[Market-farming] Hard Ground

SaladG at aol.com SaladG at aol.com
Wed Nov 24 21:31:38 EST 2004

We really haven't experienced this very hard ground in our buildings.  A 
couple of years ago we started using a ground hay mulch in them.  After the plant 
emerges I start bringing in mulch and putting it around the plants.  We keep 
adding mulch all the time it seems to me it will get as deep as a foot at 
differnt times, and as it degrades the depth changes and you have to add more.  
Holds the moisture in the ground and smothers out the weeds .  Doesn't seem to be 
any more work than bedding down a hog house everyday, only difference is I 
don't have to carry it out and spread it.  This time of year when the outside 
work is kindof put to a halt because of mother nature, I take a potato fork in 
the buildings and spade it up.  In the spring(Febuary) I dig it up again and 
level it off.  I usually don't have to till the beds up, whereas the winter has 
had enough freeze and thaw that it mellows out really nicely.  I don't even 
try to grow year around in my area, I really feel that the soil needs a rest 
just as much as I do.  I do have a building with brambles and strawberrys that 
all we do is keep drip working using the same mulch and just keep adding every 
year.  We use a grandular fertilizer and add it to our mulch every six months , 
I like this better that trynig to regulate it through our drip system.  Our 
drip system is hooked up to our greenhouse and I need a differnt formula for 
greenhouse than what we need for the hoophouses.

Just some thoughts on hard ground.
We have clay loom soil.

Phil From Iowa.
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