Maarten Smet

+ Follow
since Jun 07, 2018
Kentucky - Zone6
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
2
In last 30 days
1
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
27
Received in last 30 days
17
Total given
17
Given in last 30 days
14
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Maarten Smet

My favorite tree is Comfrey

It is not a tree, but I don't care

Maarten
5 hours ago
Hello

I am using my chickens as my composters and feed them all kinds of veggie/fruit leftovers. The compost is used in my garden beds, but since I am unfamiliar with how some vegetables look in their early stages, if I weed too early, I may take out some volunteer plants. How do people here generally deal with this? At what point do you weed your beds? My predicament is the earlier you do it, the easier it is to remove weeds but you may eliminate some awesome plants.

Thanks

Maarten
I am in Northern Kentucky with heavy clay. I have South/South East facing gooseberries in a raised bed that do fine in warm weather. I planted currants North/North East so barely any sun and they are struggling mightily as yours. They are only in about 4 inches of topsoil/compost versus foot and a half at least for the gooseberries.

My guess it is not the sun but the roots of your plants having trouble digging into the clay soil (same as mine)

My 2 cents

M
6 days ago
Gail,

Some other ideas:
- Use the land for your own Russian comfrey nursery (get the infertile Bocking 14 so it only spreads through root cuttings): you can start with one plant, after a year you can cut the comfrey root in small pieces and make a comfrey ring around the tree. Once you move to your own land, you can dig up the many comfrey plants and use the root cuttings for your own comfrey patch. It will survive the two bush clearings easily.
- Same for sunchokes.

M
1 week ago
Since you have trees in that lot, have you considered guerilla grafting, grafting fruit branches on those trees (assuming they are compatible)?

M
1 week ago
Couple of comments:
- You can swap your high conversion food for cheaper low conversion food. Cheap stuff @ $.50 with a 4 conversion rate is much more economical than $2 with 2 conversion rate
- You can grow your own or part of your fish food: azolla or use waste products to set up a black soldier larvae farm
- Nature does not provide food for fish so by imitating nature you can reduce your supply expenses

Good luck

M
1 week ago
Northern Kentucky

Goumi, planted 3 this summer, 2 thrived 1 is struggling (the 2 that thrive were planted next to a 1-2 year old comfrey plant)

M
2 weeks ago
I have similar issues when I dug a hole, put a tree in with some nice soil and amendmends. The problem may be that such trees stay rootbound as they don't want or can't get into the hard clay and stay in the nice soil. In addition, rain does not drain as well in clay, so it is stuck in the nice soil perhaps rotting roots so the tree may be working hard putting out new roots to replace the ones rotting or diseased, I planning on addressing this this year thanks to the idea from Marco Banks:

"One example:   I had a failure-to-thrive cherimoya tree in my orchard.  Whatever I tried, it just didn't seem to grow very well.  I mulched around it regularly, but it just didn't want to grow.  It had been in the ground for 8 years, but very poor growth and hardly any fruit.  Four years ago I planted about 20 comfrey plants around it, starting at 2 feet from the trunk and then out past the drip line.  Very quickly, the comfrey filled-in and created a green moat around the little struggling tree.  Twice a year, I chop and drop all that biomass around the tree.  The first year, not much difference.  The second year, the comfrey had fully grown in around the tree and it started to look much better --- healthier leaves, more blossoms, and some significant growth with the branches jumping up about a foot.  Last summer, that tree took off and grew a couple of feet.  Without going to heroic lengths to pollinate (which you'd understand if you grew cherimoya), we had a dozen nice fruit on it.  This summer, it's grown about 3 feet thus far and probably will grow at least another foot or two before it drops its leaves in Feb.  Nothing changed in terms of my care for that tree other than the addition of the comfrey.  But the effect upon the soil around the tree is stunning --- black, crumbly, full of fat worms --- and there are about 30 ripening cherimoya hanging on the branches. "
https://permies.com/t/40/65490/Growing-Comfrey

Hope it helps you as well

M
2 weeks ago
One hack that worked for me is capturing the water run-off from our gutters with a banana half circle (the pipes before exited the ground on the downhill part of our property).

In case you don't know what a banana circle is:
https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/chapter-10-the-humid-tropics/banana-circle/

Below the run-off pipes, I dug a round hole, putting the soil in a half circle around the hole (as you would do with a straight swale) to keep more water in the hole. Fill the hole with pieces of wood (which I plan to use when creating new garden beds this year) which absorb the water and slowly release it to the plants/trees I planted on the berm around the hole. If it works out well, I am planning to build a series of half banana circles downhill as the overflow from the top banana half circle flows into the next and so on.

M


2 weeks ago
My biggest concern would be compaction of the current soil by adding new soil, suffocating the tree roots as they no longer can get oxygen. I would just add enough cardboard/paper to kill of the grass/moss and just enough wood chips/mulch to keep the cardboard/paper from flying away with the wind.

M
2 weeks ago