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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › What are you working on?

What are you working on?

Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 36
Looking for land? Making plans? Actually implementing?

We planted 25 asparagus crowns this weekend (15-25 year yield depending...). More herbs will go into the spriral later this week...
David H.
PostCarbonDesign
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 43
Well, the hot-house is getting full (Tomato, peppers, lavender, dill, celery,& basil). I guess these cold nights and windy days have hampered alot of progress. I'll attach some photos to my member profile.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 39
Nice photos, Dave! I see sheet mulched beds? Cold frames, composting...lots of good stuff.

I'm battling slugs right now - with all this wet weather. Copper tape is keeping them from some things, beer traps of course, and good old hunting slugs at dawn is keeping them at bay.

Apple trees, kiwis, strawberries and kiwis are all growing like made so I need to get my trellising done!
David H.
PostCarbonDesign
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 51
My new project involves buckwheat.
I will be taking the area below my compost area and converting it into a new raised bed area. I will be mowing it down and sheet mulching it and planting buckwheat. The buckwheat will be both potentially "green manure" and a source for grain for buckwheat pancakes. If this works well, I plan on using buckwheat as ground cover on all new beds/areas that will be built.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 43
excellent "stacking" of functions on the buckwheat - though i suspect it's probably like the chick pea experiment...you need lots of it to make a meal!

i'm still working on my, um, slug project. diatomaceous earth - while not ideal - does help until it rains....so this spring that means about 5 minutes. slugs especially love my new asparagus bed - they climb up a nice juicy shoot around 10 or 11pm and glom on until morning - unless i head out with the scissors at midnight. again the diat. earth has helped.

i was talking to julia yelton and she recommends iron phosphate - purely mineral solution to the problem.

meanwhile the kiwi and grape vines are reaching for the sky, herb spiral is coming along, strawberry plants getting very well established (i'm pinching off flowers this first year), apple trees are starting to be trained to the espalier wires....it's all good. oh, and the gingko tree is very happy in it's new spot in the secret garden.

anybody else?
David H.
PostCarbonDesign
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 75
July 21,22,& 23
I'm working on walking paths thru the garden to the compost area that connects to the wildflower trails. A mix of aged wood chips and pine needles, 50' X 3'.
A former member
Post #: 4
I have some suggestions on planting asparagus that will save time, money, and garden space.

If you don't have an asparagus bed, get one started this spring! Once planted and deeply mulched they take no work at all and produce in the early spring when fresh produce is so appreciated.

First, rather than buy one year old roots at about $25 for a 50 foot row, do it like this:

This early spring start a flat (or old 9X12 baking pans) of seeds, planting the entire package - which will be a lot!

When they are big enough and it is planting time, transfer to garden. Ignore everything you have read about the "proper" method of digging trenches, planting a single row 1, or 2, or 3 feet apart, and so on. Instead mark off a 3ft. wide space in your medium-mulched garden and plant the seedlings no more than 12" apart (or experiment with less...) in the 3ft wide patch. (If you have slugs or snails, watch out! - they will have to be controlled as they too are interested in what their mother has to offer so early in the season.) As your bed becomes established keep it thickly mulched, at least 6" or more so that no weeds can pop through.

There are several advantages to this method. First, instead of waiting to start your bed till you feel you can afford it, which in the spring if you're like me and you want everything you see can be difficult, you start it NOW for only the price of a package of seeds.

Second, even though you do have to wait one more year till your first (small) harvest, it will be 3 to 4 times larger than if you had planted in a single row. And this advantage will continue on for several years as your bed grows into an established patch.

And thirdly, once your bed matures to the point that the female plants can be separated from the male plants by their skinny stalks and berries, you can dig the females up and keep only the male plants which produce the nice fat stalks.
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 18
I'm peeking every day at the cold frame. The 5 greens I planted from seed too late are growing slowly. Not sure we'll be cutting any for the table this winter but it's fun to experiment for this first winter.

Thanks so much for the asparagus suggestion, Mary! I'll try it in the spring! Do you think Lisa's method of using newspaper as "pots" would work? Otherwise I'd have to do what I did for the greens for the cold frame, -- carefully transfer each teeny seedling on a knife from a plastic (hospital) container into the cold frame. How did YOU transfer those seedlings from the baking pan into the garden? By hand as I did?

Francis and I just finished mulching the four blueberry beds with 20 bags of pine needles we were lucky to get already raked and bagged by a woman we met at a bean supper recently.

Oh yes, and Francis has been moving by wheelbarrow the wood chips from the trees we had cut which sit on a pile further away. He brought them over to cover our exposed mature compost pile for protection against the elements.

With our garden all sheet mulched I'm doing more reading now about permaculture itself when I'm not spending a lot of time on peacemaking activities.

Thanks all,
Elaine
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