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Garden rotation questions


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#1 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2016 - 12:59 PM

I'm making a business plan for a competition in my town, if I win I get $1500 canadian ($13.71 American lol!) to either start the company or spend/save for whatever.

So my idea is to have 1.5 acre of garden, Ran with a 3 year rotation. I will have 1/2 acre in production, 1/2 acre in summer fallow and 1/2 acre planted to grass/forage

I'll explain it more here. I want to have a 1/2 acre section of forage planted, to harvest for the chickens (stage 1). I will have a 1/2 acre under summer fallow to kill off weeds in the soil, as I'm not using pesticides (stage 2). I will have a 1/2 acre in vegetable production for producing my crops (stage 3)

So I will have each plot used for vegetable production only 1 year out of 3, with the other plots either resting (next up for summer fallow) or being summer fallow cultivated (next up for vegetable producing). The plot that is being used for production will next up for resting

When I say summer fallow I mean disking weekly to kill off the weed seed supply in the soil and to incorporate manure that will be spread before disking.

Is this a good plan?
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#2 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2016 - 02:22 PM

I'm not a farmer or gardener, but it sounds good to me. I was wondering what summer fallow meant. I plant potatoes, but just for a hobby.

Noel
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#3 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2016 - 02:28 PM

What kind of forage are you thinking of for the chickens? Also if you put the chickens on the fallow section, they can scratch around helping to work it and incorporating the natural fertilizer.
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#4 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2016 - 03:56 PM

I like Shorty's idea. If you can fence off the bit that would be summer fallow and run meat chickens on it, it would kill off any weeds and still be earning money. You need quite a few birds though to keep 1/2 acre stripped clean. Maybe not so many if it was already bare when you put them on it. Then cut forage from your third plot to feed them. Just a thought anyway. What are you planning to plant as forage for the chickens? I plant barley for my pigs. with a legume seeded in with it as well. Last year I added chickling vetch as the legume, I have some of that seed left, so I will be using the rest up this year. I may throw in some soy beans as well. They eat this as pasture, it isn't allowed to mature for harvest. You can check out the website feedipedia for lots of options if you don't already have something in mind.

 

Jim


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#5 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2016 - 11:06 PM

I like Shorty's idea. If you can fence off the bit that would be summer fallow and run meat chickens on it, it would kill off any weeds and still be earning money. You need quite a few birds though to keep 1/2 acre stripped clean. Maybe not so many if it was already bare when you put them on it. Then cut forage from your third plot to feed them. Just a thought anyway. What are you planning to plant as forage for the chickens? I plant barley for my pigs. with a legume seeded in with it as well. Last year I added chickling vetch as the legume, I have some of that seed left, so I will be using the rest up this year. I may throw in some soy beans as well. They eat this as pasture, it isn't allowed to mature for harvest. You can check out the website feedipedia for lots of options if you don't already have something in mind.

Jim

Me too! I can get wheat barley oats peas beans pumpkins squash corn beets carrots cucumbers etc...

I don't think the meat aspect of meat chickens will fly (pun intended...) with the boss, if I were to do that I would have to have a government inspected slaughter plant but no such luck in the backwater I live in. The idea of having meat animals is to sell them, average guy who wants chicken meat doesn't know squat about slaughter...

Edited by Greasy6020, April 08, 2016 - 11:12 PM.

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#6 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2016 - 04:23 AM

Pretty ambitious for sure, and the fallow section... Discing weekly is not a good idea especially if adding manure to it! All you will be doing is making weeds! To kill weeds, just manure it once good and heavy, disc it in , or plow it under, cover it in heavy black plastic and leave it alone, next year till it and plant. You will never get rid of weeds completely unless you spray the crap out of them. This is just not good in my book, I like things natural, not full of poisions! Best weed control I have found is plastic mulch and a Troy-bilt tiller!! And a good pair of gloves!!
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#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2016 - 05:22 AM

I think what Keith says about the disking making it worse if your perennial ones get spread by cutting them into small pieces . The annual ones would be killed . What do the area farmers there use for wed control ? I won't be able until latter this year if it worked but I was having a big weed problem in my main garden 36'x50' so planted buckwheat let it go to seed then cut and turn in for a second round then cut it before it set seeds. I still saw some weeds come up this spring when I plowed it. Also there might be a problem plowing might have brought up old weed seeds and I wont know how many buckwheat seeds might come up either for a few more weeks . Were supposed to get snow today lol
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#8 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2016 - 08:52 PM

I think what Keith says about the disking making it worse if your perennial ones get spread by cutting them into small pieces . The annual ones would be killed . What do the area farmers there use for wed control ? I won't be able until latter this year if it worked but I was having a big weed problem in my main garden 36'x50' so planted buckwheat let it go to seed then cut and turn in for a second round then cut it before it set seeds. I still saw some weeds come up this spring when I plowed it. Also there might be a problem plowing might have brought up old weed seeds and I wont know how many buckwheat seeds might come up either for a few more weeks . Were supposed to get snow today lol

Everybody and their neighbour (so their cousin... 90% of the farmers "here" related, came in from holland in the 50s) are used glyphosate.

Thing is, I said that I wouldn't be using chemicals as a means of controlling problems. So that means no roundup or other fun stuff.

Edited by Greasy6020, April 09, 2016 - 08:54 PM.

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#9 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2016 - 05:47 AM

Do some reading on cover crops ,you may find some ideas for you . Would you be able to use corn gutton or Preen type products ? Instead of the buckwheat i thought about tilling once a week all season but i heard that tilling so much would kill the worms . What's on the land now ?

#10 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2016 - 03:31 PM

Do some reading on cover crops ,you may find some ideas for you . Would you be able to use corn gutton or Preen type products ? Instead of the buckwheat i thought about tilling once a week all season but i heard that tilling so much would kill the worms . What's on the land now ?

Dunno... I'm trying to stay away from that stuff.

There is snow on where I want to put this garden. Other than that it is sod

Edited by Greasy6020, April 10, 2016 - 03:32 PM.

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#11 FrozenInTime OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2016 - 04:07 PM

Like said, tilling weekly will just bring up old weed seeds, they can survive forever.  I split my garden in half (60X70).  I planted half with buckwheat, other half I garden.  After the buckwheat started up good, I fenced it off, cut some down with weed-eater and let some chickens go at it.  They scratched alot of it down into the soil.  Each week I knocked a little more down they worked it up good.  End of summer all the buckwheat is down/ground up and soil is fertilized.  I do this 2 years same half with buckwheat/chickens.  3rd year will be planting clover as a cover crop/nitrogen convertor.  I will then switch and plant garden in that half and start with buckwheat/chickens in old garden half.  If I would have dug up/fenced enough I would have done 3 plots like you suggest, I can see the advantage but I'm not starting over now, I'm not a spring chicken myself... LOL.  I get pest control, fertilizer, eggs and in fall lots of freezer chickens to last til next summer.  When I til, I do see lots of worms get chopped up, but within a couple weeks I can dig anywhere and find lots of worms, my soil is loaded with them.  On the garden half, after I plant, I cover all but the rows with last years leaves I saved and grass clippings I bag as I mow during the summer.  My soil has gone from hard clay/sand mix to very fertile, easy to work/dig soil.  I'm hoping to be able to stop running a rototiller on the garden and use a sub-soiler then plant the rows.  With everything I've done to the top half, or garden half, I can see that happening pretty soon as my soil that is currently gardened is converting well.

 

Hope something I'm doing can help you out. 


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#12 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted April 11, 2016 - 04:45 AM

Good boy! Stay as far away from that crap as you can! ITS POISON PLAIN AND SIMPLE! And its absorbed into the plants growing in it so you end up eating the stuff..... I hope your not down stream or down wind of who ever uses this stuff??? If so... Put water filters on your water supplies and plant in green houses....
Next door neighbor from my farm used all those poisions on his garden.... For years... You should see him now.. He should be lying in a box hhe looks so bad... Can hardly walk or talk now, he's in rough shape... And I'm darned sure that stuff caused most of his issues, as he is a nature hippie, has a master's in agriculture, and smokes a lot of marijuana...yup.. A real educated idiot...
Do a little homework, the Japanese really know how to grow, as well as the Eastern Europeans! These folks seem to last a long time, and do things the old fashioned way, and they get some serious yeilds from their meager plots.
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