AMKuska's 2021 Garden

AMKuska

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Finished garden bed with some sprouts in it ;-)
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Also my thumb haha

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All my tomatoes are doing well. I'm being more selective about seedlings and if they aren't thriving I replace them instead of struggling to make them thrive. They never produce well and it isn't worth the bother to try and save weak plants.
 

AMKuska

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Drop dead exhausted from a long day in the yard. It's the first nice day for a while so I went out to the coop and cleaned it thoroughly, treated the chickens for mites, scrubbed waterers and feeders, and generally made their home nice.

When I checked on the broody chickens, I discovered a pile of little chick bodies under them. :mad: They were officially fired, and CPS (Chick Protective Services) were called for their surviving chick and unhatched eggs.

As I was struggling to figure out what to do, my gallant husband said, "Shall I whip up a brooder for you?" And then just went out and made one out of scraps left over from the raised garden bed like it was nothing. The survivor is now cheeping angrily by himself in the brooder, the unhatched eggs are in the incubator to pop out a friend for him in the next few hours, and my husband even installed a new hook for me in the garage so I could put the brooder in the spot I actually wanted it.

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At the same time as this, fungus gnats erupted in my greenhouse because of overwatering. My son's little venus flytrap can only eat so many bugs, and is probably going to die from stomach ache at this point. The gnats were EVERYWHERE, and since it was a warm day I thought I'd take the plants out to sanitize the greenhouse, and kill as many gnats and larvae as possible.

I sanitized the whole greenhouse, up-potted 16 plants, killed about 16,000 gnats (it feels like anyway) and put potato slices in the pots to help attract larvae and move them out. Put traps all around the greenhouse, and carefully inspected every plant for presence of adult gnats before putting them back in.
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Hopefully we can mop the rest up through the week, and not water so much.
 
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flowerbug

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Drop dead exhausted from a long day in the yard. It's the first nice day for a while so I went out to the coop and cleaned it thoroughly, treated the chickens for mites, scrubbed waterers and feeders, and generally made their home nice.

When I checked on the broody chickens, I discovered a pile of little chick bodies under them. :mad: They were officially fired, and CPS (Chick Protective Services) were called for their surviving chick and unhatched eggs.

As I was struggling to figure out what to do, my gallant husband said, "Shall I whip up a brooder for you?" And then just went out and made one out of scraps left over from the raised garden bed like it was nothing. The survivor is now cheeping angrily by himself in the brooder, the unhatched eggs are in the incubator to pop out a friend for him in the next few hours, and my husband even installed a new hook for me in the garage so I could put the brooder in the spot I actually wanted it.

View attachment 40081

At the same time as this, fungus gnats erupted in my greenhouse because of overwatering. My son's little venus flytrap can only eat so many bugs, and is probably going to die from stomach ache at this point. The gnats were EVERYWHERE, and since it was a warm day I thought I'd take the plants out to sanitize the greenhouse, and kill as many gnats and larvae as possible.

I sanitized the whole greenhouse, up-potted 16 plants, killed about 16,000 gnats (it feels like anyway) and put potato slices in the pots to help attract larvae and move them out. Put traps all around the greenhouse, and carefully inspected every plant for presence of adult gnats before putting them back in.
View attachment 40080

Hopefully we can mop the rest up through the week, and not water so much.

fungus gnats are hard to get rid of.

i've had infestations in the worm buckets so bad that i've had to take the buckets outside in the middle of the winter to open them up to feed the worms. it is quite the sight to open up a bucket and have thousands of them coming out.

once i started using tiny spiders in the worm buckets to control the gnats before they get out of hand that has greatly helped and i've not had any repeat infestions since i've managed to learn how to keep them going in the buckets.

i'm not sure if a weak soap solution drenching the soil for some period of time and then rinsing it out would kill them off and not kill the plants or not.

opening up the greenhouse on days when the temperatures is nice enough is a good way to at least knock down the numbers.

and yes, venus flytraps can only eat so much. :)
 

AMKuska

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Mason bees are out! This is yet another new thing I'm trying this year. I've never worried about pollinators since there's always a million bees zipping around my yard, but I learned this year that these are honey bees from the local bee farm. They're great for making honey, but are so efficient at stripping nectar they actually don't pollinate that well.

I've had a mason bee hive forever, but this is the first year I actually got bees to put in it. :)
 

AMKuska

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fungus gnats are hard to get rid of.

i've had infestations in the worm buckets so bad that i've had to take the buckets outside in the middle of the winter to open them up to feed the worms. it is quite the sight to open up a bucket and have thousands of them coming out.

once i started using tiny spiders in the worm buckets to control the gnats before they get out of hand that has greatly helped and i've not had any repeat infestions since i've managed to learn how to keep them going in the buckets.

i'm not sure if a weak soap solution drenching the soil for some period of time and then rinsing it out would kill them off and not kill the plants or not.

opening up the greenhouse on days when the temperatures is nice enough is a good way to at least knock down the numbers.

and yes, venus flytraps can only eat so much. :)

That's an idea. I tried a weak peroxide solution first, as it was recommended for this type of gnat larvae, but while it didn't harm my plants, it didn't harm the larvae either. -.- So far the thorough cleansing has worked though. I think my daughter might have accidentally killed my son's venus fly trap. She poured one of the vinegar traps on it to "water" it. >.<

It's not looking terribly good right now, but hopefully I can sneak off to get a new one before he notices.
 

flowerbug

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That's an idea. I tried a weak peroxide solution first, as it was recommended for this type of gnat larvae, but while it didn't harm my plants, it didn't harm the larvae either. -.- So far the thorough cleansing has worked though. I think my daughter might have accidentally killed my son's venus fly trap. She poured one of the vinegar traps on it to "water" it. >.<

It's not looking terribly good right now, but hopefully I can sneak off to get a new one before he notices.

oops! aww! rinse it out good it may recover and then he can have two of them. :)
 

AMKuska

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@flowerbug It didn't. It died horribly. >.< Luckily they are cheap at the local store.

Today I finally finished filling my new raised garden bed, and let the plants meant to go in it stay in the shade for an hour or so to get used to the great outdoors. Once they are out, I'll start the big garden bed with the tomatoes, and then the peppers will go out after that. I want to give them lots of time indoors since nights are still chilly, 40F on average.
 

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@flowerbug It didn't. It died horribly. >.< Luckily they are cheap at the local store.

Today I finally finished filling my new raised garden bed, and let the plants meant to go in it stay in the shade for an hour or so to get used to the great outdoors. Once they are out, I'll start the big garden bed with the tomatoes, and then the peppers will go out after that. I want to give them lots of time indoors since nights are still chilly, 40F on average.

this is for the warm weather starts we're putting out that get full sun here.

we usually harden greenhouse plants off for a week starting off with several hours of morning light and then dappled shade until the house shades them completely in the rest of the day. we gradually increasing amount of sun so the plants actually do get used to the full effect of the sun. it takes us about a week.

if the nights are forecast to be too cool we'll move the starts back into the garage overnight or even during the day. i've only had peppers get frost damaged once in the years here and they bounced back after dropping all their leaves.

we almost have a month yet here before putting tomatoes out. i don't know if we're growing any peppers or not this year. things change...

i haven't lost many (like maybe one or two out of a few thousand) plants from transplant shock, but have had some of them eaten by groundhogs. dang boogers. amazingly i've had pepper plants almost completely severed that healed and grew back. so far tomato plants have not had any early season damage even from some hail storms and flash floods.

the most important thing to not forget is to make sure the plants are kept moist enough in their small cell pots, especially on a sunny and windy day. oh, and since we do keep the plants up near the house we have to make sure if a rain pops up that the house isn't dripping off the edge of the roof right onto the plants off the roof as that can splash dirt out of their pots and make a mess.
 

AMKuska

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I hardly dare to hope, but things are looking great in the garden. I'll take photos later. I have a thick, plush nappa cabbage growing in, and the broccolis are slow growing but definitely alive. My chamomile has survived for the first time, and my (potted) peppermint has taken off.

The new raised garden bed is so roomy I popped some extra seeds in as well as my starts. I started working on the big garden yesterday, cutting the weeds off at the surface. My neighbors are all taking bets on how bad my garden is going to be this year. XD

I don't care. I love doing experiments like these. I'll take photos of all the plants later.
 

AMKuska

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Some pics. I don't dare hope, but things are looking really good so far.
 

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