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Author Topic: Double digging  (Read 3214 times)

Goldcraig

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • North Ayrshire
Double digging
« on: October 16, 2013, 11:05:26 am »
Ok, so the horse manure and shavings from the start of the year are pretty well rotted down...
If I double dig next years beds with the natural material and fleece over the winter, would it be time enough if I completed this in November?...thanks
Trust me.....I'm a Chef !!

Greenerlife

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: Double digging
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 01:33:05 pm »
I hope so!  That's what i am doing (minus the fleece)

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Double digging
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 10:52:38 pm »
Yes and it will allow any frost to break down the soil further. Any compost/manure that isn't fully rotted will get the worm treatment as well.  :thumbsup:

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Double digging
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 11:44:56 pm »
Yes.

When digging stand on a wide plank or sections of old plywood so you spread your weight and don't compact what your standing on especially if it's wet and you have a high clay content soil .

 FYI
I dug my lawn beds four  years ago  18 inches down to get rid of the buldrs rubble etc. and layered it with well rotted stable stuff on as I worked backwards . I weed killed it twice to get rid of the weds that came with the stable muck .
 Three years ago I raked it over and re dug things to the same depth and added more well rotted manure . played at making a lawn raking and taking off stones etc.  Then sowed with a fine fescue lawn mix hoping for a great lawn
The first six months saw a great lawn emerging then it went crazy .. dock , plantains and loads of clover came through . mid last year I gave it a thorough lawn sand treatment .
 The plantains & clovers came back twofold .
 This week gone  I've used some thing akin to Grazon to kill off the weeds.

 Moral of the story:-
   Stable muck contains loads & loads  of perennial weed seeds , even when it's been well hot composted and turned several times according to the Berkley 18 DAY HOT COMPOSTING METHOD  .

There's an old saying seven years seeds means seven years weeds.

 I should have used composted commercial cow shed cleanings  or dairy muck as there are very few perennial weed seeds in it 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Odin

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • Huddersfield
Re: Double digging
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 08:15:34 pm »
 Have been told (and read) not to use wood or shavings in compost as it takes up the nitrogen to break it down. Now I'm no chemist, but if you are using stable manures, then you must insist on straw based manure.  :farmer:
A man who cannot till the soil cannot till his own soul !
A son of the soil .

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Double digging
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 10:25:03 am »
Have been told (and read) not to use wood or shavings in compost as it takes up the nitrogen to break it down. Now I'm no chemist, but if you are using stable manures, then you must insist on straw based manure.  :farmer:

My understanding: This is the uptake of nitrogen by the bacteria that are breaking down the shavings since the rotting of that takes longer. But once the process is completd then the nitrogen is released for the dying microbes and indeed increases the nitrogen content.
There is also the benefit (if needed) of the structural chage to the soil from rotting sawdust and shavings and the higher incorporation of organic materials.

Just think of it as taking longer.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Double digging
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 10:25:50 pm »
Odin, If you use stable muck with wood beddings in it .
 hose it well and pile it high cover to get the rot going and keep the heat in .
 If your using a tractor with a front loader it's easy to do the "  18 day Berkley hot composting " and turn the heap every three days for 18 days ( look it up on line )
 This is ideal for dealing with wood fibres but if the heap contains larger dried wood chip that's when the delay in decomposition of the wood becomes a problem .

 Putting any chicken  muck , urine human or animal on the heap diluted with 20 parts of water gives the heap extra nitrogen for the wood eating microbes and fungi to feast on and break the wood down to the stage when  it starts to produce its own source of nitrogen .

 if you ever want to check the compost to see if it is viable ..
Sow some radish seed in 5 mm of fine damp vermiculite laid over a well mixed 50 /50 mix of slightly compacted peat and the compost ( you can also use composted coir . but ( not grow bag ssosrt of stuff as this has enhanced nutrient content).
 
It they leaf up & grow well the wood based compost is OK if they don't grow well  re wet, re turn for another 18 day regime  & re test .
 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Odin

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • Huddersfield
Re: Double digging
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 08:44:42 pm »
Will try that because the lass in the next field keeps her pony on wood chippings. There is plenty of the stuff but to date I have declined.
A man who cannot till the soil cannot till his own soul !
A son of the soil .

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Double digging
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 09:49:19 pm »
If you get a decent sized heap of  finished compost still apply it at one barrow load per sq. yard and rotovate it in a bed sized area at a time .
It might seem excessive to use so much but it works really well on blue or brown  brickyard type clay or really poor soil  .

 I used to have two adjacent allotments back in the early 1980's 10 yards by 50 yards each , they'd not been cultivated for over 15 years , all they would grow was couch grass and thistles . Water would often be seen standing on the neighbouring allotments that were not being cultivate by long term gardeners .

 I gave it all a good dose of Round Up and used a brushwood killer ( SBK ) mixed with paraffin to spot treat the docs & thistles that came back after the Round Up treatment .
I then did my thick layer compost fertilizing and rotovated in several times during a dry period to get it deep & well mixed into  the clay soil.

The initial compost heap was about 24 feet long by 12 by 6 high of finished compost.
 
After that first year of manuring everything , I did the allotments as a four year crop rotation ending up manuring with my home made compost mix @ one bed every fourth year to keep adding humus and nutrients to the beds .
 That first year we had some fantastic spuds , all the brassicas , beans & curbits  came up great  . The next year the roots got going as well .

At the end of the third year I was getting better crops than most of the other long term allotment growers at that site .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 
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