New garden advice

cdtnt(5 Ill)July 21, 2006

I live in west central Ill. and have about 1 acre of old pasture I want to clean up and start raising something in.I would like to possibly use it to make a few extra dollars. And to share with my family that has no room for a garden in the city. All sun and no shade on a slight hill. Its full of weeds 6 ft high and has been for a few years. Any ideas would be nice, I can't get around like I used to.

Thanks

Chuck

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lee53011(5)

Are you planning on planting vegetables or flowers? Are you planning on doing the whole acre? Big job without some large equipment. Normally I would say to use lasagna bed, but if you are doing the whole acre at one time you probably could not get enough garden waste and grass clippings for something that large. If you are starting on a smaller scale, a lasagna bed is easy on the back. Basically you would mow the area as short as possible and then lay a layer or two of heavy cardboard on top. Wet it and put a layer of green stuff like grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, etc. Then put a layer of browns like ground up leaves, straw,woodchips, etc. Next a layer of compost or soil if you have it. Keep repeating until you have about 12" or so, watering each layer as you go. Do this as soon as possible this year. Then leave it sit until late spring next year by which time everything should be composted down to a great soil to plant into. That is a very basic description but if you do a search on the compost or organic gardening forums you can get a detailed one.

Lee

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 9:18PM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

Since it has been pasture land (not sure how recent)....I would just mow it as short as you can and then lay the cardboard....or thick black plastic...anchor it down and forget about it...
Black plastic might even generate enough warmth to kill seeds...not sure though...
You shouldn't need additional nitrogen in your soil...bet there is plenty.

You might want to check into corn gluten (acts the same as Preen, but tons of nitrogen and a lot cheaper). Small feed stores should be able to acquire it. A regular dose of this should keep seeds from germinating...don't use it if you are planning on direct seeding...

Then in the spring you can remove the plastic and have a truck of mulch or straw or whatever you choose brought in....

Sounds like fun to me!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 1:01AM
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