What Should I Do?

Enter a comma separated list of user names.
What Should I Do?

Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

Solar water heater using a thermosiphon loop
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 5:18 PM

This is a very simple design for a batch-type solar water heater that uses a thermosiphon loop to move water between a solar thermal collector and a storage barrel. While it’s not the most efficient method for solar water heating and works rather slowly, it effectively demonstrates the operation of a thermosiphon and its connection to hot water storage.

What Should I Do?

Shutterstock

How to Install a Raspberry and Blackberry Trellis

Upgrading from a basic to a refined trellising system
Monday, October 20, 2014, 4:47 PM

My old raspberry and blackberry trellis was made of green ‘T’ posts and light gauge green wire. Not particularly attractive, so I decided to install a more professional looking trellis. I just moved my raspberry and blackberry canes up against my fence, so I already had one side of the trellis taken care of. The other side, I decided to install a standard two wire system held up with 4x4 wooden posts. This system works well, looks nice, actually it is hard to even see, and is easy to install. » Read more

What Should I Do?

How to Winterize your Asparagus Patch

Protecting this delicious perenial
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:41 PM

There are a couple of things that should be done to winterize your asparagus patch. In the late fall or early winter you should cut back your asparagus ferns. This will help to break the pest cycle of the asparagus beetle that loves to overwinter in the ferns. Wait until the leaves are yellow and brown. Then cut them down with good sharp pruners. Make sure to leave about 2 inches of the asparagus plant above the surface. If you cut them too low, that can cause damage to the crown, or growing point. After you have cut them back add about 4 inches of mulch to protect the roots from any winter damage. Finally, make sure you put the cut ferns far away from your asparagus patch. A compost pile is a good spot. I put them in a far corner of the garden and let the chickens peck at them. They like to pick at the berries and seeds, and they love to walk and sit on the soft ferns. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Phil Williams

How to Control Deer Damage on Fruit and Nut Trees

Protective measures to consider
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 8:42 AM

If you are planning a food forest, an orchard, or just a few fruit trees, it is a good idea to observe your site for evidence of deer. My wife & I live in a semi-rural area just outside of a small town. We have farms and single family homes around us. I really didn’t think much about the deer when I originally planted (50) fruit and nut trees out in my pasture. I knew they could be a problem, but I thought with the busy road and my neighbors around me, they would not be interested. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that! » Read more

What Should I Do?

DIY Faraday Cage

Building Your Own Faraday Cage

EMP protection for electronic devices
Friday, October 3, 2014, 3:58 PM

A Faraday cage is an enclosed space with an outer layer that conducts electricity. The physical shape of the Faraday cage does not matter: it can be spherical, cylindrical, or a box. Either the cage itself can be made of a conductive material, or the cage can be built of a non-conductive material such as wood and then covered in a conductive material.

The conductive material can be as simple as several layers of aluminum foil, which makes constructing your own Faraday cage a fairly simple and inexpensive affair. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Thyme - Daylillys

Multi-Functional Plants for the Permaculture Garden

The many reasons / uses for a variety of plants
Monday, September 29, 2014, 11:26 AM

If you have a choice of planting a tree, shrub, vine, herbaceous plant, or groundcover that only has one function or another species that fills that desired function and also provides three other benefits, why wouldn't you plant the more functional species. In permaculture, elements of our designs should serve at least 3 functions. Many species can do much better than that. Below is a list of some of my favorite multi-functional plants that I am currently using on my permaculture site. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Phil Williams

Why Bother Composting?

The benefits of building great soil.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 8:01 PM

Composting can seem pretty complicated. Depending on who you talk to, or what you read, you will find tons of different advice on how to get just the right “brew”. You’ll hear about having the perfect ratio of greens and browns, and putting them together in thin shredded layers. Then you hear about occasionally turning the pile to let the right amount of oxygen in, but not too often, as you are losing nitrogen. Then you have to have the right cooking temperature. You have to have it hot, but not too hot. Hot enough to cook, but not so hot that you burn up your nutrients. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Soil Sample

Testing Your Soil for a Pond Site

Understanding your soil before you build
Friday, September 19, 2014, 3:57 PM

If you are planning to build a compacted pond without a liner, it is a good idea to test the soil to determine the clay content. The clay content will tell you whether or not the existing soil can be compacted. If you have clay content of 30% or higher, you can be pretty confident that with proper compaction, your pond will seal. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Hydroponic Gardening

Growing Food With No Soil Required
Monday, September 15, 2014, 4:22 PM

Can you grow a garden in the winter without soil?

Yes, it is entirely possible to grow a garden in the winter without soil. In fact, you can grow a garden in the winter without these things, using an increasingly popular technique called “hydroponics.” Hydroponics is an indoor soil-free gardening technique that has been used for thousands of years and allows the gardener to have complete and total control of their garden’s environment. With the hydroponics gardening alternative, you can grow just about any type of bountiful garden during those cold winter months right within your own home – even in your home’s kitchen.

If you’ve ever put a plant clipping into a glass of water, in hopes it will develop roots, you have practiced a form of hydroponics. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Garlic Clove

How to Grow Garlic

A simpler primer on adding garlic to your garden
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 10:24 AM

Garlic is an extremely versatile cooking and medicinal herb. It is a great herb to grow in the backyard, because it is relatively easy to propagate at home, and it is expensive to buy at the store.

» Read more