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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Starting a vegetable garden in an area that is now lawn.

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  • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
    ... if you have a lot of mulch material available at hand and plants in pots ,you can do an instant garden bed by mulching first, making holes in the mulch ,
    Message 1 of 26 , May 12, 2003
      > All lawn areas that were chosen as garden sites in the Fall were
      > heavily mulched and are now ready to plant. A new lawn area that was
      > chosen in the Spring so that the hundreds of seedling (toms,peps
      > eggplant,etc.)could be accomodated is the subject of this post. How
      > is it possible to turn that area into growing beds within the next
      > three weeks (planting time),without tilling or having to buy 15 cubic
      > yards of top soil to raise the beds? There is a virtually limiteless
      > supply of 'spoiled' hay in an adjacent farmers field. Help please.
      >
      if you have a lot of mulch material available at hand and plants in pots
      ,you can do an instant garden bed by mulching first, making holes in the
      mulch , planting your seedling and adding some eath or compost in the hole
      .arounf the roots
      the mulch have to be thick enough to not give a chance for the grass to grow
      back thru.
      I have experience working with sod of hayfield but not lawn with a thicker
      mat ( hay field is cut once a year and plants are more sparse than a lawn
      cut many times a year .
      jean-claude
    • robert waldrop
      About 2 inches of soil on the top of the bed, although after planting that soil gets an immediate layer of mulch too. i plant on top of the cardboard. Robert
      Message 2 of 26 , May 12, 2003
        About 2 inches of soil on the top of the bed, although after planting
        that soil gets an immediate layer of mulch too. i plant on top of the
        cardboard.

        Robert Waldrop, OKC


        kowtaaia wrote:
        >
        > Robert,
        > When you say "a little bit of topsoil mixed with compost",how deep
        > (inches) are you talking about? Do you plant above or through the
        > cardboard?
        >
        > Thank you,
        > Kowtaaia.
      • kowtaaia
        Robert,jean-claude, It s far to windy here to plant so shallow. Would the idea proposed to Polly,
        Message 3 of 26 , May 13, 2003
          Robert,jean-claude,

          It's far to windy here to plant so shallow. Would the idea proposed
          to Polly,
          <<"Is it feasible also,to cut out the sod
          thickly,say with 6 inches of attached soil and just put it back in
          grass side down,and then mulch? Would it be a plantable bed in 3
          weeks?">>
          be another option? Would it work?

          Kowtaaia.
        • Polly Bolton
          I agree it is horrible to see severed worms when turfing, but I find if you turn the turf over rather than completely removing it, you are more likely to get
          Message 4 of 26 , May 13, 2003
            I agree it is horrible to see severed worms when turfing, but I find if you
            turn the turf over rather than completely removing it, you are more likely
            to get the grass growing back around the edges of the turf. If you didn't
            want to turf you could try Robert's method of cardboard and mulch. I still
            would recommend digging out planting holes for the first year until you have
            a decent friable soil underneath the mulch. Mulching several times in the
            first growing season should supress all weed growth. As long as little or no
            light reaches the grass roots they will not regrow to any real extent.
            It might also help to have a barrow of really good free draining compost on
            hand to plant your pot grown veg plants into.
            When I first started my plant nursery about 20 years ago I dug for about 2
            days....then I thought, "This hurts" ! "There must be another way to create
            veg and flower plots." Fortunately round about that time I met Robert Hart
            and got involved in Forest Gardening. I never dug again and am surrounded by
            thick lush vegetation!
            The earth is good!
            Polly
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "kowtaaia" <kowtaaia@...>
            To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, May 12, 2003 7:18 PM
            Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Starting a vegetable garden in an area that
            is now lawn.


            > Thanks Polly,
            >
            > Would mulching eliminate any problems with all the grass roots left
            > after skimming off the sod? Is it feasible also,to cut out the sod
            > thickly,say with 6 inches of attached soil and just put it back in
            > grass side down,and then mulch? Would it be a plantable bed in 3
            > weeks? That way,fewer worms etc.would be lost.
            >
            > Kowtaaia.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
          • kowtaaia
            Hi Polly, The earth is mother. Weeds or grass growing back around the edges of the turf are not a concern. Ruth Stout s mulch,mulch and more mulch has been the
            Message 5 of 26 , May 13, 2003
              Hi Polly,

              The earth is mother. Weeds or grass growing back around the edges of
              the turf are not a concern. Ruth Stout's mulch,mulch and more mulch
              has been the way for over 30 years now. It always works. The question
              is:would cutting out the sod thickly and placing it back,grass side
              down and then mulching,give a plantable medium in 3 weeks?

              Thank you for responding,

              Kowtaaia.
            • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
              ... It depends what you call a plantable medium . for me a grass sod is a plantable medium for many other plants that i will want to introduce ,easy for
              Message 6 of 26 , May 13, 2003
                > Hi Polly,
                >
                > The earth is mother. Weeds or grass growing back around the edges of
                > the turf are not a concern. Ruth Stout's mulch,mulch and more mulch
                > has been the way for over 30 years now. It always works. The question
                > is:would cutting out the sod thickly and placing it back,grass side
                > down and then mulching,give a plantable medium in 3 weeks?
                It depends what you call a plantable medium .
                for me a grass sod is a plantable medium for many other plants that i will
                want to introduce ,easy for transplants ,for seeds only some plants will
                sprout.
                I am not too sure how long a sod will take to decompose ( will depend of lot
                of factors ) to become earth , but you don't need to worry if plants roots
                are able to make their way thru it , because they will.
                At last Natural farming is not about trying to figure it out before hand ,
                just propose and nature will dispose .
                jean-claude
              • robert waldrop
                I have cut some sod and composted it, but it wasn t ready in 3 weeks. When I poke a hole to insert a plant, often it goes through the soil surface into the
                Message 7 of 26 , May 13, 2003
                  I have cut some sod and composted it, but it wasn't ready in 3 weeks.
                  When I poke a hole to insert a plant, often it goes through the soil
                  surface into the mulch below. And putting mulch on top of the soil
                  around the plants helps hold things down too.

                  Bermuda grass is very tenacious.

                  Robert Waldrop, OKc

                  kowtaaia wrote:
                  >
                  > Robert,jean-claude,
                  >
                  > It's far to windy here to plant so shallow. Would the idea proposed
                  > to Polly,
                  > <<"Is it feasible also,to cut out the sod
                  > thickly,say with 6 inches of attached soil and just put it back in
                  > grass side down,and then mulch? Would it be a plantable bed in 3
                  > weeks?">>
                  > be another option? Would it work?
                  >
                  > Kowtaaia.
                • Polly Bolton
                  In my experience it takes many months for the upturned sods to break down to a friable growing medium and just turning them upside down and planting into them
                  Message 8 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                    In my experience it takes many months for the upturned sods to break down to
                    a friable growing medium and just turning them upside down and planting into
                    them and mulching , well I don't know....it might work . I've never done it
                    that way. would certainly save carting the turves off into a corner to wait
                    a year for them to break down. And would utilise all the good nutritient
                    layer.
                    I think I'm going to try it today! I have a pile of potatoes waiting to be
                    planted and will give it a whirl.
                    Polly
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry" <instinct@...>
                    To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 8:53 PM
                    Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Starting a vegetable garden in an area
                    that is now lawn.


                    >
                    >
                    > > Hi Polly,
                    > >
                    > > The earth is mother. Weeds or grass growing back around the edges of
                    > > the turf are not a concern. Ruth Stout's mulch,mulch and more mulch
                    > > has been the way for over 30 years now. It always works. The question
                    > > is:would cutting out the sod thickly and placing it back,grass side
                    > > down and then mulching,give a plantable medium in 3 weeks?
                    > It depends what you call a plantable medium .
                    > for me a grass sod is a plantable medium for many other plants that i will
                    > want to introduce ,easy for transplants ,for seeds only some plants will
                    > sprout.
                    > I am not too sure how long a sod will take to decompose ( will depend of
                    lot
                    > of factors ) to become earth , but you don't need to worry if plants
                    roots
                    > are able to make their way thru it , because they will.
                    > At last Natural farming is not about trying to figure it out before hand ,
                    > just propose and nature will dispose .
                    > jean-claude
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > fukuoka_farming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                  • kowtaaia
                    Robert, Of course it s not going to be compost in three weeks. The 2 inch depth of soil that you are talking about equals about 3 cubic yards of soil for the
                    Message 9 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                      Robert,

                      Of course it's not going to be compost in three weeks. The 2 inch
                      depth of soil that you are talking about equals about 3 cubic yards
                      of soil for the garden. That's about $80 in this part of the woods.

                      Regards,
                      Kowtaaia.
                    • kowtaaia
                      jean-claude, Sure sounds like a good to go .
                      Message 10 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                        jean-claude,

                        <<"but you don't need to worry if plants roots are able to make
                        their way thru it , because they will.">>

                        Sure sounds like a "good to go".

                        Thanks,
                        Kowtaaia.
                      • kowtaaia
                        Polly, The potatoes have been in for 2 weeks now. It was the experiment . The sod is still sod but less and breaks apart quite easily. The potatoes have a
                        Message 11 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                          Polly,

                          The potatoes have been in for 2 weeks now. It was "the experiment".
                          The sod is still sod but 'less' and breaks apart quite easily. The
                          potatoes have a firm hold and are doing very nicely. Beneath the
                          mulch there is fantastic worm activity. Very little harm was done (if
                          any) to our fellow creature worms. The potatoes were just placed on
                          top of the sod and heavily mulched. The concern was for the hundreds
                          of transplants. Apparently (re jean claude)tranplants will do just
                          fine. So for seeds,areas will be dug through and filled with
                          composted earth. Life is very beautiful.

                          Regards,
                          Kowtaaia.
                        • kowtaaia
                          Polly, Just to let you know that your willingness to try the upside down sod technique was the inspiration to do another bed. It was all done with a half
                          Message 12 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                            Polly,

                            Just to let you know that your willingness to try the upside down sod
                            technique was the inspiration to do another bed. It was all done with
                            a half moon,taking about 6 inches of soil. The beds were already cut
                            out with about a four inch wide and deep trench all around. Top and
                            sides were heavily mulched with very old spoiled hay and 30 pounds of
                            compost on top of the hay. It was only a 4x6 foot bed and it went
                            quickly and easily. Of course everything is relative. Just another
                            350 or so,square feet to go.

                            Kowtaaia.
                          • Connie Kuramoto
                            unsubscribe ... From: kowtaaia [mailto:kowtaaia@hotmail.com] Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 9:01 AM To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                            Message 13 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                              unsubscribe

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: kowtaaia [mailto:kowtaaia@...]
                              Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 9:01 AM
                              To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Starting a vegetable garden in an area
                              that is now lawn.


                              Polly,

                              Just to let you know that your willingness to try the upside down sod
                              technique was the inspiration to do another bed. It was all done with
                              a half moon,taking about 6 inches of soil. The beds were already cut
                              out with about a four inch wide and deep trench all around. Top and
                              sides were heavily mulched with very old spoiled hay and 30 pounds of
                              compost on top of the hay. It was only a 4x6 foot bed and it went
                              quickly and easily. Of course everything is relative. Just another
                              350 or so,square feet to go.

                              Kowtaaia.



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                            • Beatrice Gilboa
                              Kowtaaia, ... It was the experiment .The sod is still sod but less and breaks apart quite easily. The potatoes have a firm hold and are doing very nicely.
                              Message 14 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                                Kowtaaia,

                                >> The potatoes have been in for 2 weeks now.
                                It was "the experiment".The sod is still sod
                                but 'less' and breaks apart quite easily.
                                The potatoes have a firm hold and are doing
                                very nicely. Beneath the mulch there is
                                fantastic worm activity.

                                I experienced real miracle with potatoes to
                                transform a hard soil into a smoth, friable,
                                and alive soil on an impressive depth compared
                                to the size of a potatoe.
                                Even just just puting them onto the soil and
                                lightly covering them from the light with mulch!
                                Since then I consider potatoes like miraculous
                                partner to improve the texture of the soil.

                                I did seed on a upturned sod once. But I made holes
                                adding a bit of "clear" earth or compost were I put
                                the seed.

                                Best wishes.
                                Beatrice
                                Israel

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                              • kowtaaia
                                Beatrice, Apparently potatoes do that! There s something else about them that doesn t come to mind right now,but it has to do with crop rotations. The overall
                                Message 15 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                                  Beatrice,

                                  Apparently potatoes do that! There's something else about them that
                                  doesn't come to mind right now,but it has to do with crop rotations.
                                  The overall garden plan is big on interplanting,but the 'potatoe
                                  bed'(which will be planted with onions etc.)was the test to see if
                                  the upside down turf thing would work. Was your garden a success when
                                  you tried it? Did your 'seed' method give good results?

                                  Best wishes,
                                  Kowtaaia.
                                • Gloria C. Baikauskas
                                  ... I am curious, Kowtaaia, as to where you are located; what kind of soil you have where you are trying this experiment. By the way, daikon radishes will
                                  Message 16 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                                    > The overall garden plan is big on interplanting,but the 'potatoe
                                    > bed'(which will be planted with onions etc.)was the test to see if
                                    > the upside down turf thing would work. > Best wishes,
                                    > Kowtaaia.

                                    I am curious, Kowtaaia, as to where you are located; what kind of
                                    soil you have where you are trying this experiment.

                                    By the way, daikon radishes will accomplish much the same thing as
                                    your potato experiment.
                                    Gloria, Texas
                                  • Beatrice Gilboa
                                    ... you tried it? Yes Kowtaaia, it was. It was in a hard heavy soil in France. ... Yes it did.(it s not mind, Emilia wrote about it on this forum) But I forgot
                                    Message 17 of 26 , May 14, 2003
                                      >> Was your garden a success when
                                      you tried it?

                                      Yes Kowtaaia, it was. It was in a hard heavy soil in France.

                                      >> Did your 'seed' method give good results?

                                      Yes it did.(it's not mind, Emilia wrote about it on this forum) But I forgot to tell you that I added mulch on top of the areas around the "holes". Don't know if that's important to avoid the sod to come back.(I didn't try with mulch and without). Then I just need to keep an eye on the begining of germination to make sure the holes where I sow are clear of the mulch I add around.

                                      As Glora is saying Daikon radish is The plant Fukuoka enhance to do that kind of starter to the soil. I did not try it myself.

                                      Best wishes,
                                      Beatrice
                                      Udim, Israel


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • kowtaaia
                                      Gloria, Zone 5,Quebec,Canada. Clay soil. Kowtaaia.
                                      Message 18 of 26 , May 15, 2003
                                        Gloria,

                                        Zone 5,Quebec,Canada. Clay soil.

                                        Kowtaaia.
                                      • kowtaaia
                                        Beatrice, You re talking to a mulch,mulch and more mulch mulcher. Thank you for the reasurence,re upside down sod. Best wishes and peace, Kowtaaia.
                                        Message 19 of 26 , May 15, 2003
                                          Beatrice,

                                          You're talking to a 'mulch,mulch and more mulch' mulcher. Thank you
                                          for the reasurence,re upside down sod.

                                          Best wishes and peace,
                                          Kowtaaia.
                                        • kowtaaia
                                          jean-claude, re planting in upside down sod: Hopefully you are talking about the big seeds,corn,squash
                                          Message 20 of 26 , May 19, 2003
                                            jean-claude,

                                            re planting in upside down sod:

                                            << "for seeds only some plants will
                                            sprout." >>

                                            Hopefully you are talking about the big seeds,corn,squash peas,beans
                                            etc. Yes?

                                            Thank you,
                                            Kowtaaia.
                                          • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
                                            ... oh no ,nothing to do with the size but with the tolerance of the ecosystem to that particular plant . plants grow in association and there is little
                                            Message 21 of 26 , May 19, 2003
                                              >>
                                              >
                                              > Hopefully you are talking about the big seeds,corn,squash peas,beans
                                              > etc. Yes?

                                              oh no ,nothing to do with the size but with the tolerance of the ecosystem
                                              to that particular plant .
                                              plants grow in association and there is little understanding of why some
                                              will like to grow together while others don't.
                                              And it have to do also with the question if the ecosytem is allready full or
                                              not ,more sparse it is more accepting it will be for many new comers .
                                              in a upside down sod it seems that many seeds could be accepted unless
                                              specific secretions from sod roots could repell specific plants .
                                              with certain grasses upside down or not , they will not be stop to grow
                                              back ( couch grass for sur ).
                                              jean-claude
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