As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
As I have stated previously in looking at these braggart photos online of people with money and living in Eden, showing how to garden, is as genuine as Ted Cruz is American. Anyone can invade in open borders to pretend they are an American, and anyone with money can look like they can grow things.
This treatise is more than of a survival lesson, but pointing things out to you which you never consider.
It all begins with soil.
Soil is of two types in clay and sand. Sand dries out, and clay when it dries out turns to brick. Soil is of two conditions in acid and alkali. Acid grows weeds and base soils grow nothing.
It is the loam soils or the addition of rotten vegetable matter that makes soil alive, for it provides the nutrients, holds the water, and allows for the roots to grow deep.
There is not though enough cow shit in the world to make the world organic. It requires 3 times the land to make one part of the land full of loam soil. That is why you have grazing land and keep your cow poop in a pen and then add that to your farm or garden soil.
The gardens I have now are two pieces of ground which were abused. One is where machinery was parked for 100 years, and grew nothing but 9 foot tall rag weeds when I was a child, and the other is a feedlot, slough, where my dad kept his cattle at winter. Both are primarily clay at base, but the slough is reverting now to a sand loam, with the edges a lovely duff that grows things as long as it rains.
Both patches love to grow weeds, and this is what this is about in explaining, as in you should save this and print it up, because it is how to make sure you do not starve to death.
The machinery patch has 3 inches of goat manure on it, broken down to compost. Under that is solid brick clay. I can break that up, but it always goes back to brick.
To do it right would require money. The money would purchase a 40 horse power tractor, a spring tooth digger to break up the soil about 9 to 12 inches down, and then the compost would be incorporated all through the soil.
Now for the million dollar knowledge, as I was amused at looking at the slough garden this spring in I had expanded it, and where I had gardened last year, there were 70% fewer weeds than in the new weed patch. It simply reveals that if you work at it, you can get rid of weeds in the worst kind of ground, and here is the basic secret to it.
In the autumn after your garden is kaput, deep till the garden, and leave it. In the spring, wait for the first batch of weeds to sprout, and then till it up again. I like diggers, but all I have is a disk.........a rototiller is great, but in my rocks it would break it, and I have old bale strings in this soil which would wrap up like a rat's next, so that would not be so cherry to deal with.
Now you wait again, because the weeds will sprout again in a about 3 weeks, and right before you plant your garden, you go through it again, and in that, you should be able to keep ahead of your weeds even if it rains.
Do not let the weeds go to seed and next year you will be surprised how few of weeds you will have.
My principles are burdocks, some mint weed, lambsquarter and pig weed.
Now for explanation of secret two. You need something to dig the hell out of that soil. A hole, a spade, a fork ain't going to get it done. The old sodbusters used a plough, but you simply need something to deep till that soil and get it worked up past clods. That is the big secret in gardening. Most people do not have the best soil. Most people do not till a garden deep enough and that is what makes gardens look bad.........because if you are out there battling concrete, you are going to be spent by time you have to weed, and not want to weed, and end up with a patch of weeds and sick plants, because weeds suck moisture and the lack of soil depth will not allow your plants to tap into deeper wet soil.
So it is ok to let weeds sprout, but do not let them become sod, as they will dry out the soil and make it a scorched earth in trying to deal with it.
In a small hillside patch the soil there is like clay worm poop balls. It is horrid stuff, and was a burdock patch. It simply has to be dug deep and made to submit, and once that takes place, you start doing better.
Now for some secrets to the more of the genius side. If you have sour soil, it means it is not broken down enough in nutrients. You can zap it by planting heavy feeders like potatoes and corn. They will take the sour out of the soil by depleting it. This is good to a point, as sour soils grow weeds......take the sour out and the soils then will not sprout as many weeds either.
In 5 years, you really should not have that many weeds to deal with. It will be a matter then of having piles of shit having rotted down, taking your loader tractor and dumping it on the soil in the fall, and working it in, and having paradise in the spring.
Robert Rodale of Organic Gardening, had a father who moved to Pennsylvania and turned a rock soil depleted farm to a garden, but it took 4 other farms to accomplish this, as soil needs to be fed manure which is compost.
Cattle works the best, pig manure when rotted down grows the best gardens, and then comes goats, with chicken manure too hot, and horse shit is not worth horse shit, as it is all like elephant poop in being all dry matter.
These principles are simple and if you have great soil, then you are ahead of the game. So just take care of it and feed it, otherwise you are going to have problems as it breaks down like sand in Florida or concrete in Texas. Heat bakes dry matter out of the soil like an incinerator.
Soil will obey you, if you make it and you work with it. It is always telling you things, so listen to it.
The lesson if you listened today was how to deal with weeds by sprouting them, killing them twice and then planting.
Oh I picked up a 1970's almost wore out Organic Gardening book for 80 cents. I have not had time to look at it yet........just saw they had ducks in it. I like ducks, because you never will get them all in a row.