John Indaburgh

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since Dec 09, 2017
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Recent posts by John Indaburgh

My dried Christmas lima beans measure slightly over an inch. My wife says that canned butter beans come larger and smaller than than the Christmas beans but when I pointed out that the Christmas Lima's we were looking at were dry she gave up.
1 week ago
You can judge by the appearance of the manure. If you have horses you know what fresh horse manure looks like. Brown with rollers and mixed with bedding if you use it. As it's actively composting it will look kind of grey. But if you look closely it's a mix of white and black pieces, don't ask me why. While it's grey it will be steaming. After that period it will be black.
I'd say that you could garden with the grey or the black; however you'd be safer, seed wise, to use the black.
You're still going to get weed seeds because they'll have blown onto the pile. And the weeds will grow very robustly, but so will your crops.
On level ground a manure pile will be the oldest closer to the barn. on a hillside each side of the barn exits to the ground at a different level, so on one side there will be a manure pile. if that's the case the oldest will be at the bottom. I would guess this possibility would be the easiest to judge. On the level option, someone may have dug into it near the barn and it was recently refilled.
The site I'm working has multiple piles on a steep hillside. As one filled up and got dangerous they moved. I've been working that pile for two years and there's the remains of a third pile. I've used both old piles and they grow wonderful crops.  I'd suggest you scrape away the top surface to get rid of any blown seeds. Even though my pile is that old I do get a few weed seeds, but they're those big grain plants; which I don't mind as they grow tall and are easy to pull without bending over; at my age.
3 weeks ago
I've been using horse manure for many decades and I've never had a problem. I find that horse owners care more for their animals than those who raise food for sale.
My problem is with the freshness. You're growing a root crop in fresh manure. If it's fresh. How many horses are at the barn where you got your horses. And how much manure did you get. If there are two horses and you got a pickup load the manure isn't fresh. And if it's not full of hay or woodchips then it's even older. The barn where I get my manure has no floor, so they don't use any bedding to soak up the urine. There's two horses there and they don't add very much to the pile in any one day.

If I had to use that manure for garlic, I think I'd spread it over the field and let it set in the sun for a month.
3 weeks ago
When I said that; later I thought the soil could still use some organic matter after adding 2 or 3 inches I meant to suggest to add organic matter other than manure the following year.
From my experience you can grow any crop in that much manure. You could grow most crops without adding any the following year. I meant that to improve the soil texture it could use the organic matter. If you grew corn or another crop that uses lots of nutrients you might add an inch each year. If you have deep black loam soil you might only add an inch of manure every 5 years unless you're growing the corn.
My suggestions assume you don't use any other fertilizers other than compost.
1 month ago
When I open up new garden space in clay I mix in about two inches of horse manure as deep as my spade. When done I start over and dig in the opposite direction with another inch or so. Switching direction from say East/West then North/South helps chop up the clods. I don't remove sod, but try to flip it over so it's on the bottom. Looking at the soil after a year of gardening it's my opinion that the soil still needs more organic matter other than manure. So compost or chopped leaves would help.
I don't like to grow root crops and leafy vegetables in soil recently manured so this (fall) is a good time to get it spread. If you dig the manure in by spring the nitecrawlers will be huge and you won't have to worry about the manure being too fresh. it's said that in the first year you'll only use up about 25-50% of the nutrients in the manure so I don't use any other fertilizers and you won't need more the 2nd year. I never topdress during the growing season.
Enjoy your gardening.
1 month ago
What grass did you plant during the restoration. While I'm not familiar with what grasses are appropriate for your area someone else here may. I'd suggest you might go to a local garden center. If they have a bin and a scoop with a scale; I'd take a guess that those choices are appropriate. Big box stores sell bags of grass that will grow anywhere in the world so many of the grass varieties are weeds in many other areas. This also makes the useful grass very expensive.
If you loosen up the soil, with an aerator, sow an appropriate seed, cover with about an inch of mushroom compost and keep it watered it should grow very lushly. If you use the mushroom compost you won't need any other fertilizer. I'd suggest buying the mushroom compost bulk by the cu yard. Google for a source in your area.
1 month ago
I had the same high lift that you have there.  I had a JD450 straight which means no letter as in JD450D, circa 1960's, I think. I didn't have the backhoe, just the loader I was surprised at how nice yours looks.
I'd try to get it started and will make some suggestions that helped me. Originally mine had two batteries that were each about double the size of a car battery. But it will crank with one car/truck battery. If you're buying one get the biggest size with the biggest cranking power. When mine sat for a while it wouldn't start with the battery power available the first time I tried to start it. And it always started the second day with an all night charge. I think the rings were loose and after getting some oil did a better job the second day. Have some ether with you. Mine had a little hole in the air filter which was right in front of you as you sat in the machine. Perfect for a spray can with a tube attached to the nozzle. Don't use a lot, it won't take much.
My favorite firewood was the Wild Black Cherry. Good luck!!
2 months ago
The deer here have different tastes. There are 1000's of garlic plants in the field next door. They leave alone  quince, pumpkins, and turnips. They ignore peaches and pears , even when I throw my trimmings under the apple trees. They stand on their hind legs to trim apple branches with the peaches and pears at their feet.
4 months ago
You might consider two rows; a row of evergreens and a row of mixed edibles. Apples, peaches, nuts, grapes. What you like. I'm thinking that a row of bamboo in time will take up more space than the double row. Don't plant evergreens that will grow immense, like I have here.
4 months ago
I have used a lot of horse manure since the mid 1900's. I'm not happy with what's happened to agriculture over that time; but I've never had any suspicious crop failures using manure. I'm more comfortable eating the crops I grow than what's available for sale. That said I'm still careful with how I use manure. I don't grow root crops in soil the same year I add manure. Same with leafy veggies. I eat the skins from the potatoes I grow but not from those I purchase.

I would like to have a horse and a couple steers; and I'd like to grow what they eat. Corn oats and the hay. I think I'd trust the manure and or the hay from an Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch farmer. But they probably use all the manure for their own fields.
5 months ago