rodrigo cardoso

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since Mar 24, 2015
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Recent posts by rodrigo cardoso

If your water is arriving very slowly, a lot of it will soak into the soil at the early location and a lot will be wasted before it reaches the farther spots.

Indeed Rebecca. That is exactly what is happening. This part of the garden is a triangle with ~50 meters from the base to the tip and maybe 30 meters wide in the base. The inclination, from where the hose is - the highest point - to the lowest point, goes from the tip to the base and from the left to the right. The beds are most oriented from the left to the right, with a walking path dividing them in the middle, going from the tip to the base. The water irrigates around 1/3 of the left side, but it can irrigate the whole left side and start spilling to the right side of the walking path (the lowest half of the triangle) when using a pump and emptying the deposit/tank that we use to feed the house. I hope that doing this everyday, or keeping a small but enough input of water to keep the whole left side canals with water in the bottom, hopping they will become impermeable in time.

- Do you think they will end up becoming impermeable and so take more water to the rest of the garden before it disappears absorbed by the soil?
-Could this permanence of water in the canals be bad in any way?

Raised beds are good for a rainy climate where poor drainage is a possible problem.

That's a big problem in winter. We even have a large deep trench along side the terrain to drive away the water that comes from the slope. It can become muddy during many days. I hope these canals trying to solve irrigation during Summer will help solving excess water during winter.

Grateful for all the inputs! What a rich support : )
Hi! We have a source of water always running, giving, in the summer time, maybe a liter every 10 seconds when the hose is in the highest spot of the garden. If we raise the hose, used to redirect the water, to the hight of one of the raised beds, it can stop the flow. My idea is to let it run in the canals/trenches in between beds. I started doing it already. It seems to take some time until the soil becomes impermeable so the water reaches further to other beds. When it does, because of the inclination and direction of the beds, I need to close the end tip of he canals (they end in the walking path) so the water fills the canal until it moves on to the next bed. I end up with water that is "stopped" in each canal, as dead ends. The beds are around 20 to 30 centimeters high; they can be the double of that depending of the depth of the canals now becoming deeper as I shape them. They are, almost all of them, disposed in parallel, with one end in the highest part of the terrain and the other end in the middle of the terrain, where the walking path is, or from his path to the lowest part of the terrain. This disposition is a puzzle to determine the course I should choose for the water.

- Could this be bad, to have all his water always there? Damselflies and bees seem to be more abundant now?
- Is there a better technique or strategy to take care of the irrigation with this free and constant flow of water?
- Any other advices or suggestions?
I collected microorganisms with cooked rice inside jars with holes in the lid and a napkin between the jar and the lid to seal those holes and keep bigger organisms away. They were green, blue, yellow, after 1 week. I mixed the moldy rice with more or less the same weight of brown sugar and saved it in the same jars with the same napkin strategy (new napkin). After 2 weeks, it's like a honey-color paste/liquid with a blue/green mold cover on top.
Is that how it should look like? The procedure now is simply to mix it with 20x more water and spread it in the garden? Are there references that you can share that can help me assure that the results are being as it's supposed to?

I have being carrying forest top soil and use it when transplanting, so I can slowly enrich the soil with that new dirt and forest microorganisms. But there is a part of the garden that used to be dig regularly and now, a few months later, even with plenty of mulch on top, things aren't growing as well as in other parts of the garden. I was hopping that this EM's strategy could speed up the recovery. Just sharing the motivation behind this.
Thank you for ay feedback you can share.
Espinho, Portugal
4 years ago
Uaaau! I'm loving this forum! I still plan to read as much as possible, but the comfort and pleasure of having this community here is just taking over me. Thank you all for your replies!

chad Christopher wrote:Myself, and others are going to want to know...where are you?

- Espinho, Portugal. I asked a small community of young and loving people - called "Moinho" - to use the terrain for growing and sharing the results with them and they said yes. I'm there since October.
Thanks for the list of suggestions on what grows best in such conditions.

"First seed then mow". I'll surely remember that, since after seeding I had a need to shake the mowed weeds all over the terrain so the seeds would go under them. Extra work.

Before I realized there were all these replies here, I noticed that some rain was predicted for 2 days ahead so I mowed a ~30x6 meter lane and spread several kinds I had in big quantity and somehow had an idea that they are resilient and sprout easily: cowpea, black turtle beans, mung beans (all beans soaked from the day before), chickpeas, collard greens (couve galega), turnips, Cichorium (I bought big quantities (400g) in cereal/bird food stores), flax, trifolium (white kind, I think; from the bird food store also), pumpkins, lupin-bean. Maybe it was too much seed for the area. Never done this before so I can't tell. Maybe 1 kg of soaked beans and half a handful of each of the small varieties of seeds. It rained a bit for 2 days and now is sunny and getting warm \o/ yuhuuuu!
And that's the latest update. I'll share the results here is the post keeps open by that time.

Glad for this sharing experience.

5 years ago
I searched this topic quite extensively but couldn't find what I am looking for. Maybe someone can point to it or answer here...

I'm growing in raised beds in between trenches on a field that floods every winter because the city services covered the water drainage tube when they built the road. We finally uncovered it and it seems that the landscape of a wet clay terrain may finally change (The water above surface completely drained for the first time since a few years now). The upper part has weeds with strong and deep root systems, some tall and some short. The lowest part of the terrain has mostly tall weeds that look like long needles, as they are suited for all the water that never leaves the soil.

I'm starting to experiment easier and less busy ways of growing, starting with the upper part of the field where the easiest weeds are. In some parts I turned around chunks of dirt putting the roots turned up and the weeds turned down, and spread seed on it. It worked. But I would prefer to leave the digging work to the moles (that revealed themselves in many holes in the trenches between the raised beds). So I started mowing and leaving the cut weeds in the terrain, spreading seed of kale, turnips, beets, radish, endive, even beans and some more. It didn't rain as predicted, and it was one week ago only, so I have no results to share yet. But I'm a bit anxious. I don't want to loose the season start and end up with not much food and many small seedlings in raised beds that give a lot of work to water when the heat times arrive.

a) Do you have experience with this sowing between the cut weeds or know if it can work? (The idea is that the cut weeds will make a darker environment for slowing the growth of the weeds while keeping moisture and helping the seeds to sprout)

b) Are there seeds that are better or exclusive of growing under the weeds, without covering them with dirt? and which should I use?

c) How much of the cut weeds should I leave in the terrain to cover the growing weeds and cover the seeds?

d) Are there better ways of doing things with little effort while keeping the ecosystem as intact as possible?

If anyone can help me with this challenge, I very much appreciate it. I'm a beginner in agriculture.
5 years ago