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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

It is TIME! Time to get your plants and time to gt that garden going..

Posted Friday, April 15, 2016, at 7:09 AM
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  • By the way, I am giving notice, I have a new soap box and I am about to stand on it (not today) and talk to whomever will read about why I do my darnedest (I looked it up, it's a word) to not only grow my food naturally, but my flowers and other ornamental plants as well.

    If you have small children who read this, I will try to keep it PG but I am going through a cycle of frustration because it is getting time to pollinate my veggie flowers and I don't have many pollinators out there.

    Soooooo, I got to let off some steam. Coming soon. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 15, 2016, at 3:08 PM
  • Time for you to get into beekeeping, Steve..........Or you could use a paintbrush like I do for my lemons.........So far....So good....Pollinating Party ?......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Fri, Apr 15, 2016, at 5:35 PM
  • Keeping bees is one of those 'round-to-its' I've been talking about for 20 years. I was talking to a local beekeeper who has semi-retired and has "a barn full of hives and equipment" but because of the mite problem and other hive collapse issues, he is not able to sell or even give these things away.

    If wasps were good pollinators I would be set right now. I find them everywhere settling in to make nests. The only one I disagree with is the one they always build in our newspaper box.

    They make it, I take it away until they get the hint. No, I don't kill them. They're just doing their thing and they eat a lot of insects and flies so.....live and let live.

    The wood bees are a bit of an issue at times, but I don't kill them either. Especially, when I am begging for pollinators. Someone on a FB page thought they did not mix it up with flowers, but all educational websites I find say they do, and I see them in there, so for whatever reason they are visiting the flowers, welcome.

    As I was writing a response to that FB comment, I watched another type of wood bee control on a cedar pole I have holding a dinner bell. It has feathers and a red neck and a nickname "Woody".

    He was inspecting the holes, listening and then went in after something. Never saw a bee it its beak, so maybe something else was borrowing the hole.

    Speaking of birds, by now everyone should have their hummers visiting. If you've forgotten to put your feeder out, knock,knock, it's time. Many of our hummers come to the window when the feeder needs attention. Smart little puffs, aren't they?

    The seedlings in the tires are coming up through the chicken wire. I am tempted t take the wire off, but I KNOW what will happen and then I get upset and a four legged family member gets severely chastised so....

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 15, 2016, at 6:27 PM
  • Perhaps you should put one of those blown up paper bags in your woodbox so the wasps think that hornets have already moved in and taken over.........

    I had a couple of hummers here for a few days and they now seem to have disappeared......I changed the sugar water...........They never knocked at my window.......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Fri, Apr 15, 2016, at 7:15 PM
  • The next wave of hummers will be there soon. Supposedly our resident ones don't show up until June.

    That is a good idea about the bag palindrome. I could hang it on a tree near the newspaper box. This is the one down by the road for delivery.

    If anyone see it they might wonder but usually they have their eyes in the road as it is on a small road at the top of a hill. At least I HOPE they're watching the road.

    But the wasps will see it so it should be a good test. I could write "hornets" on it and maybe the people would leave it alone. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 15, 2016, at 8:12 PM
  • what is this blown-up paper bag business?

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sun, Apr 17, 2016, at 8:12 AM
  • I was at Kroger's yesterday and noticed they had some decent looking tomato plants from a Texas farm, they were Better Boys, Beefsteak and the such.

    I told a manager to water them, that beautiful day sun yesterday afternoon was beating down on them!

    My tomatoes have been in the ground for 3 weeks already. After covering them a few nights they are looking great...those runner beans have popped up and grown almost a couple inches already, I'll be tying them to their run string soon at this rate! One thing is for sure, this will be the year of the strawberry for me, I'm expecting a bumper crop this second year!

    My 6 romaine heads are the prettiest green...I'll be eating them soon! I wonder where my woodpeckers are though...hmm! maybe they are knocking themselves out around the block!

    BTW, Is there any money in the rent-a-squirrel business? If so I have a few to rent, first century free! Catch your own of course!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Apr 17, 2016, at 8:18 AM
  • Tyger, the bag is supposed to simulate a hornets nest. Hornets are well known in the wasp world for being aggressive and killing both the adult wasps as well as their your in the nest.

    The theory, (have not tested myself) is that a bag to mimics a hornets nest, and the wasps will set up home far away. Don't know if it attracts hornets, but I think they prefer to make their own nest.

    The bag needs to be sheltered since rain will soon make it look like an abandoned nest. For that reason it is also suggested by many to stuff the bag with paper or something else to hold the shape.

    Hornet nests that I have encountered were always grayish, so the closer you can get it to look like a real nest, the better. I have see some folks build the nest with chicken wire then paper mache.

    Chef, I don't have a tomato in the ground nor a bean seed. You are waaay ahead of me. Good for you.

    I believe most plants at the "box" stores or even Kroger probably go through the stress you saw. Not sure if that stunts them or makes them tough but I would bet they would do better if they got the watering and attention they needed.

    I have though about fencing off the gardens to keep the "digger dog from H*ll" from having access, but then I would probably open myself up to more squirrel, rabbit and deer problems. Not sure which would be more destructive.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 17, 2016, at 10:10 AM
  • It is too bad one can't get the old, grey paper egg cartons to make one; I bet they would be great with their rough surface. I wonder how a balloon would work inside the bag, or build a paper-mache nest around one.

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sun, Apr 17, 2016, at 7:16 PM
  • That egg carton material would be great. I've seen them somewhere. Soaking should make it pliable enough to form

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 17, 2016, at 8:06 PM
  • I've read some of your gardening posts. Do you have a group that meets somewhere? Also I'm throwing out a question.I'm.looking to grow apples and peaches.Which varieties work best in this area?For Facebook users there is a antebellum farming page that is really good.

    -- Posted by beau maverick on Wed, Apr 20, 2016, at 4:53 PM
  • Beau, sorry for the late response. I thought I had responded from my smart phone but it must have outsmarted me.

    Yes, we have a gardening group, Weed'em & Reap. We're having a social tonight at Yummy Thai in Shelbyville. See a post by chefgrape. This is a great way to get to know some of us, but not a meeting with presentations.

    I do not think we have any fruit tree experts in our group. Although I know some have fruit trees, we have not discussed it much.

    I would say the hands-down best source is the UT Extension Office on Midland Road. This is where we have our monthly meeting.

    The UT website is a huge source of information and here is an article on Fruit trees https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP307-H.pdf

    If you prefer to talk with someone, start with John Teague at the local office and he will set you in the right direction 931-684-5971.

    Here is their contact page: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Bedford/Pages/Staff.aspx

    Maybe we'll see you tonight?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 22, 2016, at 9:45 AM
  • If I were to plant apples it would be some "Honey Crisp Golds" because they are my favorite and they cook well...as far as peaches, I'd have to go with a type of "Freestone" like we get in South Carolina or Georgia..I always end up with juice running down to my elbows eating the "Freestone" and they make the best home-made ice cream...just saying!

    If the Freestone do well in Sc. and Ga. they should do well here in Tn.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Apr 24, 2016, at 11:03 AM
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