May Lotito

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since Jun 11, 2020
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Recent posts by May Lotito

Skyler Weber wrote:Double digging would also require huge amounts of labor and is an unsustainable solution as it expends the soil carbon and is the equivalent of plowing.



The resources from the ghost acre will be critical for the project. If you already have overwintered cover crops, they can be mixed in the soil to decompose, aerating the soil and adding both carbon and nitrogen for the subsequent crops. Leaves gathered from ghost acre can be spread on top to reduce moisture lost and soil erosion. If you have subchoke tubers, they will provide lots of biomass to supplement the nutritional need of the experimental garden.

Poor soil has a very fragile ecosystem and it can turn dead and eroded, worse than it is started with if it is not managed properly.

22 hours ago
Before synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is available, pond muck had been one important source of nitrogen for agriculture, besides manure/humanure and biological N fixation. Just drain, sun dry and break it up in to small clots. Pond muck is likely to have a low pH due to the accumulation of organic acids under anaerobic conditions. Mix with lime to adjust pH if needed.
2 days ago
I will probably do the non-gamcod gamcod. My climate qualifies and the soil is poor enough with <2% OM. I will be able to 100% free range the chickens for manure when it warms up. But I can't do without my 32 gal plastic trash cans. They will be used for rain harvesting, fermentation and making liquid fertilizer. It's a lot more work to substitute one big can with 10 small stainless steel pots.
2 days ago

In 2023 the apple tree grew vigorously and produced lots of spurs on second year wood. Does it look like the tree is going to bloom for the first time the coming spring? If so I plan on buying another apple tree in bloom from the store for cross pollination.
1 week ago
In my rural neighborhood, a lawn is just mixture of all kinds of native species that endure repetitive cutting.  If we don't mow, trees will take over: red cedar, mulberry, oak, redbud, hornbeam, just a name a few. Young saplings are easier to kill with the mower. Otherwise, if we delay mowing for certain period of time, we will have to rent a bush hog instead.
1 week ago

Alina Green wrote:

If you can grow only one thing, I vote for herbs, because you don't need much, they change the flavor of your dishes tremendously, and they are generally quite easy to grow.  You can also drink iced or hot tea from them, too, and most have medicinal properties as well.  Plus you usually get fragrance, too, which can be very appreciated in a closed-up house with cold, bleak weather outside...I imagine, anyway!



I vote for basil too, and they come in many different flavors.  Another choice is stevia, only a few leaves will sweeten up your tea!
2 weeks ago
The dracaena doesn't seem to be vigorous in the first place as a 7year old. With the widespread yellowing and browning, which is not reversible, I am wondering if there is root rot going on to eventually spread to the stem. If it was my plant, I would take drastic measures and cut the top off to root a new plant. The bottom stem with some leaves remaining will grow new bud if there's nothing wrong with the roots.
2 weeks ago
Pictures of wildflowers by the country roads from last year.
2 weeks ago
Plants burning and soft growth indicate that the compost is too rich in nitrogen. But before you make other changes, can you tell us some more details? For example, how does the compost look like? Is it still coarse in texture? Do you plant straight in it? Sometimes if the lignocellulose is not broken down enough and the product has too much air space, plant roots can dry up quickly in a hot or windy day. And the wilting may be confused with fertilizer burn.
2 weeks ago
Recently I want to make some compost out of a pile of oak leaves so I started by putting high nitrogen stuff in a 32 Gallon trash can filled with water, mostly fresh chicken poop and food scraps. I dumped char in there and stirred around. In a couple days I scooped it out to drain and returned the liquid to the can. I chopped the leaves down with an electric mower and wetted the chopped leaves down with the high N liquid. I built a pile with those moist leaves and charged biochar of roughly 7:1 v/v. It's only been 32 hours and the pile is already heating up ( 8 inches down from the top measured 118 F or 48 C, center should be hotter). I am not sure to what extend the biochar helps with aeration and microbe inoculation, but hot composting is sure to fire this way.
2 weeks ago