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Butterfly Junction

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 4/18/2017, 11:04 am

@sanderson wrote:So, I gather the adults were eating the nectar or pollen from the flowers, but when they lay their eggs, it will be on the Dutchman's Pipe?
Yup. The adults fly around, sip nectar and go out on dates. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. rofl
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 5/2/2017, 12:42 am

Huge garden expansion in progress. I'm planting the Rescue Garden in a combination of containers and BTE. Went to my favorite nursery and scored HUGE! They had 11 asparagus plants that didn't sell last year so they potted them up in 1 gal. pots. They wanted them gone so they let me have them for $6 each! These are now 3rd year plants, already producing spears. I can't believe I could get that lucky, to have a 2 year head start on an asparagus bed.  cheers



My next lucky break was strawberries. I have always bought them mail-order and got puny little twigs with a couple of half-dead leaves on them. I'd try to nurse them back to life and always figure on losing half (last year they all died). These babies were only $6.50 a dozen and they're HUGE -- already blooming! All 24 are happy today. I cut the bottoms out of the 1 gal. pots and put them around the bed as a chicken-barrier. I think I'll plant marigolds in them.



The tree trimmers came last week and left me a beautiful new pile of wood chips from our own trees. I still have plenty to use from last year, so this pile will be for 2018.


We have a huge pair of Century Plants (agave) which I hate, but the crazy thing bloomed last year and the skeleton of that blossom is pretty kewl so we had the trimmers take it down for us. We have a huge trunk from it -- don't know what we'll do with that -- and 2 pieces of the "blossom." They also cut down a rotten vine maple, right by the butterfly/greenhouse. Hubby got the brilliant idea to make the stump into the base of a plant table and put that blossom in the middle like an umbrella in a patio table. I probably won't get that until fall, with all his other projects ahead of, but I'm really excited about it. I will definitely be the only kid on the block with one of those. rofl(The tabletop will be on top of the 3 stumps with the agave "tree" supported in the middle.)


Also, the trimmers showed me a whole bunch of "agave pups." They're baby agave plants that sell for $6 to $9. We have about a dozen of them. I don't like them anyway, so we will probably put an ad on Craigslist and see what we can get. rock on
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  sanderson on 5/2/2017, 8:27 pm

I'm not sure of which I am more excited, your asparagus and strawberries or the delicious pile of ramial chips. If I were you, I would move them right now to an area you want to enrich. Let them build their beautiful fungal web on site. You can use the old dry wood chips anywhere, but those ramials are special.

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 5/3/2017, 4:54 pm

@sanderson wrote:I'm not sure of which I am more excited, your asparagus and strawberries or the delicious pile of ramial chips.  If I were you, I would move them right now to an area you want to enrich.  Let them build their beautiful fungal web on site.  You can use the old dry wood chips anywhere, but those ramials are special.
Great idea! Now why didn't I think of that? geek
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  sanderson on 5/4/2017, 1:55 pm

Well, for my brain fog, it's the heat. tongue

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/4/2017, 4:27 pm

Super scores, Country!!! cheers Oh I KNOW that feels good, right?!
Those strawberry plants are huge!
And the asaparagus...wow! So when can you starting eating new 3 yr olds?
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 5/4/2017, 9:57 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Super scores, Country!!!  cheers  Oh I KNOW that feels good, right?!
Those strawberry plants are huge!  
And the asaparagus...wow!  So when can you starting eating new 3 yr olds?  
I'm watching those 5 little spears. If they grow big enough, they will be eaten, but that might not happen.
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/3/2017, 12:06 pm

Major Update -- FINALLY! Here is what winter did to my "Salad Bar" followed by 20 hours of hard labor, and what it looks like this morning.



The most labor-intensive part was hauling in the wood chips for the "floor." It took at least 20 trips and several weeks as I sandwiched this job in with creating the BTE.



The "island" in the middle is my Weed Garden. That's all host plants for the butterflies. The vines are Dutchman's Pipe for the Pipevine Swallowtails -- already raised one batch -- and the rest are various types of milkweed for the Monarchs -- they should arrive later this month.



To be continued in next post. Very Happy
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/3/2017, 12:21 pm

The first shot is down the left side as you come through the gate. It's all kale and broccoli from last fall.


Around the corner to the right is Asparagus Beans. I will plant more today. We love these.


Around the last corner is my 4th try at Daikon Radishes. It's probably too late, but we love them. Rollies got the first 3 tries. This time, I planted them in peat pots, and when they sprouted, I stuffed the pots into plastic bags, cut out the bottoms, and planted the whole thing. A few of them didn't like that idea, but I still have a dozen survivors. Fingers crossed this plan will keep out the rollies and slugs until the Daikons can get established so I can pull off the plastic.


On down that same row are the purple beans (love them) and the Swiss Chard (don't like it raw -- will try cooking it when it gets bigger).

And that concludes our tour for today. geek

Disclaimer about sfg grids: I have no discipline in my gardening life. I can't even keep track of what I plant where. I am not grid-worthy. Sorry. Embarassed
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  trolleydriver on 6/3/2017, 12:37 pm

Grids or no grids, it all looks very nice CN.

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  sanderson on 6/4/2017, 2:11 am

CN, All that work paid off, it looks great. Wasn't there a "stream" through the salad bar area? The wood chips should greatly help getting in there when it rains. hat do Daikon radishes taste like?

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/4/2017, 9:57 am

@sanderson wrote:CN,  All that work paid off, it looks great.  Wasn't there a "stream" through the salad bar area?  The wood chips should greatly help getting in there when it rains.  hat do Daikon radishes taste like?
My daikons tasted like very mild icicle radishes, but I have heard horror stories that they can be very hot. I don't know what makes the difference, but I will definitely collect the seeds if this batch turns out as well as last year's. Cool
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/4/2017, 10:05 am

@sanderson wrote:Wasn't there a "stream" through the salad bar area?  The wood chips should greatly help getting in there when it rains. 
Yes, which is the main reason I laid down all those wood chips and stepping stones. I couldn't even walk out there last winter. The bubbling stream was behind where the blue chairs are in this pic. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  sanderson on 6/5/2017, 3:24 am

Okay, I will stick to French Breakfast radishes. Thanks.

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/5/2017, 6:10 am

Suz, that's a beautiful area!!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/5/2017, 11:43 am

@sanderson wrote:Okay, I will stick to French Breakfast radishes.  Thanks.
Good call. In my experience all white radishes are finicky and they take forever, too. Rolling Eyes I have planted hundreds of daikons and only reaped 3-4 so far. Looks like this last batch of 16 may only yield another 3-4 -- if I'm lucky. Mad
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/5/2017, 11:46 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Suz, that's a beautiful area!!
Thanks, Marie. I love it out there. It was a ton of work and another ton of money, but it was all worth it. I love you
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  trolleydriver on 6/5/2017, 11:52 am

@countrynaturals wrote:
@AtlantaMarie wrote:Suz, that's a beautiful area!!
Thanks, Marie. I love it out there. It was a ton of work and another ton of money, but it was all worth it. I love you
CN, you have your own spot of paradise in your garden.

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/5/2017, 12:30 pm

Love love love the before and afters!

@countrynaturals wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Okay, I will stick to French Breakfast radishes.  Thanks.
Good call. In my experience all white radishes are finicky and they take forever, too. Rolling Eyes I have planted hundreds of daikons and only reaped 3-4 so far. Looks like this last batch of 16 may only yield another 3-4 -- if I'm lucky. Mad

Yeah, but oh those yummy seed pods...!
What a Face
Which you can get from regular radish plants also come to think of it.
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/18/2017, 10:57 am

5 days of potentially record-breaking heat starts today. Highs over 105 (could be 110-111). Lows in the mid 70s. I'll take pics right now to show how beautiful everything is. Then I'll hold my breath for a week with my fingers crossed to see if there's anything left. Our water bill is already $100, so growing our own veggies is not going to save us any money, and running to the store is definitely easier, but if it's possible to grow good stuff in our brutal heat, it will be well worth it. Shocked
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/18/2017, 1:21 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:5 days of potentially record-breaking heat starts today. Highs over 105 (could be 110-111). Lows in the mid 70s. I'll take pics right now to show how beautiful everything is. Then I'll hold my breath for a week with my fingers crossed to see if there's anything left. Our water bill is already $100, so growing our own veggies is not going to save us any money, and running to the store is definitely easier, but if it's possible to grow good stuff in our brutal heat, it will be well worth it. Shocked
I'll have to water 3x a day until this is over. When I went out to water at 10am this morning, some of my plants were already wilted. I brought in one little tomato plant and all of my lettuce plants yesterday. They will be houseplants this week. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/18/2017, 3:01 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Love love love the before and afters!

@countrynaturals wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Okay, I will stick to French Breakfast radishes.  Thanks.
Good call. In my experience all white radishes are finicky and they take forever, too. Rolling Eyes I have planted hundreds of daikons and only reaped 3-4 so far. Looks like this last batch of 16 may only yield another 3-4 -- if I'm lucky. Mad

Yeah, but oh those yummy seed pods...!
What a Face
Which you can get from regular radish plants also come to think of it.
CN, your garden area is beautiful!  I have a square of Daikon going to flower right now, gonna try the pods!  Like you, I got 4 nice big ones last fall out of a square...they were very tasty though!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 6/24/2017, 3:45 pm

Solved the "chives" mystery. Turned out to be plain old garlic. Cool
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 7/2/2017, 11:53 am

That brutal heatwave in June left gaping holes in my garden. I late-planted Armenian cukes and they're already up, but nothing else is cooperating. Any suggestions for what I can plant right now that will tolerate triple-digit temps?
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  yolos on 7/2/2017, 2:37 pm

Cowpeas.  Sweet Potaoes if you have enough time before first frost.
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