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Best time to dump organic matter  RSS feed

 
Francisco Monteiro
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we all want to add as much mulch as we can to our garden but sometimes it ruins the nearby plants.
For ex: When do you think it's the best time to dump organic matter over strawberries? summer, winter? sunny, rainy?
And over other plants?

Thank you
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I do amendments to the strawberries in the fall, I don't cover them, I add fully finished compost that is composted manure ( the manure is one of the things I add to my compost piles) I spread this around the plants not over them, then a layer of leaf mold.
If I think it will get to cold for the plants I use wheat straw to cover the crowns. In the spring I pull the straw away from the crowns but don't remove it completely.

I also do my soil amendments in the fall, that way everything is incorporated come planting out time in the spring. Some of this is in the form of cover crops to be chopped and dropped in the spring prior to planting.
 
Francisco Monteiro
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Sure. But if you had to protect plants from the diying plants by their side? when will it be safer or more productive? Now that i think about it i'ma just asking the best conditions yo chop and drop?
 
Hester Winterbourne
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I prefer to add stuff in Spring when things are happening faster.
 
Zach Muller
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The trees dump substantial amounts of leafs in the fall so many plants get covered then, during winter I pile more on( mixed with chicken manure) My strawberries spent the winter under a lot of leaves but the strong made it out by spring. I uncovered a few weaker ones that were still buried as spring started.

I chop and drop things as needed, so much of that happens in the spring And summer when I have a multitude of trees and plants growing up that I would rather chop into mulch. With those I am more careful not to cover my freshly growing plants.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Zach Muller wrote:The trees dump substantial amounts of leafs in the fall so many plants get covered then.


Oh yes, you are right, winter I do like to see the soil covered with slow to rot things like dead leaves to protect the soil. But in spring is when I add rotted stuff like manure/compost from the daleks, which might just leach nutrients out all winter if I put it on in autumn.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Francisco Monteiro wrote:Sure. But if you had to protect plants from the diying plants by their side? when will it be safer or more productive? Now that i think about it i'ma just asking the best conditions yo chop and drop?


This is one of those questions that "It Depends" is the best answer.

If you are just getting a bed into shape and not grow crops, then the best time is when you have the bed defined.
Once you have the outline of the bed established, chop and drop what ever is there, then you can proceed since your first improvements to the soil are down and decomposing.

If you have established beds, then the first chop and drop would be the end of the growing season.
When you are done with the harvest, everything is chopped and dropped to decompose over winter.
The winter cover crop is planted, which will be chopped and dropped in early spring before planting time.

If you are looking for "All over the place" timing, it could be every time the cover crops get tall enough to harbor chiggers and or ticks.
On Asnikiye Heca, we have areas that are cut every one to two weeks, these are the open areas that others might call "Lawn".
we have a cover crop mix planted and the mower used for those areas mulches as it cuts, so every time we are chopping and dropping.
We have plans for some of this area to become herb beds, both medicinal and culinary. Other parts of this area will end up blue berry, huckleberry patches.

Timing of chop and drop will vary, perhaps even year to year, depending on the purposes your plan lays out for the areas.
 
Francisco Monteiro
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you all talk about the season but i was wondering about the conditions. Before or after rain? Sunny, almost drying conditions?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The atmospheric conditions don't really come into play much, for chop and drop.
I have cut right after a rain, even though it isn't really the best time (can dull your scythe or other mower as well as the cut materials sticking).
I have cut in all other conditions including 60 mph winds, no real problems.

I so rarely see "Perfect conditions" I just cut when I have the time and when I consider it the right part of the year.

This is not something that takes a whole lot of thought really. It is like cutting a lawn, you do it when you can.
 
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