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Greg Coffey

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since Jun 05, 2016
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hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees bee woodworking
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Recent posts by Greg Coffey

You can probably help the apple out by planting some garlic or similar allium family foods with it. The space will be productive, and the shared root space will provide for the exchange of some of the pungent factors of the allium into the apple to dissuade insects and other pathogens from damaging your young trees.
8 months ago
The quick answer is yes, the water should reach your destination, and the pressure you get will depends in large part on the diameter of the pipe/hose/tube you run, and the 'fullness' of the upper tank of water.

Assuming an ideal fluid, you'd use Bernoulli's principle to calculate your downstream pressure:

P1 ​+ 1/2​ρ[(v1)^2]​ + ρgh1 ​= P2​ + 1/2ρ[(v2)^2] ​+ ρgh2
Learn more here:

P1 and P2 will be the same, because you've got atmospheric pressure at both ends of this thing, and since we're recklessly simplifying stuff, we should just call the initial velocity (v1) zero as well, because your reservoir is large enough.
That means your pressure in this system is coming from h1, your hydraulic head. More height difference between the sprayer and the top of the water in the big tank = better pressure.

The hose size piece of this puzzle has to do with Poiseuille's Law (pronounced: P-wah-z-eh?). Details spared here; bigger diameter is better, longer run is worse. [don't go there with the joke]

That's the rough fluid dynamics of the situation, but as always, prototype it out at home before you build it on site
9 months ago
Looks like you have more of an insect issue than a microbial one (for now).

Those tubes appear to be formed by the granulate ambrosia beetle, a borer that excretes its waste to form them (frass strands).

The females choose which trees to attack based on how much stress they're in (as detected by their ethanol production). The most common stressors are flooding (soil saturation 30%+ moisture), or frost damage.

You can create traps baited with ethanol to get the beetles... because they share a fascination with the chemical.

The link at bottom offers this as a treatment guideline:
"Heavily infested plants or plant parts should be removed and destroyed. It may be best for large growers to wait 3-4 weeks after trees are attacked before removal so as to concentrate and destroy the greatest number of beetles, possibly sparing some healthy trees."

I must admit, this was a good challenge as far as research binges go; at first I thought for sure it was strictly fungal... thanks for the opportunity to do some more learning!
9 months ago
You're going to have a difficult time doing that with whole trunks, as the point of the hugelkulture is to have *decayed* wood provide moisture and nutrients to the garden above. As wood decays, it actually absorbs lots of nitrogen an other vital resources for your plants, so putting a long-decaying wood into the beds will prevent them from reaping the benefits of *decayed* wood going into the ground below them.

You may be able to accelerate the process with a chipper and really rich compost, but there is a reason people use cedar for roofing, siding, and long-lasting mulch...
10 months ago
Available through URI's cooperative extension for the cost of shipping.

Description from the site:

"Burpee® seed packets are available for the cost of shipping and handling to individuals, schools and other nonprofit organizations in New England, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey through the generosity of Ocean State Job Lot, which donates still viable 2019 seeds for the 2020 growing season to URI Cooperative Extension annually. Orders are filled by URI Master Gardener volunteers; we thank you in advance for your patience once you place your order, as our operation is volunteer-staffed. Please allow four weeks for delivery if you are ordering by mail. Learn more about the Free Seed Program by reading this article. Happy Growing!"

The 'miracle mineral' the world needs

The BBC just did an expo on how a small African nation is returning their attention to composting techniques in the wake of troubles importing phosphorus. Good to see a shift in mentality toward what is ultimately a far more sustainable and productive means of fertilizing fields.
1 year ago
It doesn't look like Powdery Mildew, which can impact apples considerably.
To me, that looks very similar to Leaf Scorch, maybe even from incident light that is too intense. Are these seedlings in a greenhouse, or anywhere that the sun's light could be reflected/refracted into a more concentrated area [right onto those leaves]?

Maybe try turning the plants, or changing their locations if there is a chance that it is the incoming light.
2 years ago

S Haze wrote:If I may ask, does anyone have experience or know much about growing bamboo in cold climates?  I live in USDA hardiness zone 4 or 5 depending on the version of map you're looking at.

In doing some research a while ago I seem to recall a couple varieties I could probably grow here in the right micro-climate but I seem to remember the information indicating they should be in full or at least partial shade.  Finding a micro-climate that's shaded but still a little warmer may be challenging unless the shade is only needed in the summer.

Also I'm wondering if it's the above or below ground portion of the plant that is most susceptible to the cold or both.

I have a slowly seeping spring on a north facing hillside that's well shaded in the summer where the ground doesn't freeze ever but since it's a spring of course the ground is always very damp which I don't think bamboo likes much.

Any suggestions      Thanks!

Like several folks on this site have mentioned, is an excellent resource.  What follows is my non-expert advice.
My SO and I have differing views on using bamboo in our forest garden; I'm for it, and she's not.  What we ended up doing is compromising on a species ( p. nigra) that is hardy to zone 7, and planting it on the south side of a 13ft granite boulder on the land up here in our zone 5 climate.  The boulder has enough solar gain to effect a small micro-7-climate, and so the plant lives. Should it venture too far beyond the protection of the boulder, the winter will likely kill the culms.

Based on what you've described with your site (northern and moist) I'd recommend Incense Bamboo
It is edible, and has potential for use as a timber bamboo.

Hope this helps!
4 years ago
I had an old chainlink dog enclosure around my hive a few years ago to keep out the bears. It began as a joke because there had not been any bear sightings around here, but within months of putting the fence around the hive there were several bear sightings within a few miles of my house! Coincidence; of course.

The drawback to the enclosure we had is that the space afforded to work on the hive was very limited, not to mention it wasn't a very 'natural' sight. The bees could come and go freely through the fencing, and we laid down plastic and mulch to block the weeds from growing on the interior.

It's very important not to allow weeds (especially the tall grasses with those razor hairs) to grow in front of the hive; bees are kinda clumsy sometimes and can lacerate their wings on the foliage if it grows into their flight-path.

When we're ready to keep bees again, we'll go with an electrified enclosure of some sort. I want to use solar-charging battery systems, but will need to keep them well away from any foliage because it can short out the fence and drain the battery. My neighbor has had bad luck with that, and so abandoned the solar systems. Unlike a hard-wired fence, once that battery is below a certain charge, that fence is nothing but a wire.

Back to bears; I've heard anecdotally from some apiarists that a bear will test out electric fences a few times with their muzzle, then will turn 180 and bulldoze a flimsy fence with their rump...
Probably a good idea to have a thicker gauge wire secured to some serious posts to prevent this.

Hope this helps!
4 years ago