Most Excellant Garden Day....On Topic

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The temp today reached 75F! Yeehaw!!
Went out and picked up a half-ton each of mushroom compost and composted cow poo...for 35 bucks. On the way home, I scored a bale of old straw that someone set out for the trash guys.
Got the first round of green onion sets in. Crushed a pound of charcoal and screened it to 1/8 in and smaller and applied to half the garlic and half of the onions. Spread bullshit over the garlic and onions, over the top of the fall/winter mulch, and then spread mushroom compost over that. Shredded a barrel of dry leaves and mulched the garlic. Turned one compost pile that had set all winter and got a couple bushels of good out of it and added stuff to the turnings...ground alfalfa, kitchen scraps, some old potting mix from pots I was cleaning out, some leaves and some activator saved from last night.
The highlight of the garden day happened when younger son was here and got a call from a friend. I remembered that his friend's folks raised and traded horses and I had Josh ask about getting some horse poo. Curt said, "What's he need, a semi-load?" "Nah, tell him I'll just come out and scoop a pickup load." Curts says, "Nah, that's work...we'll just load him up with the skidloader....all he wants!!!" I only have to drive 10 miles, that's a little over one gallon of fuel roundtrip, for as much horse poo as I can get on the truck. As often as I want.
I'm tired. This old creaky body ain't used to this much exertion after a winter of being a layabout.
Care Charlie
"When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden."-- Minnie Aumonier
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I feel the same way but I was digging virgin clay, expanding the garden patch.
--

Billy

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Charlie expounded:

I hear ya. Yet we keep on keeping on, don't we? :o)
I haven't been in my veggie garden yet, I've been too busy teaching, but this w4eekend I'll get things started. I'm moving the whole shebang out back (I'd always had my veggie garden out front, due to that's where I had full sun, but since the septic install and complete wiping out of the trees in my backyard, I've got the room and the sun to go to town out there). The area out front that was veggies will now be a more formal herb garden.
The other thing occupying my time is the building of the chicken Taj Mahal. Hubby has been hard at work building my coop before the arrival of the chickies on May 7. I'm looking forward to fresh eggs and the byproduct of chickens for my gardens <G>
Plus we installed three packages of bees over the weekend. The whole season is in full swing, and it's a busy one!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Indeed we do. Fortunately it gets a *little* better after a few weeks. THough I am going to raise my beds another six inches before next season. Even raised six inches, the ground seems further away this year.

Are you going to share pictures this year? Hope so.

I miss chickens greatly, living in a town that has the "laws" against poultry. We had Rhode Island Reds when we lived in the country and just loved those big peaceful old gals, more like pets that gave us food. I've been to the local farm store this week just to look at the little ones and enjoy the sound. Wondering what my chances are of gettin' busted if I had several to live in the garden and fix a small coop in the shed.
The beekeeping thing didn't go over, given the situation in which we live. Unfounded concern about the folks we support being stung. Durrhh, like I don't attract bees with the garden and flowers anyway.
Screw 'em (this wasn't me lovely that nixed the idea). I have mason bee houses and am building more, guess they don't understand.

Busy is kind of nice after the long cold spell, but I'll likely be whining about the heat in August. ;-)
Charlie
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Charlie expounded:
I'm just getting back to this, it's been a busy week traveling back and forth to Maine, building the chicken coop and poking only a bit around the gardens - at least they're all cleaned up now.

Absolutely!

three or four fit in a small coop and hardly draw any notice - I'd go for it! <G>

That's too bad.

something that once again has dried up around here. Every spring we go through this now, it seems. Ah well...
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Busy season still awaits you! ;-)

Excellant! I'll get some up too. I'm waiting for the right day for what could be an intersting picture, a kind of death begets life thing. :-)

Indeed! Nothing beats 'em. They will have access to bugs and grass and all that good stuff that makes 'em so good, I assume.

I think I *am* going to go for this. Wifey is not overly enthused about this, *but*....chicks are so interesting and cute and I am *sure* the grands would enjoy watching and caring for two or three chicks. This is a good part of their education! As it has been said, "Forgiveness is easier to receive than permission!" ;-)

BUT......just we went out and watched several dozen honeys in the apricot tree and she started rethinking things, perhaps not this year but another. Last year there were *no* honeys on the blossoms, that we could ever see.
She was wondering. Is one hive viable? And she asked, can you keep only one hive as a home for them only, without having to remove honey and feed them and all that? Just provide a safe haven for a colony and as benefit for the garden? I obviously haven't researched much more since the original plan was nixed and I though was a done deal.

Me too, I hate hot weather and we get a lot, with humidity that is killer. I too like rain, fall rains in particular. And serious thunderstorms...even though the outcome can be.... bad.
Care Charlie
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Charlie expounded:

If you leave them enough honey, the only feeding you need to do is when they're first getting established. Bees store far more honey than is needed, which is why we can 'rob' them. The upkeep isn't so bad, one thing you would have to do is deal with the mites, although if you can find bees from a good breeder you may not have many problems with them. We put in Miteaway II in the fall, it's formic acid, which is a natural byproduct of the hive, that knocked the mites down and the bees made it well through the winter, building up strong this spring. It's not a lot of work at all, and the rewards are precious! Sitting near the hives around sunset on a warm summer night watching them all stream home is beautiful, they glisten in the sunlight, and it's amazing how many of them are out and about.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Thanks Charlie, wish I could have been there...
I can start doing some clean up in the garden, but not much in the way of digging. I'm hoping to start tomorrow because it just isn't happening today. C
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Are you melted yet? We're going up this weekend, I hope most of it is gone, but I fear some of the piles will be there until May!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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On 4/16/08 5:39 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

my neighbor has a tiny bit in her back yard that never sees sun).
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expounded:

mostly. i have piles in shady areas & the woods, of course. the worst of the mud by the new barn is drying, so most of the garden, except the lower end where the melons & pumpkins go should be dry enough to get the peas, greens & radishes in. i put the carrots in raised beds with sifted soil, so as not to get the typical New England contortions ;) & those beds tend to warm before the ground, allowing earlier sowing buds on the daffs & hyacinths. oh, & the hellebores. lee
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GRRRRR
The 40 days and 40 nights in the Ozarks are just over and I just got out of the Hospital with an extra hole in the femoral artery.
Good news: my cardiac arteries are as clean as new PVC pipe
Bad news: I can't strain for a while No tiller, no spade, no lugging bags of fertilizer. Can't even clear the mower deck and change oil on the engine.
Q: It has been so wet, none of my spring bulbs are in. Is it too late?
cheers, anyway
oz, who will probably go fishing as a way to ignore the problems
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That sounds like a good idea. Take care of yourself!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 17:57:00 -0700 (PDT), MajorOz

Ha! Just your luck if this were the time you hooked the World Record BallBuster Monster! ;-)
Take Care Charlie
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On 4/17/08 8:57 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@m44g2000hsc.googlegroups.com, "MajorOz"

C
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oups.com:

my advice is to do what the docs say & don't exert yourself. my dad had a bypass a few years ago & decided he was fine to pack & move house. we had to put him back in the hospital to make him behave until the move was over... of course, it was winter & he couldn't go fishing.

maybe to get blooms this year, but not to get them going for next year, but are you allowed to bend & dig? can you get someone else to plant them for you?

that sounds like a good plan. don't go catching any monsters though... lee
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I spent my afternoon working on a new foundation bed on the north side of the house. The soil is classic builder garbage. Rocks, nails, wood debris, plastic trash, you name it, I dug it up. Two tractor bucketfulls removed, probably one or two more to go. Saturday I hope to add about a ton of coarse sand, 20 or so bags of pine fines, and some leafgro. Six mountain laurel & 3 pieres japonica are awaiting their new home.
Man, ain't it great to feel springtime again ;0
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On 4/16/08 6:55 PM, in article GbmdnW_qcotRHpvVnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com,

Of yes - the ground is still very cold but you can weed.
C
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wrote:

It sure is good.
Builder garbage is a PITA! Every time I plant a tree or try and dig a hole deeper than two feet, I find brick, rock, nails, you know the story. Cover the fill with a foot or so of clean soil. It was a real problem when I dug the postholes for the fence. This place was built on on fill 25 years ago.
Care Charlie
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On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 23:05:02 -0500, Charlie wrote:

Our house is not 25 years old, but it is 8 and finally, for the first year the soil is friable. I can now use ordinary free mulch from the recycle center. I bought high quality mulch for several years. It's called Sylvan and is a mulch which is very finely ground containing both bacterial and fungal properties.
Mulches Sylvan Formula
The Sylvan Formula is a pro-active approach to establishing and keeping your trees and shrubs healthy. The formula has been developed to replicate the forest floor. In nature, the forest floor feeds and tends to the needs of the trees and plants without the help of humans. The Sylvan Formula is a blend of Composts, Hardwood Mulch, Basalt, Greensand, Molasses, Cornmeal and inoculated with Aerobic Compost Tea. The blend of compost used in the formula offers both beneficial bacterial and especially fungal microbes and contains no bio-solids (sewer sludge). The compost will percolate down, feeding the plant and providing fungal microorganisms for the soil and plants. The hardwood mulch will protect the soil and root zone from drying out and other extreme conditions. Top-dress your trees and shrubs with a three-inch layer of the Sylvan Formula. It also works great on perennial beds.
I buy it here, but it may be sold elsewhere:
http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/bulk_soils_compost_andmore/bulk/index.html
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