Ask a Question forum: permaculture

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IsabellaC
Mar 17, 2017 7:37 AM CST
Hi Mr. Dave,
it's Luisa, I was really impressed with your presentation, the other day, I would like to learn more about permaculture, it seem to be the way to cultivate for us.
I have several questions, I wonder if I don't bother if I ask them all...
1. are you going to have more seminar about permaculture in the area?
2. you mentioned that weeds are not all bad. In our garden, though, they seem to suffocate everything else I plant, is mulching the answer? and if I need to leave some weeds growing, do I let them grow at the edge of the garden?
3. sheet mulch: did I understand correctly, that you do multiple layers of mulching? pine needle or hay and cardboard, and compost and then again, cardboard, pineneedle...etc?
4. when I need to till my garden, can I till it with that mulch in it?
5. you spoke against Grazon, is there other sprays that don't "stay" in the ground like that one?
6. Does it make a difference if you use a pre-emergent spray? I am not sure, but I think Grazon is not pre-emergent...
I hope I don't take too much of you time with my questions, I at a point of loss, honestly, about our garden, I seem to be unable to grow anythign.
thank you for you time and patience,

I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Mar 17, 2017 8:04 AM CST
Welcome! to NGA!
We have a forum devoted to permaculture here: https://garden.org/forums/view...
You might like to browse there.
Meanwhile, maybe we can get @dave to answer some of your questions. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 17, 2017 8:10 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Louisa Smiling

(For everyone else reading this: I taught a local 3 hour class on permaculture to the master gardeners earlier this week and Isabella and Louisa attended it.)

IsabellaC said:1. are you going to have more seminar about permaculture in the area?


Not at this time. Historically I give the same class each year to the master gardeners. In the past I have lectured around the state but since taking over NGA I have had to say "no" to most invitations to speak.

IsabellaC said:2. you mentioned that weeds are not all bad. In our garden, though, they seem to suffocate everything else I plant, is mulching the answer? and if I need to leave some weeds growing, do I let them grow at the edge of the garden?


Mulch is definitely the answer. I wouldn't tolerate weeds that suffocate my plants. Leaving a chickweed here and there is one thing, but letting weeds take over your garden is a different thing.

Clearing out a garden and applying mulch is the best thing you can do to prevent your weeds.

IsabellaC said:3. sheet mulch: did I understand correctly, that you do multiple layers of mulching? pine needle or hay and cardboard, and compost and then again, cardboard, pineneedle...etc?


Start with the cardboard straight on the grass. That's the only cardboard you'll use. Then add on the layers of compost, manure, soil, pine needles, leaves, etc. Try to use thin layers.

IsabellaC said:4. when I need to till my garden, can I till it with that mulch in it?


You sure can. That'll just mix the mulch into the soil where it'll break down faster and improve the soil with organic matter.

(Having said that... a good sheet mulched bed will never need to be tilled.)

IsabellaC said:5. you spoke against Grazon, is there other sprays that don't "stay" in the ground like that one?


None that I'm aware of. As far as I know all those herbicides tend to stick around and cause you problems. The rule of thumb is don't use hay in your garden if it's been sprayed by any herbicide.

IsabellaC said:6. Does it make a difference if you use a pre-emergent spray? I am not sure, but I think Grazon is not pre-emergent...


Grazon is not a pre-emergent. It kills actively growing plants.

I do use a pre-emergent every spring and fall and it has very good results. If you want to hear more about that, check out our podcast #106: https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

and the thread about it:

The thread "Herbicide Dave Mentioned in Podcast 106?" in ATP Podcast #106: Pruning Clematis, Some Thoughts on Herbicides, and Other Stuff
[Last edited by dave - Mar 17, 2017 8:11 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1391745 (3)

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IsabellaC
Mar 17, 2017 3:53 PM CST
Thank you very much!
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 17, 2017 5:07 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.

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IsabellaC
Mar 18, 2017 11:04 AM CST
Thank you, Dave, and thank you everybody else that wrote!
May I ask another couple of questions, please? I admit my ignorance in growing, but I don't want to be a nuisance, please let me know if I become one..!
1. fire ants, I have to deal with a lot of those pesky little bugs, I rather not use chemicals (at least in the veggie garden) .. what can be a good non-poison for us, but for them?
2. I have noticed that tomato plants grow better if they have a little shade in the hot sun of Texas, but if I finally get a good soil, can I forget about shade and plant them in my never-shaded-garden? or do you think a little break from the sun will still be beneficial?
thank you immensely iin advance
Luisa
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 18, 2017 11:45 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

You're not a nuisance at all. Smiling You can ask as many questions as you want and nobody will mind one bit.

On the fireants... I haven't found a bullet proof solution to them that doesn't involve some kind of non-organic treatment. There are plenty of ideas out there but none have worked very well for me. I treat surrounding areas with Amdro (a dry product that you broadcast over an area) and that seems to do the trick. Treating the area outside the garden seems to deter them inside the garden.

Tomatoes: we grow them in 100% full sun and that's how I recommend you do it, as well. With good fertile soil, mulched, and adequate irrigation they want as much sun as they can get. Don't wait too late to plant them: down here you need to get most of your harvest done before the dog days of summer set in.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Mar 18, 2017 3:37 PM CST
When I lived in Florida, I would pour boiling water on the fire ants, knocked them down for awhile. If you choose this method, make sure you are not standing over another fire ant hill, don't ask me how I know.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

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IsabellaC
Mar 20, 2017 6:26 AM CST
Thank you very much ya'll! I am taking notes...........! Thank You!
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Mar 20, 2017 7:19 AM CST
Personally, I believe that the fire ants probably have a right to be there.... Of course, bare foot gardening can be problematic:
http://stonethegardener.tumblr...

But, yeah.... I've done the ant soup deal... But seems like the fire ants do more good than harm.... Except in the containers....

Here in GA, shade for tomatoes is a thing....
I have pics of sun scalded tomatoes... I'll search out that farm monitor video about shading tomatoes if you are interested...

Although... In my garden.... I just leave some trees standing....
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 20, 2017 7:44 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

stone said:I believe that the fire ants probably have a right to be there....


I get your point and it is valid, but technically they have no right to be here. They are an imported invasive species. Sticking tongue out
[Last edited by dave - Mar 20, 2017 7:44 AM (+)]
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IsabellaC
Mar 24, 2017 11:46 AM CST
Hello, here I am with more questions, could you please tell me:
1. at the permaculture seminar, you mentioned a good gardening book, can you please tell me the title and author?
2.peat moss, yes? or peat moss, no? I hear different opinions about, what is it? how to use it?
3. Also, Isabella has a question, we have just bought lemon Grass, I know that it attracts bees, but what else can you do with it?


Thumb of 2017-03-24/IsabellaC/f98b3a
4. what kind of weed is the pic?
thank you, so much, for now... I know I will have more questions... nodding
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 24, 2017 11:52 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

1) The book might have been Gaia's Garden. It's a really good book with a lot of good ideas. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1603580298/

2) Peat moss is fine but I wouldn't pay for it. There are better ways to get organic matter into your garden.

3) I think you can use lemon grass in teas. Smiling

4) That plant is a rumex, probably Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)

Smiling

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IsabellaC
Mar 24, 2017 12:19 PM CST
Thank You!
luisa and isabella
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Mar 24, 2017 12:23 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you. Smiling

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IsabellaC
Mar 24, 2017 12:36 PM CST
Another question from Isabella: Would the Lemon grass be something that keeps insect off? Like, I remember you said that you could plant something with tomatoes that keeps the bugs away. Would Lemon grass do the same?
I can do all things through Christ, Which strengths me. Philippians 4:13
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
dave
Mar 24, 2017 1:50 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I don't think lemongrass would be useful for that, other than the benefits of growing a diversity of plants in your garden. Smiling
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
Mar 24, 2017 10:19 PM CST
Lemongrass is used in Thai cooking, and it's delicious. The essential oil has a smell that I find irresistible. I don't know if you could get the same effect by simmering the leaves or not.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin

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