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I looked at the Home Depot ad (landscape lumber is $1.98 again) and saw their ad for 1 gallon hibiscus.
I LOVE hibiscus tea and did some web searches to see how it does here. First I learned that there is a TROPICAL hibiscus definitely not suited for the desert. Presumably, that's not what's sold in Kingman.
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span style=”font-family: arial”>Hibiscus sabdariffa is suitable for tea.
The next search got me to Roselle (plant) at Wiki. Lots of interesting info.
Here it is at wellbutrin buyHorizon Herbs:
Hibiscus (Roselle)(Hibiscus sabdariffa) (Hibiscus Flores, Flor de Jamaica, Red Drops )
Tropical perennial grown as an annual in temperate climates. The papery blooms give way to the bright red, fleshy calyces, which may be made into jelly, syrup or wine. Dried, the calyces are widely used in herbal teas, imparting a bright red color and a tart flavor. The dried leaves are also good in tea. Medicinal uses are myriad, ranging from tummy ache to tuberculosis. The plant prefers full sun and fertile, fast-draining soils. The seeds should be started early in the greenhouse and transplanted out after frost. We found these to be a very reasonable crop for our mountainous and temperate zone 6. The calyces developed early on squat plants and we had plenty of time to dry a store for later use.
30 seeds/pkt $3.95, Organic
I was hoping for perennials by the garden fence. Maybe we'll try some next year. I'm sure we can overwinter tropical hibiscus in our new greenhouse.
Took a few pics the last few days and even got around to uploading a few. We take LOTS of pictures and it's really nice to be able to go through the pics in winter or next year to see what we grew where and how well the plants did. You can click on the pictures for larger images.
We just planted the bed in the front with some peppers and melons and the other beds have more peppers, egg plants, squash, melons and of course LOTS of tomatoes.
The beds also have radishes, green onions, basil and “miscellaneous” plants. I recently started to transplant the sweet annies out to the fence as some are already over a foot tall AND the mice don't eat them – there's no reason to keep them in the caged beds. Still struggling with daily damage in the uncaged areas. Continue reading “The garden and salad beds”
By 1950, these machines were recognized as dangerous, but they were only gradually
Most regulators FAILED to take action and just as now, corporate profits were more important than safety.
It's up to us, the PEOPLE, to stop purchasing toxic and GM food AND to support legislation prohibiting the use of toxins in foods.
Growing your own food is a good start, but it won't stop the impact of toxins on the entire world, resulting in enormous expenses for medical care (and of course many premature deaths), pollution of our drinking water, air, soil …
Even if you don't care about other people, the toxins are in your air, in your water and in your soil.
t's a sign of the times that the supreme court sides with the CORPORATIONS. Crooks in robes with NO respect for human life.
I was glad to see that Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich announced that he would introduce three bills to provide for regulation of all genetically engineered plants, animals, bacteria and other organisms:
Kucinich Announces Right to Know Legislation in Wake of Alfalfa Supreme Court Ruling
Washington, Jun 21 –
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long-time advocate of family farmers and organic foods, today made the following statement after the Supreme Court voted 7-1 to allow the experimental planting of genetically modified alfalfa seed before an environmental review is completed:
“Today the Supreme Court ruled that when it comes to genetically modified organisms, we as consumers, have to wait until the damage is done and obvious, before we can act to protect health and the environment, even if that damage could be irreversible.
“Haven’t we learned from the catastrophe in the Gulf of the dangers of technological arrogance, of proceeding ahead with technologies without worrying about the consequences? Why do we continue to throw precaution to the wind? Continue reading “Supreme court ruling in favor of GM alfalfa, Kucinich to the rescue?”
Last night I did some research, but MOST info is for Southern Arizona where it rarely freezes. We'd like to get plants that will LIVE through the winter.
I don't have several HOURS to read right now, but hope to get to reading the DELEP newsletters soon: Desert Legume Program
Getting the link to post here, I got sidetracked and read the fascinating story of the Arizona Mesquite Company:
… We approached the National Parks Service who manages numerous parks located on the Colorado River which encompasses several bosques. The pods were considered a nuisance and they were happy to let me have them. In the summer of 2008 we raked and loaded 5000 lbs of pods and saved them from certain compost.
The pods were then cleaned hand sorted, washed and set in the sun to dry. …
They're growing mesquite for sale, food and lumber. It's too bad they don't have a website, but you can order their organic mesquite flower online.
There's so much to read. We have some mesquites, but I really don't like them because they BITE.
They're just about as bad as chollas, maybe even worse because you don't see the branches when they don't have leaves and I lost count of how many times I was bleeding when we built the lower garden and cow fence. Our mesquites just got leaves a few weeks ago and most are actually NOT ours, but on the neighbor property along our fence line, where I'm happy to have them — outside.
Hopefully 0ur Chilean mesquite cuttings (no thorns) will grow roots, they have some nice leaves now.
In the meantime, we've been planting lots of beans, but we'd like to find some high desert legumes too.
We started on the last frame, for now. Went to Lowes' to get peat moss WITHOUT the MiracleGrow chemical fertilizer (Home Depot) and was shocked to see the landscape timber priced at $3 a piece. We've been paying $2 at the Depot. I also thought that the quickcrete was rather pricey at Lowe's.
So we stopped at the Depot and found that their price for landscape timber had also increased to $3/piece, but the quickcrete was MUCH cheaper than at Lowe's. There were definitely more employees than customers at Lowe's and I don't know how they stay in business.
We almost took the blocks back out, could use them for the raised beds along the house, but we'll wait till fall/winter. The tomatoes were already hitting the top screen, so we quickly built the frame for our screen enclosure. It sucks that you can't STAPLE to blocks.
Forgot to buy the metal corner brackets we had for the other beds and used some scrap lumber instead — works fine.
We'll have another day or so until the tomatoes hit the screen again and we have to build the screened frame.
We've been so busy, finally finished the last bed and planted mostly peppers and a few cukes and melons this eve.
Have so many more tomato plants and no idea where to put them. Last time we planted tomatoes along the fence they got immediately eaten. We also got a giant rat trap, but haven't caught anything yet.
“Something” is eating all our baby squash and zucchini and we really don't appreciate that!
I decided to check out the grape cuttings we stuck into sand after we pruned in spring. I think we have 19 cuttings and all but one have roots:
It's truly incredible how well everything roots in the greenhouse. We used the sand from the wash at the bottom of our lot and not only did the grapes grow great roots, but it was easy to get the cuttings out of the pot.
I transplanted into gallon water bottles and plastic juice bottles since we're running low on pots. In the plastic bottles we can see the roots and when they're ready to transplant. I added some of our regular soil mix to the sand and we'll definitely leave the transplants inside for a few weeks.
We also have a big tub with cuttings outside in the shade under the camper, but they didn't grow nearly as much and probably few or none have roots.
This looks like the first pollinated squash in the Three Sisters bed:
It's bigger than the babies that dried up after they didn't get pollinated.
I tried to pollinate zucchinis, but the pollen from this plant didn't work and we didn't have male and female zucchini flowers at the same time.
From the Farmers' Almanac:
14th-15th Plant Tomatoes, Beans, Peppers, Corn, Cotton, And Other Above Ground Crops On These Most Fruitful Days. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens
We'll try to get some more planting areas ready today.
It was cloudy and cool today and we finished up the enclosure for the pepper bed:
We already had a cover for the bed, but apparently mice or “something” got in and cleared out the left corner in the back, got almost all the morning glories and a few peppers in between.
We used the cheapo landscape lumber to frame the bed and it warped enough to allow some critters in. Since the plants were going to hit the cover soon anyway, we decided to build a mosquito screen enclosure. Hardware cloth would be much better, but this is what we had and we'll give it a try.
Covered the outside with adobe mud and of course the cover goes on top. Hopefully this does the trick.
Aside from many different peppers we also have some tomatillos, melons and Sweet Annie. The three sisters
Yellow corn, several zucchinis, squash, beans and green onions and radishes. Just today we found one of the smaller squash cut off and laying there — didn't even eat it! Hopefully most plants are too large to get killed. The block bed
Mostly tomatoes, lettuce leaf basil in the front and recently seeded some radishes and beets and planted a couple Sweet Annies.
The blocks cost a lot more and take more time to set level, but it's harder for critters to get in. Also, we don't know yet how we'll critter proof this bed since we can't screw lumber to the blocks. For now the protective screen is ok, but the tomatoes are growing fast.
By the bamboo fence are caged tomatillos and the lone surviving orach. Also recently planted some morning glories and melons into the cages.
Outside the cages we still have beans and an Anaheim pepper from last year, overwintered in the greenhouse. Two more beds
Forgot to take pictures. One bed has eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and the last bed isn't quite finished yet, still have to build the frame. The fence garden
We envisioned vines growing up on the fence, but so far that hasn't happened. Cucumbers, squash, morning glories … they all got eaten.
We didn't even remember planting corn, but it's doing well. Had a bunch of marigolds growing, but as of today only a few have survived. The green onions are being eaten rapidly, and not by us.
The thyme we transplanted from the grapes is doing great and the Sweet Annie is really taking off. The planting hole
This is at the bottom of our place in the sandy level area where we recently started on the barbed wire fence to keep the cows out and we fenced off a small area with chicken wire to keep the rabbits out.
All our garden beds are NOT raised, but we dig out at least a foot of native soil, screen out the rocks and then add mulch and aged horse manure.
Since we have a lot more sand in the lower part of our place, we decided to try the African technique of actually growing in holes, allowing water and “stuff” to collect. While we have raised beds for salads, they definitely dry out a lot faster.
The red corn already sprouted and we're anxiously awaiting various kinds of amaranth, sorghum and even rice. A neighbor had a never-used but broken septic tank and we cut it into pieces and use it to keep track of what's planted where.
Recently we also planted some melons and it's amazing they haven't been eaten yet. Fortunately we have MANY seedlings for replacements. Some pictures of our grey water system and building the garden.
The response at a local newsgroup regarding white flies and moths in a greenhouse:
I don't use any chemicals. A good way to get rid of these pests is to get some yellow poster board. Spray it with adhesive. These bugs love the color yellow!
Also spray your plants with water every day in the evening. Those two combinations should do the trick!
I didn't know that they like YELLOW, but have tried “sticky traps” before and of course the fly strips. They definitely work, but I got the store-bought stuff. Don't know what adhesives to spray. Dipping it in honey comes to mind.
I controlled APHIDS outdoors on the oleander at my old place mostly by using the garden hose sprayer set to high pressure. I only planted the oleander because I thought it wouldn't be eaten, but I lost entire bushes to gophers/moles and the aphids loved it. The last couple days I've done major “spring” cleaning in the greenhouse as we took many seedlings outside and I cleared off all the shelves.
I took out the black plastic strips we set the trays on and had in the window for shade and heat gain and replaced it with white plastic. It's warm enough now. 🙂
Also sprayed diatomaceous earth, especially under the plastic strips covering the wood shelves. It's worked GREAT in the year we've been using it. The ants come in, we spray, they're gone. It also greatly reduces the occasional gnat infestation and we have no spiders. I hate spiders. I don't like to use D.E. outside because it kills ALL insects including the beneficial insects.
And we have to be careful to not get D.E. in the worm bin. For mites we spray some organic soap water.
It works every time and immediately. I find it's a good idea in a densely populated greenhouse with lots of basil and tomatoes to spray once a week or so. An ounce of prevention … CRICKETS
The D.E. did NOT work for crickets last year, although maybe we just didn't wait long enough. Since we had just completed the building, it was infested with crickets and I finally took the plants out and set off a bug bomb.
Now the crickets are out in full force again and last night I captured one in the the greenhouse. Strangely, it didn't jump as I expected when I tried to coax it into a cup. It just kept running away, and eventually I caught it and threw it out.
We sure hope we don't have another cricket invasion. GRASSHOPPERS
We saw one in our raised bed the other day and it sure had done some damage. The bed is covered with 1/2″ hardware cloth and obviously that's too big. We're about to tack some shade cloth over it.
Last night I also saw a gazillion moths OUTSIDE the greenhouse, attracted by the light. Not a problem, as long as they don't come in. I'm sure we'll get our share of horn worms on the tomatoes, eggplants and squash again, but last year we just picked them off.
Last year we closely inspected the plants every day when we watered, picked off the worms and minimized damage.
And that's a big advantage of MANUAL watering. We keep talking about the irrigation system, but I can just see us going to check on the plants and they're GONE because we didn't notice a worm invasion.
We've also caught 7 or 8 mice in the last few weeks in the greenhouse. Don't know how they get in. And they LOVE those tiny pepper seedlings and salad.
It's definitely a constant struggle and you just have to check all plants every day.
And of course we'll see how effective marigolds, sweet annies, nasturtiums and some of the other plants are at keeping pests away.