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I cultivate a small organic vegetable garden for about 5 years, evolving little by little towards a more permanent culture, a soil more alive and less tillage. Also, the arguments and the calm-flamboyant style of Didier Helmstetter inspired me this year to integrate in a more uninhibited way what could turn out to be the treasure (or the nightmare!) Near which my transatbed slept: the natural meadow that is the surrounding setting of this vegetable garden.
I come right away about it: How not to "spoil" a meadow?
I am trying to replace the fertilization of the previous years (manure = dirty, stinking, too much effort for transport, composting = composting experience in bunch on site tedious and unconvincing, handling and transport from home complicated - I specify that I do not live on the spot - + the arguments of Didier) by a plant fertilization without fermentation. I understood that I had to bring more biomass to my soil thanks to the green manures that I have been growing since last year on my vegetable garden and the hay that I make myself from the adjacent meadow. my crops. In the photo we can see some windrows that are still to dry in the meadow, and the heart of the kitchen garden behind artificial hedges, in a semicircle.
How to "manage" a meadow in order to fertilize a vegetable garden?
In particular, I am wondering what is the ratio between the area of meadow needed to significantly and sustainably improve the life and quality of the garden soil and the area of this garden. I guess it's a little or very relative but still, what is the order of magnitude? In the photo we can guess that the surrounding meadow is about 4 5 times the area of the kitchen garden (knowing that my garden is arranged in flowerbeds so you have to count without the aisles), does this seem sufficient? This estimate could guide an olibrius interested in this perspective and who would like to start a new vegetable garden on a meadow ...
Is it a gain of laziness?
It's not sure. Certainly haying is a job, especially when you do everything "old" like me, ie with just a rake sheet (I took advantage of the "mowing" of the owner who "maintains" his land -see lower - a job on the wrong would not seem insurmountable on such a surface, especially as it could be considered in terms of the needs of ground cover and climate weather). It still seems to me a gain of effort for a lonely or lonely person or who has back pain or who does not necessarily want to swing behind big wheels (!). It is apparently not a transatlantic time saving, although it remains to be seen, I only discover the technique by groping and naturally making bullshit. Still, I was able with this new approach and time saving non-tillage protect and feed almost all of my plots and expand my garden by inaugurating new flowerbeds (we distinguish the one of them between 4 pegs in the foreground of the photo) ...
Besides what must be done to have a good hay? and a good hay of phenoculture?
I started mowing before heading (early April). Should we favor this period as seems a recommendation of farmers who produce commercial hay for cattle and sheep, or follow Didier's advice: as late as possible? Then the meadow was mown with a "self-tamping" self-propelled by the owner during the heading (April), recommended period for horse hay. So it's a kind of shorn hay that I had dried and returned to windrows. But what color must hay have? should it stay a little green, or should it wait until it turns yellow or whiten in the sun? Can a poorly produced hay (a little rotten for example) have negative effects on my soil? Could we imagine a specific hay, "calibrated" to feast our soil organisms (especially for anecic worms whose importance is known thanks to Didier and Marcel Bouché) as we calibrate the hay according to the livestock that will feed on it (cattle, sheep / horses / rabbits)?
Can we imagine an "eco-systemic" improvement?
I deposited my hay in "thick layers" on the flowerbeds starting to grow potatoes that have come out now (except those that I had put directly on the meadow and under the hay). Can we imagine a culture of meadow closer to the culture of a vegetable garden, a new association of which there is no name - I speak under your control - a kind of garden-meadow like the " garden-forest "(concept I know Didier do not believe) or agroforestry?
And in the other direction, what is the impact of these samples on the grassland itself (or even on more or less close ecosystems)? If I take away this energy, will not it go downhill little by little? What is the cycle of a meadow? Basically, far from announcing any revolution I wonder if this effort is worth it and if it would not be better to leave the management of this hay to specialists (as usual!) ... If it was worth the hardly, other questions (which join classic questions for a kitchen garden) come: how best to organize the space and the alternation meadow / vegetable garden, sparse in flowerbeds (my choice for the vegetable garden), concentrated (vegetable garden in center and meadow around), or even "itinerant" to stimulate life cyclically across the field? If you do your own hay, you do not have to roll it ... What will benefit my vegetables, living organisms, the soil of the whole area and the ecosystem? ?
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A priori, from what I read on the main forum, you have to count 3 X more hay surface than the surface to cover, so for this case, you're in the nails.
Then, when it comes to hay cutting, there are several options available to you, to make 2 mows, one in June, then the new one in September (at sight of the nose), a single late mowing.
Personally, I will look for the second solution, because most of the seeds will naturally return what will participate in the maintenance of your meadow, limit the work (A cut instead of 2), and finally wait for the drying of the hay in a few weeks and set it up for the next year, only one manipulation too.
As for hay, a good brushcutter should be enough, it will only return from time to time for good drying, and put in place in good condition because it will be very ventilated. Set up in the fall, which seems to me the most favorable period.
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you grow green manures it's good, so put the hay later after mowing the green manure around February, March, the hay over and you can plant onion, shallot, garlic at the same time,
the garden in the center as it is there is not bad, you can win on the meadow by putting hay in November and transplanting in May June squash, or pumpkins
so you have enough to be self-sufficient, awesome
to be chafoin wrote:I am trying to replace the fertilization of the previous years (manure = dirty, stinking, too much effort for transport, composting = composting experience in bunch on site tedious and unconvincing, handling and transport from home complicated - I specify that I do not live on the spot - + the arguments of Didier) by a plant fertilization without fermentation.
How to "manage" a meadow in order to fertilize a vegetable garden?
It reminds me, in POSITIVE, the persecutor of Didier on YT ...
Hay is not a fertilizer.
We forget the word "fertilize" and we think of hay as a protective cover winter and summer, a refuge for the life of the soil.
If you want a long-term "agradator" because its protective action allows the earth to be naked and thus to return to a "normal" life cycle.
From there Didier will give you all the tips on the cut dates for the best efficiency.
And on reflection there must be something in the message of Didier that induces the idea that hay is a fertilizer: remains to find where ???
In any case good luck for the agradation of your vegetable plot and welcome here
denis17 wrote: Then, when it comes to hay cutting, there are several options available to you, to make 2 mows, one in June, then the new one in September (at sight of the nose), a single late mowing.
I understand the idea of leaving some of the seeds for the meadow maintenance and but regarding the mowing time I am not sure that a late mowing is better with regards to the quality of the hay. Farmers say they prefer to mow early because the protein content will decrease over time (leaf dieback would be a nutrient loss of nitrogen) as cellulose increases (more stalk). On the other hand the quantity would be better. According to this information gleaned on the canvas (https://laballeronde.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/le-stade-de-coupe-du-foin-un-element-determinant-pour-fixer-sa-qualite/], it depends on the animals for which the forage is intended, but even for the horse who prefers the quantity, it is advisable to mow at the heading at the latest. But perhaps this concerns only the "cultivated" grassland and not the "natural" unfertilized meadow, as it is my case?
I do not hide the fact that in addition to privileging an early mowing I would arrange well because I'm not sure that the owner would leave the meadow up all summer. For my part, I would be at home I would certainly leave some to fend until the end of summer because especially I love to see the meadow dancing with the wind! But I go astray.
For my part, I would certainly be forced to your first option Denis. Let's see the positive side: it would be like assimilating worms to cows if we follow the point of view of the breeders and according to the specialists worms and cows already have one thing in common: it digests 2 times their food (even if it is 2 completely different ways)! But I go astray again, it is not tomorrow that I will milk verses!
2 or 3 things:
a) From the point of view of fodder, the farmers are right: they want the richest hay in "PDI" (digestible protein in the small intestine), one of the keys of their ration ... It is our N of the ratio C / N. Hence the development of the wrapped which is a semi-hay / semi-ensilage. Young cut. The richest possible nitrogen (we prefer, for mowing, the moment when quantity X N content gives a harvest of maximum PDI per hectare).
We are not our goal: we are looking for another compromise, not the forage richest in nitrogen. We need fibers for the formation of humic substances. And also so that the hay lasts a long time and plays its role of "cover". Even a little more fibrous, so more durable, more humic, hay will still be very much more rich in nitrogen than straw. And I'm not talking about cardboard!
Therefore, later mowing than forage for cows is preferable.
b) However, putting it right now is a problem. Starting the same year of decomposition, with two consequences: "disappearance" of hay that will be lacking and beginning of mineralization up to nitrification. So, our garden "natural" can become "pollutant": a height!
In addition, it "neutralizes" photosynthesis, blocking weeds (or green manures) too early. Two or three years ago, I was not talking about that. But it was a mistake. I think again and the "Potager du Sloth" is still a living concept, still moving! Sorry for the old ones who may feel like I do not know what I'm saying!
The solution to this (harvested in July and used in winter) is in the constitution of millstones, with a very steep exterior, the water flows along (it makes a "roof" of thatch).
c) Yes, the decomposition of hay, by its mineralization, is a effective fertilization. Hay from my calculations provides more N, P and K than manure or compost, for same weight carried. It contains all the elements that the "grass" has picked up where it has grown (horizontal transfer of fertility).
I still have not done my calculations, but I even ask if the contributions are not excessive!
d) If the hay is quite fibrous, then the humification process also occurs, under the influence of fungi. This leads to humic substances, which play an important role in the soil. So it is quite essential to produce an "old hay".
Arg! I knew without knowing it would turn into a nightmare!
Can we know when this mineralization will begin, then this nitrification after the cover break. In my case, I covered my soil very late: in the spring, in April or May and I started my crops quickly after the cover. Can we imagine that I avoided without seeking this possible nitrification "lost" in soils? Should we quickly start cultivation after hay coverage?
Outside this thread: salutations Didier! Thank you for your shares, your videos and your book ... which have renewed my garden passion and now your feedback, even if it seems to be a serious question in question! I see that you do not rest on your laurels (or on your deckchair?)!
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This is the role of CIPAN in agriculture https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_i ... ge_d'azote.to be chafoin wrote:Can we know when this mineralization will begin, then this nitrification after the cover break. In my case, I covered my soil very late: in the spring, in April or May and I started my crops quickly after the cover. Can we imagine that I avoided without seeking this possible nitrification "lost" in soils?
Did correct, but the problem will be more in the winter, when the soil life is slow and a board is no longer occupied while being covered with hay.
Nitrates not absorbed by the previous crop could be leached, but it is more a problem of shallow soil, sandy soil, plowed (accelerated mineralization), lacking humus and left bare.
I think that for a living ground garden, well provided with organic matter, surrounded by a meadow, trees and not at the edge of a river, there is little chance that it happens.
The fungus mycelium network must also help prevent this loss of nutrients?
Did67 wrote:beginning of mineralization up to nitrification. So, our garden "natural" can become "pollutant": a height!
Can we imagine the more systematic use of "nitrate traps" that are green manures, especially in so-called stolen crops (in the spring or before the arrival of winter)?
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