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Soil Preparation and Analysis

Subject:  Soil cover material, during summer growing

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Glenoma Kins

Kibordmonki, WA

Has anyone gotten better results covering their dirt? With what?

We have low soil temperatures here, so I don't really want to drop the soil temperature. Are the top results achieved just with plain dirt, paying close attention to the watering, rather than adding something on top of the soil to conserve moisture? Thanks...

1/7/2019 2:58:33 AM


Anamosa, IA BPIowegian@aol.com

It has been a long time since I had to conserve moisture. Lately we get way too much rain. But that brings on the weeds.

My field pumpkins benefit from a mulch. I like to spread oat straw on the grass around my patch, then mow with my bagger and spread that on the soil. As it breaks down I add more grass clippings, being careful not to mix them in so they tie up nutrients.

The excess rain causes fungal diseases for the giants that don't seem to bother field pumpkins. So I avoid mulches on them. I do let the weeds grow to give the soil roots for mycorrhizae to grow on. I keep them clipped short and till them under with a fork ahead of pumpkin root growth. I found my soil works well if I keep the tiller out, as it messes up soil structure and kills worms. Just turn it, smack it with the tines of the fork and it mellows out with the first rain. Very little clay to make hard clods. Keeps the soil draining well and less compaction. But no mulch to help out fungus.

1/7/2019 4:28:14 AM

Glenoma Kins

Kibordmonki, WA

We dry out in the summer, which is good. I am also trying to figure out what the optimal way to prep my soil. I wish I thought tilling was the best way because it's a simple solution. The evidence, in my experience, does not indicate that it's the best solution. Yet I don't think I can get the results I want with no till so lately I've been staying up late looking for info.

Considering all my options.

1/7/2019 5:54:58 AM


Dillonvale, Ohio

I covered mine with plastic and cut it as the plant grew. I'm sure that's not what you're looking for, but it worked to keep the weeds at Bay.

1/7/2019 9:59:27 PM

Glenoma Kins

Kibordmonki, WA

I am surprised the use of weed fabric is not common. I like the idea wolf clear would kill weeds if it was sunny black would work earlier in the year... I am suspicious of glyphosate they say it breaks down but the chemical conspiracy folks say it binds minerals. I dont know what to believe other than my own results which were better in the no glyphosate areas. I really dont have an organic agenda its another one where I wish I could say it worked perfectly but my results indicate their may have been residue in the soil. Not scientific or statistically very significant but I cant afford to ignore it, either.

1/8/2019 12:58:43 AM

Think Big

NY bigpmpkn@optonline.net

I use a weed block type paper under the main vine only. It's 5 feet wide and breaks down over the course of the season. It's a little tricky poking holes in it to let the tap roots down to the soil, but as the season goes along its a real time saver as far as weeding around the main vine is concerned

1/12/2019 9:39:01 AM

Total Posts: 6 Current Server Time: 5/26/2019 11:05:07 PM
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