Flowers That Save You Money – Part Two

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New England Asters

I did a post about these back in October. They got picked for this because you only need to buy one plant. Even better, start them from seed, and you’ll have several plants for the price of one! They do take to years to flower though, so if you buy them as plants from a garden center, they should flower the first year you have them. After they flower, the seeds will fall everywhere, and more plants will spring up. It’s very hardy since it’s native to North America. I think it can be grown in Europe too.

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‘Pike’s Peak’

Sunflowers

I recently did a Growing Guide on these, and sunflowers are great money-savers. You can easily save the seeds each year, eliminating annual costs. They are very hardy, and may even re-seed themselves. If you like to feed wild birds, you can grow sunflowers, leave the plants to set seed, and that will get rid of bird seed costs, plus, you don’t even have to refill the feeders. My chickens also love eating sunflower seed.

For more money saving flowers, check out Flowers That Save You Money.

Did you learn anything? Are you going to grow any of these yourself this year? Let me know!

 

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Developing New Seed Varieties – Pumpkins

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I’m attempting to develop a new pumpkin variety. (Pictured above.) It’s currently called Pear Pumpkin. It first occurred as a hybrid in my garden this year. I thought it was cool looking, so I saved the seeds, and hopefully I’ll get some to turn out the same as pictured above. Since it was a hybrid, most of the seeds either won’t germinate, or will grow something totally different. Since it can only pollinate with more of its kind, I will bag the flowers the night before they bloom, hand pollinate them the next morning, and leave the bags on until the blossoms fall off. I hope I get at least one squash to look like the one above. If it works, it will take at least three years to stabilize the squash so it produces the same thing every time.

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The seed pack.
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What it looks like cut open.

Does anyone else save and develop their own seeds? Let me know down below!

Check out more stuff like this at my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChJrYrPgdkeKv36UkIfbLSA?

Community Post – Sunflowers — Homesteading for America

This post is a follow up on Growing Guide: Sunflowers. It’s something new I’m trying out, and be sure to voice your comments below. So this is how my new community posts work: I will post a subject- the current one is sunflowers- and you can post below any questions, comments, or advice on the […]

via Community Post – Sunflowers — Homesteading for America

Growing Guide: Succulents

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Before I start this Growing Guide, I want to thank everyone that’s followed this blog. Today we just reached 20 followers! Follow this blog if you haven’t already and maybe we can reach 50 before the year is out!

Succulents Overview

Succulents are personally the easiest plants to grow indoors that I know of. They also are great looking. They have a very tough outer skin which holds in water.

Light Requirements

I keep all of my succulents in south-facing windowsills and they do quite well. They would probably do great in north-facing windows too; succulents don’t need a ton of direct lighting. A grow light would also work.

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Aloe Vera plants are great for moisturizing skin and healing mosquito bites.

Water Requirements

Succulents need very little water, since they are very similar to cactus plants. I water only when the potting soil is dried out. They can survive for months without water, but it’s best to water when the soil is dry. It is very hard to overwater, but generally they don’t need it more than once a week.

Nutrition Requirements

I find that my plants get most of their food from the sun. I fertilize once a year with a water-diluted fertilizer. They also get organic matter from dead plant material slowly breaking down into the potting mix.

The Cost

Overall succulents are very cheap to care for especially if you use natural lighting. One easy succulent to start from seed that gives you a return on your investment is Aloe Vera.

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My main succulent pot.

What do you guys want to see in future growing guides? Let me know down below!

If you have anything to say in addition to this growing guide, post it down below! It will help others out!

Check out our Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/maplehillchickens/

Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChJrYrPgdkeKv36UkIfbLSA

Thanks for reading!

 

To Clear Up Any Confusion…

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No I am not ending this blog! You may have noticed that I just started another blog, Homesteading for America. I started that blog because my gardening blog was turning into a homesteading blog. I don’t have anything against homesteading, I just wanted to categorize it better. So you will now see mostly just gardening on this blog, including vegetable gardening, because it’s still gardening of some sort. If you want to read my chickens and homesteading content, check out Homesteading for America at homesteadingchickens.wordpress.com.

Okay, that’s it for now! Be sure to check out my other content below!

Growing Guide: Sunflowers

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Here’s the first of many growing guides to come:

Sunflower Overview

Sunflowers are great plants that are very easy to grow, heat tolerant, and are awesome as cut flowers.

Planting Process

Direct sow the seeds in warm soil, in a very sunny spot. Don’t plant them indoors, and then transplant, because they don’t like the stress. If you HAVE to plant them indoors, put them in biodegradable pots. Water well until they have been out of the ground for two weeks-unless you live in a desert. I recommend giving them as much sun as possible.

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Potential Problems

Bugs

Sunflowers are really quite hardy and even if something eats them, their leaves are so big and tough, they are generally okay. However, the Japanese beetles have been getting worse in my area, and were all over almost everything in the garden this past summer.

Luckily though, we figured out a solution. Every time we saw a beetle, we grabbed a chicken, and showed it the beetle. They then ate it. If you aren’t lucky enough to have Chicken Patrol, you can handpick the beetles, or just leave them.

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Thanks for reading my first Growing Guide, and be sure to follow the blog and comment down below!

Next time, I announce something new! So stick around!

Building the Chicken Tractor Part Three

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The chickens: “This is prison!”

We finally finished the chicken tractor! I will probably be making some changes, but it is good to have it done.

The total work in hours was around ten. Three hours were spent designing it on the computer, and around seven were spent building it. Beware: this is not an easy build. I don’t think any other chicken tractor would be much easier though.

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If you want the blueprint on how to build this, just ask in the comments box, and we will post a picture. Thanks for following along on this series, and look out for a Part Four if I ever do paint it.

Building the Chicken Tractor Part Two

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The arches on that end are up!

We’ve made nice progress on the chicken tractor, and it should get finished tonight or tomorrow morning. The bottom frame is finished and the end arches are currently being attached with two already in place. So far it took about 3 hours to draw it up on the computer. I will say approximately how many construction hours it took in the next post.

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The blueprint. If you would like to see one with the actual dimension, please comment below and I will put a photo in Part Three.

Look out for Building the Chicken Tractor Part Three tomorrow or Sunday!

Thanks for reading and check out some of our other posts down below!

Building the Chicken Tractor Part 1

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So lately the chickens have been free-ranging because their pen is in disrepair and they’ve been wandering off our property. We decided to build a chicken tractor (a-frame style) so that they can graze wherever we need them to. It is a lot safer than electric netting, and it’s cheaper too.

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The bottom frame of the chicken tractor. It’s a work in progress.

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I’ll be updating you as we continue to build the tractor. Part Two will come out in five-seven days.

Thanks for reading and check out one of our other posts there –My Flock’s Favorite Nesting Spots