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Breaking up clay is hard to do

 
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Hey there first thread on Permies and I'm wanting to get advice on where to go from here and document how my new garden progresses. I am wanting to do no till next year but this year I needed to put some plants in the ground so I decided to till. So the first day I watered the hard baked clay. We had 2 bon fires there so there wasn't much ground cover and there was some charcoal like stuff not sure but I think it's biochar? So we stabbed with a shovel but it was just hard rocks of clay. So I added more water and before you know it I had a giant mud puddle. So then I got a lot of the hard lumps broken up and added peet and composted manure. It then became a silkier softer clay. It wasn't draining though. Then someone told me about leaf mold and I have plenty of that at the end of my drive way! I just had to cut up all the Virginia Creeper vine mats and liberate it. So we hauled like 30 wheel barrows of that over to the garden site. Then I mixed it in best I could. I dug holes and added epson salt, egg shells, banana peels. Put the tomatoes and peppers in that had been growing in big pots. Then I covered it in yard clippings and then used old leaves as mulch. I stuck in some Jobes plant sticks too. I've been watering with worm casting tea. So far so good nobody is dead yet and it's been about a week. Anyway I will keep you all posted and look forward to reading any advice you may have. I've read the soil thread by Red Hawk. It's very informative man that guy is legend and I love him!!! If he replies to this post I'll die just die with delight.  I'm hoping for some reassurance I'm doing this thing right. I'll post pics tomorrow.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Oh I forgot to add that I met a nice lady down the street and she says I can have her rabbit's poop and she's going to save her compostable items for me so YAY!!! Also I planted celosia seeds because the greens are edible and the flowers attract pollinators. Hopefully they'll bloom before the winter if not at least I'll have the greens. I brought some of my own weeds with me from where I used to live. I know that's probably weird but there isn't much in the way of weeds here because it's over run with freakin' stinkin' English Ivy so I needed some diversity. I brought ladies thumb, chick weed, and, violets wood sorrel. They're such nice weeds that have medicinal uses and I can chop and drop them. 😊 Also I dug another bed against a wire fence. I used some of the left over dirt mixture and added more peet and broke up more clay chunks. I planted some cucumbers and green bean seeds. Excited to see how that goes. Going to use greens then leaf mulch once the seedlings get to be a good size.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3455
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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Welcome to Permies!

Jackie Bodiou wrote: I brought ladies thumb, chick weed, and, violets wood sorrel.



It is interesting that you have mostly listed weeds that are also edible. Always make sure to verify the identity of any before you plant you eat it.

Ladies thumb... Some of the plants in the Polygonaceae family are edible, further investigation is needed for your specific plant ID
Chickweed
Violets
Wood sorrel



 
pollinator
Posts: 2484
Location: 4b
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You are doing just what you need to do.  Fixing clay soil is just a matter of mixing in organic matter, keeping it covered, and time.  Since you want to switch to no till, I recommend you watch the "Back to Eden" movie, free on the web site, and start sourcing wood chips.  Wood chips will do more to fix your clay soil than you can imagine.  You're off to a great start.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Thanks so much for replying you have reassured my obsessive mind! I found a new leaf on one of my pepper plants so that made me happy too. I'm going to grow some lentils here and there and use them for chop and drop and also add some compost holes. I'm working on getting a wood chip connection! I want to grow pink and blue oysters in the front and wine caps in the back. I love BTE that was what first got me going on Permaculture. So excited about finally being able to experiment with this and Ruth Stouts method too.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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YES I am totally into wild edibles and I am trying to grow the wild plants I want to crowd out the weeds I don't want. Like freakin stinkin ivy!!! I found some plantain leaf and I'm transplanting it over to the garden too. It's great for all sorts of health issues and I can harvest the seeds and use them like flax seeds then chop and drop it and ground cover as well! I love the triple duty wild plants!
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I'm having trouble with some sort of murderous looking ground hornets. Will have to pour gas on their hole when I find it. I need to harvest my extra kombucha scobies and bury them in the garden site and in my worm farms. I have 2. One under cardboard under the leaf mold making pile, one in a tote. Another thing I need do is make a better work farm. The tote s falling apart. Going to extend my leaf pile and make it longer so I can prep the site for future flower beds and smother freakin stinkin ivy at the same time.
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Excited about these tiger lillies I found out they're edible last night woot woot!
Excited about these tiger lillies I found out they're edible last night woot woot!
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My hydrangea front yard one
My hydrangea front yard one
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Leaf mold in the making with a worm farm underneath
Leaf mold in the making with a worm farm underneath
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Future site of my yard birds
Future site of my yard birds
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Main garden site with tomatoes, peppers, moss roses, celosia, and various wild plants.
Main garden site with tomatoes, peppers, moss roses, celosia, and various wild plants.
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Planted cucumber and green beans seeds here. Going to extend the bed and plant radish.
Planted cucumber and green beans seeds here. Going to extend the bed and plant radish.
 
gardener
Posts: 2152
Location: South of Capricorn
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Welcome Jackie, I'm another one fighting the hard clay, little by little we can do it!
Looks like you have lots of good sources of inputs for your soil and lots of good projects to come.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I'm excited I got some lentils, garlic and onions from the store to plant!!! Lentils are good nitrogen fixers from what I understand and they're such a cute plant and the sprouts are delish so I am ready to get these going!
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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It sure seems to be a common problem so I'm glad I'm not alone! Yes I am lucky there's lots of neglected spots thick with vine mats filled with leaf mold and worms! 😍 Someone keeps throwing away my compost items and it's so frustrating! They'll get used to saving it for me though.
 
Posts: 61
Location: Boondock, KY
10
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Another clay soil Kentuckian here.  Organic matter and mature composts piled on seem to get the worms going here.  That helps a bit.  As does a broadfork afterwards.  

A neighbor had impressive success with treating an area with gypsum and covering with a tarp for several months.  Going to have to give that a try.  
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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NICE! Going to try that! Yay glad to see another Kentuckian. Clay is crazy stuff I swear I could throw a pot with this stuff. Going to try to make my own cob with it.
 
Posts: 37
Location: North Central Kentucky
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Another clay soil Kentuckian here.  I'm starting on a back to eden style garden now.  There are a few areas I'm going try planting daikon seeds this fall to see how they do at pulling nitrogen up towards the surface and breaking up some of the heavier clay.    It's my first year with this garden so when I planted, I loosened things up with a broadfork and then mulched heavily with wood chips.  
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Today we cleared more vines, and I'm sprouting some of the lentils I bought. I think I soaked them too long though so I may have to start over. I didn't water today because it was supposed to rain. Hopefully it'll rain tonight. I sprinkled some epson salt around the bases of all the plants. I saw a few green sprouts not sure if it's the celosia seeds I planted or weeds but I figure weeds are an encouraging sign as long as it's not freakin stinkin english or poison ivy. Researched how to grow onions from store bought and it's going to be harder than I thought. Of course! I think I'm just going to slice the dried up roots off and stick em in the ground.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I bought some dried chick peas at the store and have them soaking now so I can sprout then plant them. My lentils were a go they didn't rot so I plant them in the main garden. I got some green onions so I'm going to plant the tops asap after it stops raining. AAAAAND I got a thyme plant at the store. I swear thyme is just the most adorable plant ever and it smells nice. I think I'm going to try making an oxmel with it. It's like a honey vinegar concoction that's supposed to be good for when you're sick. It's supposed to be made with sage but why not use other herbs? We cleared more vines today over by my leaf pile. I'm making a garden bed over there with some extra iris, tiger lillies and ferns I have. Oh and when I was digging in the garden to plant my lentils and bury my compost the dirt was very nice. Two different places!! Excited about that. I think this clay soil is going to be easier to fix than I thought. Which is good because I am going to have a lot of extra after all our projects and I'm wanting to use it for my raised beds next year.  I'm so super excited about everything. I've been waiting 4 years and studying for this. So so excited. I feel like I was born for this! Like I am finally here at the right time in the right place with with the right knowledge.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I have cucumber and green bean sprouts!!! YAY!!! 14 cuc and 20 green beans. My lentil sprouts got uncovered by the storm last night so I covered them back up. The tomatoes and peppers looked great though. Bright green and the peppers look perkier and less transplant shocked.  I have about 10 banana peppers that'll be ready to pick tomorrow or the next day. Still waiting for my chick peas to sprout I can't wait. They're cool looking plants and I can chop and drop them under my leaf mulch and compost them in my garden compost hole. We tried some cucumber salad at the store and it was heinous so I'm going to compost that! Haha I got compost fever baby! Yeah! If my family stands still too long I'll compost them! πŸ˜‚ My bfs friend came over today and commented on my garden and said pine needles are bad for plants. So now I'm trying to find information about it. My understanding is that they're ok and don't change the acidity of the soil that bad. Hoping someone will chime in about it.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Oh and my chick peas sprouted and a tiger lilly opened! I dug another compost hole and added some cardboard from my worm farm in it.
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Ii went out to the garden this morning and was greeted by this cheerful fellow! Anyone know what it is?
Ii went out to the garden this morning and was greeted by this cheerful fellow! Anyone know what it is?
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My banana peppers are doing well. Picked some to make spaghetti with.
My banana peppers are doing well. Picked some to make spaghetti with.
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All my tomato plants are looking green!
All my tomato plants are looking green!
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Banana peppers
Banana peppers
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My blue hydrangea near my main garden site. It has lower branches that made roots so there's actually 3 plants there. I'm going to move them further down to form a hedge.
My blue hydrangea near my main garden site. It has lower branches that made roots so there's actually 3 plants there. I'm going to move them further down to form a hedge.
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Cayenne pepper plant one of them.
Cayenne pepper plant one of them.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I haven't done much in the garden because my shoulder is hurting but I got my chick peas planted in the leaf pile side of the yard. My lentils aren't showing yet above the dirt yet. Some of my pepper plants have wilted leaves. Maybe too much rain for them?
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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My tiger lillies are blooming and I saw a hummingbird checking them out today. We saw a snake it was cool looking. My bf wanted to kill it but I told him no don't. It seemed so calm and cool looking slithering around the lawn mower. I planted my mustard seeds that sprouted. Oh and I found some old seeds of my moms. Mostly flowers so I'll plant them next year. I was excited about the forget me not seeds they're one of my faves. There was some lettuce which I'll plant when it cools off in September. Got some seeds in the mail that I ordered too. It was a seedful day!
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Tiger lillies
Tiger lillies
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Mustard seeds that sprouted.
Mustard seeds that sprouted.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Some cantaloupe seeds sprouted in my main garden site compost hole. So that's cool. Not sure if the melons will have time to mature but hey it'll be good for composting.
IMG_20210716_1403497_rewind.jpg
A close up of my tiger lillies.
A close up of my tiger lillies.
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Thyme
Thyme
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Progress pic of my swamp garden. Everybody is looking really healthy except for the peppers in the middle they've got sad leaves when it's hot but perk up when it cools off.
Progress pic of my swamp garden. Everybody is looking really healthy except for the peppers in the middle they've got sad leaves when it's hot but perk up when it cools off.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Pulled some more vines today. I don't think my lentils took. Maybe I should wait until it's cooler. The mustard sprouts are looking good. I think one of my bell pepper plants is in trouble. There are some yellowing leaves and one of the peppers seems to be about to fall off. Going to try giving it some worm tea when it dries up a little. I may move my peppers that are drooping to the shadier side of the garden and move the tomatoes I have there to the sunnier side. Scooped dirt mounds made from moles and filled in the holes. Oh and yesterday I put some Portobello mushrooms under my mulch to hopefully increase the fungal content. Added some tea bags, coffee grounds, and sprinkled eggshells on top to deter slugs. Getting lots of tiny plant growth all over the garden so I may need to put more leaves down. Maybe some cardboard too. Gave my tote worm composter some cantaloupe. They really liked that. Oh and I have a snake hole by the main garden site. Maybe the one I saw the other day. Hopefully he'll eat anything that tries to eat my garden. I wonder if he likes caterpillars and Japanese beetles!? We saw frogs and an annole last night. It was so fun watching them while sitting on the front porch and listening to music. Ahhh I LOVE the semi almost country life! There are neighbors but they're far enough away that I can pretend they're not there. 😊
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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My bell pepper plant is looking super duper yellow today. *sigh* so I looked it up and it seems like a lack of nitrogen could be a problem. I have been giving them coffee grounds. Going to have to talk to that lady about getting her rabbits poop. My moss roses are finally recovering from too much rain. They're so beautiful! Trying to figure out if my tiger lillies are the kind that are good to eat. Internet information is confusing! Some say yes some say no. The good news is that if it's not good to eat it will taste awful. πŸ˜‚
https://growwhereyousow.com/natural-sources-nitrogen-plants/#:~:text=How%20to%20add%20natural%20sources%20of%20nitrogen%20to,for%20mulch.%205%20Aged%20chicken%20manure.%20More%20items
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Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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I found this gorgeous baby on the side of the road and it was all lonely and yardless and stuff so I had the boy dig it up take it home with us. My wanker neighbor sprays over there so I didn't want it to get hurt. Phlox is lovely, smells amazing, and the butterflies love it. So happy to have it. YAY! I'm trying to propagate it in water hope it works. If I can get it to propagate easily then I can sell it in my plant business. How cool will that be eh?  I have some lentil that sprouted so yay for that and my mustard seed sprouts are doing well in one spot with less sun than the ones that have more sun. My peppers still look crappy. I'm getting some more plant spikes today and see if that helps. Oh I subscribed to chipdrop.com and I am pretty excited about it. Wooo hooo bring me alll the chips! I'm afraid it will have poison ivy or oak in it though. I hope not. πŸ˜±πŸ˜πŸ˜‘ Well I guess that's about it for the day...oh wait I forgot...we cleared more vines today. No day is complete with out some vine pulling! *sigh*
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Posts: 115
Location: Chon Buri Thailand Zone 11-12
35
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As you only want to convert "manageable" sizes of your garden I would recommend to give it a good go once instead of fighting the clay for years.

Rent a motor hoe, buy lots and lots of wood chips and compost (more wood chips as compost somehow disappears fast) plus use all fibrous stuff you get hands on and then mix it with the hoe into the first 30cm.
It will create sure a big disturbance in the soil life but it also boosts it in future.

You might get in the first year some bended carrots but when the wood chips turned into soft matter your no till garden is ready and at least 30 cm deep.
Then let the time (Worms & Co) do the job and keep the mulch layers maintained, the no till ground will then improve fast year by year.

NEVER try to use coarse sand to improve the drainage of the clay beside you want to make it a concrete like driveway.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Thanks very much Chon! So happy to see a reply I was beginning to feel like I was just talking to myself! Next year we're doing raised beds but I'm wanting to improve this soil to use in them so I don't have to buy a bunch of soil. I would rather just grow in the ground but ya know my bf likes the look of raised beds! πŸ˜πŸ˜‘ Someone said that if it's granite or lava rock sand that's good for the clay but I'm not sure so I think I'm just going to get a soil test and see what they say. Someone else said gypsum was good to make the clay more crumbly. Anyhow I am just enjoying myself and I'm just happy to finally have a bit of land to experiment and try all the neat things I've seen in this forum.
 
Posts: 95
Location: SW Georgia, zone 8b
11
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I'm glad to see some photos of your place.  I know you're enjoying it!
 
gardener
Posts: 3707
Location: Southern Illinois
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Jackie,

I have started to read this thread several times only to get distracted by something before I can get even a sentence in.  I finally gave it the time it deserved and read it through.  You are on to some great stuff there.  I also have dense brown clay (Southern Illinois here) and I poured all sorts of organic matter into my beds and tilled it inβ€”and all of it just seemingly got eaten by the clay!  It amazing how much organic matter clay soil can seemingly eat and show virtually nothing for the effort.  All that changed for me when I added wood chips, as in about 1’ of wood chips.  It turns out that tilling the organic matter just sped up decomposition so fast that most rotted literally into air.  I found that some tilling was needed at first but there were limits as to what I could really do for my soil by tilling.

You are off to a great start and about the only advice I can offer is to encourage growth and keep anything synthetic out.  That includes the fertilizer sticks.  One lesson I learned over time was that biology trumps chemistry, meaning that encouraging the microbes to grow so they will provide the chemistry for you.  There are a couple of ways to side-step this if you need.  The first is using urine (also called Vitamin β€œP”), diluted 10:1.  I will use this technique by using a cat litter container which has a wide lid and carries 2.5 gallons.  You could also use a 5 gallon bucket and cover.

The other technique is growing comfrey for chop & drop fertilizer.  I grow some comfrey plants near my gardens and occasionally chop them down.  They aggressively grow back and I get to repeat.

All in all though, considering your starting point, you are doing some great things for your garden.  I hope to read more.

Eric
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Big happenings in the swamp garden today! I staked up a lot of my tomato plants and these guys are all now sharing this wire fence thingie that used to be my mom's compost holder I think. Hopefully it stays upright and doesn't fall over. I used zip ties and long twist ties to keep the plants on the cages. I can't remember what variety these tomato plants are but they have some flimsy trunks. I would never have had these problems with my beloved beefsteaks but the seeds I planted indoors for them died of damp off so I had to get these from Wal-Mart. It was so cool we saw a toad in my garden and a huge inky blue black dragon fly who just sat there on a tomato cage and watched us with his little judgy mob boss face. He was adorbs. We saw a humming bird checking out the tiger lillies, I gave my yeller lookin' pepper plants some coffee grounds, added more lawn clippings, found some wild mushrooms and tucked them under the mulch. I would make a slurry but I need to find a blender and dedicate it for the garden. picked up a bunch of rotten wood and threw it in my leaf soaking tote. I'll be spreading that around tomorrow. Such a feeling of accomplishment and me and boy had a nice time and some laughs whilst we toiled away in the heat. Oh and I checked out my chick peas on the leaf pile side of the yard and they're doing ok shockingly. My mustard greens are doing well in the one place I planted them. My volunteer cantaloupe sprouts are doing well, my cucumbers and green bean sprouts are looking ok, my rescued phlox is not as droopy as yesterday, I am sprouting some green lentils to plant. Besides the yellow pepper plants everything is going really well! YAY me!! Oh and as always...I pulled up some vines!!! πŸ˜‚
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Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
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I planted some green lentils that I sprouted and had some left over because I was tired of squatting so I planted them in a pot. They're such cute plants why not have them growing in pots here and there right? I do this with wood sorrel because I think they're cute so why not lentils right?  I watered everyone and noticed the dead leaves sort of form a crust that makes it hard for the water to penetrate. So now I'm worried about that. I may have to pull them back away from the plants a bit. Waaaah!!! Uuuugh!!! My phlox is perky this morning, mustard greens looking cute. Like tiny clovers! My chick peas are looking ok, put some plant sticks by my yellowing peppers and now I'm staring at them every couple hours willing them to green up. My rain saving leaf soaking totes have stupid freaking mosquito larvae in them so I'm going to have to throw a few mosquito bits in. They have bt in them and are supposed to be ok for other wild life. Buried some rolled up wet card board in my worm composting tote because things are looking way too wet and compacted. Saw a lot of worms so ya hoo for that. On the side of the yard where my leaf pile is there is a wire fence and I'm wanting to put down cardboard, clay soil left over from my bed digging and leaves. I'm wanting to do a flower and edible bed over there next season. There are these stumps left over from some sort of vine that was growing there that I cleared. Going to try dousing it in vinegar, then putting a black plastic bag and brick on top. Don't want them coming back and growing under my cardboard. So that's my next goal I think. Anyway that's all I got for now!
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
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home care medical herbs homestead
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Hey Bill! Thanks! I really am enjoying it. I get such a sense of fulfilment like nothing else in I have ever had in my life. πŸ’— Thanks for the comment I just saw it.
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
home care medical herbs homestead
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Thanks Eric! So happy to see your comment! I know the plant sticks are a cheat but man these peppers are so sad and my bf thinks I won't be able to get anything to grow in my swamp garden and so the ol' competitive spirit came out in me and I caved and used it. I want to use urine but my bf freaks out about it and says he'll refuse to eat anything out of the garden. I am discontinuing the sticks next year though. I read where I can make a tea out of yard clippings and use that for nitrogen but my property is covered in English Ivy! Do you have any remedies for getting rid of it? I'm waiting anxiously for some wood chips from chipdrop.com. Hopefully soon. Again thanks for taking a look at my crazy ramblings you're just the best!!!
 
Eric Hanson
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Jackie,

Some people get grossed out by the β€œIck” factor of using human urine.  Too bad.  I suppose you could get some worm castings or if your plants really need nitrogen, you could try blood meal, a great source of nitrogen.  Alternatively, you could try something like the grass clippings used for fertilizer.  

I personally like comfrey which will work much the same way as you were mentioning the grass clippings.  In several ways comfrey is even better.  If you really wanted to use the urine, you could always collect and dump on the comfrey, then cut the comfrey once it explodes into action.  

Want to combine some wood chip, mushroom and comfrey action altogether?  Heavily mulch the comfrey with wood chips and inoculate with spawn.  
Last year I inoculated my comfrey wood chips with spawn harvested from a garden bed.  This spring Wine Caps popped up!  And the chips are nice and thoroughly broken down.

These are just a few pointers and it seems like you are incorporating many permaculture techniques anyways.  It’s good to see and hear your project grow.

Eric
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
12
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Thanks Eric will be getting comfrey asap, wood chips I'm waiting for my chip drop while scouting for other sources. I watered with some lawn clipping tea, will get the blood meal asap and I saw an oyster mushroom kit today at the store I'm getting asap and will order wine caps. I'm trying hard to incorporate as much Permaculture as possible I have learned so much from you and this wonderful forum thanks so much for sharing all your wisdom! Hey do you think that pine needles could cause the leaves of my pepper plants to yellow? I have a lot of them in there from the loads of leaf mold. Maybe some baking soda mixed in their water will help balance the ph a little? Trying everything I can to get these puppies to grow I don't want my bf to be right!
 
See Hes
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Location: Chon Buri Thailand Zone 11-12
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I was reading a few times through your posts and get the feeling you want to break things over your knee.

Nature works slow and in steady pace so best is watching it and act when you see what goes right or wrong otherwise you will spoil you Mushrooms with soda and whatever other mix you have created because you didn't give it time to work.
Finally you will end up with a black soil spot (like the Pee corner) where nothing will grow for years.

I am myself sure a dogfight planter and stuff way more into the spots than actually can grow there, but when the plants push themselves (I like to call it creating a dogfight) out of their way I will let them do.

What is left over at the end is what CAN grow there and delivers a bowl of salad or even a permanent side dish for every Sunday roast.
The job of the dying plant is then the mulching job.

As long the dogfight is on I choose another spot an do the same.

No Soda, No Salt and Pepper Bomb, booster and changing with buffer or Cinnamon against fungus, just growing.
If it won't grow in the first spot I might come in the 2nd or 3rd as a plant that even takes over the spot.

Take your time and don't get over excited.
 
Eric Hanson
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Hi Jackie,

So if you get those oyster mushrooms and a good spot to grow them, watch out!  They can be really aggressiveβ€”in this case, a good thing.  If you want oyster and wine cap mushrooms, great, just put them in separate beds (but this spring Wine Caps were hard to get so I hope you can get some).

As for the pine needles, baking soda can reduce their acidity but before adding any, check the soil ph first.  RedHawk had a great thread somewhere around here detailing just how much pine needles acidify soil.  It turns out the barely acidify at all, as in negligible amounts, and adding baking soda might actually harm the soil more than just using the pine needles.

Great that you are using all those wonderful resources right at your disposal!

Eric
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
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Ok thanks Chon you're right. 😊😊
 
Jackie Bodiou
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Thanks Eric I remember reading that in Red Hawks thread now. I'm just going to relax about it. I think they're looking better now only one still looks sickly. A bell pepper. The jalapeno only has a tinge of yellow on a few leaves. Yesterday we pulled a crap load of vines out of the lawn, the lentil sprouts I put in the pot are all peeking their heads out of the dirt and I had a daisy open up and it's so pretty! So glad I didn't aggressively weed that bed! Oh and I found a lot of wild mushrooms and put them in my swamp garden next to the tomatoes. Got some mushrooms from the store too and I'm going to make a slurry and pour them on.
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So so pretty and today it has a pinkish color. I love it when flowers change colors as time goes on!
So so pretty and today it has a pinkish color. I love it when flowers change colors as time goes on!
 
gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Jackie Bodiou wrote:

Trying to figure out if my tiger lillies are the kind that are good to eat. Internet information is confusing!  

It looks to me from the leaves that the lilies in the picture aren't the edible variety. From what I read in the past, the lilies where the leaves all come up from the ground are usually edible. The ones that the leaves all come out of a stem right up the flower - which is what it looks like in your picture - are not edible.
I have the edible type in my front bed and if I can get to the flower buds before the deer do, they're nice added to stir-fry. Deer pressure's huge this year due to drought, so I haven't eat a single one (lily bud that is, but those deer better watch out come hunting season! One of them broke into my Veg garden and ate every leaf off my baby fig tree I aerial rooted at a friend's house - I'm hoping it lives - it was looking soooo... happy until it got deer pruned!)

I'm dealing with a lot of clay also, and am happy to improve the soil with wood chips and comfrey around trees I'm planting, but I'm also planting whole chunks of dead tree into the ground to act as giant sponges as they decompose. I built two 30" high raised beds this spring (think table height) and one of them has a row of 8" logs 4 ft long in the bottom and that bed's growing tomatoes and kale happily with only water every 4-5 days which considering the heat wave and the drought is amazing. The second bed got less consistent wood in the bottom and I also mixed in less clay as I was building and it's not holding water as well. My plan will be to mix in some fine clay soil in the fall to actually increase the clay - it's currently mostly 2 year old compost.

Have you considered putting down cardboard where the vines are, watering, and letting them grow to the light, lifting the cardboard, chopping the vines to the ground, and repeating? I'm trying that in a couple of spots in an effort to wear out the roots. Somethings are persistent at re-sprouting from the roots, but if I use that to my advantage, getting  some biomass while exhausting the roots, I'm hoping it will be less work in the long run than having to dig up roots in clay. If the roots rot in the clay, they'll open up lines of organic matter - maybe - at least that's my theory!
 
Jackie Bodiou
Posts: 45
Location: Ohio river valley Kentucky zone 6b
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Hey Jay! Thanks for the great advice and solving the mystery of the tiger lillies! I have considered the cardboard smothering technique but was afraid the vines would just continue to grow underneath! I hadn't thought of wearing outvthe roots though that's brilliant and I'm trying it tomorrow! I also have really heavy old blow up mattresses that I've repurposed into vine barriers around my leaf pile I'm going to use for this purpose too. We pulled a lot of vines out of the yard today. Our yard is going to be so bare and sad until we get the seed down. Any advice about that? The ground is very lumpy because it's been a mole super high way and roots from the gun tree. We got some of those mole repellant super sonic stake things so we shouldn't have anymore hills. Should I get some top soil to even things out? Awww no not your fig tree! Dang it! Maybe it'll be good for it to be pruned because it'll focus on developing roots and then put out more leaves. I have one and it's not fruiting. I'm going to get him a friend I heard that can help. Yes I have some somewhat rotten logs I'm burying in my raised beds next year and in my flower beds too. So excited about this idea. Here are some progress pics of my swamp garden and some other pretties.
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The Swamp Garden. The green lentils are really taking off! So much easier and faster to grow than the pink!
The Swamp Garden. The green lentils are really taking off! So much easier and faster to grow than the pink!
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My surprise flower it's not a daisy it's Echinacea! I just love it's pretty blush pink color!
My surprise flower it's not a daisy it's Echinacea! I just love it's pretty blush pink color!
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The green lentils I put in pots because I got tired of squatting while planting them in the garden
The green lentils I put in pots because I got tired of squatting while planting them in the garden
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My mint is looking super happy and has flowers!
My mint is looking super happy and has flowers!
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My cantaloupe volunteer sprouts
My cantaloupe volunteer sprouts
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Y problem pepper. I pulled the mulch away so it could dry out a little.
Y problem pepper. I pulled the mulch away so it could dry out a little.
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Y mustard green sprouts
Y mustard green sprouts
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My moss roses bring lots of pollinators so I have some in big pots and planted directly in the garden site.
My moss roses bring lots of pollinators so I have some in big pots and planted directly in the garden site.
 
Jay Angler
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Jackie Bodiou wrote:

Our yard is going to be so bare and sad until we get the seed down. Any advice about that?

"Need more input" (that's a really old movie quote, but totally valid!)
1. Have you decided what "seed" to use, or is that what you'd like suggestions for?
2. do you want seed that will build and break-up soil to prepare it for more permanent plantings?
3. do you have a property plan?
4. what foods and plants do you like or are willing to try?
5. have you done any reading in the biochar forum? https://permies.com/f/190/biochar  https://permies.com/t/62124/Biochar-making-kiln-designs#530026  I'm trying to use biochar as one part of lightening up my clay soil. I often just use a bit of urine along with water to charge it, but I then normally add that mix to my compost heap, so I'm counting on the composting process to finish charging it.

Generally, bare soil is a bad thing, so if you haven't got a plan, any cheap grocery store seeds like a bag of dry beans, soak them for 20 min to just plump them a little bit, spread them on the surface regardless of lumps and bumps and don't worry about spacing and cover with leaf mold.
With heavy clay, Eric's suggestion of lots of wood-chips and mushroom spores has great potential.
A garden isn't built in a day - but having a vision guides the path.

 
Gravity is a harsh mistress. But this tiny ad is pretty easy to deal with:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/8/rmhman
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