Michael Cox

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since Jun 09, 2013
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Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Recent posts by Michael Cox

We definitely have two varieties.

They were originally planted at different ends of the same rows in blocks, but the original 3 rows were way too close together and the whole area filled in and the blocks send runners into each other.

I had the chap up today who will do the digger/auger work to get the postholes in. He is going to rip the roots out with the digger while he is there, which will be a huge labour saver. The whole patch is about 8m by 3m of dense roots. Once he is done I will move the roots to the side and I can rotovate it a few times and work in some of our compost from the chickens.

The suggestion to let new plants grow, and then assess them in the Autumn makes sense. I'll have a think about the best way forward.

Skandi Rogers wrote:If they were showing no signs of disease I would rip them all out then pick some nice new canes and replant them. I'm going to do that as soon as the ground thaws out here!

No disease, but I know that I have at least two varieties with different growth habits. A primocane and a floricane. It’s been a real pain pruning them because they are all mixed together.
I mostly end up using permies from my mobile.

A continued bugbear is the location of the reply and new topic button - at the very bottom of the page, requiring endless scrolling to find it every time.

Can we have a “new topic” button at the top of the page as well?

I’m hoping the someone here has been through this and can give some feedback based on experience.

We have an opportunity - as part of getting a fence installed - to rip out our old raspberry canes and starting over. This is appealing because the patch was planted over 20 years ago by the previous owners, and the plants are now way too dense, and have all grown into each other. The plants are no long thriving, probably due to over crowding.

I’ll have a guy here with a digger who can lift he roots for me. But because the roots have all grown together, and I don’t know the original varieties anyway, I can’t separate the various varieties from each other.

So the questions:

1) is ripping them out and starting over worth it? Will I get much more vigorous growth and fruit afterwards?

2) Can I save a few of the old roots for replanting, or should I start over from scratch?

3) If I start over, would you have a trellis system to recommend? Currently they are unsupported and collapse each summer.

Jay Angler wrote:I've used scraps of sheet metal (either recycled from garbage or small scraps that haven't much potential) to make simple brackets which I've screwed on. Not super strong, but avoids the "end grain" issue.
So if you run out of 2x2 sized stuff but can find free sheet metal, it's an option.

Old drinks cans cut up?

Looked it up. It is called “wood welding”.

Maybe not quite right for this purpose, but still pretty neat.

1 day ago
If you leave animals penned in one area there will be a build up of manure. That manure can be both unhealthy for the animals, and the build up of nutrients can be unhealthy for the land if concentrated.

Industrial farmers rely on slurry pits and then using machinery to spread the manure on the fields.

In a permaculture system you would aim to avoid that problem in the first place, by avoiding concentrating manure in one place.

Eg cattle might be rotationally grazed with only a day or so on each piece of land. The manure gets evenly spread, and the cattle don’t end up standing in it.

Chickens might be “tractored” around the land, moved every day. They get fresh forage each day, and the manure is spread where it falls onto the grass.
3 days ago
I have been watching the few videos I could find on this. One suggestion is not that they do better, but that when planted out they get a few weeks head start on plants from seed.

In marginal climates that could be useful, or simply to get the first beans of the year earlier.

Our runners were disappointing this year. We struggled with rabbits and slugs that ate the new growth. Working on an plan to rabbit proof the area.
I read a few years ago that runner beans can be overwintered. I left some in the ground a few years back to see what would happen, but come spring they had all rotted.

I was doing some garden tidying today, taking down my bean wigwams, and discovered a bunch of healthy looking runner bean roots. About half had already rotted away to mush.

I lifted them from the soil and transferred them to a large pot in the green house, filled with fairly dry and partially rotted woodchips. I figure this should help protect them from frost and rotting until the weather warms up in spring.

I’ll post an update in a few months.

Anyone tried something similar?
Here in the UK the vaccine programme is well underway and it is making a palpable difference to front line workers already.

Our hospitals are currently totally swamped with cases, but unlike the first wave most frontline NHS staff have now been vaccinated. So while those carers are still facing harrowing situations on a daily basis, they no longer face the fear of catching it themselves, or of bringing it home to loved ones. It is still early days. But we can hope that, even if the case rate doesn’t fall dramatically, vaccinating the most vulnerable first will quickly reduce the number of severe cases needing hospitalisation.

Hospital cases are still currently rising, but my feeling is that the fear is no longer as severe.

(Caveat - I speak from experience of my own family members who work in hospitals. Because of the Pfizer vaccine needing super cold freezers, and once thawed having a short self life, some hospitals have been able to vaccinate some frontline staff rather than allowing doses to go to waste. Not all regions have got as far with this yet, and experiences will vary considerably with each setting. But progress IS being made.)
4 days ago
It sounds like the OP is looking to improve their current arrangement of coop and run, not redesign for a mobile arrangement.
1 week ago