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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Garden rambings and more on cats

Posted Friday, March 26, 2010, at 8:40 AM

(Photo)
Wanda's Flower Pot
Well, I'm back. Did you miss me? (come to think of it, don't answer that) I was always close in cyberspace but I was occupied to the point of just crashing when the day was done. I'd go into all that, but we will just say it was all good, just very time consuming.

You might remember that there was some question about the sex of one of our strays, Sable? After a bloody encounter (my blood) I was 99% sure Sable was a girl but with a swelling belly, there is no further discussion. I would bet she has them in the next few weeks and now another decision. Do I capture her and bring her to the house, or let nature take its' course? I REALLY can not afford to have all these cats, but I REALLY can't stop trying to help, so.....

The past few weeks have made me wonder if I need to rename our farm Daffodil Acres. I have been thinning the patches over the last few years and that means playing Johnny Apple (Daffodil) Seed and putting them all over the place. Wow!. I don't have the variety that my brother has (hundreds, if not more) but the yard, driveway and mailbox area looks great! At my Mother-in Law's suggestion, we even have them growing out of hollow logs.

I am also pleased that the beets, garlic, peas and wildflowers seem to be coming up well. The garlic is from division of clumps but this looks like the best beet germination I have had in YEARS. Yum.

My over-wintered tomato is setting flowers again so I may start setting it out on warm days. The over-wintered eggplant is perking up too so it will get the same treatment.

I need to remember to start pushing in collars or sticks to protect the peas from cutworm. They will probably lurking out there any day. Anyone have trouble with them yet? Richard, I know you have plants in the ground and seeds coming up. Any sign of the little buggers?

I missed our last Weed'em & Reap meeting but I understand we will skip Easter weekend and re-assemble on April 17 for a covered dish event. We have more than a few discussions about cooking our veggies so I look forward to see what people bring.


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I looked locally and have not found a source for anything that says "food grade" but the Farmer's Coop has DE for ticks and fleas which should be basically the same. Basically!

The price with tax is about $2.50 per pound, which is not bad considering what freight costs and most of it is mined out West.

The only concern is that it is not labeled food grade, so I would not use it as a wormer for animals or pets. Food grade is supposedly of high enough quality that humans can (and often do) consume it.

I am considering buying 50 lb bags of it and will split it up for those who want it in our garden club. If it replaces our pet fees for tick and flea control, we are WAY ahead.

In addition, it is safer for our pets than the chemicals. We feel pretty sure that we lost one of our cats (Cooper) to a bad reaction to the treatment we get from the vet, but it was not confirmed.

Then we use it for our garden, so .....

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 30, 2010, at 12:00 PM

Where do you get your DE? Can it be bought locally?

-- Posted by espoontoon on Mon, Mar 29, 2010, at 7:20 AM

I planted Chinese kale, three types of cabbage and carrots yesterday. After this rain I think I will sprinkle the dirt with some diatomaceous earth.

DE seems to be working for our tick and flea test with our newest dog. The flea treatment from the vet is costing over $100/month from the vet and we have to get a better control. I found a dead tick on PITA yesterday and true to the claims for DE the tick was shriveling up.

For those who missed the conversation before about DE, it is made from ground up diatoms, a fossilized shell of tiny creatures. The silica shards work their way in to the joints and weak spots in ticks and fleas and makes them "bleed" to death.

I know, it sounds terrible, but fleas and ticks are on my bad list. We have too many pets in the house and yard to let them get a hand up on us. DE also works on garden pests but be careful in applying it around beneficial insects since it does not differentiate between good and bad.

Don't confuse pool DE with horticultural grade DE. The two are not used in the same way so the pool grade is not effective for insects.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 28, 2010, at 6:42 AM

Steve, I haven't seen any evidence of cutworms yet. Never really had a problem with them, here. I've got lots coming up in the garden. Green peas, sugarsnap peas, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and potatoes. I don't think I forgot anything.

-- Posted by rtdavis62 on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 7:48 PM

Steve, I haven't seen any evidence of cutworms yet. Never really had a problem with them, here. I've got lots coming up in the garden. Green peas, sugarsnap peas, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and potatoes. I don't think I forgot anything.

-- Posted by rtdavis62 on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 7:46 PM

I'll second what Thatsmystory said. Thanks for being a caring person willing to help these strays. I would also have a hard time "letting nature take its course" even though I know it's hard to take care of them.

-- Posted by GoTitans on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 1:25 PM

684-5353 Middle Tennessee Spay and Neuter Clinic. Maybe your best bet. Glad you are such a caring person and help out these critters that need it. God Bless You.

-- Posted by Thatsmystory on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 11:44 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.