Does it defeat the point of channeling water gradually across the slope (keyline) if my plantings are perpendicular to the "keylines?
What is the context, what are the goals and main intentions for this land?
If it's silvopasture with focus on high quality pasture, than shrubs are not your concern and you should respect keyline geometry for your tree system!
What will defeat the purpose is water runoff and soil erosion becuase of management and access.
Especialy animal and machinery impact.
It's very DESTRUCITVE to have overall downslope pattern, it's not practical and healthy for the animals, humans, tractors etc.
People systems are usually the most challenging, because people don't take time to focus on holistic context.
Maybe improving soil is not the most important thing for the benefit of the land you own and manage and for your life in general?!
About that old road... is it still there? If not, how did you take care of it? I assume a road like this continue to be erosive element if not handled somehow.
Below is a digital orto photo, color height map and contour map (click on them for big picture). Please go on and comment about that ridge or anything else, if you have time.
Thanks again for stopping by, i wish you all the best!
Hahahaa, sensibility came a year or more ago, before i also wanted to swale everything i saw. Well, luckily it stayed at thinking about it and coming to the conclusion that swales are not appropriate for our climate and land form.
Thanks for your answer... i will be careful that the pattern comes out right. I'm only working with the ridge contour (am i wrong?), because valleys on both sides are too steep for any cultivation and they are overgrown with selectively managed forest. Hmm, i really wonder if the pattern will come out right if i go parallel to the ridge contour from the lowest point. As i see it, there are no anomalies on this ridge, it's quite the ridge. I assume i can check the pattern on site with bunyip since the area is not that big. I'm wondering now what is the gradient of fall that you are looking for?
Actually, we've done a really good survey for our property. We have aerial photos, cloud point, Digital Surface Model and High quality orthophoto. Young slovenian fellas are doing great job with drones and their knowledge of geodetics. Check it out, you will probably like it a lot - http://www.modriplanet.si/ At the moment i'm not on my work computer, but i can upload some photos and other data later.
I'm in love with the ridge that we have here, you'll see. I think there is also a potential for a ridge dam.
Maybe a quick question on dams and roads as catchment surfaces. Where i can learn little details like connecting the catchment road drain to a dam. I'm very interested in how these systems are designed to meet each other, where water actually flows into a dam. Is there any source from which i can at least get a theory about this little details. I'm not aware of anyone doing this kind of work here in Slovenia, so i can not see it in real life.
Regarding your 2016 world tour - are you planing to do PDC's, KDC's or just traveling? Will you come to EU? If you decide to come to Slovenia, we are more than happy to be your hosts here on our homestead and there are many other places to stay and feel the true vibe of Slovenia. We also have experiences with organizing courses, so that's also an option.
Thanks for your time again and i really hope we meet someday!
welcome to the forums, i'm really glad you are here... thank you for your time! And big thanks for regrarians platform! I will go deeper in the handbook chapters in winter, it's mostly outdoors time now, but i checked it out a bit already and it's awesome work!
Mostly it's very hilly here, we are geologically a very young country (Slovenia) so it's really hard to find/have keypoints on our properties. :) I really hope you come to Slovenia one day, we love your work here even though it's really hard to apply whole keyline design, properties are small, hilly, steep and so on. There is a saying that Slovenian farmers bread is earned with really hard hard work. It's true. I'm fascinated what areas we populated, by the book it should be forest almost everywhere. Farming here is crazy with tractors on steep steep slopes and back in the days with human labour which is still a big part of a work now. But you are invited to Slovenia, it's a beautiful country, around 70% if forests, amazing natural water systems, diversity in everything, there is alpine, panonian, coast, flatlands, marshes... well you are welcome!
I'm visioning a bit different kind of farm/homestead life for me, especially not haying steep slopes and feeding animals in the stall all year round.
I'm currently working on a homestead where i apply keyline design, holistic managament, permaculture.
Our property is towards the end of a main ridge line. We have very steep primary valleys and ridges, so tree systems are the only option i see for the big part of a system.
The best crop field cultivation is possible on one of the ridges that flattens out and goes steep again quite fast, it has good deep soils with quite a bit of organic matter.
So my question for now is about crop field i'm establishing. I will not do keyline plow cultivation, just regular cultivation for cropping and mostly it will be no-dig.
Three years ago i made a mistake, finding a contour line on a highest appropriate point on a ridge and then going parallel below with deep paths (soil on beds dug out from path area). Well you know what happened with the watter and the pattern. :)
In autumn i will push the reset button and start fresh.
I want to clarify and if you have some other points i will be really glad.
- starting point when doing cultivation on a ridge is the lowest appropriate point on a ridge?
- where exactly is this point? is it on a center line of a ridge?
- how do you define/mark/find parallel lines in the field without tractor cultivation? do i stand on a contour line and just try to eye out the 90° angle to a contour? any other tips when doing this in a field with machine or without...?
A big thank you for your work! ...
I hope you don't mind further questions if they appear.
Over the last ten weeks I have created an online course. The cost of £95 gives you access to 34 videos, text and photos for six months.
The course has concise, visual information about time-saving methods. Its aim is to help gardeners save time and effort, for better results.
Homeacres garden is testimony to the success of these methods, for example we supply three busy restaurants and two shops with salad leaves.
The information I give has great roots and grows really well: the advice has been tried and tested during 34 years of intensive gardening, it is practical knowledge that works! For more information about the course please click here. - Charles Dowding
I've seen lots of rose hips near all kinds of fruit trees and they were healthy old tree bearing healthy fruit.
My only concern is harvest of cherries which can be a pain if you don't have enough room - fighting your way through thorns to get to the fruit.
Sunken beds with organic matter in them and hugels all around (not finished yet on the photo, highest one is on south east where majority of wind is coming from).
First photo is looking towards south west.
Hugels (3' and 4' photo) were planted with pioneer and fruit bushes and trees to make more shelter, sunken beds are for annual veggies.
Sunken beds turned out to be just a little tiny bit raised, but material is added on paths all the time.
leila hamaya wrote:another thing with cherry (and plum as well) is that they make a lot of suckers, and spread via roots underground. if you look around your two mature cherry trees you might find a few little ones that are coming up from the roots....then you can dig these up and move them.
This is true, but if trees you are taking from were grafted, these suckers are not true to varieties, because they come from rootstocks which are in many cases wild cherries or even unknown stuff.
For plums it's a bit different, you can get good fruit, but still you are not sure you will get the same thing.
As for grafting, OFFTOPIC sorry, most of the time i take scion wood on the same day as i graft. Take a look here, where i used bark graft on cherries - https://permies.com/forums/posts/list/43072#343879 It can be a challenge to find proper scions in april, that's true!
Taking in dormant time is always a good tip.
Peach trees fruits heavily and there are 4 in this forest garden.
They are also quite fast to establish - from seed with proper care they already fruit in their 3-4 year.
Fig is a different story - it needs to acclimatize first and there are only 2 at the moment.
Peaches are great in this matter - growing low, producing fast and in abundance before the bigger and long term trees are established and start to fruit.
Fig in this case is a bigger and long term tree, peach is only a fruiting pioneer.
Thank you Simon, i will keep this updated.
Above pictures are summer 2014, so we had a lot of new growth until autmn, i made this tunnel out of blackberry, pruned and trained peach - i will shoot some pictures in spring.
Select a garden area, better smaller than bigger the first year.
Start as soon as possible.
I would use back to eden technique here.
In short - put down cardboard or newspaper, then put down compost 6 inches thick and cover that compost with woodchips.
Look at 1 hour 11 minutes 26 seconds - http://vimeo.com/28055108 I hope you can get a hold of materials.
Leaf mold replaces vermiculite and peat moss in that mix very good.
I'm talking pure leaf mold.
1/3 of compost and 2/3 of leaf mold is perfect with some addition such as vermicompost, lime, inoculated biochar, some dried crushed plants (nettles, comfrey...) and you are good to go!
Heck, i used only homemade compost in raised beds on top of existing soil and it worked wonders.
Here is quite common to have unfrozen soil, protected by snow.
Snow is great isolation for the soil temperature.
Here ground is frozen when we don't have snow and temperatures are well below 0°C.
It's not very common that we have snowfall and freezing temperatures at the same time, it needs to be around 0°C for snowfall and thus snow falls on unfrozen ground isolate it and ground stays unfrozen.
Best time to plant is in fall when trees go dormant, well at least here in our cool temperate.
You can plant all winter, even in snow if you like, just don't do it when the ground is frozen, when you can't dig the soil anyway.
I would take a sharp spade and cut at least 1m diameter circle and try to get the whole sod with roots in it and transplant like that.
But don't go digging them out before you are clear about new location for them.
Prune them back half and go on with desired shape of a tree.
This is functional polyculture that turned grassy field into productive guild in zone 6 of cool temperate climate of Central Europe.
low canopy - peach
shrub layer - thornless blackberry, japanese vineberry
herbaceous, groundcover - mint, strawberries
It is beautiful, fruitfull and much apreciated by bees and other beneficial insects.
I simply made three small mulched circles (1m diameter) in a given area and in one sowed a peach seed, in another one planted mint cuttings, strawberries and the third one a rooted cutting of thornless blackberry.
Mint and strawberries spread and took over the grass with a little help of course woody mulch over grass, peach tree grew fast from seed (4 years old in this picture) and blackberry is also happy with regular mulching in its base and then it roots on the tips that touch the ground.
Peach tree need sun so i let it have it, but you can support balckberry on a pole on south side of peach tree or a bit further away where it bears heavily. Spreading blackberry plants do not fruit so much, but still do if you cut it appropriately.
If i would start again i would start bending young peach branches, thus creating smaller tree, faster and more abundant fruiting.
One of my favourite guilds which is far from done as there is one young fig tree that will replace peach tree in years to come.
If you would like more information on the guild, feel free to ask.
What is the vegetation on future garden plots?
Mine was grass and compacted dead clay soil underneath.
I used clear plastic foil and windows to solarize the grass, that killed it in april in about one week, then i removed the plastic/windows and cover with fresh grass and compost.
I grew seeds of apples and pears in a garden situation, and already in first year i did chip bud, also whip and tongue could be used.
I don't recommend growing so many seedlings in pots, waste of time, growing medium, space and energy.
I don't recommend cleft graft, it's big wound and it's a lot of risk to get disease/pest in it.
For higher i recommend bark graft, i use it with many success.
There are couple of versions of bark graft, i use this one:
One example of wild cherry tree rootstock that is few years old, bark graft waist high, graft is 8 months old on this picture.
As already said in the email - "I think this could potentially be a really amazing thing." I strongly agree. I was at her Teacher's Training in Spain. My skills as a permaculture designer are much sharper now, and i could just go on with how it changed my teaching skills. It was sort of a advanced PDC wrapped in a training on how to really teach a PDC. You really need to understand a lot of things to effectively teach permaculture. She can transform this knowledge to us. She did it for me and others in Spain and many others across the world. It is about spreading permaculture as fast and as effective as possible. A lot of people should/need to be thought how to teach by such a great person as Rosemary is - here is the chance to support this amazing quest.
I love vermiculite as medium for stratification in the fridge our outside in pots. When time for planting, seeds are easily picked out and sown into proper medium. I've been stratifying seeds of Taxus baccata taht need two years of cold and warm alternations, all seeds look healthy and they will be sown in spring. I stratified with success in vermiculite seeds of apple, pawpaw, pear, hawthorn, nanking cherry...
This was it, i like it a lot and in my opinion you should keep it.
I don't like the super P icons, it gives me a sense of super hero, fantasy movie thing.
I don't think what we are doing is only a fantasy and a cheap story of a super hero.
Design science, down to earth work and having fun at the same time!
I think new "logo" is too complicated and it feels like too much diversity without connection.
You asked for opinion, i hope it's not discouraging.
Would like to say you are doing awesome job with this online community and everything else, thank you!!!
Some more interesting thoughts on beds versus rows.
Established gardens Vegetable gardens with beds system in zone1 take all fine mulch we can produce. By fine mulch i mean compost, and other fine grade broken down materials. It is very easy to maintain garden beds with this kind of mulch, easy to spread any time of year, if needed also inbetween growing plants. Gardens are producing very good, we are not greedy, but we need a bit more of some type of veggies for our consumption. Gardens in zone 1 and maintenance are staying with us, but new growing areas are in preparation for next year.
Why rows? Applying coarse mulch as easy as possible!
For new growing areas (zone 3) there will not be enough fine mulch and main source of covering material will be hay or long partly dried grass in summer and leaves in fall. Single rows are very convenient for this kind of maintenance, that's my main idea right now.
Using rough mulch such as hay and leaves is time consuming and very hard to do on garden beds when plants are growing, especially close spacing ones. Also mulching beds in fall is a challenge for sowing and planting in spring if system of beds is used.
Imagine you got this crop and it's growing on 1.2m beds. Soil gets bare because mulch is eaten, and it's time to mulch again. The only material you have is long fresh grass or hay. So hard to mulch beds versus mulching paths and single rows, because you only mulch paths and it is easy to apply. By mulching paths you actually also mulch each side of a planted row, that's what i really like.
In my case i think i will not go wider than 0.4m for paths.
Mulch and ground preparation Ground will be prepared now as a whole using rotten hay and leaves for mulch. I can decide in spring where and how big the paths and for what veggies to use single rows, double rows or beds.
For mulch, nothing else is available, and also in future there will be only hay, fresh grass and leaves for this growing area.
I am thinking to compost the material available, just need to figure out how much i can dedicate to composting as i need to prepare the ground now with what i have available and by the summer this mulch will be gone and bare soil will start to show.
Growing mulch on site will be done and it's very important aspect. Cover crops will be key stone to this.
Small is good! I should remember this, when i decide on dimensions for new plot. Better to use thicker mulch on less area, than thinner on bigger. Done this mistake so many times now, it's funny! I hope it's not going to happen this time. It is also important that you have enough mulch to sustain good cover which is important for many things - soil health, weeds, water are the main ones.
Yes, yes, yes! Plant dwarf trees as canopy for miniature forest garden which can also be your focused place, let say 100 square meters, where you can also have your nursery for standard root stocks and for other shrubs, perennials etc.
Mini forest garden will produce a lot after three years + you will have a lot of plants for dream forest garden.
I like to have a smaller start point when planting bigger forest garden mainly because of nursery for perennials and shrubs.
Bigger trees you can mostly grow yourself.
We do it directyl where the trees will grow, in beds, pots etc.
I just lost everything i wrote on sowing and grafting big trees. I can do it again, but not now. :)
James Slaughter wrote:I would think they'd only be useful in certain vegetable setups, especially for shallower rooted varieties (lettuce, etc).
All vegetables love moisture in top inches of soil where life is happening, so ollas are useful for all veggies.
It's not the same effect when using plastic "ollas" with holes. As soon as you have holes it's different story. Of course plastic will work, but It's the surface area of the olla that is working so nicely and efficiently.