Martin Crawford

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  • in reply to: Removing trees to plant trees? #88892
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    Hi Matt
    It is completely fine to remove unwanted trees to make space and light for more useful species. Of course it is best if after cut the trees are recycled on site – so either chopped into bits and left on the soil surface, or chipped and used as a mulch. More than half of the carbon in the old trees will be transferred and stored in the soil which will help everything else.
    Martin

    in reply to: Human urine #87421
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    Sandy soils always lose more nutrients in heavy rainfall than mid-texture or heavy soils. But urine by its nature is applied little and often, which is the best thing for sandy soils so that there is no huge loss of nutrients after storms etc.

    in reply to: Human urine #87274
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    One pee gives approx total of 5g of Nitrogen. So amount per sq m depends on how far you spread it! Female urine not significantly different, acidity will vary more to do with diet I think.

    in reply to: Cover cropping #86709
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    Yes sounds good.

    in reply to: Cover cropping #86696
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    It’s also not a good time of year to oversow a cover crop as germination will be poor (seeds dry off quickly in dry warm weather). E March or E September are the best times.
    If you sowed in Sepember and overwintered cover crop, this would affect species you can use as most legumes will not tolerate much flooding.
    Soil pH will also affect what species that will work well.
    Vole population is cyclic over a period of 4-6 years. We just had a peak vole winter and damage to various woody plants. Maybe yours is peaking too. The only good thing about that is that population will crash via predators having a feast this year!
    You could sow a cover crop in September and start planting out in the winter as well, allowing cover crop to remain for a year or more.

    in reply to: Site selection – North-East facing slope #40675
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    You can find slope by generating contour lines using http://www.contourmapgenerator.com
    A gentle north facing slope should not stop you making a forest garden – one of our sites is this stuation. The only thing it may affect is late ripening fruit varieties which may not perform so well.

    in reply to: Using Prunus Cerasifera as a Windbreak  #27720
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    A metre gap would be fine, they will soon fill the space between.

    in reply to: Using Prunus Cerasifera as a Windbreak  #27629
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    They are bushy with branches down to within 1m of the ground if unpruned. Height is a bit more than the width.

    in reply to: Under Planting Apple Trees on Dwarf Rootstock #18540
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    Grass cuttings can be high in Nitrogen, and you are right, too much nitrogen can result in excessive soft growth which aphids love. If this is what happened then a lower-N mulch might well be better for you.

    in reply to: Under Planting Apple Trees on Dwarf Rootstock #18513
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    How dwarfing? Rootstocks dwarf by root system being short and near the surface, so they can be more affected by competition. That’s not to say you cannot underplant them but you’d need to be careful not to plant too many shallow-rooting species.

    in reply to: Arrangement/Spacing of Trees and Shrubs #16856
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    The image shows closely spaced plants down in the ground layer, as the example afterwards (Rubus tricolor) illustrates. To get good soil coverage you need plants growing densely in the low layer, either by planting densely and/or by including spreading plants that will fill in any gaps.

    in reply to: Gaultheria shallon / Salal #16822
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    It’s a good question. My shallons are in quite a bit of shade in soil pH 5.5 or so, and fruit really well. A high bumble bee population pollinates them. Maybe they were first brought to the UK (sevreal hundred years ago) as seed which happened to be from good fruiters, and then got propagated from those through the years.

    in reply to: Wood ash for a walnut #15639
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    It sound to me more like a lack of pollination than a shortage of nutrients. Is it a single tree with no other walnuts nearby? Most walnuts are not very self-fertile.

    in reply to: Wood ash for a walnut #15628
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    Is the walnut cropping heavily? Only then would it need that amount of potassium. If that is the case then yes, around 3kg wood ash in total would be useful, but best to apply this in several smaller amounts eg. 1kg in May, 1kg June, 1Kg July – to reduce risk of soluble potassium being washed out of the soil.

    in reply to: Rubus tricolor #15317
    Martin Crawford
    Keymaster

    R.pentalobus will cross pollinate, and probably R.’Betty Ashburner’ too (the latter is a pentalobus x tricolor cross). I don’t know about R.nepalensis.

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