Lauren Ritz

+ Follow
since Aug 18, 2018
Utah
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
24
In last 30 days
6
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
121
Received in last 30 days
45
Total given
30
Given in last 30 days
5
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Lauren Ritz

Pearl Sutton wrote:I'm a dumpster diver/recycler type. The bottles you have water in are going to sun damage fast in your climate. If you don't want the floor wet by them when they leak, make arrangements for where the water will go. I really wish they made those out of better plastic for those of us who reuse them, they don't, so mitigate the damage that they might cause. That thread of mine above had a suggestion to put the small thermal masses right by the plants, that may be a useful thought for you too. I'm using Folger's coffee cans for my smaller thermal masses, they are tougher plastic and stack well.

Lovely work! Looks beautiful!! Keep us posted on how it does this winter :)



Somehow I missed this comment.

There is a 1.5 ft overhang on the back of the greenhouse roof, which theoretically puts the water far enough from the wall, but that is something I'm keeping an eye on. The back wall is block, filled with cement. It's actually significantly warmer toward the back wall than the front.

I check the bottles about every week and any that start to show leaks are replaced. Those that are leaking go by the plants for additional water and then I cut the bottoms off and store them for plant covers in the spring. Some of the plants have bottles around them for extra protection and a few (I'm attempting to over-winter sweet potato) have a cloche.

Temperatures are ranging lower this year than last, which I think is primarily due to lower temperatures outside and more overcast days, but interior temperatures are still staying above freezing the majority of the time. Based on the existing data, I'm seeing a possible March 1st last frost date inside the greenhouse. Soil temperatures are apparently staying at least ten degrees above the air temp, because some of the seeds I put down are sprouting (cilantro, which is supposed to sprout when soil temps are between 45 and 50 degrees). The lowest temperature measured in the greenhouse to this point (20 F when the outside temp was 4) puts it in approximately zone 8.
1 day ago
I may be wrong, but I think part of the dichotomy between "wood chippers" and non wood chippers is the ready availability of compostable biomass. If kept to just what you have on your own property, permaculture would largely be limited to those with a large enough property to have excess biomass and a climate capable of breaking it down. I have neither. I live on 1/3 of an acre in an urban desert subdivision. I collect leaves each fall from neighbors and any time I see a pile of bagged leaves. I get wood chips when I can. If not for outside sources I would still be sitting on a pile of sand and rock where nothing could grow. In order to have biomass, something has to be alive, either in or on top of the soil. In my climate it takes years for wood to break down. I tried hugelculture a number of times, both above and below the soil, and even with constant irrigation all I got for my efforts was a bunch of logs that sucked in all the water and left the soil around bone dry.

In some circumstances biomass must be either brought from outside, or cultivated over a period of years. I would rather not work fifteen or twenty years for soil I can actually use. If I can get biomass from outside, I'm going to. Even better if that biomass is something that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
2 days ago

Jondo Almondo wrote:I'm envious of great big piles of woodchips, but it seems like cheating to just import masses of organic matter from another site to improve your own. Not to mention the energy intensive chipping and all the nitrogen lost to the atmosphere in the process. Sure its a waste product, but its also ecological madness and very inefficient.



If I can improve my soil with something someone else would have thrown away, and save them money in the process, where's the madness and inefficiency? I should think it's far more "inefficient" to have all that mass end up in a landfill, at a high cost to the tree service, and still have all the nitrogen loss, chipping, gas use, etc. Those things are generally done on site, long before the load would be delivered to the landfill.
3 days ago
I am right on the edge of hardiness zones 5b and 6a, with around 12 inches of precipitation per year.

Grapes grow well (of course, depending on variety) with no summer irrigation after they're established. I've never tried to establish one without irrigation, so no experience there. The two varieties I have are Concord and Interlaken.

The almond does well with once a week deep watering. I'm going to try watering every other week this year and see what happens. I'm also growing some almonds from seed this year that should be able to adjust to their environment more easily.

Our old plum, grown on its own roots, is 40+ years old and still going strong. It gets watered deeply once a week when the fruit is on and otherwise fends for itself. The new plum, a grafted plum we purchased, struggles. Both were infested with aphids last year. The new plum struggled. The old one shook it off without a problem. I was told the old plum is a Stanley, but it's probably a seedling from a Stanley.

Peaches do well with the winters and the heat, but this is my first batch with low water so I don't know how they'll adapt yet. Apricots ditto. I've been trying to get serviceberries established but they seem to be little more than gopher bait. When one really starts growing, the gophers are right there to eat the treat I've set out for them. Rather like hostas, that way. I'm starting pears and apples from seed so I have no idea on those yet. But the pear seeds came from my sister's property a few miles away and she doesn't water them. The apple seeds came from a neighbor's yard, ditto.

I know of people who have cherry trees but I don't have any experience with them myself.

Currants grow well and spread (albeit slowly) so I have hopes for gooseberry. Goji is a weed. A yucky weed. Raspberries and blackberries don't thrive, although I have both. There's a local bramble, black-cap, that I may be able to acquire. It will probably do better than either of the others. There is also a local serviceberry (utahensis) and elderberries grow up the canyons.

I'm going to put this same information in Dry Climate Hardiness Zone 6, since I could be in either.
5 days ago
I am right on the edge of hardiness zones 5b and 6a, with around 12 inches of precipitation per year.

Grapes grow well (of course, depending on variety) with no summer irrigation after they're established. I've never tried to establish one without irrigation, so no experience there. The two varieties I have are Concord and Interlaken.

The almond does well with once a week deep watering. I'm going to try watering every other week this year and see what happens. I'm also growing some almonds from seed this year that should be able to adjust to their environment more easily.

Our old plum, grown on its own roots, is 40+ years old and still going strong. It gets watered deeply once a week when the fruit is on and otherwise fends for itself. The new plum, a grafted plum we purchased, struggles. Both were infested with aphids last year. The new plum struggled. The old one shook it off without a problem. I was told the old plum is a Stanley, but it's probably a seedling from a Stanley.

Peaches do well with the winters and the heat, but this is my first batch with low water so I don't know how they'll adapt yet. Apricots ditto. I've been trying to get serviceberries established but they seem to be little more than gopher bait. When one really starts growing, the gophers are right there to eat the treat I've set out for them. Rather like hostas, that way. I'm starting pears and apples from seed so I have no idea on those yet. But the pear seeds came from my sister's property a few miles away and she doesn't water them. The apple seeds came from a neighbor's yard, ditto.

I know of people who have cherry trees but I don't have any experience with them myself.

Currants grow well and spread (albeit slowly) so I have hopes for gooseberry. Goji is a weed. A yucky weed. Raspberries and blackberries don't thrive, although I have both. There's a local bramble, black-cap, that I may be able to acquire. It will probably do better than either of the others. There is also a local serviceberry (utahensis) and elderberries grow up the canyons.

I'm going to put this same information in Dry Climate Hardiness Zone 5, since I could be in either.
5 days ago
Maybe consider doing some research into why trees break dormancy? My understanding was that it is primarily day length dependent, but I wonder if rootstock incompatability or other criteria are having an effect? You may have rootstocks (or scions) that are bred to break dormancy early. You may also have trees that require a shorter chill period responding to the warmer temperatures as they are naturally inclined to do.

The fall pattern is more difficult to work with, although I suspect that to some extent it's the same problem in reverse. Dormancy is primarily day-length dependent rather than temperature dependent, although temperatures do have an effect. I wonder if the tree varieties you've selected naturally work well in a warmer environment? Siberian elm in particular is known for winterkill, early dormancy break and a short chill period.

I am on the edge of zone 6a / 5b and almonds grow here with no problems (although our local colleges don't seem to think so). I was thinking of pistachios, but more research is needed. They are a desert tree that apparently thrives with high summer temperatures and little water. Grapes do great here with no water during the summer once established.
1 week ago
How long have you had these plants? I'm not really sure what's causing it, but my plants do this every year, usually when they transition from indoor to outdoor in the spring. It could be a bunch of different micro-nutrients as well as nitrogen, so take a look at this pdf. http://landresources.montana.edu/nm/documents/NM9.pdf This is my standard go-to for plant nutrient deficiencies. I've also attached two pdf files that have charts for various deficiencies. Hopefully one or all of these resources will help.
1 week ago

Mike Jay wrote:That's where the PEL program could take over.  Or the PEM program.  That is, Lauren's version or Mike's version.  Lauren's might be specifically for conditions in her area of Utah.  Mine might be a really good program for cold forested areas.  Mine wouldn't have any excavator use in it (since I don't have one) but it might focus more on things like cordwood construction, foraging, maple syrup, etc.



My point is that there are many people in other environments who could easily use PEP with just a few minor wording changes. Several have said this is good for them who are in very different environments, which tells me that the list and structure WORKS for a large number of people. Without changing any part of the intent, this could reach a much broader base. By changing "within 500 feet" to "on the property" it is opened up to people who have much larger properties while maintaining the intent of not using imported materials.

My own structure would probably be PESD (Permaculture Experience Small scale Desert) rather than PEL, just because people are going to look at the L and say "who's that?" And for those who read aloud, PESD might make someone laugh.
1 week ago

William Schlegel wrote:"all of this is completed without imports (except seeds) from more than 500 feet away" Here is a quote from the second badge level. To do the second badge level with this requirement on my current property I would need to plant some poplars where I plan to do a future Hugel and wait! Or do it somewhere else.



I've seen this concern a number of times in the comments. I think it could be easily qualified by saying "from more than 500 feet away from the property." That puts all resources from your OWN property (or property you manage) within range.
1 week ago
Good ideas. I'm not too concerned about code enforcement--if I do it right I can create the habitat without making it look over-run or weedy. A matter of plant choice and placement. Future years will be more difficult as everything naturalizes, but I think it can still be done. The quail currently use the fence lines and I'll be putting in a bunch of flowering plants and bushes in the spring. Originally planned as a pollinator garden, if I shift the plan just a little I should be able to create a covered "forage lane" for the birds. Also known as a "landscape strip" along the fence where they already travel. I'll have to think about the right plants. Farther up into the yard will be easier, where it's out of sight of the road.
1 week ago