Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Michigan Farmers Desperate to Save Crops

The Headline we see more and more often.
It has been spring officially for 6 weeks. Temps. in the high 70's and even 80 last week.
Temperatures in which Fruit Trees and Strawberries Bloom.
Last night at 11pm, 33 degrees, early a.m. 22 degrees.

When Fruit is in bloom, and a hard killing frost is forecasted, the area Farmers best line of defense is irrigation. If they can encapsulate the bloom in ice it actually protects it.

It is too early to tell if all the efforts were "fruitful". Cherries may be okay, they had already dropped bloom. Apples and Peaches are still in question.
This is just another reason why we all need to be aware of where food originates and the effort it takes to feed people.
Be a locavore , support your local farmers and buy only locally grown food.
Think about it...transportation cost is less, which equals less fuel usage, which equals less oil dependence.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Water Gardening Season

"Milkweed" enjoys the 1st Fish Feeding of Season

A few tips for Spring Start Up of your Water Gardens.

1. Replace all filter media.
2. Clean/Start your Pumps
3. Clean debris off bottom of pond as much as possible.
4. Do a partial water exchange, no more than 1/3 total volume
5. Add your 1st dose of Beneficial Bacteria i.e. PondZyme, Microlift PL,etc.
6. Check salt levels
7. Add submerged plants and floaters a.s.a.p.
submerged plants 1 bunch for every 2 sq ft of surface space
floaters (water lettuce/hyacinth) enough to give good coverage of surface
8. Be Patient. Give your pond time to achieve "balance". Some degree of algae bloom is to be expected.
9. Fed fish only when water temp is above 50 degrees. Or when you have special help like "Milkweed"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seed Starting 101 - Part 2

Cotyledon (or "seed leaf") is the first growth to appear upon germination, it is really the embryo within the seed of the plant.

It is appropriate when seeing "seed leaves" to do a small victory dance! You have your 1st success!

Light now becomes a requirement, place florescent grow lights as close to the seedling as possible, provide at least 14 hours of light daily. Secondary or "true leaves" should emerge within 7 to 10 days. Monitor the growth and move the light up as needed.

Moisture levels most also be monitored, damp not wet potting media is required. Also bottom water and never allow the tray to sit in a pool of water.

Once several sets of "true leaves" have grown and girth is achieved in the stem, begin watering with a very diluted fertilizer. 20:1 ratio.

to be continued.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Signs of True Spring


Iris reticulata

Even though spring officially arrived several weeks ago, we have had very cool, un-spring like weather until this past weekend. Two days of bright sunshine and 60 degrees.
It was wonderful to get out in our yards and begin the spring clean up that usually happens in March.
Green Wellies kicked off Spring Cleaning yesterday and we shall have cold tolerant annuals by the 3rd week of April.