im so excited!! soil improvement plan paid off!!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by justgojumpit, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    428
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    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    last year, i spent quite some time working on the rich, but very hard soil in my garden at the end of the season. I added three bags of cow manure, four wheelbarrows of VERY dirty chicken litter (maybe i should clean the coop more often :confused: :haha: ) and three bales (really big, compressed bags, 40 lbs dry) of peat moss to my 14X21 foot garden. the results were AWESOME!!! the worms had come in to digest the pine shavings in the chicken litter, as there are almost no remnants of them and i found four in a couple strokes with a rake. there are worm castings all over the place, and when i till it all through (i did a small tiny area with the rake, the soil looks sooo rich and loamy and cushiony!!! I think i wont plastic mulch this year, i'll get some weeding tool instead. I just feel like i cant loosen up the soil with all that plastic on top and it gets so hard with me walking on it all year. just wanted to share my excitement!! i think i'll add the chicken manure again next year... i add so much stuff every year that i'm gonna have to empty it all out again ;) :rolleyes: how's your soil look this year?
     
  2. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2002
    Wow - one more reason I can't wait to get chickens, lol!

    This is my second season with this garden of.... mainly... thistle. I got a great harvest last year, but busted my butt to do so. The lady before us decided the best thing she could do for her soil was to stick in a couple plants after tilling and let everything that was willing come up... RRRRR... and then dumped tree trimings in - EEEK!

    I didn't have cash at all last year, so did little other than mulch with DH's discarded newspapers, and what little rabbit doo was produced by (then) two rabbits.

    This year, I'm going back to Mom's way - mainly because I don't intend to be here after next year, so whatever we get is all good. Here's the plan:

    4 lg garbage cans of manure (plus bunnies, and some from a pal with horses)
    10 bags sand (preferably coarse, but will settle for play sand)
    4 bags peat, or one brick
    2 - 3 pounds powdered (not ground) lime
    maybe 2 yards topsoil as a cheater.

    Garden is about 20 x 30 maybe a little smaller. Paths will get papers again, and the rest will be mulched with shavings/straw from that same pal's horse stalls. If pH has to be raised cause of the lime, I use a lot of citrus and will grind the rinds... Don't think it will, though...

    Sue
     

  3. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    At the end of the road.
    I added tons of organic material last spring, and tons of bunny pooh. This year it is paying off pretty good. I have never had potato plants as big as they are this year. Everything else is growing great.

    I am fixing to get about 4 truck loads of old potting soil from a local nursery. They are just going to throw it out. So they told me I can have all I want.
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    So far this year we have used over 10 yards of compost and 7 pick-up loads of well aged horse manure and we still have beds that haven't received anything! The county has just started the free mulch again this year, I want to use that on the paths and get more manure for the beds.
     
  5. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    sue, make sure that horse manure is from deep down in some steamy pile, and is HOT (it should make you sweat good and hard scooping it into the truck, and should have a strong ammonia smell to it), heavy, and dark in color (the shavings or straw that is) you want to make sure that the seeds from the grain these horses get can no longer sprout. i know the horses take most of the nutritional value out of these seeds, but there might still be one here or there that will sprout. just check his grain. if he feeds the horses pellets or crushed grains, then you have no problems, take whatever you can get. if there are any whole grains though, you may just be planting weeds by adding his manure to your garden.

    just thought i'd warn ya! good luck
     
  6. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 22, 2003
    I placed my hogs on my garden when i was finished with it in October. Moved them off on the first of March. The spot is 70X150 and we added 300lbs of Lime and 200 pounds of Pot ash. Tilled it seven times and it is rich. I finished setting all my plants today, we grew in a green house. Im on the Southeast coast of North Carolinia and hopefully we want have anymore frost. My pigs are on a piece 70X350 that Ill add to this same garden next year. Really didnt have a bad smell until I started the sprinklers today. I love how they clear up and eat all the grass and roots.
    Thanks Arnold