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Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 27545 times)

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #195 on: April 10, 2019, 06:37:46 PM »
Dragging old plastic tarps out of the garden, swearing never to use plastic again!  (The plastic was a makeshift greenhouse for the "Olive House" to protect the olive trees in winter.) 

Removing every single thing from the garden that is not essential for growing crops:  plastic tarps; flower pots, small, medium and large; two black mixing tubs, one 6' aluminum ladder, surplus concrete blocks formerly part of the makeshift "Olive House"; and when garlic is harvested in June, removing the "raccoon proofing" which consists of a long roll of welded wire fencing, unrolled and lying on top of the garlic bed, with the garlics sticking through the holes,; and removing the 10' long cedar sticks used to anchor down the hideous-looking welded wire garlic cover.

Hard to imagine so much "stuff" in one little garden!

The good part is that garlic, shallots, and some parsnips are growing, and today I planted beet seeds, and replanted parsnips to fill in spaces.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #196 on: April 11, 2019, 04:16:21 AM »
Am seeing alliums up here also!

It sounds as if you could use an extra shed or barn?  I've got some clutter in the henyard that needs to come out, as well, like a gate separating the duckyard from the hens which came off its hinges, a partial bale of welded wire, a partial bale of chicken wire, a bird house that fell from its post, etc.  I spent half of last Saturday just focusing on repairs in the henyard, but more needs to be done.

If you decide against plastic for overwintering the olives, will you build another kind of greenhouse?  I lost a fruitful fig once here, and would like to try again, as there are better cultivars now for the North.  Still not sure about where to put a greenhouse though...

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #197 on: April 11, 2019, 05:38:39 PM »
Had to laugh at my list of clutter and your list of clutter and thought that would make a fun topic:  Homestead Clutter.

We could post pics of our awful-looking areas, but it's just a pipe dream, as I'm sure Marshall wouldn't appreciate us taking us space to show and tell pics of clutter!  LOL

I did order a little greenhouse and it has been delivered and is sitting unassembled in a back room.  It will be erected around the current olive trees with a few extra feet in which we can plant greens or whatever.  Current "olive house" is about 4' X 12' and new one is 6' X 16'.  Only other thing needed will be some concrete piers or footing or something very substantial to anchor it, as my original plan to set it on red cedar posts/boards was changed a month or so ago when we experienced incredible winds for several days, which partially destroyed the little makeshift olive house.

Speaking of figs, we have four--two that remain in the ground and two that were temporarily moved indoors as they are still in pots.  The two that in the ground survived the winter before last including -20 deg. F.  They do lose all their leaves and look awful, but can come back.  But if it's -20 deg. F for days or weeks on end, they might die.  Some people in MO will plant them against a stone or brick wall which is a great heat sink in winter, plus they mulch.  Still waiting to see if the two outdoor figs resurrect again this year, as it's a bit early.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #198 on: April 11, 2019, 05:42:18 PM »
Am thinking that I may have actually pronounced the fig tree dead too soon then?  Too late now, as I already dug it up some years ago!  ::)

Looking forward to seeing your greenhouse go up, as well as sharing our clutter!  LOL!  :D :D

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Cold-Hardy Strawberries
« Reply #199 on: April 12, 2019, 09:12:07 AM »
As our climate cools where we live, am noticing that I can no longer overwinter permaculture crops in raised beds with legs or in containers on the deck, so now they all must either go directly into the ground or in a raised bed without legs that makes full contact with the ground.  The old containers will still be useful for annuals.

That would suggest that we've lost a full or half planting zone here already (7 to 6).  We were technically 6b before, but could grow several zone 7 items in the past. 

Though previously my focus for strawberries was on disease resistance due to our wet climate, am suggesting some cold-hardy varieties for gardeners in more Northerly latitudes:

Short Season ("June Bearing" but might be mid or late season):

Annapolis (early season)
Cabot (early season)
Earliglow (early season_
Mesabi (mid season)
Archer (mid season)
Cavendish (mid season)
Kent (mid season)
Stellarossa (late season)

Of these, Mesabi from the University of Minnesota appears to be by far the most disease-resistant, but it doesn't thrive in a rainy climate.

Everbearing / Day-Length Neutral:

Ozark Beauty
Ogallala
Arapahoe
Sequoia
Hecker

https://strawberryplants.org/strawberry-varieties/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_strawberry_cultivars

http://www.lakeview-farms.com/strawberryvarietiescombined.htm#Mesabi


The "Annapolis" strawberry cultivar is
surprisingly listed as cold-hardy, even
though named after a more southerly city.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:08:25 PM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #200 on: May 14, 2019, 02:38:27 PM »
Those who listen to Apple or ITunes podcasts might enjoy Urban Forestry Radio.  They have 41 permaculture podcasts sponsored by the Community Orchard Network, an organization that encourages the planting of food in public spaces.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/urban-forestry-radio/id1078657833

Today I listened to the description in Episode 7 of the Romance Series line of dwarf tart cherry trees, as told by the Canadian breeder himself.  Here is a brief synopsis, with additional info gleaned from other sources:

Romeo: Produces darker cherries later in the season that average 4g in weight with a Brix of 18-22.  Considered to have the best flavor, and begins bearing a year earlier than the others.  Thicker-skinned.  Ties with Cupid for highest pH.  A good processing cherry, and good for fruit leather.  Ties with Cupid for latest season production.  Low suckering - More of a tree than a bush.

Crimson Passion: The smallest height of the series on extreme dwarfing rootstock.  Also produces large darker cherries weighing 6g.  The firmest of the series, and good for canning.  The only member of the series not to produce nodes on the roots which can be developed into cherry shrubs, so it is distinctly a tree-form rather than a bush.  The Canadians considered this to be a drawback in a cold climate, as once the top of the tree is killed, there is no salvaging the plant.  It also has the highest sugar content with a Brix of 22, and tied with the earlier version of the series, Carmine Jewel, for most intense color.  Not fully diseast-resistant in wet climates.  Also least reliable of the series, sometimes skipping production in some years, and may cease blooming after several years.

Valentine: The only one in the series to produce a bright red cherry, it has a Brix of 18.  Considered the best for dehydrating, which should be done in a 225o oven for several hours instead of in a dehydrator due to the juices.  Soft skin.  Lowest pH.  Smallest fruit in most years, though it can exceed the others occasionally in size.  Has an elongated pit that must be removed by hand.  Not yet released in the States.

Cupid: Produces the largest fruit of the series at 6.5g, which is also a dark red color.  Firm skin.  Ties with Crimson Passion for the highest sugar:acid ratio, and has a Brix of 16-20.  Ties with Romeo for latest season production and highest pH.  A good processing cherry.  Not yet released in the States.

Juliet: Fruit weighs 5g with a Brix of 18-20.  High fruit-to-pit ratio (more fruit than pit), and pits are especially easy to remove. Low suckering - more of a true tree form.

All trees in the series are self-pollinating and appropriate for zones 2-8 due to chilling / dormancy-hour requirements.

Compare with the early parent of this series from 1990's breeding work by the same breeders, Carmine Jewel:

Carmine Jewel has smallest fruit at 4g, with a 13-17 Brix and thin skins.  Produces a lot of juice and makes a good wine cherry, as well as being good for fruit leather.  Highest consistent yield.  It ripens earlier than the Romance Series and has no diseases that I'm aware of.



Trial summary:
http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/apps/adf/ADFAdminReport/20090405.pdf

More:
http://prairietechpropagation.com/app/uploads/Dwarf-Sour-Cherry-Table-2019.pdf


Breeders of the Romance Series cherries from the University of Saskatchewan
https://fruitgrowersnews.com/news/saskatchewan-fruit-breeders-receive-prestigious-horticulture-award/

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #201 on: June 27, 2019, 06:56:34 AM »
Note to anyone attempting to grow mountain cranberries and other vaccinia:

Now that we're entering the hottest part of summer, it might be a good idea to spread a roll of fiberglass shadecloth or poly garden cloth over the bed, to shield plants from harsher UV radiation, especially now that UV C is penetrating our atmosphere.  This can be laid directly upon the plants themselves, or clipped onto hoops.



Not so easy to do for closely related blueberry plants in the vaccinia genus, which may also begin to experience stress and leaf-burn, as they are likely bearing heavily for the next few weeks, and will need sunlight to ripen and sweeten the berries.  However, as soon as that harvest tapers off, it might be a good idea to shade your blueberry shrubs as well, both to prevent leaf scorch and discourage late-summer leaf chewing by the caterpillar stage of flying insects preparing to pupate for the winter.  Instead, they'll appreciate a separate butterfly garden thoughtfully located several paces away from any tempting vaccinia gardens.  :)




ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #202 on: June 27, 2019, 07:55:41 PM »
Now that we're entering the hottest part of summer, it might be a good idea to spread a roll of fiberglass shadecloth or poly garden cloth over the bed, to shield plants from harsher UV radiation, especially now that UV C is penetrating our atmosphere.  This can be laid directly upon the plants themselves, or clipped onto hoops.
The increased UV radiation explains some things, as not everything in the garden is growing as it should.  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets seem to be growing normally, but collards just don't want to grow tall as they used to do.  I cannot prove it has anything to do with increased UV, but am looking for clues and you've provided at least one. 

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #203 on: June 28, 2019, 06:54:52 PM »
Ilinda, I'm also still puzzling over why I have some very tall rows of sunchokes already, adjacent to some very short rows that don't seem to be catching up.  We're at the point in summer when they should all be cut back by half in order to redirect their energy to the tubers (it supposedly should be done twice per summer), so I'll just cut the tall ones back equal to the height of the short ones, and  hope everything catches up by the autumnal equinox bloom time.

Some of my rocambole is flopping over too, so am experimenting with a theory for strengthening permaculture crops, and that is "recursive planting," or filling in  gaps in a given planting bed for a few years in a row as each species also fills in its own gaps, until each crop becomes firmly established and able to stand up to imperfect conditions.  I figure if a particular species fails after that 3-year period, it may either need to be re-sited or eliminated from our design.   :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #204 on: June 28, 2019, 07:11:02 PM »
Listing an approximate order of onset of berry harvest, both wild and cultivated, in our 40o Northerly latitude.  The harvest periods may last for weeks in some cases, and may overlap:

Earliglow strawberries: end of first week of June

Mulberries: end of first week of June

Cabot strawberries: latter half of June

Black currants: latter half of June

Blueberries: last week of June (depends on your mix of cultivars)

Raspberries: last week of June

Black raspberries: end of June

Wineberries / Tayberries: first week of July

Blackberries: latter half of July and possibly again in autumn

Mountain cranberries: autumn

Muscadines: early October

Is anyone else growing berries? 

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #205 on: June 28, 2019, 08:23:10 PM »
Listing an approximate order of onset of berry harvest, both wild and cultivated, in our 40o Northerly latitude.  The harvest periods may last for weeks in some cases, and may overlap:

Earliglow strawberries: end of first week of June

Mulberries: end of first week of June

Cabot strawberries: latter half of June

Black currants: latter half of June

Blueberries: last week of June (depends on your mix of cultivars)

Raspberries: last week of June

Black raspberries: end of June

Wineberries / Tayberries: first week of July

Blackberries: latter half of July and possibly again in autumn

Mountain cranberries: autumn

Muscadines: early October

Is anyone else growing berries?
We have strawberries, blueberries, wild raspberries, wild blackberries, wild mulberries.  Wildlife get most of the blackberries, raspberries, and mulberries, and about all of the strawberries.  Until this year, we got nice blueberries from two older plants, but this year some unusual looking bird is eating them, so a cage is in order for next year.

Likewise, some sort of enclosed growing area will have to be created for strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.  Every year the wildlife predation on the garden grows worse.

 Interestingly, I remember growing up in northern Indiana and never giving a thought to the fact that no wildlife ever touched our garden, for the simple fact that there wasn't any wildlife around.  I guess the farmers nearby had eliminated the wildlife, and we never even heard shots during deer season.  So, I guess I/we should be grateful for the diversity we experience in Missouri's Ozarks.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #206 on: June 29, 2019, 06:27:56 AM »
Agreed that there are trade-offs to having wildlife around, as opposed to not being able to sustain wildlife.  They do give something back to each biome; it's just not always the first thing we think about when we see our meticulously raised fruit crops picked over, decimated, and full of their little teeth marks!

We too are gradually enclosing more crops, and the wildlife do find ways around our barriers  :)

Have given up on it for this year, but next year am planning to make sturdy 7' high welded-wire hoops over our bluebery patch.  We have around a dozen high-bush types in two rows a few feet apart, so about 4 16' lengths of 4' wide welded wire could be arched in series over the patch, and may not even need center posts if it's sturdy enough.  This would be covered with screencloth which would double for shade in summer, and could be rolled up during the spring blossom pollination period and early ripening.  It may not keep every bird or insect out of the patch, but might significantly discourage them.

Right now, every crow and jay that wants blueberries is helping him or herself, so I try to harvest twice a day during peak berrying season, as they are coloring up that quickly in peak summer heat.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 06:26:14 PM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #207 on: June 29, 2019, 04:03:27 PM »
Posting a photo of the simple arched welded-wire fencing cage I'm thinking about for the blueberry patch - several of these in series, with netting fastened over them:



https://dailyimprovisations.com/simple-arched-trellis-for-grapes-or-pole-beans/
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 06:26:45 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #208 on: July 01, 2019, 08:30:34 PM »
Agreed that there are trade-offs to having wildlife around, as opposed to not being able to sustain wildlife.  They do give something back to each biome; it's just not always the first thing we think about when we see our meticulously raised fruit crops picked over, decimated, and full of their little teeth marks!

We too are gradually enclosing more crops, and the wildlife do find ways around our barriers  :)

Have given up on it for this year, but next year am planning to make sturdy 7' high welded-wire hoops over our bluebery patch.  We have around a dozen high-bush types in two rows a few feet apart, so about 4 16' lengths of 4' wide welded wire could be arched in series over the patch, and may not even need center posts if it's sturdy enough.  This would be covered with screencloth which would double for shade in summer, and could be rolled up during the spring blossom pollination period and early ripening.  It may not keep every bird or insect out of the patch, but might significantly discourage them.

Right now, every crow and jay that wants blueberries is helping him or herself, so I try to harvest twice a day during peak berrying season, as they are coloring up that quickly in peak summer heat.

It's not that I'm glad others have wildlife predation on food crops, but relieved to know we're not alone!  As it gets worse every year, we too continue to refine our protective techniques.  Your blueberry welded wire cover will allow you to walk in there, but the screen/cloth over the frame will be essential to keep birds out.  We are planning something similar.

We have three older blueberry bushes, and 10 young bushes which might produce next year, so they will definitely need cover.  They are already inside a raised bed of sawdust surrounded by concrete blocks.  The hardware cloth (the plan for now) will arch over the entire bed and hopefully prevent birds from entering.

Another wildlife problem appears to have a solution.  The strange problem this year with rats means lots of damage.  They will gnaw through a healthy collard plant, about 1" from the ground, and the entire collard top will be found several feet from where it was gnawed off.  They don't even eat it!  I started out with 24-27 collard plants and now have 1 left.  The solution which I think will work is to place a black plastic flower pot (cut off the bottom) around the new seedling.  As the seedling grows, it is protected from rat or rabbit, as neither is tall enough to reach inside or over the top of flower pot.  Plant continues to grow, and the flower pot shell remains around the plant during the entire growing season.  At season's end, flower pot shells can be stacked even more easily than the pots with intact bottoms.

That is how I fiinally protected the Yamiken winter squash.  Started out with about 15, noticed them being cut off, so used the large flower pots for "growing collars", and it has worked wonders, as no more damage to Yamiken.

Next year I plan to surround all peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes, collards, and maybe other crops with the flower pot shells.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #209 on: July 02, 2019, 05:28:06 AM »
Thanks so much for sharing your collar method of protecting your crops Ilinda.  It reminds me of the way some vegies are protected from cutworms using tuna or cat food cans with the bottoms removed.

Am wondering if the rats that chewed through only the necks of your collards were searching for water?  Seems as if that might be the most they could get from the necks.  I guess the undisturbed tops could have the lower chewed-on part trimmed off and be washed and chopped up for winter stews, so not wasted? 

One thing that I did for our sea kale and non-bolting French sorrel crops was to surround them with a 2'    picket fence, and then staple landscape fabric that had been folded lengthwise to the lower part of the fence, as a retaining wall.  That amounts to several thick folds creating a long narrow strip around the base of the fence.  Of course, that doesn't stop tunneling into the garden from outside the fence, but it seems that all of the mouse holes this year are inside the hen yard, as the hens leave some of their sunflower seeds uneaten each day.  Maybe allowing mice into the biome in this way, contrary to most advice, diverts them away from crops?


In this garden, small clumps of non-bolting French sorrel are interspersed between large broccoli-forming sea kale plants, still young in this photo, so that no space is wasted.  Both crops share a semi-shaded back row, as both stress easily after even a couple of days of dry heat here.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 06:17:25 AM by R.R. Book »

 

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