Friday, May 29, 2009

Raccoons Invade Kitchen Through Skylight

We had a visitor this past winter. A baby raccoon showed up in the kitchen at 3 AM.
What happened was I heard a crash. So I jump up out of bed and this what I found.
The raccoons where coming in through my skylight. I couldn't believe this. I was in my undies and didnt want to be attacked so I grabbed a big poll I had for my slider drapes and pushed this guy out the door.
This isnt the first time this has happened. Years ago we had one in the fire box of our fireplace. Raccoons will break in to houses in winter to raise the young. In the fireplace incident the mother raccoon carried each baby one by one up the corner boards on the house and down the chimney.When I heard hissing I though the house was haunted. LOL

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Buying Vegetables and Tomato Plants for the Garden

This season I didn't over do it with plants for the garden. Almost every season I buy to many plants and they sit in a flat until they even die or bloom. Ive had tomatoes go on plants left in a flat all summer. Not usually eatable though.

This season I bought a six pack of Peppers, 100 Cherry Tomato plant, Early Girl and some other plants in there too.

I didnt buy any Fat Boys or plants that take all season to fruit. In New England we a vine rote that attacks tomato's in Fall. I don't feel like dealing with that this year. One hint to prevent this is to use chicken manure. More about that in a later post.

Notice the heirloom tomato I purchase. BLOODY BUTCHER. I can only assume this name means the fruit is very juice. Not sure if I will like the Bloody Butcher. I like a firm tomato like Roman. They generally have less seeds and juice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wind Power Comes To Local Nursery in Hyannis MA

Windmills are popping up everywhere. I went to get some plants this weekend and this is what I saw. A huge wind turbine.

I actually passed by two new wind mills on this day.

Memorial Day weekend may not be the best time to go to a nursery because of crowds, but the best selection of available plants can be had.

I love going to the nursery. If I had the space I would buy a flat of every vegetable. Places like this are were we ask questions. Every time I go to garden store I look for employees to milk for information.

People in the gardening industry appear to be taking the lead in the Eco economy. Wind Turbines like the one at this nursery are a huge investment, but the pay off is huge for all of us. I'm looking for a small wind turbine for the garden for watering. We'll see.

The more you grow the more self sestained we become.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Setting Up Garden Rows For Maximum Output | Free Food

This is a example of a garden layout from a previous season. This seasons layout will be similar.
Notice how the rows are marked as they are planted. This is very important. Know matter how good you think your memory is most people will forget whats were.
when laying out rows be sure to use a 1x1 inch piece of wood or a string to keep them strait. Keeping rows strait help in optimizing space.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting Carrots, Raddishes and Root Vegetables to Grow

Getting root vegetables to grow to there potential can be difficult. Have you tried to grow carrots but they only grow to a stub or a inch or two? I have!
After years of frustration when growing carrots I finally tried amending each garden row. After the garden has been tilled and ready to plant do it again for each row. As I get my garden layout ready I throw a couple shovel fulls of peat moss over each row and work it in. Then I grade the row mixing the peat in. Then make a strait furrow and plant the root vegetable seed.
When growing root vegetables it is a good idea to over seed. Then thin the plants to 2 inches apart. As I said in previous post gardeners can use multiple crops in a single row. If you do you can let the plants grow a little longer to see how fast each is growing. That way you may get some lettuce or onions as babies. Baby lettuce is good eating. They don't usually make it into the house before being eaten.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Choosing Seeds and Plants For Vegetable Gardens

Here are some seeds I have chosen to be the first plantings. 3 kinds of radishes, green onions and 2 types of lettuce.
These vegetables grow good in late May and can be harvested by the end of June. Lettuce can be cut with scissors and left to grow more for a second harvest and beyond.
Another way to utilize these seed they can be sowed in the same furrow. Plant lettuce, radishes and green onion all in the same row. Then harvest as each one matures. With this method getting a second harvest isnt a good idea because we want to let the next plant in line to grow good. So once a single plant mature harvest to let the other mature.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Planning This Years Vegetable Garden Layout

This year my garden is about 15x25 feet. It was just rototilled.
As we have had lots of rain and even a frost just before Memorial Day.
As the weather warms the next step will be to add some compost and manure. Once that is complete it will be covered with landscape felt.
As you will see in the next post I did not out down felt last year. Big mistake.
A drip hose for irrigation will be in place soon. Once the felt is down the drip hose will be installed.
I try to get as many crops as possible. I will plant lettuce, Radishes, Snap Peas, Green Beans and some green onions.
As the early producing plants mature and get harvested the Tomatoes and larger vegetables will be planted. I try and wait until the end of June to plant Tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Growing Chives in Containers is So Easy

Containers are are a great way to grow herbs. You can do this anywhere you have sunshine. I have this container in my front yard. Ever year I had flowers but one day I had extra chive seeds. I just throw them in and watered. Now I have fresh chives for about 7 months a year. They go to seed couple times a year and keep coming back. I do cut the top off some of the chives so some stay longer as new one start.
I also will put other herbs in the pot. Basil, Parsley or any herb. Never buy chive cream cheese again.
This pot is steps out my door and serve as a kitchen herb garden all summer. When container gardening you need to watch the watering. Containers dry out fairly fast. Water at least every other day when container gardening.
This method is great as apartment and condo gardens.

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Video Of Cicada Hatching in Spring 2008.

In 2008 we had The Deadly Cicada hatch on Cape Cod. Cicada hatch in cycles of around 30 years depending were you are. They hatch, burrow a hole up from the soil lay eggs and die. Then the larvae eat the roots of bushes flowers and plants.
The 2008 hatching was horrible. Cicada omit a screeching sound that migrates through the trees. Its nothing nice. As far as we know there is no way to combat cicada.
I first noticed them when I had some landscapers doing spring clean up. I watch the cicada come out of their nests deep under my yard.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

When To Plant Vegetables In The Garden

Were we are in New England it can stay cold until Memorial Day easily. So putting tomatoes in the ground before then can be risky while other crops do just fine. Beans, radishes and lettuce can be planted if back yard farmers take steps to protect the plants.

Hoop or ring tents work well. They can be made with metal or wood hoops and covered with clear plastic. Gardeners can also tie a sturdy line or cable between two posts about 19 inches high. Then drape plastic over it then secure the edges with rocks or stakes. Both these methods allow you to remove the covering each day then recover at night. It is very important that ventilation is provided at both ends to allow air flow. Cover the ends if frost is in the forecast.

I always say talk to the people who work at you local nursery about planting dates. The zone charts are only a basic tool to judge the last frost of the year.

Lets Get Gardening and Back Yard Farming

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Bill and with the way the economy is in the US I decided to put up this blog. I have been growing my own food for over 25 years. Avoid the mistakes I made and keep coming back for gardening tips and ideas.
We can all grow vegetable know matter were we live. From backyards to apartments and condos there are ways to grow fresh organic food.
I will be posting photo's of this year garden shortly.

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