Hans Quistorff

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since Feb 25, 2012
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I have home movie proof that I started in agriculture at age 3 1943.
Longbranch, WA
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Recent posts by Hans Quistorff

As I suspected your climate is very close to mine. I also have a hedge to the north with a 1 meter wide path behind the north wall.  So you can do as I have make part of the north wall so it can be open in the summer to vent and closed with insulating materials in the winter. In stead of filling the top north wall bags with dirt fill them with dry leaves. Use your round poles to hold up the roof. Use the wood from the pallets to hold the clear tarp tight to the sides and ends of the rafters. I only had 2 rectangular pieces the rest were round  so I used the  lumber on the ends and the smaller diameter round ones in between and the whole roof is held up by 6 round posts. My east wall is solid because like you I don't get any sun from that direction and the mornings are usually foggy anyway. To make up for that my west wall lets light in. Can you find an old storm door with glass in it for your entrance on the west?  
With a gutter on the south edge of my roof I collect enough water to use in the greenhouse and the high tunnels further down the hill until June through September our dry months.
My secret to not have a lot of miss spelled words is Google spell check. Otherwise I tend to type what I hear in my head but Google catches it and underlines it in red and when I right click on it gives me suggestions for what I really mean.
1 day ago

Time for some questions about bagging . So I have 300 heavy duty plastic rubble bags . So wet dirt is better then dry , when filling the bags and then they dry out over time . But these are plastic so no water can escape . I want to fill the bags up(no waisted space) , but duck tape them down instead of sowing the ends up. So the damp cant get out there. So im thinking on making a ton of little steaks as long as a hand , pointed on each end . Used to connect two bags above with two below , that way the moister can flow through the bags, drying them out over time .  

I am not sure I understand your bag plan. What are the dimensions of the bags?  How thick will they be when pounded flat?  how high above the surface of the ground do you plan to build?
Sun will degrade the plastic within one year so they must be covered.  where they are below ground and dirt is banked up against them on the out side they should be fine. but on the inside they will break and spill the dirt out. Stakes should work fine to keep them from sliding.  Insulation is not in your budget so I see no advantage of making the north wall thicker below ground and above ground just pile dirt against them to protect them and make the wall thicker. To cover the top of the bags and the inside I recommend my favorite material which is discarded carpet.
You have not filled out your profile so we do not know your exact location. [click on My Profile at the top of the thread and fill it out for this thread your latitude would help, for example mine is 47.25] from your use of pounds as monetary measure indicates England which would have weather like mine. If you put your clear tarp on a roller you can role it back for ventilation and remove it when not needed. The thickness of the rafters is plenty of space for a double layer. My greenhouse has discarded glass doors and the north wall is just layers of carpet inside and out with the padding in between so I can role the whole north wall up in the summer time.
3 days ago
I don't know your weather that well but it seems like a few months too early for planting garlic. We usually plant it in the fall so that it grows roots during the winter and is ready to develop during the spring and early summer.  If the cow peas will grow for you this time of year then get them started and when the time comes to plant garlic cut them flush with the ground and plant then put the residue on top as a mulch. I don't have any knowledge of the cover crop having an adverse effect on the garlic. But it defiantly has a positive effect on the soil organisms that will support the growth of the garlic.
1 week ago

Steve Thorn wrote:

Hans Quistorff wrote:For drying as seedless prunes select for cling free seeds as it cling free peaches.  The prue plums on my old homestead are like that.  The green gauge seedlings that have been in our family for generations are not quite as difficult to separate from the seed as a mango. The yellow plums are sum what mixed in this characteristic. They seem to cross with the green gauge.
I would be happy to share seeds if you would like and there ar always seedlings coming up under the green gauge because it is so prolific and the mother tree is so tall not all of them get picked.

Do you like the Green Gages or yellow plums for fresh eating?

I want to try a Green Gage really bad, I've never tried one, hoping to try one soon!

Yes the green gage are best for fresh eating.  The yellow are good fresh but more starchy and easy to dry. The Italian prune plums are equaly good to eat fresh but also the easiest to split and dry. They are also the shade for our west porch therefore my wife's favorite.
2 weeks ago
For drying as seedless prunes select for cling free seeds as it cling free peaches.  The prue plums on my old homestead are like that.  The green gauge seedlings that have been in our family for generations are not quite as difficult to separate from the seed as a mango. The yellow plums are sum what mixed in this characteristic. They seem to cross with the green gauge.
I would be happy to share seeds if you would like and there ar always seedlings coming up under the green gauge because it is so prolific and the mother tree is so tall not all of them get picked.
2 weeks ago
Basically you want a structure brings in enough light to grow plants, more heat in the winter than will be lost by radiation back out into space or movement of the air, absorb less heat in the summer than what can be removed or stored for later use to compensate for the loss.
First design element then is determined by your latitude or the sun angle to maximize light and heat penetration in the winter and minimize heat penetration in the summer. The angle of the glass and insulated roof then should allow sunlight to enter for as long as possible in the winter but only first half a day in the summer, which means orienting the long axis of the greenhouse in a somewhat northeast to southwest  direction. The rising sun in summer will then enter the glazing and reach the back of the building but by mid day when overheating begins the roof will be shading and most light entering will be reflected light that has little heat. During the winter the sun rises in the south east and so wil enter directly into the glazing then it sets in the southwest still able to enter the glazing. [assuming a northern hemisphere location]
Being able to store ambient heat from the air during the day and return it as radiant heat at night is the first conservation strategy. The second is to minimize radiant and ambient heat loss at night. Why are desert nights so cold?  It is because of radiant heat loss to the clear night sky.  Therefor tilting the glazing back to maximize letting the sun is also maximizes the radiant loss at night. I think radiant loos is a greater problem than conduction loss through the glazing.
My location is 47 degrees north and I put my glazing vertical. this greatly reduces the exposure to the night sky.  
The third strategy is the earth as a heat sink buffering the outside extremes. Therefor if everything except the glazing is buried and you have a good plan of storing incoming heat and returning it to the growing area when needed you have a defense against the cold and heat of your climate.
3 weeks ago
Some of my thoughts on this topic:
In the initial description Red Hawk lists the initial layer of dirt or soil under the pile. If this is accessible [ like 2 bins that i have that have a small door at the bottom] you can shovel out some of this and place it on top then cover that if the bin dose not have a cover. If the material being added is dry watering through this top soil compost layer serves several functions, activating the new layer, holding moisture and serving as a trap for the gasses especially the carbon and carbonated particles held by water surface tension.
Wood fire ashes can be a component of a soil layer but do not dump ashes into a pile because they will tend to just become a rock like clump.  Stir them into soil or sprinkle them loosely into a dry brown layer.
Composting in a trench accomplishes the goal very well.  The admonition is not to mix your carbon material in your garden soil because it ties up the nitrogen compounds so the plants can't initially get to them but that is what you want to do when making compost. That is hold those nutrients in a living matrix until you feed it  to your plants. Just remember the trench is making compost it is not yet compost or soil.
Pathway composting anyone?
3 weeks ago
There was 2 places where the Himalayan blackberries were planted in a nice straight line under a fence by bird poop. So I have trained them like my other berries. The canes now average an inch in diameter and the root bulb is the size of a football.  As the previous poster said a hedge trimmer is the best tool for cutting them back and a chipper is the best way to compost the vines. They grow vine tips all winter trying to reach out and start new plants where thy reach the ground.  Therefore if you are retaining a patch go over it once a month with the hedge trimmer to cut back the tips. The canes may bear a second year so use the hedge trimmer to cut off the previous fruiting tips in the fall and then cut out any brown canes  or ones that are inconvenient.
I ordered a special fabrication of the Meadow Creature Broad Fork narrower with the tines closer together to did up the root balls.  Small roots lft in the soil will regrow so so the ground needs to be cultivated and cleaned thoroughly for at least 2 years.
1 month ago
I did not answer the cane support question. Using stakes as you did is good but requires more maintenance and materials than I like to use on Qberry farm. I would recommend a steel T post on each end of a bed your size and cross strings of used bailing twine a foot to 16 inches up the post. Weave the growing canes between the cross string, when the canes reach the top then turn them horizontal and braid them along the top string.  This has given me good control and if it gets too tangled when pruning out old vines I can cut the strings and start over.
For Boysenberries and Loganberries  I use 2 strings, one at eye height and the other at chest height. the long canes are braided in an oval around the 2 strings after the old canes have finished fruiting and are removed. Until then the new canes are bunched with a loose tie in between the crowns.
1 month ago
Do your raspberries fruit in the spring or fall or both.   I am in zone 7b but much farther north so my day length differs.  Spring bearing canes fruit on the canes that grew the year before so when canes have stopped producing and there is vigorous growth of new canes the old can be removed.  Late season verities produce berries at the tips of new canes in late summer and fall. To prevent rain spoilage I put a high tunnel over them and they produce until frost usually late November. The portion of the cane that bore fruit will dy back but buds will develop on the lower portion at leaf nodes and bear fruit in the spring.  After covering the patch some of the spring canes would also start producing in the late fall due to a short chill period.
With your canes in the raised bead you will be able to control the runners.  Keep them heavily mulched with material that will break down and feed the roots. When canes come up next to the wall or front of the bed cut the connecting root and transplant them to a new bed.
1 month ago