Stephanie Crocker

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since Nov 23, 2019
Just finished my first year of farming.
Barnardsville, NC
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Recent posts by Stephanie Crocker

this might be a silly question, but I've got some perennial herbs (thyme, rosemary, yarrow, etc) and want to cover the soil when they are dormant.

I'm in western north carolina (zone 6b) and I've got the following cover crop seeds to choose from:

rye
winter wheat
barley
oat/pea mix
fava

the thing I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is the planting time for my cover crops is now, but my herbs are still big and full...should I undersow the cover crops under the herbs? perhaps put them in rows directly next to the herbs?

and then what happens in spring?

Just having trouble wrapping my head around my plan.
3 months ago
I'm making a spreadsheet where I want to be able to automatically calculate the days to harvest; however, often this date is listed as a range of dates and I don't want to get all complicated with a formula that accounts for that range.

So now I'm staring at the wall trying to decide to pick the first date, the last date, or something in the middle??? I know this is a silly quandry, but I'd love to hear how everyone else trys to calculate their harvest date.

Which brings up another topic...that days to maturity aren't the same as days to harvest. And half the time, i can't find both of these pieces of info since I'm growing a lot of herbs.

ANd a third topic, some crops can be harvested over a range of dates so they'd have beginning harvest, and ending harvest, which I suppose I can just plug in as I go along.

I know this isn't an exact science, but I'd like to have a better idea of the timeline until I get it under my belt.

Thanks!
would it be unreasonable to add onions to the mix? last year I planted leeks in the fall (from seed) which were harvested in spring, and I'm considering doing some bulbing onions to overwinter as well, except I'm starting the onions from seed and I'm not sure this is the way to do it. (last year, I planted onion sets in the fall)
5 months ago
I'm down the rabbit hole trying to understand crop planning with a spreadsheet that seems to get wider and wider with every bit of data I'd like to collect. Have tried general planning tools, but often plants I wish to sow are not on those lists, so having to collect my own data.

Of course this will all become easier with experience, but for now, I need an easier way to keep on track!

I currently have a notebook where I list sowing dates, when I pot up the plants and how many I get, then hopefully when and where I put them in the garden.

Would love to see what sort of tools/spreadsheets/etc. y'all use to document your garden
OK. So I made a mistake. I have a very long list of plants I want to grow this year, and managing inside start times and planting out times became super complicated, so I after trying to make a master list of the details I needed, I just went for it and started, with a very loose plan. Then the pandemic hit and I went plant start crazy! Now I wish I had a more strategic plan.

Our average last frost is May 10.

I have several plants now, such as basil, marigolds, etc. Too many starts to count. I have some like chard, dill, cilantro and parsley, that can probably go out, but are very small. And the best thing is that I have warm and cool season plants coexisting in my 1020 seed flats.

Some of them seem to need to move up, but I'm out of space and containers. Of course, the plants that are ready to be transplanted are the warm season ones, not the cool season ones :(

My question is, how to keep the plants happy through this tight squeeze. I feel the need to fertilize, but need your opinions. I should also possibly move up in pot size (which is challenging due to lack of room and I am out of seed flats again).

Thoughts?

Also, I am willing to give away my surplus plant starts or even trade for something small. I'm just outside of Asheville, North Carolina and would love to share.
Eric,

Those are both great suggestions. I don't have a problem with voles in the lawn areas. I mean, I don't care if they are there.

I have a feeling that the mini drought is possibly impacting their decision to leave the now patchy lawn areas and try their luck in the planting beds where I've got some cover crops. Also my cat (kitten) has been out of commission because sbe was going through her first heat and then has been kept indoors after her "operation". Once she's fully healed, I'll put her back into production.

Also, last night I began leaving the garden gates open after dusk when the chickens have gone to their coop to give a chance for other predators to have a chance at the vole buffet. I'll keep y'all posted.

steph
1 year ago
the good and bad I've seen with mulching so far...

I have a series of raised beds and recently converted to using hardwood bark mulch in the paths (formerly straw)
I'm in Zone 7a, clay soil.

good
- looks nicer than straw
- great results with fungal activity near raised beds and softer soil along bed edges
- stays in place and stays clean looking

bad
- voles have moved into the garden (don't know if this is a coincidence)

This is my first year having raised beds in the field. (formerly fallow) so perhaps voles migrated there last fall. I also wonder if vole populations have exploded because we've had a few months of drought. They used to be prevalent in the slope near the field, but now they seem to have expanded their range!!!

Here's some of my solutions:

- open gate in garden at night to allow predators in
- sprinkle capsacian in paths?
- add owl nest boxes around field

I have also recently locked the chickens out of the garden (as I mulched beds with straw and they love to tear into it). It's possible I may have also removed one of the other predators?



THoughts?

1 year ago