Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

I heard the peepers! Yeah!!

Posted Thursday, March 12, 2015, at 1:26 PM
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  • Something is happening, I saw a pretty large female robin that looked like she was ready to pop....she could have just pigged out on my feeder, hopefully, I'll hear little birdies chirping soon!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Mar 12, 2015, at 6:56 PM
  • I am hallucinating. I could swear I smelled flowers from a Spring shrub or vine, but I wonder if something could be that far along less than a week after our single digit weather?

    I was out feeding the cats, and while I love them, they don't smell like flowers.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 13, 2015, at 10:31 AM
  • Well, my indoor Meyer Lemon and last of the Paper-Whites are in full bloom but I doubt if the perfume travels all the way from Wartrace to the hill above Bell Buckle.....Although it is intense........

    Outdoors, the first of the narcissus are blooming but I can't smell them.....The only good thing I do smell, over the fertilizer being applied to the fields, is what drifts beyond the fence when my neighbor is doing the laundry.

    Clean and fresh but not floral.........

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Fri, Mar 13, 2015, at 12:23 PM
  • I'm sitting here on Friday night waiting on 7:pm television "The Amazing Race"...I'll be Viggling the trivia I guess because I had forgotten I was invited to go eat catfish..

    I wish, and would give it all up for a "Weed'em and Reap Meeting"...just saying! :)

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Fri, Mar 13, 2015, at 6:28 PM
  • Soon my friend, soon. Guess I better call and reserve the room at the Extension Service.

    My seedlings in the milk jugs are doing fine and even the bathtubs are starting to sprout, but the beets ad peas are still doing their thing underground, I hope.

    While I was out planting those rows I found about 20 garlic that escaped my harvesting last year and have done a good job of getting a jump on the season. The ones I purposely planted are growing but about 1/3 the size of the one left behind.

    As I mentioned before, I have not grown lettuce for many years. I wonder if the deer will honor our agreement when they see them coming up? I may not take the chance. No use tempting them beyond reason. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 13, 2015, at 9:05 PM
  • I still need more dirt, 20 bags was not enough. My happy hobby is turning into an expense it seems, but not too bad, dirt is cheap enough! It has to go down first before I build the bamboo tomato contraption to tie my tomato plants too.

    I think I've found the Strawberry plants I want "Honeoye Everbearing", the review's I've read say they are popular for large bearing fruit and good for my conditions.

    Whatcha think, have you ever planted this brand? Palindrome, will those work for you? The more I get the less it cost and the count goes up! Anyone else need some? I'll gladly share the cost to save on shipping.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sat, Mar 14, 2015, at 10:22 AM
  • Steve......How about a cover...The way the weather warms up around here I believe you can't go wrong...It will protect those baby lettuces from more than deer.....Since they don't need fertilizing it is a win-win.......

    ChefG.....Whatever you decide is fine with me......I am giving them to my grandson with his Easter Garden Tool set........He checks my strawberries every time he visits and will be more than happy to have some of his own.........

    Have some bad news......Had to reseed Black Ethiopian Tomatoes....The first ones succumbed to invisible wilt......... How are yours doing CG ?

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Sat, Mar 14, 2015, at 11:00 AM
  • Palindrome, I think I will cover the lettuce with chicken wire for the deer, rabbits AND our own pets!

    I also will grow it right next to the house for several reasons. The deer are free to roam but I have rarely seen one closer than 25feet from the house. Same with the rabbits. I doubt they will come up into "dog" country.

    It will also put is convenient for us to grab and eat. I find that things out in the garden require a full-fledged harvesting expedition.

    Some will be hydroponic as I mentioned but I am starting to lean toward using straw bales, maybe even for some of the aquaponic growing. Trying to think it through now.

    A straw bale planted with strawberries on top and side would also be easily defended from slugs and snails which always feast on any I grow, A ring of crushed eggshells around the base of the bale should discourage most.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 14, 2015, at 1:11 PM
  • All my Ethiopians seem ok at the 2 inch mark, I have had them outside under the carport and talk to them (hint, hint) on occasion they are just starting out but look healthy...I'm trying not to over spritz them too much!...I still have plenty of seeds if you need more.

    Steve I have an abundance of slugs...I squirted one with this wintergreen spritz I'm using and it ran away fast like it was on fire...guess I'll sprinkle a little rock salt around my strawberries, that will fix em!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 10:01 AM
  • No too much salt. That could kill the strawberries as well.

    Airing the plants will probably head-off the wilt, so good move. Not sure what I would tell 2" tomato plants but......

    I compared my lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli started in the milk jugs tot he ones I direct seeded in my bathtubs two months ago. The milk jugs are 5-6 ties the size of the bathtubs but the milk jugs have to be replanted, so we will see how that goes.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 11:20 AM
  • I must have left the cover on the seedlings too long.....The Ethiopians were the only ones affected. I have planted new seeds into another pot just in case the soil is contaminated in the first one.

    My favorite berry is the Boysenberry and every year I research and dream about planting some but their rarity feeds the cost and I give up the idea for another year. Well, the other day I walked into the Tractor Supply and checking out the berry section was so surprised to see several on the shelf. I bought two and left two for someone else to enjoy.......They really are wonderful.......

    It really feels so good to clean the yard this year.....Little price to pay for the feeling of warm sun....

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 7:37 PM
  • Beautiful days. I can tell I am not physically ready (yet) but just getting out and walking is great.

    Found a whole hackberry tree uprooted by the ice storm. Might get two cords of wood from that one. From some others o saw broken, I might have next year's wood all in new fallen trees.

    I am advertising for bales of spoiled straw. Have so much I want to do that I am not sure I can pay $4.00+- per bale. Besides, if it is already spoiling, have my prep work is started.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 9:17 PM
  • I gotta get a bale of straw...I'm wanting to put some around my strawberry plants, I understand by doing that it keeps the berries from laying on the direct ground...

    I'm also trying to read up n their runner care, not really sure how many runners on the plant need to be trimmed if any at all!

    ...Boysenberries!...Yum!...Fried boysenberry pies...Extra Yum!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Mar 17, 2015, at 2:25 PM
  • There goes my diet! Fried boysenberry pies.

    Straw is good for keeping strawberries clean but can also harbor slugs. Always gotta be something else, huh?

    Then again, straw can harbor bugs that eat snails, so.... I like straw.

    Usually runners are managed to provide new plants so I would direct them where you want to have a new plant and the others come off. Or, let them take root and then relocate them.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 17, 2015, at 5:45 PM
  • Thanks for the sluggish straw info you're the best!...

    I had the idea in my head that if I pick off the extra runners the berries that are growing would be bigger and better. If I understand correctly, you're saying the plant runners are "new plant runners" not multiple berries per plant runners. Sorta like a melon plant where you snip the extra melons off so the one is healthier.

    I think I get it, sometimes it just takes awhile to get through my thick grey matter to the "aha!" part of my brain.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 8:44 AM
  • Well.....Maybe winter wasn't so bad......

    I have my first case of chiggers....Oh how I hate chiggers !

    And I haven't really even done anything off the porch yet !

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 8:56 AM
  • Chiggers on your porch?! They are not waiting for us to come to them, they are attacking! Yeesh!

    Correct, (I think) about runners. They are new plants and do not produce berries until they establish themselves as plants.

    Correct, more energy will be put into berry production if the runners are discouraged, BUT, if you want more plants a few runners are good. They also replace the "mother" plant because eventually the older plants slow down. (Don't we all)

    Back to chiggers and ticks, I am surprised not to have them yet myself since I have been taking walks in the woods. But if they are all hunkering down on the porch, we don't have one so maybe we'll escape?

    NOT! I was just thinking it was time to be more diligent with the flea and tick measure on our cats (and dogs).

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 9:26 AM
  • Yikes!, on the chiggers...I always thought they got ya in the woods or deep weeds in the summer...well until I sat on the library wall at LBJ's library in Austin Tx. that time...

    I got covered, you could have changed my name to "itchy Dottie" that day, had to borrow some finger nail polish to smother them. Chigger-Rid was nowhere to be found in Austin...Thank goodness it's available locally.

    Thanks for the further info, it's always welcomed!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 10:30 AM
  • Actually now that I think about it...I did walk around the yard pruning all the small, volunteer privets........That must be where they were waiting to ambush........... Maybe not the porch after all.

    This winter was supposed to have discouraged their rapid infestation.......What happened? All those extra low temperatures for nothing?

    29 mice...Chiggers......Really !

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 12:37 PM
  • What no snakes yet?...I hate snakes!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 1:18 PM
  • Aha, Ye olde privet.

    I have one that we allowed to grow onto a small tree. After the ice storm it is half its' size. If it is harbouring chiggers, it will be gone.

    Do mice host chiggers like they do fleas? Hmmmm

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 2:00 PM
  • Snakes eat slugs, just sayin'. :-)

    I don't mind them once I know what they are but I SURE don't like being surprised. While gardening in Mississippi Debbi stepped on a copperhead. I had to "sanitize" every snake from the area but she never trusted being out there again.

    In the past 22+ years we have lived here, I am not aware of seeing a poisonous snake, but I treat them all as poisonous first, then relax (kind of).

    I was cleaning out the upper "pond" of the goldfish set up when I grabbed a snake under a rock. I was never sure what that one was since I was halfway down to Bell Buckle before I stopped to check.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 2:06 PM
  • Darn thumbs! Not 'on to' a tree but 'in to' a tree. I am getting worse with this smart phone. I would get the next size up but not sure if that will really help.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 2:37 PM
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