Leah Nam

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since Feb 11, 2020
Midwest USA zone 6
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Recent posts by Leah Nam

Update: the electric company has been clearing brush underneath the power lines and came and levels the majority of this the other day! We’re supposed to have good weather this week and we got a big load of cardboard dropped off yesterday!
9 months ago
Thanks. The cherries are planted in a prepared bed that I dug out 3 years ago and amended. It has excellent drainage and is on a hill, which is uphill from the black walnut trees. After doing a bunch of research I’ve decided to leave them here and see how they do. They didn’t show any signs of juglone poisoning last year other than the one tree just not growing as much as the other two. There’s a lot of conflicting info.. someone says all prunus species are tolerant, another says Nanking cherry specifically is sensitive.. going to have to do my own experimenting on this one.
9 months ago
Thanks so much for the suggestions! We’ve been going out every day that it’s nice enough and just walking all over the stuff trying to compress it down, will definitely try the barrel idea. I do luckily have access to as much cardboard as I could ever want. And some old carpet scraps so I will try those over the big stumps. Really appreciate everyone’s feedback!
9 months ago
So I’ve got about a half football field size portion of my back yard that has been a problem area for years. It is directly below a electrical wire (about 50 ft) so it has been allowed to grow and then cut back, burned, sprayed, etc over the years to keep the growth down. The entire area was burned I want to say more than 5 years ago, and 2 years ago it was cut down to the ground with a bob cat, so we’re looking at roughly 2 years of growth now. This year I’ve decided to finally tackle it so I can start converting this area into a garden.

I’ve been doing this manually, since I don’t want to further contaminate the soil with herbicides, and I’d rather not burn it. A lot annual weeds like ragweed, some wildflowers, grasses, pokeweed but there’s also a lot of vine honeysuckle, Amur bush honeysuckle, and poison ivy. I am trying to get as much as possible done before the ivy leafs out, because I’m extremely allergic. im essentially chopping and dropping everything that is currently growing here, I’m also spreading a lot of seeds in the process, so thinking that sheet mulching with a few thick layers of cardboard will be the next step after I get everything leveled.

I already know these weeds won’t die easily, so I’m wondering if anyone could advise me on the next steps, should I plant something immediately, since I won’t be using herbicides, to try to compete with the vines? Should I pile the whole area as tall as possible with mulch and compost and just start planting on top? Should I attempt to keep it clear for a season and plant in the fall? Anyone else convert a large overgrown area like this into usable garden space before?  

I will add a couple pics of the area in summer time as well as now.

9 months ago
Just wanted to introduce myself properly. My name is Leah. My husband, son and I live in a wooded area in Missouri (zone 6). We’re converting our big back yard into a food forest (where there are already mature black walnut, ash, hackberry, redbud and mulberry trees) and doing some creative edible landscaping in the front. Think cottage garden style in the front, food forest jungle in the back. We’re fighting weeds, erosion, clay soil, and soon city codes as we will be attempting to homestead within city limits. Long time reader, finally made my own account to join the conversation! Thanks for having me!
9 months ago
We are frugal gardeners and blessed to live in a forested area with plenty of trees that give a wonderful leaf mulch but one problem.. it always blows away. I have tried layering kindling and larger sticks over the leaf piles to weight them down but that only partially works.

I have had success putting chicken wire over the piles but I don’t have enough chicken wire for all my beds. Any other creative (and free) solutions? We have access to lots of leaves and sticks, compost is not ready yet, and our chip drop is pending.
9 months ago
After I prune my rose bushes or anything thorny I always put it on top of my compost pile to deter raccoons so I’m sure a similar concept could be used.
9 months ago
Hello all, I am new to the forums here and hoping someone with more experience can advise me. I moved onto my home about two years ago, and one of the challenges we are facing his juglone toxicity due to 4 large mature black walnut trees on the north and west sides of our property, and countless more in our neighbors yard.

I read somewhere that most Stone fruits like plums and cherries are tolerant to juglone so I went ahead and planted my 3 Nanking cherry bushes on the west side of our front yard. Not directly under any black walnut trees, but still less than 50 feet from any drip line. One of them has seemed stunted and I wasn’t sure why, until today when I ran across something saying that Nanking cherries are infact susceptible to juglone. And I imagine the juglone toxicity is pretty high seeing as there are so many mature trees here, 3 within 50 feet of my Nanking cherries.

So I’m thinking it would be best to relocate them to the other side of my yard, far away from any black walnut trees. They are still dormant, so I have time to move them but wanted to see if anyone had any advice. They did bloom and fruit last year without a problem, so is it really necessary? I also have daffodils planted around them that were planted in the fall and I’m afraid of disturbing them as well, and I’ve seen mixed opinions on whether or not daffodils are tolerant of juglone as well.

Any tips appreciated! TIA!

9 months ago