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My New Hotbed

Discussion in 'Indoor & Greenhouse Gardening' started by ducks4you, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Mar 10, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    Your hot bed is looking awesome. The soil is a gardener's dream! I got the 60 bags of pine needles from our DD to put in the chicken coop, they love them. I also put them in the sheep shed, then cover with hay. It is so easy to let the animals make compost!
     
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  2. Mar 20, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    D'aww! Thanks! UNfortunately I used my compost thermometer and the manure mix measured only 55 degrees F. :hit
    I will NOT be daunted! It is now only a coldframe, but I have the whole summer to figure out how to make it cook. PLUS, I will be killing off equine parasites at the same time.
    I checked the bed Saturday and it was soaking wet, so I pulled up the window and plastic over the direct seeded radishes. They are looking like happy like shamrocks now.
    I also planted carrot seeds around them. Last night I replaced the plastic and the window.
    Last night, according to my refilled water buckets (for the stalls), we got 3 inches of rain from the T-storms which woke up and scared my dog, but I didn't hear them.
    When I turned out my horses this morning they asked me if I had heard the horrible storm pounding on their barn's new (2015) barn roof.
    [​IMG]
    I lied and told them that they were lucky ponies to be in their safe and dry boxes while the storm was raging.
    They believed me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    baymule, Nyboy and thistlebloom like this.
  3. Mar 20, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I was trying to figure out how to use this bed to put out my tomatoes early this year and I think I now know. You know how you bury most of the tomato so that it will form roots along the stem?
    https://bonnieplants.com/library/plant-tomatoes-deep-deep-deep/
    I think if I bury them like this, instead:
    "Dig a trench – Dig a trench larger enough to lay your tomato seedling down sideway while still giving the first stems enough room to stick out a few inches above the soil surface. By laying the plants sideways, you’ll help them develop better vertical roots. This is especially helpful if you have leggy seedlings."
    https://www.growjourney.com/five-tomato-growing-tricks/#.WNAri2favcs
    I don't have enough clearance to prevent the tops of the tomato plants from crashing into the windows and I don't want to put them out in their beds until after Memorial Day (unless, of course, it becomes abnormally warm in May.)
    "Bury the stem and lay the plant sideways, add some organic, slow-release fertilizer or compost to the trench and stir it around. ...Once your trench is ready, bury the tomato plant (and stem) up to a few inches below the first branches."
    I have had more success moving my sweet peppers to the east facing porch and keep them there until I bed them, so I only need room for some of the tomatoes and see if they grow faster this way.
     
  4. Mar 23, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    I have 6 flats of tomatoes and pepper seedlings. I put them out in the mornings and bring them in around 3 PM because the house shades them. Then they go under a florescent light until we go to bed. The tomatoes are getting leggy, so i'll plant them like you described.
     
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  5. Mar 29, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I have radishes up in this hot/now cold bed with a cover. I think I will plant carrots on the other side and let them get really big.
    I will be experimenting with horse manure and my compost thermometer and keep records and keep you'all up to date. :cool:
     
  6. Mar 30, 2017
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    @baymule remember @ducks4you lives in Illinois with 6' of black, heavy top soil. Horizontal is best there as soil has water holding capacity and nutrients on loan from God.

    As I understand it, you are in a sand pit. Plant yours DEEP and mulch heavily. Short of water and excessive heat are your largest 2 obstacles. I'm from Illinois idiot dirt, translocated to a gravel pit in Indiana. Completely different techniques needed.
     
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  7. Mar 30, 2017
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I need to correct you about the quality of our soil. (@baymule will like this!) I Used to think that our soils north of Interstate 70 was idiotproof, but I have learned a LOT from talking to agriculturalists here over the years. When I was 7yo and we were in the car relocating from West Chester, PA to Chicagoloand, I saw the tilled up end of season black dirt, and I was impressed. I learned that the glaciers had compressed vegetation and created said dirt and that the farmers loved it. Since then I have watched farmers plant corn, then beans, then corn then beans, etc. for years and years and years on the same fields. I have watched them use chemical fertilizers and if it's windy and you drive through it your eyes sting. NOBODY around here rotates their crops anymore! I did a quick search (which is easier than digging out my notebook from an environmental class that I took 15 years ago!!) and just rotating in a 1 or 2 or 3 year crop of straight alfalfa would fix enough nitrogen and feed a corn of crop better than using any chemicals. Hardly anybody close to my house has invested in electric fencing and allowed cattle to glean the fields after a corn harvest and manure that field. ~3 acres/5 acres of my property was a corn field and I KNOW how much corn is accidentally dumped during harvesting, much more than you would think.
    You can get 3-5 cuttings of alfalfa here every YEAR and could charge to ship it to cattle owners who are experiencing a drought and THAT happens every year, too. Horse breeders would pay top dollar for it in a bad year. You could pay for the balers, etc. and the storage building to store them in one season. MY hay man puts up 40,000/bales a year, more or less. It's just much more work than a single tilling, then a planting, then a harvest. A LOT of farmers enjoy a semi retirement and often fly to Florida every winter when they have nothing to do.
    Hijacked my own post! Anyway NO soil retains it's tilth without proper stewardship. Our black dirt topsoil varies in depth from 3 inches deep to 18 inches deep, and we get a great deal of wind. Yes, YOUR dirt blows onto your neighbor's field. Still, 3 inches of dirt will expose one foot of clay, and no fertilizing results in no usable soil. It is not guaranteed.
    My plumber replaced our intake pipes last October. Good thing we wanted better water pressure because it was only 2 foot deep, NOT below the freeze line on a cold, cold winter. NOW it is 4 feet deep coming into the basement and the soil is exposed. MOST of it is clay. I am waiting for it to compress, the I will be mixing it compost before I reseed with grass.
    I intend to leave my property with more compost and fertilizer than it needs. It won't last forever, but I want to be a good steward, which also makes MY gardening easier.
     
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  8. Mar 30, 2017
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    Not to be contrary.

    1). Hay will not pay the bills for the equipment, land, labor &/or taxes. $220/ton or less currently.
    2). Good hay has to be fertilized just like row crops-as product sold off of field takes it.
    3). Soil you described has low CEC's which means won't hold nutrients.
    4). No legume-even unharvested-will produce enough N for corn.
    5). I came from north of I74 where 3-6' of top soil is normal. Here, 1-6" of top soil. My gravel pit only dreams of top soil. After decades of manure, straw, leaves, grass clippings and garden residue, I have dark gravel-not top soil as that takes centuries or an act of God.
    6). Your situation with water is the complete opposite of @baymule. You need to get rid of it, she needs it.
    7). If your eyes burn, farmer is putting anhydrous on in too wet of conditions and ground is not sealing after openers. Can't fix stupid.
    8). Farmers that are on the corn, soybean, Florida rotation have probably inherited ground. Similiar to being born into wealth. Wealth breeds wealth until the generation comes along to live the "good" life-& loses it....

    Great Hot Bed by the way.....
     
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  9. Mar 30, 2017
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    6 FLATS????? That's almost 300 plants. Your gardens in Texas are HUGE!!!!! I stand amazed.
     
  10. Mar 31, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    My garden is only 70'x100' and I wish it was bigger. I gave away 20 tomato plants yesterday.....
     
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