Forgive me for being skeptical. Y’all know birds have wings right? and cats don’t? From what I’ve seen, cats only catch birds if they’re very lean, diligent, highly experienced, adept and motivated hunters. Seems like they catch dozens of mice/voles for every one bird. Never seen a cat with a snake. And then likely the coyote/fox/fisher hunts the cat but perhaps would have hunted the same mice the cat was. A cat can barely keep up with a few mice in and around a house. How could a tiny cat possibly even put a dent in a vast multi-acre ecosystem? I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.
Since it’s been 7 yr I’m wondering about “the rest of the story”. There very few venomous snakes in USA, there are good inexpensive Identify Snake books, observe observe observe. Effective cat deterrents-prickly stuff like twigs of holly & pine cones - does not even slow down snakes. I bet a 2-3 yr old would love to spot & name snakes! Snakes also deter judgmental strolling-thru-someone-elses’ —garden types (wink wink).
Kind of freaking out here. Just finished adding some large stumps into 3 beds here in Nebraska. Covered one but have not added any compost or top soil yet. My concern is termites and the fact the beds are about 4-5 ft from my house.
Should I ditch the stumps and find “sticks”? The stumps are also from a freshly cut tree, couldn’t even tell you what kind of wood it is.
The future of the area is garden and an entry level food forest. Right now it is a suburban lot. Looking at making it productive for more than just grass. I let my dandelion and clover grow where it can and am attempting a persimmon from seed. It has wintered here so hopefully this spring I will have a sprout.
I buy Cypress mulch to use around strawberries. It works great. It doesn't breakdown very fast, so it keeps the berries clean. I don't think slugs like it as much as they do straw. It also has a neater appearance. A lot of my berries are grown on my deck in Earth Boxes. I haven't had any nitrogen deficiency.
you wont get rats in those. if they dig holes underneath youll know where they are and do battle with them. easily managed. Ive never had problems with mine.
One thing you might want to consider is putting smaller diameter wood on top of that so youll get breaking down goodness quicker. If you top that up with soil from there to the top that's a lot of soil and the roots wont get anywhere near the rotting wood. To get maximum benefit you need that rotting wood to be incorporated in the root zone. You only need about 5-8 inches of soil on top as most vegies have pretty shallow roots. Then time it so when the upper wood is rotting down quite well, dig it to incorporate it with the soil. Otherwise, you'll still get many benefits, but the wood will rot away and go downwards with gravity and your plants wont be able to get to it - all the goodies will leach out, eventually.
If you keep putting compost on, youll be surprised how little the beds will subside as wood rots, I noticed none at all on mine after 5 years, and not a sign of wood remains, but i used much thinner wood than you have used.
Brenda, thank you very much. That make sense about the cardboard. We actually left it out but I think just because we had lots of other stuff. The garden is doing well, it's small, but bursting with good eats.
We've got the hugel cedar-framed keyhole bed that I was asking all of the questions about, and a hugel mound-style bed. We are planning on expanding the garden to take over a 50'x40' section of the lawn with more hugel mounds. I like the mound shape. I've had a hard time finding info on water harvesting on uneven, or level terrain. Our lawn doesn't have a particular slope, it undulates a bit, so there are lumps and depressions throughout. Anyone have any thoughts on bed alignment and shape for capturing water and sunlight, regarding which consideration takes precedence, and issues of trade-offs and sacrificing one for the other?
Here's a site that has several links to info on mycotoxins: http://texasgrassfedbeef.com/science_underscores_grassfed_meats.htm Alt-F and search for myco and you'll find the links. Bottom line is they're a big problem with big-ag grain products. But I don't eat many grains or feed them to my critters, so I'm not too concerned.