Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pine Tree Propogation

I spent this winter digging up and transplanting pine trees.  I moved trees from areas with too thick of a population and transplanted them to thinner areas.

baby pine tree

I tied some orange survey tape around the base of all of the trees that I transplanted so that I can both see them and monitor them to see how they grow.  The 4 light-green stems growing out of the top of this 12″ tree are new branches – these will turn into the growing tip and some main branches.

This fall I am going to make a special effort to sprout as many pine tree seedlings as I can.  I have room to plant as many as I can grow.

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This Blue Bonnet just popped up this spring.  This is the largest and strongest of the few Blue Bonnets that popped up.  Have to let it mature and go to seed.  Hopefully next year there will be more Blue Bonnets.

wild blue bonnets popped up

That is a scrawny Red Clover next to the Blue Bonnet.  Red Clover popped up all over.  The largest plants popped up in the freshly just composted open beds – interesting.  It is truly amazing how wild seeds find their way all over the place.  I do believe that blue bonnet seeds are too big to be blown by the wind . . . birds?

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Carrots – Which Variety Do I Prefer?

This past winter growing season, being my first time to grow crops under a hoop garden, I tried 2 varieties of carrots – Scarlet Nantes and Autumn King.

Scarlet Nantes are on the left and Autumn King are on the right.  The Autumn King grew larger and looked more orange.  The Scarlet Nantes were a paler orange and overall the carrots were smaller.  There was not a discernible difference in taste between the 2 varieties.  They are both heirloom varieties.

autumn king carrots vs scarlet nantes

These carrots were planted in beds that were just filled with composted horse manure.  I had read that planting carrots in such a rich compost would result in lots of small hairy roots all over them – this did not prove to be true.

I have a mountain of carrots to finish harvesting.

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Blueberry Jackpot

I happened to walk into our local Lowes when they had all of their $10 – 1 gallon Blueberry plants marked down to $3.00.   I constrained myself to 9 more plants.  (6 are shown here).  I had 3 varieties to choose from.
mark down blueberries

I plan to learn to root my own blueberry cuttings and grow my own new bushes, but @ $3, I would be stupid to pass up these.

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Drying Kale

I grew 2 varieties of Kale, Blue Curled Scotch Kale and Dwarf Blue Curled Vates Strain.

Blue Curled Scotch kale has larger, softer leaves and dried in a few hours with the dehydrator set between 105 and 110 degrees.  You can see the leaves on the dryer shelf.  The stems, however, do NOT dry.  The stems remained soft and moist,   so I crumbled the dry leaves off of the stems.  The few thin stems that dried were stiff like thin toothpicks – I don’t really want that stuff in my kale leaves.  You can see the stripped leaf stems on top of the dryer.

blue curled scotch kale

This mason jar is holding about 3 dryer loads of crumbled kale leaves.  Those leaves really dry to nothing.  Dried kale is very good in soups and other dishes that some dried green pieces look good in.

dried kale

I tried to dry some of the Dwarf Blue Curled Vates kale, however it just doesn’t seem to dry in a few hours.  In fact, none of the leaves every fully dired.  Most of it ended up in the compost.  Stay with Scotch Kale if you want to dry it.

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