Liz Green

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since Dec 09, 2015
Tasman New Zealand, Temperate
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Recent posts by Liz Green

Has anyone tried foxgloves as part of a peach guild?  A peach tree here that was dying back badly and had leaf curl (reddish blisters on leaves) has put on strong new growth and healthy new leaves since two foxglove plants self-seeded very close to the trunk and grew strongly this summer.  (They looked very impressive, too!).  I did sprinkle some dolomite around the base, and add some woodchips - not completely covering the root zone though, in case it stopped our mainly light rains entering the soil.  Oh, and i watered the tree occasionally - not often - in very dry weather, as it is on sloping clay soil, exposed to strong drying westerly winds.  No shortage of airflow there!  I left white clover and other weeds growing but cut them back quite short.  

Foxgloves were considered "plant doctors" in the past.  This was confirmed by Louise Riotto in her book Roses Love Garlic, and by www.pfaf.org & www.tulipsinthewoods.com.  

I wondered whether bees would visit the foxglove flowers and add its toxins to honey, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.  The University of Sussex at www.sussex.ac.uk says the foxglove is loved by long-tongued bumblebees such as Bombus hortorum, but not honeybees.  Come to think of it, I haven't seen honeybees in the foxgloves, but plenty of bumblebees.  

My only other concern was whether toxins from the foxgloves could be transferred to the peaches through the soil (or by what lives in the soil).  I couldn't find any evidence for that on the web.  There are plenty of other flowers well-visited by honeybees here, such as fennel, dandelion, clover, various herbs, and koromiko, so they have a good selection of choices.  

Off topic completely, am hoping to see the Supermoon and total lunar eclipse tonight!

1 year ago
Oops - in my post, I used the word "alive" when it should have been something like "a representation or cartoon".
I rather like the new look and setting out. Fresh and clean. However i am not keen on the headless figure; it raises connotations in my mind of faceless people, lack of accountability, and the modern trend towards dehumanization. I automatically think of damage when i see a figure without a head, whether it is alive or not. Maybe that is just my quirky mind.
Hi Burra,

Good luck with your bean project!

While I am far from an expert, I looked up runner beans a while back and found that some retailers are a bit confused about what to call the various beans as they do not always understand the distinctions. Both common beans (french beans or whatever) and scarlet runner bean types (which of course do not always have scarlet flowers) can come in dwarf or climbing varieties. (leaving out the other varieties such as snake beans just to simplify things.)

I had problems getting scarlet runner climbing bean plants to produce pods in hot weather when i lived in Sydney; hosing the plants daily helped, as did growing them on a fence which shaded them from the hottest afternoon sunlight. When i returned to NZ, in my first summer here my scarlet runners flowered but then the flowers fell off; it was too hot and dry and i was short of water (tank water) so they seldom got watered. This summer I grew four different varieties of climbing green beans - common and "scarlet" - i grew the "scarlets" up through raspberry bushes which helped to shade their roots, kept them well mulched, gave them dolomite (for calcium) and kelp, and kept them well watered. they were slow to produce in our hot summer here in the top of the south, and some flowers fell, but they have produced steadily and reasonably well for some weeks now. the trellis they are growing on also shades them a little, which does seem to help.

Your summers are probably hotter than ours.

A few years ago in Sydney when we were consistently getting several days over 40 degrees C in summer, my most reliable, heavy producers of tasty pods were snake beans, which hardly grew at all until the hot weather struck, then they would suddenly grow incredibly fast and produce well. they had to be picked often and were very heavy croppers. the other reliable producer was a climbing "french" (common) bean called Purple King, which is known by other names in other countries; it was unusually hardy in both hot and cold weather on a heavy clay soil as long as it got a bit of water fairly often. Very tasty, tender pods but the colour is offputting to some - the purple colour of the pods fades a bit on cooking but is still perceptibly purplish green rather than plain green. I plan to grow it again here.

Hope this helps.
3 years ago
I give this 10 out of 10 acorns. I keep going back to re-read it, and find it as fresh, exciting and informative as the first time. This is THE book on fungi. Full of information yet inspiring. Here in New Zealand we have plenty of dairy farms near rivers and lakes, and a huge problem with effluent disposal and runoff. This book could solve a lot of those problems ...
3 years ago
Hi. Have a look at the Braken (sic) Fern thread on the cascadia forum. www.permies.com/+/679/cascadia/Braken-Fern - some useful information there.
3 years ago
I was after something more than the usual herb spiral, tiny fowl enclosure, keyhole garden stuff (not that there's anything wrong with them, btw!) so was scrolling through the internet, searching under "Permaculture". I looked at quite a few sites before finding this one. It caught my attention immediately. Character, life, and tons of useful information and interesting projects! I've been getting the newsletter for a while now, but have only recently registered, and this is my first post. Btw, I like the new format a lot.
3 years ago