raoul dalmasso

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since Jan 15, 2014
Central Italy (zone 8-9)
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Recent posts by raoul dalmasso

Keyhole Hugelkultur, 4th semester (February 2015 - August 2015), 1 pic per month. Production in 6 months: 7 Kg of vegetables plus 30 garlic heads. Total production in 24 months: 52 Kg.

3 years ago

Peter Hartman wrote:I Will it come back true?

Sowing bulbils technically is propagation (cloning) and not reproduction. It means that you will obtain a genetically exact clone of the mother plant.
3 years ago
Hi Russell

I guess you talk about Prunus americana, that I've never seen, but I can share what I know firsthand about the propagation of another semi-wild plum: Prunus domestica ssp. Insititia. My family has grown them in backyard gardens in the last 60 years at least.

We have a success rate of propagation from suckers that is ridicoulosly close to 100%. We transplant suckers during dormancy (late fall or beginning of spring). With late spring transplants you have at least a year of stunted growth. I would never try to transplant them during growing season, but I guess they would somewhat survive.

Trees propagated from suckers can be productive in 4 years, while trees from seed can take 7 years or more to bear a good yield.

Prunus insititia, as well as many others “wild” plums like Prunus spinosa, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus americana etc etc, are widely used in commercial fruit tree nurseries as rootstock for any cultivar of plums. Prunus insititia plums are used as rootstock for apricots as well.
3 years ago
There is another use for hazel: basal shoots (suckers) can be used for basket making. This is the one I have made from hazel suckers cut from my trees last week.

3 years ago
Hi Dale,

In Italian language "Orto" means "Vegetable garden", while "montano" means "mountain", adjective. So you can translate it "mountain garden". I live and farm in Italy, on the Apennine mountains, 580 MSL. ortomontano is a one-man organization, a blog and a backyard garden (for the moment).
3 years ago
Just an update.

Current population: snap beans, a lot, 2 varieties (Purple queen and Slenderette); 6 or 7 zucchini (Trieste white, Italian Heirloom), I am going to do some culling and I will select just 2; Tropaeulum majus, 2 or 3 survivors; 30 “canasta” lettuces ; a bunch of Acrata hot peppers. And of course the mullein that is now blooming and is almost 6 feet and growing growing growing.

3 years ago
Ciao Lorenzo, congratulations and thank you very much for sharing your project and your enthusiasm. Grande, cazzo!

I live and farm in Central Italy as you do, in a slightly higher location (580 MSL) with a similar mediterranean climate zone (we are almost in the same bioregion!), and I have to say that it has been a real pleasure to read your project also because of our geographical closeness.

I can offer you more than my best wishes: I offer you Prunus domestica ssp. Insititia trees. It is a plum cultivar, close relative to the “Ramassin della val Bronda” registered in the Slow food's Ark of taste. My family has always had these kind of tree in the yard in the last 60 years, and they are one of the most suitable fruit plants for permaculture. I don't want to hijack your post, so I will skip any other information and I will go straight to the point: I have some 40 or 50 young trees in my nursery (1, 2 and 3 years old), if you want them they are yours to take, NO MONEY INVOLVED. If you are interested in those trees you can contact me via email at raoulvandenberg@yahoo.it for any information.

Congratulations again

4 years ago
Hi Lorenzo,

Just a thought about wood from vineyards: copper.

Copper sulfate (Bordaux mixture, verderame) is a widely used fungicide in vineyards, and copper build up in the soil is a well known problem. In Italy a certified organic vineyard can use up to 6 kg of pure copper sulphate per hectar\year. Non-organic vineyards can use up to 38 kg of pure copper sulphate per hectar\year. In the best case a 30 years old vineyard has been sprayed with 180 kg of copper per hectar.

I do not know how much copper is absorbed by the wood, but I would expect more than traces. Of course you don't want neither a fungicide of any kind at the core of your hugelkultur nor copper pollution in your yard.

I am not an expert, but I would not use it.

Thanks for your praise in my last post.

Going to spray some copper on my tomatoes... bye
4 years ago
Hi Permies,

Here is another hugelkultur construction photo-tutorial (I am just sharing experiences, not teaching):

Data: Area 1 m x 2,20 m; Depht 30+ cm; Height 60+ cm.
Brown (Carbon): wood from apple, prunus, maples and figs.
Green (Nitrogen): a brush pile of bushes, vines and green tree prunings from the garden. I also added 5 Kg of dry organic manure for extra NPK.
Mulch: grass clippings (I am going to add wood chips and grass clippings when needed through the season).
First sowing: a lot of snap beans (N-fixers). In July I am going to transplant a big population of brassicas among the dying beans.

I am sure you know that the big plant in the foreground is a Mullein. It is a big guy and takes one of the best spots in my small garden, but I could not get rid of it. I'll let it bloom.
4 years ago
The best book I've read about plant breeding (with a focus on horizontal resistance) is Return to resistance by Raoul Robinson. Free download.