Jump to content

need a tiller for improving hard clay soil


NaiGreg
 Share

Recommended Posts

I need a tiller for improving hard clay soil, 1 rai. What's a good brand I can buy in Chiang Mai for a reasonable price? Any advice for improvement additives: dung, fiber, black soil, etc. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are planting vegetables and avocados. Seems like raised beds might be an option.  The tiller idea might not be best at this point.  Land (fill) is like concrete now in the dry season but locals say it is not bad.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, NaiGreg said:

We are planting vegetables and avocados. Seems like raised beds might be an option.  The tiller idea might not be best at this point.  Land (fill) is like concrete now in the dry season but locals say it is not bad.

I would not rely on the locales ,you are in CM,they have Mo Jo University they, ask if they have a soil department  and get the soi tested ,I would say it would be well down on organic matter. and probable some minrales. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, kickstart said:

I would not rely on the locales ,you are in CM,they have Mo Jo University they, ask if they have a soil department  and get the soi tested ,I would say it would be well down on organic matter. and probable some minrales. 

Yes, Mae Jo U. does soil testing and we know people there so it will get done.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

MJU soil science dept does soil tests and will give you some data, but in my opinion, the range of chemistry that they analyse is liimited and omits some important information. And they don't offer much in the way of an interpretation and Rx amendments.  I haven't used them for a few years since I learned a better approach, but I have farmer friends who have and as far as I know they are still in the dark ages of soil management with SLAN system (Sufficiency Level of Applied Nutrients, which is based on chemical company funded education and the chemical agronomy model, as opposed to modern soil fertility, organic, soil food web/regenerative agriculture). If you know people there, ask about their current approach and if they consider and test for soil biology populations and make recommendations for organic methods and materials, if you are interested in that.

 

MJU does have some good resources, I live near there and previously managed mango and lamyai orchards with a lot of consulting with MJU ag and pomology ajarns, as well as CMU which also has good resources.  The current MJU cannabis and vermi-compost facility has high quality bulk compost and worm castings. I also use their red-wiggler worm compost effluent as a liquid fertility input. 

 

What you do with your one rai depends a lot on your intentions and expectations, and your budget of course, and if you have ablility to irrigate or not. If its a hobby farm or a long term farm development project and you can put some money into soil preparation, you can get some amazing results.  If you are desparate to plant a cash crop, that is one thing, or if you can take a year to start to build the soil fertility with cover cropping and organic matter inputs then that's another appproach. 

 

We're still getting some rain, yesterday afernoon/evening was great, but we can't count on that continuing. If you can irrigate, you can seed a cover crop now, but if not, you would need to wait for the next monsoon season.

 

Are you interested in organic methods and materials, or doesn't that matter to you?  If so, there is a lot of new and emerging science, principles and practices that have evolved in the last 10 years.  Check out the discussion on regenerative agriculture in this forum, with a lot of references for reading materials and videos. 

 

 

 

Edited by drtreelove
Link to post
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, drtreelove said:

 

 

 

 

By the way, regarding the original post, if you want to hire tractor work, my friend just had an operator disc at his farm in Sansai, I can maybe get you a reference. Kickstart has offered some good experience-based info on the limitations with rototiller use, but if you want to shop for a machine, I would go first to Sriyont near Wat Ket. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just noticed, veggies and avocados.  Small scale home-garden veggies, then maybe raised beds where you can engineer the soil physical properties and fertility, but for a larger operation its expensive to set up and import materials.  Look into my favorite method, "Grow Biointensive" outlined in John Jeavons book "How To Grow More Vegetables... " . Its an evolution from the Biodynamic French Intensive method developed by Allan Chadwick.  I have used this successfully for many years. 

 

For avocados, there's good reason that you don't see many plantings of avodaco orchards in Changmai. It can be done but you will have some serious work to with soil preparation, mounding of planting sites, drainage and soil borne pathogens management to prevent Phytophthora crown rot. This is a long term investment and you must do it right or you could lose it all. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info here. We are small-scale potted flower-orchid growers just moving into the vegetable space at our new home. Got a lot to learn! Maybe not ambitious enough for avocados 🙂

Edited by NaiGreg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some other good resources in Mae Jo/Sansai area, you may know: 

 

The ag shop on the main drag (1001) across from MJU campus, between the two pedestrian overcrossings, just south of the Mae Jo Talad. The owner is ag educated and speaks English, but she is mostly chemical grower oriented with a few organics on the shelf.  I use the bat quano, 50 kg for 350 (hard to get exact ingredients but I believe its mostly dried chicken manure with some bat guano.) And she has some goodies like biological fungicides, biological pest control and botanicals, Bt, Azadirachtin concentrate from Thai Neem Co. 

 

One of the best organic fertility products is hydrolysed fish fertilizer.  I used Neptunes Harvest or Fish On for years in California and this year found a good product in Sansai.  Takumi Fish Amino Fertilizer is available online or at the Maruchubussan Co Ltd facility in Sansai. maruchubussan.co.th. They also have some other interesting products, including a complete cannabis starter kit. 

 

The way I used the fish fertilizer is as an organic nutrition boost during the growing season.  I would dig and amend my biointensive beds with compost and a soil test based Rx or a general purpose COF.  Once the plantings are up and growing, I apply a liquid fertility mix once a month or so, with compost extract, the fish fertilizer and kelp extract, or variations. 

 

New book:  Regenerative Soil by Matt Powers (and see his videos on YouTube)

Regenerative Soil - 2nd Edition: The Science and Solutions - HARDCOVER + SIGNED — The Permaculture Student

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NaiGreg said:

https://thai-organic-compost.com/

 

Anyone familiar with this operation in Mae Taeng? It's close to home.

 

 

Where the jury is out for me on compost fertilizers is the price.

They possibly suit smaller area's like raised beds if you really want to go down the organic route.

According to the website they say they have grown corn well at 1 kilo/m2(compost).

1600 kilo's/rai,53 x 30 kilo bags at 300 per bag = 16,000 baht/rai.

That is expensive food compared to using chemical fertilizer on the same area.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, NaiGreg said:

https://thai-organic-compost.com/

 

Anyone familiar with this operation in Mae Taeng? It's close to home.

 

 

Yes I know the Thai-Swiss owned Natural Agriculture and their products.  They deserve some respect for some of the good things about this operation and environmental responsibility.  They started out making their compost with a primary ingredient of ground up teak logging slash,  so that means it was recycled into food production and not burned. That plus elephant dung, other manures and green and brown ingredients made a good mix.  They sell sacks of compost and potting soil and also bulk 6 and 10-wheeler loads for local delivery. 

 

They use their products on their own 120 acre organic farm and have achieved a 5% organic matter content in some plots. I believe that they have a well established clientele for their organic food products, including some high-end resort restaurants throughout Thailand. A model success story for organic farming. 

 

Recyling green waste and manures, cooking your own compost will always be more economical than buying sack products at retail prices.  Getting on board with modern regen ag principles and practices, beneficial biology inoculations, cover cropping, livestock integration, minimal tillage and other Redox-favorable practices will be even more economical and highly productive if done right. 

 

As for the Jack compost. Check it out before buying and see if its what you want. The last time I ordered, a year ago, the product was not fully composted and contained a large percentage of raw wood particles. Jacques was responsive to my concerns and personally delivered some replacement sacks to my home with some better product. My friend also experienced the same disappointment. Hopefully they have improved the processing. 

 

Compare with the compost from Mae Jo University Farm, or better yet if you can budget for the delivery charges, the 'next level' African night crawler vermicompost from Best Garden State/BiosurgeThailand in Nakhon Pathom. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, farmerjo said:

Where the jury is out for me on compost fertilizers is the price.

They possibly suit smaller area's like raised beds if you really want to go down the organic route.

According to the website they say they have grown corn well at 1 kilo/m2(compost).

1600 kilo's/rai,53 x 30 kilo bags at 300 per bag = 16,000 baht/rai.

That is expensive food compared to using chemical fertilizer on the same area.

Absolutely true. And commercial growers, especially those not in the specialty organic foods market, are up against the wall with the costs and low returns in most cases. You are right, sack compost is only feasible for small scale home and hobby gardening or maybe deep pockets like the cannabis capitalists. 

 

No one in their right mind would be buying sack compost for OM building inputs, at retail prices, for one or multiple rai applications. Even with bulk truckload or farm produced compost, that's never been economical organics anyway, to use high volume compost inputs for field crop or commercial orchard OM.  Organic farming that I learned in the early 70s, as well as modern regen ag, utilizes green-manure cover cropping and crop residues for OM maintenance, and low volume compost or compost tea/extracts for Rx biology inoculations. 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Fun reading this  thread.  Living in dry Utah doing composting and small gardens for personal use. Started with sorted sandy well  drained soil.  In some plots finally able to do low till.  Lots of work to start with near zero organics.   Seems like composting in Thailand's climate would be so easy.   Interesting to read about to much wood left in bagged compost bags.  Seems to be the norm here.  Most comes from Idaho wood mills and I think there is such a rush to move product they don't wait long enough.  Expanded some new garden area last winter during a Jan warm spell and didn't have compost so had to buy 10 bags from local home store.  Only half a pallet left from the previous year so it had been in the bags at least 9 months and it was much better looking than usual.   These big box stores get truckloads of bagged goods in spring.  They usually block off 1/2 acre of parking lot for the compost and bark goods.  Some of the bark foods are coming from the Midwest and bringing in non local mushrooms.   Wished I was 1/10 as educated on this topic as some of you so I could show wife's mom and sister some things to do on their Si Sa Ket farm.  

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you will find that Sisaket farmers will do-what-they-do and follow local practices. Its hard to influence Thai family traditions, even when you're sure you have a better way; especially remotely. When you move from that winter freeze zone to where you can grow mangos, bananas and papayas, you can do your own thing. My Thai wife couldn't relate to my 5' x 20' biointensive beds, even though they were thriving. So I set her up with a portion of our garden space with traditional rows for her makua, prik, grapao, strawberries and other favorites. 

 

Home Depot, Lowes and other big box stores may call their products compost, but as you have found its usually just raw organic matter in different forms, most Americans don't know the difference.  Look for a cannabis suppliers shop, like GroGeneration and you may find the real thing. Malibu brand Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost is pricy but its real compost. Or make your own, when you thaw out in spring. Over there you can get Down To Earth brand blended organic fertilizers like their All Purpose and BioLive and their new biological inoculant product named Soluble Root Zone (or Granular Root Zone). 

 

For self-education on modern Soil Food Web oriented gardening and composting, YouTube is a beautiful thing.  Check out Matt Powers -The Permaculuture Student channel, he's got it all, and is very good at compiling and communicating the info from his master teachers, Dr Elaine Ingham and John Kempf (Advancing Eco Agriculture) and others.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 12/3/2022 at 9:25 PM, Elkski said:

Fun reading this  thread.  Living in dry Utah doing composting and small gardens for personal use. Started with sorted sandy well  drained soil.  In some plots finally able to do low till.  Lots of work to start with near zero organics.   Seems like composting in Thailand's climate would be so easy.   Interesting to read about to much wood left in bagged compost bags.  Seems to be the norm here.  Most comes from Idaho wood mills and I think there is such a rush to move product they don't wait long enough.  Expanded some new garden area last winter during a Jan warm spell and didn't have compost so had to buy 10 bags from local home store.  Only half a pallet left from the previous year so it had been in the bags at least 9 months and it was much better looking than usual.   These big box stores get truckloads of bagged goods in spring.  They usually block off 1/2 acre of parking lot for the compost and bark goods.  Some of the bark foods are coming from the Midwest and bringing in non local mushrooms.   Wished I was 1/10 as educated on this topic as some of you so I could show wife's mom and sister some things to do on their Si Sa Ket farm.  

Another good resourse for you right next door in Colorado, for products and information.  

BuildASoil: Organic Living Soil, Fertilizers, and Soil Amendments 

 

I used to buy Bentonite Clay from them for my container potting mixes to increase CEC (cation exchange capacity) in porous substrates. You may consider this for your sandy soil, (along with copious organic matter inputs and biology inoculation). Not affordable for large areas where cover cropping may be a better way, but for a container or raised bed a sack of bentonite clay goes a long  way.  

 

Off topic and out of country? yes, unless general gardening self-education is considered. Thats one way I keep learning, looking at popular new products and processes, what others are doing and at ingredients.  For example I've studied DTE products and the "guaranteed analysis" pages and learned what their research and regulatory compliance has produced. It helps me to tailor my own soil improvement amendments and for my customers.  The US, along with Australia and some European countries, is light-years ahead of most other countries in research and development, mainstream acceptance and public demand for modern organic farming and gardening, methods and materials for soil improvement and plant health, resulting in high nutrient density food production. 

 

DTE All Purpose 4-6-2:

TOTAL NITROGEN (N) 4.0%
0.4% Water Soluble Nitrogen
3.6% Water Insoluble Nitrogen

AVAILABLE PHOSPHATE (P2O5) 6.0%

SOLUBLE POTASH (K2O) 2.0%

CALCIUM (Ca) 8.0%

MAGNESIUM (Mg) 1.0%

SULFUR (S) 2.0%

 

ALSO CONTAINS NON-PLANT FOOD INGREDIENT(S):

2.5% Humic Acids derived from Leonardite

Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.

 

DTE Soluble Root Zone (beneficial soil biology inoculant)

Endomycorrhizal fungi: Rhizophagus irregularis 60 spores/gm, Glomus deserticola 50 spores/gm, Funneliformis mosseae 50 spores/gm, Glomus clarum 20 spores/gm, Glomus monosporum 10 spores/gm, Glomus aggregatum 5 spores/gm, Glomus etunicatum 5 spores/gm, Paraglomus brasilianum 2 spores/gm, Gigaspora margarita 2 spores/gm
(92,532 spores/lb total)

Ectomycorrhizal fungi: Pisolithus tinctorius 550,000 spores/gm, Rhizopogon villosulus 30,000 spores/gm,Rhizopogon luteolus 30,000 spores/gm, Rhizopogon amylopogon 30,000 spores/gm, Rhizopogon fulvigleba 30,000 spores/gm, Scleroderma cepa 57,500 spores/gm, Scleroderma citrinum 57,500 spores/gm
(356 million spores/lb total)

Trichoderma: Trichoderma harzianum 1,375,000 CFU/gm, Trichoderma koningii 1,387,500 CFU/gm
(1.25 billion CFU/lb total)

Bacteria: Bacillus coagulans 2,343,750 CFU/gm, Bacillus licheniformis 2,343,750 CFU/gm, Bacillus megaterium 2,343,750 CFU/gm, Bacillus pumilus 2,343,750 CFU/gm, Bacillus thuringiensis 1,875,000 CFU/gm, Paenibacillus polymyxa 3,750,000 CFU/gm, Azotobacter chroococcum 1,875,000 CFU/gm, Pseudomonas chlororaphis 1,875,000 CFU/gm, Pseudomonas fluorescens 1,875,000 CFU/gm
(9.3 billion CFU/lb total)

Saccharomyces: Saccharomyces cerevisiae – 1,875,000 CFU/g

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...