GARDENING OVER ROCKY GROUND
Western Polyacrylamide Inc.
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It now appears possible to construct Hydrosource/Sunbelt NO-TILL gardens down over virtually any rocky ground which will grow grasses and other weeds. For example this no-till garden was constructed in early 1996 by Paul Graham (Jay, OK) over a grass/weed lawn with ground so rocky that it is almost impossible to rototill without damaging the rototiller. Hydrosource Standard (2-4mm) was applied at the rate of 50 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. (22.7 kgs. per 91 m2) prior to pinning down the Sunbelt with 1″X 6″ (2.5 X 15 cms.), 9-gauge, U-shaped wire fabric staples spaced 18″ (44.5 cms.) around the outer edges. Periodic fertilization was done by spraying liquid Miracle-Gro down through the 2″ (5 cms.) slits made in the fabric for the transplants.
Although probably not necessary at this 40″ (1080mm) annual rainfall site with occasional summer droughts in excess of 60 days, Mr. Graham installed an above–ground soaker hose system for supplemental irrigation. But he only used it once during the growing season when he noticed the bed was no longer soft under the Sunbelt. Mr. Graham purchased tomato, yellow crookneck squash zuchinni and pepper transplants (versus growing his own transplants with the Booth Planting Tubes), hence use of the planting slits in the fabric.
Mr. Graham is especially impressed that the Hydrosource/Sunbelt plot does not require any weeding, plus the fact that he only irrigated the bed once during the growing season. In addition, he likes the fact that he did not have to use a tractor to break the ground or haul in topsoil for the garden.
Copyright 1996 by Daniel J. Wofford, Jr, and Dale Greenwood.