[permaculture] dealing with hard ground

Shane Perry rymnel at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 08:51:49 EDT 2005


I've been seeing those all over the place where I live.  Up to this 
point I've avoided them because I didn't want whatever fescue that was 
growing in the field dominating my garden.  Have you tried this 
yourself?  I'm curious as to weed issues that arise from using hay as a 
sheet mulching compound.  Sorry if this is a noob question.

Shane

William Genest wrote:
> One cheap sourse of mulch this time of year are those huge round  
> bales of hay that get left out and rained on and are considered  
> useless - have a couple of those trucked in and plopped into your  
> raised beds ( which needn't be more elaborate than something to hold  
> in the pile say two feet high - then add a layer of compost above  
> that - Voila !
> 
> On Sep 14, 2005, at 5:07 PM, neshura wrote:
> 
> 
>>Yes, building up was already in the plan, I've done a raised bed herb
>>garden (costly due to the compost), but the rate at which our
>>household generates compostables is not very high, and low-cost
>>resources for mulch are now closed for the year. That is why I was
>>asking if there was any way to keep from writing off direct
>>improvement of the existing soil re possible techniques for planting
>>and protecting cover crops.
>>
>>I will see what the leaf fall is like this autumn -- I'm not certain
>>of the type of maple but despite being huge trees, the canopy is tiny
>>-- they don't grow any side branches (perhaps not maples, they may
>>have been misidentified to me). Covering 8,000 square feet to any
>>significant depth would take many many cubic feet of material, and the
>>wallet shrieks in terror at the prospect of trying to do that without
>>waiting for several years of leaf fall. I will resign myself to
>>gardening in the 6 sq ft raised bed herb garden for the next few
>>years.
>>
>>Thanks.
>>
>>
>>On 9/14/05, margi <oaksong at peak.org> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>All those maple leaves can be added to the soil used to "uppen" it!
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>William Genest wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>"Uppen" it !
>>>>
>>>>Don't dig down, build up - Raised beds - lots and lots of mulch and
>>>>organic matter...
>>>>
>>>>On Sep 14, 2005, at 1:08 PM, neshura wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Hello all!
>>>>>
>>>>>I rent a suburban property in hot-and-humid Alexandria, VA.  
>>>>>There are
>>>>>four beautiful maples in the back yard and a cypress in the  
>>>>>front, and
>>>>>the property is largely covered in lovely dappled shade for most of
>>>>>the summer. It is ideal for gardening except for one factor -- the
>>>>>tilth, or rather lack thereof. The soil is completely  
>>>>>impenetrable by
>>>>>normal human effort.
>>>>>
>>>>>I have tried denting the soil with:
>>>>>
>>>>>* a shovel
>>>>>* a spade with a sharpened edge
>>>>>* hand tools
>>>>>* a garden "claw"
>>>>>
>>>>>and finally, an earth auger hooked up to a power drill.
>>>>>
>>>>>The net effect of all of these methods, across several test  
>>>>>spots in
>>>>>the yard, was merely the generation of a few small puffs of
>>>>>light-colored dust with absolutely no penetration into the soil.  
>>>>>The
>>>>>established grass grows fine, the established daylilies struggle
>>>>>along, and the virginia creeper and morning glory do just fine  
>>>>>around
>>>>>the edges of the property. There's plenty of water; the house  
>>>>>has an
>>>>>active sump pump and we have to carefully redirect gutter water  
>>>>>away
>>>>>from the foundation because the water table is so close to the  
>>>>>surface
>>>>>here.
>>>>>
>>>>>I don't want to rototill, not least because it would risk  
>>>>>damaging the
>>>>>tree roots. I had some thought of using cover crops or daikon to  
>>>>>try
>>>>>to break up the soil, but the thriving urban wildlife (birds and
>>>>>squirrels) are quick to jump on broadcast seeds. Hand planting
>>>>>individual seeds by hammering a nail into the soil to make  
>>>>>holes, over
>>>>>about 8,000 square feet, is doable but daunting.
>>>>>
>>>>>Does anyone have any suggestions for elegantly and inexpensively
>>>>>improving the soil? It is a permaculture challenge right now.
>>>>>
>>>>>Thanks,
>>>>>Amanda Gilbert
>>>>>_______________________________________________
>>>>>permaculture mailing list
>>>>>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>>>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Best Regards,
>>>>
>>>> William Genest
>>>>
>>>> - Founder  Green Mountain Permaculture Institute of Vermont
>>>>Solutions, Sustenance, Sustainability
>>>>www.greenmountainpermaculture.com
>>>>
>>>>- Creator  "Regeneration - The Art of Sustainable Living"
>>>>From "Something-Must-be-Done" to Something we can do !
>>>>www.regenerationshow.com
>>>>
>>>>- Ecological Coordinator
>>>>Club St.Paul Ecological Golf Course
>>>>
>>>>- Vice-President  Green Party of Quebec "pour nous et nos enfants"
>>>>www.pvq.qc.ca
>>>>
>>>>- National Spokesperson Green Party of Canada
>>>>"The Future is Now ! "
>>>>www.greenparty.ca
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>_______________________________________________
>>>>permaculture mailing list
>>>>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>_______________________________________________
>>>permaculture mailing list
>>>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>>
>>>
>>
>>_______________________________________________
>>permaculture mailing list
>>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>
>>
> 
> 
> Best Regards,
> 
>   William Genest
> 
>   - Founder  Green Mountain Permaculture Institute of Vermont
> Solutions, Sustenance, Sustainability
> www.greenmountainpermaculture.com
> 
> - Creator  "Regeneration - The Art of Sustainable Living"
>  From "Something-Must-be-Done" to Something we can do !
> www.regenerationshow.com
> 
> - Ecological Coordinator
> Club St.Paul Ecological Golf Course
> 
> - Vice-President  Green Party of Quebec "pour nous et nos enfants"
> www.pvq.qc.ca
> 
> - National Spokesperson Green Party of Canada
> "The Future is Now ! "
> www.greenparty.ca
> 
> 
> 
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> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> 



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