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Soil building or soil depletion

Discussion in 'Composting & Soil Building' started by Gardening with Rabbits, May 17, 2015.

  1. May 19, 2015
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Shoot.

    Gardening as a Competitive Sport.

    That's not why I garden. We all have our limitations and we should all have our boundaries. My fun in gardening, other than that I eat ;), has to do with varieties. It's seeing how the new fit in and welcoming back the old.

    Others have different motivation. If you think about it, it is kinda cute to have a special feeding program for a tomato plant .. :).

    Steve
     
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  2. May 19, 2015
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Agreed.
    http://www.doityourself.com/stry/growing-plants-out-of-a-compost-bin
    All you need to do is to study up on how long it takes whatever manure you are using to decompose to a level that will not burn out your plants, although roses Love fresh horse manure. Most of us create our gardens either in our back, suburban yards, where the developers leveled out the soil and/or removed all topsoil and left (often) straight clay, or, like mine, former farm, where compaction and lack of amendment has also left hard clay or clayish soils. In some places the soil is just as hard, but has a lot of sand, so the problem is the same.
    I'm not an advocate of bashing our human interaction with the environment. That being said, where we travelled, like The Oregon Trail, we have left semipermanent compaction. When we set apart a bed, and add compost every year, the soil can go back to layering itself.
    Although I haven't been able to read it yet, Darwin wrote a book about soil creation by earthworms, based on his observation of the same over a period of years. I'm not sure that he had a thorough understanding about all of the forces that created soil, BUT, he did understand that we start with rock, broken down by water and acids to stones, and finally further broken down into dirt by the worms. MHO says that this discovery was far more important than his observation of adaptability of animals, now referred to as "evolution."
    I heard recently that weeds, too, have their purpose because they keep any disturbed earth from washing away or blowing away, and I believe this, too.
    Fortunately for US, we can handpull burdock leaves bc the leaves are good for your skin. :lol:
     
  3. May 19, 2015
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Interesting articles. I think when my new firepit area (purchased firepit kit, ~4'x4', surrounded by 4' wide, so 12' x 12' when finished ALL MATERIALS PURCHASED, not completely assembled) is in this weekend, I should be able to start this. I have a bonfire pile that I add to for my "Salsa Party" in October can handle all of the weeds and stuff, bc I only want to prune and burn in my firepit. I'm going to feel positively suburban using this. :rolleyes:
    Seriously, I can remove chunks from this. Usually I burn to powdery ash. Still, all cold ashes can smother weeds. Everything has it's uses. :D
     
  4. May 19, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Read up on how they do it...it's not as simple as just using the charcoal from your firepit, though I wish it were. We have plenty of that. I've even tried the trench method in the garden and it had some affect, though I had only done it minimally.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-BioChar-and-Terra-Preta/

    [​IMG]

    Materials:
    55 Gallon Drum, with Lid
    Drum sealing ring
    Dry Biomass - usually wood & wood chips, or dung
    water
    compost

    Tools
    Hoe, rake, shovel
    Dust mask, ear protection, eye protection
    Heavy gloves, boots
    Hose & nozzle
    Metal cutting circ saw or hammer & chisel

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. May 20, 2015
    Gardening with Rabbits

    Gardening with Rabbits Garden Addicted

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    This is why I garden too. I like a variety and things that I cannot buy in the store. I can stay in the garden ALL DAY and be happy. It is what I do. It is my hobby and I like talking about it with other people who enjoy it too. My best friend asked WHY did I plant so much basil and I said why not? I have several different kinds. I eat it, it is pretty, it smells good, I can dehydrate it, a package of seed is less than 1 basil plant to buy. Her husband said that I will be picking a lot of peppers and tomatoes and I said well I hope so!
     
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  6. May 28, 2015
    MontyJ

    MontyJ Deeply Rooted

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    I haven't had time to read this entire thread, but am posting in reply to the OP. I don't know what your neighbor is using, but hydroponics doesn't involve soil; it's a whole different growing medium. I can think of three ingredients that are of use to every garden, N-P-K. Yep, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Do not fret about adding compost to your soil. Mother Nature has been doing it for millions of years in every possible soil condition and environment on the planet. That kind of success can't be ignored.

    If your neighbor is using heavy chemical additions, I would bet your garden will alive and thriving long after his is long gone. He may have a great year or two, but relying strictly on chemical corrections will eventually lead to disaster. Well balanced soil (OM, micro/macro nutrients, pH) is the best way to go. All plants grow best in the soil that is balanced for their specific needs. Fortunately, most garden plants enjoy similar soil. Of course there are exceptions. Potatoes growing in soil for tomatoes won't do as well and vice-versa. Hydrangeas wont do well in a blueberry field either for that matter.
    Just keep doing what you're doing. If you have earthworms and a healthy garden, you can't be doing too bad :thumbsup
     
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  7. Dec 7, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Here's an interesting take on composting....



    I've used urine before in my gardening, but as a side dressing and not on compost. After seeing this vid, I think it would be interesting to do a little experiment. I'm getting some square bales of mulch hay tomorrow for various purposes, one of which is to build me a raised bed in the garden space and fill with different materials for composting down for a spring planting.

    Meanwhile, I think I could spare a bale of that to place in a spare garden cart of mine for my experiment. I currently have a son living on the premises for awhile who loves to pee outside of a morning...I'm going to see if I can harvest any of that liquid gold right into a waiting hay bale. If he's going to pee out there, it might as well be in a specific place that will yield something good, huh?

    After it has become fully saturated, I could place that into the raised bed mix, spreading it out so that the whole bed could share in the goodness, then covering that over with more material.

    What say you???
     
  8. Dec 7, 2017
    Gardening with Rabbits

    Gardening with Rabbits Garden Addicted

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    Kind of the idea of my rabbits and the urine soaked pine shavings. I can't believe I started this thread. I come up with some of the craziest questions. It was a week before my whole world changed and DH went to the ER and got his horrible diagnosis. My neighbor and his secret formula did not pan out so well for him. His garden was horrible that year in 2015. He made all that talk about the lady and cow manure and you know what he told me just a couple of months ago? He had the biggest and best tomatoes EVER this year and he thinks it is because of the COW MANURE he spread last spring. Lol. I told him that I think he is right.
     
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