Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Just a simple growing update from the farm. Lot’s of gratuitous glamor shots all from the farm, except the last 2 I took at a local winery…. A special thanks to Brother Dave for helping out so much this season….. How’s your season growing so far?

garden shot

pumpkin growing vinehot peppers on plantgreen peppers plant

bush beans growingcucumbers growingtomato growing garden

chicken eating run

summer flowers

brocolli growingzuchini growing

vineyard black and white

vineyard

 

Read Full Post »

Want to start your growing season early? Maybe extend in into the winter months? Then build a cold frame or sometimes called a mini greenhouse. A cold frame is 4 walls that secure heat and protect plants from the elements and a top that allows light through.

straw bale cold frame

Step 1) Find a good location that gets lots of sunlight and faces south.
Step 2) Build the walls. I used straw bales. They’re great at holding in heat and no tools are needed.

cold frame 1

Step 3) Use some old windows to put on top. I used some storm windows I found in the trash at a local church.

cold frame2

Step 4) Fill with plant trays full of seeds.
Step 5) Keep an eye on temperature, moisture and airflow. Open up the lid a few inches to circulate fresh air in.
Step 6) Acclimate your seedlings by taking the lid off when they get bigger.

Happy Planting!

cold frame straw3

Next Post: Starting your seeds in the cold frame.

Read Full Post »

I was hoping to trap a raccoon that’s been trying to get into the chicken coop but instead, I caught this little guy. I also made a 34 second video of his catch and release below the facts part.

Opossum in trap

I didn’t know much about these marsupial creatures so I looked up some facts about them:

  • The word opossum refers to the North American species (those found in other areas are called possums)
  • The Virginia opossum is only found in the United States
  • Opossums are related to Kangaroos, Koalas, Tasmanian Devils, and Brazilian Short-hair Pigmy Possums
  • Opossums help gardens by eating snails, slugs, insects, snakes, rats and overripe fruit.
  • Opossums are highly resistant to diseases such as rabies because of its efficient immune system and lower body temperature.
  • Opossums are not a public health threat.
  • There is far less of a risk of infection from opossums than from house pets.
  • The opossum’s greatest enemies are cars and domestic pets.
  • Another predator of opossums is people, who hunt them for food, sport, and pelts.
  • Other enemies include owls, foxes, and larger wildlife.
  • Opossums compete with sheep and rabbits for food.
  • Opossums have more teeth than any other North American land mammal (50).
  • Opossums are not territorial and move to wherever food is available.
  • Opossums cannot hang upside down by their tail, but use their tail to climb.
  • Marsupial refers to the reproductive system, which entails the very young embryos being born and attaching to the mothers nipples
  • Opossums do not have good eyesight or hearing — they rely mainly on their sense of smell.
  • Opossums are very clean animals and groom themselves much like a cat does.
  • Opossums are also found in Australia and South America

These facts were found at: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/students/114-sum98-opossums/misc.htm

My favorite part of this video is at the end when I pan over to the chickens… They’re all like “What the heck was that?”

Read Full Post »

Catbird – 35.4% of votes

Grumpa Joe – 25.77 of  votes

Congratulations! Send me your address and we’ll send you your prizes. $20 Gift Certificate to The Zoey Zoo (great 1 of a kind whimsical illustrations with themes such as animals, insects , vegetables and more!) and 5 packets of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  Runner up will receive a prize as well.

Read Full Post »

Thank you for everyone who sent in a pic for our 1st Ever Ugly Tomato Contest. Please view the pictures below and vote for your favorite-most ugly tomato. The winner will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to The Zoey Zoo (great 1 of a kind whimsical illustrations with themes such as animals, insects , vegetables and more!) and 5 packets of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  Runner up will receive a prize as well.

Vote as often as you like. Post on Your Blog of Facebook Page and get voting. Winners will be announced in two weeks on September 23rd. Just click on the poll with the number of the picture you like. You can vote for up to 3 tomatoes at once. Good Luck Finalists!

#11

#10

#9

#8

#7

#6

#5

#4

#3

#2

#1

Read Full Post »

The pumpkin patch is beaming with life! I love to watch the pumpkins grow. One day there’s a little pumpkin the size of a golf ball, 2 days later it’s the size of a softball. I hope your pumpkins are doing great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jack-Be-Little’s are turning orange already. How are your sunflowers?

Read Full Post »

Aphids and aphid mummies on the underside of a nasturtium leaf (smoky gray aphids, tan puffy aphid mummies)

For some gardeners, the mere sight of aphids on their beloved plants is a call to action. They grab the closest bottle of poison and squirt the aphids into oblivion. What many gardeners don’t realize is that aphids are the food of choice for an assortment of beneficial insects. These good bugs are likely hard at work among every aphid infestation, munching, laying eggs for the next generation inside their unsuspecting prey, or sucking the aphid carcasses dry. One squirt from the bottle of insecticide will kill some (not all) of the aphids, and most of the beneficial insects.

If only we could easily tell at first glance that beneficial insects are on the scene! They don’t wear white hats or wave flags to alert gardeners to their presence. Instead, beneficial insects creep, crawl and squirm across our plants, often appearing as if they could be the cause of damage, not the cure.

Take hover fly larvae, for example. As adults, these bee-mimics visit flowers, feeding on nectar and pollen. When the female finds an aphid population, she lays her eggs on the infested plant. Like all flies, the hover fly juvenile stage is a maggot, in this case a small maggot that feeds on aphids. The legless, semi-transparent hover fly larva hardly looks the part of a beneficial insect, but each individual can eat dozens of aphids every day.

Lady beetle eggs (yellow) on a purple leaf plum leaf.

Another aphid-killer that feeds in the larval stage is the lacewing. As adults, these delicate insects with netted wings feed mainly on pollen and nectar. Lacewing larvae, sometimes called “aphid-lions”, are efficient predators, stalking down aphids and piercing them with their hooked jaws. After removing the contents from the aphid’s body, the lacewing larva casts aside the empty aphid carcass, and heads off in search of another victim.

Ladybird beetles are also voracious predators of aphids, feeding in both the adult and the larval stage. Like hover flies, ladybird beetles (also known as ladybugs) will lay their yellow, spindle-shaped eggs on plants that have active aphid colonies. The beetle larvae look nothing like the adult ladybug. They are spiny and elongated, sometimes compared to baby alligators.  These active hunters crawl over leaves and across stems to find their next meal.

Parasitic wasps are another group of aphid-eating insects unlikely to be noticed by the uninitiated. The tiny female wasp stings individual aphids, laying an egg inside the aphid’s body. The egg hatches into a wasp larva, which eats the aphid from the inside, killing its victim and causing its body to become papery and swollen. These so-called “aphid mummies” can be seen in aphid colonies; some mummies will have a round hole where the adult wasp emerged to begin the cycle again.

Lady beetle larva

When the gardener rushes for the bottle of insecticide, the predators will likely be killed, but surely not every aphid will die. Since aphids can be born pregnant with their granddaughters, their populations can skyrocket in the absence of beneficial insects.

These aphid predators will in time bring balance to the garden, keeping aphid populations down to a dull roar. If the predators are allowed to complete their lives in the garden – meaning the gardener has provided a habitat with plenty of flowers and a few aphids to feed upon – they are likely to stick around, ready to feed on any future aphid outbreaks.

So the next time you see aphids, grab a magnifying glass and take a closer look. Chances are, the good guys are already on the scene.

Thank You Denise for your Guest Blog!

Fans are invited to join the OSU BeeLab contact list for updates and workshop offerings. Follow my bee blog at www.OSUpollination.com
Denise Ellsworth
honey bee and native pollinator education
OSU Department of Entomology

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »