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@Bebop , I'm in Michigan and we battle clay here too. Where abouts are you located?
Western Kentucky , there is pure gray , blue clay , within walking distance open pits where they mine it , with that being said I have grown some good gardens here for clay has a slow release of moisture and the farm fields produce ,it was just a , O now I know what clay soil is now , you just can't work it wet and you have to add organic matter , but I have gone to a low till method because of the soil structure and not to kill the soil micro environment , this is just my current take on it , the farmers no till every thing , I just be mindfull of not exposing two much soil to erosion.
 

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Not sure that I mentioned it here, but...

The ground here is awful. There's forest litter, under that is mostly rock with sand in between. Some clumps of clay, not much.

I know this because to create this garden (around 2006/2007), I had to drop trees, and dug out the stumps with a backhoe.

I then tried tilling that, and only succeeded in being dragged around by the TB Horse tiller.

So, I had some compost/loam brought in, have a good 8-12 inch base of that now. I did this in two waves, a total of 20-30 yards were needed to make the garden its current 30x30 foot size.

Mike
Catch garden soil after season recap and plant , break vertically with a broad fork , maby do a 1/2 shallow till . That would be for a small spot , cover with fabric mulch over the part of garden not in use , fold back where you want to garden , I may work that concept some , I do to some degree . There's a ryme and reason for all methods .
 

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I know what a few of those tags are for , well I will just keep looking at the ground and hopeing for the best .
 

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Started some tomato, and cabbage seeds late Monday afternoon on the 19th, put them in my little germination chamber, and tomatoes were starting up this morning, in about 60 hours. Forgot to check this evening, and see if the cabbage was up yet. Hopefully by the weekend, with warmer temps, I'll move them to the green house, and start a few more tomatoes.

We had 2" of snow yesterday, but was gone by early afternoon. A bit more snow late last night, then cleared off, and had a foggy frost. Was supposed to get down to 28º,but again forgot to check this morning. I have a Transparent Apple tree that had a few blooms come out on Wed. I did manage to check them late this afternoon, and were still nice and white, and appeared to be no damage done. Calling for down to 31º tonight. Gradual warming through the weekend, then up to 80º by Tuesday. Getting some pretty wild temperature swings, and it's a long way until May 15, the average last frost date. But, in the last 7 years, we've had a killing frost the 3rd week of May. Potatoes, onions, and Peas will probably go in next week, weather permitting. Everything else towards the end of May. I'm more concerned about my hay getting the top burned by a heavy frost. Garden stuff, I can somewhat control.
 

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Forgot to post a pic of my 'maters... I forgot to mention, I read on agarden page on FaceBook, where someone started pepper seeds in an Insta-pot. Set it on the yogurt setting 2X, or 48 hrs, and had seeds germinating. I'll have to do a little research on that one..!! Anyone ever heard of doing that..?? Mayhave to hit a couple thrift stores, if that is the case.
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Can you give us some more info on your "germination chamber?" Thanks.

Mike
 

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Can you give us some more info on your "germination chamber?" Thanks.

Mike
Scroll back to post #61. Pretty much tells how I made it. I'd say any 'fridge, or freezer would work. Just be aware that LED grow lights do make some heat, which I guess I did not realize, at least that much. The light I use I got at Home Depot. The heat mat thermostat I bought through Amazon, and 4 qt. slow cooker was the least expensive I could find. You may already have one, or pick one up in a thrift store.

I set the heat mat thermostat on 86º, which only turns the slow cooker on when temps drop, probably below 65º. Otherwise, the LED light provides enough heat to keep inside temps around 85º, to I've monitored 91º on days it was in the 70's. I have it setting under cover on the carport, and only in the sun for a couple of hours in the late afternoon.
 

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Cool, thanks. I've thrown away two of those RV fridges over the years. When the ammonia escapes, it's game over.

Mike
 
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Cool, thanks. I've thrown away two of those RV fridges over the years. When the ammonia escapes, it's game over.

Mike
Ammonia , I thought it was only in camper refrigerators , I threw a stand up freezer away I wish I had back . Make a good dust proof place to put oil and filters , and plants germination , back when I built grow lites I would remove the ballast and put them under the plants for root heat .
 

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Any one ever do any cloning ? thats where you take the plant you want and make cuttings . The plant will grow and make shoots when you cut that shoot it will Y out you can cut a Y and then you have a leader to grow one stalk . Simply cut a shoot at a angle with at least one node that is where leaves come out the shoot you choose should be soft so to speak the leaves on the node should be pinched off , moisten and dip in root power found at a box store , get a humidity dome with a floating styerfome insert , make a hole with a nail dip shoot in power and lower in hole keeping power on press the soil up Water from bottom .
 

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Photo period tells the trees to change amount of hours of sun . When the days are long the trees grow leaves and stay green when the days are short the leaves change and it goes to say getting ready to make seed or what ever that plant does at the end of life , indoors you use a light timer so when you Leave the lights on a long time you grow , when you shorten the time you go to the final stage of the plant , some times you can then increase the lite and cycle the plant again but remember plants have feelings to so do right by them be nice and humane and give them respect they deserve .
 

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Got 50# of potatoes, and a lb. of onion sets in the ground yesterday before rain sets in for a couple of days. Got to try out something new, and something old for the first time. The new, is a dibbler wheel I made for behind my little Sears ST10 w/3pt hitch. It makes divots in the dirt 3" square on top, 3" deep, and 5" O.C. That, and a 1" dia. drop tube made from PVC, with a handle, and spikes to make it stand in place if needed, sure made planting onion sets a snap.

I plant my onions in hill rows to keep them up out of wet soil if we have a rainy spell. Used the disk I got with the tractor, but modified it with a couple pieces of flat strap to widen them out, to form the hill. Flatten the top off with a rake, then make a pass with the dibbler. Drop the onion sets through the drop tube, then covered lightly with dirt. Approx. 80% of the sets landed bottom down as they should, the rest landed on their sides. I left them as is, and will see if there is a difference of how they grow. Since my hoe is 4" wide, I went with 5" spacing, so I can hoe in between them. Ought to work great for setting cabbage, and pepper plants too, out of the 1.5" square trays. Just skip some divots, and drop at 20", or 25" intervals. I made another drop tube several years ago out of 2" PVC for small plants, planting them in a small trench. A length of small chain was attached for plant spacing. The dibbler should make it a little easier, especially when pulling dirt in around transplants.

The "old" is my new to me Champion potato planter. As near as I can find out, it was built in the late 1800's. A PO added a single IH Fast Hitch point, to adapt it for their Farmall Cub. Bought it in a package deal after the first of the year that included a 2-way FH plow, and some other tooling with FH points, that I intend to use to modify a 3 pt. potato hiller, to FH, without losing the integrity of the 3 pt. hitch.

I actually have 2 potato planters. The other is an Iron City that is pull type, and wanted to try them both to see how they worked, and which one I like the best. The Iron City worked OK, but is definitely a 2 person operation. Someone needs to set/ride on it, to keep the turn table full of potatoes. The Champion, as long as there are potatoes in the well of the hopper, the chain with cups on comes up through will pick up potatoes. Only once, did I see an empty cup, and that was because the "well" in the hopper was empty.

Last year, I bought a bag of #2 seed potatoes which were smaller, and would have worked perfect in this planter. This year, 90% were a lot bigger, and had to be cut. Since time was a factor, I cut and planted, no time to let them heal for a day. Guess I'll see how they turn out. The only bad thing is, I noticed at times it would pick up 2 pieces, because they were still wet on the cuts and some stuck together. Other than that, it worked great, and makes it pretty much a 1 person operation. This one is definitely a keeper..!!

I probably should have put it on the 140 with the single point FH, but had the 240 out to pull the other one, so just hooked it up in the left hand side receiver. Lots easier to get on & off that tractor in case I needed to. It does need some repair to the hopper, but now that I see how well it works, it will be worth the time to fix it.
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Wow, those attachments are really, really cool!

Maybe a dumb question, but with the potato planter, do you have to go back and bury the potatoes on another run with the disc (or some other attachment)?

Mike
 

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Wow, those attachments are really, really cool!

Maybe a dumb question, but with the potato planter, do you have to go back and bury the potatoes on another run with the disc (or some other attachment)?

Mike
No, this does it all in one pass. The open row, are potatoes that the other planter didn't work so well with 1 person. I picked out what was left in the hopper, and hand dropped them, but did cover them with my little Sears ST10, and modified disk. The other, Iron City planter really needs 2 people to work well. One to pull it, and the other to make sure the rotating table stays full. I'm afraid I will have a lot of open spaces where I tried the Iron City. Guess I'll see when and if they come up.
 

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I'd love to expand my garden. Right now it's 30x30, which is big enough to be a lot of work, but too small to really be able to utilize a tractor.

Mike
 
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I'd love to expand my garden. Right now it's 30x30, which is big enough to be seen lot of work, but too small to really be able to utilize a tractor.

Mike
30 X 30 big enough , if you contact your county extention agency they will send you a garden book , I like to keep one around for reading . It has all the requirements like row and plant spacing .
 

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It's a good size, but surrounded by a fence (lots of deer, rabbits, chipmunks here), and also rocks (holding the soil in place, I built this garden up on a slight hill). Probably an 18-24 inch drop from the front to the back.

The fence and rocks make it tough enough with the TB Horse, and the tractor has barely enough room to turn around in there when towing the Trac Vac 880 (which is quite long).

Mike
 
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