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Building soil after pigs

 
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Location: Near Bellingham WA (northwest PNW)
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Hi all,
I'm wondering what to plant in a section of land we had two pigs in for 6 months. The land used to be grass, but now is mostly mucky clayish soil. I'm hoping to eventually grow some food crops there, but I'm in no particular rush. I think the soil particularly needs biomass. Thinking about buckwheat. Any other suggestions as for possible crops? I have no tractor, and don't want to till too much. I live in Zone 8 in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks!
 
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John Buker wrote:Hi all,
I'm wondering what to plant in a section of land we had two pigs in for 6 months. The land used to be grass, but now is mostly mucky clayish soil. I'm hoping to eventually grow some food crops there, but I'm in no particular rush. I think the soil particularly needs biomass. Thinking about buckwheat. Any other suggestions as for possible crops? I have no tractor, and don't want to till too much. I live in Zone 8 in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks!



Buckwheat has very little compost mass, disappears.  

Look into the long Miyashige radishes (16-18 inch long/deep) for fall, and order a free Johnny's catalog and take a look at p. 163 for characteristics of different cover crops of 2021.  877-564-6697 (Johnny's phone) https://www.johnnyseeds.com/
 
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I like to use a diverse mix of cover crops. Keep in mind that most are turned under (tilled) in big ag outfits. I chop and drop, rape, 7 top turnip, daikon, winter peas, even grains work well, just chop before seed out.

Redhawk
 
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I would suggest oodles of dry char, too, to soak up the excess nitrogen and turn it into into slow release.
 
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What works well for me is wheat. It grows well in our climate all winter long.  I feed it soaked to my laying chickens in chicken tractors. They always bury some so it comes up and as I rotate through the summer I have free food and straw to improve the soil.  

This video was late spring and I was experimenting with small grains.  I am going to try buck wheat also this year also.  Sun flowers made an interesting mix of feed and course compost material.   If you have land to mow try covering the ground with it during July through September dry months here.  Let the earth critters cultivate the soil for you and it will produce more each year.
 
Michael Moreken
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Bryant RedHawk wrote: I chop and drop, rape, 7 top turnip, daikon,

Redhawk



7 top turnip, is that a typo Redhawk?
 
pollinator
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Michael Moreken wrote:

Bryant RedHawk wrote: I chop and drop, rape, 7 top turnip, daikon,

Redhawk



7 top turnip, is that a typo Redhawk?




It's a variety: https://www.edenbrothers.com/store/turnip_seeds_seven_top.html
 
pollinator
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I like to use a diverse mix of cover crops. Keep in mind that most are turned under (tilled) in big ag outfits. I chop and drop, rape, 7 top turnip, daikon, winter peas, even grains work well, just chop before seed out. Redhawk


Dr. Redhawk, this sounds like what you do over summer.  What do you do over the winter?  Looking for recommendations related to timing for North Alabama (Zone 7a/b).

I just bought a crimper roller and want to keep a cover crop in between my orchard rows.  

From what I understand, the roots will provide many of the nutrients needed for my fruit trees.  

Are any other supplements needed to make sure I have it all covered?  

Should I let it seed out and get a new cover crop to cover the seasons?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Hau Dennis, I have started using wheat and barley for winter fodder for the deer and quail that share the land. Those are easy to no till, grow to around 6 - 8 inches and stay that height all winter in spring you can crimp or wait and harvest grains.

In my deer area I rotate through Wheat and barley then soybeans 7top, rape, crimson clover, yellow clover. I usually mix seed passes and over seed.

Hope that helps

Redhawk
 
Dennis Bangham
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Thank you Dr. Redhawk.  I have been following your advice for years and my land went from hard clay to amazing loose rich soil.  Starting to get Pawpaw, Persimmon and Jujube for harvest.
 
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John Buker wrote:Hi all,
I'm wondering what to plant in a section of land we had two pigs in for 6 months. The land used to be grass, but now is mostly mucky clayish soil. I'm hoping to eventually grow some food crops there, but I'm in no particular rush. I think the soil particularly needs biomass. Thinking about buckwheat. Any other suggestions as for possible crops? I have no tractor, and don't want to till too much. I live in Zone 8 in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks!


This is sorghum sudan grass that I planted back on July 2 behind where my hog tractors had been in the spring eating clover/rye/oats/wheat/brassica mixture. It grew like that on only 4 or so inches of rain and residual hog manure for fertilizer.
IMG_1667.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_1667.jpeg]
 
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