Nick Kitchener

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

I'm growing it among blackcurrants and Jostaberry, with a ground cover of strawberries. Seems well behaved so far.
I do have a border of chives to keep invasive grass out of the beds.
The maggots are fungus gnat larvae. You can mitigate their effects by using yellow paper strips coated with Vaseline, and harvest early.
1 month ago
Just beware that if you leave the grounds on top of the soil they will form a crust that will prevent water from penetrating into the soil.
2 months ago

Nick Kitchener wrote:OK I decided to put a heating band around the fermenter. It's what brewers use in cool areas to help their yeast along. I'm wondering if 15C is too cold for the acetobacter down there in the basement.



That didn't work.
I took the vinegar to a different location where it sits at 22 degrees C and gets as hot as 28C in the afternoon. A week doing that and I have action!

So I think acetobacter needs very warm conditions to thrive. anything under 20C (68F) is probably going to not work out.
2 months ago
Me: Well it's a gloomy day outside today.
Daughter: What does gloomy mean?
Me: Gloomy means dull and gray.
Daughter: Oh, so daddy's hair is very gloomy!
2 months ago
Barley doesn't self replicate well. The seed head has been bread to not shatter and disperse seeds, so they tend to stay in the head, out of contact with the soil. If you let them be, the next year you will get a few, and by the year after that you would be hard pressed to find anything in my experience.

The other thing to note is that between the grasshoppers and field mice, any volunteer seed head doesn't really have a chance. It's hard enough growing the stuff intentionally.
3 months ago
Mulch with a foot or two of hay. If the weeds are tall, then wack them down first. If it's spring in your neck of the woods, throw some potatoes on the ground before you pile the mulch on and in the fall collect the harvest.

All that hay will break down and soil life will use it to decompact the clay. The first you you may gain 4 to 6 inches of soil. The next year a foot.  Keep on doing it until you have enough topsoil.
3 months ago
I eradicated squirrels by creating cover and hiding places for the local cats in strategic locations along with routes the cats can use to get to these locations without being seen. They're ambush predators that kill for fun and I essentially built a feline version of Disney world.

I pick up the dead squirrels and toss them into the compost or under the raspberry bushes.
I like the idea of a power takeoff on tractors because you can have one portable power unit and multiple things that can attach to it.
3 months ago
OK I decided to put a heating band around the fermenter. It's what brewers use in cool areas to help their yeast along. I'm wondering if 15C is too cold for the acetobacter down there in the basement.
4 months ago