Matress in preparing garden ?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Missy_Muffett, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Missy_Muffett

    Missy_Muffett Junior Member

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    Hello all, Im still in the process of preparing the garden beds, we have absolutely no top soil, in this particular area, lots of rocks & clay. So I have been layering newspaper,or cardboard or carpet, then sugar cane mulch, today I did another layer on top of that & include rooster pooh, I hope this question doesnt sound too silly :think::think:, but could I use an old matress as I do the carpet?? Then cover that in mulch??? Also Ive been wrapping my vegies & coffee scraps in newspaper & adding this, to mix of mulch etc, is that ok??
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    What is the mattress made of?
    If its one that has wire springs in the middle then I cant see how the plants will have anything to grow into.
    If its one of the old type with coarse fibre middles then you may be able to get away with it if you use liquid manure tea to help feed you plants and have the fibre moist.
    Interesting solution, I cant wait for you to try it just to see what happens!
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day missy_muffett,

    well that is how molleson introduced permaculture to the local audience around 30 years ago. he threw a mattress on the ground cut a hole through it planted a banana and covered it all with a generous coating of mulch.

    can't see why not there will be some material like in carpet that won't rot down and the steel springs will take a while but hey whatever, go for it.

    len
     
  4. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Maybe if it's a floppy old kapok matress with no springs, but it would take years to break down if left in 'matress-form'.
    Also, watch out for carpet. Unless it's really old, it will have plasic woven into the backing and it will drive you nuts forever.
    Unless you've got really unusual soils, clay is really good!
    The things you mention, aside from chook poo, are very high in carbon. Can you get hold of grass clippings/weeds/general green stuff? Horse poo's good as long as your area's not high in phoshorus. My local lawn guys will drop off as much clippings as I want.
    New gardens take quite a while to settle, especially since it sounds like you're starting from scratch. I suggest getting lots of cover crops in over winter and planting edibles in the spring. 'I'm unfamiliar with your climate, but daikon, rye mustard and lupins are a good winter cover crop here. Broad beans are great too, but they're too tall to 'share'. All these plants will grow happily in new beds.
     
  5. Missy_Muffett

    Missy_Muffett Junior Member

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    garden matress

    thank you for the reply's, I will give it ago, & photograph what happens!!!
     
  6. Missy_Muffett

    Missy_Muffett Junior Member

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    Just a quick update on the matress, no need to post picys, NOTHING has happened :( looks exactly the same as when I dragged it out there in February. Back to the drawing board.
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    What's it made of?
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    My guess would be that it is carbon dominant and if you have layered hay or sugar cane mulch over it, that is carbon too. You may need to pee on it, or put a layer of manure on it. And maybe a generous splash of molasses to make it tastier to the compost critters.
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    february is not a long time agao it may take up to 12 months++??

    yes introduce some green spoil lucerne hay, sugar cane mulch, whatever!

    the big benefit is you are not dumping it into landfill

    len
     
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Missy Muffet, I'm confused about the carpet, it's full of toxic stuff, you know? Even if it's wool, the backing could still be synthetic. so you're only using it on pathways, not on growing areas?
     
  11. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    I am currently putting in my kitchen garden in an area of rocks and clay. I hate to recommend the method I'm finding successful, because it is hard work (at least for me a middle aged woman not too athletic). I'm excavating the clay and rocks down about 18 inches (down to what seems to be bedrock) and replacing the rocks with logs, untreated lumber, some cardboard, old hay, branches, chicken bedding, wool, basically any organic materials I can find. I did half the garden (about 500 square feet) by shovel and pickaxe, which took about a year, until finally my husband took pity on me and rented a small excavator for a weekend to break up the clay and rocks and remove some of it from the garden. I still have to sift out the rocks and excavate some areas with hand tools, but a lot of it went faster than before. I've recently hit a hard patch that made me especially discouraged yesterday (along with some other depressing stuff). Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how the garden is doing now. So if you have a means of excavating out the rocks and a source of logs and other materials, you might consider this. It might be possible to just put the material on the surface very deeply (hugelkultur) if you have soil to cover it with. I would personally avoid carpet or mattress as most of these have a lot of plastic which is very bad for earthworms and other helpful critters.

    Hugelkultur: https://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

    Some photos of my garden in progress:

    Some of the rocks placed on the downhill side

    [​IMG]

    Burying wood earlier this year

    [​IMG]

    What that area looks like now

    [​IMG]
     
  12. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Wow, Ludi, holy cow! You should be very proud! I can imagine all the nay-sayers and your own doubts you had in the midst of all that work!! But good for you, you hung in there! 18" down to take out rocks??? Man, you are devoted!! I've been studying that rocks actually attract electricity from lightning and the roots actually like it, so some rocks are helpful, so maybe you can have a break now!

    I tried the above-ground hugelkulture with dirt mounded over it and it failed utterly because the voles and mice dug into it, made air tunnels out of it, built their condominiums in it and their population doubled. Then taking it apart again was awful. So I know it is hard to know just how far to take some of these methods we read about. :)

    Great pictures, and what a lovely garden you are building!
     
  13. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Thank you. :) I did get some mice but that seems to have calmed down as the material settles and I'm doing a better job of covering it, although I do have a good number of snakes, lizards and frogs.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Wow! What a neat rock pile! It looks like it would work as a giant swale for you.
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    That looks great Ludi. I'm the same age as you and so I know how hard it is to do that physical work. You leave me in the shade! :)
     
  16. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Oh thank you, I'm actually pretty pathetic. If I put in a real good morning gardening I can't do much for the rest of the day...problem is, one is expected to work for money as well as garden.... :blush:
     

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