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going organic, how?

Posted by brankulo (My Page) on
Sat, May 22, 10 at 21:38

i designed and built my first home last fall. it is green, low energy building and i want to take this concept and apply it in my yard. i planted kbg mix about month ago, along with milogranite. seeds germinated, so i wander what do i do next? i live in denver area. i have read about all this corn meals, soy meals and so on. can someone educate me little on this, or link me to a thread that has some info on this. the search function doesnt work really well. also i wander if there is someone on this forum from denver area, to help me find the store where i would be able to buy this organic stuff. the google search for feed stores just give me pet supply stores.thanks

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RE: going organic, how?

The first step in making an organic garden or lawn is to look closely at your soil and then work on that to make it into a good, healthy soil that will grow strong and healthy plants. Contact the people at your local office of the Colorado state University Cooperative Extension Service about having a good, reliable soil test done and then dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.
2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.

Once you know more about your soil then you will be able to see what more needs be done to make it into that good, healthy soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado State University CES

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