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New in Nashville TN

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New in Nashville TN

Post  SalsaMom on 5/8/2013, 11:50 am

Hello all - I found this site when I was looking for information on growing sweet potatoes. Hubby and I have done two SFG beds years ago in our previous home and now for the first time in about 6 years have another SFG going where we live now.
We follow Mel's suggestions pretty closely - but sometimes deviate a bit out of necessity. Had GREAT luck with our beds at our old house - so we're looking forward to lots of good veggies with our new and bigger SFG this year.

So far we have two 4x4 beds (10" deep) planted with sweet potatoes (first time - so we'll see how they do), we're going to do a 5x5 square (from a kit I found at Sams) that is 8" deep with tomatoes. We have two 2x8 beds that are for our five year old's "corn patch" and two other 2x8 beds that we'll use for something....we'll see. We have four other 4x4 beds - regular 6" deep - that we have planted with garlic and shallots (got those in last fall). We have two other 5x5 beds from Sams - but we think our hands will be full with the other stuff so we think they will go unused this summer - they don't even have soil in them.
I think I'd like to try some cool weather stuff this fall/early winter - like kale and other greens....I've never done those before.

The only thing I don't like is that we put it in a part of the yard kind of far from our house - and it's a low area - we've already had to deal with too much water (but we've had too much rain lately - so hopefully that will stop). I wanted it closer to the house, which would also be a little higher ground - but lost the battle. I think it will be ok in the end - but I'm hoping we get normal rain from here on out!

Also - we have acreage because I have a horse and donkey - so I've got a source of "fertilizer" I can work into the beds...I hear that corn is a super heavy feeder - any thoughts on using the horse poop in my SFG beds would be appreciated!
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Re: New in Nashville TN

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/9/2013, 1:36 am

First off -- howdy, almost neighbor! I'm 2 hours east of you

Secondly, you're going to want to age any manure you bring home. In other words, compost it. I have a source for horse manure as well -- 2 properties down the road is horse pasture and I got permission to "clean" the fields -- the owner laughs at me every time. The oldest poop had been lying in the fields for a while, but I still composted it because HOT (fresh) manure will BURN your crops. And I have no idea if it is too hot or not. Don't want to risk my plants. I've been doing this for YEARS for my flowers, but I am a first time SFGardener.

So I build a compost pile or bin. I use either wood to be pretty or old wire fencing to be functional. Layer the manure with greens and browns. For greens I use grass clippings, garden debris, & vegetable kitchen waste. For browns I use fallen leaves I have chopped up with my lawn mower, or when I run out I buy a bale of straw for cheap.

I layer 4 inches of manure, 4 inches of greens, and 4 inches of browns. Repeat. Until the pile is at least 3'x3'x3' -- I prefer 4 or 5 feet across. You're going to want to "turn" the pile -- shovel it out of the pile it is in and into a pile right next to the original location...which puts the top on the bottom and the bottom on the top and is supposed to mix the pile... OK. Or you can just leave the pile for a year or two and it composts itself without turning.

THEN put the manure in our garden... after it's not so fresh.
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