May Lotito

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since Jun 11, 2020
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Recent posts by May Lotito

Fencing materials go around the 200 sq ft so they are considered in the ghost area. But what about trellises? They are within the 200 sq ft so they must be no plastic and from ghost acre only? I'd like to use bamboo poles free from a friend's house as sticks I have are too thick to be pushed into the ground.
2 hours ago
I am in southwest Missouri zone 6b/7a and the bamboo rhizomes were from a local Craigslist seller living 10 miles away. The canes turn from green to yellow with irregular green stripes. Seller called it clumping but new shoots have been going outwards 4ft every year.

I looked up old photos and weather records.

The bamboo leaves died when temperature went near zero F (Feb 2023, Jan 2024.
In a warmer winter (2021-2022), the leaves stayed green the entire winter.
New shoots appeared in early April after periods of rain and were very susceptible to freezing temperature. One year only a few early shoots got killed and shoots emerged afterwards were ok (2021 april).
In a bad year, killing temperature came after all shoots were high up and starting to unfurl (2023 april). Subsequent growth turned out very weak.

18 hours ago
Thanks Jay, that's very helpful.  I did make the mistake of cutting the damaged culms down before new shoots emerged. The older culms would've provided some protection for late frost/freeze. There are piles of leaves underneath so the rhizomes are fine even at -17c but tender shoots are very vulnerable. I am wondering if the cold hardier ones also emerge a bit later in the season.
That spot is sitting on the lower corner of my property so I am digging a hole nearby to preserve some rain water and making the bamboos happy.
22 hours ago

paul wheaton wrote:

Plastic is discouraged but not forbidden.

Plus, that stuff is outside of the 200 square feet, right?  More like it is part of your "ghost acres".

Yes it will be outside of the growing area. I also wanted to keep track of water consumed. Despite the months of April and May, precipitation is less regular and less than 1" per week. We are in a long term drought and hopefully the situation will be relieved this year.

If 1 inch of water is supplemented per week for the 200 sq ft area, that equals to:
200/12×7.481 about 125 gallons or 4 trash cans full.

1 day ago
I bought some bamboo rhizomes 4 years ago and the seller told me it was the clumping type up to 25 ft tall. In 2022 the culms grew to 5-7 ft with 1/2 inch diameter. In 2023 due to late frost kill, regrown culms came down to 3-5 ft only. They are fine as privacy screens but I can't even use them for plant support.

I went to a friend's house since he got an established grove. His wasn't doing too good either. Basically all culms over 2 year old are dead and last year's canes are only half the height. The bamboos from the two locations are not related and I don't know what varieties we are having.  But maybe both are not cold hardy enough given the winter kill.

I have never pampered my bamboos: no watering, no fertilizing. Should I start doing somethingto help them grow better? How do you get your bamboos to móaturity size asap? Thanks.
1 day ago

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I remember reading something about Comfrey not being a dynamic accumulator.

The main arguments about comfrey NOT being a dynamic accumulator are: the NPK value is not super high at about 3-1-5; not always grow deep roots; heredeep roots are for drought resistance not nutrient uptake. Even if true, that doesn't mean comfrey isn't an amazing plant because one needs to take into account other factors. If in the right climate, comfrey can be harvested multiple times with little care as an perennial. In that case, it sure beats a hypothetical super plant with very high NPK but with low yield of total biomass per acre, easily gets out competed or needs to be replanted every year.

I got some comfrey starts last year. I am worrying about it out of control since I have chickens.
2 days ago
I mostly make my biochar in the fire pit made with recycled concrete blocks. It's about 3 ft in diameter but I can rearrange to change the size if necessary. I simply stack the feed stock vertically to 4- 4.5 ft tall and lit from the top. I mostly use materials less than 2" in diameter as I have other uses for bigger logs.
I quench the fire with water and pick out the unfinished pieces for next burn.
No equipment needed
Getting rid of small diameter stuffs that take up lots of room
Fast and clean burning
Little ash

Open fire may not be allowed in some other places
Highly depending on weather
Needs close supervision
Use lots of water
Not efficient if the feedstock size is uneven
3 days ago
I've been playing with dark matters and getting my hands dirty...
Do you need to shorten length? If so, I would keep the original hem so you don't need to buy specific Jeans thread for topstitching. Say if you need to shortern by 3 inches, cut the hems off with half an inch above the topstitch line. Remove 2 inches off the pant legs. For straight legged pants, there's no change in the circumference so just join the legs and hems back together with 0.5 inch seam allowance. Zigzag to finish the edge. Thread color doesn't matter since it's not showing, any regular sewing thread will work.
Here's a picture of my Jeans done the same way.
5 days ago
The phenology spring leaf map is showing over 20 days earlier than usual budding in the south now and the trend is going fast up north. My peach trees are budding already, and it can still go back to frezzing temperature in the next two months. Fingers crossed the fruit trees will have a crop this year.
5 days ago