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Nila Jones

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since Jun 29, 2012
Grew up an a small homestead, second generation permie.
Pacific Northwest, USA
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Recent posts by Nila Jones

Well, you know what they say, one zone's ferocious invasive is another zone's delicate treasure .


In Western Oregon, comfrey is one of the worst invasives. But Hall's honeysuckle, which is a terrible weed in the Southeast states, needs constant watering to even stay alive .
9 years ago
How about putting cylinders of 1/2" wire around each tree trunk, and then letting livestock in to keep the grass short?
9 years ago
For the look of stone walls without the cost, I used chunks of recycled concrete ('urbanite'). They are normally free -- I got mine just by noticing, when ever I was out biking around, when people were jackhammering up chunks of sidewalk or foundations for repair projects. You could also call a paving contractor and ask them for some. It saves them the price of the dump fee, if they bring it to your house instead .

9 years ago
Why do you want to get rid of the grass? This is not always a simple question .

I was assuming that you wanted it out in order to give root space and nutrients to the young trees. But planting something super-invasive in our climate (I'm in Western Oregon, too) like comfrey would worsen that problem.

Am I missing something?
9 years ago
I keep most of my seeds in the fridge. They are in miscellaneous paper packets (I just started using glassine) and are grouped by category in ziploc bags. I used to use plastic tubs, with tidy little labelled dividers I made out of cardstock, but I decided they take up too much space. There may be more seeds than food in there, and the bags are compressible before zipping . After 10-15 years, germination is less, but it's no problem at all after 5 years.

Seeds that I have larger quantities of, like brassicas and favas, I just keep on top of the bookcases in the living room. If I have saved a lot of seed, I don't care about germination rate . I did find bugs in one paper bag this year (10-15 years old), so I will be more consistent about putting them in containers now.

I also don't clean my seeds, necessarily. For some varieties (brassicas, again, are an example) it just doesn't seem worth the trouble. I save whole stalks/pods, and crumble them into the bed. Or, if only starting a few in trays, I separate out the seeds at time of planting. A side benefit is that the chaff makes it easy to see where I have planted.
9 years ago
I have had great success using beneficial nematodes against an invasion of cucumber beetles in my kitchen garden.

I used soapy-water traps and hand picked the adults (hundreds in a small area), and the nematodes prevented more from hatching. They did not help the crops already damaged, but I saw no more beetles that summer (last summer) and none so far this year. I was impressed with how effective the nematodes were!

If you google, you can find farm-sized quantities of nematodes for a reasonable price. (Post here if you can't find the link and I will hunt it down.)
9 years ago