Jessica Robertson

+ Follow
since Aug 09, 2011
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
0
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
0
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Jessica Robertson

We started a 1 acre food forest in London Ontario last spring (www.londonfoodforest.blogspot.ca) and have had similar issues. It is in public park land that has been left unmowed for the last decade. There are a number of trees that have established themselves there in that time (manitoba maple, black walnut, hackberry) and several old apple trees left over from an orchard that was there in the 60's. We did spot mulching around the new shrubs and trees we put in and then sheet mulched a larger area where we planted strawberries and violets to try and establish them as a ground cover. Horsetail and milkweed came in quite strong after that and now grasses are moving back in. I am ok with the horsetail and milkweed as they meet our native edible and medicinal criteria but the grasses are problematic.

Interestingly, those strawberry plants that received extra care and wood mulch throughout the summer are smaller than those surrounded by grass. The ones surrounded in grass seem to doing alright but I am guessing likely won't fruit with the shade and competition.

I didn't expect the sheet mulch to last more than a year but thought it would help the plants establish themselves. I think we need a longer term solution for the new area we will be planting this fall however. This is a public site with limited volunteer labour. There is concern about volunteer burnout and disengagement by the community if there is not visible progress and success. I am considering plastic mulch or landscape fabric and then poking holes in it for the ground cover plants. We would have to make sure that an area of ground around each plant is cleared of roots so they don't find their way up through the hole. The plastic mulch would do a better job of killing the competition but wouldn't let water through... we also have limited grant money to purchase materials like those. Have any of you used either method?

David Hartley, what is the benefit of this over 'chop and drop'? Why does leaving the plant intact help suppress it? We have been doing chop and drop around existing plants and using it as mulch.
7 years ago
Thanks Leila. I don't think anything was carted off the site, just all mixed up when they dug the vertical wells. It's over 1000 sq ft. Large enough...I don't think heavy metals are a concern but compaction certainly is.

I think we are going to go ahead with some aeration and lighlty tilling the top layer to incorporate some organic matter. Then we are building bermed beds for planting so the soil there won't be a problem.
7 years ago
I am working on a site that had geothermal installed on it. They left the soil horizons all in a tizzy and hardly anything has regrown in the space in 2 years. Can the B Horizon be remediated somehow by just adding a good soil mix on top or does it need to be removed and replaced with topsoil? Thanks for any feedback.
7 years ago
Thanks Brenda,

I don't have a lot of room to play with in my yard for buffer plants. After some more searching I came across something that said they should be ok. I think because they are a relatively new plant and being used a lot in the prairies where there are no members of the Juglandaceae family there hasn't been a lot of experience with this yet.
I planted a Borealis and a Tundra variety right under the drip line last night so I guess we'll see what happens! I'll try and remember to report back at the end of the season about how they did.
8 years ago
I have not been able to find any information on whether Haskap/Honeyberry will tolerate the juglones released from Black Walnuts and others in the family. Does anybody have any experience with this?
Thanks.
8 years ago
Just came across this recipe for goutweed soup. Looks tasty, I just found out it was edible a few minutes ago, so can't comment on the flavour yet.
http://tofufortwo.net/2008/05/21/goutweed-soup/

It is just starting to creep into one of my beds from under the neighbours fence, but I'm not going to get too worried about it knowing it's edible. I also read something about an 18 in tap root so that's got to be doing some good down there too.

9 years ago
I am in zone 5 in southern ontario. I am working with a lawn that is quite dried out by this time of year and is fairly compacted clay with very little nitrogen. I would like to seed with tillage radish and red clover in the next couple of weeks to get some organic matter and N into the soil.
Does anyone know if I can just slit seed the turf so that the radish seeds is covered in a bit of earth? Will it compete ok with the nearly dead grass so that I get the big fat tap roots I'm planting it for? There is about 1/2 an acre to do.
9 years ago
It's a pretty small house so the leaves end up getting into all the gutters. There would be less direct dripping on the other side of the house, but still lots of tree fall.
9 years ago
You might be right Osker, I should just suck it up and stick to the juglone tolerant list, and await my plot in the community garden so I can grow non-tolerant crops there.

I have found a lot of inconsistencies in the research I have done as well. Some, like your list, say that tomatoes and peppers don't like walnuts and I have seen elsewhere that they do. Mine seem to be thriving under them, and are definitely outperforming the ones out in the sunny middle of the garden where they should not have too much exposure to juglones... I guess a lot of it is experimentation.

Thanks for the new resource.
9 years ago
I need some advice.
I have 2 large black walnut trees that do a beautiful job of shading my house while still providing enough light penetration to let me grow some things under them. As soon as I moved in I acquired 2 large rain barrels, and built a small swale through the middle of the yard with the intent of feeding the excess rainwater into it. Once everything leafed out however, I realized that juglones from the leaves and catkins were leaching into my rainbarrels and contaminating the water.
If I feed this water into the swale it will contaminate the ground all the way through my yard, not just under the walnuts! I have read that most of the juglones run down the bark of the tree during a rain, and drip off the leaves. Does anyone know if a first flush system might get rid of a large portion of them and then I could more safely collect the water after that?
9 years ago