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Begin Gardening

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Begin Gardening

Post by assassin on Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:04 pm

Many people make a decision to begin gardening and they acquire a plot of land, it may be an allotment, a piece of their garden, or even a tract of land they lease; often this land is overgrown with vegetation and people dont have much of a clue how to clear this land correctly or sterilise the soil on the plot in readiness for growing. In reality it is hard work but it is hard work which if done correctly can clear the land, return everything you remove back into the land, and sterilise it in one action.

First we begin by clearing the growth and this can be done by hand, you need to cut off all the growth back to ground level and save it by piling it up, next you set up a string line and cut along it with a sharp spade to a depth of about 2" (50mm) or just below the roots of the grasses growing on it, next you move the string line to one side by the width of your spade and repeat. Go to one end of your lines and slide your spade under the grasses and slide it along and literally scrape the grass off and rolling it into grass sods as you go, set your string line up again and make your cuts along it and slice your next row of grass off, roll your grasss as you go and when you get to the end you take your rolls of grass and stack them up into a pile, continue until you have a section of ground clear.

With a section of ground clear you need to get rid of the grass and grass sods, to do this we burn it as this sterilises the soil and kills off any remaining roots below ground and we do this by making a wooden wigwam and making a fire inside it using any bits of wood such as hedge trimmings or anything else you have to hand, once this fire is established you take a roll of grass sod and cut a length off and lay it from the bottom to the top of your wigwam, repeat all the way round until your wigwam is covered totally in grass soda and ensure you lay them grass side down to the fire and leaving a small hole for the fire to breathe at the top. You then repeat this covering by laying more grass sods but you do this by running them around the fire and build up many layers, this will then smoulder for several days and once it is finished you are left with a beautiful pile of potash and you return what you took from the ground, back to the ground as a natural fertiliser.

You can clear your land in many ways, you can lay the ground out in zones such as squares, you can work the full length or width of the ground, its really your choice.

Once you have cleared your ground and lit plenty of fires a lot of your ground will be sterilised from the heat of the smouldering fire piles and once they have burned you simply rake out the potash across your cleared area so you have applied your first layer of totally organic fertiliser and returned the unwanted growth back into the ground. Next you want a lot of manure and this can be cow, horse, or even chicken manure, chicken manure is the best but any manure you apply must be at least two years old as fresh manure burns tender roots and if you use chicken muck then use only three year old, or older muck; this is the best muck but is hard to come by in any quantities. With a layer of muck applied to the top of the potash you leave it for a couple of weeks as muck contains a worm which digs down into the ground and if you clear land in the middle of summer it pays to sprinkle the muck with water daily to emulate rain, this encourages the worms in the muck to burrow down into the soil and this allows the goodness from the muck to seep down into the ground.

Now its digging time, you can dig it by digging down into the soil to a depth of a spit, a spit is the length of your shovel blade depth, you then turn this to one side and work down a line until you have a full row turned over, repeat by digging your next row and turning this into the opening left by your first row, continue until all of your ground is turned over and your muck and potash are in the ground, leave for about a week.
If your piece of ground is sufficiently large I would hire a rotovater for the next bit, rotovate all the ground and work along in lines, the objective is to break up all the dug soil and break it up into fine soil and distribute your muck and potash, continue working the soil until it is a very fine till and work lower and lower with a rotovater, you can do the same thing with a garden fork with smaller plots.

Now you have a plot of cleared land which is fertilised, sterilised, manured, and is ready for planting.
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