Lorraine Barnett

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since Oct 01, 2017
Mid Missouri north of the Ozarks
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Recent posts by Lorraine Barnett

Welcome!! Looking forward to the picking of your brain. ;-)
2 years ago
Dear Permies Family....  I'm needing to re-think my whole seed-starting process. In the past, I've used florescent lights but only had the single blulb fixtures. These are completely insufficient. What do you all use? My husband wants to use the broad spectrum LED's but they are quite expensive...  ideas that you've used that were successful?
I've used Dixondale for about four years now and I am exceedingly happy with their service and their onions. I have had stunning harvests from the onions year after year. I plant keeper onions--Copra or Superstar--for my area (Mid-Missouri area) and I always do a red onion for variety. The keepers will still be good when I'm tending the next year's onions. I've had decent keepers right into late May. Dixondale is good to send out little onion-growing suggestions from time to time to keep me on track. They are great!
2 years ago
My small but growing understanding of real permaculture makes me think your suggestion of mulching and cover cropping is the answer to this dilemna. My new mantra is "a living root." I am trying to keep the soil in cover crops as much as is possible...the deer have sheered off everything I've grown this fall but I'm believing there might be some roots in there somewhere! ;-) I will certainly look for suckers from my persimmon. I'd love to get an Asian persimmon grafted onto some of the suckers.

Looking forward to spring and trying some things to see how this garden fares!
2 years ago
I'm really grateful to all the posts! There is much to think on and I need to do more research so that I'm not working against the natural order. I still have much to learn about permaculture. I'm so intrigued, the more I read and digest. So often, I find myself saying "Of Course!!" It makes sense, once it is explained so that I can understand it. Thank you so much, Alex, for the suggestion of a Yates persimmon. I had despaired that any of the larger persimmons would work in my area. I may just make the Yates part of my plan! I also looked up Elaine Ingham and she is a wealth of soil knowledge! It's a bit more than I can wrap my mind around right now but I'll continue to listen and learn. Thanks, Jeanne, for that suggestion.

I can see my persimmon (which now I'm convinced I'll give another few years, at least) as part of my garden plan. I'm now wondering about the perennials that I can make part of the guild around the tree....that won't just be just fodder for the deer and coons... I have a pile of much that I will make part of the plan as well.

I'm excited about all this now, instead of just frustrated! Thanks to all of you!! Such thoughtful suggestions!
2 years ago
Lee, my husband has a subsoiler that is attached to the tractor and it is just an arm that you can adjust for how deep you want to go. You run the tractor around, with the subsoiler lowered and it "snags" roots and pulls them to the surface. Most roots will break off. That's how we put our garden in to begin with. We never plowed the soil in any way, we just ran the subsoiler around. I got a very nice pile of roots that are  aging to the side. It seemed invasive to me but a quick fix for lots and lots and lots of roots. I see that there are people who do this as a way to avoid that turnover of the soil but still get some nice dead roots in there to feed the plants that go into the garden. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of wisdom, experience, and help that people give who love the soil!



Lee Missouri wrote:How do you do root plowing? How do you balance cutting the roots with keeping the tree healthy? I've pruned trees and saw great improvement in their health, but I've never heard of doing something similar with the roots.

2 years ago
We are located right in the middle of the state of Missouri, just about 15 miles south of I-70, which cuts Missouri in two east to west. Interestingly, weather is quite different North of I-70 than South of I-70. They get far more snow and wind and ice north of the interstate. Lots of storms break up and go north of us. I'm in Zone 6a.
2 years ago
Wow! that picture is priceless! That's what I've experienced. Since I am fairly new to the permaculture method, I felt a bit guilty about cutting trees but thanks to your comments, I see that I must be smart about placement and balance the value of the tree to the value of the crop! And yes, in our part of Missouri, we are clay, too. I used to think it was horrible but with the addition of some good organic matter, it is a marvelous soil for gardening.

Thank you for the rule of thumb about height to distance from the tree of annuals. I needed to have that hammered home to me. In my excitement about permaculture, mulching, etc. I tend to just think it is all going to work perfectly if I just mulch and have a great variety. Ah well....still learning.

Thanks so much for all the comments!! It helps to talk things out with people who are passionate about this! ...and people with much more experience than me.
2 years ago
Thanks, Marco! Yes, I do think that this is a wonderful challenge for experimentation and I love your ideas. This area is a bit of an orphan, a ways from our home and my main garden. It is not fenced and in our area a garden without fencing is merely deer fodder. Deer don't eat the things I plant here: garlic, onion, potato and tomato. They will eat the squash vines but if I can get them going good, they only stunt them and they don't destroy them. Anyway, I just finished mulching my main garden with the wood chips from the County. I'm new to the whole concept but I'm sold!!

I'll do my best to get a pile going in this particular orphan garden and on that North side and see what happens. The roots of the two trees I mentioned shouldn't do that much stealing, I don't think, as I understand the concept of permaculture...but the puzzle of why was still there and my husband's solution was to cut down the trees. I do want to experiment and see what happens.

Thanks for the good suggestions!
2 years ago
We have a garden plot that is hacked out of the woods (in Missouri) and we have given ourselves 25 feet or more around the plot for sunlight. I have used this plot for onions, garlic, some tomatoes, potatoes and squash over the years and it's done well...EXCEPT the north end of the garden. All plants in that end of the garden (maybe 6 feet of the plot) are stunted. The soil gets as hard as concrete, it won't stay moist when the rest of the plot is moist. The plot is flat and there is no run-off of water anywhere so this dryness in the north end is such a puzzle to me. There are two trees (small persimmon and another ?? maybe 25 feet tall with small slender trunks) that are left nearer the garden on the north side. My husband wants to cut down the two trees but I'm not wanting to do so. Can these two trees be sapping away all the moisture and nutrients of that end of the garden? It seems unlikely to me but I'm puzzled. Any ideas?
2 years ago