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Permaculture hacks that work  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 2915
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I do not have any pictures, but I always pound my fence posts in the Spring of the year. The wetter the ground, and still be able to drive; the better. I use a lining bar to start my sharpened post, but then use the bucket on my tractor to pound them into the ground. To get extra whollop, I fill my bucket with soil first. That extra few hundred pounds is WAY better then swinging a sledge hammer.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
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Eric, back when i was in the city, and worried about a nice lawn, grass clippings went where i wanted a veggie garden the next year. Its as simple as that. It worked great. Lots of earthworms came in.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 532
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
142
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I love using cut grass or leaves for mulch too. It's free, keeps weeds out, and creates awesome soil fertility!
 
Posts: 77
Location: zone 6a, ish
21
food preservation forest garden fungi homestead cooking trees
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Ben Zumeta wrote:I bet someone here can explain how dehumidifiers work like Dan Ackroyd as Jimmy Carter on SNL, but my understanding is that they can leave chemicals in their water reservoirs. I very well could be wrong, but I assumed this is why every one I've ever had has very clear warnings not to drink it, and that's why I don't use it on edibles



After doing the laziest of Google searches, it seems like the search results are in agreement with what I suspected from experience: the main reason they tell you not to drink the water is the possibility of contamination from microorganisms.  I know the water collection bucket of our dehumidifier gets super slimy; they can harbor all kinds of algae, bacteria, molds, you name it--whatever's floating in the air and lands on the water.  There's also the possibility of leeching of heavy metals from the coils or the solder used on them, which would then bioaccumulate in plant material.  None of the sites I looked at provided any data or indication of lab testing or anything, either, so the heavy metal contamination is more in the realm of speculation, I think.  Honestly, even knowing that isn't going to stop me from using it on my tomatoes or whatever when I have the energy to waddle it out to my plants, since I probably get worse every day from my very hard well water running through 30 year old corroding pipes.
 
pollinator
Posts: 456
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9-10, 60" rain/yr,
42
dog duck hugelkultur
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Thanks for doing the research I should have done myself before saying anything. I always noticed an faint odd chemical smell to the water, which was part of my previous assumption. Maybe it’s just the plastic of the tank.

On a more productive note, I have been refilling French drain trenches with woody debris instead of gravel, of course where well away from a massive structure you don’t want to settle upon the decomposed wood eventually. I go with minimally sloped trenches that start at the overflow of my duck pond, and divert the water to catchment basins filled with woody debris and topped with woodchips between hugel beds before it flows off my property. It’s a bit like keylining but can be done with a shovel or small trench digger in small and irregular sites. I can now hold and slowly absorb about 7500gal off rain that’s become duck pond tea. We have yet to have to runoff water yet this wet season, but it’s been relatively dry (17” since oct 1). The soil just builds pretty passively now. I also have to water only in getting plants established during dry periods. If nothing else, I have much less flooding now and the system has held up to a 10” day of rain.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Lancaster Ohio
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I've been gardening in the weeds.

We had our blueberry plants get overrun with weeds one summer to the point we lost a couple. No they didn't die.... We freakin' lost them. Couldn't find them. After hacking down a bunch of Johnson grass and goldenrod and blackberry bushes that didn't produce well, we found them again, and they were healthier than the ones we had exposed earlier. It's as if they were nourished and protected by the weeds.

So last spring I decided I would run with it. I started by laying out the cardboard and straw to keep the weeds at bay a little, then planted in between the cardboard.

As the weeds grew up past the tomatoes and peppers, I only chopped and dropped the weeds that were on the south sides of the plants I was growing for food, just enough to let the sun hit them. I let the ones on the north side grow up tall. They ended up supporting the tomato plants and even some smaller viney squash.

From outside the garden it just looked like a weed patch. The critters thought so too. The only food that was stolen was from the plants on the outer edges of the garden.

Later in the season I noticed the Japanese beetles were ignoring the tomatoes and peppers and only eating the surrounding weeds.

The weeds held in the moisture, protected the plants from too much exposure and I think even helped to feed them. The smell when you bent down into the weeds was rich. I never had to water at all, even in the dry summer.

We had a good harvest. Finding veggies was like a treasure hunt that never ended, and I could never bring enough containers to harvest everything.

I think my next design will include covering the ground with a thick, lofty layer of sticks so the tomatoes, when they bog down the tomato stakes, will stay off of the ground and stay dry. Some rotted from all the humidity so I may cut the southern weeds down a bit lower in summer also... Just to eliminate the excess humidity.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
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I have heard people say that Hugels do not work, but I have never had any that did not. The only thing I have done differently is use 50/50 wood and sheep manure.

This is not mine, mine is buried under snow right now...but shows how attractive they can be, even in a suburban setting.

 
Posts: 27
Location: Kentucky - Zone6
2
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One hack that worked for me is capturing the water run-off from our gutters with a banana half circle (the pipes before exited the ground on the downhill part of our property).

In case you don't know what a banana circle is:
https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/chapter-10-the-humid-tropics/banana-circle/

Below the run-off pipes, I dug a round hole, putting the soil in a half circle around the hole (as you would do with a straight swale) to keep more water in the hole. Fill the hole with pieces of wood (which I plan to use when creating new garden beds this year) which absorb the water and slowly release it to the plants/trees I planted on the berm around the hole. If it works out well, I am planning to build a series of half banana circles downhill as the overflow from the top banana half circle flows into the next and so on.

M


 
Posts: 25
Location: Southeastern Louisiana
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:



Oh WOW I've not laughed that hard in a long time. I second this by the way. I'm in Louisiana. I have two of those damned dehumidifier things so I don't smell like mildew all the time. I feel your pain. SO. MUCH.
 
wayne fajkus
pollinator
Posts: 1981
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I found a simple way to save eggshells. I placed a sprouting lid on a jar. Its probably not neccessary but i wanted them to dry out. but keep bugs out. Luckily it has not attracted bugs. I don't crush the shells till i need the space for new shells. This gives them a chance to dry out. I use the jar to crack the eggs also. Pretty simple and handy. No more cracking eggs then "oh, crap, where do i put the shell".

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