I am about to start building a chicken coop/yard and a rabbit hutch. I will be putting in random 4'x4' beds for rabbit and chicken food throughout the backyard and tomato and pepper plants in the place of flowers everywhere. I am also working on trying to find old windows to finish my greenhouse where I will grow everything else.
That sounds great. I wish I had a little more acreage to have some more gardens, a greenhouse or even a coop/hutch. Have you or do you read GRIT magazine or Countryside magazine? They both have GREAT articles/advice on chickens/rabbits/livestock/gardens.
Naooow... Tha's below the dang belt, beat me to it...
I hear this winter is going to be HORRIBLE, AWFUL, COLD, and NASTY - all two months of it...
So I 'bin collectin' seeds, as some of you know...
(who wants to trade some? Pass me a PM, we;ll see what we've got. I may have some genovese basil come up this year, if it does, it re-seeds)
DO A SOIL TEXTURE TEST!
Fill a quart jar from each place you want to plant with 2/3 water.
Fill the rest up with dirt trowelled out of those spots at different depths.
Cover and shake up the bottle -
THEN SET IT ASIDE
(CAREFULLY MARKED WITH INK ON TAPE LABELS)
When it settles out you can see what kind of soil you have in terms of:
CLAY *extraordinary fine grained powder - may never settle out of solution, top layer
SILT *Average soil, medium grained, packs if not ammended
SAND *regardless what you have heard - coarse material is necessary in order to support proper drainage
Give the test jars several days, then measure for percentage of each layer.
IDEAL LOAM is 33% of each...
THE DIRT IS EVERYTHING! What kind have you REALLY GOT?
(?) Sincerely - consider a cheap soil texture test like that, and what it might tell you
The best soil is what roots do the best in - and the roots are everything
*BIOMASS in the soil is another whole thing...
When we think about soil beds in TN we should think in terms of local soil averages texture, where we can find ammendments, what substitutes are better than others?
Clay is basically SLIME....
I have no idea where to get a thing like that
* or at least, a twelve tonner truckload for two hunnerd dollars
BULBS are busting out everywhere, and though I was advised against it, I have begun taking ANY GARLIC BULB that shows even a sliver of green poking out straight outdoors and planting it...
(I was told not to plant: "Store Bought" garlic, as in grocery store)
These are supposed to go well with Marygold though - in driving away pests. I don't really care if I need them in the cookshack or not - these are to annoy and drive away skeeters!!! As it happens, I was disappointed in the size of the last bunch of garlic I bought so there is no downside
Storebought onions and spuds are also going out into the field now, why go the expensive way at this point?
But I want PEPPERS this year, I've had my fun with lots of other stuff. Hopefully after a while I'll have "PATCHES" of that other stuff that just keep growing anyhow...
* there are parts of my yard that now pop up more TOMATO plants than weeds...
So guys I got some hot pepper seeds from various kinds. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, Pecker (Peter) peppers, Anaheim and a few others. Is it a good time to get them started? The peppers were dried then seeds extracted on most of them. Some of them I took from the ripe pepper with gloves on for sure, then dried them in a paper towl on a fan then bagged them.
I also have some special tomato seeds that were very meaty and hardly any seeds. They were supposedly tomatoes from Israel. When would be a good time to start them?
Thanks for the advice guys.
I could use some reccommendations on starting them. I have done it before inside but some of those store bought setups can tend to set up mold in them. How do you do yours from seed???
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NOW is definitely the time to get any seeds started for planting this year. Started now, by the end of April the plants should be garden-ready.
I take toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes and cut them in half or 4's for the paper towel tubes. Then cut 4 slits in one end of each mini-tube at equal distances. This makes 4 panels that you then fold together like closing a box top. Place the little cups in any tray-like device (I use canning jar boxes or cola case flats) and fill them up. Place your seeds in the soil-filled cups and water. Place in a sunny location (South or West facing window) and rotate the tray every day or two, keeping the soil moist.
When you go to plant the seedlings, all you have to do is open up the flaps on the bottom and plant the whole cup, which will decompose during the growing season.
I like to start all of my seeds directly in the ground anymore - and now is the perfect time.
*BULBS can be planted any time - bury them like a dog does a bone, and forget them. They not only come up one day - they populate the ground in a way that crowds out other plants.
*You can't hurt a seed by planting it too early. IT KNOWS the right time - and will not be harmed by freezing. That is why plants make them like that...
*The more organic matter you have in the ground, the more spongy and resistant to drought it becomes
*You can drown plants if the soil doesn't drain well. PLANTS BREATHE THROUGH THEIR ROOTS! They take up oxygen from the soil
*Be alert to plants that grow best when it is COLD. Cabbage is a prime example - thick leaved plants are made to survive winter and bugs get after them in the hot months
*LETTUCE will grow all year round (which is good, since I get hungry all year round)
This particular "ITALIAN BLEND" Super Swamper was buried in snow and dusted off a few times, the salad greens kep' on coming!!!
If you absolutely cannot decide what fertilizer to use - GO FIND SOMEBODY WITH A BARN!
~They'll be tickled pink by someone who wants the manure in their stalls more'n THEY DO!
PROJECT 1: I'm cutting up all the trees I have dropped to use sections for landscaping timber. It should come out looking like dockside timbers in a ferryboat slip, just not as tall (it's just for a retainer wall along the street side)
I'm holding back a lot of sprouted spuds that I would like to see in the ground, but I don't want this cold to hurt them. Some have stalks already eight inches tall, they grew in a basket that I keep root stores in
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