thanks Susan, as it grows big fast, I'll try to do it early on this spring, when the ground thaws, I want to divide a bunch of my ornamental grasses that get HUGE too, and spring is the only time to do that..they just get too enormous to divide after they start to grow. ..and spring is wet here so things are likely to recover better than any other time of the year..( we got to 46 yesterday..heat wave)
I was wondering if you all might be willing to share recommendations for your favorite gardening websites..not necessarily those that sell things..but those that have interesting articles worth reading is basicallyl what i'm looking for.
I'm an information junkie, and gardening and landscaping information are some of my best and most enjoyable reading material.
Leah that is interesting, I have found worms however in our cats so we worm them on a fairly regular basis..of course, our cats basically hunt, as we need them to keep rodent populations down, so they may be getting them from the critters that they eat.
a really sick animal will deposit live worms. which is sure ugly..and likely not safe.
But I'm also in agreement with the fact that there is possibly a bit too much going on out there in the medical ..esp animal medical..society that is scarier than the worms themselves..like all the antibiotics and hormones in the food..etc..
sometimes you wonder what you can believe..but I'd say, if you think your animals might be infected, buy some wormer and use it accdg to directions..if not..don't..you can usually see some signs that they aren't doing normally..
totally enjoyed this discussion..I have a huge clump of comfrey and have been trying to decide if i dared to divide it..as i was afraid i might kill it, and not wanting to i've just left it be. it is a beautiful plant, mine here in Michigan tends to grow twice a year..it will grow up and flower and then died down and then grow up again and flower again..wierd I know.
I have it on the side of a steep backfill slope along the east side of our house..and I love it..but haven't tried putting more in anywhere..sometimes when i've done that i've lost things that i treasured..so i'm skeptical..but will try to cut out some of it this year and start it in some new areas.
I have heard that if you are trying to divide things that you are afraid you might hurt, to just take a spade and cut out a chunk off of the side of it..those of you who have divided comfrey, do you think that might be a good way to make a division in a very large comfrey?? leaving part of it where it is just to make sure i don't lose it all?
Thanks Mt. Goat for the information, as for the invasivness, I have had this growing here for 38 years so I am aware of that, but I have never known that it was edible until this winter. I have loads of books and info on edible wild plants, and semi domesticated ones..but this one was not listed in any of them, just managed to run across in a totally off the wall book, that it had been used as food in olden days..and thought, hmmm ..that I'd check it out. So do you LIKE the flavor of it and does it cause any ill effects as discussed above? I do plan totally on trying it as soon as i can get to it (3' of snow right now)..I'm always looking for a new spring green to get into my tummy. I really don'thave a serious problem with invasiveness here..as i have 5 acres of garden, and I tend to put it in in areas where other things really don't want to grow, like under the deep shade of my evergreens on the sunless sides of them, in the fall i rake all my excess leaves in those areas under those trees or in beds nearby, and the aegopodium LOVES a thick mulch of leaves..and grows about 2 1/2 feet tall at full height in those conditions here in Zone 4 Michigan. I have some areas of woods that I'm going to be working on developing into a more diversified system this year, and I may put some in that system as well if I find that it is a good crop..doesn't seem to be bothered by rabbits or deer, as we have deer that live in our yard within 50 ' of our house, i have photos of then on my blog. And rabbits are fertilizing everything here..that they don't eat down to the ground..yes i use a lot of chicken wire to protect things i want to save..but they generally get enough food that they leave plenty for us. I don't know if photos can be posted on here or not, as i'm new here, but the aegopodium is one of the prettiest darn plants i've ever encountered, I have several hundred square feet of it growing just in my front yard alone..so if it is edible..i'm very fortunate...and will try it as soon as i can.
i have my eye on the greenhouse that is attached to the house..like a 1/2 building with just the two ends and a door in one end..i have a deck on my east side of the house at myLaundry room door, that would fit that one, and as I have enclosed porches at my other two doors (plexi and glass in front and plexi and glass in back right now) i've been thinking that it would really be smart to do the same with this last door, off of our laundry room. This is our first year of having the front totally enclosed, we had it partially enclosed the winter before, but we finished the enclosure last summer with 1/4" plexi on the 2 8' sidewalls and 8' across the front, and then bought a 15 light door to close off the opening and used a scrap of plexi over that..haven't totally got all the cracks sealed off yet, but it is always at least 10 degrees warmer in there than outside here in the frigid north. Started enclosing a huge deck at our rear slider doors last year..we salvaged two sets of slidiing glass doors, one was apart so we just attached those as walls and one set works..they are on the east..we have 2 pieces of 4x8 plexi on two of the 4' x 8' walls..and then we weren't able to get the north walls and north door finished so we put plastic up on one area, one area is still open..the change in our house from having those areas at least partially finished was just amazing..so getting them done this year is top priority, but also that last door is definately in the plan if we can afford it..we also have a very small greenhouse that is now not attached to the house that we want to move and attach to our wood boiler building.so it has winter heat..and easier winter access..opening the door now sends in a gush of cold air
Leah, you sound like a younger version maybe of me..as Projects are a constant thought for me, what new thing can I do. My husband is always saying...no projects this year..yeah..well than why did he have me build a huge building for HIS new wood boiler and 16 cord of firewood??? in November last year ??? Yes in Michigan
thanks for the advice Susan (esp about Ron's head !) sounds like a good spring TONIC to clean out the old pipes ?? Maybe I should fix Ron a salad daily..he has problems sleeping...just kidding.
I'll still plan on trying it and finding out how it tastes..a lot of greens have that same effect ..guess that is why they are called spring tonics...the kind I have is the variegated and it is soooooooooo pretty..the flowers look kinda like queen annes lace..
Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 4, 5, 12, 54, 100]. An unusual tangy flavour, the majority of people we give it to do not like it[K] although some reports say that it makes a delicious vegetable. The leaves are best harvested before the plant comes into flower, they can be used in salads, soups, or cooked as a vegetable.
so I'm not sure if i'm in the majority or not..but hey I'll give it a try.
wow thanks I'll go there now..i know that half of my garden plants generally considered non edible are edible..so we won't ever starve if we can get to them (winter is touch and go though) but i've never seen that site..always looking for more info.
I did find this info on it but it doesn't really say if it is a good salad food or if it should be cooked or whatever..
says it is like spinach..I'll be trying it this spring.
Ground-elder From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Ground-elder
Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae
Species: A. podagraria
Binomial name Aegopodium podagraria L. The ground-elder is in the carrot family (Apiaceae) that grows in shady places. It is sometimes also cited as "ground elder", though this format invites confusion by suggesting it is a species of elder (Sambucus), an unrelated genus. It is also known as herb gerard, bishop's weed, goutweed, and snow-in-the-mountain. It is the type species of the genus Aegopodium.
The tender leaves have been used as a spring leaf vegetable, much as spinach was used. It has also been used to treat gout and arthritis. The plant is said to have been introduced into England by the Romans and into Northern Europe by monks.
In some areas, this plant is considered among the worst of weeds, as it readily spreads over large areas of ground by underground rhizomes. It is extremely invasive, and crowds out native species. The smallest piece of rhizome left in the ground will quickly form a sturdy new plant, followed by many more.
If a small plant finds its way into an ornamental perennial flower garden it will spread with vigor, resist all attempts at eradication, and make continued ornamental gardening there very difficult.
A variegated form is grown as an ornamental plant, though with the advice to keep it isolated. It is used as a food plant by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera including dot moth, grey dagger and grey pug.
 Images Variegated ground-elder in flower Ground-elder on the wayside A single umbel
I have a lot of information on edible wild things and cultivated, and i never heard this before but in a book i was reading yesterday that I haven't reread in years, i ran across that in europe that they used to plant goutweed, aegopodium for salads.
That is all it said..didn't say if it was good in salads..or if it was wise that they planted it or anything like that..or even if it was really edible.
Aegopodium is a favorite plant of mine for groundcovers..in the shade..here in Michigan..it grows like wildfire...esp in heavy maple leaf mulch..soooooooooooo if it is edible I would sure like to know? (as I have tons of it) I could survive on my goutweed alone for months if it is good to eat !!
even here in Michigan lettuce can get tricky as we are way too cold early on and then we get really hot and dry..we don't get hot hot like 110 like some folks do..but we'll have spells over 90 quite often in the spring and summer and we get some crazy severe droughts here at times too.
I'm going to move my greenhouse this year to a different area where it will get more shade and have better soil..and i'm going to try planting lettuce seeds in there in September to see if i can get crops in fall and winter..if it works i'll put in a few seeds every week or two..I LOVE SALADS
thanks, his head injury was in 1985 so we are kinda used to it.. he has had several REinjuries since, some very severe as he is extremely accident prone..always seems to find some way to hit his head on something..
Peppers in Michigan are a Miracle anyway..we have such a cold growing season..we have friends that have a truck farm in Pinconning, on Lake Huron..and they generally supply our peppers, however..We have grown limited numbers in our tiny greenhouse.
Ron has a "secret formula" for making the hot peppers sweeter when he dries them..and it is the best pepper powder we have seen anywhere..
My husband Ron is disabled from a head injury, but he does come up with a few interersting things now and then.
I did have some fortunate "accidents" a few years ago.. In 2002 we had a house fire and lost our huge old Victorian farmhouse..when we put in our new home we moved it so that the front of the new home is 40' north of where the rear of our old home was..and because we have quite wet lands, we had to have our new home raised up 4' from the ground level..we had a kinda damp area in our field, so we had the contractor dig out the sand and muck off of the 5' + deep of clay to use as fill around the new foundation of our home, which is very fertile..(the hole in the field now is a pond that only dries up in really really dry summers).
After I moved my plants and some new plants in around the house..I found that plants that always did really poorly here were growing like crazy..i guess not only the fertile soil..but the raising up of the soil levels..and the sun reflecting off of the house and windblocking..all combined to give me a warmer microclimate..we are generally zone 4b here..but i'm pushing the envelope now having been 6 years in the new house and finding surprises every year of things that grow here that never would before.
this was one of the funniest threads I have read on here so far (3 days)..being a woman and almost 58 ..a little more than mid 40's..I'm lucky if i make it to the disposal area let alone try to sort out my wet and dry (did I say dry???) refuse??
and a little for the ancients..in jolly old england..downtown..they used to throw the contents of their buckets out in the street..heads up..plague anyone?? Think if the choice is throwing it out the window and a flush toilet, the flush toilet will win in the end.
And then there was the talk of 17 degrees..guess you don't live in Michigan..this morning when I got up it was 1 degree above 0 F and this was a warm morning for this winter..generally it has been about 15 below 0 F..we have wiillows all over..all kinds..mostly wild ones as we have a super high water table in some areas..however..in the spring we can have water standing nearly a foot deep when the snow melts and the ground is still frozen..so add all of that to your figuring and you have a real mess..and be thankful you don't live in Michigan
last year we had a real infestation of fleas..went to pet smart and bought some "organic???" products and they made us all sick..a friend recommended that we use 20 mule team borax..and so i followed her instructions and honestly it worked 100 % immediately..
you have to be ready for a dirty house though..first vacuum and toss out the bag..and then sprinkle20 mule team borax very very liberally on everything..upholstery, carpet, floors..etc..and don't vacuum it up..leave it as long as you can stand it..not fun to sit on..and then vacuum it up and put some more down immediately..and leave it as long as you can stand it..
the reason to go without vacuuming is that the vibrations of the movement encourage eggs to hatch..the borax kills the fleas and the egss..but it takes a little time for the egss..that is why not to vacuum..but when you do put more down to kill any eggs you missed.
then you are done..vacuum it all up and throw out the bags..in the garbage.
fleas also winter over in bark mulch, so if you have it near your house ..oops..not good.
i've also heard that herbs like basil would do well..but since they obviously grow well with tomatoes that just makes since since tomatos like asparagus..I just ordered some new roots for my garden..i have a small patch of asparagus, but used to share with my MIL who had a larger one next door, but sold her place after her death and the new owners might not like me eating theirs..so i'm planting a bigger crop of my own
thanks, as for our growing season we have our good years and our bad years..of course most areas do..generally our last serious frost in the spring is the days around the last full moon in June..it is rare that we don't have a frost that week unless it is really rainy and cloudy..and then we sometimes get a frost or near frost once a month all summer..but if we are lucky we can get from 90 to 120 frost free days..generally not lucky enough to make 120.
I have a small greenhouse and a couple of cold frames and buy the coldest hardy plants that i can come by..I'm in zone 4b, however, i plant plants from zone 5 with some good success and occasionally I'll try a zone 6 plant..just ordered a couple zone 6 plants this year..will try to find a microclimate that they'll fit into
Thanks Sue I was already impressed with your answers to a lot of the questions that I read responses to, you also seem to be quite knowledgeable and quick to help, I liked that already about the forum. I will stick around ..a forum that cares about the same values I do is a really strong pull to me.
I used to go around in the autumn and look for bagged leaves to bring home..(as i do for just about any other natural materials avail) however..i began to notice a fewyears ago in our area that a lot of the leaves had these black holes in them that looked like cigarette burns..and it got me to thinking...what if that disease comes in with the leaves and spreads to my trees???
well a couple years later I noticed our neighbors maple tree had those spots..yikes ! Now i have a little healthy fear of leaves that I don't know what trees they came off of..am i silly here?? don't disesases overwinter in people's leaves??
over the many years people have had dogs and didnt have to worry about dog poop..however..maybe there are modern pathogens that weren't around then, dont' know..but my guess is use common sense.
if you live in a small city yard..nope..get rid of it elsewhere..however..if you live on acerage like i do..i'm sure you could dig a pit where there is NO high water table..bury it..throw in a few leaves and other compost type materials..and some dirt..and plant a tree on top of it..
in the old days they always planted a tree whenever they moved their outhouses to a new hole..
you mentioned walnut trees, they tend to kill just about anything that grows under them so make sure that you don't put anything under them that costs you money,unless you check first.
as for the raspberries..they do grow really well at the edges of woods, not just south but also east and west edges..i think they prefer west as when i find wild raspberries often times they are on the west side of the woods..blackberries also grow well on the fringes..mushrooms like morels grow in the deepest darkest woods. Also no one mentioned wintergreen..they grow in deep woods..you can grow edible ferns and lots of edbile greens, actually the shade keeps them from bolting so thatyou can eat off of them for a longer period of time.
I may be wrong but I think the answer is..whichever aspect is needed most in your own property. If you have a poor design but have a lot of permanent plantings and buildings..then your top priority is to rethink your design, to where it will funciton better for you.
If you need work on the culture aspect, then that is your priority
and Permanence is something that takes some time..but if you put in something permanent in a poor design, then you may be having to attempt to move it, and likely kill it.
My husband and I had planted a forest and put in a huge raised bed garden east of our house..but when our son needed land for his house..we ended up having to cut down most of the forest and move most of the garden..we had always told him if he needed land we would provide it..but we weren't planning for future design when we put the forest and garden on the only viable land for a home site for him..
i guess my answer would why can't you have both? Why do you have to rule out permaculture just because you have a mortgage to pay. You can choose to make your land more and more self sustaining yet still pay your mortagage by going to your job, can't you?
I've been at this since 1971 and our house had a mortgage..at one time. We had debt, at one time. We do not any longer. Now that we don't, I can actually spend MORE time working on the self sustaining direction of my land, as, retirement looming on the horizon means less money to spend and more need for permanent non dig/till soil and plants that will sustain us for the rest of our lives
I enjoyed this question as I have been reverting more and more of my land to forests ..bit by bit..I have already gotten a lot of it done in the many years I've been working on it but I have been studying the idea of putting more trees among my gardens in the last several years and also putting more food crops into my forest areas.
One thing that you mentioned about putting things under trees that you have to harvest..I've seen that suggested over and over too, but we are not idoits out here..no one is going to go through a thorney blackberry or raspberry patch to pick up fallen apples..except maybe deer.
I think that each plant should be thought out just a little bit more than widespread scattering of seeds..think of the plants physical needs and what it will do for or to its neighbors..like walnuts can kill their neighbors so they are better isolated..from susceptible plants..
If you plant an apple tree say, and you want to be able to pick the apples, I suggest a more friendly underplanting of say herbs, or flowers that will bring in pollinators, or salad crops that will be constantly harvested..
Sue had some really great ideas. Myself right now I have a very "dead" spot that had been an overworked garden place, that I have been bringing in fruit trees and perennial food plants into, and will be trying to build it up and build a windbreak on E and W of it..I've been really reading a lot on each plant that I plan to put into the garden..I had plans for mulberries..but then when i read that mulberries aren't that tasty and that they are easily tracked into the house..etc..I decided yes I'll put in some mulberries, but they will be in the hedgerow, where i can still harvest them,but also where they won't be dropping fruit into the rest of the garden (guess the fruit easily grows from seed too)
as i have just spent the major part of today looking for permaculture sites, i guess it won't hurt to check out another one (tee hee). This is only the 2nd one I found and the first one referrred me here.
i don't know if this fits into this thread or not, but because my husband doesn't allow me to keep domestic animals..i USE the wild animals in a similar way to the permaculture use of domesticated animals..we have lots of wild rabbits, they feed in my garden and leave their fertilizer. they are allowed to prune back some of the plants that need winter pruning and plants that need protection are protected. We have a doe that sleeps in our back yard..also some of her friends visit daily. She does a little pruning and fertilizing of her own, she is a bit more destructive, but as you said if I had to to not starve I guess I could eat either of them. We have wild turkey that scratch in our garden and sometimes have pheasants that come up and feed here..in summer we have wild ducks and geese that fly in onto our pond and patrol our garden for their delights and leave theirs behind. We also forage in our nearby areas for morel mushrooms, elderberries, wild greens and herbs, blueberries, etc..and I have made jelly for Christmas gifts from wild elderberries for years, love it.
We have a forest that we have somewhat managed, but is mostly allowed to be in it's wild state, on 3 acres of our property, and the property was nearly "bald" when we bought it in 1971 and now it is nearly all reforested or gardens..with a small pasture area (for the deer) and a little mowed lawn, to play on.
well one plant that I do know that is recommended to plant with asparagus is tomatoes..also cosmos and hollyhocks are good if you want plants that will attract pollinators, remember asparagus loves manure
that is a lot of great information, but there is one thing that you need to remember when planting in containers..watering them. Make sure that your containers drain well, but that they will also hold a lot of moisture..sounds like that is contradictive, but it is not. Also dark pots heat up fast and light color ones reflect heat, terra cotta holds moisture well..and you can add a mulch to the top of the soil to keep in moisture. Also a good idea to warm up your water a little if it is cold before putting it on your plants..bre
I was just rereading my"Introduction to Permaculture" 1995, and happened to think, I wonder if therre are any people out there that are interested in Permaculture and organic gardening that talk to each other..I'd like to find them, just to have some support for my gardening beliefs and ideas.
I have been buildinig my gardens since 1971, yes i'm old..and basically I have no one to talk to that has similar interests to mine.
I'm not sure IF I have found the right place or not, basically I want a back and forth talking type forum where I can make friends that have my interests, and offer help and ask questions, on a daily basis.
Is this the right place and if not would one of you direct me to it, please..thanks..Bre
Oh I'm from North Central Michigan ..and it is a difficult place to garden, but I would never leave it for the world, I LOVE my garfdens !