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Small scale hugulculture e.g. rotted wood in raised bed?  RSS feed

 
Deedles Johnson
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Hello folks, newbie here.  Found this site from the survival podcast.  I love the hugulkulture idea but as of now can't really implement it on a big scale.

However, we do have some square foot raised beds with weed barrier in the bottom (horrible bindweed problem in our yard).  Does anyone think that pulling out the soil, putting in a few inches of some crumby, punky wood or even planer sawdust... would that be something that would work in a hugulcultur-ey type of way water-retention wise?

Would raw, fresh sawdust pull too much nitrogen from the smaller amount of soil and so we should avoid it?


Any thoughts in this area or has anyone done this and is willing to share their results?

Thanks so much for any help!

Deedles
 
                                        
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Sawdust is a good compost. It will raise the temperature of the bed if you layer it and water it down.

The only hang up with sawdust other than attracting termites, is that you shouldn't use sawdust from treated wood.

I use newspaper and mulch as a weed barrier. I don't have a weed problem, and most of my beds were placed over vines... like Passion fruit, Ivy, and some sort of poison ivy that I accidentally discovered one day while clearing the vines. Vines are worse than weeds IMO. I still have to pull a few every once in a while, but it's not like having to remove it all by hand.

If you have crabgrass, You will have to pull it, or use something like plastic to kill it.

or... Rent a rototiller, and then repeat in two weeks.

For water retention, you might try mixing in straw and leaves into your beds, (newspaper...)

Hope that helps you.
 
Matthew Fallon
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Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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Hah! timely post! this feels like deja vu as i just had this convo in an email 5 minutes ago~

i'm planning to do almost the exact same thing in 5 new beds this season(4'x30'ish each)

i produce Lots of sawdust and  in my artisan studio/woodshop/garage. also nice shavings from the lathes and hand-planes that make for great worm bedding and mulch..,
i try to use every last bit of wood ,any cutoffs that get too small become compost or kindling in winter(maybe 2% is scraps) it's all untreated as i only use wood i personally mill from residential tree-removals.

i had the same concern with nitrogen pulling. i also worry that just burying pure sawdust at the bottom will compress it down and it'll just stay in stasis and not really decay to quick.

so the plan is to layer "stuff". some combo of  dust,shavings,compost,manure,green clippings,paper,soil,etc.... and soaking it all good .


inlikeflint, i hear you on the vining woes. i'm just getting over some Nasty poison ivy.the oil is on soemthing from over a year ago,i just cant figure out what.god i hate that stuff..

i've also been at war with ivy for over a decade. last year i found a solution..a big rototiller pulls it all right out  as it wraps around the tines.go until it's "full" .then saw/prune off  and repeat.if it's an area you dont mind tilling up this is working great for me..hard to reach areas and around plants/trees are still a problem... also it doesnt shred well,super long fibers,wonder if you could spin it into clothing/textile as is done with nettles etc ?

 
                                        
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tribalwind wrote:

inlikeflint, i hear you on the vining woes. i'm just getting over some Nasty poison ivy.the oil is on soemthing from over a year ago,i just cant figure out what.god i hate that stuff..

i've also been at war with ivy for over a decade. last year i found a solution..a big rototiller pulls it all right out  as it wraps around the tines.go until it's "full" .then saw/prune off  and repeat.if it's an area you dont mind tilling up this is working great for me..hard to reach areas and around plants/trees are still a problem... also it doesnt shred well,super long fibers,wonder if you could spin it into clothing/textile as is done with nettles etc ?




I immediately wash after handling Poison Ivy. I usually start by using Gojo (automotive grease/remover.) then jump to a laundry detergent to a dish washing liquid... (I don't play around with the stuff. It does bad things to me and gets in everything.)

I like the rototiller idea, but I have adopted unorthodox methods for removing the weed. (Gasoline... The Ivy does not come back.) It's not very environmental, but it's less expensive per gallon than a store brand defoliant, and it works great.

I've thought about using vines as fibers to weave baskets but when it comes to poison ivy, there would be no way I could remove all of the oil from the fiber and boiling it might make the oil airborne or more volatile like Jalapeno peppers (which would be my luck). I bet it would make great paper but it makes me break out so fast, you couldn't get me to harvest it.

If I can avoid all contact with the ivy, it is usually the best. This is where I came up with the newspaper/ mulch idea, (I've  managed to clear and prevent the vines from coming back with layers of newspaper and mulch.
 
Matthew Fallon
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Oh! duh, i shoulda pointed out..  the ivy im warring with is regular  non-poisonous English ivy (or whatever) thats what i think would make good textile.

this poison rash i have no idea where i picked it up. camping i imagine...i dont even think we have it in long island.never seen it here myself. i guess it could be.
 
                                        
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tribalwind wrote:
Oh! duh, i shoulda pointed out..  the ivy im warring with is regular  non-poisonous English ivy (or whatever) thats what i think would make good textile.

this poison rash i have no idea where i picked it up. camping i imagine...i dont even think we have it in long island.never seen it here myself. i guess it could be.


LOL!

English Ivy would probably make great paper or basket weaving material it's incredibly strong. I'm not sure how pliable it is when it dries, or when you pulp it, but if the fibers are fine enough you could make Japanese grade printmaking/watercolor paper from it. Honeysuckle vine is already used for things like this, so it could work.
 
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