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#147897 - 03/16/11 09:03 PM Garden 2011
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well it's time to plant a few things here now. I spent the afternoon grinding up the last of the leaves in my yard to mulch some more of the garden with. I'll try and get some pictures of it up this year. Last year I didn't do so well getting pics up. Right now, with all the weeds down and a ton of mulch on it, it doesn't look too bad wink

This year I've got more mulch on there than ever before, so I'm hoping that will help keep the weeds down a bit.

I've got a great pile of compost too that I cooked up from chicken and donkey manure and straw to dress my beds with. I'll get that done this week too.

We've got onions, carrots, radishes, potatoes, bush beans and leaf lettuce to plant this week. I'm going to make some small hoops with wire fence, cover them with muslin, and try growing cabbage again too. Grasshoppers got them last time frown

If all goes well, in about a month I should be eating garden salad again smile

BTW, I opened the last jar of our pickles about two weeks ago. They been in the fridge since last Summer. These were sliced long ways from about 6"-7" cucumbers and they are still delicious! I've never kept a jar unopened that long before so that's been a great treat.

So that's where I'm at, how the rest of you doing?
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#147899 - 03/16/11 09:20 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
With the melting snow still, I can see dirt here and there. Even the bulbs are buried still. I do have my seed though, I want to try starting tomatoes later and transplant them at the normal time to see if they will do better being planted when they are smaller. I am just worried that by the end of May they will still be too tall and will be in danger of frost damage when they poke out of the top of the Wall's O Water. I'm trying some red Wall O Water look alikes to see if red works better like they say.

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#147914 - 03/17/11 04:52 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle
I picked romaine and broccoli yesterday. The cabbage is taking it's timing heading. The garlis is coming up. The wheat looks pretty good and hopefully will be harvested soon.

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#147918 - 03/17/11 09:10 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I planted cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos and bell peppers last weekend. I have the corn started but not in the ground yet. Getting ready to get the okra, zucchini and pole beans going. I need to build another couple of raised beds. I replaced the apple tree that the neighbors' goats killed last year and planted a peach tree a few weeks ago. My blackberry plant that the neighbors' goats ate almost to the ground last year is coming back nicely. I cut the chile pequin plants down to the ground so they can grow anew. I believe I have the fence repaired to the point that the neighbors' goats can't get into my garden this year (they completely destroyed it last year and when I spoke to them about it they hemmed and hawed around and didn't do anything about it). Either way, I'm either having fresh vegetables or fresh chivo this year. I've got a big pile of nice compost made from llama poop and kitchen scraps that I am adding to the soil in my raised beds.

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#147924 - 03/17/11 11:47 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Goats. Ugh... I feel for you.

My daughter got two goats from her boyfriend as a gift about 7-8 years ago. They soon had two babies. Shortly afterward I was the only one taking care of 4 adult goats that could slip through the tiniest of breaches in a fence close to 2000 feet long. I paid $40 for my neighbors roses after they ate them, and they ate everything I ever planted every chance they got.

About a year or so ago I finally gave them away to someone who said they had some land they wanted cleared with the condition that they could not give them back.

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#147925 - 03/17/11 11:50 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: PerryMK]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Perry, I am so jealous!

I might try growing broccoli this year too. I'll put it under a muslin cover if I do because I'm sure the grasshoppers would get it if I don't.
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#147929 - 03/17/11 02:29 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I didn't want to say anything...but I planted some stuff in early February. The weather patterns here have been changing a lot. Jan was kind of warm so when there was a forcast of no rain till the end of Feb, I planted tomatoes, squash, and pole beans. Already harvested the broccoli and the last of the tomatoes and peppers from last year. Now its a fresh start with this months planting of more tomatoes (I like them staggered) and peppers. We have the normal jalapenos, but also have anaheim (would rather have poblano), habanero, cayenne, and for a first try piquine peppers. Everything is in 24in raised beds. Basically, if I dig down into native "soil" I hit a marine unit called the Mission Valley Formation complete with abundant fossils. It is very alkaline and clay rich, yuck. The I have to admit that the herbs are fine with it though.

Has anyone here tried to start plants in a mini hot house outside before?

Sjohnney, what do YOU use the chile pequins for?


Edited by skcreidc (03/17/11 02:32 PM)

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#147934 - 03/17/11 05:04 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I have my own goats and sheep and llamas but my animals have never been a problem for my garden. Just the neighbors' animals. And they don't seem to be willing to do anything about it. I've put them on notice.

I have been planning to build a greenhouse out in my garden for the past three years and just haven't gotten a round tuit. The area I have designated as garden is currently 30'x60' but I could easily go 120'x60'. As I start having more success with the area as it is I will likely start to extend it little by little.

I'm also considering building a chicken coop on the other side of the house from the garden. My neighbors on either side have chickens (not the same neighbors with goats) and every once in a while they give me a dozen or so eggs. There's damned little in this world finer than yard eggs and garden tomatoes.

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#147935 - 03/17/11 05:09 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
Originally Posted By skcreidc
Sjohnney, what do YOU use the chile pequins for?


For EATING! laugh
I love them. I bought one for 50 cents several years ago and planted it by my back porch. I have them all over my property now. When the plants are full of them I just go grab a handful at dinner time to eat with my meal. I also will fill up a vinegar bottle with pequins, garlic and onions and then fill the rest of the bottle with boiling vinegar. Let it sit for a couple of weeks and it's good on salad or greens or chicken or whatever. Last year my kids came in with a bunch of the red ones they had picked right at the end of the season. I put them in a bowl on my counter and they dried all on their own. I've been eating them ever since. I'm starting to run low so I'm hoping the plants come back soon and start making me some more peppers. I put four or five of the dry ones in my scrambled eggs every morning.


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#147937 - 03/17/11 05:23 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: PerryMK]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle

middle right is the garlic
lower part are tomato cages with tomoatoes recently started
just about the middle is the broccoli
left middle is the romaine and iceberg lettuce
upper left is a glimpse of wheat

different view

cabbage in the front with some onions mixed in
tomatoes and garlic after that
then broccoli and lettuce
finally wheat

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#147940 - 03/17/11 07:35 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
wow ... I may have to plant more pequins. I especially like the poblanos for making chile relleno. I have come to like the habanero; its got a great bright orange color and good flavor. One of these equals 2 or 3 jalapenos.

I have to tell you all, if I am jealous of anything, it is all the room you guys have. But I still have 4 chickens = 4 eggs a day + fertilizer. I ended up putting the dog run fence around them and a net over the top to keep the coopers hawks and the dog out. Had six, but for that space was too many so sold two.


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#147941 - 03/17/11 07:45 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle
I'll be putting a variety of peppers in later. I've been making my own hot pepper saue for years.

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#147942 - 03/17/11 07:46 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
You won't have to plant them. Give it time and you'll have lots more plants..... and so will your neighbors. I've never been able to start them from seed but within a couple of years of planting the first one there were four plants around the edges of my yard and I find them out in my fields all the time. I think they have to pass through a bird in order to germinate or something.

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#147982 - 03/18/11 10:40 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
Tango61 Offline
member

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

Can you say 'cabrito'? Mighty tasty with hot sauce!

For those chickens, you need to build yourself a 'chicken tractor'. That way you can move it around the yard and till up spots for next year and fertilize at the same time.

The weather is just now getting nice here. We're starting this weekend on the garden.
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#147984 - 03/18/11 10:52 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Tango61]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I do love cabrito but I would just as soon not get it that way. I've looked at plans for various coops including the chicken tractors. That's going to be a little down the road.

My corn is pretty close to ready to put in the ground. The kids and I are going to do some more soil prep tomorrow. I need to get the beans and okra started here pretty quick.

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#147990 - 03/19/11 08:43 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Hey sjohnny. Just a comment about your future chickens. I know you have a lot more property than I, so my chickens are more or less stuck in the same 13 by 13 square all year. When it rains the results can be rather, well, pungent. I actually go in and rotate the top inch or two to keep the odor down. If you free range them that would solve that problem, but they can be rather hard on the garden. Mine love the blueberries and tomatoes for instance. Being able to move the area that they fertilize around would be a great advantage.


Edited by skcreidc (03/19/11 08:44 AM)

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#147991 - 03/19/11 09:07 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I haven't yet decided exactly how to set them up but the location I have for them is a good ways from the garden. The garden is on one property line, then the backyard is about 100 feet wide, then there is another fenced area of about 1/3 acre where my sheep are now (they're about to go out in the bigger fields but I was waiting for it to warm up so the song dogs weren't so hungry - they'll get locked in the barn at night). That area is on the other side of my workshop and has an outdoor electical outlet so it will be a perfect location. I'll do it sooner or later I just need to get started on the planning and building. Too many hobbies/interests not enough time/money.

If I do a traditional coop I will likely rotate the bedding regularly and clean it out when it starts to smell and move it to my compost pile.

I read an interesting technique a while back where someone had put a thin layer of soil on the roof of the coop and plant collard greens in it, the bedding was shoveled onto the roof to feed the collards and the collards were fed to the chickens. Water was involved somehow but I don't remember how. It was a pretty cool thing.

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#148001 - 03/19/11 03:22 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Growing stuff on the roof sounds like a great idea! Either way, good luck with that. We got into the chickens through a friend who said they were practically no work at all. That is bs. They are not a terrible amount of work; but everything adds up and with 6 it just got too stinky too fast. Now that I am down to four, my egg production is actually a little better (per chicken) I think because they are not as stressed. A lot less pecking at the combs too. We've got barred rocks, which when egg production slows down will be stewing chickens and we will get a fresh batch of young-uns. What we did is order a variety pack of 30; they usually give you some "spares". We sold off all but what we wanted and basically got our chickens for free.

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#148003 - 03/19/11 03:46 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I talked to the kids about chickens on the way to the garden store this morning. They're totally on board. The more I think about it the more I want to get going with it. I need to go inventory my lumber stash and see how much of this I can build with what I have on hand. I'm still thinking maybe wait until next year but we'll see.

As far as them becoming a source of meat - I wouldn't have a problem with it but I bet the kids will name them and then I'll have a hard time getting it past them. I've never eaten one of my own goats or sheep because the kids go out and name them and then it's "you can't kill Cupcake" or some crap like that. Maybe chickens will be different.

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#148005 - 03/19/11 04:09 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Last night as it got dark we saw crocuses out front. This morning I found a clawed tool and started to remove two years of pine needles (podnerosa - long), pine cones, and male pine flowers still with water frozen between them, then I had to go in by hand and uncover the bed on the east side (front) of the house. There must be 150 to 250 daffodils coming up and at least a thousand crocuses. smile There are 3 white snow drop flowers and one tiny pink flower 2 inches off the ground that looks like a cyclamen.

To those who don't know - we bought a house from an estate and the lady had been a serious alpine rock flower gardener, and obviously planted a lot of bulbs. We have no idea what will come up this Spring, but last fall there was maybe a hundred species of dying off plants as we moved in. Oh yes its at 4,000' elevation next to an old lava flow - a good place for low alpine flowers.
Jim
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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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#148009 - 03/19/11 04:49 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Jim, I hope you'll post some pics when they are in bloom!
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#148014 - 03/19/11 06:33 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
Jim, sounds like it will be kind of fun waiting to see what comes up next.

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#148015 - 03/19/11 06:37 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Jim! How cool is that! Who knows, maybe some of the things that are dying are actually just doing their thing. I second OM's hope that you will post up.

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#148016 - 03/19/11 06:39 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Sjohnny, good luck with the non pet chickens idea. The two I sold were named Georgina and Wedgie by my 16 yr old daughter. You are going to find out anyway, but even chickens have personalities.

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#148019 - 03/19/11 08:03 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I figure if one just goes missing every once in a while and then we're having chicken for dinner no one will be the wiser. I'm a big proponent of having fresh food and knowing where it comes from. The more local the better and the more involvement I have in the production of it the better as far as I'm concerned.

My wife thinks food (meat anyway) should come from the grocery store and she will only rarely eat anything that I have killed. She's on the fence with the whole sheep thing because she likes lamb so much. We shall see. I think it's important for people to know how food originates and what is involved in its production. I want my kids to have that understanding. That's a big part of the reason I made them shut off their video games and come pick grubs out of the compost pile as we filled the raised beds. We spent a total of about 5 hours in the garden today and we all had a great time (being sunny and breezy and 80 degrees doesn't hurt either).

I had an epiphany while hunting a couple of years ago when it hit me that the reason I love hunting so much is that it combines three of my very favorite things: food preparation and consumption, being outdoors and shooting. Fishing comes in a close second as it has the first two aspects but "usually" lacks the third.

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#148021 - 03/19/11 09:47 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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.

_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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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.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#148095 - 03/20/11 11:45 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Tango61]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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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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#148116 - 03/21/11 01:58 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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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
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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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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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
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
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
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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
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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
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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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#148963 - 04/06/11 10:54 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: sjohnny]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I got some more stuff seeded today and yesterday. Thinned my lettuce and radishes that are sprouting and seeded a bunch more. A handful of those radish sprouts would be great in a salad, but I ate them all while I was thinning them wink

The "low tunnel greenhouse" did a great job protecting my broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage transplants from below freezing mornings, hail storms, hard rain and strong winds (we had all that last week). I took the visqueen off yesterday and the plants look great. I'm pretty excited with using them to get my garden started earlier and keep it going longer. And I'm really hoping that I can eat some cabbage this year instead of watching grasshoppers have parties on them.

I've got all the beds prepped for planting. Last frost is around April 21st, but my wife brought home some plants tonight so I think I'll make some more tunnel greenhouses tomorrow and start the tomatoes and pepper plants she got under them. I'll seed some cukes outside them too. They might get lucky and I'll seed some more after last frost anyway.

She also brought home some two year old Asparagus shoots. Not sure where I'm going to put them yet, but since they come up every year it has to be someplace where they'll be for good. I love asparagus, but I need to learn more about it.

In about another week there should be enough green showing to see in a photo so I'll be posting one soon. By the end of this month we should be eating the first of the lettuce and radishes. Since I didn't take a photo of the garden today I'll post this one of a toad that I did take:



I have no idea what kind of toad that is, but it's pretty cute. Just a tiny thing, couldn't have been more than a inch and half long.

I'll be trying to do more "Succession" and "Companion" planting this year. In some of my beds I'm planting lettuce and radishes now, and I'll put in tomatoes, peppers, beans, and what not, in a little later. When the later plants get big I'll pull the lettuce out since it will have gone bitter and maybe plant some more seed. But it should help keep the weeds down by crowding them out before then. Once the tomatoes are big, they'll keep the weeds crowded out by themselves and shade the new lettuce so it doesn't bolt to seed too fast. That's the plan anyway. We'll see how well I implement it and how well it works.

One thing I learned last year is that weeds aren't all that terrible. I was still harvesting tomatoes and beans and peppers in October even though they were hiding in the weeds that had grown over them.

This will be my third year with this all "organic" garden. I've never used pesticides or herbicides on that land. That's more than 15 years now and probably longer than that. I don't know if I grow more weeds or produce a year at this point, but the produce I get is pretty good so I'll keep at it this way.


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#148968 - 04/07/11 08:50 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I never use sprays, if anything, naturally occuring stuff I guess like BT for cabbabe/broccoli family, and my fingers for squishing bugs. Of course not many bugs here in the mountains except grasshoppers and gophers.

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#148969 - 04/07/11 09:09 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: hikerduane]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
You guys (Duane and Bill) are pretty good about keeping it natural. We get aphids and mealy bugs galore if I don't spray with soap. We have lots of ants and they (as you probably know) farm the pests along with scale bugs. So its a constant battle staying up on pests and we don't have much yard. Even with all the ladybugs we have, still have to spray spots.

Hey Bill! I LIKE the idea of using the tomatoes to shade other plants that tend to bolt! I think I will try that with the cilantro. I have to wait to plant it when the tomatoes are bigger anyway.

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#148980 - 04/07/11 05:01 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Well, this is one corner of our puny backyard. The "girls" are always in this 13 by 13 foot space.



Right now it is set up for the rain, but soon the plastic sheeting will come down.

These last two are for jimshaw...





There is a large door at the front so that I can easily clean the box out and grab eggs. Total floor space is 3 by 9 foot and 6 foot max height. It gets hot here so its built to keep 'em cool hence the plastic for storms. If I would do anything it would be to add more roosting sites and split the nesting site. They really like to roost.

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#148988 - 04/07/11 07:13 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
We've already got tiny little tomatoes on our plants!

I don't use any chemicals either. I use diatomaceous earth for pest control for the soft bodied critters. I used a little bit of insecticidal soap for the aphids but it's considered organic. I have an endless supply of llama poop that I compost and the plants love that. It gets put in my compost pile and kitchen scraps go in with it.

For weed control I bought the black fabric and went nuts with it this year. Anywhere that isn't a purposely planted plant is covered with that fabric. I got tired of fighting weeds so here we are. When I want to make a new bed I cut out some of the fabric where the bed is going to be. I still need to get a little bit more to cover my entire garden area. My plants are doing better than ever. I did a good check of the fence I share with the goat neighbor and it looks pretty good. Hopefully won't have a repeat of last year. Both my apple trees and my peach tree and getting lots of leaves on them too.

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#148991 - 04/07/11 07:28 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I finally found a shot of my DIL's Buff Orphington chickens!




They lay beautiful brown eggs with deep yellow yolks.
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#148993 - 04/07/11 07:40 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I have a structure on my place that I need to tear down. I'm hoping there will be enough usable lumber and metal roofing to build a greenhouse and a chicken coop. The first part is actually getting up off my rear and tearing it down. I also have to put up 300 feet of field fence before I let my sheep out onto another field. So many fun things to do, so little time.

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#148995 - 04/07/11 08:47 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: OregonMouse]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Beautiful rooster, look at those spurs. Ow!

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#148999 - 04/07/11 10:01 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: OregonMouse]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Buff's are a great all round Chicken. They're great layers and the Roosters get big and meaty. Plus, the hens are good at brooding, so they're one of my favorites.

Barred Rocks are sweet too. I have one left that's going on three years old now. She follows me all around the barnyard when I'm out there. She left the coop last year and sleeps in the trees out there now. She came inside the coop about three times this winter when it got really cold and when we has ice storms.

I got all the baby chicks in the coop now. I'm pretty sure there are some Rhode Island Reds in the mix, no Buffs, and a few I don't know yet. They're loving all the room and getting "Cocky" out there. I put a big branch in there today so they can start learning to roost. They're a crack up at this gawky stage.

BTW, nice set-up skcreidc.

I'll post a few pics tomorrow of my coop and barn and garden. I came up with a great, cheap way to make the hoops for my "Low Tunnel Greenhouses". I planted the asparagus this evening and made the hoops just before sunset. I'll put the plastic on tomorrow and take a picture of it too.
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#149000 - 04/07/11 10:08 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: OregonMouse]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Well OM, I would have to say that your families' Buff Orphingtons are beautiful! When we "retire" and move up near JimShaw (scary, huh) on a decent piece of land we own, we can have a proper flock. We can't have roosters where we live laugh for the obvious reason.

Our friend gets new chickens each year. Last year we went in with her on a batch of 25+.



This is a chick scrum with 5 different breeds. They are all pretty cute at that age...



When they lost their down, we stuck them outside (still had the heat lamp at nite).



I looked into birds and choose the Plymouth Rocks just because they looked durable and fairly well behaved (and were good for meat and laying). Michaela is holding one. But by the time we put them outside, they were also the most personable of the birds. Very curious also. It was easy to dispatch birds I really didn't know, but I was starting to like these. They are the ones roosting highest; predominantly black with a little white scullcap.

I forget what the solid yellow ones were, but the only ones we lost were two of those out of 30 total.



Edited by skcreidc (04/07/11 10:10 PM)

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#149001 - 04/07/11 10:37 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Bill over the years when I had chickens, you would get one now and then that was friendlier than the others. Occasionally I would go sit out in their pen and just watch them, seeing how close they would come to me, I've had some jump up on my leg for a treat or when I let them out of their pen, they would come up on my steps to the house and get treats from me. I had to try hypnotizing them also, most it worked on, my grandfather showed me that trick. I found little bunnies the hardest to dispatch, so inquisitive then...........

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#149003 - 04/07/11 10:56 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
Joshuatree Offline
member

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 62
Loc: Wisconsin
I've noticed quite a few of you have Chickens or are looking at getting into raising them. I ran across a niffty looking do it yourself nesting boxes I do miss the farm fresh eggs I used to get when I lived in north wiscosin. I did notice spring is getting closer here, I watched a pair of Cardinals building thier nest in the big pines in the front yard kind of strange to see in the middle of the city.

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#149004 - 04/07/11 11:01 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
You should look into the "Ruth Stout" method of gardening. Basically she piled on mulch so thick it choked out the weeds and enriched the soil.

I've been working on getting that right. I take all my leaves and grass clippings and pile them on my garden and around the plants. That's helped a lot, but I still had weeds take over by August last year. Ruth Stout said that if you have weeds you need more mulch. I piled more on this year than ever before, but I'll still have weeds. I still need more mulch smile

She also said, "don't worry about weeds". If you get a few weeds it's not that big of a deal. Some will deter pest, others will attract beneficial insects, and you can still harvest what you've planted. I went with that last year because it was too darn hot to go out and pluck weeds in August. But I did still go out and harvest what I'd planted and I got a lot out of that weedy garden. It wasn't that pretty to look at though blush

Another thing Ruth Stout said was that if you kept a thick layer of mulch you wouldn't need to till your garden. This is true. After two years of tilling in leaf mulch into the hard clay soil we have here each Spring and then piling on the mulch all year, I did not have to til this year. I pulled the mulch back and I can sink my hands into what is now rich black soil that's full of earthworms. And, she said, because of this the weeds you have will be easier to pull out. This is true too.

I've basically followed her methods with this plot from the beginning. It's a long process to get it all working right. At least it takes a few years here to get the soil built up and really soft and loose, and years of mulching to get the weeds finally smothered out. I'm not there yet, but I am getting closer every year to really following her advice and so far it's working like she said it will.

I've learned more from reading up on Ruth Stout than just about anyone when it comes to organic gardening. She also mentioned that it gets a lot easier once you get it all going, I hope she's right about that too laugh

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#149012 - 04/08/11 07:50 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
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Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
We have hard clay soil also. I started with raised beds a few years ago and just added compost and mulch to the soil in the beds and tilled it in. I just didn't like the grass and weeds creeping in to the beds so I went with the weed barrier this year. The soil where I've been adding organic material is actually getting pretty nice after a few years of working with it. I can actually dig in it which is hard to do in the summer when that clay gets hard as rock.

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#149016 - 04/08/11 10:09 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Sjohnny, I settled on the raised beds after trying a bunch of different things. The two differences between us are that my house is right next to the growing area and that it is built on hardened and marine sediments. Any time I dig I find fossils (and not good ones). With that the back would flood with any 2"+ rain so I went with raised beds with 2 inches of decomposed granite between everything to walk on with a drainage system to the front under everything. Weeds still pop up so I pick 'em and feed them to the chickens. When I turn over the soil in the beds I find grubs...straight to the chickens. I have to make sure I give them a handful at a time or they fight over them.

Thanks for the bucket nest idea joshuatree, cheap and easy!

I will have to look into Ruth Stout as well...


Edited by skcreidc (04/08/11 10:13 AM)

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#149026 - 04/08/11 12:18 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Thanks for the bucket nest idea joshuatree, cheap and easy!

I tried that a couple years ago and my hens were not impressed or happy with them.

Funny though, I'd never heard of anyone else trying it, and it seemed like a great idea when I had it, and what I built is almost a dead ringer for what's in that picture.

They might work good for smaller breeds though, mine were all larger breeds when I tried that.

The hens liked what I have now better, but it could still be improved, they weren't really thrilled with them either. They're pretty picky about nest, and they lay better when they're happy, that's for sure.
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#149041 - 04/08/11 06:09 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
so will chickens live together with geese and ducks and a pig?
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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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#149048 - 04/08/11 08:04 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Jim, I would guess yes, but I have never had that combination (and probably never will). I would say you need different nesting facilities. Bill will probably be able to point out some problem/solutions for that combination. Obviously if everything is separate...

I will say that most ducks are mellow. Geese on the other hand are on my list of have to have with some property. They are great guard animals; you do have to let them know who is boss though. They raise a racket with rattle snakes, mountain lions, and just about anything or body that comes on to your property. They really are the early warning system. The dogs are the enforcers, geese are the early warning system. (They might even chase unwanted relatives away...or at least keep them in there car). If one is particularly obnoxious, it is Christmas dinner and the others will know...

With all these critters, you may have to protect your gardens from them. But you will never be lonely grin

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#149050 - 04/08/11 08:17 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Short story.

Doing a pump test on a domestic well in the back country (everyone owns 20 acres or more). Most places don't have fences on the property boundary and the place just to the east of us has a boundary basically marked by a gully. My buddy Dan is with me helping me monitor some of the wells for interaction, but after it is set up with transducers it is all done by computer. The three geese next door are watching us curiously and Dan sees them and comments. The geese and I know each other well AND they still try to bite me. I tell Dan to leave the birds alone but NO. Flip-flops and all Dan heads into the gully and the geese immediately start craining their necks to follow where Dan is going while making some racket. As soon as he is at the bottom, they are waddling over ASAP honking up a storm. Dan's back in two minutes telling me how mean the geese are...tell me about it laugh. I monitor that families well on a regular basis and while I measure water level in the well I am simultaneously smacking the geese with my clipboard to keep from being bit. Gotta love em.

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#149052 - 04/08/11 08:31 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Another story, or perhaps a believe it or not...

Had some friends who had chickens, ducks, a goat, and some rabbits (ok, and rats, dogs, cats...you get the picture. I am forgetting stuff). They adopted a rescue pot bellied pig. The woman who owned him apparently had a rough divorce and taken to drinking. So the pigs routine for a while was ham and eggs for breakfast. Then a screwdriver around 10am just before a 2 hour drive in a convertible. The poor things hooves were untrimmed, it was over weight, and it had a real hankering for lipstick. It constantly took out the screen door and scratched its back on the base of the Grandfather Clock. His name was Hammy. After 6 months Hammy went to a better place.

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#149078 - 04/09/11 06:53 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I saw a goose by a pond in a park in San Francisco (Harding) and I decided to try to get up close and personal and get his photo. goodjob It was the days of single lens reflex cameras and as I was trying to focus my Canon the goose seemed to be getting larger and I had to keep turning the focus ring, then it grabbed me - duh - it was getting closer and then it grabbed me... smile Amazing how well it hung on and I was trying to avoid injuring it since it was a park animal, but anything with that long of neck should be more careful.

Yah I love animals. I'd have rabbits but I couldn't kill em so we'll get chickens. We have a friend with two 300 pound (pet) Javelina boars in his backyard. No longer so cute that people feed them icecream... but he is too attached to them to eat bacon and I understand. I have people trying to give me animals and I can get almost any livestock for free here cause people are worried about feeding their families. Its a fine line of animal cruelty, but the reality is when the pioneer family perishes, so does their livestock, and trust me, Central Oregon is STILL pioneer country... shocked

Still waiting - many bulb blooms holding just inside some leaves waiting for warmer weather to open.


Edited by Jimshaw (04/09/11 06:54 PM)
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#149102 - 04/10/11 09:43 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
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Loc: San Diego CA
Just curious Jim, do you expect Central Oregon to be pioneer country 20, 30 years from now? I don't get up there too often.

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#149108 - 04/11/11 12:39 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
sk
you said you were thinking of retireing up here. To keep this on topic - this is a short USDA zone 4b growing area with many native rodents, squirrels, and huge bird flyways - things will eat your plants even if deer can't get over the fence. Its dry here and the "dirt" resembles piles of volcanic ash more than potting soil. Central Oregon is the Land of Broken Dreams. Many a pioneers has built a homestead and planted crops and watched his livestock and family wither away until generally after 5 years, broke and broken, they leave.

None of my neighbors seem to have gardens. I dunno why - its kinda country and theres lots of deer.
Jim
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#149110 - 04/11/11 06:46 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: Jimshaw]
midnightsun03 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Jim...

Maybe your neighbors aren't the optimists that you are?

Many people around here have given up on gardening due to the dramatically increased deer population. I might put a tomato plant in a pot on the back porch, but that is about as adventurous as I think I'll be willing to get.

MNS
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#149114 - 04/11/11 12:46 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Although retired is a relative term, I doubt I will get energetic enough to start a farm grin. But to keep sort of on topic, a greenhouse could be put to good use in that environment. Up on White Mountain (CA east of Bishop) high schoolers have grown crops in small boxes above 12000 feet. If you design it right, you can maximise heat storage in the colder months using passive solar ideas. Or you can just grow 4 tomato plants in a box with a cover on it like the kids did in the White Mountains. I is just up to how carried away you want to get. But you might have to really think about the layout in terms of sun direction and angle. Anyway, I would probably just go for some fruit trees, lots of berry bushes, and a 15x20 foot greenhouse. After that, I think your bulb garden sounds pretty cool along with native plants.

I was curious about the pioneer aspect as there is a pretty substantial Polynesian community in Bend.


Edited by skcreidc (04/11/11 12:49 PM)

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#149115 - 04/11/11 12:58 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I also have to admit that settling in Oregon to farm is not on my mind. The mountains, hunting, and fishing are; I could finally learn to fly fish properly!

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#149116 - 04/11/11 01:56 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
"Many a pioneers has built a homestead and planted crops and watched his livestock and family wither away until generally after 5 years, broke and broken, they leavee."

The same thing can be said about the Ozarks, but there's been a lot learned since those days....

Raised bed gardening, greenhouses, low tunnel greenhouses, hybrid plants, soil enrichment, fertilizers, contour farming, terraced hillside farming, and much more.

First, a veggie garden is a lot different than a crop farm. There are still not many crop farms here in the Ozark Mountains, but there are a lot of livestock farmers and a lot of veggie gardens and orchards. I am surrounded by beef cattle and chicken farms. Those farms wouldn't have survived here even 80 years ago, but they thrive here now. This is a direct result of refrigerated transportation by trucks and trains.

But a veggie garden can be grown almost anywhere now. As in my case, it's taken a few years of amending the native soil in raised beds, some fencing, some weather and pest protection, and consistent watering.

In my own garden I've been trying a method that's added a small new twist to raised beds, contours, and terraced hillsides. I call it a "Swale Garden". Basically, I've dug a trench that runs along the contour of the hillside and mounded the soil from the trench on top of the soil below the trench to create a mound (or raised bed). I fill the trench with leaves and other organic matter (shredded weeds, wood chips grass clippings, et al).

When it rains, instead of the water washing off topsoil into the creek at the bottom of the hillside and down into the lake below that, the water is trapped in the trenches and absorbed by the leaves. What isn't asborbed by capillary action from the leaves into the mounds is slowly soaked up by the ground below. The leaves work as a mulch to keep weeds down between the raised beds, and they turn into a rich compost which is used to amend the soil in the beds.

I was inspired to try this method by proponents of raised bed gardening, the Machu Picchu terraced gardens, and an Australian cattle rancher who created swales on his grazing land to improve the amount of forage available.

When you add to that good fencing, bug nets, low tunnel greenhouses, successive plantings and crop rotation, you have a pretty good shot at keeping a high production crop garden going almost all year long, just about anywhere you might live.

Using these advantages over the pioneers, and depending on the size of your garden, after reducing your grocery bill and improving your table fare you can easily grow enough to sell to supplement or replace your income. You may not be living like Donald Trump, but after all things considered, you may be living better.

Here's some pics of our garden:

This shows another shot at a low tunnel greenhouse. I'm using bamboo sticks with old garden hose to make the hoops. It's not pretty, but it works...


This shows the mounds and swales. The swales are filled with mulch, so you can't see their depth...


This shows how the mulch in the swales retain moisture...


These are for Jim. This shows our chicken coop from the outside...


And this shows the inside with the nest boxes, roosts, feed pan, water trough, and of course, the babies...
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#149128 - 04/11/11 07:16 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Very nice Bill. You are using a TON of mulch and the tunnel greenhouse design looks very functional.

Jim, the nest boxes in the last photo are probably what you want to use for the chickens. Having them separated like that will help keep them from laying all over the place.


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#149552 - 04/24/11 09:56 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
scottyb Offline
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Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
I added a new element to my garden this year. It's been fun building the hives, stands, and frames, and painting them. Actually just putting them together, they come in pre-cut pieces. Lots of reading and going to meetings. Getting honey the 1st year will be a bonus, along with some pollination of everything within a 2 mi radius.







Her Majesty the Queen (white dot on thorax)




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#149555 - 04/24/11 11:28 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: scottyb]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Bees, something I've thought about for years. My grandfather used to keep them and I helped "rob" them. Once! Where I live, I would need to put up a electric fence to keep the bears out.

Duane

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#149558 - 04/24/11 11:55 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: scottyb]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Oh, that is so cool!

Thanks for posting the pics, very inspiring!

I'll probably be setting up some hives in the next month or two. I really love honey, and we're in a perfect spot here for all organic wildflower honey smile

BYW, is that a bottle of "Ozarka Spring" water in your photo? I love that stuff! It's the only bottled water I will buy here.

Mountain Valley Springs water is the best around here, but it's pretty expensive. I envy those close to the spring though and bring some home every time I head down to the Ouachitas.
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#149564 - 04/24/11 02:38 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: scottyb]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Scottyb, very nice pictures! I'm curious about what you have learned about the disease's (or fungus?) that are affecting the bee population in the US. Are there ways to avoid these problems?

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#149565 - 04/24/11 02:41 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Bill, Iv'e got a chicken compost question for you. How old should chicken poop compost be before you use it for fertilizer? I've been guessing 1 year...I am wondering if that is not enough?

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#149571 - 04/24/11 05:57 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
scottyb Offline
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Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Originally Posted By skcreidc
Scottyb, very nice pictures! I'm curious about what you have learned about the disease's (or fungus?) that are affecting the bee population in the US. Are there ways to avoid these problems?


You are probably referring to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). They have yet to pinpoint it's cause, thinking it may be a variety of stressors. I'm trying to go treatment free. There is a big push to try to breed the bees to be resistant to their pest and viruses vs treating them with antibiotics and harmful pesticides. Many think this is causing dependency in the bees and resistance in their pests. Of course the big commercial operations can not afford the losses that are suffered by getting on the treatment free bandwagon. Small people starting out like me, can and maybe with time, the bees will bounce back and overcome their enemies. It was supposed much easier to keep bees prior to the 80's due to the emergence of several pest since then.

I caught my 1st bees while waiting for the ones that I ordered in Jan. I started constructing swarm traps and placing them around at friends property and a few others. It's kind of like fishing or setting trout lines. The more hooks in the water, the better chance of catching something. I couldn't believe it when I checked on one of them and it actually had bees moved into it. Of course you run the risk of Africanized Honey Bees (AHB), but if they turn out to be too aggressive, you just split them up into smaller colonies until you can find the queen. Then you pinch her and introduce a new fertilized queen to them. She possesses both sets of DNA and gradually her genes will take over the hive.

Swarm Trap



Swarm Moved In



Swarm In Hive








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#149717 - 04/28/11 08:34 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: scottyb]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Neat, great thinking. Something to think about.

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#149738 - 04/28/11 11:37 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I compost my manure for a year, but you can make chicken poop soup using fresh manure by placing a few cups in a burlap bag and soaking it in a 5 gal bucket for a few days. Then just water your plants with it once every week or two.

I'm sure www.MotherEarthNews.com has articles online you can cross check to make sure I've got that correct, but I think that's pretty close to what I've read there and other places, and I've used it myself too.


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#149772 - 04/30/11 12:12 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Thanks for the advice Bill. We haven't looked at Mother Earth News in a while. I need to check it out again. We use to get it from the library along with copies of the Tightwad Gazette.

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#149862 - 05/03/11 08:15 AM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: scottyb]
sjohnny Offline
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Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
In the early 80s my dad came home from work one day with a hive and 7000 bees. My sister had horrible allergies when she was a kid and my dad had been reading about how local honey was good for those with allergies. We had the bees for a few years and more honey than we knew what to do with. It was great. If I remember right fire ants were a big problem.

The past couple of years I've given some thought to setting up a hive. It would probably help the garden a lot having pollinators right there too.

Speaking of which - we're getting jalapenos out of the garden and the tomatoes are turning a greenish orange hue. I can't wait to bite into that first tomato.

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#150646 - 05/22/11 10:47 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
scottyb Offline
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Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Be nice if we could get a little rain. Last two days it has rained all around me. Got skunked both days. Bees are still bringing in pollen, not sure from where. Mesquites bloomed last month and prickly pears, but no wildflowers this year to speak of. Tomatoes are doing well. I set up an automatic watering system last weekend so they get watered while I'm gone. Headed to the Yampa River in late June.
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#150651 - 05/22/11 02:02 PM Re: Garden 2011 ( low tunnel greenhouse) [Re: billstephenson]
aimless Online   content
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Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
To let folks know, I moved this thread over to the new Home Gardening forum, but I left a pointer to it in the original forum. That pointer will expire in a week.

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#150654 - 05/22/11 06:40 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I've spent hours over the past few days weeding, fertilizing, mulching, and even a few minutes of harvesting in the garden.

The leaf lettuce has been delicious and I'll be picking it almost daily for another week or two. I cut at least 2 lbs today, and got a bunch of nice radishes too. Some of the radishes are pretty scrawny. I used a mix of old and new seed for those, so that's probably the problem there.

Before the end of this week I'll be cutting my first ever home grown Broccoli. It looks delicious too, and if it is I'll be growing more of that next year. The cabbage and cauliflower are getting big, but no heads on them yet. We'll see how they do when we have a hot spell, and that won't be long now.

My cukes are just getting going. I only had about 1 out of 3 seeds sprout, so I'll plant another round this week. I used old seed for those too, but I also planted some starter plants from the store.

My Swiss Chard doesn't like where it is at all. Probably won't plant that again. I have some dill that's doing ok in a couple different spots. I also have some Peppers going, they're doing ok. Now that it's warming up they should do better. Too much rain for them.

I have way too many tomatoes planted, and they're just starting to grow now. We'll see about them. Tomatoes have been tough here the past few years.

Here's a few pics:
http://ozarkexplorer.com/homestead/Garden2/
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#150662 - 05/23/11 08:33 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Got my corn, okra, carrots, beets, greens, lettuce planted this weekend. Still cool, expected to only be in the mid 60's this week, so I'm hoping the corn seed doesn't rot, although I planted it under black plastic which helps warm the soil up. I'll plant beans this coming weekend and hope it warms up so they don't rot. Can't believe how cool it has been and stayed.

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#150681 - 05/23/11 03:47 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
sjohnny Offline
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Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
I've been getting lots of tomatoes and jalapenos and a few bell peppers. There are tons of flowers on the bean plants so that should be happening pretty soon. There are silks on the corn too. Should be seeing some zuchinni pretty soon also.

The lady next door brought me two and a half dozen eggs from her chickens last week. I gave her a big bunch of jalapenos. I'm probably going to end up pickling a bunch of peppers this year. They're doing really well.

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#150841 - 05/27/11 10:55 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I'm presoaking my beans so when I plant them this weekend they will be germinating and won't rot, next week if if warms up they can pop out of the ground, they can then get frozen. Never seen it like this before.

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#150905 - 05/31/11 09:01 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
sjohnny Offline
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Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
We had a handful of green beans for supper last night. I always germinate the beans in a wet paper towel and wait to plant them until they have those two first little leaves on them.

I returned the neighbor's egg cartons to her yesterday and filled them up with tomatoes and jalapenos. She let my kids go and get whatever eggs were in her chicken coops. They got another dozen. I'm pretty happy with this system.

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#150944 - 05/31/11 09:57 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Things are finally starting to take off in the garden now. My cukes are still looking a little weak, but the tomatoes are growing fast and I've got heads on the Cauliflower now. Even the Carrots are starting to show some vigor.

The Broccoli was delicious! I'll definitely plant more of that next year. So far the Cabbage is doing good. Lettuce is about done, but I think I'll get a couple more harvest before switching the beds to something else.

I let my 10 little hens out of the pen a few days ago. So far, so good. They're staying close by the coop, and all have been there for a nightly head count. They should be laying in about a month or so.

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#150967 - 06/01/11 01:26 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
It should have been into the low 80's here by now, but the nights are still hitting the 30's after temps in the 50-60 degree range during the day. I checked my corn last weekend, found a few shoots under the dirt, hoping the beans are ok after planting them with short roots after the pre-soak. Not a good year so far. Hopefully the ton of money I have spent on an electric fence will keep the deer out. Saw a small herd of 6 Monday AM, chased them off too. Even the Dogwood isn't all the way out yet.

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#150976 - 06/01/11 03:39 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
sjohnny Offline
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Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 185
Loc: Central Texas
Low 80s would be nice. It's been in the high 90s for a week or two here.

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#150978 - 06/01/11 04:13 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: sjohnny]
Heather-ak Offline
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Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Since we are building I'm not gardening this year - so of course the weather is warm... <sigh>

Roses are up and some are blooming, bluebells are blooming - my flowering onions are coming up too.

High 80's here (though we've seen low 90s in the last couple of weeks off and on.)

Since we've had hot and dry weather with thunderstorms off and on (not a lot of rain though) - we now have smoky weather because of forest fires =(

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#150984 - 06/01/11 07:54 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Heather-ak]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
That's not right Heather! Here in CA we're supposed to have what you have, smoke and warm temps.

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#150994 - 06/02/11 12:29 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
hail, hail and lows around freezing still (in June!), then snow, since the end of January - this is a high desert... confused Green houses are popping up all over town, or at least here in DRW Deschutes River Woods - if you wondered where all the hippies that moved to Oregon from the Haight Ashbury went - its here. cool Everyone has dreadlocks and goes barefoot and bare breasted grin - not. But its way "COUNTRY" here, and very laid back, and just very counter culture, in fact there isn't any culture, they keep it all down in San Francisco. smile half the people have chickens wink

Well anyway soon I'll post photos but I'm waiting for the next set of plants to bloom, the ones that grow a whole plant before flowering. Today all the flowers where surrounded by hail mulch.

Jim
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#151101 - 06/04/11 04:07 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
The weather has been weird here this year too. We've went from 60 highs to mid 90 in a week. From drenching rains to not a cloud to be seen.

This morning I went down into the forest to check on my potato patches and took a few photos with my phone of them and all the wildflowers I found in bloom. You can view them here...

Photos #10 and #11 show a type of plant we have here that responds to touch. In #10 you'll see the leaves open, and in #11 you'll see the ones I've touched closed up. I think it's a relative of Mimosa, but I'm not sure of that.

I think you'll see Camomile, and I know there is Wild Mint in there, along with wild rose (a rugosa I think) and one of them is of my potatoes in bloom wink
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#151103 - 06/04/11 05:06 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
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Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Potatoes in bloom? Mine have not shown their shoots yet.

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#151165 - 06/06/11 05:50 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
scottyb Offline
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Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
We had fresh tomato BLT's last night. Picked these yesterday. Sun Golds, San Marzano's, Early Girls, and Better Boys. Beef steaks and Beefmasters are loaded will be ready soon.



Edited by scottyb (06/06/11 05:53 PM)
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#151319 - 06/10/11 11:16 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: scottyb]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Man those look delicious!!

My tomato plants are growing like crazy right now. I have to get out there tomorrow and set up some more stakes to tie them up. There are a few plants that have fruit just starting. Could be eating some in few more weeks smile

I'm going to cut the last of my Cauliflower tomorrow, and harvest some more snap peas. The Cauliflower has done pretty good, and comes in just a bit later than the Broccoli, so next year I'll at least double my plantings of those.

I cut the heads of the Broccoli, but didn't take out the plant. I'd read that some varieties will start new, smaller heads after you cut the first one, and sure enough, they're starting to do that. We'll see how big they get, but that's a bonus!

The cucumber plants are just starting to take off, but they've been slow going so far. A couple of them are short and stunted looking, and they're already starting to flower. I'm not sure how they'll end up doing, but I also have some just starting to sprout now too, so I'm hoping I'll get a succession of harvest that will last longer than last years. I couldn't pick them or pickle them fast enough last year, and then they were mostly gone.

My Dill and Asparagus are looking awesome so far. I've got one dill that's over 3ft tall now from a transplant that we bought, and the seeds I planted from Dill I grew last year are really starting to take root and grow now, so it should be ready to harvest with the cukes for making pickles.

The Asparagus keeps sending up new shoots. It's really hard not to taste any of them, but I'll hold out til next year and let them get as good a start as possible.

I've got some lettuce going to seed now. I'm going to try and save more seeds this year. I never did find any Cucumber seeds at the stores this year, and had to split what I had left from years past with one of my neighbors because she couldn't find any either. I've been accused of being a bit of a hoarder, but I'm sure glad I saved those seeds laugh

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#151320 - 06/10/11 11:48 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Duane, only a few of them are blooming.




Someone here told my wife that if you harvest the potatoes two weeks after they plants bloom, they will start another round of potatoes growing. I'm not sure what variety they grew, but they claimed they grew a lot of them like that last year.

Mine don't usually produce much. Down in the forest below our house I've made a couple 15x15 foot patches by piling up leaf mulch about a 10 inches thick and letting it set all Fall and Winter. Then I cut the seed potato, pull back the mulch and scrape a little dirt loose and set the potato, eye up, on the dirt and cover it back up with the mulch.




I don't water those patches at all. I go down there the 2nd week of July and take whatever I can find. Last year I suppose I got less than a couple bushels, most of them smallish.

This year I also planted some in between the raised beds in my garden. I've had ground leaves piled up there for about 3-4 years now and I'm hoping to get a little bigger potato out of those, but I planted them weeks later than I should have, so I'm not sure what I'll end up with.

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#151321 - 06/11/11 12:12 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Bill, that's not bad for such little work. Have you dumped any manure from your "kids" on your patches? I never heard about harvesting potatoes then waiting for a second crop. I've always gathered new potatoes for a meal when I wanted. Looks like over 80% of my corn has come up, a fair stand. The potatoes are coming out and the beans are cracking the surface. It's finally gotten in the 70's here.

My gopher traps are AWOL, a fox or neighbor dog may have packed them off. Raccoon too maybe. I got my fence charger, so after Friday night pizza, I hooked it up, checked for weeds under the bottom wire, and fixed a couple spots where something came thru, then plugged it in. Works, or at least the light blinks and your can hear it clicking like they do.

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#151336 - 06/11/11 12:05 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Have you dumped any manure from your "kids" on your patches?


The patch in the photo, and the plants in the garden are in leaf mulch only, but both have been setting for a several years, so it's broken down and composted, and it really softened up the earth below it, and I've added new mulch each year to them as well.

The photo of the plant in bloom is actually in straw and burro manure that I piled up in late Summer and let sit until early Spring for two years in a row now. Last year the earth under it was still a bit hard, but this year it was soft and there were a lot of worms working it. I'm hoping it will produce better this year than last, but I haven't done any checking to see what's under it yet.

In my garden, I actually dug and loosened the soil about 6 inches deep beneath the mulch and buried my seed potato about 3 inches deep. I really didn't even expect them to sprout at all with a foot of mulch on top of that, but most all the plantings did. What I don't know is where I'll find the potatoes. I've never buried them like that before, so I'm not sure it the new potatoes will grow on top of the dirt and just under the mulch like they do in the other patches, or if they'll actually grow under the surface of the dirt.

When I first dug the trenches to make my raised beds I dug all the decent top soil up. There was only about 12 inches of hard dirt, so that's how deep the trenches were before I started filling them with leaf mulch. Under that dirt was rock hard clay and and rock and grit. It was as poor as any soil I've seen anywhere.

As I've said, I've filled the trenches every year since for about 4 years now. When I planted those potatoes this year I dug through the mulch down to the dirt which is now soft and black and rich, and full of worms, and is about 6-8 inches deep before it hits that hard clay again. It's still got a lot of rocks in it, but it's good dirt. The worms came when I put the mulch there and they've done an amazing job of enriching that soil. I figure in another year or two I'll take some of the dirt out of the trenches and make another row of raised bed with it.

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#151351 - 06/11/11 03:26 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
A lot of work to get where you are then.

Found my traps, my neighbor had hung them up in my apple tree, so they got reset last night using my flashlight. Nothing in them this morning.

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#153257 - 07/30/11 11:06 PM Deer jumping thru the fence [Re: hikerduane]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I got home for the week barely, had some minor vision issue just before I got home. Anyway, with one eye shut, I could see straight. As I was carrying stuff inside from my car, I had to of course check the garden out. Whoa! What happened here? My electric fence was down in two spots. I spent 10 minutes getting it back up and found a third spot where I'm guessing a deer exited thru the fence at a lower spot. My neighbor today told me she heard something like a bleating goat one day. May have been the deer caught in the wire. That oughta teach em. No damage to plants in the garden.

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#156258 - 10/24/11 07:52 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
scottyb Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Well the bees are doing well and the tomatoes and jalapenos survived the worst drought and hottest summer ever recorded. There will not be any honey this 1st year and I have been using 35# of sugar for syrup every two weeks to get these new hives going. In a normal year it should not have been necessary beyong the 1st month or so.

Tomatoes are setting again and now it's a race to beat the 1st frost. Jalapenoes are loaded and I picked about a gallon of them yesterday. We got 3" of rain a couple weeks ago, bringing the yearly total to 7.6". Normal to date is 26". Long range forecast is for La Nina to continue through the winter and spring, which usually means below average rainfall for us.
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#156260 - 10/24/11 08:38 AM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: scottyb]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
No frost here in the mts of N CA, getting tomatoes good now, dug potatoes on Sunday. Should get my rotortiller from the shop today, they replaced some belts on my 11 year old Troybilt Pony. Thai Hot peppers are turning red, just need to get the nerve to put some in something now. smile
The electric fence only deterred deer most of the summer, not something that keeps them out of the garden and away frm my fruit trees totally.
Duane

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#156415 - 10/27/11 10:07 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well, I got a bunch of green tomatoes to bring in, and a bunch of jalapenos, but I'm holding out til the next frost. We had a little rain here, so that should help the `maters grow a bit more and cool down the peppers.

I've been neglecting the garden again. The heat of summer kicks my butt every time and I'm just not as inspired to get out there in the Fall. That's backpacking season! laugh
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#157248 - 11/11/11 09:33 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
A couple days ago I gathered three full plastic grocery bags of tomatoes, mostly green, but a few ripe ones too, and another bag filled with Jalapenos. Plus a few more green peppers and I even found some potatoes to boot. Probably close to 30 lbs of produce all told.

The tomatoes are a real blessing since we didn't harvest any at all this Summer. I don't know what I'm going to do with all the Jalapenos. I think I'll just puree them and put them in zip-locks and freeze them for now.

Plus, I went out there today just to pull some weeds and I found a mess of new lettuce growing from seed cast off from what I'd planted this spring, and some tiny dill plants sprouting too. That's way cool! I'll get at least one more salad out of that lettuce and I'll cut the baby dill and dry it for our spice shelf. Both of those should start growing again early next Spring too.

The soil in the garden is better than ever. It's so loose and rich. I'm really kind of stunned at how much it's improved again this year. All that leaf mulch from last Autumn has been worked in by the plants and worms and it's getting close to as good as I've ever seen anywhere. Next year should be pretty good again.

I still have about 24 quarts of pickles in the fridge. We've given dozens away too. I gave three quarts to Ulhiker's wife. One when I met her about a month ago, and two more when Ulhiker and I met to go hiking. (I'm pretty sure she's hooked now wink

Since I can't hike for the next week or so, (deer season starts tomorrow) I'll spend it cleaning up the yard and garden. I mowed the front yard today. Last time I'll do that this year, and gathered a trailer full of leaves and branches that had fallen. I'll grind them into mulch to cover the garden in a couple more weeks and with that the season will be over.

Except... I might put a visqueen row cover over that lettuce. It's possible that some more seed might sprout there and I'd love to see how long I can keep it growing. I've never tried that before, but that lettuce is looking strong smile



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#157395 - 11/14/11 01:35 PM Re: Garden 2011 [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
When I finally put my garden to bed for the season a few weeks ago, I threw onto my compost pile, half a wheel barrow of green and partially frost damaged ripe tomatoes. The yard is done for the season as of a week ago, with leaves raked up and all. I'll have to climb my cottonwood that is close to the garden and prune it back again as well as an Alder and willow that are casting too much shade on my garden. The service that keeps the lines clear of trees for the power company was in our neighborhood last week and left firewood here and there. One neighbor sent me an email and said I could have the wood on his property that was left. Just what I need, more firewood. I have about a three year supply now.
Duane

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