Peta Schroder

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since May 25, 2012
Australia
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Recent posts by Peta Schroder

I wouldn't add weeds to the paths then gravel - the weeds will break down and the gravel will sink to the bottom and then it will turn into muddy clayey gravel that will need to be dug out if you want to do it again. I did dig as deep as I could go for the paths.

I'm going to stick with straw and wood chips as they are very easy to dig out and put on the garden when they break down.

The worm farm does work well. I used a laundry hamper but I think multiple PVC pipes with holes in the side scattered throughout the garden would be even better. Then the worms form their own underground superhighways between the various food sources rather than just hanging around one. Also the laundry hamper takes up a bit of space.
7 years ago
I think in very arid climates the major issue is evaporation.

Groves, in addition to the hugelkulture might help.

I'm in South Australia where the evaporation is three times the rainfall and find that many of my healthiest plants are growing in shady spots.

I too have clay soil and the water runs off it so I've been digging out all my paths and using carpet underlay as a weed mat then mulching over the top. The underlay acts as a sponge and so my paths are staying relatively moist and gives an opportunity for plants to spread their root systems.

Also another idea that I am currently trying is to bury my worm farm underground and it has many holes in the sides for worms to tunnel in and out of the soil. Worm castings underground are a good way to improve water retention in the soil. So far this idea is working fine, I have many worms traveling through the soil to deposit their castings and they feed in the laundry hamper I buried.
7 years ago
Those ones don't look so mini...
7 years ago
Over time I'll be raising all the beds. I moved into this property four months ago and put 30-50cm of spoiled alfalfa and guinea pig droppings over the entire front garden. Now that the soursob has come in I'll be raising the beds further to try to prevent it next year.

To try to save this season, I've hand-weeded the whole front garden, but it is rather devastating. It looks like a tribe of small elephants has been learning to tango on it. Not that I stepped on any of the larger plants, but when plants are being propped up by the weeds they don't grow strong enough roots, and a lot of my veggies have just fallen over. Other seedlings got damaged by all the pulling going on. I hate to do it, but it's the only way seeds are going to sprout. Some seeds already sprouted and I'm hoping the yellow leaves will turn green again soon and they'll grow. I'll try to pretty up the garden again with a tidy up so that I feel better about it.

Chop and drop definitely didn't work. The picture sprouting the healthiest crop of weeds was taken only a week after a 'haircut'.

Soursob is very well suited to all of SA, both the climate and the soil.
7 years ago
Traditional Chinese Medicine.

But you might be better off getting some basic western herbals first, as the TCM is quite confusing.

I suggest read some herbal books by 2-4 different authors and you may get some ideas to get you started. It may be even that you're asking the wrong question and you like susun Weed's simples approach best.
7 years ago
Could you create a shallow pond with dark rocks at the bottom and pump water from the pond to a network of underground pipes to warm up the plant roots? Just like drip irrigation pipes but without any water being released.

You could have two ponds at different levels and the higher one gravity feeds the lower one via the network of pipes and then the lower one pumps the water back up again.
7 years ago
One benefit I do have is that my most weed infested areas are producing the most perfect broccoli as the cabbage butterflies and aphids are missing them. I have never seed soursob eaten by an insect. I just can't plant any more baby broccoli in the space as the big sobs own the space now. The broccoli on the edges of the bed where they are not covered in soursob are looking very worse for wear, and I've told the poor buggers that they have to just pull through on their own because I won't be spraying them ith anything.

Shhh.... Don't tell them I plan to pull them before they set seed.
7 years ago
We don't have gophers or voles here!

Are you suggesting putting ashes down in a cleared area, or on top of the weeds?
7 years ago
Yes, I read the same article, hence would never offer it to my friend's guinea pigs!

I'm not sure whether fowl are the same though, I was reading it is kept in check in south Africa by a native guinea fowl. Some people have found their chickens dig up and eat the bulbs, although others say their chickens avoid the soursob and eat anything but. Guess it depends on the chook.
7 years ago
In the backyard I had some old carpet that I hadn't thrown away yet. I lifted it and low and behold there was no soursob there. Only white exposed roots where it had tried. So I think that mulching will get it in the end. I'm thinking that instead of mulching my whole garden small layers at a time to feed [the garden], I'm going to add all my mulch into one pile until it reaches a good height, and then plant into it and start a new pile somewhere else.
7 years ago