steve bossie

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since Sep 10, 2015
Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Recent posts by steve bossie

I've found green wood chips keeps weed seeds from germinating for at least 6 months. why i put some down every spring. to keep weeds from growing on them. been doing this for 7 yrs. i hate weeding.
1 week ago

C Rogers wrote:I get from my neighbor both composted layer chicken manure that is just manure (with the occasional feather or broken egg) and also chicken manure that also has allot of wood shavings in it. The center ally is filled with shavings while the nest area has raised slats that eventually fills with manure. I add both of these manures to my gardens and have noticed that since adding the shavings my plants haven't had any issues of nitrogen deficiencies. My plants are still dark green and growing well. One thing I have also noticed is something growing in my gardens that wasn't growing there before I started using both the regular manure and the shavings manure is fungi. I have mushrooms and other fungi growing in my gardens now. In just a few short years my soil has changed from being 5.3 pH to 6.0 after 1 year, to 6.4 pH in 2 years and now is 6.6 pH after 3 years. The only other thing I added besides 5-7 tons of manure to the acre was about 1 ton of ash but that's spread over 3 acres so about 700 lbs. to the acre. This ash is a mixture of incinerated chickens and ash from my wood heater. Besides the pH change my soil also turned from testing medium to low in N, P, K, S, Mg, Mn, Zn, Ca, to high in all macro and micronutrients by 2nd year and now they are showing very high in all but K which is high after just 3 years. I also must say that I personally grow intensively which usually depletes nutrients as 1 acre of intensively grown okra would normally take 3 acres of conventionally row crop. Tomatoes are a little less,about 2-2.5 acres, while onions and carrots are close to 5-7 acres of conventionally grown row crops. I also rotate between 3- one acre fields and every year one of the 3 is in legumes all year (clover in fall to early spring, then peas and beans in late fall through summer and again in clover that fall after harvest) and then that 1 acre is rotated back into vegetables. With all that said, I must agree with Dr. Redhawk as me adding the shavings hasn't lowered yields, hasn't caused N deficiency, has added OM, and though my soil isn't loam quite yet it has made my sandy soil into sandy loam in what I would call a very short time.

i too mulch with my chic manure. my soil is opposite of yours. heavy clay and very rocky. i planted most things on mounds or raised beds and mulch them with green chic manure. in the last 3 yrs my soil is covered with a few inches of black soil under the mulch and everything is growing like crazy. no watering needed. haven't checked ph but it must be ideal as the plant/ tree growth is phenomenal! was 5.5 before mulching. i add another 3in. every spring and its from the previous winter.
1 week ago

Jen Fulkerson wrote:If you're worried about the construction impurities you can put wood chips on the top and add wine cap mushrooms. They will help eliminate toxins, and break down the wood chips to make amazing soil.  Good luck.

make sure you discard the mushrooms that grow in another spot as the toxins are concentrated in the flesh. ;)
1 week ago
i have a volunteer mountain ash growing right on a 5 yr old cut spruce stump. its 6ft tall now and i grafted several pear varieties on it. its very vigorous .
1 week ago
just checked on eBay. they have all kinds cheap.

Tj Jefferson wrote:,-Siberian-Peashrub/Siberian-Pea-Tree,-Siberian-Peashrub

I had good success with germination they just don’t really love it this warm so far.

they are a cold weather shrub. surprised they even survive in VA. they love my z3b weather.
my worm bins are 5 yrs. old and thrive on neglect. i often forget to feed them and they survive on the thick layer of newspaper and cardboard i put on top and add to daily. i harvest 60lbs. of castings once a summer from 2 med. totes. started off with 50 worms in each tote now i have thousands and thats using some for fishing and giving some away. they have been problem free from the beginning for me. I've used chic bedding cardboard newspaper and coir for their start bedding and add more as they eat it down. don't let it get too wet or compacted before you add more . they like a light fluffy bedding that moderately moist but never wet.
1 week ago
if i see my bin is getting too wet and compacted i do 2 things. mix in a bunch of dry shredded cardboard and i stop feeding wet stuff and feed cheap chicken crumble. they love it and grow like crazy! also as fishing season comes i try to supplement with chic feed anyway as it fattens them up nicely. oatmeal works good for this also.
1 week ago
I've had my worm bins for 5 yrs. now. i keep my lid off but keep the soil surface covered with newspaper or cardboard. when i take out the castings i refill with a mix of coir and newspaper and cardboard. only feed on one side of the tote so if one side gets too wet the worms can go to the drier side. make sure some indirect light can get to the top of your tote. it will discourage them from climbing the sides and making a run for it. ;)
1 week ago