[permaculture] Implements for preparing vegetable beds
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Aug 27 08:54:08 EDT 2010
On 8/27/2010 6:34 AM, James Sprunt wrote:
> Is there any good research into the best implement for soil preparation of
> vegetable beds?
> I'm aware of the damage that rotary hoes do to soil structure and in
> creating a plow pan. Are there any good uses for this implement? Are they
> good for working up new ground or turning in green manures? Perhaps using a
> Yeoman's plow as well to shatter the plow pan?
> What about power harrows? Spaders?
> I am also aware that perhaps one implement may not do all things required
> i.e. have friends who have a spader but find it is not so good for
> incorporating green manures.
> Spaders are quite rare in Australia especially for tractors. They are
> available for walk behind tractors.
> Look forward to your response,
That's an easy one. First determine what type(s) of soil you have
and how it is layered in the area you want to crop, i.e is there
any impermeable clay or gumbo and if so at what depth. Second,
work your soil when moisture content is optimum for tillage.
Prepare a mixture of compost, manure and rock powders plus any other
amendments you need, i.e phosphate, azomite, greensand, seaweed,
dried duckweed or alfalfa, etc. Apply this mix to your garden in strips,
where the beds will exist. Farmland runoff channeled into catchment
ponds could grow duckweed to reclaim nutrients. Harvest with some type
of seine.Dry it in an open shed. When dry it forms granules that can be
gathered and containerized for long term storage. These granules can be
spread just like dried seaweed, alfalfa, soybean meal, etc. or mixed
with a compost/rock powder mix for immediate application to garden soil.
Duckweed likes a high nutrient load so its perfect for a manure lagoon.
It is also somewhat impervious to environmental pollutants. It is cold
hardy and goes dormant during drought when water levels are low. It has
as much protein as soybean meal and certainly as much as alfalfa. It is
excellent for recycling nutrients and make a great high nitrogen soil
amendment for mixing with compost or direct application as a fertilizer.
Rotovate or rotohoe your beds. Hill and bed, Yeomans plow (three shanks
per bed) then hill and bed again. Repeat seasonally as necessary. I and
the late Eric Kindberg developed and used all these implements. You can
scale the size and configuration of these implements to accomodate the
power of your tractor, 40 minimum to 80 maximum horsepower required.
Pix of all of this here:
Some interesting scans of pages out of old ag books:
More information about the permaculture