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I'm still relatively new here, so please bear with me if I post this in the wrong place . I thought I would share some info about my garden spot and possibly get some insight from the great wealth of knowledgeable people who know much more than I can ever hope to know.
First off, the field(s) I have at my disposal this year are surrounded on three sides with drainage ditches, and even with the record amounts of rain and snow melt, there are only a place or two that hold water really bad. Knowing my record for getting stuck in the mud, I'm going to say that's a good thing, lol. My best estimate puts them right around 4 - 4.5 acres, however I would say that only 3.75 - 3.95 acres are tillable as there are huge "mounds" (3 in total, two in the upper field, one in the lower). The mounds seem to be like a mini oasis - harboring trees, and some of the best blackberry plants I've saw in a while. I even found an old pull-type disk in one of em. However, the field is another story. The only plant I can really make out is broom sedge (sometimes misspelled broom sage), which indicates to me that there isn't enough organic matter in the soil. There is an old saying - where broom sedge grows well, nothing else will. So, going by the farmers almanac of course, the plan is to start plowing/disking the last week of this month if the field is dry enough (according to the almanac, it's supposed to be wet up until the last week of feb, then wet for the entire month of March, remember that mud and I don't mix, lol). I bought an old New Idea manure spreader two days ago from my neighbor (who used it at his old homeplace to haul firewood behind an old cub cadet lawn tractor) for $25 and a case of homemade corn relish. It's not in too bad shape - it needs a new chain and one of the tires will most likely need replaced within the next year or so, but otherwise it will be fine for my purposes. So, to remedy the problem indicated by the broom sedge, I will use it to spread manure (which can be found anywhere around here dirt cheap, particularly the court house where you can get a whole helping of it free ). Once I get it out on the newly plowed and disked field, I plan on disking again and then having my land benefactor use his MF135 and 6' rototiller to work it in some more. Can somebody tell me what is a good guideline for amount of manure per acre? I have the county extension agent coming out this week to test the soil to see exactly what I need and how much, but I'd like to get a rough budget worked out beforehand. The fields haven't been used since before I was born, and then they were used for tobacco if memory serves my dad right.
I'm still working out a list for what all I'm going to raise this year, but so far the major things are:
Sweet corn, bush beans, pole beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, Jalapenos, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, radishes, onion sets, new potatoes, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, peanuts and pinto beans. I've grown all of this stuff before on a smaller scale and I've had really good results thus far (no so much with eggplant and lettuce, although I am going to give em another shot in the plot up here by the house).
Here are some pics:
(this bridge goes over the drainage ditch separating field 1 from field 2, it's made of railroad ties and supports my 8n without even flexing)
(this drainage ditch separates field 2 from the large field next door, who my land benefactor rents to a friend of mine who raises soybeans. Notice somebody has already been working on it)
I have some greatly needed help lined out - my current girlfriend and my ex, as well as my mother and father and two sisters who love gardening more than anything. I have had a few people ask me if I would be selling "shares" (which I am guessing they mean something like a CSA) of my produce, and I would like to explore that idea a little further if anybody has any experience with that type of operation. We also have a farmers market twice a week - my extension agent has been more than helpful getting me all the information I need to be able to take my good to market, which opens another avenue of sales.
On another note - I did as somebody suggested in my "To Cub or not To Cub" post in the "Farmall Cub" forum and made a few postings around the internet - asking for cheap farm equipment and inquiring about obtaining a Cub (which I think I have found one, will post pics and info in the main form as soon as I get them ). to date, I have had offers of free equipment, enough free seed to plant half a dozen of these fields (although most of the offers is for 2-3 year old corn seed, which I don't know if it's worth the risk trying it), and more cheap implements than I imagined would be in the entire state. So, I must say thank you to everyone on this board who told me to ask around - I never would of dreamed so many people would offer their assistance in today's world.
Thanks all and happy tractoring!
Looks like you are going to be real busy this summer. Get that Cub and start some seat time. Wait for the County Agent to come out. He or she will tell you about the manure and anything you need from the soil test. Your next photos should show some little green things sticking out of those fields.
47 Cub (Glenda)
52 Super A
62 Cub (Genie)
In all things know which way the wind is blowing.
Looks like you have some good fields to start working on. If they would raise tobacco, I don't see why they won't raise vegatables. The county agent will be able to tell you what to do to the soil to bring it up to par. Might not need as much as you think. With those size fields, you will definately need a planter. It will be an enjoyable undertaking. Go for it. Keep us posted.
Couple of comments,
Tobacco removes a lot of nutrients form the soil. As has been stated above, get a soil test to see what is needed. May take a couple years to bring the oils back to a good condition, also consider a green manure crop for fall planting.
Due to the surrounding terrain and brush, you can expect a lot of wildlife damage to your garden.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government
to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the
government lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." Patrick Henry
Actually, you can't see it, but I'm right in the middle of a pretty industrial area - the fence posts you see are in the yard of a 24/7 factory, and at the far end of the plowed field is the airport with planes/helicopters coming and going all night, so the lights and noise tend to scare off most of the wildlife off. The other side, which you can't see in the pictures, is a graveyard right on Main Street, and about 50 yards off Main Street from the graveyard is my house. Actually, I've lived around these parts of town since 2002, and the only wildlife I saw are squirrels and the occasional raccoon - and they didn't last long with my dog around for some reason, go figure, lol. So, I don't think losses will be what people expect them to be from wildlife, but I have some humane traps I will put out anyway to minimize those losses further. However, somebody has been riding ATV's through the field, so I may ask my cousin the police chief to step up patrols around the area at night for a little bit to keep the 2-legged wildlife damage down. I personally don't care if you help yourself to some of what I grow (because everybody knows I'm the best, they only take quality - NOT, lol) - chances are that I will have more than I can even fool with, but on the other hand, if you get down there and start causing a ruckus I have no problem having you locked up. I don't mean to sound gruff there, but it happened last year up here by the house - one of my neighbors who doesn't think that working on your garden at night should be legal decided to stomp my melons while I was at work during the day. I'm pretty sure she thinks twice before even thinking of stepping foot in my yard after I caught her in the act the second time she went about doing it and gave her a little persuasion in the form of a night in jail not to attempt it again.
I turned under some of the soil today and I was met with a huge surprise - it was the richest, blackest soil I've ever saw in this area (normally it's clay, more clay, red clay, orange clay, well, you get the picture ). The extension agent is pretty much booked up, but he assured me that he would be around this week to test my soil and give me some more info. So, my day has been made. After lunch here, I'm going back to the field and finish cleaning up downed limbs/trees from the last big ice storm we had. I've got about 2 hours into the job so far and am about 50% done, so I don't see how this day could be any better .
First off welcome to the forum!
Your land looks great, I am envious. The soil test will provide you with a ton of information and get you going in the right direction. When the results are in feel free to post 'em here.
Are you planning on selling veggies? 4 acres is a lot of land, and will produce tons of produce.
The cub and your MF will make a great team.
keep the pictures coming.
I really like your spot of land, it really looks good for a great garden. I just moved to this place I am living now and dont have a great spot to plow a good garden like I want. I think this was where rocks were grown. Went and bought 2 tractors and cant put em to work, lol. Are you gonna turn your ground or are you just gonna till it and lay it off? I hope the soil samples prove to be good news.
Yes, in this world it is hard to find an extra helping hand from strangers, I understand that as much as anyone. If it was were I could head that way I would sure bring my little Cub up there and help you plow up some ground. I think it would be fun. You ought to have you a CUB plow day up there. LOL. Good Luck..... Mandel
Welcome. I'm delighted you have asked the county agent to come and help you get started. You can avoid a lot of mistakes by having him or her point you in the right direction. As a retired county agent, I can assure you that people can make some mistakes that are expensive to correct. Good luck. Enjoy seat time on a Cub.
"The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." Edwin Conklin, biologist
http://www.cleancomputes.com/Cub/How%20 ... index.html If I remember correctly, this book calls for 10 to 20 tons of manure per acre.
1951 Cub, 22 Mower, 54 Grader Blade, Danco International Belly Mower,
193 Moldboard Plow, #144 Cultivators, Disk Hillers, IH Two-Section Spring Tooth Harrow, #16 Middle Buster, #3 Field Cultivator, Hester Tractor Plow, 2 Disk Harrows.
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