Tag Archives: Spring

Homestead Hack: Propping Tender Seedlings

by Tammy Taylor~

It seems vegetable-gardening planting is finally going on all over the US now.  Aaaaaahhhhh the veggie garden – how I love it.  Here in NE Texas (zone 8) I typically plant heirloom seeds in my ‘Indoor Greenhouse’ in February and transplant those heirloom seedlings into my garden after the danger of frost is done.

But this year I had a naughty bull jump our garden fence & decimate all of the tender seedlings.  I had to start over.  I did replant many of my heirloom seeds but I ended up buying a jalapeno plant.  It was so small that the winds were pretty rough on it.  So I needed to find a way to protect it from the wind.  Use Whatcha Got, y’all!

I needed a way for propping tender seedlings to protect them from the wind.  You know my battle cry: "Use Whatcha Got!" Come see this Homestead Hack #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Garden Update: May – Bull Damage Recovery

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all remember last month the bull hopped the garden fence & tromped around the wet soil decimating my newly-planted garden?  Well I smoothed down the soil best I could and basically had to start over.   Because of this damage my garden was now waaaaaay behind schedule!  But I’m hopeful I’ll be still be able to harvest lots from my garden this year.  Come see the damage recovery report for May.

Last month the bull decimated my newly-planted garden. There has been some recovery, yet some failures. Come see my May vegetable garden update: Bull Damage Version! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Garden Update: April

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know I have to have my hands in the dirt.  Wanna know a secret? I don’t really enjoy gardening (I know, REALLY??! gasp!)  But it’s true. I don’t enjoy the planting, weeding, watering, maintenance, etc.  But I really love the harvesting and that makes it all worth the toil.

Harvesting fresh veggies from my own garden minutes before supper is healthier than veggies traveling all those miles to get to my supper table. Plus food this fresh just tastes better!  And I’ve often said that planting a garden is like growing your own money.  Pounds & pounds of fresh, organic produce for just the price of a small packet of heirloom seeds?  Yes please!

Wanna see how my garden is doing?  C’mon in, I’ll share my April garden update!

April Garden Update. I've had some powerful setbacks to planting my veggie garden this month! Come see how I overcame the adversity. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Frame-Swap Split for Beehives Doubles Your Hive Numbers!

by Tammy Taylor~

Around the end of March RancherMan & I start thinking about splitting our beehives.  Splitting a hive accomplishes 2 things – it expands the number of hives in your apiary. (yea!)   But it also gives the bees a little elbow room by putting empty frames in each hive allowing for expansion.

You see, if the bees get to thinking things are too cramped, they’ll swarm looking for more space.  And that’s something no beekeeper wants since there’s been lots of time & effort into managing their apiary. We did our splits by swapping empty frames for full ones.  it was easy!

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4 Ways Vegetable Gardening Can Change Your Life

by Tammy Taylor~

It’s true I have to grow a garden every year.  I mean *HAVE* to!  It’s something that’s in my blood and not having a veggie garden is just not an option for me.  But recently I got to thinking, there are several reasons I love to garden – it’s not just a hobby.  It’s good for me in so many ways.  I mean, flower gardens are beautiful and manicured lawns are lovely too.  But I’d rather put my outdoor effort into something that will benefit me in 4 important life-changing ways.  And here’s the good news – it can be life-changing for you too.   Come see!

There are several reasons I love to garden - it's not just a hobby. It's good for me in 4 important life-changing ways. And here's the good news - it can be life-changing for you too! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Using Natural Materials: Straw In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we live in Texas.  You also know it’s typically hot and dry during our summertime months.  So I’m careful to mulch our garden heavily.  Mulching helps the plants in many ways.  It not only conserves that precious moisture, but it also moderates soil temps.  I like to mulch with natural materials whenever possible.  A typical gardening year will see me mulching with grass clippings, leaves or spent hay.

But I have a section of my garden that holds my Concord Grapevine.  I’ve trained it to grow along the fence.  It’s LOADED with grapes!  But I’ve also vowed to keep the Bermuda grass from creeping into my garden.  So all the walkways in the garden plus a wide perimeter swath is mulched with wood chips.  But the grapevine is right at the lifeline.  So to keep bermuda from creeping in around the grapevine I surrounded it with 3 bales of wheat straw.  The purpose was just to deny sneaky Bermuda the sunlight as it attempts to grow beneath the bales to get into my garden.  Permission:  DENIED!

But those straw bales are several years old now.  They’re just spent and starting to deteriorate.  I need to replace them.

I use organic matter for mulch in my garden - often grass clippings or spent hay. But come see how a bale of straw does double duty! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5-Minute Beehive Stand Using Cinder Blocks & Posts

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I are still New-BEES!  Our apiary started out with two established single-deep beehives back in May of last year.  That first beehive stand was built using repurposed 2″x6″ boards that were 6-ft long from raised beds that we tore out.  We added a deep to each hive last year & saw those bees safely through the winter.  This spring we split them into four hives.  Now we needed another hive stand so we built another like the first from purchased 2″x6″ boards.  Then we caught not one, not two, but FOUR bee swarms this spring!  (I KNOW, how exciting!!)  But these swarms are being caught & brought to our fledgling apiary faster than we can build stands.  RancherMan decided to change direction.  He wanted to build the next stands using concrete cinder blocks and 4″x4″ 5-ft long wood posts.

Beehive Stands Put Together In 5 Minutes? YES! We're Using Concrete Cinder Blocks & 4x4 Posts. Come See How Easy It Is! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: June

by Tammy Taylor~

Unfortunately our area of NE Texas has slipped into yet another drought this year.  Oh there’s been plenty of rain in surrounding areas but it’s mostly managed to miss our homestead!  What we have gotten is lots of the cloudiness associated with that precious rain.  But so many cloudy days means my garden is really behind where it should be this time of year.  My tomatoes are nowhere near producing yet and my peppers are all still tiny.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon into my garden, y’all.  I’ll give you the tour!

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Line-Dry Sheets On A Windy Day

by Tammy Taylor~

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We have a gas clothes dryer but we don’t ever use it.  If I weren’t afraid we’d need it in an emergency situation I’d sell it – I could sure use the chunk of real estate it takes up to store my large stock pots & my *9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator! LOL.  I typically dry our laundry on a *retractable clothesline most of the time.  If the weather is inclement for days on end I’ll pull out my folding clothes *drying racks and dry our clothes in the guest bedroom.  I can close that door in the event of unexpected company.  But what about those windy spring days?  You know the drill, you fight the sheets onto the line.  Then the wind catches them & makes them want to set sail into the next county!

 

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Beekeeping – Adding A Honey Super Box to the Beehive

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we bought our very first bees last year & it’s been a blast raising these girls.  But there’s typically no honey harvest that first year as they’re getting established. The honey they make during that first year needs to remain with the hive to see them through the winter.  We overwintered our bees and they came through this spring with flying colors!  So we split the hives about 8 weeks ago.  Bibbidy-bobbedy-boo our 2 hives turned into 4!  After the split we allowed the hives to recover a bit before we inspected them again.  The hives without a queen raised a new queen to take her place, the hives that retained their queen kept on with business as usual.  Our inspection today showed that now we’re ready to add a honey super to the two stronger hives.

It's time to add a honey super box to our beehives. The bees will fill it with the sweet honey we crave! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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