no dig - how to create a seedbed

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by hedwig, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    the previous no di thread is grown a bit long...

    I made the following experience: in my old garden I hoed in autumn to early spring , then i mulched. This worked in our subtropical climate. But: the garden was nearly all dy in shade of trees.
    In our new garden this methood seams to work not that good (but the soil is not really built up yet). The garden is mainly in sun.

    I want to try a more no-dig approach. I have one bed with spend mustard plants 30 cm high. Now I want to create a seadbed there.
    What do I do:
    - rip the mustard plants out?
    - take scissors and cut them?
    - leave the cutted plants or pop them into the compost?
    Then:
    putting compost on the top and sow?
    Do I rake the bigger stakes etc out?
    Sieving the compost would not be good for the worms.
     
  2. Jackie K

    Jackie K Junior Member

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    Hi Hedwig,
    Firstly I must say how much I do enjoy your questions and the subsequent answers. Nobody else has given you an answer to this one, so here goes. What I do, is cut the green matter down quite low if I dont want it to regrow, and leave the cut stuff on top of it. Then I get all the manure from the sheep pen, chooks and horses and lay that on top, give it a good watering, then cover with dry pea hay and wet that through too. If I'm really, really patient I don't plant into it for 3 or 4 weeks, but I'm not usually that patient. Of course it won't have broken down much in that time, so I take the cover off the worm farm. The worms all go deeper away from the light in a pretty short time, so I can get some compost without upsetting the worms. (If there are worm eggs in the compost they hatch and go into the soil and improve it too.) Then I make a space in the pea hay mulch, dig out a small hole enough to put a seedling, put in some compost, put in the seedling, and push the pea hay back around the new seedling. Much the same for seeds. Pull back the pea hay in a line, make a furrow, fill with compost and plant the seeds. Especially for carrots onions, anything like that. But I don't completely cover that with the pea hay after, just bring it a bit closer so it protects the new shoots from the mongrel winds we get here, but leave enough open so the sun can get through. Works good for me. Hope that helps.
    All the best,
    Jackie K
     
  3. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    OK you just make a no dig bed and create furrows with compost. Do you sieve the compost? Our is usually pretty bulky.
    I haven't got that much dicfferent nice materials around but I'll give it a try.
     
  4. Jackie K

    Jackie K Junior Member

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    If you are planting really fine seed like carrots it is best to have fine compost over the seed, but underneath the larger pieces will be OK Larger, more vigorous seeds, like cabbage family, radish etc will still find their way through. Just try a small amount of seeds with the compost you have. Growing things is a continuous experiment after all.
    All the best,
    Jackie K
     
  5. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    yes as my husband makes the compost he would never allow me to throw it through a sieve - the poor earthworms! We don't have a sieve anyway.
     
  6. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Hiya Hedwig I understand your problem..

    In a no dig garden like mine sowing seeds to germinate.......

    Usually if a crop is being removed or clearing weeds i pull up anything not wanted and place on ground nearby..

    I loosen soil to below soil of 2 inches deep....

    After exposing and clearing away wastes,stones, twigs etc etc it can take up to and longer then 2 weeks or more for any further weed seed germination....
    If sowing average vegie seed wich in most cases is between 7/10 day.

    This gives the grower a time lapse of time between vegie seeds germinating and next weed seeds....anything from up to two weeks wich allows the new seedling time to outgrow it main compitition for the available nutrients and moisture..

    Hope this helps

    Tezza
     
  7. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    this means you're leaving the bed a bit fallow. and then you do the same technique as mentioned above - compost rows or pockets?
     
  8. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Not fallow ...

    Clear ground up in sowing spot...

    Sow seeds straight away and water.

    They should germinate well before the next batch of weeds start germinating
    this is natures way of giving certain seeds a better start in life...

    Tezza
     

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