Posts Tagged ‘cobrahead’

It’s National Pollinator Week!

Friday, June 24th, 2016
Fly on Cilantro.

Fly on Cilantro.

National Pollinator Week is a USDA sponsored event with the main focus of improving the health of pollinators, primarily, honeybees.  I appreciate their efforts, but if the USDA really wanted to improve pollinator health, they would get out of their agri-business practices that are most responsible for loss of pollinator friendly ecosystems.  Anyway, celebrating pollinators is a good thing, so we’ll contribute by featuring some of our local pollinating friends.

There are a lot more pollinators out there than just honeybees.  The home gardener, particularly, can get along just fine without ever having a European type honey bee, the kind used by the agricultural industry and the honey industry, visit their property.  We see quite a few European honeybees, I presume from hives in the area, but most of my pollinators are the wild type.  I rate bumblebees as our number one friend.  Bumblebees are prolific here, with many varieties showing up, but I’ve chosen to show off a few other creatures that also do their part.

At the top is a fly on some flowering cilantro.  I’ve found cilantro to be an excellent attractor to pollinating insects, so I let it bolt and flower as often as I can.

Ant on Cilantro

Ant on Cilantro

Ants are important pollinators.

Cabbage Moth

Cabbage Moth

I don’t like this guy at all, but almost all moths and butterflies do contribute to the pollination of garden plants.

Damselfly

Damselfly

There is discussion on whether damselflies and dragonflies are important or possibly negative in the pollination scheme.  They do contribute a little to pollination, but they probably eat up more pollinating insects than their pollinating efforts offset.  They eat a lot of bad bugs, however, and they sure are cool looking.

Wasp on Cilantro

Wasp on Cilantro

Wasps are very important pollinators, but watch out, they don’t make good pets!

Wasp on Sumac

Wasp on Sumac

Wasp on Wild Aster

Wasp on Wild Aster

I like the wild aster, I’m not keen on sumac, but flowering weeds support a lot of insects.

Small Bee on Potato Blossom

Small Bee on Potato Blossom

We get a lot of bees that are not your typical honeybee.  Here’s a little bitty bee on a potato blossom.

Bees do It

Bees do It

Love makes the world go round.

Bee on Cilantro

Bee on Cilantro

My, what big eyes you have!

Bee on Mustard

Bee on Mustard

A metallic blue bee.

Small Bee on Cilantro

Small Bee on Cilantro

We see numerous varieties of small bees along with many other pollinating animals.  We try to provide plants they like, and having a National Pollinator Week to get people to understand the importance of pollination is actually a very good idea.

New CobraHead How-To Videos

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Our daughter Anneliese has a good friend, Jason Weiss, who is a professional cinematographer. Jason and I spent a few days in the garden last summer shooting CobraHead tools in action.  Jason then edited the videos and produced eight different titles and a loop for us to use at trade shows.

We’re quite happy with the finished product.  We’ve got them loaded up on YouTube and our website.  If you’d like to spend a few minutes looking at them, it may make you forget the nasty cold we are enjoying all over the north, right now.

New East Austin Vegetable Garden

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Last week I gathered up some folks to help dig a new vegetable garden with friends Natalina and Kiko and their new daughter, Lola.  Natalina grew up with gardening in San Antonio and Kiko spent part of his childhood on a coffee farm in Colombia, but this was their first Austin garden.  Martin Perna came out to help with the endeavor.

Natalina and I used to both volunteer with a youth organization here in Austin.   Kiko and Martin are both working musicians and took advantage of the workday to talk shop.

Natalina and Kiko’s east Austin house enjoys the same good blackland prairie soil that I have in my yard.  Even though they have a big backyard, we decided to start with one 4′ by 12′ raised bed.  That still provided plenty of space for Sugar Snap peas, broccoli, kale, beets, carrrots and a greens mix.

Interested in helping out a new gardener?  Check out our New Gardener contest.

The initial forking of the new ground

Loosening the new ground with digging forks to make it easier to remove the bermuda grass and other vegetation.

Removing plant matter with long handle CobraHead

We used the long and short handled CobraHeads to remove the bermuda grass.

Quit planning your next musical collaboration and get back to work.

Double Digging

Double digging the new bed. Hard work in the heavy clay.

Profile view of bed

Even before adding any compost, the soil gets a natural lift from the double digging.

Lola and Natalina

Lola inspects the progress

Adding compost

Kiko adds compost to the bed.

Watering in with a fine mist

Natalina waters in the seeds and seedlings with a fine mist

Fresh figs

We took a break to enjoy fresh figs growing thirty feet from the garden.

Help Us Get to 1000 Fans on Facebook!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

"Find Us on Facebook"

Hey, are you on Facebook? So are we! But we know we have a lot more fans than our page currently indicates, and we’re counting on you to help us find them. So here’s the deal: help us get to 1000 fans by September 21, and we’ll give all fans a coupon worth 20% off everything on our site. This coupon will be good for ONE DAY ONLY on September 28. There seems to be some debate amongst the CobraHead team as to whether 1000 fans is either too lofty or too modest a goal, so again, you can help us answer that one.

We use our page on Facebook as a forum for gardening discussions. We will be posting questions and solutions to gardening problems, and we invite you to post any garden related questions, solutions, ideas, or discussions you may have. Click here to become a fan!

CobraHead vs. Thistle

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Well, we Wisconsin CobraHeaders finally got our act together and started making videos in the garden.  This is one of our first attempts from yesterday.  Here, Noel deftly extracts a tap-rooted thistle from his pepper bed.

We will be posting many more how-to videos as we continue to make them.  If you have any videos of the CobraHead in action in your garden, we would love to see them!  We may even post them here!