Emilie McVey

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since Oct 28, 2014
I am originally from (the great state of) Texas and have been an expat living in PA for 31 years, the last several of which have been in beautiful central PA. I love gardening and the outdoors and the concept of sustainable living; that said, neither my beloved of 33 years nor I are handy - we feel very accomplished to be able to paint a room and have it look nice.
central Pennsylvania
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Recent posts by Emilie McVey

Regarding mulch, does anyone know of free options?  

The "mulch" at our township public works center is chopped up branches and sticks.  They still look like branches and sticks, although now in 2-4" lengths and up to about 1" diameter.  I've used it, once. Not really what I'm looking for in my veggie, or flower, garden.

I don't have much access to newspaper anymore, and I was never comfortable with the dyes anyway.  My fall leaves have all decomposed or blown away.

Suggestions?
I looked at the website that sells the Fokin hoe.  They give pretty straightforward directions on how to make a handle for it.

As far as how often to sharpen it, it merely says to keep it sharp--not very helpful.  But given what the Fokin can do, and my experience with other types of hoes and tools that cut  into soil, I would have a sharpener/whetstone in my back pocket.

Hope that helps.

I would love to have one of these tools.  It would make quick(er) work of preparing a new bed, or getting an existing, somewhat overgrown bed back into shape, making furrows, and cutting all those weed that grow in the corners where my lawn mower can't reach.  I bet it could even help me edge my beds while standing up, instead of having to crawl on all fours with a pair of scissors.  Getting up from that position is the *real*  problem!
1 month ago
I recently watched a short video on sowing carrots with a great germination rate.  Unfortunately I don't remember who it was   But, here's what I remember from his instructions :  soak the carrot seed for 24 hours.  Then, mix corn starch with cold water, bring to a boil,  and thicken. As I recall,  he made enough to fill a gallon bag. Drain the soaked carrot seed, put in the gallon back. Add the COOLED corn starch-thickened water. Zip the bag closed, and knead the seeds around in the bag until they're pretty well distributed throughout the gelled water. Take the bag out to the prepared garden bed, snip a very small hole in the corner of the bag, and gently squeeze the seeds, like toothpaste,  in rows in the garden.  Because the seeds had soaked so long, they were up in just a few days. I'm trying that method next year!
Very timely -- I was just thinking about my aphid experience last year.  My nasturtiums were absolutely covered with aphids last year.  At least I think they were aphids - they were black, not green.  And the year before, my calendulas were massively attacked.  Were these indeed aphids?

Also, regarding ladybugs, I rather thought there is a lady bug look-alike that is actually a pest, and I've been concerned that I wouldn't know the difference.  Can anyone give clarification?

So glad someone posted a picture of a ladybug larva, so I know what to look for!
2 months ago

Beth Wilder wrote:. I'm gluten-free, so I made my starter with and feed it a blend of gluten-free mostly-wholegrain flours and aim for about a 100% hydration (1:1 flour:water if I understand right; I am not enough of a bread nerd to understand all the terminology or know it by heart.....I use my starter to make a batch of stovetop gluten-free flatbreads every other day or so, and that's been a hugely positive thing lately.




I've been reading through this thread wondering if it it is possible to use gluten-free flour to make a starter!  Thank you for this  
I gave up gluten-free bread baking many years ago bc all I ever produced were bricks.  But if I could make the equivalent of crackers or naan by using a starter, maybe I could at least try that.

(I'm doing a detox fast this week, so maybe I ought to belooking at a different thread.... LoL)
2 months ago

Joe Moon wrote:Thank you

They are PDF files.

For opening the files, it is often suggested that Adobe reader is used, but I find it a trial by stodgy dough to get it working.
PDF Xchange Editor is the best. Its faster and lets you edit the files aswel as view them. Without any Adobe fuss.
https://pdf-xchange.eu/pdf-xchange-editor/index.htm

Often your Windows file manager can unzip the folder, and if not, 7zip is the best for that. Much better than Winzip.
https://www.7-zip.org/




Thank you!!
What program was used to create these?  I need to know to tell my computer what program to open it with.  Thanks!
If there is another thread better for this question, please advise.

I once had five blueberry plants. About the second or third year, their leaves began to turn yellow-green.  Being advised that they probably lacked iron and that putting a rusty nail in the soil beside each plant would remedy that, I did.  Three of the plants died, so I relocated the remaining two plants to another bed with more sun. I now have one plant, which hasn't grown at all in two+ years and produces maybe six berries.

Does anyone have an idea of what is wrong?  I tried not to let them dry out, I tried to acidify the soil a bit with tea and diluted vinegar, back when I still had five plants.  Strawberries are growing very nicely in the bed in which I had originally planted them, if that gives a clue.

Thanks in advance for your input.
If there is another thread better for this question, please advise.
I once had five blueberry plants. About the second or third year, their leaves began to turn yellow-green.  Being advised that they probably lacked iron and that putting a rusty nail in the soil beside each plant would remedy that, I did.  Three of the plants died, so I relocated the remaining two plants to another bed with more sun. I now have one plant, which hasn't grown at all in two+ years and produces maybe six berries.

Does anyone have an idea of what is wrong?  I tried not to let them dry out, I tried to acidify the soil a bit with tea and diluted vinegar, back when I still had five plants.  Strawberries are growing very nicely in the bed in which I had originally planted them, if that gives a clue.

Thanks in advance for your input.
3 months ago
So this isn't a rental,  but a purchase,  correct?
3 months ago