New garden question

leveraddict

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2017 BX23S 60" LP BoxBlade 54" mower 60" BackBlade EA 12" 1 bottom plow & Forks
Apr 1, 2019
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Madison,Pa.
Just before winter last year I picked up a mold board plow for the tractor, but it was just too late to plow, I also had to remove two big stumps where the garden is going which I finally did this week. I also bought a new walk behind tiller a few weeks ago. Its virgin ground and never been planted. I could wait until next year to plant and spend this year amending the soil but wheres the fun in that. Its nice soil, my property was old farmland probably 100 years ago but im sure its nutrient deficient and theres no organic matter. I dont have much time before seed should be in the ground. This year the garden will be all Silver Queen sweet corn! What could I add to the soil for a quick pick me up as far as amendments go? Any suggestions are welcome.
 

GreensvilleJay

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'garden'... curious ..how big ? Seeing how you have a walkbehind, I'm assuming 1/2ac or less ?

OK, corn requires HUGE amounts of Nitrogen !
You should get soil tested at local 'county ag dept.' or at least talk to them. They may (should ?) have paperwork on the soil conditions for your field.

Best thing you can do is start compost piles.Put all kitchen waste,organics, grass clippings, leaves, etc. into it. If there's a stable nearby, see about getting 'ponypoop / stable sweepings'. I added 200-300 cuyds of it every fall, using a Millcreek 25bu spreader. Use your bucket to 'turn and fluff' the pile every month,more in summer.Ask around for mushroom compost, chicken manure(high N !), any leaves EXCEPT Black Walnut !!!! Funny thing is people drop off their BAGGED clippings and leave for me now. I get free compost material delivered!
Compost is a 'more is better' deal. You want garden soil to be light, fluffy, have 'good tilthe'.
 
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jyoutz

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An easy way to add lots of organic matter: plant wheat or oats and till under before the seed heads ripen and plants are still green. I did this the first year after I broke new ground for my garden.
 
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FrozenInTime

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BX2370
Mar 25, 2015
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ND
My soil was/is pretty deficient, only about 12 inches before turning to pure sand. Yet when I plant, my plants go nuts. I've had tomato plants 5-6ft tall, a single melon plant spreads out like 5 or 6, corn, it goes great but gets tall enough I have problems because of the constant wind here. What I do yearly, plant my rows, cover with mulched leaves/grass( leaving an area for the plants to rise up and water. Oh, I raise chickens so I pile up the coup cleanings and turn every so often with loader. I let a pile get atleast a year old before using and will mix with grass clippings during the year. I spread beside each row a light shovel full of year or 2 old chicken coup compost. Let mamma nature/rain soak in the manure over the summer. First time I ran a walk behind tiller in my 60'x70' garden, it would just bounce because the ground was so hard. I picked up a 3-point Land Pride RTR tiller and let a rip. My soil for some reason likes to turn to brick every couple-3 years so I just hit it hard again. Other than that, I just mark/run a walker down the row only, way too much work to do whole garden by hand.

Got any friends with chickens, cows? I'm told don't use horse manure unless you want lots of weeds. Cow, use when you get it. Chicken, let sit a year or the nitrogen will be too strong/hot for plants. Grass, only use if from a yard that has/is not getting alot of fertilizer/weed control chemicals dumped on it. Wood shavings/chips, looks clean/purdy but don't use as it sucks alot of nitrogen out of the soil.
 
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leveraddict

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2017 BX23S 60" LP BoxBlade 54" mower 60" BackBlade EA 12" 1 bottom plow & Forks
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Just what I thought....theres no quick fix!
 

GreensvilleJay

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The 'quick fix' is to so what big farmers do. Buy 1,000$s worth of Nitrogen prills, spread heavy and corn WILL grow. At harvest time ,you'll have EVERY coon for miles come and 'inspect (taste test)' each and every ear .... ;):(

Gardening, like most other ventures, you have to give back what you take. Odds are goo you'll get a 'minor crop' this year BUT build a HUGE pile of compost and add it ALL in this fall. Years year's garden WILL be great !
 

rc51stierhoff

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Sep 13, 2021
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Ohio
Just before winter last year I picked up a mold board plow for the tractor, but it was just too late to plow, I also had to remove two big stumps where the garden is going which I finally did this week. I also bought a new walk behind tiller a few weeks ago. Its virgin ground and never been planted. I could wait until next year to plant and spend this year amending the soil but wheres the fun in that. Its nice soil, my property was old farmland probably 100 years ago but im sure its nutrient deficient and theres no organic matter. I dont have much time before seed should be in the ground. This year the garden will be all Silver Queen sweet corn! What could I add to the soil for a quick pick me up as far as amendments go? Any suggestions are welcome.
How do you know you need soil amendments? I think it depends you are wanting to plant it this year or you want to start amending this year? Either way I’d check with your local extension service and get some free advice with those familiar with your area and soil. They can probably help you with a soil sample and pH test. I would not suggest you do much until you understand the current soil condition and also consider what it is you want to plant and what those crops prefer in terms of the soil quality…it may be fine the way it is…and in that case dumping supplements on may not help you with the results you want. If you are wanting fast amendments I suspect you will need supplements/chemicals unless maybe you have great soil already. If you don’t mind trying the garden and see how it does, you can always plant a cover crop to help with the nutrients…buck wheat is great and grows just about anywhere. Extension service can likely help you with what would help you soil and to give some advice on a simple plan for your goals.
 
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fried1765

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Nov 14, 2019
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Eastham, Ma
Just before winter last year I picked up a mold board plow for the tractor, but it was just too late to plow, I also had to remove two big stumps where the garden is going which I finally did this week. I also bought a new walk behind tiller a few weeks ago. Its virgin ground and never been planted. I could wait until next year to plant and spend this year amending the soil but wheres the fun in that. Its nice soil, my property was old farmland probably 100 years ago but im sure its nutrient deficient and theres no organic matter. I dont have much time before seed should be in the ground. This year the garden will be all Silver Queen sweet corn! What could I add to the soil for a quick pick me up as far as amendments go? Any suggestions are welcome.
Silver Queen is the best corn ever!
Ignore the naysayers for this year!
Plant it with some commercial fertilizer for this year, and do some better planning for next year!
BEWARE.......THE RACCOONS !!
 
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FrozenInTime

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Mar 25, 2015
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ND
Coons, field rats, have always been a problem for me from day one. They have mowed down everything here, even thorny plants. I put up a 6-foot tall fence completely around my garden. Coons manage to get to my corn but not as often so that helped. Field rats.... every few years one will run into the fence/bust a 4inch pole leaving the surviving rats an opportunity to get in. That's happened twice in 12 years.

Quick soil fix, cost $$ and is temporary. Best to enjoy what you get this year whilst working on a yearly/permanent fix/nutrient replacement. How was the grass on the area til now? Good, solid grass soil is probably tolerable levels. Lots of weeds, soil probably needs some work.

After I put the fence up every year I have a portable chicken coup in garden. I mark/fence off 25% or so and let chickens enjoy that part of garden. A couple years, or every year if I get the energy, I move fence/coup to a different section of garden and plant last run area. I get good returns on that section so I guess I'm letting my egg producers amend my soil. This has worked well for me except when an occasional predator manages to gain access to the chickens then it's war...
 

Outnumbered

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Oct 26, 2019
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Moseley, VA
I take the shredded leaves from my leaf vac (oaks and maples) along with the droppings from our three goats and turn it under every winter. I have done this for over 10 years in one space and I started a larger garden space about two years ago and it is starting to loosen up and turn a nice brown vs the ole orange clay. Crops did well after the first year of turning the organic matter under and will only get better with time. The older space is perfect and is really nice for my root crops now, potatoes, beets, onions and carrots. I put the sweet corn in the new garden last year and it did very well.
 
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leveraddict

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2017 BX23S 60" LP BoxBlade 54" mower 60" BackBlade EA 12" 1 bottom plow & Forks
Apr 1, 2019
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Madison,Pa.
Well I will be working on compost until its time to plant. I have lots of wood chips, one pile is 2 years old. I will mix with grass clippings, ground leaves and kitchen scraps. I will source some manure near by.

I dont know for sure if my dirt is lacking nutrients. It is green lush grass right now but it does need organic matter added to fluff up the soil.

I will do my best this year and will be better prepared for next year. I am concerned about the racoons, groundhogs and other critters trying to eat my garden. i have been looking at all kinds of fencing. It does get expensive! It looks like nothing is fool proof when it comes to coons and ground hogs. One goes over the fence and one goes under!
 

fried1765

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Nov 14, 2019
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Eastham, Ma
Well I will be working on compost until its time to plant. I have lots of wood chips, one pile is 2 years old. I will mix with grass clippings, ground leaves and kitchen scraps. I will source some manure near by.

I dont know for sure if my dirt is lacking nutrients. It is green lush grass right now but it does need organic matter added to fluff up the soil.

I will do my best this year and will be better prepared for next year. I am concerned about the racoons, groundhogs and other critters trying to eat my garden. i have been looking at all kinds of fencing. It does get expensive! It looks like nothing is fool proof when it comes to coons and ground hogs. One goes over the fence and one goes under!
I have found that the best raccoon protection is a strobe light.
You can buy one on Amazon for under $30.
Either put it on a timer, or activate it each night yourself.
A radio also helps, but I have found that the strobe works best.
 
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skeets

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The best cure for coons is a .22 and a flash light. I tried the lights and radio but they would just be dancin with the strobe and music ;)
 
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pgmrdan

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Aug 16, 2017
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I take the shredded leaves from my leaf vac (oaks and maples) along with the droppings from our three goats and turn it under every winter. I have done this for over 10 years in one space and I started a larger garden space about two years ago and it is starting to loosen up and turn a nice brown vs the ole orange clay. Crops did well after the first year of turning the organic matter under and will only get better with time. The older space is perfect and is really nice for my root crops now, potatoes, beets, onions and carrots. I put the sweet corn in the new garden last year and it did very well.
I totally agree!

 

MapleLeafFarmer

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Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
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new garden on an old site where soil is probably less than ideal and corn is a priority??

sounds like the ideal situation for a 3 sisters planting regime . Google 3 sisters planting and you will learn its probably ideal for what you are considering.

beware adding wood chips will require you to increase your nitrogen addition. I would start with at least a spring application of 1 pound granular 20/20/20 (anything close) per 100 sq. feet. Cost at local farm store in bags about 60 cents US per pound. (per 100 sq. feet of garden). eventually a soil test would be appropriate (and cheap). I use a lot of chainsaw shavings in mine. Works great but hard on nitrogen levels.

I hate adding manure to our gardens. Seems to introduce lots of cut worms, cabbage beetles, canola bugs, etc... We avoid it and instead just till in lots of leaves and grass. Watch out if you go manure and have insecticide on standby just in case.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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'wood chips' are extremely BAD for veggy gardens

1) they require 15x they're mass in nitrogen( think grass clippings) to 'compost down....
2) if YOU don't add N, then they'll suck it out of the ground
3) ANY black walnut chips WILL kill veggies like toms and peps and others (jugovin(sp) , poison..)

4) composted manure is fine, I get 'stable sweepings / ponu poop',,usually 50-100 cuyds a year,takes 3-5 months to 'cook'
 

rc51stierhoff

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B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
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Ohio
'wood chips' are extremely BAD for veggy gardens

1) they require 15x they're mass in nitrogen( think grass clippings) to 'compost down....
2) if YOU don't add N, then they'll suck it out of the ground
3) ANY black walnut chips WILL kill veggies like toms and peps and others (jugovin(sp) , poison..)

4) composted manure is fine, I get 'stable sweepings / ponu poop',,usually 50-100 cuyds a year,takes 3-5 months to 'cook'
Regarding the wood chips as not recommended…That makes sense but then how would these work then?
https://www.permaculturenews.org/2012/01/04/hugelkultur-composting-whole-trees-with-ease/ I’ve thought about trying it but wood that take the nitrogen as well? I understood they said urine and greens help but would not also be try with the chips …seems like maybe fresh green wood vs decomposing?
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
find on the web how much Nitrogen (grass clippings are used...) you need to decompose the wood. It's a HUGE amount. Putting the logs in the ground means they'll absorb ALL of the 'in ground' nitrogen which is really, really bad if you're trying to grow anything to live on !
Also that area really can't be used to grow much and according to the article will take 3-5 YEARS !
I can take pony poop, pine shavings, green material and get USEFUL compost in 3 months.
The EXPERTS at composting are in Mexico City. Even PBS/NOVA had a show on them decades ago..I think they do it in 6 weeks ! That show is probably on the net 'somewhere'...
Some 'downeasters' ( no soil...) make 'cribs from straw bales. Toss everything 'organic' in the 1st one, 1st year. Every year add another crib,dump that years organics in there, repeat every year. Again a PBS show... after 3 years of lightly turning over the crib, 1st one IS compost....
Obviously how fast depends on what you add, weather, how often you turn the 'heap'.
 
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skeets

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You nailed it, turning is a major point people miss
 
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