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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Just a note about that Master Gardener thing
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Fawteen    Posted 04-28-2003 at 05:51:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
That title, and a buck-and-a-half, will get me a cup of cawfee in a cheap restaurant.

The only thing that indicates is that I spent a lot of time in a classroom listening to a lot of paper-pushers, with varying degrees of actual experience.

That was the groundwork. Now, I figure with 20 years or so of putting that book-knowledge to work, I might just barely qualify as not completely ignorant on the subject of gardening.

I may use the title on occasion, but wouldn't want anybody to get the impression I'm some sort of expert.


Grace    Posted 04-30-2003 at 23:23:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Master Gardner? Teacher?
I have heard it said that those who can do, and those who can't teach. Those who are prevented from doing something they have a skill for should teach. Who is better qualified?


Ron,Ar    Posted 04-28-2003 at 10:05:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ya can't get out of it now, every group needs it's official "panel of experts", and you just got elected to the panel. As Justin Wilson would say "you done been to the great school of minds". I wouldn't know a nematode from a green toad, so we need your advice every now and then. Ron


I'm an expert    Posted 04-28-2003 at 09:51:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
But only at running a Troy-Bilt...

The Wife and my Mom know enough to not let me touch the dirt or plants after I till...

I tend to see everything as an enemy and either will till it under or cut it with a chainsaw...Or not plant it in the first place so I don't have to mow around it...

Dang weeds...

Salmoneye


Fawteen - You are    Posted 04-28-2003 at 13:55:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
what's known as a "Recreational Rototiller". Us Master Gardener types frown on that (so I'm told). Destroys the structure of the soil.

One of the things I learned. I've always used a rototiller as a lazy man's hoe. Apparently, that's a no-no...


Sid    Posted 04-28-2003 at 19:54:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
On what grounds do they deem that so? I always thought it was a great way to mix organic stuff in the soil. Why is it a no no. Not arguing just asking, and what is the alternative?


Randy    Posted 04-29-2003 at 03:13:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If I remember correctly rototilling breaks up the soil too much. That being said, probably going to rototill a few gardens this weekend!
The alternative is to turn it over with a shovel. Forget the name, double digging or something comes to mind. Maybe 14 knows the correct name.
Sid, how's the syrup?


Fawteen    Posted 04-29-2003 at 04:07:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Double digging. And they're out of their tiny little minds. DD would be okay for a 3x4 flower bed, but a 25x75 garden? I think not...

As Randy said, tilling breaks up the soil into very fine particles, which then compact too much and squeeze the air out of the soil. I forget the exact numbers, and I'm too lazy to look them up, but in any given handful of soil, something like 25 to 30% of it should be air space. Another side effect of tilling is due to mechanical damage and the aforementioned compaction, it reduces the amount of earthworms.

That having been said, tilling ONCE in the Spring just before planting is fine. It's that urge to till early to get the soil to dry out (which, btw, makes the problem worse, not better) till again because the weeds have started to come up, and then till AGAIN just before planting that does evil things to your soil. And then, for good measure, till in the fall and leave the soil bare to erosion for the winter. That's the way I've done it for years, and my production goes down a little every year.

I'm going to change my ways this year on a couple of things:

I'll till once, the day I plant.

I'm going to strip till in separate little beds, and plant white clover in the walkways between. The idea is to alternate walking strips and planting strips every year. Gives the soil a chance to rest, and the clover fixes nitrogen in the soil.

I'm going to plant a border of buckwheat all the way around the garden to lure in beneficial insects.

With the possible exception of the potatos (due to the amount I plant) I'm going to resist the urge to hoe with my Troy-built. I'm pretty sure I've still got a hoe around here somewhere...

I will probably still till again in the Fall, but I'll do it earlier and get a cover crop of oats in to protect the ground over the winter.

If I can ever find a decent one bottom trailer plow, I'm going to try plowing and discing as an alternative to tilling for intial soil prep. Should cut down on the particle size/compaction issue.

I'll let you know how all this works out.

I'll let ya know how all this works out.


Salmoneye    Posted 04-29-2003 at 04:53:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ayuh...

I only till the garden once in the spring...Otherwise it is around my Moms flower beds to keep the lawn pushed back...


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