Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade

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since Aug 05, 2014
Curitiba, Brazil
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Recent posts by Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade

I’ve recently learned that here in Brazil any sort of landscaping project has to be signed by an accredited landscape architect, so I could be fined for doing my designs without having a BA in Architecture.

Do you have similar problems where you work? Did you manage to circumvent that in some way?
4 years ago
A client would like to me design a small (80m²) food forest (only with trees native to Brazil). The lot today is mostly short grass and weeds and the soil is a hard clay low on organic materials, the typical urban soil around here.

Thing is, she wants things to be planted as soon as possible. My idea is to physically remove the grass (by e.g. cutting the upper layer of soil, any better idea is welcome) and fill the elevated beds (some 10cm) with compost. I would like to avoid uncomposted material and, above all, paper and cardboard, to speed up the process. With only compost I believe it shouldn't take long for worm to mix the material with the topsoil and hence allow planting.

(I think it's better to wait a while until things are mixed because the compost is going to settle quite a bit, and planting trees directly onto compost doesn't seem like a good idea)

What do you think of it?
5 years ago

Rose Pinder wrote:Polypipe HDPE is rated to 120C (that's above boiling), and is what I've assumed is being used in Australasian examples of compost hot water systems. Not sure how that differs from PEX though.

Good tip, I hadn't heard of HDPE before. A quick search yielded few useful results, it may be hard to find low diameter pipes, but I'll look into it.
5 years ago

Dean Howard wrote:

CPVC may work, but I'd need information from someone more knowledgeable than me on that.

CPVC is able to withstand temperatures to 180F, and that makes it good for hot water, but a solar collector like you are showing could get much, much hotter. It's also brittle, meaning it will crack along it's length when frozen.

PEX can expand a number of times before breaking from freezing or fatigue (maybe 20 times). Neither is made for solar applications, though you may get by if the system isn't running near the breaking point.

Black poly tubing frequently used for drip irrigation is what is commonly used in the Frenchman's (Jean Paine? Payne?) compost pile heater...with temperatures getting no where near what you might expect from a roof-top solar unit. There is a good reason they use copper and other metal tubes, with anti-freeze, for a heat exchanger. They get very, berry, very, berry hot!

Freezing shouldn't be a problem, we get occasional frosts, but nothing so severe as to freeze things over. So basically you're saying PEX would be a good choice, but copper even better?
5 years ago
Yes, PVC is already out of the question. CPVC may work, but I'd need information from someone more knowledgeable than me on that.

I'd connect a pump (solar, possibly) to circle the water from the gas heater's storage tank (which we've had for a decade and have had no legionella problems thus far) to the solar heater and back. Do you think bacteria could be a problem in that system?
5 years ago
I'm planning on building a solar heater similar to this one (site in Portuguese, but the images are self-explanatory). I'd like to know which material would you recommend for that, taking into account that it must withstand the brazilian sun and high temperatures. The material should be safe (not leach chemicals such as BPA and dioxins), and as sustainable as possible.
5 years ago
I'm planning on implementing a small pond to attract insect-eating wildlife (especially frogs and geckos) to my garden to reduce the population of mosquitoes and gnats. After planting my food forest I don't have too much space left, I'd dedicate at most 2m² for it.

My main questions are: is it even feasible to have such a small functional pond? How can I passively aerate the water (are there underwater plants that excel at it)? Also, I live in an area with incidence of dengue, so it's important to have some fish that eats the mosquito larvae. Which fish would live well in such a small environment, eat the larvae, but also eventually some plant matter (so I don't have to buy fodder in the winter)?

I'm sure I'll have more questions afterwards, but so far those are the most important. Thanks.
5 years ago

Becky Proske wrote:

Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade wrote:...But what about water logging and anaerobic conditions?

"Subsoiling" the area around the trees might also be something to try. The aim of subsoiling is to create pockets in the soil to allow deeper infilitration of air (and water). Repeated over time (once or twice a year) it could help create deeper topsoil. It can be done with an impliment (which does not till or turn soil) or perhaps even by hand with a broadfork.

Is subsoiling with a broadfork the same as double-digging?
5 years ago
Aesthetics isn't really very important, as long as it doesn't give the plants any future trouble, I'm ok with keeping them like this, maybe I'll just lift those most sensitive to water logging once they're dormant. But good to know there's a technique for growing roots from the trunk. Many thanks, you've been very helpful.
5 years ago
I planted the daikon just outside the hole, should I seed it inside as well? And would it be good to fill the rest of the hole up to ground level? With what?
5 years ago