Scott Sigurdson

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since Apr 12, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Scott Sigurdson

Yes, I've got a copy of his video that I've watched a couple times now. I like most of what he has done, except for the plastic mulch. Have also been influenced to some extent by Fukuoko's philosophy. I am just sorting my order sorted right now, and like you a large part of it will be custom grafted, the nursery is on my case to get a move on ...
4 years ago
Thanks John

Hi Ann,
yes we're up in Ontario, so water isn't much of an issue most of the time. Not sure what kind of hay, it hasn't come up yet, will have a word with the fellow who rented it previously though to see. I like this approach, the light touch. I also like the spot application of amendments rather than broadcasting them, initially anyways. The chop n drop strikes me as sound as well. Curious though, if the well established hay might not choke out the clover and wild flower? Or would the light harrowing be enough to beat it down a bit.

The trees will come from a variety of sources, but the most noteworthy among them is a small outfit in Ontario called Siloam Orchards (http://www.siloamorchards.com) who have an outstanding variety of disease resistant, heritage, cider and red fleshed cultivars to choose from. Nothing mainstream in their selection at all, which is refreshing, although we will probably plant out a few of the more common cultivars like Liberty, Enterprise and Empire so we have a few names folk will recognize. But on the whole disease resistance will be one of the major selection criteria.

4 years ago
Thanks for the reply Pia, but that would amount to over 5km of mounds, the volume of material that would need to be trucked in for this make it prohibitive. At the moment this is an open field with nothing but hay on it.
4 years ago
Hi Chris - from what I understood it was to prevent them munching on a given plant, applied as a spray diluted with linseed oil
4 years ago
They do like Hostas, although they never ate them all at once , but returned several times over the summer until they were all gone... don't know about the brambles tho. you might also try bone oil, a concotion Sepp Holtzer advocates as a deer deterrent
4 years ago
Hi, this is my first post on this forum. I wasn't sure if this should go here or in soil. My fiancé and I have just purchased a parcel of farmland that we intend to convert to a polyculture orchard berry farm over the next two years. I am looking for advice on the best way of getting the soil in shape to plant the orchard next spring, so we have a year to do this. Here are the vitals

The most recent use (last 3-5years) of this land has been to grow hay. It has not been fertilized for 5 years and has not been plowed so we expect a hay crop to sprout and begin growing soon ...
Soil type in high ground 2-3m elevation above river: sandy/silt loam (45%sand, 45%silt, 10%clay)
Soil type in low ground 0-2m elevation along river: silt loam (60%silt, 30%sand, 10%clay)
Organic content: 5.8%
Soil analysis/reccomndations for orchard call for 100lbs K/acre and 20lbs P/acre + whatever N the specific crops call for. (the micro nutrient levels looks pretty good)
There is a lot of dairy farming nearby so manure may be readily available.

My initial thoughts are to add key line swales to the high ground to retain moisture, and add drainage tiles in the low ground. There will be a dedicated market garden area, but would also like to intercrop until the trees are more mature.

I would like to get a cover crop of clovers down to up the nitrogen content, but don't want to cultivate to deal with the hay beforehand. Am not adverse to the hay per say, but would also like add other plants that can improve the soil texture and break it up and attract beneficial insects and create habitat for them. Should I seed the clover/wild flower into the hay, or should the hay be cultivated/plowed first (seems wrong somehow).

When it comes time to plant the fruit trees (200/acre), again how deal with the hay so it does not compete, but helps support a healthy diversity? Should the planting rows be rototilled, or just dig individual holes and mulch heavily around them after planting, mowing the the rows in some kind of rotation to create mulch and allow air movement while retaining habitat.

For the rows that will be market garden, how would you approach the same questions, and also the question of removing the hay/cover crops when it is time put in vegetable crops. Torn between rototilling and laying down tarps or agrofabric to smother the vegetation beforehand, but very open to other suggestions

Anyways it all seems like a very overwhelming proposition given that I also have a house and barn to build before planting next season too so would appreciate any informed advice on how and where to begin, as well as ideas how to meet nutrient recommendations for K and P.

Thanks in advance
4 years ago