what will you do differently?

this year?
i have a bit of brush clearing to do and perhaps transplanting some trees.
the rest of the gardens are fairly done and not too much to change now. only one spot inside the fence will need much work as we've removed the pathway to combine two smaller patches. we'll have to redo those edges with something. the hardest part is already done (getting the rocks and crushed limestone moved out of the way).
i'm not sure if this is the light at the end of the tunnel or not, but this year is looking good because without having big projects hanging over my head i'll be doing more weeding and redoing of existing places.
but i'm not going to say any of this to Ma because i know there's plenty of other projects out there to work on if i feel like it... we could redo the berm and take down the large white pine tree that is too close to the house before it becomes even a worse problem than it already is. shhhh! mums the word... :)
songbird
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songbird wrote:

Grow more field peas , fewer tomatoes , and about the same amounts of peppers , cukes and other vine stuff . And use more compost/mulch/manure . Plus , I'll be making areas similar to raised beds , with designated walkways to help prevent compaction in the growing areas .
--
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Well, for the first time in forever I ordered seeds way early. But not for the first time I planted the garlic way late. As mentioned when I did my kraut experiments, I'll be growing cabbage for the first time as a direct result of the kraut experiments.
I have hopes to get the <expletive> fence rebuilt, cat-tight and deer high (one of the neighbors trained the local deer by growing sunflowers a few years ago. Used to be a 4 foot fence was sufficient - they could have jumped it but didn't bother - now they jump like crazy.) Related is rebedding. Going to try woodchips (deep) on the paths. Related is...
Got more drainage to do.
Need to haul more poop, since poop is the essence of garden here in "throw pots from the sub-soil" land. If you ain't got poop, you ain't got topsoil.
Tilt at the bleeping windmill of creeping buttercup. It makes me think about 2, 4, D which is not exactly my normal thought direction on gardening. Nothing all that new there, though - it's been a battle for years.
Might actually redo the grape trellis, but I've been saying that and not getting it done for a few years.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
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On 2/2/2016 4:30 PM, Ecnerwal wrote:

everything the way her Dad did it 60 years ago. I keep trying to keep it organic, Nada dos! I guess I will have to get out there first and do it my way. Wasn't that an old Perry Como song?
We should be planting soon but she's still nursing the winter garden along. Still have lots of curly leaf kale (I don't eat kale, tastes nasty to me), spinach (I like that), lots of various lettuce's (I like that too), still have spring/summer sweet chilies that are still producing very small chilies (I think she is trying to see if they are actually perennials). Sweet green peas that haven't even bloomed yet and probably won't. She was the middle child of five and her elder brothers tried to eat everything before the little girls could get to the table. That might be the cause for trying to save everything. <G>
Mid-seventies again here today, starting to cool off a bit here at around 1700 hours.
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Ecnerwal wrote:

it makes a little difference, but not too much. i had our garlic planted shortly after the red pepper plants got frosted out.

:)

i like the woodchips here that we use in a lot of mulching for the perennial gardens and i use them for filler underneath some gardens to get more elevation to help with flash flooding.
after a few years they get rotted enough that they make good compost/humus addition to the clay soil here.

worm poop is my favorite. i move a few hundred lbs of that a season for the most heavily feeding plantings. the rest get a mix of whatever is on hand that will get digested by the worms. seems to be working as most gardens keep gradually improving each season.
noticed the most differences in the gardens where i'd grown cover crops and then turned them under. buckwheat, winter rye, winter wheat, turnips, radishes, etc. turns this clay into butter. :)

luckily, only patch of that here is on the south side in a grassy area that gets mowed. hasn't shown up in any of the other gardens (so far!). i'm always keeping an eye out for new invaders because i've well learned over the years that it's much easier to head something off in the early stages than to have to deal with it later.

*nods* i have an old trellis that i'd like to put up some wire fencing for some climbing beans, but i've not gotten to that yet either.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

*snickers* :)
i'm surprised they don't have more onsite nutrient recycling.
one writer down in Aussieland found a source of deader fish from such a place that he could use in his garden. wanted to know how to make fish emulsion. AFAIC fish are a near perfect fertilizer for high demand plants, why would anyone want to go through extra work when the worms, bugs and other soil critters will take care of the process?
the only downside is that if the raccoons start finding the gardens smelling really good they might go after some of the plants thinking there is food down there.
we used to have troubles with the onion transplants getting uprooted by raccoons because they could smell the fertilizer used on them. they'd pull the plants up and leave them laying on the surface, didn't eat them, just looking for food.
now we plant these sort of onion plants inside the fenced gardens and so far the raccoons have not been doing much in there.

for the system here the most stinky stuff comes from the bottom of a bucket if it gets very wet. the worms are all through it though so they don't seem to mind at all. as long as it isn't actively swimming.

you gots acres there, some selected thinning and chipping would provide plenty of carbon. or just walking around picking up sticks might be enough.
from what i could harvest from the honeysuckle bushes and the green manure patch i could generate a few yards of composted materials each season if i needed to do that. luckily i don't and the worms are doing a mighty fine job of digesting things between the kitchen scraps and the paper scraps.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

ah, ok, makes more sense now. i'm used to this heavier soil where if it is down 8" it's not smelled.

moles feed most often by running their tunnels looking for worms/grubs/whatever that falls in. they also feed frequently. so if you find their main runs you can often trap them within a few days.

we are lucky to not have those here. there are fox and coyotes around but as of yet they stay away. we don't have stuff out to attract them anyways.

:)

i only use that for worm food and as a bit of a N boost sometimes as a top dressing if it will be dry enough. as of yet, see no signs that this is not working well for all involved. minimal fuss and bother method. if i could make alfalfa pellets that would be fun, but it involves machinery and i don't really want to get involved with machines if i can help it. worms seem to not care and eat it up in any form.
songbird
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Derald wrote:

i would like to as i know they play an important role in keeping the topsoil uncompacted, but Ma rules so i trap them when i see they are getting into the grassy strip along the south side. i see we have one along there now, but i won't be setting a trap until the ground is thawed out.

we've only had a few instances where the moles have come through some of the gardens. they don't stay around long (mostly out front and in the garden to the north which is better quality topsoil and not so much clay). with all the soil being very worm free for so many years, they came in, and were usually gone within a few days.

up until last year we'd not seen any coyotes, but had one run across the road in front of us (by a long ways so we were not in any danger of hitting it). something must have got it moving for it to be running in the mid- day. foxes are around but very shy. i've only seen one or two of those and they are not around our yard, we don't keep chickens.

yeah, it's very sad, the northlands here tend to be a lot harder on stray dogs. i don't know of any around that live long (through a winter) unless they are in the city and someone is feeding them.

i do the concentrated thing too with the worm castings/ worms. most of them go to one or two gardens. it's getting closer to that season. :)
how long do the pellets last in your beds?
songbird
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On 2/2/2016 10:40 AM, songbird wrote:

o start seedlings later -- some time after St Paddy's Day. o don't start seeds in any "recyclable" cardboard...especially empty toilet rolls. Biggest mistake ever. o change home-rolled sprinkler controller to get accum'd precipitation from a real rain gauge instead of polling wunderground.com. o plant more Marianna's Peace tomatoes and fewer ghost peppers. o experiment with home-rolled earth box. o try to outsmart moles. o try to outsmart squirrels. o try to outsmart rabbits. o try to outsmart raccoons. o try to outsmart possums.
Frank
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On Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 11:41:13 AM UTC-5, songbird wrote:

I retired at the end of 2015, so this will be my first gardening season whe re I have enough spare time to keep up with the weeds in the vegetable gard en. I also want to give the wild rice another try. I built a couple of smal l rice paddies downhill from the pond a few years ago but they kept getting overrun with weeds.
Paul
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On 2/25/2016 7:15 AM, Pavel314 wrote:

I sometimes miss. Where do you live that you have rice paddies? I grew up in Orange County, Texas amidst rice fields, and worked in them as a young teen. Even heaved bags of dried rice at the local rice warehouse for a bit.
What else do you grow?
George in Texas
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On Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 9:55:21 AM UTC-5, George Shirley wrote:

garden. I also want to give the wild rice another try. I built a couple of small rice paddies downhill from the pond a few years ago but they kept get ting overrun with weeds.

We're in Maryland, about 20 miles north of Baltimore. I don't think regular rice would grow here, but since wild rice grows in Minnesota, it would pro bably consider our climate mild. My wife is the main gardener. She grows al l the basic vegetables and likes to experiment with variations. For example , she's planting six or seven different varieties of garlic this year. I ru n the tiller when needed and do the heavy lifting. I'm also in charge of th e pumpkin patch and growing the cabbages for sauerkraut.
Paul
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On 2/26/2016 6:24 AM, Pavel314 wrote:

brought her to Texas. All I ever saw growing in Southern MD was tobacco and corn, last trip there there was no tobacco, nor corn. The county's big job place is the Patuxent River Naval Air Base, where I was stationed for a couple of years back in the late fifties. The county has really grown since I was there. The fishing and oysters used to be my favorite thing there.
Have been through Ballymore several times coming down to the county from Newport, RI and had several friends in the Navy from there. From what I see on TV news I would not want to go anywhere near Baltimore these days.
We will be planting our spring garden this weekend. Picked up a couple of tomato plants yesterday and will be going for the sweet chilies tomorrow, if we can find the ones we like best. Green peas planted last fall are fattening up so may get a mess of those. Will harvest the last of the Swiss chard tomorrow also, then will blanch, drain, freeze on a bun tray and then vacuum bag for later use. The last of the salad greens will go into either the composter or the worm house, we shall see. The fruit trees are budding out and the lilies have started blooming. In our climate they are generally the first flowers we see in spring.
Good luck with your gardening.
George, off to the stupor market
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