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To dung or not to dung


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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:19 pm    Post subject: To dung or not to dung Reply with quote

As you can see I am almost ready to start planting out, late again this year, but I am hoping that the warmer weather we get in the sunny south east will make up for it. It is not as bad as it seems as I have a lot of stuff in plug trays ready to go.
Will be rotavating on Saturday or Monday closely followed by forming the drills. As you know I am a novice and am getting advice all over the place and sometimes it conflicts so I usually just go with the majority.
The tilled area is 0.4 acre and the drills are 50m long, approx. half of that will be 10 varieties of potato. I intend to have approx. 20 different sort of vegetables growing. Last year it was all drills, which I am told tend to dry out so was advised to use beds instead for carrots and onions, (anything else that should be in beds?) I intend to make 4 runs of beds 50m long, the rest drilled.
Now to the dung, I have tonnes of it 4 or 5 years old, real black and crumbly and full of worms. An old sage was telling me NOT to put it on the potato and onion area as it will only bolt at this stage. Is this correct and what other veg should I dung and what areas should I not? Next autumn I swear I will be ploughing and dunging then, I am not going through this again, stuff should have been in the ground 6 weeks ago.



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ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeez big area, dung the potatoes straight into the trench avoid dung on onions.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of mouths to feed!
I was going to spread the dung once the drills were formed, so you think the spuds wont bolt then?

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ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

never heard of spuds bolting
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said I am getting conflicting advice, hard to know what to do.
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ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decisions, decisions--we make them all the time. When you feel pressured and a decision is impossible, when in doubt, stall. Stalling is the basic task of securing more time to think, feel or process information relevant to a solution or choice. We make many of our decisions from the gut-- an intuitive reaction that honors an internal truth. Yet decisions made in haste might lack the necessary time to get in touch with that internal truth. In those situations, allow yourself more time.
And then there are the times that you just don't know what to do and stalling won't help. For those situations consider doing nothing --decide not to decide.
from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/skinny-revisited/201305/you-cant-decide-so-what-should-you-do-8
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And your knowledgeable response to my dilemma is.........
As that don't help at all!

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ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, Uncle, when I've had a goodly supply of what city folks call 'manure', I've drawn out my row/drill, lined the bottom with it, pushed the seed pots into it - keeps them with eyes upwards - and carried on from there.

Never had any problems - but then I'm a novice too! Onions I'm not too sure about.

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nibbler
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi tagwex,

Like Greengage, I've never heard of spuds bolting either. What can happen is that spuds can have too much foliage at the expense of the tuber. This happens when you have soil very rich in nitrogen and it's only ever happened to me when I planted spuds in soil made up mainly of bagged compost.

I rotate my crops according to the (P)otatoe (L)egume (B)rassica (OR)nions & Roots principal and I always add manure before PL and B, but not OR and I've never had any problems.

I would organize my plot on that basis: say 12 sections of equal size (beds or drills, doesn't matter). This year you might have 4 of those sections with spuds and the rest divided between LBOR. So, spuds on a 3 year rotation and you can rotate the remainder within the space that's left (if you assign two beds to each they'd be on a 6 year rotation - I think!?). Then just keep an eye on the OR bed and DON'T manure that section before planting.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks, what's with the 'uncle' blowin?
Having read through your comments the PLBOR reminded that I had read that in the site administrators article called 'planning a vegetable garden' and conflicting advice appears again. He says that the (O) area SHOULD have manure/dung added.

Last year I put some 17-6-10 on the spuds, and they seemed to boost the foliage considerably or maybe they just happened to grow a lot naturally in the following weeks, I don't know which. But what I do know is that it became very awkward to spray for blight after that (28" drills) and I raised the question of cutting back the foliage so as the plant could put its energy into tuber growth but I got no answer to that.

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ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Lius
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tagwex,

I'm very interested in your project as I acquired two 1/4 acre adjacent to my 1/4 site where my summer cabin is located beside the beach in Portrane. I'm hoping to nourish the sandy soil and becoming a summertime North County Dublin fisherman and farmer and grow all my bulk vegetables for storage. My 6 raised beds at home on the Southside will cater for my Spring first early spuds, Autumn tomatoes/courgetts & Winter greens/herbs etc. I'm testing the ground in Portrane this summer with 40 X Sarpo Axonia and 80 Red Onions with the help of some farmyard manure. I hope to learn from your experience.

On the subject of bolting, I never heard of spuds bolting and to the best of my knowledge Onion are bi-annual and bolt in response to a series of large swings (hot/cold/hot) in weather conditions which confuses them into thinking they have gone through two years and that it's time to go to seed.

I had problems with Onions (and Brassicas) bolting in my raised beds as they get very hot when the sun shines even in spring, they are like solar panels. I have solved the Onion bolting problem by starting from seed instead of sets but havenít solved the Brassica (in raised bed) bolting problem yet, any suggestions anyone?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well this is only my second year at this so I am on a steep learning curve still. A seasoned gardener told me only last week that adding the dung now will make them bolt. I have a mixture of onion seed and sets (well over a thousand sets, my woman loves onions and eats them every day). Cannot help you on the brassicas, not experienced enough, but I'm sure someone wiser than me will be along soon enough.
Good luck with your project, will be a big step up in time and effort from 6 raised beds to two 1/4 acre plots.

_________________
ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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nibbler
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi tagwex,

The advice to add manure to onions is correct. Onions do benefit from a dollop of manure but in my experience aren't as greedy as cabbage (or spuds). If the overall fertility of your soil is good, then onions will do fine in soil that gets manured every other year.

Since, I grow my carrots and onions in the same plot, I hold off on the manure so that the carrots don't fork and the onions grow fine for me. Soil fertility builds slowly with organic methods and you'll find that after a few years of manuring and rotating that the condition of the soil will be greatly improved and you can afford to plant the likes of onions in the soil even having skipped a years manuring.

You should consider sticking a cover crop (clover, etc) in the rotation somewhere to give the soil a rest and increase the nitrogen content.

Incidentally, I grow my onions from seed every year and I agree with Luis that (in my experience) the weather affects onions more than the fertility of the soil (assuming your soil is halfway decent).
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it virgin ground? If so, add organic matter as and when you can. Your manure sounds wonderful! I'd follow the above instructions, but with that huge area, I'd definitely try to use green manures. Clover, alfalfa, phacelia, etc on any bit you aren't going to use. If pernicious weeds like couch/scutch grass etc are a problem, I'd dung those areas, then cover them with a double layer of cardboard, then weight the cardboard down with anything to hand, to try to enrich the ground while killing weeds by light suppression.

I must stress, I have never had an area this large to deal with.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No tippben, virgin ground for half and second year for the other half of it. My manure is lovely! 11 years of weeds before that. I will be sowing it all but I will look into those green manures. Couch grass is the bane of my life but I think I have a handle on it now.
I must stress that I have never seen a piece of cardboard that size, that plot is nearly as big as Louth!!!!

_________________
ďItís my field. Itís my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!Ē

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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