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Reed Bed Protecting...

 
Posts: 14
Location: In a Jungle in Laos
forest garden fish food preservation
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Hi All !
Living in the Tropics, making a reed bed for Grey-water, is not easy, due to pilferage... Reeds have been used for a VERY long time here, for anything, from baskets to furniture. My beds don't last longer than a year, then I come out and see that it has been cut down... Is there a Natural way to discourage pilfering or maybe a similar specie that doesn't have the same properties as reed, but cleanses the Grey-water the same way ?
Cheers, Chris
 
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Posts: 239
Location: Ireland
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homeschooling forest garden fish trees bee
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Hi Chris, that's a new one for me! I don't usually suffer from having my reeds actually stolen out of the system.

If it's just the top growth, then remember that the roots are all still active, and doing their thing below the soil or gravel. Perhaps it's not a problem. Do you see evidence of the system suffering or is it simply that the top growth has been removed on you in the night?

The plants that are best suited to filtering dirty water are ones that have good biomass production and tolerate saturated environments. For soil based systems (marsh-type systems as opposed to the gravel reed beds that have effluent below the surface of the gravel) you'll need plants that have good tall growth with broad leaves that grow thickly and profusely and drop leaf fall into the water column on a regular or seasonal basis to provide a good biomat for bacteria to develop and thrive on. Are there other plants in Laos that have similar qualities to these?
 
Chris Kridakorn-Odbratt
Posts: 14
Location: In a Jungle in Laos
forest garden fish food preservation
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Hi !
Thanks for a fast answer !
I have not been able to find a local plant with similar properties,,, Vethiver grass, with its enormous root system, could be a contender, I'm using it for erosion control.
I also have some very large Moringa trees, but they don't produce a lot of seed drumsticks, otherwise the seeds could be used...
The forests here are mainly desidious , so some leaves fall, but it would be a major job, to collect and put in a pond...
Would EM (efficient microbes)be beneficial to the pond ?
Cheers, Chris
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Posts: 239
Location: Ireland
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homeschooling forest garden fish trees bee
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Hi Chris, Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is used in Asia along with Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia and Lepironia articulata in one example that I found from China. That should be a good species for the grey water wetland. If you want to use the grey water as an irrigation source then newly planted Moringa trees should be good as far as I can tell, although other than seeing that they can grow very quickly, I don't know much about them. If you harvest them as a compost or fuel crop you will take up many of the nutrients in the grey water as they grow.

I have relatively little experience with Effective Micro-organisms (EM) but am about to start an odour control trial in a local wetland today as it happens and have heard reports of good odour control, good drain clearing properties and good treatment benefits. Yes, I'd say that if you can get some EM easily then it's always a good thing to kick start a system with it.
 
Chris Kridakorn-Odbratt
Posts: 14
Location: In a Jungle in Laos
forest garden fish food preservation
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HI! Thanks a lot for your reply. I really helped to confirm my suspicions...
I have used EM only on  Large Mango tree, that wouldn't set fruit at all, next season I got 100s of large, juicy fruits.
And as I have booth Vetiver and and Moringa, I will definitely try this and then test the water (free by the Lao water Management)
Thanks again, and Have a Good Weekend !
Cheers, Chris
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Posts: 239
Location: Ireland
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homeschooling forest garden fish trees bee
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Hi Chris, do you feel like taking photos of before and after and adding them to this post so that others in your climatic zone can see the solution that you adopted and how it works? I'd be interested to see how the project develops as well.

All the best with it,

Féidhlim
 
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I live in a subtropical area and use vetiver for erosion control. The great thing about many of the tropical trees, such as Moringa, is that they can be started by branch cuttings. I am currently experimenting with optimum length, but so far the cutting placed in water began creating roots in less than a week. Then I transplanted some to soil.
My question is that the leech field downgradient of the septic system in question is really steep and then there is a smallish patch of non-construction bamboo, then a stream. Recent grading of an access road has caused septic water to come out of the embankment and running above ground. So we are trying to find a plant mix that would clean up the septic water before reaching the stream. What are some solid tropical/subtropical plants or what kind of root structure should we be searching for to best clean up the septic before it reaches the stream.
Thanks!
 
Chris Kridakorn-Odbratt
Posts: 14
Location: In a Jungle in Laos
forest garden fish food preservation
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Hi Féidhlim !
I most certainly will post pics and updates... But it will take some time. I am in the process of selling my land in Laos and move to Thailand to be with my daughter.
There we will build a small, about 2-3 acres, research farm, in conjunction with a local University. Our main focus will be on cash crops for local farmers, as well as to show that minimizing pesticides etc., can be beneficial. We will also focus on soil and water management. (Both Monsoon Rains and Droughts can be devastating for the farmers here...)
On another note, although Moringa leaves are really delicious, and extremely nutritious, they can be deadly, if eaten in excess.. A Farmer friend in Thailand started to give his goats ~40% av daily feed, in Moringa leaves, a month later they started to die, very healthy running around, then flipped over and died. After 3-4 consecutive autopsies, by a local veterinarian, with no results, they did their own autopsy and found what seemed a seriously clogged stomach, cement like, aka undigested Moringa.
So I warn all farmers to restrict it, both for their animals and themselves, to just eat as a supplement, never as a main feed.
I will keep updating, when and how every comes together.
Cheers, Chris
 
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Effective Micro-organisms (EM)  can you give us more info please?
 
Chris Kridakorn-Odbratt
Posts: 14
Location: In a Jungle in Laos
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Hi John !
There are numerous articles and experts out there, much more knowledgeable than I.
If you do a search on "effective microorganisms EM 1, or how to make effective microorganisms", you will find an enormous lot of good information.
In my part of the world you buy concentrate EM in any seed or agro shop, together with un-sulfured molasses, in 1 litre or 1 gallon bottles/jars, very cheap.
1 litre of concentrate, properly mixed and diluted, covers ~200 m2 soil.
I know that in NZ it is approved as an organic soil enhancer.
Good Luck and if you need more help, just ask !
Cheers, Chris
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Posts: 239
Location: Ireland
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Thalya Parrilla wrote:My question is that the leech field downgradient of the septic system in question is really steep and then there is a smallish patch of non-construction bamboo, then a stream. Recent grading of an access road has caused septic water to come out of the embankment and running above ground. So we are trying to find a plant mix that would clean up the septic water before reaching the stream. What are some solid tropical/subtropical plants or what kind of root structure should we be searching for to best clean up the septic before it reaches the stream.



Hi Thalya, I'm not sure what species should be used - perhaps a new thread with a clear topic description may bring in some answers on that front.

In terms of the characteristics of the plants for your embankment: generally something with good quick growth (to be effective as quickly as possible); high ongoing biomass production (to maximise the uptake of nutrients and water); preferably relatively deep root development (to get down into the soil, perhaps breaking up clay and enhancing the overall capacity for soakage into the soil in the long term); grows easily and quickly from cuttings or seed (to reduce your cost of start-up); and has a useful end product of some sort (to maximise the use of the area - be that for food, materials, biodiversity or other use).

Remember that if you have septic tank overflow you may have legal issues that need to be addressed, depending on local regulations. You'll also have the potential for contamination for anybody who goes into the area, whether that is just walking through, or collecting materials or using those materials elsewhere. Ideally you'd manage to get the effluent into the ground again, to cover it. Shallow drains with brash fill may work; or 1' piping cut in half to form a gutter, then placed on the base of a shallow drain and covered with soil to create an infiltration area that the roots won't clog up (they will clog up standard percolation piping.)

Hope that all helps,

Féidhlim  
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Chris Kridakorn-Odbratt wrote:Hi Féidhlim !
On another note, although Moringa leaves are really delicious, and extremely nutritious, they can be deadly, if eaten in excess..



Thanks Chris, good to have that included here in the thread. Tropical trees aren't my thing, so thanks for pointing that out.
:-)

Féidhlim
 
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Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I have several native pond plants in my grey water beds.  Some of the reeds get "pilfered" by pack rats -- not all pack rats are interested in reeds -- but they leave the other things alone.  
 
Did Steve tell you that? Fuh - Steve. Just look at this tiny ad:
3 Plant Types You Need to Know: Perennial, Biennial, and Annual
https://permies.com/t/96847/Pros-cons-perennial-biennial-annual
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