sonny gonza

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since May 26, 2015
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Recent posts by sonny gonza

darn. so waht now? should I just give up on my dreams of having a permaculture fruit orchard on this site, or is there something I can do about this shallow waterbed?
2 years ago
hiya! I have planted about 12 fruit trees on this land of ours, recently we dug a well and the water started to show up at only 1.8 meters of depth. so now I'm concerned that the groundwater table showing up at such shallow depths will eventually be bad for the roots of my fruit trees. when the trees get bigger and the roots penetrate deeper and eventually reach the water, will they not rot? The neighbour said that yes the roots will rot. but the pine trees and some native trees on the land that has been growing for over 20 years (and are huge) do not seem to complain. so, is my concern warranted or not? thanks for any help
2 years ago

Marco Banks wrote:Frequent shallow watering in a small space will not encourage the roots to grow deeply and broadly.

If your drippers are in one spot and are not moved regularly, the tree will send roots to that area but will not spread out to the larger space around the tree. It would be much better to build a wide basin around your tree, saturate it with a couple of inches of water, and then not water for a couple of days afterward. This mimics nature -- big rain storms, followed by days or weeks of dryness.

If you wait until your tree shows signs of wilting, and then give a good, long, deep drink, you will teach it to go deep in search of water. This will require you to be more attentive to your trees, but in the long term, will allow you to be less attentive.

Mark Shepard advocates STUN in his tree management philosophy: sheer total utter neglect. Having a constant drip going, day and night, 24/7, it's the exact opposite of STUN. It's umbilical cord gardening, creating welfare trees.



thank you for your input, made me think, and it does make sense what you say. I set this system up because I thought the young trees would die in a desertish climate area (it rains about 3-4 times a year here) before I could water them again, since I can only visit once every 2 weeks. I will try a different approach. gonna shadow the trees and remove the drip system and only water them when I notice the leaves wilting.
2 years ago
It's common knowledge that roots need oxygen to breath, when you overwater a tree its roots drown and are not able to breath due to the water clogging air pockets underground. But what happens if you only have some of the ground area around the tree constantly moist and and keep some area around it not moist. would the roots still drown or would lets say 50% of the roots be moist while the other 50% be in dry ground and be able to breath as normal (picture attached to clarify)
2 years ago
I have under a period of 6 months been watering my newly planted fruit trees with a drip irrigation system, the system is set up to run constantly (24/7) with water slowly emitting at the rate of about 1 drop every 5 seconds from each emitter. each tree has 2 emitters installed (a picture to explain this will be attached). it is set to run constantly because I can only visit the farm once every two weeks. Lately I have been asking myself whether this constant slow watering is actually beneficial or harmful longterm. Since I'm new to gardening and permaculture I have no clue if the growth rate of my trees is optimal or not. the leaves are green and fine, no sign of over/under watering. should I continue running the system as is or would you guys advice otherwise? I appreciate any help. thanks
2 years ago
I have a orange tree infested with mealybugs and scale. my plan is to plant flowers that attract natural enemies of these pests, but ants are protecting them. so, how do Permies go about denying ants accessing trees?
2 years ago
thanks for your reply. I have been doing lots of researching on the matter and am now 99% sure that its not whiteflies but mealybugs that have infested my orange tree, it is said that ants protect the mealybug from predators inturn they feed on the gooey sweet nectar that is secreted from the mealybug AKA honeydew. it is advised to prevent ant access to the tree while also planting plants that attract predator insects that feed on the mealybugs, like the green/brown lacewing, ladybugs and others.
2 years ago
thank you for your awesome post, I appreciate it. Still curious about a few things.

what part do the ants play in this drama?

and, I didn't use to have this problem, it just came about out of nowhere, I want to know what the root cause for this is. am I to be blamed for this? too much water, too little maybe?

according to the principals of permaculture, a plant that thrives in ideal conditions will be healthy enough to fend for it self by synthetizing toxic alkaloids into its leaves protecting it from pests, correct? so with this in mind, my plant is not thriving. I'm not as interested in treating the symptoms as I am to figuring out the root cause of the problem to prevent it from ocurring at all.
2 years ago
hi, I have recently noticed my orange tree to have these white fluffy looking things on the underside of its leaves. Ants seem to be drawn to it and i have a couple of ants on my orange tree now aswell. what is this and why does it occur? it looks just like in the picture attached
2 years ago
cool, and thank you for taking the time, Bengi.

I'm located in south america, Chile. no problems to just plant the trees straight into my soil without firstly preparing it or doing something to it? as mentioned before, the soil is undoubtly very fertile already
3 years ago