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Bill Waters

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since Apr 09, 2016
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hugelkultur forest garden foraging
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Coastal South East US
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Recent posts by Bill Waters

Devaka Cooray wrote:Bill,

We made some changes to the software. Could you please try it again?

I got it, I just logged out and ordered again and it worked -- but thank you for the response! books are on their way
1 year ago
when I try to buy the second dozen it is not letting me? it says I already purchased it, I know this but I'd like to order a dozen more, am I missing something? thanks
1 year ago
agreed with what was said above - if you are going to dilute it and use it, I'd personally recommend at least 30-1 fresh to salt water... that also depends on how salty your bath is. if we are talking 'float tank' salty, then probably go higher than 30-1. Using 30-1 fresh water to ocean water is an old technique in Korean natural farming. I use that ratio, but I only use it on certain parts of the garden once a year, and I get plenty of rain - average 48" annually, and have sandy soil.

I wonder too if it could be used somewhere that you didn't want plants to grow? driveway? parking spot? I'm not sure if that would have negative effects surrounding where you dumped the water, and I'm not sure how long the "negative" effects would last.... the idea needs more thought, but it just popped up in my head...
1 year ago

Jack Edmondson wrote:Bill,

It sounds like you have success similar to what I would like.  As stated, it will be silvopasture; but I am striving for a polyculture and hoping the clover will give a 'carpet to cover the ground' under and around other plantings.  I was initially leaning towards a dutch white as it would not shade out everything else; but will have to do more research.  The crimson will give me what I need for this season with no downside risk.  

I plan to no till.  I want to experiment using equipment to lightly scratch the surface no deeper than an inch to plant pasture crops.  For now, I will stick with small seed that can be incorporated on the surface to a half an inch.  In the spring I plan to let the heat terminate the crop.  In the fall, I will likely broadcast and cultipack so the residue helps set the next crop.  

When you planted peas what depth did you plant.  From what I can gather "too deep" seems to be the most common mistake.  Since I am not working the ground, that should not be a problem for me.  However in the spring I plan to try larger seeds, like Sunn Hemp and Cow Pea.  I want to make sure I am not too shallow.  Thoughts or experiences?

Thank you for your input.  Great idea on the polyculture

before I planted peas I just roughed up the surface a little (with a hoe and a cobra head type tool) and just broadcast. My goal was to make divots and shallow furrows. I didn't worry about pushing them into the soil... that might have decrease germination rates but enough came up to make it worth it. I do this for hugelkultur building as well, sometimes I will literally throw the larger seeds at the soil to get them to stay in place.

So Eric was right in thinking white clover. I guess I usually think white clover as well but crimson clover was fresh on my mind for other reasons. I guess for silvo pasture white perennial clover would be appropriate. Does it go dormant where you are? here it usually goes dormant for maybe two months when it gets really hot, just something to consider.

no experience with this- but I would chop the established white clover back, let it start to regrow then sow your warm season crops... the cover of the white clover should be enough to get them to germinate if you coincide with the rain. Cutting it back will give warm crops a chance to rise above quickly before the white clover has a chance to over take the young seedlings.
So some perennial clover seeds into the cover crop mix would be beneficial. You definitely get more biomass off the jump with crimson clover, but it's basically gone by end of May. Possibly don't go as heavy with the crimson clover so it won't shade out the white clover.
2 years ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Jack,

The reason I ask is that if you plan to garden or plant other crops then I would aim for annuals in your seed mix.  I am a bit concerned about the use of clover.  Please don’t misunderstand me, clover can be a great cropping and is wonderful for soil, but once you have it, you have it for good.

As a possible replacement, I was thinking about Austrian Winter Peas.  These are annual legumes and will act much like clover will.  


I got the impression he was talking about annual crimson clover, not perennial clover, that is usually the go-to for cover crop mixes.
But what you plan to do with the land after the cover crop is an important aspect that goes into planning your cover cropping.
This past year I (coastal zone 9) did clover, peas and wheat. (the wheat sprouted up from a light layer of straw mulch). I just broadcast seeded before a rain and did a very light layer of straw mulch. Everything came up wonderfully. I then just cut small holes in the clover where I wanted to plant. A nice string trimmer could make quick work of that. I had great poly culture going on with food plants growing in the cover crop. I just used a hand sickle, or sometimes hedge clippers, to chop a little bit of the cover clover around the food plants. worked great. but that's small scale.
As it warmed up, I used a string trimmer to mow down the clover crop.It has fully died back over a month ago and has been on its way out since may. I didn't have any issues with reseeding as the extension agency warned me, but I am hopeful to get some crimson clover sprouting up as the weather cools off in the fall.
Are your plans to regularly till? do one time till? no till?
if no-till or plant to go to no-till, we have the advantage of using the heat. So you could mow the cool weather cover crops low to the ground and mulch in place, the heat will make sure they don't come back in full force and become a problem
2 years ago
possibly. I have seen soaker hoses that were exposed to the sun degrade rather quickly, so that always leads me to believe they are degrading into the soil. I'm not an expert, but if they are falling apart after a few years use, i would assume that degraded plastic is going into the soil. It may depend on quality of soaker hose and exposure to sun/temperatures as to how fast they degrade. I think personally think overhead irrigation gets a bad wrap but for certain situations i think it's better than drip/soaker. It has it's advantages and draw backs just like every other irrigation system. I'm sure it just depends on the level of toxicity you're willing to accept. Some people are ok with plastic rain barrels, others are not. Same with soaker hoses, however if you get a cheap one, it could lead to more toxicity than you are willing to accept. j
2 years ago
thank you all for your input!
I think instead of a mister i'll go with the jerry rigged type drip system, i don't think a mister would be best for this anyway now that i'v been able to think about this idea for more than an hour. I'll be decrease the height distance between the rain barrel and the worm bin, to slow the drip into the worm bin, i'll go with just poking holes in the poly. And i'll increase the height of the worm bin... although it may be beneficial to have slow output. I'm thinking i could just drop the hose end at the base of a tree while checking on it or doing any other short tasks. I'll just have to work out any kinks or problems as i build my first one.

2 years ago
...and after rereading what i wrote, i found out my wife typed in a little something extra in the description when i was cooking... sneaky sneaky
2 years ago
So, the idea behind this is I have different gardens around town i manage their organic food gardens. I have been using water that i pour through my worm bin, then haul around to the gardens i'm doing maintenance visits for in 5 gallon buckets. I do this about once a month. -i just pour 4-5 gallons through the worm bin, then mix it all together and use it all that day. I dilute it a little bit at the different properties. It's easier than harvesting worm castings, better than leachate, and easier than bubbling worm tea.
But it's time consuming and laborious, So I'm trying to stream line that at a few gardens. As well as give clients a place to put their food scraps. I need others to point out things i'm not thinking about or any blaring problems with this idea. It may not be original, but i have not seen it before. My first tests site will be at a gym, so we're hoping to have members coming in bringing their kitchen scraps, and feeding a few 15-gal size worm bins. but the garden is small scale- about 250 square feet, so i won't need a ton of worm tea.

The idea:
60 gal rain barrel, elevated to about 5'. That is connected, via spigot to 1/2" poly that runs to a greenhouse mister type fitting over the worm bin- worm bin is elevated about 3'-4'... i've thought i might just use a garden hose fixed to a nursery nozzle... the point is to spread the water over the surface of the worm bin... Then when i turn on that water, every few weeks, it sprinkles gently through the worm bin. The water filters through the worm castings in the worm bin, collecting all of the worm poo goodness, then goes through another bin that has a screen to catch any worms or debris that falls through. Then the water goes into a 3rd container (they're all stacked like a typical homemade worm bin), that will fill up 6-7 gallons. Attached to the 3rd collection bin will be my hose that i can just use to water the garden. The point is to keep pressure by having that reservoir, and as long as the amount of input water is roughly the same as output water, the pressure will remain roughly constant. I love my wife.

My main concerns- will 5 gallons elevated at 3', though a garden hose, be enough pressure to reach roughly 75'? I guess it doesn't have to be very high pressure though... how would i go about figuring that out? Do y'all think this will work? How much pressure will i need going into the worm bin to get good coverage though one of those overhead misters? It is a lot of plastic, but i'm trying to provide a place for food scraps as well as use worm water for the garden. Any better ideas?

If anything is confusing or incomplete i can go into more detail.
2 years ago