Episode-1499- Getting Ready for Spring 2015 — 27 Comments

  1. Good topic and good timing. I told the wife 2 nights ago that if we want to do some varieties super super early to beat out the bugs (like squash) we gotta get seeds started… VERY soon…

    This previous year we planted squash in mid season and got vine bores almost immediately after they started fruiting so we got almost nothing out of plants which normally put one completely on their back with the amount of food they produce.

  2. It’s funny you did this episode today.. I got up today and pulled out and organized my garden stuff and ordered some seeds, started planning my greenhouse, and even ventured out in the “global warming” that still hasn’t melted completely to inpect my garden area… then comes this episode… nice timing!

    • Stephen beat me to it. I plan to use this design on my bench for my new shop. The design Wranglerstar used I believe is from a guy named Paul Sellers (not certain on the spelling.)

  3. For putting in a fence in shallow soil I have used fiberglass fence posts and a battery hammer drill with a masonry bit the size of the post. It goes very quick and you don’t have to go very deep to get them to stand. They can be a challenge to remove depending on the soil/rock type.

    • They are doing well, we won’t take from them in the first season. There isn’t much to say, I feed them, in the spring we need to divide them a bit to prevent swarming, that’s about it.

  4. Jack,
    I put this in facebook too. On this podcast you were talking about quick fencing for your ducks. I live in Michigan so we have snowdrift fencing easily available. The kind I’m talking about is about 24″ high wooden slats so if painted can look like a picket fence. the nice thing about it is that it comes in rolls. A neighbor made a cheap picket fence with some of it last year and it looks beautiful with a nice country charm. You can stretch it around poles or use 8′ to 10′. tomato stakes across the slats top and bottom to make sections using small pin style hinges with “R” pins in place of the normal pins to hold it together. It’s an idea.

    • Interesting idea. I am not sure if you have limestone like I do but if you ever want to make something permanent. Make that hole, put a metal post or rod in it and when you do add some powdered sulfur to the hole. It will fricken weld itself in there. I don’t know why this works, I just know that it does.

  5. Jack – Speaking of the coming change-of-season, your show today brought the following question to mind.

    I just moved my family to a semi-secluded 2.5 acres, and we can now have beehives without the blue-haired HOA Nazi complaining about our little friends. This year we are starting at least a hive or two.

    What would be the best time of year to start establishing a new hive? Does the time of year even matter? Thanks for any info!

    • Almost all bee colonies are started in the spring, usually late April thru June. This should give the bees plenty of time to get established so that they can get through the winter. In the spring the population of the hive will explode and a healthy hive will swarm, the old queen and half of the colony will leave the hive and look for a new home. Michael Jordan “The Bee Whisperer” can go into greater detail than I can. I plan on catching a 2 or 3 swarms this year to get my apiary started.

    • I already ordered my package of bees and I believe they need to be ordered by April 1st in my area (MN.) Delivery is May 2nd.

      Good luck! And make sure to feed a lot. I don’t think I did enough with my first hive last year.

  6. Jack, if the fence you use now works, but just doesn’t look that good, there is an easy way to dress it up and add a secondary use. Use one cavity of the cinder block for the fence, and plant something in the other cavity.

  7. Jack, thank you for doing this episode right now. While it was very much geared towards homesteading, it is also relevant in other areas of life – typical household projects, financials goals, health etc.

    This is a traditional time of year for people to get a “fresh start” on many different aspects of their lives, I encourage people to consider using your methodology for prioritizing tasks, discussed at the beginning of the episode, for more than just homesteading.

  8. I just started sweet potato slips and beat seeds under florescent light on a shelf. I’ll enjoy greens and then have well developed starts for when the weather warms a bit. Micro greens will be started this week.

    The lights add some heat to the house and the plants a bit of humidity.

    • I’ll have to develop a new technique for getting sweet potato slips. The slips I started last year (and ended up using successfully) were just way more of an irritation than they were worth.

      I basically cut them in half, put some toothpicks in them, and put it in a mason jar of water.

  9. Interesting idea about an ‘above grade pond’. Wonder how that will work out for you. keep us posted.

  10. Jack,
    OMG, yes, I would participate in a workshop at your place to learn how to operate an excavator. There are direct flights from Springfield, IL to DFW daily & I will be on one of them if you set it up.
    Life TSP Member
    Perma Ethos Founder

  11. I’m looking forward to this spring. After moving to our place two years ago, this will be the first spring we were not remodeling or taking care of a new baby. Have time to actually plan a little this year!

  12. Jack,
    Concerning your pond/ponds.
    Maybe call a “pool installation company” and see what the cost is for digging an in ground pool in your area. That would give you an idea of an approximate cost at least.
    And ask about how they would go about it…if nothing else, get some free information out of it.

    • I know the cost the neighbors did this, it took two 25 ton excavators and a dump truck to haul away rubble. I really don’t think people understand what I mean when I say rock.

  13. Jack,

    Trying my hand at micro scale farming this year… going to be growing the 4 hottest peppers known to man:

    Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Scorpion, Ghost pepper and Big Sun Habenero

    • I have a friend who does this (very well) in Madison, Wi. He does it to make a epic chili spice. But he says the key to his success with peppers is keeping them in pots in the porch. Something about isolates them from diseases/pests, and allows him to move them to betters sunny areas (sunny parts in the early summer, and shadier in the middle of a hot summer)

    • Thanks for the tip Hootie, I had planned to just throw them in the beds.. but this does seem like a better idea.