Keith Chaloux

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since Jan 02, 2018
Portland OR
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Recent posts by Keith Chaloux

I've had great success with a product called Neem Ninja, it is 70/30 neem/karanja oils, preemulsified in a ready to use concentrate. Just dilute 1oz Neem Ninja to 1 gallon water, shake and spray on the foliage AND drench the roots. You could simply buy neem and karanja oils and mix and emulsify themselves, but the point is to add karanja because it is a synergist of neem and gets really mind blowing results. It's systemic, safe, works on a massive spectrum of phytopathogenic insects, fungi and nematodes. Your powdery mildew won't stand a chance.
1 year ago
Hi folks! Hoping someone can help. I have just started reading about hugelkultur and I'm 100% on board since there's an abundance of walnut wood, and some cherry wood in my yard. I am almost positive it is English walnut, not black walnut since the leaves are fatter,  shinier and not as pointy. Has anyone used primarily English walnut for a hugel? I had some healthy looking volunteer tomatos spring up from underneath a couple of the walnut rounds next to the garden last year so it can't be too bad... Any tips are great, thanks!
1 year ago
I love this idea. You will be so happy when you see all the birds enjoying your native hedgerow. My old boss had a native hedgerow which was always buzzing with wildlife activity. If I recall he had lots of salmonberry with many sturdy vertical canes that formed a very effective barrier,  and has very early flowers and edible berries.

Also if this matters to you, ask your nursery about the genetic purity of their Nootka rose because my understanding is that it easily hybridizes with invasive rose species and creates weedy offspring. Good luck please post follow up pictures :)
1 year ago
Hey folks, hoping to get some good advice on my first post as a total newbie (and NOT a natural greenthumb). I have recently become interested in soil ecology and pest control (I'm an exterminator -- I call myself a "double agent"). Maintaining a good soil ecology where beneficials outnumber pathogens and plants are getting everything they need to stay resistant is definitely the key to "pest control" in the lawn and garden. In fact, I transitioned to all organic no-till halfway through the season last year and got amazing results.

Here's the problem, my garden and home have VERY high pest and disease pressure. It's a 110+ yr old former punk house rental in the middle of North Portland, Oregon. We have every pest you could think of and some you wouldn't. Unfortunately this plagued my plants and without very regular Neem Ninja and high quality vermicompost tea applications I believe that I would have had 99% mortality in my basement starts. I lost about 50%. Those that did survive indicated instances of mosaic virus on cucurbits, root canker on tomatoes, blights on legumes, etc. It was difficult to diagnose everything, and I'm too cheap to get lab testing.

OK so here is my question: Do I till my garden this year in hopes to nuke off some of those microscopic pathogens, or do I leave it? At this point it hasn't been tilled in about two years and I have applied lots of fun compost teas so I'm wondering if I have a decent enough population to keep relying on teas and Neem Ninja to keep the pathogens at bay. It's been a mild year so far and the soil might even have time to dry out a little unlike the past two years which were very wet. My garden is currently covered with fabric then a 3" layer of soil "Mulch." I realize the best thing to do would be fallow for a few years, but it's a rental, and I want to practice gardening. I want to learn how to best these pests and get my yields! Please, any feedback is welcomed, Thanks.
1 year ago