Lori Ziemba

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since Jan 19, 2015
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books chicken dog forest garden greening the desert urban
Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
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Recent posts by Lori Ziemba

Hi all,

I haven't posted much lately because I've been very busy working on a project.  In early October (2018), my community garden was gifted with 30 dwarf fruit trees.  We didn't really have room for all of them, so I suggested we plant them in the "alley", a path that runs alongside the north part of the garden.  It connects the street to the school playground and library, and is mainly used as a dog poopery.  

The soil here is mostly sand.  I wouldn't even call it sandy dirt, it's more like dirty sand.  This whole area was sand dunes until the 50's.  I planted the little baby trees along the north side of the alley.  Then I proceeded to mulch them with wood chips, which we get for free, by the truckload.  It has taken me 5 months, but I have finally covered an area about 8 feet wide and 1 city block long in a one foot deep layer of wood chips!  I am quite proud of myself, being a naturally quite lazy person.  I am so excited about these little trees, and I really want them to do well.  The first trees to reward me have been the pluots, which are now in bloom.  I am so hoping we get fruit, as this is not the best climate for fruit trees.  

I'm now working my way down the south side of the alley, which has quite a few apple trees and other shrubs, like buddleia.  

I plan on buying some bags of manure to top dress in April?  Would that would be a good time?  

Here are some pictures of when I first started, last October.  I need to get some new pix.


2 weeks ago

Hester Winterbourne wrote:Or a Persicaria of some sort, like Persicaria odorata.  Although I wonder if Persicaria is a synonym for Polygonum...



I think it is synonymous.  And yeah, I think it's some kind of knotweed.  Mine has no odor at all.

I found this one, and it may be it, because it also has the light marking, in addition to the dark marking:
4 months ago

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I can't tell what dimensions your leaves are. But here's a shot in the dark for you... Lady's Thumb?

http://www.foragingtexas.com/2006/04/ladys-thumb.html

In my yard it tends to be more prostrate than this particular photo shows.



Hmmm...the one I have has slightly shorter but broader leaves.
4 months ago
Hi all,
Can someone ID this plant for me, please?  It's sort of viney/ground cover-y.
4 months ago

Marlo Mattson wrote:Could it be that the trees are not receiving enough water?



Well, they're growing right on the edge of a lake, so I don't think water is a problem.  

Are they self fertile?   Could it be that they are clones, so there is no cross pollination?
5 months ago
I found a small stand of 5-6, much larger chestnuts growing around a lake.  Same deal as above, the nuts are small and not filled out.  Why are they not being pollinated?   Shouldn't 6 trees be enough for cross pollination?   This mystery is killing me!
5 months ago

Su Ba wrote:It looks like they could be Fuller Rose Beetles, but please don't take my word for that. I'm no insect expert by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe someone else may have a better idea.



I looked that up, and I think you're right!  Sure looks the same.  Thanks, Su!  I didn't want to kill them right away, because I thought they might be a good witch.  But now I see they're a bad witch, so they get the death sentence.  I've never seen them before.  I suspect they may have come in on the dirt in the pot of the celery plant I bought.  

Do you think I should pull up the celery?

This is from the article I read.  Wow, no use for men folks!

The adult females come out of the ground year round but are usually the heaviest from July through October. There are only females; there are no males. The female beetles lay eggs and, like other unwanted garden beetles, the larvae that come from the eggs drop to the ground and feed on the roots of the host plant for 6 to 8 months – after which they pupate and come out of the ground as adults the following year.

6 months ago
Can anyone id this bug for me?  I found a bunch of them on my celery, hiding in the flowers.  I'm in San Francisco, CA, USA.
6 months ago
I reuse old sweaters.  I turn the sleeves into mittens, and the body into vests.  The black mittens are cashmere.  The blue mittens and vest came from the same wool sweater.
11 months ago
Hi Bryant and all,

This is a subject I find absolutely fascinating!  Have you read The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World Book by Peter Wohlleben?  He talks about all of this.  His book blew my mind wide open.  

Don't know if you watch movies, or are a Trekkie.  When they were doing the movies, one of them involved an alien probe that comes to Earth and starts churning up the oceans, looking for humpback whales (which were extinct in the 24th century).  Apparently, the alien civilization had been in contact with them millions of years ago, as they were the most intelligent life on Earth.  Anyway, when I read that book, it made me think that fungus is the brain of this planet, and the reason we have never been contacted by aliens (if there are any) is because we are just parasites.  I mean, would you talk to someone's lice?  

Anyway, after reading this book, it really hit me how Earth is an actual, living being, and we (and everyone else) are just cells in her body.  Wouldn't surprise me at all to find out Earth is in communication with other planets.






11 months ago