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Butterfly Junction

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/10/2016, 12:09 am

Way past due for an update, so this might be loooooooong. Embarassed

Beans didn't come up or died shortly after sprouting. I don't know what went wrong, but I'll try again next year.

Melons only gave me a couple and they weren't very good. I'll try harder next year.

Zukes started out great, then just died. I only got a couple. Again, I don't know what happened. Nights got down into the mid-40s. Is that too cold for zukes?

I got one spaghetti squash. I will start them much earlier next year. Maybe plant the seeds in Feb. inside.

Tomatoes were okay, but I will choose different varieties next year and start them earlier inside. Again I'm thinking feb. 1.

Lemon cukes were a disappointment. I think they're just too fussy. Armenian cukes were awesome, but they all dropped dead as soon as the days got shorter and the nights got cool. Next year I'll replant Sep. 1 and bring them inside in October and start using lights by the middle of October to fool them into thinking it's still summer.

Vine peach were the nastiest thing I've ever tasted, but they grew like crazy. Never again.

Strawberries all died, slowly. Never again.

Kale is still going strong. It struggled through the summer, then just took off. It's also tender and tasty. I will only plant curly dwarf from now on and never be without it.

Hubby wants to watch TV and this is getting too long, so I'll post another chapter, tomorrow. geek
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/10/2016, 1:16 am

Thanks for the update!  Kale....my bane...I should like it.
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/10/2016, 10:02 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Thanks for the update!  Kale....my bane...I should like it.
Our whole family loves kale -- including the rabbit. I could plant the whole "salad bar" in nothing but kale and none of it would go to waste. Thank goodness it's the healthiest plant in the whole bed. I love you
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/11/2016, 9:48 pm

Night temps are dropping fast, so today I got started on the conversion from butterfly house to greenhouse. I cleaned off the table top and gave it another coat of polyurethane. 

Next, I started looking through the "salad bar" and found a beautiful pattypan squash plant in about a 5 gallon container. It's in bloom and very happy, so I couldn't leave it out. It now has the place of honor in the greenhouse. I hope it's happy in there.


Next I brought in the brandywine tomato plants and the small passionvine plants. These will be my backups next year, when the little caterpillar monsters strip the big plants and still want more. No more emergency runs to the nursery for this ol' gal.  Evil or Very Mad 

I had a really nice surprise when I brought in the plants. I still had 3 jars of cuttings left over from the frits and expected them to be dead, but they were happily spreading roots. YEE-HAH! I must have at least a dozen sprouting babies. Very Happy I'll get them potted up, tomorrow.

In the house I relocated the super snow white cherry tomato and the crimson beefsteak. The snow white is loaded with fruit. The beefsteak only has 2. Most of the blossoms dried up. Hopefully it will do better in the house. I have my electric toothbrush ready if it gets any more blossoms.  Wink

That's all for me tonight. I am pooped! geek
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/12/2016, 6:18 am

What a NICE area you have, CN.... Looks like everyone should be very happy!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Mimi2 on 11/12/2016, 10:11 am

Is that your kale in your Avatar pic? It looks great. I have grown a lot of kale too with good success. TD puts it in ice cubes, and adds them to his smoothies. I'm thinking of trying that. And kale chips as we are experiencing very cold weather in Ottawa already- and I'm not sure how much longer our Kale will last. Please let us know how your greenhouse garden goes. I am trying to keep my herbs going in the house- and may expand into cherry tomatoes depending on how it goes.
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/12/2016, 11:21 am

@Mimi2 wrote:Is that your kale in your Avatar pic? It looks great. I have grown a lot of kale too with good success. TD puts it in ice cubes, and adds them to his smoothies. I'm thinking of trying that. And kale chips as we are experiencing very cold weather in Ottawa already- and I'm not sure how much longer our Kale will last. Please let us know how your greenhouse garden goes. I am trying to keep my herbs going in the house- and may expand into cherry tomatoes depending on how it goes.  
Yes, that's my kale in my avatar. I'm going to plant some more today, along with more broccoli and Brussels sprouts. I will also be starting some more herbs inside. The main thing I learned this year is that everything takes twice as long as the seed packets say, so I don't expect much from my new starts until after the first of the year. geek
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Mimi2 on 11/12/2016, 4:44 pm

Here is the picture of the herbs that I transplanted inside in MM, about one month ago (I think). As mentioned all have set root, and are growing except the majoram (sp?). The vietnamese coriander and mint were transplanted stems Smile


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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  trolleydriver on 11/12/2016, 4:55 pm

@Mimi2 wrote:Here is the picture of the herbs that I transplanted inside in MM, about one month ago (I think). As mentioned all have set root, and are growing except the majoram (sp?). The vietnamese coriander and mint were transplanted stems Smile


That is really fantastic Mimi. Great job.  Very Happy

By the way, I lost my indoor Lemon Grass.  I never got around to potting it up so it rotted in the water.  Sad

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/12/2016, 6:54 pm

Looking forward to watching your indoor tomatoes grow and produce, CN, and hoping for the best.
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/12/2016, 7:44 pm

Mimi, I love your herb setup. I love you
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/13/2016, 7:44 am

Mimi, that's SO pretty!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Mimi2 on 11/13/2016, 11:50 am

Thanks for the compliments friends. I can tell that you're all gardeners, because you don't think I'm a bit of a nutter for having 11 pots of herbs in my living room window ;-)
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/13/2016, 12:51 pm

Mimi, are there plastic liners in those metal pots? And how does the water drain?
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/14/2016, 10:51 am

@Mimi2 wrote:Thanks for the compliments friends. I can tell that you're all gardeners, because you don't think I'm a bit of a nutter for having 11 pots of herbs in my living room window ;-)
I love the pics of everyone's indoor gardens. There's something magical about it. We have a small Meyer lemon tree that we bring in every year. It blooms inside and gives off the most amazing scent. Mother Nature invented aromatherapy. I love you
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/15/2016, 10:56 am

Here's my in-bed composting experiment. I got it in before the rain started, so now I'll be watching to see how it settles. It's supposed to rain for most of the next 10 days, so this might be the beginning and end of the experiment. I will add fireplace ashes and more coffee grounds, egg shells, & chopped veggies as I go along. When it's time to plant again, I'll add more store-bought soil and mix it all up. I'm just too set in my ways to switch to MM. Embarassed Last year I had cukes in this spot. I'm planting more kale seeds, today. As soon as they're ready and the weather cooperates, in they go (along with some Brussels Sprouts and broccoli). The compost will still be raw, but if that's not a good thing, I'll add some organic fertilizer. I'll figure it out. Can't be any worse than whatever I did wrong last summer.geek
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/18/2016, 12:00 pm

I think we finally got the greenhouse right. At first, it was just as cold inside as out, even with heat and lights. Then Hubby got the bright idea to float a plastic ceiling over it. That made all the difference. He designed it with "wings" that can roll in to the center in the summer when it gets hot and not impede the caterpillars that climb up the sides and pupate in the corners. Now, with lights on from 4-8:30 and heat on from 8:45pm to am, it never gets lower than 50 degrees in there. When temps get really cold, we will probably have to adjust the thermostat, but I think we have it under control, now.  Rolling Eyes
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/18/2016, 8:27 pm

Super cool!  Love it!  Looks like a great place to pupate or whatever!  LOL!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  sanderson on 11/19/2016, 12:59 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Super cool!  Love it!  Looks like a great place to pupate or whatever!  LOL!
+1

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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 11/21/2016, 12:24 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Super cool!  Love it!  Looks like a great place to pupate or whatever!  LOL!
+1
Thanks, Friends. I just went out to check on things and made a discovery. There must be 5-6 caterpillars on various passion vine plants in the greenhouse/butterfly house. I didn't mean to mess with Mother Nature, but that's exactly what I did. Sad Now I have to scramble to find nectar plants that I can force into bloom and raise butterflies over the winter. It's either that or let them die. They may die anyway. I did my research and found that frits will overwinter as adults in frost-free areas. Maybe I can fool them into thinking this is Florida. Shocked I definitely have a new challenge to keep me busy over the winter. cyclops
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 12/7/2016, 11:49 am

@countrynaturals wrote:Today was berry day! I got a deal on some raspberry plants and my strawberries came in, so I spent the day planting berries. Hubby surprised me by jumping in and making a berry patch from a metal framework we've had taking up space for 2 years. We put it in front of the redwoods (front yard) where we already had a little grape plant going. He's going to transplant wild blackberries from the redwood grove to fill in the left side and back of the frame. We'll have grapes down the middle and raspberries on the right.

Here's what it looks like from the house. You can barely see it through the trees in the middle of the shot.


Here's the reverse shot, looking back at the house. The raspberries are in front, protected from cats and chickes by that low ornamental fence.


Here's a close-up of the raspberries. They're about 6" high.


Here's another shot of the frame. This one is facing more toward 
the street.


Finally, here's a close-up of the metal frame. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I think it will hold up until the plants are all established. Then we can re-evaluate. Each of these sections is 8' long.
There is just too much I want to do and not enough space, so my latest plan is to turn this area into a container garden with a drip system. I'll have to use large pots on bricks to get them high enough to keep the chickens and cats out of them, but that should be doable. This could be a good place for zucchini, tomatoes, and basil, to free up the "salad bar" for smaller plants.  thinking
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/7/2016, 9:29 pm

FUN!  Love the plans!
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  countrynaturals on 12/7/2016, 10:46 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:FUN!  Love the plans!
It will be fun to see if they really come to pass. Mine have a way of changing at the drop of a hat. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/8/2016, 6:18 am

You have a beautiful yard, CN. Lots of shade... How does that affect your plantings?
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Re: Butterfly Junction

Post  trolleydriver on 12/8/2016, 8:01 am

CN ... your yard is like a park ... very nice and inviting.

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