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Soil wetness before planting?  RSS feed

 
S Usvy
Posts: 83
Location: South NB
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Super new to gardening here, although been creeping up on permies.com for a while now. Starting our own little permaculture plot + off-grid house construction this summer (eek!). The lot is on a south-facing, low-slope hill. About 2 days ago, there was a huge rainstorm, and now the soil is soaked. We're all ready for planting our first bits of stuff (potatoes, beans, etc), but not sure how long to wait - is it even possible to plant before the soil goes to the elusive "moist but not wet" stage? The soil seems a bit on the clay side of things. Of course, I realize that it would compact if we walk on it while wet. The planting rows would not be walked on...

As an aside - we don't have irrigation set up yet (the well has not yet been drilled), so we'd pretty much have to rely on soil moisture + future rains for anything to sprout and grow for the first couple of weeks.

Thanks for any advice!
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1357
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I would plant some now even with the soil wet and wait a bit later to plant the other half when the soil is "prefect".
Dont try to do too much all at once. Farming, designing, building, engineering, solar panels, etc
 
S Usvy
Posts: 83
Location: South NB
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Thanks! So hard to remember not to plan too much Beans have been pre-soaking for > 24 h now, will be planting tomorrow morning and praying to the gods of permaculture...
 
Marianne Cicala
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Location: south central VA 7B
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With the potatoes, let them sit for a couple of days after you cut them up; if they are hardened over they'll be fine. even if the dirt's dry, they potatoes should be allowed to dry out a bit before planting. YES, plant seeds in wet soil! Wet warm earth will help them sprout.
 
S Usvy
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Location: South NB
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Planted some things yesterday, will cut the potatoes and let them sit for a few days and plant those next week. Hopefully, something will work out! I'll post an update in a couple of weeks one way or another. Thanks for the advice
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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S Usvy wrote:Beans have been pre-soaking for > 24 h now
offtopic, but I've followed advice to soak seeds before and in my climate had problems with them rotting in the ground.
Especially if the soil is already wet, next time I'd just poke them in dry, water once really well and wait till they emerge before watering again
As for the 'rules', I generally have a limited planting window for one reason or another and I just need to get things in the ground!
I would be extra-careful to avoid compacting wet soil by unnecessary digging or walking.
 
S Usvy
Posts: 83
Location: South NB
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Got back with the pics, as promised! The bit about pre-soaked beans rotting might be right on the spot. From the ones we've planted, only a few came up. They're still filling me with happiness - it's our first year here, and once we saw the soil, we didn't have much hope for this year's success. The potatoes seem to be doing well enough in the vertical box we built for them, but with the cold weather, they're only now starting to come out. The cutting was probably a good idea - a couple rotted away while getting the callus (and would've likely done the same in the soil).

I'm trying to attach the pictures here, not sure if it'll work or not.

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Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I wonder if you don't need to bury the presoaked seeds. I planted all too many presoaked peas at once and found that the ones I just hurled into the yard when I ran out of good places to put them came up just about as well as the ones I put in the dirt. My soil drains pretty well, but was certainly not dry when I planted them.

Just a thought.
 
Dave Lodge
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Location: New England
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Sort of looks like cutworm damage.
 
S Usvy
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Location: South NB
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We tried some "hurling" too, but so far nothing came up that I could see... I'm not too heartbroken - we're in the middle of doing so many things, that this bit was 100% experimental. I'm actually amazed anything DID grow Set your standards low, eh?

Dave - no, there's no damage there (yet) - these are just the earliest shoots of the potato plants. Yesterday, I saw the first leaves open up!
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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If you plan for everything to fail, every success is a revelation. That's pretty much where I'm living now .
 
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