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Homesteading: March on the Homestead

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 7, 2010
5:48 PM

Post #7611832

Good heavens, We've got rain and thunder out there right now!

I remember when I was a kid and some grown-up had just informed me that heaven and hell were eternal thinking 'No, that's not right, nothing is eternal' as I looked across the valley at the mountain on the other side.

Well, weather is certainly a fine example of impermanence, if you ever needed one! LOL Everywhere I've ever lived the saying has been true... if you don't like the weather, wait a bit, it'll change.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2010
5:09 AM

Post #7612487

Good to see March on this homestead. Thanks for starting it.

I am looking forward to springtime and fresh from the earth food. I've turned a new leaf this year that any plants/seeds I buy need to be edible. I have enough seeds and greens that aren't.

Things are oh, so slow getting started as it is still colder than normal and far wetter than I would wish for. Would love some of both temps and moisture in July but [quote] if you don't like the weather, wait a bit, it'll change. [/quote] My MN brother said they had 97 straight days of temps below freezing and I suspect they were tired of waiting a bit! LOL
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2010
6:43 AM

Post #7612701

I just checked the extended forecast and nearly the whole week has gone cloudy and grey, with a good chance of rain. Now, I appreciate the fact that we desperately need the moisture, but if I'd wanted cloudy, rainy and dreary I would have moved to Seattle and gotten a lifetime membership to Starbucks.

Folks in town are getting surly. We're going into sunshine withdrawal.

Things need to get back to "normal" around here, which is all our yearly rainfall comes in two afternoons, widely separated. LOL We all stop work, go outside and watch water run down the arroyo, and marvel at the miracle.

The wallo waters I set up this weekend were slushy yesterday, so I think it might be a tad early to put the broccoli seedlings out, though it was 32 this morning, which I'm putting down to cloud cover.

We had some pretty good rain fall last night, complete with the great rolling booming thunder that seems to go on and on till I wondered if maybe I wasn't mistaken and it was one of those giant military helicopters cruising the valley. The dog asked me to open the door, then just stood there looking at the rain... not going out, just looking and listening and smelling. See? Everyone in NM stops what they're doing (in her case sleeping) to marvel at rain. LOL

I think today's going to be mostly an indoor day... taxes. }=P
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2010
11:25 AM

Post #7613334

Last year's March was "In like a Lamb, Out like a Lion". I hope this March reverses that back to the famous In-Lion, Out-Lamb, so my fruit tree blossoms won't be knocked off the trees by late snowfalls.

We had snow yesterday, lots of wind, and more snow during the night. Mostly melted off by now but still cold and supposed to snow more. Right now the clouds are the kind I love, big and black & white with lots of blue sky inbetween. I brought in lots of firewood yesterday and am enjoying the crackling firepot behind me as I sit here and waste time, instead of bundling up and going out to dig weeds out of the veg garden plot. Maybe tomorrow?

I amused myself yesterday afternoon and this morning getting my tax stuff together and sorted out. Yay, it was not as painful as I expected, although as always, some records I KNOW I had have disappeared. I am actually ready for my appointment with the accountant down in the Valley Thursday. Smilng through my tears: I know I owe, so off to work I go!

Meanwhile, I am still eating the beautiful chard growing in my greenhouse, and brought a huge bag of various lettuces that I picked in the Valley when I went down there last week. I also bought a big bag of fresh Arizona oranges. I expect to pick several bags of pink grapefruit (free) before I come back this time.

It is already spring in the Valley. Spring is almost here in the mountains. Life is good.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2010
11:33 AM

Post #7613353

I'm longing for some fresh greens big time, I am so jealous of yours, AZ. And the grapefruit... I love pink grapefruit. {{sigh}} I think my itty-bitty chard got frost nipped a couple of nights ago even though I had it covered. It was just a light cover. Waah!

Our sun is in and out of clouds today, wind but no more wetness from the sky so far. The mud was just starting to dry out, but now I have to wait a bit longer before I can start outside. Pooh.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2010
11:57 AM

Post #7613427

Sorry about your chard, wonder if it will come back?

I'm having a roast pork sandwich crowded with alfalfa sprouts from my sprouter for lunch today. Yum, yum. Defrosting the pork now -- I buy a big hunk of pig from Walmart now and then, pot-roast it, divide it into small portions, and freeze. I have mung beans in the sprouter right now, for Chinese food in about a week. Using the sprouter, I never lack for fresh greens even when nothing is ready in the gardens. I just have to remember to order more sprouting seeds every year or so.

I roast my pork in a big pot on top of the stove My son the chef roasts his in the oven. Turns out yummy either way.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2010
12:08 PM

Post #7613450

You're just telling me all this to make me feel better, right? =0P

I don't think the little bitty chards that got hit are coming back, they didn't even have true leaves yet. But there are more poking their little heads up. I took a break from the paperwork and went and peeked in on my little green things... more little chardlings coming up, but uh-oh it looks suspiciously like someone has gone down the row of peas and dug up the seeds... grrrr. Can't tell for sure, but I think I'm back to the soil block idea: get them started inside and then put them out under cover. We had this problem last year... got about 6 sugar pea plants out of a 6' row 'cause things kept eating the seeds and newly sprouted seedlings. Didn't bother the snow peas or the shelling peas... critter has a terrible sweet tooth. I think it's a combo of mice and gophers last year. This year no gophers (yet) but mice... hmmmm.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 9, 2010
12:49 AM

Post #7615013

The last three beautiful days have really, really gotten my spring bug biting, but alas, I fear it won't last. I've gone two days without having to kindle a fire...woohoo!

MsRobin graciously came down from KY and helped me put up the garden fence...I has a garden! I've managed to lasagna up about 43 row feet over the last couple of days. Now I am out of dirt again and have to do the Lowe's trip before next Sunday, as well as a trip to TSC to buy some cattle panels for trellising my peas onto. I grew peas once before, but they got smacked down by the tornado so I never got to eat any :(

So far I have seedlings of: Chard, spinach, leeks, romaine, red cabbage, broccoli, and tomatoes - peppers planted but no life signs yet. I have two rhubarb plants ready to go into the ground and a beautiful cherry tomato itching to be outside. Looks like about 34 seed taters will go out on Monday the 15th, along with a portion of my 600 onion sets (red, white, yellow), some asparagus roots and 25 strawberry plants. I also have Jerusalem artichoke tubers to retrieve from the fridge (and reclaim some shelf space!) and get planted and my sweet taters are in the windows to hopefully make some slips to plant out around the end of April. New seeds started this week are Holy Basil and Za'atar. Lemon verbena, tarragon, lemon balm, spearmint and peppermint, lavender, thyme and rosemary are ready to go out. I need to reclaim my living room...LOL! I spend more time moving plants in and out, rotating around my tiny greenhouse shelves in the south-facing window and stuff, than I do most anything else other than work. I need these guys to move on out so I can plant more seeds. I've also got dianthus, black-eyed susans, nasturtiums, petunias and marigolds started as well.

Jay's mention of mice making short shrift of seedlings has me wondering if I ought to use TP rolls to protect the little guys when they first go out. Hmmmm. Everything looks so tiny that I can't believe it is 'supposedly' time to plant them out. I may hold most stuff inside until after the frost date just to give them a little bit more of a head start. I am hoping that my straw mulch, plus a row cover, will keep what I do decide to put out next weekend alive until we get past April 5th and whatever weather weirdness comes our way 'twixt now and then.

Kids start arriving for visits during their Spring Break this week. Everyone has a different break, so at least I only have to throw down the mattress on the floor for one at a time...LOL!

Podster - thanks for that solarizing tip. I'll have to get the 5' plus hay cut down first before I attempt that in the 'expansion' area for next year's larger garden space.

Sigh...so many seed dreams and so darn little time!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 9, 2010
3:48 AM

Post #7615103

Wow! No wonder you haven't been posting. I am impressed and look forward to hearing how the garden grows. Sounds like if it is successful, you will be able to market garden along with Msrobin. From your last freeze date, I think I would wait as least till then... http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=paris+tennessee

I have heard lots of complaining about mice this year. We took on two kittens last June and now that they are larger, I've never seen this many dead shrews and mice. I would never have believed I had that many since I already had four older cats.

Jayrunyen ~ I slipped into deep, dark depression when you mentioned taxes. Not that I mind paying them... after all the more I make, the more I "get" to pay. Just depressed as I am dragging on doing the paperwork and you reminded me. lol

So instead, I went out and dug up some junque plants between the walkway and the house. Making it a kitchen garden of sorts with lots of perennial herbs, garlic and onions. Not sure what else I'll put there but I managed to dent the digging before it started raining again. That is a double edged sword. The rain makes it easy to dig and harder to get it done!

No heat needed here either for a few days. I guess the sun will come back out today because I am due back to work.

AZgram ~ I agree ~ Life is good!

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 9, 2010
6:57 AM

Post #7615516

Goodmorning, my Friends! My ears were burning, so thought I'd stop by to see what was being said.

Yes, I helped Hineni put up her garden fence. It went pretty smooth, but she neglected to tell you that we spent more time trying to decide where to put it, than it actually took to put it up. LOL! We are still patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. I'm anxious to get back down there to see how she's progressing. We had a wonderful visit. She's got several neighbors interested in her garden, so she may be in business sooner than she thinks. :)

Al is in Utah, so I have the entire south half of our place filled with seedlings and seed trays. I'll probably move them to the greenhouse next week. Just hate the idea of spending extra money to heat the greenhouse at night these next few weeks.

We've got lots of rain forecast here for the rest of this week, but I can still get plenty done between rain bands. Too early to plant out, so I'm working on cleaning up different flower beds and other areas around the place that I didn't get to last summer.

I wonder about the disappearing seedlings...would sprinkling a little red pepper when planting the seeds help any? I know I have a huge colony of field mice and moles.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2010
10:43 AM

Post #7616101

Wow Hi, you are cranking! I'm inspired! Looking forward to following your garden efforts.

I'd be lucky if mice got my seedlings... they're getting the seeds! Little varmints might as well just walk behind me and dig them up; waiting til nightfall is just leading me to think I've actually planted something that might actually grow.

So it's soil block day... I'm going to figure this dang thing out and start my sugar peas inside today.

My spinach is starting to come up, more chard... mostly I think things are just hanging out waiting for warmth.

I started another batch of eggplant and sweet pepper today... didn't get very good emergence in the first batch, had it in with the tomatoes which sprout at a lower temp. Now the new batch is on the germination mat at 85... that oughta make 'em happy!

It's still too muddy to work outside the tunnel... aargh!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
6:58 AM

Post #7618404

UGH! It is so seriously yucky outside, I could just scream! Blowing snow/sleet this am, not much, just enough to make life miserable.

Things were finally starting to thaw and dry out a bit, and now we're back to sloppy and squishy. Bleh! =oP

Managed to get some sugar snap peas planted in soil blocks yesterday. Well, soil lumps, actually. The recipe for the blocking mix calls for a small amount of garden soil, and I think ours may have too much clay in it to work well... the mix tended to stick in the blocker. I'll try leaving the dirt out when I do this again for the sweet corn.

Here's my little seedlings... I took them out for a sunning yesterday

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 10, 2010
9:25 AM

Post #7618785

Our weather is finally starting to get back to normal around here. The collards are up along with the carrots. Just ate the last of the broccoli and am now waiting for the last round of brussels sprouts to make. Taters are in but havent come up yet.
Sorry if Im off topic some but I only skimmed the posts. Had a horrible night and am ready for bed. Good night/day folks.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
9:36 AM

Post #7618804

Is there a topic? Other than what's happening around your place, it's pretty open to my mind...

sort of your neighborly over-the-fence blather thread. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2010
11:58 AM

Post #7619097

We have had beautiful weather for a few days now. We got a sprinkling of rain last night and still a chance for the next few days but the sun is peeking in and out today and I'll take it!

Went to town for a load of feed Monday and got another bator. I put 2 dozen big stock brown eggs in it last night. Going to use the new bator for incubating and the old one for hatching. We have 6 new chicks that hatched out Saturday. They are cute and doing well. They are roundhead / hatch crosses. (Game chicks) Hoping to sell them.

Wind is blowing and drying things up. I haven't had to wear my big heavy mud boots in 3 days!

I had a hard day Sunday. Went on an overnight trip Friday and I think the ride and conference was a bit much for me. Went in the church van so I couldn't get comfortable. Had a lot of pain and weakness Sunday but by monday I was on the mend. I'm fine now and getting the work done.

Glory is doing well. We are giving her 2 rings of bute every night. The vet said she didn't need it but he was wrong. She was in pain and she quit eating. She was trembling even in her blanket and it wasn't that cold. With the pain meds she is doing well and eating well.

Pigs are ready to process. They are getting huge. Near as tall as Max. LOL I may ride them to the butcher.

I picked up 10 eggs yesterday. All 3 bantam hens layed and the duck. She layed again today. Had a double yolk egg over the weekend from one of my RIR hens.

Gotta get back out and work on my veggie beds. I have broccoli and mater plants sprouted in the cellar. I have quite a few things wintersown and sitting in the back yard. It's the first time I have tried it.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
2:11 PM

Post #7619342

Is Glory your horse that got hung up in the feeder? Glad to hear a little bute got her eating better.

I once saw a picture of a hog in harness... seems like that'd be some awesome pulling power. LOL

A minute ago I looked outside and it was snowing... 50 and snowing. I do believe that means it's spring... just not the one I want. I need your boots, Cajun!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2010
3:46 PM

Post #7619563

Yes, that is glory. You can see where the feeder gouged a piece of her eye out. It looks like a huge ulcer on the eye. But it's not draining near as much as before.

I got a lot of work done on my veggie bed. I got the groundcloth and the pavers down. It's 10ft long and about 1 1/2 ft wide. I got about 3 feet of soil in it. I have the soil to finish it but I pooped out. My legs get weak having to go up and down the hill. I should have it done by the time I need to put the broccoli out.

Sad about the snow. I'm sure you are as sick of it as I am.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2010
5:06 PM

Post #7619763

Blathering? I like it, let me blather some. I know you are tired of the snow. What I'm tired of is the crappy store bought tomatoes. Had one tonight that cut like, looked like and tasted like cardboard. C'mon mater seedlings!

Jayryunen ~ please describe your soil blocks. You made reference to them and I'm not sure what the procedure is? Seedlings are looking good there.

Cajun sounds like you are getting after it. That garden bed is interesting and you said you hauled in all your dirt? What an effort. Glad your Glory is doing better but on the chicks/chickens, you better hush ~ LOL I have been resisting temptation but am tempted sorely. Trying to stay away from the Poultry forum.

Lizardskeep ~ glad to see you surfacing again. How does your garden grow?

On weather, it has been warm and windy but sunny and beginning to dry out. I just wish for sun on my days off but... At least there is early morning daylight and I am able to get some work done outdoors before work. That will change again on Sunday with DST time. Then, I'll be dragging and lazy after work and won't want to do much. Wish the time change would be LEFT ALONE! One way or the other.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
5:07 PM

Post #7619766

Yes, I am sick, sick, sick of this snow and now it's melted and we're back to slop.

I've been learning about bucket gardening using a really neat system utilizing 5 gallon buckets and plastic colanders... check it out!
http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view/12741/

Aren't those the most incredible cabbages?!

This is a great system for renters, patio gardens, and those who need an elevated garden. I'm going to build a couple for a friend of mine who keeps trying to grow tomatoes in the shade... her deck is about the only place that gets full sun all day.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
5:12 PM

Post #7619775

Oh crud... DLT. I'm with you podster, I wish they'd just leave it the heck alone!

I'll try and get it together to start a soil blocking thread... though as I said, I don't have the soil mix down right, so you'll get to see soil lumps and blobs instead. LOL

Cajun, I don't know how anyone could think gouging a piece of an eye out wouldn't hurt like the dickens. I know horses have a higher pain threshhold than humans, but come on, we're talking an eye here, not a hide. Sheesh.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 10, 2010
5:57 PM

Post #7619893

Jay, you don't leave the homestead much, do you? (giggle) Linda (Gymgirl) has a thread here on DG with this bucket idea. BTW, they do work great. I've got 4 going with cherry tomatoes and they are growing like crazy. Well, they were until I got the bright idea to put them on the front deck for their daily outing today. It was 72, but pretty breezy out there. Maybe they will look less-ragged in the morning.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2010
6:04 PM

Post #7619907

LOL... nope, I don't get around much, takes too much of my time just keeping up with this place. I tried to talk Linda into posting here, as I think she's doing a kind of urban homesteading, but I guess she's busy with those buckets... =0)
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
5:20 AM

Post #7620692

Jayryunyen ~ thanks for the link on the bucket garden. I had skirted the edges of it here on DG but took the time to read your link. I think it will be an excellent system for your friends' deck garden. I was actually interested until I saw how much water they required in the heat of summer. Water conservation has always been top priority for me even tho I live in an area that has adequate moisture/rainfall. I tried something last year that I am doing again. I grew the vegies in containers ala Twiggybuds in water beds. The water consumption was minimal and (because I work) the maintenance effort was wonderfully minimal. The great thing here is the exchange of ideas and information as no two situations or locales are similar. What works for one, may or may not for the next one. Interesting read tho and I always enjoy GymGirls' enthusiasm.

Not like I was in need but turned in more seed orders from Willhite this a.m.. Ordering extra too as I cleaned out a corner in the freezer for seed storage. Miniature pumpkins and more small maters and improved pintos and...
Off to work to earn seed money. Lord ~ save me! lol
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
6:05 AM

Post #7620777

You know, I think I am as bad about seeds as those folks over on P&L are about chickens... LOL I can't just walk by a seed rack without responding to their tiny little cries of 'plant me, plant me'.

The buckets use a lot of water? I thought they'd be pretty efficient, especially with the lid cut out that way to reduce surface evaporation.

Could you post a link to Twiggybuds system?

We've got another 1/2" of snow here this morning, 27, and will probably warm up enough to melt this batch again today, just like yesterday. Always just enough to keep things too wet to work. Grrr. Don't the weather gods know I have grand plans? Or do they delight in taunting us mere mortals? Fie, I say, fie!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
7:07 AM

Post #7620920

Jay, welcome to Seed Collectors Anonymous. LOL

I didn't get the bad thunderstorms, as predicted and only got 1/4" of rain, woke up to 55*, so can't complain...yet. Have a 80% chance of rain for today. I may start to get growly as the day wears on.

I used Twiggybud's method last year with 4 5 gal. buckets of tomatoes and it worked well. I used GymGirl's bucket with lid method to make up these 4 using 4 1/2 gal buckets without lids, and just used plastic to loosely cover the top of the soil mix. They take just under 1/2 gal of water about every 8-9 days.

I started moving some of my cool season vegetable trays of seedlings out to the greenhouse yesterday to make room for more seed trays that I'm starting today. Want to wait another week to move the tomatoes, peppers, etc, to make sure the night temps are staying where they're suppose to.

Cajun, glad to hear Glory is doing better.







CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2010
7:13 AM

Post #7620928

I think I will move her down to 1 ring of bute a day for this week then see how she does without it. She is eating very well now.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
7:30 AM

Post #7620962

1/2 gal. of water every 8-9 days seems pretty conserving to me, especially compared to watering things in the ground. Robin, as you've tried both, how do you think the two systems compare water wise?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #7621051

At work so I'll have to look up Gymgirls water comment later and I am sure more water usage due to the summer heat in the Houston area. I am not far removed from her. I'll post more later...
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
8:16 AM

Post #7621065

I had 4 buckets in a 5' kiddie pool. I think I added a couple of inches of water every other week, if we didn't have any rain. I probably lost some water due to evaporation because of the larger water surface. If someone wanted to just use one or two buckets on a patio, there are a number of things to use for the "trough", such as a kitty litter pan or oil pan, which are readily available. The kiddie pool was almost $15 and would hold 6-7 buckets easily. Twiggybuds describes more frugal ideas for the water beds. I used a drill to make the holes on these buckets and each bucket took about 2 minutes to prepare. I did observe I had less hornworm problems. I don't know how they reached the plants, but I did have 3.


With the self-watering bucket, I don't think there is much evaporation and the watering is equally as easy. At Dollar General, I paid $4 for the bucket, $2 for the strainer, and $3 for the recommended potting MIX. I had straws and scrap pvc pipe here. Only tool I used was a pair of heavy duty scissors and it took me less than 15 minutes each to make. I also used a saw to cut the pipe. My only concern with self-watering buckets, is that if you can't find a source for free or cheap buckets, and want to do a lot of these, it could get pretty expensive.

Is one better than the other? As far as function, I like them both, and will continue to use both, in addition to still planting in the ground.

TMI?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
8:28 AM

Post #7621097

No, that's great info... I think having exposed water surface here in dry ol' NM I would lose a significant amount to evaporation with those pools. I'm looking forward to your post, podster.

My idea right now is a couple three buckets with an attractive box around them on the deck.

I agree about the expense, but a little resourcefulness will find cheaper buckets... around here there's a lot of drywall buckets, and Gymgirl gets hers from restaurants... I'm going to start asking around and see what I come up with. I've also seen the buckets on sale from time to time at places like Home Depot...

I've started the soil blocking thread here on Homestead.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2010
9:53 AM

Post #7621279

We buy 5 gallon buckets with lids at TSC for $2.99. not bad. How do you know if you have too much water in the bucket?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
9:56 AM

Post #7621292

You're right, I could have scrounged around for free buckets, like I did for the water bed buckets and will for buckets for that method. I wanted something a little nicer for the few self-watering buckets that I'll be using. I'm going to have my CSA members coming out to visit and these will be sitting around the little picnic area.

Off to check you new thread...
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
10:02 AM

Post #7621301

Cajun, Twiggybud's just take up as much water as they need from the water the buckets are sitting in. The other one's have a "resorvoir" inside the bottom of the bucket and there is an overflow tube a few inches from the bottom that comes out the side, so they only hold so much water.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
10:12 AM

Post #7621325

Cajun, essentially there's a plastic colander turned upside down in the bottom of the bucket, with a 1 1/2" (or so) pvc pipe that runs into it from above to put the water in, and a plastic straw that comes in from the side towards the top of the inverted colander to drain off excess. You then fill the bucket with potting soil, and plant. Check the link I posted for a very helpful drawing and explanation of the system... you're one of the people I thought of, being a renter and all. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2010
12:37 PM

Post #7621604

I didn't realize there was an overflow straw. This would be good for my DD and Knock. They live in a rented apartment and have 2 balconies they can "garden" on.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
1:01 PM

Post #7621666

Perfect!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
5:40 PM

Post #7622323

First, here is the post on GymGirls' water usage for the ebuckets. From this thread... http://cubits.org/buckets/thread/view/732/
[quote]
In the beginning of the season when my seedlings are just taking off, I can fill the reservoir about once a week and they get the water they need.

Once they reach full size and start to take off, I may have to fill the reservoir once in the morning and top off again in the evening.

When my huge heirloom tomatoes took off in the patented EBs they were drinking so much and so fast that I was filling the reservoir morning AND evening without fail -- and probably could've stood to fill them at lunchtime, too, if I'd been home! [/quote] With alot of containers, I wouldn't have time to tend to them. I can see the principal and understand how well it will work. Were I only doing a few containers, I would consider trying it. After all there are 5 gallon containers tossed out on the roadsides although they had hydraulic oil in them and I wonder about reuse for food products.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
5:58 PM

Post #7622380

Twiggybuds system is simply a level soil surface with a frame bed of landscape timbers, probably about 3" high. I believe my beds are 2 ft x 8 ft. Lined with black plastic. The plants are potted in containers, I used black nursery pots as I had plenty. They are planted in a cheap but well draining soil with compost added. These containers are packed tightly in these beds of standing water and on the eBucket theory, will use water as needed. The more tightly the beds are filled with pots, the less chance of evaporation. I started with four beds and added a fifth before long. Like the eBuckets, they need additional fertilizer on a regular basis.

I am going to add a photo or two. In this photo, green beans in the front, a couple of tomatoes behind and on the far end, a couple of spaghetti squash vines. On the right hand side of the bed, TX tarragon, basil and other herbs mixed in. Upper right hand corner of the photo, you can see a squash hanging from the trellis.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
6:07 PM

Post #7622406

Podster, that is a really attractive "bed" too.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
6:08 PM

Post #7622408

A bonus on the tomatoes, I planted the seedlings low in the black pots and added soil as they grew so they developed a good root system. The black plastic and the black pots helped provide early heat and I could easily cover them on frosty nights without crushing the foliage. These were not standing in water until they grew more. I kept the young plants on the dry side to prevent root rot.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
6:12 PM

Post #7622418

Thanks Msrobin ~
I built bamboo trellises to grow things upward. Some things did not do well, others were wildly successful. I think this spot did not have enough sun although the tomatoes set all thru the heat of summer. They kept me in tomatoes from June thru the end of Nov. I rarely had to add water to the beds but could easily do so and if it rained, that added water also.

A little out of order on the photos but my thoughts are random too. lol

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
6:28 PM

Post #7622463

I put the fifth bed in a sunny location and grew a good crop of sweet cherry and pimento peppers as well as eggplant, more tomatoes and four okra plants. The okra was a steady producer deliver until the first hard killing frost. Amazing that it did so well in water. I will say I searched for plant cultivars that were smaller or suited to container growth also. All but the tomatoes.

So back to today. Never being one to resist temptation, my favorite local plant seller had some thornless blackberries in stock. I bought Arapaho and Navajo ~ three plants of each. Once again, the cart is in front of the horse. Now where do I put them??!?

I did find tomato sprouts in the wintersow jugs tonite. For sure and for certain I will be growing Mule Team and Hong Yuen. They were the first to sprout and oddly seed left from 2008. The dill that sprouted first was a vintage pack of seeds. None of them stored properly I might add.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2010
6:35 PM

Post #7622477

Does okra do well in containers? I would not have thought that. What kind did you grow?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
6:36 PM

Post #7622479

I'm doing a market garden this year, but still plan on setting up about a dozen tomatoes and maybe 6 peppers in the water beds, just in case I have a problem with garden planted ones.

WhooHoo on the WS germination. I started mine way too late and the herbs germinated in 4 days. But I'll be sure to get them out much earlier next year.

BTW, here's the thread where the self-watering bucket originated. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1011889/
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2010
6:41 PM

Post #7622491

I don't have any sprouts in my WS containers yet.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
6:46 PM

Post #7622502

Cajun ~ I used Lee okra. It stays smaller and grows straight without a lot of lateral branching. The plants were only 4 to 5 feet tall and the pods were around 4 or 5 inches in length. Only four pots didn't deliver a mess of it at one time but I would slice and freeze it on a waxpaper on a cookie sheet, then slide the frozen pieces into freezer bags. I ended up with quite a few meals from only four plants. That was fine as DH doesn't eat it at all! More for me. I ordered a volume of seed and have some left to grow this year. Will also share if you would like to try some... just dmail me.

Msrobin ~ I have been following your posts on the Market Gardeners forum and wish you the best this growing season. I am late with wintersowing here too but doubt that I will ever buy a plant that I can start from seed ever again. It is rewarding and last year while so many had that problem with their tomatoes... was it a virus, my plants, even those I shared with others never faltered. Off to read your thread...
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
6:49 PM

Post #7622515

What all do you have planted in the WS containers? Some things are definitely slow to sprout.

I get tickled as I go out morning and night and peer in the peephole looking for green. The perlite turns greenish and drives me nuts. I would be out there looking with a flashlight right now but it is raining cats and dogs. I have enough of all three, cats, dogs and rain!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
7:02 PM

Post #7622540

Cajun, not to worry about your WS containers. I didn't do mine until the 4th this month and we've had upper 60's and low 70's for 4 days in a row. Guess mine didn't have any choice but to germinate.

Thanks, Podster.

So, Jayryunen, what have you been doing today?
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 12, 2010
2:39 AM

Post #7623103

Hey Pod. The thornless blackberries do really great here. Have three Arapaho that keep us and the birds well supplied. If you wait till they turn deep black the seeds are soft and not as annoying. This link http://paisleypumpkinfarmsnursery.com/nursery/tree_pages/blackberry/blackberry_prune_train.html will tell you some good to know stuff about pruning and training. They are semi-erect so you wont have to trellis them.

Last year we tried to pick them before the birds got there fill (ha) and put them in the icebox for later. Then eat them like popcorn in front of the boob-tube. Sure did miss them after they played out.

Plan on putting in a few more blackberries and some blueberries this year also to counter the cra. Err a well the stuff you find at the supermarket these days.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2010
4:10 AM

Post #7623168

Morning ~ I've lived here a long time and am kicking myself for not planting more edibles and less ornamentals. This year, I am determined to only purchase plants that are edible. I did some reading and narrowed it down to three BBs and these were two of them. The Arapaho is supposed to have the smallest seeds? I am glad to know they do well for you. Are yours in full sun? I have these and 6 blueberries to make beds for ~ always one to bite off more than I can chew. I am needing to redo the fence there first, guess I know what is on this weekends agenda.
Off to read your link ~ thanks...
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 12, 2010
7:02 AM

Post #7623424

The water beds are cool! Another handy, portable system. And they would be easier to check for water levels. =0)

How humid is it where you live?

Did you use just regular construction black plastic for lining or something special?

And does anybody know a good way to start onion seeds? I've tried direct seeding, and starting them in potting soil inside, but they seem to have a remarkable ability to push themselves out of the soil. Has anyone started onions in vermiculite or perlite?

Finally looks like we're going to have a sunny day here, though it got down to 17 last night... hope my little tatsoi made it.

This message was edited Mar 12, 2010 8:05 AM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 12, 2010
8:12 AM

Post #7623576

Good morning all. Looks like we will have good weather here until about 4 when the rains come again. have a lot to get done before then. Just put the pulp to soak for the horses. Pod, i planted Emerals okra in my WS containers. hoping it does well but thanks for the offer of the seeds. Okra is something you don't need many plants of. We do like you and freeze it as it gets ready. My chicks are still doing well. I have 2 dozen big stock mix eggs in the bator now. The roo i'm using is an EE. Big good looking guy named Gumbo. The hens are various kinds, White rock, RIR, Barred Rock and a little black irredesant (sp?) hen. I don't know what kind she is. Pretty little thing but very flighty. Gotta go. Lots of stuff to do before the rain comes back.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 12, 2010
9:12 AM

Post #7623681

I need some info. I asked this on the fruit and nut forum but haven't got any replies. Maybe some of you can help me. DH bought me 4 raspberry canes. 2 red and 2 gold. Can I plant them next to one another or do I need to seperate them to keep them from crossing? What kind of conditions do raspberries need? I've never had them before.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 12, 2010
9:49 AM

Post #7623772

Cajun, after reading this, it appears they are self polinating, so probably no concerns about cross polination. http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho15/ho15.pdf
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 12, 2010
9:58 AM

Post #7623793

This helps a lot. Thanks so much for the link. I think I have just the place for them!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 12, 2010
4:23 PM

Post #7624577

Thats what were trying to do now is get more of the easy to grow edibles in and growing. Over the last few years our sales have gone from mostly ornamentals to mostly fruits, nuts, and berries so there are a lot of folks with the same idea.

Our blackberries are planted in full sun and do very well. Theyre semi-erect so I just let them grow up and weep over instead of using a trellis. May not be as tidy as trellised bushes but its easier to harvest and cut back this way. But then neatness has never been one of my callings. DW refers to me as a slug since I leave a trail wherever I go. LOL All they need is a little fertilizer in the spring and water to do their thing.

Right now I have to figure out where to put some grape arbors so theyre close to hand but unhandy for the local wildlife to get into. As if thats possible. The Thompson and Red Flame seedless grapes do well here also. You may want to try some of them for a quick edible. Its also easy to dry them for raisins.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2010
7:17 PM

Post #7624901

Jayryunen ~ yes to the humidity but I've developed gills. I suspect your high & dry really dries out plants when the wind blows. I wanted to add on the water beds, we were away for 10 days during last summer and the waterbed plants were still going. They could not have lasted a lot longer as they had emptied the water reservior but the soil was still damp. Plants in ground would have died of drought at that time. I will have to look at the mil on the plastic but don't think it was anything special.
Sorry, no experience with seeding onion but there was a pretty good thread last year. I'll see if I can locate it.

Cajun ~ the okra loves hot weather and I've never WS'd it, just potted it directly. Curious to see how yours does. Also, the offer on the Lee okra stands if you want to try some later JLMK.

Y'all have to quit talking chickens and grapes. I am reading this with my hands over my ears. I've been wanting (and resisting) both. Thought I wanted muscadines but am no way ready for them. Then, what do I see but grapes posted here! Jeeze Louise! I can't win... lol
Is the PPF nursery yours ~ Lizards_keep? Very neat site with links to the info on the same plants. Thanks for sharing. I did not know grapes were prone to verticulum wilt which may eliminate my need for them. I've had problems with tomatos in ground fine ~ one day and withered the next.
And if all these fruits and berries and maters do well, I'll be wanting a dehydrator. Ever wonder why I work?
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2010
2:32 AM

Post #7625373

Yes, PPFN is mine and thanks for the kind words. Its small but it keeps us busy. Still have a few holes in the web site that Im trying to get all fixed up. Would help if I were a compu-geek though LOL.

Some grapes have a higher resistance to verticulum wilt but with the humidity here any of them may have some problems. Muscadine are native, you can find them growing wild in the woods, and shouldnt be any trouble at all. The seedless ones are the best sellers and most of the feedback we have gotten is on how good they are doing. These are the ones Im going to put in first.

Since you mentioned chickens Im going to convert an 8 x 12 shed into a coop in the near future and try some Dominicker (sp?) chickens. They are supposed to have very large, mostly double yoked, eggs.

Someone mentioned a garden market earlier. We have been kicking around the idea of putting a bench out front and trying to sell any surplus veggies, eggs, and maybe rabbits that we might have. We are still trying to work this out and would like to hear any ideas or suggestions anyone may have on the subject.

Jay Ive found that unless you are growing hundreds of onions its easier on the pocket book, mind, and hair just to buy the sets. For about the price of a packet of seeds we get more than enough plants in a bunch to satisfy our onion needs.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 13, 2010
6:44 AM

Post #7625639

I bought onion sets last night at Wally World. Yellow, Sweet and Red varieties. $1.50 and $200 a bag. Also bought red seed potatoes. The price for red potatoes in the store is outrageous!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 13, 2010
7:18 AM

Post #7625710

Great score on the onion sets.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2010
7:36 AM

Post #7625743

Hey Cajun. Buy your seed taters at a feed store. 5# should cost about $3.50, not the $9.95 for 10 little taters wally world sells.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 13, 2010
9:22 AM

Post #7625947

Unfortunately they don't sell them where we buy our feed. They have a small selection of corn, peas and beans but that's it. I paid $5.00 for 3lbs. I haven't opened the bag so I don't know how many taters are in it but I'll cut them up.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 13, 2010
10:17 AM

Post #7626076

Somebody stop me! Had to take a deposit to the bank and since I was in town, I went ahead and swung by Walmart for composted manure and red onion sets and I walked out of there with three Azaelas @ $3 each and a 5' tall Jasmine marked half-price to $6, and six peonies, 2 pkgs of 2 and 2 pkgs of 1 for $5 each. It's Cajun's fault for mentioning the red onion sets. Sure is going to be pretty around here this summer. Now I just have to figure out where I'm going to plant the Azaelas and Jasmine. I also found the basecard pages, like Cajun uses for seed organization.

It's 50* here, but totally overcast, with a little more rain expected later. Only got a 1/2" of rain in the last 24 hours, but it's really muddy out there.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2010
6:17 PM

Post #7627029

Thats not too bad. The WM here had 10 about the size of an egg in a bag for $9.95.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 13, 2010
7:06 PM

Post #7627101

ouch!!!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2010
1:34 AM

Post #7627740

I must apologize to Wally World I guess; DW has informed me that it was Home Depot where we saw the over priced seed taters. I stand corrected.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2010
6:31 AM

Post #7630355

The taters are poking their little heads up, the carrots look like heck for some reason, and the collards are looking great. Soon be time to start getting them arranged into rows with the proper spacing.

Intend on getting the kitchen garden ready for spring planting today if all goes well.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2010
6:37 AM

Post #7630370

I've been planning to put the spring garden in and thought I could this week after the weather seemed to be stabilizing. But forecast is for considerably cooler weather next week. Guess I should just go ahead and order frost protection covers.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2010
11:51 AM

Post #7631092

The weather here is nice for once. Low 40s at night and mid 70s daytime and dry till next week sometime. Just now finished getting all the old stubby stuff out and need to till it up in a little while, soon as I figure out where Im going to put what.

Row covers are a pain but they do work as long as it isnt too windy.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2010
12:32 PM

Post #7631184

OK, I'm dying... woke up to 10" of snow. {{Gloooom}} Still grey out there. Things were finally starting to dry out; now it's back to slop. Crud.

Sets and plants ARE a whole lot easier, but I'm trying to learn how to grow and save the seed... it's getting harder and harder to find non-hybrid onion seed, and we use a lot of onions, so they need to be good keepers. I've rarely seen the variety even identified on the sets beyond red, yellow, white. I have learned that the bulb can be mulched and covered like carrots over the winter here for allowing to grow out and set seed the following year... at least, I got it to work one winter here.


podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2010
1:49 PM

Post #7631378

Jayryunen ~ have you ever tried wintersowing in milk jug containers? Seems like your climate would be excellent for that method of starting seeds. I did read up on the soil blocks and found it interesting. Particularly the history on it ~ thanks for sharing.

I also looked at the waterbed plastic I used. It is 'extra heavy duty' 6 mil thickness. Not all that pricy and enough left over to do more beds. I doubled what I used and had no tears or leaks so will reuse it.

On the onions, our little feed store sold clumps of potato onions ~ maybe also known as a multiplier? They stay in ground year around for me. They form clumps of onions that are smaller but tasty. Wonder if you could wintersow onion seeds... the DG search system is down so no luck finding that thread on onion seeds. Thought I remembered who started it but not!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2010
3:34 PM

Post #7631624

Ah seed saving, different ball game. We are just now starting to think about heirloom seeds and how to collect and save. I was focused on the bigger stuff and onions never crossed my mind. Guess I will have to add that to my list.

Those multiplying onions are also called bunching. We have a bed of them that yields a never ending supply as long as you always put at least one out of the bunch back in the ground. They just keep going and going.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2010
3:53 PM

Post #7631675

Yes, for that reason I love them. They endure drought, floods, heat, freezes ~ I leave them in ground year around. They do seed also but I've not saved them. I was told I should cut the blooms off so they will grow larger but I love the blooms too.

How was the kitchen garden effort today Lizards_keep?

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2010
4:01 PM

Post #7631691

What's the difference between winter sowing and just starting things indoors?

The neat thing with the soil blocks is you can start seeds indoors that normally can't be transplanted, like corn and peas and beets. I've had trouble getting pea and beets going in the garden... something always seems to gobble them up before they can get true leaves. The corn I'm just hoping to get a jump on the season... aren't many short season varieties of flour corn. Adding 10-14 days may help. May not. We'll see. =0)

I've wondered how those multiplier onions tasted... they pique my curiosity.



podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2010
5:23 PM

Post #7631968

I was just thinking of your climate... when you mentioned snow again. A lot of DGrs in the north are really into wintersowing. Have you read up on it at all? http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/How_to_Winter_Sow.html The site does indicate that Alliums are a good candidate for wintersowing.

The multiplier onions taste like... onions. LOL If you have room to try a few, let me know. http://davesgarden.com/community/journals/viewentry/111609/
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2010
5:55 PM

Post #7632046

Interesting. I think that's kinda what's going on in the tunnel... the seeds I direct seeded are waiting for the perfect soil temp. Noticed 3 tiny carrots coming up, more little onions, and the first kale... after the spinach, that's interesting.

Another technique to incorporate into this slap-dash system! =0)

Dang... it's snowing again!

Thank heavens I've got the tunnel or I'd really be going nuts... oh, by the way, the broccoli seedlings are doing just fine, think I'll set some more in the ground.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7632240

Did well on the kitchen garden, got all the left over stuff out and the few weeds, egg shells, and other stuff that we have thrown out there all tilled under. I guess you could call it kind of an impromptu compost pile between plantings. Did get the corn planted, which was the main thing I wanted to accomplish today. I hope to get the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers planted tomorrow. The way this stupid weather has been Ill probably wish I had waited another week. Lol
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2010
7:52 PM

Post #7632319

Oh, go ahead, flaunt your weather!
Pffffft. }=P

LOL
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2010
8:19 PM

Post #7632384

Yea, Yea, Yea you think you have it rough now. Just wait till I start complaining about the 110 heat and no rain in another couple of months. Ill show you how to be depressed, I will. LOL
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2010
9:04 PM

Post #7632481

Jayryunen ~ you truly hadn't been exposed to the wintersowing type of seed starting? You might find this interesting to read thru the threads http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/coldsow/all/

Lizards_keep ~ the past two days are to die for in east TX but rare on an annual basis. Glad they fell on my weekend for a change. No flaunts intended ~ lol
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 16, 2010
6:11 AM

Post #7632956

Yes you cant ask for anything better. Spring in East Texas is to die for even if it only lasts about a week. We tend to go from winter to summer with just the impression of a spring in between. Lol But I wouldnt trade it for the world.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2010
7:33 AM

Post #7633166

110?! Ugh, thanks for reminding me why I left Albq area... though I DO have it tough, I reeeeally do... this morning it's 10! =o)

But the sun is out, there's not a cloud in the sky... it's supposed to get into the 50's today. And nighttime lows in the 30's later in the week? Dare I believe them? I just want to scream at the sky "Would you make up your everlovin' MIND already? I'm trying to get some things done down here, you know!"

My earthbag retaining wall is once again under a snowbank, I'm running out of firewood, the truck is stuck down at the barn because of the mud, and now the snow. Let's not even talk about how I need to make new planting beds...

I suffer sooooo well, don't you think? LOL

podster, wintersowing is new to me... looks interesting, although all those little containers wouldn't work... just blow away. But direct seeding... will definitely read up on it. Thanks!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2010
8:08 AM

Post #7633254

Here is my first try at WS. One of my maters has sprouted. I have a few more jugs to sow.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2010
8:48 AM

Post #7633326

Neat!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2010
11:55 AM

Post #7633679

Not a whole lt, I know, but it's a new thing I'm trying.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2010
12:32 PM

Post #7633752

I enjoy trying new stuff... even when it doesn't work out, 'cause sometimes it does!

How's Glory and the chicks doing?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 16, 2010
1:54 PM

Post #7633902

Way to go Cajun!

J, sorry to hear the weather turned bad again on you.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2010
3:43 PM

Post #7634115

Glory is doing better. I weaned her off the pain med. She hasn't had any for the last 2 days and I haven't seen any difference in her. She is still eating well.

The chickens are good. Still getting 7-9 eggs most days. 2 days I got 10 eggs. I was stoked! LOL The chicks are good too. Growing like weeds and feathering out quick. They are starting to spar so I'll have to watch them close. I have 2 dozen big stock eggs in the bator. I have 2 bators now. I'm using the new one to incubate and the old one to hatch in. I put Jeffery, my Dominique roo, in with the girls yesterday. He is much smaller than Gumbo. I will leave him in for a month or so. It will be easier on the girls and when I set more eggs in a month, he will be the proud poppa.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2010
4:48 PM

Post #7634269

What are you going to do with all these chickens and eggs! Oh my, you are fast becoming the chicken lady here.

Did you get your hog slaughtered yet?

We've been eating the chicken we went in on with my farrier... we bought the birds & the feed, he raised them and we had a nice neighborly gathering to make meat out of them. The first one we cooked nearly screwed up the recipe... there wasn't enough fat to baste the bird with... store-bought chicken has so much fat on it, and it's been a long time since I've raised my own chicken; I'd forgotten it's a lot leaner. Tastier, too. And I know it had a good healthy life before it ended up in my freezer!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2010
8:24 PM

Post #7634773

Haven't had the pigs processed yet and they are getting huge. I'll be able to ride them to the slaughter house before long. LOL Spare Rib is close to 300lbs and Pork Chop is not far behind.

We plan to sell some of the chicks. All of the game chicks and some of the big stock. But I am also hatching some big stock to replace some of my hens next year.

Can't remember the last time I ate a home grown chicken. They do taste much better.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
6:09 AM

Post #7635547

I don't think I've seen any sun in over a week and it's really starting to take a toll on my nerves.

I did get outside a couple of afternoons in the past week to do some work. A few days ago, I cut back the aspargus stems from last fall and a bunch of tall dead weeds. Hopefully, I can keep on top of the weeds this year. Yesterday, I dug up and transplanted four 5' Pussy Willow trees. Sure ache this morning, a reminder that there are muscles in there somewhere.

What should I do about my seedlings in the house? Break down and run an extention cord and heater to the greenhouse or leave them in the house? About 50 of the tomatoes are 12 -15" tall and about 2 dozen pepper plants 6-8" tall in 16 oz solo cups but they are all standing straight up and have pretty thick stems. They're sitting in front of south facing windows and I run an oscillationg fan on them 2-3 hours a day. They seem pretty healthy, but I'm wondering if the tomatoes need to be potted up to 1 gal pots. Our last avg frost date is April 10-15. I am fixing to order a roll of row cover and plan on planting some of these in the garden early April with row cover and if need be, a plastic sheet over that at night. Any thoughts?

I haven't ever had fresh chicken. We thought about butchering one bunch we had, when they turned out to be all roosters, but I decided I wasn't up to that yet. So much to learn in the way of homesteading.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2010
7:15 AM

Post #7635684

Wow, did you get a jump on the season or what?! I use wallo waters to get my tomatoes out early, but 50 of 'em plus is a pretty expensive proposition. The row cover (what weight? is it a frost blanket or just an insect barrier?) and plastic might help, especially if you add jugs filled with water, stones, etc to absorb some heat during the day to release at night.

Definitely wouldn't put them all out, hold some back in case the frost hits you. Pot up, for sure.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 17, 2010
7:26 AM

Post #7635719

Sounds like you may need to get the tomatoes and peppers into larger pots before they get leggy on you. Might also consider adjusting your timing so theyre ready to go in the ground by your last freeze date instead of a month early. Would be a shame for that hard work to go to waste.

Im just the opposite by being late most of the time.lol
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
7:34 AM

Post #7635739

I never imagined they would grow this big, this soon. I think the row cover was suitable for both frost and insects. Have to find the link again. I have about 20 black painted gal milk jugs in the greenhouse now, with a few more that I could paint. I also have plenty of 1 gal pots full of last year's compost that I could pot the biggest ones in and just move those to the greenhouse. For the most part, our temps are safe to put them in the unheated greenhouse, except for a couple of nights in a week when lows are predicted at 30 and 28. For the last week our lows have been in the mid 40's and I've got an extra layer of plastic inside the greenhouse, in addition to a plastic tent in the center over a compost bin, which seems to holding temps well. On totally overcast days when outside temps are in the 40's, the tent temp is 70-80*. Guess I should go out and check it before daylight some morning.

Cajun, good to hear about Glory!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
7:38 AM

Post #7635748

Lizards, I know, but I couldn't help myself. I'm doing my first CSA this year, and I got carried away starting seeds. My previous years seeding attempts have generally failed miserably, so thought I'd start a little earlier, so I had time to reseed if neccessary.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 17, 2010
8:03 AM

Post #7635818

I think you may have gotten it right this time LOL.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2010
12:09 PM

Post #7636379

Oh yeah... feast or famine.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
2:01 PM

Post #7636645

LOL!

BTW, since my overzealousness is already apparrent, I did an experiment in January, and started three 72 call trays of broccoli in the greenhouse. Has done absolutely nothing until today. Looks like about half of them have germinated. Need I mention that I started 2 more trays 3 weeks ago and nothing was happening, so when I saw some 9 packs of plants that actually had 12 plants each, I bought 3 two days ago. I MIGHT get enough size difference between the two sets of seeded trays, plus these 4-6" plants to have succession plantings. But that sure is going be a lot of broccoli!

This message was edited Mar 17, 2010 4:20 PM
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 17, 2010
2:34 PM

Post #7636723

Hope you have a large freezer. (grin)
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 17, 2010
4:56 PM

Post #7637030

Large freezer or lots of CSA sales! Sounds like a promising season in the garden. One thing that will generate a bit of extra heat in the GH is buckets of hot (decomposing) manure. A friend covers the floor of his with chicken manure and it works all winter in this zone. Helps keep us riffraff out of it too. lol
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
5:04 PM

Post #7637058

I'm counting on having enough CSA members. :)

In January, I put a compost bin with no manure surrounded by 5 gal buckets in the greenhouse with a tent of plastic draped around it. The purpose of my experiments was to see what different vegetables did without auxillary heat. Next winter I'll try the buckets of just manure.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 17, 2010
5:12 PM

Post #7637082

Did you notice any appreciable temp change in the GH with the compost added? I found to monitor the temp, I bought a cheap $10 thermometer with a remote sensor from WM. I put the remote in the GH and I can keep an eye on it day or night without leaving the house.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
6:50 PM

Post #7637350

Podster, the greenhouse is too far from the house to use the remote sensor that we have. I need to get one with a longer range. I have a thermometer in the greenhouse and another one inside the tent, plus one in the compost bin which is inside the tent. I know the bin was too small. It's like 24" across the top and 24" deep. I also had additional sheet plastic draped loosely between the frame and outter covering to create an air pocket. Here's some temps from colder days:

Date..Time.. .OutsideTemp..inGHtemp..TentTemp..CompostTemp
11/20..6 am...32*..dawn...40*...70*...100*...
11/26..7 am...30*..sunny...42*...65*...96*...
12/05..7 am...20*..sunny...32...60*...70*...
1/04...3 pm...25*..sunny...50*...70*...60*...
1/18...9 am...31*..freezefog.40...64*...70*...
2/14...4 pm...31...overcast..46*...60*...65*...
3/08...7am...41...sunny...58...72...65...

I never did go out in the predawn hours to check temps, nor the mornings when it was below 20*. It's obvious the tented compost helped considerably. I didn't add any maure till February, but it never did heat up properly. I did lose the tomato seedlings in the buckets around the compost bin in early December when we had 4-5 days in row 20* or lower. I think there's a lot of potential here, just have to work out some details. Like get the compost working right, maybe putting plastic and cardboard down under the compost bin and buckets. If you have any ideas, feel free to throw them out here. I just have a hard time spending the money to heat the greenhouse.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 17, 2010
7:58 PM

Post #7637475

That is interesting to see the temp readings. I understand on spending money on heating it. I used a wood burning box heater (wood is plentiful here) but the temp swings were varied as I am not here to tend to it full time. Kept it above freezing and nothing suffered. Seedlings would not have sprouted or survived tho. I will be interested in following your ideas and progress.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #7637532

I had read all of Elliot Coleman's books last fall, paying close attention to his method of winter harvesting. One thing he said was for every layer between outside and inside amounts to 1 1/2 zones difference. So I was testing that theory, to see if there is anything besides greens and root crops that can survive winters in an unheated greenhouse. I'll get my fall crops started much sooner and see how long I can carry them this next winter in the greenhouse. If my little compost bin consistantly holds 65-75*, I think if I had a tomato in one and a cucumber in another under the tent, they might last longer than my little tomato seedlings did in buckets next to the compost bin this year. They won't grow over the winter, but may hold fruits well, as plants come to a standstill during the shorter days of winter.

Jay, you read these books, too, didn't you? I remember you made reference to his winter harvesting.

Well, I didn't get my potatoes planted today, but I got a 20' bed with 4 rows planted with onions. One step at a time...
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2010
6:27 AM

Post #7638146

Ok, my sometimers must be acting up again. What is CSA?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2010
7:01 AM

Post #7638232

Robin, what did you use to make your compost? I notice the temp stayed up for you for quite some time, and that's what I've been having a problem with. My temp spikes and then drops over about 3 weeks. I'm looking for the magic recipe to keep my stock tanks thawed over the winter...

I have read Coleman's books, but didn't get anything done in the way of winter gardening this last year. I decided I wanted a season off. And I've got to get another rain water collection system or two set up before things get much farther along... my well water is so high in calcium it leaves a white crust on the soil after a month of watering. Ugh.

I seeded some stuff in Feb. in the high tunnel, but things are slow in coming up out there. I've been noting the order of succession, though... lettuce first, then chard, onions, spinach, finally the mache which Coleman swears by, now carrots and the first kale is finally poking its head up. I've been putting doubled insect barrier over at night, but we've had such a grey spring, the soil has been slow in heating up, I think.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2010
8:28 AM

Post #7638391

Well. I had illusions of getting an early start! At 9 it was 48 and sunny. Went out and opened the greenhouse for ventilation. Then went to get the garden tractor out, so I could hook up the wagon to haul some stuff around and it was out of gas. So had to run up the road to fill the gas can. Guess I ought to be grateful I got it back in the shed before it ran out of gas.

I was pretty pleased with the consistant compost temps. I put in several layers of 2-3" of partially dried cut grass (which is actually hay) with an inch or two of garden soil on top, then added a medium size bowl of vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags once a week, stirred it in and watered ocassionally. I read that if the pile isn't heating up, it needs to be stirred, or more water or greens added. None of which made much difference. I added both a couple of shovefuls of reasonably fresh cow manure and some small clumps of green weeds with soil attached last month, stirred it in, added more water, and still very little change. Maybe my bin was just too small.

My GH is too small to plant anything in the ground, so I used some dishpans with drain holes to start carrots, beets, lettuce, radishes and green oinions back in November. They initially came up to about 1", but when it turned cold (and shorter days?), they just quit growing. They are growing now, though.

According to Coleman, these need to be started in late July and early August, so that come winter, you are just harvesting. They'll take the frost and look really bad first thing in the morning, but a few hours later will look fresh as can be. Must know what he's talking about, because his biggest selling seasons are early winter and early spring. But, of course, I had to find out for myself. LOL!

I have two white 80-90 gal tubs of water in the corners of my GH. They did have a few inches of ice on top for a couple of weeks. (Two identical tubs outside were mostly frozen solid) The 1 gal water filled milk jugs that I painted black lining the south wall I don't think ever froze. If they did, they thawed out quickly, before I got out there.

We've not had any stock over the winter yet, to be concerned about keeping their water thawed. Hope you can get some ideas from my trials to figure out a way.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2010
10:34 AM

Post #7638645

So you mixed your compost periodically? Or did you just make it up in November and it maintained the 65-70 temps all winter with no stirring?

Time to get out the mousetraps... something tiny ate some of my bokchoy.

Got a couple of self-watering buckets made for my friend today... put broccoli in 'em. And the corned beef is in the slow cooker... I know, I know, St. Paddy's day was yesterday, but I went into Santa Fe in the afternoon. Close counts, doesn't it? =0)


This message was edited Mar 18, 2010 11:35 AM
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2010
10:58 AM

Post #7638694

Yep, close counts. ;)

I didn't stir it thoroughly Nov thru mid Jan. I pulled back several inches of the top grass clippings, made a depression with the trowel, dumped my stuff in and stirred a little right in the center just to spread the new stuff out, then laid the top layer back down. Forgot to say we also had lots of egg shells that went out in the bowl, too.

I stirred it well several times since mid to late January just because I knew it should be hotter. I though the stuff I was adding should have helped heat it up.

Lizard, I forgot to answer your question. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Members pay up front for a box of fresh produce that will be delivered to a central location once a week for a set number of weeks.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2010
11:21 AM

Post #7638731

Thanks. Knew I had heard it before, just couldn't remember what it meant.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 18, 2010
2:20 PM

Post #7639071

Our manure pile at the old barn stayed hot. We never stirred it, just kept adding to the top. It always had smoke coming from it. It was just sawdust and manure. That's what I added to my beds last year and year before. Grows stuff like crazy and as black as can be. That's what I'm using this year because I brought it with me in feed sacks. LOL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2010
2:35 PM

Post #7639093

I wonder if just putting it in a 55 gal plastic drum in the center of the greenhouse would put out enough heat?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 18, 2010
2:39 PM

Post #7639097

Wish I could help but I only have experience with "the pile". LOL
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2010
3:41 PM

Post #7639235

Just something to think about O Compost Warriors but you may want to rethink the compost poop in an airtight space. Once you start adding poop to the mix you may start generating some methane gas. I know pig poop puts off a lot of it and there have been several incidents where people were over come with the gas and died. Its also very explosive so a build up in a tight green house could result in a big boom or an ill-timed death.

I may not know what Im talking about here either but thought I would pass the idea along just in case it is something to worry about.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2010
4:30 PM

Post #7639347

Hmmm,...well, that thought never occurred to me. Guess it's a good thing I never took the little kerosene lantern out there to see if it would help keep the temps up a bit, like I kept thinking about doing. Back to the drawing board.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2010
5:41 PM

Post #7639527

My tunnel is far from air tight in any case... LOL
It would be interesting to know how much methane horse manure produces... my nose tells me not much.

My manure pile doesn't stay hot... probably because it tends to just dry out. I'd have to keep it watered... oh, but the manure pile in the bin didn't stay hot for me last year. Remember that experiment?

But yes, it does make loverly compost, cold or hot. My veggie garden is proof of that! =0)
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2010
6:04 PM

Post #7639567

You might want to look into it before you scrap the idea. Like I said, I dont know that much about it but thought it worth passing along just in case.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 19, 2010
4:15 AM

Post #7640211

Jayryunen ~ just researching one of my seed books and found it has a section on vegetable seed starting and on the Allium family it said [quote] Sow seeds from late winter to early spring in pots or cell packs, using standard soil-less seed mix, either peat or peat substitute. Cover with perlite or vermiculite, place under protection at 68F. Germination takes 5-10 days. [/quote]
If I could guess, I suspect the temp is the critical point for this seeds' germination. Just a thought.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 19, 2010
7:04 AM

Post #7640463

Woke up to sunshine and 36* this morning. But it's suppose to be 65-70* today, so should get lots more done outside.

Yesterday I moved 3 Forsythia bushes that were too close to the garden pond and still have the Butterfly Bush to move today. They are still dormant, so they should survive. Also, finally filled in my tire tracks from getting stuck over the winter...a constant reminder of my stupidity. :(

Today, I'm planning on doing what little cleanup needs to be done in the perrenial garden, then planting the rest of the potatoes and onions in some empty rows. I had planned 8 blocks in the new garden space for potatoes and onions, but the neighbor farmer hasn't done the second pass through yet. Expect he'll be here this afternoon, but it'll take me at least a week to get the wide rows marked off and just the 8 blocks prepared.

Hope everyone has a great day!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 19, 2010
8:22 AM

Post #7640633

Hey Robin... I know about those tire ruts... our drive looks awful, being as it cuts across a slope and the water from the hillside tends to pool there; our ruts are deep enough to nearly bottom out the cars. Every year I think, "I need to trench that and put in a culvert" and every year things dry out and I 'forget', or rather get caught up in all the other things need doing.

Thanks for the onion info, podster... but I've been using soilless seedling mix, and they are on a germination mat... germination isn't the problem, the problem is they are pushing themselves out of the mix, exposing the root. I've picked up some straight perlite to try that... once they get themselves sprouted, I'll move them into seedling mix. That's the plan, anyway.

It was clear up to 31 this morning, up into the 60's yesterday... with freezing daytime temps predicted over the weekend. Thunderstorms or maybe it will be snow this afternoon... must be spring. It can't tell if it's coming or going. LOL

Not much will be happening round here today... I'm on the road this weekend, so just getting things set up for me being gone. The peas in the soil blobs are sprouting, so I'll be able to plant them next week (when it's supposed to be warm again, unless of course it's not). None of the peas I direct seeded have come up. I'm trying to remember where I put the mouse trap.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 19, 2010
9:29 AM

Post #7640753

Whew...I can't believe I had the bright idea to dig up this Butterfly Bush. It's getting the best of me! I've just spent almost 2 hours digging down and around it and I might have it loose enough to finish pulling out with the garden tractor. If not, I guess I'll dig more out from under it, so I can cut any deep roots. It's about 4 years old and I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but now I'm thinking I should have just cut it all the back and put a stump killer on it.

We started with a hayfield 8 years ago and probably need twice as much gravel as we've already had put down. But like you, when it's dry, we just don't think about it.

Already 63* here and still sunny. Yeah!
TexaninKS
Rose Hill, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2010
8:50 AM

Post #7643020

Hi. I'm new here but love the GH heating ideas. We don't have one yet but plan to build one, hopefully later this year. We are thinking about using geothermal heat. Has anyone tried it? We could use ideas. BTW, yesterday it was 65 here and the spring bulbs were starting to bloom. Today we have 2 inches of snow on the ground. It's been so wet that we haven't been able to till or get anything in the ground yet. Frustrating!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2010
9:44 AM

Post #7643114

What is geothermal? Guess i won't be much help to you. LOL
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2010
11:52 AM

Post #7643355

Nope, dont have much to work with here as far as geothermal goes. But we are looking into all sorts of things around here.

Hey Robin. In reference to your compost heating, give this some thought. Is there any way you can place thin walled flu pipe or something similar through your pile so that both ends stick out. The idea is to let the higher internal heat of the pile heat the air in the pipe. As the hot, or at least warmer, air leaves the pipe it will draw in cooler air and start a circulation. This should (maybe?) transfer more heat from the pile to the surrounding air. But I guess if it works too well you might cool the pile enough that it stops generating heat. May not work but it sounds good. (grin)
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2010
12:05 PM

Post #7643383

Oops! Deleted as duplicate post.

This message was edited Mar 20, 2010 2:11 PM
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2010
12:06 PM

Post #7643388

Im forgetting my manners TexaninKS, welcome to the conversation. I know about the frustration, my potatoes are just breaking ground and getting their first bunch of leaves and now the temps are going down into the low to mid 30s for the next couple of nights. Sure hope we dont get a heavy frost out of it. At least my procrastination on setting out the tomatoes and peppers paid off this time, maybe I will only have to plant them once this year. LOL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2010
12:09 PM

Post #7643393

Welcome, Tex! Hate to hear you getting that kind of weather, cuz it means it's headed our way.

I've heard the word, but don't recall much about it. Tell us about it and we'll kick around some ideas. :)

Neighbor came back in and went over the garden he plowed last week. It looks SOOOO good! I figured I'd have a ton of work getting my wide rows set up, because I didn't think his equipment would do such a nice job. Was I ever mistaken! He appears to be interested in some of my gardening techniques. Surprising, seeing as he and his wife are old school farmers.

Well, I need to head back outside. Lots to do, plus I'm cutting way down on my smoking today. Seems pretty easy so far, when I leave them in the house and I'm clear over in the garden. Just doesn't seem quite so important if it means I've got to hike to have one. Wonder if I ought to string up some halagen lights so I can continue working out there till bedtime. LOL

Lizard, maybe...need to think about this.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2010
1:15 PM

Post #7643507

Welcome Tex. Sorry I overlooked that. Where are my manners?

Robin, I hope you are able to quit smoking altogether. It would be a great gift to yourself.

My goats have near about agravated (sp?) the crap out of me today. I got the fence charger hooked up. Turned them out and Molly went under the fence. I caught her and tossed her back over the fence. Then i had to swat her a couple of times for trying to come back under again. Then Dusty came through and wouldn't let me catch her. The fence must have shocked her because she would not cross it to go back in. I had to chase her until I gave up. I turned the fence off and left. Then she went back in. So I put them all back in the goat house. Back to the drawing board. Guess I'll have to string more wire closer together.

I'm pooped and I still have half my work to do. Oh well, the day is young. If I could just get rid of this nagging pain and weakness I could get some more done. I wanted to try putting my red hen back in the flock. I also wanted to get some basil planted.
TexaninKS
Rose Hill, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7644249

Thanks for the welcomes. I've also read about using pipes to vent compost heat to the GH.

Also smoking here and know I need to stop, as we all do.

Nagging pain and weakness, Cajun? What's up with that? Retired therapist here, sorry, can't help it.

We are debating whether to have a cow or goat for milk--don't really want milk but do want butter and cheese. Your thoughts to a newbie?

Still snowing. Geez.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 20, 2010
7:54 PM

Post #7644276

Well, I am glad I'm behind the growing curve this spring ~ low 30s for the next three nights. The only things I put in the ground are cold hardy vegies and herbs so I won't lose sleep this time. And the wind is blowing so hard I saw some of Jayryunens' New Mexico hilltop go by!

TexaninKS ~ glad to have you join us... sounds like you are displaced and missing TX? I know I would in wintertime for sure. I have not seen much geothermal mentioned on DG. We have a customer that installed that years ago and heats/cools his home. I honestly don't know how deep they went. My BIL is building a large garage and using it for that in MN. Unfortunately to do it correctly is cost prohibitive for most of us poor folks. We have a friend here that is building his own house with a GH attached so he can draw from the GH heat during the day. He is also doing a poor boy form of geothermal using what I believe is known as earth pipes or tubes. He is not going deep but I honestly don't know the depth or length he is planning. I will be curious to see how his system works. As I understand, it is his intent to have the warm or cool air simply circulate by convection without a fan to assist the movement. He recently finished a self composting commode and intends to fertilize with humanure. I am always interested in seeing what he comes up with next and how he implements it.

If anyone is interested this is an excerpt explaining the geothermal in laymans terms. [quote] Earth tubes are piping that is buried 6' to 12' below the soil surface. The simplest and least expensive systems gather heat during the winter by drawing air through corrugated plastic tubes and direct it into the space to be heated. The air passing through the tubes is warmed by the soil that has a higher temperature than the air. During the summer the system can be used to cool building space by drawing the heated air in the greenhouse through the buried tubes and then returning it to the building. The heat is absorbed by the cooler earth.
In the above system the air can be warmed or cooled to near the soil temperature. For example, the average soil temperature 8' below the surface in central Massachusetts varies between 60F in early Fall to 46F in early March. To increase the temperature to 80F - 90F for air heating for ornamentals or bedding plants, an air to air heat pump could be employed. This process is similar to what happens in a refrigeration system.
[/quote]



This message was edited Mar 20, 2010 9:56 PM
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2010
10:33 PM

Post #7644565

I thought I saw someone waving when it when over the house. LOL.

Yeah, my taters are the only thing Im worried about out there. Everything else is cool stuff except the corn, but it wont be up for another few days are so anyway. Then again the wind may uncover everything too.

I would think all that damp, cool air would introduce a lot more moisture into the space your trying to cool. With our already high humidity wouldnt that just create a fungus garden on the walls?

Ill be up in your neck of the woods Monday Pod. Have to go to New Summerfield and pick up hanging baskets. That may change though if it doesnt warm up by then. Will summer ever get here?


This message was edited Mar 21, 2010 12:47 AM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2010
7:16 AM

Post #7645011

I am hurting like crazy this morning. Pushed too hard yesterday I guess. I'll miss Sunday school but hope I can make church. Tex, .I have MD. I do good most days. If you want butter, goats won't help. The fat molecule in goats milk is too small to make butter. But that is what makes it easy to digest for folks with stomach problems.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2010
7:21 AM

Post #7645035

Hanging baskets for resale? I have a friend that went up to New Summerfield a couple weeks back and bought a ton of annuals. Bet she is gnashing her teeth this morning. Your taters will be just fine even if the tops get nipped. One spring mine were bit back 3 times ~ not to worry. They will be just fine.
I don't know about the humidity factor in geothermal but it surely couldn't hurt in a GH?

Dark & gloomy here ~ if it doesn't get above "Brrrr" today, I am not going out! I can deal with cold & sun or gloom & mild but not this weather... come on springtime.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2010
9:22 AM

Post #7645311

Good Morning from sunny, windy central Texas! We are about to get blown away. At least the wind didn't allow frost to settle, even though the thermometer said 32 at daybreak.

Have heart, Podster...spring is definitely on the way!

Since I garden under hay, I just propped flakes of bale hay around my peppers, tomatoes and dill, and threw some more hay on the potatoes, beets, lettuce, etc. that are all well out of the ground. The Dutch cabbage, turnips and peas don't seem to mind a little freeze.
Too chilly still to work outside, but if this wind settles, I will get out to spade a few rows later today.
TexaninKS
Rose Hill, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2010
9:22 AM

Post #7645313

Sorry to hear about the MD, Cajun. I have peripheral neuropathy in both feet and have to avoid too much standing/walking.

Thanks to all for info. The poor boy geothermal is what we hope to do in the GH. Soil temp at 6-8 ft here is about 55. OK, no goat. Maybe a cow. Anybody know anything about Dexters?

Anybody have opinions on grain mills?
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2010
9:44 AM

Post #7645358

TexaninKS, hope your geothermal works out for you. I don't think it would be easy for us to do, as we are sitting on a pile of limestone rock. In order to dig a hole to plant a tree or fencepost, we have to pry enough rock out to make a hole, and then we have to try to find some dirt to fill it up again.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2010
9:51 AM

Post #7645369

Wow, Caliche, I have the same problem! For fence posts I get a cushion, a radio, hand tools, and a cold brewski and sit down comfortably and begin digging around a big rock. Throw the rock out, dig out another big rock. Throw the rock out, etc. etc. LOL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2010
10:05 AM

Post #7645406

TexaninKs, have you made butter and cheese before?
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2010
11:09 AM

Post #7645542

AZgrammie, I go after the rock with a 5' antique wagon axle that is flattened on one end. I throw it hard, and then while it it wedged, I pry at the rock. Faster than a hand pickaxe, as I am old as dirt, and don't have time to waste. LOL
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2010
1:09 PM

Post #7645770

Caliche I can just picture you prying the rocks out with an axle! You probably get good leverage with it. I think I'd have to jump up and down on it, like when I have to get the lugs off a flat tire. I never mastered the use of a pickaxe, either. If you ever run out of rocks, come on over, I have tons of them. Especially in the road!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 21, 2010
1:33 PM

Post #7645829

Got home this morning to find no frost at all and the taters doing fine if not a little wind blown. If this wind lies down we may have some frost tonight though. Right now I think there is a little sleet or fine snow mixed up in the misty rain. Have to look real hard but its there.

Your fire sure looked good.

Even in a GH too much humidity isnt good. I think robin and her compost might be more efficient, especially if she could move the pile outside and pipe the heat inside.

The ladies are clamoring for the pretty stuff at the nursery now while the guys are still into the fruits, nuts and berry part of it so DW has decided I need to bring in some hanging baskets. We try to have unique things that you wont find in the box stores.

I cant spell cow much less know how to take care of one if I had one. Guess I will have to depend on barter for our milk and butter or do without. Told DW I didnt want any livestock that I couldnt pickup and walk off with.
TexaninKS
Rose Hill, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2010
2:07 PM

Post #7645891

Nope, haven't made butter or cheese but am willing and ready to learn! Actually, we made some butter just using cream from the store but that doesn't count. :) We are wanting to be more self sufficient, just started gardening last year, so are newbies. We bought 20 acres and hope to build a small house this spring/summer. It's KS so we don't have much but prairie so far.

As for the GH, think on this: If we run piping underground (where it's 55 degrees) and put a water/antifreeze solution in them, then continue that piping through the GH walls (snaking it around) and floor with this 55 degree solution in it, would it be enough to keep the GH at a temp for plants? That's our big question and we can't find anybody who can answer it. It's hard for me to explain and I probably didn't do it well. Anyway...

My daughter is in vet school (proud mama) so I'll depend on her for cow info. :)

Our snow is melting. Yeah!
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2010
3:14 PM

Post #7646039

(grumbling) Well, I wanted to try tilling the garden today on my day off, to supplement my lasagna beds, but it started raining at 1 a.m. and was still plugging alone with rain and wind when I got up at half past noon. Sigh. Something ate all of the tops off of my lettuce seedlings in the garden, but the spinach and potatoes seem to be doing okay still-I'm hoping the mice left the peas alone, but won't know until later in the week I'm sure. We are due for ice pellets and snow flurries tonight...winter's last hurrah I hope!

Had to move all of my deck seedling/planting/pots under the new n-sulate blanket that I got in preparation for tonight's low temps - calling for 34 in town, so it will be a few degrees colder here in the boonies. At least they got watered. Although, I had a recently moved outdoors flat of lettuce that I didn't put drain holes in and the red romaine was looking a little overwhelmed, being a few inches under water...LOL! I quickly poked holes in it to drain and hope they'll be okay.

Peppers finally came up today inside, and all of my tomato seedlings are looking strong and healthy; za'atar oregano came up like gangbusters, along with some roselle, but nothing from the Holy Basil (Tulsi) yet. The leeks all came up, and the black-eyed susan and dianthus are still peeping and growing. I have been really impressed with the seed I purchased from Baker Creek and also Horizon Herbs. I am getting really high germination rates, so will have to back off on my heavy-handed sowing techniques...haha! My flower seed is very old, so I sow it heavily and then forget the more 'fresh' things and sow them heavily too. At least herbs can be dried and stored if you have excess.

I'll be starting more lettuce, spinach and tomatoes this week, and maybe some summer and winter squash. I need to get my cabbage, broccoli and chard seedlings out in the garden soon too, and start another round of those, plus put some beets out in the garden. I hate waiting till past the freeze date but it is looking like I really should.

I've got a nice fire in the furnace, a new movie from Netflix and the new episode of Planet Earth-Life tonight, so I'm all set. Oh, and I also got some palak paneer this week, which I really, really like, so I'll be making some of that for dinner.

Welcome to the Homesteading forum TexaninKs - great folks here, with incredible ideas and wonderful sense of humor :)

Have a great week everyone!

This message was edited Mar 21, 2010 5:15 PM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2010
7:42 AM

Post #7647549

I'm not too good yesterday and today. Pushed too hard Saturday and I'm paying for it. Did get all the work done and planted my 2 blueberry bushes. Also planted 5 concrete urns with different kinds of Basil. I have them covered right now with feed sacks so the predicted rains won't drown them. I also finished the #3 bed I was working on. The broccoli will go in it after this cool spell has passed. Need to start working on a #4 now.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
8:02 AM

Post #7652427

Cajun, you're an inspiration to us all, how much you get done but just determinedly keeping at it. =0)

Welcome, Tex... where abouts are you in KS? Would you mind putting it in your ID info... it helps when folks are trying to figure out what conditions you are working with... I know they use forced air geothermal heating/cooling in the hog barns in Iowa, and yes, humidity does condense in the pipes, so a sump pump is necessary to keep up with that. As for your idea of circulating antifreeze... neat idea, the closest I know is of a woman who circulated water through piping in her compost pile to warm it and then under germination tables in her greenhouse, which also had the effect of raising the GH temp. It's her system got me thinking maybe I could do the same with my horse tanks to keep them thawed in the winter, but I haven't figured out how to keep the pile temp up for several months... she did, without turning, so I know it can be done, but the article didn't disclose her 'mix'... It was a SARE project, and if you look up SARE, there are all kinds of wonderful ideas being tried, maybe even something along your lines.

We got 6" of snow over the weekend, and another inch this morning, with warm in between, so things are just staying sloppy. The morning after the big snow it dropped to 8 and I lost all the broccoli that wasn't in wallo waters, so now I know they can handle 20 but not 8 and I'd better use wallo waters for them if I want to push the envelope again. Fortunately I held back some broccoli seedlings, so not a big deal.

Put out some of the peas in soil blocks to see if the mice will eat them once they're sprouted... time to start some shelling peas, me thinks. But it's soooo muddy between the house and the GH, I hate to slog through it...
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
10:28 AM

Post #7652678

Pulled the last of the overwintered carrots yesterday... all firm and tasty. =0)

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
10:38 AM

Post #7652698

Thoughts on the goat vs cow issue... though it is true that goat milk does not naturally separate, it can be separated using an electric cream separator. I've seen small ones advertised... they seem expensive, until you consider the cost of a good cow and her upkeep. Not to mention gallons of milk a day. I've got friends who separate their goat milk, make butter, etc.

I'd think a couple of goats and a cream separator would be a better choice. They'll be easier to handle, cheaper to buy and keep, less milk and you can make some mighty fine cheese from goat milk. If you turn out a clean product, it's also very easy to find folks who are looking for goat milk because their systems can't handle cow milk... kinda on the hush-hush, but if you put the word out, these folks will find you.

As for cattle breeds, I don't know what is common in your area, but you might look into a beef breed. They don't give such huge quantities of milk, will be less expensive than an exotic breed like a Dexter or miniature jersey, and you could get a good, well-handled heifer from 4H or FFA for a fair price. It'd probably be a whole lot easier to find a gentle beef heifer and a bull for her in the future than any of the minature breeds. Back on the ranches, they just milked whatever breed they ran... it's a rare ranch that has a jersey or guernsey. My farrier grew up milking his family's red poll cows.

Be warned, if you get into Dexters... they do have a dwarfism problem, so educate yourself about that before you buy.

This message was edited Mar 24, 2010 11:46 AM
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
11:05 AM

Post #7652738

Hey, Jay, nice carrots! I'm hoping to get a big hoop house put up so that I can plant in the ground late summer for winter harvests. So much to do and want to do, that sometimes it's difficult to make a priority list.

TexaninKs, the reason I asked about whether you had made cheese and butter before...I haven't, but I think I remember it takes the cream off of about 3 gal of milk to make a pound of butter. Something you might want to find out for sure, as that might have some bearing on the breed you'd want to check into.

Yesterday I started marking off and setting up 3 deep wide rows (3' x 20') in the newly disked and plowed garden. Only about 27 more to go. Took half of the tomatoes out to the greenhouse. The temps dropped down to 35* overnight, 8* less than predicted, but they came through fine in the inner tent! Taking a break from that today and planted 5 roses I recently bought and putting in 50' of plastic garden edging across the front of the house. I'll come back in a day or two and finish clearing the ground for more plants later...maybe some of these Winter Sown flowers. But this afternoon, I think I'll go ahead and start potting up the greenhouse tomatoes. They are 12-15" tall in the 20oz solo cups and standing straight up, but I'm concerned about leaving them in these cups for another 3 or 4 weeks.

Hope everyone is having a great day!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
11:43 AM

Post #7652793

Oh @#$%, we've got horizontal snow out there. %^( I could just kick something.

Robin, you do know it's not necessary to overwinter the root veggies in the GH? These were out in a raised bed, just covered by straw. I did a half-witted job of covering them this year--the straw blew away-- but if the straw is deep enough for your area, the ground doesn't thaw and the roots dug all winter. Frees up space in the GH, lets the soil rest or you can plant a cover crop on some beds while other beds bear leafy greens.

Is there just the one of you? 'Cause I am amazed at the amount of work you're getting done... of course, I'm stuck inside waiting for the ground to dry out enough, the temps to warm up enough, the everlovin' snow to stop.

I've just been reading an editorial by a guy whose opinion I have some respect for, and he's talking about major global food shortages within the next 3 years. Really getting down to the nuts and bolts of individual food security... know who produces what in your area: meat, veggies, eggs, milk. Build a relationship with them now, cultivate community now, wean ourselves from the industrial food titty now... hey, even if he's wrong (and he can be, spectacularly so) would what he suggests be a bad thing? As he points out, food poisoning is on the rise, food recalls are becoming routine (and frankly that they recall meat that was marketed 3 years ago is really scary), so raising your own and buying from friends and neighbors is, any more, basic intelligence.

I'm looking to add two more water collection tanks this year, hopefully another 3000 gallons. Enlarging the garden, and starting on a root cellar... and I see that Back to the Land Store has a foot powered small grain thresher! This is good news, for anyone that wants to raise a small plot of wheat. I'd sure like to get a look at it.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
1:43 PM

Post #7653043

Everyone must have just taken breaks. Came in for my break and had 14 updated threads.

I know it's tough on you out there with that nasty weather. We go nuts here, even without the snow and muck, just because we aren't set up well enough to do anything in the winter other than hole up in the house.

Yeah, I'm here by myself right now. Al is working in Utah. He's been out there 5 weeks, with maybe another 3-4 weeks to go. I really get much more done when he is out of town. I work slow and steady for an hour or so, and then take a 15 break. Put in close to 10 hour days that way. Plus the weather has been near perfect for the most part, which is a big help. I also don't have any critters to take care of besides our dog. With Al gone, I was able to start a few hundred plants in the house, don't have to cook, have very few dirty dishes and it only takes 20-30 minutes to clean the house once a week. But I'll sure be glad when he's back.

Good to know about the carrots. I'm also reading about onions being overwintered in the garden too. Stephanie, maybe? My memory is failing me at the moment.

I agree about the food issues. I'm trying to rebuild my stockpile of staples again and I'm really focued on growing as much food for us as possible. I think with a hoop house and some serious planning, I can extend the season on a fairly large variety of vegetables. I'm on to something with the compost bin surrounded by plastic for an inner tent in the greenhouse, plus the additional layer of plastic next to the greenhouse walls. I had a couple of little tomato plants in the tent till almost Christmas before they bit the dust. Our heat pump is too big for this place, so we're working on an idea to attach a greenhouse and tie into the ductwork to help heat the greenhouse over the winter. We also have a line on local meat.

I need to get back to work. Keep reading so you can share all those wonderful ideas with us!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
2:08 PM

Post #7653079

Onions are a little trickier for overwintering, as they aren't completely buried. But I did it a couple of years ago and some managed to survive to flower and set seed the next year. Deep straw and a cover of plastic to keep it dry... have to watch that it doesn't get too warm too soon and start them growing. Maybe some sort of 'roof' and open sides?

Yep, not having to cook and clean helps a lot. Just grab a bit and go. When I'm solo here, it's canned soup and sandwiches til the loved one returns.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2010
2:57 PM

Post #7653196

OK, more fruits from the reading... the latest issue of the Small Farmer's Journal came yesterday, just in time I'd say. LOL In any case, besides Lynn Miller's ever thought provoking and sometimes just purely provoking editorials, there's a wonderful letters section from all sorts of folks both actually horse farming, wanting to horse farm, retired from it, and just straightforward admirers. I love the letters and all the voices and dreams and stories they tell. Here's a couple of excerpts from a letter by a 60+ reader, grew up in Maine...

"...my dad would say there are two kinds of farmers. You either sold what you couldn't eat or eat what you couldn't sell. We all sold what we couldn't eat, or traded in reality."

"Dad also said there were two kinds of farmers, those that farmed for money, and those that farmed with money. Everyone I knew farmed for money. But it never was money. You traded..."

"I think you need two things to be a farmer. First, you need a leg up." And he tells the story of his aunt fronting him the money for his first wood lot, and how everything else he's gained in the world stemmed from that first wood lot.

"Next, you need someone who believes in what you do." And I think we all know the truth of that.

"So now I have two things to remember.
First, be thankful every day for what you DO have, not what you don't.
And second is to give each person you meet a leg up when they need it, even if you can't. That's the deal."

"P.S. I think it's hard to remember sometimes, but important to remember, that firewood and potatoes are true wealth and that money is just green paper, and that all of us, no matter how rich or poor, are still just working for food."
Earl Mitchell

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
3:50 PM

Post #7653326

Just good old common sense!

I was never a girlie-girl, but a city girl, none the less. The only reason Al bought this big of place was because I wanted to live in the country. We haven't been able to spend all of our time in the past 8 years at home, so haven't accomplished as much as what I'd like. And we have more time than money invested, but it's coming along. A lot of that is because when I found Dave's Garden, I was inspired by so many people here and have attempted a lot of projects and ideas that I would never have dreamed of before. There's still so much more that I've been dreaming about in regards to being self-sufficent. We'll get there, but it will just be a little slow going.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
8:43 PM

Post #7654074

My new garden, freshly disked and plowed, almost 250' long x 30' wide. This will be for annual vegetables. The perrenial garden is 50' x 70' and has asparagus, strawberries and herbs. I'll probably add another 20-30' for the artichokes I've got started.

Thumbnail by msrobin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
8:51 PM

Post #7654084

I'm making close to 40 of these wide raised rows, 20' x 3'. This front middle row is almost 4' wide, Decided that was probably too wide, so the rest will be 3' wide. The soil is nice and friable, so moving the soil from the paths to the rows is fairly easy.

Potted up a bunch of tomato plants to 1 gal pots. Sure is nice to see so much green in the greenhouse!

This message was edited Mar 24, 2010 10:52 PM

Thumbnail by msrobin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

March 24, 2010
9:00 PM

Post #7654099

Very impressive!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 24, 2010
10:44 PM

Post #7654177

Starting this year we are going to start enlarging the main garden for the same reasons most you have already talked about. Planning on four 25 wide by 50 long areas with two foot wide rows. And will leave enough room to run a tiller between them. Plan on doing one each season (Im lazy) so we can rotate crops to a different area each year. Plan on using soaker hoses for irrigation since it uses less water and hinders a lot of the weeds.

Our livestock will be limited to chickens, rabbits and maybe a goat. Since we are in a rural area, Im hoping we can barter for everything else if times get that rough.

Didnt think of having an area just for the perennial stuff. Nice touch.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2010
3:36 AM

Post #7654298

Great start Msrobin ~ is that an electric fence I see in the background? I wondered if wildlife (deer) will present a problem for your garden.

I also like the perennial garden setting. My folks had one that was right by the orchard. They also grew rhubarb. I have a couple of perennial beds here with garlic and onions and some herbs that are perennial. No major gardening here but have been determined to add nothing but edibles this year. I am wanting to backslide tho... found a fragrant annual bloomer I want to try ~ night phlox. Wonder if the blooms would be edible ~ lol

Jayryunen ~ I appreciate the Earl Mitchell quotes a lot but the one that struck home for me was [quote] firewood and potatoes are true wealth and that money is just green paper [/quote] So timely.

Lizards_Keep ~ when you said "one a season" that is my style. I am a one brick at a time person. You're still working too aren't you? Hard to be overly ambitious...

Cajun ~ I like the different basils in concrete urns. That will be pretty as well as useful.

I have been tweaking the Twiggybuds beds. I tore them down and am repositioning them to take most advantage of the sun and will reset the bamboo trellis to the back of the beds so they don't add more shade. May not be of interest for y'all but this was an interesting blurb on how to find the best spot for maximum sun. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/8287/find-the-sunniest-spot-for-your-plot


msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2010
5:47 AM

Post #7654481

Thanks everyone.

This is the year of the gardens. We're trying to get Al out of construction and this is going to be our source of future income. All other projects are on hold till this phase gets up and running.

No electric fence, although some kind of fence will be put up this spring/summer. Our dog does a pretty good job at keeping deer on the other side of the property where we can watch them. Al wants to get chickens again and we let our freerange during the day.

The wire and fence posts are actually 2 rows of 3 grape vines each with an underplanting of additional strawberries, that I planted last year. Thinking about moving those. There's 3 blueberry bushes planted behind these grapes. Our small orchard (7 trees and 3 cherry bushes) is between the end of the garden where I started making rows and the perrenial garden. There's 5 more cherry bushes along the back edge of the new garden and several grape vines near the shed. Should have lots of fruit this year.

The perrenial garden came about in the form of an ah-ha moment. The weeds were so bad when we returned home early last summer and it took all summer to finally remove all of the 6' weeds and get the garden cleaned up. I already had 200 asparagus plants in and the strawberries mutiplied to about 300 plants, plus there were 3 rows of herbs. The entire northside is planted with peonies and gladiolas and iris in a 2' wide border row. I discovered the weeds didn't have quite the foothold in the perrenial rows that the they did in the rows that I used for annual vegetables. So I decided since we were doing the market garden, that it would be easier to keep the annual vegetables together in a new garden and I spent the latter part of last summer increasing the number of perrenial crops in the older garden. Rhubarb...hmmm. Might have to add that in too. The only reason we went as big as we did on the new garden was because we had a little extra money to pay a farmer to do it and there was no way I could get it done by myself using a tiller. If I don't need all of it this year, I'll just use cover crops on the empty rows.

Lizard_keeper, we started with chickens, rabbits and goats too. Will be looking to replace them in a month or so.

Podster, did you set up your water beds on top of the ground or dig down? I'm using both this method and a few self-watering buckets, just as insurance for a couple of dozen tomatoes.

Jay, appreciate you're sharing those quotes, too. Amazing how simple some ideas are from the older folks. Are you starting to dry out any?

We didn't get the thunderstorms overnite, but probably will this afternoon, and it only got down to around 50. However, suppose to have a couple of nights down in the low 30's, so think I better set up some long ex. cords to the greenhouse, so I can run a small heater or maybe a halogen light for a few hours on those cold nights. Thinking about just using a timer.

On that note, guess I should check the greenhouse...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
6:13 AM

Post #7654530

I am getting better and was able to get some work done yesterday. I put some of my broccoli seedlings out in the #3 bed. It's full now so I'll have to get to work on #4. I potted 3 spacemaster cuke seedlings in hanging pots. I have those in the house til warmer weather. I checked on the 4 raspberry bushed I got from TSC. The red ones have leafed out and are looking very good. Still nothing on the gold ones. The blueberry bushes look good. Stawberries are putting on new growth.

Jay, those carrots look fresh. Good idea. I appreciate that you take the time to let us in on what you read. I enjoy it and have gained by a lot of it.

Robin, things are going great at your place. Your new garden plot looks fine. I read that a raised bed should not be wider than you can reach across. I have found that useful so I can tend everything from one side. My #3 bed is not quite wide enough so I will be sure to fix that on #4. I hope to be able to learn how to preserve more of my harvest this year. I will be gardening with some friends at their place this year and they put up a lot of stuff so I'm sure they will be glad to help me learn. I'll be growing my beans, tomatoes, corn and okra with them.

Lizzard, I would like to have a few rabbits again. They are easy to raise, economical and very tasty. The fertilizer is great too.

Pod, my rhubarb is making an appearance. It is in 2 big pots in the cellar. I have to get some good dirt to refill my 1/2 barrel to plant it in.
Looking forward to pics of your "new" beds.

Do any of you raise sun chokes?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
7:21 AM

Post #7654665

Cajun, I'm going to plant sunchokes this year... we've really been enjoying them roasted through the winter.

It's sunny Today!! So you won't be hearing so much from me... still wet and soggy, but warmer and nicer to work in the GH. Reading the SFJ has gotten me fired up again to work with my donks... my big plan is to at least brush them today. Plant the rest of the sugar pea seedlings... can corn beef.

Here's another quote for y'all. This is another letter from a small farm apprentice... I just love how she expresses herself:

"The work of loving land is a heavy work, and requires from those who undertake it a certain glad acceptance of the weight. Still, whatever the resolute joy found in the task, every load is made lighter by joint effort, and there are some burdens that can only be lifted with joined strength. The offer of your support to willing hands--particularly I speak now for young, serious, hopeful, earnest hands, having so much less skill and knowledge than we might wish--is the greatest kindness and help you could provide us. You tell us that yes, there is a large and difficult thing you wish to do--and we have done it, and seen its value, and now will help you with the fullness of our ability."
Caitlin Thurrell, Maine

Ain't that just the finest thing?
Have a loverly day...
Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
9:31 AM

Post #7654962

That's a fine way of thinking. A burden is always lightened by the number of hands and hearts that carry it.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
12:24 PM

Post #7655303

ok i posted this in an old forum so i thought i would transfer it over to this one since its a newer forum...
Uhh i am in nyc and i hate it i wish i had a place i could go to and just live off the land pitch a tent and grow my own garden,,, any takers lol,, I was just going to give you guys a lil secret that i learned from my cousin in western ky, he has a very grassy field in the back of his house, he took an old carpet from his house and threw it out in the field cut a circle in it about 6 inches and dug up the grass in the small whole and placed a small tamato plant there,, and omg that single tamato plant got so huge he didnt use anything to brace the plant up he let it just grow normally, i have never in my life seen a plant get so big or produce so many tamatoes, it just spread out over the carpet and grew like no other, i know at one point the plant was over 6 ft in diametor and was able to count over 100 tamatoes on it,, what made it grow like that i have no idea but the carpet from his house had alot to do with it,,it was able to keep all the weeds away he didnt even weed around the small openning where the plant was at, the carpet kept the ground moist at all times it amazed me
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
12:54 PM

Post #7655356

Thanks, Secret... great tip. And welcome to the 'stead!

Homesteading is an attitude... you can start right where you are and begin developing your skills with container gardening, canning, fixing stuff yourself, joining Master Gardeners, making cheese, and beginning to make connections with mentors and resources. Learning how to cut back on outside entertainment, TV-videos-games because A) you won't be able to afford them, B) you won't have time. Read up on small animal raising, visit the state fair, find the 4H people (yes, even New York has 'em)...

It's about self-sufficiency and community and swearing off the corporate rat race... it's amazing what folks are doing in urban areas. So... no more excuses, get up, get going... we all started with baby steps.

What's your set-up? If you're willing, we can get you rolling towards your dream.

secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
1:38 PM

Post #7655440

my set up sucks here one bedroom place with 4 roommates not outside areas to do anything, i have only been here for a few months and i hateit i want to go back to the country, its a bad ituation that i want to get out of,, i have been talking ppl i know in other areas to see if i could pitch a tent on there land and start my dreams,, i remember when i was 13 and lived in ky( just moved there with family , and 14 sisters from fl ) i went out and created a veggy garden on the property did very good all except the watermelons, and it was simple way of life and i want to do it again, my mother used to can the veggies and she would also make pearhoney,, from the pears that grew there, i know as a kid i was rebelous alot of the time and didnt want to do alot of the work but im 28 now no kids family is far away and with a full house,, so i have grown up alot, i am tired of the way society is and our government, i dont want to say i want to be a hermit but in a way i want to just have a few ppl around and live off the land and get things growing and living life very simple and with ppl that want to do the same thing,, a yr ago i was raising chickens in florida but it was on rented property, but i lost my job and the owner did to so he moved back into the place and i was out with no means of doing anything,, dang economy. lol i even thought about running to the woods or mountains and pitching a tent and doing it that way but its illegal after my extended research fortold me. so it has t be on private property,,, uhhhh what a mess of my life, so thats why i want simple
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2010
1:42 PM

Post #7655445

So what are you doing in NYC? Working, going to school?
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
1:52 PM

Post #7655456

i also right now dont buy any facial products, i use left over food for that, or an egg yolk and let it dry and its a great anti aging thing,, i have an aloe plant that i will split open and rub on my skin as lotions, intead of buy teeth whitners i will eat strawberries, natural acids whiten teeth, heating up a carrot and mixed with natural yogurt is a great facial moisturizer ( blend it ) also egg yolk is great at preventing acne and sun spots keeps your skin tight and full of vitamines. if you have lavender growing u can take the lavender and put it in a stocking and place nder your pillow it helps with sleeping as i have insomnia. and natural olives u can de pit and crush up olives to make a great amazing natural paste for ur hair root stimulators in it and also keeps hair shiney and keeps from breaking,, i have sooo many tips on ways to use food other then just eating them
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
1:59 PM

Post #7655471

well the plan was for me to be in florida working and saving while my boyfriend was up here working and saving we have been together 8 yrs well for the two yrs i was in florida working he was not just working, well after i lost my job and came up here all hell broke loose bc i found out about his unfaithful ways,, and its not exactly a healthy relationship we still live together and its not always a hands off arguement i know it is a lil different circumstance because a guy hiting a guy isnt the same as one hitting a girl but still its not good to be in this relationship and i know what i need to do its just finding a way to do it and where to do it,, he wants to live this lavish life and i am content being outside with nature and making my own life simple and easy ( hard work involved ) but make it with out all the means of money and government and the spirals of our society, i want to grow my own food i look at prices of things i dont mind barter or trading, or working for a meal, he is al about the gucci and coach which i have also but i am trying to sell it all to get me out of here, i dont need it life is not about what you have but what u do with what u have helping others is far more important then boasting and showing off what u have..
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 25, 2010
2:06 PM

Post #7655479

Pod yes Im still working, have to prowl the dark streets of Houston for 11 more months before I can retire and become just a Good Ol Boy. Plus Im just naturally lazy LOL.

Cajun I think keeping small livestock it the key maybe. Not getting any younger and decided that any critter I couldnt pick up and walk off with was too big. Another plus is that DW and I can eat a whole chicken or rabbit at one sitting. That leaves no left over to worry about and the meat is best kept fresh by keeping it alive till needed. As you said the fertilizer from the rabbits and chickens would make a rock grow. LOL

An, I think, Estonian Proverb: The work will teach you

Secret Welcome to the conversation.

Sorry Jay but I refuse to give up Zelda, Rune Quest or The Gates of Andaron, for any amount of beans. LOL. TV and movies I can do with out though.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2010
2:13 PM

Post #7655494

Secret, I think there are internships available, mostly on sustainable organic farms and homesteads. They don't pay much, but room and board is included in most cases. If you are serious about this way of life, why don't you do some research to see if you can find someplace you could get to. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
2:16 PM

Post #7655499

i have been lol i have actually be doing research on this for a few yrs now,, and i want to just jump in sink or swim type thing, and i think with me thats when i work best
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2010
2:22 PM

Post #7655505

Keep at it. I would guess this is the time of year when people would really be looking for help. Good luck with your search!

BTW, get out of that relationship. It ain't gonna get any better.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
2:32 PM

Post #7655521

[quote="lizards_keep"]Sorry Jay but I refuse to give up Zelda, Rune Quest or The Gates of Andaron, for any amount of beans. LOL. TV and movies I can do with out though.
[/quote]

Oh yes, you must... and take up Scrabble. LOL And I think you know what I mean... I have a horrible penchant for sci fi and fantasy, but it sits and gathers dust during the busy season... unless I can can something, and then I can sit and read, having the excuse that the pressure MUST be monitored.

Secret... I appreciate that you value your good looks, but they're probably going to go right to hell working the land. Not to mention your nails. =0) But... maybe you could set up as an 'aesthetist' (?) or skin consultant in a smaller city or town than where you are now. They've become quite the rage here in our little town... 13,000 people and at least 2 as well as a couple of spas associated with historic hotels.

You can still learn to can, sew, plumb, and volunteer at a community garden... It's also a good time to put together the tools you'll need by haunting yard and estate sales.. They're in a lot better shape in the city, I assure you.

You need to pull your head out of that guy's fist and move on. There are plenty of folks out there who will appreciate and value what you have to offer, but you've got to shuck whatever baggage keeps you near him. That's a dead end, honey.

Now is the time to start hussling on those apprenticeships... it's probably too late in some areas, but up north it's still early for planting. What places have you found?

secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
2:40 PM

Post #7655539

ty and im working on leaving but finding the means to do so sucks,, where to go is my problem
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 25, 2010
2:48 PM

Post #7655555

I am pretty good at Scrabble, ah, as long as they let me use my spell checker that is.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
3:08 PM

Post #7655603

[quote="secretlove2005"]ty and im working on leaving but finding the means to do so sucks,, where to go is my problem[/quote]

That is why you need to get an apprenticeship lined up... most of them provide room and board in exchange for labor. Some places offer a stipend, some don't, but any of them will get you out of there.

Here's a couple of possibilities... sit down and write them tonight! I don't mean just look at their sites... select some likely farms and contact them. Convince them you're healthy and willing. Sell yourself as the next generation of land steward.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assoc. Farm Apprenticeship Program
www.mofga.org

North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program
www.bdtraining.org

Also check out the Rural Heritage site. I think they also list apprecticeships.



secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
3:13 PM

Post #7655616

ty so much jay i will be checking ito that big time
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
3:25 PM

Post #7655638

Woo-hoo! You go, boy! =0)

"Green Acres is the place for me,
Farm livin' is the life for me!
Land spreadin' out so far and wide...
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!"
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 25, 2010
3:48 PM

Post #7655686

lol dontwant manhattan here im trying to get out of it, and i will weather its a tent or whatnot imma be out very soon
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #7655726

It's may not be easy, but keep at it. Persistence pays and it proves the measure of a man. Keep us posted!
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
7:09 PM

Post #7656266

Wake up jay captain chaos is back!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2010
7:27 PM

Post #7656333

Msrobin ~ I would love to be your neighbor, I'd join your CSA and still volunteer to work for you. I admire your ambition and drive. I am in awe that you are getting this business off the ground so your husband can come home and help you do the work you are now doing alone. Whew!

My waterbeds sit on top of the ground. All I need to do is level them as we are on a slope. I use landscape timbers for the frame but one guy I know is using PVC here ( I got him started) but small pine trees should work also. The most economical would be to dig down in the soil but I work so chose to pick the lazy route myself.

To those of you that grow rhubarb, I am jealous. I grew up loving it and it is only an annual here. As I am the only fan at this house, I don't bother growing it but eat my fill when I go home for a visit.

I've never tried or read about sunchokes. Describe please?

A friend gave me a packet of Bountiful Gardens seed today ~ Elderberry! I wanted some but would have gone with plants had I ordered. I intend to sprout them and return some to him. Any sprouting tips?

Hello to all our new posters today... Scrabble anyone?
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
7:46 PM

Post #7656372

Hey secret if your still here do not drink the kool-ade and do not move to Cleveland Ohio!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2010
7:50 PM

Post #7656381

I think Jay had too much fun out in the sunshine today!

I've been busy potting up seedlings today. I could be fairly dangerous, if I had the size greenhouse I want. All the seedlings and little plants are doing great, including the tomatoes I moved out to the greenhouse. That tent in the center sure does a good job for added protection on cold nights.

So, Captain Chaos, are you doing this big move by yourself?

Podster, thank you. That means a lot to me. Al and I have only been together for 10 years. Took us a long time to find each other. This is the only option for us to both be able to stay home. You've heard the stories about what happens if I travel with him and there's just no work in his field close to home. So we're giving the CSA a shot. Only other option is for him to be a Walmart Greeter (no offence intended to anyone), but trust me, he wouldn't last long. LOL

I'm going to do a few waterbeds like yours. Those kiddie pools, although they work great, are sure getting expensive. Besides, the dog thinks every one is his and he gets a little indignent when he sees buckets in them.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
8:45 PM

Post #7656495

Pod, Elderberries sound great. I'll have to look into those.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2010
4:06 AM

Post #7656961

You know, they actually grow wild in most states in the US. They grow in ditches and creeks around here but I never think about taking cuttings till they are blooming and then, I forget to harvest berries before the birds get them. Then there are chiggers and snakes out and I'm not as brave either. I thought it would be great to have a clump in the yard. All the reading I've done says germination is going to be like the gestation period in an elephant. It will take a couple years and lots of patience. The soil needs to stay moist for all that time. I may place that pot in the water bed and try to ignore it but better label it well or by then I'll forget what was in that pot..
Msrobin ~ just know you got my moral support in your business endeavor.
Have a great day y'all...
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
5:16 AM

Post #7657081

Have returned to reality.No Jay two friends are going to also escape this hell hole here.it`ll be at least a 2 day drive.with a truck of tools and starting supplys.I`m going to take AMTRAK from Cleveland to Poplar Bluff missouri and bolt up with them there. I`ll chaperone the equiptment onboard the train.From there its roughlt 1-1/2 hr. drive.making 2 trips to get it to the property.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 26, 2010
8:42 AM

Post #7657600

lol i dont drink kool-aid or want to go to cleavland so i am good there, i was thinking more about west va or va and even thought about vermont who knows where i will end up,,
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
9:55 AM

Post #7657770

Mornin' everybody, it's a sunny, windy day here today, and for the first time in weeks the ground is dry enough to get my truck down to the barn/greenhouse, so I've already been to the lumber store to get the supplies for a raised bed, and the feed store for straw for bedding and all that comes after that. Have unloaded same and turned compost into small bed w/cold frame. Had to hussle, 'cause tomorrow it's supposed to rain again. But now I've got the supplies to work on that raised bed in the GH tomorrow while listening to it make this place slop again.

Really looking forward to following your migration and 'land busting', East. Have you got a digital camera to give us the visuals?

Those elderberry seeds may be just the thing for winter sowing... I read up on how to start cherries from seed once and thought... uh-huh, my attention span is way to short for that... moist sand all winter, a certain amount of freeze but not to much, etc. That was before winter sowing hit my radar... now I'm all over it, like a bear on honey. Gonna try some local plums (I don't think they're actually native, just run amok), and chokecherries this next winter. There's a Mexican elderberry tree that is really beautiful, but they won't survive up here.

Sunchokes are also known as Jerusalem artichokes... the plant looks similar to a wild sunflower, but it's perennial and forms tubers underground. Mostly about the size of a lime around here. They look sorta like ginger, same thin skin, but not fibrous inside. We've roasted them and they have a nice artichoke flavor. They also boil up well for soups. You don't peel them, just give 'em a good scrubbing.

The plants can take over, so plant them somewhere that won't be a problem... sorta like mint. The fall is the best time to dig them, like potatoes. And like potatoes, you'll never get them all, so they'll come back the next year. They're a NA native and can survive all the way up to N. Dakota. They're rich in inulin, which is a good thing, though I don't remember why. LOL And that's as much as I know... check back in a year, the planting tubers are coming this fall.

Now you've all reminded me... I've got to get my rhubarb started! And there are other things on my list today, before the rains come again, so tah-tah, see you on my next break!

Jay

PS Captain Chaos... hah! You don't scare me, but now I know who to holler at when things go south around here... LOL
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
12:26 PM

Post #7658042

Uh-oh... we're getting trendy... heaven forbid, I think I might be a prepper...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8587464.stm

Who comes up with these mute posterior terms anyway?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
12:31 PM

Post #7658054

Wow Jay, you are on a roll. Thanks for the info on the chokes. I got some seeds from a trade. Gonna plant them in a barrell.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
1:39 PM

Post #7658175

From seed, huh? It'll be interesting to see how they do started from seed... all the catalogues sell the tubers.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
4:32 PM

Post #7658454

OK, work day's over... winds 15, gusts to 30 mph and snow starting. Glad I got moving early, I got a lot done today, and I'm set for working on that raised bed manana. Provided it's not too cold, just basic misery. LOL It's not particularly pleasant in the tunnel in the wind, the flapping of the plastic kinda gets to a body after awhile, but at least it'll be something.

As you know, I get a little uppity when I'm inside too long... LOL
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2010
5:10 PM

Post #7658521

Uppity ~ I understand. When the weather dumps on me I call it snarky or testy maybe.

Horseradish ~ does anyone else grow it? I guess it would be a perennial. Cajuns' barrel made me think of it as I have it in a barrel.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2010
5:39 PM

Post #7658586

I decided to go to town late this morning, figuring by the time I got back it would have warmed up and the ground dried out some. It did warm up to 60, but the new garden was still too wet to work in. I did get a few things done on my trusty little list though, so all was not lost. After tonight, with lower 30's, the next week is suppose to get progressively better, with next Friday predicted to reach 80. It would sure be nice to be able to get the gardens totally prepared before it's time to start to start planting.

Jay, glad to hear you dried up some. That mud and muck can get pretty depressing after awhile. How are your summers out there? Do you have a long enough summer to grow everything you want to? When I lived back in Omaha, we were zone 5 too, but I sure don't remember that season being any shorter than ours here, either 6b or 7a, depending on which map I look at. Actually, I think the spring and falls were a little more predictable.

I need to get busy starting some more seeds, or at least get some soaking to be planted in the morning. When I pot seedlings up to solo cups, I set the cups in kitty litter trays that I bought at the dollar store. That sure works well for bottom watering and they are much easier to move from the house to the greenhouse. Anyway, I've got 5 more ready to move out, so that opens up available space in the house. This fall, I WILL have a big greenhouse or hoophouse!
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
6:23 PM

Post #7658761

60* and your testy,uppity,snarky wha-wha-wha-get a grip ace.spend a winter here.Wind raging off the lake,snow cutting your face.Fingers and toe`s colder than a crooked cop.It builds character.Character I got- I`m outta here.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2010
7:06 PM

Post #7658866

Back off, Capt Chaos, that wasn't me who used those words. I've done my fair share of frigid winters and the words that describe my winter disposition are not allowed on this website. :)
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
7:58 PM

Post #7658990

Q: does pvc hold up well/durablility wise? I see what appears to be some type of flexible pipe frame w/your apparatus/wind tunnel
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
8:15 PM

Post #7659062

PVC will hold up for a good number of years, but the plastic against the pvc has some kinda weird rxn that hastens the degradation of the plastic. Paint or duct tape will prevent that.

Over time (like years) the pvc will lose flexibility and become more prone to breaking... there's also UV stabilized pvc, but of course it's more expensive and you have to order it.

And at least you don't live in Buffalo. LOL

As for summers here... last year was so dry I never let the donks onto the pasture, it didn't get enough moisture to grow til August, I think. And that was such a puny effort, I just left it alone to strengthen the roots. So hopefully this year will be better. My growing season is something like 100 days. Short. So, nope, I don't get to grow everything I want unless I take extreme measures. But I am getting a reputation as someone who knows how to grow buckets of tomatoes!
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
8:41 PM

Post #7659112

Well extreme measures always beats extreme unction!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
6:11 AM

Post #7659633

Love waking up to see any hint of sunshine on the horizon. Clear skys and 60's again today.

The temps dropped to 33 by 11:30 last night and I got nervous. Finally took a little kerosene lantern, turned down low, out to the GH at midnite, to see if that would help any. First thing this morning before sunrise, the GH temp was 44 and 58 under the tent. Should have done a better job of monitoring temps over the last few weeks, because now I don't know if it was the compost bin and tent that kept the temps up, or the lantern. I'd hate to lose any plants out there, but I'd be sick to lose the 70 or so tomato plants. Especially the two that are fixing to bloom.

My main focus today is going to be on planting out 40# of prepared potatoes, 15# of onion sets, 6 Peonies and 120 Gladiolas bulbs. Have to see where the day goes from there. I've been hearing the fish pond filter calling my name. That will probably be on the agenda too.

Later...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 27, 2010
10:30 AM

Post #7660081

I am ready to plant my taters in the horse feed grow bags. Whaere should I sit the bags? (location wise)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
10:30 AM

Post #7660082

Hey People !
Wow everyone is so busy.
msrobin wow that is a lot of spuds you got going on there.
i have a lot of seeds sprouting but if i transplant them i won't have enough room. My cold frame is in peices LOL and needs to be repaired. Waiting for the weather to give me a break so i can get out there
Jay how is the snow ? melting yet ?
we got a 1 " the other night. but its mostly gone.
bbl
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
11:48 AM

Post #7660199

Cajun, they need several hours of sunlight. Maybe group them together at the end of the garden for now. At some point, you will need to figure out how to support the filled bags, like a few stakes around the bags and a rope to hold them upright. When full, they would probably lean against each other fairly well, but I'm not certain. Could also line them up against a wall. Let me know what you decide. I'm doing mine today, too.

Sue, remind me later...as much trouble as you have with your cold frame, I've got an easier way. :)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
1:40 PM

Post #7660381

msrobin yes i will remind you. Easy is my lifestyle LOL i beg for an easier way with this door .
i did try a zipper door but the zipper broke 3 times ! grrr. I do have tape to tape the back end on . I just need a door LOL
I would take a pic but my memory card is broken for the camera .
basically the door frame is two lenghts.
one 2x4 is 42 "H and the other is 38 "H so you either have to have a tall door or a really short door . yes my DH is not a carpenter by any means . *sigh* so i m waiting for a good day to get out there and remake the door frame and get the door back on.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
2:12 PM

Post #7660450

I guess I'm confused about your cold frame. Do you have a pic posted on another thread that I could see? Sounds like you have more of a GH. I just use a low tunnel like the one is this picture. It takes 45 feet of flexible pvc pipe cut in 9' pieces. Each end of pipe goes over a 3' pc of 1/2 rebar pounded in the ground 1'. A standard roll of 20'x 25' plastic covers it, held closed on the ends by those plastic alligator clamps and rocks or logs around the bottom sides to hold the plastic down. It's easy enough to open the ends and use the clamps to hold the plastic (kind of rolled up) on the end hoops. You have to open it when the sun starts hitting it, cuz it heats up rapidly! This pic is from 2 years ago and is early summer. I attached that plastic netting fence to it, so I could grow beans up the netting, and lettuce and broccoli underneath. Which BTW worked great and I had them growing all summer.

Thumbnail by msrobin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
3:01 PM

Post #7660548

here is the cold frame
i call it a cold frame but i guess its realy a GH ? i always thing a GH is a heated enclosed structure.
This is not heated but can be enclosed .
sooo
any idea's
i like your idea . I have done similar to that with my swiss chard and lettuce mix.

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
3:02 PM

Post #7660552

the door looks even from this angle but its not
one is lower trust me LOLLL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
3:40 PM

Post #7660597

OK, here's one idea for a temporary fix. Cut a board to go across the top of the door frame and screw it in place on either end. FInd a piece of plastic bigger (2 or 3 x maybe) than you doorway. Attach the plastic to the board on one side of the door and across the top using lathe or thin boards. This leaves the other side and the bottom hanging loose with extra plastic on the bottom and hopefully on the one side that extends out a ways, even to the corner of the GH. A large rock or log at that free corner of the plastic will hold it through all but the strongest winds. To hold the "door" open, roll it back and clamp the rolled part about midway with some kind of clamp.

I forgot you did the cattle panel hoophouse. I was going to, but decided I didn't want to mess with trying to build the end walls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Starting to get ugly around here...out of cigarettes, the van won't start and a thunderstorm is predicted for tonite. Gotta love country living! Gonna be a long night!
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 27, 2010
5:33 PM

Post #7660838

Here have one of my cigs.hehehehehe.Fresh Winston in the left, ice cold natural lite in the right.Hey Robin while your out fetching smokes.Could you round me up a jug of that kentucky [WHO SLAPPED SUE} Iprefer brand X
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2010
5:38 PM

Post #7660848

That might be an omen! Hopefully not too ugly a storm though.

Taynors I had a plant shelter out of cattle panels and all I used for a door was a piece of cattle panel covered in more of the plant shelter plastic. I just propped it against the house and had a bar that spanned the door and hooked into S hooks on both sides. There is no engineering like the engineering us heifers can do when needed! lol If you tour this link http://davesgarden.com/community/journals/viewentry/115015/ and scroll down to the fourth photo it shows that door.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
5:51 PM

Post #7660877

sweet ! podster. GOod idea. MMM me thinks i m getting an idea.
yes the end of the cattle panels area pain. but i got lots of plastic and lots of tape !!! Muwahahahaha
yikes out of smokes and van down. Call the Guards we got ourselves an emergency !!! women and children first . !! oh msrobin i sure hope you can get your cigs soon. i used to be a smoker and i know how that can be.
thanks for the idea's everyone.
hopefully this week i can get out and get the door fixed somehow.
good night friends
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
6:09 PM

Post #7660905

Awesome, Podster!

I would love to stay and play, but I can't hardly keep my eyes open. Surprising how much can be done without smoke breaks. I worked most of the day, just didn't do anything that I had planned on doing.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 28, 2010
7:34 AM

Post #7661758

Hello? Hello? Anyone in here?

Kind of dreary in my world. Overcast and rain, but everything is sure green.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2010
8:42 AM

Post #7661876

yep, just doing my mule impressions in the nursery. LOL DW loves to make me work.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2010
9:39 AM

Post #7662003

Breaks over, back to watering trees ... only about 400 more to go lol.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 28, 2010
6:17 PM

Post #7663102

still raining here :( no time to play
but i did get an heck of a deal on some hostas !!
good night sleep well
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 28, 2010
7:28 PM

Post #7663205

No rain here... windy though and everything has turned green overnight it seems. The pine pollen has me choked up terribly and I had so much to get done. I wore a surgical mask and ear bags all afternoon to keep me from being more miserable. I managed to level two of the waterbeds. This time with sand and it worked much more quickly. I potted up twenty of the tomatoes that I am passing on to friends. The rest will be potted directly into the waterbed pots. Hope to start on that tomorrow as there are no temps in the 30s for a week. Also started more seeds, three different basils, small sugar pumpkins, a small vining tomato called sugar plum and some annual bloomers. Peas and the potato bed are doing fine.

Msrobin ~ how did you make those italics?

Taynors ~ does that mean you didn't fix the gh door today? LOL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 28, 2010
8:24 PM

Post #7663324

Podster, here you go: http://davesgarden.com/faq/forums/#131

It started raining in the wee hours this morning and never stopped for more than 10-15 minutes at a time all day. Needless to say, I didn't get anything done outside. I did go the greenhouse though and potted up 2 dozen tomato plants from the solo cups to gal pots. Still have another couple of dozen to do.

The weather forecast looks great for the next week after a low of 38 tonight. The lows for the rest of the week are upper 40's to 50's and highs upper 60's to 80. WhooHoo! Good thing, because I'm running out of room in the greenhouse and the house. Yesterday I formed 3 more wide raised rows in the new garden, for a total of 5 so far. As soon as it dries out a bit, I can start planting the spring seeds and transplants.

Van never did start. I called a neighbor and asked if he could come spray starter fluid for me (I can't run fast enough to spray and start by myself). If it doesn't start tomorrow, guess I'll be calling a tow truck to take it to the shop.

I also asked him to run me up to the little store for cigarettes. Still planning on quitting, but without having my own ride, I just felt like I needed some here for security. However, I was pretty proud of how well I did for the 26 hours I was out, even though I slept 9 of those hours. lol The plan was that I would quit while Al was gone and I've only got a couple of weeks left to do so.

J, everything okay?



podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 28, 2010
9:06 PM

Post #7663378

Thanks for that link let's see if I'm smart enough to figger it out...
Do you think you slept because of boredom, rain or lack of cigarettes? I found when I quit I had to change my routine totally. If I would normally enjoy a smoke at a certain time, I would get up and do something different. Seemed to work for me but it was not easy. Good luck...

My eyes are tearing and nose is running and my feet are probably smelling too. Blessed allergies! Off to bed.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
5:14 AM

Post #7663674

Podster, sorry to hear about the allergies acting up. That sure makes gardening tough sometimes. I forgot to ask, how many waterbeds do you have? Looks like you got it figgered out. :)

Fantastic week ahead, forecast wise. Well, except for tonite, when they've already pushed off the 38 prediction from last night to tonight. Can't remember the source on tv, but I recently heard a comment made about "weathermen and politicians being the only 2 professions where they still have jobs inspite of being wrong so much of the time".

Hope everyone has a great day! I'm off to open the greenhouse and start making a plan for today.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 29, 2010
5:42 AM

Post #7663719

podster sure hope you start to feeling better .
msrobin i can't wait for our forecast , it looks like it will be a great week
and yes maybe a new door on my GH ??? LOLLL
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 29, 2010
6:51 AM

Post #7663894

Yep, no wind today but the pollen is still here.

Great news ... We saw the first hummer of the season yesterday the 28th. Last year the first one arrived on the 23rd.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
7:58 AM

Post #7664073

L_K, cool! We always have a bunch of Hummingbirds that hang around here.

Had to come back to the house for a minute and wanted to check in. J, are you mad at us? Haven't heard from you here since Saturday night.

Got tons to do garden-wise this week. Have to get all my little projects a little further along before the weekend. Doesn't look like I've really done much, but the foundations are started, which is half the battle. Al can't always "see" where I'm going with an idea and he will be back home sometime over the weekend. :)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
9:08 AM

Post #7664223

Rainy here today but the rest of the week looks really promising. My gardening buddy is back from Fla so I can get my beans, peas, corn and okra in soon. Broccoli is looking good. I feel great today thank the Lord.

Got 2 chicks hatched in the bator. 22 more to go.

Pod, hope you get to feeling better soon.

Robin, good luck with quitting. You can do it!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
9:56 AM

Post #7664348

Cajun, :) I know I can. I quit 13 years ago for 3 years. Starting back up was THE stupidest thing I've ever done. It's encouraging, though, that I'm feeling so much better and breathing so much better after just a couple of days!
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
12:54 PM

Post #7664715

ok watched a show on tv, and i thought it would be helpful here,, how to stop animals from entering your garden,, or trash or compost,, the key to it all was to soak something in vinigar and then add chyanne peppers( spelling sorry) to it (Dried seasonning powdered ) and line the perimeter of your garden it will keep unwanted animals out of your garden
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
1:01 PM

Post #7664732

also heres another website i found that might be of help
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/26765/natural_ways_to_keep_animals_out_of.html
i am doing some more research and i will also post other ideas i come accross
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
1:08 PM

Post #7664745

If your have strawberries plants that get robbed by birds, get some driveway stones. Paint the stones red, and scatter them around your plants. The birds will get fed up with the hard "strawberries" and leave them alone by the time they are rip
Raccoons love to snick in and nipple on your corn. Next time your plant your seeds, plant squash around your corn plants. Raccoons don't like it at all. And to keep rabbits away, dust your plants with talcum powder.
Deer can be troublesome also. Try scattering hair around your garden. Human hair will work, but other animal hair may work better. And if your a real desperate to keep deer out, go to your local zoo and get some exotic animal dong. They will be glad to give you some! I also can across the tip of putting Christmas lights around your garden. But it may become the talk of town, lighting your garden. Maybe using porch party lights wouldn't look so odd.
And now for those insects. A mixture of 4 Tbsp dish soap in 1 gallon of water sprayed in your garden will keep aphids, spider mites, and other pests away. You could also spray leftover coffee where spider mites hang out. If you have a plant infected with spider mites, mix up 1/2 cup buttermilk, 4 cups wheat flour, and 5 gallons of water. Spray or pour onto plants. Mix some cayenne peppers with water in a blender. Spray the mixture in your garden to keep ants, spiders, caterpillars, and cabbage worms out
If you have insects bothering your perennials, mix up some black pepper and pre-sifted flour. Sprinkle it on and around your plants. Placing matches headfirst into the soil around your fern plants will keep worms off. Use 4 to 6, depending on the size of the fern.
Recycle old sandpaper disks in your garden to keep slugs off your plants. Cut them open to make a collar that can be slipped around your plant. Slugs won't cross over them. Also, to kill slugs and snails instantly sprinkle salt on them. The best time to find them out is at night.
And lastly, you do not want standing water around your home. This is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Keep buckets, wagons and such upside down, or covered. If you can't get rid of the standing water, pour some dish soap in it. This will kill the eggs and larva



secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
1:17 PM

Post #7664764

ok now this is a lil story i came across when i was selling kirby vaccuums in florida which i loved doing btw.. So i walked up to this door and on the path way up i noticed all kinds of plastic silverware in her garden just stuck in the ground forks knives and spoons, her whole garden was a glimmering sight of white. so as i knocked on her door my first question had nothing to do with selling vaccuums it was all about her garden, I asked her ma'am whats with the plastic ware all over your garden, and she began to tell me her story, she said well theres a truth to why i do it but i thought it would be a very fun joke for my neighbor, because her neighbor had asked her the same question, well she may have been in her late 70's but she had so much humor and personality, she told her neighbor that if you plant forks and spoons in your garden you will get knives, she continued to tell me that she noticed her neighbor had went out to his garden and planted some forks and spoons and so i looked over and low and behold there was a field of white all over his garden, she told me that in a week she went over there at night and took a whole bunch of knives and stuck them all over his garden,, I guess she was having some fun with him, because she said he ran over the next day saying it really worked lol the elderly can be so much fun, but she also said the real reason for doing it was it helps keep animals out of your garden,, just thought i would sare this with you,, it always gives me a lil chuckle when i think about it
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
1:22 PM

Post #7664773

Thanks for all the tips!
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
1:25 PM

Post #7664778

np caj,,, also how big of a town is inez ky,, is it eastern ky
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
1:29 PM

Post #7664786

Inez is about 600 people in eastern Ky but I don't live there anymore. I moved an hour and a half away to a small, rural community called Biggs. It's in Pike County which is also eastern Ky.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
1:31 PM

Post #7664788

yeah i know where that is,, i used to go to boarding school in oneida, and i loved it
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
2:21 PM

Post #7664889

Cool ideas. Thanks.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
2:31 PM

Post #7664911

np robin
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
3:20 PM

Post #7665028

Heh-Heh-Heh===================== Some things never change!Still craving tobacco GOOD It`s natural, .Just returned from missouri,after two trips.Back in Cleveland, for the ===hopefully last trip.Hello all, sorry to barge in.Hope all is well w/ the good people.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
3:25 PM

Post #7665039

midnite so what u moving to misouri? u buy land out there or just visiting or plan on settleing with ppl in that area to do the homestead
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
3:34 PM

Post #7665067

I am checking out from someone elses twisted version of life.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
3:36 PM

Post #7665071

ohhh ok
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
3:36 PM

Post #7665073

I am not running I am relaxing!
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
3:43 PM

Post #7665088

Secret, I never Quit. I hung in there,now its time to relax.And have some fun!And fun I will have.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
3:47 PM

Post #7665098

i just want to get out of nyc and dont care where i go in the country i just want to barter with someone so i can camp on there land and grow food and use my creative ideas,,,
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
4:10 PM

Post #7665153

Hold yer horses [Lass]- Much needs to be accomplished.Freedom you will find.Wilderness you will tame,Splinters you will rue.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 29, 2010
5:00 PM

Post #7665330

come on over here secretlove
i got 45 acres of woods . you can sleep with the raccoons and coyotes. got lots of room for gardens too
:)
but you have to be good at a hammering, nails. all types of wood working and be a master shoveler. LOL dem is da rules anyhow. :)
damp ,cold day here today
not much accomplished :(
don't they make salsa in NY City ?
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
5:41 PM

Post #7665458

Good heavens========================== Gonna get a late start on the -a-garden any input as veggy`s
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
5:46 PM

Post #7665478

EoM, you're going to get a late start on the garden?
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
5:56 PM

Post #7665498

Yes Robin LQQKS like a late start this season
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
6:03 PM

Post #7665512

Yes, it'll be a late start for you. I don't suppose there's already a garden space there?
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
6:24 PM

Post #7665571

Why yes plenty of space as soon as the forrest is taken into account. Other than that all all`s ok

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 29, 2010
6:27 PM

Post #7665577

how big are we talking East ?
i started some oriental green mix Called Dragons Mix and wow they shot up in two days .
you got a fav veggie ? mine is cabbage. German in me :)
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
6:34 PM

Post #7665601

How big hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm who`s swinging the axe tay?
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2010
6:39 PM

Post #7665611

In other words it could be a monstrosity: its all relevant you grab the chain saw and we`ll have a garden /fair eneough?
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
7:08 PM

Post #7665671

Well, if you are interested (and serious), I can give you a couple of quick and simple ideas, just to get you growing something this year.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2010
6:02 AM

Post #7666434

LOL i got a tractor i can knock em down in no time LOL Im a diesel running machine mama. ?HA.
you could grow mushrooms ? ( yes the legal kind )
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2010
7:47 AM

Post #7666744

I'm having a tough time getting motivated this morning. Just feeling a little overwhelmed. I have so much I want to get done, but not sure where to start. The price I pay, I guess, for having too many projects going at the same time.

Sue, come on down for a visit...and bring your tractor. I decided after the neighbor farmer disked and plowed for me, that I really want a big tractor and all the attachments that goes with it. I'd really be biting off more than I could chew, then. LOL

Hope you all are having great weather!
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 30, 2010
8:26 AM

Post #7666872

I always have more projects than I can finish. That way I never have time to be tempted by the "Demon Rocker". LOL
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 30, 2010
10:27 AM

Post #7667170

ok i have a ? i have tried to give some advice on home decorating as i do interior design, but its for subscribing members only, so my question is when on the forum page some of the titles have a green star some have a lil red astric * type star,, whatsthe meaning of those and how do i know where i can post and where i cant post at
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2010
11:04 AM

Post #7667254

Secret, The green stars means there are new posts since your last visit. The red asterik means those forums are only for subscribing (paid) members. There's different lengths of paid memberships, I think.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 30, 2010
11:14 AM

Post #7667289

ok ty so much
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2010
3:47 PM

Post #7667886

As you've may have guessed, I've been outside wearing my cartilage down at a furious rate as the weather finally took a turn for the nice and so I seized the day, grabbed it by its scrawny little mane and rode that sucker til it flat dropped in its tracks. Yee-haw!! I got a passle of work done around the place, and every dang muscle in my body aches like a military brass band. LOL I haven't felt this good since last year.

So, no Robin, I ain't mad... I'm catching up with myself! Today it's gusting high (they say 45 mph) so I'm mucking about on the computer, downloading some audio books to listen to while I work, plotting, and catching up with all the dang posts! Sheesh, ain't y'all got nuthin' better to do? LOL

I was reading (yes, again) about the furor over smokeless tobacco products... not the chew, but the gum and patches and candy. Folks ranting and raving, trying to prevent their marketing and usage, but I've yet to see any actual mention of their harm other than a supposed 'gateway' to smoking, and addiction to nicotine. Though I haven't seen anything that says nicotine addiction is harmful in and of itself, at least not any more harmful than caffeine, which is another legal drug and very profitable. I think the temperance society has had too much caffeine and are overrunning reason on this one... I honestly don't see a problem with nicotine gum or sucking candy. Though I understand they have more kick than a cig...
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2010
5:56 PM

Post #7668120

[quote]Sheesh, ain't y'all got nuthin' better to do?[/quote]

Some of us don't work ourselves like a pack mule. :) Glad you were able to get lots done.

I've been working on setting up a couple of more rows and doing some planting. Don't remember what else I did, but I'm sure tired.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2010
6:07 PM

Post #7668142

[quote="msrobin"]

Some of us don't work ourselves like a pack mule. :) Glad you were able to get lots done.

[/quote]

Well, honestly it's all your fault... if you weren't so doggone inspirational, I probably wouldn't have worn the day out quite so thoroughly! LOL

Of course, I've gone and counter-balanced it by getting not much done today; well, not much one can see, spent the day getting stuff done on the computer. Bleh. That's like getting cozey with a vampire... it just sucks the life out of you.
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 30, 2010
6:18 PM

Post #7668170

Are we being nitty picky, hum?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2010
6:43 PM

Post #7668236

I have had a very productive day. I filled the feed and corn barrels, fed and watered all the animals, put the seedlings in the sun and took them back in later, collected the eggs and got them washed, unloaded 100lbs of chicken feed and cooked a pot of beans. Hope to get some gardening done tomorrow. Good nite!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 30, 2010
6:44 PM

Post #7668238

Glad everyone had a successful day! I potted up my wintersown tomatoes and am afraid I got carried away or had wildly successful germination. I have 20 plants that I am giving to a friend and still have 75 assorted with only me to eat most of them. This may be the year I get a food dehydrator. Can man live by tomato alone?

I am looking forward to April ~ "March on the homestead" is taking way too long to arrive in east TX. Is your March going out like a lamb?
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2010
6:48 PM

Post #7668248

Our weather is great this week.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2010
7:25 PM

Post #7668324

I tired
i go to bed
watched Joy Behair show
boring
read the thread
funny people you are
must go
sleep good
body need sleep
i love coffee !
sleep well friends
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2010
8:51 PM

Post #7668531

Absolutely beautiful in this part of Kentucky, too! Light breeze, sunshine, blue skys and 75* all day. Life is good.

Jay, happy to hear you found some inspiration from me. And it's called balance. You work like crazy for a day or two, then cool your jets and recuperate the next day. I on the other hand, am starting to feel a little panic-stricken. I start delivering CSA shares in 6-7 weeks and if I don't get the rest of my cool season seeds in the ground and my seedlings planted, I'm not going to have any vegetables ready.

Cajun, sure is good to hear you feel up to doing things!

Pod, it's going to be interesting around here with all the tomatoes too. I think I've got 21 different varieties. Maybe we can come up with 101 ways to eat/cook/serve a tomato. LOL

Sue, good heavens, girl, you need housekeeper who will cook and help take care of the kids. You're exhausted every night.

Well, my second wind is dwindling fast...I'm off to bed. Sleep tight everyone!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 30, 2010
9:12 PM

Post #7668563

Mmmmmm ~ tomatoes. I may have to sell plants or tomatoes or http://www.ghorganics.com/Sun%20Dried%20Tomatoes.htm just stumbled on this cool link I had saved. Yum.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 31, 2010
6:41 AM

Post #7669045

The beans were delish though I didn't eat them til midnight!

Looking forward to focusing on gardening chores today.

TTYL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 31, 2010
6:47 AM

Post #7669061

I'm headed to town for some quick errands, then I'm back at it in the garden. Another beautiful day in my neighborhood. :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2010
9:35 AM

Post #7669415

Our weather has started its roaring,,, the spring winds are starting to crank up. So it's get it done in the morning or count on running it down later in the day... or eating it. Definitely don't want to clean stalls in the afternoon around here. LOL

I'm potting up my tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers today... same problem... too many plants. I'm developing a network of friends who will take them and I take my extras to the flea market. I'm using the newspaper pots (thanks whoever it was told me about these!), so I'm sitting here making more. I've gotten 32 tomato plants or 3 varieties done so far, 24 of 2 more varieties to go, and then there's the eggplant and peppers (both hot and sweet) which I did a double sowing of because the first batch didn't germinate well, the second batch did great, then the first batch decided to put forth a bit of an effort and now I've got twice too many of what was probably too many to start with! LOL I haven't been able to bring myself to count them.

I'm off on another week long retreat on Friday, so I'm trying to get that raised bed filled before I go, so the SO can plant the 2nd crop of peas that are at this moment sprouting in the soil blocks. Knucklehead here started 'em so they'd be ready to go in the ground while I was gone... who wasn't paying attention that day?

I tried sundrying tomatoes one year... it was a wet cool year, so that didn't work out so well... mold. Maybe now that I have a greenhouse, I have someplace out of the wind and hot to speed things along. I even had the variety that is supposed to be the very best for drying.

lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 31, 2010
9:58 AM

Post #7669484

newspaper pots?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2010
10:44 AM

Post #7669587

Yeah, you wrap a piece of newspaper around the bottom of a bottle, tape, crimp the end, tape and voila! a little pot. My hesitation has been how well it decomposed in the soil and whoever said faster than peat, which is a good thing for me. So I'm giving it a try... peat pots are getting expensive! and it's a long way to get them for me. Whereas the paper is delivered every day...

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 31, 2010
11:11 AM

Post #7669666

Pretty cool on the newspaper pots.

I had the same thing happen with the asparagus (3 trays of 72, followed by 2 trays) and cauliflower (only 32 each time). Asparagus wasn't a problem, since I had planned on starting some more after the garden was in. Guess I'll just have to find some creative ways to serve cauliflower. Al doesn't think he'll like it. First try will be battered and fried, served with cheese dipping sauce. Who doesn't like that?

I got 2 more rows done in the garden. I just don't have the strength and stamnia to do it with the long handled cultivator, so I do it with the little handheld one. Man, that's tough on the hands.

We don't have the winds like you do, but I know what you mean about chasing things down. Living up here on this open hilltop, it gets pretty breezy sometimes. We don't dare leave an umbrella up or anything light sitting on the tables.

I'm anxious to try the dried tomatoes. Gonna have to do something with the anticipated bounty of tomatoes. LOL I didn't get the other things I had dried dry enough before, so will need to study up on that.

Need to eat some lunch, then I'm back at it...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2010
6:36 PM

Post #7670622

99 daylilys in my basement
if one of them should happen to get potted
98 daylilys in my basement
if one of them should happen to get potted
97 daylilys in my basment
everybody sing !
weeeeeeeeee
she has gone mad !
a bit bonkers and maybe loopey too
sad , sad poor girl .
I think i need a retreat like the one Jay is going on LOL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 31, 2010
7:24 PM

Post #7670769

OMG...if it weren't for the fact that I am so committed to making this work, I could have been real close to hollering "uncle" today. It hit 86*, sweat pouring in my eyes, hands cramped, and rubbed raw from the leather gloves. I have to keep reminding myself that I only need to do this much work this year to build the permanent beds. But I now have a total of 12 rows done. Only about 24 or so left to do, but I've got a week or two before they have to be finished. These that I've just finished are for the early stuff patiently waiting in the GH to be transplanted.

Another day or two and I will be as loopy as Sue!

So Jay, where you headed to? And a question on your peas...what kind and you started them in soil blocks? Alright, 2 questions.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2010
7:34 AM

Post #7671671

STOP!!! DO NOT CONTINUE!!! TURN HERE!!!

LOL... we're moving this outfit to April, where I promise I'll answer your questions, Robin. =0)

Time keeps marching on... come, fools, join me here...
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1084833/

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