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About JTR

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    fly tying, fly fishing, plug building
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  1. Who here raises chickens? We have some arriving next week. Plymouth rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons. We’re pretty much winging it. We have a brooder setup, a chicken house and run on our property, and that’s about it. From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty easy - but I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a lot of problems that arise that the mrs. blows out of proportion.
  2. That thing is a beast. So much better than a wheelbarrow.
  3. Made some progress over the past 2 days. Added 4 8x3’ raised beds. They’ll probably all be planted by the end of the weekend. Plan is to add cattle panel trellises running in between to long sides - 4 total. That will give us enough room for about 25 cucumbers and 7-8 vining squash plants. The rest of the beds will be filled with onions, pumpkins, watermelons, squash, ground cherries, Brussels sprouts and some other random stuff, as well as some companion plants such as marigolds and calendula. We’re also going to add another raised bed for herbs. And in the space between the street and the beds will most likely be turned into a flower bed. I had built 3 of the beds with 2x12s from Lowes. Earlier this week I learned of a saw mill in Carver, which was way cheaper - literally less than half the price of lumber from the box stores, plus it’s rough sawn which looks way better for beds. I used that for the forth bed. Filled the beds with a 50/50 blend of compost and top soil from a local nursery (Sunrise Gardens), plus aged cow/duck/chicken manure. I was really impressed with the blend. Seems really rich, but also nice and loose and fluffy. Hopefully it works out well. PS - The claw foot tub was there when we moved in… have to figure out some way to plant that as well.
  4. We use cattle panels as trellises. They work fantastic for both cucumbers and tomatoes. If you grow tomatoes up a trellis, you need to cut off all of the suckers and “single stem” them up the trellis.
  5. There’s certainly ways to save. Making potting soil at home (see my post a little while back). Composting at home, or find a place with free compost - for containers, I find free compost to work just fine, as long as you keep up with the weeding. For smaller scale, certainly use repurposed or free containers to start seeds. Grow in free 5 gallon pickle buckets or something like that. If you go to the grocery store and buy whatever is on sale, chances are you’re not going to save any money by gardening, especially when you consider the cost of your time. If you buy organic and/or really consider it important knowing what’s in your food, I think it’s a no brainer. We don’t live in an environment that’s conducive to year round gardening without serious investment, so preserving your food is important too. For example, it’s pretty easy to grow a years worth of tomatoes for sauce, salsa, etc, but you need to invest in canning equipment. Even if you just enjoy eating home grown tomatoes a few times a year, again, you’re not going to save money, but with minimal investment, it’s certainly easy and you learn a lot too.
  6. I live right around the corner from it…. I’m working on it!
  7. I checked out sauchuk today and they had a ton of vegetables for $1.99 each, that looked very healthy. Also, right around the corner is sunrise gardens and they had 4 packs of tomatoes/peppers and other vegetables and herbs for $3.49, which also looked very good. We grabbed a few 6 packs of strawberries for $12 each too. We got a Green Stalk this year which we’ll plant with the strawberries, lettuce, spinach and kale.the Green Stalk looks like a fantastic option for small space gardening. Plus, you can separate the sections, to easily over winter the strawberries. Attached a stock photo of the green stalk for reference.
  8. I’m guessing that winch really helps keep the marks from milling to a minimum?
  9. Looks good! Better than mine, ha!
  10. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them. We missed their fall festival last year which was a bummer.
  11. Sauchuk? Or somewhere else? We moved to Plympton last year. I’m certainly interested in some good corn for the grill.
  12. A look at our seedlings and the containers we’ll be growing in. The tomatoes are really itching to get planted. Posted about these containers last year- 100% constructed out of pallets. We’ll also have at least (3) 3x8’ raised beds. Have those put together but haven’t established where they are going yet - a little late to get that established, but we’ve got a lot going on. Also plan on getting some lettuce, spinach and kale sown into smaller containers this weekend.
  13. Quick recipe for the guys that do a lot of container gardening. We made all of our own potting soil last year and it was so much cheaper than the bagged stuff, even the cheapest bagged stuff out there. I mix the basic soil, and then fertilize specifically for whatever I’m planting in it. I do the following: 2 parts peat moss (dry) 2 parts compost 1 part perlite I’ve always used a 5 gallon bucket to measure out the parts, but I had an epiphany as I was mixing today and figured out an easier way. Turns out that the following works out to be almost the exact same parts: (1) 3 cubic foot bag of peat moss (1) 30 gallon trash can of compost (1) 2 cubic foot bag of perlite. You’ve got to hydrate the peat moss first. The full 3 cubic foot bag will take about 10 gallons to hydrate. You want it just moist enough so that if you pick up a handful and squeeze it, a little water will come out. It will resist water at first, so you need to really mix it in to get it to take. A shovel will work fine, but I use one of those paddle mixers in a hammer drill. Once the peat is mixed, you can just mix in the other ingredients, and voila, it’s done. Theres no exact science to it, so don’t worry if your measurements are a little off. I fertilize with espoma organic fertilizers based on whatever I’m planting, usually either tomato tone or garden tone. That recipe will yield you about 50-60 or so gallons of potting soil, about 7-8 cubic feet. I use free compost from the transfer station for containers ( I don’t like it in ground though due to possibly bringing in outside invasives). The bag of peat should be $11 and the bag of perlite is $16 at HD. The fertilizer cost is minimal per plant. $27 total. On a good day, that much potting soil will be around $80 minimum, easily $100 if you want to go with organic fertilizers. I have 6 big planters that each take 10 cubic feet of soil, so the cost savings really adds up.
  14. For those of you that start seeds indoors, I’ve got to say, we upgraded our seedling trays this year and what a difference it made. We went with the Bootstrap Farmer trays. Still using solo cups, instead of the square pots that fit the trays. The heavy duty trays make such a difference when it comes to transporting the seedlings and bottom watering. Well worth the money over using the cheap jiffy trays from the box stores.
  15. A cheap led grow light setup and some seed trays will pay for itself in no time. It’s also good if you want to start seeds inside during the season, while you wait for garden space to open up. We’re in a transition year this year. We didn’t have the time (or the money for lumber) to build a permanent greenhouse, so we bought a $100 one from Amazon. We have a few hundred seedlings at various stages of development. It’s a pain to bring them inside and out every day, but it allows us to start a bunch of plants without needing a dozen grow lights. Youtube is a great resource. Tons of info on there from basic seed starting to building huge greenhouses. Roots and Refuge farm is a personal favorite channel - they’ve gone from having a backyard garden to buying a huge farm, all of which is documented on YouTube.