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Sheet composting to expand the garden


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#1 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 30, 2010 - 02:05 PM

This weekend we finished laying cardboard and scrap drywall as the base for some sheet composting to expand our veggie garden, then helped our friend get rid of some great compost to lay on top of the base cardboard. He needed it moved before snow plowing season and we needed the compost for a topper so it was a win win.:D Three pick up loads later we are set for next year!!! The sheet composting method should kill the sod by spring and tilling everything in next spring should help loosen up the clay based soil we have. All this just in time as we got a bit of snow to top it off the next day.
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#2 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted November 30, 2010 - 07:06 PM

Can't beat a win win situation Peter. We have a bunch of wood chips that we are going to spread on the garden in the spring before we till. I was going to put them on the garden this fall but I figured it be better to let some of the acidity wash away first.

#3 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 30, 2010 - 07:30 PM

I thought about wood chips too as we have plenty from the yard clean up we have been doing this summer but got this done too late for the chips to have enough time to really break down before spring tilling. There is always next year to plan for.....:smilewink:
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#4 Meangreen OFFLINE  

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Posted November 30, 2010 - 08:31 PM

Will the drywall breakdown when tilled in or do you remove it in the spring, just wondering.

#5 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 01, 2010 - 06:28 AM

The drywall starts to break down/gets mushy and when the gypsum is tilled in it helps loosen the clay soil. It is a great way to get rid of scrap drywall and good for the soil. I just make sure it is not painted and not the "blue board" treated for moisture stuff.
P.
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#6 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted December 01, 2010 - 06:56 AM

I guess it adds lime to the soil also........

I have put a load of horse manure in for the last 2 years......it helps break up clay too.......lots of horse farms around here, so its cheap....or free

#7 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2010 - 12:49 AM

I never knew that about drywall and clay soils. It's going save me some trips to the dump and improve my soil now.

#8 Donald OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2010 - 09:48 PM

The drywall supplies calcium carbonate, an excellent source of calcium, for the soil. Calcium improves tillage in clay soils and helps adjust pH down (calcium is alkaline). It will need to be incorporated into the soil as evenly as possible to be effective. There are 17 nutrients necessary for a plant to complete its life cycle and produce viable seed (read Genesis 1:11). Calcium is a necessary soil nutrient.

#9 Donald OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2010 - 10:04 PM

I use alot of woodchips in my garden. They do an excellent job of creating a buffer zone between the soil and atmosphere. However wood chips have a very high carbon to nitrogen ratio. The higher the carbon content the greater amounts of nitrogen are necessary to break down the cellulosic structure of wood chips. Chips work better when spread on top of the soil. The buffering effect they produce once they are saturated with water introduces a microenvironment that will begin to support beneficial fungi, bacteria, and many lifeforms that produce an extremely healthy soil structure. In the healthiest soils extra nutrients form colloidal structures that retain nutrients until conditions for them to be released are optimal. If you till in fresh wood chips however they will extract the nitrogen stores from the soil and adversely affect the nutrient balance of the soil. Adding a high nitrogen fertilizer will help restore the loss of nitrogen but the salts in fertilizers do have an adverse affect on the microbial colonies in the soil.
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