Diane Kistner

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since Sep 06, 2018
Athens, GA Zone 8a
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Recent posts by Diane Kistner

Eric Hanson wrote:Diane,

My suggestion is to go with the cheapest bagged soil you can find.  You have the nicely decomposed wood chips so that is the real bonus.  The bagged soil will just be a little extra mass.

Good Luck!


Thank you, Eric!
1 week ago
I have a 3 x 8 bed full of aging woodchips, now two years old and loaded with mycelium. I've come into some potato onions that I have nowhere else to plant, and I was thinking I'd pick up two or three bags of bagged soil to dump on top and work down into the chips, then plant the onions.

(a) Is this what I need to do?

(b) What kind of bagged soil? Would top soil be okay, or do I need to go more expensive?

I have to do bagged soil from Lowe's or Home Depot. No other choice right now. Have to act fast.

Your guidance is so appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1 week ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:Jocelyn posted this meme, and it seemed way too perfect for this thread!


1 month ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:
I honestly don't see anything wrong with this! Growing up, I watched my mom buy plant after plant at nurseries. She often would have no idea where to plant them, but found a place when she got it home. She always found a place! Her garden is a work of art. And, it's very rare that she has to move plants. Sometimes they get shaded out and have to be moved, but that's pretty rare.

So, I don't worry when I do the same thing. Most of the time, the plant will be okay. It might even surprise you and be in the perfect spot. Often, when I get multiples of perennial plants, I put them in all sorts of different places. This year I got 5 nodding onion plants. I'm pretty sure three of them didn't make it, but one is doing fantastic, and I'll be able to divide from it and make even more plants.

I made a garden bed to grow corn for my son. It turned out to be too shady for corn. And it's too damp for potatoes (they got blight). But, the soil has benefited from the plants being grown there, and maybe it'll be the perfect place for some Sepp Holzer rye seeds I have. Sometimes my ducks' feed sprouts in there, so I'm thinking the perennial rye might work out.

Maybe one day I'll know enough to always plant something in the perfect spot. I always try to apply what I know to where I plant things. But, well, sometimes it doesn't work out. But, at least I'm learning and more things are growing than if I waited until I knew the perfect spot for everything!

"But at least I'm learning and more things are growing than if I waited until I knew the perfect spot for everything!" Well, I have to say amen to that. Your mom sounds like me! And I can aspire to her level of sensing where to put things!
1 month ago

Jamin Grey wrote:
What sometimes helps is thinking about your property in a "this year, next year, sometime in next 10 years" kind of way. Not just your plants, but your property as a whole. Things like home extensions, building sheds, or etc may force you to move plants if you didn't think ahead.

This is a reminder to me that many of the plant moves I'm having to consider are due to the fact that the growing conditions have shifted in very unexpected ways as old pines have fallen or unexpectedly had to be taken down. Fortunately, now, I think all of the trees are down that will affect what I'm doing. We've had close to fifty trees, some of them quite large, have to come down. Lots of great material for creating habitats, though!

1 month ago

Heather Olivia wrote:You are definitely not the only one. This is something I struggle with too. It seems to me it might just be part of the process. After all, you can't always know how a plant will behave, what it will or won't like, especially if it's one you've not seen before.

Why do you find yourself needing or thinking you need to move the plants?

I've had a lot of perennial plants volunteer in places that I wouldn't have chosen. At first, I had the idea I needed to move them, but then I decided that it was okay and sometimes even better to let the plants have their say in my design. They obviously know where they like to be and can tell me a lot about the soil and other conditions. It has really made the flow and feel of the garden much cooler, I think. And it definitely reduced the amount of stress and work. That said, I've also spent tons of time with a notebook scheming on where to put new plants. It seems worthwhile to spend some amount of time trying to plan an "ideal" spot, but don't expect yourself to be able to know everything. Be gentle with yourself.

This is so reassuring, Heather. The plants I need to move are those I've planted myself, and it's usually because I stuck them in somewhere to get them in the ground and that spot turned out to be either not good for the plant or not good for surrounding plants. I guess it's the perennials I'm mostly having trouble with, because I'll order more than I can handle thinking I've got to get the perennials going so they'll start bearing before I die (I'm 68), then have miscalculated something they need to be happy.

The immediate answer is probably to stop feeling this pressure to get lots of perennials going. And then learn to breathe and say to myself "The world is not going to come to an end if I don't move that plant." Your suggestion to "let the plants have their say" is very wise. Thank you.
1 month ago

Steve Thorn wrote:The okra have really been thriving in the food forest over the last month.

Okra (Clemson Spineless to be exact) is about the only thing doing well in my garden this year, what with all the rain we've had. I just tucked it in here and there wherever there was an open spot, and it all came up and really puts out. Looks pretty, too.

I've gotten into a routine where I pick okra in the morning, then immediately cut it up and throw it in the dehydrator. It doesn't take long to dehydrate it, and then it's added to a mason jar with a dessicant packet or two, ready to just throw into soups. What I've discovered, though, is that it's kind of tasty as a snack just out of the jar. No salt or anything.

1 month ago
I acquire a perennial plant. Or five. Or fifty. I have to plant the plant(s) somewhere. I plug them into my in-process forest garden. I tell myself I'm focusing on building up soil, so it doesn't really matter right now where I plant because I can always move it later. The important thing is that I'm building up biomass, establishing plants I can take cuttings or divisions from, etc. And then, of course, later, I have to move it/them. Or think I have to move it/them.

And I'm old/getting older and painfully arthritic.

Is this a feature of permaculture, not a bug? Any advice for me on how to stay sane and productive?

1 month ago

Ben Knofe wrote:Thanks Ash for taking a look at my log and telling me it's good to be shared.

Here it is: https://airtable.com/shrGJyjfQQ2UjkWMY

Hey, I'm going to try airtable. Is there a template you started with, or did you create this from scratch?

I'm going to have to stick with the free version, so I want to be sure I start out right. I tried going to Universe and adding a workspace for gardening, and it's one of the Pro features, so I deleted it.

1 month ago