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  1. #1
    Gold Member Jeff Lary's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    394
    Location
    Hartland Maine
    Tractor
    Kubota L2950

    Default best way to fertilize your garden?

    I am not sitting on rich ground here in central maine but every year i grow some potatoes beans beets and squash.When i was a kid my mom and i marked rows strewed a little fertilizer in the row then lightly hoed it in.But is that the best way? when we put in a food plot for the deer we broadcast the entire lot then planted what is the best way ?.My soil is poor to say the least it is mostly what we call rotten ledge clay and top soil.Last year before i planted i scraped off the top 3 inchs to try to rid the area of weed and grass roots.I did this because i had not had a garden for a couple of years in this spot.I put the soil in a pile and covered it with a black tarp for the whole year this spring i will put this back on the garden again.I also will try to get a soil test done this spring. Any fertilizer advice would be listened to.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    223
    Location
    Western,MA
    Tractor
    JD 850, L130, 317

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Your state extension service will have loads of info, great for the farmer or gardener. If you have a university nearby and they have an aggie department they may be a lot of help, ours do the soil tests.

    If you are planting a small garden the strewed and hoe in works for me I add a little extra on corn when it tassels.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2010
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    1,120
    Tractor
    NHtd75

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    If you have access to manure from horses, chickens or cattle etc. do a little experiment on a portion of your garden area by applying it heavy in the fall and tilling it in to decompose over the winter. I add vegetable and fruit peelings etc. all year by shallow trenching and bury method.

    Soil test - kits with instructions are available for cheap and you can do the testing yourself. The test in the jar is for soil structure and when you do it your county extension can probably help read it. Humus content seems to be important to master gardeners.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -soil-test-chart-4-17-a   -soil-test-samples-4-17-a   -soil-test-humus-4-17-a  

  4. #4
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    5,559
    Location
    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Money spent on compost would be well spent. Chemical fertilizers cannot provide the tilth and humus you need. Just cannot.

    Buying fully rotted manure compost would be your best bet. Making your own, for free, using lawn clippings, leaves and such will save you money in the future.

    Ask around. Many communities offer free compost at the township lot.

    Fresher horse manure is to be avoided. Too many weeds, as horses do not ruminate. Rotted horse manure is great. Cow, goat, sheep or chicken is even better but needs to go on now!!!! It needs 60 days to de-compose and to disperse any bio contaminates like e-coli, salmonella, etc. These things are "natural" and found in soil, but applying 30-60 days before planting assures the proper window of time. Have fun!!!
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    77
    Tractor
    JD 3520

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    If you look up Green Manure, that might be a way to get some humus & nitrogen into your garden early in the spring. Clovers, alfalfa, vetch... there's a bunch. Peas & beans for that matter enrich the soil.

    Long-term there's no substitute for adding humus & reintroducing nutrients though. Manures & composts are the best food for your soil.

    If you add hay, straw, grass clippings, wood chips, etc. as a ground cover this year, they'll be a ways along to broken down by next year. Have to watch the wood where you want to grow potatoes though!

    Save your vegetable kitchen waste & start a compost bin... can be a pain, but is well worth the effort in the improved results! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    411
    Location
    Russell, PA
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Nothing makes me happier in the winter than watching my neighbor drive across my lawn and dump a huge pile of horse and chicken poop!

    Honestly, find a neighbor that keeps livestock and see what it takes to get them to share the wealth. Neighbor Steve and I swap labor, and part of what I get is manure and eggs.

    Good luck!
    Al Yelvington
    Russell, PA
    Kubota BX-24 & Kubota RTV-900
    FEL, BH, chipper, box grader, back blade, ford rake, disc harrow, sub-soiler, mid-soil buster, post hole digger, brush hog, spreader, sprayer, quick hitch, log splitter, block heater and lots of lights!

    www.youtube.com/ayelvington

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2008
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    129
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 2720, John Deere GT225

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Brown40 gave great advise. Till in lots of green matter and you will need much less chemical fertilizer. I greatly improved my red clay soil by tilling in a new crop of buckwheat every six weeks and leaves at the end of the year.

    Hairy vetch adds lots of nitrogen and green matter to the soil but your area may be to cold for it to survive the winter.

  8. #8
    Gold Member Jeff Lary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    394
    Location
    Hartland Maine
    Tractor
    Kubota L2950

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Thanks this is all really good advice trouble with growing to till in , is we have frozen soil from November till March-April. So i cannot really do that. We plant around Memorial day and need every day in between .But i think i may be able to get some Humis or somthing it would be a 20 mile haul and i dont know what it costs. But i may be able to i need to stop by the place and talk to them.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2010
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    NHtd75

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lary View Post
    Thanks this is all really good advice trouble with growing to till in , is we have frozen soil from November till March-April. So i cannot really do that. We plant around Memorial day and need every day in between .But i think i may be able to get some Humis or somthing it would be a 20 mile haul and i dont know what it costs. But i may be able to i need to stop by the place and talk to them.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    If your schedule for October won't allow tilling in humus just apply it to the surface in Nov. or Dec. and cover it with about 8 inches of straw. It will mostly decompose in those 5 or 6 months. Come spring tilling and planting time pull the straw back and after the plants are up and going good pull the straw back between the rows for mulch.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2008
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    879
    Location
    Covington, GA
    Tractor
    JD 870

    Default Re: best way to fertilize your garden?

    My wife tries to keep the horses outside but I still seem to spend an hour or more every few months moving the manure pile to the compost pile. I have a few folks that come to get aged to really old compost in the spring. I see lots of worms sometimes. Look for horse farms that might have a loader and an old pile. At the last property that had a lot more horses I made a lot of grocery money selling a lot of loads of compost loaded in little trucks up to two ton trucks.

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