Ralph Sluder

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since Jun 01, 2020
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Recent posts by Ralph Sluder

They also make a tray for a microwave that cooks bacon fast.  Anyway you cook it, bacon is wonderful.
Bacon is a food group.
Bacon is like duct tape for the kitchen, (it will fix anything).
4 months ago
our wet winters causes them to rot fairly quick, say  before starting other plants in spring..  I do sow them very thick.   I like the taste of them and so do my animals, just so many radish you can use though.
Seed is cheap.  Others in my area have hauled in soil, built raised beds etc....I just took the slow route.  I have many seperate garden beds where I just built yearly compost piles. started new piles elsewhere the following year and piled on 6-8 inches of fresh cow manure for another year then planted there.  Soil probably hard under there but i don't disturb soil, just grow stuff. guess I got more time than money.
4 months ago
Its still good then.  I know from wine-making that different yeast strain greatly effect taste of the finished product. Spent 3 years working on some wild strains of yeast for wines......never do that again, terrible.
 I have only made no-yeast hardy types of bread, Irish bread, soudough etc... don't know about the yeast strains used. Bread is an art-form, I'm sure you will find that recipe your family will enjoy.
4 months ago
I have the same problem with concrete. Tillers don't stand a chance. Meadow creature broadfork loosend it up till summer rains packed it back down. My main kitchen garden took 3 years to be able to properly grow good veg.  I had to add about 2 ft. of hay every fall to rot down, added 1000s of earthworms and grew lots of dikon radish's and left to rot in ground.  ( those things really drill through hard-pan and clay).  Finally I can dig down 8-10 inches with my hands alone. Its been many years. Still add a foot or two of hay to rot down every fall. just part the hay where I want rows,shove broadfork deep down and wiggle it, add a little compost on top for seeds, or just set starts in the earth. Years of rotting hay has made the difference.
4 months ago
I keep wine yeast unopened for about 2 - 2 1/2 years okay.  
after it has been opened i think it will keep in freezer for about 6 months if you keep it in an airtight container.
   Test it by combining  about 1/2 cup warm water, maybe 110-120 deg. and a spoonfull of sugar.  then add about 2 tbs of dry room temp yeast.   it should nearly double in size to a cup or so within 15 min.
Yeast is cheap so replace it if unsure.
4 months ago
Common purslane is a good one.  Don't forget cayenne pepper, I think it it one of the most usefull plants out there.
4 months ago
I usually put about 2 oz. per gallon in a pump up sprayer and fill with water.  Add a small amount of dish soap or dr Bronners castile soap.(to keep the oil and water mixed).
Then go to soaking all leaves and fruit top and bottom.   This is best done when the sun is going down.  I do it about 3 times, once a week.  Don't look for dead worms right away, It takes a little while to work.
Within a week should be far fewer, another week maybe none at all.  It only kills chewing critters, wont hurt bees or earthworms etc.... Messes up reproductive cycles too on many chewing pests.
4 months ago
If there are too many to pick off I use Neem oil.  
If that don't do it in a week or two, I use Bt. but only as a last resort.
Loosing your entire harvest aint no fun.
4 months ago
Watering is probably not needed but not harmfull.  I've had my vines flooded by rain with no problems.
 They will fruit when they are ready as long as you have bees and such. Sometimes the vines grow rather large before setting fruit.
 You will get watermelons in zone 8 in the summertime, Pretty much a sure thing.  
I am also in zone 8 b and grow watermelons every year.  I cannot see your pic's so....  I plant on hills about 3 ft. across, spaced about 6 ft. apart.
 Vines will grow extremely large so leave room.  I plant 6 seeds per hill and thin to 3 plants per hill.  I don't ever remember watering watermelons.
they put out deep roots and just grow.  ( I do have to water most everything else though).  I never remove flowers, I just wait till melons look big enough to start checking for ripeness. They pretty much smother out weeds but I do lay straw/hay thickly between hills.
BTW I also don't walk in the watermelon patch. Something my Grand-daddy told me in the 60's before he passed away.