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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 12 MARCH 22, 2013
Free Republic | March 22, 2013 | greeneyes

Posted on 03/22/2013 12:30:03 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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Missouri is back to a cold snap. Our warm temp today is a cool 39 degrees. Not much doing with the garden, as we are all still hibernating in the warm house. We did get a little yard cleanup done on the nice days.

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great weekend. God Bless.

1 posted on 03/22/2013 12:30:03 PM PDT by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes

Had an inch of snow last night after several days in the 60’s. East of us - up to 1 1/2 feet. Grass is greening....garden still a dream at this point.


2 posted on 03/22/2013 12:33:55 PM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: greeneyes; Isabel; Tammy8; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; ..

Pinging the list.


3 posted on 03/22/2013 12:39:17 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Daughter just moved to San Antonio, Texas from Oregon. I’ve started a list of food & fiber & other useful plants for her to grow. Aloe, jojoba, agave, yucca. Citrus trees, avacodo. What else does anyone reccomend?

Thanks


4 posted on 03/22/2013 12:39:49 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: greeneyes

Hey... I have a question y’all might be able to help me with.

I’m in eastern North Carolina, just east of I-95. The soil here is a deep, sandy loam. It could drain better, but overall is great soil for growing stuff.

I have had very good luck with hot peppers, but success with sweet Bell peppers has mostly eluded me. I can’t seem to get the big, blocky (expensive!) peppers you see at the grocery store. Mine are usually fairly small, thin-walled, tending toward bitter, and not that many of them.

What’s the secret to growing a good green pepper?


5 posted on 03/22/2013 12:40:57 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: illiac

I’m kinda wondering if a little dose of global warming might not be sorta nice right about now and also, maybe the global ice-age people had it right.LOL.


6 posted on 03/22/2013 12:41:06 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Cold Heart

Maybe Jicama? It’s wonderful, raw or cooked!

http://www.foodreference.com/html/art-jicama-history-facts.html


7 posted on 03/22/2013 12:47:19 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: greeneyes

Greetings from Southern California!!

It’s 75 here and newly spring. The icelandic poppies are blooming — also pansies, bouganvellia,geraniums,cyclamen, honeysuckle, gerbera dasies, tall irises and the roses are just starting up. Truly a magical time of year. I’m putting in petunias, fuchsias and impatiens this weekend so they can start rooting before the summer heat starts up.

Once the heat comes in, especially the hot, dry winds that we unfortunately get in the summer and fall, all will burn up no matter how much water I put on them.


8 posted on 03/22/2013 12:48:50 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (I have seen the future and I'm going back to bed!!)
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To: Cold Heart

I have to have Taters, Maters, and Corn. LOL


9 posted on 03/22/2013 1:02:53 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Oberon

I don’t grow really big peppers. They taste good, but not large. I use Mel’s mix and the 2cnd year I added a lot of compost and a few shovels of top soil to the raised beds.


10 posted on 03/22/2013 1:07:08 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Cold Heart
Citrus trees, avacodo

SA may be a little too far North for those. SA has some very good garden centers. She needs to find one and make friends with the staff.

/johnny

11 posted on 03/22/2013 1:07:45 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Bon of Babble

Sounds like you have some really pretty plants in your garden. We welcome pictures, if you would like to share.


12 posted on 03/22/2013 1:09:29 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

We still have 3-4 inches on the ground here in Massachusetts. I long for spring.


13 posted on 03/22/2013 1:10:02 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

The last round of snow disappeared this week, but we sometimes get snow in April. I too long for spring.


14 posted on 03/22/2013 1:11:48 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
After all the great weather, and all the work I got done in the big garden, we've got a minor coolish snap in progress. We'll see lows at 34F Sunday and Monday. We've past our average last frost date, and Vernal Equinox.... but I generally wait to put out sensitive stuff until after Easter for this very reason.

I did have to put out 6 tobacco plants, they were just too big for their little pots and were getting root-bound. We'll see if they live. If they don't I've got about 60 more in the cold frame.

Speaking of cold frame. It's packed. Completely packed. My tomatoes want to be planted in the big garden. Doubling the size of it is on the schedule for next fall.

/johnny

15 posted on 03/22/2013 1:13:06 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Doubling the cold frame or the garden?? I am really behind this year according to the calendar, but my bones tell me it’s too early yet to get going.

We often wait till after Easter to do much of anything just because of similar cold snaps here.


16 posted on 03/22/2013 1:19:20 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
The cold frame. I need more room in the cold frame for the size my garden is now.

Of course, next year, I'll increase the size of the garden because I've got extra room in the cold frames..... rinse and repeat until you hit fenceline. ;)

/johnny

17 posted on 03/22/2013 1:26:45 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

LOL. The repetitive circle.


18 posted on 03/22/2013 1:29:12 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
It hit 90 a few days ago and should be in the 80s the next few days. Phil was right about winter in Texas. We had a big storm earlier in the week with high winds, rain and small hail but thankfully didn’t do any damage to the plants. However, there was a dead cardinal, poor thing, in the herb bed so guess that was caused by the storm.

I’ve squished a few grubs but don’t know if that’s what’s dining in the garden. Something is killing my tomato and peppers. I had an extra tomato transplant so it got put into a spot where the original had disappeared so we’ll see. The whatever ate those is also feasting on the squash so I replanted but the second planting isn’t coming up as fast as I thought it should. It might be the squirrels since there are holes everywhere. Anyway, the garden is 95% planted. There’s one 3x3’ spot that I’m not sure got seeds or not, lol! Today, I’m seeding up a handful of starter pots for round two of bell peppers since they were the first to disappear.

The herb bed still hasn’t been started and I need to find a couple hanging pots or maybe just wire up a couple on hangers and then it’ll all be done. It was all ready to go until hubby decided to wash the dog beside it and between the two of them demolished the border I had finished putting in two hours earlier, sigh.

19 posted on 03/22/2013 1:29:34 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Cold Heart

Check your FR-mail for a Zone 8 veggie growing list.


20 posted on 03/22/2013 1:30:33 PM PDT by bgill
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To: greeneyes

I would like to be added to your list. I need advice about all kinds of garden pests and slugs, including Joe Biden.


21 posted on 03/22/2013 1:31:15 PM PDT by miserare
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To: Oberon

Last year I grew grocery-store size bell peppers for the first time ever. I grew them in Earthboxes. I don’t know if it was the continuous soil moisture (no water stress, ever) or the way the fertilization is set up. But since it worked, I’m planting peppers in Earthboxes again this year.

When I have done peppers in the ground, my results were like yours: small, thin-walled, not many, and not very tasty. Maybe it was nematodes (definitely have those), a nutrition issue, or water stress.


22 posted on 03/22/2013 1:33:51 PM PDT by FiscalSanity
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To: greeneyes

My garden is coming along really well. The shallots I gave to my neighbor have multiplied to the point that he is giving away bunches to anyone that wants them.

My lettuce and turnips are up and growing. Several tomato plants are close to blooming. The garlic probably needs to be pulled up for use.

I had several volunteer dill plants come up again this year. I planted cucumber seeds this past week.


23 posted on 03/22/2013 1:41:53 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: Cold Heart

Just something to consider:

Mesquite is a native tree...very drought hardy. On many farms and ranches is considered a weed! However, the pioneers used the ground-up seed pods for flour. I’m even seeing ground mesquite powder for sale in our local health food stores up here (not in mesquite country) for about $8.00/lb. My dad used the wood exclusively for cooking/smokiing wood. It has a WONDERFUL flavor!

Depending on the size of their property, if they have one (or several) already, they might want to consider keeping it/them. They are not very pretty and have thorns, so if they start taking over, they create a terrible environment for tires and should be thinned! But they could be a source of nutrition as well as warmth in a pinch.


24 posted on 03/22/2013 1:47:12 PM PDT by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: Cold Heart
Citrus trees, avacodo. What else does anyone reccomend?

I live NW of Austin have a lime and orange tree in big pots and they are in full bloom. I have to cover them and hang a light under the cover if it freezes. Avocado not much luck for me.

Cucumbers do well here. Leaf lettuce is a great year round veggie here. Same for turnips, but they slow down in hot weather.

If the area is big enough, have her plant an onion set. They do well when planted only 4 - 5 inches apart. If she has room, pear and peach trees do well here too.

25 posted on 03/22/2013 1:50:06 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: greeneyes

Sorry to hear about your continued cold weather. I have a friend in St. Joseph who is both a fellow gardener and fellow nature photographer. She’s itching to do one or the other, but Mother Nature is turning a cold shoulder. Hope things warm up for you all out there.


26 posted on 03/22/2013 1:51:34 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: bgill
How were the tomato plants killed? Was it cut off at the ground? Can you see spider mites on the back of the leaves with a magnifying glass? Describe the damage.

/johnny

27 posted on 03/22/2013 1:54:26 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

**maybe the global ice-age people had it right.LOL.**


The following is from a trusted source who usually checks her sources, unlike myself, before she forwards certain emails. Hey, at least I try to put a disclaimer [okay, some times I try to do that!]

The major, most serious problem today is the scare factor being employed as early as possible in America’s public schools pushing this liberal, social agenda. Any person willing to listen with an open mind will know that global warming is a hoax still being perpetrated by the liberals and their main stream media hound dogs [no disrespect intended to hound dogs!]. Except now they like to call it climate change. And of course the sick irony is that climate change has been around since the days of Genesis, and for anyone not biblically inclined, that’s been quite a while now.

Remember the idiot Al Gore [I know, it’s redundant!] and his many scare tactics. I wonder how much taxpayer money he spent using staff and government resources to concoct all of his BS.


Sent: 3/21/2013 10:00:36 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Fwd: Global Warming

Thought this was interesting - I went to the snopes link to verify that it’s true.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/science/globalwarming1922.asp
The Washington Post

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees, 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters [10,170 feet or about 1.926 miles] showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic Ocean, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years, it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

* * * * * * * * *
I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - over 90 years ago.
*****************


28 posted on 03/22/2013 1:55:23 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: greeneyes

Mr. Sg planted seeds in greenhouse. First time for us. We’re talking excitement here!


29 posted on 03/22/2013 1:56:11 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (I must be all here, because everyone keeps telling me I'm not all there.)
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To: Oberon

We’ve had the same problem. We’re trying seeds this year as opposed to transplants.


30 posted on 03/22/2013 1:57:45 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (I must be all here, because everyone keeps telling me I'm not all there.)
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To: bgill
Something is killing my tomato and peppers.

I had a cutworm eat off most of one of my tomato plants. Just use your finger to dig around the base and find them. My plant is coming back, since the center was still good.

BTW, I had to go to Cedar Park - 15 miles east of us - the next day and the ditches had about two feet of small hail and the parking lots were covered with chopped up tree leaves.

31 posted on 03/22/2013 2:02:00 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: greeneyes

Back to 15-20 below normal for a while again, so even though the pea patch is now ready, the weather isn’t: 12-20F at night is not conducive to germination. :-)

Also getting spate of flakes for the last couple of days, so at least a bit of badly needed moisture is dribbling in.


32 posted on 03/22/2013 2:03:08 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Hi, J. Last year, transplanted Early Girls and Better Boys from the local FFA association. This year, we’re attempting three varieties of Romas per your posts and some “sandwich” tomatoes, all from seed. Waiting.... :)


33 posted on 03/22/2013 2:04:28 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (I must be all here, because everyone keeps telling me I'm not all there.)
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To: Oberon
What’s the secret to growing a good green pepper?

I've had the best luck growing bell peppers in the fall garden. I had some last year that dwarfed the ones at HEB.

34 posted on 03/22/2013 2:04:45 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: JRandomFreeper; Cold Heart

Agreed that she might not have much success with citrus and avacado in San Antonio. The mexican avacado is hardier so she can try it in a protected area near the southeastern side of the house but I’ve never seen any around here, just sayin’. For fruit, she’ll have better luck with peach and plum, figs, blackberries and strawberries. The soil isn’t acidic enough for blueberries. She only needs a pot of aloe vera on the window sill. Use the yucca and agave as an ornamentals by the front driveway if she doesn’t have kids, otherwise she’ll be running to the ER with poked eyes.


35 posted on 03/22/2013 2:07:34 PM PDT by bgill
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To: greeneyes
Continued warm and sunny here, around 82. We're expecting a slight temp drop this weekend to the high 70's. The garden plots (and the weeds, unfortunately) are busting out. We're getting green beans and just had to harvest the swiss char. We also had to cut back the cilantro. The wife got two new trees for her birthday-- a fig and a calmandi. She also picked up some basil and tomatillo.

On the flower side, every thing is blooming or on the verge of blooming (except the bulbs, snapdragons and zinias). The marigolds I grew from seeds for the first time are almost blooming. Put some color bowls together with salvia, dusty miller, alyssum, and marigold. I also put up some simple 6 foot long plant shelves made of cinder blocks and 2 x 4's. The hummingbirds are starting to visit our big aloe which is now blooming, pretty much abandoning the feeder for now.

We learned a valuable lesson this year: in a raised bed, do no scrimp on quality soil. We used cheapie $5 soil from Lowe's and almost lost our tomatoes and moringa. Wifey replaced all the cheap soil with good soil and mixed in fertilizer and now everyone is looking green again.

36 posted on 03/22/2013 2:08:16 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Cold Heart
What part of San Antonio?
Inside Loop 410 is fine for the plants you mentioned, but she'll have to watch out for insects. In the Hill Country, it's a whole 'nuther ball game. She'll also need to look for trees with rootstock that will tolerate the high pH caliche soil. She can purchase plants at Millbergers on Loop 1604N or at Rainbow Gardens on Rt 16 inside Loop 1604 on the NW side of town.
37 posted on 03/22/2013 2:09:03 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: Silentgypsy
Starting from seed takes a while. I lost the first 18 because of my own stupidity. I planted the 2nd batch on Feb 14th. They are very much ready to go into the big garden as soon as I'm sure the weather will be ok for it.

One wrap of aluminum foil around the stalk, a sprinkling of rock phospate at the bottom of the hole, and in they go.

I managed to grow stocky starts this year, instead of leggy ones. Being stingy with the water, and keeping them cool and out in the cold frame really helped.

/johnny

38 posted on 03/22/2013 2:09:24 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

The leaves are stripped on some and others just disappeared like they were never there.


39 posted on 03/22/2013 2:16:28 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Arrowhead1952

Thanks, I’ll dig around for cutworms.

I heard that Round Rock still had hail in the ditches the following afternoon in the heat of the day. Glad for the two bouts of rain we’ve had recently but not so much on the wind and hail. Beggars can’t be choosers.


40 posted on 03/22/2013 2:20:58 PM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill
Sounds like a worm/caterpillar of some kind. I'd spray 'em with BT. That's Bacillus Thuringiensis. That's a natural, non-chemical control for leaf eating worms.

/johnny

41 posted on 03/22/2013 2:24:05 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: bgill; JRandomFreeper; Cold Heart
I am NW of SA and I keep my citrus trees in big pots. It's not the heat that's the issue, it's the cold snaps in February that kills off the new buds and leaves. The pots enable me to move the trees into my greenhouse in winter. That is not a set-in-stone rule though. There are many yards in SA with producing citrus trees and my neighbor has a real nice tree (that I gave her) that continues to prosper in her yard.
Avocado will suffer leaf burn from the heat though.

I have Sequoia strawberry plants, and they haven't produced for two years. I recommend trying Ozark strawberry plants in pots. Okra will grow like crazy, and hot pepper plants will grow to the size of bushes. If they are kept covered and warm in the chillier months, they will come back the following year.

42 posted on 03/22/2013 2:27:04 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: bgill; Arrowhead1952

Gosh durn-it! All y’all up north get all the precipitation.


43 posted on 03/22/2013 2:28:05 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: bgill

I talked to the clerk at the vet’s office and she said the side of the road were covered with hail / ice. She said most was not much bigger than sleet at her home in Hutto.


44 posted on 03/22/2013 2:39:13 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Yeah, something along those lines so BT it is. I had more than the usual amount of hornedworms last year and have only seen one cutworm so far this year. Grubs are about the same as always. Ants are popping up so need to get to them but they’re not the mater and pepper problem. A couple of neighborhood cats have been eating the lizards so that’s not helping. And the big slobber bucket is up to his old trick of over/under/around the gate to happily say hi when I’m out there - stomp, stomp, stomp. Oh, the trials and tribulations.


45 posted on 03/22/2013 2:39:49 PM PDT by bgill
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To: fidelis
Some of the new color bowls:

03.22.2013>

46 posted on 03/22/2013 2:40:22 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Sarajevo

We got about 1.5” from the storm a couple of weeks ago, but only .25” the other night. My sister who lives on 1560 N got just under an inch.


47 posted on 03/22/2013 2:44:17 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (For Jay Carney - I heard your birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

We got less than 1/4 inch from the “big one”. This morning, we had a fine mist, and that’s been it. Everything else blows by.


48 posted on 03/22/2013 2:49:04 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: bgill

Whenever I have mystery eaters with tomatoes, it usually turns out to be 1 of 2 choices (sometimes both). Squirrels or tomato hornworm.

Those blasted worms are really hard to see. Once I was checking out the tomato plants, and thought all was clear, but I kept having leaves that were just stripped from the plant.

Finally I took a couple of plants and stuck them in a pot to bring them in - convinced it was some unknown predator. As I was repotting them, I trimmed off some leaves. Found teenage size horn worm on each plant. Cut them in two and pulled them off. Left the plants on the patio, treated with red pepper & onion/garlic homemade insecticide. No more problem.


49 posted on 03/22/2013 2:50:27 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: miserare

You will be added. Can’t help you much with Biden. Every time I see him, I can’t get past his teeth and thoughts like predator, cheschire cat etc.

Finally I just close my eyes, breathe deep, exhale slowly, while repeating the mantra: This too shall pass.


50 posted on 03/22/2013 2:54:39 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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