Grease Up, Hook Up, Get Ready to go to the Field – Spring Garden Thread – 2018

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This topic contains 67 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  highstick 5 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 68 total)
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  • #132770

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    It’s been a crazy winter down here…

    No frost until the end of December, then 10 nights in a row under 25, the second week in January.
    That was followed 10 or so days later by 10 days with 70-80* daytime / 45-55* nighttime temps.
    The last 4 weeks have been normal — 50-60* daytime / 35-45* nighttime, but no frost since early January.

    We’re looking at three cold nights after today’s storms pushes thru, all across central and eastern North Carolina, SPRING is coming back for good Saturday .

    So it’s time to get things in high gear…
    Besides, my strawberries have been blooming for a month and got little berries on ’em… and the Onions, Garlic, Swiss Chard and Kale all look good… Carrots are up 3-4″…

    Everything else in the winter garden froze the second week in January….

    ————————

    That little company with the organic ‘products’ closed down 1st of November, so I’m back to being self-employed… I decided to take all my Soil Fertility stuff and build some web applications for all the new folks who are getting into agriculture… I’ll be rolling out the betas on the first two apps ‘Farmers’ and ‘Turfgrass’ in a week or so. If any of you want to ‘help’ test my code and give back some feedback, I’d appreciate the help… just let me know…

    I’ve also been busy, on the Urban Research / Demonstration Farm — my 10 month rotations just weren’t working right, so I’ve built some more raised beds and have increased the size of the Urban Farm by 50%… With one box resting all the time, that should straighten that out, I hope…

    ————————

    As far as what’s planned for this Spring / Summer…

    Any of you guys ever planted some veggies “Indian Style” — mixed in mounds, instead of one veggie in each row ?

    Holler Back!

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132779

    66pack
    Participant

    The weather is never too hot or cold inside the Harris Teeter near Wrightville.

    #132782

    tractor57
    Participant

    Grease up, hook up and watch the snow fall. Friday was short sleeve weather and today more snow.

    #132783

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Tractor… I’d like to see a nice Spring Snow, especially on some rolling land… after 10yrs, it’s still too damn flat down here to enjoy the countryside…

    I said ‘Spring was returning this weekend…”

    Some folks think farmers take off all winter…

    The ‘toughest’ job I ever worked on — on the farm — was replacing the worn out bearings, scrapers and 16″ discs on a old rusty Lilliston 15ft disc harrow… in February, with snow on the ground…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132786

    Fastback68
    Participant

    Right now I’m trying to improve 2 separate one acre fields with cereal rye grass. It is supposed to be hearty, a great hard clay buster, a deep root that pulls nitrogen from down deep to the surface and it generates organic tonnage to plow back into the soil. I planted it in September but it didn’t do very well. I planted it again 2 weeks ago. I need another soil analysis. Iirc, Clemson said I had a ph level of 4. I added lime and fertilizer but had spotty success with brown top millet. I’ve read soybean grows on asphalt but I really think I need major soil improvement first. Anyway, it doesn’t sound like you are working on raw land but any info would be appreciated. I imagine I’ll wind up with a ticket from a game warden for all my planting efforts at the end of the day.

    #132787

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Anyway, it doesn’t sound like you are working on raw land

    F68…

    I’m probably too old to be farming big tracks now…

    But I have in the past…
    There was Granddaddy’s and Uncle Robert’s ‘bacca farms in my youth…
    Then later on I owned and operated a 650 acre turfgrass farm up in Virginia for a few years…
    More recently, I ran a 7 acre organic vegatable farm outside of ILM for a couple of seasons…

    My Soil Evaluation “Farmer” Application is built for guys like you and scales from 1 to 100s of acres…

    Of course, I be happy to look at your Clemson tests…

    send me an email to bill at /soilfertilitymanagement.com …

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132792

    Fastback68
    Participant

    I’ll send my old info 2015 (when I can find it) and the new report after I submit a new soil sample. I’m not farming per se. I’m just competing with large tract neighbors for the wildlife. Thanks.

    #132795

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    F68 – no problem… we’ll want to see how much difference that Lime made in raising the pH — 4.0 not the best number…

    I had one red clay field on the turf farm that measured 4.5 that actually made decent turftype fescue– took 3 tons of lime and two years to get close to 6.0, but I cut my fertilizer bill in half and made the same or better quality turf…

    ——————-
    Food plots, especially for Deer, is “agriculture” these days…

    I know a couple ‘good old boys’ who make damn good money tending hunting tracks for the rich and famous… that is, when they’re not in their grow houses tending $cash_crops…

    And the ‘organic’ crowd is big into it too…
    Non-GMO – Organic Fed Game Animals!!!

    Now somebody smarter than me will have to ‘plain the sense in that…

    Let’s say I own 200-300 acres of good hunting land with little open land…
    Ya’ll know Deer roam 5 miles or more…

    I can do everything by the non-GMO, organic book… but that Buck I might wanna shoot next winter is gonna spend the summer in my neighbors fields eating GMO – Roundup Ready – beans… plus I ain’t spending the money to put deer fence around 200-300 acres…

    Plus that’s alot of the same crowd that doesn’t want anybody to shoot Bambi…
    Just feed Bambi right… and take pictures…

    smh at that…

    —————————–

    I use a private Lab for my soil testing — faster turnaround, more numbers, around $20 per sample…
    Then I run their number thru my software…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132796

    GoldenChain
    Participant

    Maybe that’s been my problem on “Hell’s half acre” as Robert D Raiford used to call it here in Concord! Been here 25 years and still struggle to get a decent heat tolerant stand of turf! I do hit my yard with lime more than my neighbors and it shows but still not where I want it.

    #132798

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Ok…

    Old Farmer Rule#1 — Too much of anything is just as potentially harmful as too little of anything…

    One of the biggest trends I seen in two years of looking at soil tests from all over, especially on yards, is over-liming and under managing everything else…

    Ask Mr. Stick ’bout his red clay yard down in Rock Hill…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132800

    GoldenChain
    Participant

    Good to know. I thought it was because I didn’t sew ‘according to the signs’ as my grandma told me. I think Mrs GC decided today that it was worth giving Tru Green a shot for a season. I told her you thrown enough liquid nitrogen on anything and you can make it green!

    #132801

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    ^Ain’t no need to do that if you have the time, the energy and want to enjoy the success of getting it right and save some bucks…

    If Stick at age 70 and with a bad back can do it right… anybody can…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132803

    highstick
    Participant

    You bugging me and we’re getting snow this afternoon..although it is barely recognizable as snow.

    Make that 72 on the age with “arthritis in both thumbs” too.

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

    #132804

    highstick
    Participant

    Maybe that’s been my problem on “Hell’s half acre” as Robert D Raiford used to call it here in Concord! Been here 25 years and still struggle to get a decent heat tolerant stand of turf! I do hit my yard with lime more than my neighbors and it shows but still not where I want it.

    I’ve got some Raiford roots in Va and NC going back to the 1700’s. Wish I knew if we were related. Do Zoysia! If I can do it in Rock Hill with Bill’s assistance, you can grow that stuff in Concord! I love this stuff and will attack the side and backyard this spring.

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

    #132807

    highstick
    Participant

    Chain…message me an email address and I’ll send you pictures of the process last summer.

    If you wanna get “old school”, buy yourself a manual reel mower and drop you gym membership!

    I’ve had almost no weeds over the cooler months. Little bit of this Carolina Gardenia weed, but hit it with Monument, then some Speed Zone and it’s basically gone. I did put out 0-0-7 pre-emergent about 2-3 weeks ago. Things have tried to green up with the warmer days. I need to rake the little bit of pine straw up and mow gently over the next two weeks. The lawn service is mowing a neighbor’s two doors down with the riding mower, but she’s picking up weeds with the lawn service scattering weeds. No need to mow at all at this time…It’s been a pleasant relief not mowing fescue and weeds over the winter.

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

    #132810

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Mr. Stick…. you didn’t need the “7”, just the per-emergent, but it ain’t gonna ‘hurt’ anything…

    I’m breaking some ‘new ground’… any of ya’ll got any good experiences with Dollar Weed?

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132814

    YogiNC
    Participant

    Bill, my two big raised beds are of the indian mound variety, the three sisters with a few more thrown in, all compatible veggies. Been doin that for 3 years. The white stuff is up to 2 inches. The commute from rawlee today was almost two hours with 10 wrecks (two upside down) thrown in. I’m just hope’in the roof on my new greenhouse holds up. First it was 40 mph gales now the snow. I’m ’bout tired of this junk.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #132838

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    my two big raised beds are of the indian mound variety, the three sisters with a few more thrown in, all compatible veggies.

    Yogi…

    I know the ‘three sisters’ are squash, corn and beans…

    A couple of questions…

    Are you calling the corn — the white stuff ?

    What else have you got mixed in with the three sisters?

    Winter squash, summer squash or both?

    All that let’s call this “the Spring Package”, but planted soon, I’m thinking it’s all done by mid-July, except maybe the pole beans…

    Have you ever replanted the mounds for fall harvesting and if so, what combination of veggies did you use?

    Thanks!

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132839

    tractor57
    Participant

    BotB we got all 5″ of the 1-2″ forecast yesterday. Some melting so I’ll get out today to my lunch meeting in Burlington. will be sloppy here for a day or so then maybe I can start preparing the garden area.

    #132852

    YogiNC
    Participant

    BOTB,
    Okra and Cukes work in there. Also purple hull crowders for me. The corn is Serendipity (bi color and REALLY sweet), YUM YUM YUM. Corn is really packed tight, 4 rows six inches apart and staggered 6 inches. Cukes, peas and beans love ’em for climbing. Only problem is cukes can sometimes hide and next thing ya know you have a dirigible on your hands. Squash is zucchini, yellow, blue hubbard and acorn. My beds run east to west and plant the corn on the north side, everything else on the south half. I run 3/4 pvc with tiny holes for DIY surface irrigation right down the middle of the corn. When it’s about 2 feet high I slip some liquid fertilizer in there and everything in those two beds jump.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #132853

    YogiNC
    Participant

    Sorry missed your question about replants, when the corn is done I plant turnips, greens (various), shallots, onions, scallions. Love arugula, broccoli, spinach and brussel sprouts.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #132854

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Thanks Mr. Bear…

    OldFarmerRule#3 — “If you want to know how to do something right, ask a man who does that job every day.”

    Now my 6′ x 30′ bed is running East to West… but I’ve got ‘sunlight’ issues (welcome to urban farming!) with big trees close on the South Side.. so I’m thinking I’ll do ‘real round mounds’ instead of mixed rows and not plant something tall in every other mound to get more sunlight between the round mounds… should be able to get 16-17 round mounds about 2.5ft apart…

    And I’m thinking that Orka can take the place of some of the corn, but I ain’t planting beans where I plant orka… I’ll never find the okra…
    —————–

    Speaking of “Pole Beans”…

    I’ve planted Asian Long Beans for three seasons… at fullsize, they’re dark green, the diameter of a #2 pencil and 16-20 inches long… perfect for stir frying and you can tie ’em in sailor knots for some “wow factor” on the plate…

    And they’ll stand all ‘heat’ the summer puts on ’em…

    You’ll have to learn how to pick ’em — one day makes all the difference… if you can see the seed forming, you’re one day too late for stir frying… Now if they seed, you can still boil ’em with some fatback and there good as blue lakes… doesn’t take as long ’cause they’re not fat and tough…

    4-5 seeds in 4- 15 gallon pots on a trellis fed two families from mid-May to mid-October last year…

    You’ll only need to pick 12-16 ‘beans’ for a dinner for two… takes 5 minutes and no bending over or stringing…

    Once they’ve been harvested a couple times, you’ll want to put some liquid ‘K’ on ’em when you see the blooming slows down — about once a month is what I do…

    In the fall, let a half a dozen dry out of the vines and you’ll have enough seed to plant the next year for you and a few friends… just save ’em in the hull in a brown paper bag…

    Give ’em a try…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132855

    YogiNC
    Participant

    I’ll take some of those “magic” beans.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #132856

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    I’ll bring you some…

    Headed to the Triangle next week, I hope !!!
    I really need to get out from in front of this screen and ride around for a couple days…

    GO PACK!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #132857

    TheCOWDOG
    Moderator

    Pole beans are a white flag of surrender for me…Japanese beetles.
    Adding some eggplant to the usuals, experimenting with straw bale as the medium.

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