During the growing season, and then again in the fall, we flail chop wheat straw and apply it to our raised beds. Fall applied finely chopped straw degrades quickly once significant rains begin mid- to late-October. Long straw takes a much longer time to decompose. The chickens are helpful in turning the surface straw and adding nitrogen; this further facilitates straw decomposition and release of nutrients for soil biota and plants. Sometimes we will turn under the straw to get it deeper in the soil profile. Western Oregon's clay soils really need organic matter additions to improve soil quality. The increase in slugs due to the surface straw additions is kept in check by our chickens. They are quite effective in controlling slug populations as well as other pests (e.g., earwigs). The covered beds also help maintain dry surface soil that further controls slugs and other pests. This is critical during late fall to late spring produce production in western Oregon where precipitation can exceed 35 inches. Surface applied chopped straw during the growing season also helps conserve soil water during those dry summer months. Another thing we do to enhance soil heath is fall-sow legumes (e.g., Crimson clover, Birdsfoots Trefoil) by reducing nutrient leaching, adding soil nitrogen, and increase soil organic matter.


Views: 172

Comment

You need to be a member of Hyperlocavore - A yard sharing community to add comments!

Join Hyperlocavore - A yard sharing community

Members

Latest Activity

Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

GMO labeling in Oregon - would cost a mere $2.30 per year for consumers. Don't believe the…

See More
FacebookWednesday · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

As Oregon voters weigh GMO initiative, ‘Big Food’ puts thumb on the scale |…

See More
FacebookTuesday · Reply
Jana Franzen commented on Jana Franzen's photo
Thumbnail

Photo uploaded on June 14, 2011

"Yep. They weren't ripe at all yet, but they looked pretty. I am hoping they will make a…"
Oct 14
Brenda Silver commented on Charlei Scott's group Tampa Yardshare
"brendasilver at gmail dotcom do you have any open spots ? are you growing this winter ?…"
Oct 12
Brenda Silver joined Charlei Scott's group
Thumbnail

Tampa Yardshare

We have started a small community-style garden in our side yard in addition to our backyard garden…See More
Oct 12
Brenda Silver liked Charlei Scott's group Tampa Yardshare
Oct 12
Brenda Silver commented on Jana Franzen's photo
Thumbnail

Photo uploaded on June 14, 2011

"i feel silly asking .. raspberries ? "
Oct 12
Brenda Silver liked Jana Franzen's photo
Oct 12
Brenda Silver updated their profile
Oct 12
Winn Lambert-Meek updated their profile
Oct 10
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

Governor Brown Signs California's Neighborhood Food Act - Shareable…

See More
FacebookOct 9 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

High Rates of Suicide, Depression Linked to Farmer Use of Pesticides - Scientific American…

See More
FacebookOct 8 · Reply
Michelle MacKenzie updated their profile
Oct 8
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

Watch now — MAKER - A Documentary on the Maker Movement http://ow.ly/Cq5jP

See More
FacebookOct 8 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

Nature called. She wants you to know she’s over you. | Grist http://ow.ly/CmAxf

See More
FacebookOct 7 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

'What's Possible': The U.N. Climate Summit Opening Film | Choose today.…

See More
FacebookOct 5 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

Resisting drought: conventional plant breeding outperforms GM - Nature journal breaks ranks -…

See More
FacebookOct 4 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

Whose Consumption Is Killing the planet? http://ow.ly/ChvWz It's not the impoverished…

See More
FacebookOct 4 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

"Earthship Biotecture": Renegade New Mexico Architect's Radical Approach to…

See More
FacebookSep 24 · Reply
Profile Iconhyperlocavore - a global yardsharing community via Facebook
Thumbnail

WATCH: 13 Misconceptions About Global Warming http://ow.ly/BQIsB

See More
FacebookSep 23 · Reply

© 2014   Created by LizM - Site Moderator.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

// // //