cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:03 pm

Are you concerned about the funds being locked up? I know there are workarounds but they could if the laws change.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:05 pm

Yea it is a concern, but I haven't seen anything about Trump wanting to chang the conversion loopholes. I expect if it were to change, now would be the time and I could change back.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:13 am

Free Mulch Worth $3,000+

Last week we had a load of free wood chips delivered by a local tree company. They deliver whenever you request, when they are in the area. I was told I could have all I want! I told him I could probably go through 4-5 loads per year. Maybe more.

We actually had 2 loads delivered back in 2014 and we went through it quickly. It broke down in our fruit garden and around trees after about 1-2 years.

I calculated how much it would cost me to purchase each truck load from a big box store and the amount I came to was $1,107.74 per truck load that they deliver. So in total I've had over $3K worth of mulch delivered now.

You might be wondering why I named this post with a dollar amount in it! Well, we figured out how much all this mulch would have cost us if we had bought it at a store such as Lowe’s or Menards.
Lowe’s has 2 cubic foot bags for sale for $4.49. Notice that is cubic FOOT. Now we had 17 cubic YARDS delivered in each truckload so that is 34 cubic YARDS of mulch. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard (3*3*3). 34*27 = 918 cubic feet of mulch / 2 = 459 bags of mulch from Lowe’s. 459 * $4.49 = $2,060.91 * tax rate of 7.5% = Total of $2,215.48!

I want to start building the organic content in our soil and I think these free wood chips will be the bulk of the building. There are some concerns with nitrogen depletion at the soil surface, so I'll have to see how it goes.

The plan is to start putting down 3-5 inches per year and adding when ever it gets low. We are also still composting and I want to get some red wigglers soon as well.

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vexed87
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by vexed87 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:28 pm

Nice haul! Wood chip can be very dry, one trick is to mix in leaves stockpiled from autumn to help retain moisture. The wood breaks down much faster releasing the nutrients to the soil sooner than it might have otherwise, whether or not that makes the nitrogen depletion more acute is another thing entirely, I'll defer to wiser green wizards, I wouldn't worry too much though, particularly if you plant nitrogen fixing plants in the mulched beds... but I can think of bigger problems.
http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/what-every-gardener-should-know-mulching wrote:Wood chips aren't a great idea for vegetable and annual flower beds, though, since you'll be digging these beds every year and the chips will get in the way. They do serve well as a mulch for garden pathways, though.
Depending on size, wood chips are great for mixing into compost heaps, particularly if you find you have too much green matter and you're attracting too many bugs or it's too wet. I have been layering sawdust into mine which is pretty similar, just much finer :)

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:41 am

Thanks! If you look, you can find all sorts of free organic material. I don't think I can get enough, especially once I have more worms in my soil. They'll go through it quickly. I try to collect all the leaves I can, but I think I need to start collecting down in the city. People just bag it up for you! I put a whole bunch in my coop yesterday for bedding. I'm not sure how it'll go but I want to try. The stuff I put in last fall was chopped up and so had almost broken down now. These were full leaves.

Nitrogen depletion is minimized if you use larger pieces and use it as a mulch, instead of digging into the soil. And yea, you can sprinkle clover all over and fix nitrogen. I'm thinking about that.

As far as digging goes, I want to start 'no-digging' all over the garden. I'm not a fan of turning over soil and now that I know you can just keep adding organic matter year after year and your soil will get better, I'll just do that. The most I want to do is stick a fork in and wiggle around a bit. I've heard it said that soil life takes over 6 months to recover after you turn soil over. So I want to stop that.

I'll just push aside the mulch and make a small hole for transplants. For broadcast sowing, I'll just move more mulch. :P

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vexed87
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by vexed87 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:51 am

You need to plant more tree's so you become self sufficient with regard to leaves! :)

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singvestor
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by singvestor » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:27 am

from a fellow chart addict: your forward annual income chart is fantastic!

halfmoon
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by halfmoon » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:48 am

DH and I have always hesitated to use a lot of wood chips in the garden, due to concerns about soil acidification and nitrogen depletion. Apparently both of those concerns are unjustified:

https://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/upl ... -chips.pdf

Bring on the wood chips!

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:08 am

@vexed, Yep! We have 5 trees that are 100+ years old and probably going on 100 feet tall. Still not enough. We have planted about 20 fruit trees, so down the road we'll have more.

@singvester, Thanks, :) I enjoy the charts a lot. Glad to know others do too!


@halfmoon, Yea that's the conclusion I've come too as well. Worrying is pretty fashionable. ;)

I might just mulch around the transplants (tomatoes, brassicas, etc..) and leave all but one seed bed un mulched since there possibly is a chance that seeds won't germinate as well. Depending on how that one bed goes, I'll decide if I want to do the rest.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:57 pm

halfmoon wrote:DH and I have always hesitated to use a lot of wood chips in the garden, due to concerns about soil acidification and nitrogen depletion. Apparently both of those concerns are unjustified:

https://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/upl ... -chips.pdf

Bring on the wood chips!
This guy will talk about wood chips all day.

http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/

halfmoon
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by halfmoon » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:51 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:This guy will talk about wood chips all day.

http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/
Looks interesting! I just ordered it from the library, since streaming video is an unattainable dream in my woods.

@cmonkey, now you (and this link) have got me thinking about no-till gardening. Just have to indoctrinate DH, who is all about disturbing the soil one fork at a time.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:00 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
This guy will talk about wood chips all day.

http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/

I got around to watching this tonight and it was great. He's doing exactly what I have been thinking I wanted to do, but I hadn't seen or heard of anyone doing it. Thanks for sharing this.

The key here is not to plant IN the wood chips, plant in the soil underneath them. As the wood chips break down, they become the soil, which you plant into. After 2-3 years, you start building a thick layer of great soil. I loved the part where they were harvesting potatoes by hand! You know you have great soil if you can do that.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:24 am

Yea. I mean, if this no-dig-lasagna method works. And the Grow Biointensive dig-everything works... how do people fuck up gardens? It seems like anything works.

Jason
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:43 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:... how do people fuck up gardens? It seems like anything works.
Well, there is that matter of the apple.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:13 am

If you go with what he said, it's that man thinks he has better design than nature, which just isn't the case.

Fun fact - the fruit of the knowledge of good/evil is thought to actually be a quince.

Jason
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:25 am

I heard that too about the quince. And supposedly they are none too tasty. Hence, nobody's bobbing for quinces.

George the original one
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:02 pm

cmonkey wrote:The key here is not to plant IN the wood chips, plant in the soil underneath them.
I felt the key was to make sure you used plenty of compost/manure. Note the failures where compost/manure was NOT used. The wood chips do their part in moderating moisture which makes the soil soft, controlling weeds, and eventually breaking down, but breaking down won't happen for many years as you could see by the guy who tilled playground wood chips into the ground.

There is also a difference between "wood chips" (all manner of living material put through a chipper/grinder and then allowed to compost) and "wood chips" (forestry waste). The former is usually what you will find for sale as compost, sometimes augmented with manure and often with a black dye added, and the latter is only suitable for ground cover. A weak version of the former, unaugmented and uncomposted, is what you get when the tree service dumps a load of chips and the chips are going to be largish because they haven't been run through a swing-hammer tub grinder which helps randomize & reduce the chip size.

Compost augmented with manure, about 4" applied in two stages, is what I use tilled into the soil to quickly improve soil texture. Then annual 1/4"-1/2" compost applied in succeeding years.
Last edited by George the original one on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:13 pm

I, for one, am glad they ate of the ToKoGaE. Goddammit, taking the Lord's name in vain ALONE is worth it.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:25 pm

@GTOO, Thanks for some more info. The stuff I have is pretty rough, but lots of different sizes. Some leaves mixed in too. The stuff I put down 2 years ago has completely disappeared, so it does break down relatively quickly. I'm planning to put down other stuff too, basically everything organic. The chips are just the majority since I can get so much.

It was 60+ degrees here today so I spent about 3-4 hours spreading some mulch, and also pruned my pear tree. The single load I have so far will easily cover our north garden, which is the larger. It felt great to get outside. :D

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George the original one
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:57 pm

OMG! So _that's_ what a dry winter garden looks like!

LOL... this week has been, er, moist here. 4" snow/rain on Sunday which melted some then froze Sunday night, another round of snowfall/rain on Monday that kept the depth at 4", 0.5" rain Tues while the snow persisted even though 40F, 2+" rain Wed, and 4.75" rain Thurs. Light showers and occasional hailstorms Friday.

Anyway, I'll be planting first batch of peas on Monday as we get another rain cycle after that and who knows when the next dryish spell will come.

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