On My Reading List

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Month: May 2013

Don’t Lick This Plant

Don’t Lick This Plant

Dieffenbachia, also known as Dumb Cane, also known as Mother In Law Plant (not sure if there is a joke or insinuation in there somewhere) have  needle like calcium oxolate crystals called Raphides. I don’t really know that licking it would be that bad but […]

Paved With Good Intentions

Paved With Good Intentions

Composting. Hmpf. I’m all over teaching people to do it. However, I regularly practice, “do as I say not as I do”. One of those self improvement things I need to work on maybe. I spent a week in Kaslo, BC about 5 years ago. […]

HOUSE GUESTS

HOUSE GUESTS

hgwasp-bigI thought I loved my macro lens before. WOW. Yesterday we watched a video by MHPGardener that talked about helpful insects like a Parasite Wasp.

The Parasite Wasp lays it’s eggs in the eggs of Aphids. I don’t think I need to go into the gory details past that. You get the idea. Imagine my “gleeful surprise” when I was watering inside this morning and found this!

We have over 60 vessels containing different plants in the house so, there are a few pests. Surprisingly, not many. I’m starting to wonder if this guy is why.

We found another MUCH larger version about 3 weeks ago which got sent back outside. Then I found another big one on the door yesterday and now this little one today. Hmm. I’m really hoping there isn’t a nest hiding in my house somewhere.

We THINK we identified them as Wood Wasps when they were big, but I’m starting to wonder. This is the first clear set of pics I’ve been able to take. It was like he was posing for me! If you know what this is, please let me know in the comments! Thanks!

Practicing Gratitude Daily

Links:

MHPGardener on Youtube. This guy is great, lot’s of information that he’s happy to share.)

Lets Play Name That Shrub! UPDATED

Lets Play Name That Shrub! UPDATED

  I’ve been looking all over the place to figure out what this is. Clearly I’m missing something in my search terms. MOM!!! Help? This shrub (?) was about 7 or 8′ tall when we moved in. It was trimmed down a fair amount (much […]

Questionable History

Questionable History

In case there was ever a question as to where my love for Mother Earth came from, we can look at these examples. Kids, in the late 70’s I lived in a lovely little Southern Manitoba prairie town called Melita. My mom grew up there. […]

What Is A Lasagna Garden?

What Is A Lasagna Garden?

I have to admit, I was surprised to find out a lasagna garden was not a space to grow lasagna ingredients. Although, I will be addressing a spaghetti garden later…

Bill Mollison, who is known for being the “Father of Permaculture” (or one of them at least – depending who you talk to) addresses lasagna gardens in one of his videos. I’ve also seen it on The Art of Gardening (great series). They are cropping up all over the place. Pun intended this time.

You can build a lasagna garden anywhere as long as you get a good amount of sun during the day. On grass, on crappy soil, Bill Mollison says even on concrete. It’s built up layers (hence the name) of wet newspaper or wet cardboard, and a variety of compost, hay, leaves, etc. Then straw. Poke a hole in the straw, throw in some compost / soil blend and plant away.

Also known as sheet composting or a No Dig Garden; that’s the point. It seems like a ton of work but Mr. Mollison says it should take about 40 minutes and you have your garden ready to go for the season. You’ll never have to dig weeds, you won’t spend the year trying to amend the soil and it will all turn into a fabulous, rich organic soil for the following year; maybe even for successive planting this year if the weather allows?

Our garden is already there, but it hasn’t been touched in a very long time. So, this seems like the least physically intensive solution. I’m sure hubby will appreciate that when the time comes and I start batting my eyelashes. I’ll post pictures of the whole project I’m sure.

One thing that I’m really excited to try is one of these on a table top. I’m experimenting with accessibility in design. Hmm. Different post for that.

If you have anything to add to this topic please do so! Did it work for you? What plants were thriving or pouting? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

For a much better description, some great diagrams or video how to, please have a look at some of the links below. All great sources of information. Plant On!

References & Links:
Bill Mollison Permaculture Series
I recommend the whole set presented here, but I think the no-dig / lasagna garden is in the home gardening video. Beware the sound. The intro song is really quiet and garbled but the lecture is regular volume.

The Art Of Gardening
This is a great series I found done by a family somewhere in the Southern States.  Mom and her three daughters cover lasagna gardens, potato patches, herbs and how to set up a compost.

http://www.no-dig-gardening.org/