Kc Simmons

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since Sep 26, 2019
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forest garden greening the desert homestead hugelkultur rabbit trees
Central Texas
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Recent posts by Kc Simmons

Pearl Sutton wrote:Cool! Makes me feel better about the pile of seed catalogs on my desk! :D

I know I seem to be unable to cope with the world unless I have at least one plant and one cat in the house. Even when I lived in a van and bummed around the country for 2.5 years I had plants and cats in there too. It's part of who I am. I have to.

Same here! I have to have at least one cat and some sort of plant growing in order to feel "at home."
11 hours ago

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:
I think if it really is a boy, I will have to remove the other rooster because the lame one might get killed. This new 'rooster' is my largest bird, and much heavier than the other one so... The new ratio would be 2 boys and 35 hens
Do you have any advice, please?

My roosters usually do fine with 7-10 hens, and they don't go overboard with fighting beyond the normal "pecking order."
I've noticed the rooster at the top of the pecking order will usually have the most hens following him, while the lower ones may only have 3-5 girls. Everyone tends to get along as long as no one tries to take another rooster's hen.
11 hours ago
If I am understanding the situation correctly, my first thought is that the new seedlings will need to be marked/flagged & protected from being sprayed and/or mown over. I would worry that the gardener/caretaker would assume they are just some weeds that came up & need to be dealt with.  
1 day ago
Well done! It looks great. The rocks will probably allow it to last longer than it would had you used the wood. Let us know how it continues to work out.
2 days ago
Thank you, both, for the feedback! I tend to be welcoming towards any fungi in the garden, but it's always good to be safe and ask someone more knowledgeable. I went out to check on it this morning and it really does resemble dog vomit.
It seems to really like the wood chips, so it's more than welcome to stay and munch on them.
2 days ago
Another patch in a different spot.
2 days ago
Hi friends, I went out to the garden, yesterday, and noticed a new type of fungal growth. While my garden tends to have an active fungal network under the wood chips, the blooms are usually just the little common mushrooms that are typical of the area; and I've never seen this before.
I don't necessarily need to ID the species, but am just wanting to see if it's something that could potentially be harmful to me or the plants/trees  growing in the area.
2 days ago

C Rogers wrote:

1) Dill (used to attract hover flies, ladybugs, lace wings, parasitic wasps)

2) Parsley (attract tachinid fly)

3) French Marigold (used to attract ladybugs, but also this flowers sent can confuse bad bugs and covers the sent of plants they are attracted to, so these bad bugs don't attack other plants near them)

4) Queen anne's lace (attracts hover flies, lady bugs, lace wings and parasitic wasps)(NOTE parasitic wasps DON'T sting people)

5) Alyssum

6) Aquilegia (Columbine)

7) Daisy (Tanacetum coccineum) (Painted Daisy) aka Pyrethrum Daisy, used to make pyrethrins (organic poison)

1) I usually sow dill on the surface and just tamp it down into the soil. You don't want it deeply covered; just a light dusting of soil over the seeds.
2) Parsley can be finicky for me, so I usually sow in seed trays. I have had luck with surface sowing.
3) Very easy! Just scatter them on the surface and keep them moist long enough for them to sprout.
4) Haven't grown that one, but I assume it is similar to sowing carrots; since it's closely related.
5) Surface sow- don't cover
6) Have never had luck with them. I think it's too hot here.
7) Similar to marigolds with sowing.

** Usually the smaller the seed, the less soil it needs to cover it. The larger the seed, the deeper it can be planted. The ones on your list are all pretty small seeds, so should be fine on the surface, or just barely covered. Mainly you just want to make sure they have good contact with the soil and do not get too dry.
I believe all of them will germinate if exposed to sunlight. Parsley is the only one I'm not positive on. Columbine may benefit from a cold-strat treatment before sowing. You may want to check to see.
Good luck with them! Growing flowers is definitely fun!
3 days ago
This has been a bit of a weird fall & winter season for CenTex. In a "typical" year, we usually start getting a little rain in late September, and a small relief from the heat with temps going down to the low 90s until mid to late October when we see a few weeks of perfect, 80s. Then November-December tends to give us highs in the 50s-60s, with lows in the 30s, with just enough light frosts to keep us from growing many cold sensitive plants in the ground.
I live about 25-30 miles from the Zone 8 a/b line (on the "a" side of the line), so it varies each year on the minimum temp, but we almost always get around week of temps where it stays around freezing, with hard freezes at night.
This past year it seemed like summer lasted until the end of September, with temps staying around 100 until early October and none of the typical rain showers. Finally around the end of October we got about a week of the perfect fall weather combined with enough humidity to reach the dew point and provide some moisture. Then, out of nowhere, we got hit hard with that polar blast in early November, which caused temps to go from 85 to 25 in under 12 hours. I think that was a hell of a shock to many of my perennials, and I suspect killed some hardy things, like my lavender, Barbados cherry, lemon verbena, and some others. I also observed that the tree cover that was beneficial to the garden in the hot summer causes the garden to be a frost pocket during the winter.
After 4-5 days of freezing cold weather, we've had higher than average temps, with most days being 60-70s° highs (with some 80s thrown in), and nighttime lows in the high 30s-low 40s. Precipitation has been low, with a few, small showers that haven't really soaked everything; although, lately, we've finally gotten a couple of good storms that have actually produced enough water to get through my deep mulch areas. Most of the moisture has been due to dew, which the chickweed, henbit, and winter grass thrive on.
Since it hasn't gotten cold again, the mosquitoes, flies, and ants are still out in force. I've also noticed that I have several things starting to bud out, despite still having a good 6-8 weeks of winter left. I've seen that the giant ragweed is starting to come up, which usually happens in April, plus my apples and many of the oaks still haven't dropped all of their leaves.
Since January & February are our coldest months, I am concerned about things coming out of dormancy and getting damaged by a hard freeze; but I also understand that it happens some years. While I am LOVING these 70°+ days to work on things outside, I do hope we get the usual hard freeze, and that it lasts a week or so. Otherwise, I foresee the upcoming year having a plague of bugs to deal with.
I did breed several rabbits the last few days, so I can probably expect to see a hard freeze in about a month when the litters are due to be born, lol.
Anyway, I think I'm going to take advantage of one of the main perks of a job that lets me work from home, and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather today and hopefully make progress on some projects.
3 days ago