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Will Scoggins

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since May 30, 2013
Humid, hot summers, winters temps rarely drop below 20 F
Northeast Arkansas
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Recent posts by Will Scoggins

My experience with mature patches of poison ivy is it can be tamed, but it is not something that I was able to accomplish in one application. However it is something that can be dealt with. Smothering probably works very well, but in the cases I was dealing with application was impractical (crawling up chainlink fece, growing too near plants I wanted to keep, etc.) and other impracticalities kept me from renting goats.

Spraying with vinegar (peroxide works too, I just usually had larger quantities of vinegar on hand) can help wither the leaves (hot days make it scorch that much better, add a little soap so it stays on the leaves longer if you wish.) Boiling water will kill the roots (but is not practical in most places, using an electric kettle and extension cord allows a little more range. Decreasing shade didn't seem to knock it back any, but the ivy was less likely to re-enter an area that was made to be sunnier. Chopping the plant with a shovel or machete is good (or any mechanical means). This is especially effective for where it climbs. I usually chop it twice on the tree and knock the cut section away (I swear the two ends can mend themselves back together if close enough.) When cut on the ground I try to flip the vine away so the cut portions aren't still buried, allowing them to re-root before the wound dries out. If I had the vinegar with me while I chopped the vines I would squirt some on the wound; probably helped, but I couldn't tell enough of a difference to make it worth walking back to the house to get the vinegar if not already on hand.

I mainly used the vinegar and machete as my tools for getting rid of the ivy, the boiling water was too much of a hassle in most cases and I always worried about scorching some desired plants roots that happened to be in the same area.

Anytime you know you will be going near an area of poison ivy you want gone, carry something to cut vines with (machete, shovel, snips, hoe, anything really) and/or a bottle of vinegar (or peroxide if you have it) with you. Don't have anything with you, mulch over any poison ivy leaves you see (being an "edge" plant, there is usually some natural mulch around you can re-position). The main thing is to just stay on top of it, it's remarkable what an extra two minutes of effort each trip by can do for not allowing it to gain any ground (walking by and drop a shovel on the vine and flip the wound up as you remove the shovel from the ground, or squirting the leaves on your way to and from the garden/woods/ swimming hole). This allows you to slowly work it back and keep any ground you gain, it is especially frustrating to work on a patch for a whole afternoon eradicating it and come back later and it look more vigorous than before because you didn't get every last bit of it. out of the ground.

So, increase sunlight if possible to deter plants, knock it back mechanically and/or with vinegar/peroxide (soap allows it to stick on plant longer). Then keep it back and starve it out by killing new growth before it can provide significant food to the root system.

6 years ago
I have a bagging lawn mower. I just moved to a new home, with a healthy lawn (at least half "weeds"). I am wondering how much will bagging and composting my lawn clippings will drain the fertility from the lawn?

Will the lawn degrade if clippings aren't mulched back in place?
Will the lawn still look fine, just not have as deep of soil?
Will it eventually become dirt instead of soil?

Does anyone have experience with bagging all of their lawn clippings? I would like to concentrate my fertility in the first few years in areas that will receive new plantings and garden space. However, I don't want to set myself back so far that when I expand planting areas in years to come, I am remediating terrible dirt back into soil.

Soil profile is sandy loam I believe, then about 2-3' down it is grey clay.
6 years ago
Also, Permaculture isn't only about the "growies". It is considered a design science, or a way to approach a task or problem. Much of Permaculture can be seen in many successful endeavors that have never heard the word: Achieving synergy between separate parts (a team coming together with good chemistry and playing above individual talent levels), function stacking (Already going to town for "x", might as well pick up "y" while I'm there), obtain a yield (necessary to remain in any business) are the ones that spring to mind first.
6 years ago
A lot of good ideas. IF you are still wanting to do a complete, traditional greenhouse, I would suggest that any structural members that are going to touch the hugel should be made of stone, block, or concrete. this would increase thermal mass, and alleviate rotting concerns.
6 years ago
You could place a vertical studwall at the base of your slope and use the space behind wall at top for easy access behind your walls for storage or plumbing, electrical, HVAC, ethernet, etc.
6 years ago

George Meljon wrote:
Just unpack the bale and add water? Turn every couple of days and viola? I really hope the answer is yes.

I've always heard that urine (high nitrogen content) can really speed up process with hay. I've read Paul refer to a haybale as a urinal, the carbon traps the smell and the nitrogen speeds the breakdown.
6 years ago
Mimosa (Japanese Silk) Trees grow extremely fast where I am(Zone 7-8 ). And once they are a certain size they can handle some pretty extreme pruning. I have used the ones that popped up along my fence row (I don't weed eat) to make trellises, plant stakes, blanket ladders, and the like. As a bonus it has pretty flowers.

I have read there are medicinal qualities, but cannot personally attest to them.
6 years ago
I heard him say the beer was for yeast and the cola for sugars, what was the ammonia for?
6 years ago
I think having food served from on-site would be a big draw. While the location is "remote" for many people, I think you would broaden the target market if people not only got to do work and learn, but at the end of the day could eat a meal proudly proclaimed to be as close to toxin free as anywhere in the country (i.e. all from Paul's land, with his Über-strict stance on gick) .

Maybe start with workshops to put food systems in place then change gradually to a more of a "resort" type workshop, to the point you could host a "workshop" of forbes 500 people, who are there for the food, ambiance, and experience. You might even be able to wring a little work out of them by making it part of an "authentic experience".

The time cost is the biggest factor for me, not sure if I'll be able to make any workshops in next decade. But wanted to put an idea in the hat.
6 years ago