David Binner

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since Mar 09, 2020
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Recent posts by David Binner

I've got small weeds growing in the back yard and never bothered to find out what they are.
It's time to correct that.

The "Seek" app on my phone says it is

Family: Stonecrop

but cannot resolve it further (i.e., to species).

Somebody mentioned it might be Purslane.

Another weed that looks similar came up as "Thyme-leaved Speedwell".

So here I am asking for assistance. See attached photo.

Assuming it is either Stonecrop or Purslane, how do you tell the difference?
1 day ago
I don't mind dandelions and have let them grow pretty much wherever they sprout. I like the fact their roots go deep and break up hard soil, and they grow where many other plants won't.

However, there is a section of the back yard where they are getting out of control.

I am now wondering, what is the easiest method to clear out this plot?
(Other plants are now planned for that area. )

If I keep the plants mowed to the ground, I suppose that would prevent them from flowering and make the job of weeding easier next year. Would it kill the plants too? Or do they regrow?

I am wondering if they behave in any way like Comfrey, which regrows from pieces of root.

Or do dandelion plants have to be pulled up by the root?
If so, how much of the root has to be dug up to kill the plant?

1 week ago
The summer of 2022 was not good for walnut seeds.

But Butternut trees are supposed to alternate good years and bad years.
Nobody seemed to have Butternut seeds for sale in 2022, so I assume that was a bad year.
Hopefully, 2023 is a good year.

To Canadians who may be reading this thread:
Incredible Seeds (IS), in Nova Scotia, sells Butternut seeds--but they only ship within Canada.
Also, a caveat, they do not guarantee the purity of their plants, or even know the exact variety. They get their Butternut seeds from wild trees growing in the local forest. They may be hybrids. And if you buy seeds from IS, and get them genetically tested to confirm they are 100% Butternuts, in future years IS may not pick seeds from the exact same spot in the forest. Bottom line: there is no consistency and you do not know what you are getting.

James, are there no local trees from which you can collect seeds?
You wouldn't know for sure if they are hybrids, but I don't know important purity  is to you.
2 weeks ago
A couple young cedar trees were blown over in heavy winds recently.

They have since been cut up.

I am now wondering, if I shred the green parts of these trees (not the woody parts), are there any plants that do not like cedar mulch?

I have read that blueberries do not like cedar bark mulch, so am not planning to use this material around blueberries. (Although, it wouldn't really be bark mulch that I'd be using.)

So . . . once I shred the leaves/needles/green parts, are there any plants that would not like this material?
2 weeks ago
On the topic of hay bales, anybody in these forums have a rough idea how the insulation properties of hay bales compare to commercial insulation products?

My dad used square bales to act as insulation against the inside wall of a well house, to prevent the water pump from freezing in the cold of winter. (These are the small bales, 60 - 80 lb square bales, not the bigger 300 lb square bales that have become popular in recent years.) He just built up a wall of bales against the exterior wall. I am now wondering if I should replace those bales with styrofoam pink or white, products that are actually intended for the purpose of insulating a building.

If I replace these square bales with, say, six inches of soft styrofoam pink, would I be increasing or decreasing the insulation level of the well house?
2 months ago

Abe Coley wrote:
Yeah they have really narrow grey/silver leaves, unlike canadensis leaves which are wider and green. If you want me to be super double extra sure, i can get some from a labeled tree at the arboretum at our local college.

I can just load you up a regular envelope, no charge

I just sent you a Purple Mooseage.
8 months ago
I have had Chestnut honey (from Italy) and didn't care for it. It definitely has a stronger taste than, say, wildflower or Acacia honey.
Acacia honey is delicious and is one of my favorites, as well as Fireweed honey.

So . . . bees will forage on Chestnut trees and make honey from them, but I do not know if it is one of their favorites, or where it sits on their hierarchy of food sources in terms of quantity.
8 months ago
I enjoy starting Walnut trees from seed, and Walnuts tend to have roots that go deep fast but don't spread out as fast. So I was looking for pots that are deep but without a large diameter; otherwise, each pot uses more soil than necessary and takes up more room when transporting the trees to permanent homes.

I did not find such pots locally, but was referred to a supplier in Oregon:

Steuwe & Sons (https://stuewe.com/)

They have a large variety of pots specifically for trees.
For example, 6" diameter x 12" deep, or 6" diameter x 18" deep.

If you are planning to keep the trees in pots for two years, the 18" deep pots might be better; otherwise, there is not a big difference in price between them and the 12" pots.

However, the cost of shipping can be surprisingly high, especially depending where you live.
Often higher than the cost of the pots themselves, so they recommend ordering at least 20 pots at a time.
Also, they ship by UPS, so if you are not within the US, there will also be a brokerage charge, plus taxes and duties on the brokerage service. Ouch! So, think long-term and, if you order, order a quantity once so you never have to re-order.
8 months ago

Abe Coley wrote:I can get you some seeds, they are native to my area and I know where a bunch of them are.

I am always interested in more seeds, for the sake of genetic diversity, but I like to be sure they are Silver Buffalo Berry (Shepherdia argentea). I am anal about documenting all the plants that go in the yard. Are those plants silver?

Also, I live in Canada; shipping and payment might be a hassle. I suppose a handful of seeds sent by regular letter mail wouldn't raise any eyebrows in Canada Post, but what about payment?
8 months ago
I am just getting into Buffalo Berries this year. I started some seeds, and ordered some year-old plants.
So I have some genetic variety, and different ages. (Hopefully, that mix also includes both male and female plants.)

I came looking for additional information about Buffalo Berry plants, and came across this thread.

Specifically, do these plants thrive within the drip-line of Pine and Spruce trees?
Many plants do not like the sticky wax that gets washed off Spruce and Pine trees; the ground around these trees is usually bare.
However, I've read that Buffalo Berry plants are often used as a wind break and can be planted right beside Pine and Spruce.
If that's the case, I have the perfect spot for them: on the south side of some 40-year old Pine and Spruce trees whose lower branches have died off already.

Can anybody in these forums confirm one way or the other?
Will Buffalo Berry plants live under Pine and Spruce trees?

8 months ago