Nick Kitchener

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since Sep 24, 2012
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Nick Kitchener

Aphids on fruit trees are usually an indicator of too much applied Nitrogen by the way.
5 days ago
I have been writing about my experiments with mycelium in the garden starting here:
Thunder Bay Permaculture

You can see in This Post that the substrate is turning white as the mycelium colonize it.

And in this picture that I took yesterday, you can see the oyster mushrooms I picked from the same spot after we got some cool wet weather following a hot humid spell.

Depending on how much spawn you used to inoculate the area will influence how fast the colonization will unfold. As you can see, I used a lot.
1 week ago
This is why timing your planting is so critical. Here I plant as soon as possible, often when there is only 6 inches of thawed ground so that I harvest my spring wheat and barley during the dry part of summer.

I learned that the hard way too.

Corey Schmidt wrote:

Nick Kitchener wrote:

Corey on your Korean pines... Did you inoculate the soil with a bolete mushroom species? The white pines really need that symbiotic relationship to thrive.

Hi Nick, no I did not.  We have a bolete species in the area... any suggestions on how to do that innoculation?   I got the KNP as little plugs last year.  Mostly they grew a few inches.  Same again this year, with a few exceptions that grew very little and a few that are about 10 inches tall now.

Normally the recommendation is to transplant soil from underneath a mature white pine in the hope the mycelium is there. I'm growing Siberian pines from seed this year and in the fall I will be picking the boletes and making a slurry from them in a blender with water. According to the mushroom forums I've read, doing this will capture the spores into the water, and then you can inoculate the area by watering around the plants.
2 weeks ago

Corey Schmidt wrote:

Michelle Wilber wrote:Excitingly, it looks like I may have finally gotten some nut set on my hazelberts in Anchorage, AK!  Now let's see if they ripen...

Great news!  Please keep us posted on how they ripen.
I have a 'mcdonald' hazelnut (corylus avellana) in my garden, planted I think 3 years ago that's growing like an alder (almost) but I just planted a pollenizer for it (yamhill seedling)  so I will have to wait a while for nut potential....  I think I have around 15 surviving european hazelnuts spread around, mostly seedlings of Jefferson, that survived at least 1 winter. and 4 american hazelnuts have survived a few years but are still tiny.  Also i had about 6 butternuts (juglans cinerea) survive a winter as well as 5 out of 5 planted quercus macrocarpa x robur (burrenglish oaks).  Also I planted I think around 40 korean nut pines last year and all but a few are growing well this summer (still very small, though.)

Corey on your Korean pines... Did you inoculate the soil with a bolete mushroom species? The white pines really need that symbiotic relationship to thrive.
2 weeks ago
You don't mention where this is located.

Around here, we have plenty of rainfall and 1,000s of lakes. I would personally go for terraces on that type of slope in my climate.

In a semi-arid climate then you have a completely different set of inputs to deal with, and swales are possibly more suitable - below the keyline of course.
2 weeks ago
Hard pan clay, sandstone, or granite?
4 weeks ago
I've done a lot of reading on this because I grow heritage wheat and barley.

Traditionally small grains were harvested early - shortly after the dough stage, and they are left standing to cure. This probably has to do with the time it traditionally takes to harvest a crop (weeks), and also the ease with which the scythe cuts through the stem.

With modern combines, the grain is harvested much later, when the grain is fully cured, and they typically spray the crop with herbicide to ensure an even die off.

I typically harvest based on the weather. When I know a sustained period of wet weather is likely on the way, then I will harvest early, and cure the grain either indoors or in some sheltered location. I have done this as early as the late dough stag where the seeds are still a little soft, and the stalk is turning from green to brown and I have not noticed a drop in seed viability. That said, under those conditions I collected the harvest into sheafs, and hung them upside down to cure completely before threshing.

Regardless of when I harvest, I always let the sheafs stand until they are completely cured off before I thresh them. My challenge around here isn't insects but mold as we get fall rains and damp cold weather.

I noticed too that there is a difference in straw quality which might also influence processing timing. The old heritage varieties have strong, stiff straw that keeps its structural integrity. The more modern ones I've experienced have a straw that tends to fall apart in comparison. It's going to influence how long you can leave the heads on the straw before you start losing your harvest to shattering.

Edit: Oh, to answer the OP yes I'd harvest that and get it out of the weather unless you know you have a dry spell for a few more weeks.

Cristo Balete wrote:... highbush varieties because they can withstand cold winters.   Lowbush varieties are for warmer climates...

Other way around :-)
Haha I thought this was a discussion about the devil's juice!
1 month ago