Spring finally!!!!!!! After a very very long winter.

agmss15May 3, 2014

Happy Spring everyone!

There are just little patches of snow left here. Crocuses are blooming, maple trees are blooming, grass is getting green. I have been getting my garden ready - a bit later than last year.

Last weekend was the fedco tree sale. Now an annual family tradition for my mom, sister and I. I bought 4 highbush blueberries, 3 lilacs, 2 vernalized artichokes, leek and onion seedlings.

Then we headed to the seed store and I went crazy. Luckily I had a list so it was semi-organized over buying.

First grilling - london broil and lots of veggies.

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London broil.

And the down side is first tick today.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:31AM
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I could have written the same thing last week!
Had our first grilled london broil and veggies.
Forsythia blooming, two tulips, rhubarb up-ity-up.
Dogwood peeking out.

THREE ticks, ick. One on me and two on pups.
One mosquito, smashed on contact.

(just made and sprayed a big batch of organic home-brew yard tick-b-gone)

Happy spring, gorgeous day.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Best time to grill.

No flying bugs yet. :-)

Very nice looking steak.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Okay, sleevendog, not fair to mention your homemade organic tick b-gone brew without giving us the recipe. I live in the country with a 114 pound German Shepherd tick magnet and could use a safe brew. I hate ticks!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Happy spring! We fired up our grill for the first time yesterday...porterhouse steaks and a big bowl of potato salad with some of the last potatoes in the pantry. It was nearly 80F and almost too hot to work in the garden, which is still too wet to till. Cold and rainy tomorrow...it truly is spring!

The last of our snow piles went last week, crocuses are finishing up and the first daffodils and trilliums are blooming. Rhubarb stalks still too short to pick, But they'll be perfect for DH's birthday rhubarb cream pie in a couple of weeks.

Gnats came out yesterday and skeeters won't be far behind. The brush is leafing out, so yeah...I'd be interested in your tick brew also, Sleevendog.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Your pics are yummy! We have not fired up the grill yet, but have used the fire pit for chicken, steak and salmon. I was very pleased to find that silver maple wood gives the meat a nice sweet flavor.

I am hoping the very cold winter will have killed a majority of the ticks. The last three winters were very mild and did not kill off the deer ticks.

My lilacs have blooms that are waiting to open. Unfortunately I had to trim them back severely to get rid of in-bedded Multiflora rose that had stems as thick as my forearm and had grown to over 12 feet in length. I need to get rid of a few small wild cherry trees but I did not have the heart when I saw their pink blooms waiting to blossom.

Something bit my neck last week while pruning the grape arbor. I had two bite marks and boy did it sting. I don't know what the culprit was but hope not to cross it's path again.

We got hit with two short hail storms today. Just waited them out and went back to trimming. I do not want to face Multiflora rose in June or July. It is a beast!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:40PM
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80-90F this past week, blazing sun, record high temps for the season, oppressively hot as we're still in winter-ish mode.

Now pouring rain and will be so all the coming week.

Spring can't decide when it is coming.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:31AM
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Odd place to post this but it is a recipe, : )

My neighborhood is a natural forest. We won't win any 'tidy town' awards but we like it a bit natural and raw. All the neighbors like it that way. But it is full of pest no-no's.
Ticks don't jump, but crawl up on shrubs and hop a ride on our pets. I spray the forest edge and groundcovers, composting leaf piles and firewood, under the deck, etc. with this...

Cup of hot pepper flakes, garlic, a 1/2 cup cheap cooking oil. Few cups of water and let it steep. I made the last batch around thanksgiving. I add a tbsp of dr bronner's just before spraying and a cup of food grade diatomaceous earth. (from amazon)
-add water to make a gallon.
-i stretch a knee-high panty hose over the sprayer container to strain it.
-i just put the mess in a bucket and re-steep it a few times and make another batch.
-I cook with the big cloves and just chop up the pesky inner tiny cloves for the mix.
-i drop in a bit of oils, citronella, lavender, etc
-hot water will speed it up

This is an old pic from my dog forum. My mother sends me the avon stuff but i've been out of that for a while.
Most recipes on-line are similar and not necessarily exact. Soap can harm some beneficial insects so i leave that out most of the time.
-the D earth is actually safe to drink in liquid form and not harmful. It is not good to breath the dust so i suspend it in the mix and it clings to the wild shrub underbrush and the rocky areas. I do dust it around the hostas and no longer have a slug problem. (calm day, no wind, and wear a dust mask). Tuck it under some leaf mulch. I bought 10lbs a few years ago and just opened the second bag. It lasts a long time.

My pups wear bandanas with this blend in the link.
I now make a version of my own using similar oils.
I have a few sets of bandanas i cut in half to make 2 triangles and run them through the wash. I keep them 'juiced', but they get stinky as the oils will get a rancid smell after a week or so. (smells great at first!)

No ticks at all this past week, even after all the rain.
I'll spray once a week for a while, then every other week around july.

Here is a link that might be useful: herbal defense

This post was edited by sleevendog on Sun, May 4, 14 at 11:24

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:22AM
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Thanks, sleevendog. I haven't seen a tick yet, but I'm sure Molly will find one or two for me as soon as they are up and around, even with her heavy duty flea/tick/biting fly/heartworm/etc. meds.

We just now got the water thawed at the farm. Yes indeed, frozen until May 5, I've never experienced a winter than hangs on like this one. As of last week, Lake Superior was still 60% covered with ice which was, on average, 8.9 inches thick. The Great Lakes as a whole are still about 35% ice covered, the weather services are saying that Michigan will have a cooler than normal summer because it's going to take so long for all the ice to melt that the water will stay cold. It's just strange all round.....


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Thanks, sleevendog. we haven't seen a tick yet either, but anytime soon they will be here.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Porcupine!!! The animals are out and about right now. JoeBear and I literally almost stepped on a Porky last night leaving my mom's after dark. I thought it was her cat. Luckily no quills. Just a very frustrated dog. Whew!!! I like living in the country but I like the wildlife more than 3'.

Thanks for the tick recipe. I will get steeping. No where near the deer tick population here as in central Jersey. Lots of other varieties of ticks though.

Got my hose set up. So I planted radishes and greens today. Peas next maybe. A neighbor has fingerling potato cuts for me. Looking forward to fresh garden food.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 4:50PM
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JoeBear, : )
Reminder to put the dog 'critter kit' in the car. I thought i was on top of spring but need a big list obviously. It is the skunks we have a mess with. Not often but at least once a year when not so convenient. One pup is allergic to bees so he needs benadryl in glove box...

When we planted our early peas, the soil was odd. Looked like chunks of coal, haha, it was frozen soil clumps.
"what's that in the field over there?" It was snow, but looked like a few white laundered sheets.

Strange spring. No leaves much yet so it gets hot for an hour and we get sunburned.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 6:16PM
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Don't tempt the gods!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Haha, great pic!
Fingers crossed, forehead tapped i don't see that for a while. Snow-be-gone for a while.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 5:23PM
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