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Tractor Lover
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
In the fall, when I plant my winter rye I also fertilize with 12-12-12 at the same time. The rye takes up the fertilizer and returns it in a more readily usable form for the plants after I till it under in the spring.
 

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That is not a bad idea at all Argee. Bet it looks alot nicer too! I have putting everything in the garden and tilling it in, 8 cubic yards of wood mulch, about 1,000 lbs. of ag lime, same amount of 12-24-24, wood stove ashes, mulched up leaves, compost, and each years end crop residue. The best thing that grows around here is rocks! :D I should probably have the soil tested to see what it needs if anything.
 

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Chief, I'd leave the wood mulch out, it takes nitrogen out of the soil to break it down. The best fertilizer you can get is manure if you have a supply availlable.
 

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Guess I will have to hit it with some amonium nitrate now. I don't know how long fertilizer stays in the soil but I put about 250 lbs. of amonium nitrate in the garden a few year back too. Like I said, I should probably do a soil test.
 

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I've had good luck by collecting fall leaves and grass with the lawn sweeper then running them through the shredder and puting them on my 20 x 20 former plot of clay. After tilling them in by Spring only nice black soil is left. I add a little fertilizer, it seems to help the leaves breakdown faster. I seldom need any fertilizer during the growing season. I've been doing that for nearly 20 years and the soil seems to get better every year.

Mark
 

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Yes the wood mulch DOES take up N. but it also returns it, along with all it's OM when if finly rots down. Granted it may take awile, but it does. Wood mulch would probably be better for a plot thats going to sit unused for a year.


As for ferts. Alafa meal, or pellets are real good, and of corse well rotted manure is AWSOME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Chief - The standard rule of thumb without a soil test is to go with an even number in all categories ie: 12-12-12 or 19-19-19.

If you go with a water soluble fertilizer, you'll see immediate results. The downside is no staying power. For a lawn up here in the frozen north, two applications a year is about right. In the spring I like to hit it with some lime also (every other year) but that's because I live in a stand of pines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Paul - Another good cover crop mix is winter rye and hairy vetch. The winter rye acts as a nurse crop so the vetch can get established. The vetch being a legume fixes nitrogen into the soil that it takes from the air. It's a good crop to plant tomatoes after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Recipe for productive garden spot

If you have the available land for a future garden that you want to improve the soil tilth, here is a one year recipe that will give you a fertile plot to plant in. Now keep in mind this is what works in the northern climates, you southern gardeners may want to tweak it a bit. Here goes - In mid April till up your garden patch in a rough state. Till it and prepare it for a seed bed at the end of April. Sow in buckwheat. In 4-6 weeks (after flowering but before it forms a seed head) till it in. Let it rest a week. Prepare for a seed bed again and sow another crop of buckwheat. In 4-6 weeks as stated above till it under. Now your going to be in late August...prepare it for seeding and sow in a mix of winter rye and hairy vetch and forget about it until the following spring. When you till it the following spring you will have a soil high in tilth, wealthy in nutrients and low in weed germination.
 
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