how to get good growing ground

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rowlandwells

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how to get good growing ground
« on: November 15, 2022, 11:18 »
I have previously been on site talking about green manure and the benefits I think of using green manure to improve the quality of the soil the main thing I need to do is to put humas back in the ground in other words feed the ground as we have two large plots, I have toiled with the idea of growing a patch of corn keeping it weed free let it grow to its maturity scythe or cut it down and plough or dig it in

as many farmers who don't keep the straw for one reason, or another plough the straw back in the ground they tell me it's a natural fertilizer and it keeps the ground open so following on from that maybe a sowing of green manure maybe red clover mite put back the humas and build up the soil quality and if this method works then it could be done on a season rotation what's your thoughts on this

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AndyRVTR

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2022, 12:59 »
Would it not be easier just to dig some straw into the ground and let it overwinter?

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snowdrops

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2022, 15:11 »
I find just putting well rotted horse manure,homemade compost & occasionally some bought council made compost on the soil every year is enough. Now in my 5th year of no dig & I find it incredibly easy & good to know that Iím feeding all the flora, fungi & microbiology under the ground. I donít bring weeds seeds up to the top. Iíve not Ďfedí my crops in the poly tunnel since it went up April Ď21, & the tomatoes,cucumbers,peppers & everything else have been phenomenal. It also locks carbon in the soil so good for the environment too. Really works for me, very little or no slug damage too as thereís nothing for them to hunker down in- no raised beds or partially rotting of chop & drop type mulches.
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rowlandwells

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2022, 16:00 »
as I've said before I'm not in the no dig club I prefer to use horse manure where possible and I'm also hooked on green manure but talking to a professional gardener friend of ours today who is also a not in the no dig club he advised me to put straw over the ground in the summer months let it rot down over that period then dig or plough it in he is also a keen believer in growing green manure mainly growing mustard   and judging by his crops slugs are not a problem

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snowdrops

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2022, 17:22 »
Think youíve answered your own question there Rowlandwells. Really wouldnít do for us to be all the same would it, more than one way to skin a rabbit & all that  ;)  :lol:
So interesting to read peoples different ways of doing things I find. I am always surprised though at the intensity of peoples feelings about not doing no dig. Prior to going totally no dig 5 years ago I dug for around 35 years.

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Omega

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2022, 12:51 »
As I understand digging organic matter into the ground does not necessarily result in more organic matter in the soil as you let more oxygen into the ground which enables the organisms there to consume more organic matter.

I agree that green manures improve the soil condition, Iím a fan of phacelia. At the moment I dig it in as Iím also pulling out lots of plastic, rusty metal etc from the ground as I dig it in but once Iíve got most of the junk out I was thinking of just running a hedge trimmer over the phacelia to leave it in small bits on the surface and planting through it. That should help to boost soil organic matter over time.

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rowlandwells

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2022, 16:11 »
I like the idea of growing phacelia Omega I've been thinking about trying Phacelia instead of mustard then I thought about red clover but I'm definitely putting Phacelia on my shopping list for next season anyway good luck with removing all that junk :D

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Snowboar

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2022, 03:48 »
I use green manure and mulch with straw  also as you know Iím also a traditionalist and I dig the digging I cover with straw if havenít got green manure down I also use it on paths between the crops then dig it in I find digging tells you what going on in the soil why does everyone avoid digging I enjoy it maybe Iím weird

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rowlandwells

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2022, 09:13 »
your absolutely right snowboar and you're not weird you're a proper gardener I enjoy ploughing my plots turning the ground over to make a fresh start for the following season as for the no dig club well everyone to their own I suppose personally I couldn't join the no dig club because that's not my way of gardening I like to see the ground cultivated anyway my plots I would probably need about 20tonnes of mulch :D

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Snow

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2022, 10:01 »
I don't use green manures much as most of my beds have crops in them when you need to sow it. Even now my beds are at least 50% full. I have though bought some crimson clover to try and sow it beneath my red currants, blueberries and raspberries next year. They are all mulched very heavily with woodchip as we get it free, but I was thinking that it may improve the fertility of the soil around them if some of it germinated and grows during autumn.

When I have used green manures I like the ones that die with a hard frost like white mustard. Then all you have to do is rake off any dead stalks in springtime. Things like rye don't appeal as they survive even the harshest winter so creating you extra work to chop them in spring. But maybe field beans would be OK as I could eat them

As for dig/no dig, I have dug for decades and switched a couple of years ago and now curse myself for not switching earlier. Less work, higher yields. You don't really need as much compost as is often touted, if you have beds already just put whatever  compost/manure you can make on top in early winter.... and that's it. I can just about make enough for my veg plot, at 2cm settled depth a year I need 1500l of compost. Could probably get away with half that. You should be adding compost anyway even if you are digging it  in. Life would be boring if we all did the same things!

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Nobbie

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2022, 13:44 »
A point to note is that farmers dig in the straw because itís a byproduct of the main crop. They donít specifically pick straw as a crop because it helps the soil, so picking straw as a green manure may not be an optimal choice. I like phacelia as it breaks down fairly quickly and keeps the soil covered over winter.

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rowlandwells

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2022, 15:07 »
true it might be classed as a by-product of the crop but as we know some farmers bale their straw for animal bedding for the winter months so  bedding if it's wheat straw feeding if it' barley or oat straw so ploughing in the straw as I'm told by my farmer friends is a form of fertilizer and as  modern day combines chop the straw very fine for ploughing in the ground if the straws not wanted years ago, we used to burn the straw it cleared the field for ploughing but legislation stopped all that and I believe there wasn't much value in a burnt straw field may be a bit of potash but burning the field usually killed of many weed seeds but burning straw fields did cause air pollution  hence the banning of burning straw fields but I take your point phacelia is a very good alternative its recommended to sow phacelia at 1gram/sqm or 4kg/acre so to our allotments would cost us around £70quid give or take something to think about  :unsure:

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New shoot

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 19:38 »
its recommended to sow phacelia at 1gram/sqm or 4kg/acre so to our allotments would cost us around £70quid give or take something to think about  :unsure:

I found this site when I was looking at a bulk supplier of green manure.   There is a minimum order of 2kg on the green manure seeds sold as individual varieties, but Iíve used seeds this autumn that were bought in spring last year and they have been fine  :)

https://www.cotswoldseeds.com/seeds/10/green-manures

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Subversive_plot

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #13 on: Today at 04:09 »
years ago, we used to burn the straw it cleared the field for ploughing but legislation stopped all that and I believe there wasn't much value in a burnt straw field may be a bit of potash but burning the field usually killed of many weed seeds but burning straw fields did cause air pollution  hence the banning of burning straw fields but I take your point

Burning can often be quite counter-productive in terms of pest management. There are beneficial insects that do a great job of controlling pests, these can be destroyed if crop residue is burned off. The result is that pests may be a worse problem during the growing season following a burn.
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cc

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Re: how to get good growing ground
« Reply #14 on: Today at 11:44 »
I have loads of well rotted cow manure.
Ner de ner!!



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