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How can I make my garden grow?
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Bill Oakes NY    Posted 08-16-2002 at 09:41:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am a real newbie to home gardening. Just bought a tiller for my tractor and trying to make plans for next summer. I have primarily heavy clay soil in my area. How can I best prepare for next summer's garden. I have ready access to both turkey and horse manure, which I could till into the soil this fall, if that's a good thing to do. Is cow manure better? Should I till in leaves? Would sand be good to lighten the soil? What tips do you experienced gardeners have for a know-nothing like me?

Hogman***HORSE MANURE FOLKS    Posted 08-16-2002 at 18:20:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Theres nothin better'n good ole Horse manure,semi composted organic matter with enough nitregen ta make it work without robbin from tha existin soil supply.Basicly comes ready ta use straight from tha horses ----recyclin eguipment exhaust port. Will add tilth ta lighten up tha clay among other things. Not ta be construed as a substitute for cow hocky or any of tha others. And, Porcine poop is pretty good stuff tho age is somewhat critical,I don't remember tha figures and am too lazy ta look em up.Odor "can" be a problem.

You can plant directly into Horse Hocky and make dwarf plants grow up like FULL size plussss. BTDT

Gardner    Posted 08-16-2002 at 16:47:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Add all the organic matter you can get. If it is de-composed, all the better. Plant a cover crop to till into the soil in the spring but don't let rye get tall. Have your soil tested and fertilize accordingly.
Didn't they use a mixture of sand and clay between the bricks when building houses many years ago? I would question mixing sand with clay.

TB    Posted 08-16-2002 at 14:16:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Add about 2" to 3" of organic matter. Fertilize with 10-10-10 fertilizer a few bags of ground rock lime. Till in well. Plant a cover crop such as winter wheat or winter rye. In spring have the soil tested and go from there.

TB    Posted 08-16-2002 at 14:43:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you do use the turkey manure go light it's real high in nitrogen and could burn the crops out.

bob    Posted 08-16-2002 at 14:05:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I use a lot of grass clippings . mow about 2 acres and bag it. keep adding about 2-4 in at a time then every so often till it in along with manure. horse turkey chickenand cattle are all good also rabbit but I don,t like hog. I had clay and now it is beautiful black and so far haven,t added any commerial fertilzer. hope this helps bob

Nathan(GA)    Posted 08-16-2002 at 13:22:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Only thing I can add is to check up on what leaves to add. I read an article that was saying not to add certain leaves to garden spots, but I can't remember which ones.

Becky Quinn    Posted 08-16-2002 at 14:49:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I never add leaves and I only apply well composted grass clippings.

TB    Posted 08-16-2002 at 14:30:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Leaves that are note fully composted will lock the nitrogen up in the soil.

DeadCarp    Posted 08-16-2002 at 12:59:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
The easy way is to think about potting soil and make it more like that. If it's too lumpy or sticky, add sand. If it drains water too fast, add something organic to hold it. Once it LOOKS right, THEN do the acidity tests etc, but every garden needs lots of something. :)
An old calf pen or hog pen, for example, will only grow clover etc until the nutrients are stabilized, but it WILL do a super job of growing something. Next year it'll be a super garden.

Salmoneye    Posted 08-16-2002 at 11:00:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Like Greg said...

Sand or LOTS of organic matter.
If you are new to tilling with a tractor, start your garden site now and get some practice in by tilling in any and all organic matter you can.
Leaves, lawn clippings, manure, etc...

You can always sweeten or sour up the soil come frost-out. Getting as much organic stuff in there now so it is available as nutrients next year is more important, IMHO...

Greg VT    Posted 08-16-2002 at 10:12:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
First thing you want to do is test your soil for PH and adjust if neccesary. You can get a home test kit or your county extension office will probably test a sample for you. If your soil is really heavy you will want to lighten it up some. Sand will work but it is heavy to handle and doesn't bring much else to the table. Tilling in leaves works great to lighten heavy soil and contributes nutrients in the process. I used to pile the leaves two feet thick on the garden in the fall and till in the remains in the spring. Now that we have the soil where we want it we compost the leaves and anything else that's compostable in a pile and add the finished compost as needed. Are there any commercial compost makers in your area? A few yards of good compost will really lighten your soil. I don't know if horse or turkey manure is the right stuff or not but you can't go wrong with cow manure. Just let it age for a year first. If you get your plot tilled and lightend up the way you want this summer then you might consider planting a cover crop like buckwheat to keep the grass and weeds down. Just till the cover crop in in the spring and buy plenty of canning jars and freezer bags.

Check out this link...

momma Jan    Posted 08-17-2002 at 10:30:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great link here, Thanks for sharing

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