April Wickes wrote:Matt, I could kiss you. I couldn't get to the .skp file even if I had a way to open it; it's gone 404. You're my new fairy godfather.
HA, no worries. All I know came from studying others and asking good questions so it's only fair to pay it forward. Heck it looks like you might just build a DSR3 before me and then I'll be asking YOU questions.
And for Sketchup, you have to log on to their website and open the file from your computer in their online program (and can save it to your online library there too.)
April Wickes wrote: Is that your DSR2 spreadsheet I’m using? I think it must be.
Please let me know when you have one for the DSR3!
I vaguely recall uploading the batch box spreadsheet with additional values for the DSR2 features somewhere.
And since it's a real slow day at work and you've got me curious, here are the measurements from Sketchup on the DSR3 core that Peter shared!
I believe this would be called a 6 inch system since he said the diameter of the tube is 100% of system size or slightly larger.
Like you, I'm excited by this design because there are no secondary air provisions to worry about and it seems pretty safe as far as being nearly impossible to put into fuel overload.
I doubt I will build anything this season, but I'm on the hunt for a 6 inch ceramic riser sleeve to play with
And Peter if you read this, thanks again for sharing that Sketchup file!
I also wanna know what they taste like as fruit leather. Because the fruits themselves START as tasty for a split second on your tongue before you're left with this weird terrible astringent dryness coating your mouth! Supposedly processing helps gets rid of the astringency.
I'll take a crack at some of these. I've been where you are, just knowledable enough to see the gaps in your knowledge!
April Wickes wrote:SO NOW ABOUT THOSE QUESTIONS
*Also, the DSR3 can’t do open system, can it? Or do we just not know yet?
I can quote Peter as saying this on the Donkey board: "no separate secondary air provision. Size of air inlet is less important in this design, simply because the core is slowing down by itself when a fuel overload is imminent. It seems to be scalable, I expect it to be capable of running without a door at all." But this statement was some time ago and he may have a different opinion now.
April Wickes wrote:
That top exit port. The spreadsheet I downloaded says for a 5” system it needs to be 7.25” wide (same as whole top box, right). Then it says “Height 2.09” and “Depth 1.45.” I’m confused. I read that as a slot 7.25 x 1.45 in a 2” thick ceiling, which seems awfully narrow. It would make more sense if it were 7.25 x 2 in a 1.45” thick ceiling.
My 7" DSR2 has an exit port that's 10"x3" (10" is my total box width) so the math is 7" system divided by a 3" port= 2.33. Your 5" system divided by a 2.09" port= 2.39 so by this crude math I can at least say that we are proportionally close! When I built this core, I struggled through the forums for breadcrumbs and ended up getting a lot of my dimensions by taking Peters DSR2 sketchup file, scaling it to a 7" core, and using the measurement tool to extrapolate what some of the dimension would be that I couldn't confirm otherwise. I've never actually seen a spreadsheet that has all the DSR2 details aside from the one I made. I wonder if some of the data gumming you up here is actually numbers for the stumbling block.
April Wickes wrote:
B. I know some people have had issues with the DSR2 exit gases cooling too much to run a cooktop. Suggested fixes seem to be, Insulate both the top box and the cooktop under-channel, and, Make the under-channel as shallow as possible. CSA on a 5” system would be 2.66” – but that makes a skinny rectangle of a CSA, not an open circle, so would that create too much restriction? What’s the shallowest height could I get away with without bogging down core performance?
I believe the standard answer to the "minimum height above exit port" question is "same as system size". So 5" in this case. Not sure. But you've seen the Sherman tank pics where there is tons of height between the exit port and tank top, and that tank top gets plenty hot for cooking! Peaking at around 400 degrees F at 30 mins into the burn (ambient air temp 45 degrees F.)
April Wickes wrote:
C) Seriously considering a casserole door, because an open system would have oodles of airflow to cool the glass. BUT. It looks like the molding of the frame would have to create a lip over the top of the firebox, restricting firebox opening. Does a hanging lip screw up the ability of air to enter or to flow over the top of the fuel load as open-door operation requires? Also, as an open system, do we have any ideas about how *much* of a gap should be left at the lower edge for air intake? Because Peter seemed to have his best results with at least some restriction.
As you saw in another post, it's not truly a completely open system since the opening needs about 60% coverage to work properly. Peter advised the air opening to be in the sides of the "door/cover," rather than a bottom gap. Hence my janky T shaped door. So I don't think you'd have an issue with molding for your casserole door IF you left air gaps on sides.
April Wickes wrote:
D. Another possible restriction point in the bell path: Gases will stream out from beneath the cooktop unrestricted and rise into a 15” diameter round bell made of flue liners. But as they sink, they’d need to squeak around a 3” corner gap. This wouldn’t need to be otherwise blocked, so we’re talking about a 3”x24” slot, which is 3.75 times CSA but narrower than I like. So: how much back pressure might a restriction like that make? It would then pass into a channel of just about 1.3 CSA beneath the firebox and out the exit stack.
I believe the answer to this is also "same as system size" so don't restrict more than 5 inches.
April Wickes wrote:
5) I’m having trouble designing the bypass. I can see the place it would go – right out the side of the cooking channel to the chimney. But if I cap the box portion of the bell with firebricks, yet make the cooktop under-channel as shallow as I possibly can … that doesn’t leave me much of anything I can cut through to make one. How big exactly does a startup bypass need to be? Can I get away with just a slit? (Not likely to be firing it up in summer.) Anyone see a better idea?
That's a though one with your current design, but if you had the 5" gap for your cooking channel it would be easier. From what I've seen, your bypass should actually be at the top of your bell though. And you could achieve that with a T in your stovepipe into the bell. The hole does not need to be large, and in fact some designs leave a small bypass open all the time because the vast majority of gasses will follow the proper path when everything is warmed up.
April Wickes wrote:
6) Baking in fireboxes at coaling stage. Who’s done it? Are split firebricks in a casing of CFB likely to hold enough heat? I know people have had good oven luck with full size firebricks, but those would rob too much heat from startup on a 5” system. I’ve also heard of people who abandoned baking in their firebox because it was “not for them.” Which I don’t know how to troubleshoot.
I thought half the fun of the DSR2 was the built in oven, aka the top box! Granted, that's another door to figure out. Something I have not done myself.
Disclaimer: I always hesitate to speak for Peter, so when I do it's direct quotes from a board and even then things may have changed. Maybe he'll visit this thread like Santa Clause and provide better guidance.
April Wickes wrote:Matt covered the development of that funky T-shaped door in his previous thread: https://permies.com/t/152831/Open-System-DSR-Smoke Yes, it was a partial air restriction, as per Peter's advice. That's why I was curious to know the upshot after a year of living with it.
The simplicity of the open-system DSR2 is attractive. Lurking on Donkey's forum suggests at least some people have opted to add a door with air channels anyway, but I'm not sure why.
Yep, that funky T shaped thing is my way of blocking around 60% of the incoming air per Peters advise. I wish I had more to report but the stove is out in my shop and I had very very few opportunities/needs to use it last winter! Which sucks because it was supposed to build my confidence for building an indoor stove for this winter. Life has other priorities it seems (and I'm kinda waiting on more DSR3 info to come down.)
I did do this open system for simplicity and no welding, but only feel like I can get away with it because it's in a cement floor shop building. Sparks do happen, so a door would be desirable indoors. Also a door provides you a fail-safe if, for example, you get an odd gust of wind that sends smoke back or some other anomaly. With a door you'd have a way to shut everything off from your living space and starve the fire to shut it down.
Amazed at how well comfrey poultices work! When I have a small injury, I skip the blender and other tools. I just take small new growth leaves, strip the central vein out, and then roll and twist by hand. The twisting breaks down the leaves to release the juices. Moisten with a few drops of water and bam- ready for a quick and easy small poultice.
Aside from the obvious shift to outdoor labor moving to dawn and dust, I also find that the cooling neck cloths really do work wonders. So does coming inside and taking a break by laying on the cold basement floor! Knowing yourself is important and regularly asking "am I starting to get loopy?" "am I powering through to finish something when I should really take a cool-down break?"
Seems like a solid plan to me! The hardest part will be sloping the trench around the wall in a way that ensures it all drains into your sump pit, rather than sitting and stagnating in low spots.
I quite like the double duty of using the pit to do the sink too. Great way to regularly test the system through just using it. The chances of this being code compliant is pretty slim though. But that would not be an issue until some day if you were selling the house and an inspector called it out.
Nope. They will do whatever dumb things they want. They will fly right over a 6 foot fence. Nothing short of a bird run with a cover will contain them. I had to give up on them entirely because I live on a busy state highway and I didn't want to be responsible for a traffic accident. Sorry, I'm usually more positive!
I used to do exactly this where I used to live. I took some pvc pipe end caps, drilled through them into the house wall, and arched pvc electrical conduit from the ground up to the caps.
Caps held the conduit to the house and I cut the ground end of the conduit at an angle to stab into the ground. I wove the conduit through woven wire fence, which covered about the bottom half of the arch. The top half got covered with plastic net.
Crazy that my coop was also on the south side of the house, the hoop run along the east side, and I also fenced up under the porch so they could run there too!
The chickens enjoyed their run extension, and I enjoyed them keeping the grass and bugs away from the house. No issues with smell, but I didn't have a ton of birds crammed in there.
Many phone calls and parts diagram studies later I answered this- They make a basic engine and all the additional “spec numbers” behind it represent various options. The majority of them just indicate what mower company they built it for and are completely interchangeable.
BUT sometimes they mean a major difference like the size of the crank shaft, which could mean the difference between compatible or not at all. Don’t call the manufacturer (Kawasaki in this case.) They are impossible and know nothing. They direct you to call the small engine dealers who have greater technical knowledge, which I did. Three of them to make sure I was ordering the correct engine!
This is essentially my tractor, used for much more than mowing. Goats and geese need not apply to replace it.
I pushed my zero turn mower too hard. I learned what "too hard" is when the engine literally blew up, two big holes and all oil draining out. I have suspicions as to why this happened, but my focus now is replacing it!
No, I don't want to buy a new mower entirely. I have made too many upgrades and customizations, plus an engine swap would be far cheaper. It is a Hustler Fastrak 930107. The current dead motor is a Kawasaki FS651V-BS11. Guess what? you can't buy a new FS651V engine with the "BS11" specs. But there's dozens of variations of the FS651V motor, and as long as the crank shaft is the correct size/length then any other variations should be easy enough to overcome, right?
I did a side-by-side comparison of the BS11 and the AS07 variant part diagrams and can see little to no difference (looking especially hard at where the various connections are made from mower to engine.) But with $1700 on the line, I figured I should check with the Permie hive mind to see if I'm overlooking anything. Motor heads, what do you think?
Trace Oswald wrote:Matt, what kind of mix did you plant? A purchased one or just a mosh of plants you wanted, or ?
The patches in method 1 and 2 started as "Spring into Summer" blend from American Meadows, and I've added many random extra perennials. I'd say it's a decent blend, but I'm more native focused than I was back then.
The method 4 patch was a cheap blend from Amazon from a company called "Own Grown."
Now that I have saved seeds from the method 3 native patch, I'll be working with those and a native seed blend I bought from Pure Air Natives here in Missouri.
We have experimented with these 4 methods of converting lawn to wildflowers. Since there is lot of interest in this currently, I wanted to share what we have learned so far. Each pic will have a description of what went into making it. Hope this inspires you! The birds, bugs, bees, and yourself will be glad you did it.
1. Winter seeding is best. Some seeds need the cold and damp of winter to trigger germination in spring. This is called stratification and is especially important for many native plants. A seed blend spread in summer did not produce the same plants as the exact same blend spread in summer.
2. Tilling may have the unintended effect of bringing more “bad” seeds to the soil surface where they’ll germinate and compete with your seed blend. A no-till option would be to just cut the grass low right before smothering.
3. Seed blends will evolve. Some annual flowers will go crazy the first year. They may or may not re-seed themselves into the future. Blends will likely have perennial flowers that will slowly build strength and take over in following years.
4. Tarps can be standard woven tarps or really anything impervious. Can be clear plastic, and that may even be better because it cooks the turf with the greenhouse effect (but clear plastic is weaker and harder to hold down.)
5. Maintenance will be required for establishing. Weeding and sometimes watering, depending on how rainy the season is. Download a good plant ID app to help. I use “Picture This” which is free at first, then $20 a year, but there are many other options.
6. All these seeded patches are blends which are not specifically natives, but contain some natives. This type of blend is much easier to establish than purely natives, which are slow and somewhat fussy.
Method 1- Tarp and Till. Pro: “set it and forget it” Con: Tarps on the lawn are kinda ugly.
Process- Tarps were spread on high grass in mid-summer 2020, tilled the dead grass into the ground in November 2020, and spread seed in January 2021. Seeded ground was trampled to get good seed-soil contact.
Reasoning- Mid summer heat is the best time to start killing lawn. Tilled in November before the ground froze. We let the tall grass become more organic matter in the soil by lightly tilling it in.
Results- Lots of beautiful poppies the first year that did not appear in the “method 2” bed at all because they did not get the overwinter stratification (see notes.) This has evolved into many native perennials like the coreopsis and coneflower here.
Method 2- Just till. Pro: Ready to seed quickly. Cons: Effort of weeding and watering.
Process- Low mowed and deep tilled a small area in June 2020. Some compost was added to boost soil fertility. Seed spread and trampled immediately after. Patch had to be weeded regularly, especially from grass, until the seeds started taking off. Watering requiring since we missed the spring moisture.
Reasoning- This was the original test patch. We got a late start so tilling was necessary since we had not smothered the previous year.
Results- Tons of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia) the first year, a real hummingbird magnet… that wasn’t even supposed to be in seed blend! Too much Evening Primrose the second year, so we removed a lot of it to make room for other stuff. Lots of amaranth that grows comically long, purple cascading flowers. This has become the catch-all bed where I plant any extra perennials.
Process- Turf was covered with leaves and grass clippings, then cardboard and mulch in May 2020. This was left as-is until May 2021. We then planted purchased native plants through the cardboard.
Reasoning- We left this for a year for the leaves and grass clippings to decompose and make better soil. This method is specifically for planting plants or “plugs” since you cannot seed on mulch. Plants that grow by spreading were selected, rather than seed spreaders. We wanted to showcase native plants, and have them organized for maximum bloom time and height (low to high, front to back.)
Results- Natives are slow to establish, but buying plants meant they were older than seedlings and many bloomed the first year. We were able to collect seed and use them in future plantings. The species of insects that these natives draw in is amazing to see. This bed will require weeding and re-mulching for a few years until the plants spread and fill in the spaces more. Doesn’t look like much now, but will soon when those 6 foot tall Blazing Stars pop off.
Method 4- Spray and seed. Pro: low effort. Con: herbicide.
Process- This area of lawn was ALL dandelion (which we have plenty of elsewhere) and those were sprayed in late summer 2021. The bare earth was raked smooth, then seeded with a cheap wildflower blend in May 2022. This was watered regularly between rains until it took off.
Reasoning- Because I had bare ground and wanted to see how low-effort I could go with a wildflower patch!
Results- Decent growth so far in a very young bed. It will need weeded the first couple years but will hopefully fill in with perennial plants over time. Not bad for $12 of seed and an hour of work.
Jay Angler wrote:I'm wondering if you haven't gotten to the root of the problem here! You're not dealing with damaged soil, you're maybe dealing with subsoil and that might actually benefit from some sort of soil building chop and drop routine before getting your Native plants established. There may be little natural biology in the soil. Is the slope to great for sheet mulching with an emphasis on jump-starting the soil biology (worms will do that, and some sorts of mushrooms would help also, but they both need something to feed on.)
I believe I might also be up against road salt too. It is alongside a state highway and gets blasted accordingly several times each winter. But my only dead baptisia is there, and they're supposed to be very salt tolerant. Sounds like a soil analysis is in order! With intention to build soil as well.
Oliver Smith wrote: Each year that wildflower mix evolved until low and behold after 3-4 years it was almost all the natives that were in that mix.
Same experience here! We did a couple small patches of seed blend. The blends were not native specific (just some natives in there amongst a ton of non-native annuals.)
The first 2 years we only saw the annuals, but this year it's mostly just the natives left. It makes me think a hybrid approach might be more practical for native seeding projects: throw a bunch of annuals in which might re-seed themselves for a couple years, but will peter out as the natives grow stronger. It seems the eager annuals beat out the weed competition in the first two years, so less fighting tough weeds while waiting for the natives.
Anne Miller wrote:Hi Matt, I was wondering how the 18 Purple Poppy Mallow planting turned out?
Weird, I haven't been getting notifications for this thread activity! Anyway, I was out inspecting again yesterday. And it's not great.
The Poppy Mallow towards the top of the slope are doing fine. But all the ones I planted even a few feet downhill from them are dead and gone. Also had some other extra native starts, like Royal Catchfly, Blue Lobelia, and Blue False Indigo which are all doing very poorly. I planted the same Blue False Indigo in several other spots around the property and they're fine, but the ones I put on this slope are brown, crispy, and dead.
I weeded around the surviving Poppy Mallow, but I cannot pull weeds. The soil is too crumbly and I dare not disturb it so badly. So I just chopped and dropped around them. For the rest of it, I'll just keep it scythed down to prevent the weeds from setting seed and hope for the best.
I believe this is "loess" soil. Dry, silty, and low nutrition which might be a large part of the problem. So it makes sense that the Poppy Mallow on top are doing ok, because they're closer to actual top soil, rather than this loess deposit that was exposed when they built the road.
I am using 6 foot tall poly deer fence with 3 strands of electric outside to keep my chickens safe. But there's a rabbit that really really likes hanging out with the birds, so he's dug his way in. Good way to demonstrated that I need ground protection so I will be adding cattle panels to the inside of the fence and likely cutting off the bottom horizontal bar so that the panel has 6" spikes along the bottom to prevent burrowers. I imagine these 3 layers would work ok for you. Granted, woodchucks can burrow under an entire roadway so if they want in, they're getting in.
Update: Aeration works! I ran a pump and aerator from Practical Garden Ponds the last two seasons and it clears the water right up. Starts out very green in spring since the sunlight can reach it and promote algae. But as the leaves grow in and the pond is shaded, the combo of bubbles and shade really clear it up. Granted, this probably only works because the constant inflow of spring water. Also, I used cattle panels up before the culvert entrance to catch trash and natural debris so they don't enter the water.
I learned not to put too much infrastructure in the "hole." We had a freak 13" rain storm last season that dramatically re-shaped things through erosion and land-slides... but ended up making it easier to access (while also nearly blasting my inflatable loungers into the next county and burying my pump in mud.)
This weekend I moved some limestone rocks to make it even easier to have a place to sit and a way to get in the water via rocks rather than mud. Here's the current vibes swimmin' hole vibes:
Greg Payton wrote: Has anyone done the "mow high" method for a prolonged period and have an idea of how many years of this process might one be looking at for clover taking over an area based on maybe a starting vs ending percentage and/or a yearly kind of figure of what they've experienced?
It's hard to tell and nearly impossible to quantify what is my doing vs what the seasonal conditions (moisture, temp, etc) are favoring. But it seems to be working out. I think a lot of grass shoots up early in the season, so my goal has been to keep it from going to seed without mowing so low that it chomps up the clover. And now here in mid June, the clover is really starting to thicken up as the grass decreases vigor. But without hiring some turf management interns for the summer, I won't be doing any percentage measuring
Angela Aragon wrote:
I am asking because people seem to speak as if the circuit for the electric fence is closed by the ground wire. In other words, there will be no shock unless there is a functional ground.
I went through this learning curve last year, and yes, you are correct. The end of your polybraid can just end. It does not need to connect back to anything. The ground is what completes the circuit.
My fence is just three strands of poly rope that enclose three sides of a pasture since the forth side is secure enough without, and it took a lot of convincing for me to accept that I could run three wires that just end and rely on the ground to make it zap. It does zap indeed, just ask my poor dog who didn't know any better yet.
I have 6 foot tall poly deer fence around my quarter acre chicken pasture to keep them in, and 3 electric fence lines on the bottom to keep predators out. So far so good, except for hawks. For those I have a scarecrow but it has failed me before. I tend to forget to put it out in the fall, and move it regularly.
I killed off the grass/weeds growing on an impossible-to-mow roadside slope. I trimmed the dead vegetation but left enough duff to hold seeds from running downhill. I cast a custom low-growing native seed blend in the winter. But here we are in late May with little to show for it.
I surveyed up and down this weekend and only identified ONE coneflower and a couple more things from the seed blend list. Starting to feel like I only managed to open the soil for crap to grow (like mullein, thistle, dock, ragweed, bindweed, and a lot of narrowleaf plantain.)
Not sure what went wrong here. Fortunately I had 18 Purple Poppy Mallow that needed a home, so I started plugging those in to colonize the first 20 of 100 feet of slope length. But the remaining 80 feet are going to be no better than when I started and I’ll likely have to re-treat and try again this fall/winter. I seeded heavy. Maybe I’ll have to go heavier still. Am I just being impatient? I’ve done many seed blend plantings but this is my first exclusively native.
My huglekultur bed had a few inky cap mushrooms come up last year. But this year, wow! So many that the clumps are threatening to uproot vegetables and already claimed a young kale. I went through and essentially “chopped and dropped” them by breaking them off at the base and left them in the soil.
I know they’re technically edible, but I don’t like the part where they are poisonous if you consume alcohol within 3 days. I figure the fungus is still doing its job breaking down the wood, I’m just stopping the fruiting bodies from disrupting my annual veg. Would you do anything different?
Pods, good idea! Because they might be more visible than the thorns in a truck... and flag a REJECTION.
We got a load of free mulch when I was a kid and it was absolutely full of honey locust and the thorns would puncture right through your shoes. Not something I want anywhere near my food forest. I've been stabbed enough by them in this lifetime
A lot of us have had free/cheap wood chip mulch deliveries dropped off from tree trimming companies. I think we all know that it’s rolling the dice to do so, and we have all found certain “surprises.” So I wanted to start a fun and informative thread here by asking the question: What are the most fun (or not fun) things you have received in a woodchip drop?
My first drop brought a ton of cup-fungus to the property. No big deal
My second drop... a ton of ditch-weed seeds sprouting up all over now! Along with hog-peanut and wild yam.
If I get a load of honey locust thorns, I'll reject it and send them packing even if it burns a bridge with that company.
My wife asked me to grow hyssop. I didn't know there were two, so I ordered seeds and grew Hyssopus officinalis (the non native.) Then I found out this was the "wrong" hyssop. She wanted the native Agastache.
But here's the kicker... Out in the herb bed this weekend we found the native Agastache growing happily all on it's own right where we were going to plant it anyway!
I only did this for the initial planning. Mostly to see how many of the fruit trees could fit and how to space them. After that, it was just filling in the gaps without fussing over graphing it all out.
I don't consider white clover to be a ground cover in the context of a mulch bed. In mulch, your ground cover would be plants that pop up in one place and spread out laterally over the top of the mulch.
White clover is more like a turf replacer. Still a ground cover, but not compatible with mulch since clover is many many small plants reaching up, rather than one plant that reaches up from one spot below the mulch to spread out.
There are other bush-type clovers that would do the job better through mulch.
Here we are, ready to kick off year two! Middle tier ready to make berries.
In the first year there were more than enough runners to fill out the top tier and colonize the middle tier. Looking forward to colonizing the bottom tier and maybe even let them spread off into the food forest floor in future years.
Depending on where you are, I'd be afraid waiting until July to set the seeds loose into nature. One because they might not have enough time to establish before winter, and two because that's the hottest time of year and you'd need to keep on top of babying the little sprouts that evolved to germinate months earlier in the spring.
One comment on the blue false indigo: I also initially thought it needed a long cold stratification until someone reminded me that 10 days is enough per Prairie Moon. And indeed, I pulled them around that time and had a great germination rate (granted they also need a nick and 24 hr warm soak.)
You'd be amazed how quickly chickens heal from wounds like this. Sounds like you are on the right track with treatment. My only suggestion would be "the red headlamp trick" where you use a red headlamp to do treatment at night in the dark. Chickens are much more docile then and I do all my doctoring this way to keep everyone's stress down, including my own.