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Not sure what to do now.

Posted by luvncannin 7a-panhandle tx (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 5, 12 at 21:46

Been out of touch here for a while but have been reading trying to keep up. Hope this isnt too long but I am lost about what to do.
We bought a place and started working different areas like weeding around the fruit trees and I put in a raised herb garden. And we plowed the 1/4 acre area for the fall garden. All ready to go and the previous owner suggested he would plant wheat between the trees to keep the soil from washing away.
Well for some unknown reason he planted the whole 5 acres in wheat including the garden.I am not just trying to figure out how to get it out but is it going to mess up the whole organic way of gardening that I had my heart set on?
I have been so distraught over this and I hope there is an easy solution.I was planning on having the garden planted by now but have been assured by the locals that I have at least a week to get my stuff in.
Thank you for any and all help
Kim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Not sure what to do now.

How about tilling it under? It would add green matter, which is good. :)

Moni


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Kim,

I agree with Moni. Just use a rototiller or a tractor with a plow attachment to rototill the wheat into the soil. Wait a few days and then plant.

I don't understand why the planting of wheat would undermine your efforts to garden organically? I am assuming the wheat has sprouted and is growing? If it hasn't sprouted yet, then you might have an issue because it might try to sprout at the same time the seeds you sow for fall are sprouting. In that case, your best option is to hand weed the wheat out of whatever you've planted.

Or, you can wait for it to sprout, spray with Round-up (which is not organic, I know, but sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do), wait however many days the label says, and then plant.

Alternately, you can skip having a fall garden and let the wheat grow for a while, then rototill it into the soil well before winter planting time rolls around, knowing that having the organic matter in the soil will enrich it.

I am going to assume that he planted the whole 5 acres because unless something is planted to hold the soil in place, you'll lose topsoil to erosion over the winter? If that was his reason, he believed he was doing you a favor. Either that, you he is having a hard time letting go of the land y'all bought from him. I could see where that could be a problem if it is what is going on.

Dawn


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

I would just clear where I wanted to plant and let the rest grow during the winter. I would rather have wheat than bare ground for the winter. I don't know what you would plant this late in the year that you would need a quarter acre of ground for. Enlighten me, maybe I am missing something.


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Thank you all.
Yes He truly thought he was doing me a favor. He simply forgot that I was putting in a fall garden. I am not upset with him in fact we are very thankful that he offered. The other 4 1/2 acres definately needed it and it was so much easier for his planter than the way we would have had to do it, just trying to figure this out.

Like someone used to tell me I only know enough to get myself in trouble. Concerning the wheat seed, I do not know for a fact but most everyone around here farms using chemicals and GMO seeds. Since he was sowing ours at the same time as his 1000's of acres I was wondering if he used the non organic seeds would it create problems for me or should I just wait till it sprouts, plow it and plant?
I am trying everything to get as natural as possible.

I had planned for most of the 1/4 acre to plant mostly greens to share with friends and for canning. And of course a few experiments to see what I could keep growing with row covers. our first frost is expected Nov 10 to 20 So I thought I would have time to get a few things going.
On a bright note my carrots radish and herbs are all coming up nice and at home I have my first tomatoes of the year, next year I am starting tomatoes earlier.
Kim


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Kim,

As far as I know, none of the wheat grown commercially in the USA is GMO wheat, and that's for two reasons: (1) U. S. consumers are opposed to the use of the GMO wheat and do not want to purchase and eat products made from it, and (2) there is a worldwide movement against the use of GMO crops in general, and wheat in specific. In some other countries, GMO wheat is banned and those countries say that they will refuse to buy USA-grown wheat if it is GMO. Since a good portion of the US wheat crop is grown for export, farmers avoid using GMO wheat. So, that's one less thing for you to worry about.

Is it likely the seed he used may have been coated with something like a fungicide? Probably, but on the list of things I worry about as a mostly-organic gardener, fungicides are pretty low on the list. I wouldn't worry or fret over whatever the seed had been coated in as it won't have a lasting effect in the soil itself.

Collard greens are very cold hardy and so are lots of other greens. With floating row covers, you could keep them growing for quite a while. While Eliot Coleman-style low tunnels covered with greenhouse plastic, you might be able to grow greens all winter. I'm going to link the catalog from Johnny's Selecedt Seeds because it has a section on growing in low tunnels. You also could Google Eliot Coleman + low tunnels and find tons of informations, or could read one of his books. There's a company in Texas that sells hoop benders for a lower price than they are at Johnny's and that's where Soonergrandmom and I bought ours.

On a separate thread, I'll post what I'm growing for fall and maybe that list will give you a few ideas. There are many wonderful cool-season crops.

Since you're in the Texas panhandle you'll have to deal with more wind and cold than I do down here in southcentral OK, but that doesn't mean you cannot grow some cool-season crops fairly deep into the winter months.

Congrats on the carrots, radishes and herbs. A big CONGRATS on the first tomatoes of the year! Better late than never, and if your spring stays cold a lot longer than ours does, then this is not all that late.

In our climate, an early start with tomatoes really pays off. I start earlier every year. Last year I put my first 4 tomato plants into a very large container in mid-February, was harvesting the first tomatoes right at the end of April, and those plants are still producing....so clearly it is possible to stretch the tomato season with some creative planting and frost protection. I try to stretch it longer on both ends of the season by using container plants, row covers and other season extenders.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Low Tunnels at Johnny's Selected Seeds


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

If the seed hasn't emerged from the ground yet, but has been there long enough to germinate, tilling it a couple times a few days apart should disrupt the roots enough to kill it. You will probably still have to hoe and/or till some out as it comes up, but that should be easy enough. And it's still early if your first frost isn't until late Nov. My average first frost is midOct and if (IF) we get the rain forcast for this evening and tomorrow, we will plant some turnips, mustard, kale, spinach, radishes. Otherwise....ppfftt. We'll just wait until midOct and plant the greenhouse.


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Oh Yay good news. The seeds used were not treated. So all I need to do is plow and pull up any that miss the tilling?Well that is the best news, besides rain.
Thank you all for listening to my unreasonable panic but I have wanted a place for so long and bought and planned and dreamed of this place planted and growing full of fruits and veggies. I have at least 30 different kinds of seeds, just not too sure which ones missed the right planting date, due to my first Grand baby being born. I have been a little distracted.
Dawn Thanks for the link.I will check that out and will probably order plastic soon. I am going to plant tomatoes early next year.I am still hoping to get enough this year to fire up the canner once. Also my new garden area is down in a valley protected from the west and north winds so that will really help in the spring when we plant. This year the little seedlings spent most of their energy just trying to stay alive in the hot dry wind.
The wheat on the main part of the property is going to be great. Since we got rain it should come up really well.
Thanks all
Kim


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Yay for the rain too,

Congrats on the first grandbaby. That's a wonderful distraction.

One thing about the valley is that cold air sinks so remember that when the weather is mostly warm but an occasional night still might be frosty. I'm in a low-lying creek hollow in the already low-lying Red River Valley and it causes us to have an occasional "surprise" killing freeze or frost as late as the first week in May (four years in a row) even though the date of our Average Last Freeze is March 28th. I have to watch the weather like a hawk. We have had a killing freeze here on a night when our forecast low was 50 degrees and we went to 32 instead. That sort of nonsense teaches you to (a) never trust the weather and (b) never trust the weather. : )


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

The seed he planted would have most likely been treated Aluminum phosphide AKA Phostoxin. It is used during the storage of wheat and other grains to kill bugs and rodents. Its some pretty nasty stuff, but after being mixed in with thousands or hundreds of thousands of bushels of wheat it really is not that much. I would not hesitate to eat a handful of raw wheat from a bin I know had been treated with it.
That should be the only chemical wheat seed comes in contact with. Some farmers do store there own wheat in their own personal bins. Some treat with phostoxin and some don't. (It takes a good bit of training to get the correct certification so you can use/buy the stuff)
As far as GMO goes... I personally don't know of anybody in Oklahoma that uses that stuff. It could be possible, but if a lot of people used it I would know.

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_phosphide

Josh


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RE: Not sure what to do now.

Thanks Dawn. This baby has really motivated me.
I have been told by some of the locals not to even bother planting a fall garden here, noone does. That is why I say its an experiment. I will see what works and what doesnt. We are a good 10 degrees cooler here than up on the cap and about 1500 feet lower. It does make a huge difference I would think in how long I will be able to keep everything going.
Josh thanks for the info. I have been studying alot about food and how these chemicals have possibly affected my health so I am probably overly cautious maybe even paranoid. I will try not to overreact.
Kim


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