Jeff Hodgins

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since Mar 29, 2011
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Recent posts by Jeff Hodgins

The Phytosphere is so important to climate because it slows the wind speed and the high surface area of plants act as radiators therefore moderating surface temps by a few degrees or less.
10 months ago
The Acanthus I planted got eaten by grasshoppers like almost everything else. At least grasshoppers don't eat people. I'd like to see what toxins are in this plant before I feed it to my animals. some things can be boiled if you have free wood.
10 months ago
Mature avocados are quite hardy and so are loquats they don't die but they lose shoots leaves and fruit. Some true tropicals that die here(Puebla) are Chirimoya, coffee, guava, zapotes (white zapote survive frost and dry), passion fruit need to be protected very well, pomegranate (I guess their not russian ones), citrus can handle a good frost but the frost we had 2 weeks ago killed branches over a foot long.  
10 months ago
Tanks are filling up again for the second time this dry season. It rained nov 18 or so and I used most of it.  It rained last night and tonight probably and it says strong rain     50mm-75mm. I'm hoping that much rain will completely refill all the tanks to overflow. A wetter winter than normal this year. good summer rains too in 2017.
10 months ago
Yes. On the sloped tanks I could have put plastic. On the vertical walled tank I tried to put plastic but it got washed in and buried with clay before the concrete was in. The concrete in tank #2 is not finished because it got sediment like 2 feet deep on top of it before it was sealed.
10 months ago
pop bottles 20% full of water get warm. Nopal Cactus is a passive solar air warmer at night. I want to do some earth work on the big farm, deep wide pits with steep walls, narrow trenches. the soil is an air heater with steep soil walls around new tropicals. I might put plastic on the narrow trenches because I can make a nice row of trees with a narrow strip of plastic. I'm also concentrating my efforts with tropicals on areas near the water source. Got no pump yet all buckets. There are plenty of crops that will do great on the high dry half of the land (although pears and apples don't have much cash value locally).
10 months ago
OMG! The Ice age has begun -5 in puebla all lemons look like they might die, some dead already. I think I need to find a new grass crop too, something less tropical. In fact I'm going to shift all my efforts toward the cold hardy crops. At least I still have hope for raspberries as my cash crop. Nopal cactus can handle -8 or so, hope it never gets that low.
10 months ago
I just got back from just over a month in Puebla. unfortunately we had hard frost that killed almost all the passionfruit. But I was able to observe that the frost on the big farm is less severe than the frost at the house. The figs on the big farm still have leaves and I watered them all well. I planted a lemon in a hole 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep and it was not damaged by frost at all, the lemons in smaller holes were damaged slightly. The raspberries did not get damaged by frost at all but they were devastated by grasshoppers and japanese beetles. I noticed that loquats took no damage from the frost and the grasshoppers only eat the tender leaves and leave the mature leaves alone. Loquats also resist drought because of fine hairs or powder on the under side of the leaf. In general plants with furry leaves like that are more drought tolerant, there is short furry grass that grows in the dry season. so if your looking for drought tolerant plants fur or powdery substance is an indicator of a xerophyte. Out of all the trees I grow I have found that palms figs and zapotes are the only fruit trees left totally untouched by grasshoppers. The trees they like most seem to be apples but once a tree is tall enough the higher leaves pull through. Avocados planted from seed on the big farm get eaten to death.  
10 months ago