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BTE, hugelkulture, hydroponics and other unconventional gardening

Discussion in 'Gardening On Your Homestead' started by Lazy Gardener, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Jan 6, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I like your adventurous-ness! I'm very interested in this and will probably experiment a little with it - but I already know I won't follow the "rules" so success may be limited... but at least I'll learn what doesn't work!
     
  2. Jan 6, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    Who says you must follow the rules? Do some google searches to see what other folks are doing. I look for articles or videos posted by people who have been doing it for a while. They must be able to show credible results before I give their posting much merit. Then, compile the ideas you've seen, and create your own hybrid.

    I'm strictly in the research -> doing phase. Doing a lot of reading, then playing around with it. None of my plantings are over 3 weeks old. Took me 2 years of "reading" phase before actually devoting the energy to the "doing" phase.
     
  3. Jan 18, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    Still working on the learning curve.

    I think I'm putting my net pots too deep in the water. Had an invasion of spider mites in a lemon balm seedling (in an individual jar). Dumped the solution, pulled the seedling and soaked it for several hours in a castile soap solution, washed jar and hydroton in HOT HOT water, and set it back up. That seedling is looking perky now. One Egg Plant succumbed to the spider mites. The other, which was grossly infested got multiple soap baths, followed by permethrin powder. No signs of mites since the latter. So, hoping that plant is bug free. Bell pepper got a huge pruning, with hopes that the cuttings will take root. Those were also soaked in castile. The 2 potted plants received liberal applications of castile. No signs of mites since last "baths".

    I want to be totally mite free before I start my seedlings. Those need to be started next month.
     
    sumi likes this.
  4. Feb 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I had the first harvest from my HP plantings today. Some lettuce and kale in a sandwich. It is producing well enough that I should be able to garnish all of my sandwiches from here on out, until the greenhouse is producing.
     
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  5. Feb 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I'm always asking WHY??? I've been trying to get cuttings to root from a failing Pineapple Sage and a pot of basil seedlings from the grocer for a good part of the winter. Very poor results with cuttings rotting before they send out roots. However, my last attempt was successful even when using extremely poor cutting material.

    The only difference I can come up with is this: Some time before I took the cuttings, I did a foliar spray with Epsom Salts. There is a cutting technique referred to as Nitrogen Leaching. Don't ask me for any details, because I'm just starting to make a tiny little brain cramp nick into this topic.

    These cuttings were so successful that a tiny single leaf that fell off the PS was dropped into the water along with the cuttings, and developed a nice long root.

    So, it's time to sit up and take notice: experiment with foliar spray with water or epsom salt prior to taking more cuttings. As well as doing a deep non nutrient watering a day or two before taking cuttings.

    I've copied a paragraph from the following article:

    http://www.simplyhydro.com/asexual_reproduction_cloning.htm

    Prepare the mother plant prior to taking cuttings. Leaching will remove any excess nitrogen from the plant. Nitrogen will cause the cuttings to concentrate on producing foliage rather than roots. Leach the day before taking cuttings by rinsing the root zone with straight pH balanced water. Reduce stress by foliar feeding the mother plant with a B hormone three days prior to taking cuttings. The mother plant will recover and be ready to for another round of cuttings in about six weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  6. Feb 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    An other article mentions the importance of having high nutrient levels in the mother plant prior to taking cuttings. This makes sense. This article goes on to state that commercial propagators provide nutrients during the rooting process by supplying a foliar mist with added nutrients. So, my next plan is to start using a light foliar spray on cuttings: perhaps 1/4 strength HP solution with a bit of Epsom Salt added.

    http://gpnmag.com/wp-content/uploads/nu ... gation.pdf

    The premise of this article: keep the nutrient levels in the URC (unrooted cuttings) high so the cutting can set roots quickly and take off with new growth:

    Nutrition Requirements of Unrooted Cuttings Unrooted cuttings (URCs) require higher tissue nutrient levels than fi nished plant material because tissue nutrient concentrations often drop from just after sticking until roots begin to form. If the cuttings contain a high level of nutrients (relative to fi nished plant material), then this drop will not cause a problem because the tissue levels never reach a minimum critical level that affects growth, if fertilizer is supplied throughout the rooting cycle (Figure 2).

    As soon as they begin root growth, hit them with a mild well balanced fertilizer:

    Maintain Steady Supply Once root initials emerge, cuttings need a constant supply of nutrients.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  7. Feb 15, 2019 at 7:38 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    It's a yucky, snowy day, so doing a bit of net surfing. Found this awesome idea: hybrid hay bale/HK/raised bed/lasagna design. Perfect for the person with poor soil or drainage, or who does not want to bend over.

    https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur

    [​IMG]

    Straw bale gardens require less soil, less water and hold heat. As the straw breaks down nutrients feed the plants. Combining a straw surround with a hugel interior, topped by lasagne layering is an excellent idea for an area with poor quality soil.

    Then, there is this one. It holds the pile into a nearly vertical column. I don't know how this would look 5 years down the road, but it's worthy of consideration:

    [​IMG]

    Hugel bed in Ontario, Canada (June 28) by Tim Burrows. Tim surrounded his very tall hugel bed in pallets!

    ****************************************************************************************

    And yet more ideas on this site. Proof that HK can work in almost any setting, even a urban back yard in a HOA.

    https://insteading.com/blog/hugelkultur/
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019 at 7:53 PM
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