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Discussion in 'Everything Else Garden' started by Beekissed, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. May 7, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Spuds are up!!!!!!!!!!! :weee
     
    Nyboy, flowerbug and thistlebloom like this.
  2. May 16, 2018 at 3:24 AM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    I'll post this vid here, as I'm currently experiencing this very thing....Wormnado in my soils out there since putting hay on instead of wood chips.



    Every scoop of my trowel unearths huge, healthy looking earthworms aplenty and it's quite gratifying to see. I'm also loving the difference in the amount of weeds present in the garden this time of year compared with this time last year. This year, a few sparse spears of grass here and there where the chickens have scratch up the hay to allow thin spots in the hay. Easily taken care of by dropping a flake of hay on those spots. A few places where creeping Charlie has come in around the edges here and there.

    Last year at this time, a veritable carpet of weed seedlings that I kept hoeing out, over and over, but could never get fully on top of all garden season, as they were so totally spread over the entire surface.

    100_5573.jpg
    100_5559.jpg 100_5571.jpg
    We finally took the Mantis through it, just scuffing up the surface of the chips, so that we could get on top of these weeds....all the same type, can't remember the name of it right now but it's highly proliferate.

    I had to use my scuffle hoe all season long to try and keep ahead of them, but I lost that battle and some lived, matured and put off millions of seeds for next year's garden. Well...nope...not this year. After being plagued with these same weeds for 4 yrs, I haven't seen a single one of them in the garden yet this year.

    So far, I'm loving this hay like crazy. I can get down on my knees to plant without chips digging into my flesh...it's soft and it absorbs water so quickly into the bottom layers that I can work in the garden much quicker than with the chips. Also, with the chips, I still had a lot of dirt on my shoes when gardening...none whatsoever with the hay. I can even go in there barefoot and come out clean as a whistle and it doesn't hurt my feet like the chips would.

    I'm also seeing better growth of my perennials in the hay than I ever had in the chips~the garlic is twice the size as it was, so is my lemon balm and raspberries, as well as the 6 ft asparagus I have in the garden right now.

    It remains to be seen how well it harbors pest bugs, I'll report on that here. I'll also report how the various veggies perform in the hay vs chips.
     
    baymule and Nyboy like this.
  3. May 16, 2018 at 4:24 AM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Deeply Rooted

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    i've usually not put down fresh wood chips on a veggie garden and i could see why you experienced what you have by doing that. when using them as a mulch and to keep weeds down in a perennial garden bed they have to go down deep enough like any other mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting.

    i have worms in buckets, some clay, a fair amount of partially decayed wood chips and whatever food and paper scraps i can get in there. no problem at all raising many thousands of worms. 10 - 20 thousand per bucket by the end of a year.

    a difference you would see between a thin layer of fresh wood chips and a thicker layer of hay by the end of a season or two would not be any surprise to me. worms will stay where it is more cool and moist and where the living is easy. hay would be prime worm food for most of them.
     
  4. May 16, 2018 at 5:18 AM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    But that wasn't a thin layer of wood chips...those were put down at 6 in in depth and refreshed to 4-6 in. in depth and they were fresh when put on, but most of the chips refreshing the layer were not fresh, but had sat in piles for a good while. What you see in those pics were wood chips that had been put on 3 yrs prior to those pics and layers of wood chips placed over thinning areas each year.

    Worms in buckets are fed more than wood chips, I presume, or you wouldn't be raising thousands of them in a bucket. The worms in my garden were fed the mulch there, which was just wood chips for three years, then hay placed in the fall and now planted into this spring.
     
  5. May 16, 2018 at 1:30 PM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Deeply Rooted

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    in your message you wrote that you were getting dirt on your shoes from the woodchips - to me that meant a thin layer.

    yes, i do feed the worms in the buckets, almost all food and paper scraps for a year. they are my chickens and piggies. :)

    i've seen how nice the soil gets when you can chop a green manure patch back a few times a season - i have a garden i'm working on this spring/summer that's been like that for over five years. the soil has improved back there and i'm now getting it ready to be a more productive garden for food besides being a green manure patch. it has to be completely fenced if i hope to get much return from it, but by the time the fence is in place i should have it full of strawberry plants and other patches available for growing vegetables.
     
  6. May 16, 2018 at 2:28 PM
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Bee, not that it matters now, but the leaves on those weeds make me think of henbit. Did they get little lavender flowers?
     
  7. May 16, 2018 at 2:51 PM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Small white flowers with a yellow center. They get around a foot tall at maturity, sometimes taller.
     
  8. May 16, 2018 at 2:53 PM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    These were all ramial wood chips, so rotting matter from leaves throughout the chips at all levels.
     
  9. May 16, 2018 at 6:51 PM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Deeply Rooted

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    i had to look that up, but from the description those are a nice material once it gets digested a bit. :)

    we've been getting some of those at times from people shredding tree trimmings, but more recently we've been getting hardwood chips that have no bark at all in them, which from the description i just read of the ramial wood chips means they aren't as good, but in the end they all get digested and turned into humus. i doubt i'll ever be able to get Mom to want to switch to the more scruffy stuff that is nutritionally better, she really likes the neat appearance.
     
  10. May 16, 2018 at 10:23 PM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    So, covered the last sparse little shoots of hay/grass in the garden with my last rotten bales of hay..a bale and a half...using a whole flake on each patch of grass, no need to bend and pull or scatter the hay. Took me less than 5 min. work with a pitchfork to cover those, no bending or lifting anything. Kind of renders my expensive scuffle hoe redundant but I'm sure I'll still find uses for it here and there.

    Here's the difference between this year's weed problem and last year's at this time....

    Last year...these everywhere in the garden...

    [​IMG]

    This year, where the chickens scratched up the hay a little this winter....a few lonely pieces of grass here and there.

    100_0651.JPG

    Most of the garden beautifully weed free.....

    100_0650.JPG
     
    henless, baymule, flowerbug and 2 others like this.

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