07/08/2016 at 9:45 AM #104911
Sorry, not on packpride. I’m going to take some pics today and post them on my facebook page. I’ll pass along the page addy then.
Smarter than the average bear07/08/2016 at 10:36 AM #104912
Sounds good. Thanks! Looking forward to getting some ideas.07/08/2016 at 6:10 PM #104918
Thanks for the info Yogi
Fastback, dove hunting is fun, but what I miss is kicking up a good covey of quail on a cold morning. The memory of that sound still makes me remember hunting with my father and uncles.
Wish the quail would return.
Go Pack!07/08/2016 at 11:17 PM #104920
It’s funny you should mention quail. It seemed that the Sandhill game lands starting putting more money towards quail and dog trials at the expense of planting dove fields to the point I stopped hunting for dove in the late 90’s in that area. I had a dozen quail walk under my tree stand numerous times last bow season in SC. Then I jumped multiple coveys on some public land during turkey season. My neighbor has a decent bird dog and we are going to hunt those places where I have seen quail the most. I don’t recall ever busting coveys in my youth. Perhaps they are making a small comeback somehow.07/09/2016 at 10:54 AM #104921
Alrighty then. Checking in from the upper reaches of Ashe county AKA The Lost Province.
The bird discussion is interesting. Back in the 70s and 80s there was a huge population of grouse up here. A fair number of doves and a few quail and very rarely a ring-neck. Turkeys were rare as well…hens’ teeth. The something happened and the turkeys made a big comeback. I see turkeys nearly every day. Back a few years we were growing for the certified organic market. I had about 500 tomato plants out that year. Damn turkeys pecked a hole in every mater they could reach as they turned red.
So apparently turkeys hunt grouse nests and eat the eggs. Nowadays I see a grouse jump a few times a year but they are nearly gone. The only thing that’s changed in my mind is that we now have a ton of coyotes (coywolves actually) around here.
Up here at 4000 feet we’ve had a very cool season. Only a day or two has touched 80 and nuff rain for everybody. Just harvested the last of the bloc and lettuce. Cabbage is finishing up. Cukes are pouring in. I’ve been growing a variety for several years now that you should try. It’s called H-19 Littleleaf, sometimes Arkansas Litteleaf. Not surprisingly it has smaller leaves. Makes finding those little picklers before they become dirigibles a lot easier. They are really hardy even up here in the cold. They are also parthenocarpic. That apparently means they don’t need pollinators to make little cukes. Good for greenhouse or containers. Great flavor.
Companion planting is an art into itself. I have often planted the three sisters which is corn planted with pole beans and squash. Plant the corn and when it’s over a foot tall, plant some beans around the base. The beans will grow up the cornstalk as the corn grows. Plant the squash at the base and it shades the corn roots and keeps weeds from growing.
Also using trap crops is fun. I always plant a few baby blue hubbards near any other squash or cukes. Those striped and spotted cucumber beetles thing that baby blue is crack. When they’re all gathered together on the hubbard you can nuke them with whatever you use on them. And if they don’t destroy the plants you end up with some squash.
Planting that curly parsley near your maters will keep the big green baccer worms off your maters. Usually.
This year I am nearly 100% in raised beds. I have 16 4×8 beds that are just some timber I cut and sawmill some years back. When i first filled them I used some old rotten round bales of hay, some native dirt and a few bags of black cow. I also threw in some peat bales along the way and a few big bags of the commercial coarse vermiculite and perlite. I used to keep a largish flock of free-range layers. I harvested their bounty from their house and composted it and added it very year for a while. Now I’m down to 4 OLD hens. But basically you can fill the beds a lot of different ways with what you have locally. Grass clippings, leaves, branches always a good start. One of the best gardens I ever had was when I lived near a peanut processor. They used to let you back right up and load all the peanut hulls you wanted.
One thing I would recommend is that any new garden area should receive a good dose of Azomite. Azomite is OMRI approved and is a mineral mix which provides the macro and micro minerals every garden needs. We are boron deficient up here so it handles that for me. Azomite is apparently sourced from a natural volcanic ash deposit in Utah.
Another way to keep building the soil is cover crops. I even use cover crops in my raised beds, usually clover. Buckwheat as a cover crop is awesome. When it gets those little white blossoms it is sweet and the bees attack it. Just make sure to chop it in prior to it going to seed or you gonna have buckwheat 4ever. Austrian peas are a great way to add tons of organic matter…just be aware that deer will come from miles around to eat it. Clovers grab nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil. Small grains like wheat, oats and barley are probably best for larger field based gardens where you can mow it and turn it under.
Rye is interesting. It has what they call allelopathic traits. Basically it produces compounds that are herbicidal. So when you plow it in, you need to wait for a while before planting broadleaf stuff in particular. It will stunt the growth. One trick to use when starting a new garden is to till it and plant ryegrass. After the rye is established, mow it down and cover it with clear plastic. The solar baking and the rye compounds will nearly sterilize the surface of that area.
Growing on “plastic” mulch is something I’m ambivalent about. I did it for several years on about 3 acres. Our local extension service has bought a mulch-layer that can be checked out and used. It is slick. Lays down a nice straight row of tight plastic when it’s all adjusted just right. Just poke a hole in it and plant. The problem for me is that the plastic is there forever. No matter how hard you work to clean it up, you never get it all. I raised 500 mater plants on that red plastic mulch 5 years ago. I’m still picking up pieces of that red plastic. I used so-called biodegradable film. 5 years later I still find pieces that haven’t biodegraded. Damn stuff does work well as far as keeping weeds down and moisture up. Also less bugs I think. Less blight and such.
Anyway. I appreciate the discussion.07/09/2016 at 2:03 PM #104922
Ashe, with regards to companion planting here’s what my long beds (40 ft) have. Two rows of corn down the middle spaced 12 inches apart and 12 inches from each other forming a zig zag. Down the middle of the corn I planted pole beans, cantaloupe and watermelons. On the outside between the corn and the edge of the bed I planted peas and peanuts (the damned bunnies ate almost all of the peanuts). 6 inches from the side edges I planted zucchini, yellow crookneck and white scallop squash. I’ve had very little crabgrass in those beds and what does grow has been long, spindly and easy to pull. The peas and the pole beans have run up the corn, the squash shades everything and my major foes have been carpet weeds and bunnies. The weeds I can pull, the wife refuses to let me shoot the bunnies. There are various beneficial flowers planted here and there. It’s the 3 sisters on steroids. My garden has never produced as much as this one has. I’ve had veggies running out of my ears, and I have rarely seen bugs or the evidence there of EXCEPT a few squash borers. They were easy to destroy. 4 o’clocks have kept the beetles at bay I think, none to be found on the tomatoes or cukes. I’ll have to check out the H-19 as I have had more than a few blimps both of the cuke and zucchini variety. I have more than a few zucchini plants that are monsters. I got 5 off one and 4 off another the other day.
Thanks for the tip about Azomite, just have to find it near me.
Smarter than the average bear07/09/2016 at 8:03 PM #104923
Here’s a link to our facebook page, photos of my garden are on there.
The Sunflowers were volunteers from last season, I didn’t have the heart to pull them.
Smarter than the average bear07/10/2016 at 1:08 PM #104925
Sorry guys, here is the direct link instead of the link to our facebook page.
Smarter than the average bear07/11/2016 at 3:27 PM #104927
Yogi, I didnt see any pictures on either of those links. The only thing that came up was your profile with like 2 pictures. I wonder if I need to “friend” you to see it.07/11/2016 at 7:53 PM #104928
Sorry, it’s really my wife’s facebook page. Here’s a link to shared photo album
We had a nasty storm today, laid over all my sunflowers and pushed my tomato trellises over some too. Winds were 44 mph and 2 inches of rain in 40 minutes.
Smarter than the average bear07/12/2016 at 11:01 AM #104930
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. That looks perfect and I may try to model mine after it. Were the railroad ties pricey? I think i’m going to try in-ground next season and see how that works. If I run into issues (ie. watering/weeds/etc) I may opt for the raised beds. I have a lot of bags of compost/manure that I will probably work into the garden area here soon, along with some hard chip mulch I have from some trees we had cut down. I may also look to get some bags of that Azomite and put it out around the same time.
On a side note, Yogi, how do you keep the deer out of your garden? I know if I left mine out like that, without a fence, the deer would nibble/ruin everything in sight.07/12/2016 at 12:21 PM #104931
You can get some deer fencing on Ebay for a pretty good price. It’s sorta like the netting I use for my trellis which I got off ebay. The trellis is just 6 inch netting and 1/2 inch conduit with pvc fittings screwed in. It works pretty well, you could use conduit for corner posts for a fence. Think about this too, raised beds take up less space so smaller fence. My problem was with bunnies, I just decided to spot them the peanuts.
RR ties were ~12 bucks at Lowes. Those things ARE VERY heavy. As I had said earlier I’m a very old dog and have always done the row garden thing. This worked so well I’m never going back to rows, too many advantages for me vs. the old way. We had 2 inches of rain yesterday in 45 minutes, my yard and neighbors yard were flooded, for the garden it was just a good irrigation. I am in the process of planting another crop of corn. I’m pretty sure I have time to get it in before it frosts.
Smarter than the average bear
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