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  1. #11
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    First year is always the toughest.I would replow in the fall and add leaves to add some organic matter.My father did this for years and had wonderfull gardens.
    I hadn't thought of the leaves, that's a good idea. I also have a couple loads of manure sitting in a pile "aging" that I was going to till in this fall. I was thinking of bringing some compost, but like your idea.

  2. #12
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    I wouldn't have sprayed it, I don't use any herbicides around what the family eats. Ideal may have been to plow it last fall, then rototill from spring on. When I started my 4 gardens back up from grass (didn't have the time for a few years), I just put up with the grass on the one I didn't plow. The year after that there wasn't much grass and the year after that it was normal.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    I went past a place in Scugog Twp on Friday that had some really good smelling (ripe) cow manure spread on his field.
    IF you can find some two or three year old cow manure, it will be good and ripe but it will be real good for the garden in the fall. Just leave in on over the winter and turn it in, in the spring. If it is ripe enough it will clear out your sinuses

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Don't forget to compost food waste from your home. (No meats of course) I have a regular garden similar to yours, and another just for potatoes and vine crops. I use old pallets to build compost piles - zero cost - and compost household wastes, grass clippings, leaves and some old hay. I throw in chicken manure from a neighbor farmer and wind up with excellent black dirt. I add ashes from my woodstove, and can grow most anything.

    Like in so many things, there are many ways to build a great garden. Keep looking for tips. I'll never stop growing, looking and changing.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Just DO NOT use pine/tamarac needles in your compost.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Thanks guys, all good tips, I am taking notes. I've been giving most of my food scraps to the city of Ottawa since they started the green bin program. I only started doing that because my compost bin was full and I wasn't doing anything with it. I'll keeping it for myself, mix in leaves, ash maybe some hay and some well aged manure. Eventually I'll get great soil, but for now, things are growing, just say a full row of cucumber was poking up and the pumpkins are growing like weeds.

  7. #17
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    I don't even bother to compost, I just dump the vegetable scraps onto the garden and it gets rototilled in the next time I rototill. That might be next spring if it happens to be winter. I don't bag grass clippings but do age the manure 2 years before adding it to the garden. I try to spread it out with the box scraper and then rototill it in.

  8. #18
    Platinum Member NHmitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Quote Originally Posted by kiotiken View Post
    Well, I should have listened and sprayed the grass to kill it, but I scraped the grass off with as little soil as possible, but still too much. I tilled in a little manure, but it was too fresh, so I went very easy one it.

    The garden is planted and the pumpkin plants that I started in the house seem to be doing well. Nothing else has shown itself yet, so the jury's still out on if I can grow anything yet.
    Thats a nice sized garden, and it looks like you did a very good job with it. We have two gardens that equal about the same size as the one that you built. I plowed the ground, removed the grass, and then built the boxes. We then added manure soil, and manure that had been composting from our horses for almost 4 years, so it was pretty rich soil. I did buy a Burpee electronic soil tester at home depot that tests the acidity, the PH, and tells you weather the soil needs fertilizer. It works really well. I did have to add fertilizer to ours, since we also had a slow start, and our corn did not start on its own, so we had to replant more corn. The seeds we had were older, and I did not really want the genetically modified seed, just because I am unsure how healthy it is? Anyways, your garden looks very good, and you may want to test the soil, or add fertilizer if you haven't. My grandfather use to grow about an acre of food, and he would always make a tea, with manure, and water, to add to the plants. He always had huge quantities of vegetables. I hope that the garden turns out well! Keep us updated.



    Electric Soil Tester-69344 at The Home Depot
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    I'm in the same boat you're in kiotiken. I put in my first garden this year and I had a friend with a tractor and a single leaf plow come in and plow very shallow and just turn over the grass so the roots would show and let it die. Then he came back a couple of weeks later and plowed real deep. Then we used a rear tine tiller on that to get it broke up real well. I then got a load of cold manure and spread it over the garden.

    We came back and tilled it in and made our planting rows. Then we put down a light layer of 13-13-13 on just the planting rows and so far we've had bumper crops of everything.

    This is a picture of Fred doing the deep plow.
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  10. #20
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting a lawn to a garden

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeA57 View Post
    I'm in the same boat you're in kiotiken. I put in my first garden this year and I had a friend with a tractor and a single leaf plow come in and plow very shallow and just turn over the grass so the roots would show and let it die. Then he came back a couple of weeks later and plowed real deep. Then we used a rear tine tiller on that to get it broke up real well. I then got a load of cold manure and spread it over the garden.

    We came back and tilled it in and made our planting rows. Then we put down a light layer of 13-13-13 on just the planting rows and so far we've had bumper crops of everything.

    This is a picture of Fred doing the deep plow.
    I'm jealous, I didn't know anybody with a plow I could borrow. Good to hear you're getting good results. My soil is terrible and not much is growing, but I'll get what I get. I'll put back the soil I removed in the fall after the grass has broken down, mix in more manure and mulched leaves. I also have a huge pile of saw dust from doing about 20 cord of wood this year and I'm thinking of mixing that in to lighten the soil up, right now, it's like concrete.

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