Daniel Ackerman

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since Oct 05, 2018
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Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Recent posts by Daniel Ackerman

Great to hear, thanks for the feedback!

1 month ago
My simple project that felt really good was to make a compost screen. I had some hardware cloth and a couple of spare 2x3 boards. Took about an hour, maybe less. It fits perfectly over the top of my wheelbarrow, and let me say, what a pleasure it is to spread the compost around now that it’s uniform.

1 month ago
Teşekkür ederim for the update. Bermuda grass makes sense there. Pebble is a little less fun to run around on. You might be able to get some low-growing yarrow to take in the lawn, along with some micro clover. They’re both drought resistant and when cut, form a nice low mat.

1 month ago
What an interesting thread!
I’m curious what you learned/ended up doing. Bodrum would be a hard place to grow a lawn without tons of irrigation, and water’s precious in that region.

1 month ago
You could also do a prairie planting. Switchgrass, bluestem, echinacea, rudbeckia, rattlesnake master, false indigo, joe pye….there’s tons of gorgeous native plants perfectly adapted for your climate that die back to the ground in the winter. A planned prairie/meadow, once established, really only needs to be maintained once a year, typically a mowing or bushwhacking at the end of winter. But you could also do that at the end of fall. It doesn’t provide as much habitat for critters that way, but we can’t let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.

There are a few decent books around about creating this kind planting.
Larry Weaner’s Gardening Revolution has a chapter about it.
James Golden’s View From Federal Twist discusses the techniques he used.

There are a number of others that I’d list (I have them on my bookshelf), but I’m sick on the couch. I see this thread is a few months old, but let me know if you’re interested and I can do another reply later on.

I’m interested in what you do, as my parents are in a similar situation. They have an awesome sledding hill, and they want to keep it mostly open, but as my father ages, he’s far less interested in driving his lawnmower up and down a steep and sometimes slippery grade. We have talked about establishing a meadow there. I’m in the analysis-paralysis part of the project, hahaha.

Good luck!
Hi all. I was wondering if anyone has any wisdom about using LED shop lights for starting seeds indoors, rather than fluorescents.

1 month ago
Hi all.  I wonder if anyone might have any ideas for a little conundrum I have.
Our property is small, under a third of an acre, with a house plopped right in the middle, and it’s mostly shade. Our back yard, east facing with trees to the east on the neighboring property, has had a trampoline in one spot for a number of years. I’ve just relocated it to a different spot for aesthetic reasons. Where it was hasn’t been walked on for years, and the soil has mostly just been covered by leaves that blew underneath. There’s nothing growing there other than a bit of creeping Charlie, but it has great tilth.
I plan over the course of this and next year to have a significant expansion in the number plants back there, essentially turning it into a woodland garden, with a mix of native ornamental and edible plants. However, it’ll take time.
Does anyone have any suggestions for an easy cover crop I could throw down come spring to
A: stop undesired plants from colonizing the area
B: signal to young humans not to walk in here?

I was thinking maybe northern sea oats?
I’m in eastern Pennsylvania, USA. Zone 6 B. Bright but almost full shade.
1 month ago
Nice. It'll be there for months!
3 months ago
IF spreading is in fact the issue, you're not alone in this problem. The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul suffered the same issue on its main dome (resulting in several collapses over the centuries), and the solution here is probably similar. There, they wrapped a massive chain around the base of the dome that holds the bottom circumference in tension, so the bottom can't spread, preventing collapse. If you manage to ratchet strap it back into shape re: Ted's suggestion, you could then wrap a rope or chain around the bottom to keep it in place.

3 months ago
This is great! I think I know what's going on here. A while back, I read a geoscience paper about those stone arches that form out of sandstone in the american southwest, and what the mechanism is behind them. Basically what happens is that the wind scours certain areas of vertical faces of stone, and as they wear away, the stone crystals directly above the worn areas are put under stress and begin to compact. This compaction actually makes them harder and more resilient to wear. Over time, the center is hollowed out below that initial compaction point and a natural arch forms.

I suspect something similar has happened here. The snowman started to slowly lean over, which put the snow crystals on the downward side under compaction, probably at just the right moment in the freeze/thaw cycle. So when it hardened up overnight, a strong arch of ice was formed. And the base is not only heavy but frozen to the ground to a sufficient degree to hold the whole thing more or less in place.

All in all, it's really cool! Thanks for sharing.

3 months ago