Daniel Ackerman

pollinator
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since Oct 05, 2018
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cat urban cooking bike writing
Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Recent posts by Daniel Ackerman

Thanks, fellas. That’s good information.

My neighbors have a strawberry patch that was put in about 15-20 years ago, with no new genetics. They’ve periodically reconfigured it. They said that this year was the first time where they started to think that maybe they could do with some new plants. Maybe there is a maximum life on a plant and its clones.

They’re getting a bunch of my runner plants that have rooted in my wood chip path/swale, which I’m clearing out to replace the wood chips. They’ve broken down into lovely dark earth.

D
1 month ago
I love this site. I literally just logged in to ask pretty much this same question, and it was right there on top.

A follow up, then. When the original plants start to lose vigor, will we notice, or do they need to be identified and rooted out?

Thanks!
Daniel
1 month ago
I lost an entire garden bed this way. It was voles. They started at one end of the bed and ate the roots of two plants/night. After about a week, every last thing was dead.

FYI and slightly off-topic , for keeping vine borers out of my plants, I’ve started wrapping orthopedic veterinary tape around the bases of the stems of my various squash, cukes, etc. They keep them from laying their eggs in the stems. It’s stretchy, so doesn’t cut off the plant’s circulation. Works a treat!

-Daniel
Scott, how did it go this past winter? I also tried to overwinter peppers this winter, but failed to water sufficiently, so they died. The problem with an out of the way place in the house is that sometimes one forgets about what is there.

At zone 7, you might, juuuust might be able to trim them back and overwinter under a cloche. Maybe have a second one to go over the first if there’s a severe cold snap. You could put a big black rock or two in there for thermal mass. There’s also something that’s marketed for tomatoes that’s similar….I can’t remember the name, but they are water-filled bladders of some sort.

D
3 months ago
We don’t have anything like your scale, but I’ve found red clover to be a good neighbor in a lot of my beds. Ours is a front-yard urban garden, so we are pretty deliberate. When the red clover gets in the way, we just hack it back and drop it wherever is suitable. Scything would work on a larger scale. It does get quite tall, sometimes 3 feet.

But the blooms are huge and plentiful, and if you can manage to leave some, they make absolutely fantastic fritters. Sweet, floral, and high in protein. My 6 year olds think they’re just the best, and I’m inclined to agree.

-Daniel
4 months ago
Heh heh. I (kinda) wish they broke them while coloring and drawing. No, it’s more like they drop them and step on them when getting out of the chair. Or shoving them in boxes. I probably need to figure out how to train them to take better care of their supplies. Our neighbor, who is an art teacher, trained her little ones to take care of their stuff by making them sign contracts. It’s a bit much for me, but she says it works.
4 months ago
Great ideas, everyone. I’ll definitely skip the compost,  probably make a few (dozen) fire starters. And send the rest for recycling, if I can convince the children to sort by color. Catch a kindergartner in the right mood, and all things are possible.

D
4 months ago
I love this thread, and I loved it three years ago when I first saw it. It was an inspiration for us to design our yard as what we describe as a bunch of attractive nuisances.  The neighborhood kids can’t get enough of it. And your image of a fallen tree as a balance beam has just given me some ideas.  

Thank you!
D
4 months ago

Glenn Herbert wrote:It looks like there is a lot of decayed mortar or debris under/around that loose rock, so I think pulling it out and thoroughly cleaning the bed before resetting it in lime mortar would be the best way to go. If it was in the middle of a tall wall I would be concerned about touching it, but it has only a couple of stones above it and you are not risking any collapse.



As an old house (with a stone foundation) owner and casual stone wall builder who as spent a lot of time reading about this subject, I’m 100% in agreement here. It’s even possible to pull large single stones out of a well-built wall to reset their mortar without causing collapse. But be careful!!

D
4 months ago
I feel a bit silly posting this, but what do people think about composting busted crayons? I have 6 year old twins in online kindergarten, and let me tell you, we are using and breaking crayons like it’s going out of style. The waste is terrible, but I don’t see any sanity-inducing way to get the littles to treat crayons more carefully.

I’ve accumulated probably a gallon or two of crayon bits. Normally, this isn’t the sort of waste I would expect to be compostable, but I was thinking that Crayola (the only sort of crayons we use) claims that its crayons are 100% non-toxic and safe enough for a child to ingest. So…..why wouldn’t we be able to put them in the compost when they have reached the end of their useful lives? Surely there’s something living in there that can break down the wax. Interested to hear people’s thoughts.

Daniel
4 months ago