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Calling all organic farmers....

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posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


So.... just how big is your garden? What did you plant? Are they in neat rows, cast or what?

You can lay black plastic over top of your weeds and then put straw down on top of that either from small or large square bales, or large round bales of straw.

Lots of farmers here in Kansas produce wheat bales. I only produce large round bales of wheat straw, grass, alfalfa and sudan since my baler is a large round baler. Straw bales weigh around 400-500 pounds, grass around 600 lbs, alfalfa around 1,000 lbs and sudan bales weigh over 1200 pounds.

Large round bales of straw are cheaper than small square bales. If you have a friend who has a pick-up truck or a truck with a trailer, then a large round bale of wheat straw would be your cheapest purchase if you have a large area to cover; otherwise small bales for small gardens is better.

Farmers that don't bale their straw will usually give you the straw free if you ask. You'll have to go out into the fields and pick it up yourself with a pitch fork to get it free.

Another method, is to put glass on top of your weeds if you have a small garden. In a few days, if the sun is out, and its hot outside, the weeds below the pane of glass will get to hot and basically die, and then you can move your window over to another area and kill the weeds below that area with the glass. Watch out though, so that you don't get dry material under the glass, because the glass will ignite dry material if it gets hot enough under the glass and then you will have a fire on your hands.




posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by RussianScientists
 


Wow .. learn something new every day. My bad, and my apologies to you Snowspirit. I've never seen a round bale of straw and didn't know they made them.

Thanks for the enlightenment RussianScientists.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by hhott
 


I do compost. And was actually able to use a little of it this year. We don't produce enough to get a significant amount. That and I open compost too and we seem to ahve some wellfed raccoons and possums.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by indigothefish
 


I have used cinnamon around the strawberries with success for the small ants. I would get a big cheap jug from teh dollar store and after it rains I would sprinkle it again. That and coffee grounds. But I know what you mean about persistance. I have one planter wall that seems to be their favorite and they are very intent on living there. I use it for sunflowers.

The cinnamon seems to keep away a lot except the carpenter ants.

I am sure you know this, but just in case. Ants leave smells for others to follow. So you are right, they are smell sensitive. If you ever want to play amateur scientist, and you see a line of marching ants, if you sprinkle cinnamon or pepper like you did, they scatter and look confused.

I have also had the experience of all my squash varieties and zucchini being decimated in a matter of 3 days by squash bugs. I am trying pumpkin this year, and broke down and bought a bottle of pepper spray, that is supposed to be non toxic.

Organic gardening gives you a whole new appreciation of how the people of Jamestown ever made it.



[edit on 14-6-2010 by nixie_nox]



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:53 PM
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As for the weeds. If you have a bad back, I would go with the kid up the street. Once you have them overrunning you, your only real hope is to uproot them. I add mine to my compost bin.

Raised beds next year would be the way to go. For starters, you have dirt that is seed free when you start, yes, you will still get weeds, lousy wind, but it will be alot simplier. Remember to lay down some type of plastic or black gardening paper before you fill with dirt. You would be amazed how much dirt a blade of grass can grow through. Also, when you do need to weed or harvest, everything is up higher so you do less bending.

Ants. I dont have an ant problem, but aphids tend to visit often. Buy a spray bottle, grind up your favorite dry hot pepper into a dust (I use habeneros) and spray your plants weekly, or after a rain. One would guess if the pepper stops aphids, it likely will repel ants.

Someone mentioned slugs. I dont have them here, but in other gardens I have had, the best remedy for these things was a tuna can burried in the dirt next to the plants. Make it so it is level with the ground, and pour some cheap beer into it. Slugs like getting drunk I guess. The crawl in, and cant get out.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by hhott
 


I do compost. And was actually able to use a little of it this year. We don't produce enough to get a significant amount. That and I open compost too and we seem to ahve some wellfed raccoons and possums.




You have to take the bad with the good. I have an open compost too, and I was feeling really good about it feeding the wild rabbits in the winter, until I saw a fox run through the yard with one in it's mouth



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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For slugs, I have heard placing a copper wire in their way will help
, it is supposed to shock them?

I used to use the actual beer bottle, half full still of beer, and bury in on a 45 degree angle, with the top sticking out a bit, and change the bottle when it is too full of slugs. Saved my lettuce crops. And then there is also the salting of slugs, but before they get to the garden, salt being bad for the soil.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by salchanra
 


Yea, I do have to take more time to prepare instead of throwing it in the ground last minute. I had high hopes and dreams of my husband helping me. Because of the clay content, just getting it turned over is a herculian effort.

But I have a number to a guy who sells a truckbed of soil for 35. Which is a good deal. So I will do taht and the raised bed next year. Plus, funds should be better for supplies.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 



Clay is just a nightmare to work with. I can see why you have a bad back.

It took me about 3 years to get everything above ground. Dont try to do it all at once. I would actually start now for next year if I had to. The prep is somewhat time consuming and expensive. A lesson I learned fast, make sure your boxes arent too wide to reach the middle from each side. Makes weeding/harvesting easier. Also, watch what type of wood you use. Alot of chemicals go into treated wood that can burn your roots, or change the taste of your food.

Also, I saw mentioned on here people using open compost bins. There is nothing wrong with that, though it may be slower. However, if you compost certain manures, especially horse, some seeds will live a long long time without the killing heat inside a steel drum.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 03:15 PM
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Great info thanks lots to learn will try the straw bales...

For ants what worked for me was setting cut fruit and cordial in a plate away from your "precious" this should work fast, if you can find the colony remove the top and they may relocate but do put the fruit in place first.

Slugs are a real pain , i find salt works until it rains, two years ago we put a tiny pond in and have lots of frogs to eat the slugs since. They tend to migrate back each year and have helped the people with a plot next to me.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by snowspirit
 

Ha ha ha, skunks are my late night dinner guests in my compost. I really like skunks though because they keep away snakes I've heard and they are so darned cute, they get along with one of my cats who is black and white...he learned his lesson the hard way but still likes to hang out with them at night...at a distance of about ten feet.

I'm going to try the strongest vinegar I can get on the weeds this year...I've heard if you pour it directly on the weed it will kill it. I'm not a real "successful" gardener but that is all relative. If I get a small yield, various animals and bugs get to half of it I still consider it an amazing success. I'm doing a lot more container gardening these days and think it's the way to go.

Excellent thread, Thanks for all the tips everyone.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 03:34 PM
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I've just been using the weed eater this year. Be careful not to cut your vegetables, though. We've been in a heat wave for about a week now, and actually, the weeds have been keeping the soil cooler and wetter between waterings. I only have tomatoes this year but I did plant a blueberry bush and a raspberry bush. There's always the old hoe, but I find it less back-breaking to use a shovel and lightly dig 'em out. With a shovel, your foot and leg do most of the work. And try and work in sections. Don't go out thinking "I've got to do it all today." Just 10-20 minutes a day usually works fine. Just remember, it's just like working out. Do a few stretching exercises before starting each day. Good luck and happy gardening.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by maybee
 


Acutally I was just about to say that. A website to help people maintain house and home called flylady.com recommends that you clean for only 15-20 inutes a day. That way your not overwhelmed, instead of trying to spend the entire weekend cleaning up a mess. Eventually you will get on top of things and keep up with it. I am going to use the same approach to weeding.


Valuable info I learned this winter for people with bad backs for shoveling snow, and this goes as well for any back breaking labor:

Archeologists looked at how peasants could do back breaking labor for 16 hours a day with tools. They discovered the position that they used makes a difference.

I used this during Snowmaggedeon. And it really does make a HUGE difference!

But you stand in a lunge. ONe leg forward and bent, the other straight behind you, and you "sit" into that position. All you have to do is bend slightly at the waist and lean forward at about a 45 degree angle, and let your arms and shoulders do the rest. The lunge position brings you closer to the ground, keeps you from having to bend at the back, and lets your torso and legs carry the load.



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