I was confused on my water test results. It listed Hardness at 326.9 ppm. But it also had Calcium at 104.7 and Magnesium at 15.9 ppm. I asked a local County Extension Agent and she recommended I could use the water as is and not worry about clogging my drip emitters.
I got this idea from a video where the guy is propagating Goumi in Florida. Will need to spray the plants for 5 to 10 seconds every hour. It will also require a shade cloth to keep the plants from drying out.
The dimensions are 3 cement blocks by 9 cement blocks (each block is 16 inches) and there is an overlap on each corner. I put down a Permatil (aka Vole Block) layer before pouring the sand on top. It took 1.5 tons of sand.
I did something similar to this over the winter but smaller. Back then it had a translucent cover to moderate the cold weather and had minor slices in the cover to allow rain to drip down. Hazel Nuts grew very well but very few Goumi.
Be careful with aged wood chips. They carry Aspergillis which can cause a lung infection. I have been in treatment since last fall and am almost cleared up. I now wear a N95 mask when working any types of chips.
I am learning and expanding my growing capabilities in preparation for retirement.
I am currently building a sand box plant propagation bed that will have overhead irrigation spray heads that can turn on every 10 minutes for as 5/10 seconds during the day light hours.
This is a North Alabama (Zone 7A/B) which has hot humid summers and early springs with late frosts.
Want to be growing perennials like fruit and vegetables that do not require chemicals to succeed.
What shade cloth should I use (50%)?
Does anyone have suggestions on what fruit veggies grow well in a sand box like mine?
Would hardwood or softwood cuttings be best?
I am in the southeast and have a clayish soil that has a capillary action which fills the holes with water within minutes. The top layer is a loam soil but clay below that. I have to build on small mounds and fill in the holes with gravel. Sort of an automatic watering system.
I am growing many fruit trees, vines and brambles. They all do really well.
good to hear from Jay and Eleanor. I am developing a small orchard in south Huntsville. Growing the easy fruit trees. Jujube, Pawpaw, Persimmon (Asian and Hybrid American), Mulberry, Goumi and Kiwi. Around 200 trees and vines all on one acre. Doing some of the harder ones too. Asian Pear and Asian Plums. Of course the Basics like Blueberry. Trying my luck with pineapple guava.
Got off my rear and asked the local County Extension Agent who happens to grow the same fruit I am growing. I did some checking on the net at some university sites and found my mineral numbers were ok and not "Hard". While I had a "Hardness" level of 326.9 ppm, my calcium was 104.7 ppm and Magnesium 15.9 ppm. Apparently I can use the water with out any worry to the plants or clogging of the line/emitters.
From some of the .edu sites I see where magnesium and calcium are good for the soil. Many of the farms here use large sprinkler systems that take the water directly from the ground. It seems to be a issue with the build up of these minerals.
Here is from Univ. of Mass. Calcium in the range of 40 - 100 ppm, and magnesium in the range of 30 - 50 ppm are considered desirable for irrigation water.
Does anyone on Permies irrigate with Hard Water? I see it is good for the plants but clogs some emitters.
I know it can impact foliar spraying but I will probably not do that.
The pH is 7.
I am thinking of watering and adding JADAM fertilzer with a garden hose. Does anyone know if it causes any problems?
Welcome Josh. I am in south Huntsville about a mile behind the Aldi's.
John. I get wood chips and horse poo for free. The wood chips are delivered and the horse poo I pick up with my trailer. So far I know there is Mike (Greybeard Mike) and a Permaculture expert Allen Booker who lives in Madison and Adam who is growing all he can on his small lot and grafting onto the wild trees across from his home in Madison.
Maybe some more but not yet on Permies or not on this forum.
There are some facebook pawpaw groups that have members that are in zone 4. Pawpaw Fanatics is one that has members from Europe and Asia also. They may know of a few cultivars that may work if you are close to Zone 5.
Look at the different states that have conservation departments that have tree sales. They usually sell out fast on Pawpaw and these are wild rootstock. Plant the Pawpaw and wait a couple years and graft the cultivar scions onto the stems. England's Nursery in Kentucky sells cultivar scions of Pawpaw and Persimmon. Learn to graft. After 5 years figure out what to do with all that fruit.
I noticed several of my mulberries died back to the main trunk. They were all World's Best Mulberry and one Pakistan Mulberry never did come back but it was a recently grafted seedling. My others (all wild) and a couple I got from England's nursery did very well. We too, had a mild but wet winter.
Interesting comment from the Garden Professors. I always thought volcano mulching would be harmful.
On volcano mulching: Myth "In addition to promoting bark decay, it causes the tree’s roots to grow up into the mulch layer, rather than down into the soil…the tree may eventually die, and even topple."
Response: There is NO published evidence, anywhere, that proper mulches (i.e., coarse arborist chips) are going to injure bark. They do not cause bark decay. Furthermore, tree roots grow where they have water, nutrients, and oxygen. This might be in the mulch layer. Growing deep into the soil is unlikely (not enough oxygen) unless the soil is excessively sandy or otherwise well drained. Any toppling of trees can be directly correlated with poor planting techniques that prevent roots from contacting and establishing in the site soil.
I contacted a couple local tree service groups directly. If you ever see them in your area go talk with them. They save money and time by having someone nearby to off load. Chipdrop also works for some but only if they are in your area.
Comfrey has deep roots and extracts a lot of nutrients from below. They are fast at recovering and people use them in chop and drop as a green manure.
I am still learning about JADAM and am setting up the capability to do it for around 150 fruit trees, vines and bushes.
I am planting a couple long rows of Comfrey (Blocking 14). i intend to harvest it using an electric pushmower a couple times each year, after it gets established. Using some ideas from JADAM, I will put it into a large barrel with water and a handful of leaf mold. Let it sit for a couple months and use as liquid fertilizer.
I planted Blocking 14 comfrey too close to my fruit trees and the trees are having to compete for nitrogen. I am using ground cover pieces (3ft x 3ft) around the base of my trees to control grass and hoping that the comfrey moves farther away.
I have a 30ft by 10 ft area of nothing but 9 month old wood chips. I will dig a hole and put down compost soil mix (homemade) and on each I will plant potato and melons. Dr. Redhawk mentioned that you can grow in straight wood chips but I expect they must be old and breaking down into compost.