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Ludi's Projects 2016  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Sacred Lotus project: http://www.permies.com/t/56443/plants/Sacred-Lotus
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gardener
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I don't know your budget, but I think most of the big box stores are getting citrus in right now. Unfortunately I think the prices have been going up at ridiculous rates.

Many citrus come true from seed. Most mandarin style oranges are also more cold hardy than others. Maybe you just want to start planting seeds from citrus that you're bringing home to eat.
 
Tyler Ludens
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That might be a good idea. I wish they would give more variety information at the grocery store.

I have some good grocery store plant news - one of the turmeric roots from HEB that I planted is actually growing! Taro and ginger did not come up.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Proof of Turmeric:

turmeric.jpg
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Tyler Ludens
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Our neighborhood is anticipating major challenges in the week ahead as more heavy rain is predicted. Here's my husband with some neighbors at the river about a half mile from our house. We're very concerned about a house which has been built next to the river channel. We were all reminiscing about past floods which swept houses away. One person is missing from a nearby community, having been swept away in her car.

There is a high bridge under the water there somewhere. In the worst flood in our memories 1978, only the tops of the cypress trees were visible, according to a neighbor who lived in this neighborhood then (I lived a few miles away at that time), and the flood snapped the power lines. Cattle were caught up in the tops of the trees. http://pacweb.alamo.edu/InteractiveHistory/projects/rhines/StudentProjects/2006/Comfort/Flood%20page%201.htm



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pollinator
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Location: Denver, CO
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Yikes, that looks bad!
 
Tyler Ludens
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The new backyard basins full during flooding rains the other day:

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Tyler Ludens
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Yet another basin, this one in the badly flooding future food forest area. It needs to be considerably deeper, but this is a start:

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steward
Posts: 2097
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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Hi Tyler;

New here to Permies, and yours is one of the threads I follow with interest. I introduced our property here http://www.permies.com/t/56720/projects/garden-fence-finally-finished-rainbows and am so excited to see how our little slice of paradise progresses. Although we live in very different areas, our hot dry summers are one of my major concerns, and am doing all I can to mitigate those unavoidable circumstances. Like you, I used buried wood beds, and have great hopes for them. The 'pond gleyed by pigs' thread is one that also gives me hope for our sand soil. So many amazing permaculturally inspired ideas!

Looking forward to seeing how your garden grows this summer!

Cheers
Tracy
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you!

 
Tyler Ludens
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My Choko/Chayote is growing! This was purchased as a fruit at the grocery store, and stuck in the ground. It seems to like all the extra moisture lately!

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Tyler Ludens
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Another plant experiment, Chufa (Tigernuts) in this small marsh garden:

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Tyler Ludens
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Some plants are doing well, some not so well. A deer ate half my Sacred Lotus plants.

Sunroots are finally doing well, also Malabar Spinach. Ginger is sprouting.
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Tyler Ludens
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The big basin is still full and overflowing, and the creek is still running at the bottom of the land.

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Tyler Ludens
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This morning's harvest with which I'll make vegetable curry for dinner tonight; Walking Onion, Devil's Claw, Armenian Cucumber, Red Noodle Beans, Sunroot, Potatoes, Carrots.
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gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
347
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Dinner looks good already. That's a pretty and colorful picture.
Question: Does Malabar spinach taste like spinach? I've tried planting New Zealand spinach as a hot weather alternative to my favorite Bloomsdale spinach and I thought it tasted like grass. It also was hard to get rid of after I decided I didn't like it. Planted it probably 3-4 years ago and I'm still finding volunteers.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think the Malabar tastes a good deal like Spinach. I prefer it fresh to cooked; when cooked it can be a little slimey like Okra. We usually eat it in salad. If cooked, it might work better in something like a quiche rather than just a bowl of cooked greens. I've tried to get New Zealand Spinach to grow here and it just refuses, but I've had two good Malabar years in a row so far. It's a perennial in warm climates, but our winter is too cold for it to survive in the open. It prefers plenty of water but can survive some dry times.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Wow Tyler, that is a lot of water. I know the flooding can be devastating, but it should make the plants grow.

Is ginger hardy year around in your climate?

And I second the Malabar spinach question; I can't grow greens here in the summer, everything burn up. And I can't grow them in the winter, everything freezes out. And I can't grow them in spring or fall, we don't have either. Just alternating days between summer and winter.
 
Tyler Ludens
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This is the year we're going to really try to take control of the water situation! Later in the year when the soil dries out, we're planning to have at least two more basins dug and connect one of those to the two existing large basins with a long swale. It's going to be a big, expensive project, but we have to do it in order to become more resilient to the challenges of our climate.

From what I've read, the ginger should be hardy here, just going dormant in the cold season. But we'll see!

 
Tracy Wandling
steward
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Not the Sacred Lotus! Deer are so destructive. I'm watching a fawn grow up that we saw only minutes after it was born. It was so incredibly adorable and sweet. And then! Some stinkin' deer stuck its scrawny neck through the fence and started eating my delphiniums and rubeckia! So, of course, I want to wring those scrawny necks. But instead, I reinforced the fence with bamboo stakes and cedar limbs. Sigh.

I hope you're able to save the rest of your Sacred Lotus, and get some more going. Do they multiply on their own, or do you have to start new ones?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Yes, the darn deer are cute when little!

Fortunately I had a bunch of Lotus plants from seed, so I still have a few left that are mostly undamaged. And ultimately they will become such large plants I'll probably only be able to keep two or three of them (if they survive). I think they can be divided once mature.
 
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
3
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Dinner looks colorful. I am learning to like more veggies as I try to go more so one day soon I can say it looks yummy! Of course that means I have to get stuff to grow to a point where I can harvest it.

All that water in June boggles my mind. Wow. I know you will get a handle on the water and direct it just where your garden wants it most.
 
Tyler Ludens
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The dang deer are slaughtering my Spineless Prickly Pears.

deercactus.jpg
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Tracy Wandling
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Your deer are really quite evil, aren't they?! It appears nothing is safe! Are you working on fencing the whole area around your house and gardens, or just fencing off certain areas? It just seems such a shame that on top of the vagaries of weather, you've got hordes of marauding deer to deal with, too. Dumb deer . . .
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thanks.  Yes, unfortunately I'm going to have to fence more of the yard.  That they have taken to eating plants out of my aquaponics tubs is especially discouraging.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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How are your aquaponics beds doing lately, anyway?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Minimally, thanks to the deer. I've been trying to grow aquatic edibles like Lotus, Taro, Watercress, but all of these have been damaged or killed by the deer.  This morning I started putting up more fencing to keep them out of that part of the yard (I hope).  I wanted to have these plants growing before I try getting some Bluegill for the fish part of the system.  Right now all I have are a couple of Gambusia and a ton of tadpoles.
 
Susan Taylor Brown
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So your Gambusia don't eat the tadpoles? I thought they would. I would much rather have some Gambusia  than using mosquito dunks.

I hate having to fence so much for the deer too but at least the fence usually works. Unlike trying to block the gophers from dragging everything down. Every morning I dread looking over the railing to see what they went after next.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I thought the Gambusia would eat the frog eggs too, and they may eat some, but they seem to prefer the mosquito larvae.

I finished fencing the back yard.  Now I should be able to plant a lot more things back there which (I hope) won't get eaten.  The deer can still get in if they really want to, because the fence isn't tremendously high (only 5') but they need to take a real running jump to get over it and might not try.

It's gotten very hot (high 90s) and things are drying out fast.  The big basin is mostly dry, but still collecting a trickle from the upper creek.  Where the neighbors unhelpfully dug a channel away from the basin, the creek is still running also, and soaking into perforated rocks on our side of the fence.

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Tyler Ludens
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I left the gate open to this garden and the deer ate all the squash and things.  Any survivors got killed by squash bugs.  Total.  Fail.

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Casie Becker
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Tell anyone that asks that you used the deer for a mob grazing rotation to clear the beds for fall planting.

Poor attempts at humor aside, this is actually the month to start planting seeds for the fall garden, including summer and winter squashes.

http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/what-to-do-in-july.html this is the most comprehensive information I've found in one location that deals with gardening in our area. If you're not too disheartened right now, maybe you'll find something to refill that space with. The nursery itself is solely organic, and has a wide selection of seeds. They even carry bulk cover crop seed appropriate to each season.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thanks!  I've planted some squash seeds (that someone somewhere near Austin gave me ), but these plants will need to be pets with daily attention because of the horrible number of squash bugs this year.  Last year was such a wonderful squash year, this year has been almost a complete bust.  Fortunately my neighbor that I share food with is having a good crop of zucchini anyway.

 
Casie Becker
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If one of those squash is tatume, they might surprise you. That's the one I planted in August last year and then watered less than weekly. They all formed around four healthy looking leaves and then just sat and waited for the autumn rains. When the rain finally fell in Sept, they took off like rockets. I harvested a few summer squash before that first freeze (wasn't that in Oct last year?) The tatume's not doing as well as a spring planted crop, but after I fertilized it last weekend it's coming on again.  I water this bed a lot more regularly as it's in the front yard.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Eggplant, Malabar Spinach, and Sweet Peppers are doing well.

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Tyler Ludens
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Devil's Claw is doing fabulously but is only marginally edible.
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Tyler Ludens
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Bunch Porto Rico is doing the best so far of the Sweet Potatoes, but getting nibbled a little by tiny grasshoppers.

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Tyler Ludens
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Paddock chickens in the old vegetable garden are doing a good job of clearing.  I was thinking of putting in a late planting of corn and squash here but I'm changing my mind and I think I will seed to winter cover crops later in the year, probably oats, radishes, maybe some kinds of greens like collards or kales, as well as Illinois Bundle Flower, a perennial legume.  I'm also thinking of planting this area with some Thornless Honey Locust, so it will have light shade during future summers.  The reason I abandoned it as a vegetable garden is that it is very exposed and prone to drying out.

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Are you still getting Armenian cucumbers. They look like what I see in the store as English cucumbers. I'd really like to grow some.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I didn't water them enough and they kind of keeled over - not sure if they will survive, but they might.  They seem to do fine in the heat, but need regular water.  These were also planted in a not-very-improved part of the garden, so they were at a disadvantage.  I think under better conditions they would be a definite winner for our summers in Texas.  For awhile there they were really doing well.



 
Tyler Ludens
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I've mentioned a  bunch of times that we're unfortunately doing our permaculture design backwards because of ignorance when we started out - so, we're working on major water features now, when those should have been done first of all. Don't make this mistake!  Remember 1. Water 2. Access 3. Structures

This morning we started staking contours for new basins and the swales that will connect them, to slow and disburse flood water coming down the valley.  Yesterday we got a chance to talk to the neighbors about some things they can do on their place to help slow the flood, so that was great.

Here's the plan for the new earthworks:
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Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
Intrinsic: An Agriculture of Altered Chaos
https://permies.com/t/95922/Intrinsic-Agriculture-Altered-Chaos
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