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Adding Manure+compost (store bought bag)

 
Posts: 278
Location: South Central Kansas
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I cannot seem to find the mix ratio for adding the Manure+Humus (bag) to the soil as a percentage.

Some sites say you cannot plant directly into that mix while others seem to indicate that you can.

My hugelgarden is not producing heat now but I think it is still in need of something as the soil 'feels' a bit sandy when dry.

And the other item of interest is using that mix with Mykos.

I want to grow my tomatoes as big as basketballs LOL
But without having to babysit them or water constantly like I did last year.

I plan on using some organic tomato fertilizer that has beneficial bacteria in it from the producer.
I believe that most of the good stuff was cooked out when my hugel was running 130F+ for most of the year (measured about 5 inches down from the surface).
I can only imagine how hot it got near or in the core and thus suspect I will be in need of inoculating it.

So, your thoughts?
 
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Location: Santa Cruz, Ca
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Hi Kai,

How old is your hugel?  How tall was it when you first built it?  

I am interested in taking the temp, I never thought to do that with a hugel, although I usually record temperatures of compost piles.  I would wager that 130 isn't a bad thing for microorganisms, they move about freely, as do mycelium.  

Are you mulching that soil?  grass clipping and twigs and regular old weeds are great to keep some moisture in the topsoil.  Go thick on the mulch, like a foot or more!

For me personally, I have stopped using bagged manure, as well as manure from any farm that de-worms the animals.  The medication persists in the poo and then kills all the earthworms!  
Those little guys are my buddies, and they help so enormously by aerating and inoculating the soil.  I wouldn't want to try to garden without them.  

That being said, if you've already added the manure it will be okay- soil is so complex, and downright magical, it's beyond comprehension.  You already have all of the components your garden needs, on site!

I'm going to suggest to you three words that will save you from having to purchase almost anything for your garden: Korean Natural Farming.  

I have only recently stumbled upon this and it's completely rocking my world.  If you haven't already read about it, the idea is that you capture and grow what good microbes are already present on your site, and tend everything using stuff you already have around, like eggshells, banana peels, grass clippings.  you make these things bio available / ferment them and create fertilizers, better than the best you could buy.  Serious money saving and you get to feel like a wizard, concocting potions.  Sorry if I sound like a weirdo about this, but it's been such a fun adventure.  The books are online, as PDF's, a great one is called JADAM

I used to buy so much stuff for my garden, Mykos and all of that.  It's great when/if I had a ton of $$$, but I felt like... without it my garden wasn't as fancy.  Now I make what my yard needs, like a home-cooked meal, but for dirt.  It's been really special.  

Good luck, I know your tomatoes will be champs, send pictures!
 
pollinator
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Kai Walker wrote:I cannot seem to find the mix ratio for adding the Manure+Humus (bag) to the soil as a percentage. Some sites say you cannot plant directly into that mix while others seem to indicate that you can.

i would compost when in doubt about manure. mix with some browns and greens and let it cook and turn every three days - it'll be fine in 3-4 weeks.

I plan on using some organic tomato fertilizer that has beneficial bacteria in it from the producer

specifically what kind/brand of fertilizer do you plan to use? well made compost tea and diluted urine is good enough for me.

I want to grow my tomatoes as big as basketballs LOL But without having to babysit them or water constantly like I did last year... I believe that most of the good stuff was cooked out when my hugel was running 130F+ for most of the year (measured about 5 inches down from the surface). I can only imagine how hot it got near or in the core and thus suspect I will be in need of inoculating it. So, your thoughts?

i wouldn't worry too much and suspect there's still lots of good stuff there. not sure about giant no-tend tomatoes but just sprinkle more compost regularly to be sure, mulch, and you'll get decent sized ones.
 
Kai Walker
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I added about 4 TONS of used coffee grounds.
130 about 4-5 inches below the surface is HOT for plants.
Imaging how hot it was 2 feet or so down!

My hugel started out about 28 inches high with about 4-6 inches below ground (struck hardpan).

When I get some decent (and free wifi) to use I will upload my pix.

I did reach some spots over 140 too.

Had to water a LOT to keep the thing from possibly catching on fire! lol

Will email scotts earth gro about what the bag says vs what their site says.
 
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Kai Walker wrote:I added about 4 TONS of used coffee grounds.
130 about 4-5 inches below the surface is HOT for plants.
Imaging how hot it was 2 feet or so down!

My hugel started out about 28 inches high with about 4-6 inches below ground (struck hardpan).

When I get some decent (and free wifi) to use I will upload my pix.

I did reach some spots over 140 too.

Had to water a LOT to keep the thing from possibly catching on fire! lol

Will email scotts earth gro about what the bag says vs what their site says.



Kai, this sounds awesome!!! I make compost tea, but I also thing composting in place is the natural way. I think the microbes will stop being enzymatically active as the nitrogen in the coffee is incorporated. I used commercial mix for a couple years and I can confirm that there were worms everywhere in the plain chips, and none in the "humus/compost" mix.

Most commercial "Humus and compost" is 80% small wood chips and 20% straight (generally cow) manure, fermented in the bag. It is OK, not great. I try to get some silicates and sand in my compost, I think Dr Redhawk says at least 10%. There is one brand that clearly has some gypsum in it, which is great, but I haven't been able to find it. I'm making my own massive compost from chips and fill dirt with waste stream components, and with that amount of coffee, it should be quick in the summer temps. If you cover with a tarp to prevent evaporative losses, the pile should stay wet once it has absorbed in the spring. I don't think you will start a fire if the moisture is maintained.

Super solid work, it will pay off!!!

 
Kai Walker
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The coffee grounds were put in to offset the nitrogen sequestration by the wood and wood chips. Not to mention feeding worms.
I have seen a few baby worms recently now.

During construction the hugel was tilled many times incorporating things into it.

And only one part will tilled this year (the area I plant tomatoes in to help kill off any hibernating hornworms).

I have nearly 1/2 TB of pictures from the first year.
Too much for me to afford to upload from my gawd awfully expensive data plan.

I added in some 3-5 year old rotten wood chips too. hen topped some of it off with new wood chips as a mulch.

I bought some gypsum to put into the tomato holes to help ward off blossom end rot.

I will also add in some Mykos then fertilize with organic tomato plant food containing beneficial bacterial strains too.

I WANT tomatoes as big as basketballs! lol
 
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