Benjamin Duggar

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since Feb 19, 2021
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Recent posts by Benjamin Duggar

I encourage you to activate the biochar. I used urine, compost, and worm castings to inoculate mine and I am pretty amazed at the results thus far. Here are a couple of squash plants I amended with biochar before direct seeding. They are enormous compared to anything I grew last year.
3 years ago
Yeah. 2 kids 5 days from being exactly 2 years apart. Never a dull moment around here.
3 years ago
My advice.

Separate what you want to do and what you need to do. AKA make a list and have someone who isn't pregnant look at it and confirm it makes sense(not your husband). Be kind to your husband and expect kindness from him. We had our 2nd baby last year and it was ruff. Both of us worked from home and took care of our 1.5 year old daughter pretty well isolated from everyone for safety. Try to enjoy your time alone because when that baby arrives you will NEVER be alone again. Read a book, take a walk, use the bathroom with the door closed.

At the end of the day if everyone's belly is full and they have a warm/cool place to go to sleep then that day was a success in my book.
3 years ago
I like the concept. I too wish to be irrigation free if possible. I have done allot of research on biochar and have started making my own. I have been incorporating it into my beds with new plantings and into new beds from the get go. Fortunately my drought season isn't near as bad as yours. You might want to take a look at biochar. It is fairly easy to make and has many benefits outside of water holding capacity.
3 years ago

Matt Todd wrote:This came about from me worrying for the first time about planting in TOO MUCH organic matter when I start using my hugel bed (that I built last year and let sit until this spring.) So what do you think? How do hugelkulturs work so well despite this theoretical pitfall?



Matt,

The real secret to Hugel lies in the fact that it was developed before we were taught that to farm or garden you had to have a chemistry test done on the soil to reveal its magical NPK values. If your running your thought process off of the NPK way of doing things your getting into an aquaponics type growing situation because your just using the dirt(not soil) to carry the "nutrients" to the plant. By using approaches such as hugel your getting away from the chemistry and getting into the biology of things. By creating a biodiverse environment your letting mother nature take care of things. Your not using salts (fertilizers) and poisons(insecticides and fungicides) to control an environment and bend it to your will. Fungus, bacteria, nematodes, along with the plants and their roots form the entire soil food web and that web doesn't care all that much about your chemistry tests as long as it has food(organic material) and water to sustain it will overcome "shortcomings" we perceive in a lab.

Now with that said the natural way of doing things is gonna make growing things you probably shouldn't be growing a little more challenging than going to the big box store and buying a box of magic and dumping that in your raised bed, but in the end its cheaper to let mother nature do what she has been doing for billions of years and much healthier for you in the end.
3 years ago

Michael Moreken wrote:I thought the idea of hugel beds (without using walnut logs ha ha) is to build up soil, and minimize watering.



Well Hugel to me is about forming allot of life in the soil. Almost a soil regenerative practice. It is very similar to composting in place in allot of ways. If you ever on youtube the MIGardener channel guy uses a form of hugel he calls "core" gardening. In his method he digs a trench in all of his raised beds and applies organic matter in the form of straw. I have done both his method of core gardening using allot of compost and amended soil and also a traditional hugel bed and first year performance was much better with amended soil "core" beds. I am on my second year now and the hugel bed seems to have decomposed and stopped sucking all the nitrogen out. I planted potatoes in it this year and they so far have survived 2 hard frosts and are looking quite amazing.

This year I moved into activated biochar land and have been very happy with the initial results. All of these methods really focus on the soil biology and regenerating life where we have either destroyed or deterred it through conventional gardening/farming practices.
3 years ago
So preliminary results show that the biochar has at least done no damage to the garden or the two pear trees and 5 blueberry bushes I planted. The true test will be the dog days of summer when I hope the charcoal helps in water retention.
3 years ago
So if anyone is on the fence about trying this. I would highly recommend it. Super easy to do. If you can keep a house plant alive you can grow microgreens.

3 years ago