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Top Dressing with Compost

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/5/2013, 12:50 am

Bob,  Get well!

I started top dressing a week ago with my first batch of home made compost.  Then I built a second compost pile and I really like it better!  But it will be at least three more weeks before it can be used, so I will add an inch of the first batch now, and replenish the squares with the second.  I also have my hopes up for another 2' x 4' box real soon!
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/5/2013, 1:00 am

Smart thinking!  They will be getting some nutrients now!
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  southern gardener on 8/5/2013, 1:21 am

cc: you're right that DOES sound like some awesome compost!! Audrey: We got a big old delivery last weekend, and a bunch of neighbors asked what we were doing. Well, yesterday, the neighbors got about 8 big loads and another neighbor got about 4! LOL...starting a trend.
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  greatgranny on 8/5/2013, 10:53 am

Have already noticed an improvement in the color of the leaves since I did the pruning and adding a bunch of compost. The sweet pepper leaves had started to look pretty yellow and now amazingly they are green again.

I am having a problem with watering. I still feel that rain is the best. It rained about an inch last night and this morning it seems like the garden took a huge breath of relief. I think I need a rain barrel.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/5/2013, 9:16 pm

I agree with you Greatgranny about rain water.  My garden likes it a lot better also and grows noticeably better with rain water as opposed to hose water.  I would love it if it would rain at least once a week here.

I would so love some of your east coasters gifts from the sea for my compost piles!  I should try calling some seafood restaurants and see what I can get.  I know I won't be able to get seaweed but maybe I can get the rest.
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  WriterCPA on 8/6/2013, 12:41 am

The problem with hose water can be chlorine. This stuff is deadly for some houseplants, bamboo in particular. Letting water stand for 24 hours before applying it to some indoor plants (or aquariums) takes care of any chlorine problems. Usually this is not a problem for gardens. (Pool water is a whole different story; the chlorine concentrations in it will damage most vegetation.)

IF you really feel your tap water is a a problem, you might invest in a few rain barrels to store water for low rain periods. The other alternative is to just let a bucket or two of tap water sit overnight with a good cover to keep out mosquitoes, and then hand water per the SFG technique.

Some organic gardeners consider chlorine a problem. I don't share their concerns, in part because plants do need some chlorine in their soil and the amount of chlorine in in a public system is too small to harm most gardens. Note: Perfectly good tap water can be spoiled by running it through deteriorating lead pipes in a home, so check the type and age of your water system and think about replacing lead pipes with copper or PVC.

If you're concerned about anything in your local water, call your water provider, they are legally required to give you their annual report on water quality.* You won't get that from a bottled water provider, who may just have gotten the stuff from his municipal water supply or has stuff in his "spring water" that exceeds the EPA safety limits for what comes out of the tap. (As a rule, I drink tap water, but I admit, I have always had the good fortune in NYC, San Francisco and Baltimore of lush natural reservoirs rather than surface water, like the Mississippi, which requires more treatment to clean it up for public consumption.)

*Most send it with one of the bills each year, but few people actually read it. The reports also are filed with your state environmental agency, so you can get the information from them.
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/6/2013, 8:30 am

Good post writer CPA. I have found our municipal water report online. If anyone has more questions or would like to contribute to the municipal water vs. rain or well water conversation, there are multiple back threads about that subject.

Are any of you seeing benefits in your garden from top dressing with compost? I am, thankfully!


Last edited by camprn on 8/6/2013, 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  greatgranny on 8/6/2013, 8:54 am

@camprn wrote:Good post writer CPA. I have found our municipal water report online. If anyone has more questions or would like to contribute to the municipal water vs. rain or well water conversation, there are multiple back threads about that subject.

Are any of you seeing benefits in your garden from top dressing with compost? I am, thankfully!

Yes, camprn, I am.  I think having the rain water along with the pruning and then the top dressing has given everything a boost.


Last edited by camprn on 8/6/2013, 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 7/1/2017, 11:07 am

@camprn wrote:It is the time of the season where my plants are getting hungry for nutrients. I decided to do some top dressing  with compost.

I can see that the mix has settled some and the plants are getting larger and putting on fruit. Time for a feeding. Firstly, I prune off any low laying foliage which allows easier access and increased air circulation within the bed, thus reducing disease and fungal potential. Collect the nice homemade compost.


Pick out any stray weeds and carefully place a few shovels full of compost in the bed. Don't be stingy with the compost, the plants are hungry.




Spread the compost evenly atop the Mel's mix. Each time it rains or you water the bed, the compost will release nutrients that percolate down into the box and the plant roots soak it all up.



I LOVE THIS FORUM!  I love you I found a nice little layer of beautiful, finished compost where the chickens have been working it for me, and wanted to find out about top-dressing my corn and tomatoes. A simple search later and I have all my answers. Thank you, Camprn. thanks
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 7/1/2017, 11:12 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:No, I have sprayed and sprayed and sprayed with insecticidal soap.  I've used Neem oil and worked at spraying them off with a pressure hose all no no avail.

It's overwhelming amounts...  I've never seen anything like it before.  It might have something to do with the intense heat we've had this year, everything in nature is brown.  Perhaps my garden is the only green things around for them to eat?
Nutz! I was hoping the Neem or insecticidal soap would be the answer. I HATE APHIDS! Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 7/1/2017, 11:17 am

@llama momma wrote: Feel Better Soon Bob. 
 
Camp its funny you brought up top dressing because I did the tomatoes and a few other plants just the other day.  But you got me when you said -- don't be stingy. 
Guilty! At first I figured I was conserving but on second thought maybe actually hoarding the stuff Doh...
Thanks for the nudge now I'll haul out the gorilla cart and really load up everything with good nutrition.
I only have enough to toss a handful at the base of each corn and tomato plant. Maybe I can scrape out a little more for the peppers, eggplants, and artichokes. I'll do a search for "heavy-feeders" and prioritize the rest. geek
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 8/7/2017, 1:22 am

@camprn wrote:It is the time of the season where my plants are getting hungry for nutrients. I decided to do some top dressing  with compost.

I can see that the mix has settled some and the plants are getting larger and putting on fruit. Time for a feeding. Firstly, I prune off any low laying foliage which allows easier access and increased air circulation within the bed, thus reducing disease and fungal potential. Collect the nice homemade compost.


Pick out any stray weeds and carefully place a few shovels full of compost in the bed. Don't be stingy with the compost, the plants are hungry.




Spread the compost evenly atop the Mel's mix. Each time it rains or you water the bed, the compost will release nutrients that percolate down into the box and the plant roots soak it all up.




Wonderful post. Thanks, Camp. thanks I started today, trying to save my corn, but I think it was way too little, too late. Tomorrow I'll put every bit of my compost on my surviving plants and cover with more aged wood chips. It's been so hot I couldn't have done it any sooner, but I'm sure it would have made a big difference if I could have. Sad
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/7/2017, 4:34 am

Or put compost on just tomatoes, peppers, etc., instead of the corn. Too late for corn from what I've heard. There is always next year for banner corn. Wink

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/7/2017, 11:24 am

I did the maters, cukes, squash, zinneas and fruit trees this weekend. Hauling around buckets of compost ain't easy on crutches. But I'm off them today. cheers
I didn't load up the boxes like camp did because that would mean removing ALL the pine needle mulch, so I just did the few plants in each box.
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 8/7/2017, 12:44 pm

@sanderson wrote:Or put compost on just tomatoes, peppers, etc., instead of the corn.  Too late for corn from what I've heard.  There is always next year for banner corn. Wink
Too late, Sanderson. Sad I blew it. Mad  I shoveled a wheelbarrow load of black gold, pushed it up the hill, carefully spread it on the corn, then went back for more for the rest of the garden. I had a huge pile of dead grass that I thought was covering a big pile of well-aged manure, but when I turned it, there was nothing underneath but ground. It must have been part of the main pile and got used already. All I have left is about a bucketful of half aged stuff for all the rest of the garden. Sad I can dig down in the chip pile and maybe find a little good stuff there, too.

Back to the corn: It's probably a lost cause, but -- remember the butter beans that Burpee says I can plant in Sep in Zone 9? When those seeds arrive, I'm going to plant one next to every corn plant and see what happens. When the corn dies, hopefully, the beans will come up and climb the corn stalks. If the corn produces anything at all, it will go to the chickens, the bean plants will eventually fertilize the bed, and I've learned a whole lot more this year. By next year, I might actually know what I'm doing. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/8/2017, 2:31 pm

Just thinking, plant some beans now and let them grow up the corn stalks. Shouldn't hurt the corn, if there is any. ??

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 8/8/2017, 2:39 pm

@sanderson wrote:Just thinking, plant some beans now and let them grow up the corn stalks.  Shouldn't hurt the corn, if there is any.  ??
That's what I'm thinking. I'm going to plant the new corn more intensively and in more of a block formation in the same place as the old. That will leave me a dozen or so dead stalks that I can use as plant stakes for the butter beans. I think I'll leave all the existing stalks in place, in case they can still offer up a little pollen for the new kids, or at least support. They also have a few puny ears that are still hanging in there, that we can feed to the chickens. geek
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/9/2017, 12:04 am

Re-thinking. If the corn is basically done in, trim off the leaves. That way there won't be any obstruction during pollination time for the new corn. The beans can grow up the dead corn stalks.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  countrynaturals on 8/9/2017, 11:16 am

@sanderson wrote:Re-thinking.  If the corn is basically done in, trim off the leaves.  That way there won't be any obstruction during pollination time for the new corn.  The beans can grow up the dead corn stalks.
Good call, S. I hate the looks of dead leaves in the garden anyway. I'm a lousy housekeeper, but I want my garden neat. Go figure. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/9/2017, 12:39 pm

Razz

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/15/2017, 5:35 pm

I'm getting ready to start my fall planting.

Although the doc's office says I can garden, for up to about an hour at a time, I don't know how well my back will hold up to troweling in the necessary compost.

Is there any reason I can't simply top off each square and plant directly in homemade compost?  Thanks!
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/16/2017, 3:31 pm

Donna, works for me and is better than nothing, right?
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/16/2017, 3:59 pm

Thanks, CC!

Irrigation and rain should cause nutrients to trickle down, eh?

This time, I do have a fair amount of my own compost ready to go, and am working on more.
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