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Thread: Veggie Garden Weed Prevention...Straw and Corn Gluten

  1. #1
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    Default Veggie Garden Weed Prevention...Straw and Corn Gluten

    Last year my garden (in Seward) (50'x20') was fairly successful but I had a loosing battle with weeds. It was my first year gardening up here and I do know one mistake I made was not tilling up the soil in the fall and spring. I just used the existing rows from the previous owner... This past fall I tilled up the soil and all winter I dumped the ashes from the wood stove in the garden. I started my seedlings in early april and they are doing very well. I still have about a foot of snow covering the garden. I am planning on picking up some corn gluten, steer manure and straw and tilling it all into the soil once the snow is gone.
    Has any body had success with this technique?
    Are there any other organic recommened fertilizers that would help with making the soil as healthy as it could be?

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    Alaska fish fertilizer worked well for me last year. I also started a compost heap and made compost tea. Other than some miracle gro (not a lot, because it's bad for your dirt) that is all I used.

    This year I am adding 8-32-16 Alaska Gro granular fertilizer, lime and compost. The fish fertilizer works good to heat up your compost pile too.

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    Living in Seward, I would think that beach peat and kelp would be one of your most economical and best options. It's all my grandma and and aunties ever used (on Kodiak) and they had tremendous success with their gardens.

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    I wanted to use kelp but I believe it is illegal to harvest kelp from Resurrection Bay so I decided against that.
    Well the corn gluten did nothing at all for preventing root development and all the straw has done is to help hide the weeds. It is looks like the chick weed is going to put up quite a fight this year. I will say that the straw does make things look really nice.
    Now I am facing a situation of waiting for some of the seeds (lettuce, spinach, carrots, etc) to pop up and positively identify themselves before I go and start pulling weeds.

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    Be cautious not to add too much wood ash. It's got a notably alkaline ph, and, while it's a good source for potassium and micro-nutrients/minerals, it -can- raise the ph up to levels that some plants won't like. A bit of it is a good thing. Too much can be hazzardous to your green thuumb's efforts. ;^>)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffle View Post
    Be cautious not to add too much wood ash. It's got a notably alkaline ph, and, while it's a good source for potassium and micro-nutrients/minerals, it -can- raise the ph up to levels that some plants won't like. A bit of it is a good thing. Too much can be hazzardous to your green thuumb's efforts. ;^>)
    I believe this is correct and what I understand about using wood ash is that you want to use a little bit around the plant then water it in.
    Another way that the old timers used to use it was to soak your moose or cow bones in a lye made of ash and water. This will break down the bones and makes for some super Phosphorus. Bone meal is a good organic fertilizer that builds up the soil not break it down. Rabbit nuggets are great for nitrogen, but will make the chick weed grow. At least it pulls easy

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    When I use wood ash, I till it into the the garden as a whole, at the same time I till in my other amendments. I'm also cautious to use only that wood ash that comes from a burn pile that receives nothing but organic wood; no treated lumber, laminated wood/plywood, plastics, brown cardboard (which is typically fairly high in boron), etc.

    The nice part (*from my understanding) is that it's a 'mobile' nutrient source, and it's water soluble, so, if over-done, it can be remedied with leeching over the same season, and have the garden back to an acceptable ph in less time than if a person had used too much lime, etc.

    The chick weed seems to thrive on almost any 'N' source that leaf veggies do, but, as you point out, grabbing fist-fulls of the stuff at least temporarily takes care of it quickly, and it lacks the root system that larger, peskier weeds have.

    I never thought I'd consider raspberry plants to be an aggressive weed, but I do -now-! ;^>)

  8. #8
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    Corn gluten is very good at prohibiting seeds to sprout, but it doesnt have an effect on weeds with a developed root system.

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