Backyard Gardening

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Myoho-Nameless
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:01 pm

I don't want to hijack a conversation happening. But I thought think this belongs here rather than on a new thread.

I will put a TL:DR at the end.

If, like most households, you produce food waste, and would like a fast source of compost, as well as to reduce the pollutants that come from throwing food into most country's garbage waste dumps, you might want to look into bokashi composting. Some negative Nancies like to say that composting produces greenhouse gasses. Well, climate change, if you believe in it, certainly has a lot more to do with coal and oil than your backyard compost pile.

Its from Japan, that makes it exotic. yay.

I wish I could post pics of my own small bokashi setup, but I can't. But there is plenty of info online. I prefer youtube. The gist of the process is that you put your foodwaste into the bokashi bucket, and sprinkle some treated bokashi mix, usually wheat bran, but it can be many things including sawdust, and you can make it at home, which has microbes and fungi cultured on it. You don't need much, but when in doubt put more on. The microbes pickle rather than compost the food. You can put things in there that you normally are not supposed to compost, such as meat and certain amounts of bone, ideally what you put in will be chopped or crushed somewhat. Most of mine is coffee grounds and the thick Chemmex coffee filters, which judging from my first batch, work just fine in the mix.

You don't want added fluid, just fluids that are in the foods just as they are. And if its a bit moldy already that might not be good, as the molds that are good for the process will have to compete with the molds introduced. I normally empty my kitchen waste collector every night into the bucket. I think you can put bread and cheese in too, though what with the issue of mold I already mentioned, that might not be a good idea if its moldy. though judging from some youtube videos people do put moldy bread in. Citrus is fine too.

You then press the stuff down, and seal the lid of the bucket, it is an anaerobic process, which is why I prefer to only open the bucket once a day, and place the morning's coffee, tea leaves, and the day's onion roots, asperagus, egg shells, artichoke or whatever in. You keep layering the stuff until the bucket is mostly full, you then leave it somewhere out of the sun for two weeks. Periodically taking the fluid that accumulates out, bokashi buckets should all have some sort of way to harvest the fluid. You can make your own, but I bought mine on amazon and they had their own spigots for the fluid. Check that at least once every two days. This fluid can be mixed with water, I have heard ratio of one part bokashi fluid to twenty parts water, to one hundred parts water. Its potent stuff and would probably kill the roots of anything you pour it on if you don't cut it with water. It has a lot of nutrients in it and promotes soil health and beneficial bacteria. Or you can just pour it into your plumbing, its good for a septic system. It won't start producing until the bucket is somewhat full in my experience, and if you use a lot of bokashi bran, it might be too dry for the fluid to collect, which is fine.

After 14 days the food waste is thoroughly pickled, and a white mold should be on top. There will be some grey mold or other molds, but long as the white mold is dominant you should be in the clear. If not, you can still compost the stuff conventionally. This pre composted stuff looks more or less like it did when you put it in, its not compost yet. You should clearly see banana peels, avacado skins, squash flesh, coffee filters, etc. The stuff is acidic so immediately putting in on plants would not be good. Normally they say bury the stuff, and withing another two weeks, maybe longer, it should be composted. Much faster than if you just buried fresh kitchen waste in the ground. You can then plant on top of that spot, and there will be plenty of nutrients and a healthy spot of soil with beneficial microbes. I however put my first and second batches in a rubbermaid container with holes drilled on the bottom, and covered it with some dirt to introduce composting microbes. it very quickly was composted. And they say this compost is better than "typical" compost.

The pre compost can be fed to worms in vermicompost (which also produces beneficial fluid). or placed in with conventional compost piles, and I heard it will speed up that compost process as well.

you can build your buckets yourself, or buy one. same for the bokashi bran. Have at least two buckets, remember it has to sit without being added to or opened for two weeks. in the meantime use the other bucket.

what does it smell like? not like anything when the bucket is closed. It wont stank the house up after opening either. Its a slight fruity, vaguely rotting vegetable matter/composty smell, and if you go through as much coffee as I do, like coffee. The fluid smells similar but with a hint of fruit juice. It won't dissuade you from doing this.

TL:DR

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:25 am

Thanks, M-N. I've heard of this system before - and mostly good things, btw - but never tried it.
We are lucky enough to have a big garden so we don't need the compactness and fast turnaround that bokashi offers. We've been in the same house for a long time now and a very easy but complicated composting system has evolved -
Lawn clippings go on the banana patch straight away, or get heaped up elsewhere to turn into mulch for flowerbeds.
Kitchen scraps (except meat) go into a small bucket which is emptied every day or two into bottomless plastic bins down the back of the yard. Weeds and suchlike go onto them as well. When each of these is full, we leave it alone until it has composted down (a couple of months) and then dump it out into a steel rubbish bin to use as required.
Palm fronds (we have lots - tropics, right?) don't compost in less than geological time scales so they are carted away every month along with other big dry stuff like tree prunings. We did experiment with chopping them finely through a mulcher but it took forever and they still didn't rot down.
And there's a big open heap for dead leaves and anything else I haven't mentioned. It gets turned over about once a year and the compost on the bottom is spread on the garden.

:namaste:
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Ayu
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Ayu » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:41 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Thank you, Ayu! Do you think the katsura tree and the eastern redbud are suffering from the same fungus that has infected the cherry plum?

Smaller photos below:

Cercidyphyllum japonicum (aka katsura tree):

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/FoLm6 ... EKstQ=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/DPMhX ... QVTqQ=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MXYCx ... 3fOrw=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nSx3l ... UtV7A=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ZLAyl ... 2dh7A=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_ufWf ... gfD9A=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/giLNd ... QRR7A=s190

Cercis canadensis (aka eastern redbud):

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/L7jS4 ... DkAIw=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Hiw6 ... Ui_jg=s190
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/Np4dr ... 94r1A=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kmGCK ... n2okg=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/k6YqJ ... nBn6w=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/ladaH ... Wx7WA=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/T86-l ... XrrTw=s190

Prunus cerasifera (aka cherry plum):

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/eZbJs ... wwAQw=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/siIrE ... 5_D2w=s190
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/NnoSk ... X6qsQ=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BmcEh ... fRzDA=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_SF3g ... qN27w=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/NBQiT ... E8X0w=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/NBQiT ... E8X0w=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/X8kLF ... 18cWA=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a_Hyo ... B3bEA=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/1xWQ9 ... gqAjw=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/7uVCX ... UuHUw=s190
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ZgK29 ... wsp0w=s190
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/XNEgw ... Z2U1g=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/FHhCP ... 1GZpQ=s190
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/RYsgn ... yx-Ww=s190
I'm not sure.
It is so difficult to judge photos properly.
The desease looks alike on all three trees, isn't it? The injury at the stem I would try to treat with some "lac balsam", a cream that closes the wounds and works against the infect with funghizids. Try to cut away the brown parts , if possible, and clean it well. Also, rainwater should be able to flow down freely without any room to pool. Holes could be filled with cement for this purpose.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:50 pm

Thank you, Ayu. I have been frantically contacting dendrologists who refuse to look at the trees and invariably suggest I am insane, professional gardeners who refuse to look at the trees and tell me to chop them down and amateurs who sympathise, admit helplessness and say pretty much what you have said.

I will cut out the brown bits and smear the wounds with ointment and hope to all gods the trees will make it through. Please keep your fingers crossed.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Ayu
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Ayu » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:17 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Thank you, Ayu. I have been frantically contacting dendrologists who refuse to look at the trees and invariably suggest I am insane, professional gardeners who refuse to look at the trees and tell me to chop them down and amateurs who sympathise, admit helplessness and say pretty much what you have said.

I will cut out the brown bits and smear the wounds with ointment and hope to all gods the trees will make it through. Please keep your fingers crossed.
Don't forget the water from your offering bowls. ;)
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
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Queequeg
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:28 pm

I have to admit I am not the most conscientious gardener... I'm really quite impressed with the regard for all the creatures, including the one's bringing destruction to the garden...

What is the view on invasives? We have a problem with East Asian plants going out of control in our climate. Without natural controls - diseases and bugs that eat the plants, they can quickly choke out everything else.

What are the ethical concerns in trying to eradicate very aggressive invasives? I'm asking because beyond vague health concerns about my scorched earth Round-Up attack, its not something I've put much thought into.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:36 pm

Its scotch broom and English ivy over here.
Queequeg wrote: What is the view on invasives? We have a problem with East Asian plants going out of control in our climate. Without natural controls - diseases and bugs that eat the plants, they can quickly choke out everything else.
Kill them with fire.

Or wait a few hundred thousand years for the native to adapt to their presence, turning invasives into natives themselves.

Our iconic Douglass Fir (is not actually a fir) was "invasive" 7,000 years ago, they didn't exist here.
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Ayu
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Ayu » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:36 pm

In the garden I try to support the natural beneficial processes instead of trying to rule them. Thus I try to avoid chemical maces, because often they do a hidden harm to parts of the dependend construction, which is undesirable.

Lately our old roses had many bugs. I could only take care of that next day. I wanted to spray an ecological potash lye („Neudosan"), a very good medicine, which affects only the bugs. But then next day I saw there were many ladybird larvas, who are able to eat 200 bugs a day. So I just sprayed the most affected parts and left enough bugs for the ladybird's dinner. Two days later the roses looked very healthy and all the bugs were gone.

I think, everybody has a different style in gardening. I like it when everything grows.


At a Pure Land temple in my town they never kill bugs. I don't know how they manage that, but their garden is beautiful.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by newbie » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:58 pm

My eyes are still glued to this thread. It's something I like very much about healing the nature. I cannot explain what it is, but it feels good inside when I read all these posts. :tongue:

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Queequeg
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:10 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:Its scotch broom and English ivy over here.
Queequeg wrote: What is the view on invasives? We have a problem with East Asian plants going out of control in our climate. Without natural controls - diseases and bugs that eat the plants, they can quickly choke out everything else.
Kill them with fire.

Or wait a few hundred thousand years for the native to adapt to their presence, turning invasives into natives themselves.

Our iconic Douglass Fir (is not actually a fir) was "invasive" 7,000 years ago, they didn't exist here.
Interesting about the Firs. How did they get here? From where?

I had read that knotweed which is out of control in the Northeast US, is actually endangered in Japan because of a fungus. When I went to Japan a couple years ago, I contemplated trying to find the fungus and bringing it back - I had become quite obsessed with this plant in a very bad way. I didn't because I'm afraid of unintended consequences.

English Ivy had gone out of control when we first moved into out house - it was getting under the wood trim of the house and ripping the boards off. :techproblem: I ripped it all out. Giant rolls of ivy dumped out for the town public works to pick up.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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Queequeg
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:12 pm

newbie wrote:My eyes are still glued to this thread. It's something I like very much about healing the nature. I cannot explain what it is, but it feels good inside when I read all these posts. :tongue:
Do you garden? After a weekend in my garden, I almost have to relearn my job on Monday morning. Its awesome.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

Myoho-Nameless
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:46 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Interesting about the Firs. How did they get here? From where?
Their range varies with the glacier cycles IIRC. After the last glacial melt, they "migrated" to where they are now, from ten thousand to seven thousand years ago. There is a glauca subspecies as well as a variety from Mexico and the south west with larger cones.

The PNW has it's own grasslands, but the habitat is endangered. The native peoples used to maintain them I think, make sure the firs didn't take over, now since 93% of the prairies are on the JBLM military base, its up to them. But I think before the glaciers melted this place was more of a grassland. I mean, where there wasn't glaciers. Its not often you hear of a habitat endangered because of a lack of human intrusion.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by newbie » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:49 pm

No, we don't have a backyard garden. We have a refuge area for birds in the park nearby with a lagoon for ducks. It's a prairie habitat.
I don't do much than alert the superviser of the park if I see anything that seems to become a problem.
Last edited by newbie on Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:57 pm

Queequeg wrote: I didn't because I'm afraid of unintended consequences.
Its hard to tell sometimes. I was worried when my dad wanted to plant bamboo on our ocean property, little captain planet brainwashed me, but turns out silicon sand does not support bamboo. one of the hardest minerals there are, few plants can tolerate it's abrasiveness and sand's lack of nutrients.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Ayu » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:59 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:
Queequeg wrote: I didn't because I'm afraid of unintended consequences.
Its hard to tell sometimes. I was worried when my dad wanted to plant bamboo on our ocean property, little captain planet brainwashed me, but turns out silicon sand does not support bamboo. one of the hardest minerals there are, few plants can tolerate it's abrasiveness and sand's lack of nutrients.
And most plants cannot stand the salty air.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:42 am

Myoho-Nameless wrote: The PNW has it's own grasslands, but the habitat is endangered. The native peoples used to maintain them I think, make sure the firs didn't take over, now since 93% of the prairies are on the JBLM military base, its up to them. But I think before the glaciers melted this place was more of a grassland. I mean, where there wasn't glaciers. Its not often you hear of a habitat endangered because of a lack of human intrusion.
I remember reading about how the environment the first European settlers found in North America were not truly wild, but had been in a sense cultivated by first people. I don't remember the specifics.

In Japan, it's amazing to go to ancient shrine precincts such as Ise where the forests have been under human cultivation for more than a thousand years. To see a thousand year old tree and understand that it's been tended continuously by human beings since it was a sapling is a wondrous thought.

I planted a black pine a couple years ago with the intension of tending it as a niwaki for the rest of my life and leaving to my son or daughter to continue to tend.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:29 am

Queequeg wrote:
Myoho-Nameless wrote: The PNW has it's own grasslands, but the habitat is endangered. The native peoples used to maintain them I think, make sure the firs didn't take over, now since 93% of the prairies are on the JBLM military base, its up to them. But I think before the glaciers melted this place was more of a grassland. I mean, where there wasn't glaciers. Its not often you hear of a habitat endangered because of a lack of human intrusion.
I remember reading about how the environment the first European settlers found in North America were not truly wild, but had been in a sense cultivated by first people. I don't remember the specifics.
Australia is similar in that way. In some areas, vegetation was controlled by deliberately lighting wildfires to create a patchwork of new and old growth.
In Japan, it's amazing to go to ancient shrine precincts such as Ise where the forests have been under human cultivation for more than a thousand years. To see a thousand year old tree and understand that it's been tended continuously by human beings since it was a sapling is a wondrous thought.
Again, it's similar for us. The oldest building within 100 miles of my home dates back to the 1860s. The oldest building in all of Australia is less than 100 years older than that. To go to Europe or SE Asia and see many buildings which are 500 or more years old shows us just how shallow our own roots are here.

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:46 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote: Australia is similar in that way. In some areas, vegetation was controlled by deliberately lighting wildfires to create a patchwork of new and old growth.
This is a little off topic, but if people were managing the land before Europeans showed up, then legally speaking, in a Western civ sense, they had a good prior claim to the land... :shrug:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by AlexMcLeod » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote: Australia is similar in that way. In some areas, vegetation was controlled by deliberately lighting wildfires to create a patchwork of new and old growth.
This is a little off topic, but if people were managing the land before Europeans showed up, then legally speaking, in a Western civ sense, they had a good prior claim to the land... :shrug:
99% died in a massive plague. The European settlers only found the survivors. A bit like if someone rolled into Europe right after the black plague, and took over.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:34 pm

Queequeg wrote: I remember reading about how the environment the first European settlers found in North America were not truly wild, but had been in a sense cultivated by first people.
Kim O'Hara wrote: Australia is similar in that way. In some areas, vegetation was controlled by deliberately lighting wildfires to create a patchwork of new and old growth.
Yup. humans affect the environment more than beavers, so they say. Which isn't always bad.

The northern hemisphere is now actually more wooded than it used to be.

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Queequeg wrote: This is a little off topic, but if people were managing the land before Europeans showed up, then legally speaking, in a Western civ sense, they had a good prior claim to the land... :shrug:
Occupancy and use would be a great standard for property in my opinion. But its no barrier against guns, germs, and steel.
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