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Kurt Luoto

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since Dec 12, 2017
Odenton, MD
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Recent posts by Kurt Luoto

Perhaps this belongs in a separate topic (if so, please tell me; I'm new to the forums), but the topic under discussion here makes me wonder: What would be a good way to build vegetable beds on a hard surface like, say, a parking lot?  I have seen some videos of urban community gardens being built in inner cities on surfaces like that, and I wonder what kind of "recipe" they use for their beds.  Of course, I could imagine bringing in truckloads of a premium organic growing medium hand crafted by a knowledgeable farmer (and I'm sure some of you fall in that category), but that would probably cost big bucks, probably out of economic reach of many of these communities.  So I guess I'm asking what would be a good low cost method for such a community to build their beds from scratch?
1 year ago
Thank you all for the advice.  Chris, James: My apologies, I have not yet learned the proper terminology.  Yes, I should have said something like "living mulch" or "companion plant" instead of "cover crop".  I have no intention of tilling the soil.  I will gladly eat any strawberries that any of the plants may offer, but so far I was only targeting the space between my blueberry plants as being exclusively for the strawberries.  In the rest of my bed I grow other things, like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and fennel.  I was a bit concerned seeing how much the strawberries have spread out in just one year, but then I wondered whether it would be better to just let them grow into the rest of the bed as long as I make sure the other plants have chance to grow taller than the strawberries. Last year was my first year for this bed, constructed using compost and wood chip mulch (a la the Back to Eden documentary), so I am still in the learning stage.  Other sources that I have read/viewed more recently say that while wood chips are all well and good, I should get even better results if the bed always has something growing in it, live roots of some sort.  So whether I get berries from them or not, it seems like a good idea to let the strawberries spread to provide those live roots.
1 year ago
I have seen many discussion about what to use as a cover crop to help grow strawberries.  My problem is different. I have a garden bed mulched with wood chips which the strawberries just love and grow very well in.  They seem to want to take over the whole bed!  I am wondering whether it would work OK to plant other veggies in with the strawberries, making use of the strawberries as a cover crop to help the veggies grow.  The alternative is to pluck out enough strawberry plants to make room for my veggies, but I was wondering whether letting the veggies grow together with the strawberries would be better.  The strawberries have such lovely root systems, after all.  Are the strawberries good at promoting mycorrhizal fungi?
1 year ago