Hi Anne, I’m trying to start growing medicinal herbs but hadn’t thought of doing so as a forest garden and am wondering if this might be the key to success! I’m keen to have a go at growing ginseng as I find it a really helpful ingredient in teas for energy, mood and as a general tonic, but do you think it would thrive in a forest garden in South Wales, UK? I’m in a sheltered south facing spot on a gentle slope with rich, free draining silty loam. We get a lot of rain and temps can go quite low (below 0 Celsius) in winter. I could lift and overwinter plants if necessary but this doesn’t seem quite in the spirit of forest gardening! Would be very grateful for your thought :-)
“I have not heard that you can fan train them. do you mean like an espalier, along a building? The building might get stained, especially with the red kind. If you are thinking of a hedge or a fedge, I'd see that: Less cutting, snipping, shaping... more fruit...“
I did mean like an espalier but actually I think you are right and I am confused - it’s actually training them more as a bush that I’ve read about. I like the fedge idea and it sounds more practical and manageable than espalier or fan training!! (Thinking about it logically it would grow every time your back was turned, wouldn’t it?) :-)
I’m so tempted to plant a mulberry, I love the fruit so much, but I’ve heard they take years and years to fruit and they grow so big. Has anyone had experience of keeping them small or fan training them, which I’ve read you can do? What’s the quickest anyone’s got them to fruit? I’m in Wales, UK, so relatively cool and wet! :-) I tried one of those dwarf mulberries from one of the big online nurseries - an expensive failure!
Hi Dr Tilgner and welcome. After a great many years of operations and orthodox medicine I’m looking for alternative ways to deal with long-term pelvic/abdominal pain caused by adhesions, but have no idea where to start. Please could you suggest anything I can use as a starting point, for me to research further?
Lots of great tips here, thanks everyone! We definitely HAVE rodents - I’ve seen them! - but from your descriptions I’m starting to think the damage might actually be more slug than rodent! I love the idea of having snakes. The snakes native to Wales are less commonly found in gardens but we do have slow worms which are actually a lovely type of snake or lizard I think, and they’ll eat slugs. I’ve seen one, once, in the garden and can easily create more habitat for them so I’ll try that. Coffee grounds are also easy as the cafe at my place of work gives them away for free. Thanks so much everyone, I’m really grateful to you all for taking the time to respond.
I do put out beer traps but there are so many slugs! Wales is very wet! 😂 I had seen articles about the stones and I’d forgotten all about it, I like this idea a lot, I’ll try it, the painted stones are so cute anyways! I have had good success with copper tape to protect hostas, so it’s certainly worth a go, and I have leftover copper pipe somewhere so I guess I could just lay that in the bed! Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions and advice!
Thanks Skandi, actually, we do have a lot of blackbirds... though we do net the bed, though I admit I get fed up with the net sometimes and give up and remove it. The holes are mainly on the bottom but can be quite big... it COULD be all slugs... I’ve just taken possession of about 5 Christmas trees from friends and colleagues so I can collect the pine needles and mulch the beds, I thought these might help deter slugs if it’s them! I agree about trapping. All that will happen is more will move in. There is a boundless supply of voles! (And I’m cool with that, lots of things eat voles!) I’d be delighted if a weasel moved in but I don’t think we’re quite rural enough. I’ve seen stoats deeper into the countryside but we’re kind of suburban/semi-rural here. We probably do get foxes...
D Nikolls wrote:Mice and shrews are terrible for strawberry wrecking.
The only places I see getting an actual harvest in my area are either:
1) Growing at scale in a big open monoculture field so that hawks and owls can really get good access..
2) Physical barrier; netting or wire secured to ground.
3) Cats and chickens all over the place, no mice. But usually chickens get into the strawberries!
I’d love chickens but husband says it’s a step too far for him! I think the physical barrier is the answer. Actually this may work to my advantage because I might find a way to make it modifiable into a rigid covering which might also give some protection to extend the growing season... hmmm...
Mike Haasl wrote:Hmm, around here chipmunks would be the most likely culprit. Do you have a fence around them that would at least slow down a medium sized rodent?
Maybe you could plant a lot of catnip around to attract feline predators to repel small furry critters?
Actually there’s no fence at the moment - we net against birds but I’ve been thinking some sort of rigid wire frame - more like a fruit cage - would be more durable and might offer a little rodent protection. The cats around us are too pampered to be decent mousers. Our terrier has boundless enthusiasm but no ability in the pest control department!
Something eats our strawberries - every single fruit gets a nice little bite taken out of it before we get a chance to enjoy it. There are slugs and woodlice aplenty but my gut feeling here is a mammal (or whole family thereof, more likely!) is starting the feast and the invertebrates are moving in later. I suspect rats/mice/both. I DO NOT want to trap or poison (yes, I know about the diseases, I still don’t want to kill them) so has anyone had any success with deterrents, please? Living in soggy south east wales, semi rural next to a stream - rats and mice are inevitable!
Jasmine, thanks so much for your posts, I really love the idea of the vision board - I’m definitely going to do this! I’m holding out hope of winning your book but if I don’t, I’ll definitely be buying it! 😊
Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to reply - lots of food for thought and great advice here. I’m going to spend my weekend digesting it, observing and trying to be more intuitive and less fixated on “doing things by the book”. The garden and the way I feel about my life are both definitely trying to tell me something - I’m going to listen hard this weekend. Thanks for your advice and support - will keep you posted! 😊
Hi everyone, I’m a total newbie to permaculture though I’ve been trying to garden and produce food mindfully and in partnership with nature for many years. I’d love to have a rural homestead but for now I’m a wage slave in a suburban house, blessed with a large garden. I’m interested in ideas for adapting my approach in my existing garden set-up to incorporate permie principles - can that be done, or would I need to start again from scratch? How do I start? At the moment I’m a bit overwhelmed with information and find myself doing a lot of reading but not a lot of doing (I appreciate that might say more about me than anything else!)