Author Topic: bigbear - 2020  (Read 2287 times)

Offline bigbear

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bigbear - 2020
« on: March 24, 2020, 09:54:33 PM »
I'm in zone 6b, South central PA.

So far this winter/spring...

Added metal fencing around the garden and chicken run.  Last year I used some plastic fencing.  Bunnies chewed through it and are made themselves at home in the garden.  And the chickens found the holes and made themselves at home in the garden and in the neighbors yard...  >:(

Built some wooden gates that I think look really nice. I'll have to post a pic of them.  And dig up the YouTube clip I used as my guide.  My wife really likes the look of the garden now.

Ordered three trees that will be delivered soon:  white mulberry, a small cherry, and an all in one almond.  I don't recall the mulberry or cherry types.I

Did some apple tree pruning.

Just planted out the cool season crops this past Saturday. Peas, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, spinach, carrots, beets, etc.  I'm thinking this is the last of the sub-freezing at night.

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 02:19:25 PM »
Here's the diy video I based my gates on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciI9YJY9MtU

The trees have been planted.
Beautiful Day White Mulberry - planted in the chicken run with a protective fence around it.
All-in-One Almond and Carmine Cherry - planted on the south/eastern side about 15' away from a Golden Delicious Apple.

Peas, cauliflower, and broccoli have started to sprout.  A bunch of them haven't germinated though, so went back and replanted this weekend.

Asparagus has started coming in.

Apple trees, raspberry, and blueberry are starting to leaf out.  Figs have been unwrapped for a couple of weeks and I noticed a green shoot this weekend.  I've transplanted a few raspberry shoots to the far side of the chicken run.  I've got a few jumpers even when they're clipped!  Hopefully it functions as a hedgerow blocking the chicken from jumping out that side.

Not garden related, but I'm putting in some seats around the firepit too.  All from scrap or recycled wood (I helped someone remove a deck last year and got the wood).  Only cost was for the cement mix.

Offline Stwood

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 04:33:59 PM »
Sounds good bigbear

Offline LvsChant

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2020, 05:48:26 PM »
haven't heard of that type of almond tree... let us know how it goes...

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2020, 12:54:46 PM »
I got my first full meal's worth of asparagus in one cutting!  Historically, it would take a few cuttings to get a full meal's worth.  We have 5 asparagus eaters in the family, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Peas are still growing.  Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach have done barely anything... 

The apples are in full bloom.  Cherry has just finished.  The almond is just starting to leaf.  And the figs are started to wake up too!  The mulberry showed some signs of life early, but it's still a stick...  I'm beginning to wonder if the amount of rain we've had drowned it (I'm forming a prayer circle for those willing to pray with me).  Blueberries are blooming.  Raspberries are leafed and the blooms are just starting on some.

Started some beans, tomato, cukes, zukes, and squash. 

Had to put one of the chickens out of her misery.  She was probably having trouble laying an egg or something.  She was getting very lethargic and was walking like a penguin.  And she couldn't get out of the coop the last day.  So I did the deed...  From what I read it was probably either a stuck egg or some sort of growth in the reproductive tract.  My son wanted me to do a probe myself to see if it was a stuck egg.  Nope.  At least not for that chicken.  She was the only one that would jump out, even after clipping.

Other non-garden related notes: 
1)  Firepit benches are done (except finishing). 
2)  My oldest son now weighs enough to ride the mower.
3)  I built some swings for my oldest daughter.  6"x6"x12' posts with 3' in the ground.  Unfortunately she was too quick to swing (and the ground was unusually water logged) and now the concrete base is cracking...  I'm going to need to sure up the posts so they don't sway. 

Offline Stwood

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 02:01:17 PM »
How's it going today.

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 10:05:13 AM »

Figs growing well.  They actually didn't freeze back to the ground this year.  Hoping that continues and they start looking more like trees than blobs.



Beautiful Day White mulberry finally started to leaf out!  I'm super excited about this one.



Asparagus are done this year  :(



One of my favorite angles.  My broccoli and cauliflower were a complete bust this year.  Only a few flowers and they bolted really fast despite it being relatively cool this spring.



The cleaning crew



Some peppers, peas, carrots, beans, tomato all around a recycled bed frame trellis.



beets and peas



My oldest showing off one of his creations.  He built two chicken feeders out of five gallon buckets.  When both are filled, it's enough to feed 16 chickens long enough for us to go on a 2 week vacation.  Now to get a rain barrel waterer!



The apple/blueberry 'guild'.  I want to put some strawberries down to block out some of those weeds.



It won't be long before we get a few blueberries!  My bushes are mostly young, so we won't get too many.



Raspberry are starting to ripening.  My middle son picked a dozen or so this morning.  It looks like we're going to get a ton this year.




My latest project.  The lean-to wood shed is almost done.  Just need a few more 4x4 posts and some gutters.

Offline Stwood

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 11:43:39 AM »
Awesome.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 12:27:55 PM »
It all looks great.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2020, 07:25:28 AM »
really looking fantastic... love those raspberries and blueberries... will have to work on that here.

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2020, 11:39:14 AM »
really looking fantastic... love those raspberries and blueberries... will have to work on that here.

Do it!  Though be warned, the raspberry bed with expand and canes will a few feet away too!  But they are the easiest thing to grow here.  No pests, no fertilizer, tastes great, longer production season, perennial...  The blueberries have been a little longer ramping up.  I didn't do any soil testing or have any clue whether it's acidic or not (probably not).  But the biggest bushes do produce. 

If you look on the apple/blueberry bed pic, the back left has an apple in the middle of a row of raspberry.  The row is 12' long and 3-4' wide (+/-).  I put up t-posts and garden wire as a trellis 3 years ago and haven't touched them since.  And I've begun to transplant volunteer canes along the other side of the chicken run as a hedge.  The chickens will have access to half the berries and I'll get the other side of the hedge. 

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2020, 07:53:57 AM »
What's being harvested now:
* Squash and zukes are coming in.  So far, only one of them has the vine borer.

* The first batch of beans have been picked (1 gal)

* A few of the blueberry bushes are ripening.  But my kids eat whatever is ripe straight from the bush!  (And I wouldn't have it any other way!)

* Raspberry are in full production (3 cups/day after the kids get their share)

* Picked our final peas and pulled the plants (over 1 gal)

On deck:
A few cherry tomato are just starting to turn yellow/orange.
A few peppers are forming.
Some baby melons are setting.
The figs are bulbing out and forming (they fruit very uniquely if you haven't seen them).

The mulberry (my baby according to Mrs. Bear) is really thriving!  Lots of growth and green!

Japanese beetles have been bad this year.  I haven't had a problem with them since the first year we moved here (over 7 years ago).  I put down some milky spore and that really did well for the last few years.  Maybe it's effectiveness has run its course...  FYI - they seem to like almond tree leaves the most in my yard.

Offline Stwood

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2020, 08:36:53 AM »

Japanese beetles have been bad this year.  I haven't had a problem with them since the first year we moved here (over 7 years ago).  I put down some milky spore and that really did well for the last few years.  Maybe it's effectiveness has run its course...  FYI - they seem to like almond tree leaves the most in my yard.

Garden sounds great.
Tell me about the milky spore.
I use the jap traps (5 currently) and between those and squishing em off, keep most of the damage down to a minimum

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2020, 12:49:43 PM »
Milky spore - it's a biological "powder'.  You basically scoop drop spoonfuls around the yard every 3 feet or so.  As the powder works its way into the ground it will infect the larva of Japanese beetles (and probably others).  As the larva are infected, they turn milky white (hence the name).  IIRC, it was supposed to last 10-20 years.  I'm at 6 years tops and needing to re-do it.  Though I haven't sprayed or anything for the past 5 years and have had very little problems with them.  I recommend it.  Cheaper, easier, and more natural than spraying. 

Offline bigbear

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2020, 01:07:20 PM »
Just got back from a 10 day camping trip.  (Wellsboro, PA is beautiful.  We chased a few waterfalls and found a few swimming holes.  We even found a couple of spots to "cliff" dive into the creek.  And by "cliff" I mean about 10 feet.  Big enough for the little bears to enjoy!  A good time had by all.)

Prior to leaving I installed an "automated" chicken waterer.  No pics now, but will definitely add some.  I used a 55 gallon trash can with PVC pipes to watering cups.  The long-term plan is to connect it to gutters on the chicken coop like a rain barrel (once they are installed).  Until then we'll just run the hose into the trash can. 

* My cukes were a train wreck when we got back (Fritz - I'm jealous!).  I planted 10-15 plants thinking I'd be canning some this year.  I'll be lucky to have enough to just eat a few fresh each week...  :(
* Green beans were loaded (Mrs. Bear picked 3-4 gallons this morning).  Though most have bean beetle issues.
* We had stuffed squash/zukes last night for dinner.  One of the squash was done in by the borer.  Another looks like it'll make it. 
* Tomato are starting to turn.
* Peppers are getting bigger.
* Dill is bolted, but I have some drying.  But no cukes…  Yeah, I'm bitter...

Raspberry are winding down though they'll still have some ripening for the rest of the summer/fall.
We have one blueberry bush that's still not ripe yet (don't recall the type they are).

The weeds seem to be growing well though!

Offline Stwood

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Re: bigbear - 2020
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2020, 03:45:22 PM »
Milky spore - it's a biological "powder'.  You basically scoop drop spoonfuls around the yard every 3 feet or so.  As the powder works its way into the ground it will infect the larva of Japanese beetles (and probably others).  As the larva are infected, they turn milky white (hence the name).  IIRC, it was supposed to last 10-20 years.  I'm at 6 years tops and needing to re-do it.  Though I haven't sprayed or anything for the past 5 years and have had very little problems with them.  I recommend it.  Cheaper, easier, and more natural than spraying.

Sounds great. Thanks for the info. I'll ck into it.