Davis Tyler

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since Mar 30, 2015
Southern New Hampshire (Zone 5)
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Recent posts by Davis Tyler

where are you guys finding ethanol-free gas for $4 a gallon?!

around here they want $23.25 per gallon for ethanol-free gasoline: https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=trufuel

I would gladly pay $4 to avoid cleaning carburetors, but $23.25 is absurd
1 month ago
If you're patient enough, you could let time do the work for you.  In our climate, a pile of leaves becomes crumbly "leaf mould" in about 2 years without intervention.  I use a bin which is just an encircled hog panel.  It's about 2 cubic yards.

What volume/scale are you thinking of?  Tens of suburban leaf bags, or cubic yards?

If gas engines are precluded, I can't imagine any human-powered shredding being practical, unless you're a glutton for repetitive manual labor.

1 month ago

s. lowe wrote:I'm a big fan of sea-crop, and shipping is free on single gallons direct from the manufacturer, sea-crop.com.

Its not as convenient as dry salt but its incredibly effective in my experience. I use it at 2-2.5 ml per gallon and usually spread it around the garden a couple times a year. Usually I just add it with compost tea so I don't add another time that I'm feeding liquid stuff



ah, I remember hearing about SeaCrop before.  I'm surprised that it would be cheaper than shipping solids only - water weight is expensive to truck long distances.  The label says it's 20% solids by volume, so 80% water.  So a $59 gallon bottle gets you ~2lbs of minerals?

"SEA-CROP® is a concentrate that contains all of the wonderful goodness of seawater in concentrated form but with the sodium chloride 95% reduced."

Is this an advantage over Sea-90, which does NOT have reduced sodium?
2 months ago
that's interesting the NCO site lists Sea-90 as "sold out" online

They do list several local-ish stores near me, but the Sea-Agri dealer locator doesn't show them as dealers?
2 months ago
thanks, that was helpful

maybe I'll just start with 10 lbs since a little goes a long way

what's the difference with the Baja Gold product for cooking?  Isn't the regular Sea-90 product fit for human consumption?
2 months ago
I'm interested in trying some Sea-90 minerals in my garden and to feed to my chickens, but the online stores are charging too much for shipping.  Like, shipping costs more than the product.

There are no local distributors within 100 miles of me.  

Are there alternative mineral products that may be equally effective?

I have a 3,000 square foot annual vegetable garden, plus a small amount of fruit and berry perennials.  I'm also interested in offering mineralized water to my flock of 8 laying hens.

How much Sea-90 would I use in a year?  
2 months ago
A ductless minisplit is really the right tool for this job.  They're very energy efficient and give you a winter heating option in addition to summer cooling and humidification

You can leave your central heat in place and use the minisplit as a supplement - it has its own thermostat you can turn on or off independent of central heat system.

There are now ~$800 DIY versions you can install yourself if you're handy, to avoid the markup of a contractor doing a full-service central air installation

https://www.homedepot.com/p/MRCOOL-DIY-Gen-3-12-000-BTU-22-SEER-ENERGY-STAR-Ductless-Mini-Split-Air-Conditioner-Heat-Pump-w-25-ft-Install-Kit-115-Volt-DIY12-HP-115B25/311900316
3 months ago
I once made a spreadsheet garden schedule like you're describing.  Was a fun exercise but a couple years hands-on experience in the garden made me realize it was useless for forecasting anything.

The seed packets are grown, packed, and distributed nationwide.  The farm the seeds came from is likely in a totally different climate than my garden.  So when the seed packet says "50 days to maturity" - 50 of which days?  The day length in April when I start planting is 13 hours, by the end of June a day is 15 hours long, and in September/October when the bulk of my harvest is coming in, a day is down to 10 hours.  

So just the variation is day length accounts for a +/- 20% tolerance.  Which would mean a seed packet would have to list "40-60 days to maturity" which isn't even precise enough to be useful.

So I now ignore the DTM on the seed packet and simply group plants by planting date: spring/summer/fall, and season length - i.e full-season crop or succession crop.  For example corn, brussels sprouts, winter squash all take a full season for me, so I plan for those beds to be occupied.  Beets, carrots, green beans are half-season crops for me, meaning I can plan to turnover the bed once mid-season.  That's all the precision I need.  The vagaries of weather will determine exactly when each crop is ready to pick.

The other useful habit I got into was a garden journal - I use a note-taking app on my phone, but paper and pen work fine too.  I take pictures and write brief comments.  It's interesting to look back and note what a crop looked like on this date last year and two years ago.  Sometime despite having "the coldest April on record" followed by "the driest May in history", the garlic puttered right along and I harvested it on the same weekend I did last year!
last summer I would piss into a gallon vinegar jug and slop it directly onto my plants - mostly heavy feeders like corn, brassicas, squash, etc.

Never diluted it, and never noticed anything other than healthy vigorous growth response
4 months ago
you want to use clear plastic to solarize, not white or black.  The idea is for the greenhouse effect to trap the sun ray's underneath where they reflect heat back down to the soil.  I use old greenhouse/high tunnel plastic

One or two sunny days under clear plastic is usually enough to kill annual grasses and weeds.  Longer for perennial weeds.

I remember when I started gardening, every article told me to "mulch with straw not hay, because hay is full of seeds".  Well every single straw bale I bought (and I've seen others use) has been FULL of viable seeds.  Rye grass, wheat, oats, barley, etc.

I not longer use straw in my garden for that reason
4 months ago