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Michelle Heath

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since Feb 26, 2012
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Recent posts by Michelle Heath

I ended up buying an orange mint plant while on the search for hot pepper plants for mom this spring.   It has done well and I've also been wondering what to do with it.  Will try drying a few leaves for tea.
2 months ago
I've killed aloe and cactus a few times, probably from overwatering.  But I do pretty good with just about everything else.  I even overwintered geraniums, coleus, Persian shield and impatiens last winter and took cuttings from them early in spring to fill my containers.  I have to agree about Wandering Jew being tough.  I've had plants almost brown with neglect and give them a good soaking and they perk back up.  I did pick up two reduced aloe plants last week and hope that at least one will survive.

My grandma used to take the black walnuts still in their husk, drop them on the ground and tamp them in with her foot.  Of course her ground was a sand loam mix as that definitely wouldn't work here, but generally the next spring she would have a walnut sapling growing there.  In her later years we built a flower bed in her front yard and she used to enjoy watching the squirrels play in it until all the walnuts started sprouting.  I've never tried propagating them from cuttings but I'm sure someone here can give you some insight on that.

As for the taste, black walnuts are horrendous to me, but grandma used to shell and sell them by the pound and never had enough to meet demand.  I know one time she had a few in a dish and I mistakenly thought they were English walnuts and popped a handful in my mouth.  Didn't take me long to spit them out.
3 months ago
Eric, the I'd describe the logs as weathered but some of the poplar are starting to show signs of decay.  It's probably been four years since they were cut.   We had cut and split several cords of oak for firewood but it would now fall into the decayed category as people weren't interested in it after we sold our truck and couldn't deliver.  Even offered it for free to anyone who'd come and get it when it was still in it's prime but no takers which is sad considering you could come up the farm road and drive directly to the piles and people were begging for firewood.  I think there's approximately 2-3 cords left.

The logs I was thinking of either using to edge beds or to make a hugel bed or two though it wouldn't be massive as it would all be hand labor used in constructing it except for dragging the logs.  My thoughts on the firewood is to use it hugel-style as well.  I could leave it where it's at and attempt beds there but in reality that would probably be classified as a zone I rarely visit so would have to be something pretty carefree.  Otherwise I would move it closer where it would get more care and attention.  Could compost it as well

We don't need the firewood as only the big garage is heated by wood and our plans are to dismantle it in the near future.  Some of the big logs could probably be used for lumber and I may contact someone with a band mill and check into that.  Most of the material is too big for our chipper and not interested in renting a bigger one right now.  I'm not sure how roundwood building would hold up here and honestly I doubt I'd find time to attempt it within the next few years.

How would mushrooms do if I were to just inoculate the firewood piles in place?  Would I eventually end up with something that could then be collected and used to fill garden beds?
3 months ago
I'm following this post closely as I have piles of logs and firewood on my property left when the timber company harvested a neighbor's property.  There was an issue with another neighbor denying them access to what's still classified as a "public" though almost impassable road and we and another neighbor leased them temporary access to go through our properties and their landing was on ours. In return we were given all the offcuts which were mostly oak and poplar.  Some of the piles are left and are starting to decay and I'm hoping to move them over the winter just as soon as I decide on how I'll utilize them.
3 months ago
I really like what you've done.  The only concern I see right now is the screws you're using to keep the chain from slipping through the holes.  In one picture it appears that one is badly bent and I'm not sure how much weight the water plants would actually have or if it would be an issue at all. I'm just imagining trying to fish a container full of plants out of the bottom of a barrel.  

I've also thought of keeping a few goldfish in ours and worried about them being swept out.  My mental idea is to somehow construct a screen of sorts to prevent that.  My barrel is also stored during the coldest months so goldfish would have to either be rehomed to small pond or spend the winter inside.
3 months ago

Janet Reed wrote:$40 a bale for molded hay.  

Times have changed. You’d think he’d give it to you to get it out of the field….

Since the original post was eight years ago I'd hate to think how much they'd charge for a bale of moldy hay now.  

Since the farmer was intending to burn the hay and make no profit, $40 does in fact seem steep to me.  Yes I understand it will take fuel to deliver them but $40 a piece?  
I took six elderberry cuttings back when the parent plant was just starting to bud out.  They were inserted in a pot of old (poor quality) potting mix and other than watering a few times, they were neglected.  They leafed out and even produced flower buds which the deer removed promptly.  I just removed them and potted each one individually and had a fist size mass of roots on each one.  

My thoughts is if I have that much success with hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings should produce roots even faster.
3 months ago
Thanks for the update Dennis.  I have an open offer of aged sheep manure and have been hesitant because of the wormer issue.  
3 months ago
I've been growing rhubarb from seed for a few years now but have always purchased seed since I wanted to try new varieties.  Germination was generally in about a week but that was indoors with a great deal of pampering in early spring.  The older variety I brought from my grandmother's garden (could be Mary Washington) gets divided every few years.  

My reasoning for growing from seed is that I get more bang for my buck.  Yes seedlings take extra care and an extra year to harvest versus divions, but much cheaper than divisions.  I hope to purchase a variety called "Canada/Canadian Red that I've heard great things about but by the time I think about ordering it's sold out or the shipping is outrageous.
3 months ago