[Market-farming] mulching pathways

SaladG at aol.com SaladG at aol.com
Wed Mar 2 11:32:13 EST 2011

For a number of years we planted all our gardens to rye in the fall, and  
when spring came I used a mower and cut strips in the rye and left 6' strips, 
 then tilled the area's that we mowed with out rotary mower, and usually 
had to  till twice to kill the rye.Then laid plastic where we tilled.  The 
main  purpose of this process was to protect our seedlings from the strong 
spring  south winds that we have every spring in the high flat that we grow on.  
 The tall rye gave some protection to the young seedlings, but we do not  
plant that area any more and use a more protected  area, along with the  
hoophouses.  The rye was always cut with our mower after the season really  got 
going and really never caused any major problems, I never let it mature  
enough to go to seed, other grasses would come in later in the summer to cover  
our driveways between crops, and this makes picking a lot easier when it 
seem to  rain every other day and the mud gets a foot deep in between the 
plastic mulch.  We still use drive ways in our gardens  to get the gator and 
other picking  equipment between rows, and just let the natural grasses grow up 
in between and  mow every week.
Any more we use a lot of ground hay and use a lot of it in place of the  
plastic mulch, use a spreader to put it down on the ground about 6"deep.   
Works really good to hold out the weeds.  Have had to add some later to  hold 
out weed. but has worked pretty good.  I'm always trying to use what I  can 
grow or find on the farm for all my resources instead of buying someone  
else's products.  We grow 90% of our own potting  soils from hay,  paper, 
cardboard, food waste(grocery store produce), or what ever we can find in  our 
area. I learn something new every day about this project, been a lot of work  
but a lot of fun.  Grocery stores pay quite a bit a ton on waste products,  
so it really isn't to hard work with someone that you can save them a ton of  
money over the long run.
Phil from Iowa 
_www.timberridgelamb.com_ (http://www.timberridgelamb.com) 
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