Brad Mayeux

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since Dec 26, 2014
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Recent posts by Brad Mayeux

John Saltveit wrote:Brad,
This is my experience. I have several that I have planted from seed, in partial shade.  They grow and as they get bigger, they will be in full sun and produce fruit.  We have bone dry summers, so some deep watering is necessary, as they come from humid and rainy summer areas like US South and Midwest.
John S

i am in New Orleans, so water isnt an issue.
it rains a lot, and the water table is high.
1 year ago

May Ree wrote:We are also planning on Paw Paws for the spring, and I understand that they need shade when smaller, but am confused about how much sun they eventually need. Can they be productive in partial shade as mature trees?

good question.
i look to nature, and figure after 3-5 years they will grow enough to start to peek above the canopy of other trees in the area.
and i am guessing getting a little more and more sun the higher it gets.

i have an area in my yard that gets 2-3 hrs of direct sun, and the rest of the day, shaded by the garage.
i also have bamboo growing, so in summer it will be shaded a little more.
the garage is about 8ft.
i am hoping once the plants get that tall they will be OK.

Redhawk ?

and also hoping the will get that tall after 5 yrs.
they are only about 3ft tall now (just got them in)

also got a raisin tree and a CHE.

1 year ago
i have some being delivered today actually.
i did a good bit of reading, and after 3-4 yrs old
they should be able to handle full sun
especially in your zone. though, im not sure i would plant them in a very dry area with full sun,
unless you have irrigation.

smaller plants should not get full sun
and maybe only a couple of hours of direct sun per day
over a couple of summers it can be increased to full sun (6hrs +)

not sure how you would do that in an open field
except maybe keep them in large pots for a year or 2.

Pawpaw usually  put out a VERY deep taproot.
if you have to keep it in a container, it should be very deep.
or, you can look into pruning the end of the tap-root..
im no expert on that, but it should stop it (the tap) from growing ,
and it normally doesnt hurt the plant, but, Pawpaw may be different, im not sure.
i would ask a Pawpaw pro

1 year ago
i got to know the people at Starbucks
for the last 3 or 4 years ive been getting grounds
they save the large bags for me.
i am guessing they are about 100lb each, and i usually go weekly.

its hard to process that much as compost
so, i throw it around, or mix it with sawdust and grass clippings as mulch.

or, i mix it with sand and create a mound
and wait 6 months to plant on it.
if they are dry, they soak up minerals...
i will use fish emulsion with iron and magnesium on the mound once or twice
they will hold those nutrients, and the worms love em too.
1 year ago
i love Jujube

one not mentioned is Carob ?
i think it might be a nitrogen fixer also ?
most legumes are, but, not all.

lots of other legumes too
acacia... some have edible pods and leaves

all are drought tolerant.
1 year ago

do you use organic / environment friendly soap ?

vegetable oils do act as a surfactant.

to me, the fastest way to improve sandy soil is a mix of fish and mollasses.
added to compost tea.

you want the correct microbes added to the soil crom the compost
but, also something fo them to chew on.

leaves, grass, etc... as mulch. they break down faster than wood chips

make sure to get fish from an unheated source
tht way the oils are still active.
fish heads in a blender works just fine.

wood chips are excellent, but a longer term solution.

cover crops...
radish, clover or other nitrogen fixers, rye grass (deep roots)
tillage radish can have very deep roots
i have 7 small pine trees to poke holes in the clay layer too.
they also have mycorrhizal associations.
i will chop them down when they get about 8ft tall. (and are in the way)
the roots will rot and bring in erven more fungi.
1 year ago

So a little over a year ago (best i remember)
i had a pond in my yard and the plastic liner had broken.
(its about 12ft by 8ft wide 4 or 5ft deep.)

It was a mosquito nursery, and was a big problem.
I finally cleaned it out to a bare dirt floor.

a buddy of mine makes and sells organic fruit juices
and he has 5 gallon buckets of mango, banana, citrus , beet, and other peels.
i dumped about 40 of the 5gal buckets in the hole.
i added 2 large bags of sawdust
about 400lb of coffee groundes
5 or 6 bags of grass clippings
various leaves,  yard waste etc...

unfortunately, i have a bad back, and mixing it was a problem.
and.... mistake #1 was putting the peels (very wet, lots of rotting juices) in first.
i did add a few small cardboard boxes at bottom, but, sawdust would have been better
i just didnt have any at the time. i got it a week later.
then i added grounds, grass, leaves, more grounds, cardboard, grounds, sawdust etc...
till it was full.

i put a couple of long 2x6 planks down to walk on it.
and now i finally took them up and tested my weight.
in most areas, it is fairly solid.
in 1 spot i sunk about a foot down.

i dug up a shovel full, and i was surprised to find dirt... ?#@!?>
it was a very dark, very rich "mud"
(it did rain recently, cool temps, and no sun to dry thing out)

it is still about 4 to 6 inches low, so , i am still adding leaves, grounds etc... to it.
it had sunk a little, but , not much.

There are drier spots where the top couple of inches is excellent compost.
but, that very well could be coffee grounds and grass clippings added 6 months ago.

it seems the worms are churning things up also... which must be how i got soil in the mix.

i get 100lb of coffee grounds every week or so from starbucks.
i have used them in experiments of sorts.
also, i can get 7ft tall bags of sawdust from a cabinet maker.
this is like having finely ground wood chips.

i once made a pile of semi-dried grounds, dry oak leaves and semi-dry grass clippings
the oak leaves were small, and the grass clippings had been run-over twice.
this produced the best compost i had ever seen,
i could have sifted it though a pasta colander.
i added a little sand and used it as seed-starting mix (great stuff)

another one was sawdust, grass clippings and grounds.
it made excellent worm food.
and i use it as a mulch... it has to be used as a thin layer and mixed well
as the grounds can form an impenetrable barrier to water.
mixed well, with less % of grounds, can fix the issue also.

i used this mix also to put UNDER cardboard to keep weeds down around fruit trees.
the worms came up and went to town.
the cardboard kept it moist and protected.
i do wish i would have added some coarse sand, as it gets thick and sticky without much air.


1 year ago
so i live just outside New Orleans
i have a purple someone gave me, that i have let run and used as a ground cover
also good for adding N to the soil and organic matter, since i let them rot in place
not to mention they grow REALLY fast, and the leaves are great chop+drop too.

i havent tried to hard to use them, since my preference is for a golden to orange flesh type.

i like creamy testure, but also want to make french fries
(i had some a while back, and they were SOOO good !!!)

anyway, i would love to trade for some seed
or, even for slips of a good variety that would work well in this area.
moisture isnt a problem, as New Orleans is a very high rainfall city
AND i am in the garden a lot, and tend to water anything that looks a little dry

Obviously its a long season here.
but, we do get light frost on occasion.
Sometimes we go 2 or 3 years with no frost at all
sometimes we get 2 or 3 a year
but , rarely below 28F ish. (once a decade it may hit 24-25ish)

i have POTATO MINT (Plectranthus esculentus) tubers i can trade
lots of other stuff as well, mostly subtropical though.
goji plants or ??


If the biology in the soil is right, you shouldnt have a problem with the plants getting minerals.
bacteria and fungi break down rock, sand etc..., and organic matter is releasing minerals all the time also.

im not opposed to adding things like kelp, which will break down and release lots of minerals fast
but the biology certainly should not be ignored either.
its the MOST important thing when it comes to the plant absorbing nutrients it needs.

my practice is adding coffee grounds, grass clippings and leaves on top the soil
with some wood chips on top of that
this provides a great environment for worms.
worms will work 24x7 to aerate the soil leaving holes packed with nutrients roots can use.
best damn workers i got.

if i really need a fast infusion (in poor soil) i add fish emulsion with a little molasses.
or, a compost tea or worm tea with fish and molasses added.

over time, adding leaves, grass clippings, compost etc...
will create the right environment.
no one fertilizes the forest, or adds seawater to it, and most trees do just fine.

You should watch a few videos by Dr. Elaine Ingham
Heres one.

1 year ago
Most soils are not high in magnesium, and Epsom will wash through fairly quickly...
some soils are high in Mg, and low in calcium
if so, Epsom will hurt you more than help.
especially, if you use too much.

it also has sulfer.

if your soil is too acid, it can make it a little worse.

that said, i have used it several time and it has greened up leaves on some plants
especially in containers.
iron also helped.

soil test is best though.
1 year ago