12/2022 backlog of infrastructure and little babies

Yesterday, 12/31, I finally glued on the rain barrel cap holders that the Chef 3D printed for me! I used epoxy after cleaning both surfaces with ethanol.
Paula got solar powered outdoor lights for Christmas and has used them to make the path to the compost visible! Edit: thanks to Mom for inquiring if we can turn the lights out. Yes we can! It’s important not to pollute the dark with more light than we use at any given moment.
I am hoping these tiny seedlings are the annual bluets that sometimes grow in this part of the yard. Keeping an eye on them.
A tinier potential annual bluet seedling next to the comparatively large wild geraniums. These two pictures were 12/31/2022.
12/28/2022, the Ratibida columnifera rosettes survived the big cold!
Two Verbena halei rosettes also exist and made it!
Finally, and very thrilling, two potential Penstemon oklahomensis seedlings! They don’t appear to be hairy leaves like some other common seedling volunteers. Stay tuned.
Shackleton enjoyed a leashed walk in the same excellent 12/28 weather.
Jeanne kindly sent us some Salaginella riddellii- Riddell’s Spike-Moss. We put the biggest chunk in the rainbow garden (in green of course) on 12/25.
We put a smaller piece of the spike moss in the cactus planter.
12/25 was so nice we also moved some volunteers. This is the big root of a poke berry! We moved those along the back fence where another pokeberry lives. We also moved several ampelopsis from random spots in the yard to along the south fence trellis.
A blackjack oak acorn with a sprout on it! We planted this exciting find (12/24) into a pot on 12/25. Fingers crossed for a spring sprout.
Judy gave us an adorable toad house! I have placed it near the veggie beds. Please come eat our earwigs, toad friends.
12/24 checking the pot containing Sedum nutallii from Jeanne. The sedums seem to have made it along with Verbena rosettes (V. Halei??) and other intriguing volunteers.
Going somewhere! Wow!! Happy briar in the car.
On 12/24 we visited the lake at Lexington WMA. This seasonal creek was frozen solid! The lake was too. Briar wears her hunter orange.
After the deep freeze, only the top tips of the recently transplanted rosemary got frozen. They were pressed down by the sheets. But the sheets protected the rest of the plant!

10/24/2022 greens survived one night

We were worried the front yard earwigs would eat them all up, but the various greens we transplanted from backyard pots survived the night and seem happy with an inch of rain overnight into this morning! the metal raised bed is surrounded by scattered leaves and individual plant species and varieties are marked by small white metal signs. There’s some bluish bok choy in the front, a more yellow green lettuce in the middle, and frilly scotch blue curled kale in the back next to a tall Fordham giant Swiss chard. Smaller plants are scattered nearby but I’ve forgottten which ones.

08/14/2022 straw bale potatoes

We lifted and sorted through our two straw bales of potatoes since the leaves were all eaten off by blister beetles. Upon moving the bales, we found eight bess beetles
One fast isopod
A second fast isopod
Three baby house mice
And one click beetle. This brings us to a total of 14 photographed animals plus a whole nest of ants and a small earwig that got away.
Compare this to our glorious harvest: ten potatoes from two bales. Paula is researching where we went wrong. I feel like maybe we should just go back to growing them in soil. (These experiments were my idea so I’m not blaming anyone else.). At least this year’s harvest is safer than last year’s crop of black widow spiders??

08/07/2022 bulb time

Wild Hyacinth bulbs arrived in the mail yesterday!
We planted the three bulbs in a little crescent along the edge of this drier strawberry/honeyberry bed, and reinforced the dirt berm to trap a little extra water. Prairie Moon Nursery says they like medium-dry at most, but will generally do okay if it’s wet during the bloom time (which is usually our rain times).
New earwig… We saw it moving around as we dug into the hard packed dry soil! It was somewhere between 2-6″ down. Just as bone dry the whole way. It swam across the water mud as we watered in the new bulbs. Hoping it might be a native one but waiting on what inaturalist or friends say.

05/20/2022

Beautiful plant.
Rocky mountain bee plant
Geometrid moth among the dayflower leaves.
The striped planthopper on the elderberry.
Very tiny bees on the widow sedum. One sitting, one blurring through in flight.
One Missouri fluttermill primrose among the strawberries!
During weedeater repair we found a DAMN EARWIG.

Garlic spray deployed!

Today I filtered the garlic spray twice so chunks won’t clog the sprayer.
Then I spritzed all over inside the mini greenhouse hoops area as well as directly on a few test chamomiles indoors. I think the neem oil may have made a few baby peppers and tomatoes wilt so hopefully this spray is less angering.

Garlic spray

I used the blender to pulverize garlic cloves that Paula got out for me (she was making focaccia anyways) and now I will leave it to soak overnight. This is another anti-earwig experiment.

Warm day garden activities

We’re watering and fertilizing two straw bales to become potato growing sites.  The one that we’ve watered and covered with plastic to keep warm is growing straw. At least it’s not got herbicides on it!!
We trimmed the Salvia greggii back for bushiness and spring flowering. We also did the winter pruning for both new and old fruit trees but I forgot to take before and after pictures.
Several seeds are sprouting in the hoops.  If you can zoom in, you may see the two oil traps for earwigs.  It is leftover fryer oil so it should excite their senses. We also planted two varieties of lettuce seeds we forgot before, and sprinkled leaves from the Salvia branches on the idea they might repulse earwigs. Finally, a few seeds are already up: purple lady bok choy, lacinato/dinosaur kale, Scotch blue curled kale, and French breakfast radish.
The daffodils I moved from along the metal edging to among the Salvias are coming up! Hopefully the trim will also make these more visible if they end up blooming. They were previously overcrowded and in the shade, so maybe out here they’ll actually bloom.

Tiny greenhouse

A little centipede in the garden dirt. Hopefully it’s an earwig predator.
Hoops in!
Seeds planted, cover on! We put lots of extra and smelly plants like cilantro and parsley among the carrots and bok choy and beets in hopes of earwig distraction.