It's That Time of Year Again.......

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, May 1, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Springtime. Yard. Gardening.

    I've decided I need to be about 10 people. Then? I *might* be able to keep up with it without a hitch. Notice I said *might*. LOL

    Right now the yard needs mowed..........and I do mean NEEDS. It's a foot high. But I have to go get oil for the lawn mower. Then I can mow the front. BUT the back?? Uh, no. I have trees that love to shed branches evidently........from wind, storms......and maybe just for the hellovit. So once again, I've got a zillion branches to break down and bundle up.........then pick up all the smaller ones and do the same..........then rake the yard so I CAN run the mower. ugh

    But I don't have time for all that at the moment.

    My mother's day present is several truck loads of dirt from sister in law's Mom (she built a large addition to her house for her parents). She wants to get rid of it and I NEED dirt.......soooo win/win except for sister in law who has to fill his truck and bring it here. lol My actual "gift" is 5 able bodied ADULTS to help unload the truck and get the dirt to the garden area........which is being greatly expanded since I'll actually have dirt to work with this year instead of mostly rocks of all types and sizes. Then they'll put up the garden fence I got for free from Nichole as it was left at the house she bought.

    This present will be done Saturday. So that plot has to be ready by then. Weather has only now really let me get to it.

    This will enable me to get the garden in on time. :) My potatoes are already in and growing well........I put them into my flower bed. lol No where else to put them when they needed planted.

    Sooooo today I'm breaking my back getting the garden plot dug and expanded. Me. Alone. Myself. I. UGH Oh, wait. Nix that. I have Maggie and Rufus eagerly trying to help. Although it would be much better if when I dig out weeds Maggie doesn't snatch them and try to rip them apart like they're some bad guy. :rofl: Even easy child's pup Ammo.....who stopped by prior to the walk with Maggie....put his two cents into it......and thought it great fun. omg

    This is using only manual labor tools. Even the tiller I have is a hand held tool. My yard is sooooooooo rocky I wouldn't chance a gas tiller for fear of breaking the blades.

    Last year I lost 40 lbs without really trying. At the rate of this year? I might hit my BMI weight of 100 lbs......or lower as I'm only 135 lbs now. I also may have abs like rock. (that tiller does a number on ya)

    But I will have a nice garden this year full of stuff to eat fresh and to can. Have to keep the eye on the goal. Cuz last year I got ticked at doing all that digging/tilling myself (plus tackling the jungle that was the yard) that the plot ended up MUCH smaller than I'd planned. Momma was NOT happy.

    That said............. I *think* I've got myself psyched to go out and dig again. I'd come in to see if Rufus was awake from his nap yet. Maggie and I wore him out in the yard this morning. LOL
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'm in the same predicament of needing to be 10 people. The LDS missionaries came by and I put them to work making a garden spot for us. So far they've pruned, gardened, folded laundry, did dishes, and gotten a bit of an education about mental illness. Its weird. I'm LDS and they hadn't ever come over before. Why go talk to a member? Maybe someone told them husband doesn't go to church. From the other thread you said they always come by, just a thought.

    I'm trying to start a garden this year. So far we have peas, onions, brocollie, and carrots coming up. I'm much better at killing plants than making them grow. If just a few survive it'll be good. I haven't thought about canning much. Just trying to grow things the kids will eat and husband will cook with.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh wow, that is soooooooooo nice Liahona!

    Molly might have scared the LDS away for good, I dunno. I didn't know they would do that sort of thing. They're some knowledgeable folks for certain.

    Last year the plants that did the best were my green beans..........and they were just an experiment because in my opinion they were planted awfully late thanks to weather weirdness. They went nuts even in the rocky soil. Carrots didn't do bad either as long as you like baby carrot size, which the grands love. Cabbage did really well.......just have to remember to always use gloves because spiders (the biting kind) love to hide in the leaves.

    This year I'm going a bit nuts with potatoes. 1. they're not hard and 2. we eat a lot of them. Then green beans, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, some of the greens, onions (but then they also grow wild like mad in my yard) ect. Hope to have enough to can...........if not.........I'll dehydrate or freeze what we can't eat fast enough. Corn I'm going to try.......but Travis and I don't eat a lot of corn. I'm gonna try making corn meal out of it. We'll see how that goes.

    My girls also have gardens. Nichole made a huge one. easy child expanded hers too. So maybe with all of us canning won't be much of an issue. (we always split what we can)
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Much admiration! I love that you got dirt for mothers day. I'm sure I will too, but it's on dishes, laundry and the floor.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    our dirt is still frozen. :((((
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    When does Canada start to thaw? Could you grow things inside?
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lia... normally, the farmers would be on the fields already... this just isn't a normal year. And no... I have no success trying to start anything early indoors... and no place to do it.
  8. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Oh my goodness, I am too excited about this years garden, because I have my own dirt. I have tomato plants, 4 going to get 6 more this weekend, I am getting a strawberry jar for mothers day, I plan on having pole green beans, zuccinni, as many red pepper plants as I can actually take care of, love them, my difficult child is in charge of carrots, radishes, and easy child is doing cucumbers. I have spearmint, taragon, thyme, parsely (several types), oregano, basil, and green onions. And then the flower beds oh my goodness, I want to add two cherry tomato plants to my garden too. Ive never canned, but I might learn this year. It is a lot of work, but every time I have a free red pepper and they are like 2.00 each here in illinois, I know its worth it and I dont have to go to the store to get it.

    I love having Broady outisde with me too. He loves the fresh air and being outside.

    I have three flower garden and am also planting one burning bush for mothers day and I am buying myself some little boxwoods to put around my patio.

    I just wish it were nicer here longer. Winter comes so fast, but then you get to start over I guess.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG Jody!

    I'm soooooooooooo excited for you! I know how much having your own dirt meant to you. :)

    Canning really is NOT that hard........actually, it's not hard at all. Work? Depends on what you're canning. Tomatoes are to some degree as you have the whole blanch/peel step as are peaches.......but in my opinion it is worth it. Those peaches are pure HEAVEN to eat. Tomatoes too of course.......but I'm nuts for peaches. Meat has to be pressure canned unless you want it to take all day. But I swear there are instructions to can just about anything you can think of online......and there is the Ball canning book too.

    I thought dehydrating was going to be hard. Nope. Granted I have both an electric dehydrator and a non electric one......and I tried a sort of hard thing first (potatoes) but my 2nd batch turned out great. Next investment will be a vaccum sealer. easy child has one I can borrow.......but I think I'd be using it all the time. lol

    My flower gardens are being transformed into herb gardens.

    Nichole is getting me a fire pit for my birthday. Yay! (now I will have something to do with all those branches I keep bundling)

    IC we had that wonky weird weather last year. I swear we went from winter to summer.......wham! No real spring whatsoever. It stunk and did not help the garden very much either.

    The garden is now half prepared. I'm getting there.......slowly but surely.
  10. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I haven't mentioned it on the forum, but we relocated cities in February and now have a huge front yard for flower beds and a huge back yard to FINALLY put in a veggie garden. I am so dang excited. Except for the delay from this dang Canadian weather. It is finally warming here enough to start this weekend to dig up sod, put in some good soil etc in prep for actual planting in a few weeks. I haven't had a vegetable garden in ... well ... I can't remember how long.

    I'm going all in because I love canning and buying at farmers market to do so was really annoying. I'm putting in cucumbers for pickling. Beans, snap peas, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, pumpkins, carrots and peppers. I'm also adding some berries to the very back of the back yard. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. And rhubarb. I plan to keep my S/O hard at work since I'm limited often with MS from being in the full heat for long in the summer months. Luckily he loves the heat and physical labor working up a sweat. He'll help baby them for me lol.

    easy child and I are putting in rose bushes in the front. I felt so sad leaving behind the rose bushes I'd cultivated for so many years. Not sure what other flowers I will put in but I plan to "try" to put in a bunch of never tried before flowers and shrubbery.

    I am so psyched to have the yard space. I can't wait to see all the posts through the season as you all chat about how your gardens are doing. I always love reading those posts.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    We too had cold March and first half of April and spring really took time to start. But it has been quick and in fact we are not much late any more and it is very likely farmers are able to get to fields in just normal time. I think sister in law believes she can start with her driest southern slopes next week.

    We live in north (as in, Alaska north) but Gulf stream makes it much more moderate. Still I'm little jealous of you who can grow pepper etc. in your garden. We have a small green house and that makes it possible to have tomatoes if you either buy pre-grown plants or pre-grow them inside, but pepper is really stretching it. Then again, sunlight almost around a clock makes best strawberries in the world ;)
  12. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    With broccoli, watch for the pretty white or yellow butterflies. If you see 'em, go hunt for tiny yellow-green eggs, and tiny (but soon large) green caterpillars. "Cabbage White Butterflies." Pretty little things, but very hungry for brassicas.
  13. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Oh. I have way too much to get into the ground, and who knows when our last frost will be (June 10th last year.) It was 28*F this morning. The greenhouse should be ok though. The lettuce and chard are going like gangbusters, my turnips and next set of lettuce are sprouting (if the quail don't eat 'em), the snow peas are blooming, today I started a flat of cukes, tomorrow I'm starting flats of tomatoes, peppers, and winter squash. Plus the herb garden I need to finish fencing, finish digging up the septic line, finish ...something. I'm sure I'm forgetting a load of stuff.

    And Dancer is due to kid anytime now, with Angel maybe a couple weeks or so behind. They're huge goats, probably well over 100 lbs each with their babies inside. Boer/Togg crosses. I've got two bucks I'm due to "band" but we're waiting to see if the big girls have any bucklings, so we can decide who keeps his jewels.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa, do remember this year to get your collards in this fall. You didnt have a chance last year. Did you say you were doing any bell peppers? If so, do some various different colors to tickle the kids along with the fact that they taste a bit different and are so darned good. You may have to hit Lowes or even order some of the rarer ones but they are worth it. Get the yellow, orange, and especially chocolate ones. Also dont forget to plant the yellow, pink and striped tomatoes along with a bush of grape tomatoes. You will thank me on the grape tomatoes. If you want to do one watermelon only I would do the seedless and start them all now in peat pots from seed. Do remember you can pickle the rinds. Dont forget Kentucky wonder beans on a trellis or for you they could climb Rowdy's old kennel in the back corner of the yard. They are the best green beans you can get with no snapping and you will thank me.

    Early / Short Season Varieties (70 " 75 days)
    • 'Blacktail Mountain' - Red flesh, dark green rind. (6 " 12 lbs.) OP*
    • 'Faerie' - Red flesh with a yellow rind. (5 " 6 lbs.)
    • 'Golden Crown' - Red flesh with a yellow rind. (4 " 7 lbs.)
    • 'Sugar Baby' - Red flesh (6 " 10 lbs.)
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'll do my best to remember the collards.....I'm excited to do them this year. :) I did pick up a variety of peppers on clearance from TSC........these little hot house kits that were 13 bucks and reduced to 3 bucks. Probably won't need to use the starter kit itself since the weather is warm, but it gives me a variety of peppers and I can use the starter kit "hot houses" for something else.

    easy child is trying peas. I'm not so sure I'm going to try them this year. I didn't have ANY luck with them last year.......and we're already at 75-80 some degree weather. I do know I want to do two plantings of carrots, though......they were a huge hit, even with Maggie. lol No zucchini this year. easy child is growing it. Nichole might be growing it. I don't use it enough to put forth the effort to grow it. Since I won't use AC during the summer........using it for bread is not going to happen.

    I have to smile though. Darrin and Brandon each have their own little gardens next to their playhouse to care for that they planted. Aubrey has planted her own garden as well. Plus they help with the main gardens. They take after their Nana. lol some point I'd like to add rabbits and chickens. I doubt that will be this year. And Maggie is such a bird dog.......I might not be able to do the chickens at all......unless I can train her to leave the "babies" alone. lol (she has no interest in rabbits) I'd love to have goats. Love to have some other animals too but unless I win the lottery which I don't play that won't be happening.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 10, 2013
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If she is a bird dog...forget it. Dont even try. Do go for the rabbits if you really think you can kill them and eat them. It isnt as easy as you think it is especially with small kids around. The only way you might be able to do the chickens would be if you used Rowdy's old pen and put a top on it. If you put a wooden box type structure in the back for them to nest in they could do quite well. You could do both egg layers and a set of banty cornish game hens for food.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mmmm cornish hens......they're yummy. :)

    Rowdy's old kennel already has a roof. sister in law made it for him years ago. Made that kennel a major *itch to move, lemme tell you cuz there was no taking it apart after that. But I may just forget chickens given Maggie's nature. Or maybe easy child can keep mine as she's only 1/2 block away. lol

    I have no issues killing anything for food. Which surprises the heck out of my kids since I'm a huge animal person. I shoo snakes out of the garden, I don't kill them. I have no control over what the cats do with them. But I also understand certain animals are food, too. Killing for sport is vicious and cruel. Killing to eat is totally different done humanely as possible. Not to mention that I have a special fondness for rabbit. Their primary use would be for fertilizer though. If I could manage to learn this prior to kindergarden........the grandkids can learn it as well.

    Reminds me, I will be pushing to take the grandkids fishing this year. sister in law used to take Darrin and he loved it. I dunno why he stopped........but none of the rest have ever gotten a chance. Nichole and I both love to fish, so we plan to take them along with Katie's kids this year. Anything big enough to eat I don't toss back. :) That will be their first lesson.
  18. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    If you have super hot summers, plan to find a way to cool the rabbits. (Frozen pop bottles of water is what we use.) If you have super cold winters, it's only a problem if they kindle and aren't smart enough to actually nest the babies - at first, before the kits are big enough to chase them down, they only feed the babies once a day (predator avoidance.) Which means the babies are mostly left alone, and if they don't actually make the nest for real the babies will die of hypothermia. We had one doe who had beautiful big litters, but she'd leave them *on top* of the belly fluff, and had no clue what else to do. We gave her three chances, then gave her to the crockpot. She was otherwise sweet, but I couldn't keep a litter of hers going.

    Any of the does who kindle in the winter, I've learned to drape the cage with old wool blankets. It keeps the cage temp above freezing so their water bottles don't freeze. And right now, with all the weeding (back on topic! Yay!) everything I weed out goes to the meat bunnies. No matter how good a weeeding job I do, every irrigation day seeds from the pasture and ditches wash in and start to grow. So no lack of weeds for bunnies, or chickens, or goats.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wish you all the best with the gardening. It is hard work but worth it when you get teh produce. If you get overrun with squash, shred it and freeze it. It will be watery when you thaw it, but that liquid is great added to soups or used as the liquid in muffins or zucchini bread. Cheap and very nutritious.

    If you don't already do this, get a big container with a lit for the freezer. Any liquid left from cooking or canning food can be put into this and kept in the freezer. When you make soup or dog food or whatever, add the frozen liquid. You don't have to pay for water from the tap and you end up with a lot of extra nutrients. It is great for soups and very cheap.
  20. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I have been so slacking on my gardening, but I've been soooooo busy and tired... Our gardening season here in FL is the opposite of what most of you guys deal with - our off season is the summer because it gets too hot to grow anything but tropicals. It's too late here to plant a lot of stuff; however, the new garden season starts again in August/September and lasts through May/June, so I have time to plan. Not sure how much I'll be able to do with a new baby though. Right now I have some tomatoes, cukes, watermelons, mint, and stevia that are in dire need of transplanting, a tray full of lettuce that is doing nicely, and some beautiful purple spinach that seems to have fallen victim to some sort of critter. I have a big yard, but most of it is shaded, and it's ALL sand, so for now I'm going the container route. I want to install raised beds, but the only feasible place is a spot in my front yard, and I'm a little leery of that.