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Marsha Cassada

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Waiting for this gloomy, chill week to pass and then must prune the fruit trees. This will be the first prune for the new peach to be espaliered, so I'll have to take a close look at it. An artichoke wintered over. I think I need to move it, as it is in the asparagus tire and I fear it might be in the way. Planted it as an experiment last year. Was told they are biannuals, so it may bear this year. I thought it was frozen and dead, then lo and behold, it is flourishing.
 

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Marsha Cassada

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Pruned the trees yesterday. Really did some aggressive pruning this year. Also took about 7 inches of dirt out of my tire planters. That was about 7 wheel barrowfuls each. Hauled it to the compost pile. Layered fresh compost in the tires. I need to look into some good sources of nitrogen; soil test shows a lack of that. I tried the slow release fertilizer last year and couldn't tell it did any good at all. I did move the artichoke; it had very long tap roots, but I think I got it all. We'll see if it survives.
 

Willow Flats

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Do you have chickens Marsha? I compost my chicken manure and use that every spring. It is really good for adding nitrogen. It does need to be composted though and not used fresh.

I hope your artichoke survives! I find mine to be really hardy.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Do you have chickens Marsha? I compost my chicken manure and use that every spring. It is really good for adding nitrogen. It does need to be composted though and not used fresh.

I hope your artichoke survives! I find mine to be really hardy.
Yes, I have chickens. Also use my horse and garden/house debris. I don't know why I have such a hard time with nitrogen. Everything is piled on the compost and my husband turns it with the tractor several times a year. Of course, the chickens keep it stirred up, too!
Plan to stop by the nursery today and ask about the nitrogen.
I had to move the artichoke as I put it in the asparagus tire (as an experiment) and that spot wasn't going to work. The asparagus shaded it.
 

Willow Flats

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What I do is keep a seperate chicken compost. I only put shavings or leaves and dump my husbands coffee grinds in with the chicken manure.

My husband is in construction, and does a lot of work for an organic grower out here. The grower says horse manure isn't the richest fertilizer so we compost that separate and use it where we grow melons or corn in the field and use the chicken manure compost in my kitchen vegetable garden beds.

We have horrible clay soil here so we have also been spreading horse manure on my driving track to improve it.

Question: many times when I click on quote to reply to your post, it doesn't put the quote there. What am I doing wrong?
 

Ryan Johnson

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I've never had any luck using horse manure, It always seems to give me nothing but weeds. I would love to have chickens but we have too many foxes where I live.

Marsha, How long did it take for your Peach tree to bare fruit?. My tree has been in for 5 years and It produced two peaches this year. I have a few fruit trees that I am wondering if they need to be replaced, this being one of them and the other my apricot tree. My apple & pear trees are going crazy this year. I unfortunately did not net two other apple trees in time and the parrots had a feast and cleared the trees in the one day (lesson learnt).

I will make sure to add some chicken manure come next spring, thanks for the tip Willow Flats :)
 

Marsha Cassada

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The peach bore after two years. Just a few. The next year more. But they were poor quality so I purged that tree. it was also very difficult to keep espaliered. Hope this new one is better.
We don't have enough chickens to generate a lot of compost. Difficult to keep them with all the predators, and all kinds of things just seem to happen to them. Planning to get new chicks next month. I'm down to two hens now. Dapper Dan stepped on one and crushed her foot. We didn't know if she would recover, but she's out and about now with a little limp, and back to laying.
I put panty hose on the apples and peaches for a couple of years when we had grasshoppers so bad. I think it would also keep birds off. It was a lot of trouble to cover every fruit. You an get two covers out of each knee-high. Our trees are in the enclosed garden so birds are not an issue. We did have a pack rat get in one year and wreak havoc.
Predator parrots is rather a hard thing to imagine here in Oklahoma!!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Asparagus starting to produce. Plum thickets beginning to bloom. It dropped down to freezing last night, but things should be fine. Need to plant some lettuce. My favorite is Tom Thumb.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Ryan, what kind of pears do you have?
Nashi and Packhams & I think the other is a Williams Pear. :)

Ive never planted winter Veggies before but with the shortage of everything in the grocer stores, Ive put the following in - Cauliflower, Purple Cauliflower, Broccoli, Broccolini, Cabbage, Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots, Onions, Leeks.
 

Marsha Cassada

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What variety of sweet potato? We cannot grown those here in winter. They are killed by freeze.
Impatient, here, because the weather is warm today. But I know it's too early to get confident about spring.
 

Willow Flats

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I have been harvesting asparagus and next to that are my artichokes. Just spotted my first one of the year. I planted green beans, tomatoes, 20200326_184703.jpgeggplant, red bell peppers for me and hot peppers for my husband, and cilantro and basil. But that is it so far. We have a really long growing season here thankfully. We have always grown corn, but for the last two years it wasn't very sweet so we're just going to grow more melons this year instead and that area just got tilled.
 

Ryan Johnson

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I also gave corn the flick this year. Your artichoke looks amazing, hope you enjoy it !!

Iv just planted heaps of winter veggies ( I only usually plant out for summer)

My beans are going crazy , along with my tomatoes. Our growing season was a little all over the place this year. With the extreme heat we had early in summer, then much cooler weather over the last 6 weeks, many of the things I planted ( especially zucchinis, cuccummbers & pumpkins) started to die off much earlier than usual.

Hope you get a really good crop this year willow Flats :)
 

Marsha Cassada

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I'm still trying to be patient here as another chill is expected next week. I saw little peaches on the baby tree. Got the drip hooked up in the garden. A few yard long beans have come up volunteer, which is fun. Kale and onions doing well. I harvest leaves off the kale to use for salad. The artichoke I transplanted is thriving. Cilantro bushing out. Chives getting ready to bloom.
Does anyone know what kind of fly/bee this is in my carolina jasmine? It is the size of a largebee in jasmine.jpg bumble bee but it isn't carrying pollen so I think it must be some kind of nectar insect. It is shiny.
 

Ryan Johnson

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It could be a carpenter bee ?

Glad you are seeing things blooming and growing Marsha.

I got home last night to find the rabbits had a buffet on my winter veggie garden beds. Nets went up last night and Ill replace what was eaten over the long weekend.
 

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