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Advice for post season home garden

Old 09-20-2020, 06:12 PM
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Default Advice for post season home garden

I am not a garden expert by any means , I can make some great looking food plots for deer but other than that I am throwing darts at a board

Over the years I have planted a few tomato plants with mixed success , damn labs used to get tomatoes off vines just as they were ripe so I gave up for years. (Last lab died in November )

We have a small yard and last fall I had 2 water oaks removed in back yard and stumps ground up. Right beside them was spot where old dog kennel was my labs stayed in for a good many years (never crapped n kennel though )

This spring I tilled spot up , this is not a big area , maybe 40-50’ long and 15’ wide at best

I planted various tomato plants (Better boys, Roma’s and cherry ). The cherry tomato plant did great and the others so so Also had couple cucumber plants and some bell peppers. Next year I am not going to plant as much and only 1 cucumber plant since they take up so much room (we had an abundance of cucumbers ) Think I may have over crowded tomato plants so next year I will not plant as many

This morning I pulled tomato cages down and pulled up plants

Do I need to lime this spot and till it up for winter I have read that some gardner’s will plant clover or rye over the winter or even winter peas for nitrogen

Area is Upstate SC so we do not normally get a lot of really cold weather , winters normally mild

Area is sectioned off by some railroad timbers to keep grass out

Do not want to add manure due to smell for wife and neighbors (I have zero sense of smell so would not bother me &#128514
Old 09-20-2020, 06:45 PM
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Do you get a lot of fallen leaves where you are? If so put 2-3 inches of leaves on the garden and cover it up over the winter and then till those in in the spring.
Old 09-21-2020, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cohea View Post
Do you get a lot of fallen leaves where you are? If so put 2-3 inches of leaves on the garden and cover it up over the winter and then till those in in the spring.
Yes I do. In fact I run over yard several times with mulched/bagger removing them
Old 09-21-2020, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tprice View Post
Yes I do. In fact I run over yard several times with mulched/bagger removing them
Tree leaves are very acidic and this will make your problem even worse. If you have had a dog kennel and big oaks there for years you most likely have a serious Ph problem and need to lime the crap out of it. Best bet is to get a soil sample kit from your county extension office and get your soil tested. In all probability you need to put out more lime than you could ever imagine.
Old 09-21-2020, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by xl883lo View Post
Tree leaves are very acidic and this will make your problem even worse. If you have had a dog kennel and big oaks there for years you most likely have a serious Ph problem and need to lime the crap out of it. Best bet is to get a soil sample kit from your county extension office and get your soil tested. In all probability you need to put out more lime than you could ever imagine.
^^^^ x10. No reason to guess when you can have the soil tested by professionals.
Old 09-21-2020, 05:18 AM
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Get your soil tested. Carolina Fresh Farms is probably your best bet for this currently...fairly slow turn around, but you have plenty of time before spring. Clemson Extension I don't believe is doing homeowner stuff currently due to covid. Re: manure, composted manure doesn't really have any smell to it. Milorganite is a good alternative, but not cheap. For overwinter I would cover the spot in black poly. If you have grass in it currently, hit it with roundup (just plain roundup with glyphosphate as the only active ingredient) and let it die for about 2 weeks. Spray on a warm sunny day for best results. Then just cover with the black poly and hold it down with bricks or staples.
Old 09-21-2020, 05:19 AM
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Farmers markets for all vegetables needs....
Old 09-21-2020, 06:17 AM
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As autobahn suggests, get your soil tested. It probably does need lime to raise soil pH - but maybe not.

A lot of vegetable gardeners will plant green manure crops. They are called this as they provide organic matter and nutrients when they are tilled in. These include legumes like vetch, clover, beans and peas. The advantage to these is they also fix nitrogen via rhizobium and other nitrogen-fixing organisms in root nodules.

Others plant grasses like annual rye, winter wheat, and buckwheat (good fall source of pollen for bees), or rapeseed. Good deal of research indicates that tilling in rapeseed suppresses weeds and some soilborne pathogens including verticillium and nematodes).

Seed thickly enough and you shouldn't have too many weed issues. I'm a proponent of not having bare soil in the winter. Erosion, loss of beneficial soil microorganisms, moisture, weeds. Besides, why not plant something that will improve your soil for next year.
Old 09-21-2020, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lou Gill View Post
Farmers markets for all vegetables needs....
that's boring as phuck
Old 09-21-2020, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by xl883lo View Post
Tree leaves are very acidic and this will make your problem even worse. If you have had a dog kennel and big oaks there for years you most likely have a serious Ph problem and need to lime the crap out of it. Best bet is to get a soil sample kit from your county extension office and get your soil tested. In all probability you need to put out more lime than you could ever imagine.

Fresh fallen leaves can be fairly acidic - once they start to decompose they lose most of that acidity. If you can, chop the leaves up with a mower etc...place the leaves on the garden and cover with black poly and leave til early spring. Till the now decomposed leaves into the soil. The soil test is a good idea as well as in addition to ph level you will also find out if you need additional nutrients etc.
Old 09-21-2020, 06:35 AM
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When I had my garden up in N.Y. every fall I would plant this winter blend, https://www.gardensalive.com/product...mix-cover-crop
Really helps build the soil, as others have said best to get the soil tested to get it balanced. If you go with a cover crop check which would be best for your region. As a side I also used Gardens Alive tomato fertilizer with great success.
Old 09-21-2020, 06:35 AM
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compost all your vegetable scraps and eggshells and use that to amend to soil
Old 09-21-2020, 08:00 AM
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I plant red clover for a cover crop(early oct.,pee dee area of SC),best thing I've ever done for my garden.
Old 09-21-2020, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lilsahara View Post
I plant red clover for a cover crop(early oct.,pee dee area of SC),best thing I've ever done for my garden.

Heck I got red clover, winter wheat and rape now. Had some left over from food plots 😂
Old 09-22-2020, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cohea View Post
Fresh fallen leaves can be fairly acidic - once they start to decompose they lose most of that acidity. If you can, chop the leaves up with a mower etc...place the leaves on the garden and cover with black poly and leave til early spring. Till the now decomposed leaves into the soil. The soil test is a good idea as well as in addition to ph level you will also find out if you need additional nutrients etc.
It will still drop the Ph. If you check the Ph of a lot of freshly cleared areas that have had years and years of leaf build up they are often solidly below 6. They say not to put more than 2.5 tons of lime per acre in a single application. It is not uncommon to put down 2.5 tons as soon as you clear new land and the another 2.5 before you plant but most folks don't use enough lime.
Old 09-22-2020, 02:03 AM
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you do not want to compost in the garden area itself

compost needs a nitrogen source and a carbon source and your carbon source will consume any nitrogen available until it is fully broken down so if your compost does not fully break down over winter it will be pulling from your spring nitrogen until it is done breaking down

plus to properly compost and avoid weeds and make a good product that will benefit soil you need to turn your compost in the compost pile and that is not what you want to do in the garden spot and if you think you will turn it by tilling it well that is just you stopping the compost process and leaving that carbon source to take longer to break down and consume your spring nitrogen

not to mention the inaccuracy of any NEEDED soil test when you have composting going on where your garden is

if acid is needed for the soil it would be extremely hard to get enough of that from any leaf matter or compost you would need sulfur or an acid in the water

if lime is needed you can (should) put down enough lime for several years because it is slow to break down even if you use the powdered stuff and even more so granular

plant a green crop as others have suggested with a nitrogen fixing legume in the mix and if your soil is hard or has a soil pan layer plant some tillage radishes in the mix and be prepared to till them very quickly in the spring when they start to break down least you have complaining neighbors and people calling the natural gas company to report a leak
Old 09-22-2020, 06:24 AM
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I'm lazy and cheap. What if do nothing (other than blow leaves off it) to small raised bed until spring and then just buy 1 bag of black cow manure to mix in?
Old 09-22-2020, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by matthewmon View Post
I'm lazy and cheap. What if do nothing (other than blow leaves off it) to small raised bed until spring and then just buy 1 bag of black cow manure to mix in?
your results would depend on what you are planting, but would probably not be worth the effort

manure is a low nutrient fertilizer and slow release which means you put it out in the fall for use in the spring and really the benefits of it are all the other microorganisms

if you were planting sweet corn or okra or something like that you might get OK results, but if you are planting melons poor results because they need a lot more nutrients....will depend on your soil type as well

the easy thing for "cheap" in a small raised bed is a 5 gallon bucket, a hose, and some miracle grow applied at the right times throughout the growing season.....just mix it in the bucket a little less powerful than the label says and apply to the root zones of each plant
Old 09-22-2020, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by matthewmon View Post
I'm lazy and cheap. What if do nothing (other than blow leaves off it) to small raised bed until spring and then just buy 1 bag of black cow manure to mix in?
i'm with you ^

Originally Posted by Insider View Post
your results would depend on what you are planting, but would probably not be worth the effort

manure is a low nutrient fertilizer and slow release which means you put it out in the fall for use in the spring and really the benefits of it are all the other microorganisms

if you were planting sweet corn or okra or something like that you might get OK results, but if you are planting melons poor results because they need a lot more nutrients....will depend on your soil type as well

the easy thing for "cheap" in a small raised bed is a 5 gallon bucket, a hose, and some miracle grow applied at the right times throughout the growing season.....just mix it in the bucket a little less powerful than the label says and apply to the root zones of each plant
I have a raised bed, roughly 15' x 15' x 1'

Each spring (early April) I add a few bags of manure and/or compost and add in a bunch of bags of 'new/fresh' soil. nothing too special, just to top it off and then I till it all up. that sits for a month or so until I put plants in the ground.

usual suspects are tomatoes, a variety of peppers, corn, strawberries, eggplant, pumpkins, potatoes, cucumbers.

going to try carrots next year.
Old 09-23-2020, 07:11 AM
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Why not plant it with winter veggies?? You live in SC, your climate will support a variety of lettuces (for quite some time), chard, beets, parsnip, turnip, collards, spinach. I plant garlic in mine every september/october, let it overwinter and harvest around May the following year. Brocoli goes in around february too. Use the space. If I am not planting it, I leave it alone, add an organic compost to amend soil in early spring or late winter to prep for the season.

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