Foundation, Charcoal and Plants

Wood outgases as it turns to charcoal

I have started a new batch of charcoal, but this one is taking longer than my first.  I am fairly certain this is because I have larger pieces of wood than in the first batch.  Well, I’m not surprised as I am still trying to work out the kinks.

I finally got the foundation for the supers in yesterday, and now I have foundation in all but 20 of the 60 frames.  10 of the frames I am going to use as an experiment in foundation-less frames. I just haven’t gotten back around to putting the foundation in the last 10.  I have enough supers for a while, so I am in no hurry to finish the frames.  None of the frames are wired yet, but that is yet another item on my to-do list right now.

Elephant garlic in a hole

I have planted the first plants outside of the greenhouse this weekend.  I have 4 cloves of elephant garlic, 10 strawberry plants that I don’t think are going to make it, and a about 70 yellow onions. I tried starting onions from seed, but they never sprouted.

I think I waited too long from when I purchased the elephant garlic and strawberries before I planted them, as one of the garlic cloves was moldy and the strawberry starts weren’t looking that good.  I don’t know what they are supposed to look like, so they may be just fine, but I won’t know for a while.  Also, I tried planting the garlic and strawberries without any guide and managed to have extremely crooked lines.  I pulled out some rope for the onions, which resulted in a much better line.

The grape vines survived the winter and the puppies' teething

In the past week, the grape vines decided that it was time to bloom. I was worried that they had not survived the winter because the two puppies, dogs really, decided that the grape vines were a good thing to chew on while they were teething.  These are green grapes of some sort; I don’t know what variety they are.  I intend to eventually get a few concord grape vines, but probably not before next year.

The plant starts that actually germinated

Finally, an update on my plant starts: I’ve moved all of the starts out of the trays as they were getting too large to fit with the lid on. Most of the plants are starting to grow their first set of true leaves.

I initially started 12 pots of each plant type, most of them didn’t germinate. I started new pots for each of the ones I removed as well as some thyme.

I want the thyme for use in bee feed for anti-fungal properties, and it makes sense to grow a lot myself.  I also want to grow chamomile and mint for use in the bee feed as well, but so far I haven’t found seeds for chamomile. I think I may end up having to order it from online.


2 thoughts on “Foundation, Charcoal and Plants

  1. I’m interested to hear how the foundation-less frame experiment turns out. I’ve just found out about ‘top-bar hives’ and am wondering whether that might be a cool new technique to try some time.

    • Well, I will do at least one post on the subject after I have had a chance to try it. I’ve seen pictures of top bar hives, but I’ve never seen one in person or had the chance to use one.

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