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#148021 - 03/19/11 09:47 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yeah, you have to post pics, we're ALL waiting to see what you've got there!

I finished mulching the garden on Thursday and got some potatoes and onions in yesterday. I still have a lot of space for them but seed potatoes are kind of hard to get locally. I'm not sure how the onions will do in my potato patches, but they're easy to get so I'm planting them in between the rows of taters.

While I was down there planting them I took a look at my Shiitake logs and they had about 1/2 pound of ready to eat shrooms on them so I split them up with a neighbor that was down there with me and my wife cooked ours up in some chicken gravy for dinner. That's officially the first home grown thing we've eaten this year smile

Today my wife and I went and bought some more seeds and plants. I got two raspberry bushes. Hopefully it will rain tonight before I have to dig the hole for them. Two years ago I planted a bunch of blackberry bushes and they're doing pretty good. I might even get some fruit this year.

With the new dog, Annie, we won't be planting any new flowers in the yard this year. She killed one of our three chickens a few weeks ago. I'm sure she didn't mean too, but once she got a taste of it she kept chewing on it. She was scolded hard and so far she hasn't chased them again. We'll be getting a few dozen chicks next week. We'll see how they do. The fox and coyotes are pretty good at picking them off once they start ranging outside our fence and I'm not going to pen them up after six weeks or so. Their main job is tick control. Eggs are a bonus. Right now, my farm dog, Tucker, gets all the eggs from the two chickens that are left, and he knows where they're coming from so nothing gets them when they stay in the barnyard wink Hopefully Annie will learn to protect them in the front yard. That's where they get picked off.

This year seems like it starting off to be a bonus year for ticks too. I've been bitten up pretty good already doing the gardening and it's supposed to be warm most of this next week. If that's the case, backpacking is about over here already. I'm going to get a couple nights in next week, but after that I'll have to store my pack til Fall frown
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#148025 - 03/19/11 11:22 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Quote:
Two years ago I planted a bunch of blackberry bushes and they're doing pretty good. I might even get some fruit this year.


Hey Bill, University of Arkansas is one of the premier research facilities for blackberries. You might check them out and see what you can find.
We're going to be planting a variety called Arapaho this year. They produce fruit pods about the size of your thumb!

My son works at a blueberry farm so we will have all of those that we want. They are getting the fields in shape for the harvest starting in late May, early June.

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#148032 - 03/20/11 02:03 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By billstephenson
Yeah, you have to post pics, we're ALL waiting to see what you've got there!

I finished mulching the garden on Thursday and got some potatoes and onions in yesterday. I still have a lot of space for them but seed potatoes are kind of hard to get locally. I'm not sure how the onions will do in my potato patches, but they're easy to get so I'm planting them in between the rows of taters.


Ha.. hahahahahahaha....

There's still a meter of snow in my front yard. the pile from
the street is a good 10 feet tall.

In the back yard the snow is still about 8 inches down from the top of a 5 foot chainlink fence, where I've put it off the driveway.. my stupid dog can walk right over the fence - and has been able to since December.

it is *starting* to melt - but March 1 it was still -27C out in the morning. (-39C with the wind chill). I distincly recall getting up that morning and swearing a blue streak and thinking "enough already"..

Garden? Hah!. After this winter I'll be lucky if the snow is gone in july...
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#148048 - 03/20/11 10:26 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: phat]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
Phat, you just need to focus on that moose garden. I'll trade with you for a week (I probably wouldn't like it much after that).

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#148051 - 03/20/11 10:54 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
We picked some spinach for an omelet last week, but that was a plant that had overwintered. The garlic looks good, and the potatoes and peas went in a couple of weeks ago. Tomatoes and peppers are in the guest room under grow lights.

Speaking of goats, we have the goatscapers coming this week to clear the underbrush from the quarter-acre woods in the back yard. It's pretty trashy out there, and our pathetic attempts to pull out the mass of English ivy and the giant hollies and all the crappy understory stuff haven't made any difference in ten years of trying. So we'll get 20 or 30 goats out there for a few days and let them deal with it. Should be fun to watch.
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#148064 - 03/20/11 02:04 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: phat]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Phat, where do you get your fruits and veggies? Are the shipped in, or hothouse grown.

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#148074 - 03/20/11 07:11 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I didn't care to eat my old hens, I just rung their necks and buried them. They are tough. I raised Cornish X to eat and had Sex Link for eggs. I had a small pen, 15' by 30' at least, so I had no issue with smell. I built a small coop in the middle so I could lock them up at night and offer some shelter when it got below zero. I have worked out of town the last six years so I did away with them for now. They are not that much work, but need fresh water everyday, they may be a hassle to people because you may have to actually get your hands in that dirty bowl or water container. If you have pets, just another chore, either you want to do it or you don't. That's country living. I always enjoyed listening to them.

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#148081 - 03/20/11 08:45 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

some is hothouse grown, most is shipped in.

You can grow potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and the like here well. some hardy apples work, most fruit comes from california, mexico, or the okanogan in BC (mostly apples).

We grow the typical northern plains crops.
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#148095 - 03/20/11 11:45 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Tango61]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I got my blackberries from Dept of Conservation. I don't know what variety they are. I'm going to keep adding to our berries till I get more than I can eat so I will look into those Arapaho's. We have some wild blackberries growing down below the house, but they're surrounded by poison ivy that's infested with chiggers in July, so I've never tasted one of them frown

My wife got a couple Blueberry bushes yesterday too. I have no idea how long it will take them to produce, but it won't be soon enough for me wink

No work on the garden today. I put a new sink in the kitchen instead. Tomorrow I'll be on it all day though smile
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#148104 - 03/21/11 09:26 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Wow, Bill between the poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers that you have mentioned just doing gardening, I am totally convinced why winter is backpacking season for you. laugh

I have to admit that the chickens crack me up and that they are fun to listen to. I can always tell when we get an egg because they get real loud. I think laying hurts just a little...sure sounds like it.


Edited by skcreidc (03/21/11 09:33 AM)

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#148107 - 03/21/11 11:07 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I can always tell when we get an egg because they get real loud. I think laying hurts just a little...sure sounds like it.


I think they're bragging. laugh
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#148108 - 03/21/11 11:15 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: phat]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
phat, I'm afraid you'd die laughing at us hillbillies. My neighbors have been whining about this past winter all winter long and our snow melted off a month ago!

Where I grew up in No IL the winters were pretty harsh. As a kid I used to check the temps across the nation in the newspaper and I was always depressed to see that it was warmer in some towns in Alaska than Rockford. Then I moved to SO CA and didn't miss the cold a bit for some 15 years. Here, you can set your watch by change in seasons.
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#148109 - 03/21/11 11:50 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Wow, Bill between the poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers that you have mentioned just doing gardening, I am totally convinced why winter is backpacking season for you


Honestly, I feel sorry for people that come here to hike and backpack in the warm months. Our State Tourism Boards always puts out marketing that tells people how great a place it is to to day that, and the pictures they use show some incredible scenery, but you can't see the ticks and chiggers in them wink

When I first moved here I was tore up by those bugs and after reading up on the history of the area I couldn't understand why the old timers didn't mention it. I found the first accounts about being all tick bit in a letter to home from a soldier in the Civil War. That, and accounts of soldiers killing and eating every ground bird they could find gave me clue. I found out our "Prairie Hen" population was decimated during that period and the Great Depression. Clear cut logging has also been a boon for the ticks. When the logged areas turned to Cedar and thick brush, hawks and other predatory birds couldn't get to the ground to eat mice and rats as easily and those little critters offer non-stop breeding opportunities for them. This is what led me to Chickens.

A year before I got chickens I couldn't walk the hundred feet from our back porch to the garden without being covered with ticks. Now, with the chickens, and "Frontline" on all the dogs and cats, it's not near so bad on property.

The forest is hit or miss this time of year. You might not see a single tick, or you might step into a new hatch and find hundreds crawling up your shoes and pants in an instant. In another six weeks the chiggers will hatch. I can't even see them without 1.5 reading glasses and you can't feel them bite, and the bites don't show for at least 1-3 days. After that, you could easily have dozens popping up and itching like crazy. People with a thick epidermis layer might not feel them at all. I guess that means I'm "Thin Skinned" wink

I went and bought some Permethrin yesterday. I'm not a big fan and even less an advocate of using it, but it is effective and with most all my chickens MIA I'm a bit under siege right now. I'll be getting some more chicks today. The can of Permethrin should last until they're working the field.

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#148114 - 03/21/11 01:17 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I got a tick on me about 4 years ago and thats the last one I've seen. thanksI no longer use frontline, never pulled a tick off the dog, so I just give her the heart worm pills. Also a lot of garden pests like slugs simply cannot survive our winters. Pest that come in from nurseries west of the Cascades die after a year up here.

So we expected a thousand crocuses to open yesterday and instead it snowed and the plants are waiting.... waiting.... waiting.... smile
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#148116 - 03/21/11 01:58 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Jim, your crocuses should be just fine sheltered under the snow!
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#148204 - 03/23/11 09:38 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I got a tick on me about 4 years ago


I saw one in the fourteen years I lived out west, and none growing up in IL. They're thicker here than anywhere I've ever been. The permetherin has slowed the little buggers way down from biting on me, and the dogs have been Frontlined so they'll kill off a bunch now too. But the dogs and I are all cut up from them at the moment.

So my wife calls this afternoon and says to me "I got ten gorgeous chicks I'm bringing home with me and they're all for you baby." So I do my best Barry White imitation and tell her "God I love it when you do me that way. Don't waste no time getting home now." and a few minutes later she makes good on her promise....



Gotta love a woman like that laugh

I figure they'll eat their adult weight in bugs several times this year alone!

I got some cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants in, and seeded Swiss Chard yesterday, and some more potatoes in today. I've never eaten Chard, but I love the colors it comes in so I planted some.

The Redbud Trees are starting to bloom here now, dogwoods will bloom in a couple weeks.

It's supposed to rain this weekend so I'm going backpacking and I'll dig the holes for the raspberry and blueberry bushes when I get back.

In about 10 or 15 days the forest will start to leaf out. I love going out there and sitting in it when that happens. You can watch it thicken up and start closing in all around you. Views of the hills on even just the other side of the hollow disappear while you sit there and shades of green fill it all in. Wondering_Daisey would hate it smile
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#148234 - 03/24/11 11:15 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Bill
don't the hawks feast on baby chicks out in the yard? How fast do they grow and when do they start laying?

Still snowing a bit every day here.
Jim
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#148247 - 03/24/11 01:00 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
smile Here where I work out of town, I was driving "home" the other afternoon and a small falcon? was perched on the fence where a family keeps their pigeons. Waiting for his next meal I guess or to flush it. Thought it was pretty funny. Kinda like he was impatient for his next meal.

I always kept my layer chicks in a confined area until they started laying as I did not have a pen to keep them separate from the bigger chickens who will pick on them until an order is established or the newness wears off. Usually at 5 to 5.5 months.

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#148271 - 03/24/11 03:59 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I'll keep them inside for a few weeks. Right now they're in my office with a heat lamp on them. In a week or two I'll move them out to the chicken coop. I have a bigger pen I can put them in out there, but I may just let them run loose inside it. After about few more weeks I'll let them out into the chicken pen. Once they can get out of that they'll be on their own.

The two older hens I have will chase them off if they get close, but they won't kill them. They seldom even go in the coop anymore. One lays her eggs in there, and the other mostly lays them somewhere else. Sometimes I find them, sometime I don't. They both roost together in one of a few different Cedar trees in the barnyard and only roost in the coop when it's really cold or stormy.

I'm hoping the new chickens will keep roosting in the coop.
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#148272 - 03/24/11 04:09 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I got my first low tunnel greenhouse done today. I put it over the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

This shows it with the muslin cover. I'll leave this on till harvest time.




This shows it with the plastic cover over the muslin. It will come off during warm weather. It's supposed to get cold this weekend so I'm ready for that. In this pic the ends are open to keep it from over heating...



This Fall I'll plant lettuce and radishes again and use the plastic cover for as long as they keep producing. I might get veggies all thru fall and most the winter long doing this.

happy After setting this up I couldn't help but think how that muslin would make a great mosquito net for the cheap plastic tarps I've been taping together.
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#148279 - 03/24/11 07:36 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
That's muslin Bill? Sure looks thin for muslin. You don't get that at a fabric store do you? That would be nice to keep deer out of lettuce etc.

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#148281 - 03/24/11 08:29 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I got it at a craft store, I checked the label and it says it's "Tulle", not muslin. I wouldn't have known the difference if you hadn't asked blush
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#148292 - 03/24/11 09:41 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I was a store manager for a regional variety store for years and I had to know alot about everything. Muslin has a slight smell to it and what we carried came in a few different weights, nothing as thin as what you mentioned as muslin. I'll ask, a lady at work, works Sundays at a chain fabric store. There is a craft store here where I work.

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#148406 - 03/26/11 10:56 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: hikerduane]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Gonna be a long time before I can see the dirt of my garden. Four to five feet of snow now on it and still snowing, 3" overnight. To start seed, I'm going to have to buy starter mix for a change. I had paths cleared last weekend, but they were filled with almost two feet of settled snow, snow was almost mid-thigh deep. While clearing with my 8hp snow thrower, I had snow over the top of the gas tank, I had to back off every 3-4' to knock snow down so I could continue, the first cut is the hardest. I could build a snow shelter on my deck. I'll have to clear snow from in front of the windows where the deck is underneath outside as the snow is half way up those windows.

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#148422 - 03/26/11 04:20 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: hikerduane]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
It's 91 here today. I put the corn in last weekend and I'll be putting beans in tomorrow. Okra and zucchini will be ready to plant in another week or two.

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