T Melville

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since Nov 16, 2015
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goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
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Recent posts by T Melville

Talk of extra large insects always reminds me of giant wetas. They come from New Zealand and I think they may be endangered, so the kids may never meet one. Still cool to know about, though.

3 days ago
I just re-read some of the other thread I linked above. Turns out my question was already answered:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:..You can compost just about anything organic in one of these, including pet poop with no worries about contaminating your soil, the bacteria and fungi along with the worms working will take care of the pathogens should any be present.


I guess then I'll give it a try, and just handle carefully. Thank you!
6 days ago
I'm thinking of scooping the litter box and burying the results in my worm tower. It that's a stupid idea, now's the time to talk me out of it. I understand from reading these forums that cat excrement tends to have worse pathogens than other manures I'm likely to encounter. Aside from this potential burial, I don't dig in this, so I won't be exposed directly. There are no edibles within 20 - 30 feet. My only cause for concern is my comfrey right next to the tower. I don't plan to disturb the roots anytime soon. But I would like to use some of the leaves. Probably mulch with them, maybe make a fertilizer / tea with them, and possibly experiment with it to stop bleeding or heal cuts. So how mobile are these pathogens? Might they make it down through the worm food, horizontally through the clay and rocks, then up the plant to the stems and leaves? Do I need to keep tossing my cat waste into the unused pasture, or is it safe to bury near comfrey for the worms to break down?

For what it's worth the litter is unscented and made of clay. I think the package says it uses fuller's earth, but that might be a different brand.
6 days ago
"One day Paul thought 'Winter is too cold for my growies, but in summer I have more heat than I want. Wouldn't it be awesome if I could store some to give to my growies in the winter, without using fuel to make new heat or electricity to pump it around? I should try to design a way to do that.'

Dick knew that was a stupid idea, and that it would never work. Somebody on the internet told him the right way to build a greenhouse. Besides, if that 'passive' thing was possible, everyone would already be doing it. Who does this Paul think he is, anyway?

It's your choice: be a Paul, and let's see what can be done.


C'mon, you guys know how that ends, don't make me SAY it.

How to PROPERLY build a greenhouse. You know that minutes of internet research can't be wrong...

I know that's pretty rough. If it's any good, feel free to tweak and polish it.
1 week ago

Anne Pratt wrote:T Melville,

Have your tomatoes started to flower?  I have some in containers where the imported soil is probably quite rich, and they are deep green but with only a few flowers.  Uh-oh!  I have some in the garden, too, that aren't growing that well but seem to have a bit of fungal damage.  I'm worried that the soil in the containers has too much nitrogen.  Growing like crazy, deep dark green, but maybe not many tomatoes.

Yes. Flowers and green fruit. Looks like more than I usually get, but I moved to this bed because my other garden didn't get enough sun, so take that with a grain of salt.
1 week ago

Michael Cox wrote:I can’t speak for peppers, but this year I planted tomatoes in the ground for the first time...

For the first few weeks some looked like your peppers, while others were deep green and thriving. A few weeks later they have all got properly established and are growing happily with vigour...

Planting this way was an experiment. I knew tomatoes like manure, but didn't know if they'd grow in it, without soil. So I planted two and waited. They were fairly healthy looking when I bought them, but they became darker green in a week or two. So we planted a few more. Same result. So then we finished planting. A few in the last round were kinda spindly looking, but there was like a gradient all the way from almost yellowish green to nice dark healthy green. The longer they were there, the greener and darker they got. It's why we figured they liked it in there.
1 week ago
I have two jalapeños in the other garden that look perfectly healthy. (Forgot to take a picture.)

It made me wonder if my soil has something in it that the manure lacks. So I scooped up a bunch from some mole hills in the pasture and put about a hand trowel and a half around each plant, mixed with some diatomaceous earth*. I also dusted them with the DE for bug control. I couldn't find my epsom salt, but it'll turn up or I'll get some, and I'll add a little of that too.

*Dr Redhawk once told me that DE can help plants to absorb certain nutrients from the soil, and that it's good for the microbiome.

Bryant RedHawk wrote:If you have some DE you might want to give the soil a light dusting, the silica will do some very good things for your microbiome and it will allow plants to draw in zinc and iron even with excessive quantities of P and K.


1 week ago
The only adjustment I see is in the red circle. It looks like the ear cups probably slide up and down on the wire. What I circled in yellow, is that the screw you referred to? I don't think that's a screw. Notice it always matches the color of the outer ear cup? I think that's cast as part of the ear cup, to let it attach and swivel. I think it's split so the halves can squeeze together to go through the hole, then expand and lock into place.
1 week ago

Lauren Ritz wrote:It really looks like nitrogen deficiency. The leaves at the top look better than the bottom, so probably not sulfur deficiency, and the yellowing appears to be the full leaf rather than being interveinal. Interveinal chlorosis is a symptom of other nutrient deficiencies.

Nitrogen deficiency--Total chlorosis (yellowing) starts on the top of the leaf and eventually the whole leaf is yellow, starts on older leaves

I suspect there's enough nitrogen in the manure. Is there another nutrient the plant needs in order to uptake the nitrogen? Maybe that's deficient?
1 week ago

Brian Michael wrote:How long have they been in the ground in that spot?

My record keeping has failed me. We bought them June second. We planted the corn beside them on June sixteenth, I know they were planted before that.

Brian Michael wrote:Were they root bound when transplanted?

I don't know. My wife actually planted them.
1 week ago