Bonnie Kuhlman

+ Follow
since Sep 08, 2015
Bonnie likes ...
chicken food preservation forest garden
Zone 7a, Paulden, AZ
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
4
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
36
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
81
Given in last 30 days
5
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Bonnie Kuhlman

Not sure where to put this, but....It's time to consider a new mattress.  I've been researching healthy mattress options and finding them VERY expensive.  The other thing I'm finding is that foam mattresses seem to be outpacing the coil/innerspring type mattresses.  

My health concern with the coiled type is that - like it or not - we have wifi.  I've been reading some articles about our EMF burden and the idea that a mattress with metal coils increases our EMF burden.  Most of the foam type are made with petrochemicals - yuk!

I'm considering a natural foam topper on top of a less expensive foam mattress so at least we wouldn't be sleeping right on top of the chemical soaked mattress.  It would give us a bit of buffer, but I'm not super happy with this option either.  We've never slept on a foam mattress before and I'm concerned about the comfort factor.  Any comments on switching from coil to foam?  Suggestions on natural bedding materials that don't cost a fortune?  I'm seeing $2500 - $3800 for low end just to avoid a mattress not filled with nasty chemicals, and that's JUST the mattress, not foundation or box springs.

These 'cleaner/organic' mattresses all come with a warranty but I'm also wondering how difficult it would be to return.  It looks like they all come packaged under pressure like a can of Pillsbury rolls; you know, where you press the seam and explosions ensue?  

Bonnie
1 month ago
We're in AZ about 40 miles north of Prescott.  Elevation is about 4500', very alkaline soil, windy, late frosts, seasonal monsoons.  We've been here about 2.5 years, still trying to figure it out.  Previous owner left us with a small orchard, large blackberry patch, and fairly good soil.  One of our biggest challenges is the late frost.  It warms up in Feb. and trees start to bud, then late frost in May kills it.  We got a fair crop off the apple trees this year.  One plum actually had about 7 fruit but the birds got them.  That was the only stone fruit that's actually set fruit.

We have a hoop house, but haven't had much success in there so far.  Thought I could overwinter some of my potted plants in there, but overnight freezes took them out.  I'm thinking I'll just use it to start seeds later.  

Bonnie
1 month ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Our irrigation system was designed to supply one inch of water per week for about 12 weeks per summer. I sprinkle irrigate once a week, including the orchard. I live in a hyper-arid climate where relative humidity is often 10% or less, and dew points are around 20 F.  So dampness from irrigation is not a problem for me.

Sprinkle irrigation rinses the desert dust from the leaves of the plants, so that they can photosynthesize more efficiently. It also drowns insects, and washes away pollen. That modifies my approach to irrigation somewhat. I prefer to sprinkle irrigate at night when  fewer species of insects are actively pollinating. And I don't like to sprinkle the corn when it is shedding pollen. Flea beetles are a tremendous problem in my garden before the irrigation system becomes active. I think that they drown as soon as I start irrigating.  



We are in north-central AZ - also hyper-arid.  So, I suppose this might actually work in our favor here as well.  When we lived in the Phoenix area, we had beautiful grape vines that grew on an arbor over the patio providing lots of shade in summer, then losing their leaves and providing sun during the winter.  Skeletonizers were the biggest problem.  I finally found that the best solution was to simply spray the vines down with the hose when they started showing up.  Fast forward, we have beetle problems with the apple trees.  I'm thinking the sprinkler might just help with that as well.   Thanks for all the info.  

Bonnie
2 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Metal pipe are susceptible to being dented by animal hoofs, and being run over by vehicles or equipment. An occasional bullet hole shows up. Rodents may  gnaw on the rubber seals at the end of each pipe. That can be minimized by storing them off the ground.  



Thanks Joseph.  This should be helpful.  We don't have any large animals - at this point, and don't often have vehicles back there.  Rodents might be our biggest problem - gophers love us.  

I'm wondering how this would work in an orchard also. If it's spraying the tree trunks and they are kept wet much of the time, how might that affect them?

Bonnie
2 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I think of drip irrigation as a fad that is highly dependent on petroleum. Seems like it's purpose is to trap gardeners into a constant cycle of buying consumables. My family is still using metal irrigation pipe that was purchased by my grandfather when I was a small child. The maintenance cycle on metal sprinkle irrigation systems is measured in decades, not in weeks or months. The brass spray nozzles on my irrigation pipe can easily spit out a grasshopper. Even small moss particles clog drip emitters.
...........
The initial cost of a metal sprinkler irrigation system might be about double that of a drip system, but the metal sprinkler system could still be in use by your grandchildren or great grandchildren, while a drip system will be cluttering a landfill starting as soon as the first growing season.



I'm guessing the metal irrigation pipe would also be immune to my husbands weed eater when he goes to attack all the grass that grows under the trees (where the emitters are), and in the berry patch.  

Joseph, could you please suggest an youtube, website, or something to get started with metal pipe irrigation?  I have a feeling I'll get the 'crazy lady' look if I ask at the hardware/big box stores.

Also, what do you do with it in winter?  Can it be left in place, emptied somehow?

Bonnie
2 months ago
I love this song!!  It's family tradition here.  We always play it at least once on Thanksgiving.  Then we'll quote lines from it for at least a week, lol.  

Bonnie
3 months ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:
What I can do is give you a step by step of the method of air layering that has never failed me.....

When roots can be seen poking through the moss and against the plastic it is time to remove and plant up the new tree.
Cut the branch/new tree below the bottom of the plastic wrapping, and ready the container before you cut the strings and remove the plastic wrapping.
Once everything is ready, remove the plastic and plant the tree with the sphagnum moss still in place, water it and enjoy your new tree while it grows more roots.
In the late fall, the tree should be ready to be planted in the ground, wait till the leaves have dropped and the tree is dormant, then plant like you would any tree from a nursery.

Let me know if you need anything clarified.

Redhawk



Bryant, thanks for spelling this out so well.  I'm planning on using your method on my apple trees and maybe on the peaches and plums.  Can you please tell us when this method should be started?  I'm assuming it would work best in the spring or summer when the tree is putting out new growth.  What are your thoughts on doing this in the fall?  Is it too late for this year?

Bonnie
3 months ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:

I would probably put my efforts into soil health and thus improve the tree's health so they can spring back with new growth and I would hand pick, the trees are small so this is not so hard to do, except for the probable need of picking over several days to get rid of them all.



Bryant, would you please elaborate on what you would do to improve the soil for the trees?  I realize this thread is a a little old, but I'm searching for help with this same problem.  I have a small orchard, about 30, mostly mature, fruit trees, mostly apples.  We had all of SIX green apples on one tree last year!  We often get a late freeze after they have bloomed.  This year, the trees were loaded but they are full of beetles.  I'm planning to try deep mulch if I can find a solution to keeping the chickens out of it.  Hopefully stronger, warmer roots will help retain the blossoms through a late freeze next year.  No 'cides' here.  I don't even like to use DE or neem oil because of harm to beneficials.  I am wondering about compost tea, but I've never tried it.  We have plenty of birds around, but they seem more interested in the apples than in the bugs.

Bonnie
4 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Center pivot irrigation is generally used for large acreages: A typical system covers 125 acres.

For small fields around here, aluminum pipe is most commonly used for sprinkle irrigation. Small fields (1 to 5 acres) acres are typically moved by hand. The pipes are either 3" in diameter and 30 feet long, or 4" in diameter and 40 feet long. The smaller pipe are much easier to move. Larger fields (5 to 40 acres) may have fancier systems on wheels. So the farmer goes out every 12 hours and starts the motor to move the line another 60 feet across the field.



Thanks Joseph.  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use our small acreage and really, we can't do anything until we figure out how to water it.

Bonnie

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Center pivot irrigation is the pinnacle of ease of use for large farms... I used to hand move my 40 foot long 4" diameter irrigation pipes every 12 hours. I sure buffed up when I was doing that. Watering by ditch/furrow in most cases requires collaboration with the neighbors, and a lot of labor to build the ditches and furrows, and to tend the field while irrigation is in progress. The farm doing the irrigation gets a significant portion of the canal flow during that time. Pressurized irrigation is typically done on an ad-hoc schedule. With the center pivot set-ups the whole process is automated.  





Could you be enticed to give more detail on the irrigation system?  What is 'center pivot irrigation?'  Could it be used on a small farm (2-3 acres)?  

Bonnie