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Old 06-01-2016, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default June 2016 Homestead and Garden Thread

We're moving a lot of dirt here! The forest is opening up and guerilla gardening continues on. You should see the beautiful soil! Today, I'm walking behind a dozer, mending some fences and herding ducks. Shortly, I plan to clean up and head out to talk to a restaurant owner about locally grown food. It's a snazzy place, good thing I clean up well.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:59 AM   #2
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The restaurant visit was awesome! Nice folks. Hopefully, we can work something out and he DEFINITELY likes my pigs

This morning its been more duck sorting. The drakes are being separated into a holding yard so they can eat, drink and get fat. Later the mushroom man is coming and we'll be working on the mushroom yard. At some point I have to go borrow a trailer and pick up some cattle panels and feed. I've been kicking around an idea for a mobile chicken yard made with those panels. Each panel will be covered with smaller sized mesh wire then put together with farm duty carabineers. Roosts and laying boxes will be hung from the roof. The whole outfit will be 16 x 16 with 3 individual covered runs measuring 4 x 16. Dang predators have pretty much wiped out my chickens. Its very sad.

The dozer work is really coming along. Everyone is excited about the prospects. I'll really have to work on the fencing though and driving t-posts is not my favorite thing to do. But it will happen one way or another
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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Best of luck to you, bg. How exciting to be a borning new ventures for income producing on your farm!

Hugs!
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:54 PM   #4
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Things are certainly moving quickly now, aren't they bg? It all sounds exciting, productive & hopefully, profitable.

My contributions for today - minor but still... with great trepidation I removed & split into 3 plants, a prized primrose. Each was planted & I divided a Jacob's Ladder my aunt had given me. Did this at the end of the day, watered well & today, we've had cool-ish, cloudy & finally - RAIN! I walked past the garden a little while ago & everything I planted looked as though they'd been in place for a long time - no drooping or wilting. Phew!

SO had cut out some major tree limbs for me last summer & tomorrow, I'm ripping a 15' long stretch of bugleweed I'd planted in the dim light. It's a filler & I'm not keen on it. This in anticipation of an annual sale this weekend...LOL It will also give me more room for other treasured plants that seriously need dividing.

And boy, does our veggie patch seem to be liking the rain! It's clearing now, 2 lovely days ahead & then 3 days of cloudy with showers... bring it on!
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:24 PM   #5
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What a day!

-morning chores
-coffee, computer catch up, thank you to the restaurant, report to the farmers
-propane man filled the tank and put in for 4 piglets to be picked up in a month
-client
-mushroom man came but my chainsaw is acting up so
-town trip for lunch and supplies after picking up a trailer to
-pick up cattle panels
-pick up feed
-unload feed
-unload cattle panels (I'm getting pretty good at backing up that trailer)
-return trailer
-back to town because the brakes on my truck decided to get really noisy
-drop off truck for repair (I am now afoot)
-order repair part for my car that's been sitting in the driveway for a couple of weeks
-pick up fresh gas for the chain saw (they gave me some free pizza too LOL)
-home to find out J had done my evening chores, cleaned dad's room and did the dishes (its my turn) how nice!!!
-fixed dinner for dad and
-cracked open an angry orchard hard cider and here I am watching a big storm come in.

That's a big day!

---------- Post added at 06:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

Oh and 8 baby chicks hatched so far
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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That's a huge day. I recognize a farmer never gets a day off but here's hoping you have a few quieter days in the next little while.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:58 PM   #7
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I'm ready for a little break too. Tomorrow I'll be stranded until my truck is done and sometime I'll need to pick up the part for my car. If everything works out I plan to go to the Art Walk downtown tomorrow evening and on Saturday I'm (providing my truck is ready) suppose to play music from 10 to 1 at the Farmer's market. Keep your fingers crossed!
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue gecko View Post
Keep your fingers crossed!
Done! Let us know how it all works out for you, gal.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Not even going to try to outdo bg here! IN my own defence, we are gardening with very different intentions & I'll flat out admit, the pace she manages to maintain would send me to my couch in a proper Victorian decline!

Two days ago, I'd ripped out mountains of bugleweed from a long, narrow stretch of border that SO opened up to more light by cutting out two massive ash limbs late last summer. By watching how much more light & direct sun it now gets, by following how the plants already there are growing, (less spindly), I knew I could do much more with the space.

I ended up dividing well established & crowded plants from other parts of the garden & putting them there late yesterday afternoon, knowing we had rain & showres in the forecast for the next few days.

I put in: Japanese Painted Fern, a lovely pink, double primrose, campanulas, a few different Heuchera, something else I've already forgotten & handfuls of Sedum Angelina for some extra brightness.

https://www.greatgardenplants.com/pe...angelina-sedum

That was after several leisurely hours of weeding out small stuff - I get a ton of wood sorrel & bindweed & if I let it take hold this time of year, it becomes a nightmare.

After supper I planted this little beauty I scored for $2.88!:

http://www.jigidi.com/jigsaw-puzzle/...e-Gigi-4-29-16

And yes, as at least one comment there states, it photographed light. It's a deep red & the white streaks are really striking. As tiny & delicate as it looks, if I cover the crown with loose dirt & pop a flowerpot over the whole plant this fall, it will survive the winter nicely.

This plant was accidently introduced to my garden some years back:

http://www.perennials.com/plants/cam...akesimana.html

I simply can't get rid of it & last fall - capitulated. I have a middling large patch from where I removed Oriental poppies that weren't happy & that's where these puppies were entrenched. Now, all I do is remove any clumps straying from the rather loose boundaries I've set for it. I'll give it this - like bugleweed it completely covers the ground. The flowering stems rise up about 12-18" taller than the rosettes that form the main crown, flower for weeks & need no care. Interspaced with them are lily of the valley, another thug that I keep controlled. I cleared spaces for several pretty larkspur, some wild daisies, some aciderantha bulbs & a blue scabiosa. As long as I clear the area away from the cultivated plants every few days, so they can get light... it's all good.

And I woke up this morning to blessed, blessed rain! I'd placed a square plastic container on the fence before bed - a rain gauge of sorts & when I measured earlier, we'd already equalled the rainfall for all of May. We're only talking 3/4" so I'm not excited yet but we have a few more days of showers & every bit helps.

Once the showers stop, several plants will need to be staked up & otherwise restrained - they tend to floppy but most can simply have a loop of brown twine discretely tied around the collections of loose stems to keep them off other plants.

My perennial cornflowers, blue eyed grass, geraniums & pinks are all opening up. It looks so pretty!

Next - astilbe, mock orange shrub & I think one of my day lilies is putting up flowering stems.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:54 PM   #10
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Not even going to try to outdo bg here! IN my own defence, we are gardening with very different intentions & I'll flat out admit, the pace she manages to maintain would send me to my couch in a proper Victorian decline!


HA! I am always inspired by your gardening activities and I cringe to think about what you would say if you were here looking at my 'weeds'.

I got my truck out of the shop late Friday (after closing but the owner kept the crew until the job was done. Gotta love a small town). Drove by the Art Walk with a wave and went home.

DID make the Farmer's Market Gig and had a wonderful time. Even stopped at one of my favorite junk shops for a quick peruse, dropped off some cute clothes for a friend and picked up a chair I splurged on at a downtown junk shop. Then last night visited some friends and had spaghetti around a camp fire. It was a nice change.

Today, I'm slowly getting the house picked up and have been rearranging the business library to accommodate that podium/drafting table auction find for lectures and my new chair. I moved the little dining table and chairs into the solarium for the summer. My goals are pretty low and I may have to take a little drive just to get my head right. I don't know what's gotten into me lately. My attitude is not very friendly. I think I need about a month of seclusion.
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:05 PM   #11
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You do sound like you need a break & no, I wouldn't shudder at your 'weeds'. Weeds are simply, natives & entire ecosystems form around them. Some need to be encouraged in order to support the health of the meadow, forest or wetland you may be nurturing.

I've incorporated the vanilla road side daisies into my garden very happily. Early in the spring now, I look to see where new ones may be coming up near the front of my border. Because light is still fairly limited, they get rather tall. I simply move them into the middle or back. They don't ask for a thing from the gardener as they can grow in little more than gravel.

Deptford pinks were introduced to North America with the settlers & a few found their way into my garden some years back. I didn't even notice them growing among equally tall plants until they bloomed. And what's there not to love? While they prefer sun, they'll grow anywhere, are 18-24" tall & stand on their own. They'll droop a bit when rain heavy but spring right back up after they dry. The flowers are tiny but that doesn't seem to stop the pollinators so they're most welcome in my garden!

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/...tford_pink.htm

I've incorporated as many wild things as I can find, that fit into my overall garden. When they do well; too well, I dig up individual clumps or plants out of place & rewild them. Yes, I'm careful to only put them in places where they naturally belong.

Your project is on a much grander scale than mine; it has a purpose well beyond what I do with my little bit. I'm simply trying to provide a very small oasis for local wildlife, for myself & any tenants who want to pull up a chair & read or chat in search of some peace.

You are growing animals for food, providing educational opportunities for students, sane studio space for various artisans & so much more.

Housework? Pphhtt! My house is a dusty mess, my files just as bad, my store room a disaster & frankly right now, I could care less. I had a happily busy day yesterday & am a little tired still. So other than pop some banana bread in the oven, pull out some pork for supper & fertilize my perennials, I've done nothing.

Three more days of cool, cloudy & showers. Plenty of time to tear the store room, bathroom & maybe kitchen apart for a good, deep cleaning. Oh yeah & (gulp!), the book case. SO moved it & did NOT put back my books in categories or alphabetized by author! He didn't dust either. If I can get those things done, I'll call it enough for deep cleaning for June.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:55 PM   #12
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The bookcase STILL hasn't been dusted or sorted out - oh well. Unless the books grow legs, they're not going anywhere.

Nothing like a major reebie find to get me excited.

The city runs a public golf course about a mile from here. Attached to it, is an equipment yard for all manner of stuff - various grass cutters, spare waste bins & "small city maintenance clutter". They maintain the course & the road to a man made island we often walk as well as the trail into the city. Just past that is a 'green waste' dump site. There are piles of major tree limbs, smaller tree limbs & small mountains of chipped wood & bark.

A few of these small mountains have been 'cooking', (composting), for a few years. I grabbed 3 large reusable bags, gloves & my trowel & walked up after supper. 4" down from the top is a beautiful, rich, dark, half composted jumble of nice organic material. It's not quite soil, not quite mulch... I call it "sulch". I quickly filled 3 bags, threw one in the backpack & found a sturdy piece of wood to act as a yoke for the other 2 bags. I felt pretty smug for the first 1/4 of the walk home. The rest of the trip was a painful slog - the yoke hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurt & I had to stubborn myself home. I am simply too old to be schlepping home 60 lbs. of soil - even if it is free!

I HAVE a garden cart! I'll use it on tomorrow night's trip.

I've used this stuff before & the garden loves it. It does tend to pull nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down but several healthy doses of high nitrogen fertilizer keeps the soil balanced & the plants happy. I'm going to have to fight the urge to 'skim coat' the garden with it. A good, healthy application will serve me well in the long run. I've found as it breaks down into nice organic material, rain drives the smaller particles down through the layers of sulch until it ends up on top of the old soil - worms take care of the rest. The stuff that takes longer to break down ends up serving as a layer of mulch. I'm going to get some most evenings as I feel up to it. I haven't appreciably added to my soil in about 2 years & it's getting hungry. By fall, I should have a good thick layer & by next spring, I can simply amuse myself picking off the inevitable small sticks that remain - in winter, they're good, added protection.

Man, will I sleep well tonight!
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:15 PM   #13
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By noon tomorrow morning all the veggies should be planted - only parsnips, radishes, celeriac, rutabaga and some edible flowers left to plant. Then, I've got to get the rest of the herbs in. Hoping to be completely finished by the middle of next week. I'll be glad when it's all done. This morning I noticed that the potatoes are already starting to come up and all the transplants are doing really well, so that's always encouraging. Guess the 3 tons of compost and 3 tons of well rotted manure we put in are doing their job!
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:23 PM   #14
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Oh Boy is it dry here. Little teases of rain and clouds but only enough to make it humid. My little stock pond is just a drying mud hole. I'm watering plants daily and checking the stock tanks several times a day. This is not good.

Working in the heat it tough but the show must go on. I've got an extra hand once a week and that helps. Even so I'm taking lots of breaks and staying hydrated. So far its working well.

Had two litters of pigs born this week. I'm amazed at how far a lost newborn can travel. They hear the other pigs and head toward the sound. The mules are pretty good about letting me know there's trouble so I can scoop up a squealing baby and get it back to its mom. Today I wasn't able to find the new mom and so I gave the baby to another mom who had pigs Wednesday. The little girl nuzzled in like she belonged and last time I checked its still a go. I still haven't located the sow that gave birth today. Either she's a good hider or the rest of the litter was lost. It happens.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:34 AM   #15
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We got a little rain! YAY!!! It was enough to give a pretty fair soaking but not enough to put much water in the pond. Still, along with the watering I've been doing it has definitely helped.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:02 AM   #16
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I've come down with a terminal case of gardening fever. Don't even want a cure. I've got a bazillion questions for you who know what you are doing. Please help!

I want asparagus, big time bad. But not the first clue about which variety to get - too many to choose from. I'm in zone 7. I want enough to eat as well as can some, so I'm thinking 25 to 50 plants - does that sound about right? I have 3 neighbors that work in exchange for a share so while 50 plants sound like a lot it isn't as wild as it may sound. But what variety? It, like everything else going into the garden, must be organic and OP. Without a single word, DH hung two more, close to the garden. In fact, he may have put all 3 out. Can't wait to see what the morning has in store for us.

I found some *old* zinnia seeds I know are 8 years old or even older. Out of idle curiosity, I put a few between 2 layers of damp paper towels and watched. Was amazed to find roots over 2" long in about a week. I planted them in newspaper pots I made and filled with compost Those little darlings had their primary leaves up in just a few days. Gorgeous fire engine red zinnias. Not a clue where I'm going to put them, but I'lll find a place even if I have too transplant them later on.

I planted some cannas that just came jumping out of the ground. Again, a gorgeous red. And something is eating them, fast. The eaves are brown and lacy looking. I saw a couple of tiny bugs, white, and they jump. But no way those few bugs could eat up all the canna leaves that are gone. Could that be Japanese beetles also? I have a gallon size pressure sprayer and wondering if spraying with Safer Soap will kill whatever is eating them. Ideas anyone? If not Safer Soap, then what? I have pyrethrum dust but it kills good bugs, which we have worked for years to encourage to make there home here and that dust will kill them as well as the evil bugs. We have a bumper crop of black berries and a good crop of raspberries but both are covered in the Japanese beetles. If we don't get those bugs under control, and fast, we aren't going to get anything.

We lost all our squash to borers. By the time we knew we had a problem it was too late - the vines were dying. All of them. What can we do about those borers? We want to replant later, after the worst of the summer heat is done. This is the first time we planted squash.

No signs of aphids anywhere. Some of our good bugs have stayed. I picked up a small stick yesterday and jumped a foot from a sitting position when it moved in my hand. A praying mantis! Yea! Some slug damage to strawberries so put out clean cat food cans half filled with beer. Found some drowned ones today. I'm going to clean out last year's straw under the berries, commit murder on any remaining slugs and put clean, new straw under the berries still coming on.

Probably forgot some questions but I'll be back to ask as I remember them.
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