Matt Darkstar

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since Sep 27, 2014
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Recent posts by Matt Darkstar

Felt like bringing this thread back from the dead. In the past two years I have done a lot paw paw searching. Some things in common for fruit producing native pawpaws in my area, they are all in quite moist conditions, moderate to full shade (I found none growing in full or even half sun). Some common companion plants I found growing alongside: wild canadian ginger, ramps, trillium, black and blue cohosh, spicebush, mayapples, and lastly mature hard maple and beech. For my pawpaws I have planted them below wild cherry and oak trees getting anywhere from 4-8hrs of sun per day, with ramps, mayapple, wild ginger and blue cohosh around them. I have yet to succeed with spicebush unfortunately, and all 4 of my pawpaws seem to be growing well even though the deer browsed them pretty hard last year. (Nothing can eat pawpaw, except the mutant deer in my neighborhood)

Another potential companion plant would be dragon flower or dragon lily Dracunculus vulgaris, which makes a very conspicuous and stinky flower and is zone 5 hardy and I was lucky enough to already have one growing in my backyard. Pictures of flower and fruit below.

1 year ago

John Danks wrote:Have you tried pulling the staples this tool? I found it invaluable for pulling cleats out of reclaimed flooring. It's a uni-tasker, and not cheap, but the job would've been nearly impossible without it (and a quick-release vise on a sturdy workbench).

I have used medium size channel locks , and locking pliers for pulling staples, they can be found cheap, are adjustable and therefore useful in many situations. Also you can torque on them and use the tool as a lever.

https://www.amazon.com/Living-House-Straight-locking-10-Inch/dp/B01GDR58LO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494293275&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=locking+pliers&psc=1

1 year ago
Great to know, I would like to root some cuttings for my sister, she lives in Nashville and her neighbors obviously have great success growing figs, you can see them peeking over just about every fence.
I have a violet de bordeaux and a black mission, anyone know which techniques work best for either of those?
Hello and thank you Robert.

My question relates to woody plants, and soil amendments, particularly the so called clay pot syndrome. For those not familiar the idea is that when planting in high clay or compacted soils, roots will have limited growth being trapped inside the hole which was backfilled, especially if that soil is particularly inviting. My tendency would be to start my trees out strong with some biochar compost mix, and expect that healthy roots will break up clay soils when the tree gets large enough. Lets ignore the hydrology of heavy clay soils for this question, and assume the tree is planted in an otherwise ideal situation. TLDR: Is clay pot syndrome real?
4 years ago
Pretty good suggestions all around so far, just a few things to add
1) Build diversity, don't remove any species that you don't have more of on your land, when you do cut a tree make sure you have at least 2 or 3 other new species, not found on your land to replace it with
2) Start slow, you can always create more pasture, you can't create a semi mature woodland (except for your grandchildren.
3) Consider adding a coppice to your plan. Benefits include fuel to burn or sell, excellent habitat, soil stabilization, substrate for shrooms.
4) Do not graze pigs in any area where you are not prepared to lose 100% of the plant life, they can seriously dig and destroy even mature trees if so inclined.

Best of luck
4 years ago
What was the time frame for this healing? I would expect a broad shallow wound like that to close in about 4-5 months, without any interference beyond washing. What was the preparation for the poultice?
4 years ago
May I present Tiger Eye sumac, exotic looking form and phenomenal fall color. (You don't have to eat everything you plant, some thing are just really nice for looking at)

4 years ago
Having a hollow in the tree is not necessarily a bad thing, it could become a home for some nice critters. Standing water will promote growth of detrimental organisms in the tree so I would find a way to drill a drain for that collection of water. The tree will try to close up the drain, but hopefully it is also closing up the area where water collects, so keep it draining until it doesn't collect any more. Also there are lots of good thing to do with "junk" wood produced by siberian elms, biochar being my personal preference.

As an aside, pouring concrete into the tree isn't going to do anything besides fill some of the void, water will still collect on all sides of the concrete, and it will create a hassle in the future when someone eventually has to remove the tree.
4 years ago
That is a lot of water changing, I hope that I can find a source for sweet lupins.
4 years ago
What is your typical process for preparing them? I have only had them pickled, with some chili spices.
4 years ago