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dio kopa
Posts: 8
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Hallo,
I have 1.6 Hectares of land that it was previously cultivated with corn (for many years). Now i want to start my new farm. So i will say my thinking end i want to tell me if a make any mistake.
1)Leave the corn root in ground.
2)Sow Crawler clover (locally cultivated). I do not know the distance between the planted seeds ╬▒nd also if am i going to plant the hole farm or in rectangles leaving rows for the legumes plants (if referent how am i going to plant legumes weed and when)? I don't have the money for machines.
Thanks and i am looking forward to your answer.
 
James Colbert
Posts: 271
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I see no problem with leaving the corn roots in the ground. perhaps someone else can think of a reason why you would not want to do this. Planting that large of an area without machinery it may be best to use seed balls. I would also suggest you diversify your seed mix. Clover is great but you could also throw in things like comfrey, mullein, borage, daikon, bee balm, maximillian sunflower, alfalfa, buckwheat, vetch, and lupine. You may want to include some nitrogen fixing/biomass producing trees and shrubs like acacias, black locust, alders, and goumi.
 
dio kopa
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Thanks you for your answers,
So if i have understood correctly i will make seed balls. Its better to have a more diversify flora on the ground. So my question is what about legumes seeds?Am i going to mix the seeds with the others(the seed james mention or i am going to make balls and through them after a couple of weeks? What about the irrigation system? I forgot to tell you that i have to irrigate after midnight or too early before day starts. So i thing that i can irrigate with only fixed plastic pipes? So how can i water the plant if i through seed balls at no fixed locations?
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
26
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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Congratulations Dio on your farm! First, how do you plan on cutting down the corn, or has that already been done? Second, Is there a way to rent a planter for a day? If not, you will have to use more seed in order to get your cover to establish. So, a - pay to rent equipment or b - pay for extra seed. Your choice. If you don't have any access to equipment, I would simply put out all the seed you want (I would even just throw the seed out there without making dirt balls, but people I know who have used them in my area (So. Cal) have had bad luck. Once all the seed you want is out, turn on that irrigation system - or - if you have rain and then a hot spell, water so the freshly germinating seeds won't dry out. Make sense?

Diversity in seeding is good for several reasons:
1) You don't know what will do best until you see it grow and some do better in some years than others.
2) different root types help the soil in different ways
3) different pollinators perfer different plants
4) no one pest/disease/etc. can whipe out all your plants.

Chances are the land has like no seed database and needs a huge amount of seed to get it going. I would throw out any seed I could to begin the re-establishment of soil health. I would focus on tap roots and nitrogen producers, since corn lacks both those things. I'd also watch the seed I throw out to see what stuff does best and use that info to choose my future plants.

Good luck!
 
dio kopa
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Hallo,
thanks again but i dont understand the steps.
1)The previous farmer has catted the corn with the machine. So i leave the root.
2)I must choose how to establish the clover with some extra seed as James Colbert have mentioned. I dont have any irrigation system so i have to establish it from the beginning. Could you please tell me the ways i can irrigate the clover?
3)I want to take production of legumes plants. So when and how am i going to cultivate them. By when i mean am i going to through the legumes seed in the same time with clover (so i have to make seed balls) or i have to wait the clover to establish and then make lines and put the legumes seed there. (so i can irrigate with plastic pipes having on them sprinklers (drops)
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
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Hi Dio,
Are you planting the clover to feed to animals? As a cover crop? Maybe you could tell us what legumes you are also planting, and their use? That makes 2 nitrogen fixers, so then I think of what you might plant that would give you biomass for chopping and dropping as a mulch. Did the previous farmer take the stalks of the corn? That could be used as mulch, which would make your irrigation last longer.
Any replies here are really wild guesses without more information about what you want to do, what your climate is, whether the land is flat or sloped, dry or wet. What season is it where you are -- if you have seasons. Anything you can tell us might help.
Bucket drip irrigation might be helpful, but I don't know if it's practical for a plot that size, or whether you would have access to the supplies that would be needed.
Good luck,
Gani



 
James Colbert
Posts: 271
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Irrigation may not be necessary in some cases. You can create swales to collect and concentrate water. Ponds uphill for gravity feed irrigation. Storage tanks and rain harvesting for emergency situations. Hugelcuture. etc. If you have no establishes system I would concentrate my efforts and resources on a small piece of land then expand. Setting up irrigation for multiple acres is a lot harder than setting up irrigation for 1/4 acre. If you can swale your entire property and seed with a diverse mixture of hardy, drought tolerant, nitrogen fixers I would do that. Concentrate your food crops as those tend to need more resources (water, nutrients, time, and energy). As water and biomass build on the rest of your property you can plant more demanding food crops on swales and in the area downhill from those swales. The cheapest place to store water is in the soil. The particulars depend on your individual environment but the above should give you an idea of the possible alternatives to traditional irrigation systems.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Dio
What's your area's yearly rainfall? What season is it wettest? When I was in Greece ages ago, it was very dry everywhere I went in the late summer, but there was an amazing variety of the most delicious produce.
Are there any traditional farmers around who don't pipe in water you can talk to? I think you are likely to find a lot of answers by asking local people.
I'd love to know how you go. I imagine planting in time for the rains is really important, as well as planting things that actually want to grow!
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
26
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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You may also want to try investigating this book. http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Managing-Cover-Crops-Profitably-3rd-Edition

But before we can really advise, we need some more background.

Good luck!
 
dio kopa
Posts: 8
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Hi again,
I leave in north Greece. The land in in a valley where there are many farmers that they use the conservative farming method (chemicals) so i thing that i can not have a really natural farm but i can have almost a natural farm . Here there are rains until now we had 20 inches of rain. The previous farmer hasn't taken the stalks of the corn but they are about 4-5 inches tall.So i need the clover as a cover crop. I want also to plant some legumes all for eating so that i can sell them to get some money. The legumes are Broad bean,lentils,Chickpea(Cicer arietinum), Faba Bean,peas (Pisum sativum L). I will also cultivate lettuce,spinach,broccoli. So all of this i know people that cultivate them in rows with plastic hoses that have holes which drops water slowly (1.05 gallons/hour). So can i cultivate clover 1st and then make many small round areas in lines and throw the seed there so that i can put the plastic pipes and irrigate them. But the clover how am i going to irrigate it? Are this ok or sound craze?
This is for the first 1year (the plants are going to change of course) after that i am planing to start making a more natural farm, like putting fruit trees.Now there are some big trees at the edge of the farm.


 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
26
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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Some cover crops do not need to be irrigated. They can use rain. It sounds like you may already know cover crops that do not need more than 20 inches of rain per year. If not, maybe white clover would work for you. Please look at that link I posted. It has cover crops for different areas. Does that make sense?
 
dio kopa
Posts: 8
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I thing that i can not relay on rain here are the tables of the rain this year http://penteli.meteo.gr/stations/xanthi/NOAAYR.TXT and the previous year http://penteli.meteo.gr/stations/xanthi/NOAAPRYR.TXT
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i'd leave all the organic material you can in the soil..but also you might want to test the soil for herbicides and pesticides residue which could really harm any plants you intend to plant..possibly killing them or inhibiting their growth significantly.

if there is a real problem..dig out the hole to a large area when you plant a tree, replacing the soil with fresh soil that is not infested with chemicals..and mulch the tree well, put a comfrey root, some nitrogen fixing plant or legume and some insectory plants in the same soil you have put in..and bring in as much mulch and stuff to put in the areas around the new fresh soil to begin to build clean soil on top of the bad stuff.

hopefully you'll not find a problem, but if it was commercial corn, you likely will..so be aware.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1300
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Is your land flat or with slopes?

With even little slope you can very well use vetiver!
check out www.vetiver.org

This will help a lot hold the water. I just guess about your climate, vetiver thrives in full sun and does not like frost! (may be a very little is ok, you have to check this).

So, I would make vetiver lines exactly along the perfect horizontal line (so the water stays behind the long vertical roots of vetiver, who never competes with crops).
Then I would check out some methods for dry areas, as loose dry earth is a very good mulch!!
http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010102/01010200frame.html (dry farming)
http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/030201/03020100frame.html (gardening without irrigation)

Actually, if not under a forest, vegetable mulch looses more water, because it creates the path for underground water to come up by capillarity.
You need air to stop evaporation/capillarity. That is why dry earth on top, if loose and not compacted, will help.
If you have had rain, and if you have plenty of water in the underground, you do not want it to come up and evaporate!
If you have stones, they will also mulch the soil.
Not ploughing does not mean you are forbidden to touch the soil in the surface. If you have a crust, it is better to brake it for example, because it will stop the capillarity lose of water or through cracks if you have clay. Water evaporates through cracks.
Water also evaporates through plants transpiration, that is why you need local cover that do not need to much water. The problem is not their need, but the fact that that they make water evaporate. I cannot advise for varieties, best is to look local. I ma sure not everything is bad n the practise of your neighbours. Are you from there yourself?
 
dio kopa
Posts: 8
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Yes i am here because i choose it. There is plenty of water but there are few money that some friends will lent me so i have to make an irrigation system that is cheep and don't waste too much water.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1300
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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So, I meant you are not born there, you chose to come. Same as me when I arrive one year ago.
i also find difficult to chose the right system, but aspersion i did not want!
That is why, when arriving, it is a good idea to follow the local habits, minus the chemicals...
 
dio kopa
Posts: 8
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Yes but they have tractors to clear the lines from weed and also before they cultivate they plow the land. So in order to get rid of the weed i thought to cultivate clover as a cover. So now that the farm is without weed i have to sow the clover.
Do i have to do all the farm or the lines i want use?
How am i going to sow the other plant i have mentioned earlier? (i mean i have to get read of the clover at the lines where i will sow the plants or i have to get read clover on round patterns where i will throw the seed (plant seeds)? All the seed from all the plant are going to be 20 inch in line distance and from line to line 40 inch except some lines that are going to be 60. So the clover is going to be in between the lines.
There is a well at the farm where i can get plenty of water but i dont want to waste it because i will share it with another farmer.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1300
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Well usually you sow green manure everywhere and you let it grow and mow it when it flowers. Or you have animals graze it and stay there so that you get animal manure! You have to leave it for some times. Sure you can leave it one month and then get rid of it, but you will not gain much from it!
Or else you cultivate now, and you sow clover later as intercrop.
Green manure now is useful if you leave it until spring, to my knowledge...
After corn I would not put lettuce and cabbage family without knowing the state of the land.
I understand you want to make money, but will you make money if it does not grow nice to sell?
Try all the bean family if you really need to sell something.
And then it will be nearly green manure.....
(green manure is never let go to seed because the nitrogen goes into the pods!)

If you want to do permaculture, take care of the soil first, and get to know your piece of land. Hurry can make you loose more than you will earn, or else ask the local people how they would do and what they would plant, and have them come with the machine. They know how to make money. Then with the money you will make the good job you want!
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1300
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Look, you never said when you wanted to sow! Now or spring...
For weeds, sure you have to cover all your farm, and it is not the best to use only one plant (clover).
You have been given some good advices before about this.

Then yes you can work the earth for your sowings and leave the rest of the clover.
 
dio kopa
Posts: 8
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I wanted to start now but as you said its better to prepare the soil 1st and when spring comes see what to cultivate make sell to make some money for leaving. Can i crow some fruit trees now with the other preparation (Clover with other seeds as said before, and may be some legumes for animals food).
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1300
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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There is a post going on now about the order of work, what to start with, you will see what is summarized by a few people.

Perennials (so trees...) are just difficult to start with when you do not have a general plan.
I am not a designer who can help you through, but I have some ideas to understand you because I start too!

I do not know your previous experience with agriculture. I do not know your nationality and if you speak Greek, and many things I don't know.
In my idea, you have 2 possibilities:
- Humility towards the local people who can make a living here though they do not grow ecologically, and you learn from them if you have contacts.
- Be a permacultural designer and take the usual 1 year to make a good plan.

If you do not want to do what would do the locals for winter, and if you want to do natural farming, I would sow as you said, with legumes and also rye that has strong roots good for the soil, also as green manure.

And then I would do a very little patch for myself and has some basic food. It will also help to see how things grow here.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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