This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
SIFT News - Spring 2014
Fence Lines for Future Chickens, Biochar, and Varmints Signs of Approaching Planting Season Fence posts are sprouting around the SIFT farm. We'll be getting chickens this summer, and possibly goats down the road, so we're installing a livestock fence around the perimeter of the farm. Along with considerable help from NCAT Livestock Specialist Dave Scott, a big weekend volunteer day should see the task completed. Meanwhile, we're beginning to gear up for the growing season, making potting mix with an improved recipe over last year's and starting seeds in the greenhouses.>>more
Soil Temperature, Seed Germination, and Why Patience is a Virtue If you are enthusiastic about growing things, you are probably already watching the weather report closely to see when you can start planting those seeds. Maybe you are even one of the lucky ones who live where the weather is already warm enough to start seriously digging in the dirt. While watching, waiting, and deciding when to plant, one of the most important factors, instead of just the weather report, is soil temperature. >>more
Preventing and Addressing Damping Off You've bought the seeds for the vegetables that you want to harvest fresh all summer long. You've planted them in seed trays filled with soft potting mix for transplanting later, sprinkled them religiously with water, and laid them somewhere warm with lots of light. They've sprouted! Their bright green cotyledons open up and reach for the sun, first reaching one inch, then maybe two. Then, they stop reaching. Despite the moist soil, the seedlings wilt and flop over, and their stems are constricted and brownish at the soil surface.>>more
Keep It Light: When Life Gives You a Hot Tub Some time back, my family moved into our house here in Butte. The house will be 100 years old next year. It was built by a mine superintendent named C.J. Stone in 1915, in what was then a suburb of Butte. Old C.J. was an engineer, and must have been way ahead of his time, because tucked away in one corner of this historic old house is a six-person fiberglass hot tub. Okay, I don’t really think C.J. installed the hot tub, and, in fact, I’m sure the room addition it is in was built sometime in the 1980s. I can tell because it has all the style and craftsmanship of an 1980s K car. (If you don’t remember K Cars, Google it.)>>more