June 27, 2009 at 3:36 am (Composting)

DSC00080I bought this chipper-shredder from Troy-built. Shredders will turn branches, leaves, and twigs to mulch to cover top soil in your backyward and add to compost. My chipper will grind 3″ diameter branches and bleow. It’s gasoline powered. Gas engines last long and are durable, but with prices of energy going up and the possibility of living off-grid, I wish I had bought an electric chipper. They are not as powerful, the best brand doing 2.5″ diameter brancesh and below, but they can run off a diesel generator which is good for ethanol (bio) fuel. I am expecting economic collapse.

DSC00053Another wise purchase would have been a tiller to turn hard soil. Instead, an old-fashioned mattox works fine, but you have to really put your back into it. Some soils are as hard as concrete, and in summer you may find a mattox to be an impossible task.  However, hard clay earth can really benefit from mulch. Having healthy soil is key to farming and is just as critical as water. Without soft, healthy soil, you plants will get ‘pot bound’ and roots won’t fair well in concrete-like earth. I have found after I turning earth, a couple weeks worth of watering often turns the soil back to hard clay. Not good. The answer is to mix healthy amounts of chips and mulch into your fertilizer and soil. Chips and other fiber like straw will help you soil remain broken and allow it to breathe. So, having a good pile of ready chips is a good thing. Also, fruit trees need pruning to renew branches, so don’t let the vines go to waste– chip em.


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