Win a bunch of tools from Truly Garden and Loma Creek! this week in the Gear forum!

Chris Barnes

+ Follow
since Jan 02, 2015
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
1
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
1
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
2
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Chris Barnes

I don't understand how the Nite Guard would work. It would seem that this is based on the assumption that deer are only foraging at night? In any case, it sounds like an interesting alternative.
4 years ago
Well, There have been obvious attempts that deer have tried to get through my fence; however, the only times when I have caught deer in there was when someone left the gate open. So, I suspect that a deer got caught inside the fence at some point and struggled to get out. When I say "obvious attempts", I mean that the metal wire fence was slightly distorted and it was sagging a little. This can be rectified by hand easily though by straightening the bent vertical wires in the mesh.

(On a side note, I think that the metal fencing product was cheaper than the plastic fence when I was looking into it)

I have never seen anyone have two fences right next to each other. I was thinking that one approach could be to add shrubs on the outside of the fence so that deer don't have a clear shot at trying to jump the fence.

Another tip to consider is that it is easier for deer to jump in if there is a higher elevation on the outside of the fence than where the bottom of the fence is. in other words, if you have your fence at the bottom of a hill, the deer can walk up up-slope and jump from there. Conversely, if the inside of the fence is up-slope it will basically be impossible for anything to jump in.

Finally, I forgot to mention how I put the posts in. I have a 3.5" auger bit with a one-man auger (these can be rented for tool rental places). I auger a hole in the ground and then kind-of move the bit around to widen the hole a little. The hole should be about 1.5 to 2' deep. Then I insert the post. The hole will likely cave in a little causing the pole to not be settled at the bottom of the auger hole. I then use the front loader on my tractor to push/tap the post into the ground. I usually have a "helper" holding the post level during this exercise. This person is given a hard-hat for their efforts.

This project also gave me a great deal of appreciation for people who can line things up by sight. It's an amazing thing that not everyone can do this naturally!! Remember that light always travels in straight lines - otherwise we'd be screwed.

Chris
4 years ago
I understand that adding sand to clay makes a concrete-like substance. In any case, there are numerous data sources around that warn not to do that. Again, this is not something that I've done, but I would be very cautious with that idea.
4 years ago
I have some areas of thick solid white clay so I am also interested in your solution here. I have read that gypsum could be used to help loosen the clay up. In general I am skeptical that simply putting OM on the top will improve the clay in a timely manner. It would seem that a cover crop (e.g., clover and grasses), gypsum, compost and ripping/sub soiling would be a suitable recipe; though I don't have any experience with this approach...
4 years ago
I have built an 11 acre deer fence, and I plan on building one around ~7 acres here shortly. I have not used Tenax but I expect that the principals are similar.

The technique used here in Oregon for vineyards goes like this: Use a 6' metal mesh fencing product. The grid pattern is more dense towards the bottom to prevent smaller critters from getting in. Then a wire (14 gauge, high tensil) wire is string across the top of the posts from post to post. You can also install a tensioner on this wire to keep it tight. The corners have H braces or possibly two H braces if it is a very long run (e.g., > 400 ft or so. You'll have to convert that to metric ). The fence is 7 feet high when it's done. Gates get H braces on each side or if you can, incorporate them into the corners so that you don't have extra H braces. It is best to put the doors in the corners anyways because when a deer gets in, you'll have to chase him/her out and the best way to do that is to shoo them into the corner and out the doors. Down the length of the fence line we have a series of wooden posts (single ones, not H braces) every 100 ft, and then metal T posts every 20 ft between the wooden posts.

To construct it, pick your corners and then start building one H brace at one corner. You'll use the far corner (the corner that you're building towards) to line up the H brace posts - the more "in line" (straight toward the far corner) that you get the posts the better. You'll fasten fencing material to the H brace and then roll out the fencing to the other corner or an intermediate H brace (which will be necessary for abrupt elevation changes, for example). The fence material will then need to be stretched and attached to another H brace. To stretch it, I use a "come along" attached to a tractor. I am not sure how you would do this without attaching the come along to some large heavy thing. The locals here have a term for the stretching process: The fence should be "singing tight"; meaning that it will resonate when you tap it.

The wooden posts are typically 4"-5" treated posts that are 10 ft long. The metal posts are similar in length and have a spade on the bottom.

If you construct the fence in sections, it will give him for the deer to get used to it so they will be less likely to try and get in. If they are determined to get in, they will; especially if there is some resource that they're used to accessing. In any case, you'll need to slowly make it inconvenient for them to access the grounds where you would like to fence off. Then they will forget about going there and slowly stop trying to access it. If your forest is the only place around that has water, then you may continue to have issues with intrusions...

Anyways, hopefully I've provided some wisdom that could be of use.

4 years ago
Thanks for getting back to me. One more dumb question: Can I graft crab apples on to the typical apple rootstocks (e.g., M26, M111, etc)?

Chris
4 years ago
When ordering rootstock, what is a good strategy for selecting the appropriate dimensions for root stock for grafting? It appears that 1/4" and 3/8" are the most common sizes required for grafting. Without measuring each scion stick, how should I know how many of each size that I need to get? Are there any rules of thumb or do I need to order extra of each size to cover my bases?

Thanks

Chris
4 years ago
I should also note that I used a nail clipper to gently break the outer skin of the seed before I soaked it in hot water. I think I have 90+% germination with my seeds. I noticed on some of the seedlings that there is some minor damage on those very first little leaves that come out (that were formed inside of the seed) -- I am not sure what those are called. The seedlings seem to be doing OK though despite the minor damage.. Also I am about 1.5 weeks into the growth.

Chris
4 years ago
I just sprouted about 270 black locust seeds by soaking them in hot water for 24 hours and then putting them in little pods. They're about 1.5" tall now or so. I figure that I need to figure out how to harden them do that I can plant them in a nursery bed soon but I am worried about it being too cold. I plan on getting a low tunnel for them and hope for the best!!

I didn't realize that scotch broom is a nitrogen fixer, that's very interesting. I have tons of it on my property and I have been thinking about how to get rid of it for the past couple years!!

I have been planting clover cover crops without even thinking about innoculation. Recently I have been thinking about trying to dig a pit in the ground to see if there is any nitrogen fixation going on. I don't think that the clover was naturally occurring on the property before I introduced it. Speaking of innoculation, I have a patch of Alder in a wetland part of my property and the soil there is very dark and rich. In any case, I understand that the bacteria that alder uses for nitrogen fixation is different than legumes... (sorry for the randomness of my digressions here )

Chris
4 years ago
Thanks for getting back to me. It sounds like you're thinking that it will take a year to get to grafting size and then another year after the graft before I should transplant it?

My goal was to avoid having to transplant it when it gets too big so that it could have a better opportunity to get established while there is a bunch of growth. I realize that I don't have much of a concept of how big the tree should be after 1 year of like and 2 years of life. I assumed that after a year it would be maybe 2 feet tall, and then after 2 years it would be 4-5 feet tall..? Anyways, I recently found a seed inside of a granny smith apple that had sprouted by itself and I just planted it. It's about an inch tall so that will give me some clue about what to expect with the rest of my seeds here in the next 3-4 months.

In regard to grafting practice, I am actually going to a grafting class held by local community college. We'll be grafting a few trees there that I'll get to take home and nurture.

Thanks again,

Chris
4 years ago