Ezra Beaton

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since Nov 11, 2022
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homeschooling kids homestead
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Dad, Agrarian, Grower of things
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Pennsylvania, USA
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Recent posts by Ezra Beaton

Nancy Reading wrote:Sometimes the best answer is to do nothing.....

I suggest that you wait and observe. Watch for wasps and ladybird larvae to come and hoover them up - that'll boost the predator population and reduce the aphid burden next year.
If you have space, plant flowering plants like fennel and daisies to attract more beneficial insects like hoverflies. Their larvae also are great for aphid control and are also good pollinators for many flowers (so you get a better fruit crop too!)

Do nothing but also do all the things. Look up Integrated Pest Management and you will find that most control methods don't have anything to do with direct control. As already mentioned, have healthy plants (compost, manure, mulch, properly sized planting holes, proper watering first year), have healthy environment (plant diversity, ecosystem diversity, insect diversity), have insect habitat. Nature will control the aphids, but there is no need to completely get rid of them.

The Do Nothing part is important to all of this as well. I personally witnessed an aphid boom on some young peaches early in my gardening journey. 7 days later there was a fog of lacewings in the orchard massacring the aphids, followed by ladybugs, followed by bluebirds setting up residence. Over the course of 2 months, all of this came and went in a wave and left me with only peach leaf curl left to contend with (this I did need to control directly with milk and garlic spray for a couple years). The experience was a very in-my-face lesson on patience and observation. Other times in my journey I have Done Nothing and watched things fail, but learned valuable lessons in why and how in the meantime - sometimes a specific plant isn't supposed to be in a specific place and you just haven't figured out why yet.
I had always called it a 'pat' of butter, meaning a slice of a stick approximately 1/8"-1/4" thick. These days cooking family-sized meals it is usually just a quarter half or whole stick.

For dry ingredients I use shake, pinch, palmful, handful, fistful if accuracy isn't necessary.
2 weeks ago
Today I learned that I now need to positively identify what I had always called Grass Pink, because what I have in the fields definitely isn't this.
1 month ago
The design follows the goals probably. Although we can't begin to understand the beaver's reasons for doing it the way they do, I'm sure if one explained it to us it would make perfect sense. They are building habitat, we are utilizing a resource. Interesting comparison.
1 month ago
If you feel like the overwatering issue can't be solved due to both the natural and human element, maybe the texture of the mulching can play a role. Shaping and mounding the mulch to both shed water away from the tree readily while allowing enough rise for some soil above grade to be home to root tips. A wide volcano (rising sharply from trunk out, then gradually descending after peaking) with a broken edge on the downhill side to allow for drainage? This would disallow ponding around the tree while allowing for some above grade root sanctuary.
1 month ago
5 a day is pretty ambitious, wishing you willpower and good luck! I have set the bar at 1 per day for myself for the last couple years, and I have found the greatest benefit is mental health and mood improvement from the whole process. During growing seasons I would say I average 3-5 a day, but I don't ever want to force stress around gardening and foraging, I want it to remain an organic process. I'm sure my nutrition is better for it, but the most noticeable change is definitely intangible feelings. Have you found yourself 'feeling' better?
1 month ago

Daffodil, Wild Cherry, Field Mustard, Red Maple Samaras, Autumn Olive

Got to watch a tree sparrow teaching its young to fly at the daffodils this morning (nested in a gourd in the red maple above), while listening to the bluebirds sing. These arrangements are worth the time spent.
1 month ago
I can tell you that at that spacing this option will be close to as expensive as any other. If you space wider to cut costs, the deer will just happily climb through any wire fence that is 12" or more apart. Fencing deer out is an expensive venture no matter how you do it, and often the solution is to reduce the area being fenced and only plant the most at-risk things inside, while planting more deer resistant things outside the fence. I took the cheap road and used 7' t-posts and 6' chicken wire for a 1/2 acre garden - it took a few hits initially but eventually the deer stopped making attempts to get in after some obvious bad experiences (mangled fence and visibly seeing limping deer around the property). I would say this method has been 95% effective for 25% monetary cost, and visually it isn't terribly ugly - it's just about invisible from a few hundred yards away.
1 month ago
I seem to recall Yucca's have high-saponin roots.
2 months ago

Nancy Reading wrote:

Ezra Beaton wrote: Is there a way to adjust image size?

Yes. If you go back and edit your post, you can insert the image width inside the img square code brackets. like so:

I find a 450 width is nice for a landscape photo and 400 for a portrait. It may be best to make a thread in tinkering with this site to have a play with images, since there are people far more skilled in coding than I that may chip in and help.

Thanks for that Nancy, worked like a charm. More than enough coding for me for quite some time.
2 months ago