Victor Thomas

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since Oct 30, 2015
South Central Texas, Zone 8b
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Recent posts by Victor Thomas

I'm not sure what type of leaf that is, but it is a very cool story and great way of preserving the memory.  Thanks for sharing!
1 year ago
Denise, that looks like an American Elm to me.
2 years ago
Hi David, I am gardening in heavy clay as well on the Texas blackland prairie.  Along with all of the other recommendations here for breaking up clay, as for a digging fork, I use the Bully Tools 'Super Fork'.  It's heavy duty and does the job well for me.  When the soil moisture is right, I use it to break up the clay and then follow with a shovel to get a bit deeper and break clods.  I checked their website and couldn't find it there anymore, but it is available on amazon.  Good luck!
There are many ways in which you can plan to plant a lot of fruit trees in a small space.  The main thing to remember is that your backyard orchard is not a commercial orchard, so you can create it to suit your needs.  You can plant multiple cultivars of apple or peach to stagger your harvest times.  One of my favorite resources on this topic are the videos put out by Dave Wilson Nursery.  This spring I planted 2 peach, 3 pear, and 2 plum, in which each tree is 4 ft apart.  I'll keep these trees pruned to stay within their 16 sq ft (4'x4') area.  For me, I'd rather have 3 peach trees that ripen at different times over 2 or 3 months than one peach tree in the same space as I fit 3 into, that ripens all at once.  There are many adaptations you can use, so have fun with it!

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dave+wilson+nursery+backyard+orchard

Another method for apples that I have read about is the 'tall spindle' method'.  It looks like it would be great for a small space as well.

2 years ago
I found this website today, its goal is to link up people that have space available for gardening that need help, can't tend their gardens any longer, or just have open space they want to be utilized, with those who are seeking a place to garden. I thought this may be a great resource for folks in both parties, those with land and those wanting land.

It's easy enough to use, you can just enter a city name and state rather than an exact address and do not have to use your full name either. You can call yourself whatever you want for a name, just need an email. I hope this helps someone!

Its called Shared Earth. https://sharedearth.com/
I have purchased a few tools from Bully Tools. I have the superfork, warren hoe, and the edging/planting spade. All of them are well made, I'm especially impressed with the superfork that I use for working my heavy clay soil. Just pay attention to handle length, as I found the hoe to have a short handle, but the tool should last me a lifetime. I was able to buy them online at Amazon.
I just picked up two chayote at the store the other day as well...and thinking of how some people grow potatoes under mulch, even though chayote is totally unrelated, I thought of this: since the chayote is often sprouted in open air, a paper bag, or cabinet and then placed in soil after it sprouted, I wonder if I could just bury the chayote under some leaf mulch and it would just root itself in place and begin to grow out of the mulch. Any thoughts?
4 years ago
Could it be blue mealy sage? It seems to fit the description, though I've seen it bloom from spring all the way into late fall/early winter.
4 years ago
Tyler, I wouldn't mind some soapberry seeds. How do you use or plant to use soapberry in your permaculture landscape? I had grabbed some soapberry seeds a few years ago, but apparently lost them, since I had nowhere to plant them and moved since then.

I also want to grow chayote. I tried to start some last fall that I bought at HEB, but I think it was to cool and I didn't want to keep it inside all winter. It started to get leaves and also I may have had the soil to wet. I started it out by keeping it in a paper bag in my cabinet, when it started to sprout on its own I put it in a pot...but if you have a spot picked out, I'd guess you would plant it in its permanent location at that point. There is quite a bit of info online about sprouting them, but you're right. You have to sprout and plant the whole fruit.

I'm just starting out getting things planted and ordering seeds here and there in addition to grabbing what I see in the wild. As soon as I have a bit stocked up I'll try to get a list posted here.
4 years ago
Hello Central Texans!

I have been stalking Permies off and on now for probably a few years, as I got into learning about permaculture about 5-6 years ago. I grew up in Eagle Lake, TX, and finally bought a house with a 1 acre lot in Guadalupe County, east of San Antonio. So, I have finally been able to start planting and wanted to introduce myself to the forum. I figured this is the best place to do it! I'm looking forward to learning about what is working for others in central Texas. I have found it difficult to find good resources on these topics for our area and noticed that some of you have quite a bit going on perma-wise.

I am off of the Edwards Plateau, so I do not have to work with the limestones, but have a deep heavy black clay on my property, often called, gumbo, or could also be Houston or Beaumont clay. When I moved in late last summer there were cracks I could slip my hand into and nearly an ankle! The soil has been difficult to work, but was actually pretty rewarding through my small winter garden.

That's where I'm at in a nutshell. Again, looking forward to learning with you!

Thomas
4 years ago