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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 5 fEBRUARY 1, 2013
Free Republic | February 1, 2013 | greeneyes

Posted on 02/01/2013 12:27:13 PM PST 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; hobby
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Apologies for running a little late today. I am in between meetings, so I will post and get back with you a little later.

We have a great sunny day today, and a warm 25 degrees. Last night we were at 9 degrees. I actually ordered a few plants this week during a 50% off sale. Most notable was some additional blueberry bushes, goji berry, and strawberries.

This will be the 3rd year for our little orchard of about 10 fruit trees, so we are hoping to get a few fruits this year.

I have a serving of spinach and lettuce and a couple of red bell peppers left and maybe 1 or 2 carrots. So my indoor and winter garden is just about finished.

The bell peppers and lemon tree are blooming and have some produce growing though, so I'll eventually get some additional produce from them maybe by spring.

Hope all is well with you. Have a great weekend, and God Bless.

1 posted on 02/01/2013 12:27:20 PM PST by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the Garden Thread List.


2 posted on 02/01/2013 12:32:41 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Here in Tidewater Virginia, my poor forsythia and jasmine have no idea what to do. The weather has been so abnormal this winter, they don’t know whether to bloom or not.


3 posted on 02/01/2013 12:39:08 PM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: stuartcr

I’m in the same boat as you, stuartcr. Here in Md.. my Camellia is well... confused. It has tons of buds. Fortunately, they haven’t started to open. With the weather being warm for a few days and then freezing... I don’t think the plant knows what to do. The last warm snap brought my tulips above ground by about four inches.


4 posted on 02/01/2013 12:52:44 PM PST by momtothree
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To: greeneyes

Still snow on the ground in N Idaho, although the temps are supposed to be in the high 30’s for the next few days - freezing at night.

Snow slowly disappearing.

Planning our garden layout, but know that we are a few months away yet. Mrs. Illiac will be starting in her greenhouse, which was a Christmas present and is looking forward to some great gardening this year.


5 posted on 02/01/2013 12:52:52 PM PST by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: momtothree

Yeah, gardening seasons aren’t the same as they were 30yrs ago.


6 posted on 02/01/2013 1:08:17 PM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: momtothree

Yeah, gardening seasons aren’t the same as they were 30yrs ago.


7 posted on 02/01/2013 1:08:17 PM PST by stuartcr ("I upraded my moral compass to a GPS, to keep up with the times.")
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To: greeneyes
Savor that spinach as there's a spinach shortage in the grocery stores due to the weather.

I put some onions, carrots and lettuce in the fridge before the garden got tilled. There was some black gold from leaves on the backside of the house so that's getting added to the garden so hubby can till it again. Nice sunny 70s temps to be out in the garden in Texas.

The bell pepper seeds I'd given up on in their little starter containers popped up this week. The grocery store jalapenos didn't and neither did my banana pepper seeds. Had about 80% of the tomato seeds sprout and they're into their second set of leaves. I replanted those seeds along with squashes, cukes, etc. I thought I had cauliflower and broccoli seeds but can't find them so will pick some up next time I'm in town.

I decided not to plant green beans this year to work on getting various squashes out early ahead of the bugs. If the bugs win again, then there's always time for beans.

The glads are already about a foot tall so I need to get into that bed to reset the edging and dig out some of the soil because it washes out onto the walk. I also need to get an herb garden started there.

Blah, just found out the people next door are moving in permanently in a few months so need to be more careful with my garden garb.

8 posted on 02/01/2013 1:09:20 PM PST by bgill
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To: greeneyes
Those of you thinking about giving an Earth Box a try; now's the time. Half pound of CHOCOLATE with your Earth Box order while supplies last! Details at their website here.
9 posted on 02/01/2013 1:10:16 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: stuartcr

I remember as a little girl, running outside to put a blanket around blossoming tulips when it started to snow. Silly me... didn’t realize at the time that they were from a cold region. I guess I took a risk planting a very Southern plant in a not so Southern region. ... sigh


10 posted on 02/01/2013 1:13:05 PM PST by momtothree
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To: stuartcr

Up the road a ways from Tidewater, the crocuses started blooming at our place.


11 posted on 02/01/2013 1:24:58 PM PST by MissMagnolia (You see, truth always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition. I pick truth. (John Ransom))
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My garden keeps getting more snow piled on it. Every bit of snow cuts down our chances of having another drought next summer, so, hurray for snow!!!

Never got any response from the person who has the corn seeds I wanted, she still hasn’t updated her listing since last year. So, I went with plan B and ordered some Mandan Red from Seeds of Change. It’s supposed to be a good parching and flour corn.

Things are kind of depressing on the job front, but given the way things are going, it might be better if I spend the summer working the land instead. I’ve got a creepy feeling about things this year.

One of my squash from last season started getting soft, so I chopped it up and started candying it. I love growing squash, but quite frankly it is not my favorite flavor, so I’m hoping if I candy it I’ll actually eat it more. The candied cranberries I made last christmas were really good, and I don’t like cranberries, so I figured it’s worth a try.

I didn’t get the freeze-dryer. In the last 10 hours of the auction, the bidding suddenly took off and went way beyond my price range! But, I’ll keep an eye out for the next one. That website sells all kinds of weird stuff from the university system. Today they listed a CT scanner, I’ve seen DNA sequencers, electron microscopes, Xray machines, etc. It’s a science geek’s dream, if only I had the money.


12 posted on 02/01/2013 1:43:26 PM PST by Ellendra (http://www.ustrendy.com/ellendra-nauriel/portfolio/18423/concealed-couture/)
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To: greeneyes

Nothing to do here. Totally covered with snow and 0 degrees with a windchill of -14 degrees.

I am discussing a knee replacement with a surgeon. If I go forward with it, it will probably mean another lost gardening year since it is my “digging” leg. But, I’ll love reading what the rest of you do.


13 posted on 02/01/2013 2:01:44 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Ellendra

Too bad about the freeze dryer. We were looking forward to your experiments with it.

I’m not really a squash person either, although this is the year I’m really pushing them in the garden. I’ve called the squash bugs out for a final duel. But, here’s a lovely squash soup that’s beyond yummy:

Squash Soup - Saute one or two stalks of chopped celery and half an onion chopped. Then puree them. Bake a couple delicata squash and a couple sweet dumpling squash (probably any lighter flavored variety of winter squash will do). When soft, seed them and scoop out the flesh and add to the blender mixture. Also add, up to a cup of cream, a spoon of chicken boullion (I use the Knorr powder), garlic salt to taste, cayenne to taste, and water if it’s too thick but not much because you want it really thick. Puree all ingredients.


14 posted on 02/01/2013 2:14:38 PM PST by bgill
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To: greeneyes
Winter is fading with a vengeance here. Last weekend we went from high in the 20-30 to above 40 and sunny almost every day this week. Really a good motivation to start thinking about getting prepared for the coming planting season.

On a side gardening note, I have determined that Snapdragons must be one of the toughest flowers known to man. I was surprised as even after a few hard frosts the snapdragon ‘bush - about 1x1x1’ that grows in our front flower bed stayed green. I was absolutely amazed that after being buried in snow for almost 3 weeks, after it melted those little guys look beat up but some of them are still green and starting to grow.

15 posted on 02/01/2013 2:18:44 PM PST by Idaho_Cowboy (Ride for the Brand. Joshua 24:15)
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To: who knows what evil?

If you want to buy that Earthbox special, you can get it for $32.95 + shipping if you use the code VGHC13 at checkout. This makes the chocolate free, since $32.95 is the regular price of the kit. (The price for the Valentine’s Day special without the code is $40.00 + shipping.)

Have to order by Feb. 7 for delivery by Valentine’s Day.


16 posted on 02/01/2013 3:51:09 PM PST by FiscalSanity
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To: greeneyes
My early starts on the sunshelf are doing great. I even had a tobacco plant peek it's leaves out today. Those are from 2011 seed, so I don't know how well they will germinate.

I also ordered Hatch chili seed today. Minimum order was 1 oz, but it's from a commercial seed grower in NM, so I wanted that cultivar. But one oz of seed is something like 1000+ seeds. I don't have room for that many plants. ;)

/johnny

17 posted on 02/01/2013 3:53:57 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

Please add me to the ping list. Thanks.


18 posted on 02/01/2013 4:16:12 PM PST by jjr153 (Never Forget 9/11)
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To: who knows what evil?

Thanks for the link...interesting! How does it self-water?


19 posted on 02/01/2013 4:54:06 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: Ellendra

Thanks for the update on the freeze dryer. :-( Sorry you weren’t able to get it.

Re the corn seeds. Some kind soul on a previous thread gave us a link to the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

http://www.rareseeds.com

I ordered their catalog. It’s gorgeous! Reportedly they are very careful about selling only seeds that are not GMO. Their corn seeds sell in the $2.75 - $4.00 per packet range. They say that there are about 75-125 seeds per packet.

Oh. Just re-read your comments and you have already ordered your corn seeds. Let us know how they turn out!


20 posted on 02/01/2013 5:03:58 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: greeneyes

Got our seed order lined out. Since this year is shaping up to be repeat of last year, we’re adjusting accordingly.

Going to try a large planting of mammoth sunflowers, as we’re inundated with their smaller wild cousins every year. Seeds, if it works out, will go to the chickens.

Also going to put in some Jerusalem artichokes, and hope they don’t escape. We had them decades ago in SoCal, and like them, but they are so invasive....

New this year also is giving in to nagging from townie friends: found some artichokes that are supposed to be early enough to start indoors, then get 1st year chokes before the early frosts kill them.


21 posted on 02/01/2013 5:05:39 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: bgill

Oh I love squash! Thanks for that recipe...it sounds wonderful!

BGILL’s SQUASH RECIPE
Squash Soup - Saute one or two stalks of chopped celery and half an onion chopped. Then puree them. Bake a couple delicata squash and a couple sweet dumpling squash (probably any lighter flavored variety of winter squash will do). When soft, seed them and scoop out the flesh and add to the blender mixture. Also add, up to a cup of cream, a spoon of chicken boullion (I use the Knorr powder), garlic salt to taste, cayenne to taste, and water if it’s too thick but not much because you want it really thick. Puree all ingredients.


22 posted on 02/01/2013 5:06:43 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

OH!! Last year we grew some Mammoth sunflowers! I had never even seen one in person before. They were a real amazing experience for me. I found just looking at them made me unreasonably happy. You’ll love them!

If I, a novice gardener, in drought-stricken Oklahoma, can grow them, I’d be amazed if they don’t work out for you too!

We’re definitely going to do them again this year!


23 posted on 02/01/2013 5:10:58 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: greeneyes
Please add me to your ping list.

It's getting warmer by fits and starts here in the desert. The wife already has a lot of vegetable sprouts outside--tomatoes, radishes, kale, chard, and some Asian stuff I don't know how to spell. She's got a lot more started in our little indoor greenhouse.

My flower sprouts I have started indoors are coming along nicely. I just thinned out my marigold/alyssum/zinnia seedlings I planted 2 weeks ago. The snapdragons I started last week are sprouting vigorously--once again, I put too many seeds and I'll have to aggressively thin them, probably next week. I hate doing that.

This week, I also planted some ornamental chili peppers, Explosive Ember and Bolivian Rainbow. It will still be a while until they sprout, and I'm really excited to see how they turn out. This is all new to me so I'm having a lot of fun.

24 posted on 02/01/2013 5:10:58 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: greeneyes

I have become quite fond of amaranth. I decided a few days ago to start an experiment in sprouting them. They sprouted like TOPSY! I have several little egg carton cups lined up on our counter. We shall see.

Also found our sweet potato sprouting in the potato/onion basket, so cut its toes off and am letting it grow. It has joined the amaranth sprouts.


25 posted on 02/01/2013 5:14:54 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

A) They stay viable a lot of years if stored right. B) Sounds like a lot of swapping material. C) Add the excess to your ground red pepper jar. D) Use some in a capsaicin-garlic bug spray.

Next year buy a pound, and do all of the above.


26 posted on 02/01/2013 5:19:39 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: TEXOKIE

It doesn’t really ‘self-water’...the box has a reservoir of water in the bottom that you keep filled...just run water from a hose down the fill tube until water starts running out from the overflow drain. The plants access all the water they need as they need it. Just make sure that it never runs dry (it would take a breathtaking level of neglect for that to happen). I have a number of these EB’s...they grow just about anything anywhere. Drought never a concern because YOU supply the water. No weeding.


27 posted on 02/01/2013 5:27:14 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: FiscalSanity

Forgot to mention the code for the Earth Box special...oops.


28 posted on 02/01/2013 5:32:16 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: TEXOKIE

I have grown tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, lettuce and cucumbers with great success in Earth Boxes...practically fool-proof. If I ever hit the lottery; I would be bale to buy enough Earth Boxes to accommodate all the varieties of tomatoes and peppers I have seed for...approaching 300...


29 posted on 02/01/2013 5:35:40 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: TEXOKIE

Baker Creek has a wide selection of corns, but most of them are dent corns. I was specifically looking for a flour corn with solid-colored red ears. But thanks anyway :)

The variety I was hoping for is called Magic Manna. It has 4 different colors, but each individual ear is one solid color. Since each color has a different flavor, this makes cooking easier. Red makes a good parching or sweet bread flour, brown makes a good savory bread or gravy base. Yellow and white both taste like pancakes, but still slightly different from each other.

The one I ordered is an all-red flour corn with a good flavor when parched. Not all corns taste good parched. We’ll see how it does in breads.


30 posted on 02/01/2013 6:32:29 PM PST by Ellendra (http://www.ustrendy.com/ellendra-nauriel/portfolio/18423/concealed-couture/)
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To: momtothree; stuartcr

Same here in Missouri. The temp rockets up and decends even faster. Poor plants are bound to be impacted.


31 posted on 02/01/2013 7:31:19 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: illiac

Looking forward to hearing all about the experiences with the greenhouse. I hope Santa brings me one next year.LOL.


32 posted on 02/01/2013 7:33:06 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: bgill

Sounds like you are off to a good start this year. I am glad to have the spinach, but I do wish I had planted more.


33 posted on 02/01/2013 7:35:42 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Well, that sounds irresitable. Thanks for the heads up.


34 posted on 02/01/2013 7:37:18 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Ellendra

I like the squash that has king or queen in the name. It tastes kinda like sweet potatoes, and makes a decent pie too.


35 posted on 02/01/2013 7:40:38 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Well, if you hurry, you could just set up a raised bed/sq foot garden - no digging needed. Planting close together means no weeding either.

Just 1 4x4 plot is supposed to give you enough veggies for 1 person for the season.


36 posted on 02/01/2013 7:42:58 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

Well that makes them a very worthy plant for colder climates.


37 posted on 02/01/2013 7:46:09 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Maybe you should give away some of your extra seeds for Valentine’s day? Or maybe donate them to the local food pantry?


38 posted on 02/01/2013 7:47:55 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: jjr153

Will do. Welcome to the thread.


39 posted on 02/01/2013 7:49:10 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

We are also making adjustments. All our favorites plus the earliest and shortest DTM available. Hope to get the short DTM started indoors, transplanted, and harvested before the July drought and heat - just in case.


40 posted on 02/01/2013 7:52:33 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: fidelis

Welcome to the thread. I will add your name to the ping list. I remember my own amazement a little over 3 years ago at successfully growing several plants.

Especially one of my favorites - corn! I had never been successful growing houseplants even.

Tell me more about your indoor greenhouse.


41 posted on 02/01/2013 7:57:53 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: TEXOKIE

I am thinking about starting some broccoli sprouts next winter. I don’t like broccoli very much, but I thought that a few sprouts added to some soup might be good and not too overwhelming.


42 posted on 02/01/2013 7:59:51 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

It would take some doing but for containment of invasives- I knew a guy that planted horseradish in a 6 foot X6 foot by however deep wooden box he had placed in the ground so he could control the horseradish he liked.


43 posted on 02/01/2013 9:01:46 PM PST by handmade
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To: greeneyes
"Tell me more about your indoor greenhouse."

It's one of those small, portable greenhouses you can get at Lowe's. It's basically a metal rack on wheels with a clear plastic cover that zips open at the front for easy access. It's small enough to keep in the house (though I had to put a light roof on the top because our orange tabby kept jumping on the top and caving it in). We added some inexpensive fluorescent fixtures for warmth and lighting. Our seedlings have done very well in there and we might get another for the outside when Spring gets here.

The picture below isn't mine, but this is what it looks like:


44 posted on 02/01/2013 9:46:21 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis
Pretty greenhouse. Wish I had room for something like that.

Temps hit 60 degrees in western PA three days ago, but on Friday they dropped to 15 degrees in the daytime. It's bitter cold outside with one to two inches of snow expected both Sat and Sun.

My kohl plants did not survive the extremes of icy cold and freezing moisture of January weather.

45 posted on 02/01/2013 11:48:56 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: greeneyes

I’v got 4 of those already. But they’ve been used. So, they have their share of weeds which were never removed last year (after my accident shut me down from gardening).


46 posted on 02/02/2013 3:41:42 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: greeneyes
I just came up from the greenhouse where I found that the asparagus I planted in the autumn of 2010 has finally sprouted edible stalks.
Mmmm - mmmm! Fresh tender 'spargus :)

My tobasco and jalapeno "trees" in the greenhouse are already sprouting fresh growth. I trim them back after the first freeze and let them re-grow. The tobasco is about 6ft tall and 5 years old and still producing.
The papaya was nipped during the last freeze, but not as bad as last year. I only had to trim it back halfway instead of chopping it to the ground,

Oh yeah - I was googling "concrete block raised gardens" and came up with a ton of good ideas. Here's the link:
https://www.google.com/search?q=concrete+block+raised+garden+bed&hl=en&tbo=d&rlz=1C1WZPD_enUS452US452&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=P0INUZ-uJ8qWqQGfzYC4DQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&biw=1066&bih=782#imgrc=_
Just go to the images tab.

47 posted on 02/02/2013 9:29:52 AM PST 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: who knows what evil?

I’m going to try putting 2 molasses pots together for my roses next to the garden shed. The bottom pot, I’ll put some inches of pea gravel and add fertilizer and water. The top I’ll put in a 1” pvc pipe over a drain hole, punch holes for the roots to feed through, cover the bottom with a screen to keep in the soil, plant the roses and other stuff then see what happens. Molasses pot earth grow?


48 posted on 02/02/2013 12:44:22 PM PST by tillacum
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To: Sarajevo

Thanks Sarajevo, we can work some of those ideas into our community garden. Some of those ideas, I’ll put in our yard too. Thanks.


49 posted on 02/02/2013 1:00:56 PM PST by tillacum
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To: Ciexyz
Pretty greenhouse. Wish I had room for something like that.

It's about as big as a bookcase, actually. And the amount of seedlings and young plants you can start in there is pretty amazing, especially if you're rotating. In fact, the wife took out several tomato plants today and transplanted them outside. We spent all morning at the nursery and in the backyard putting in a new square-foot garden. Really nice.

50 posted on 02/02/2013 1:43:58 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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