Woodhaven Place

Your Neighborhood Farm

Author: cvheiser (page 1 of 3)

Product Spot Light: Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

We use organic growing practices here at Woodhaven Place. Because of that we do not have an easy way to get ride of weeds in the garden. For years we spent time pulling, hoeing and even burning pesky interlopers. Then we discovered Curtis Stone and the wonders of Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier.

Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

  • UV stabilized and permeable to air and water and a low cost, ecology safe alternative to herbicide use
  • Allows air and water to penetrate for worry-free irrigation
  • Guaranteed to last five years in direct sunlight; for greenhouse and outdoor use

 

 

We now use Weed Barrier all over the garden and it has cut down our work load by more then half. The best price we have found is on Amazon and is around $61 for the 3′ x 300′ roll BUT I looked this morning and the price is down to $41.31 with free shipping!!! That is the best price I have ever seen and I do not know how long it will last.  If you are having weed issues I highly recommend trying this out. This product could be used for a large market garden or a small back yard garden.

This is a link to a You Tube video Curtis did on how to use this product and what kind of impact it has had on his farm .

 

 

 

Growing Peas: Varieties, Method and Trouble Shooting

What do you do in mid-March if you live in southwestern Ohio?  I plant peas!!!  Yes, I plant them, from seed, in the ground.  The fact is, peas will germinate in soil as cold as 40 degrees. Early peas taste great, get you out working in the garden when most folks are still dreaming of planting vegetables, and they do a fantastic job of prepping beds for future crops. Like all legumes, peas can take nitrogen directly from the air with the help of nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria.

Types of Peas

Vine length varies from one variety to another, and long-vined peas need a taller trellis than compact varieties. Both compact and long-vined peas are available in four types, which vary in pod and seed characteristics. Although I only grow one type of pea, I will explain why later, I am giving you information on all four varieties. Continue reading

LollyBaba’s Old Quilt Cleaning Method

 

My mother is an avid quilt rescuer — and I say rescuer (and not collector) on purpose. She is not looking for pristine show quality quilts. She wants the ones that have been forgotten in a attic, loved to pieces, or are being thrown over furniture in a moving van. She has developed a fantastic method to clean these old dirty quilts and I asked her to write this post and share it with everyone.

LollyBaba’s Old Quilt Cleaning Method

After retiring I needed something to fill my days other than going to the senior center and playing cards all day.  I come from a long line of quilters, however my hand sewing skills are not great.  When I hand quilted the first time my mother said “those are not quilting stitches, those are basting stitches.”  She was correct, my stitches were entirely too long for a quilt.  However, I still wanted a way to connect with the generations of quilting women in my family. Continue reading

RECIPE: Paleo Freezer Fudge {with 8 variations!}

Paleo Freezer Fudge - 8 variations!Nothing says let’s ring in the New Year and kick off healthier habits like … fudge?

January is the start of a clean eating plan for many people including Whole30, Primal, Paleo, and many others. Personally, Clint and I (Candie) have been eating Paleo for 3 years. Every once in a while we eat a more traditional diet (usually due to travel or family holiday gatherings) and every time we quickly come back to Paleo. Cutting out grains, sugar, and most dairy makes us feel more energetic, get better sleep, and maintain a healthy weight.   Continue reading

Top Ten Farmer Gifts For The Female FarmHER

“Women make do.” That’s what we do and the garden is no exception. When something does not work, we make it work because at the end of the day, things need to get done. As ladies have twisted, pulled, pushed, and toiled in the soil over the centuries, we have done so largely with the aid of tools designed for men.

Over the last few years, we have been given some fantastic farm related gifts and have tried out dozens of products. There are more and more companies making things specifically for hard working women (including work clothing!).  Continue reading

Osage Orange Tree or Monkey Balls

They look like green brains, lying in clusters along roadsides, from September through December. They are the joy of many squirrels and the bane of every homeowner trying to mow in the fall. Continue reading

Rosies: My Review of Work Wear for Women

I never thought I would say this but I have a love affair with overalls, specifically my Rosies. I wear my Rosies so much that I had to buy a second pair for when my primary pair are in the wash.

They are the most functional pair of clothing I own and I recommend them to everyone. If you are a back yard gardener or a full time woman farmer you need to own a pair (or three!) of these overalls.

But don’t take my word for it. There’s good reason why Rosies are amazing.  Continue reading

{Classical Conversations} Flip-Flap Books & Cycle 2 Match Ups!

We love using Flip-Flap Books (especially to flesh out our Classical Conversations work at home). Check out our recommended supply list and cycle match ups!

Along with farming and homesteading, we are a home school family. We belong to a local Classical Conversations community and I am always looking for fun ways to add depth to our memory work. I use the website Teachers Pay Teachers a lot and I would like to introduce my favorite seller Simply Skilled in Second.

She has created a resource called Flip-Flap Books that my son and I both love.

Anna has a great website that explains many of her resources.

Each book has a single theme, comes with detailed easy to follow instructions, and matches up with CC memory work wonderfully! Right now we are working with books that match up with Cycle 2, but she has books that will work with all of the CC Cycles. I love this resource because it is easy to put together and looks great. Continue reading

Frost Dates – Why are they important?

It is important to plant your garden seeds and transplants at the right time and the key is knowing when your area will see its last spring frost. Some garden plants taste even better after a little frost. Cool season crops such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and kale can tolerate planting zonesa light frost and will grow best when sown a couple weeks before the last spring frost. Peas and spinach, are so cold-hardy they can be planted “as soon as the ground can be worked,” which means that if the dirt is not frozen and you can get them in the ground go for it! For us, that date is around St. Paddy’s Day.

Warm season crops (i.e., squash, cucumber, and basil) will be killed by frost if your seeds come up too soon. Transplants (already started plants) such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants will be lost in that last annoying frost if set out too early. Heed the warning on seed packets that say, “Plant after all danger of frost has passed.”

Finding the average last spring frost date for your specific area may take some research.There are many U.S. maps that show last frost dates however it is hard to find your exact location dates. The best source is the National Climatic Data Center web site. Frost-date-chartChoose your state and  nearest city.  The site will show your average last spring (and first fall) frost dates, based on weather data collected by the National Climatic Data Center from 1971 through 2000 from that location. You can choose to plant between a 50/50 probability of frost after the given date, or play it safe and choose the 10%date, which means there is only a 10% chance of a frost after that date.Another great tool to find your average frost dates is the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner web site. The Planner will send you customized planting reminders for which crops need planting based on your frost dates and location.

Our west central Ohio50/50 probability frost free date is April 16th, however, I never trust that date. I am not going to chance losing my transplants by putting them out to early. Most warm weather seeds will not germinate in cold soil so waiting a week or two will not only help with germination but lesson your chance of having to scramble for grandmas old frost-cover-msheets to throw over your baby plants. We plant our transplants on Mother’s Day; if we are having a very warm year and the soil is warm I will direct sow seeds a week before planting transplants.

Very early spring (as soon as the ground can be worked)

  • onions
  • peas
  • spinach

Early springVegi_Planting_001.60152855_std

  • lettuce
  • beets
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • dill
  • cilantro
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • kale
  • potatoes

After last frost date

  • beans
  • corn
  • melons
  • cucumbers
  • squash
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • pumpkins
  • eggplant
  • basil

Light freeze (frost) – 29°F to 32°F—tender plants killed, with little destructive effect on other vegetation.

Moderate freeze (frost)– 25°F to 28°F—widely destructive effect on most vegetation, with heavy damage to fruit blossoms and tender and semi-hardy plants.

Severe freeze (frost)– 24°F and colder—damage to most plants.

Phenology or Old Farmer Wisdom

I love old time farm sayings like “plant potatoes when the first dandelions bloom” or “cut in June will come back too soon, cut in July will surely die.” Long before we had the internet and hundreds of gardening books to read, these sayings were handed down from parent to 34e3d30f726dfe2cab922fc448731c51child and guided the yearly planting and harvesting. It turns out these sayings are accurate much of the time and the official name for them is Phenology. Many universities have devoted years to studying the validity of these sayings.

Events in the ‘natural calendar’ can be used to guide planting times in the vegetable garden or on the farm. The study and observation of seasonal events and their correlation to plant, insect, and animal life is called “phenology,” from the Greek for the “science of appearances.” Trees, shrubs, and flowers are sensitive to temperature and day length and develop on a regular schedule based on local conditions. It only makes sense to use these natural indicators to know when the weather is right for planting. Observations made over many years have led to some fairly reliable conclusions. According to the National Phenology Network“Phenology is nature’s calendar—when cherry trees bloom, when a robin builds its nest and when leaves turn color in the fall.”

The life cycle of the comLilacmon lilac is an often used guide in Phenology studies and garden planning and planting. The leafing out and progression of lilac blooms (from bud to flower fade) can aid the vegetable gardener from year to year. For example, after years of observing the lilac, naturalists have concluded that it is safe to plant tender bean, cucumber, and squash seeds when the lilac is in full bloom.

Here are some of the most common sayings

Vegetable Garden Crop Planting Phenology
Beans: Plant beans when lilac is in full bloom, also cucumber seeds and squash seeds.
Beets: Blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishes, parsnips, and spinach.
Broccoli: Plant broccoli when lilacs first begin to leaf out and dandelions are in bloom.
Brussels sprouts: Plant Brussels sprouts when lilacs first begin to leaf out and dandelions are in bloom.
Cabbage: Plant cabbage and cabbage family crops (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards) when lilacs first begin to leaf out and dandelions are in bloom, also beets, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.
Cabbage for spring: Plant spring cabbage in fall when mock orange is in full bloom
Collards: Plant collards when lilacs first begin to leaf out and dandelions are in bloom.
Corn: Plant corn when apple blossoms begin to fall and when oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.
Cucumber: Plant cucumber seeds when lilac is in full bloom and when the blooms just start to fade, also bean seeds and squash seeds.
Eggplant: Transplant eggplant when irises bloom and daylilies start to bloom, also melons and peppers.
Hardy, cool-season spring crops: plant hardy crops when plum and peach trees are in full bloom.
Peas: Plant peas when daffodils and forsythia are in full bloom.
Potatoes: Plant potatoes when the first dandelions bloom.
Squash: Plant squash seeds when lilac is in full bloom and just as the blooms fade, also bean seeds and cucumber seeds.
Tomatoes: Plant tomatoes when day lilies start to bloom or lily-of-the-valley plants are in full bloom or flowering dogwood are in bloom.
Perennials: can be planted when the maple trees begin to leaf out

Vegetable Garden Pests Phenology
Apple maggot moths are at their peak when Canada thistle blooms; protect apple fruits.
Mexican bean beetle larvae appear when foxglove flowers open.
Cabbage root maggots are active when wild rocket blooms.
Japanese beetles arrive when morning glory vines begin to climb.
Squash vine borers are at their peak when chicory blooms; protect pumpkin plants.
Tent caterpillars are hatching when crabapple trees are in bud; begin caterpillar controls.

While not totally foolproof, following nature’s clock helps us tune in to the rhythm of life around us. Accumulating notes on insect indicator plants in new-pages-of-worlds-most-mysterious-book-are-seen-for-the-first-time-27281-1-590x812your own garden over several seasons paves the way toward being a much more effective manager of pests that plague your garden year after year. This can help eliminate time wasted looking for pests that have yet to become active, and remind you to check plants closely when they are scheduled to be a certain insect’s next main course. As we wait on spring, we are wise to keep our eyes open and pencils handy to better understand the Phenology of our one-of-a-kind gardens. Consider the Chinese proverb, “Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.”

What are some signals where you live? I know that I am going to plant a lilac bush this spring so I can start being more cooperative with my natural world!

Resources
Growveg
Farmers Almanac
Harvesttotable
usanpn
Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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