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Starting prep for Salad Bed  RSS feed

 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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Hello!

I have done a bit of gardening, but I am going to attempt to push the limits to next year's growth.
My plan: To build a two piece (30' x 10' each) mobile green PVC hoop greenhouse on SKIDS! therefor I can start early spinach, arug and salad production and move it onto summer squash and brassicas later on as it warms up outside.

The thing is I have not gotten the bed ready yet (major fo pa I know)  We havnt managed to gather enough leaves for 60' to kill off the grass yet.

So my question is first off, do any of you think it's possible to get old pasture grassland converted to production soil before march? ( I live in Washington fyi )

My plan was to remove the horse manure/hog fuel that is mounded on part of the space, send the chickens in with their paddock, cover with MASS of leaves, compost/worm tea spray every week as weather warms up, send the chickens back in, then cover with 60' of tarps in january or feb, so it will be dry enough to be worked, weeded, and de-grassed early.   Definatly going to amend the production site with compost and chicken shit and lime.



Anyways do you think it'll work? I'm going to push my luck and knowledge, because I need to get a little income early next year to fund the rest of the year.

Thanks for your time,
   Russell
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9691
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Yes, I think it will work!  I have planted on top of mulch, manure etc right on top of pasture grass, and gotten a crop (not a fabulous crop, but something).  I always put some soil on top of mulch materials and manure, preferably good topsoil, even if it is just a little pocket to put a seed into.

Have you read Eliot Coleman's books about growing under hoophouses on skids?  I think he discusses this both in "The New Organic Grower" and also "Four Season Harvest."
 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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good idea, I think I do not have a whole lot of material on hand that I know, we are really doing with what we got and what we can get free.  But no I have not read much of any of eliot's books, I have worked in, and on a mobile greenhouse though last year at Lazy J, I am going to push the extent of what I experienced and definatly downscale for easier portability, simpler, lighter design, less materials, cheaper, and reducing my overall need of a tractor.
We are going to hand fork all 60' of the grass out and turn it into compost pile material inside the greenhouse to help heat the sucker.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Here's a run-through with pictures of how we made our salad beds. They worked out great and we didn't have to do any de-grassing. Only had to weed the bed about 3 times in the whole growing season, and even then it was a very small amount of unwanted plants.

http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=4069.0

I'd also recommend not tarping the land, at least not for very long. It can kill the soil organisms below if it gets too hot. May not be an issue in winter though...
 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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wow that is awesome, you guys are getting me all enthusiastic, now Imma have so sit, jittering with excitement all winter long 

THat is an awesome salad garden, i like the keyholes, I will draw out the Solo Path I am going to put in my 10' greenhouse to conserve space.  I believe it's very clever and allows for easier picking, bucket movement, and also one path so more salad!!!

The thing about the tarps is only going to be in the late winter to prevent water from saturating the soil, so we can hand till it up earlier without damaging the soil as much.  I've never managed to kill grass under anything besides roofing tar paper, and that's only in june july times, so I must fork.  fork you grass, har har, because the only good grass is dying grass sitting ontop 3" of mulch.
 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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<img src="http://www.tomorrowgardens.org/pics/greenhouselayout.jpg">

Zig zag solo path with hand rests,  very hard on the body path but for us 23 year olds and some stretching, I'd rather have the extra space in my solo greenhouse.

Plus more nonlinear edge so my thought is that there'd be a nice niche for some quick, water enjoying crops (radishes)
 
                                    
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
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I'd also recommend not tarping the land, at least not for very long. It can kill the soil organisms below if it gets too hot. May not be an issue in winter though...


hmm i read in a garden book the other day putting down plastic kills harmful soil organisms, but not the good ones.  anyone know more about this?
 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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I could see that, as long as it doesn't get above 160Degrees and has enough air.  My logic being that compost piles kill off most harmful bacteria and unwanted seeds at 140d (I think) but everything dies at 160, aka cooking temp required in kitchens.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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