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working the soil

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working the soil

Post by 12acrehome on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:08 am

Tomorrow I will start my gardening efforts for the year. Actually, alot of the hard work was started last fall. My gardening areas are mostly on a north facing slope. So I am slowly adding semi raised beds at the rate of two per year. This being our second growing season I now have four (five if you count the Asparagus bed). These have structure on the down hill side, and a tapering structure along the sides that run up or down hill, so I have nearly level soil. I build the structure first then double dig the area. Double digging involves digging a trench one spit wide and one spit deep (a spit is the length and width of a standard shovel), moving that dirt to a remote location for use later, then in that trench dig out another spit of dirt the full length of the trench (14 to 18 inches deep total) take that dirt and place it close to the first that was removed. Now put come compost in the bottom of the trench and move over one shovel width. Turn the top spit of the next trench into the first trench. Then the bottom or second layer of the second trench is placed on top of the first. Repeat until you have covered the entire garden or plant bed area. Now you are left with a trench and two piles of dirt from the first trench. The top layer from the first trench goes into the bottom of the last trench, and the bottom layer goes on top of that. I like this to sit over winter, and go through a couple freeze and thaw cycles as it seems to break up this hard clay soil I have. When the soil can be worked I go into my woods and find a place where the soil is black and has a lot of leaf mold and small twigs and last seasons leaves on top. I scoop off about 1/2" of this stuff and pile it on top of the plant bed or garden area. Now I till it. This works the good soil and humus and woodland floor litter into the soil and gives the worms a reason to be there. Well all of this is long done on the two existing beds, and the top bed (the one closest to the top of the hill) seems to be about ready for planting.
So tomorrow morning I am going to plant some carrot seeds. I will take a garden fork and turn the soil with it, spread the seeds on top, and sprinkle some of that loose black woodland soil on top. Smile


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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: working the soil

Post by Sonshine on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:26 am

Keith, since we're a bit south of you we got started a bit earlier. We already have some sweet peas plated and this week-end will get the root vegetables planted. We decided to stick with row planting and since this is our 5th year planting a garden here the soil is finally starting to look good. We'll be plowing some new ground this year to plant an animal garden though. Since it hasn't been worked much I don't know how well the garden will do, but we have lots of compost, chicken and goat manure to ammend it.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Re: working the soil

Post by Rohn on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:22 am

This gardening talk makes me wish for spring. I have started tomatoes and peppers and am waiting for them to start poking through. So far I have about 100 tomatoes started and the same number of peppers. I plan to do another flat or two of tomatoes so that I have plenty to give to my kids and parents. I usually plant at least 100 tomatoes myself.
Where I live we won't be setting out any plants until around the middle of May. My garden area is very wet in the early spring so I have to let it dry a bit before I can work the soil. I worked a lot of leaves into it last year and this fall I put a lot of the same on it and will till it in a couple of times before planting.
I hope to fertilize with cured horse manure. We know where there is some that has been piled up for a couple of years and we can have all we want.
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Re: working the soil

Post by Sonshine on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:22 am

I think I may have started our tomatoes a bit early. We're going to have to repot them, which I usually don't like to do, but they are growing so fast. They are a great little yellow tomatoe. Has a lot of flavor to them.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Re: working the soil

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:29 pm

well my carrots are sprouting, and so are the winter squash. I planted nearly 8 pounds of seed potatoes Thursday (the hard way since the tiller was not in a cooperative mood) Glad to see spring like weather conditions come early. I just hope this does not mean we are headed into drought conditions for june and july.


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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: working the soil

Post by Sonshine on Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:37 am

Keith, we've been in drought conditions here since we've lived here. We have sprinklers on our garden spots set on timers. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn them on or off. We transplanted our Egyptian Walking onions to a more permanent location. We planted them last year into our regular garden spot, not even thinking that these don't have to be replanted, so it interfered with tilling the garden area. We got them in their own spot now along with asparagus. I'm thinking of trying my hand at raising rhubarb too, but we'll see. Joe's outside now tilling the spot the onions were in and also we pulled up collards that actually made it through the winter, so he's tilling that area too. then he's got to get some straw for the goat stalls so we can get them mucked out. I love this time of the year, but not being able to do anything for a year it's sure been rough on my body. Although I have to admit, it feels good to be hurting from exertion instead of from medical problems. I've been ordered to go to the house and lay down though by Joe. Guess he doesn't want me to over do things. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I'm ready to weed my herb garden. Smile

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