[Homestead] Soil fertility
lurine at softcom.net
Thu May 22 15:08:32 EDT 2008
There must be local ranches that clean out barns that want to get rid of the
manure. Around here all you have to do is drive in on a Saturday and back
up and they'll load it in your truck. Much cheaper than buying chemicals.
That and the green manure are a great way to break up the clay, also.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Walton" <waltonrp at gmail.com>
> Here is the project. I have about 2 acres that has been fallow for
> years. I've had it 4 years and bushhogged it off each year. Before
> that there were maybe 4 or 5 year old pines on it, it was cropland
> before that. There were brambles, honeysuckle, weeds, saplings,
> grasses, etc growing there. Soil test a couple of years ago shows it
> is acid (5.2), low in all nutrients. I plowed it up this spring,
> planted oats in March on part of it and Buckwheat mid April on the
> other. The oats and buckwheat are growing, but poor as expected.
> I plan to disk up this land soon and I'm planting buckwheat and
> cowpeas for summer cover/green manure. About the end of August, I'd
> like to plant another round of buckwheat and then rye/vetch/crimson
> clover in October. I'll try to have lime spread in August. I'm hoping
> that a good disking will be enough tilling to kill the cover crop and
> knock back weeds and brambles. If the weeds are really bad in the
> fall, I'll plow.
> My main goals this year are to build some fertility and to get some
> control over the brambles. I want to crop this land next year, corn
> It would be great if I could fertilize this land before the next crop.
> Natural and chemical fertilizers are high priced.
> Option 1 chemical: 500# of 10-10-10 an acre would be a real modest
> application. It's about $126 an acre
> Option 2 natural: 1 ton of rock phosphate is $450. A ton of Greendsand is
> Spending $1000 an acre is a big, big investment. I realize that the
> two options are not Apples to Apples, because the rock phosphate is
> going to last several years. The greensand is going to aid the clay
> I'm probably stuck with the chemical option, the vendor is closer and
> I don't think I can swing $2000 to amend the soil on these two acres
> (In addition to lime). What I need is some basic nutrients so that the
> green manures can grow for me.
> Has anyone used rock phosphate, greensand or other amendments on acre
> or larger plots? How much did you apply, what did you find the results
> to be? Are these prices in range?
> I'd sure like to go organic from the get go here, but I just don't see
> it as practical. I'm thinking that if I can get a bit of fertility in
> the soil, I can build on that by liming and green manures and end up
> with a workable field.
> Rob - Va
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