This post is Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1. Topics covered include transplanting trees, cell phone relay, winter propagation, planting paw paw seeds, building a cheap greenhouse, and red wiggler compost bin.
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Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1
This is the first in a series of Q&A sessions that I will be holding over the next few months. These questions come from our YouTube channel, email, blog post comments, Facebook and even a few face to face questions. If you would like to submit a question you can do so in the comments section of any of the above medium or you can email your question to me directly. My email address is [email protected].
YouTube video – titled Transplanting Trees by Hand
Background: this video was about transplanting some rather established trees and moving them from the Pasadena homestead out to the farm. I moved dwarf shapovia and Illinois Everbearing mulberry and mentioned that Illinois Everbearing was grafted.[Q] This persons statement: I don’t think the mulberry needs grafted. [A] Most mulberry don’t, but I have only ever seen Illinois Everbearing as grafted, so I assumed it was a requirement. I have done research online and found some vendors say they grafted this cultivar to make it more cold-hardy. I have also found other gardeners out there that stated Illinois Everbearing does not create viable seeds and is difficult to propagate via cuttings. These gardeners grafted this variety just because it was the easiest way for them to propagate.
YouTube – SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review
Background – This video was a product review of a cell phone signal booster. I showed a lot views of the installation and discussed how it is difficult to make it visually appealing.[Q] This views comments are: For aesthetics purposes, you could build it into a design of a windmill or birdhouse (fake or real) so it does not stand out as bad. [A] Thanks for the suggestion Tom! That would likely work and a windmill is one of the things on my long “to do” list! For right now it is worth having the Yagi antenna in plain view and getting the cell boot.
YouTube – Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation
Background: this video is about taking cuttings from plants in the winter and using those cuttings to propagate and make new plants.[Q] The YouTube viewer asks: I’m in wet western Oregon, and am thinking that it might make it easier for me to do the rootings inside where I can control the moisture content, otherwise things rot in the low oxygen-saturated soils we have here in winter. Would you recommend keeping the cuttings in cool temps, not house warm? Like my enclosed unheated porch? [A] If you keep the cuttings in a warm environment, then they will not go dormant and you will have to do a mist irrigation system to keep the leaves moist. I have a different problem than yours, but with a similar solution. We had some cuttings that were dormant and we were going down into the single digits outside, which would have killed the cuttings because they were pots and not protected in the ground. I moved my cuttings into my garage which usually stays a good bit warmer than outside. They overwintered just fine. I moved them back out in late February when the danger of single digit temperatures was past. [A] Another option with saturated soil is to mix in some sand in the area that you are going to use for propagation. The sand will allow the water to flow through more easily and not rot the roots.
Planting Paw Paw Seeds
Background: This video is about how to stratify and then plant paw paw seeds. Paw Paw is a tree native to the eastern United States and is the largest native fruit to the US.[Q] Thanks for the video! I just bought some Paw Paw seeds last week. They haven’t arrived yet. I guess it might be too late this year to get them stratified & planted, but maybe not. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind. Do the seeds have to be kept moist from the time they are harvested from the fruit, or just once you start the stratification process? When you plant all the seeds in one container like that, won’t the roots get tangled as they grow? How many years, minimum, before you can transfer them to full sun?
Answer 1[A] The seeds do need to be kept moist from the time they are taken from the fruit. I have seen reports that germination rates go below 10% if they dry out for just a short period of time. I’m guessing that all the roots in one container will not tangle too much. The tap root goes straight down and it doesn’t look like they have many lateral roots the first year. This is an experiment for me this year because of my lack of space this year.
Answer 2[A] As for full sun, I have seen as young as the third year. If they are in full sun before then, they may get sun burn on the leaves. If it gets too bad, they could die. Sounds weird I know, but that is what they say and I have lost a few that were in full sun. Congratulations on your seeds. I love paw paws. You may want to check with the person/company that you bought them from. I believe most will have already stratified them for you.
Answer 3[A] He responded: Thanks for the reply. Yes, I checked the listing (on Ebay) & the seeds have been stratified already, so as long as they don’t freeze in transit, they should be good when they get here.
YouTube – DIY Cheap Greenhouse
Background: This video is about building a cheap greenhouse with supplies you can find in your local hardware stores.[Q] LRG Scully asks: What scale is it? Meters by Meters? [A] It’s 7-foot wide by 8-foot long. That equates to 2.13M (213CM) wide by 2.44M (244CM).
YouTube – Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin Update
Background: this video is an update on the progress of a Red Wiggler Worm farm I established last year. This was my first go round on one of these and I received a lot of great advice.[Q] All the worm juice is an indication that you’re too wet. [A] That makes sense. I guess I need to cut back on the greens. [A] Great Escape Farms I wouldn’t say cut back on the greens, but add more browns. My worms (same ones as yours) love cardboard. when I feed, I add cardboard to help with the water. [A] I have a good bit of cardboard. I’ll spread some and add it later this week. Thanks!
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YouTube – Propagating Nanking Cherries
Background: this video is about taking cuttings from nanking cherry bushes and using the cuttings to propagate and create new plants.[Q] Graham asks: Do you only use sand for cuttings? [A] I do use sand for my summer or softwood cuttings. This is because I use a mist irrigation system that sprays water once every five minutes. I want to keep the leaves wet, but don’t want to saturate the soil and rot the roots. The sand lets the water drain and helps a lot. I have found that concrete sand works great. For hardwood cuttings taken in the winter, you can use straight garden soil because you are not using the mist irrigation system.
YouTube – Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi
Background: this video is about taking cuttings from Sweet Scarlet Goumi bushes and using the cuttings to propagate and create new plants.[Q] MCDS asks: Great video again! Any chance of getting a few starts? [A] I have to see how many actually take next spring. Whatever does take will be for sale at Great Escape Nursery: http://greatescapenursery.com/ We actually have about a dozen sweet scarlet goumi left, but they will likely sell out before the season is over, so get your orders in quick.
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