Tom Worley

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since Oct 06, 2016
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fish hunting urban
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Recent posts by Tom Worley

...gray zucchini. Not regular zucchini, not gold zucchini, not round zucchini, not patty-pan squash, not delicata squash, not red kuri squash- just gray zucchini.  I don't get it.  

Strawberries have knocked it out of the park, setting a couple dozen fruit every time it rains and kicking out 3-4 runners and plantlets per plant.  

Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans.  You blink and they set seed.  

...and this may be the year I succeed in growing eggplant.  Most of the time they're devoured by flea beetles this year I've been religiously spraying them with Neem weekly and they seem to have taken off.  
Depending on how far inland you are in eastern NC there's quite a few great options-

sailfin molly
blackbanded sunfish
bluespotted sunfish
banded pygmy sunfish
golden topminnow
lined topminnow
eastern mosquitofish
least killifish
pirate perch
eastern mudminnow

All of these are small (<2-3 inches),and they're all shallow/wetland species.  They're invertivores, and they shouldn't interfere with amphibians or other critters using the pool. They're all native to NC, though I don't know their distribution within the state.  I don't think any of them have special protections, but it's best to consult a biologist with the state fish and game department before doing any collecting, just in case.

Good luck!
2 months ago
I really like zinnias- seed is widely available, they come in a variety of colors, petal forms, and heights, and they're mightily attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.  They're adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions, do well in full sun, and (for me) haven't been an issue in terms of self-seeding.  I've been using "Persian Carpet" that only gets ~ 12-18" tall in some places, and cactus types that get 3-4 feet high in others.  

I've done well with scarlet runner beans too, trained around a trellis or other structure.  They look good, do well in cooler climates, and the beans are edible.  

Good luck!
3 months ago

James Freyr wrote:

Let's please keep this thread on topic and discussion focused on knotweed and lyme disease.



I don't mean to rock the boat, but invasive species can favor disease-carrying ticks  by creating a suitable microclimate or favoring tick hosts like whitetail deer.  

I don't know if the research has been done on Japanese Knotweed specifically, but the tall, dense stands sure seem like great tick habitat when you're walking through them.  The history of both invasive species and miracle cures is absolutely riddled with cases of unintended consequences, and I think there's value in acknowledging and learning from those experiences.  If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I think there's value in proceeding cautiously.  
5 months ago
Some good responses.

It depends a lot on the species of fish and their response to temperature and dissolved oxygen.  

Dissolved oxygen concentrations are (generally) higher in cold water than warm water.  Species like trout have a high demand for dissolved oxygen, and are typically found in low water temperatures (55-70 degrees F they're considered "coldwater" species).  "Cool water" species like northern pike, yellow perch, and walleye like water temperatures can live in temperatures a little higher, but prefer maybe 65-75 degrees.  "Warmwater" species like your typical largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill, can thrive in temperatures upwards of 75 degrees. Some species are specially adapted- gar and bowfin can gulp air from the surface, topminnows and killifish cruise just under the water surface, where oxygen concentration is high.  So short answer: depending on what species you're interested in, minimum depth can be a couple inches or dozens of feet.  

Small ponds warm up faster (and get warmer) than small ponds, shallow ponds tend to have more oxygen than small ones (greater interaction with the atmosphere).  Shallow ponds also tend to have more aquatic vegetation, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your management goals.  

If you're in an ice-free (or largely ice-free) area, 4-5 feet is probably adequate for most fish species.  If you get ice cover for more than a couple weeks a year, you may consider depths closer to 8-10 feet.  If you're willing to run a pump during winter to keep open, ice-free areas, you could probably get away with a shallower pool.  

I'm a big proponent of small, fishless pools.  Lots of invertebrate and amphibian species have been declining over the past several decades due to landscape alteration and chemical spraying; thanks for incorporating some into your plan!
5 months ago

Mike Barkley wrote:

I've pretty much given up on eggplants here. A tiny insect seems to like them a lot but I do have a new type to try.



Same here at the edge of the Ozarks- I always say this is the last year I'll start 'em, then wind up trying one new variety.  This year it's Malaysian Purple.  Some little black bug, flea beetle I guess- just looks like soot covering the plants.  I just don't eat enough of them to justify the amount of babying they'd need to stay healthy.  
5 months ago
Yeah!  I'm trying broad (fava) beans this year, they're growing much faster than I anticipated, 6+ inches now and at least two weeks until they can be in the ground.  We'll see how that turns out.

I've started a couple new solanums- Striped Roman and San Marzano paste tomatoes, Coyote cherry tomato, purple tomatillo and Cossack Pineapple ground cherry.  

Started Red Welsh bunching onion.  

Probably be trying out a few Blauer Speck kohlrabi in the next two weeks, although I'll plant most of them (and the new Navone Yellow rutabaga I'm trying) this fall.

Some new greens- Malabar spinach, orach, a couple new lettuce varieties (swordleaf and red sails).  

Went a little crazy on beans- Jacob's Cattle, Kebarika, Marvel of Venice, Blue Coco, and Cherokee Trail of Tears.  

It's tough for me to get as excited about grain amaranth, but I'm trying it this year, too.  There's a sunny wet spot at the base of the garden slope that I think may be ideal.  Some for me, mostly for the Speckled Sussex and Rouen ducklings I picked up last week.  

Managed to not add any new pepper varieties for the first time in two years, requiring considerable restraint on my part.  

5 months ago
Yes.

Public land in Montana and Wyoming (not sure about other western states) is considered open range for livestock.  It's managed principally through the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, although there may be other state and federal agencies involved in other parcels.  My (limited) understanding is livestock operators pay an annual lease grazing rights, and there's a cap on the number of animals which can be grazed within a given area.  Both states have several designated ports of entry where I assume incoming livestock would be inspected/evaluated- but my knowledge on the subject is far from complete.  I just know it's a little surreal to round a corner in the middle of nowhere and come across 300 sheep and a half-dozen Great Pyrenees 30+ miles from the nearest from the nearest house or ranch .  
5 months ago

Jamin Grey wrote:

Nicky McGrath wrote:This year I'd like to focus on where to source perennials, particularly for free or inexpensive because I'd like about a million plants ;P



I buy most of my trees and bushes from StarkBros - pretty expensive, but they replace for free or fully refund within the first year if the tree doesn't survive. I like their customer support.



I think they're running a sale on some of their berry stock through the end of February, 15% off.  I'm probably going to place an order in the next week or so.

One option is to suss out whether there are any local garden clubs in your area.  Many have spring plant sales- divisions of things from local gardens, and they're open to the public (fundraiser for the club).  I've been able to purchase thornless blackberries, herbs, annual and perennial flowers, and some wildlflowers for less than retail through local garden clubs.  You may also have success rooting plant cuttings.  I started what's become a pretty nice elderberry hedge on the property line, rooting elderberry cuttings from a local fishing spot.  It's a win-win, the other anglers appreciate not having to fight shrubs and lose hooks :).  I've had less success rooting blackberries, but still about 50%.  




5 months ago

Joseph Bataille wrote:What happens when man moves into the wilderness…



It's no longer wilderness.  

I'm not trying to be crass, I'm concerned we've put the cart before the horse.  A food forest is a simplified representation of a natural ecosystem, not the other way around.  Better yet- the food forest represents what we understand about the way wild ecosystems are structured.  The forest-forest represents the enormity what we don't yet understand.  

As good as a food forest is, it's still a construct of our imperfect knowledge.  We can account for what's valuable now, we can't be certain of what'll be valuable in the future.  The folks wearing beaver hats 200 years ago didn't understand their value as ecosystem engineers.  The folks plowing prairies and draining wetlands a century ago modified those landscapes to make them more useful, and we're living with the consequences of those decisions.  Wildlands aren't just reserved for plants and animals, they're reserved for the future.  When the generation time of food forests is decades or centuries, you're tying the hands of future generations.  Deciding for them what is and isn't valuable.  Decisions they can't un-make.  
6 months ago