Solar Powered Garden Helper Machine

Solar powered garden machine“I really love gardening but I have a bad back and when it comes to staying bent over in the garden it gets rough. So I built this Helper Machine. I call it My P-Machine. Planting/Picking/Pulling weeds/Putting around the garden machine.”

More.

Hat tip to Rob De Schutter.

Sub-irrigated Planters

sub irrigated planters

Sub-irrigated planters are simple devices that allow low-maintenance, low-water consumption container gardening. Appropedia has DIY-instructions, using plastic buckets or bottles.

Previously: Water batteries for trees, How to make your own low-tech vertical farm.

The Agricultural Building and Equipment Plan List: over 300 Free Plans

The Agricultural Building and Equipment Plan List

“The University of Tennessee Extension maintains a collection of over 300 building and equipment plans, and all are now available in electronic format for download. The plans are primarily intended for use in Tennessee, but many are appropriate for other locations as well.

The plans came from many sources. Some were developed in The University of Tennessee Extension Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department, but most were developed in a cooperative effort with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative Farm Building Plan Exchange. The Plan Exchange no longer exists, but the plans remain on file and are available.”

Via The Survivalist Blog.

Fences of Fruit Trees

fences of fruit trees

“Almost anyone who has a backyard or garden would do well to plant fruit trees for the years ahead. Most fruit trees, though, take more years to mature than most of us have to prepare, and take up more space than most of us have in cities or suburbs. Luckily, only a few centuries ago master gardeners developed a way to cultivate fruit in narrow spaces – one that yields more fruit, more quickly, and with a longer growing season.

Espalier is a method of growing a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and bending the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees. Most gardeners started espaliers with a “maiden,” a one-year-old sapling that had not yet forked, and tied it to a staff of wood to keep it straight. Then they tied the desired branches to the fence or wall as they emerged, bending and pruning aggressively as the tree grew.

With the tree’s natural growth concentrated into only two dimensions, it creates many spurs looking for a chance to spread, creating more flowers and fruit than their conventional counterparts, and earlier in the trees’ life. The fruit can be picked casually while standing or sitting, with no need for the ladders or devices needed to pick many other fruit trees, and no risk of injury. Growing a tree against a south-facing wall has another advantage; not only does the tree receive maximum light and heat, but the thermal mass of the wall absorbs the heat and provides shelter from the wind. In this way trees get a longer growing season, and can grow in cooler climates than they would ordinarily tolerate.”

Read more: Fences of fruit trees. Related: Irish hedgerows.

Low-tech Vertical Garden in Ibiza, Spain

lowtech vertical garden ibiza

Jardín vertical low-tech en Ibiza” by Spanish architects Urbanarbolismo. The garden acts as a sound barrier between a club’s outdoor central courtyard and nearby appartments. The ceramic elements – used as a planting medium – are placed so that irrigation water can easily enter from above. No automated irrigation systems are required. Urbanarbolismo makes use of local plant varieties.

[Read more…]

Leaf Blowers Must Die

No Tech Magazine editor kills idiot with leaf blower“. One day, maybe even this autumn, the headline will link to a real news article. There might be more killings: “No object better exemplifies the worst of civilization than the leaf blower. Even the most grievous machines of mechanized death humankind has inflicted upon itself pale compared to the cosmic insult with which leaf blowers slur humanity.” Read.