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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 9 MARCH 1, 2013
Free Republic | March 1, 2013 | greeneyes

Posted on 03/01/2013 12:32:22 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!

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TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: agriculture; food; gardening; hobby
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Greetings from Missouri. The weather is still decidedly winter with last night's snow fall. Students at area schools are enjoying another snow day.

I have 5 green peppers about the size of ping pong balls and lemons just about the same in my indoor garden. Still picking some spinach and lettuce from the same. The basil is beginning to look like a miniature tree.

Hope you are all doing well. Have a great weekend. God Bless.

1 posted on 03/01/2013 12:32:39 PM PST by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes

Here in Houston area

I have planted Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Orange Oxheart, Brandywine, Sunny Boy, Boxcar Willie and a couple of hybrids...

Watering with collected rainwater and supplementing with compost tea.


2 posted on 03/01/2013 12:38:02 PM PST by Former MSM Viewer
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the Garden List.


3 posted on 03/01/2013 12:38:36 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the Garden List.


4 posted on 03/01/2013 12:39:28 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the Garden List.


5 posted on 03/01/2013 12:40:37 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

My tomato starts are still inside because the temps are still too cold at night. Maybe in a couple weeks if I can hold off that long.

I put out some squash last week but I think the cold finally got them last night. I just want to try to get a jump on the squash bugs. I’ve never gotten a zuke and only a few yellow squash in all these years. I should just give it up but don’t want to go down defeated by a little bug.


6 posted on 03/01/2013 12:44:12 PM PST by bgill
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Did you plant out doors or are you starting seeds indoors?


7 posted on 03/01/2013 12:48:14 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Planted outdoors...in some beautiful earthworm laden soil...

No freezes here in coming weeks. If we do have cold, I can cover for a night or two...


8 posted on 03/01/2013 12:51:39 PM PST by Former MSM Viewer
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To: bgill

Ever hear of putting aluminum foil under the runners of the squash as they grow? Supposedly, it deters the wasp...

I never tried this, though...


9 posted on 03/01/2013 12:53:31 PM PST by Former MSM Viewer
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To: bgill

I don’t usually grow squash or zukes because of those bugs. However, the one year I did grow them. I used my homemade bug spray and was able to at least grow several very nice ones in 3 gallon pots.

The homemade spray used garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, a drop of dishwashing liquid and a drop of oil. The first time I made this spray, I was dubious, but I happened to see a water bug and squirted him.

He was belly up and dead within 30 seconds.


10 posted on 03/01/2013 12:56:11 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

I started about 150 seedlings of same names as above, but then found some plants available so I bought the plants.

Will give my seedlings to friends after they grow a little more...


11 posted on 03/01/2013 12:57:56 PM PST by Former MSM Viewer
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To: greeneyes

Novice questions time.

I have some small, raised gardens that did OK last year, mostly greens and herbs (mustard, arugula, spinach, and chicory). In the fall I planted cauliflower. It is growing very odd (at least for this noob’s knowledge). Instead of growing big cauliflower heads, the plants are growing very tall with small heads (quarter size). Is there a trick I am missing.

Also several years ago I planted asparagus shoots and they come in each year but they are very whispy, like dill, not like asparagus. I thought I had pulled them out but they come back thicker and thicker each year but they are all just thin, frizzy stems, not even pencil thickness.


12 posted on 03/01/2013 1:03:26 PM PST by mnehring
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To: All

We still have six inches of snow on the ground here in Massassachusetts. I’ll be starting my seeds in the kitchen at the end of this month. We can’t plant until Memorial Day.


13 posted on 03/01/2013 1:05:48 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: greeneyes
Harumph!

Not a good week. I lost all but 2 of my first batch of tomatoes to damping off. My own stupid fault. I know better than to water them that much and from the top. Oh well, that's what batch 2 and 3 are for.

And then, this AM, I sat the bus tub full of 16 oz dixie cup planters with the peppers on the table to get them ready to carry outside and the fricking cat ate the last of my jalapeno seedlings. The New Mexico peppers are doing great. Stupid cat only eats the jalapeno pepper plants. Jalapenos 2.0 are just showing up today.

If you start from seed, plant extras because everything tries to kill them.

On a positive note, my bacillus Thrungiensis showed up in the mail, although the mail-man was less than thrilled when I said "The bacteria for my garden!" ;)

/johnny

14 posted on 03/01/2013 1:13:31 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Good. We won’t be there for a while yet. April 20 we still have a 20% chance of freezing. So I don’t usually sow or transplant until mid May.

However, since rainfall/moisture is still less than usual, I may go ahead and plant some things in April and then cover with row covers as needed.

I want to plant shorter DTM varieties this year, and try to have a bigger harvest before the July and August drought.


15 posted on 03/01/2013 1:18:40 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Cleaned out most of the fall garden plants this week and will try to till early next week. I left my garlic and onion beds intact for the most part. Some onions are almost ready to pull for eating.


16 posted on 03/01/2013 1:21:38 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dims are stupid, period. End of conversation.)
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To: greeneyes
ZOUNDS!

It went down to 28°F last night, and it topped out at 84°F this afternoon, and it's dry.
All my seedlings are indoors, and I have a couple citrus that will need to be covered for the next couple days.

It may be a little off-topic, but we're going to order another batch of pullets to re-invigorate the chicken flock soon. I'm also planning on more ducks, and maybe geese too.

17 posted on 03/01/2013 1:24:14 PM 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: JRandomFreeper

Oh that is hilarious! I bet he gave you a funny look. So sorry about your jalapeño seedlings-kitties can’t help themselves....they know a good thing when they see it :)


18 posted on 03/01/2013 1:24:36 PM PST by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son.......)
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To: JRandomFreeper
On a positive note, my bacillus Thrungiensis showed up in the mail, although the mail-man was less than thrilled when I said "The bacteria for my garden!" ;)

*******************************

LOL!

19 posted on 03/01/2013 1:28:41 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: greeneyes
Thank you for inviting me to this thread.

Here's my dilemma and I'm hoping that knowledgeable freepers can give me some good ideas without spending a lot of money.

I'm in SW Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. There is a 12' x 18' area which gets neither good shade nor good drainage as it is bordered on the south by my walkout basement, on the north by a storage shed, on the east by a driveway (the only direction from where it will consistently get direct sunlight and on the west by a steep downslope an retaining wall.

If I had the money to roof it or put in a deck, I'd probably consider it. But it is out of the question.

I have taken out about 3.5 feet with mulch on the 18' side because it is under the eaves of the house and, of course, I want water to drain away. However, what remains, tends to accumulate water, particularly during and after heavy rains.

And, of course, its location means the potential for a lot of foot traffic, so hydrophyllic clover (which I tried), had limited success. When it isn't accumulating water, it is mostly growing moss which is nice and low maintenance over the grass which once grew there, but I'm not sure moss is the best solution either.

20 posted on 03/01/2013 1:29:00 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I am usually too much of a tightwad to buy plants, and don’t like to spend the effort, nor take up space indoors starting seeds. So I usually just sow outside.

However in 2011, I had ordered some plants at more than half price, intending to transfer them to larger pots and move indoors for the winter.

The company sent a card that I would not be getting the shipment till September. Then they said they were out, and back ordered. I actually got the plants the following spring (2012) at the reduced price. LOL.


21 posted on 03/01/2013 1:31:42 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Greetings from middle Tennessee. It’s cold here. Spitting snow periodically. Forecasting maybe an inch tonight. That is a big deal for these parts. Kids, teachers and parents are pissed that they will miss out on a snow day due to it being the weekend.
Broccoli, cauliflower and kale seedlings are an inch up. Spent an hour and a half whacking down our pampas grass specimen in the front yard last Sunday. Good heavens. Every year that thing gets larger and larger. Friend wanted some cuttings. Had to take a pick axe to the thing to divide off a piece. Whew.
Just a few more weeks until rosé pruning time. Wanting to grow a lot of vining fruits and veggies this year. I just need more garden space to make this happen. Sigh. Prolly should just till up the front yard. Lol


22 posted on 03/01/2013 1:33:50 PM PST by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son.......)
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To: mnehring

Your greens use up a lot of nitrogen, so it’s possible that you need some sort of fertilizer. If you check out the local extension service, they can assist you with a soil analysis to see what additives you need.

I use raised beds too. I plant cover crops in the fall to plow under in spring and add compost each spring before planting. It also helps to rotate your plants and not plant the same thing in the same space year after year.


23 posted on 03/01/2013 1:37:26 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

My winter veggie seedlings under lights have their first sets of true leaves, and have grown quite a bit. I hope to start some tomatoes, peppers, okra, herbs, flowers, and more inside within the next week or so.


24 posted on 03/01/2013 1:39:48 PM PST by chickpundit
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To: JRandomFreeper

I am sorry for you my friend. This is one reason why I don’t like starting seeds in doors. Sometimes, I have success by using Mels Mix, planting the seeds watering well, then covering the container with saran wrap. With one or two tiny holes.

Then I just forget it and leave it alone. No additional watering-Lots of neglect! I’ve killed more plants with kindness than neglect.LOL.


25 posted on 03/01/2013 1:45:12 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: murrie
I bet he gave you a funny look.

Don't know. There was a blue aura in the air around my head as I spoke calmly but firmly about the wrath to be visited upon him, should I ever lay hands on him.

It's good that women and small children weren't around.

Haven't seen him for the rest of the day. For some reason.

/johnny

26 posted on 03/01/2013 1:47:18 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Arrowhead1952

Our soil is still pretty hard from the freeze this week, so I am not doing anything right now, but I do have some carrots and onions that should be ready now or in a few weeks.


27 posted on 03/01/2013 1:48:08 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; JRandomFreeper
Reporting in from Arizona. It's finally getting consistently warm here, H80/L50's. I'm thinking about moving most of my hardier babies outside now.

The ixia bulbs are starting to sprout all at once now, and the freesias are getting taller every time I look at them. Their stems are a little weak, though. My MIL, who is a master bulb gardener, suggests they need more sun so I'll see if that helps.

Kind of overdid trimming some bushes in the front yard this morning. I had to stop because my arms were shaky and worn out and now it's sitting there half done, which I hate.

Sorry to hear about you losing some of your plants to damping, JRandomFreeper. That's something I have to be careful with, but with me it's a lack of experience. I still am learning when a plant does and doesn't need more sun or water-- not to mention when to feed it, fertilize it or transplant it. So much to learn.

28 posted on 03/01/2013 1:49:18 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Sarajevo

Turn those chickens out into your garden. They will help it greatly!


29 posted on 03/01/2013 1:53:26 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
"I’ve killed more plants with kindness than neglect."

LOL. I'll have to remember that! :)

30 posted on 03/01/2013 1:54:08 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis
What ticks me off is I do know what to do. And did the wrong thing in a moment of abject dumbass. Tomato seedlings should be left dry on the top with fairly damp roots. It's not hard. I can't imagine what I was thinking.

Roma 2.0 has been transplanted to bigger pots and is doing great, so far. 3.0 just came up today.

The tobacco plants are doing great. I've got more than 50 that are nearly large enough to go outside, and just waiting for the last frost of the season to set them out. I've lost about 2 out of the 54 I started, and those were due to rough handling during the transplant.

/johnny

31 posted on 03/01/2013 1:55:27 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: murrie
Oops! I spoke harshly to the cat, not the postman. I try not to intimidate federal officials doing their legitimate tasks.

Just wanted to clear that up. ;)

/johnny

32 posted on 03/01/2013 1:58:59 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
"I've lost about 2 out of the 54 I started, and those were due to rough handling during the transplant.

That's always a danger with me too. I have such fat, clumsy figures I'm always bumping and bending and bruising and breaking the tender seedlings. I've found if there is any delicate pushing around or handling to do, it can best be done with an ice cream stick and a toothpick.

33 posted on 03/01/2013 2:00:49 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis

Ooops! “Figures” should be “fingers”. See?— I can’t even type!! :/


34 posted on 03/01/2013 2:02:20 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: JRandomFreeper
And then, this AM, I sat the bus tub full of 16 oz dixie cup planters with the peppers on the table to get them ready to carry outside and the fricking cat ate the last of my jalapeno seedlings.

It is a constant battle to keep my flats of pepper plants safe from my four Siamese cats, who will mow them flat if given the opportunity. I caught one of them with his face in them last night...caught him just in time...had to clip a couple of chewed leaves, but they didn't get the main ones on top. I have a gorgeous tray of hots that I am guarding like a hawk...beautiful bhut jolokias, including the peach variant, trinidad scorpions, yellow devil's tongue, and such. If the cats get into those; we'll be having Chinese for dinner.

35 posted on 03/01/2013 2:03:31 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: greeneyes

Greetings from Southern California!

Temp is 83F today but is supposed to “dip” into the low 60s next week. We have been very dry this year which is not good —meaning water restrictions again. Water police drive through my neighborhood every morning around 7 AM when I walk my doggies taking names and looking for wet sidewalks.

People here are pulling out their lawns, whole or 1/2 and planting either cactus or aloe gardens. I’ve dedicated a small space in my garden to California natives. Many garden stores now sell a lot of Cal natives or aloe-type plants that need little water. Yards here are starting to look like Tuscon, Las Vegas or Phoenix. One neighbor pulled out his lawn and put in gravel, which is too bad. But water prices keep rising and this year doesn’t look good.

Problem with hot weather this time of year is it forces my fruit trees to bloom — then if we get one good pounding rain and cold weather, all the blossoms drop and that means no fruit.


36 posted on 03/01/2013 2:06:50 PM PST by Bon of Babble (I have seen the future and I'm going back to bed!!)
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To: who knows what evil?
I discussed, loudly, and in detail, various recipes involving rice and pepper stuffed catz this morning. Haven't seen whazizface since then.

/johnny

37 posted on 03/01/2013 2:13:32 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Vigilanteman

I just started gardening about 3 or 4 years ago, so I’ll just throw my 2 cents in for what it is worth. Take it with a grain of salt.

I am not sure exactly what you are facing - A picture might help to visualize, but You will need to have about 8 hours of sun minimum to grow any veggies. You can’t really do much to increase the sunshine with out tearing down or moving obstacles.

Your planting beds will need to be located to take advantage of the longest sun exposure. Either that or plant in containers and move them as needed.

If the slope is located where you can do it, I like to terrace the area which gives me a level place to plant on each level.

Raised beds and/or containers will help to mitigate the drainage issue. As for your basement, I don’t think you should never have moisture if the basement has been constructed correctly.

One thing is that your yard should slope away from your house on all sides. You should also have guttering and downspouts with long extensions if needed to take the water far away from the house.

The best solution to basement moisture is to excavate the area. Paint the basement walls with tar (outdoors). Lay drainage pipe, and cover with large gravel/small rocks. Cover with sufficient soil for what you intend to plant.

Hope that helps.


38 posted on 03/01/2013 2:14:10 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

What are the amounts of the ingredients?


39 posted on 03/01/2013 2:16:27 PM PST by bgill
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To: murrie

Well, there have been problems in some places, when people dared to put in veggie gardens in their front yards, but there are plenty of edible flowers. LOL.

Maybe consider trellis or fences for your vining plants. This way they go verical and take up less space?


40 posted on 03/01/2013 2:18:09 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

That sounds pretty good...


41 posted on 03/01/2013 2:20:27 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: chickpundit

You are off to a good start.


42 posted on 03/01/2013 2:21:29 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: fidelis

Like I said a few times before. I have killed more plants with kindness than neglect. The neglected orphans almost always out do the ones that get the attention - that’s been my experience anyway.


43 posted on 03/01/2013 2:24:55 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Well as long as you have some Romas, you are doing pretty good.


44 posted on 03/01/2013 2:26:32 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
It's why I plant plenty of extras. I could trip going out the door tomorrow morning, and lose Roma 2.0 all at one time. Roma 3.0 is the backup for the backup to the original.

I may need them. ;)

/johnny

45 posted on 03/01/2013 2:31:12 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: mnehring

Are you sure there aren’t thicker spears down below all the whips? This week, I cut down all the dead whips and found a couple servings of spears.


46 posted on 03/01/2013 2:32:48 PM PST by bgill
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To: greeneyes; All

I hate snow (from years of having horses to keep up with) and we are watching the weather carefully - could get a major storm next week, starting Tuesday. At least it’s March, not Jan/Feb so it won’t last on the ground but so long. Thank goodness we got new gravel in the driveway (a mere 46 tons) so when it melts, we won’t be hubcap deep in mud. I have a large crochet project to finish and two active bird feeders I can watch so, if snow happens .... well, maybe I’ll survive the cabin fever! Spring weather can’t come soon enough for me. :-)


47 posted on 03/01/2013 2:50:41 PM PST by MissMagnolia (You see, truth always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition. I pick truth. (John Ransom))
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To: JRandomFreeper; who knows what evil?

What is it with cats and peppers? Mine keeps sniffing around them and I’ve threatened her with the bbq grill. She just stares back with her holier than thou look. Last year, she knocked over the tomatoes and peppers so had a late start. One day, young lady, one day! She’s real scared as she’s licking my chin.


48 posted on 03/01/2013 2:51:26 PM PST by bgill
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To: bgill
Don't know. But it is hazardous to their health, if I lay hands on 'em.

I've planted some catnip, but it's out under the cold frame, and not big enough yet to give them. I'm hoping that next year, I'll have enough greens in the house to distract them from the stuff I seriously need for canning.

/johnny

49 posted on 03/01/2013 2:56:07 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: bgill

Cats eat greens, and if your pepper plants are handy, cats WILL eat the leaves. Then, if you’re lucky; they will yark it up all over your rug or pillow. Tomato plants are toxic, so they ignore them. (They may nip at a leaf if it catches their eye as a ‘toy’, but they won’t eat them, as a general rule.)


50 posted on 03/01/2013 3:01:00 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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