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Logo of AdAgrA 2019: True Success

Introduction to Market Gardening - Part 3

John Dysinger Pamela Dysinger



  • January 16, 2019
    10:45 AM
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OK So let's start again I tried to do this somewhat in order so you use you're going to start a market garden and you've got this big expanse of pasture What are you going to do where do you start Well you know somehow that soil has to be prepared in order to make your beds and there's a number of ways to do that J.M. in the market gardener popularize the walking tractor specifically B.C.S. because that's the main one that's available in the US. And he sold thousands of walking tractors from that book I mean he didn't sell them B.C.'s you know they should pay J.M. something because he literally everybody went out and bought walking tractors B.C.'s is course Elliott Coleman actually had recommended walking tractors years earlier. But J.M. there's some updated equipment the rotary plough the rotary herro and the flail mower which are really the 3 tools that I think are if you're going to get a B.C.S. those are the tools you want to get and even maybe not the rotary plough you know it depends on the nice thing about a rotary plough is that it can actually turn in very tall cover crops it's quite impressive to watch a B.C.'s work in a cover crop. But J.M. also uses them to raise a bed so rotary pump plow it is basically a big auger screw turning like this and what it does is it throws the dirt to the side. Similar in a way to a mold board plow but. It I thought it would really beat up the soil like a rototiller does but it actually doesn't beat it up as much as you would think and if you need raised beds if you're in an area that has a hard time drying out in the spring it's quite easy comparatively easy way to make raised beds you go down one side and throw the dirt here come back the other side and throw the dirt there and voila you have a raised bed the rotary herro has teeth like this as compared to rototiller which turns like this a rotary herro turns like this and just incorporate stuff into the and you have a gauge wheel that controls the depth and so you can just incorporate compost and things into the top few inches that's a very handy tool in the flail mower is a wonderful tool for at the end of your crop into the season if you're growing broccoli even though we told you not to. And again you know broccolis great crop but as far as profit per square foot it's very low very low but you know what are you going to do you've got all these huge plants. That you harvested you take the flail mower down that and it just it has a barrel turning this way with teeth on it that just grind it up and it's a great way to to get rid of crops at the end of the season. You know where as compared to a lawn mower or a bush hog which suits stuff to the side the flail mower grinds it up in it sits right there so it does a much better job of of incorporating helping you incorporate that material organic matter OK if you have the space and you need a tractor anyway so like for us we live on a 160 acre farm. It's not ours it's my parents we're fortunate enough to share crop on it we're squatters but you know we've got a lot of pasture too much to cut with the B.C.S. So we really have to have a tractor Well if you've got to have a tractor anyway for the size of your property why not in we didn't do this because we weren't thinking ahead enough but why not get a tractor that would work with 30 inch bed and I gave you one example a combo to L 3300 It's a 33 horsepower tractor that you can set the wheel. Spacing for 30 inches and actually BEN HARTMAN in the lean farm does this he's the one that gave me the idea you know I never thought that you could use a tractor on a 30 inch bed system so it's kind of the best of both worlds you get the mechanical help of a tractor but yet the efficiency of a intensive bed system and of course your other companies I'm not trying to push the boat a but your other companies to you know have similar tractors I just don't know all the numbers I will say would come boated they make it hard to resist because they will offer you the arrow down 0 inches for 5 years on a tractor that's hard to beat. Anyway so that's another option but of course you know you're talking Believe me I've looked into one because I'd love to have one. But you know you're talking depending you know I I'll just tell you a front end loader a bucket on a tractor is the most useful tool on the farm I've said that for years and I still stick by it you can do so much with a front end loader on a tractor but if you get a one with that you know it's going to be $20.00 to $23000.00 for a new one obviously you can buy used maybe if you can find it OK can you get the tools the B.C.S. tools for a tractor Yes you can get a rotary herro with a 3 point hitch you can definitely get a flail mower I don't know about the rotary plow but if you're going to have a tractor the tool I would recommend instead of a rotary plow is Spader reciprocating Spader which is a very very expensive tool but it does a very good job it's an Italian tool that's a problem all these tools come or many of them come from Europe and so it's just expensive basically Spader is going to cost you at least a $1000.00 per foot of width so if you want to 5 foot wide speed are you going to pay at least $5000.00 but it's a very good tool so. Another option and you know I mentioned here a little further on down Conor Crick more the highest grossing market gardener I know of has no tractor he does have a B.C.S. but he it's mosque ball he's he doesn't use it says it doesn't make you money. So how can you do it without a tractor or a B.C.'s you can actually I mean there are 2 other options One is to use the silent type so we've been talking about heavy duty plastic U.V. treated so it's going to last for many years don't go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy their plastic because it'll break down in a season but these are specially U.V. treated big sheets of plastic black on top white on the bottom. You just lay that out on sod you know Moet close try to get it down close lay that out make sure the soil is more iced and wait for a year ideally and you pull that back and you will have the richest Luce's beautifulest soil you've ever seen it's amazing. This is what that was the big takeaway from visiting jambs farm that 1st time he he has incredible biology in his soil and he pulled the tart back and I mean there were these huge earthworms crawling all over the surface of that tart you know they love it under there it's warm and moist and dark no birds are going to get them they just lay they just come up and take all that organic matter down just loosens your soil up you pull that tarp off it's moist it's loose it's ready to work it's the closest thing I have seen to no work gardening. It's still work because you've got to lay it out and anchor it down because the wind's going to try to blow it away and where do you buy silence tarps. Farmers friend. That's one place I can tell you locally I don't know if anybody knows you know you have to do some research I had a hard time yeah somebody saying visit a dairy farm and that's a great thing and I know people all over the world friends in Australia and we've visited and they get their silence tart from the local dairy min they use them for one season and throw them away. You know they may have a few holes but you can buy patching tape from farmers friend for for patching it up so that is a good option. For you silent start as far as new you know again you may have to do some sleuthing but Johnnie's now sells them farmers friend sells them they sell hundreds of rolls. All over the country kind of expensive to ship because they're heavy but so that's a 3rd option the last one is just hire or rent a tractor to come in and work it up an issue really and then just go from there so those are the 4 options that I would suggest for field working I do talk a little bit about rototiller I'm not a big fan of road Tiller's because in my opinion they usually do more harm than good you know I like to use the analogy of taking a more ice chocolate cake you have to dry it out 1st but you know put in an dehydrator and then put it in a blender and what do you end up with you're going to end up with a fine powder and that's kind of what a rototiller is doing to your soil. It's destroying the tilth destroying the structure you know not to mention all the earthworms that you're decapitating. Also bringing up. Weed seeds from down you know weed seeds can lay dormant in the soil for decades and every time you road till you're bringing those new seeds to the surface so the tillage we're encouraging is very surface tillage where now we're going to talk about a broad for cure working the soil deeply but you're not turning it over. And I know somebody is going to ask about you know Mrs White's Council about plowing deeply and that's the whole debate in fact we've got a friend in Australia doing research on that right now that's one of those hotly debated things my personal take is that she was what she was really saying is work the ground deeply she said plow deeply because that was all they had back then that's what they used and if you look at what plough deeply means most plows back then if you went 6 inches deep that was pretty deep. It turns the soil it inverts the soil which I've heard different argument some people say that's good some people say that's bad anyway we I don't want to get down that rabbit trail but. I say if you have a road kill or use it very judiciously only when you're incorporating organic matter but don't just keep telling to make it look fluffy and pretty because the more you do that the more you're burning up your organic matter the more you're destroying your soil structure it's going to blow away it's going to wash away it's going to crust over and it's vicious cycle you don't want to go down OK So let's talk about soil preparation tools so you want to get out sure your Johnnie's catalog OK digging for gun page 222 this is an English hand forge digging tool in again you can go to the the local hardware store and get one for 25 bucks the the digging fork is what I'm talking about here Jay On page 222. I'll tell you this one is not my favorite but my favorite seems to the manufacturer seems to have gone out of business I still want to do some research to try to track it down but I have an English digging fork that I've had for 20 years and I love it I don't know the brand that's the problem. But the tines are just a little bit different shaped this one is plenty sturdy enough it just isn't quite as easy to get in the ground as the one I have but it's the best that I know about their broad fork page to all 9. Elliott Coleman tells you why this shape timing works best the traditional tine shape there. I've I've tried a number of different broad Forks this is my favorite one. It comes in 3 different widths but basically what you're doing especially once you get your soil in good shape you can use the model 7 to 727 inches wide and just go down your bed and you're just you're just stepping on it pushing it in pulling it back until the soil cracks step back in a step push it in Polish back to see just get into a rhythm and it's pretty fast and it's not. If your soil is in good shape it's not hard work I mean it is good exercise you know this is all just when you look at the prices you're saying oh that's a lot of money but this is gym membership here this is you know your. It's it's doing double duty would we start out with the $727.00. You're probably going to need to start out with the digging forgot because if your ground is all compacted don't even try to use abroad for you'll you'll break the handles you'll bend you'll do something you can't loosen that much dirt at one time but once you've loosened it and if you have a no walk policy don't let anybody walk on your beds and once you start getting the organic matter built. It's not going to compact and then the $727.00 is great but I would probably recommend the $520.00 for starting out just because it's a little easier to handle especially for well it's actually supposed to be not any heavier than the 727 but in the soil obviously you're moving more soil so sometimes for a lady it may be a little bit much abroad for it does not work well with rocky soil brought for it really works best by with just keeping good soil air rated that's what it's doing it's working the soil deeply OK there's a question about traditional broad support tines versus the hard pan you know the hard pan ones are designed not to bend as easily but I will tell you they're not is easy to push into the ground so I would just. My recommendation is get rid of your Hardpan 1st by using a digging fork or something something that's a little more sturdy and narrower that you can work it up and then amend it. I really recommend Pete loss for loosening hard soils this media was brought to you by audio groups a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like to listen to more sermon Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.


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