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Steve Taylor

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since Sep 22, 2015
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Recent posts by Steve Taylor

Hi everyone, I have been around Permies for some time now and felt an introduction was overdue.  I'm a stay at home Dad and finding time to type any useful/ coherent content from my phone while keeping up with my kids is a challenge for me.  

I love working in the garden with my kids and trying to get them to eat healthy by participating in the process. Raspberry's are their favorite and I am trying to grow more than they can eat.  Also we are fencing them I'm the yard with thorny black berries and black Raspberry's.

I love this Permie community and am thankful for their rules and monitoring!  More to come, my toddler is demanding to go back outside.
3 years ago
I didn't know till recently how wonderful possum's are.  They like to pick through our worm bin for produce scraps. We have the bin just off the deck out of sight.  Now we all like it when the local crew drops by at night.

The sheep and chicken system sounds great! I imagine Guinea Hens could be mixed with the chicken flock.  Also, a goat or cow might be interchangeable with the sheep.

I'm sorry to hear about the lime ticks are scary stuff.  Hope you get back on track health wise. We have a family member that has struggled for years.  Finding a Lime Literate Dr. Is slim pickings around us (Ohio)

Bounce Dryer sheets tucked in your clothes (socks) and under the beds helps repel ticks.
3 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
1.) I can only apply sprays to my garden if I have a sprayer. I can't manufacture my own sprayer so I choose to not apply sprays to my garden.

2.) I invite people that want a  world-expanding experience to go out to the garden and start eating insects... I really like the formic acid flavor of ants.

3.)If I had problems with insects living in the curly leaves of kale, I'd grow a kale with non-curly leaves.

4.)Many years ago, I made a garlic and hot pepper spray, and applied it to my houseplants. I had to abandon the room for a few days because it was too toxic to be in. That was the last time I sprayed anything.

1.) Very true, but we do have one from spraying compost tea (worm castings and Nettle).  I've also used 5 gallon buckets and tree branches (with leaves) spreading it in the garden.

2.) I think eating bugs is great, but not all bugs are edible raw or at all.  

3.) They were also on the straighter leaves of the Red Russian Kale and the Red Cabbage.  But, maybe they wouldn't be if they hadn't established themselves on the curly.

4.) That could get smelly indoors, but I don't think it would be toxic.  Those smells wouldn't be as bad outside.

3 years ago
Below is their list.  1-3 seem safe, am I wrong? Are you strongly opposed to any/all of these?

Also, last year powdery mildew and cabbage worms were a problem in the fall.  I composted all of it.  They liked to live in the stem and leaf curls of the kale.  I don't think people will be happy with insects In their produce.

1. Tomato Leaf Spray is effective in killing aphids and mites. It works because the alkaloids in the tomato leaves (and the leaves of all nightshades, actually) are fatal to many insects.

2. Garlic Oil Spray is a great, safe insect repellent. Simply put three to four cloves of minced garlic into two teaspoons of mineral oil. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then strain the garlic out of the oil. Add the oil to one pint of water, and add a teaspoon of biodegradable dish soap. Store in a bottle or jar, and dilute the mixture when you use it by adding two tablespoons of your garlic oil mixture to one pint of water.

This mixture works because the compounds in garlic (namely, diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide) are irritating or deadly to many insects. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves. What insects does garlic oil repel? Whiteflies, aphids, and most beetles will avoid plants sprayed with garlic oil. A word of caution: don't apply this spray on a sunny day, because the oils can cause foliage to burn.

3. Hot Pepper Spray is a great solution if you have problems with mites. Simply mix two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce, a few drops of biodegradable dish soap, and one quart of water and let it sit overnight. Use a spray bottle to apply the spray to infested plants.

Hot pepper spray works because the compound capsaicin, which causes the "heat" in hot peppers, is just as irritating to insects as it is to us (have you ever sliced a hot pepper and gotten any of it in an open cut? Ouch!) This mixture also helps repel whiteflies, but it may have to be reapplied if you start to see the mites or whiteflies returning.

4. Simple Soap Spray is useful in taking out a wide variety of garden pests, including aphids, scale, mites, and thrips. Just add one tablespoon of dishwashing soap to a gallon of water and spray the mixture on the pests.

Why does this work? The soap dissolves the outer coating or shell of the insects, eventually killing them.

5. Beer for the Slugs: sink a tuna can or pie plate into the ground, and add a couple of inches of beer, to about an inch below the top of the container. The slugs will go in for a drink and drown. Beer works because the slugs are attracted to the yeast. It's really important to sink the container into the soil and keep the beer about an inch lower than the soil. This way, the slugs have to go down after the beer, and they drown. If the beer is near the soil, the slugs can just have a drink and then go and munch some hostas when they're done with happy hour.

6. Citrus Rinds as Slug Traps. This works. If you don't have beer in the house, but you do have oranges, grapefruits, or lemons, give this a try.

7. Newspaper Earwig Traps work well for reducing the population of these sometimes-pesky insects.

8. Soda Bottle Yellowjacket Traps work by attracting the yellowjackets away from seating or picnic areas, and then ensuring that they can't escape the trap.

9. Red Pepper Spray works well for making your plants less tasty to mammal and bird pests. If bunnies, deer, mice, squirrels, and birds are regularly messing with your garden, make the following mixture and spray target plants weekly. Mix four tablespoons of Tabasco sauce, one quart of water, and one teaspoon of dish soap. The capsaicin in the pepper spray will irritate the animal pests, and they'll look for less spicy fare elsewhere. Fungal Disease Solutions

10. Milk for Powdery Mildew. The milk works just as well as toxic fungicides at preventing the growth of powdery mildew. This mixture will need to be reapplied regularly, but it works wonderfully.

11. Baking Soda Spray for Powdery Mildew is a tried-and-true method for preventing powdery mildew. It needs to be applied weekly, but if you have a problem with mildew in your garden, it will be well worth the time. Simply combine one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one tablespoon of dish soap and one gallon of water and spray it on the foliage of susceptible plants. Baking soda spray works because the baking soda disrupts fungal spores, preventing them from germinating. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves. Weeds

12. Vinegar works very well for weeds in your lawn and garden. The main issue with vinegar is that it can harm other plants. I recommend using a foam paintbrush to brush the vinegar directly onto the leaves of weeds you're trying to kill. This prevents the vinegar from getting onto other plants and ensures that the entire leaf surface is coated with the vinegar.

13. Boiling Water for Sidewalk Weeds: Boil some water, and pour it over weeds in the cracks of your sidewalks or driveways. Most weeds can't stand up to this treatment, and your problem is solved. Just be careful when pouring!

14. Vinegar and Salt for Sidewalk Weeds: I personally prefer pouring boiling water on sidewalk weeds, or pulling them. But if you have some really stubborn weeds, you can try diluting a few teaspoons of water into some white vinegar and pouring that onto your sidewalk weeds. Please note that this concoction will kill just about any plant it comes in contact with, so keep it away from your other plants, as well as your lawn. And the Best Homemade Garden Concoction of All

15. Compost!
3 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I don't apply any kind of -cides, poisons, nor protective chemicals to my market garden. I am a sustenance farmer, and can't afford the inputs, nor the labor to apply them. Besides, my gardening style is all about disintermediation: Not depending on a middleman (manufacturer, trucker, store) for the health of my crops.

My strategy is to grow varieties that are resistant, or immune to my local pests and diseases. In some cases, I had to develop my own varieties of plants and even pests.

In some cases I had to develop a clientele that views bugs or bug bites as a badge of honor

That worm never bothers the smooth leaved spinach.  

If I poison the aphids, I am also poisoning ...

I agree with you, but lack that clientele for now.  Small inputs used infrequently seems reasonable to have good looking produce in the meantime.  

 I'm all for using the resources on hand.  That is what I'm hoping for.  
3 years ago
Hi everyone, this year will be our first market garden.  So I'm researching the best ways to solve potential pest problems in the future.  I would love to know some safe and simple solutions (sprays) for pest management.

Does anyone see problems with the articles solutions?  What alternative do you know?

What biodegradable soap do you use, if any?  Is baking soda a problem for the environment in small amounts?  I will avoid the salt altogether.  Also, is mixing bleach and plant fertilizer (worm castings compost tea), soaking cotton balls in the solution and applying to unwanted vines an environmental Hazzard?  I'm leaning towards yes, but previously read that solution on Permies.  Would vinegar work in place of bleach (other ideas)?

We do not want to Incorporate animals or perennials in our market garden this growing season (next spring for animals, perennial added in the fall).  We have a separate area for more permaculture and perennial plants already.  

I appreciate any help and advice.

3 years ago
Looking forward to using some of these methods on our plot.  Thanks for the pictures and detailed instructions!
3 years ago

Henry Coulson wrote:
a) would you use this?
b) how much would you be willing to pay/donate?
c) what would you like to see in it?
d) could you help us? (even if you aren't a computery person, we could do with data on what plants like what other plants, yeilds in certain soils, what water concentrations will kill them.

A.) Yes

B.) $5-20 depending on sample and preview. Possibly $60 if it was amazing

C.) I would like to see updates on Permies.  I could see similarities between Civilization, Sim City, and garden planning software.  I'll think some more on it.  School systems might purchase the software.

D.) I'll keep you in mind.  A wiki page could help maintain reliable updates for plant/habit info and real time updates for various activities.  If Permies wanted to document their experiences into a useful data pack, that could be inputed into the program?  I don't know, just thinking.

Good luck, I would like to play it in winter time.
3 years ago