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Experimenting with trench beds and which pioneer crop to plant  RSS feed

 
Steven Myburgh
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Location: South Africa
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Hi everyone, new to the forum. I'm gardening in Sunny South Africa, and have decided to experiment with composting - apologies if this question has already been posted. I am interested in digging a square hole and filling with alternate layers of kitchen waste and soil, as is done in the trench bedding process. My previous filled holes have come out quite wet, and I am interested in experimenting with crops that can grow in wet conditions with un-decomposted kitchen waste, as a forerunner to crops that will be able to do well once the bed is naturally composted a bit more and suitable for a variety of crops. My idea is that it is a crop with fairly deep roots that can handle moisture, and is nutrient hungry. Would one of the cucurbits fall in this category, or some kind of grass-like crop? My idea was to make these holes relatively small(60cm x 60cm x 60cm) and separate from each other, so that no critters can gain access to them while they are a work in progress, and just planting one pumpkin seed on top of each filled hole.

Thanks in advance.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Posts: 2988
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I would try pumpkin, cantaloupe, watermelon and even corn.
All of those should do pretty well in what you described with an addition of dead leaves or some other brown (carbon) materials to soak up a lot of the excess moisture.
If you can't get any "browns" for your holes, dry the kitchen waste for a couple of days so all the moisture doesn't leak into your hole and keep it so wet.

Don't trust to just a single seed, use at least 3 per hole, 5 would be better. You can always thin if needed later on.

Redhawk
 
Nathanael Szobody
Posts: 15
Location: Boudamasa, Chad
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Hey Steven,
Definitely cucurbits. But go with local hardy stuff. I'm in central Africa, and the local cucumbers grow right out of my grey water pool. But plant them around the EDGE of the hole so the roots can choose which soil to grow into.
 
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