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 01-05-2017, 11:27 Post: 27032
JonB



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 New soil

Well, I added about 2250 feet to my garden this year. Since the soil is too much clay, no tilth or organics in it to speak of, I'm thinking of tilling in about 21 yards of organic material, just to jump start the soil development. I know someone else has already done something similar. Any tips or warning? Thanks in advance. JonB






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 01-05-2017, 16:22 Post: 27042
Bird Senter



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 New soil

Jon, I've tilled in massive quantities of wood chips in my garden. I've been told by 2 or 3 people that decomposing wood chips draw nitrogen out of the soil and make it necessary to add nitrogen. I don't know. I've not used any chemicals of any kind in my garden in 6 years. But in addition to the wood chips, I had a lot of rabbit manure and cow manure to add also, so if the wood drew any out, I guess that put it back. About the only warning I'd have is to be careful about organic material that might have weed or grass seeds in it. The first year that I started this garden, I put two big round bales of hay in it and let the cattle feed there during the winter; big mistake, too much grass came up from the seeds in the hay. Oat or wheat straw is good, and you don't have the seeds.






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 01-06-2017, 16:54 Post: 27155
Mark



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 New soil

Bird is absolutely correct about the wood chips. Durring the decomposing process, FRESH wood chips act as a nitrogen sink. Therefore I would recommend not using them as compost or even as mulch around young trees for that matter. Once they have aged six months to a year they have absorbed all of the nitrogen that they are going to and you can use them as compost or mulch. Of course, if you've got the cattle to replace the nitrogen for you then you should have no problem.






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 01-06-2017, 21:48 Post: 27177
CaseyR



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 New soil

What are the merits and relative values of the various types of manure? I can probably get a fair quantity of horse manure mixed with bedding straw fairly cheap but I am not aware of any place locally that I could get chicken manure or steer manure in bulk. I assume that horse manure would be better than nothing. Is there any easy way to spread a few truck loads of horse manure over an acre plus field without having a wagon type manure spreader? Would composting the horse manure before putting it on the field? If put on fresh, would working it into the soil in the fall be a significant advantage over doing it in the spring? I hope to plant blueberries in one field so may also need to adjust the acidity of the soil.






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 01-07-2017, 07:37 Post: 27183
Bird Senter



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 New soil

CaseyR, I don't know a lot about the chemical makeup of the different types of manure. I've used a lot of cow manure, and when I was a kid, we used a lot of chicken manure, but I'm absolutely convinced that the BEST fertilizer is rabbit manure if you can find it.






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 01-07-2017, 17:26 Post: 27194
JonB



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 New soil

First, thanks for the advice. I also checked with my local Ag Extension, and was told the best possible soil amendment is compost. They also gave me the numbers for city compost, at about half the cost. They also said hauling manure is usually too expensive to make it practical. I'll use it though if I can find it cheap. I'll let you know how it turns out. JonB






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