flora dog

Latest posts by flora dog

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international gardeners

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 21:19

Thanks artjak

international gardeners

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 20:43

I suddenly worried I was blogging here - should I move to somewhere else? I am up to something pretty much every day so may talk too much. The time to leave is soon if I should go - I understand this forum is not really about the sort of gardening I do.

international gardeners

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 20:32

 I am taking a break, just ran the 200 ft of wire. I had to put 100 foot in conduit where it crossed some dirt roads - and bury it all. I used some old 1/2 inch PVC and pushing 12/2 UF wire into long pieces of half inch pipe is a horrible chore - then digging into the packed gravel and then the packed clay under that - tiring. Most of it went through a bit of marsh I own so it could be just exposed.


 I was pleased at how well I still can dig trenches. Having put in many plumbing and electrical services I am good at it - and not bad for a used up carpenter. I hit sixty recently and my body just gave it up. tendons gone in my shoulders from throwing steel overhead too many years, feet wrecked, back has to be taken easy. old tradesmen usually wear out at about my age.


 I came in for a piece of pie and glass of water and to sit down out of the sun, a warm day today. Next I have to make up a junction box where three different circuits meet (old ones from when I had electricity from a different direction.) and then tap into the house wiring with a GFCI, a switch to kill the whole line, and a socket in weather proof box outside.


 This morning I made a couple bamboo grape arbors. I had cut the bamboo a wile ago to let it age - hopefully long enough or it sprouts where it is driven into the soli and begins growing. I use a lot of bamboo because I can collect it from a grove I know in the woods.

Raised veg beds - how to build?

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 20:14

I make things- almost anything, and roofs of fabric like things are just bad. The best thing is turn it into an arch. Get some 1/2 inch PVC pipe (here it is $2 for 20 foot) and put 2 foot lengths o 1 inch PVC into the ground every 2 foot along both sides - just drive then a foot into the soil with a hammer or block..


 Bend a 8 foot length of half inch PVC as a hoop - just like making a covered wagon - across from one 1 inch socket stuck into the soil to the other one. Cover with what ever you wish. the good thing about this is it just unplugs when you want it down - then plugs back next winter. You may need a rope tied to each across the top to keep them connected. 3/4 inch PVC is better if the span is 4 foot. then you would have to up the socket PVC or use rebar.


 The normal way this is done is to drive a two foot length of rebar into the soil at each side instead of the PVC sockets and put the PVC 3/4 inch hoops across side to side and slipping them onto the rebar- but each will work. Cutting rebar is not something the average person can do - but PVC cuts with a hack saw.



Raised veg beds - how to build?

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 14:45

Rain pooling could be bad unless you make small punctures in the plastic sheeting.

The mystery of pH.

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 14:28

 I put in 8 blueberries last spring, the soil was heavy in clay so I though the ph would be low. They did very poorly, after 8 months were dying. I did a soil test and found the soil was 7 - and the drainage was wrong too. I built shallow raised bed boxes, dug up the blueberries just over a month ago, replanted them in the same spots, in the boxes, in compost with sulfur mixed in and they are flourishing. (blueberries need ph below 5.5)

international gardeners

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 13:54


 This is the pogy bread I make for the chickens - made of their cracked corn feed, flour, any thing else like bacon fat or old peanut butter, and pogy fish I net. they are a filter feeding fish that is actually the largest tonnage of fish caught by the USA fishing fleet. pogies are of the sardine/anchovy group - high in fats, omega3, and grow so quick they do not accumulate toxins. They use them for fish farming feeds and industrial uses. I feed them to the chickens daily either raw and whole or cooked in these loafs. The chickens love them, and I believe they make the eggs especially natural.


 I actually started this post to talk about composting and wandered: The biggest work in large composting is wetting the leaves. Dried leaves are like thatched roofs, they shed water. Just piled up in large amounts they would take years to do much - and then the lower sections would just mummify instead of rotting. We have almost no worms here to get in and work the compost - we flood with salt and fresh water too often for them to survive.


 Water is metered here and expensive because of the swer costs tied to the water volume used. (where normal sewer treatment facilities always have lined ponds - here it has to be in huge above ground, concrete, tanks because of flooding). So I put in a well. It is 45 foot deep and took two men (me and a helper) 8 hours of hard work, and $150 of materials - then free water for my gardens and ponds.


 So one opens a bag and dumps it, the other rakes it back and forth on the pile as the hose is sprayed on the leaves. A truck load takes me and my wife an hour to wet, and has the hose running the whole time over them and one gets very wet feet. 8 to 12 months later you have compost - the chickens really help by turning the compost about looking for bugs, and I put the chicken pen litter with their manure over the pile (I do not use chicken manure on anything except for where it can be left 6 months to compost before it will go onto gardens. - I keep two compost piles so the manure can be made safe for food crops)

international gardeners

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 13:25



I am an obsessive composter. Here the main tree is the live oak - called that because it does not lose its leaves in autumn but has a change with old dropping and new emerging over Jan - March. These are huge oaks (with a wonderful epiphyte, the resurrection fern). So they drop and will kill lawns so are raked and put out for the garbage collection in bags. There are many mansions (modest ones - very big houses on big yards) and their lawn care will put out a truck load of bagged leaves at a time.

 Smaller houses put out half truck loads of bags - also live oak leaves are small, oval, flat leaves and nestle very tightly so a bag weighs 30 to 50 lbs if it has much dirt raked too. I collect thousands of pounds a year and compost them in a heap in the woods.



Fig Tree

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 13:06

Alan that sounds interesting - do you have a thread about selling what you grow? I would really like to sell my custard/chocolate/lemon/coconut pies at the farmers market but one has to have a commercial kitchen and certification to sell any foods which require refrigeration. I would use my wild chicken eggs and local dairy milk, and have a great product if I could.

Eggs, and cooking with them

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 01:24

 My avatar is me holding out a pan of chicken food - I net them a small fish of the sardine/anchovy family in pretty good amounts and they eat a couple pounds of them a week. They get them raw, and cooked. My house smells of odd fish now because I have just removed two loaves of pogie bread (the fish) made with corn meal, any of their eggs that were cracked, flour, water, and a pint of pogies. Stirred together, baked an hour and a half.


 They love it! and the fish are pure and healthy filter feeders.


 I also took out one of those cocont custard pies just before putting in the chicken bread on to cook.

1 to 10 of 27

Discussions started by flora dog

Eggs, and cooking with them

I get too many eggs and always need ways to use them 
Replies: 28    Views: 2277
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 00:05

international gardeners

I am an avid gardner from the South USA 
Replies: 18    Views: 1473
Last Post: 15/03/2014 at 21:19
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