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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

If the garden thermometer had a setting that read “hot as balls” that’s what it would have read the past 3 days. Scorching heat with the heat index hitting 107 degrees by 9:00am. The heat wave has consumed most of the Midwest but has past on today, you’re welcome New York and Philly.

Thank You to Farm n Wife for doing a quick piece on us. See it here.

Here’s a bunch of pics of how the garden is doing.

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We’ve been taught from a young age that rabbits are cute, cuddly, adorable little creatures. They fool hunters and outsmart monsters…They sell us cereal and batteries… They help a young prince grow up and learn to skate… They save the world, promote naked women and are sometimes late but what they really are……..are garden destroyers.

You’ve been brainwashed,  Ya been bamboozled into believing these creatures are harmless and I’m here to say, No! All my hard work from; preparing the soil, planting, watering, weeding and general upkeep can be shattered in a single day by one of these varmints.

You can’t really trap a rabbit during the summer. Why would a rabbit enter a metal trap (with whatever bait) when there is a cornucopia of fresh veggies and herbs all over the place? Besides, live trapping of rabbits is not recommended because rabbits can carry certain diseases which may be transmittable to the trapper. Here are a few.

I recommend a .22 , a steady aim and patience. I know it sounds terribly cruel and inhumane but its all part of being self-sufficient. You can’t be self sufficient if you don’t have any produce left to consume and can. Here are some Delicious Rabbit Recipes, my wife is Italian and her Grandmother would always make tomato sauce with rabbit. Don’t worry about the rabbit population, it’s booming.

Rabbits have a very fast reproductive rate. The breeding season for most rabbits lasts 9 months, from February to October.  Normal gestation is about 30 days. The average size of the litter varies but is usually between 4 and 12 babies, with larger breeds having larger litters.  A kit (baby rabbit) can be weaned at about 4 to 5 weeks of age. This means in one season a single female rabbit can produce as many as 800 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A doe is ready to breed at about 6 months of age, and a buck at about 7 months.(Source)

Here’s a link to 10 Ways to deter rabbits from your garden in a feel good happy way: Click Here. Of course, none on this list has actually worked for me. I think I have mutant bunnies.

Rabbits eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which make it difficult to keep them out of vegetable gardens. Rabbits enjoy eating lettuce, carrots, apples, strawberries, pears, broccoli, kale, spinach, celery and tomatoes. Rabbits will eat almost any leafy vegetable. Rabbits will eat garden vegetables to the ground and damage the bark around certain bushes.

I know some of you have rabbits as pets and I think that’s great. They’re not eating your garden. So, let’s end on a fun note……

My Top Ten Famous Rabbits of All Time:

  1. Bugs Bunny (Our buddy)
  2. Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh)
  3. Thumper (Bambi)
  4. Velveteen Rabbit (my favorite)
  5. Peter Cottontail (Thornton Burgess)
  6. White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)
  7. Roger Rabbit (from Who Framed?)
  8. Playboy Bunny (Classic)
  9. Trix Rabbit (Love me some Trix)
  10. Energizer Bunny (I hate him)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a list of my tips to grow more veggies, keeps animals away, water the right way and more!

  1. Make plant markers by using an old mini blind. Take the slats, cut them with scissors and use a Sharpie. Go to Goodwill if you don’t have any. You can get one for .50 cents.
  2. Keep deer away from your garden by using human hair. I save my clippings when I buzz my head or you can go to your local hairdresser and ask for hair, they may look at you weird but they’re happy to get rid of it. Sprinkle it around the perimeter and replace every couple weeks or after a big rain.
  3. Use coffee grounds to fertilize your soil. Go to a local coffee shop and ask for their spent grounds. They save them at my shop for gardeners and have a sack behind the counter.
  4. If starting vegetables from seed is intimidating, try radishes. They’re really easy and go from seed to fruit in 35 Days.
  5.  Also, to keep deer and other animals out of the garden, pee on the fence posts. This is easier if you’re a guy but if you’re a gal, be happy about multiple orgasms.
  6. To trap critters, I’ve had the best luck with the following bait; Raccoons love marshmallows and cat food. Rabbits like carrots (duhh) but love brussel sprouts and spray the trap with apple cider. Ground Hogs love apples and mice well…peanut butter is all you need.
  7. Don’t water during the day. It’s useless and a waste. Most of it will evaporate and if you water the plant, the sun can burn it up (think of water droplets as tiny magnifying glasses). Always water at the base. Keep in mind vegetables are made up of mostly water. A tomato is 90-95% water.
  8. If you want to get children interested in gardening, stay away from root vegetables. They can’t see the growth and understand what’s going on underneath the ground and can’t visualize it. Stick with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins and corn. The changes are visually stunning and fun to watch.
  9. Always plant flowers throughout your garden to attract pollinators. And besides, it atheistically pleasing.
  10. Grow organically and plant non-GMO seeds. Why put poison on something you’re going to eat. And if you’re growing organically, be sure your plants and seeds are not genetically modified. Why waste time gardening organically if you’re growing a tomato created by splicing fish dna and a strawberry?

On the topic of GMO’s….On Friday, The Farm Bill amendment that would have unambiguously given states the rights to label genetically modifiedingredients in food without fear of reprisal from biotech companies was been voted down in the Senate. The amendment, introduced by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Begich (D-AK), was voted down by 73-26. If your Senator didn’t vote for it, call their office. Here’s a link to all the Senators from every state Click Here.

It was all over every major news corporation, wasn’t it? Ohh wait, it wasn’t covered by anyone.

Plug: My wife created a site of wonderful artwork; whimsical themes for children in a variety of mediums. She offers original works, archival reproductions and can also create custom artwork for those who request it.  Please visit her site by clicking on the banner above.

and finally a quick update on the farm…….in pictures. Happy Sunday everyone!

Lady bug on a bush bean plant

I need to trellis the peas.

Orange is my favorite color

Pumpkin patch is blowing up.

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Cucumbers are coming in real nice. We’ll be pickling soon.

Zucchini’s blossoming and the Brandy-wine Tomatoes are loving this heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peas need trellised, corn is coming up and so are soybeans.

Pumpkins popped up a day ago and the bush beans are getting big.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chickens frolicking and a bunny. I gotta do something about the bunnies. They’re eating up all my beans.

Broccoli. Nothing better than fresh broccoli marinated with soy sauce and garlic and cooked on the grill.

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Got rain on the brain?

It hasn’t been very rainy yet, but it sure will be again soon. Have you thought about where all that rain water is going to go? Rain gardens will capture the rain water and get into the ground where it belongs!

Every time it rains, we generate a ton of water.  Every drop collected with all of our neighbors, every parking lot, every business, every hard surface, generates rain water.  When we collect all that rain water together, it is usually too much for our local streams, creeks, and lakes to handle. When we pipe all that water to our local waterways, we create a lot of harm – we increase erosion and flooding, reduce native plant populations, and can even increase the spread of invasive species.

Rain gardens were developed as a way for a homeowner to do their part and beautify their property, while also trying to manage rain water at home and get it into the ground where it belongs.

What is a Rain Garden? Rain gardens are shallow depressions, usually six inches deep, that are hand-dug and planted with deep rooted, water-loving native plants.  Essentially our rain water is directed from our roofs to a sited rain garden where water can be captured and temporarily stored it for one to three days in duration.  Once there the plants, soil and microbes in the soil work together to clean the water, while the deep rooted native plants create capillaries that help it to soak into the ground .

When these gardens are not soaking up rain water, they are looking great and enhancing our landscapes.   Native plants have great leaf textures, a variety of flower colors and heights to create interesting and unique gardens for our homes.

How to Build a Rain Garden:
For more “how-to” information on rain gardens, please visit our resource page at: http://www.formecology.com/resources/education/projects/Rain_Gardens_How_To_Guide_For_Homeowners.pdf

Rain Garden Plant Lists for sunny & shady sites available on our website at:http://www.formecology.com/resources/educational.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article was written by my good friend John Gishnock of Formecology. John is the foremost authority in Rain Gardens in the Midwest and gives lectures throughout the US on subjects that include rain gardens, natural stone hardscape features, native landscape design, and sustainable landscape features. For information about John and his company please visit his website or click on the links above.

If you have any questions about Rain Gardens or Native plants, please leave it in a comment on this page. John will answer and others can share the knowledge.

John Gishnock – Owner of Formecology

 

 

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Bush beans planted by Uncle Keith and rows of peppers and tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage, Black Berry Bush and Chickens love Watermelon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumbers and Zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s always time to take a break and find a dragonfly resting or watch the kids canoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Pepper Plant, Manure in the Wheel Barrow and a long garden shot of the pepper rows. Of course I like to plant a couple of cherry tomato plants on the corner. That way I can grab a snack as soon as I walk in the garden.

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The garden is cleaned and ready for tilling. This warm weather is so great. We’ve got such a jump on the season, it’s crazy! How do you feel about tilling? I know a lot of people believe in ‘no-tilling’ What are your thoughts? It works for some smaller plots but is very difficult on larger areas.

     

Planted about 300 heirloom tomato seeds from http://www.tomatofest.com/ I found some Jiffy pellets greenhouse kits at Discount Drug Mart for $5ea. It was a steal. I couldn’t pass it up. Sure, I could have got some potting soil from the store and used some old yogurt containers but it was just simpler and more efficient to go this route…..

     

Hold off green judgement till my Earth Day rant coming up in just 35 days. My friend Hanna at This Garden is Illegal does a fantastic Earth Day rant and I liked it so much, I’m going to start it this year too. Thanks Hanna! Anyways, I digress….

We also spent the weekend cleaning up the chicken coop and preparing for our new arrivals in 2 weeks. We gave away our older hens to people in need and we’re getting a brand new flock of 10-12 week old Golden Comets on March 31st. We’ll miss our old girls but instead of killing them, we thought it was better to give them away to a good home.

  

  

Our weather in the Midwest is crazy warm, it was 76 degrees yesterday! Normally it snows every St. Paddy’s Day until Halloween in our neck of the woods.. so this is amazing.

  

Jake, Mindy and I were enjoying the warm weather Saturday by relaxing on the the deck with a few cocktails.

I did find time to hang up Z’s swing. She isn’t sure if she likes it or not yet but I’m sure a few more pushes and she won’t want to be let out of it. I had to move the bird-feeder but they didn’t seem to mind.

Ohh and great news! My friend Denise Ellsworth from Ohio State University Honey bee and native pollinator educator will be writing a ‘Guest Blog’ for us next month.

I’m so very excited. If you haven’t already, sign up for the OSU Entomology Mailing List Have a great Sunday everybody!

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