Jeff Rash wrote:
You are welcome to the research proposal, but I can't seem to get it to post here! I have tried DOC, RTF and TXT formats and they fail with the warning that the file is not allowed.
A.J. Gentry wrote:Jeff,
I think I had to convert my .doc to a PDF to get it to upload to my post. I think PDFs have less 'virus-type' thingys in them. (My very technical, official term).
Can you convert from .doc to PDF and then try attaching to a post?
Jeff Rash wrote:Abe,
I have yet to work with trees much. My research was geared towards a grant from the Arizona Grain Research Council and therefore looked at water wise ways to grow grains.
However I think funnels area a great idea, especially if you can get some cisterns to feed them.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Jeff Rash wrote:I found exactly the same thing with "corporate" seed. Anything more than four inches and the germination rate drops off fast. So I developed this method to compensate for the lack of ability to tolerate deep planting and still get the benefits of a deep planting.
The Indians of the Southwest use to plant up to eighteen inches deep! They however planted a local seed variety and they planted more than one seed. What you end up with is a "corn bush" rather than a single plant.
Jeff Rash wrote:I suspect that these crops are planted in cycle with the corn seed first, the bean seed second and the squash last. But I have only an educated guess to give you for that suspicion. It may well be they were all planted at the same time. My research says little about it, except that the Indians planted corn with their planting stick. One would think that the chronicler would have mentioned if there were other seed involved... But I have learned never to make that assumption.
Jeff Rash wrote:Oh! Thank you for the seed source! I will look that up.
Jeff Rash wrote:Where are you at in the Mohave? I am just North of Kingman, not far off Route 66.
shauna carr wrote:Nolan - one easy way to tell - dig underneath and see if it's damp, I would think. I know that where I live (AZ), one reason water may run off can be that the ground is so hard underneath that water can't soak in without great difficulty. I have seen some information on soil in...I believe it was India, but possible somewhere in Africa...where the problem was that water on the top of the soil would react with the soil in such a way that it made a barrier so that water would just start to run off of it rather than penetrate, instead. I believe that was a soil with more clay silt on top of it rather than sand, though, so I wouldn't think it's that.
And I TOTALLY missed this and I'm so excited to hear about it now. I am really looking forward to trying deep planting! I've always used pits and trenches and such (I grew up in the desert; didn't even know that there WAS such a thing as planting on a hill, LOL), but not deep planting.
Re: when to plant the various three sisters in relation to the other. I've tried a waffle garden two years in a row. Once with corn, squash, and beans and one with sunflowers, squash, onions, and radishes. I used mostly seeds grown in this area for a looong time, from Native Seed Search. I've planted them all at the same time both times, excepting the onions.
This was my experience:
1. The squash, beans, and corn/sunflowers did well here (Sonoran Desert in AZ) in summer monsoons, but trying to plant in the late winter/early spring (when we have our second monsoon) did poorly. The long days, heat, and rains seemed to be better for the native seeds.
2. I'm still figuring out WHEN to plant each type of seed. The squash and beans grew slowly the last time I tried them, but that was winter rains, so this year I'll be trying the summer garden and try a few different plots to check on timing. However, having something to shade the ground early on was a HUGE deal for the waffle gardening when I did the summer monsoons. Without that, especially with a little added sand (see below), the reflected heat was so much that it was negatively affecting the corn and beans. The sun intensity also seemed a bit much for the early bean sprouts. It makes me wonder, if there is one plant that should be planted first rather than all at the same time, whether squash might be it, at least here where the sun intensity is so high. I know this can be a problem in other climates with less sun, but I suspect corn and beans may grow right up through the squash leaves, if I can get the timing right. This year, I'll experiment a little.
3. Waffle gardening and intense monsoons didn't mix well. I had what I thought was a very sturdy waffle garden - the walls felt like rocks when they were pressed on. I went on vacation for three weeks with a friend watching over them, and the monsoons completely flattened it all. The walls melted away into the pits. I'm not sure if that's the intensity of the monsoon or poor workmanship on my part. Guess I'll find out when I try it again.
I do have a link I thought might be of interest on this topic - It's a blog post that contains an interview with an older Zuni woman who grew up using waffle gardens in NM and there are some details about what she does and how, that she grew up learning, which I haven't seen elsewhere, including what is done with sheep manure to fertilize the waffle garden.
One thing of interest, I thought, was that after the waffle garden was made, sand was added and pressed down. It both evened out any rough spots and I would bet it helped make that barrier to keep moisture locked in below.
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