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Ludi's Projects 2019

 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Reducing the Ashe Juniper population, making new trails, and erosion control brush berms.
P1080058.JPG
reducing juniper
reducing juniper
 
Tyler Ludens
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We're at the transition between the "Dead of Summer" and the new cool season growing period.  The Cedar Elms are blooming and some Summer-dormant things are beginning to come out of dormancy.  I'm cleaning up the Kitchen Garden to plant cool-season vegetables and to review what did well and what failed.

Starting with the failures:

Strawberries - they hated it right away and died soon after.  Soil not right, probably.

Bambara Ground Nuts - same thing, instant hate, near-instant death.

Crosnes - never did much, soil probably too alkaline.

Eggplant - seeds sprouted but seedlings died or got eaten instantly.

Choko/Mirliton - grew well initially then failed as it got very hot.  Probably in too much sun on the West-facing side of the garden.  Next year I will try them on the East-facing side.

Bell Pepper - not worth growing, they don't produce well here.


There were some notable successes:

Tatume Squash - grew fabulously and produced like mad, more than we could eat.  We shared a lot of them.  We still have over a dozen mature fruit to eat later.

Sweet Potato - I planted these as a ground cover and they did great.  We ate them throughout the season as greens and it looks like we will get some roots as well.

Red Russian Kale - produced well for months, went dormant in the heat of Summer and is now coming back for new harvests.

Sweet Banana Pepper - grew and produced heavily.  Next year I will try to grow them from seed instead of from store plants.

Moringa - my new favorite plant.  I have three growing in the Kitchen Garden and have planted sticks of three more which I hope will root and grow.  I hope to get all these trees through the cold season but not counting on it.  In any case they grow so fast I won't mind replanting from seed next year if I have to.


Some challenges:

Gilbert Fritz Landrace Tomatoes - grew well direct-seeded and produced lots of fruit but got badly attacked by sucking insects.  Soil probably not optimum.

Bearded Iris - I planted a lot of these throughout the Kitchen Garden but the soil there is sometimes too moist for them so some rotted.  I'm moving the survivors to the Food Forest where the soil stays drier.

Apple - I successfully grafted my one surviving Apple tree but it has not grown much at all.  Just not happy.  I think I will give up on Apples.
sept2019.JPG
kitchen garden
kitchen garden
 
Tyler Ludens
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Moringa is producing pods.  I'm not sure when to harvest them.
P1080065.JPG
moringa
moringa
 
Tyler Ludens
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Working on a new trail and brush berm
P1080075.JPG
new trail and brush berm
new trail and brush berm
 
Tyler Ludens
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Brush berm along the edge of the old quarry
P1080074.JPG
brush berm
brush berm
 
pollinator
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very cool =)

+ 1 for double fence, totally a great idea. and yeah it makes it much harder to jump, deer are intimidated by it, they can jump high but not wide and high.

one great idea i have heard people doing to stack functions with the double fence- is to run chickens in between the inner fence and outer fence....with a little house somewhere inside there.

in this way they can have the run of the whole circle, right back to their little house, they make use of the space between the fences and most excellent - eat a lot of insects surrounding your garden. as the insects try to get into your juicy edibles in the garden...the chickens can eat them before they get there!
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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leila hamaya wrote:
one great idea i have heard people doing to stack functions with the double fence- is to run chickens in between the inner fence and outer fence....with a little house somewhere inside there.



Yes, I like that design idea also - and yet another improvement might be to have a dog run outside the chicken run, if the dog is not a chicken-chaser (for instance, our dog is - or used to be when she was younger - a squirrel and deer chaser, but never bothered a chicken.).  No varmints could get to the chickens or the garden.
 
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Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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cat dog trees
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Bees at the birdbath, with Izzie photo-bombing



I love Izzie!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Completed about 700 feet of brush berm along the top of the quarry and adjacent hillside.

P1080083.JPG
brush berm
brush berm
 
Tyler Ludens
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Anole and native Morning Glories on rainwater tank

P1080088.JPG
Anole and native Morning Glories
Anole and native Morning Glories
 
Tyler Ludens
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Multiple brush berms on contour on a slope previously infested by Cedar. Cedar (Ashe Juniper) is a native that behaves like an invasive exotic now that the ecosystem it was adapted to (prairie) has been destroyed.  It is a human-caused problem that humans must repair or likely the land will turn to desert.  I'm finally doing work which I should have done ten or twenty years ago but did not have the tools - good loppers and a chainsaw - or the time and energy.

The problem is the solution:  Too many Cedars become berms on an eroding slope.

P1080097.JPG
multiple brush berms
multiple brush berms
 
Tyler Ludens
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Planted a Mulberry, two Persimmons, and three Pineapple Guavas in the Food Forest.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Cleared this mass of regrowth Cedar to reveal a Hackberry, Texas Persimmons, and Possumhaws:
1007190921c.jpg
Cleared this mass of regrowth Cedar
Cleared this mass of regrowth Cedar
1010191014a.jpg
Cleared this mass
Cleared this mass
 
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Looks like you have been busy! Is the persimmon fruiting?
 
Tyler Ludens
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The Texas Persimmons are winding down their fruiting season.  It was a very productive year for them.  We never eat many of them, because they are small and seedy, but the wild critters love them.

 
pollinator
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Location: OK High Plains Prairie, 23" rain avg
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Tyler, In your OP picture it looks like all the trees are cedar. How do you decide which to cut and which to leave?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm using hand tools (small chainsaw and loppers) and cutting each tree individually, so it is pretty easy to keep track of what I'm cutting.  I didn't know there were so many other trees in there until I cut out a lot of the Cedars, because they were completely overgrown and would have eventually been shaded out by such dense growth.  I piled the cut Cedar around to protect the other trees from the deer.  Even though we have hordes of deer, I still keep finding baby native fruit and other trees trying to make it in the Cedar desert.  I have optimistic ideas of what it may eventually look like, reforested with a diversity of trees, in five to ten years.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Lots of trail work this week.  I'm finding some interesting little bits of topography.



lowertrail3.JPG
[Thumbnail for lowertrail3.JPG]
lowertrail2.JPG
[Thumbnail for lowertrail2.JPG]
lowertrail1.JPG
[Thumbnail for lowertrail1.JPG]
 
Tyler Ludens
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Fossil imprints found on the trail:
scallop.JPG
[Thumbnail for scallop.JPG]
 
Tyler Ludens
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In the Kitchen Garden, Moringa dripping with pods:
moringapods.JPG
[Thumbnail for moringapods.JPG]
 
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