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MrWiggle

My Story...advice Welcome...

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Here is my story.

Growing seeds…..I have been diligently planting some seeds recently. For someone who previously killed everything he tried to grow, I consider this a remarkable achievement, but mind you these seeds have not grown yet anyway.

I found a tree in Kanchanburi that I had not seen anywhere else, then after all the hard work found one near where we live, but I believe not as brightly coloured as the tree at KCB. So, I collected the seed pods from this tree and have at least 200 seeds. I sorted these into 2 groups, which I believe are good solid quality seeds and a poorer seed, maybe to dry or small etc.

I planted each group in a few different ways in the seed trays, trying to see which way works best. One thing to mention is that with this one tree at KCB it did not have any seedlings underneath it, whereas other trees of the same variety had plenty. So digging up seedlings was not an option.

I planted one row of good seeds in a composted soil, rich and black. Then another row of good seeds in a coconut mulch only. Then repeated this with the poorer seeds. I then soaked another batch of the good and poor seeds in water overnight and planted them the same way, coconut and soil variations.

I am hoping some of these take off as the tree is stunning and I would like to grow them out.

Next, where we live in the last few days there has been a rather large seed fall to earth from somewhere, cannot see what tree they are coming from, but believe they are from the mountain top where we live next to. The wind picks them up and they fly down to our property. Fly I say because they have 2 large wings above the seed and it flies like a helicopter to earth. We planted several of these also because I want to see what kind of tree they come from. Also my son wants to take one to science class if it grows and a seed and show off how it all worked.

Lastly, I have about 40 flowers drying in a white paper cone hoping the seeds will pop out and fall to the bottom then I can simply spread them where I want them. I believe this is a weed, but it looks like a nice weed and it covers the ground completely so that no bad weeds can grow at all. I want this coverage in some areas and want to see if it works. Then I will try with some other ground covers.

Apart from that, we have a compost heap happening, all the old weeds, some good potting mix thrown in and a pile of cow shit when it arrives and chook shit also when it arrives. Not sure if I need to keep these separate or not or if mixing all together is fine. Also have dozens of bags of rice husks thrown in there and several bales of rice straw for the hel_l of it.

Figuring I should get a shit load of shit out of it to cover a large area. We have about 150 fruit trees and half a rai of vege gardens and probably half a rai of normal gardens and lawns to feed.

Got the ‘tea’ pots already, 2 x 100 litre tanks to mix the compost teas in I have read all about here. One for a compost tea and the other for an insecticide tea.

We laid down 150 bales of rice straw already and will be laying the balance as the need arises. I have the luxury of a reasonable plot of land and on the river so plenty of water, so our vege patch is around half a rai made up of approx 15 beds 60cm wide and around 20m long. We planted most of them with various vegetables and used a mix of buffalo and soil mixture, the rich dark black one you see and some straw mulch on top.

The 4 or so remaining beds not planted I am going to experiment with by using the compost brewing on one bed when ready, on the other three I am going to place all the fresh compost on top of the bed and let it go to work there in place on top of the bed and see how that works as I can leave those beds decompose in place for months if need be. Then use some different mixture teas on half a bed each and see what pops up.

We also brought a truckload of coconut fibre mulch and use that a lot, but a 10 wheel truck is a hel_l of a lot of mulch.

All the fruit trees have a thick straw layer around them, but the bloody neighbours chickens dig it all up and spread it about. Same will go for mine I guess as they are set loose to free range during the day.

When we started all of this the ‘experts’ working with and for us said not to do any of this to thick as it is hot and will kill everything. I started it on the garden of heliconias only and while the straw is hot, you put your hand under on top of the soil and it is moist all the time, dig under and it is nice and cool. So I followed my own instincts and experience from long ago back home and did it all my way.

I read about the benefits of complementing the areas with flowers and herbs that help repel the bugs not wanted and attract the one wanted. I want to give this a go, but then I take a look at the flower pot out front where we put some very nice flowers in and marigolds in the middle and they are slowly dying, I would have thought they would have thrived. The soil is deep and rich, yet some croaked and others are following in sympathy. So it makes me wonder if the effort will be rewarded or wasted.

It is difficult when everyone is against what you are doing, simply because they do not know any different, even the missus bags me and thinks I am stupid, but at least she likes the idea of chemical free fresh food.

The biggest obstacle is the god dam_n super weeds, in a blink of an eye they swallow up the landscape. I do not know how people can justify the cost to control all of this for organic foods and come out in front.

We have the chickens, getting numbers up to supply eggs and meat year round. Same will go for pigs and we are thinking to get sheep or a few cows and using these to keep the grass down, weeds at bay somewhat and to eat. Figure a whole cow every 6 months should satisfy my beef requirements. Rib bones on the barby twice a year..hmmmm and a roast lamb monthly with cold lamb sandwiches a few days a week …more hmmmmmmmm.

So if anyone lives near Khao Yai and Pak Chong and wants to chatter about growing shit, then let me know.

I shall post some pics when I can.

Cheers.

Hi Smithson…..you know who it is.

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Hi,

what marigolds and flowers were you trying to grow ?

Even buying flower seeds in Thailand doesn't guarantee success and a lot of the plants that you buy in the black plastic bags have often been grown in coolhouses or cooler areas and often do not survive for long.

If you buy zinnia seeds in Thailand you will often find that the plants are spindly with small flowers if they get that far. Same with marigolds. You're much better to take seeds from plants that you see growing when you are out and about. I took some seed heads from a variety of zinnia that were growing in a school and they grow like weeds.

What I call the native marigolds are single blooms, but can grow to over 2 metres high. If you can nurture some double marigolds, they'll often cross pollinate and you get some strong doubles. When you get a nice double, you can then take cuttings and grow new plants.

Vinca grow well also.

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Hi Mr Wiggle, long post indeed but good reading,

I have the same problem with chickens, so i cover my heaps with the fine mesh black plastic netting, what really attracts them ive found is the kitchen waste, once i mix this in, next day the heap is spread over 10sq mtrs, another problem could be that the hen shit comes from a battery farm, lots of un=eaten food and free rangers are looking for this,

Hot composting will normally consume/kill seeds in the process, but you might have to net the heap till the process starts.

Im sure you know all natural [non-packeted] seeds have a coating on them to stop them growing in the fruit, just to make sure, soak the seeds for an hour or so, let the sun dry them, then role them around under the palm of your hand, you should/might see small flaky white pieces, blow these away, soak again for an hour or so, then plant,

Some seeds have such a thick membrane on them that a mortar and pestle is used to break into it.

Good Luck with your endeavours, Cheers, Lickey.

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Mr Wriggle,

Yes, I've heard those stories about mulch getting to hot, utter bullshit. This is from people who burn everything !

My wife has finally come round to the idea after seeing the results in good soil & reduced weeding.

When mulching trees, make sure you pull the mulch away from the trunk by about 5-10 cm, otherwise you will get problems with mold growing on the trunk, especialy in wet season.

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Glad to hear.

Yes been scratching it away from the trees where they put it all up against it.

Mulch/compost is great stuff.

They also told us not to use chicken shit....poppy cock....to hot they say, but that is if they put it on fresh. I am composting it and leaving it for 3 months first.

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Sounds like a great setup you have. Would love to see some photos when you get time.

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Ok, will do, but my internet connection is non existant currently.

Can anyone advise best method for success in germination of tree seeds.

I planted 40 seeds for a great tree and only 3 germinated. If read above, I used a variety of ways to plant them and only the healthier looking seeds sprouted and the ones near or on the surface. other than that they sprouted in both the soil mix and the coconut mulch.

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Hi MrWiggle

try looking at the agroforestry links mentioned in the useful resources thread as they give the methods for germinating a wide range of tree seeds.

cheers J

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"I found a tree in Kanchanburi that I had not seen anywhere else."

Did you find-out what it is yet? - How are the seeds coming.

Your 'helicopter' seed sounds like good-old Sycamore.

Nice to read your story. Seems you have a blessed life-style!

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I wish it was blessed a little better....not easy this shit.

The Kanchanaburi seeds, only 4 or 5 germinated, so at least have a few nice trees to grow of this one.

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