What can I do in November?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Because of "farmer's rights" when I bought my little 3-1/2 acre site, I can't do anything until after the corn crop is off. In this part of Ohio, I'm assuming October/November.

    I have permission to remove enough corn NOW to put in a septic system in order to beat the November cut-off deadline for installations.

    What can I do in November? By then, I'll have decided where to put everything. I'm assuming I can turn up the garden areas, add compost, etc., and try to smooth out the area where the septic and leach fields are. Is it too late to plant berries? Fruit trees? Flowers?

    I don't want to start building yet, I don't think.

    The back couple of acres.... I had thought about fencing it in and planting to hay. And then next spring getting a calf. If I plant it to hay now, and next year decide that I want to plant the whole thing to .... say, row crops for a farmers' market or something, will having it in hay now make it impossible to keep weeded, etc? Since it is currently corn, I'm assuming that the soil has had the life drained out of it by chemicals, fertilizers, weed killers, etc. Can I even PLANT hay in November???

    Thanks again!
    Chris
     
  2. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    You can't really know what shape the soil is in without a soil test.
    If your land has been "worked over" by excessive use of NPK then you may need to lime it. Testing the soil is the one thing your local ag college may get right.

    Fall is a great time to plant for hay, but not the only time. If you think you want to put it back into row crops, then you could plant something that you could either plow under next spring or leave alone. Hairy vetch comes to mind.

    We have had good look converting corn fields to pasture by proper liming and then planting a variety of grasses, such as fescue, clover, orchardgrass and vetch.
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I live in southern Minnesota, we have first frost the first week of October. Does not pay to plant anything after the last week of August..... Sometimes you can plant rye the first week or two of September, but likely won't be very strong......

    While you have a slightly warmer climate, I doubt you have any chance of planting anything worthwhile after the corn harvest. You need 4-6 weeks before 1st expected frost for the planted crop to establish itself.

    Hay crops take a long time to establish themselves - 6 months or so with no mowing or grazing. You need to let those fine little seeds develop into a good grass/ legume, and they grow very slowly. So don't put any cattle on it for 6 months of good growing.

    Your ground is likely in very good condition, one can't afford to farm any more with poor soils, the fertility is likely right on. You would only need to watch the ph (lime) and replace the N,P,& K for what the corn took out of it. Standard stuff.

    It would be nice to know what grass killer was used on the corn field - there are some that will persist in the soil into next spring, interfering with any grass seed you plant. We farmers are using those grass killers less & less, but it could be.

    A fall planting of hay mixes works well, but I think you will be a month too late for your climate. Grass seed is expensive, if you plan on doing row crops in spring save your money, or plant a rye crop for plow-down. The rye has a chance of doing something for you, can actually spring graze it, or bale it, or plow/spray it & plant row crops next year. I sure would not waste money on berries & trees unless a local garden type says it works - I'm thinking it doesn't. Mostly don't trust internest advise from people from Minnesota or Alabama - we don't have a clue what your local growing conditions are! :) :)

    --->Paul
     
  4. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    If you are able to do all that in Ohio in November, I want you to come to my house to help out. If you are able to get the fence you want up, the garden turned AND the septic done, I will be impressed. Think mud... lots of mud.
     
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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  6. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    read "Four Season Harvest". With hoop houses and cold frames you can do lots of gardening. The author lived in Vermont or New Hampshire.
     
  7. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    That's an idea. I also thought about using the winter to scrounge building materials, hit auctions, etc. Our local Lowes has a bargain table in the middle of the store. Currently they have foot-square ceramic tiles .... nice ones!.... for $.66!!! I figured I'd watch for fixtures, etc. I've been known to build a bathroom around some fixture that I bought cheap somewhere. :)