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Saturday Gardening Thread: Pressing forward [KT]

autumn leaves.jpg

7 uses for autumn leaves

Make that six uses. I guess "for a hedgehog house" doesn't count in the USA.

Leaves have just started to turn here in the San Joaquin Valley. Are you currently dealing with fallen leaves? Any exasperation out there? Tips?

As Thanksgiving approaches and summer fruits disappear, I start to think about apples. This year, I have been thinking about . . .

Cider Presses

My experience with juicing apples is limited to using one of those veggie/fruit juicers with sweet, dessert-quality apples. I liked to put a little lemon juice in the bottom of the glass that would catch the juice to avoid oxidation. I liked a little fresh ginger in the juice. That's not very cider-like.

If I ever make a cider press, it will probably consist mostly of a bucket and cheesecloth. But I have been impressed by members of The Horde who have made their own cider presses, and those who are thinking about making a cider press. We have discussed home-brewed cider before, but making your own press is a step beyond what most home brewers do, I think. Perhaps we could aggregate some tips for prospective press-builders today. I imagine that a press could also be used for grapes if you are not into trampling out the vintage.

Here are some tips for low-cost home cider production. That Scrumpy Cider sounds Moron-adaptable.

Some "experts" say use only cider apples, others mainly dessert and others mainly cooking but in reality most home cider makers use whatever apples that they have at hand, even a proportion of crab apples is fine.

cider-press.jpg

Small cider press

Gardening and the Chicago Cubs

A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. - May Sarton

You have to be a pretty philosophical gardener to struggle with a series of losses for 108 years before a garden triumph. But Mesa, Arizona, where the Cubbies do spring training, provides some truly historical perspective to gardening. Mesa was once home to the Hohokam tribe.

The Hohokams developed sophisticated techniques to turn this desert valley into an agricultural jewel. Their most remarkable construct was a massive network of irrigation canals that carried water from the Salt and Gila rivers into cultivated fields- as far west as Buckeye and as far south as Casa Grande. Some of the original engineering is still in place, and the redevelopment of the original Hohokam excavations is what gave form to the Phoenix canal network and the agricultural history of Phoenix and it's surrounding cities.

I understand that it rained in the low desert at about the time of the Cubbies' triumph. November is generally a great time to visit even though there is no spring training then, and no spring wildflowers. There are pomegranates and citrus. You can see examples of (dry) Hohokam canals in Mesa at the Park of the Canals. Mesa Grande is an active archeological site, but an Interpretive Trail can be toured on some dates.

Mesa_Grande_Hohokam.jpg

Mesa Grande

If you're in a more celebratory mood, you can go see some garden sculpture at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

desert-botanical-garden.jpg

Gardens of The Horde

Anything going on in your garden? Have you taken a fall foliage tour? Made cider? Have a great weekend.

To close up, here's some outdoor-friendly music from the O'Connor Band. The vocalist is Mark and Maggie's daughter-in-law.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:45 PM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon greentumbs

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 12:50 PM (sWbjH)

2 I feel suddenly centered.

But I prefer being on the right.

Posted by: Vanceone at November 05, 2016 12:52 PM (IQzhs)

3 Leave, leaves and more leaves. 5 plus wooded acres except for the footprint of the house and the long driveway. Husband leaf blows most of them into the woods. I mulch some into the grass. Landscaper recommended mulching to add soil to the ground when they eventually break down. Have to mow every day, cross mowing each time. We're in SE OH and the soil here stinks. Clay.

Posted by: never enough caffeine at November 05, 2016 12:52 PM (wV8s/)

4 Twofer today, Have another batch of Anaheim 🌶 comingin but only 1 has rippened. Its a race against the frost.
Also have another cart of compost sifted, 1 more to go then as soon as frost hits I will clean out the garden and till the compost in.

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 12:53 PM (sWbjH)

5 So do we get to talk about cows in the garden today as well?

Manure? I think the time for planting winter wheat is over, right? But spreading fresh manure over the field or garden and letting winter break it down: it's a great time to do that.

Posted by: Vanceone at November 05, 2016 12:53 PM (IQzhs)

6 I feel so centered.

I built a press this year out of a 3.5 ton tongue jack I bought at Harbor Freight.

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 12:53 PM (u8ofW)

7 Leaves: blower, mulcher, sweeper behind tractor. I raked for decades and will never again. Forever. Do enjoy burning leaves w/ a nice cold cider beverage & cigar.

Posted by: Captain Autumn at November 05, 2016 12:55 PM (gwG9s)

8 Fine lungs on the violin player.

I feel marginalized.

Posted by: Mr Aspirin Factory at November 05, 2016 12:55 PM (89T5c)

9 I lived in West Phoenix from 1980-89. Still have a house there but the neighborhood is declining. Used to love to go to Mesa/Tempe to party.

Posted by: Bill R. at November 05, 2016 12:55 PM (jKUeC)

10 Here I am stuck in the middle with you

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 12:56 PM (sWbjH)

11 Its sad that a small orchard we and other family members were getting apples from closed as costs were more than profits. It was owned by a retired couple.

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 12:58 PM (sWbjH)

12 I have the 4 big leaf maples in the side yard, and Dad has maples and walnuts too.
the trick of course, is to get them up before the first heavy rain.
I will blow what I can at Dad's since his go in the street for the city to pick up.
Mine go into the compost heap. It helps that my compost heap is 8 x 8 and I can pile it 5 feet high

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 12:59 PM (u8ofW)

13 Oh and hubby crawls up on the roof with the battery powered blower at least 3 times a week. Someone mentioned yesterday it's the best way. Agree. Also have an attachment that he adds to the gas powered blower to remove them form the gutters in other areas not reachable by ladder.

Posted by: never enough caffeine at November 05, 2016 01:00 PM (wV8s/)

14 Hi, skip. Still sifting compost, eh? Will it ever end?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:00 PM (qahv/)

15 If you build the hedgehog house, will they come?

I'm very lucky with leaves because they can be a hassle. They are a weekly issue from early October through Thanksgiving here in the mid-Atlantic.

Our community removes all the leaves from the front lawns and common areas. I border a creek and a wooded area so my work is limited to blowing them off the decks and from a small backyard into the woods.

Cannot imagine keeping up with it by myself if I had a big wooded lot.

Posted by: RM at November 05, 2016 01:04 PM (U3LtS)

16 Have a big maple in my front yard here in Michigan. Plus, my yard seems to be a leaf magnet for all the other maples on my street. I blow em into a pile and put them in leaf bags from Lowes or some such place. Haven't been allowed to burn them since the early 70's here. Just cleaned up yesterday, 7 bags worth and by looking at my front yard you would never know. And my gutters are overflowing with leaves.

Posted by: Bill R. at November 05, 2016 01:04 PM (jKUeC)

17 Are you currently dealing with fallen leaves? Any exasperation out there? Tips?
======================================


Question one: You don't know the half of it.


Question two: Ahahahahaha!


Question three: Give up, find the kid who lives three doors down. Pay him money.

Posted by: grammie winger - Fly the W at November 05, 2016 01:05 PM (bpfzP)

18 Anyone good at growing grass? i have a dense shade area I had a bit of luck stabilizing w/sparse grass this spring into summer. I've been told fall is the time to plant seed. Ok, but after I rake up that last of the leaves? FWIW, I found some seed that claims to grow in a closet. Great. But will it grow in my latitude in August?
Any thoughts would be helpful.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at November 05, 2016 01:06 PM (SeD0w)

19 The leaves are beautiful here right now, especially the maples, which are my favorites. They're all starting to come down now, which means lots of raking.

We got a notice that this is the last year we can use plastic bags for leaves. That's bad news for us. My husband and boys rake up over 150 well-stuffed 45-gallon bags of leaves a year, and to switch to those small paper bags would be a fortune. Plus you can't stuff them nearly as full.

We'll have to figure out what to do. I wish the county would come pick them up if you rake them to the gutter, but in my area, they don't do that.

Posted by: bluebell at November 05, 2016 01:06 PM (uHcnA)

20 And I want a hedgehog house. And a sweet little hedgehog to live in it.

Posted by: bluebell at November 05, 2016 01:07 PM (uHcnA)

21 Lots of home brewers are leary of fresh passed cider, the apples have bacteria and nonbrewing yeast that can make a mess of your batch.
Granted you can sulfer threat it yourself but who has the time.

Posted by: Tsrblke at November 05, 2016 01:07 PM (dzmBR)

22 On the plus side, we just have to get them to the curb and the village comes along with an enormous vacuum cleaner and sucks them up. So, no disposal problem.

Posted by: grammie winger - Fly the W at November 05, 2016 01:07 PM (bpfzP)

23 All my black walnut trees are bare of leaves and the fronds (man, those are a PIA). Everything else is transitional, half green/gold. Seems like a really late fall around here.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at November 05, 2016 01:09 PM (SeD0w)

24 My leaf blower went last year so all I gathered was by hand rake. But if can't get it this year will get another. And as my house is a rancher with a 4/12 pitch it is the fastest way to clean gutters.

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 01:09 PM (sWbjH)

25 Lots of home brewers are leary of fresh passed cider, the apples have bacteria and nonbrewing yeast that can make a mess of your batch.
Granted you can sulfer threat it yourself but who has the time.
Posted by: Tsrblke at November 05, 2016 01:07 PM (dzmBR)
--------------

A while back Bander was talking about his uncle's old cider press. They would clean out the mice and the hay and then press apples.



Posted by: bluebell at November 05, 2016 01:09 PM (uHcnA)

26 The oaks are just too lofty and they grab up all the light.

Posted by: Marla Maples at November 05, 2016 01:11 PM (IqV8l)

27 Anyhow: how Kindltot came to build a press

I borrowed a press one year, and it was a monster made out of steel I-beams, but it got loaned out in subsequent years to other people so I had to do what I could. Last year I rented a press from a rental place and wound up breaking the cast iron arbor. Apparently I am a monster on equipment.

I picked up a 3-1/2 side winding tongue trailer tongue jack at harbor freight this Spring, and had two 20" pieces of angle iron - I think they were side rails from an old bed frame - perpendicular to the jack body.

The rest of the frame was fir 2x4s and carriage bolts. I drilled holes in the angle iron to keep the jack in place, but the pressure comes from the angle Iron pressing UP against the bottom of the 5x4 cross pieces that are my arbor.

I had initially planned to use salvaged material from a broken wooden table, but I couldn't get enough clearance for the buckets.

I will rebuild it this winter and also design a pressing basket for grapes, as well as a series of frames and wooden grids to press the apple slurry.
I think I will also invest in a plastic water heater drain pans, those things you put under your water heater so when it leaks it catches and can be channeled off?
If I can prove it is food-grade they would be perfect, since they are already plumbed and cost about $18.00
Otherwise I have to build something out of wood.

Some of the YouTube clips show people using plastic buckets to press in. My finding is at about 2 tons they start to deform.

I also need to build a grinder to turn apples into slurry. I am looking at either old grinder motors or possibly some sort of drill or electric saw motor I can chuck into a chipper set up.

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:14 PM (u8ofW)

28 There are a lot of grubs in my raised beds because I do organic gardening. Thursday night the local raccoon family decided to feast on them. Thanks for taking care of that but it looked like feral hogs had been on a tear and all my little broccoli and spinach seedlings were devastated and all my cauliflower and cabbages were uprooted in their frenzy to get the grubs. Sigh!

Posted by: keena at November 05, 2016 01:16 PM (RiTnx)

29 Vanceone at November 05, 2016 12:53 PM

I really like CBD's cow post. And I even have a Phoenix cow story. My piano teacher lived in Phoenix for a while back when it was sorta wild and wooly. The nearby residents from Mexico would allow their cows to graze on the roses in her front yard. Anything not behind a wall was public to their thinking, I guess.

She liked the uniqueness of each textile item they made, though. Reproducibility is so boring.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:16 PM (qahv/)

30 Kindltot,

I was thinking about you when I wrote about cider presses.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:17 PM (qahv/)

31 Sorry, the angle irons were welded to the jack body by a very nice neighbor.

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:17 PM (u8ofW)

32 I was so jazzed when I saw my first hedgehog in England.

"Dinsdale? Dinsdale!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLz07TaTDEA

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at November 05, 2016 01:18 PM (EnKk6)

33 Trump cancelled his WI stop tomorrow. Looks like the polls aren't wrong

Posted by: Cubfandbudman at November 05, 2016 01:19 PM (VbdvI)

34 My whole point of gathering leaves is to compost them, so I can get rid of them. I use a old pick up truck bed liner, fencing 6 foot high on 3 sides. I gather leaves in a tarp drag to back and chop up with lawn tractor. I can fill my compost bin to the top with them even finely chopped up. All kitchen scraps and egg shells get mixed into it during the year.At end of year whats left of that pile gets moved out for another year. Then after that gets grated to remove sticks, acorns, pine cones, rocks, bits of plastic,peach seeds and anything that won't go through a masonry wire screen. The truck bed was how the heck am I supose to get rid of my brother-in-law's cast offs. But it has helped as a maple tree its under will shoot up roots into it within weeks.

Ok enough, I have bored everyone to death.

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 01:20 PM (sWbjH)

35 How is a cheap dance hall like a cheap suit ?

No ballroom

Posted by: President Barack "Unexpectedly" Obama at November 05, 2016 01:21 PM (e8kgV)

36 I don't live in the city, so I don't rake leaves. Just let them lay where they fall, and by Spring they have melted into the ground.

Posted by: Ronster at November 05, 2016 01:21 PM (GNMjp)

37 I also need to build a grinder to turn apples into slurry. I am looking at either old grinder motors or possibly some sort of drill or electric saw motor I can chuck into a chipper set up.


Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:14 PM (u8ofW)


Heh. What is good at grinding food better than a ......

Garbage disposal.

Buy a stainless commercial sink if u can find one. It will already be on legs. Install the disposal unit. pipe the drain in a fashion that u don't have to duck under the unit to retrieve your buckets.

Posted by: Cicero Kid, aka the wine-maker. at November 05, 2016 01:24 PM (dNcWL)

38 Brave Sir Robin-

Try using a little mushroom manure.

Posted by: Bill Clinton at November 05, 2016 01:24 PM (89T5c)

39 Brave Sir Robin at November 05, 2016 01:06 PM

Deep shade is not ideal for grass, especially if it is from trees with shallow roots.

What kind of grass seed did you get, and what hardiness zone do you live in?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:26 PM (qahv/)

40 Oh, NEXT year, I am building a pasteurizer.

I can juice since I'm not much into hard cider at this time. The problem is that with my propane back yard cooker I have trouble getting the temperature stable between 160 and 180, and I don't want to risk loosing a whole batch from underprocessing, so I just can it in a boiling water bath.

This sets the pectin and the juice is always hazy. Also, the pulp that gets into the jar also cooks and with the color makes it look like a quart of clotted urine. It does settle, but for the first week or so it is unsettling.

I figure I can get an under-the-sink heat-on-demand water heater, set it for 180, and get a re-circulating pump to pump through an insulated pot of about 10 gallons, and that way keep the temperature spot on wherever I want to set it.

I think that means I will have a home-hacked sous-vide set up too. I may set it up next to my planned wood fired stove.

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:27 PM (u8ofW)

41 Hi, Garden people. I don't know if I've ever commented in a gardening thread. Much as I'd like to garden, and every once in a long while have some success, mostly I've got a black thumb.

Son and daughter were sharing a house for a couple of years, and just (Nov 1) moved out to separate apartments. Daughter said she hadn't been able to get anything much out of their backyard garden, until they decided to move and suddenly everything starts popping up.

So, since she has no yard now, she packed what she could into pots and brought it out here to Ranchero Webworker for - presumably - me & Milady to care for. Suddenly in addition to our own few potted peppers, we have many more peppers, many huckleberries, a couple of dying tomatoes, some herbs, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, and a lot of broccoli, not all of which will survive. All in pots, stacked out by the BBQ pit, waiting for Winter....

Sorta wish we had a good greenhouse...!

Posted by: mindful webworker - black thumb at November 05, 2016 01:28 PM (kDUUX)

42 I've lived out in the township for eight years, amid soybean/corn/wheatfields. Rake and blow the leaves on days when the wind blows hard from the west (which is most days, come to think of it). Get 'em up into the breeze and they magically end up out in the fields. I do burn brush and scrap wood. When I moved out here I discovered the local town's police chief was my immediate neighbor to the west, 1/4 mi away. Went over and introduced myself, and in conversation said I'd noticed he burned brush occasionally. I asked what the rule was re burning, and he looked straight at me and said, "There are rules about burning?" I laughed and said, "Got it." Have always called the fire departments first to give them my cell # and tell them I'd be right there with a hose, rake, and shovel; never had a problem.

Thanks for the O'Connor linky. Mark is as fine a musician as God has made in a couple hundred years. He won the national fiddle championship for several years starting at age 13; won the national flatpicking championship at Winfield KS at 15 and 16, at which point they told him to go away and let someone else win. His first guitar album, "Markology", at age 16, feature Mark on his old Martin herringbone alongside Tony Rice, Dan Crary, David Grisman, and many of the original longhaired-bluegrass / newgrass players. He played electric with the Dixie Dregs, and went on to front the house band at The American Music Shop TV show. His "New Nashville Cats" disc from '92 or so had him beside all the shit-hot session players he'd played with in Nashville. He's a fiddler extraordinaire, a brilliant composer ("Ashokan Farewell" from Burns' "Civil War", e.g.), and outplays most guitarists, holding his own with Chet Atkins, Mark Knopfler, and others over the years. Check out his work on "Slopes" live in Telluride on youtube. His command of the instrument is so vast that he is only limited by his imagination...

Posted by: Cowboyneal at November 05, 2016 01:29 PM (NSG6X)

43 I didn't read the post too closely... How are you supposed to make cider out of leaves?

Posted by: mindful webworker - easily bemildred at November 05, 2016 01:30 PM (kDUUX)

44 Oh, I love this! Hubby's Christmas present may have to arrive early this year:


Leaves: blower, mulcher, sweeper behind tractor. I
raked for decades and will never again. Forever. Do enjoy burning leaves
w/ a nice cold cider beverage cigar.


Posted by: Captain Autumn at November 05, 2016 12:55 PM


Just looked at some sweepers, and they're less expensive than I anticipated-- oh, goody!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 01:31 PM (044Fx)

45 I am told in sink garbage disposals tend to overheat. They rely on running water to cool them.
of course I could try a high end one instead of the cheap stuff I like to buy.

Posted by: Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:33 PM (u8ofW)

46 Chinese Elms in the back yard, which are semi-evergreen...

IOW, they drop shit all year long, and worse when we get santa anas... like now.

Oak trees out in front, and they too shed all year.

i just leave them where they lie.

Posted by: redc1c4 at November 05, 2016 01:35 PM (hvTMl)

47 google or bing 'whizbang cider' for ideas on building your own setup.

Posted by: Cicero Kid, aka the wine-maker. at November 05, 2016 01:37 PM (dNcWL)

48 Grampa did hard cider using an old iron grinder/press. Had fun grinding with the flywheel, harvesting all the Gravenstein apples on the ground was character building.
Hosed the mechanical guts out and dumped in apples straight off the ground.
Think the fermenting killed anything questionable. Best of all, we got to sneak down to the basement and sample the results.

Posted by: Headless Body of Agnew at November 05, 2016 01:37 PM (FtrY1)

49 Kindltot, why not look at electric meat grinders? (If you haven't already) Prices from 50 to 500 at Amzon.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 01:39 PM (044Fx)

50 Has anyone used a hand pump sprayer to bleach water mildew off the side of the house?

Do they make one that has > 5 foot range?

Besides being a setup PITA the power washer only reaches a few feet from the end of the wand.

Posted by: DaveA at November 05, 2016 01:40 PM (8J/Te)

51 DaveA-- what about putting bleach into a hose-end sprayer? (Something like the Ortho 'dial-a-matic')

Seems like it would reach, but of course you'd have to be very careful of overspray...


Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 01:45 PM (044Fx)

52 Kindltot at November 05, 2016 01:27

Wow. Complex undertaking.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:46 PM (qahv/)

53 Again, to DaveA:

A farm supply store might have a better answer for you. Good luck!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 01:47 PM (044Fx)

54 I am exasperated about raking leaves because I have no fvcking trees. These are all from the neighbors' trees. Bastards.

Posted by: the deplorable chiefjaybob, who hates everyone at November 05, 2016 01:49 PM (G2Sc9)

55 mindful webworker - black thumb at November 05, 2016 01:28 PM

What a challenge. Hope you get some production before winter shuts the plants down.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 01:50 PM (qahv/)

56 cheifjaybob- My neighbors across the street have 3 oak trees (i have none but lots of acorns in my compost) which don't drop their leaves until late December or January. And all come off in a Nor'eastern straight across the road into my yard. Every F'n year.

Posted by: Skip at November 05, 2016 01:55 PM (sWbjH)

57 Idaho's Banana Belt: Rake. Rake rake. Rake rake rake rake rake. Rake. Plus apples. And morning frosts.

It is definitely leaf-drop season here. Several of the trees are done, but there's still a lot to go, including a huge Silver Maple, and 4 sycamores that will keep dropping until February (I hate those trees!). We do mow over the first few light leaf drops, but after that, it's time to rake to prevent a smothered lawn. Yes, we own a leaf blower-sucker-shredder. However, we have learned that I am way faster and way more efficient than the leaf blower. And only certain leaves go through the shredder without clogging it. And only certain leaves do well in our compost piles.

So: sycamore leaves go into a burn pile in the paddock, if we can get them dry enough to burn. Oak leaves burn well, so they're mixed with the sycamore to keep the pile going. Crabapple, linden, sweet gum, and small maple leaves compost well. Larger maple leaves compost well, and shred well *if* dry. (This year, we may end up putting some sycamore into the trash or into leaf bags.)

We do compost mixed leaves and grass, with some vegetable waste and the occasional coffee filter thrown in. It looks like we'll be filling more than one bin a year in future. (Bins are made of wire fencing - 4 foot diameter, I think they are, and about 3 feet high.) This compost is mostly used to improve the paddock rows. (My husband digs to 2 spade depths through mixed sand and packed clay, mixing in the compost and some nitrogen fertilizer. Corn, bush green beans, and tomatoes did fine in this "soil".)

Other than raking: we're starting to have frost most mornings, but only over part of the back yard.

Ladybugs are living and reproducing in the asparagus "forest". Hopefully they will overwinter!

I harvested all the squash and pumpkins, and put therm on the back porch. Obviously unripe ones are decorating the front porch (along with the cornstalks I saved and tied).

It's apple processing time! Just made apple jelly from our probably-Jonathan juice this morning, using a sugared peach drink as the sugar. Probably another batch of "insta-pies" next. Then collecting rose hips, to steam with the apples, to make juice to turn into intensely delicious jelly. We'll also test any leftover apples as applesauce; but it's possible the Jonathans just won't do as well as the Golden Delicious did last year for that purpose.

My husband did try building a cider press, but the Jonathans are tough buzzards, and the press-plate cracked. We had chopped up the apples, but we may need to build an "apple scratter" as well. Maybe next year...

We volunteered as Poll Workers for the upcoming election - it's gonna be a LONG day. We get up at 5:30 AM to get to the location by 7 to help set up - polls open at 8 AM, close at 8 PM - but anybody in line before 8 PM gets to vote *no matter how late it gets*. Then comes the cleaning/packing up. We could be there till who knows when, if it gets really crazy busy in the evening..... Think a kind thought for us, as you go to bed that night.

Posted by: Pat* at November 05, 2016 01:56 PM (qC1ju)

58 Local Hank Kimble turned me on to farm outfitter Farmtek. Good stuff & customer friendly. Www.farmtek.com.

Posted by: Rancho DeLuxe at November 05, 2016 01:57 PM (gwG9s)

59 My grass seed is called Georges Magic Mix. And, in addition to dense shade, the maple causing the shade had girdle root, thus forcing up the feeler roots. I've got to get something going there, or it will turn into a downward spiral of erosion.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at November 05, 2016 01:58 PM (SeD0w)

60 The frost hasn't arrived yet to put the final end to growing here. the flowers I transplanted from my friend's grandmother's garden have done well. Next year I can look forawrd to more lilies, and the rose bush still has a few stubborn blooms upon it. transplants from the parents indicate more black-eyed susans to join the hostas, and an expected bumper crop of lambs' ear.

Leaves are light, and easily handled by the lawnmower.

Posted by: exdem13 at November 05, 2016 01:59 PM (ry4ab)

61 We still have a cherry tomato plant producing and two pepper plants. The tomatoes are quite good.

There appears to be two carrots also coming up.

Because it was so warm here (KY) there are also some tomato plants coming up where they seeded. They won't survive, but sure are motivated.

Posted by: The Deplorable Redneck Bitter Clinger at November 05, 2016 01:59 PM (MCEs2)

62 Has anyone used a hand pump sprayer to bleach water mildew off the side of the house?

Posted by: DaveA


Bleach will kill any foliage below.

Vinegar solution + push broom + ladder. Pour the vinegar on the broom and brush, and then a quick wash with the hose.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at November 05, 2016 02:00 PM (v4Dtx)

63 Leaves? Leave 'em to Rot. I ain't gettin no Heart Attack rakin' feckin' Leaves.

Posted by: firefirefireinExile at November 05, 2016 02:01 PM (of67s)

64 or is that shovelin' snow?

Posted by: firefirefireinExile at November 05, 2016 02:02 PM (of67s)

65 Posted by: firefirefireinExile

Yes. And yes.




Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 02:04 PM (044Fx)

66 Okay, work to do... leaves, apples, clean gutters.... ack!

Thanks, KT! Always an interesting thread.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at November 05, 2016 02:05 PM (044Fx)

67 Thanks for the suggestions. We're done for the fall but the walls will need cleaned again in the spring.

Posted by: DaveA at November 05, 2016 02:11 PM (8J/Te)

68 Yard full of cottonwood leaves, probably 75% of the total already on the ground, so I spent an hour or so this morning. Ran the mulching mower over the entire yard once, then put on the collection bag and covered the yard a second time. Total of two big lawn bags of chopped/mulched leavings (SWIDT?). Lawn looks as clean as a newborn baby's bottom.

In previous years when I have raked and bagged whole leaves I usually got 15 or 18 bags full. Much better this way, and I think it helps the grass next spring.

Posted by: Muldoon at November 05, 2016 02:23 PM (wPiJc)

69 We are constantly battling leaves and acorns. We rake and blow the leaves. We just got an implement that goes on the back of the riding mower but they haven't used it yet.
I think they put the leaves in the burn pile. Or the compost pile.
The grapes are starting to change colors but the big grape growers spray something on the grapes so the can start pruning early.
We also have grass growing on the hills, the cows are happy.

Posted by: CaliGirl at November 05, 2016 02:24 PM (Q5Ymk)

70 Hedgehogs are legal pets in most US states.

Posted by: Deplorably Rusty Nail at November 05, 2016 02:27 PM (S2VsH)

71 Our 150-year-old house in Ohio was surrounded by huge maples, oaks and walnuts. With the leaf fall, I eventually learned the best thing was to blow them away from the fence line, get the riding mower and mulch, mulch, mulch until they were almost a powder.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at November 05, 2016 02:31 PM (J8/9G)

72 leaves - natures fertilizer - just mow over em with your mulching mower.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at November 05, 2016 02:34 PM (ODxAs)

73 nood pet.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at November 05, 2016 02:34 PM (qVka1)

74 ". . . trampling out the vintage."

I see what you did there.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 02:38 PM (SqaAl)

75 Cowboyneal at November 05, 2016 01:29 PM

You're right about Mark O'Connor. My sister competed against him in the Old Time Fiddling contest. I understand that he started playing later than most "child prodigies".

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 02:53 PM (qahv/)

76 Another day, another $100 at the lumber yard for more cedar to build another raised bed. Because it's November in Minnesota, and it's sunny and 70.

Our not very large back yard features a mature maple that produces many leaves, and there are oaks on one side, and a catawba tree on the other, plus a giant cottonwood nearby. Just like magic they all fall in our yard. One year we filled 57 of those paper leaf bags, doing what compression we could.

This year I bought one of those leaf shredders on legs that go for about $140. They use heavy plastic string to do the shredding. So far it is working pretty well, but:
1. None of your existing trash cans will fit snugly underneath.
2. It shreds the leaves really well. It's supposed to handle twigs up to 1/4", but I try to edit them out of the leaf stream.
3. It produces heroic amounts of dust. I am making a skirt out of canvas and Velcro (tm) in an attempt to lessen this hazard.
4. It is noisy. It is noisier than the electric combo blower/shredder/vac that it replaced, but it also works a lot better at shredding.
5. Those big paddle leaf grabbers you wear on your hands work really nicely. This is good since one needs to pile the leaves, move the shredder by the pile, and pick up bunches and feed them into the shredder.

The claim says it reduces volume 16:1. This is perhaps understated. It reduces volume A LOT.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:01 PM (SqaAl)

77 Pat* at November 05, 2016 01:56 PM

Thanks for the report. Will be thinking of you on election day.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:04 PM (qahv/)

78 Brave Sir Robin at November 05, 2016 01:58 PM

There are some ground covers that do well in those situations, but they tend to be invasive. Do you have a way to separate them from lawn or other plants?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:06 PM (qahv/)

79 KT, Thanks for another lovely garden thread. The leaf color around here has been minimal. There's a tree here and there with nice foliage, especially with sunlight shining through the leaves, but they are the exception. Bummer. Even the trees with color are dropping their leaves quickly. Ah well, I suppose we can't have outstanding autumn color and a Cubs World Series at the same time.

By far, the absolute best autumn color we ever saw in Virginia was on our honeymoon along Skyline Drive. That was 33 years ago last month. We have always taken that as a good omen.

Posted by: JTB at November 05, 2016 03:07 PM (V+03K)

80 CaliGirl at November 05, 2016 02:24 PM

So nice that you have green hills and happy cows.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:09 PM (qahv/)

81 Okay, it's a catawpla, not a catawba. Leaves the size of dinner plates and foot long seed pods.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:11 PM (SqaAl)

82 Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:01 PM

So nice of the neighbors to share their leaves with you. Heh.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:12 PM (qahv/)

83 I'm trying to talk myself into putting in another 4' x 12' garden bed. It would be a major undertaking and I don't recover as fast as I did in my younger days. Might have to spread the process over two years. Or not be so cheap and do a raised bed. Decisions. Decisions.

Posted by: JTB at November 05, 2016 03:13 PM (V+03K)

84 JTB at November 05, 2016 03:07 PM

Congrats on your anniversary. Nice story.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:14 PM (qahv/)

85 These days I don't mind, KT. They go on the mulch pile and turn into black magic. I even told the neighbors on the oak side to just dump theirs over the fence.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:14 PM (SqaAl)

86 JTB at November 05, 2016 03:13 PM

Have you thought about separating the 4 x 12 into two or three beds? Makes it easier to construct (even with a minimally-raised bed) and easier to work. Even if you lose some space to walkways.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at November 05, 2016 03:17 PM (qahv/)

87 Or catalpa.
A rose by any other name...

Posted by: MarkY at November 05, 2016 03:19 PM (sh6Pk)

88 JTB, I use 2x8 sides on my beds, two layers high. That allows the wife to sit on the edge and work.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:19 PM (SqaAl)

89 86 ... That's a good idea. Putting in a series of 4x4 beds, that could be added over time, would be smart. Whether in-ground or raised, it would be easier on my body and the budget.

Posted by: JTB at November 05, 2016 03:22 PM (V+03K)

90 Gordon, I just read your comment to Mrs. JTB and she approves, heartily.

Posted by: JTB at November 05, 2016 03:25 PM (V+03K)

91 (Whispers) I may make a little bench thingy with one leg, which will sit on the 2x8. Because my knees ain't the greatest any more.

Posted by: Gordon at November 05, 2016 03:51 PM (SqaAl)

92 Minor nitpick: blame Jay Ungar for "Ashokan Farewell," not Mark O'Connor. For many years there was no escape from the tune in acoustic music circles, and I got thoroughly sick of it.

I just spent half the day taking pictures of plants I didn't grow at the annual orchid show here. Some are spectacular, some are weirdos.

Posted by: Don at November 05, 2016 04:00 PM (iFXhh)

93 91 ... Gordon, I'll mention that to Mrs. JTB. Right now she has a little cart on wheels that works for her. She is about a foot and a half shorter than me so she gets the ground level work. I use long handle shovels and hoes to keep my back and knees from complaining too much.

Posted by: JTB at November 05, 2016 04:13 PM (V+03K)

94 Don,

Let me know if you would like to share a couple of photos as we get into winter.

Posted by: KT at November 05, 2016 06:19 PM (qahv/)

95 Still no hard frost here in N IL. Think we had a couple of light ones but this is unusual. I'm bringing all kinds of flowers in to overwinter, hope to save some money in the spring.
Still have beets, gr beans, red cabbage and mesculun in the ground. Looks like we have a few more days before the chance of frost.

Posted by: Farmer at November 05, 2016 06:36 PM (o/90i)

96 KT, you're welcome to use anything from my Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tancos/

It may take a week or two or three to process all of today's pictures.

Posted by: Don at November 05, 2016 07:58 PM (iFXhh)

97 Thanks, Don.

Posted by: KT at November 05, 2016 10:26 PM (qahv/)

98 Farmer at November 05, 2016 06:36 PM

Good luck with your over-wintering adventure.

Posted by: KT at November 05, 2016 10:26 PM (qahv/)

99 She's a great singer.

Posted by: Scott at November 06, 2016 07:19 AM (jqWwO)

100 I have a self-raking lawn. The wind comes a cross the meadow and takes all my maple leaves across the road to the cornfield. Farmer never even thanks me for the compost, the ingrate.

Posted by: Scott at November 06, 2016 07:25 AM (jqWwO)

101 test

Posted by: G at November 07, 2016 10:26 AM (xzVnO)

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