Correct, didn't explain myself correctly, will use the old beer as bait in a snail trap :)
Im about to put some old home brewed beer in place to deter slugs and snails. Will try coffee too, I'll keep the coffee grounds to spread them around the garden bed to act as a moat .
I like the idea of a solar powered slug fence. You could charge up a nicad or supercapacitor during the day and pretty much have a multi-season solution.
While I've heard that copper by itself is not as much of a deterrent as people claim, a strip of copper and a strip of zinc would form a galvanic reaction that may be sufficient.
What about the 9v slug fence? Seems pretty foolproof. Wire it up to a dedicated 9v buck converter and cover the perimeter?
I should try this around my basil and beets. Something has been munching on them...
I sprinkle the coffee ground as a moat around my lettuces, seemed to work.
Gardens, coffee and home-brew beer. That's a pretty good coverage of my favorite things.
I'm pretty sure slugs and snails like beer as it's used to trap them.
Slug abatement trick: caffeine
Robert Hollingsworth of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Hilo, Hawaii, and his colleagues were testing caffeine sprays against the coqui frog, an introduced species that infests potted plants. They noticed that a 1-2% caffeine solution killed nearly all the slugs and snails within two days. Concentrations as low as 0.01% put the pests off their dinner. A cup of instant coffee contains about 0.05% caffeine, and brewed coffee has more.
The squirrel may have tried to destroy my gardening career, but they (mostly) failed.
The tomatoes and chives are surviving well. I upgraded them to larger pots a few days ago.
There's a small pepper sprout that seems to have come up from the ashes of one of the squirrel eaten pepper plants. We'll see if it takes hold or not.
On a 100kW Gasifier project that I built the electronics and control logic, we had to know when a hopper was full of material (woodchips, walnut shells or corn cobs mostly), before activating a rotary valve seal, and then an auger. I ended up settling on two industrial capacitance sensor which I put on the outside of the hopper and would detect when something was between them. There was an air solenoid that would shake the whole unit if the top sensor read that there was something between it, and the bottom sensor read empty or any other time that it was determined that the material had bridged and wasn't moving.
I would assume something similar could be used on either side of the pot (or incorporated in the pot itself) to tell when the pot is full of water or dry as all you really need to know is when the dielectric between the capacitive sensor changes.
I turn off the power to the sensor when I'm not actively reading. So it powers on once a minute to do a reading and powers back off.
It'll still wear out eventually, but not as quickly. There's some other options which don't expose the contacts directly: Gravity: Analog Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensor- Corrosion Resistant.
I've heard that the galvanic reaction in soil moisture sensors tends to make them dissolve over time and thus become unusable. I was just going to ask you if there was a new tech involved that make them more reliable. When I was last looking into this they suggested removing them from the soil between readings (?!?!). Short of making a robot that pushes the sensor into each pot, I didn't see how this could be useful.
Since the last post there's been some changes.
The tomatoes really burst to life, so I had to expand them to three different pots. One of the pepper plants got large and I had to replant to a larger pot.
And then a squirrel happened. The little bugger ate a both pepper plants and one of the tomato plants. The rest of the tomatoes and the chives are fine and continue to grow.
Also, the moisture sensor system has died and I have yet to figure out why. May look in to that this weekend.
In disapointing news, it would seem the system lost power around 1am (it was cloudy yesterday, the battery never seemed to completely fill). The system turned back on around 7-ish, but shortly after went offline again.
I checked on it and the microcontroller had corrupted it's keys so it couldn't authenticate to the "cloud" anymore. Had to restore the server keys on it. My guess is that the solar panel didn't have enough power to charge the batter and keep the microcontroller running and it was underpowered or on/off cycling.
I was pretty sure that battery had enough power to drive that system for 18+ hours and with the sun it got yesterday I figured it had enough to make it until morning. Guess I need to check my numbers again!
I've added chives and cherry tomatoes which have come up quickly!
I'm now monitoring soil moisture and logging the data. I've been considering if logging the data in to SSB instead of <some random web service> would be a good idea. The embedded compute board I'm using wouldn't really be capable of having SSB running on it, but it can do TCP over the network so I could have it remotely log to a service on the local network running SSB. Almost as good? Definitely would handle offline better than it does now (thanks Comcast...).
Update on our greenhouse!
Stuff is filling in fast!
From top left to bottom right:
|Bed one||Bed two|
|arugala||dragon tongue beans|
|bock choy||cherry tomatoes|
Barrels: gem squash
Hanging baskets: strawberries
|Ground left||Ground right|
|grapes||peppers, random tomatoes, willow tree|
Wow that looks like a really nice place to chill. Did you build it yourself and how big is it?
Upping the growing game. Split the pepper plants apart so they can grow a bit more before transplanting outside. Adding a cup with chives and cherry tomatoes. We'll see how well they take.
Had a small gap in documentation... but it looks like we may actually be successful here. A little bit longer and I'll actually need to have figured out where I'm going to transplant these little ones to.
Continuing the documentation of this little plant...
The sprout previously posted seems to have failed, but two other seeds are giving it a shot. One of them came up super fast and now has leaves. Maybe we've got a winner (again)!
Follow-up: pepper plant finally decided to peek out. And here I thought it was dead!
So far we're failing at getting our garden started. Trying to get some pepper seeds going and we're not having much luck. Photo is about a week in the dirt, no signs of a spout yet. The seeds were a bit old, so it's possible they were too far gone. 😢
Morchellas are normally found in forest areas. Their mycelium connect with tree roots; these relationships can be mycorrhizal or saprobic. Morchella typically form relationships with hardwood and conifer trees. They can often be found around ash, dying elms, or in apple orchards. Morchella deliciosa are often referred to as “tulip morels” or “hickory morels” because they are commonly found under these trees.
It seems it's ‘not well understood’, according to Wikipedia🡕:
The ecology of Morchella species is not well understood. Many species appear to form symbiotic or endophytic relationships with trees, while others appear to act as saprotrophs.
It's amazing you have those fungi in your garden, though. I've never seen a Morchella in nature, and much less eaten one.
Some will be symbionts. While they most likely still depend on dead organic matter, they exchange essentials with green plants. Remove the symbiotic partner and the fungus will die.
The truffle is a well-known example of such a symbiotic relationship: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle#In_New_Zealand_and_Australia
Many do, yes. But I would expect morels to be easier to cultivate if they were purely saprophytic. You're lucky to have those fungi so close at hand!
It looks very healthy.
I feed it a cup of aged urine every five days or so, and […]
Just curious: How do I age urine? And what does it smell like when it's aged?
The idea is to use aged human urine as the nutrients for a hydroponics system
The first thought that came to mind was: Will salt (as in NaCl) never be a problem?
In 1998 a friend of mine gave me a Clivia miniata that I enjoyed and cared for in several years until one year I forgot to bring it in before the first frost. I had a few berries from the latest flowering, though, and I managed to get 2 or 3 surviving seedlings from those berries. A few days ago I discovered that one of the plants now is so mature that it’s in bloom. Joy!
I'd like to get myself an EC meter. I built an aquaponics system with a grade 5-6 class four years ago, and the time has come to dismantle it (the class is going to get a vertical gardening setup). It's too big to put in my apartment, but I might reuse the components to build an anthroponics system in my back yard. Doing away with fish with fish is nice, as I don't have to worry about killing fish.
The easiest way to turn urine into aged urine is to save some piss in bottles and wait a month. The pH will go up to 9, and that will sterilize the urine.
You can also crush up watermelon seeds or peas and add them to fresh urine to accelerate the process. The enzyme urease in the seeds will convert the urea into ammonia much faster.
I just took a whiff of the stuff to see how it smells. Fruity with hints of leather, I'd say. If the bottles are closed, you won't smell the contents, but opening it while it's aging will give you a nasty hit of ammonia. The grow bucket smelled like soil when I got up close and sniffed it.
Here's my datura plant. It's growing in a 20 liter bucket full of water with an air stone to keep the roots from drowning. I feed it a cup of aged urine every five days or so, and I tossed some brown sugar in when I first started it to give the bacteria a little kick off.
Good point. Salt can build up in soil if urine is applied in the morning on a hot day, because the liquid will evaporate instead of dissipating into the soil. This can be solved by applying in evenings or on rainy days, and by not over fertilizing the soil. In the case of anthroponics, where the urine is always diluted in water but regularly applied, gradual buildup over time might be more of a factor. If salt becomes a problem you could always change your water, but a diet low in salts would also probably help. Apparently a vegan diet with lots of seeds, nuts, and leafy greens makes for the best urine fertilizer.
If you are changing the water frequently, it's probably worthwhile to inoculate your new solution with some of the leftovers from your previous setup. Your plants can't live off of ammonia or urea, so we need to rely on bacteria to break the urine down into nitrites and nitrates. This is no problem in soil, where these bacteria naturally thrive, but is a harder in a soil-less medium. Adding some floating twigs, or bioballs (floating plastic balls that are manufactured to have high surface area) will help your bacteria colony along.
Coffee will dilute and acidify your urine, but neither of those have to be problems. You can grow plants that like an acidic environment, or add a bit of wood ash to raise the ph. I haven't really tried playing with my acidity/alkalinity with intention before, but it could be worthwhile if I were trying to grow food using anthroponics.
The neuroleptic I'm on is worth a fair bit, and the majority of it is excreted unmetabolized through urine. I can see the appeal of supplementing the delirient effects of datura with a neuroleptic, but I don't want it in my tobacco or hemp.
I do have a close friend who's on high doses of opiods for chronic pain though. Dunno if he'd supply me with his urine, but I would be curious to see whether I could grow some psychoactive cabbage.
Lately I've been putting a lot of thought into anthroponics, as explored on http://anthroponics.com/about/. The idea is to use aged human urine as the nutrients for a hydroponics system, sorta like aquaponics, but without the need to maintain an aquarium. hjsanchez was able to grow 600 grams of lettuce using 300 ml of urine, which suggests that one adult's daily pissings is enough to grow 3 kilograms of lettuce.
I've been growing a Datura metel plant using my urine, and it seems quite healthy (I'll post a picture of my simple setup tomorrow, when the light is better). I haven't tried growing plants that I'll consume yet, because I want to build a biofilter that will remove the pharmaceutical I'm on from my u rine. This: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/biochar-takes-the-pharmaceuticals-out-of-urine/2500487.article
suggests that it's doable.
I'm going to grow hemp and tobacco like this, I'll keep you updated on the progress!
Hej @kas Very Nice!
I'm at a loss which town in dk that I took this photo in… and your photo reminded me how nice Dk is in the spring…
Ah, I forgot about Mycorrhizae. That would definitely make it more difficult. The only tree that I believe it could be in a symbiotic relationship would be the giant redwood in my backyard. And I haven't found any morels near it.
Since they don't photosynthesis, what other means of obtaining food would they have? Eating the living? I guess there are fungi that turn ants into zombies, eating them from inside. Is that the other option?
Yes, I believe so, if I understand the word correctly. Most mushrooms feed off of dead organic matter in the soil.
Every year a few morels pop up in the space between my house and my neighbors. I've been thinking I need to put down something like woodchips to increase the numbers that come up.
High salinity will keep the roots from being able to update nutrients. It's common in aquaponics and hydroponics to use a EC meter (Electrical Conductivity) to measure the ppm of dissolved solids, which are mostly salts. Once you get over a certain threshold you will need to drain out some of your water and replace it with fresh water.
In Aquaponics it's important to maintain the microorganisms that break down urea and other components of fix excrement (similar to your urine), so not all of the water is replaced. If you are using a gravel or sand bed as your biofilter this is where your microorganisms will reside.
You'll also want to maintain a proper pH, adding acid or base on a daily basis, usually as you are adding your aged urine.
Wife and I are doing starts this year. Cantaloupe, Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, and zucchini! We just started but we already have a few sprouts coming up!
This year we have a lot of chilli plants we carring over the winter with artificial light. I'm very excited about this because this plants are huge and we hopefully get maaany chillis :)
Next interesting thing is that we build 2 raised beds ... don't know what we put in there but it would be cool and tasty :)
Edible plant uptake of pharmaceuticals from urine could be very useful as a way of recycling some types of expensive medications. It looks like there is already some research about this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653509014714
I would be curious to see whether I could grow some psychoactive cabbage.
oh wow, please tell us if this works. sunday lunch with the folks would be so much more fun
wowow, this is so awesome. I have plenty of urine and don't currently have any use for it. Will it be a problem that I drink a lot of coffee?
Not really. As I'm the only one who has to look at it, it seems to be my problem. I guess they'll find out when they pull the old shed down some day :)
Hacked our neighbours ugly shed today by painting it blue as the sky, and adding some fence and plants around it.