Author Topic: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds  (Read 903 times)

Offline out west dave

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Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« on: April 14, 2018, 02:49:28 PM »
I am planting new beds in soil that is not so fertile and has been hard as a rock since we had to stop watering due to drought (it was lawn, but I can water gardens).  I was researching some stuff for planting tomatoes and found a number of articles talking about using whole ground corn meal or horticultural corn meal around tomatoes to help control blight. 

So that got me thinking about some supplies I have on hand that I used a couple of years back when I was baking fresh breads every weekend.  I have old popcorn, wheat and molasses (liquid for baking) and was thinking of grinding it coarsely so it would not spout and mixing it into my new beds.  This would be in addition to following into my into my mostly clay soil:
  • Endo Mycorrhizae
  • Dr Earth Premium Gold
  • Green Sand
  • Liquid Kelp
  • Earthworm castings

Thanks,

David

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 03:25:27 PM »
I think it certainly wouldn't hurt... Your popcorn and wheat and molasses are all compostable, so should be fine. it might be a lot of work to grind all the grain (depending on how much you have)... maybe it would be easier to just bake in your oven awhile. It would keep it from sprouting, I'd think...

Your other amendments sound very good...

Offline out west dave

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 07:16:51 PM »
I dont have that much, was working on my second sack of each kind so have at most 150lbs if the bags were unopened. 

I dont really need to grind it fine, just need to crack it i think.  Oven is idea, would not have thought of that.

Online mountainmoma

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 08:10:54 PM »
I wouldnt bother cracking or grinding or heating. If you want to mix it into the soil to have it degrade, just do so. Only the ones close to the top will sprout, and when they do, pull them and lay them down on top of the soil as mulch. It is good to mulch tomatoes. If you use thick mulch like I do on your beds, it will keep  any of that old grain from sprouting, so it will just degrade. Thick is like 4- 6 inches thick. Or, if you have waste paper, like newspaper, or cardboard or Amazon shipping boxes, put that down first, overlap it, use a couple layers if using newspaper, then you just need a small amount of mulch on top, an inch or two even, and no weeds, including your wheat and corn can get thru. When you go to plant the tomato transplants, you just take your garden trowel and puncture the paper, make a hole in the mulch, to fit getting the tomato plant transplanted. I mulch with rice straw or alfalfa to not have weeds from the mulch. Lucky for me, the goats like to throw alfalfa stems on the ground and pee on it, so I use these stall cleaning for mulch.


Of course, if you realy want to kill the seeds ability to sprout, put it in a bucket and soak, drain, and let it sprout. Then spread it out in the sun and those sprouts will dry up and die and not resprout. If I was me, I would feed the grain and molasses to my chickens, do you have chickens ?

Offline out west dave

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 10:44:40 PM »
I live in the People's Republic of Kalifornia, all things on tsp are forbidden!! 

Thanks for the suggestion on mulching with cardboard/paper.  Now I just need to figure out how to get the 'garden mix' I ordered from the nursery last year wet again.  It is hydrophobic at best at this point...

Online mountainmoma

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 10:57:09 PM »
I live in the People's Republic of Kalifornia, all things on tsp are forbidden!! 

Thanks for the suggestion on mulching with cardboard/paper.  Now I just need to figure out how to get the 'garden mix' I ordered from the nursery last year wet again.  It is hydrophobic at best at this point...

Live and learn -- let me guess, you covered it all winter, or left it in bags so it would not leech out nutrients ? But, all nutrients die when it gets dried out and hydrophobic too. Long term, you realy just need to feed the earth worms, so mulch is your friend. They have food and their poop will fix the soil. I would tell you to use the dried up garden mix for mulch, but you would ahve to put something over it to hold it down, given our summer drought conditions, it would blow away. How much dried garden mix vs how many sq ft of garden beds ? Buy a bale of alfalfa to mulch with, over the paper, maybe under the paper, alfalfa will not sprout and make weeds and it is high nitrogen, so feeds the soil ( and the worms)

Offline out west dave

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 11:36:20 PM »
Life got too busy and never got the beds in last year. 

Yes covered it, but only to keep all the neighborhood cats from making it their favorite cat box... next time will throw some wood chips and leave it out.  I discovered the shredded wood I can get from a fertilizer place nearby is pointy enough that the cats dont like to dig in it.

Found a reference to using aloe vera to lower the surface tension and let water in.  No one has it in stock around me, amazon prime to the rescue...


Online mountainmoma

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 11:58:16 PM »
If the soil is that hard and dry, and it being already april, I would recommend double digging this year ( if it was fall, I would have recommended sheet composting (mulching) very thickly over the winter, then the soil would have been pretty good by now, more fertile and would be alot easier to work with)

Since the soil needs work and you want to grow in it this year, I realy like the biointensive recommendations for soil amendments, I have the book How to Grow More Vegetables.... by John Jeavons which describes how to do this and has the ammendments charts, but here is a web reference by them, The common ground garden store in Palo Alto is run by this same biointensive group. If you dont want to do a soil test, you can just scroll down to their recommended general recommendations of how much to use per 100 sq ft http://www.commongroundinpaloalto.org/fertilizers-soil-amendments-mulches/

Grow easier crops your first year while building the soil. A few tomatoe plants, green beans, zuchini, chard, kale. Space everything further apart too.

 

Offline out west dave

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Re: Wheat, popcorn and molasses into garden beds
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 11:32:12 PM »
Thanks!