Janina Goerrissen

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since Jun 09, 2012
Germany, hardiness zone 7a
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Recent posts by Janina Goerrissen

Yup, that's sort of what I had thought. Clippings to the compost, and a couple of times a year give that compost back to the lawn. I'll see if I can get a pH test kit next time I go to the hardware/gardening store.
For now, watering hasn't been necessary at all, rain has been pretty regular this summer, and the adjacent land to our lawn is a slope leading down to it, so yeah, I guess watering will be necessary on few occasions anyway.

Damn those ticks, I'll be on antibiotics now for the next 10 days because the skin around the tick bite from 2 weeks ago is still a bit red. So, just in case it's lyme disease, I have to pump my body with heavy medication. Not fun.
6 years ago
Hi there,

we have inherited a very weedy (mostly dandelions and clover) lawn from the previous owner of our house, and in spring we didn't have a mower yet, so everything got pretty high (about 40 cm) and we could basically see the ticks crawling onto us after 5 minutes on the lawn... Se we're a bit concerned about ticks living in our lawn. Anyway, by now we do have a mower, we've been mowing quite short and have not had any ticks since (no that's a lie, I did get one about 2 weeks ago, but not from the lawn), but the grass does not look very happy, even though it's been raining a lot, so it's certainly not too dry. But it sure has a hard time growing back after it's been mowed so shortly, the soil is compacted (already was) and it really really needs organic matter.

I'd like to try mowing the grass higher and leave the clippings as mulch so the grass will be healthier, but my husband does not want to leave the clippings because ticks could turn them into a beautiful hiding place.
My idea was to try to mow higher, and then maybe at least every 2 months leave the grass clippings, and twice a year or so add a nice layer of compost. Obviously never giving back any nutrients to the soil is not an option, but I a) don't know if that will work nor b) how that would affect the tick population.

So maybe there's someone out here with similar problems and experiences, and maybe possible solutions.

Thanks a bunch in advance,
Janina
6 years ago
This is pretty much unrelated, but I wanted to say how much I love the fact that "permaculture people" seem to be aware of so many hardly known plants! I had never heard of musk strawberries before, and as a huge strawberry lover I now know that I just need to get me some. So, thank you! =D
7 years ago
Thanks, Rose.

Hmm, I'll certainly look into the possibility of putting in a physical barrier. I don't know if it's possible yet (probably difficult in some spots), but I'm thinking about it. And I'll definitely add more mulch material as I go and try to get a dense groundcover growing, too. The latter can obviously take some time.

I'm not considering re-locating the existing plants for the time being, I think it's a good place for them.
7 years ago
I must say I find it amazing what you guys call a "small place". Our garden is little over 100 m2 (~1076 sf), and I find it to have an absolutely wonderful size. Much easier to keep track of (well, all you have is a zone 1, I guess XD ). Sure, you can't have really big trees, but there are so many small trees available that it's not that much of a problem. I'll be getting some dwarf trees (and a Paw Paw, which apparently grows slowly so I should be able to keep it rather small with pruning) and maybe espalier-train some of them.

So anyway - our garden is still in the planning and my ideas might still change, but in case it's useful for somebody, here's my plan as it is now. I still have to fill in many details about herb and ground layer - well, some I do know already, but they just won't fit in the plan.
I must say working on that plan has been so much fun because of the challenges provided. But of course we'll see if and how it works out. ^^
7 years ago
Hey there, I'm new to this forum though I've already read quite a bit through here, and I've been interested in permaculture for years now. In february, my husband and I moved into our newly-bought home in Germany, which also has a nice, small-ish garden (small compared to what other people seem to have - I like its compact size). It's segmented into 5 different areas, divided by concrete paths, so I've decided that I'd go little by little to transform it all into a lush, edible landscape. This year I only worked on the part where the veggie patch was and will continue to be - sheet mulched everything (the top mulch layer should be much thicker, but I just couldn't get more material for now), layed out the design, and by now a few plants are already growing there apart from the already established raspberries and black currant.
However, especially at the edges of the garden, very close to the berries, I've discovered bindweed pushing through the cardboard. For now I've been pulling out the new sprouts as I see them, some of it I feed to my turtles, but it's just a matter of time that I overlook something and it starts taking over from there.

Of course, I'd like to find a way to control it that doesn't involve daily check-ups. I've read about barrier plants like jerusalem artichoke, maximilian sunflower and comfrey which can keep the bindweed down (supposedly), but as far as I can see, they're all pretty big plants that need quite a bit of space. Since I'm not done yet with the whole area, I still hesitate to put comfrey anyway because I'll still have to dig around to plant more stuff, and I don't want to cut its roots and spread it everywhere. As for the other two, they spread a lot too, and the spot is right next to the neighbor's garden (and I'm not sure he'd appreciate them), so I'm not sure they're the right fit, either. Besides, while jerusalem artichokes do sound like a cool plant to have, I don't know it planting and harvesting them so close to the currants and raspberries would disturb their roots. Behind the raspberries is a very inaccesible place anyway, so I'd like something that I don't need to do much with.

So I'd much prefer smaller plants to do the job of supressing the bindweed, plus ones that don't spread too much on their own.

Okay, I'm attaching (as Imageshack doesn't seem to work) two photos of the area I'm talking about, so you can get a better idea. I marked the spots where I'v noticed most bindweed coming up with red arrows. Where the raspberries are, it's right beneath / behind them right next to the neighbor's garden. And I suppose they'd be coming from there even if I managed to erradicate them on my side, so that seems pointless. And as I said, it's pretty hard to access that spot.

The other spot it comes up is right next to the currant (sort of between the currant and the rain barrel, and also around the barrel), also next to the neighbor's garden edge. In any of the cases, the space available is only about 50 cm wide.

Sooo... does anyone have any ideas of what I could plant there to keep the bindweed from entering and spreading through my garden?
7 years ago