mary farris

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since Dec 15, 2011
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Recent posts by mary farris

I'm new to hugelkultur, so maybe this is a silly question- but is there any issue with using dead rhody and laurel branches (toxic to burn...) in hugelkultur where fruit trees or veggie beds will then be planted? I'd imagine not, since all matter needs to break down anyway.....
7 years ago
I hear that the 17 year locusts/cicadas are coming through the east coast this year. I'm new to the coast, and looking for suggestions on how to best protect my berry bushes and fruit trees. I hear that they will leave my veggies alone. Your experience? Thanks!!
7 years ago
I have no plans to let the earth be bare- the question is just grass removal before mulching and then planting with other things. It's not a whole bed of grass, but unhealthy plants with big tufts growing right in the crowns, and pockets of tufts of grass. Currently the bed has more bare areas than plants, under my temporary leaf mulch that I spread until the weeding is done (it's a large area).
7 years ago
I've just moved here, so haven't seen the berries through a growing season yet. But last year (and possibly the year before), no pruning or weeding was done. The grass is growing right in between the canes. I've had to remove more than half the canes for cane borer reasons, on top of the normal pruning for light and circulation. The plants really don't seem to be in too good of shape, so my first priority this year is to try to revive them and give them the best shot at regaining their strength and to do what I can to get a yield next year, not necessarily this year. I am getting some muscovy ducklings next week, and have australorp chicks in the breeder now. Will turn them into the patch post-harvest. Nice idea with the weed comost tea, seems karmic. ; )
7 years ago
Thanks y'all-

I'm actually converting the surrounding grass into garden beds this month, so I'm not too worried about further encroachment so much as taking care of the current issue right amongst the plants- thanks for the opinion!.... and I will indeed be planting some accumulators and some aromatic pest confusers in between too. Currently rereading Gaia's Garden as we speak, actually. My land backs up onto fully forested land- so there's more encroachment from smilax, pokeweed, and sassafras shoots from that side of the bed. : )

It's been a real educational experience so far moving from theory and ideals to the multitude of all the real life decisions!
7 years ago
Okay, so I understand the theory- cover cropping is good for the soil food web, and ideally you want to leave those roots in the ground to nourish your desired crop. And now here I am, my first spring in real life on my recently purchased mini-farm, where the rasp/blackberry bushes are in poor shape (cane borers, lack of pruning for a year or two....) and I'm working on reviving them. There's grass growing right on top of the cane crowns, as well as interspersed throughout the rather large beds. Not easy to cardboard sheet mulch here around all the canes. I will be putting some nutrients into the soil to give the ailing plants a boost and covering it with double ground pine bark mulch later this week.

What's the correct approach with the grass?
-rip out all the grass in the bed, roots and all, and get it away from the berries
-rip out all the grass, roots and all, and turn it upside down and cover with mulch
-just rip out the grass growing right in amongst the cane crowns
-just cut down the blades, leave the roots in place, and cover with mulch
-just fully cover with mulch and don't worry about actually taking out the grass by hand

I'm also planning to plant a strawberry border along the outer edge of the bed on mulching day.

Thanks in advance.....
7 years ago
Hi Amedean-
Yes, that sounds good~ thanks for the quick reply! : ) Will be in touch after I move out there.......
8 years ago
Hi all-
I'm working on a Permaculture certificate in California, but will be moving at the beginning of January to a small (.8 acre) home/homestead I just bought in Black Mountain. 5 year old infrastructure in great shape is set up already (coop, 2 barns with lofts, 3 fenced areas....) for goats and chickens, want to do bees too. A dozen or so young fruit trees were planted 5 years ago too. Can't wait to get started and put some things into practice!

Of course climate etc is soooo different in NC than CA- any permies out there want to get together once I move and give me advice (advice is welcome now, too!), or recommend good resources in the area?

Thanks!

mary
8 years ago