Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
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Dumas Walker

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since Sep 15, 2012
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Recent posts by Dumas Walker

I was not able to get any of them out for Winter 13-14. I actually thought they'd all died. However, one of them came back the next spring! Shot up a new main "trunk" right next to the dead one. It did well over the Summer, so I transplanted it just after Thanksgiving. We will see how it comes back in the Spring.

Last year, I dug up and transplanted a red bud at a similar time of year. It came back well. The Tulip Poplar I transplanted in Spring made it through the Summer well. We will see if it comes back. These two were both "volunteers" that sprung up in areas that were not good places for them to stay (but apparently were good places to get started! ).
6 years ago
I have a friend with a small yard in a city neighborhood. They have some flower and rock beds that have been overrun with thistle. We tried using a mixture of apple vinegar, dawn, and salt. It made a small dent but did not really kill them. She has also tried finding someone locally with goats, but has not had much success with this.

Does anyone have any good ideas for organic or non-poisonous applications that are effective on thistle?
7 years ago
Thanks for the reply. I do not plan to shift them until after they are dormant. Around here, that'd be in late November or early December, before the ground gets too hard (if it gets hard). They will certainly be over 6 inches by the time the drop their leaves. One of them is at least 18 inches at this point.
7 years ago
Not quite a year ago, I started some black and honey locust seeds. I planted them indoors and kept them well lit through the Winter. This Spring, after the threat of frost had cleared, I moved them outdoors. The best looking ones were transplanted into 5-gallon buckets, while some of the scraggly ones were left in smaller containers.

The ones in the buckets all perished, either from apparent natural causes or from critter activity. However, all was not lost as some of the scraggly Honey Locusts came on. I now have them in the 5-gallon buckets, and have surrounded the opening of the buckets with cylinders made of wire that are high enough to keep the "diggers" out. They are growing well, but I have doubts that they will reach the prescribed 3-6 foot range that is considered ideal for transplanting by the end of this Autumn.

I half-way wonder if the issues the seedlings had this Spring were that they didn't really go through an "Autumn" season like they should have. They got a simulated Spring in my basement, and then were introduced to the wild in actual Spring. Even though the surviving seedlings may not be up to size for transplanting late this Autumn, should I go ahead and leave them outdoors over the Winter so that they can at least get used to the changing of seasons?

Also, if they get to be 3-6 feet tall by Spring, should I transplant them then, or wait until next Autumn?

BTW, the 5-gallon buckets do have drain holes drilled into them, in case anyone wonders. on edit: Also, I am in Central KY, if that makes a difference regarding the changing of seasons question.

7 years ago
I have been doing some research on locust trees lately (and off and on over the past year). There are varieties that are thornless. There are also varieties that are both thornless and seedless/podless. I believe that these podless ones may also be bloomless. Have your honey locusts bloomed in the past and just did not this year, or have you ever seen them bloom?

The podless varieties are some of the "ornamentals" that have pretty Spring leaves. They start out looking like Autumn leaves, coming out with some yellow in them, and then going green before eventually going yellow again in Autumn.

We have some here in town that are thornless but produce many pods. That is where I get my seeds from. We also have some at work that are thornless and podless. These do not bloom like a honey or black locust normally would. I think they must sometimes produce a few flowers as they do sometimes produce a pod or two, but I have never actually seen them flower.

7 years ago
Thanks for those tips. I do hope to have the stump ground out soon. It was supposed to have already been done, but the fellows who were to do it turned out to be grifters who were asked not to return. I honestly doubt they were capable of deep grinding anyway.

They are currently sheltered in a couple of flower beds that get morning/mid-morning Sun. The azaleas and myrtles should keep the wind away while allowing some Sun in. I figured that was a good area since it is where the naturally-planted water maple seedlings tend to do well.

Once I choose one to transplant, should I put something around the seedling to prevent any wildlife or other damage? They are awful small plants currently... a foot tall, tops.
8 years ago
I am growing some black locusts from seeds. I carefully nicked the ends of 5 seeds with an Xacto hobby knife. I soaked the other 6. None of the 6 soaked seeds have made it... one sprouted and the other 5 did nothing. Three of the 5 nicked ones sprouted and are still growing. A 4th sprouted but never had leaves.

Slightly-OT: Are thornless Honey Locusts also bloomless? I am assuming that if they had seed pods, they must have had blooms at some point? At work, we have some locusts trees (*) that sure look like honeys, but I have never seen them bloom. They also do not have thorns or seed pods. The one near the Old Capitol building, where I gathered my HL seeds, is also thornless but had a bumper crop of large seed pods. I used those seeds because that tree is so beautiful in the Fall (I get a great view of it while sitting in the chair at the barber's! ), but I don't remember if it blooms in the Spring.

(*) maybe they are not really honey locusts, but they just about have to be a locust of some sort. They have the tiny, pretty yellow leaves in the Fall.
8 years ago
I just finished reading a thread where it was suggested that topics be kept general, so I will do so here.

A friend recently gave me two tulip polar seedlings that have grown up over the past year in their flower bed (i.e. they were not there at the start of Spring, 2012). They dug them up and put them in clay pots.

I have two questions. (1) The pots are not very big... I am guessing ~2.5 quart pots. Should I consider putting them in bigger pots, or even back into the ground here (I live in Central Kentucky)?
(2) If it is OK or desirable to leave them in pots until they are bigger, should I leave these seedlings outdoors, or should I move them indoors once the weather gets cold?

They were out, in the ground, during mid-30 degree F weather already this Autumn, BTW.

My only desire to leave them in a pot is that I don't yet have a place to plant one of them. I have a Black Pine stump that needs deep grinding, etc., first in order to prepare the area.

8 years ago
I have a relative that has found out about my desire to grow locust trees from seeds (so far, so good!). They have asked if I can grow some seedlings from hemlock seeds. I told them I would give it a shot. I recently had to have an evergreen cut down, so I would also not mind growing one for myself also. Most of what I have found on the web leads one to believe that these seeds should be planted outdoors. Has anyone ever tried growing one of these in a pot until it is ready for planting outdoors?

Maybe with a hemlock it does not matter much, but I figure if I am trying to grow them over the winter that they might do better in a better-controlled environment.

P.S. Most of the sites indicated that one might be crazy to grow them from seed when they are easily purchased, and maybe I am!
8 years ago
Another update... as of this morning, I have the following germination/sprouting rates:

Black Locusts, all planted 9/15:
4/5 (seeds nicked with hobby knife)
1/6 (seeds placed in boiled water; removed after water cooled below 100F)

Thornless Honey Locusts, planted 9/16-9/22:
14/27 (seeds placed in hot water and soaked; includes two seeds that never swelled)

The Honeys that have sprouted so far were all planted 9/18 or before... the others took at least 98 hours (and 5 hot water treatments) to swell and have not really had time to sprout yet. Also, the Honeys that were swollen after only 15 hours and one treatment (planted 9/16) have shown no progress. Based on what I have so far, it is best to try the hot water once or twice and let the seeds soak for 22-24 hours minimum.

Also, one of the Blacks and three of the Honeys are starting to "spread" and show new leaves.

All are planted in 5oz. Dixie cups with one hole in the bottom, and in organic garden soil that includes humus and a mix of cattle and poultry manure.

Thought I would share for anyone curious or anyone who has never tried this before but is thinking about it, and maybe happens to find this thread on a google search (which is how I found this site). It has been fun so far.
8 years ago