John Tietjen

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since Jan 08, 2019
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Recent posts by John Tietjen

Bryant,

Thanks for the informative thread and your diligence in collecting the data. I will be trying this next year on my farm. Too busy building a house now to do much gardening.  I would be interested in your opinion of laying our the double rows in my garden on contour since I have a bit of a slope.  Over time with successive years of bales would this become a modified swale system?  If I am following your method the previous years bales would be leveled to accommodate the new bales each year?  How many years do you think it would take for the native soil to convert to a non-bale system?  Here in Tennessee I have very similar soil. Due to the rocky soil tree planting and post hole digging is a challenge.

Thanking you in advance
1 month ago
Can't speak to it's quality but a 36" walk behind can't cut an acre in 1/2 hour.  That being said after a year or two your pastures shouldn't need a brush mower ( actually after the first year).  Not wanting to be negative but  I would hate for you to spend valuable money on something you might not need in a year or two.
2 months ago
From a cost perspective given your size and now I know your animals you intend, you might consider cattle.  Buy three steers that will set you back roughly $2000.00 and a custom fitted scythe. Work them a whole season. They will mow and fertilize your pastures and you can sell them at the end of the season for a profit.  They will improve your pasture better then a mower ever will and will make you money. Stack that up against a mower that will cost $3000.00 and will have to be fueled and maintained and will eventually break. As you can tell I have an aversion to machines if there is any other way around a problem.  They are an easy solution, just not always the best.

If you plan to keep hogs they can be quite destructive regardless of the breed.  They are great for tearing up undesirable plants,  brush and small trees.  But if you have decent pasture now it may be a step back letting them out to be destructive on decent land. My opinion.  They are woodland animals not really grazers.
2 months ago
A flail mower is pretty expensive for your size  if all you are doing is knocking down weeds.  If that is the only purpose for the machine I would think twice about making a purchase.  Not knowing what you  are grazing or how dense you are grazing them makes it a bit hard to make a recommendation.  But given the size I would not buy anything the first year. Put some money aside to pay to have it bushhogged if it gets away from you. (much cheaper then buying a machine.  I like Wayne's   idea of doing it by hand at least the first year. You will get a better feel for the weed cycle and walk the pasture more intentionally instead of buzzing over it with a mower and moving on.  
2 months ago
Andy,

Do you have cattle on your property currently? If you do you might want use them as much as possible it you are not using a drill.  Let them do some of the work.  Spread the seed on a section, stock them super tight and have them trample the seed into the ground. Seed anther section, move the cattle etc.  They will more seed into the ground for germination then if you just broadcast the seed.  It is an option.
2 months ago
I wonder if they are susceptible to the woolly aphid like my species.    
3 months ago
I am blessed (or cursed) with an abundance of hackberry trees on my farm.  Unfortunately they are quite susceptible to the wooly aphid and become quite messy when everything under them get covered in black sooty mold.  Not a threat to the tree but very messy.  What I was wondering is it possible to graft another tree that is not as susceptible to the wooly aphids and reduce the problems they cause.  It is a novel approach but I will not use chemicals and don;t want to cut them down if I don't have to...
Does anyone know of possible candidates for grafting onto them.

Thanks
3 months ago

Phil Stevens wrote:John - I cut lots of fuelwood around my place with a Silky hand saw. It sees year-round use for pruning, thinning, clearing deadfall, and general tree care. Pretty much everything the size of my arm and smaller gets cut by hand, and larger stuff is usually a coin toss until it reaches thigh diameter. That's when the chainsaw wins.



I second Phil's suggestion of the Silky saw. Just bought a Kantanaboy 500 recently. Amazing performance. Takes a bit to learn the technique since it is a pull saw and only cut on the pull stroke.
4 months ago
I wonder if planting tillage radishes would accomplish a similar result . Comfrey is great since it is a perennial.
4 months ago
Well if you really don't want to live there, you need to calculate how much you are willing to lose to make it happen so you can take your dream elsewhere. You will need to take an active hand in finding a buyer, a real estate agent will be of little help.
I was close to purchasing a similar property of the same reasons and timing, but I need the freedom to do what I wanted on my own property. I understand where you are coming from.
5 months ago