C Rogers

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since Oct 05, 2019
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hugelkultur hunting homestead
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Recent posts by C Rogers

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.
3 years ago
To answer your question you need to know a few things. First is to have a soil sample and then look at the N-P-K levels needed and levels per ton of manure. As an example, one of my fields needed 100 lbs of N, 60 lbs of P, and 80 lbs of K. The manure I was using was chicken, but all manures have slightly different values so check yours. But using this chicken manure meant I could only apply 2 tons to the acre as that was adding 60 lbs of P, but I still needed more nitrogen and potassium. If I added 3 more tons to get my N & K right I would be way in excess of P which can be toxic to plants. So I still needed to add some other organic fertilizers to make things right without overdoing it. Also NEVER use raw manure with ground touching, or root vegetables. As manures can have harmful bacteria, virus etc. Especially chicken and horses. Vegetables that don't have soil splashing up on them or that are not laying/growing on the soil should be ok, but I'd still wash them thoroughly before I would eat them.
4 years ago
I'm planning 8000 tomatoes and 4000 pepper transplants. So far I've planted 300 by hand and boy is my back killing me. Is there an easier way to do this? Right now I'm using a 2 foot stick and a trowel to do this. I can build something if I had plans or pictures to guide me. Best would be a 2 row system that I could use behind my Farmall or John Deere. Thnxz...
4 years ago
I have crimson red clover, fixation white clover (balanza), Dutch white clover and even sweet clover that I didn't plant growing in same bed as my Texas sweet onions and I see nodules on them so I would have to say that it's a myth. I also have soft neck garlic and elephant garlic in the same bed and the clover I planted and even the sweet clover that was native is growing fine along with them. I also had ryegrass growing in there that I didn't plant growing there but I pull it out as it is too tall and might hurt my garlic n onions I'm trying to grow.
4 years ago
There are many types of white clover. I personally use Dutch white clover as it is a perennial, low growing, can handle high traffic and is higher than most low growing legumes in nitrogen fixation. I use it on my farm between my 4 ft beds. My tractor, sprayer and me walking on it doesn't hurt it after it's established. Only in the dry hottest months does it die back some. I'm in zone 8b so it even grows well in winter here but not knowing your zone I think there in NH it should do well except in snow. Its roots won't die but will die back but come back early spring. But I would ask local extension office of your state's ag college which clover would be best for you, but I bet they will say about the same as I have.
4 years ago
I grow small gardens for personal food, flowers to sell, I also grow in acre fields to sell vegetables at local farmers market, New Orleans to Mobile and up to Laurel MS. I'm near Hattiesburg MS so they all are at most an hour's drive. I'm known as the Italian/Cajun farmer as mostly what I sell is directed twords that. I also sell prepared food like sauce, chicken parmesan, gumbo, red beans n rice.... ATM I have seedlings of German Johnson (a better version of pink Brandywine) old German (a yellow beefsteak type) Marion (red beefsteak) Cherokee purple, Amish paste about to be transplanted in field A with some peppers pepperoccini, Tabasco, Cayenne and other hot peppers. In field B I'll plant half acre of Clemson spineless and other half acre in burgundy okra. Field C is in legumes all year with clover and red beans when clover sets seed soon (fixation white clover). I also have garlic, onions, basil, and other herbs in smaller gardens as I'm atm not testing things so they were open.
4 years ago
I have been adding composted breeder house chicken manure for 2-3 years to a few fields. Each field is about 1 acre in size. One field (I'll call it field A) has had manure, ash, biochar added to it for 3 years now. My other 2 fields ( I'll call them fields B&C) have only had manure, ash and biochar added for 2 years. I knew that the nitrogen in my manure is only 35-45 lbs per ton of manure but only 12-15 lbs of that nitrogen is plant available. The rest isn't broken down/available till 2-3 years. I actually put 5 tons to the acre so I'm actually getting 175-225 lbs of total nitrogen w/ 60-75 lbs that's plant available and another 60 lbs for each previous year(s) up to 3 years max. The thing I noticed is that the longer I do this yearly the additive effect is greatly helping. Besides the 60-75 lbs of nitrogen this year by putting 5 tons per acre I can actually see both physical and chemical differences between when I first started and between field A vs B and C. When I first started my soil had a pH around 5.3-5.6 . It also was classified as medium to low in NPK and micronutrients. It was sandy and was light brown to light orangish (we also have red clay here) in color. Now fields B & C are medium to dark brown and more loamy with nutrients all in high range except K-potash Wich is in the upper medium range. While field A is dark brown, even more loamy and is classified as very high in nutrients. Field A has approximately 180 lbs of nitrogen that's plant available as every year I add manure you also need to add previous years to the total (remember 1/3 is available per year for 3 years) so in fields B & C it's only 120 lbs of plant available nitrogen because it only has this year's plus last year's vs A having manure for 3 years on it. Seeing results this dramatic was astounding as our local county extension office rep didn't think organic would do well or be cost effective. He said adding tons of lime and hundreds of pounds of chemical fertilizers would have cost less and done better. By my calculations it would have cost about $750-1000 per acre to do it his way. This would have cost a total of $3000 first year and about $1500 for years not needing lime. I only pay $500 for almost 30 tons of manure (that's enough for all 3 fields and test gardens and even worm compost beds. I never added lime, my ash and biochar I make from trees I'm clearing from crop land and storm damaged trees in my woodlands. My soil tests also showed my pH in field A is 6.6 and fields B&C's pH is 6.0 . Now I know not everyone has a neighbor that has breeder type chicken house's and from what I have heard about broiler chicken house manure having reduced ammonia to lower bird fatalities (Wich basically eliminated nitrogen in its manure) it may cost larger growers more to grow organically BUT I have shown with some research, time and knowledge growing organically can be cheaper, way better to the soil, to earth, for our health and even spiritually. I haven't had only success, I've also had failures too, so just realize that learning from failures can actually be beneficial. I have some test gardens to try new plants, methods (such as intensive planting/spacing) etc. so that even if I do fail it's not on acre scale. Some plants do well here but might not where you are and vice a versea. Also remember that one man's trash is potentially our black gold (soil) so always be looking for things others may be throwing out, rotten food, feed, seed can be composted. People who mow grass may give you tons of organic matter, tree trimmers might have tons of mulch etc. Anyone housing animals usually are glad to get rid of tons of soiled bedding and piles of manure. Just do research as some manure are not useful (example is horse manure that the horses ate grass that had herbicides used on them as this will kill vegetables just like the weeds in the pasture grass it was originally used in). So think organic but also ask the right questions besides just can I haul it off.
4 years ago
When you say it smells like urine, if you mean it has a strong ammonia smell then thats nomal. When dry chicken manure isn't that overwealming but once it gets moisture in it it will. I have over 20 tons of layer house chicken manure I'm about to spread over 4 acres. My neighbor has 3 houses and they produce over 300 tons of manure a year. I get last years so it has composted for that long and its rather dry, but 2 years ago he didn't use much and so some of last years manure was out from under the shed to keep the rain off it. Thats fine but the pile (over 20 feet wide and 10 foot tall) got rained on and because of this the very top foot and the very bottom of the pile was wet from rain and soil. AND OH MY GOD the smell. It was like sticking your head into a tub filled with ammonia, worse than any cat litter box!!! This also means that the nitrogen in it is volatilizing. Nitrogen when anaerobic will turn into N2 (a gas) this is because the microbes chemically change the NOx's into O2 and N2, they need O2 to live and will get it anyway possible to survive and this is one of the ways to get oxygen in an anaerobic environment. I'm simplifying this but its the layman's terms.

But just so you know, except for it loosing some of the nitrogen value, that manure is still fine. I wouldn't think twice about just using it in compost. I would however just be careful about using it straight in the garden as it may have some bad (anaerobic) bacteria but if composted or even added near but not "IN" root zone of what your growing it should be fine. Letting it compost with other materials or even as a top dressing or near but not in root zone will allow it to dry out enough that good microbes will kill any bad ones. Another option is to take the bag n put it in a pillowcase (a bad or cheap one you woun't use to sleep on LOL) and soak it in a tub or 5 gallon bucket (best to add a fish air pump and air stone to add O2 to water and soak it for a day or 2 and make compost tea. You can then use the water to fert. plants and add the manure into a compost pile or worm bed but let it dry out some before adding it.
4 years ago
OHhhhhhh, ok that makes sense now. Thats also why in my reply I said I DON'T use chemical ferts and stressed that I needed to figure out an organic solution.. But thanks for clearing this as I couldn't figure out what I said that may have been an issue...

Deborah Epstein wrote:I planted lots of crimson clover last fall as a cover crop. Then I neglected to cut it down while it was small and it has flowered. It's totally gorgeous. Or it was. I just pulled it all up to use it as slow-release nitrogen in vegetable beds. partly because I remember hearing not to let it go to seed because it will spread like mad. Is this true? (Zone 8b, Vashon Island, Washington)

Since they flowered, I noticed that the bees loved them so I was ambivalent about pulling them up. Even though it's after the fact I thought I might check for next year's purposes... Next year, can/should I plant some for the bees in a place I don't need to pull them up, or will I regret it?

Also, I didn't see root nodules like I see on my fava beans, and they were planted together, so I assume they don't make them. My (possibly incorrect) understanding about using beans for nitrogen fixation, is that you need to cut them at ground level and leave the roots in place, and that's how they'll release their fixed nitrogen. For crimson clover, do I likewise need to leave the roots in place? I didn't this time because I needed to clean some things up, and figured that chop/drop into various beds (or my compost pile) will ultimately accomplish the same goal.

Thanks for helping me understand!

Was your clover inoculated ??? Different legumes need different inoculants. If they were inoculated then it may mean that where you planted that clover had enough nitrogen for them as they only make nodules if then "NEED" more nitrogen. It actually is easier for the plant roots to absorb nitrogen than it is to absorb nitrogen from the air, put that nitrogen in the nodule along with plant sugars to feed the bacteria and for bacteria to change the gas nitrogen into something the roots can absorb. Also crimson clover is at least here in Mississippi (zone 8b) more expensive per acre to plant than Ladino or Fixation clover (they are white clovers). Also crimson clover is one of the lowest palatable clovers to wildlife, cows, sheep etc. vs white clover. Also both fixation and ladino clover makes way more biomass and fix almost 2 times the amount of nitrogen compared to crimson clover. I personally plant 4 acres of garden area each fall/winter  in ladino or fixation clovers and we have mild winters so it grows all winter and starts flowering here in February. I disk it under when 20% starts to flower as this is when it has the maximum biomass and nitrogen fixed. I'm not sure about crimson and what percent is hard seed but hard seed is when the seed has a thick coating on it and the seed can remain viable in the ground for years before it germinates. This is why you should remove, cut or till it in before it seeds especially when some clovers can have over 20% hard seed. If you want your clover to keep growing year after year I would recommend ladino as it is a perennial, where both fixation and crimson are both annuals and will need seed to be bought as the patch declines in population.

Yes all legumes need to have their roots left in the ground to rot and release any nitrogen they "FIXED" but as I said I disk both plant and roots under in my fields but you can chop n drop the tops in place to make a good mulch and they will rot rather quickly and soon worms and other insects will bring this mulch underground where it will add more nutrients too.

I also have another white clove I use but its a low growing type (white dutch clover) and I only plant it in my pathways in the garden. Both it and ladino are perennials the only difference is ladino can grow to 2-3 feet high while dutch grows 2-6 inches tall. Both are good to mix in grass too as they can handle high foot traffic and can take animal pressure (grazing) well. The only down side is it doesn't grow much and can even die in the hottest parts of June-Aug. here. Not sure if Washington gets as hot and humid as here but you may have the same problems there if you also have 90+ deg temps and 90% humidity LOL
4 years ago