If this has been covered elsewhere I apologize. I'm hoping to create a hugel bed in my yard and am in need of your advice! I have some sick old apple trees I'd like to cut down and use to create a hugel bed. Is this a bad idea? Also a neighbor will be cutting down a huge tree that is dying from Dutch Elm disease. Is it a bad idea to ask for the wood? Thank you!
There are some videos on you tube by stephenhayesuk on pruning. I found them really interesting.
We moved into a house last year that has 5 apple trees and 3 peach trees. They were bearing fruit last year but then my husband did what he thought was pruning, but actually hacked at them - so this year no fruit. I'm hoping pruning more carefully will help them be healthier (they have some leaf disease, and bugs).
Is topping taking off the top middle part? I'll have to google it and find out. From what I have learned apple trees like to have an open center. My trees all have a large system of branches going up in the center. They are old trees and are about 30-40 feet tall. I have no idea about the variety.
I am wondering how much I should prune them to open them up, especially the top, middle section? Any advice would help me out a lot!
Do you think pruning them will help them bear fruit again? If you have more advice as to keeping them healthy I am all ears.
Here are some pictures for those of you who have some input. The hole was easy to dig, it took about 5-10 minutes. The soil?, dirt? is relatively soft. The grass isn't growing very deep roots though. I think that is the main problem or the effect of the problem. We haven't put anything on our lawn because I'm new to this and would hate to poison my children with some icky stuff.
So, could the cover crop of radishes help? Would it be better to dig holes and add compost as suggested in other topic areas?
"Maybe there are sneaky ways that involve less effort, like overseeding with oilseed radish in the fall?" This came from the HELp! topic section...thoughts?
I love this idea! I live in zone 4 in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan. We moved here last fall and inherited a law that is pretty bad. We have been mowing high but we need to do something this fall to help the soil. I love the idea of planting radishes throughout the lawn. I'm sure the neighbors will think we are crazy but - I can live with that.
So do I understand correctly that the radishes as an over crop will help aerate my soil, improve nutrients and kill weeds -thus helping my grass get off to a great start in the spring?
Brenda - I am really enjoying seeing your pictures too! Bunnies ate all my beans but my cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins are doing really well. My tomatoes are flowering and a few have baby tomatoes. I really can't wait to enjoy those! I'm excited to add some berries for next year. When is the best time to add them? I was thinking of buying some of the sad looking ones and seeing if they survive. What are your thoughts? We are in Michigan too - east of Detroit.
I have about a 13 ft. space on the side of my deck and I was thinking of planting some raspberries there. What would be a good width? How high do most raspberries grow? Do they need a trellis? Should I try to make a guild and intersperse them with other things? (I do have a TON of mint it has taken over one area). Or should I just leave it at raspberries only until they are well established?
Wow! So are these new pictures taken just one month after the first? If so I am a believer in this method! Well I was before - but now even more so! We have a lot of decaying grass from mowing clippings being left on the lawn. I know that it good for the lawn to some extent but since it has been wet now mushrooms are popping up everywhere.
Am I correct that Paul doesn't think any type of aerating is a good idea? Other than the worms taking care of it?
How many holes did you end up digging Northwest Al?
If I don't have my own compost what do I do for the half and half mixture in the holes?
Jody B wrote: I seem to remember that healthy lawns lean more toward bacterial and less toward fungal. The fungus is a sign that there is an excess of carbon that it is trying to break down. This can be found in wood chips,thatch, and wet soils help it along. I would try aerating to break up the thatch layer and allow for better drainage. Only do this when temperatures are below 80 degrees and above freezing as to not expose grass roots to harsh conditions.
Fertilizing in some way may help as well.
This sounds like it is our issue. We recently moved into a new house - so interesting getting the lawn in shape! We had dandelions but they have gone away for now with some careful picking and more likely their season is over. We now see a lot of mushrooms popping up, it has been raining a lot so that could be part of it. Also we see a lot of grass clippings at the base of the grass. I bet you are right that it is trying to break down. We'll aerate in the fall and hopefully next spring. THat should help us along! Thank you all for your lawn care wisdom. This forum has been invaluable trying to sort out our new lawn.
Brenda thanks! I always love reading your posts. What do you think about the hay this time of year to hide the grass? Is there a good resource to list all the different possibilities of the plant types - like nitrogen fixers, etc? What about pumpkins? My kids would love to plant some but except for under the fruit trees there isn't a ton of space. As far as digging to put in a guild - do I just use seeds instead so I don't damage roots? Not sure how to get the plants in without damaging roots. Except for very carefully.
Adunca - Thanks for the pictures! I have two rows of trees, 4 apple and 4 peach. I guess my guild will be in more of a rectangular shape beneath all the trees. We inherited them from the previous owner and the post here are really helping me figure out what to do with them. Does planting a guild stop the need for spraying? We have small children and I don't want to spray. Also, how do you stop the mint from spreading? or do you want it to? This year will be a learning year and I'm hoping things will start to come together more next year. We still have a ton of grass under the trees. Should I cover the grass with hay? Or is that more of an early fall thing to do? Thanks! From clueless
I have apple (I have NO CLUE what variety but it doesn't seem to matter) and peach trees in Michigan. I have some mint in another patch of the yard, and my mom has some daylillies I could transplant. There is already some small purple weeds? growing under the trees. I think I may be a candidate for packets #1 and #2. I want to try some of this but it seems a bit overwhelming! Starting with the mint and daylillies seems feasible. I like the idea of edible strawberries too. Do I start those from seed or transplant? Will the "guild" plants then spread to my whole yard, if left unchecked? Thanks for your advice!
I moved into a house in Michigan that has some apple and peach trees 8 total. I am trying to learn how to take care of them and love this forum for ideas! So a "guild" is a plant that lives below the trees? Will these plants also help my peach trees? I just found some little black bugs, with littler black eggs? Larvae? under the leaves of my apple trees. The leaves have many small yellow and brown spots/holes. Any ideas? Thanks! I am the newest of newbies to all this and would love some advice.