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Old July 12, 2017   #136
MdTNGrdner
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Well, I tidied these rows up completely, this evening. Tomorrow evening, I'll throw down another layer of lawn clippings for mulch. Made a temporary fire pit from stone I've dug making this new bed. It's never easy!

Once I got done, I saw this little feller at the other end of the garden. The mother was at the opposite end eating some grass along the fence.
We do the same with grass clippings - either in the garden or on the compost.

Randall, do you till your beds? I'm currently putting another in too, but just use a broadfork and then fork/shovel the large clumps and amend with compost & manure. Always looking for better ways to get the grass and turf out; it's not hard but it's HARD
Keep posting the great pics & I hope you get to enjoy your well earned fire pit

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Old July 13, 2017   #137
Randall
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Same here! I'm usually scratching for both compost and mulch so it depends on what is needed worse, haha.

First, I use a spade and just turn the soil over at about the depth of the shovel. I used to rip the sod off but now I just turn it over and let it die off for a few days.

After it sits for a while I run a little Mantis over the top of it. I usually give that a couple of weeks and then add compost and hit it with the Mantis again. It takes a lot of work out of it, really. If I need to make a smaller bed quickly, I'll still rip the sod off just to make it all go faster.

After a bed is done, I do even less.

For established beds like the tomatoes, etc. I pile compost on top of them about 3-4 weeks before planting. Right before plant out, I turn it in a little with the mantis which breaks up the first 4 or so inches of soil and combines it with the compost.

That gives me enough to scrape the top layer of soil into a hill or hilled row for planting and the plant is planted in the loose soil and just grows down into the soil below which has been worked over by earthworms, etc.

Seems to always work well. I guess it would be considered some type of minimal tilling.

If I had tons of compost and mulch to keep the weeds choked out, I'd do even less work!
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Old July 13, 2017   #138
MdTNGrdner
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Same here! I'm usually scratching for both compost and mulch so it depends on what is needed worse, haha.

First, I use a spade and just turn the soil over at about the depth of the shovel. I used to rip the sod off but now I just turn it over and let it die off for a few days.

After it sits for a while I run a little Mantis over the top of it. I usually give that a couple of weeks and then add compost and hit it with the Mantis again. It takes a lot of work out of it, really. If I need to make a smaller bed quickly, I'll still rip the sod off just to make it all go faster.

After a bed is done, I do even less.

For established beds like the tomatoes, etc. I pile compost on top of them about 3-4 weeks before planting. Right before plant out, I turn it in a little with the mantis which breaks up the first 4 or so inches of soil and combines it with the compost.

That gives me enough to scrape the top layer of soil into a hill or hilled row for planting and the plant is planted in the loose soil and just grows down into the soil below which has been worked over by earthworms, etc.

Seems to always work well. I guess it would be considered some type of minimal tilling.

If I had tons of compost and mulch to keep the weeds choked out, I'd do even less work!
Yes, very similar except for the Mantis. Thanks for the detail! Most of our beds are done this way but a couple are straight sheet mulch; the problem with sheet mulch is having enough mulch!! As you say, we're usually looking for more of both
I really enjoy using the broadfork; I call it "low-till"
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Old August 1, 2017   #139
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The tomato patch has been pumping them out, so far. We had a heatwave for 4 or 5 days that dropped a few blossoms but we're back on track now.

The Pinks have done great.

Brandywine (Sudduth's) has been the most outstanding flavor, as usual.

Rebel Yell - It's been highly productive and makes a lot of excellent tasting pinks.

Stump of the World - It's about neck and neck with Brandywine (Sudduth's) on the production side of things. Good yields on both. Stump is excellent and it's been getting 2nd place right behind BWS in the flavor category.

Brandy Boy - Excellent production on par with the Rebel Yell plants, yield-wise. I'd call the flavor very good but in my garden BWS tastes better. Not a bad tomato at all, though. I'll probably plant more RY than Brandy Boy next year because the RY tasted better to me.

Another I'll mention is GGWT. It has been cranking fruit out and they are big and delicious, not to mention, pretty.

Lucid Gem has had a great yield and it's a very good tomato. I love how it looks.
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Last edited by Randall; August 1, 2017 at 09:41 PM.
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Old August 1, 2017   #140
Salsacharley
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Excellent looking tomatoes!
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Old August 1, 2017   #141
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beautiful looking specimens. where you @ in 6a (can't remember)?

you getting many in the pound+ category (hard to tell from pic)
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Old August 1, 2017   #142
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Thanks!

I'm in WV. I'd say the average is around one pound with some bigger and some smaller.
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Old August 1, 2017   #143
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Very nice.
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Old August 2, 2017   #144
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Very nice garden Randall, one of the most tidy outdoor grows I have seen in these pages.
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Old August 2, 2017   #145
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Nice going! I am hoping the small window of cooler temps gets my tomato plants to set some for me.
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Old August 2, 2017   #146
Randall
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Hey thanks, y'all.

A few shots of the Sunflowers. I feel like I've tied them up more than usual this year. They did mostly survive a really harsh storm but a couple of them snapped over.
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Old August 2, 2017   #147
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Great looking tomato haul!
Boy the bees sure love your sunflowers, they look great too
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Old August 2, 2017   #148
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Darn things grow wild around here.
Everywhere you look they are growing.

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Old August 2, 2017   #149
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Very nice Sunflowers, definition of beauty
What varieties you have there?
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Old August 2, 2017   #150
Randall
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Thanks!

The smaller multi-headed ones are Evening Sun.

The brighter yellow, larger heads are Mammoth.
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