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tony phamm

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since Apr 21, 2015
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Recent posts by tony phamm

So apparently I'm in the mountains here in TN. I always forget because when driving there, it's not steep enough to notice. My altitude is 1880 ft above sea level. I'm wondering if fruits can still grow quick enough here? Would anyone know the rate it grows compared to lower land? 50% slower? Not enough yields? How about herbs and veggies and other foods?
3 years ago
And it's OK that the property is heavily wooded with hardwood trees right? All I gotta do is chop some off to make room for the fruit trees and other shrubs and such? I didn't buy the land yet, I just wanted to make sure real quick before I buy it.
3 years ago
Thanks for that. I have heard of the book and will read it soon. Also Stefan Sobkowiak, I heard he does tarps to cover the ground to prevent weeds but also does drip irrigation beneath that. I don't know if I can do that if I don't have access to public water. Would the water catchment system be enough for the drip irrigation undernear the tarp? Or would not covering it and having rain be good enough? I would then be susceptible to weeds though.
3 years ago
I'm wanting to buy a property here but it doesn't have access to public water. I wanted to just have it run on rain. Rainfall here is about 52 inches of rain per year. I'm in TN where it rains alot with frequent t-storms. I know that rain catchment system is an option but I'm wondering if my fruit trees would still grow even without that? I'll also grow all supporting species and herbs and such too.

Right now it's wooded so I need to know how to prepare for the land. Is there a good book for BEGINNERS for turning wooded into a food forest. I emphasize on "beginners" because so far the books and websites I've gone into gives way too much info all at once. There's just too many options of doing it in so many different ways. I just want ONE way of doing it. Doesn't have to be perfect. I understand nature is complex but it would really help if I can get one resource on doing it ONE way. I will just follow that one way for a few months, then maybe expand my options from there but I really just need to do one basic thing at a time.

And by the way, how much would rain catchment system with maybe drip irrigation system run me on 5 arces?

Thanks all for your help! Great community here!
3 years ago
I appreciate the recommendations and yes I will be doing a food forest here too to learn the basics of permaculture. But there are different types of people out there. I don't like to read and research too much about something before taking action. I like to read a little about it, take action and then see what comes of it. I like to learn from my mistakes which is for me the fastest way of learning. Also, when doing it myself, I learn a whole lot more like this way is better than that way that was explained by an expert. Generalities could only be made from a book which is why I like to execute what I've learned soon in practice. So I will go ahead and plant and see where it could grow. Sure I'll waste some of money and time and effort along the way had i researched more of it but i really like to learn from experience as well.

Anyways, so anyone else able to generalize these plants I have from my pics? I just need bare essentials for the starting point. I just need help IDing these for now. I'll become an expert later through my own experience. I'll be on this for years, especially if I see some results, even if they are random, so I'll have years to read a book about this or that but I've already read a good amount so I just wanna go out there and plant some stuff and learn from that, but for now, I just need some quick help on IDing these to get me started.

Again, the big question is, if I see these companion plants growing at that exact spot does that mean I should prepare land at that exact location, replacing the companion plants with ginseng planting, or does it just mean that the general location is good and that I should then find the most ideal spot for that property (northeast facing slope, at least 10-25 degrees slope, the right hardwood on top, bigger the better, 75% cover, etc.)
3 years ago

Deb Stephens wrote:Tony, Do you live in southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas? Maybe it is another state, but your place is essentially dry woodland and you are not going to have the sort of landscape for ginseng. I have mostly seen a lot of Virginia creeper, black-eyed Susans, blackberry, mulberry, ash, tulip poplar, sassafras and oak (sorry about that). Also some commelina, ferns that mostly associate in dry woods, and various other herbaceous plants that are definitely not on your preferred list. Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ladies slipper, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, etc. are generally found in moist woods. Your land is more like what we find on west and south-facing woodlands and in edge areas around glades. Sorry to break the bad tidings, but you probably need a different piece of land or a different crop. You might also want to take some courses in plant identification or general botany before you decide on another potential crop. There is a lot that goes into growing exotic plants like ginseng and it isn't really the sort of thing a newbie would be advised to take on. Have you considered harvesting and selling native seeds, for example?



It's strange that these pics indicate that I'm in dryer woodland because I heard that around here it gets the most rain out of all of USA, more than Seattle which I heard is mostly cloudy and rainy over there. Here, when it rains, it pours, with t storms.

I found some plants on the list. It's not many but its the 2 main ones:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vWr4rBCWd_UuCSD7_aGoV3gT9Ee8tRbmtA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=19hqlj6YXAlsLlQ4HJhpYbwxNTYAU-CzqJQ
mainenhair and rattlesnake fern (please correct me if I'm wrong)

and stinging nettle:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DKDSCpMGiK8TTG3lgBGWhjjLdi_YL06KXA/view?usp=sharing
(I assume this is stinging nettle since the leaves look like this:
https://youtu.be/TkGnhqRAQRA?t=3m42s

3 years ago

Deb Rebel wrote:There is 'farming' of ginseng by raised beds with the right soil mix, watering, under serious shade and using blue-green plastic to give the right light mix but this is a lot of work and very expensive to do. And there will still be a five year minimum lead to getting the first crop if one is lucky, and no visits by rodents, deer, or two legged poachers. If as others are reporting, the land is too warm, dry (as indicated by the stuff growing there already) and with too much light, one might seriously reconsider trying to grow this crop and look into something else to grow instead.



Well some of the pics do show some areas where there aren't as many trees, but here's some other pics of the general area:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13StwiBcVnWhDPGjNdjC8w-cQFOscxLQhrw
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_133giMEagRqn8ao5WeIXCNw0IFptuFVtA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cIIHmLKws0OlG5oZFYmSincW7C589l_LkQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1R8rnyQG8vcouM29_DwFYXqO6eQdSbudZxA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=17iSHXolrhuoVnOGsnvL11MJ2Xm4ZvBVOaA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=18TdsSpcoQrngW4YbBMno0xQMbg4ETnifnQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=169vj_kfzhbpCaEspOjUPcQ6AIfMoa5mgpg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nIoIuNSty0A9BIKjeB605UpbFVUli6QHaA
vids:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zxQObfxOQokJpVtRdBqNO4ZlVzFA0FO8bQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-eFwDKrTMjeoZBZMvffJTCW9Wq4GOKW8BQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TpjXTVvxsJJKHA1GyUvyD3Mm-4TprRVcqg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Aokxns4PrdbmGQQPR4VZ5TJHXqPEIV0oqA

some areas have alot of smaller trees and can't even be walked in. That area I won't be growing. Some areas have a big open area where too much sunlight can get into. I think I showed pics of that area, which I shouldn't have. I won't be planting there.

But alot of the areas where I do visually see about 75% shade, those areas don't really have alot of undergrowth. Is that spot OK to grow or do I need to actually find ferns and stinging nettle on that exact spot to plant my ginseng?

Here's more plants to consider from another experienced ginseng grower:
https://youtu.be/TkGnhqRAQRA?t=3m32s

Now again, the question I have is, do I need to grow ginseng in that exact spot where I see these other plants or are these companion plants just an indicator of the generally good soil and condition on the 12 acre site? And all I really need is to:
1) find a spot that's 75% cover, with as big hardwood trees around covering as possible (no small shrubs or too many immature hardwood trees)
2) northeast facing slope 10 to 25 degrees
3) a spot that's on top of mostly maple/poplar and not oak trees


3 years ago

Deb Stephens wrote:Tony,

Before I start identifying these (or anyone else does for that matter) it would be helpful if you could tell us where you are located--state, USDA zone, micro-climate and anything pertinent about your soil/climate conditions, aspect (north-facing, south-facing, etc.). The reason I mention this is that all the plants in your list (or at least all those I am familiar with) like moist, shady and generally NOT south-facing environments. Ginseng is in that category. It especially likes cool, very shady valleys near water at the bottom of east or north-facing slopes. However, it does not like to be wet, so good-drainage is essential. You should also know that it takes a LONG time before it is large enough to harvest too--especially if you want quality roots. You might need to do something else to put food on the table and pay the rent for about a decade. Seriously! And that is IF rodents and trespassers and Mother Nature don't take it first.

I've looked through a few of the plants that you show in the photos and most of what I've seen indicate a much drier woodland environment or even a semi-sunny location. I just glanced at them quickly though, so I will go back and look more closely and follow up on this. Just wanted to let you know that to do a good job on ID we need a bit more info to start.

Deb



I'm in Tennessee, near McMinnville. USDA zone 7A. not sure about micro climate. The whole area is all wooded with some houses here and there. Rains often and rains hard at times too. Soil I'm going to get results in a few days. As for facing,  not sure yet but alot of it is very shallow slopes, some flat. I'll have to find a north-east facing slope. I've read the book and know what ginseng needs. I just need to ID these plants to make sure it's good to go.

You mention good drainage. Yes I understand this but how do I tell if the soil is good or not. I mean it seems it got clay but also some sand as well. Here's some of the soil pics/vids, not sure if it's clear:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=11QUQkqmRwWM_Qc4Q2HorC0z3EiVh6HTz9w
https://drive.google.com/open?id=11siIiYbsPaO3yypuWJJpmGEFDSxktuq50Q
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lgSYZv909eeI7rYWIwmbHEoBX5fq9FQqwQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wmyxCJopYPDIo1S6xPBNSztpEQ7DcXN2wQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aYJ0CVEdfsWPZ7SHU602FspAql3-lqsedw

by the way, some of the vids I wanted to show that there are shallow small roots all over the top of the soil. About 1 inch of many fine roots all from saplings and such.

The other question I had was, so let's say the correct ferns grow in this exact spot. So does that mean I have to spread my ginseng seed in that EXACT location, uprooting and replacing the ferns? Or does it just mean the general area (12 acres) is ok to grow? Yes I do need to grow it in north-east facing slope which I'll try to find.

3 years ago
Hi, Total newbie here and I'm reading a great book on growing some ginseng and in that book it says that if the understory plants are growing in the soil on that site, chances are ginseng will also do well since it's been known that these plants like the same conditions.

I need help from you guys to identify some plants on these photos to the list below. I think I do have some of these but I can't say for sure because some of the ferns for example have many different species that look the same and on the site, some of them are young and look different as they mature so it's hard for me to match up with a google search.

Anyways, here's the main list:
maidenhair fern (Adiantum pendatum);

yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens);

baneberry (Actaea pachypoda), often called “doll’s eye”;

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides);

Some of these companion plants are calcicoles (normally growing in calcareous soils) and need conditions nearly identical to ginseng. Maidenhair fern, yellow lady’s slipper, baneberry, and blue cohosh are calcicoles. Many others inhabit a broader range of conditions than does ginseng — mayapple, jewelweed, and foam flower will tolerate wetter conditions; while jack-in-the-pulpit, Christmas fern, Solomon’s seal, and false Solomon’s seal will also do well in drier locations; and bloodroot often favors flood plains. However, these species often grow where the wild ’sang grows, so their presence is certainly propitious. An abundance of especially large and vigorous specimens of ginseng’s companion species is particularly encouraging.

my pics of the understory plants on the site:
1) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_pUQ4U32E-dkxmoIZs5sucGH9hx3JauiXw
2) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_Db90P_DyKkb7orFRv-YuA343-BmSYSgNw
3) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O5YY6soRgsMhtwj1VvLXGI6of8mLU0_yWQ
4) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MhKByjtPsli5MKhD58sQ9JuOq35n0CS5_w
5) https://drive.google.com/open?id=136Z5-OUQVf-IKRBtmkJZeRbJlzXAvGtWXA
6) https://drive.google.com/open?id=17uA0R_TfRdLYhAOq50SA7fhFvTAzMkxS3w
7) https://drive.google.com/open?id=19hqlj6YXAlsLlQ4HJhpYbwxNTYAU-CzqJQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L5EFxv3Pp30xba50vdaygI7M3FGO2Ldu1A
9) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l0UwiNbNJ-Uv_MdybaeNytS_imxMjJIK5g
10) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TRRRwZb6IXphBZzTdH8toTRJRavNErjbmw
11) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DKDSCpMGiK8TTG3lgBGWhjjLdi_YL06KXA
12) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1C4w-TX7ih5DWuN3cBNNW2hqC5r6-qldCnA
13) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oB6OOB_6EjDmcLZ8Vqiz3TwbwftroV21rw
14) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aUZKec788InmZNtz6wTAyY5uQvOvZBM1_Q
15) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kVia7Z24YcARB0WTkd0ych0F52A0EdEAYQ
16) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vWr4rBCWd_UuCSD7_aGoV3gT9Ee8tRbmtA
17) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nObG1KUXdK5SM3x80oucn8Q2tfxxJFB1MA
18) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1recibiTURgqlg45uJNLpkzw7LuLA7Ax5Vw
19) https://drive.google.com/open?id=16yL3NvqRhx7HcjABPd0FaF3mzu-JcYycpg

Also, if you can number them as you ID them, that would be awesome!

Here's the rest of the companion plants list:
rattlesnake fern (Botry-chium virginianum), sometimes referred to as “ginseng pointer”;
Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides);
bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis);
black cohosh (Actaea racemosa);
wild ginger (Asarum canadense);
Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum);
false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina spp);
jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum);
trilliums (Trillium spp);
foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia);
jewelweed (Impatiens spp), also known as touch-me-not;
mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum);
goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis);
sweet cicely (Osmorhiza spp);
yellow mandarin (Prosartes lanuginosa);
Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla);
bedstraw (Galium triflorum);
liverwort (Hepatica spp); or Canadian violet (Viola canadensis).


Also, the hardwood that's needed mostly is sugar maple and tulip poplar. I'm sure I have poplar but I can't distinguish the maple leaf from sugar or red maple or some other maple. Hope you can help me with that. Also, White ash or black walnut is also very good to have. Then the other OK hardwoods are beech, black cherry, red maple, basswood, hemlock, white pine.

The tree NOT good for ginseng is too much oak trees so I hope I don't have too many of those.

Here's the pics that I took of the leaves. I hope you guys can identify some or all of them. That would be super helpful! (some might be shrubs):
(this one is poplar right?)
1) https://drive.google.com/open?id=12KNpqQM9JYCm60KLiIN0JVVBM9yMwiZi3A

2) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Bpyy5kwmBMK9j5j78R8C8O6lEt4VKabanA
3) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KcB85IignNHrKXOWZT18e8ypZiLKM9t6Cg
4) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GAM45xI3EVP0TdHD97UrRxK__XaZYPb0xg
5) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pjFeQwFivKaJ-kpuEJ__FOmQ1BOzcWcjeQ
6) https://drive.google.com/open?id=159QxQwYzClr3cc9DRbhHa2q-0lAlcWl9DA
7) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tLIRswLUGt1_wFwXc1FjtRQAkLI2L6dUgQ
8) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KlWabSs875bSgl-HotR-l-nI-0FmmIGKvA
9) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JEvZEfFyMy4ADiclbTeG-b69EfxgRhPeWA
10) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Rge8yPJencCrZybflfs7JoxZ5OE0cwbuYg
11) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HCAQd68po1cZNZI0cEbEGGeoxoYbfhvNGw
12) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tfNQM-fvfKkipk6Wnbqw2ijUrwmEGGamSw
13) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fthh57VShyk9K78GeGNxNJUwyFSZS-MbuQ
14) https://drive.google.com/open?id=15FnkrUcCR35ln_IGBJ0WdgyeWGRjFuF0HQ
15) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1isjdRHrwAblY05Ji6fUa8pEXFYHS9yL3ag
16) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wrPLzuTr0s2uAGm6FqwUMl_til7ypuQx3Q
17) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t7xGrp_CH9DBY-vB3D8wE4_8a2GZJO9g6g
18) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1076BgDJHudu7lL38HyvsBSYjjspZXZPzuw
19) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UAllYnZ9U9GbY_P-3FuvAdEkgGAuoqyynA
20) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1N9VqcRyY05z-vUGatfOss8jHAQ20cbVnIw

Some of them are repeats. If you can also number them as you identify them, that would be helpful too. I'll look for that leaf on the site and see how many of that type of tree I have and determine the ratio. And thanks so much for helping out! You guys really are a great community.


3 years ago
Hi, I was wondering if I should take my soil test kits to a lab and have them analyze it or can I do it on my own using one bought from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Luster-Leaf-1601-Rapitest-Soil/dp/B0000DI845?th=1

What are the differences? Thanks.

OK So I looked it up and turns out the labs are much more accurate the the DIY kits I do myself.

I heard that I should get my soil tested in my local "Cooperative Extension". However it's hard to know where to go to actually get the kit from them and send it back to them. I live in California and wanted to possibly move to Tennessee but I need to test the soil first before I make that property my home. So what do you guys suggest? Find a cooperative Extension in CA, get the kit from them, bring the kit to Tennessee and mail the kit from TN back to CA or get the kit from TN and send it to someone in TN or send to me CA. I don't know if they'd be able to send to another state. No website found for them. I didn't want to use the commercial labs since they be very pricey.
3 years ago