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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 41. OCTOBER 12, 2012
Free Republic | October 12, 2012 | greeneyes

Posted on 10/12/2012 12:03:02 PM PDT by greeneyes

The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!


TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: agriculture; food; gardening; hobbies
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Greetings from Missouri. Sorry to be so late - lost track of time - cleaning kitchen and listening to 2016. It is on Dish Network pay for view.

Any way we have had cool temps here this week. Everything is either under plastic tents or row covers. Still harvesting lettuce, and eating tomatoes as they ripen indoors or under row cover.

Ordered and received some heirloom seeds from Baker Creek - have to support Missouri companies when I can. LOL.

Hope every one is doing well. Have a great weekend. God Bless.

1 posted on 10/12/2012 12:03:10 PM PDT by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the list.


2 posted on 10/12/2012 12:07:27 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
Thank you for the ping. It is cloudy and ‘chilly’ here today, mainly because of the wind. I am making applesauce to can. We still need rain, the ground is hard as cement making it near impossible to dig the sweet potatoes. I pulled off the vines before our first freeze and piled them over the potatoes as protection. We may get some rain overnight and tomorrow... time will tell.
3 posted on 10/12/2012 12:15:30 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: greeneyes

North Idaho - been freezing for several nights now.

Got the tomatoes, beets, fennel, etc. in.

Canned tomatoes and beets.

Our first rain in about 50 days is due in tonight.

Can snow be far behind?


4 posted on 10/12/2012 12:18:23 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: greeneyes

I have three heirloom tomato plants in pots on the deck here in Michigan. I covered them with sheets one night when there was a frost warning. They all have a bunch flowers on them and are just beginning to make fruit. My 6-year-old son planted them from seed, so I really would like to protect them long enough to make fruit. Do you think it will work to start bringing them in at night when it starts freezing? Should I already be bringing them in at night? Do you think they will get enough sun to make fruit? I have brought in green tomatoes before, but I have never tried to make a flowering tomato keep making fruit past the frost. If anyone has any experience with this, I would appreciate some advice.


5 posted on 10/12/2012 12:21:31 PM PDT by Elvina (crimethink - To even consider any thought not in line with the principles of Ingsoc.)
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To: greeneyes
I posted this picture last week of an unusual type of small green squash:

All the other fruits on the same plant and surrounding squash plants looked like on of these:

Over the weekend I saw a very similar fruit to the small green one above, growing in someone else's garden, also on a squash plant where other fruits were yellow. I originally thought that this might be a squash-cucumber cross, but the other gardener did not seem to have any cucumber plants nearby.

Since it was so easy to find another example, I'm thinking that this might be a well known squash phenomenon.

6 posted on 10/12/2012 12:36:46 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Just mythoughts

You are welcome. Can you leave potatoes in the ground for winter storage, like carrots, or do they have to be harvested?


7 posted on 10/12/2012 12:53:07 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: illiac

Have you had snow yet? If not, I would be suprised.


8 posted on 10/12/2012 12:56:28 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Elvina
Yes, I think you can. I can not remember the exact temperatures, but I think it is somewhere in the 40’s that tomatoes will not really produce.

I would say that you should bring in your tomatoes day or night if temps are less than 50 degrees. One year I brought in tomatoes that had flowers as well as fruit. I flipped the flowers with my finger several times a day, and some of the flowers set fruit.

I put them in front of a south west patio door, which warmed up quite a lot on sunny days, and was probably around 70-75 degrees at night. As soon as a tomato had a little blush, I would pick it, wash it with warm water, let it dry, and wrap in newspaper or a paper towel to let it ripen on a kitchen shelf.

I also used a high intensity grow light to extend the daylight from dusk to around 8pm to simulate the length of summer days.

Good luck with your experiment. Hope it pays off - growth will be slower than outdoors.

9 posted on 10/12/2012 1:06:25 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

No snow yet....not even on the mountains. With rain coming tonight, who knows what the mountains will see....


10 posted on 10/12/2012 1:10:39 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: greeneyes

I have a tiny little baby fig tree and it’s supposed to go down to the 30s this evening. Should I cover it? The information I was given was that it could survive much lower temperatures...but it’s so young.


11 posted on 10/12/2012 1:12:32 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: wideminded

It is very interesting, but I have not a clue really - Where did you get the seed?

If you purchase a hybid tomato at the supermarket, and then plant the seeds from that tomato, you might get a tomatoes that could be like the parent plants used for the cross, I think.

I have no idea what happens to GMO tomato seeds in this type of scenario. Maybe some one who understands genetics could let us know what they think about the possibility.


12 posted on 10/12/2012 1:15:06 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: illiac

I think the odds are in favor of snow.


13 posted on 10/12/2012 1:16:44 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Thanks for your advice. We don’t get a lot of sun in the house, but maybe I could look into getting some grow lights. The tomato plants look so beautiful now! I hope I can keep them alive. My boys were really excited about the planting we did in the spring, but we didn’t get a big harvest on anything—just a few cucumbers here and there, a bunch of tomatoes, some peppers, a few other things. I haven’t checked the sweet potatoes yet, although they spread out a lot above ground.

It was a good start, as I have been discouraged in the past to try vegetables at all on this shady property. I gathered some good information about what will grow where, so next year I know things will go better.


14 posted on 10/12/2012 1:18:57 PM PDT by Elvina (crimethink - To even consider any thought not in line with the principles of Ingsoc.)
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To: miss marmelstein; Red_Devil 232

Well, I don’t know the answer to that. RD might know though. I think I would be tempted to at least cover it with a row cover, if it is small enough, which should make it OK to 28 degrees, but I am very new to all this stuff.


15 posted on 10/12/2012 1:20:00 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Elvina
but I have never tried to make a flowering tomato keep making fruit past the frost. If anyone has any experience with this, I would appreciate some advice.

I did last year. I have a sliding glass door facing the south and I brought in a hybrinized tomato plant in it's double 5 gallon planter. I had fresh tomatoes all winter.

The plant didn't do as well as during the summer. I was told by a person who owns a nursery that the winter sun was not out long enough to get the full value.

I have a 4ft grow light to supplement for the lack of sun this winter.

16 posted on 10/12/2012 1:38:09 PM PDT by painter (Obamahood,"Steal from the working people and give to the worthless.")
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To: greeneyes
You are welcome. Can you leave potatoes in the ground for winter storage, like carrots, or do they have to be harvested?

No. Sweet potatoes are a 'hot' weather crop all the way around. But they do need water. The lightest frost will kill the leaves. I was told it turns the plant bitter and can send that bitterness back to the sweet potato. So I always pull the vines at the slightest hint of even a light frost. Sweet potatoes bruise and sun burn easily so they have to be dug carefully and moved to the shade almost as quickly as dug.

I do not wash mine after I dig them, and lay them spread out flat until they dry out a bit. Then I can store them in room temp area, works out for me that place is in the laundry room where the furnace and hot water heater are. They need air movement but not direct light. After drying out I put the small ones in a large paper bag to save for next year's sweet potato slips. (sorry for the delayed answer I got interrupted.)

17 posted on 10/12/2012 1:52:52 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: greeneyes

What should be the punishment for husbands who continue to mow through the garden? He’s done it for years. Cement curbs don’t slow him down. I walked out to water the side garden and saw he’d done AGAIN. Picked the mower up over the cement curb and mowed down the beets and sunflowers. His excuse was it looked like weeds. If it’s not a 40 foot tree, it’s a weed to him. He once mowed through lilac bushes I’d just planted.

Oh, and there’s been an invasion of some sort of hairy caterpillars. They’re everywhere.


18 posted on 10/12/2012 1:57:10 PM PDT by bgill
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To: greeneyes

Following a recent article on fig trees in the New York Times (I know, I know), I simply dropped a bucket over it and put a brick on top to hold it in place. It’s a little windy out there.


19 posted on 10/12/2012 2:06:23 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: miss marmelstein

MM - Yes, cover it, especially if it’s in a pot. The older, more hardened figs can handle the cold stress, but new ones cannot.


20 posted on 10/12/2012 2:11:02 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: greeneyes

My fall garden is coming in nicely. Lots of veggies for later in the year. My neighbor has a few cherry tomato plants that are loaded. Mine are almost ripe.


21 posted on 10/12/2012 2:24:30 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 ("It's better to vote for a Republican you don't know than wind up with a dim you don't like".)
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To: bgill

No gasoline ration for a week.


22 posted on 10/12/2012 2:33:07 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: greeneyes
I planted Radishes, onions, kale, spinach, beets, and collard greens. My spuds are in the ground with some nice tops. The broccoli is coming around nice. all my tomato plants are loaded with blooms and the pepper plants have fruit set.
23 posted on 10/12/2012 2:43:36 PM PDT by jyro (French-like Democrats wave the white flag of surrender while we are winning)
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To: greeneyes; All
Here is my problem -
Tomato plants.
I've grown them in the hoophouse, but they didn't fruit well. I've grown them in pots with manure, and they look like they are affected by herbicide's. I planted them in pots with fresh soil (no amendments, no fertilizers), and they still act as if they are affected by herbicides. The leaves are stunted, curled, and chlorotic. We have some blooms, but no fruit.

I've went to the local Ag Extension office for bags to send in soil samples, but the samples won't cover pesticides, petroleum, or other pathogens.

Any idea's?

24 posted on 10/12/2012 2:43:42 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: Just mythoughts

OK, thanks. I haven’t grown any sweet potatoes yet, but may try it next year.


25 posted on 10/12/2012 3:51:14 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: bgill

Don’t know the punishment, but I think I would get some of that cheap white wire fence from Walmart or the cheap plastic edging, and run that around the garden.

Put some of those wind wheels at the corners and midway on each side. That way the garden is clearly designated, so there can be no excuse for confusion.


26 posted on 10/12/2012 3:54:31 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

Great news for you. I am really appreciating the few tomatoes I have eaten so far, and anticipating all the green ones that will ripen over the next few months.


27 posted on 10/12/2012 3:56:29 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: jyro

That sounds great. I have to admit that I have been extremely deficient in activity this fall. A bit discouraged from the bad summer crop, I guess. Plus I am not a big fan of most fall crops anyway.


28 posted on 10/12/2012 3:58:32 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Some Sage advice if you have the Thyme for me Rosemary... The propaganda that you will have all the time in the world to garden when you retire is a Crock of pure unadulterated fresh Bull Manure. More news at 11...


29 posted on 10/12/2012 4:06:07 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: Sarajevo
I don't know really, but I had good success growing them in Mel's mix and 2-5 gallon garden pots. I put a banana peel, crushed eggs, fish meal, and a handful of slow release fertilizer in the bottom 2 inches before adding more of the soiless mix and the tomato transplant.

After the harvest. I dump the mix with new compost into the area where I will be planting winter wheat which is sown with clover in late winter. Plow that under after wheat harvest, and plant some bush beans.

30 posted on 10/12/2012 4:07:26 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tubebender

LOL. I can RELATE! I am so busy, I don’t know how I ever managed to find time to work outside the home for more than 40 years. LOL. Course I was younger, quicker, and had a lot more stamina. Still LOL.


31 posted on 10/12/2012 4:12:20 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
OK, thanks. I haven’t grown any sweet potatoes yet, but may try it next year.

I start my 'slips' in mid to late May, depending on the weather. I usually do not plant the rooted slips until second week of June.

I take the saved sweet potatoes from previous year, and place them in the soil covered just slightly, potting soil works best if the soil is not super loose. I have been putting mine in a raised bed near a water barrel and water frequently. Then as the slips grow I break them free from the potato and place them in a glass jar and keep them watered. I have been told it is best to cut off any of the potato that breaks with the new slip, apparently having part of the potato interferes with the plant forming strong multiple roots.

Once the roots get established, and it will not take long, a week or so, then I plant the slips in a prepared raised bed just for sweet potatoes. They love water but do not like to stay in water so need good drainage.

There is a place in TN that I ordered some slips some years back. I also found at Lowe's a few slips this year. But if you are still interested in planting some come next April, give me a ping and I will let you know how my potatoes are looking for making new slips. IF they look good I would be pleased to send you some.

32 posted on 10/12/2012 4:58:26 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: Just mythoughts

Ok. Thanks, I’ll try to remember that if I decide to plant them. That’s so nice. Thanks again.


33 posted on 10/12/2012 5:10:02 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
Thanks for posting the thread again for us.

Our ghost pepper plants have doubled in size this week while we were gone for several days. We may have to transplant to a larger size container soon.

34 posted on 10/12/2012 5:33:01 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (really good tag line wanted here.)
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To: rightly_dividing

You are welcome. Good news on the pepper plants.


35 posted on 10/12/2012 5:45:38 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Sarajevo
I've grown them in the hoophouse, but they didn't fruit well.

Regarding fruit set--for the first time this year, I intentionally "shook" the branches that had blossoms on them to encourage the transfer of pollen. I've read that some people use electric toothbrushes to accomplish the same thing. In any case, my tomatoes set a lot of fruit! (Fruit set sprays only work in lower-temperatures--when it is warm, they do not enhance fruit-set).

Hope this helps. Perhaps the hoophouse cut down on any breezes/insect pollinators.
36 posted on 10/12/2012 6:53:38 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: greeneyes; miss marmelstein

I would give that fig tree some cover if it is very young. If it is small enough just pile a bunch of pine needles around it. People who live in extreme cold regions go to great lengths to cover their trees, even mature ones. Search for some youtube videos on the subject.


37 posted on 10/12/2012 9:01:47 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: greeneyes

here in Texas broccoli plants will last for years, I’m on my 3rd year for 3 plants. after you have it once tilled, it’s easy after that. The weather is cooler now, get to work.


38 posted on 10/12/2012 10:05:12 PM PDT by jyro (French-like Democrats wave the white flag of surrender while we are winning)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Thanks for the info.


39 posted on 10/13/2012 12:54:23 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: jyro

That’s interesting. I’ll have to tell my daughter. She is the only real broccoli fan in the family. I can not stand cool or cold weather - every joint in my body hurts. Once the temps get into the 30s and 40s, I stay in the house and I don’t even go to the grocery store.LOL.


40 posted on 10/13/2012 12:57:57 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

It’s a 3’ wide strip surrounded by a wall on one side and cement on the other three sides so it’s obviously not part of the yard. In August, he mowed through the front flowerbed which is also bordered with cement and 5’ fence. He’s done this for over 20 years so I’m thinking spotlights, sirens, landmines, razor wire and guard towers with a take no prisoners policy.


41 posted on 10/13/2012 6:33:22 AM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill

If it makes you feel any better (probably not :-), my dad has the bad habit of running over my mom’s flower beds with his pickup truck & sometimes the tractor. At times, following the tire tracks, it almost looks like he goes out of his way to run over the plants - really makes her mad. The ‘funny’ thing is he’s always bringing back bulbs, bushes, trees, all sorts of things that he wants her to plant .... then he runs over the beds.


42 posted on 10/13/2012 9:55:23 AM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: MissMagnolia
following the tire tracks, it almost looks like he goes out of his way to run over the plants

Exactly. Hugs to your mom.

43 posted on 10/13/2012 9:59:54 AM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill
Well, then he is doing it deliberately - right? Would it work to tell him those spaces will be your responsibility from now on, since he can't tell a weed from your garden plants?

Tell him to keep his cotton pickin’ hands off your garden-or else?

44 posted on 10/13/2012 12:21:32 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Yes. BTDT. His only job is to till a couple times a year. Period. His hands, feet, and lawn mower are a big no no in the garden.

Whew, it’s getting windy out there today and I thought it was going to rain but nothing yet. Some little clouds here and there on the radar. May have to water after all. There’s a weather change coming because we suddenly got a bunch of flies in the house yesterday evening. Don’t know how other than letting the dogs in and out the door. Central TX usually gets its first blast of cold on Halloween but I’m still counting on getting in some fall squash.


45 posted on 10/13/2012 1:23:20 PM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill

yeh, we are supposed to get some storms and rain pretty soon too. Our Halloween varies a lot from year to year.

Sometimes it is nice shirt sleeve weather, and sometimes it is freezing. Never can be sure till you get closer to the date.


46 posted on 10/13/2012 3:05:50 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; ApplegateRanch

I got half my garlic crop planted this afternoon and hope to plant the rest tomorrow and also spread the rice hulls to mulch them from the winter rains and weeds. We will be cutting the pumpkins off the vines this week and perhaps the Sweat Meat winter squash the following week.


47 posted on 10/14/2012 9:49:01 PM PDT by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: tubebender

I ordered my garlic from Guerneys for some reason that I can not recall. They sent me a card that it would not be shipped until the fall.

They kept me updated with several cards during the summer, giving the date of arrival. About a week before I was supposed to receive them, I got a card that said out of stock -refund coming.

I have a few bulbs leftover from the supermarket, so I guess I’ll try those. sigh


48 posted on 10/14/2012 10:25:47 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tubebender

Got mine in a on the 8th; planted 300 or so sq ft of winter wheat the 9th. Lord help me, I forgot to check my moon signs & Farmers Almanac!

Been subbing for the wife, as well as trying to get my own chores done; she broke her wrist last month, and had to have a plate installed. Between the awkwardness of the cast; not being able to get it wet; and not being allowed to lift anything even if she can get ahold of it, it is amazing how many things she can get out of doing.

She tripped while spraying brush; fortunately, she didn’t hurt the sprayer.


49 posted on 10/15/2012 12:09:37 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: greeneyes

At least they notified you. I ordered my garlic last May from Siskiyou Seeds in Oregon, to be shipped in August. With August quickly passing and the credit card they were given about to expire—I had already received the new one— I tried to contact them twice each both by email & phone. No replies; no charges to the card before it expired; no explanation or apology.

I scrambled, and finally found somebody —Keene Organics— that wasn’t out of stock of the variety I wanted, and I was able to order & get it in September. Had a very nice conversation with them on the phone.

They still have some varieties in stock, and are taking & shipping orders up to & including today, Monday, 10/15 http://keeneorganics.com/purchase_2012_organic_garlic

Many suppliers had bad or no crops this year due to the drought & other weather problems, so seed garlic was in short supply for many varieties.


50 posted on 10/15/2012 12:29:16 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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