gradually getting there...

had a nice rain/thunder/lightning storm last night, made sure yesterday to have plenty of materials on-hand for projects i can do on a rainy day.
it didn't rain today but was gloomy and threatening several times, as i'd just finished up weeding one garden yesterday afternoon i was ready to take a break anyways. so i worked on making different stairs so Mom can get in and out easier. i still have to get the railing height settled but needed Mom here to make sure it wasn't too high or too low.
otherwise, gardens are doing ok, i also have more fence on order. too many deer coming through this year and i've found a few deer ticks already. normally i don't find any. new fence will also help with the rabbits and groundhogs. won't be able to do the entire border this year, but should get the worst areas blocked this year and then next year finish up.
haven't planted yet, but getting close to doing cucumbers. we're still having frosts/frost warnings so i won't be planting any of the warm weather crops for several weeks yet at the soonest. peas and onion seeds i may start scratching some in here or there when i get a chance.
the other rainy day project is to fix the garden shed which is attached to the back of the garage (and thus also attached to the house). the walls inside there were never finished properly and mice can use that as an access for getting in the walls.
emptying the garden shed mostly happened this morning. wasn't too bad since most of the decorations and plants were already removed and put out in their spots. i'm not sure if we'll ever find the rain gauge...
first hummingbird seen today.
strawberries blooming. :)
songbird
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On 5/10/2018 5:56 PM, songbird wrote:

My tomato plants are getting up to around 18" tall now , the white greasy's are about 4" tall as are the red rippers . I reseeded a cou[le of gaps in the peas/beans today , set the cages on 2 dozen tomato plants and planted a 20' row of the Mattie Beane bush beans today . I have one 20 foot row left to plant when the soil warms just a bit more , reserved for okra and maybe a vine crop of some sort . I finished the straw mulch a couple of days ago , sure makes a difference in moisture loss !
--
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

i'm glad they're sprouting for you. :) still frost warnings here. ugh... tomatoes we won't plant until the soil is much warmer as they'll just sit there waiting for warmth anyways.

and once it gets a bit broken down and worked in it will also help retain more water in the soil.
songbird
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On 5/11/2018 7:24 AM, songbird wrote:

  I've already tilled a couple of layers into the soil , it's made a world of difference in moisture retention . Coupled with rows that cut across the slope of the land it lets most of the rain soak in rather than running off .
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...re straw mulch...

yes that's all going to help. :)
in some gardens, over many years, people will take the soil that washes down and move it back to the top as a regular part of their garden routine.
i terrace the areas i can, luckily i don't have that much of a slope anywhere, but one location where the front septic drainfield is at is raised up and that then slopes towards the back (downwards through what i call the North Garden). i don't have it formally terraced because i keep playing around in there with varous plantings.
the lowest area is half covered with cardboard and chunks of bark and the other half is covered with Creeping Jenny (aka Moneywort) to capture any water and that seems to be working. before it was getting too weedy because the water washes in all the weed seeds, but after keeping at it for several years i've been able to reduce the weeding time and get the whole area filled in so that weeds don't have an easy time getting started. the Moneywort is not easy to weed but that's ok.
the immediate upslope will be covered with straw- berries once i get finished reshaping - moved some poor subsoil/clay last fall to that area and now it will need to be covered. the Moneywort will grow up and the strawberries are growing down to cover the Moneywort. that's also ok. i'm interested to see how they do mixed together, i like it when i can get layers going to a garden. as a third layer i've planted beans or peas at times so there is some shade during the hot part of summer.
always plenty to do for sure. :)
songbird
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On 5/12/2018 6:26 AM, songbird wrote:

  I've also been working on terracing the garden . The lower third is pretty much level , as is the top section . The middle is still sloped some , I can only do so much without getting into the subsoil , but that area is also deeply furrowed .
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On Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8:23:40 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

ade a

is

My wife's vegetable garden is on a sloped part of the yard. She constructed what she calls "barrows", raised ridges of dirt and compost, perpendicular to the fall line. These catch and slow the water as it flows downhill duri ng a rain.
There's a central path going right down the fall line but she constructed " hydraulics" on that, raised sections between the rows to divert any flowing water off the main path into the paths between the barrows, where it will be slowed down and absorbed into the ground.
All of the paths are covered with landscape fabric to keep down the weeds.
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote: ...

in the permaculture verbiage they call them swales.
with our soils and some storms being heavy i have been designing our place to capture as much as possible but also to deal with the flash floods.
all of this needed in our heavy clay soil, once it gets soaked down well it doesn't hold more. that's at about 4-6 inches of rain depending upon how fast it comes down.
the following contains way more information than most people want to read: :)
http://www.anthive.com/project/water/

it helps. we've used old chunks of carpeting in some places and then put rinsed crushed limestone over it and not much gets through that. luckily most of those types of pathways are inside the fenced area or in front where there aren't too many issues from neighboring areas trying to send roots under the paths.
out back i have some more serious weeds that aren't stopped by a shallow edge and some will run a dozen feet horizontal under a pathway if given the chance.
songbird
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

it's nice when you finally get a garden into shape. :)
songbird
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Terry Coombs wrote:

I've gotten four tomato plants out in one of the main garden beds. I ended up putting a large tomato cage over each one, then wrapping bird netting around each cage. The deer have been visiting and one managed to find a gap in one net and chomp the top and several side leaves off of my Roma tomato plant. I have re-jiggered the netting so there shouldn't be a repeat of that.
The deep even tried tasting one of the marigold plants I put in the same bed, but decided that those weren't as tasty and just put some foot prints nearby instead.
My plans for trying a row of green beans will be to plant the seeds, then put tall stakes at each end, run a line of string, then use bird netting as a tent over the tow. We'll see how well that works once they sprout.
Any more inexpensive ideas for discouraging Bambi and his pals?
Oh, and a few rabbits have gotten curious about the netting around the mater plants and have tried digging under them. Silly wabbits!
And still to come, the Canada geese who have decided a nearby pond is perfect for them have now presented the neighborhood with 10 new goslings. More honking and pooping to look forward to as they grow. <argh!>
Nyssa, who is fighting a war against the animal kingdom lately
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     snipped-for-privacy@flawlesslogic.com writes:

How strange. I guess I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem with the deer (white tail) eating my tomato plants. They'll strip the fruit given half a chance.
The deer fence is currently down, as I tilled earlier this week. I need to get it back up before the deer get any ideas.

Our deer will eat just about anything with a flower on it.

I haven't tried it, but I've read that putting white rags at deer height discourages white tail deer. They have terrrible vision and mistake the white for a flipped up tail, which is their alert behavior.
On ornimentals, I've had good luck with the rotten egg based sprays (Liquid Fence in my case), at least in the spring. When drought hits, all bets are off.

Saw my first goslings of the season just this morning. The geese don't come around my house, so I find the puffballs adorable. I felt different when I lived next to a pond.

--
Drew Lawson | "But the senator, while insisting he was not
| intoxicated, could not explain his nudity."
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On 5/11/2018 9:47 AM, Nyssa wrote:

In the past, I caught 3 snakes tangled in netting set up to keep deer away. I had to cut them loose to set them free. Fortunately no poisonous snakes around here.
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Nyssa wrote: ...

no only a good fence (6ft or higher) has worked for us. i have 200ft more on order this week so i can run it along the north edge of the property. next year we'll do the other side. we've been getting by up to now using bits and pieces of recycled other people's fences but there a gaps and holes that the deer keep finding. i decided this year if i'm spending all this time on these other gardens which are currently outside the fences we have for the vegetable gardens that i should have a better fence. also, i've found a few deer ticks this year and with the deer being around almost every night now i don't like those at all.
netting isn't strong enough and rabbits and other creatures chew through it.
a good fence is cheaper than dogs, guns, sprays, etc. in the long run.

deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, rabbits are the main problem children here (we don't grow sweet corn so raccoons are ok they don't bother much at all here). voles can be an issue at times, but not seen any the past few years. i think the snake population gets a lot of them.
no pond here for geese to find attractive. sometimes we have blue and green herons wading in the big ditch which goes through our property. i'm going to have to fence or armor the edge of the ditch as the groundhogs keep wanting to put their den back in there. it's too close to the gardens for me to want them to be around.
songbird
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On 5/11/2018 8:47 AM, Nyssa wrote:

  My garden (and apiary) are surrounded with a fence consisting of 18" of 2" chicken wire at the bottom , topped by 3 rows of electric fence . The wire at the bottom is folded to the outside at the bottom so the rabbits can't dig under , the 3 wires on top discourage the deer and an occasional bear - for real , I had a bee hive torn up last spring by a bear !

  That better be a stout string or supported more than just at the ends .

  You might try a mixture of water , milk , and an egg , with a drop or two of detergent to act as a wetting agent . Spray it on the plants , renew after it rains . Makes them smell like protein , deer don't eat protein .

  I feel your pain , it's taken me a few years to find a system that works for me .
--
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On Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 6:56:33 PM UTC-4, songbird wrote:

We had severe thunderstorm warnings this afternoon but the major rain passe d to the north of us. We got a few drops, not even enough to wash the oak p ollen off the cars. I hope we get some soon, I'm hoping that the grass in t he north pastures grows up before the sheep eat all the grass in the south pastures, where they're currently confined.
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote: ...

how many sheep do you have?
my car needed a wash too, had a lot of dust on it from all the farmers plowing.
songbird
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On Friday, May 11, 2018 at 8:26:41 AM UTC-4, songbird wrote:

assed to the north of us. We got a few drops, not even enough to wash the o ak pollen off the cars. I hope we get some soon, I'm hoping that the grass in the north pastures grows up before the sheep eat all the grass in the so uth pastures, where they're currently confined.

We have two rams, sixteen ewes, and nineteen lambs at the moment. The lambs will be going to auction later this year.
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote:

...

...

that's quite a herd!
songbird
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    Aside from a couple of notable exceptions, this past winter was warm but not unusually so. We're in sure-enough springtime now, though, with lows near 60 and highs in mid-high 80s. Slight possibilities of rain tease but at best won't be enough to displace irrigation, so....     The seasonal fall stuff is pretty much all gone as is the second planting of English peas ("Thomas Laxton", planted in mid–February). The spinach planted in December, AWA that planted in February, has yielded to the heat and sunshine. Onions are beginning to form bulbs and should be ready for harvest soon. December carrots are at "must take" before the weather gets any warmer and the February carrots are likely to be tomorrow's compost today because carrots just don't like hot weather. Have a bed of gigantic turnips that've been growing since October, along with a group of more sensibly sized turnips (those white globes with magenta tops) planted in March. Still harvesting Provider beans planted in February and March. "White acre" cowpeas, planted in early April, are coming along well and yellow squash is showing its first blossoms. "Zipper cream" cowpeas and Delinel green beans are in the works, having been planted on Saturday, 12 May. A few eggplants and tomatoes are ready to move into the garden, although I'm not sure whether to fool with tomatoes, though. Tomatoes fall into the "what-the-hell" category most years, it there's space available. Strawberries are bearing again, to the delight of late-night snacking raccoons. Okra seedlings close to ready to transplant. I ususally direct seed okra but this year it's moving into a bed with established plants that would shade seedlings. Waiting for jalapeño and sweet peppers to sprout. Dedicating a significant portion of the garden to peppers this year, attempting to grow more than ever before.
--
Derald
Peninsular FL, USA
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