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May 22, 2019

Making Those Tough Gardening & Homesteading Decisions, Urban Permaculture Inspiring Videos!

Making Those Tough Gardening & Homesteading Decisions-
Sometimes in gardening, and urban homesteading, you have to make tough decisions. If you have a  homestead in a rural area with a lot of acreage sometimes those tough decisions are different kinds of decisions. In a small urban Homestead, on a small city lot, we have limited space and have to grow what is useful and productive. Sometimes things get moved around, sometimes things get discontinued, like giant monster tomatoes that took 3 months to ripen! I was looking on the north side of our house this weekend and noticed our Mugo pine looked really really sick. I found out the insects that were there were European Pine Sawfly larvae. The bad news is they eat the needles, but the good news is they will grow back. The other bad news is if you don't treat the shrub, theoretically you could lose it. I've never used insecticidal sprays before of any kind, so this time I decided to make an exception. Luckily the tree had nothing growing around it, especially anything edible or where anyone walks.  I did some research and went ahead and bought a small spray bottle of Sevin, which is basically a neurotoxin bug spray. I doused the Mugo Pine and all the little Sawtooth larvae started falling off.

All gone

The good news is hopefully I'll never have to do this again! I think the unusually wet April that we had may have contributed to this since I've never seen this before anywhere. It was the fourth wettest April on record ever. Too much rain. Still raining this last week, with temps in the 50's and 40's at night. Put the heavier bedding back on the bed and got out my winter PJ's!

Rhubarb before shot, with potato bin

The next decision was to tear out our rhubarb patch. I had tried growing rhubarb in three different places on our lot and just didn't have much luck. This last location was sunny, with some shade, and it would grow really well but then it would never turn red. Since our neighbor next door hates rhubarb, and has a huge plant and let's us take it, it really didn't make sense to use valuable garden space for that. Dave ripped it up and it went into the compost bin for the city. I very successfully grown squash in that spot so we will probably plant either squash or pumpkins. It will also allow some more room for the raspberries to spread.  Here in a small urban space when room is at a premium you just have to make those tough decisions of what you can grow versus what you want to grow. After shot-

Urban Permaculture Inspiring Videos!
These are Urban Permaculture based, but you will see tons of flexible ideas you can use anywhere! We don't live in the "suburbs" but many urban (or rural) areas can take these ideas and run with them. I got this book from an inter-library loan, so many amazing ideas

Author David Holmgren is based in Australia, and many of these videos are from there as well. If you go to Youtube and search Permaculture Tours, there lots to watch. Here's some sample I really loved!



Mama Pea said...

Glad you could help your Muga pine, but sorry you had to resort to using Sevin. I'm not condemning you because if there was something we could have used on our raspberries to save them year before last, I might have succumbed.

So wise to look at what you grow objectively and get rid of what just doesn't work and make room for what does! Rhubarb grows very well up here in northern MN and we're practically salivating over the first picking which will happen this week.

Thanks for the info regarding good books and videos to check out.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Mama!

Dawn said...

We've had a terribly wet, cool spring here as well (in CT). I also don't use chemicals, but the one exception I have made is to use weed killer on the poison ivy. I hated to do it, but I'm so allergic to the stuff that it actually goes systemic in my body and I'm miserable for up to 6-8 weeks with it (and I can't take prednisone), so I totally understand that sometimes you just don't have a choice.

We have lots of luck with rhubarb here, and I just picked some last week. I think I'll let the rest blossom, though, so the bees have something to play with, as this same wet, cool spring has delayed a lot of our flowering plants too.

Oh, and I found you on the Farm Fresh Tuesday blog hop. :-)

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Dawn, just one of those things!

Tamara Reid said...

Sometimes those tough changes we make turn out to be the best thing ever! Thanks for sharing on our Farm Fresh Blog Hop!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes saved my shrub