I had joined this forum several years ago, which was in so many ways, a whole different world than I live in now. I went from a really sandy piece of property, where I used to whine that it was all sand. I made it into a beautiful place, but sold/moved in 2018 to a place that is a narrow 10 1/2 acre parcel full of various changes in soils and elevation. The front 3 acres is a high water table full of heavy black soil (RICH!) that goes down about 18 inches and then hits solid clay (michigan clay) Its great land, except for years like 2019 where my yard was literally saturated all Spring/summer/fall and even til today. Standing water everywhere. This land continues back a bit til the back of a pasture I attempted to have which has a change of elevation. There is a swale there as well. This section moves from the heavy clay/soil to sandy higher area. It could be a great place for a pond. The higher land is a nice loam which would be great for some fruit trees I think. Then farther back a little more it begins mixed forest, mostly a lighter sand with oak trees and some autumn olive. Then we run into the very tall overhead power lines that cross my property there and just past that the elevation drops a good 20 feet or so and we get into a very heavy muck/mixed forest that leads to a year around flowing creek. This creek is super cool as it even contains some fish. Seasonally we have even gotten Salmon and some trout. Likewise, in the fall when the Salmon run, in comes some cool Black Bears. My elevation through property is up and down. Its beautiful, but some more simple ideas for drainage of my front property is complicated because I am not sure where else to have the water drain-yet theres my house! and it is a mess with the sump pump/crawl space. Water water everywhere when it rains even in a normal year and it takes 2-3 days to dry. 2019 was never a dry day and it was such a mess.
So that is why I have returned to Permies I need help to try and best handle my new to me property to get it up and going in the best way that is economical and eco-friendly. I want to work with nature and not against it. I have honeybees and I do garden. But i want to work on a bit of a food forest as I do desire to grow most of my own in the long scheme of things. I started planting some orchard trees the first year I was here, though we will see if they survived after this years flooding. I need to do more of a food forest out back where the sandy loam that is higher in elevation could work with them, though I might become angry with the local white tailed deer population
Though I could move a lot of that sand out back and move it up forward, but then I would have to replant my trees.. Not against the idea, but I may need to do a lot of scraping of soil and adding soil.. blah blah a lot of work just to pull the water away from the house. Anyways in time, as we get into the year more, I will add pictures so that I am better understood and I can get the best help.
I am a widow/single woman in my late 30s so I will be utilizing some equipment and teenagers to help me with my projects, but not a man to do do my work.. in between working, college and homeschooling my kids lol but yes, I have the time to work on my land- so much depends on it.
So here i am!! Now to go get working and reading up on what others have done with similar situations the best that I can.
my bins are doing the same thing! lol! both in maggots andin heating up. I have some hay and rabbit manure though instead of sawdust. I keep knocking it around trying to break it fromheating. I migh take out half of the hay/manure andreplace with some half shredded leaves. I have about 1500 worms plus cocoons in three different bins. One bin is absolutely perfect! the other two a mess :/
Oooh that is wonderful! I had been thinking about her and hoping you would update. I had a goat once that had gotten cocci when little and she stayed stunted. I mean seriously stunted.. Its possible your girl will still be okay later on but she might stay small too and in that case you might just have a cuddle pet If I had a seriously stunted Jersey girl I would love her just for her manure and hay burps! Sure beats having a pony or something! Sometimes I get tired of milking the cow but at 800-900 lbs I sure cannot just have her be a hay burner for awhile :/ but if she was only 300-400 i sure could lol
We have a high ground water table too... it drains away from the house but some years gets real close. I hand dug a pond and find its always within 4 feet of my basement level. Sometimes I have a real nice pond over there and sometimes its just a huge sand pit. I wish I knew how to utilize the pond better.
Amanda Wheaton wrote:There is actually about 5 different varieties of blueberries... and I will probably steal quite a few of them for my orchards in the creating of my "permaculture orchard" I need to grow a lot of things around my blueberries my mind is churning like crazy today!
Just making sure they weren't all the same! Fill it in. Mulch it in. Have fun with it. We had a couple
of years of drought here in Georgia and my bushes stayed compact during that time. Then this year
we had an abundance of rain and they doubled in size. The less you do to baby them the better
off they will be, within reason.
I didnt intentionally get a variety.... its just what happens when you spend 2-3 years gathering them and from different stores! lol.. and stores not even selling the same kind each year. I suppose they could just be working on their root system and this year or next they will start leaping but they arent' going to leap if i cant keep their roots happy with moisture. Hopefully this year I do better and in the next 2-3 years they grow by leaps and bounds and start to give me yummy berries
There is actually about 5 different varieties of blueberries... and I will probably steal quite a few of them for my orchards in the creating of my "permaculture orchard" I need to grow a lot of things around my blueberries my mind is churning like crazy today!
Just thought I'd introduce myself. I just joined a little bit ago. I live on 2.24 acres in West Michigan. I have sand. I think permaculture is the answer to food self sufficiency for my family. I have 51 fruit trees, asparagus, 40 blueberry plants with dreams of more.Raspberries grapes etc though most in infancy. This year, now that I have gotten into the idea of permaculture i am going to stick even more fruit bushes in my yard! my poor husband! and work on ground cover and work to reduce my need to water the garden. I have over 1/2 acre in food... it should be closer to 3/4ths of an acre though now. Now that I know permaculture, my poor husband better watch out or else I will take up every space that doesn't involve the garage/house/driveway! muwhahahah! Anyways, I will post pics of my progress but for now this is my blog.... you can see my orchard/trees/berries but as you can see, they need permaculture applied yet!
I saw a video yesterday of a guy that had done a forest garden type thing with his orchard.. I think i might try that... then just run a soaker hose or pvc type drip irrigation through there. IF I am going to water the trees, might as well have some fruit bushes in between the trees and probably a cucumber plant at the base of each one too... It would help nitrogen and in the fall, just cutting down the plants to create more mulch
Matu Collins wrote:I don't have a lot of experience with sandy soil but I do have experience with blueberries. An old farmer once told me that blueberries love a lot of mulch and that their roots are relatively shallow. I put a good 6-12 inches of wood chip mulch around mine every year, leaving a bowl shape around the base.the chickens live to dig in the mulch. I have a nice mowed orchard meadow mix around them (red and white clover, orchard grass, bedstraw, wild strawberry mostly) I didn't plant this orchard originally, I.wouldn't have designed it quite like this with so much grass but it works ok.
What are your plans for the in between area if you don't plant grass?
I wouldn't plant grass because it will compete with the bushes. A mowable mix of fast growing plants/nitrogen fixers/dynamic accumulators could help build topsoil. Have you considered hugelkultur for this spot?
I have a lot of ideas... But probably clover or grass. I know the grass would compete but at the same time if i had top soil the grass might help keep the moisture in the area. Right now the sand just wicks it away. Anyways first off, mulching I am also thining of using a soaker hose and plastic mulch, then covering the whole area. We get enough rain here in Michigan that once they are established it won't be so bad. It sjust getting it to that point...
,y highly educated, registered nurse/ head of ER in a major hospital thought it WAS strawberries and tried to eat them in her ice cream... major belly ache after one.. she had posted her bowl of it on fb to which many of us uneducated folk let her know those weren't strawberries before she ate more and needed to go to the ER lol
Rebecca Norman wrote:Newly transplanted trees don't want large amounts of "fertilizer" (ie nitrogen) in the first year or two. It stressed them out by forcing them to produce lots of leaves when they don't yet have strong roots. What they, and most plants, appreciate is plenty of humus (well rotted compost and leaf mold) to help hold and modulate water and nutrients. Animal dung is high in nitrogen, so don't give a lot this year -- give lots of mulch to shade the soil to conserve moisture and harbor worms etc, and maybe next year add some manure, as well as more mulch.
When you said you "couldn't mulch because you need to get the moisture down in there" it doesn't make much sense to me. If you were using a sprinkler to deliver water, that would be a problem. You shouldn't use a sprinkler to water your young trees: you should pour water from a bucket or a hose into a saucer-shaped depression with a soil rim, that you make around each new tree. The water will go under the mulch and make it float while the water soaks down, moistening the bottom layer of mulch, which is a good thing. Anyway, I don't think you're using a sprinkler since you mention the hardship of lugging buckets.
I mulched last year with some partially composted wood chips. All it seemed to accomplish was making a hard crust and the water would run off. I would have to dig holes and dump the water in the little holes. I kept making little bowls using soil or chips but I have chickens... and well, i swear every time i went to water my ledge was gone :/
I had no idea that kitty litter would be valuable but yes I have a kitty and I will try that..and mulching. Most of my trees were planted this year and within the last 2 years so still needing to water and water frequently. Specially since I tore the cherries apart and replanted them. I guess what i will do is mulch mulch mulch (and i knew i would have to lol) and just keep watering them via buckets heavily for this year and maybe next. By then I think they should be established enough with the mulch that I can back off and by then perhaps there will be enough rain to keep them well fed. My fertilizer has been cow manure. Since it leaches away so fast I can use it fresh and it wouldn't burn but then i also wasn't using as MUCH as i am apparently supposed to. I have two things to fix soon as the snow is gone... more mulch and heavier fertilizer (which by now is composted)
They were planted last year. (2012) Some of them have a little organic material and some of them I planted them in sand. I feel kind of dumb for not preparing the area with a little organic mulch first but such is life. I want to make sure they are given the best chance now. They are the farthest spot away from my house so I want to say they are maybe.... 300 feet away so the water pressure is low. I mulch them with pine needles this year but.. I think I could do better. Is it beneficial for me if I put top soil down and planted grass in between the rows? Or should I just extend out a little with more mulch and if I am lucky, can run a soaker hose out there that will work? I know I cannot use manure on them lest I turn my soil more neutral. I plan on dumping whey and coffee grounds out there. But what can I do to keep them hydrated? very very very poor water retention right now.. I think there is about 30-40 plants up there. All say "Northern Highbush" I would like to dump my blueberry patch if i could figure out how to properly water and mulch the area. Some reason I am drawing blanks and this remains my most trying area of the yard.
I already know that you are going to tell me to mulch mulch mulch lol... But I cannot just mulch because I need to get the moisture down there in the first place. So I think i need more than just mulching. Okay here is my situation. Its Michigan.. its sand.. When I bought my property it was sand and beach grass with a couple of cottonwood and red pines.
OKay imagine with me... say this is your land and these are your newly planted fruit trees. (By the way, i have been working at top soil for about 8 yrs so im getting there, but i just have more work to do but you can see i at least have grass now lol) Anyways- You can run a hose and the water disappears within seconds of hitting the sand. I have a little organic material work done here as the original is orange sand. In this picture I had been working on things a little. I had just transplanted some trees that had been planted 2 years earlier but way too close. They were not getting proper growth so I spread them apart and I plan on hitting them hard with both water and fertilizer this upcoming year. It is a good 20ish feet in between trees. If these were your trees with same sandy ground, what would you do to maximize their moisture retention so that you didn't spend every 3rd day out there in the middle of summer with 5 gallon buckets in your hands?
Adam Klaus wrote:I would really get some professional advice. This calf does not sound good, and from the photo does not look good either. It seems like you dont know what to do, which is understandable, but that you are just trying random stuff hoping it will perform a miracle.
If you dont understand why you are doing something (i.e. giving milk, giving vitamins, giving antibiotics, giving grain), than how can you expect it to be helpful? I am not tring to be overly harsh, but this is a living creature you are experimenting with. See a vet, or at least consult with a knowledgable neighbor.
Internet advice and random experimentation is not a sound way to care for compromised animals. I wish you and your calf the best, good luck.
Where does she look off? I am just curious. She doesn't look much different than my calf as she was 2 years ago. However mine didn't have bowel issues but in looks, they looked the same. But I agree, dont just keep doing things. SOmetimes we can do too much and really screw things up. I used to go to the boards meant for KEeping a Family cow- exceedingly helpful people as I learned my calf. If her seasons just turned to Spring and grass is new for the calf, it could just be from eating the green grasses as her rumen adjusts. My cow is on all hay but if i ever let her out for grass she has the runs for a few days. Or again, she could have an underlying sickness. Its hard to say but she doesn't look bad in her picture in my opinion...
btw shes gorgeous!! i had to get my cow a calf to nurse on her and it was one of those ugly holsteins. Jerseys are by far the prettiest cow I look forward to getting my cow re-bred to a Jersey so i can have a Jersey calf around here again
If she was mine, i wouldn't give her anything. My cow has a little mucous here and there in her eyes, its normal. I would not give antibiodics as they will mess up the gut flora. By the way i am totally jealous of your green grass! We have over a foot of snow here lol! She looks nice in her picture. Just... relax I bet shes okay
i am in michigan too.. and many blueberry farms around. I only have about 40 plants and maybe room for 40 more. I was thinking of putting carrots by mine lol.. But it was cause i need to use the soaker hose and i thought i would fill in that spot. Not sure how well it would work. I am following this thread with interest
Are you offering her milk after she has already been weaned? Once a calf is weaned you aren't supposed to go back to milk later. It is possible the acid is off in her stomach. Or maybe she had coccidosis problems? I got my first ever Jersey heifer calf 2 years ago. She is 2 1/2 years old now She was 5 months old when I got her. She only ate a little bit and laid around all day. I gave her some grain but it was mostly hay. HOw much hay does she consume a day? i think mine ate 2 flakes at most at that age. Make sure she has clean water to drink and a nice dry clean place to sleep at night.
I realize your post is old but I will still answer cause someone else might wonder the same thing! I had a JErsey cow calve in June but her calf was stillborn. I grafted a Holstein calf on her the same day but she wasn't too thrilled. I sold him. Now its December and I got another calf to reduce the need for milking in the winter. She adopted him right away! We take the calf away at night then milk her at 9am then leave the calf on the rest of the day. We have been doing this for 3 weeks. We get what we need and he gets the rest. She holds up some for him but we are happy with what we get! Win win! now i dont feel bad for dumping all of my extra milk on fruit trees or turning it into cheese for chickens. Now I am growing beef! It was very easy to graft the calf on. All we did to graft was tied her in her milking spot and let the hungry calf nurse on her for the first 7-10 days. Then we started letting him out with her and he was eager.. and kept going after her. She was a tiny bit kicky for a day or two but now she lets him nurse any time he wants. I didn't really have to convince the calf to nurse on her any but I did move his head by her teats and kept spraying him in the nose with milk. He would get all excited and hungry and he kept moving closer and closer to teats. I let the teats get covered in milk and his appetite figured out the rest