Cécile Stelzer Johnson

pollinator
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since Mar 09, 2015
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Recent posts by Cécile Stelzer Johnson

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:This was the year that I was going to grow more than enough green beans for a year. I planted 60 feet of pole beans. I planted 160 feet of bush beans. None of the pole beans sprouted. Only 60 feet of the bush beans sprouted. (new seed) Those have been set far behind by The Bastard Bambi.
And apparently, beans that do not float after a 24 hour soak, are not necesarily going to sprout. I've lost time and expected harvest.  Sigh.
Lost.... blue lake bush beans, contender bush beans, two varieties of bumpy pole beans, some pinkeye purple hulled peas, self-saved rattlesnake pole beans (sob) that were accustomed to not being watered by me except for establishment.
Fortunately, I live in an area with 9 months of frost tender annual growing. I have new seed now. Contender, blue lake bush, rattlesnake beans, and purple hull peas. 60 days late, but all have been re-re-replanted, And I am not gonna try the no watering for this year. We're near the seasonal drought and I need to try to catch up!




For the weevils in the beans: on the plus side, chickens will delight in eating them, especially if you can crush them a bit.
As far as the Bambi family, the 7 ft fence that r.Ransom suggested is by far the best and cheapest idea. As far as spray that will stick, I think Wasabi with either a bit of oil or a bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid will work. Dilute it so it will spray better, but you can also use a watering can if it won't go through the spray.
[The Wasabi sure works on possums! you should see them react after they lick their paws! Hilarious!]
I suspect you don't want to offend your neighbors by erecting a fence, but ask them if they have a garden if it is fenced in and if Bambies are coming to theirs.
Invite them.
Show them the damage and explain that you will have to put up a fence. Ask them for their understanding and hope they won't be offended. [Tough if they are: in many locales, it is absolutely forbidden to feed wild deer.]

Anne Miller wrote:Borage was on my property when I made my purchase.  Since then I have seen none.
Since I have no experience cooking it I will say that I believe those plants are telling you something.
Planting by spreading out a 6” layer of compost helped the borage.




Since you and Ulla both used compost, I'm sure the compost helps. That is one thing you have in common. My other idea is that perhaps, there was a delayed germination? Depending when the borage seed was planted, the plant may have decided to hold her power until the following year? [This is pure speculation on my part, but when something is planted way late in the season, it happens. I feel that most volunteer squash/ cucurbits that one tosses when they are ripe don't grow then, but the following year, they sometimes do with a vengeance!]
3 days ago

Loucille Sparks wrote:Instructions say use non washed eggs and also airtight lid so no air to evaporate the water.




My eggs, glassed on Feb. 6th 2023 still look good on 6/14/2024. following instruction to the letter, which I don't always do, is key here. especially inspecting them for cracks before you jar them and keeping the bloom on them is paramount. I took only 'perfect' eggs, that I didn't have to spot clean even.
I also keep the glass half gallons out of sunlight. I don't know if that helps. Maybe I should finally hard boil a dozen and see what they taste like, the consistency, ease of peeling etc.
1 week ago
It stands to reason that if you have a weed growing close to a cherished plant, the weed is *also* pulling nutrients away. However, once the weed is removed and used as tea, it is a great addition, putting nutrients *back* in the soil for your cherished plants' joy.
On the plus side, a growing weed is also shading the soil right next to your cherished plant, so that's a benefit too: it helps cool the soil and keeps moisture near.
1 week ago
Ticks lie in wait in  the grass or drop from the trees. This year, I have not seen as many ticks: Zero big ones like you find on dogs and only 5 so far, [but it is June]. Of these 5 tiny ones, 3 were engaged, 2 weren't. If they are engaged, I heard that Vaseline covering them up suffocates them and they die [but it takes time and I have no patience where ticks are concerned]. I used a cousin of Vaseline: "Icy Hot". I suspect the smell of it plus the suffocating effect of the Vaseline-like base makes it work faster. If one is not engaged, I just bite them dead, [then spit because they really taste bad!]. I have some really sharp little scissors but I'm afraid of losing them out there. Burning them at the point of a knife once they are off you works great too.
For those  that I might pick up in the grass, I have 2 of these white dog collars to keep dogs tick free. I put one over each pant leg, at the bottom, making sure they do not contact skin. This works really well.
Early in the morning or late at night, I strip and look myself over, using a mirror if need be, but I can usually feel them crawling if they are on me.
1 week ago

Luke Mitchell wrote:

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:ducks need water deep enough to put their whole head in it so they can blow their nostrils clean.



That's interesting, thanks for the info!

In terms of keeping water liquid, it obviously depends a lot of situation and local climate. If you can keep your water circulating or moving (either into and out of the pond, if it is fed by a stream or spring; or around the pond using a pump) then it will resist freezing for much longer. Perhaps a simple solar-powered pump might be a good option to try?




Thanks, Luke. right now, I'm using a corded pump but I did buy a solar one. I'm afraid that either corded or solar, at night, when that pump stops, it will freeze in the -40 we've had sometimes. Once I get it going, though, I would use it during the summer, to save electricity, then put it away and use the corded one. I'm thinking that a good tank de-icer might even be a better option.
My little pond isn't very deep, so freezing solid is a definite possibility.
During the winter, and especially in January, the cloud cover is on all the time. It is dreary.
2 weeks ago

Cyn Stratt wrote:Do ducks really need a pond? I was taught that they must have clean water for washing their beaks and head. Ours get a clean tub daily and enjoy the sprinklers.



Welcome to Permies, Cyn, and yes, you are correct: ducks need water deep enough to put their whole head in it so they can blow their nostrils clean.
It is if you live in an area where their water will freeze in the winter that things get complicated. Ducks can put up with a lot more cold than chickens, so the cold is not the problem, but  some water has to be kept fluid for them to blow their nostrils.
That's the main reason I have not gotten ducks to be kept over the winter, but I'm working on it. So far, I'm taking only meat ducks [White Pekins].
My pond isn't very large or deep [+/- 700 gallons], but once I make the jump and get some Khaki Campbells to get eggs from, I will have to get a de-icer for their pond. If I had a large barn, I could give them a kiddie pool and water them inside, although it would be difficult and stinky, but I don't...
I don't feel too bad about having birds that dirty their water [a lot] during the summer, because they are in an orchard, and I have designs on that dirty water: I will pour it around trees and on the rhubarb.
What kind do you have and do you live where it gets very cold in the winter?
2 weeks ago
My first dog, Snook, was fond of eating asparagus, but they had to be cooked: he never bothered the patch. I would hold the asparagus by the tougher end and Snook would mouth the whole thing and gently close his mouth several times and pulling to extract all the good stuff, like he had seen me do, and left me with the tough end in my hand..
You would think that an animal with no lips would have trouble with that maneuver, but he was a pro at it and never slobbered any on the floor. It all went in.
He knew when we had asparagus and he knew to approach me so as to not attract the attention of my folks who wanted me to "eat my vegetable!"
Now, I can't get enough of my asparagus!
3 weeks ago
In a away, May, you already have your answer: your chickens won't eat it. Any question about their toxicity is moot. If you have ducks or know of someone who has ducks, I would suggest you approach them and ask if you could use one or two of their for a couple of days.
The algae is a different problem and since your pond is small enough, you should be able to scoop it clean of algae.
This is what an expert says about algae growth in a pond. See what you can do to modify any of these parameters. Good luck to you. [I am not affiliated to the Pond guy, BTW}
https://www.thepondguy.com/learning-center/what-is-algae/?p=PPCGOOGA&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6uWyBhD1ARIsAIMcADpiGZTeTQTuky8BZI6yXmHinI_eh89RHBXlEVBEBY3-VCyDNCdArY8aAow4EALw_wcB
3 weeks ago