Jonathan Davis

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since Aug 09, 2012
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dog hugelkultur urban
North Central Ohio
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Recent posts by Jonathan Davis

I use pine for hugelkultur all the time and it works fine. I agree with others that it's not going to change your overall acidity but definately use it.
3 years ago
I'll definately try this--thanks
3 years ago
A great alternative to traditional raised beds is Hugelkultur mounds. Also, compost could be left outside but the composting process will halt during the cold weather. You could keep it inside a hoop house though. Compost should not be stinky. If it is, there is probably either an issue with what you're putting in it or the mix of brown to green is off.
3 years ago
I've never seen anything like it. I'd love to get some of those seeds. Good luck!
Mulching leaves directly into the yard with the mower is definitely the way to go if you don't have a ton of leaves falling, which is usually the case for myself. Sometimes we'll get large piles of them gathering against the fence, and in these cases, I usually rake them directly into the garden beds and landscaping. You can rake a very large number of leaves, say 3 or 4 feet high, into your garden beds in the fall and it really gives the beds a great boost the next year. For massive amounts of leaves (which I actually go out and collect from my neighbors), you can set up a cage made by looping a section of hardware cloth together (3x10 feet or so) with wire and stuff the leaves into the cage. You can cram a massive quantity of leaves into a small area. By next summer you will have a wonderful quantity of broken down leaf compost to use around the garden as mulch.
3 years ago
I also like creeping charlie for reasons that others have mentioned. I would add that it's usually pretty easy to pull out and if you have a reasonably sized area of lawn that you want to keep weed free, you should have no problem pulling it all out while keeping the lawn mowed high, say three inches. Eventually, it will go away. Start in the center and gradually work outward over time. If pulling the weeds from the lawn is a job that is far to big to tackle, I would suggest that the size of the show lawn you are trying to maintain is the problem. I used to stress about lawn weeds until I realized that it was the size of lawn I was trying to maintain that was actually the thing driving me crazy.

I like to designate an area for the perfect lawn to display, and then let the rest of the property (I'm in suburbia) be garden beds and non-lawn areas. I don't mind creeping charlie in my non-lawn areas because it doesn't do any harm and I can easily pull it and mulch it if desired.
3 years ago
I'm in Northern Ohio, so similar to your climate. I have blueberries on the edge of my conifers and they love it. Further out (or closer in towards my house rather) I have apple trees with comfrey and clover underneath. But, I agree that if you are like me, go ahead and plant a whole bunch of things around the area and see what does best. Garlic is always nice for underneath apple trees. Before just planting into the ground, I would Hugelkultur it up first, and mulch the crap out of it and then just start planting into it. But there are lots of more specific resources out there and the midwest permaculture site is great, as mentioned.
4 years ago
I would love to see what techniques permies are using for indoor seed starting for a small-scale backyard garden. I have experimented with lots of techniques. I'm curious to see some set-ups that folks have, particularly seed starting mixes, seed tray configurations, lighting configuration, heating mat use, and watering techniques. I'm using 288 cell plug trays under fluorescent and CFL lights, with a soil mix of 2 parts compost, 1 part vermiculite and 1 part peat. I find that if I don't keep up with watering they can dry out very quickly. I haven't seen a thread on indoor seed starting, ans if I missed it, I apologize. thanks!
4 years ago
I have 3 very large pine trees in the back portion of my yard and have been using pine needles and cones as mulch for my magnolias, azaleas, and rhododendrons. I also use needles and cones for mulching my blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Once those things are completed, I gather and save the rest of the cones and needles in an opentop container an allow them to dry out in my garage. I use them to start outdoor patio fires. Throw some dried needles and cones into the bottom of a fire pit with wood on top and you can usually get the fire going with a match! You can also put needles into the compost bin, as long as you don't get too crazy with the ratios.
4 years ago
I make these dryer lint fire starters all of the time to start my wood stove and fireplace in the winter. http://www.trybackyardfarming.com/homemade-fire-starter/
4 years ago