I recently learned about a powerful tool for improving our gardening and beekeeping abilities. It’s called Phenology, and it’s a method of predicting 1) when to plant crop seeds, 2) when the bees will bring in nectar, 3) what kind of nectar they’ll be bringing in (i.e. what kind of honey it will be), 4) when to start controlling detrimental insects, 5) when weeds will emerge, and 6) many more things!
It utilizes temperature as a predictor because plant growth and insect emergence depend on temperature. “Growing degree-days” (GDD) are used as the predictive measure, and by knowing the GDD for your area on a [...]
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For the past two years, we’ve used the “Lazy Bed Method” for growing potatoes; and been relatively satisfied with the results. The potatoes were very simple to plant and maintenance was non-existent - just lift the potatoes when the growing season is over; however, the potato quality seemed to suffer somewhat from being grown above ground – insects nibbled on a few, some rotted, yield seemed a bit low, etc. So this year, I decided to modify the method just a bit, and the potatoes turned out great! I think we’ve got a method now that produces great potatoes with very little work [...]
Continue reading Growing Potatoes: The Lazy Bed Method “IMPROVED”
Memorial Day weekend corresponds with our wedding anniversary; so we’re usually off somewhere celebrating. In the past, we’ve traveled exotic places, seen spectacular scenery, and attended great events. But this year we decided to stay put; and since we rarely enjoy a Memorial Day weekend at home, some photographs seemed appropriate.
The cats, Sugar and Spice, are the ones I miss first when we travel, but I also worry about them least – they’re pretty self-sufficient. They’re sisters from the same litter, although you’d never know it by looking at them.
One reason for staying put this year was to get some ongoing projects done. One of these was installing an automatic chicken-coop opener. With it installed, the chicken coop hatch automatically opens when the sun [...]
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