New here from Eastern Washington

Glenpicardmom

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Hello! Out here in Eastern Washington state, it has been into the 40's for the end of December. Definitely crazy weather for us and it still doesn't feel like winter!
I have been gardening for a few years now and I prefer fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers! I currently have a fairly large garden with raised beds, a mini orchard (12 fruit trees) and some containers with various berries.
That said, I have recently been creating a large (56' × 70') pumpkin/corn/bean patch. We started with some awful dirt (can't even call it "soil") and, over the past few years, have been adding compost, leaves, chicken manure, fruit and vegetable scraps, garden scraps, and so on. Nothing has been tilled for almost 2 years but we have spread and filled some, as it is a semi-raised bed in order to level the area. We have sandy - sandy loam soil with large rocks that still need to be picked and it has been wet here.
So, given all that, "should I till it and pick rocks before the ground freezes, which could happen within the next week?" I hope to start planting buckwheat as a cover/green manure crop in the spring.
Thank you ever so much for any input! I look forward to being apart of this forum! 😀
 

so lucky

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Hello and welcome from Southeast Missouri! It sounds like you have lots of interesting things going on there. I think the suggested course of action would be to till before it freezes. For sure you will get rocks popping up. @digitS' could probably give you some pointers for your soil, as he has rocks in his garden, as well.
 

baymule

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Welcome from Texas. The ground doesn't freeze here, so I cant advise you on tilling before it freezes or after it thaws. LOL What kind of fruit do you raise?
 

Glenpicardmom

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Welcome from Texas. The ground doesn't freeze here, so I cant advise you on tilling before it freezes or after it thaws. LOL What kind of fruit do you raise?
Well, apples (Grimes Golden, Macoun, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, and Fameuse) a couple peach trees (Polly and I can't remember the other off the top of my head) a couple cherry trees (Bing and Black Republican) blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. I have tried some small cantaloupe and watermelon, but we usually don't have the best growing conditions for them.
 

digitS'

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Welcome to TEG!

My rocky soil may have thawed again after only being frozen down an inch or two. Tilling in December? The possibility is as surprising as the prospect of cutting the lawn grass in November! Something that I have only done once or twice, over many years. BTW, it might have been a good idea to mow about 11/1 but the September snowstorms somewhat set my course towards an earlier retirement for that contraption.

When the tractor guy shows up in the fall to till, I'm not entirely happy about it. Improving the looks of things isn't a bad idea. Tough corn stalks and such get the treatment that helps in their more rapid decomposition. However, I'm still faced with tilling again in the spring.

I'm not sure how much easier it is on me and the rototiller if the tractor has been over the ground 6 months prior. Of course, I can wait for him, cash in hand, but he doesn't seem to want to be out there until nearly June.

Steve
 

Ridgerunner

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Hi, welcome from way down south. There are several active people on here that come close to sharing your climate, much better than I do.

@digitS' my grass does not need to be mowed right now but edging could be beneficial. I'll admit most of my mowing this time of the year is more because I don't want to rake the leaves than the grass really needs it. Take care of the leaves and I take care of the grass.

I'd vote for tilling it in if you can. I'd think the stuff would break down faster. Even if it is mostly sand I'd think it would have better access to water if it is buried. If it is frozen solid it probably won't matter because it won't have free water, but maybe you'll get some to break down. Also, I don't now how much of your mix is browns or greens, but they tend to be heavy on the browns. If it is tilled in it may have better access to nitrogen to help break it down.

Well, apples (Grimes Golden, Macoun, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, and Fameuse) a couple peach trees (Polly and I can't remember the other off the top of my head) a couple cherry trees (Bing and Black Republican) blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Sounds like you may be into making jam and jelly.
 

flowerbug

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Hello! Out here in Eastern Washington state, it has been into the 40's for the end of December. Definitely crazy weather for us and it still doesn't feel like winter!
I have been gardening for a few years now and I prefer fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers! I currently have a fairly large garden with raised beds, a mini orchard (12 fruit trees) and some containers with various berries.
That said, I have recently been creating a large (56' × 70') pumpkin/corn/bean patch. We started with some awful dirt (can't even call it "soil") and, over the past few years, have been adding compost, leaves, chicken manure, fruit and vegetable scraps, garden scraps, and so on. Nothing has been tilled for almost 2 years but we have spread and filled some, as it is a semi-raised bed in order to level the area. We have sandy - sandy loam soil with large rocks that still need to be picked and it has been wet here.
So, given all that, "should I till it and pick rocks before the ground freezes, which could happen within the next week?" I hope to start planting buckwheat as a cover/green manure crop in the spring.
Thank you ever so much for any input! I look forward to being apart of this forum! 😀
welcome to TEG from mid-Michigan :)
 
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