Could you hold off on chipping until after the berries are gone? I don't know anything about European buckthorn, so not sure if they are deciduous or flower/fruit all year, etc.
Some of the best chips I've gotten were from early spring, after the trees have come out of dormancy and are full of lush, green growth; but before they start blooming or fruiting heavily.
Last fall I got a bunch of elm chips that were full of berries and a ton of them came up in the gardens & flower beds in spring, so it's definitely something to be wary of. I've also had elm & oak chips that have sat and composted for 2-3 years before using them, and they still had viable berries and acorns that came up after I finally put them in the beds.
But- you're definitely on the right track with a good permie solution! I think it's just going to be one of those things where you have to get the timing right. 🙂
Jason Walter wrote:I want everything to be perfect but the reality is Im gonna have unhappy trees, some may even die, I should not let that discourage me in any way.
One thing about gardening (especially with trees) is that things die all the time. An oak, pecan, peach tree, etc., will produce thousands of seeds in it's lifetime with the hope of having one or two sprout & survive long enough to reproduce. And, since permaculture is based on observing & emulating Mother Nature, those who practice it tend to lose their fair share of plants/shrubs/trees.
There is prob no ideal way to do any of this unless I had a Walt Disney budget ( which I dont ) so Im just gonna keep planting my trees/hope for the best and deal with the issues hopefully appropriately.
One tip I can offer is to start looking for more cost effective methods of obtaining trees/shrubs. Propagating seeds & cuttings is a good way to get a lot of stuff to work with at a low price. Last autumn I picked up a bunch of half-rotted persimmons off the ground and got a couple dozen trees from the seeds. Some folks down the road have a pair of pear trees by the ditch that are always totally neglected but never fail to be covered with pears each year, so I'm planning to stop by and ask if I can pick up a few of the spoiled pears from the ground to try and germinate. Grocery store fruit is another way to get seeds and, while the variety may not be suitable for your climate, it doesn't cost anything to try if you eat the fruit. Some things take well to being rooted as cuttings. Several of my citrus trees came from broken stems I picked up from the home depot parking lot one time.
Grafting is another way to get trees for less $, but it is not something I've tried yet, so can't offer much advice on that.
So try not to get discouraged and look outside the route of buying full-priced trees from nurseries or garden centers.
I have them growing in my forest garden, as well as in random places on the property. The berries are edible, but they don't really have any flavor (to me). Most people I've seen use them made jelly from the berries (with lots of sugar).
If you want to transplant, I would do it during the dormant period. They can also be propagated by cuttings. I trimmed a bush back last winter and just stuck the branches in a bucket of soil. They ended up leafing out in spring and are now covered in ripening berries.
I suspect you can root softwood cuttings during the growing season, but I haven't tried because I don't really have a use for any more of the shrubs.
I am an amateur rose breeder, and often do a lot of crosses in my mom's rose garden. In order to keep her from deadheading the hips from my pollination, I bought a roll of the florescent plastic ribbon that's used for marking trees and flagging things. I just loop a small piece around the stem of the flowers I want to save the hips from and she (usually) sees it and doesn't deadhead that flower. I suspect that bright yarn or string might have the same effect.
Lauren Ritz wrote:I have goji berry in the area, but I was going to tear it out. Would a piece of chain link around the root area keep them from destroying it? The thing seems pretty much immortal.
I usually just wrap some scrap chicken wire around the things I want to protect and it seems to work as long as there's other, more tempting things for them to eat. So chain link would probably be fine.
My goji berry shrubs are pretty tough, as well, but my geese have taken out a couple of them in the past. Fortunately they're easy to root from cuttings. I prune them back in late winter and root some of the stems as potential backups.
While they aren't the highest yielding fruit/berry bush, they seem to make multiple batches of fruit during the growing season, which can give you a little consistency in forage material. I wouldn't tear them out unless I had something better to occupy the space.
Mike Barkley wrote:Mine have done well again this year. Never had an insect problem with okra. They are in rather poor soil along with black eyed peas. I guess it could be called a Clemson Spineless & TX Hill Country Red landrace. Both grew together for the past 5 years but haven't really noticed any cross pollination. They still seem distinct. We didn't get any rain for a month or more & they were too hard & stringy to eat then. I grow it mostly for making gumbo but we also freeze some & eat it breaded with corn meal then fried. It's still going strong but will probably slow down soon.
I hope to start a little landrace with the okra, but that polar vortex last Sept messed up my seed saving so I did a few, each, of clemson, burgundy, and go big. We didn't get any rain in CenTex for most of June and July (one or two days of light showers), so my pods were a bit stringy, also. The burgundy and go big are blooming again after the cool front, last week, and clemson has some new leaves, so hopefully I can get a few pods from each to save seeds for next year.
ETA a photo of my sad okra. Most of the tops have been stripped but the rain/cool front has caused some new growth from the base.
I'm definitely not any kind of expert, but here's some feedback based on my experience and personal quest for knowledge....
Jason Walter wrote:
We all plant in a substrate that could be improved so how do you improve that?
My scenario is that I have at this point, dug a hole, done a 50/50 soil amendment with pine bark in the sand that I have for earth, placed my trees slightly above the soil line, made a ring of more mulch and then top dressed with a cow manure.
I try to constantly build the soil, and typically don't amend the planting hole. I generally backfill the hole with the soil (or dirt) that came out of it and top-dress with compost or rabbit manure, along with some mulch.
I dont want to wait 3-4 years only to find out that the tree isnt happy, its never gonna fruit or the fruit is substandard so what can I do to give a better chance that Ill have some decent fruit and lot of it?
It's going to vary, depending on the type of tree, variety, and it's preferred growing conditions. Generally, if you provide the optimal & preferred conditions for the type of tree it'll be productive. While soil is important, one also has to consider things like sun, temps, humidity, etc. For instance, peach trees tend to be productive in my climate, while cherries aren't usually as productive. Furthermore, I can grow 'Anna' apples but, if I tried to grow a 'Fugi,' it likely wouldn't do well. So growing something appropriate for the environment is probably one of the biggest factors, or creating an environment where the tree you want to grow can thrive.
Some of you are gonna possibly say have the soil tested.....ok then what? My understanding is fert in a bag ( such as 10-10-10 ) isnt suggested. How do I correct the soil?
Soil building and conditioning should be a constant process, with the goal of developing a strong soil microbial system. Soil tests are great for giving you a snapshot of the current status of the soil, which goes far beyond the NPK status. A test will reveal the pH, % organic matter, CEC, and trace minerals (Mg, Ca, Na, Zn, Fe, etc). I try to get my soil tested every January to see how it's changed over the previous year, but I'm still learning which specific amendments can be used to correct which deficiencies, so I usually just focus on adding organic matter and building a balanced soil life. Going back to my input about the preferred growing conditions (above); I know my soil is naturally alkaline (pH around 8 ), so I don't waste my time and space trying to grow things, like blueberry bushes, which thrive in more acidic conditions. I've tried to grow them in the past by trying to change the pH by adding to the soil, but they just kind of sat there until I gave up on it, with maybe a yield of 4-5 berries in 2 years. Had I not gotten the soil tested I might have continued to waste that time and space trying to get a decent yield, instead of replacing them with goji berries, which have thrived in that space.
How often should I be correcting the soil, ect ect
Try to look at it more as "building," instead of "correcting." For me it's a constant process, steadily amending a little bit, instead of shocking the system with a sudden, big amendment. Soil will also build over time as the trees and plants are growing and establishing the relationships with the soil microbial life.
Im gonna guess that alot of you are like me, Ive planted many fruit trees on my property here is Brandon FL and never done a thing, just hoped for the best and sometimes Im happy and others not so much.....I have another piece of land Im developing that dosent have brown dirt, I think Im gonna have to do a little more than nothing if I expect to have any gains and Id like to better understand the eco friendly way of doing it.
You are definitely in the right place! When I first joined the site I spent a lot of time reading through the entire forums of the topics I wanted to learn more about, like soil, plants, trees, etc. With the new piece of land you're developing, I would probably get a soil test, just so you know what you're starting with. But, also, you can start adding organic matter to the surface and getting a good system of soil life going. Being in FL, I assume you have high temps/humidity through the year, meaning the organic matter should break down fairly quickly and need more added to feed the soil.
I'm also in Texas, 8a, and have all of these growing in my fields
First is definitely wild morning glory... I fight with it every year because it has tried to consume my greenhouse and other structures (and drops thousands of seeds each fall).
I always thought the second one was lambsquarters. Glad to learn that isn't the case.
The sapling (third) appears to be a young cedar elm. The wood chips I used on the garden last fall was full of cedar elm berries, so I've been chopping them out of the garden all spring and summer.
The common name for the last one is straggler daisy. It makes a pretty dense ground cover in the fall. I believe I've seen my geese munch on it, but they'll eat almost anything, so I can't say it's not toxic.
I agree with observation being one of the most important steps to getting started; even if it feels like you aren't actually accomplishing anything. After I began observing and noting the important things, I began to feel more confident in the permaculture design features I put in place. It's also saved time, in the long run, since I typically don't have to go back and make any big modifications due to an unforeseen drawback in the other seasons.
I also like the idea of starting close to home, then working outward. Kitchen gardens are a good first project (after observing the water flow/source and sunlight during each season). By having it close to home you are more likely to work on/in it than you would be if it was a 15 minute walk across the pasture.
Lastly, I would recommend starting and finishing the bigger projects before jumping in to more projects. I have a bad habit of getting multiple things going at once then, either, not getting anything totally done, doing them just enough to be functional, yet having to go back later and fix/improve things.
Best of luck and looking forward to seeing your progress!
I agree with the earthworks being first, that way you don't have to work around any newly planted trees/shrubs.
But I also agree it's best to get the trees & plants in early since they can take a while to produce (so the earlier they're planted the earlier you'll get a harvest).
Having the poultry work for you is a great idea, and is something I plan to do, myself, over the winter. I had a huge pest problem this year, so I'm currently working on putting a little fence around the garden and plant to rotate the geese/ducks and the chickens during the daytime in hopes of the waterfowl taking care of weeds/seeds & slugs/snails, and the chickens digging through the mulch for overwintering insects & larvae. Since I have a decent population of frogs, toads, and small lizards in the garden I've been putting in rock and wood piles in hopes of giving them a safe place to overwinter from the birds. I also realize that I will need to figure out a good way to protect the younger trees and smaller shrubs from the poultry.
The only thing I haven't decided yet is if I want to put down the new layer of mulch first, or wait until the birds have had their way with everything first. I may try it both ways in different spots to see which works better. 😁
Please keep us posted on your progress! Sounds like you are getting a good plan in place and I'm excited to see how it goes!
My okra had been disappointing this year. It's funny because last year I did 2 rows (around 15 plants) and had way more than I knew what to do with. So this year I only planted 6 plants and the grasshoppers, sharpshooters, and stink bugs have kept them almost totally defoliated all summer, which reduced blooming and pod development. But, after the mild winter and early spring/summer, the bugs have been really hard on almost everything, so I'll just try again next spring.
Pineapple guava, beautyberry and goji berry are perennial shrubs that can be a forage source for poultry, as well as moringa, if hardy in the climate. Also cannas & elephant ears/taro tend to be vigorous and hold up well to my chickens.
As mentioned, mulberry is always a great option, and is very easy to propagate from cuttings during the dormant season.
While an annual, my birds have been enjoying the luffa shoots that climb through the wire from the plants I put outside the run this summer.
In my experience it's the digging that seems to result in the majority of the chicken-related plant deaths. It's fine when the birds are just browsing the greenery, but once they start digging it seems they won't stop until they've killed/uprooted the entire plant (then they just leave it laying there to dry out). So any type of plant, shrub, or small tree I want to keep alive I have to protect the trunk and base of the root zone.
Been a while since the last update, but not a lot to report.
1. It's been hot and humid all summer, so I haven't been able to work on projects too much because the heat/humidity quickly becomes more than a person can handle. This has caused me to be a bit overwhelmed with the huge to-do list, but I've kind of been just doing what it takes to get everything through the day.
2. I've decided to let the garden go for the summer. A lot of stuff has died out, but there's still some crops and plenty of weeds growing. My little strawberry patch was full of baby plants & runners, but a lot of them have died, even though I have been giving them a bit of water.
*Note to self- don't try to grow green mulch in the paths next year because they just get filled with crabgrass that throws seeds everywhere.
3. Next year I think I'm going to try a different layout of the garden because everything just grew into a big mess and was difficult to harvest and it took a lot of time to make my way through everything and gather the ripe crops. I finally quit because it sucked being covered in sweat, itchy from the plants & bugs, while seeing the sun set knowing I still had other chores to do. My brain works better with more organization.
4. Bugs are everywhere. Stink bugs, squash bugs, leaf footed bugs, sharpshooters, possessive/stinging pollinators, grasshoppers, caterpillars, mosquitos, flies, harlequin bugs, fire ants, aphids, and, last week, swarms of Japanese beetles showed up for the first time. Bumblebees have made a big comeback, which is great until you grab one while harvesting. My dragonfly swarm is back this year, but haven't made a dent in the mosquitos and gnats. The ladybugs seemed to fade out in early summer. The biggest pain is the fruit flies that have invaded my house!
5. I decided to not do a fall garden. It's still 100°+ each day, and I figured there's no sense in just feeding the bugs more. I still have a few kale plants from last winter, and may do some more greens in October.
6. A big % of the produce ended up being pig & poultry food this summer because I just didn't have the time to preserve it. Then, the aforementioned fruit flies would try to infest stuff from the garden as soon as I brought it in. Definitely not what I'd hoped for but at least it saved me on animal feed and wasn't totally wasted.
7. Bought some 3ft garden fencing on clearance, and am going to try to fence in the big garden space and let the geese, ducks, and maybe the silkies have their way in it over the winter. Hopefully they'll find/eat pests in the mulch and weed seeds, plus clean up the old plant remains (saving on feed). Since my annual garden is attached to the forest garden I'll need to protect some stuff like strawberries and small shrubs/trees before I let them in.
8. Vines, oh my gosh! They've been excellent producers, but man do they take up space. Will definitely need to come up with a better trellising system before next spring.
9. Still need to improve/expand the poultry yard and coops when I can source the materials.
While this may sound like a "negative" update, it's not all bad. I've just been a little overwhelmed with the daily stuff and other stuff that pops up and needs attention. It's caused me to become a little burnt out (literally, with the Texas heat lol). I've only been on this homesite for a little over a year, so I'm still trying to design and implement the right system, which is hard when my hands are already full. But, I hope, it'll get better as I keep going.
Soon I need to sit down and start refining my plan to identify the priorities and what tasks will give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to simplifying and saving time.
JoO has been naturalized on my land since my great grandmother planted it when they built their house in the 1950s, which is where my parents live now. I live at the back of the property, which was just field/pasture until last year, so have been trying to introduce edibles and other, useful things that may be able to compete with some of the more undesirable stuff.
Lately I've been collecting the little berries from some of the Jewels in my mom's flower beds and broadcasting them in the food forest in hopes of getting them established to have access to a heat tolerant spinach substitute and (hopefully) have something that will compete with the crabgrass that always tries to take over the gardens.
I may be mistaken, but I believe it is more of an annual in my climate, and dies down in the winter with new seedlings volunteering in the spring. But my mom has had it show up in some of her tropical, potted plants and it survives when she moves the tropicals to the greenhouse for the winter.
Lately I've been making a mix of wood chips/leaves and rabbit manure & wool and using it on the surface as mulch; which seems to be working for the trees.
Chives (and other alliums) tend to be good living mulch/ground cover, as do strawberries and ground cherries (although they can't take as much foot traffic).
Oftentimes I consider the "best" mulch to be whatever I have an abundance of at the time
On my property they grow together (along with poison sumac) and even wrap around each other as they grow.
Personally, I'm not a fan of either because they're both so vigorous that I've seen them choke out and kill 100-year old pecan trees. I wish they would compete with one other; and have the grapevine win since, at least, the pigs, poultry, and rabbits like to eat grape vines/leaves.
With all that said, though, I do think you could be on to something. I mean, we know environment is a big variable, with plants & animals constantly adapting to the environment & becoming localized strains of a species. So it's totally possible that something in my environment makes it beneficial for the 2 species to grow together, while something in your's has resulted in them being competitors.
Kudos to you for the good observations!
Scarlet Runner Bean = Well it definitely has nice flowers. But that was it for me. Plants do not put on green beans after flowering. I have never had this problem before. I think it has to do something with temperature or (unlikely but) pollination. Each Plant is covered with 50-100 flowers for the last month or so but I had one bean only. I still have some hope, it might perform differently in the fall. Will see
Chinese Red Noodle Bean = plants didn't germinate. Pff.
Chinese Light Green Long Bean = great performance! I have beans that are almost 1 m long. I am trying to save all the seeds that I can get. I'll try to grow it as a major crop next year.
My scarlet runner beans made some pods in the spring, but stopped once it got hot this summer, even though they've been blooming non-stop. Like you, I hope the cooler weather in autumn will encourage them to start producing again. I also grew the long beans this year and have had similar results. They seem to like the heat, and have produced during the hottest parts of the summer.
One thing I noticed was the runners came up quickly and started producing in early spring, while the long beans were slow to get going but, when it got hot and the runners slowed down, that was the same time the long beans started going strong so, between the two, I have had a steady supply of green beans during the growing season.
This is correct; however, in livestock, inbreeding is often done in an effort to identify these hidden recessives, which allows the breeder to cull the undesirable gene(s) from the herd and work towards having a bloodline which is homozygous for the desirable genes.
At the same time, outcrossing to an animal from a different line doesn't necessarily lower the chance of getting a "double recessive."
For instance, when I first started breeding rabbits I occasionally had cases of malocclusion show up in my litters, so I culled the stock with bad teeth and the stock that produced bad teeth and the issue was resolved within a few generations.
3-4 years later I brought in a new, unrelated buck and bred to the girls. The second generation after bringing him in I started seeing cases of malocclusion, again, in the animals descended from him. Had I not linebred closely, I would have had the gene circulating through the herd again, just waiting for the right opportunity to show up. While some may feel it's okay when the maladaptive genetics stay hidden, I prefer to identify them and cull them from the gene pool before they get spread out across the herd. Additionally, I don't want to potentially sell an animal that carries something undesirable to someone and end up damaging their line's gene pool by introducing the recessive.
I've had something similar happen with some apple juice from the store. One night I forgot to put it back in the refrigerator and left the bottle on the counter until the next morning, then put it back in the fridge. Few days later I went to pour another glass and noticed it was fizzy, so I smelled and tasted it.
It actually was pretty good; considering it was made from a $1 bottle of apple juice
john mcginnis wrote:
Hair my friends is a good source of slow release nitrogen. Sloooooow, like a year or two. The trick of course is supply. Your barber/stylist should be your best friend Permies.
Very true. I raise wool breeds of rabbits and like to use the damaged/soiled fiber in the gardens as mulch, under or mixed with the wood chips. It's a good slow release source of nitrogen that also helps to retain moisture.
Personally, I really like it!
I've learned that the most important opinion is your own; and you want to make sure you make your design where it's going to be convenient for you to access. One popular recommendation is to have the kitchen garden/beds close to the house/door, where it'll be easy to step outside and harvest what you need, without taking a lot of time (or, in my case, lower the risk of getting distracted by something else ).
Also, be cautious about the vines being close to the house. Not sure about your climate but, here, grape vines will easily consume buildings/structures in a single growing season.
Finally, I've found it's normal for a design to change as we continue to grow and learn. Each year I go over my observations and find things that I improve in order to make things more efficient and productive. The key, for me, has been to make sure the "big ticket" items, are effectively placed, such as trees that take so long to become productive. In the beginning I made the mistakes of planting some pecan trees too close to my septic system and had to remove them before they messed anything up, which meant I wasted a few years of growth towards a harvest since I had to start over with new trees. So now I try to consider the long-term scheme of things whenever I put in something semi-permanent.
These have just been things I've learned from my experience with permaculture design, but maybe some with more experience will chime in with critiques of your specific design.
Great thread idea!
Things have slowed down with the heat, but I'm still getting some yard-long beans, cherry tomatoes, and ground cherries each day; as well as some peppers, squash & zucchini every few days.
Recently planted some sweet corn for a (hopeful) fall harvest, and am planning to sow some more cukes, summer squash, and bush beans for the fall garden (if the grasshoppers don't eat them as soon as they come up).
You are not alone! I have probably close to a dozen roses I grew from cuttings that have been in pots for some years. In my experience, you should be able to transplant them to the ground and have them thrive.
Usually the best time to transplant is in the early fall or early spring. Before planting, water them well. Then remove the root ball from the pot and do your best to untangle as much of the root system as you can. Since it's likely that there will be roots break off, I usually trim the same amount from the top as there are broken roots (like if I lose/remove 25% of the roots, I prune 25-30% from the top growth (which I usually try to propagate into more plants). Since roots are constantly dying and regrowing, you don't need to untangle the whole root system, just enough to have some to spread out in the planting hole so they're growing away from the plant instead of circling it, like they do in the pot. As older roots die out and are replaced with new roots, the new ones should grow out, instead of around.
Despite their reputation for being finiky, many roses are actually quite durable, and can tolerate some abuse and neglect. I would totally try to transplant the ones you have before investing in new, younger plants. Even if you don't get a 100% success rate, at least you won't have to replace all of them. Good luck with the move and with the roses!
I feel it depends on the plant's growth habit, the climate/environment, the type of compost, as well as the depth of the compost and chips (like others have said).
I tried last year to grow some brassicas in a layer of composted rabbit manure on top of wood chips and didn't have good results. Since the root systems of the things I planted are typically shallow, they basically kept the roots above the chip layer and dried out quickly, and never accessed the nutrients/minerals in the soil under the chips. Additionally, it seemed like every grass/weed seed that blew in and landed on the compost germinated & thrived. In an attempt to retain moisture and suppress weeds I tried adding another layer of chips to the surface, and found it was very difficult to dig through the 3 layers (which hadn't broken down much) this year. Oddly, though, the volunteer brassicas and the seeds I broadcasted over the chips seemed to do fine with sprouting in the chips and sending roots down to the soil.
With that said, I have also added compost to the chips and used a rake to mix the compost with the wood chips on the surface and planted seeds/transplants in the mix. Stuff like squash/melons, tomatoes, corn, and other rapid growers did fine with it; I assume because the roots were quickly able to reach the soil. Beans, peas and peppers were a little slower, but eventually took off.
Things planted before it got really hot and dry did much better than the things I planted later in the spring/summer.
You may end up with totally different results in your climate than I did in mine, so my thought is to try different things and see what does best. Let us know how it turns out!
My forest garden and my annual garden are separate; but also together. Basically, the southern and western borders of the forest garden are also the northern and eastern borders of the annual garden (can try to get some photos to better explain). Eventually, as the trees and perennials grow larger and cast more shade over the annual garden, I will begin to transition that area to become part of the forest garden and create a new annual garden in a new spot.
As for mixing, I do have many annuals and biennials in the forest garden. Most of it is volunteer stuff, since I use bolted/spent annuals as mulch in the forest garden after chopping them down in fall; but I also put bush beans, kale, and climbing cucurbits in the forest garden where I see open spots that weeds might try to take advantage of if something else doesn't get growing there. Also, I always start way too many seedlings each spring to fit in the annual garden so the extras often find themselves in the forest garden, wherever I can squeeze them in.
They look like a type of sharpshooter bug. I have seen a ton of them in my garden this year, especially on the legumes (annuals and trees), and all over the sunflowers that volunteered this year. From my understanding, there are several different types of sharpshooters.
That looks awesome!
Lately I've found myself soaked in sweat when I go out to do chores in the evening, because it's so hot & humid to the point where it's hard to even breathe because the air is so still.
Having a little bit of air movement would go a long ways in helping to stay cooler. I will totally look around for something like that!
Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?
Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer.
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.
Sometimes orach does struggle depending on the soil. But I've found it responds well to saving seeds from the ones that at least do okay. Last year I started some in a new garden and the best capped out at about 2 feet before going to seed. I saved seeds from the best ones and sowed them this year in the same garden. This time they're around 6 feet tall! The soil is improving and has a lot more soil life but is still not great. You could try saving seeds to see if that would help get more harvests in the future. I've also noticed that sometimes it can be slow to get going and then take off. I had some new orach seeds (green--my other ones are red) that didn't look like they were going to do anything but in the last few weeks they took off and caught up to the ones I grew from the seeds I saved. The green ones were in a separate new garden.
Thank you for sharing! I am not sure if mine have set seed yet (they're a little bit covered in runner beans and vine peaches at the moment), but I will check them out and see.
Does orach have any cold tolerance? If so, I may see how a fall crop does. That's usually the best time in my climate for other greens, like kale, spinach, chard, etc.
What will be naturally growing during Jan-March in the designated spots? I would think that would be the most relevant time period to deal with clearing prior to sowing.
If you have the budget to rent a tiller or disc-er, i would, in that situation, probably do a one-time soil disturbance and mix the organic matter into the soil (and probably spread a layer of manure or compost prior to tilling/disc-ing/plowing. Then sow the seeds in hopes of them getting a head start before the seed bank in the soil has a chance to get going. I know from experience that black eyed susan can easily handle and outcompete the typical weeds, as can some of the others on your list (BES can quickly become a monoculture by shading out everything else). I feel, once you get the pollinator plants established, you shouldn't have any issues with them reseeding and maintaining the habitat.
That's just what I would do in the situation, but others with more experience may have better ideas.
Flora Eerschay wrote:Kc Simmons, the difficulty in cooking was for me that it gets too hard easily. But I figured it out. After third attempt...
As for plucking, I think there is machine that does it? Mine looked as if the feathers were burned too.
If you can, it's better to keep the skin. You can use it to cover some veggies and cook them in the oven.
The meat is better cooked in water, separeted from the fat.
Deboning took a while too, but it was worth it because I could do more different things - from the bones, and then meat, skin etc.
Also, I never had so much of a carcass. Looked as if they cut right behind the head.
Thank you for sharing!
I have done lots of rabbits but I'm still inexperienced with dispatching and cleaning poultry. This fall I will need to do the ducks and whatever males I have in the young turkeys and chicks that hatched this spring. Trying to learn what I can before then in hopes of making the process easier
Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?
Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer. :(
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.
No big updates to report. The monster zucchini is still going strong, but everything else is just kind of "existing" in the triple digit temps. I did plant some bush beans a week ago and a few are coming up, but the grasshoppers have gotten so bad lately that one seedling was eaten, and the others may be next if the pests find them. I've only had to water a couple of times, mainly because of the bean seeds and the most recent transplants that haven't gotten a good root system going yet. I also need to fill up the compost cage again, since a lot of it was broken down with the last rains and intense heat/humidity (and soldier fly larvae).
It would seem that all of the organic matter making up the lasagna layers of the bed is holding moisture and nutrients, because the weeds, especially crabgrass, have gotten thick and tall all around the bed (and probably filling it with their seeds *eye roll*). It seems like I clear around the diameter and a few days later the crabgrass is already dangling new seed heads over the border and into the bed. The rocks I put in the "keyhole" are suppressing it a little in that area, but the weeds that do grow in there are hard to pull out *eye roll again*. Of course, the grasshoppers don't care about that; they are just wanting the good stuff. The two comfrey plants in the ground outside of the keyhole are thriving, but not really suppressing the weeds.
Maybe divide and spread the comfrey around the bed for future mulch as a way to put leached nutrients back in the bed.
Also consider a deep layer of wood chips to keep crabgrass in check until I'm able to buy a weed eater, scythe, or something to cut down the weeds.
Depending on how the current, perennial herbs in the bed do, I may make it into a semi-permanent herb garden. I need to move some potted lavender and rosemary over there to see how they tolerate the afternoon shade.