Jen Fulkerson

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since Jul 09, 2019
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My name is Jennifer, I'm married to a wonderful man for 28 years and counting. We have four grown children. Two girls and two boys. Being a mom is my most important and favorite job. I love to garden, paint, crochet, read, go to the movies, upcycle/refinish furniture, and do just about any art or craft project. We have 3 dogs, 5 indoor cats, ? cats that live on our property, and 21 chickens. All but the chickens are strays that just showed up and demanded we love them, so we do.
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N. California
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Recent posts by Jen Fulkerson

Because of a terrible gopher problem I can't plant anything in the ground. But some things just do better in the ground for me. So I have tried a few alternatives. I tried the food safe 5 gallon bucket. I drilled many holes in it. I dug a hole and basically planted it. I filled it like a mini hugel. It worked well, I was actually over watering it and had to water less. So year one success. I noticed it was full of weeds but when I tried to clean it up I discovered the top that stuck out of the soil was brittle and broke away.  Now I have to dig it out.  I did the same thing with the black nursery pots. Some I bought, and some I already had from buying trees.  They have held up so far. It didn't occur to me to research the plastic. I just assumed that because it's meant for planting it was ok. I know better than to assume.  So much of my learning comes from the back end.
40 minutes ago
I made this raised bed from a heat treated pallet. I painted linseed oil on it hopefully to help it last longer.  It has a hardware cloth bottom ( might not be right for you.). It's definitely not perfect, but I'm quite happy with it. It cost me nothing to make, and didn't take very long to build.
Here I go again. The hugelkulture has not preformed the way I have hoped. I can water a little less, but still have to water.  
This last fall the chickens got in yet again.    
I put it back together today.  The soil looks amazing.  My hope is the hugel will be what I always hopped it would be. We have had a lot more rain late winter, & spring.  My hope is a lot of that water has been soaked up by the logs deep in the hugel.
I rarely let the chickens out these days, and finally have it so they can't get out, so maybe my hugel will finally be worth the effort of rebuilding it every year.
2 hours ago
My work sells pots made from bamboo. I haven't done any research, but it may be an option.
For once the weather cooperated, and I didn't have to do much. I've been putting my seedlings out for a a few hours a day for the last couple of weekends. This week it's been overcast and cloudy with the sun coming out for a few hours each day. All my seedlings look great.  I still have very small seedlings not ready to be outside, so I may still build something. I'm willing to bet we jump from what is almost winter weather for us to hot and miserable with no lovely spring in-between.  I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.
Thank you everyone for your input, it was appreciated
Happy gardening
I'm sold. If they will grow in N. California and I can find them. I'm going to plant some. Thanks.
1 week ago
Thanks H.
Everything is in 3 1/2" X3 1/2" pots or the large Solo type cups. I plan to put the dahlia in a larger pot today because it is definitely root bound.
Unfortunately I have dogs, the best place to start the hardening off process is in the dog area. We have 3  1 years old Sheppard mix, and they would eat, stomp and or play with anything in the yard.
I do appreciate your help though thanks.
Maybe a fine mesh for #1 going to the ground to give a very small amount of sun protection, and pest protection.  Then maybe a row cover, then maybe shade cloth for 3 and 4. ???
I enjoy starting seeds inside. I dred hardening them off.  Last year I watched a bunch of videos and saw one that talked about outside in overcast weather for 3 days would do the job. I tried it, and on day 2 the sun burned away the clouds and did a lot of damage to my beautiful plants while I was at work. They also say sun in the morning and a shady spot in the afternoon, moving the plants a little farther from the shade.  This spot is not always easy to find, and I have been wrong before.
You might be thinking just do it the traditional way. I work 5 days a week 8:30 - 5 so unless I take time off work this is impossible.
What if I build a frame, like an upsidedown table. The bottom keeps plants off the ground.  The legs will hold layers of shade cloth.   1) just over the top. 2) 2" or 3" over the sides. 3) 8"/10".  4) all the way to the bottom.  The seedlings go in and stay 24/7 if it's warm enough at night when I start, or in at night if it's going to be to cold.  After a couple of days remove #4, two more days remove #3, 2 more days remove #2, two more days remove #1.  Hardening off process complete.
In my mind it seems like a viable plan. I have scoured the internet looking for someone who has tried something like this and found nothing.  Because it's rediculace and won't work?  I don't know.  
I'm going to give it a try.  I will use pallet wood for the frame. The shade cloth will depend on cost. Ideally I would love to use real shade cloth that tells me how much sun protection it gives. This may be cost prohibitive.  Worst case scenario would be using material I have, or can get cheep at the thrift shop. I like the thought of this because of cost, and I like to up cycle keeping stuff out of the land fill, but I don't know how much sun protection different material gives, so it's risky. The point is to harden off my beautiful seedlings without damaging them.
What do you think?  Am I out of my mind?  Have a suggestion to make it better?  Can't wait to hear what you all think 🤔. Thanks
It's a scary world we live in.  Unfortunately as you have already discovered almost everything has a risk. Could you just plant in the ground?  What about locating an uncontaminated straw bale?  Sew your own grow bags out of cotton or wool?  You could build a bed out of heat treated wood and line it with cotton, or some other natural material. They do sell large peat pots, I believe if you don't put them in the ground they will last a couple of years.  I have seen pots made out of bamboo, but I haven't researched them, so don't know if they are safe.
Good luck to you, I hope you find what you're looking for. Please share if you do.  Happy gardening