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Trace Oswald

master pollinator
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since Sep 20, 2018
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bee building dog forest garden trees
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Recent posts by Trace Oswald

Honey Locusts get quite large and are really beautiful trees.  I would put them somewhere that they have room to grow.  I love them in the yard because they make really nice, dappled shade in addition to their looks.

Siberian Pea Shrub will work really well in your food forest.  I would plant them in the food forest outside the drip line of whatever tree you want to guild them with.  They are easy to propagate, so after a few years, you can grow more of them if you like.  I would pollard or coppice them after a few years and use the clippings for mulch.  Using them for chop and drop will add nitrogen to your soil as well as moderating temperatures and slowing evaporation.  If you don't mind sacrificing some, you can plant them much closer to your fruit trees and chop them much more aggressively.

If you aren't sure about your landscaper's ability to remember your instructions, putting at least a small ring of fence around them will hopefully deter him from mowing them.  If he isn't open to your ideas about not spraying poison on your land and not treating everything that pops up as a weed, you may need to find someone more open to your ideas.  I've seen people that have maintained a property for years get extremely possessive of that area, to the point that they think they know better than you do how to care for it.  That may allow him to justify ignoring your instructions in his mind.  If you find yourself locked into a power struggle of this sort, it may be best to find a new gardener.  People's ideas of how to maintain an area like this differ.  If he loves straight rows, spotless fruit, and perfectly manicured grass around trees and between rows, he may find food forests messy to the point that he just hates them.
3 days ago
I'm curious what the plants "do with" the pollutants.  Do the plants somehow break down pollutants?  If spider plants remove formaldehyde, what happens to it?  The plants just trap it, or break it down into harmless components, or ?
3 days ago
I would get a bunch of used coffee grounds from any gas station, cafe, school, deli, restaurant, Starbucks, whatever, spread it as thickly as possible over the bales and use a sharp stick to stab some of the coffee grounds down into the bales.  Then I would leave it alone.  Next year, it will turn into really beautiful soil.  If you want to plant in it in spring, tear open some holes in the bales wherever you want to put a plant, fill the hole with compost, and plant in it.  I make new beds this way and they work great.

thomas rubino wrote:
Plain cheap dryer sheets placed where the mice go , supposedly will drive them off quickly!   The down side of course... is the smell... drive me off quickly as well.
Give it a try if you can and let us know.

It doesn't work at all, but the mice make really nice soft nests from them.
4 days ago
I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be concerned at all except while you are moving then.  Once they are covered in wood chips, I think everything is fine.
5 days ago

Curt Hettman wrote:LGD are supposed to stay put if they don't then they are not trained well enough and you have a pet.

Training and bonding with the specific type of animal they are to protect is needed. They are not supposed to be your buddy when you are out doing chores they are supposed to live eat and sleep with their animal full time.

In the end not all dogs can be a LGD, even if it is from good lines. Try again and buy from a good breeder that can prove that thier dogs are doing thier jobs. Yes you will pay but look at it as how much you will save in lost animals and frustration.

There seem to be two schools of thought with regards to this.  I'm of the other one  My LGD is very much my "buddy".  I take her with me when I'm walking in the woods, when I go to the store, I bring her in the house part of the time...  I haven't noticed any adverse effects on her ability or willingness to guard our family or our animals.  My own opinion is that LGDs are perfectly capable of including humans and animals into their family, and can maintain their ability to guard and bond with both.
5 days ago
Please keep in mind as well, animals are social creatures. Having a lone animal is cruel in my mind.

Alexa May wrote:"InstantPotting" like nobody's business LOL.

Made me actually LOL.
6 days ago
Birch trees and grape vines intertwined.
1 week ago

Thomas Dean wrote:

John Weiland wrote:A timely bumping of this thread.  My wife is installing the invisible fence system for our LGD's.  The property is already lined with cattle panels (4' tall) with an extra line of electric across the top of the posts.  This works well for much of the year, but we already had that one good blizzard that has buried about 1/3 of the fencing under 6 - 8 ft drifting.  Dogs merrily run across the top of the drifts to the areas that are unprotected....and then wander at will.  Being in the land of 'shoot, shovel, and silence', it would not be surprising to have them disappear for good under these circumstances.  So the invisible fence will be activated for the first time this weekend (wire is just running over the snow around the perimeter of the property).  The collar prongs should be fine with 2 of the 3 dogs; -- the third one has a pretty thick coat and we will have to see how that goes, especially since he is more the leader of the wandering behavior.  Not a desired solution, but possibly a necessary one.

My wife has huskies.  To save money, the back of their kennel is hog or calf panels, 2 high.  The rest of the kennel is 2nd-hand chain-link kennel sections, which the huskies do sometimes chew through (or get close to, so I have to reinforce).  The hog panels might not work for smaller dogs - the huskies can fit their heads through.  But the huskies total enclosure is only 30' by 60'.  Each has a 10'x10' "home" kennel that they eat in an are confined to at night, during the day, all doors are opened up and they go into the main run and each other's "homes" as desired.  "home" kennels are cement on bottom, rest of the enclosure is dirt with rocks along the fence (periodically need to adjust rocks to account for digging)

The LGD is SUPPOSED to keep coyotes out, but he would rather chase deer.  We also live in "Shoot, shovel, shut up" land, and neighbor kindly brought him back last year the day before deer season with a reminder that he doesn't generally bring them home twice.   So... we're in a bind with what to do with him.  He's got a chain at night and spends much of the day with the huskies... but he can't really do his job there.  We can't really fence the property - we have 8 acres, but he's suppose to guard our livestock on the leased property  - so like a total of 40 acres.  We've thought about looking into GPS based shock collars, but we have a shock training collar that works fine when he's not on the chase, but doesn't stop him when he sees a deer.  We're not really sure it would work.  I try to have him out with me when I do chores, but he still runs off sometimes.  Not sure I'll get a LGD again in the future.

I hope you don't judge all LGDs by the one you have now.  Mine doesn't chase anything for any distance. She will chase things 50 yards or so. If she catches whatever it is she is chasing, she kills it. If it runs farther than that, she comes back home to guard. She has very low pretty drive, but is vey territorial.  She doesn't chase my cats or chickens at all, but I pity any creature that comes into her area that doesn't belong.  Not all LGDs act as you describe yours doing.
1 week ago