right this time!

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Beeker, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Ask at the barber or salon for hair. It is a great addition to the compost. Small or even large restaurants may even save you coffee grounds as long as you are faithful to pick them up. I snagged a whole bag (garbage bag size) at a bakery not long ago, of egg shells. Someone was taking them to the dumpster as I drove in. It doesn't cost anything to ask. Most places are glad to not put so much into their trash, especially if they are limited on space.
    Get the horse manure now if it is available and spread it on. You don't need to wait until warmer weather.
     
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  2. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Your ground may be frozen but you can still add the horse manure on top of it. Just dump it and spread it out over the top. Then every time it rains, the water leaches through the manure and feeds and builds the soil adding nutrients. Just like watering with compost tea and a lot easier. You can add several layers between now and planting time then when the ground thaws turn it all under. If you ask the stable owner they may have empty feed sacks and you can store any extra manure that you can`t use right now. Its pretty lightweight when dry. Its also a good start for your compost pile. Ask your neighbors for leaves this fall when they rake the yard as well. If they have a mulching mower even better. Just empty from the mower bag to more of those empty feed sacks. That would give you an excellent start on compost plus anything else you can get.
     
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  3. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Wow.
    Great ideas and info!
    Usually, the filters get dumped with the coffee grinds. Should I pick them out?
    I remember something about acid content of coffee. Is there a limit to how often I can use coffee grinds?
     
  4. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Leave the paper filters. They are biodegradable and will be more beneficial than not.
     



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  5. fatbaldguy

    fatbaldguy In Flower

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    For compost. Pile it up. Pile what? You ask? Name it.

    Personally, I compost anything that was once alive. And maybe a few things that weren't. I even do dairy and meat, cooking oils, and etc.

    Remember nitrogen rich products are called greens. Not that they are always that color.

    Carbon rich products are called browns. They aren't always that color either.

    Pile 'em all up together, say around 30% green and 70% brown. Mix well. Mix/Turn monthly unless frozen.

    I bury small amounts of meat, dairy, and/or cooking oils into the larger piles. Moderation is the key to success here. Did I mention bones? Toss those into your pile too.

    If you want to use manure directly from the stable, I would suggest making a hot bed with it.

    Excavate your space to a depth of about a foot. Put in manure around 6 inches deep, cover that with the soil previously excavated. As the manure 'decays' it will give off warmth, hence the name hot bed. A further benefit is an informal raised bed.

    Pile up the rest of the manure to let it compost, or mix it in with your greens and browns.

    Use that compost as a soil amendment. Compost is a very low grade fertilizer.

    Build healthy soil, and you will have healthy plants.
     
  6. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen for your garden. But try to keep it about 20% of the volume for a good balance. I wouldn`t worry about the acid,, its a small amount. You will get more good than bad from it.
     
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  7. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

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    This is the first year(2008)for my raised beds. The material in the beds is 100% homemade compost. The compost consisted of yard/garden debris and horse bedding.

    [​IMG]
    sfg1 by tsebmj, on Flickr

    The next three photos are some of the vegetables grown that year.

    [​IMG]
    cabbage_egg by tsebmj, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    potatoes_1 by tsebmj, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    toms-and-z by tsebmj, on Flickr
     
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  8. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Jbest, I have to admit I'm a bit envious. That garden looks amazing.

    Thank you all for the info.
    I found out that my town does composting and gives it away to residents. I also found that Home Depot and Lowes both sell manure by the bag. I would prefer to get it from a farm, but I have no way to get it here. Also, my garden is surrounded by a sturdy fence, so a truck cannot pull up and dump it. I'll see if there are any other options before I lay down money unnecessarily, but I have to be realistic about my situation.
    I plan to start the seeds this or next weekend for the plants that require a little longer to mature.
    I started too late last season and ended up with no peppers and my tomatoes finally ripened in September and October. I lost a lot of them to frost. *pout*
    We also didn't get much sun early in the season. That wasn't helpful.
    I don't know much about the almanacs, I haven't found them to be very accurate, but one of them says that April and May will be warmer and drier than average. Any thoughts?
     
  9. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    I hope they are right. We have had a lot of rain recently. Might pray for it in July and August.
     
  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I don't compost meat, oils or bones. MOSTLY because it draws varmints! and I don't want them in my compost or in my yard. If I had a "tumbler" composter I would toss them in, but my compost is just an open pile. So, I don't put those things in just to keep the 'coons and 'possums as far away as I can. I have chickens and they love chicken, but only if they can sneak past me to get to them (which has happened, but a few times they didn't live to tell about the experience).

    I have found the "manure" in the bags from HD was worse than the soil I had in the garden. may as well not have wasted my $$$ on it. Get a few trug tubs (check the farm stores) they are sturdy and easy to carry, clean up easily and come in various sizes. Use a couple of those to snag free manure wherever you can get it. If you have any 4-H's around you seek them out and ask the rabbit groups for their extra manure. Leave a trug for them to fill and once a week or so go and exchange the empty for the filled one. or even a horse stable. just ask for a tub or two and gather up the dryer part of the pile...usually at the edge where it rolls down and isn't deep yet. My sister has horses and that is how I get here manure...tub after tub after tub....She hauls it in her car or I go get it in my caravan.

    Don't fret too much over last year. It was a terrible year for gardens everywhere. I only did well because I plant an enormous amount of plants. If everything I had planted had done well I could have supplied a food bank or a soup kitchen.

    I will take warmer and drier than normal...ASAP. 6-10" of snow for tonight.yipee :rolleyes: I think Lake Erie is frozen over now and am hoping it tracks right over the lake and dumps it all on the lake.
     
  11. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    For a 12' by 12' plot, you won't need a pick-up truckload of manure. The big plastic carry-alls with rope handles (trugs) will serve you well. A couple of those applied directly to your plot now would be very good for your garden later.
    If you get leaves from neighbors, ask if they have their trees or yard treated with any chemicals. I avoid "stranger's leaves" for that very reason. Folks I know, I snag their leaves (under cover of night, and with the truck lights off ;) )!
     
  12. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Hardly anyone here uses herbicides on their yards. Most are happy that someone will haul their leaves. If you don`t have a compost pile yet just dump the leaves on your garden spot, wet them down so they don`t blow away or throw some dirt on top, then turn them under when you can work the soil. They will compost in place when turned under. You can add the things straight to your garden that would go into a compost bin.
     
  13. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Marts post got me thinking...You can do what is called "trench composting" You start a trench on one side of your garden and fill it with your composty stuff as you have it. As you need more room you just dig a little more trench (just back fill the original trench with what you just dig, covering the composty materials..)
    Next year you use that "trench" for a row of vegetables.
     
  14. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

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    The Pennsylvania Deutsch for generations would dig a farrow across the garden and fill a small section with the days compostable materials. Then pull the soil from back of the farrow to cover it. This would be repeated until the ground would freeze then a compost pile would be started. As soon the ground would thaw the pile would be spaded in. When it was time to plant the garden it was turned again and a new compost pile started.
     
  15. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Carolyn, jbest,
    Great idea! I'll have to figure out a plan for doing that.
    My garden isn't in rows, which would make it a bit difficult, but I might be able to figure out a way.
    Because I have a large variety of plants, but only a couple of each, and also because I want to minimize cross-poliination, I plant in blocks instead of rows.
    I tried to attach a copy of my plan, but I don't see how to attach a pdf to the thread.
    I will speak to my landlord when I see him again and get more exact measurements of the yard. That way I can measure other potential garden areas, and calculate the percentage of yard that gets sun. There isn't a lot of area that gets sun. Neighbors have trees that shade most of the property. I'm very limited.
    Does a compost area need sun?
     

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