M Taylor

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since Jul 05, 2012
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Recent posts by M Taylor

Thank you for the quick replies. I get the impression from observing other areas in the yard that the rock is not a solid shelf but a thick layer of limestone "sheets." It does slough horizontally, but is pretty tough to chip through vertically. I like the hugel idea. I don't think I can build up more than a few inches of topsoil on top of the entire surface rock area as it would raise the ground level above the top of my concrete foundation. The hugel mound would let me build up a bed over smaller areas in the locations away from the foundation.

Does Hugelkultur work if you aren't able to bury the wood? I've been wanting to try some hugel beds, but haven't yet started any. This may be a good place to start.
7 years ago
So here is my situation. My "yard" has large areas of what I thought was compacted soil. Today I decided to implement one of the ideas I picked up from the forums and began digging some holes with the intent of filling them with compostable material. I wanted to encourage worms to help break up the compaction. I knew that I had lots of subsurface limestone throughout the property (digging holes for tree transplants in other areas has been an adventure). What I found today was that the "compacted" areas are actually places where the rock starts only an inch below the surface. From what I can tell it is fairly solid down over a foot (that's where I gave up digging). I would really like to avoid renting a mini-backhoe or something similar to excavate the entire area (it's about 1000 square feet). So here are my questions:

1. will tree roots break up this much rock if I chip out several holes and plant from seed?
2. does anyone have ideas on how to get green manure crops to grow with only an inch or two of clay topsoil? Would it even be feasible to try and build up topsoil?
3. does anyone have another idea for rocky areas like this in lieu of planting? The ground is fairly flat and sits on the north side of the property between the house and the street.

I'm south of Dallas, TX in the transition area between zones 7 and 8 with about 36 inches of average rainfall. Thank you in advance for any ideas.
7 years ago
Back to the original topic, I think we already have a perfectly good word for 1,000,000. Permaculture. Why reinvent the wheel?
7 years ago
Thank you for the info. I like the seed ball idea. Does anyone have a suggestion as to the best time to sow seed for cool season cover crop/green manure crops? Our first frost date is around the middle of November. Our average high temps in August are between 95 and 100.
7 years ago
I have a similar situation except that I don't seem to have any topsoil on top of my compacted clay and rock. I was wanting to try some oilseed radish and clover mixes to bust it up and add organic material, but I am afraid that they won't germinate on top of the ground. I have been looking into seed drills, but I would prefer not to have to invest in a tool that I should only have to use once or twice. Any other ideas? Will the seeds germinate better if I cover them with straw or something similar?
7 years ago
Howdy. Great to meet you. I grew up in East Texas. Can't think of a better place to garden (but maybe I'm biased). In North Texas now and love it. But I do long for the growing conditions back home. Welcome and best of luck.
7 years ago
I don't usually post on forums. I just read and soak it all in. Loved Permies so much I couldn't resist though. New to permaculture but grew up gardening and raising livestock in East Texas.

Bought a couple of acres and a home in North Texas a few years ago and was looking forward to getting back in the groove of growing my own food. Had a rude awakening in my first year here though. It's not east Texas. There we could throw seeds out just about anywhere and as long as the birds didn't get them, they grew. Here, not so much. On top of that, the previous owners of our homestead managed to ruin the soil with improper plantings and over watering. We're on co-op water that is so high in salinity that it kills plants more often than it helps them. I started with rain barrels to provide better water, but that only got us so far.

Then I learned about permaculture. Already starting to see results. I'll try to post some pictures so the community can see what I'm starting with. Just purchased some cover crop seeds to create my own mixture for this fall and next spring/summer (Oil Seed Radish, White Clover, lupin, and cumfrey etc). Our compacted clay soil needs to be busted up and could really a shot of nitrogen. Also looking at swaling about half the "yard" to harvest some more of our sparse rain water. Hope to start a food forest and hugel-garden within a year or so.

The wife wants chickens, but I am waiting until I have the ability to grow enough feed for them. From there, the sky's the limit. Can't wait to put into practice all the great ideas I pick up here.
7 years ago
Glad to see some North Texas folks on the forums. I'm in Ellis County myself. Bought a couple of acres a few years ago. Half wooded and half open. Terrible soil, and worse water (super high salinity). Previous owners managed to kill just bout everything and ruin the soil. Lots of potential, but lots of work needed as well. Keep us updated on your garden. I need all the good ideas and inspiration I can get!
7 years ago