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Joe Hallmark

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since Jan 20, 2021
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Central Texas
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Recent posts by Joe Hallmark

I’m my personal experience native grasses are considerably harder to get established than something such as Bermuda. They might not come up at all the first year. I’ve pulled my hair out for 2 years trying natives. I gave up and went back to a Bermuda blend. Came right up in the same soil and same planting methods.
2 months ago
I did not have a lot of water plants just a few cattails. I have looked into putting some more aquatic plants but at this point it’s definitely going to go dry until hopefully rain comes in the fall.

The fish I put were bluegill, golden shiner, fathead minnows( pretty sure they were all eaten), and largemouth bass. 3-4 catfish found there way in and around 15 carp which I had no idea of. I’ve caught the catfish a time or two.

I hadn’t started harvesting any fish as they were still establishing and well below pound per acre limits( when full)

The fish buried in hay and the ground up fish/ water mix caused no smell. However the fish I buried didn’t smell to me but apparently did after a day or two to a raccoon or something because they got dug up mostly.

No significant other losses so far. Trying to find someone who might want them in there pond. But not knowing 100% why this happened no takers so far. The hay mixture seems like my best bet so far.
2 months ago
Surprisingly the gathering of the fish were the worst part. Once I blended them ( with the cheapest blender at Walmart bought for making mushroom slurries) the smell was somewhat bearable.

The worst part for me was the flies as these set over night at them minimum. So smell plus the fly sound triggered me.

So far no smell detected in the hay. It’s been sitting there for a while just piled up however it definitely wasn’t 100% dry / brown. I will continue to monitor it over the next few days. And there will be more fish to deal with. Some of which I intend to bury in fallow garden beds.
3 months ago
I think it’s due to both. I do plan on setting up an aerator in the future but there’s no point in rushing it. Best case it gets some rain in the fall but in 3-4 weeks tops it will be dry unfortunately.

This is actually the reason I drilled a well. And that was a awesome experience too. The driller lied about the production and now have a 7000$ hand washing station that should’ve just been plugged at drilling and I would’ve saved 5k.
3 months ago
Well the barrels I had don’t have lids only the small holes to fill with liquid. So I blended up 10 fish and mixed with water and poured it around my garden.

The remainder got layered into the spoiled hay pile every foot or so then piled up 2-3 foot as a top layer to cover it all.

I expect I’ll be pulling more out over the next few days and will deal with them in some sort of positive way as it comes.

Worst day as a homesteader to date.
3 months ago
I have read the linked thread (thank you) and done some research online about making emulsion. The previous owner left a few 35hp l barrels that I can use assuming the aren’t cracked or something.

Most recipes called for 3 parts sawdust and 1 part fish plus some sugar.

I have no access to large amounts of sawdust so can the spoiled hay be used as a substitute?

I can probably get some sawdust from a cabinet maker buddy of mine but it’s hit or miss on the amount he will currently have. I have the hay right here on site.

Edit- just talked to buddy he thinks he has 4-5 55gal drums full of dust. They guy who normally gets it hasn’t been by in a while so he gonna call me back in a few. However I’d still like to know if the hay would work if this doesn’t pan out.


3 months ago
Any tips on how to make that?
3 months ago
So like many we are experiencing extreme drought. My pond is almost dry but it still had what I thought was enough to keep the fish alive. I was wrong and sometime today a fish kill started.

I need ideas how to best use these fish to or at least some of them to some benefit. I have a small amount of spoil hay that I pile up of what falls outside the hay ring that I could use to mix in for composting a fair number.

Myself and my son are pretty devastated at the moment and want to give these fish a proper send off instead of letting it all go to waste.

Any ideas very much appreciated  
3 months ago
We ended up hitting pretty decent water starting at 65’ and drilled down to 110’ for a little extra depth. Driller acted like this was plenty. Picking up pump and pressure tank etc on Monday. Thanks for all the replies. As far as rain catchment goes that is also something I’m interested in but this wells main purpose is to cover evaporation in my pond in between big rain events.  I do already have to trench down to the well for power so I will go ahead and install a water line at that time up to garden area.

I also recently built 5 check dams and 4 brush dams to slow water and catch sediment. Progress is slow but it’s starting to add up little by little.
3 months ago
I have been looking at all the registered well reports for my area and noticed for instance that hit water at 65’ and drilled to 80’ or something similar. The guy drilling my well says this is to make a pocket to hold a bit of water. Makes sense I suppose.

My question is can this be too deep? Say I hit water at 60 and go to 100. The reason being is 100’ is the minimum charge. There are a few things that stand out that would make this cost more such as more wiring and casing etc but is there any reason not associated to cost to make this a good or bad idea?

This is my first time drilling a well and I’m nervous as a wet cat!

Thanks in advance

3 months ago