Forum Friday: Deep Mulch Mineral Balancing, Summer Spinach, & Podcast Feedback/Giveaway

Forum Friday: Deep Mulch Mineral Balancing, Summer Spinach, & Podcast Feedback/Giveaway

Note: the picture above is Winter Spinach. Don’t ask me how you get spinach like this in the Summer.

Deep Mulch & Mineral Balancing

The deep mulch system is one of the more straight-forward and accessible methods of starting a no-till garden/farm, especially for those of us who have ready access to a lot of bulk material, tractors with loaders (or skid steer, drool), and/or low-cost compost. But, for us deep mulchers, we need to be careful with what we’re putting on our soil—however inert and degraded that soil may initially be—particularly because we’re putting on so much of it.

feelgoodfarms posts: Hey guys, this is the soil test from our government compost facility. www.ewswa.org/…/st-Results-2018-Row-C17.pdf. As you can see the ph is 7.9! Apparently this is because of the high sodium content. I was planning on dumping 4“ of this on my sandy loam soil without tilling it in. Does anyone think a ph this high will affect my production?…

What ensues can only be described as an awesome ecology/agronomy throwdown by grower David Blanchard. He makes several good points about what to consider when applying high rates of compost, including the fact that “…a deep layer of material with a high concentration of nutrients lying on the soil surface is something that you just don't find in healthy natural ecosystems!” He has a good point, but you also don’t find tillers or permanent beds of annual vegetables in nature, either. We take him, and his wealth of experience and knowledge, to task. Where are the short-comings of the deep compost mulch approach and how do we improve it? Or, at least, mitigate the potential downsides? Follow the thread (the little eye icon at Note: the picture above is Winter Spinachthe top of the post) or contribute to get updates on where this conversation leads.

Summer Spinach

writes: I really want to grow summer spinach. It's hot here and humid (ky 6b). Spinach mostly just bolts after early June. I would have to transplant, I assume, but who has some tips for growing it deeper into the summer?

It’s almost time to start seeding some of the faster DTM crops for warm weather production, and this post keeps getting some well deserved attention. We, at StoneHouse, transplant all of our spinach. It may be a beast to do a couple beds every three weeks, but we’ve found ways to speed up the process considerably, even without the paperpot, though it’s on my wishlist for this very reason. For instance, double sowing in a 128-cell tray and transplanting four rows/bed on 6” centers cuts transplanting time in half and doesn’t seem to effect production. However, spinach in the Summer is not on our experiment list this year (that’s reserved for deep Summer head lettuce and high-tunnel tomatoes). What have you done to push Spinach deeper into the Summer?

Podcast Feedback

Last, but not least, we want your feedback on the No-Till Market Garden Podcast! As we, hopefully, get ready to begin planning for season two, we would love to know how we could make it better for you—the growers. What can we do to improve it? Are you a supporter of the show? Why/why not? In order to do season two, we need to get the Patreon for No-Till Growers up to $1,000/month.

Farming for the Long Haul, Giveaway

Speaking of supporting the show, we’re doing a giveaway of one of our new favorite—required reading—farming books: Farming for the Long Haul. Read the review Farmer Jesse wrote. The giveaway is only available to Patreons or previous donors to the show (one entry for every dollar). We hope, if you have been meaning to sign up but haven’t yet, these regular donor-only giveaways will help encourage you to further support our efforts! This month it’s books, maybe next month it will be a tool... who knows!?

VIDEO//JM Fortier on Living Soils & No-Till

VIDEO//JM Fortier on Living Soils & No-Till

What Can a Marketer Teach Us About [no-till] Farming?

What Can a Marketer Teach Us About [no-till] Farming?