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Gilbert Fritz

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since Sep 13, 2013
Denver, CO
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Recent posts by Gilbert Fritz

Chris, I would think that if the concentration of the contaminant were low and the starting population of microbes sufficiently diverse, a community that lived off the stuff would develop over time. Maybe the concentration could be increased bit by bit. (Of course, I have NO experience with this field, but I've heard of such things being done.)
1 week ago
Thanks for the replies!  I was actually thinking about doing something with concrete to bind the stuff.

In any case, I have an aluminum/plastic radiator, so I shouldn't have to worry about the metals.

I'll probably put a little water into it, and pour that into a bucket for some kind of treatment, and then just rinse it out with enough water to dilute whatever is left.

1 week ago
I've got a scrap radiator that I will be using for a greenhouse heating application. The company I bought it from drained it but didn't rinse it. I'm going to rinse it out . . . what is the most environmentally friendly thing to do with the several gallons of water that result?
1 week ago
Gregory, that is a great idea!

Welcome to Permies!
1 month ago
I've discussed in past posts that there is a lot of vacant land near Denver that could be used for urban farms, but most of it does not have water access and getting water installed is prohibitively expensive. With only 15 inches of rain a year, there is a very limited range of vegetable crops that can be grown without irrigation.

What if a farm was laid out in alternate rows on contour 8 feet wide, and every other row was a plastic covered low tunnel. However, the plants would not be growing in the low tunnels, but in the open rows. On the long sides of the tunnels the plastic would be buried in the bottom of shallow mulched trenches.

This would give the uncovered plots the equivalent of 30 inches of rainfall. Furthermore, light rains that would have merely evaporated off open ground would be concentrated into the trenches and sink into the soil, thus boosting efficiency of water usage.

Would this set-up work to grow standard vegetable crops? (Combined, of course, with mulching, varietal choice, etc.)
2 months ago
I know lots of people say pill bugs are harmless . . . but I've found them to be a problem. It seems that if plants are stressed by harsh conditions, they will happily eat them. I've lost lots and lots of plants, particularly beans, to pill bugs, particularly in growing seasons with harsh weather. Pill bugs really like mulch. It may be a good idea to pull mulch away from tender young plants. Also, I've heard that spreading pulled up weeds around the garden might help; it gives the pill bugs some other stressed greenery to munch on. But I've never tried it.
It has got some dramatic scenery, any way!

Would heavy rain/ melting snow on nearby peaks lead to flash flooding along that torrent? Has it happened before?
8 months ago
There are relatively new herbicides out there based on iron chelate. I'd like to get some thoughts on them. As far as I can tell, they contain iron in an organic, easily absorbed form, thus giving sprayed plants a fatal, systemic overdose.

What would the fate of this herbicide be in the soil? I assume that it would quickly become part of the 100,000 pounds of unavailable iron already in the average soil, particularly if the soil is alkaline?

What do you all think about the safety/ permie compatibility of this herbicide? It sounds like it would work better than the organic acetic acid herbicides available, since it is systemic. What would be the downsides?

I'm interested in this because to my mind one of the big problems in permaculture is removing spreading perennial weeds from established landscapes. Once a complicated landscape is in place, sheet mulches are not an option and hoeing/ hand pulling may be ineffective, particularly if the weeds are emerging from rock or masonry elements in the landscape, or near woody plants.
8 months ago