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fiona smith

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since Jul 09, 2013
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Recent posts by fiona smith

yes they are pretty,

i was thinking of planting it in deep shade right at the back of the garden to cover the bare soil round the trunks of some maples, as not much else except nettles will grow,
10 years ago
i have a north facing yard, and have been researching planting for it, with addition to the above,

honeysuckle, winter jasmine, gooseberries also will do fairly well there, and the dandelions and nettles i left in last year went banana's.
10 years ago
I have come across a ground dwelling plant growing near me, apparently its called periwinkle. there isn't much i have found out online about it except that it does well in forest gardens and can be invasive. does anyone know if it edible, or beneficial in someway, i plucked some anyway, and potted it, just need to know if it will be fine to throw in among the back of the garden, possibly for wildlife,
10 years ago
They tasted 'undercooked' if that makes any sense. Kind of too sour and too bitter.
I have made the same pickles using the same method and they turned out fine though before.
I reckon I never left them long enough. <<<<<<derrr

will try the cooler version of fermenting next and see what happens.

thanks guys

10 years ago
I have a north east facing hedge in the back...
I planted hawthorn, and they are doing well...I am going to see if my hawthorns will like the raspberries next year. They grow quite well in the wild near me where hawthorns grow.
10 years ago
I came across this in summer, and having read about the dangers, I also wondered if there was anything at all useful about this plant. Nothing I have come across on the web tells me anything that is beneficial about this plant, yet it's ancient name seems to derive from Hercules! so here I am curious as to your experiences of it,

So, in your experience, beneficial or detrimental?.

Many thanks.
10 years ago
Those pics are great Zach. I have started a urban food forest too.
Them peaches of yours look mighty yummy...
I am considering a peach tree , though I am too concerned about the birds, it rains a hell of a lot, so I am worried also about no fruits. So possibly a potted one I can bring indoors in winter would be better, because my last years grapes never graped

10 years ago
My dog too is fed on a 99% whole food diet. Bones and left over anythings.
The remaining 1% being a total ban on brussel sprouts and too much chocolate.
She's 14 now, and only got sick once, and that was after she stole all the kids easter eggs one year and spent the whole day after throwing up.
I don't think I need to explain why she's banned from the sprouts
10 years ago
Thanks guys.

John, No, I don't have a bin of biochar(Had to look that one up on the web, sounds interesting maybe a project for the future )

I have a patch of cardboard in the garden, so that's where it will go. Thanks.

@Zach, I found my worms in an aged compost heap a local horsey guy has on his patch. He lets me take as much of his compost as I like, there were hundreds of them in said compost when i brought it home, so I fished a load out, and kept them in a bit of some of their own bedding, in a home made worm bin with holes, and fed them from there. The compost was quite damp to begin with, and I never watered it because of this reason. All the water must have leached out over the months and the compost is now at a nicedryer consistency. I had to turn the soil a few times to reduce the water Content and then added a lot of shredded paper( After I got my brain engaged and figured it was too wet to breed them further : )

I noted that as I poured some of it on my roses, they bloomed within days(even in late october)

I have been wondering that because the leachate kills my house plants when I add too much, and not outdoor plants, then why?

I have just also found this from a gardening website. The post was written by someone who seems to know a lot about things. She explains a lot. She had this to say:

"Ok, hang on a minute, let's take a few steps back. Believe it or not, leachate and tea, based on peer reviewed RESEARCH, can and often do have essentially equal value to garden plants in terms of growth response. Shall I repeat that? Leachate and tea, according to research, can have an equally beneficial impact on plant growth.

Now to better explain:

The problem with leachate is not that it contains less nutrient (in fact, it often contains more soluble nutrients than does tea), the problem is that leachate can also contain alochol, phenols and terpenes (all naturally occuring by-products of anaerobic decomposition), and it is not always possible to tell when these compounds are present in sufficient concentration to cause damage. Smell is absolutely NOT a reliable indicator of the value of leachate! Let's repeat that as well! Smell is NOT a reliable indicator of the value of leachate. There is, in fact, research demonstrating that the stinkiest, most foul-smelling leachates imaginable can and sometimes do out-perform odorless leachate and yeasty-smelling tea in plant growth trials. Yes, stinky leachate almost always means anaerobic leachate, but this idea that anaerobic is ALWAYS bad is simply incorrect! It is definitely more risky due to the presence of alcohol, phenol and terpenes, but it is not always bad.

The problems with leachate come down to risk factors. Aside from the potential presence of phytotoxic (plant toxic) anaerobic by-products, leachate is liquid draining from an actively decomposing mass of OM, thus it has a greater chance of containing human pathogens like e-coli and salmonella than does a tea made from finished, stable material. When applied to food plants there is the danger of contamination when fruits and veggies that may have come into contact with the leachate are not adequately washed or cooked before being eaten (danger is from surface contamination, not from plants uptaking pathogens into their systems).

And while I was a bit cavalier above regarding anaerobic by-products, as many people have killed or damaged plants by applying leachate with concentrations of alcohol, phenols and terpenes that were not apparent as have found leachate to be beneficial. It is because of the potential for leachate to contain human pathogens and anaerobic by-products that its use is generally discouraged.

There are many folks out there who use and love the leachate generated from their worm bins. Some use it at full strength, some dilute with clean water before use, usually at a roughly 10:1 ratio. For what it's worth, it is not a practice that I would advocate, but this is a decision that should be made by each individual once they understand the potential risks."

Edited for spelling

10 years ago
Over the last year, my worm farm has produced quite an amount of leachate in the bottom of the bins.
Now , I have been using them on my indoor plants, 1 part leachate and 10 parts water, as I noticed giving them too much kills them off!

So now winter is arriving, and the worms are inside, doing what worms do best, I have lots of unused leachate and thinking about storage, as plants do go to sleep in the winter, I guess it would be a waste of liquid gold?.

Can it be stored? would it loose its value/nutrients? or is it best to use right away?
If so I am going to give some away to others, and just chuck the rest on the garden anyway.

10 years ago