Travis Campbell

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since Feb 25, 2019
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Recent posts by Travis Campbell

I'm interested in building soil in a very large plot where i will alternate between cool and warm season cover crops. I plan on broadcasting the summer mix into the standing cool season mix in early summer then crimp down the cool season mix on top of the seed. My problem however is that I am having trouble coming up with a diverse summer mix for my area. I live in a higher elevation area with cool dry summers. I've experimented with some species that are supposed to be very drought tolerant like sorghum, lablab and cowpeas, but these did not do well at all and I think it is because they require hot weather which we just don't get too much of here. I also tried sunflowers and buckwheat which both did very well here so they will be included in this years mix. I'm just wondering what are some other summer annual cover crops that I could add to my mix that would do well in my area.  I'd like to have several forbs, grasses and legumes if possible and I'm willing to experiment so any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
1 month ago
I would like to try an experiment by adding blackberry, raspberry and black raspberry seeds into a seed mix to revegetate a waste area that is mostly bare dirt. I will be adding other seeds as well such as annuals, perennials and possibly other shrub and maybe even some tree seeds. But i was curious if anyone has ever had success by just broadcasting or throwing seeds down from the Rubus genus onto bare ground and getting good germination and some berry production within a few years.

Also I'd like to know the process for germinating these seeds. Most sources I've read say they need cold stratification for a few months but some say you should do this by storing them dry while others say to store them damp like in a slightly moist paper towel. I'm curious which method produces the best germination.
1 month ago
In nature, blackberries and brambles usually exist as the middle point in the transition of a meadow to a forest. They outcompete grass and other herbaceous plants and will only be outcompeted by something that can grow above them and shade them out. For young trees they can act as nurse plants to help protect them from deer and other herbivores because of the sharp thorns, basically acting as nature's deer fence. With this in mind I would plant several young trees amongst the blackberry canes that can grow up trough and over top the blackberry foliage, eventually shading them out. You might try planting several different types of fast growing trees with close spacing in case some don't compete well and die off. I would choose trees known for dense shade that way they can completely cut off the sunlight to the blackberries. This is how nature would do it and is a relatively easy solution, but obviously it does take some time.

The only other good option would be to use pigs to dig up the roots or maybe goats to continuously eat back the new growth as the roots resprout, eventually draining the roots of their energy and killing the canes. Continuously mowing or weed-whacking the area could work as well with the same principle in mind.
1 month ago
Here are some pics of my experiment.










8 months ago
I have some areas of my homestead that are pretty much overtaken by the invasive weed yellowstar thistle. It is a nasty thorny plant up to 5 feet tall that makes it very painful to walk through my property and it does not have much value other than being a good honey plant. Anyways for now I want to reduce it's prevalence on my 7 acres and would rather have any other weed growing than it so I'm trying to come up with a cost effective and permaculture way to reduce it.  Most people in my area reccomend spraying it , which is the last thing I'd want to do. Two options I've thought about are just weedwhacking it and I've tried that, but it is back breaking since it covers such a large area. I've also thought about getting goats someday to help control it, but that is out of the picture for now. So I've been reading about how people use cover crops as mulch for their crops and that they terminate them by crimping them. It seems that with most annuals if you can crimp them right as they start to flower they won't have enough energy left in their roots to resprout and go to seed and they end up dying. Since yellowstar thistle is a winter annual weed I decided to experiment and try crimping it just as the flowers are starting to open. Based on what I've read about mowing it, if you do it too early it will resprout and grow more flowers, and if you wait too late some of the flowers will have already been pollinated and the seed will mature and be viable for the next season to sprout and grow a whole new generation. Since this timing works for mowing I decided to try it for crimping as well. So today that's what I did. I did not have any kind of crimper so I used a flathead shovel and if it is a success then I will probably build myself a manual crimper out of metal bar, a 2x4 and rope like some others I have seen.  But hopefully it works and I will post here with some updates. I'll also post some pictures to document the experiment.  
8 months ago
You might want to try growing lablab. It's an annual warm season vining legume that does really well with hot dry weather. It can help by adding lots of biomass and nitrogen to the soil. It also is great food for wildlife like deer and is a common species used by hunters to plant food plots to attract game among other uses.
10 months ago
Has anyone else actually ever grown sainfoin?  And what method did you use to establish it?
1 year ago
I'm interested in establishing some Sainfoin for forage this spring on my property.  I was wondering if anyone has heard of or tried to plant it by "frost seeding" it. That is broadcast seeding it in the winter when the ground is going through freezing and thawing cycles to incorporate the seed into the ground. If not what are the best ways to establish it without using a tractor or other large equipment? Thanks.
1 year ago
Thanks for the info.  I believe my property is probably too dry for Chufa based on what I've read, but I may be able to grow it around the edges of a pond.

I am familiar with Craig Harper and have bought his book on early succsessional habitats. He is a great resource.

I do have quite a few turkeys in my area so this is some really helpful info thanks.
1 year ago
In this blog post I detail a large selection of plant species that one could plant to create a highly diverse and resilient "food plot" or what I call a Wild Game Meadow to provide great year round forage for game animals. These plant species are mainly geared towards the climate of the northern rocky mountain region with cold wet snowy winters and hot dry summers, however many of these plants would do very well in other regions as well. I'm always open to suggestions so if there is another plant that you think would fit into my list or just a general comment, question or insight let me know. I'm all ears.


https://hunterseden.blogspot.com/2019/12/potential-plant-species-for-my-wild.html?m=1
1 year ago