Ida Schwartz

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since Apr 07, 2020
Fergus, Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Ida Schwartz

Ahh that makes sense. I have some tight clusters of volunteers, and some that I spaced out. Sounds like I may get scapes from the ones I spaced, and the others will likely be smaller.

Do you often plant from bulbils? I’m trying to increase my stock of the variety that’s naturalized here (used to be a garlic farm over a decade ago). I did split a bunch of clusters up, super early in the spring. But didn’t get to all the clusters. Do you think I can plant some of the naturalized ones? Or do I need to split them and wait a year?

I’ve read that planting the biggest cloves leads to the biggest bulbs, but that hasn’t been my experience with onions so I’m dubious....  
I’m curious whether last year’s bulbils that I planted for new stock in the fall will have scapes this year. I guess I won’t have to wait long to find out, but wondering what others have experienced.
Good advice about the setting the door to open a bit late... thanks!   And good to know about Kitchener hawks, we see hawks all the time here and maybe they've learned tricks from their nearby cousins lol.  We set the fence posts to be six feet high so that if we need to enclose it we don't have to stoop to walk through/ clean...so lots of room for netting.  
1 month ago
In our area we have mice, voles, wolves, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, and hawks. .  I'm hoping someone can comment on our coop security needs... did we miss anything?  

Our coop is raised two feet off the ground on a trailer bed, clad with roofing steel on the outside, with insulated plywood walls inside, the windows are screened with 1/2" hardware cloth.  I've searched high and low for any openings, it seems very secure.  The coop has an automatic door with a ramp into a covered run, roofed with more  of the recycled barn steel, and screened with 1/2" hardware cloth. I've made a skirt of chicken wire around the run, secured with long fence staples.  

The run opens into a 12' x 40' gated chicken yard, which we've fenced with 4" hardware cloth.  The chicken yard is set tight against the treeline and surrounded by trees on all sides, to deter hawks.  The idea is that we will leave the gate to the sheltered run open during the day, to give the chooks free range of the larger yard, and they can use the smaller run as needed for shade/ rain and snow cover.

There is a lively debate in my home about the need to run a chicken wire skirt around the whole chicken yard, to use 1/2" hardware cloth to close up the gaps in the lower part of the whole fence (to keep mice and little raccoon hands out), and/or to run wires along the top of the yard as extra protection to the hawks.  Do these measures seem like overkill, with the rest of the coop and run secured?
1 month ago
This helps a lot!  This is our first time brooding chicks so I'm nervous... But I can picture your set up in my head.  Thank you!
2 months ago
Thanks for this response, Larisa!  We're on 12V as well... this is the most energy efficient idea I've come across yet!  I think I can picture what you're describing, but any way you would be able to post a photo?  I'm also curious what you use to enclose the masonry mama?  
2 months ago
I've been reading over old posts about keeping week old chicks alive, most recommendations are for heating pads.  We live off grid in a fairly cold climate and our house temperature is generally between 65 and 70.  We heat our home with a masonry heater, and I am thinking we could replicate a plate brooder by heating up a thick masonry tile and placing it over a stable frame so the chicks could snuggle under there when they want to warm up.  As a backup, we would put them on the bench portion of the masonry heater at night, so they'd have some warmth coming up through the floor as well.  

Has anyone tried something like this?  Or does anyone use a plate brooder?  Any idea the usual surface temp of the plate?    
2 months ago
[quote=Kc Simmons]If you want to be sure, it wouldn't hurt to leave them out in the sun to dry a few days before using them. After 3-5 days, they should be too dehydrated to muster th energy to produce new roots & leaves.
Another thought would be to put them in the ground upside down. I don't know if it is applicable to the Acers, but I know my roses and several other things I propagate will not be successful if I put the wrong end in the soil. [/quote]

This is helpful, I was planning to put the skinny end in the ground anyway!  I'll wait a few days.  Thanks for responding
2 months ago
I have a pile of large maple branches that i want to use as posts in a rustic wattle fence around my garden.  I know maple propagates easily... the last thing I want is my fence posts rooting and sucking up water that my veg could use to grow.  Has anyone used Maple for this purpose?  I'm wondering how long I need to leave the branches to minimize the chance they'll root.  
2 months ago
I have a 700sq yd former garlic plot, that is overgrown with grass and weeds.  I'm thinking I'll rotate my chickens through, first to graze out the grass, and then to till in the cover crop (which I'll plant after they've grazed the grass out).  I have approximately 200 days from today til my garlic goes in the ground (I'm not great at math but I realize I'm not going to get through a whole rotation this season, even if I increase my flock numbers).  

Looking for advice from folks who've used cover crops like this...   How did you make it work?  What crops did you/ your chickens prefer?  Any pitfalls I should watch out for?

Thanks for any and all advice.
2 months ago