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Logo of AdAgrA 2021: Hidden Treasure

03 The Backyard Garden Blueprint

Edwin Dysinger Paul Dysinger



  • January 14, 2021
    10:45 AM
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Soil health and cultivation and we've got to put these 2 together it's talking about cultivation here is actually almost jumping a little bit ahead because it's talking about you know caring for plants that you already have been in the next session will talk about starting your own plants and seeding and transplanting and that kind of stuff but it sits in connection with the soil health and managing your soil of your garden so they're kind of tied together and we're going to hit up on some of those questions about you know how do you deal with weeds in a no kill system how do you how do you move from one crop to the next crop How do you transition if you're not going to get in there with a rototiller something like that so we're going to be touching on those in this session they set up a little extend there's a I think the clicker should be working. Ok. Ok. All right so we're going to do. In this session we're going to last or should we started introducing 6 principles for soil health the 1st one was mental disturbance and we're going to continue with the remaining principles and then get into some additional things so we're finishing the 6 principles and then we're going to talk about managing weeds using an oatmeal approach and transitioning from one crop to the next How do you do that if you're if you're not practicing tillage So the 1st principle was minimal disturbance the next principle of armor some people call it armor on the soil. Some other people I've been reading call it God's blanket. Common name is mulch. So we're what are the advantages of. Doing that. And I want to just give credit again real quick since this is a new session for those listening later some of these slides are from Gabe around he is one of the associates of. Understanding Ag and soil health Academy which are excellent resources on understanding soil how and biology wonderful places to go they are Christians a Christian based organization that have grown Actually I think we have a slighting here Gabe's far later on that as a soil test that was done on Dave's farm so we're going to be sharing that but special thanks to him for letting us use some of his slides here. So. You see the field that was just recently tilled. The soil is naked hungry thirsty and running a fever. You know God did not intend for us to be naked and he did not intend for the earth to be naked either. You know when Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked very 1st action was to try to figure out how to cover it up. You know that's that's the natural response and that's the natural response that the Earth takes also when the earth discovers that it's naked it wants to coverup. And so that's that's why we need some things like that grow and by the way when it's sad because I don't know if this is if we have this later on when it says that it is running a fever we will talk you will talk about Ok yeah you know we'll talk about that so. Here are some some things that you you might see maybe on your land maybe around you have you ever seen a crust on the soil. That's a sign that something's not right. Have you ever seen this oil that was just like powder. Just runs through your fingers or have you ever seen pictures of the Dust Bowl or is this like this cloud of dust that's a sign that something's not right Ok that's a sign. That you don't have that good aggregation in the soil that we were talking about in the last session. Having something on the soil. Will buffer against heat why would that be important. At 70 degrees this is this is soil temperature at 70 degrees soil temperature 100 percent of the moisture can be used for growth for the plants at 100 degrees temperature soil temperature 15 percent of the moisture is used for growth and 85 percent is lost to evaporation and transpiration Ok. We we are wanting to maximize growth in our plants. We want them to why do we want to maximize growth Well generally the bigger the plant is the more it's going to yield right. That's our. Our intention but also the bigger the plant is the more the bigger the root system is going to be right and the bigger the root system the more Xa dates you have pumping into the soil Ok and so. I want I want you to start thinking about the roots. Don't just think about the plant in the fruit got to think about the roots. A good good large healthy root system is putting more accidents into the soil you're getting a healthier soil. At $130.00 degrees 100 percent of moisture is lost through evaporation and transpiration. At 140 degrees the soil biology is seriously affected I think that even at like 130 degrees you already Yes Well biology that is starting to die and stuff but it gets severely affected when you get up high. So. If you have a mulch if you have something covering the soil that's going to keep it cooler just intuitive right. So it's an insulation insulator. So the. Well we're going to talk a little bit more about about you actually using mulches but that's a principle keeping something on the soil keeps the soil cooler and. It. It helps with. Well it improves the biology of the soil it improves the growth of the plants because it's cooler and it also keeping the soil covered is going to reduce. Reduce erosion and runoff you know when when rain comes down those those drops can be coming. Coming out real force you know in the southeast we have the funder storms and sometimes really big rain drops you're coming down they hit the ground they just pummel the ground and if your soil is loose like it's recently plowed. It'll. It'll it'll break that soil up and carry that soil away if you have the soil covered. The the mulch on the surface is going to break the force of those raindrops so that they don't they don't hit the soil directly and the water that comes down just kind of percolates down instead of hitting it hard and you're going to get more infiltration instead of runoff and you'll have a lot less to know. What's it called where the soil gets washed away erosion of rows of. Ok so the 3rd principle of soil health is diversity What do you see in this picture how many different types of plants do you see there. That that picture is is a cover crop that was it's a multi-species cover crop. Dr Adam or Caligari he's a I think we have some Brazilians here I think he's a he's a Brazilian who is probably the the top research scientist on cover crops in the world and he made this statement cover crops. Should be seated multi-species cocktails so on our farm we had we had practice cover cropping and we we initially started cover cropping. With sewing single species cover crops just as a wink. As a quick description for anyone who might not know what a cover is a cover crop is basically something that you grow in your garden space when you want to keep that garden space covered Remember we want roots in the soil but let's say you don't you're not going to grow something to eat right at that time so for example you can grow a cover crop over the winter if you decide not to have a winter garden you can grow a cover crop over the winter that covers that space in your garden over the winter that otherwise would be bare if you had just pulled out all of your other all of your other garden produce so farmers will make a distinction between cover crops and cash crops cash crops or crops that you grow to sell and cover crops are grown to improve the soil Yes and in your home gardens you can do the same thing except that it's a difference between it's not a cash crop it's it's a home consumption crop versus a crop that's grown to improve your soil. So Dave Brown. Listen to. Dr Caligari out of conference he heard him make that statement and he decided to go home and try out what he had said and so he he he laid out some. Demonstration plots and he he took a multi-species cocktail you know and he he separated it out so that he he did demonstration plots with each feed by itself and then he did a couple plots with them all mixed together this this is a picture of one of those single species crops turnips in July for 30 when when he did this he saw them in the spring he would have they'd had a very dry winter and and they had less than half an inch of rain. After he fitted them so. This is in North Dakota it's a very dry environment and and even for no cigar that think it was a drought lake was less than they usually get right. Here another another seed species was all seed routers that's what it looked like on July 31. But this is what the covered crop mix looked like the same soil types the same growing conditions side by side it was a huge difference what why why does that difference exist same amount of rain right they both got half a 1000000 out of rain a lot of what's going on here it's the somebody said symbiosis It's the life in the soil and I remember we were talking about Michael rival fun guy being able to to. Extend the reach of plants through through their hifi and and how those hifi even connect plant to plant and. I don't know all the mechanics of how it actually works but but that plays a large role with a multi-species. Group of plants growing in the field the microbiology is encouraged and that microbiology the plants are able to help each other out and they're able to source what they need better as a multi-species mix rather than a single species on their own. So to me this was really amazing. So this is the this is results. You see each each one on their own and then the cocktail mix and it's interesting that. It's a cocktail mix at half the seating the recommended seating rate seem to actually do better than than the full seating rate. But. You can see there is a there's a huge difference in the amount of. Plant material that they were able to get off of each of those plots between the multi-species and the single species. Not only do the fun guy provide for the needs of one plant but the fungal high faith pipeline connect to multiple plants this helps satisfy the nutritional and energy needs of microorganisms and the plants. Chris Nichols is soil scientist. At an agricultural research station in North Dakota. So this is this is a picture of another field where the single species and a multi species side by side. Again you can see a huge difference. This chart here is very interesting. So on the vertical axis you can see we're talking about plant but mio bio mass. Grams per square metre and on this axis we're talking about species diversity that's the number of different species so and this is the number of species added so it's given that you have one species you add a 2nd species to it so that would be the one species a 2nd species increases the plant bio mass significantly a 3rd species also increases significantly a 4th one is here. I don't know if that's 4 or 5 anyways 7 or 8 is here 15 is here so you can see the. Following that curve if you want to maximize plant bio mass in a cover crop. If you if you can get 7 or 8 species in there you're nearing the top of the curve here. You know you can you can continue adding species there but it's not going to make a huge difference passed out but. To get the maximum. You would like to have at least 678 different species growing together. This one this chart looks very similar the difference here is if we're talking about functional diversity. There there are different functional groupings of plants so you have. Legumes. There remembers what we games do. Thinks nice yeah yeah yeah Ok. And then you have grasses. You know we ride corn. Sorghum these are all grass varieties. Another functional grouping. Then you can you have broadly like your a lot of your greens are broadly. You know kale cabbage. Things like that and then you have what they call for. Actually that includes a lot of. Things we consider weeds but also things like sunflower and things like that. So these are and then you have your herb Aisha's. Woody things plants which would include shrubs and trees so as you as you increase functional diversity your your plant biomass increases as well so for example if you if you have a diversity of grasses that you've planted. You're you're not going to you just have the one functional group but if you add grasses and lagoons together you have to functional groups you're you're increasing your your bio mass and if you add broadleaf. Some some broadleaf species. Then you're you're increasing it more so by the time if you can get 3 or 4 different functional groups in your in your cover crop mix then you're also doing your maximizing your. Your plant bio mass potential So a key strategy and sustainable agriculture is to restore functional bio diversity of the agricultural landscape biodiversity performs key ecological services and if correctly assembled in time and space can lead to ecosystems capable of sponsoring their own soil fertility crop protection and productivity. Basically what that saying is that by by using the power of diversity. You can solve a lot of your your growing needs that diversity. Works out what you need and just to illustrate that out in a very common way you know we in our gardens we're usually trying to grow one crop and so at a time in place and so we we end up putting a lot of work into trying to figure out how to how to coax that crop to do well but if you go out into the into a natural setting into the woods you don't find one crop growing by itself you find a diversity growing together and they don't need any coaxing whatsoever do they they just do it naturally. And so there is something about that diversity that really encourages growth. And that diversity drives soil health it's very significant for the health of the soil. You know if you're if you're interested in growing in increasing your Michael right is all fun guy in the soil these are. Some crops that encourage Michael rise of growth it's not limited to these crops but these crops are especially good at encouraging Michael rise of growth odes barley flax clovers and sunflowers and. You can see right here this is. If you were to plant a cover crop with these. With these components you've got. Some barley that's one functional group right. Your grasses flax is another functional group I believe that would be Forbes clovers is. The leg room and then some flowers would be. I think that. I don't remember Farber Bradleys Yeah it's either a for a boy or a broadleaf But anyways we've got 4 for functional classes there in that so you could sew a cover crop of those 4th of those plants and that would really encourage Michael rise of growth in your soil. A 4th the 4th principle is to keep living roots in your soil as long as possible. You know it's not always possible to keep a living room in your soil as well as we're transitioning from one crop to another and going through seasons. It's not always possible to work out al but as much as you can you want to have a living root in your soil. Why is that. Because you want to maximize You know the every every plant that you have growing in your garden is a solar collector right it's collecting solar energy and it's turning that solar energy into what one of the things is liquid carbon that we talked about right and where is that liquid carbon going the least part of it it's going down to the roots as exit date and what are those accidents doing they're feeding the microbes they're feeding the micro rising. Yeah. And then what are those microbes doing to the plant they're feeding the plant Yeah. You have a system going there so the more the more living plants the more solar collectors you have the more root exit date so you have the more microbes you have in your soil and you have a system going. So you want to when you when you don't have living roots in the soil what happens if you don't have fresh exits going down. But microbes don't have food. You're not going to the whole population isn't going to die but it's going to reduce and they're going to go into hibernation and things like that and. It'll take a while to get the whole system up and running again when you want to want it to. If you want to keep it jumpstarted keep it going you keep living roots in the soil. So we just talked about that. Another thing is the. Roots build organic matter and they cycle nutrients we talked about that and how the in the rise of phase the cycle and how the the roots in just the microbes and spit them out again so. But also they also build organic matter in the sense that let's say you harvest your lettuce plant let's just say you cut off the whole lettuce had right and then all of those roots are still there in the soil if you don't pull all of those roots out they will decompose in the soil adding organic matter to the soil and actually adding more porous spaces in the soil because as they decompose they open up air pockets. So you know we we use in our in our garden and when we've finished with a plant like broccoli plant we pull the whole thing out roots and all. As I started understanding this stuff I said hey wait a minute I don't want to pull those roots out of my soil you know for one thing when I when I pull the roots out I just yanked organic material out of the soil but secondly you know they've been fostering this microbial population and I'm probably pulling out a bunch of those microbes as well so I'd rather leave them all in the soil so now I just take a lot and Lopper them off and leave it in the soil now if you're. You've got a you know if it's a broccoli or a cabbage you've got a like a stump in your soil and so you've got to figure out ways that you can work around that in your you're following crop but there are things that you can do you can work around it I think it's worth it. The the 5th principle for soil health is that diversity is more than you know the diversity that makes the soil healthy is more than just the plants you know the creation that God made is a complete creation it's plants and creatures and us all together and and so the healthy soil. The soil is going to be healthier the more diversity there is around you want your garden to be as diverse possible to encourage diverse. Number of species of life as possible yeah that includes not just animals but insect species c.. You know as much oftentimes we look at insects as pasts and we're going to we're going to have a session on tests and diseases and talking about how you can deal with past and diseases. But there are a phenomenal amount of insects that are actually beneficial to your garden that you want to encourage that life and diversity. Tract. For every insect species that is a pest. There are about 150700 species that are beneficial. You know you can think of it in this way when you go to you that. You don't have seen videos or I don't know maybe some of you have been there 2 African safari lands right for how many lions is there will there be East. Like there is a on the will there be is right for every one lie and that's what you see these huge urge of will there be and the other other animals there is the same principle in the garden you have those tests but they're actually in a balance ecosystem we should say in a balanced ecosystem the past would be a minority yes a very large minority actually compared to the beneficial so when pressed become a problem it's usually because we're growing a mano crop right. And so. There is a particular past like that particular crop it comes in and it has a heyday. But if we if we if we grow in diversity. Things are more balanced and you know for these. There are there are pests and then there are lots of insects that are not pass but then there are also insects that eat the past and. We want to have this we want to encourage as much diversity as possible so that we have habitat for those insects that eat the past and. You know I don't know if you've ever seen Well you know well we'll talk about it more in the Ok All right one well you know so for example an Iowa corn field Amano crop it does have some species of creatures in it. Grasshoppers and spiders and ants and things like true but the native purry that the motto crop replaced had this is a big difference you know this this is what God created and if we can move back in that direction as much as possible it's just healthier. The last the last principle for soil health is. Context and context includes. Your environment what you are given. That includes your latitude I'm I'm going to talk of mentioned a number of things here. You know don't don't get overwhelmed by. These are just the things that you have to deal with your latitude your latitude is what determines your day length through the year you know if you're far north or far south you have days that move from being very short to very long and then back again. And that has an effect on plants and their growth of you have seasonal patterns. You have temperature patterns you have wind patterns. And weather patterns and rainfall patterns. Natural flora and fauna that you know what naturally grows in your environment all of this is part of your your natural context. The Lay of your land you know the direction that it floats and that sort of thing. Your soil type and composition these are all part of your context you have to figure out what's going to work best for you in this context context goes beyond that it includes your resources what you have available to work with. Economically you know what kind of capital do you have to work with what kind of income source of amounts market access to markets the that's particularly if you're wanting to grow for market. Secondly. You know physical resources like like tools and equipment and infrastructure what do you have available. That can all influence the decisions that you make regarding your garden context also includes your community. Starting with family neighbors folks or groupings governments. All of this is your community and. These different. People and things in these groupings can have an effect on the decisions you make yet by the way remember when we were talking about choosing what to grow and we mentioned it's a great idea to go to your local farmers and ask them hey what's the best variety of tomatoes that you've been able to grow in our local area that ties into your context because your local area is going to be different than our local area unless you live in the same area right and so there are certain things that you will get the best answers from people who have a lot of experience growing right next to you you know and context includes your spiritual or Fiz a philosophical outlook on life your your worldview. Your faith in a creator world do you even believe in a creator or not that's going to affect. A lot of decision making you know how you how you see life and if you believe in a Creator you also believe in the creation right that God had a purpose in creating things the way he created them and. And you have. Leads to a face and how the Creation works because God created it. So it informs So all of this is. Your context good decision making requires a good understanding of your context if you don't understand your context well you can make decisions that won't work in your context. This next point is very important you know we cannot teach. There is no one size fits all in agriculture. Because every single context is unique it's not amazing you know God God makes us each unique as individuals and the context that you're working in and is not duplicated anywhere else on earth and you no doubt I think that's one reason why someone brought up the back to Eden method of gardening that's one reason why we have heard from many people who have tried back to Eden gardening you know based on his little video that he did and some of them have come back again and given us raving reviews and some of them have come back and said I ruined my garden plot nothing grows any more you see and it's probably not so much the method. It's more the contact So in other words there were probably things that you know if they had done other things maybe they could have put wood chips on their garden and it would have been a success but because of their context those woodchips and it up not being as good as so now we do want to keep it simple for you so that you don't go home and just think man I know I've got to figure out what my context is and I have no starting point right so we do want to give you simple things that pretty much anyone can do in your area and the one of the starting points is recognizing these 6 principles that were that were that were going over you know so. You know principles can be applied across contexts they can be applied in multiple different contexts but the way they are applied is what is what's different. How how it's applied for example you're going to you want to grow a diversity of cover crops for example but. You're diverse cover crop. There's a good chance it might be different than mine would be because of your contacts you know what grows well for you is not the same as what grows well for me in my context so those are the kinds of things we have to keep in mind. So these are the 6 principles Oh. Reduce disturbance armor on the soil diversity living roots and integrating animal life all and context. Relate it has an impact on your decision making regard each of these things Ok. Yeah Ok So real quick just see the pointer here real quick this is so you may be wondering like how impactful really are these 6 principles when it comes to growing right how many of you have heard of taking a soil test I should ask how many of you have been intimidated by soils. Ok we've got we have a bit of at least one person here those intimidated so I soils has basically you get the numbers back right and they tell you how much nitrogen phosphorus potassium you know those soil nutrients are needed for your plants. Gabe Brown who we've mentioned before he has a ranch up in North Dakota and. He's we're talking about. I think he owns 2000 from acres and he's farming 5000 some acres Yeah since 2006 he has not put a single input into his farm so that means no fertilizer no. I'm talking both types of synthetic fertilizers or natural amendment type you know from Rock phosphates and stuff like that no no inputs of fertilizers whatsoever no chemical inputs of of pesticides herbicides no input whatsoever into his farm except seeds which I think even recent like he sells cover crops and so he probably uses some of his own seeds as well the only thing is him put it into his farm is seeds and he uses these 6 principles including animals. He decided to do a test comparison with his farm and 3 other local farms in the surrounding area with the same context same soil types that such a right so they did for soil tests based on these 3 other farms surrounding him and his farm the 1st farm was a farm that used regular tillage and empty of medium diversity so the they had some diversity but not extensive and. I remember this for. There was an organic farm. So you can see there are numbers here of nitrogen potassium phosphorus and potassium. This is something else we don't have time to explain it right now then you have a new film farmer who practice no tillage they did low diversity though they didn't do much diversity nitrogen phosphorus potassium I know till farm medium diversity but they use high synthetic chemicals in their farm nitrogen potassium phosphorus potassium this is gay Browns farm here no tail high diversity. Using livestock as the as well as 0 synthetic so you can see has nitrogen phosphorus and potassium numbers are astronomically higher and that is without any input whatsoever into his farm since 2006. That basically in a nutshell just illustrates that using these 6 principles will improve your soil health of your garden and will make nutrients available to your plants that other practices do you know. In a nutshell. So. I don't I don't think Brown advocates. Someone just cold turkey stop what they're doing start this approach. Over time transmission and even though he as we see you know we are we are moving more and more you know we are taking these things principles and implementing them in our garden right but even as we teach others we do encourage people to get a soil test you know it doesn't hurt to get a soil test and to start out by you know adding some minerals to your soil but over time you should be able to move to a system that is the natural system that God created that maintains itself if you are able to incorporate those 6 principles. Ok so we're going to talk briefly now about managing weeds with no till How do you do that. The 1st thing is that by keeping the ground covered you're going to reduce growth Ok. We'd like to have a certain amount of light to grow by keeping the ground covered you're reducing that light Secondly. I heard somebody explain this recently and it really made sense to me because I know that a lot of times the amount that the ground is covered isn't keeping out all of the light but but the weed growth is still reduced significantly and. What somebody suggested is that the you know when when organic matter is being broken down it takes a lot of microbial action and fungal action to break it down and those microbes. Consume and tie up a lot of nitrogen and so you don't have nitrogen free in your soil and so if you have organic matter on the surface right on the surface you've got that tied up and so that's not conducive to encouraging new life to grow but. You know right below the surface it's not tied up and you can still support the plants So anyways it is a fact that having something on the surface of your soil does reduce weed growth and we've we've seen it in our own garden. So ways you can do that one if you can space crops so that. You have full coverage so actually you know if you if you look at recommendations for plants facing usually they are there they're based on that the idea is that you want to have one plant believe that one plant touching the leaves of the plant next to it not too close together and not so far apart that you have space between them and if you get that full coverage that's going to shade out your weeds and. Slow down weed growth cover crops are often also smother crops you can use cover crops to. To eliminate weeds for example Buckwheat is a is a great smother crop it's. Germinates and grows very fast you know a lot of weeds. Grow faster than your crops but Buckwheat will usually grow faster than the weeds. And so it'll it'll jump out of the ground and just smother those weed so that they just don't have light and they don't grow and so if you can actually reduce your weed pressure by growing several successive crops of buckwheat now 11 thing to be careful of is the bucket like I said Buckwheat's very fast that means it also goes to seed quickly and you don't want your Buckwheat to go to seed because it will turn into a weed. I had I had that happen unfortunately that's why I know to tell it to. The 3rd thing is you can use mulch like we've talked about just keep your ground covered with mulch and that will reduce weeds. I don't remember if I have it listed later or not but another another thing is that if you're if you're telling your your soil if you're if you're turning your soil like we mentioned earlier you're bringing up weed seeds to the surface so that they can grow if you're not turning your soil. The few seeds that are on the surface when they get a chance to grow the grow and then and then you you know you've used up. The weed seeds that were on the surface and you're not going to have a significant weed pressure after that as long as you're not turning the soil you will have the occasional weed seed that comes in from here and there but. It's not going to be like before. You know using mulch of pe on straw can be good as a as a mulch there is there can be an issue of seeds in the hay and in the straw. That's I've kind of gone back and forth on that do I do I want to risk it or not. And we've. We've had some successes and some. Failures on that where. The weed pressure coming out of the hay and straw was was pretty bad the one the one good thing about about having a mulch on the soil though even if we'd grow is they are so easy to take out they just come out like you know. You know that the soil under the mulch is very soft so it's not holding onto those weeds and so they're the are very easy to take out even by hand just pulling them out. With chips can be used. And then also crop residue can be used a lot of organic farmers. Know till farmers will grow cover crops and then just knock down the cover crop and. One thing they use something called a roller crimper it's a big barrel that goes either in front or behind the tractor and it has it has a. I don't know what they call them kind of like blades on a stick out up from the barrel in a shover on pattern and and it it as it rolls over the plants and it knocks them down but it also those those blades crimped them and kill them you know a lot of grasses. If you if you cut them they just keep growing that's what happens in your lawn right it just grows it just keeps growing so the a lot of the other plants you can cut them and kill them that way but the grass is just keep growing but if you if you crimp them kills them so. You can use compost also as a mole instead of digging the compost into the soil just lay it on the surface as a mulch. That works very well and that's that's what a lot of people do in no till gardening is they'll just lay AFIC layer of compost on the surface of the ground and then plant into that. For managing weeds when you when you do have to deal with them. One of our favorite tools is the stirrup though showed right there. It you can you can get action out of it going both forwards and backwards and you know this it's not like a hole where you have to only come this way and so that that's a nice tool to quickly take care of weeds. These tools here call linear so and we'll have these are 3 of our favorite cultivating tools for cultivating weeds. Those you would only use in a situation of an unmarked bad or a bed that was mulch with compost. If you're if you're using a mulched bed like with stress with straw or with wood chips or some other type of mulch then you probably will need to go in and pull those weeds by hand or with some type of rate or something like that wood chips you might be able to do it with a rake but with with straw you probably need to pull those by hand like that said it is much easier to pull them because the soil over time will be very loose underneath and. Maybe I'll just throw in this one example real quick and then Dad we may want to move the transitional crops to the next to the next session. But 11 example here about the soil being loose we decided actually it's my dad's idea so that you get the credit you Dad decided to put a to experiment with a new till that in our house right so we grew a cover crop and watch Lee explain this in the next section in the next section but we grew a cover crop we cut it down we topped it so we made sure it was dead because we didn't want it to keep growing but I cover up with. Peas it was a winter cover craw. And then my dad's had the idea of just planting directly into the stubble right we've just got a bunch of dried dead stubble in this bed and we cut the cover crop and took it out and compost to do it in and prior prior to this experiment our normal way of preparing a bed is to go in with a broad fork to loosen up the soil and then to add any compost that we want mix it in etc and I'll be honest I was skeptical I was like we're going to plant directly into the stubble I like Dad we should at least broad forecasts I mean we should at least loosen up the soil or something like that but dad really wanted to do it just as it is and experiment this was the experiment right so we went in and we transplanted into this bed and I'll be honest it was this will was hard when I literally with our little trowel I had to chisel spots to put a little transplants and put the soil back over them it wasn't as hard as it would have been if we hadn't had to cook and yeah yeah it wasn't like Virgin har har where it was just like packs oil but it was I had literally I mean I had to chisel it for those transplants We then took it and most that we actually use the biomass from that cover crop and we'll explain it more in the next session but we mulched it. At the end of the year by the way we heard we had basically no weed pressure in those in those beds virtually none at the end of the year I pulled apart this this year x. last year and of last year I guess it is 2021 isn't it so I pulled apart the mulch and I could literally push my hands right down into the soil and it was just as loose as if we had brought forth to the looser then if we had brought 4 days and that all happened without without any work or effort on our part that was 100 percent biology in the soil loosening up that soil. It really it really works and it can make a huge difference in our garden of just say also we tried wood mulch on some flower beds in front of our house the soil in Brother those beds were very clay and Rocky It was hard and nasty. For growing it all but we would ship them and we did we were trying to grow flowers there and we have to water them through the summer they would just they would die if we didn't keep them watered we would shift them and never watered them again. The 1st year we didn't see any significant difference. In the plants but the fact that you're everything was grew much bigger and better and the soil underneath it turned into a really soft loamy soil full of earthworms it's just a night and day difference from what it used to be. So we've just you have to keep out in the wood chips every year but I really like wood chips in a perennial. Setting when you're when you have perennials. Like I said before I'm not really sold on them you know for an annual for an unknown and I think also that when you goes back to those principles of diversity how much they versity can you get into your mulches you know you know I think that the more diversity you have the better it's going to be for you over time you know you don't just stick to just a which have good Brown is a far the farmer up in North Dakota right he he launches with straw with at 1st from his own farm and because he branches these large acres but then he does like a home scale garden although he sells from his own skill garden too but he starts out mulching it with straw but the life is so activated in his soil that within 6 weeks his straw will be got completely gone with bare soil so because it's so activated he comes in and puts in wood chips because they break down slower. So he puts down wood chips over the rest of the summer and then probably puts it back to straw or cover crop when winter comes on the next and because those woodchips are take longer to break down so again you know you're balancing here so you know if I was a home gardener I would start out Personally I would start out by finding a mulch like straw hay or leaves that would have a faster breakdown and you would get a little idea of how activated is the life in my soil if it needs to be activated more and it would start helping. Jumpstart that process and in fact the very best thing you could do is you could start out using a compost and using it yeah that's right because. That is activating your soil the compost is rich and foil life and. It's very nutritious and it's partly broken down so on. Or mostly broken down Yeah so yeah absolutely so we were going to in this session do a little section on transitioning crops making sure that one crop is dead before you put your next crop in so you don't have problems with weed pressure there as well but due to the time I think we should move that to the next to the next section I think that we can fit it in next time we're going to talk about starting your starts so I know you all have it your all been a soup ace and listening to a lot about soil and soil biology and soil how thin how the nutrients are put into the plants etc So bless you for your patience and in listening to all of that the reason why we cover that so much is because that creates the foundation of your healthy garden if you are going to have a healthy garden we want your understand what's actually happening so you can know why you're doing what you're doing correct and then in these next next in these next 3 sessions we're going to talk a lot more about the practicals of how do you start your own starts how do you transplant them successfully What do you do with pests and diseases how can you extend your season into the winter we're going to have a lot more practical. Sessions hands well I wish we could get your hands on some tools and stuff but you know you get the idea and in yet in those in those sessions. As we go through the more practical parts keep in mind that everything that you do in your garden you want to do in the context of those 6 principles right so the finking about you know when you're when you're planting your Starts be thinking about and my courage and diversity in my garden when you're growing your plants and my covering that is my soil armor it is a covered etc These create the foundation for the decisions that we make in the practical parts this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a visit w w w. Verse or.


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