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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Now that's the bindweeeeed

Now that explains a lot. Bindweed made this under the driveway, that was Herbarium worthy

Colorado Department of Agriculture

On a recent visit to the Colorado State University Herbarium, Jenifer Ackerfield, the Herbarium Curator and author of The Flora of Colorado, showed us this plant tuber.
It’s a bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) tuber that was excavated in Fort Collins under a driveway and given to Dr. Harold Harrington. (Harrington was one of the most influential early botanists in Colorado, and was the curator for CSU Herbarium for about 25 years.)
The curly white roots extend from the sides and the tops of the large tuber. The massive size of this tuber underground is one of the main reasons bindweed is so persistent and difficult to control.
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Compost tea

Compost teas are innoculants for the soil. In our high mountain desert the autumn and winter and early spring is the time when the moisture is in and one works on the soil.
Days are often warm above 50F and sometimes it freezes, so under the nice layer of leaves one can grow nice organisms for the next season.
Hot compost pile on large scale for me is difficult, so I make larger scale sheet mulch and use compost to innoculate.

Because I'm getting rid of bindweed I go for fungal compost. In my area soils are alkaline and so is the water, 8.5+ is not unheard off at all.  Soils are clay, so they do retain water but also do not drain well. I do have pasture grasses with long roots in my orchard, I want these because they create nice long food web. Because pasture was there for some time already it's a good start, but it's only working its way to high fungal like my garden that grows plenty of mushrooms in spring. That one I did jump start with different organic materials and plenty of wood chips and manure and compost as well.

When one does not have a lot of compost to go around they make compost tea and what is good about it one can re-seed these into compost and create even better bio diversity.

Compost teas:
this is what one can do at home, in garage etc, my kind of a set up for a small scale
For a farm something like this is one nice set up
This one has Elaine Ingham in the video explaining about it

About molasses in compost tea and fish hydrolysate

the product mentioned that helped to grow beneficial fungi is this type

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer. Retrospective 3, irises

Some irises, for the fun of it. Some bloomed, some I traded and planted this year in opes to get them going next year






Summer. Retrospective 2, bushes and tomato planting

New bushes. yeah, not particularly happy with overfed by nursery large plants and no way buying larger goji... still fighting it's magnesium deficiency when the smaller ones are doing just fine

New trees when planted not in April bare root need sun and wind shield. I'm just happy that lindens I've got were still with just buds cause these 9+ footers had about 5% of the root system that kind of a tree needs

Now tomatoes, we start those indoors
The summer was hot hot hot, above 100F many weeks, it's cooler now at nights, but even with wood chips not much does grow, and yeah in hail capital state of USA we got several hail storms, mine were small and fully covered by row covers (in 80+, yes still from sun damage and I did like row covers for that and for hail), many are replacing roofs in the area and such... we got golf ball size several times.
regardless tomatoes are smaller than usual size and not over the cattle panels (ok I neglected tying them... lots of work and such... my crazy schedule got on the way) but I have another 1.5 month growth, and that's the main reason our bit of a crazy weather I use mostly indeterminate heirlooms

and planted
 row covers for sun, hail and early June freezes... last year our 2 day snow was after May 25...



This system holds 55mph winds and this year there was 60mph on our weather station and there was wind damage in the area and hail damage too (aka roofs replaces and folk say most massive hail storms in the state) .
Step 1 watch where the main wind comes and set rows up-down wind, in my case it's northern wind. so up and down north. Then bad ones come from west, that's the side and that's why the triangle shape like a tipi and tight, I also reinforce that with butterfly bush sticks pinned to the cattle panel

Previously I had no t-post cattle panels, my tomatoes simply break any other support
that's 2014

and for autumn frosts we do this
and you can see peas and tomatoes planting side by side

I did similar this year, about a foot from tomatoes row, I tested different ways and that one works better for me. I do overplant peas, a lot, bugs do thin them out, a lot
I had pill bugs bait stations every 2 feet at the beginning of the season with slaggo plus (contains spinosad) I need to reset traps again cause I need to plant for the autumn and I lost 1-st go on peas to pill bugs (yes I hate them)

Side track...

What has happen to those super cute orloffs? Predator. Skunk is taken care off (no they can not be relocated and they are main vector of rabies in the county this year, so for animal lovers, no I'm not taking any risks with rabies exposure or anything of that sort), it's illegal to relocate skunks here, done no questions about it). But it did manage get in and massacred 9 show RO juveniles and some olive eggers, some of them were really promising off springs from my top hen, and the loss is irreplaceable.

I thought, ok bad picture day, no big deal, will take some tomorrow, that was the last ones, they were all dead in the morning with body parts all over the property, they tried to escape and the stinking skunk female just was killing for the... all dead, and that was it.

Another skunk caught... same process. Did see two dead raccoons on the road (road kill), better there than in my chicken house (also there are reports of rabies coons, not touching any of those ... someone did pick baby coon and it tested positive for rabies as a result that kind of a story makes it into news and that animal lover clearly was not well informed about wild life and had 20+ people treated for rabies exposure including children... sometimes I wonder what those folk are thinking...really good way to get sick..)

It has being a bad year for different pests, meaning a lot of them.
Both in garden and in poultry. One of my adopted ro hens had mites. Elector psp does quick work on them and very effective (spinosad), bug found on one chicken means treat all of them, and the chicken house. Here is a link below regarding different bugs and parasites, some may find is useful.
Elector psp is spinosad 40% concentrate. Used in organic poultry management. I do not see it in farm stores. I do see there permetrin for stables and chicken houses, that is the synthetic version on chrysanthemum derived pyrethrim. I used spinosad to get rid of house flies in chicken house and pen, very effective.
Also I found spinosad bait effective for pill bug management, partial... way many of them and spinosad bait is expensive.  Some nurseries will have something like slaggo plus.I lost lots of squash seedlings and all cucumbers to pill bugs, I never had a buggy year like this. Spinosad spray does not work on pill bugs, they have to eat it, same goes for earwigs (absolutely nasty bug... gets into my apples).

Another problem I wanted to bring: on sale trees, never buy something like this, that's fire blight right there
I took a picture at the store, stuff at lowes, walmart and homedepot will keep these trees and even when the problem i mentioned with the stock the stock will be still for sale spreading fire blight around the area.

Summer. Retrospective 1

Summer retrospective.
that protected bush... juneberries.
 And I had to do same for others... yeah

Garlic.. harvested, ready to re-plant and sun drying. Good quality crop.
These are the scapes from it harvested earlier and now frozen for the later.

Early summer currants are ok, all black Russian, Black consort, crandel and whites and reds
mid and summer end - crop was harvested, in August only one we have is crandel ripening slow (I would not do whole lot of it either in 106F heat and dead no rain weather for a month...). that's to protect from red robins and black starlings (aka local flying rats and they and sparrows brought me big mites problem)


Problem never seen hit red lake currant and was specific to several bushes.
Before - after


It is not 100+F heat, it looks fungal, but it is not fire bight.
 It did not touch red or white. Burned the dead leaves... It's too selective, it is on one type of plant.
Does not mean I had no red's, just lost a lot.
grapes in early summer are like so. why? Cause we can have snow for 2 days on may 26 that's why.

crop is set... bastard rooster got in and ate with his hens over 30 pounds of grapes or more. rooster disciplined, reinforcements are in place :)... what can I do, he's rather caring for his flock bastard (well he's pure bred orloff...).
and same grape in August... 
Green table grape.
it has being hit by hail storms and some of the crop is damaged,have to pick damaged grapes and chickens will be happy to have it. 
Baby green grape sets the very first fruit. And st Teresa grape recommended for midwest lived...