Saturday Gardening Thread: Easter Weekend Edition [Y-not and WeirdDave]

This week's Easter Weekend Edition of the Gardening Thread brought to you by The Legend of the Dogwood:

At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus’ cross.

To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. “Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.

“In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember.”

Dogwood.jpg

Take it away, WeirdDave!

WeirdDave's "Hot Mess:"

There's a similarly themed open thread below for OT talk and politics. Trust me on this one, you'd be better off down there.

Man, what a mess. It all started when they announced a sale on cyanide at Penny's (nod to Colin Mochrie). I was talking to myself about this week's thread. “Self, “ said I, “what should I write about this week?” “I know”, I replied, “How about a garden sing-a-long? Rewrite popular songs to a garden theme. Our name is Weirddave after all, there's precedent”. Hmmm. OK, Billy Joel:

Pussy willow, daffodil, artichoke, chlorophyl
Common yarrow, foxtail fern, red tomato plant
Red leaf lettuce, green bean vine, kohlrabi, grapes for wine
Bachelor's button, Billy buttons, sure is going slow

Shovel dirt, white corn, wheel barrow Sunday morn
Carrots, hard work is nigh, shit hon, the grass is rye
Hot shower, now clean, more to plant? What do you mean?
Move the dirt, hoe the row, too much work, enough!

Trying to plant a garden,
but the nights are too cold
and my seeds are too old
Trying to plant a garden,
but the plants will flop
and the work don't stop

Rusty shovel, onion set, rain now so it's all wet
Broccoli, on my knees, corn a mile high
Mango, apple tree, watermelon, berry
Radish is too small, please God tell me why
Cabbage, pumpkin, time to pull the weeds again
Pachysandra, pink mink, paper reed, mulch stinks
Eggplant, raspberry, cauliflower, choke cherry
Artichoke, spade broke, another rabbit trap

Trying to plant a garden,
but the nights are too cold
and my seeds are too old
Trying to plant a garden,
but the plants will flop
and the work don't stop

Shit, that's awful, plus I'm going crazy trying to think in 3 and 4 syllable plant names. Maybe a different song. A Springsteen tribute to cross-pollination? (Oh, oh, oh, who's my sire?). Drek. What could I do with the Dead Kennedys ode to Jerry Brown? (Grow a green bean. Up a trellis. Up a trellis,
grow a green bean). * Shudder * Not that. The Chairman of the Board? (When I was 17, I ate a very good pear..). Obviously, this idea is going nowhere.

OK, I'll do what all the great writers throughout history have done when they lock up. Shakespeare, Dickens, Hemingway...all of them at one time or another got writers block, and all of them did the same thing-turned to Google. Playing with the theme, I Googled “Garden songs”, and I got an immediate hit. It's this song, by someone named Dave Mallett:

Well, wasn't that just a lot worse than my attempted at parody? 90 seconds in I had to slit my wrists, which isn't helping because now my keyboards is wet and slippery. More results, more results...There's a Chinese restaurant in Georgia named Song's Garden....Here's somebody's list of 10 songs with garden in their title (Self, in a Dr. McCoy voice “Don't just sit there, throw it in! We need content, man, content!”)

"Ten "Garden" Songs Everyone Can Dig” (link: http://voices.yahoo.com/ten-garden-songs-everyone-dig-10841103.html)

Hey, look! 100 year old garden songs! http://www.parlorsongs.com/issues/2006- 5/thismonth/feature.php

E-bay claims to have great deals on “garden songs”. I'm not clicking. Everything else is about that awful folk song up above. I give up.

There you have it folks, one white hot stinking mess of a garden thread, song edition, a cautionary tale about what can happen when you try to write to a theme and just don't have it going on that day. OTOH, I think the open political thread below came off quite well. Maybe I should just blog open threads.


And now from your co-hostess, Y-not:

In honor of the Easter weekend, I thought it would be nice to share a little bit about traditional Easter plants. We're all familiar with the beautiful flowers at this time of year, especially the Easter lily, but did you know that two woody plants are also associated with this holiday?

The first, as mentioned at the top of this post, is the dogwood tree. It's one of my favorite flowering trees. The area of Maryland where I grew up had many wild flowering dogwoods, most of the white, horizontal growth variety. By "horizontal growth I mean like this:

Flowering-Dogwood-Tree.jpg

I think they are such beautiful trees, not just for their flowers, but for their interesting twisted branches.

Although there don't seem to be a lot of dogwoods in my current state of Utah, certainly not growing wild as they did in Maryland, we do have red twig dogwoods. They make a spectacular display by the sides of our rivers and streams. Do any of you have one? I was thinking of planting a couple in a problem spot of our yard that tends to be soggy owing to run off from the neighbor's irrigation system that is up slope from our yard.

In any event, if you like dogwoods as much as I do, you might want to check out some of these dogwood festivals:

Although the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was last weekend, I think it's worth a mention because it looks like it's a B.F.D. Also, presumably dogwoods are still blooming in the Atlanta area this weekend if you want to check them out.

Charlottesville, Virginia has a dogwood festival that extends over several weeks, starting in March and extending through April.

Next month, Tennessee's Dogwood Festival in Winchester (May 2-4), will be featuring the Charlie Daniels Band. Their catch-phrase for the festival is the "Devil went down to Dogwood." Cute.

There don't seem to be many dogwood festivals out West, but I did find one in Idaho, the Dogwood Festival of the Lewis-Clark Valley.

While I was reading up on Easter plant traditions, I learned that UK and Russia (and Eastern European countries) share the pussy willow as THE Easter (or Lenten) flower.

The Polish legend of the pussy willow:

"The Pussy Willow is also our Easter symbol. One of the most prominent Easter symbols, because of the fact out of this dry, kind of twig all of a sudden bursts forth this beautiful flower of life, and it is the first bush that blooms," said Father Krysa.

Christians use Palms as a church symbol of greeting Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. But in the Polish tradition, you will also see pussy willow branches on Palm Sunday.

Father Krysa said according to Polish legend, Jesus visited a forest on Palm Sunday, barren by winter conditions, He commanded His angels to gather up pussy willows, with soft, cotton buds, the first blooms of spring.

Pussy willows were another favorite plant from my childhood. My mom always kept one and would usually have a display of the branches in an old antique vase. Sadly, Utah is not in the pussy willow's range, so I don't have one in my yard.

pussy_willow.jpg

There's even a holiday of sorts devoted to the pussy willow. You can celebrate Dyngus Day in glorious Buffalo on April 21st. (Not to be outdone, Cleveland has one, too.)

Garden Report from the VAST Quarter Acre Estate at Casa Y-not:

We had HAIL (combined with thunder, lightning, and high winds) at Casa Y-not last weekend. It blew in at 1:30 in the morning, so needless to say I didn't get out there to cover my plants.

Fortunately, it looks like my mystery sprouts survived. The things that I *think* are radishes are chugging along and I'm seeing signs of what I think are beets and red onions peeking up through the soil. Not sure if the spinach or carrots are going to sprout. I'll give them some more time to do their thing, in the meantime, I put in some starter plants yesterday: snap peas, shallots, sweet onions, and strawberries. Those, combined with the herbs and lettuces that survived the winter are starting to make my raised beds look like a garden!

SnapPeasLettuce.jpg

Snap peas, onions, and lettuces

HerbsStrawberries.jpg

(Back to front) Clematis, strawberries, onions, chives, savory, oregano, tarragon, and thyme

What's happening in your garden?


This week's Blog of the Week is Botanist in the Kitchen. I stumbled upon this last week when a commenter was asking about the (possible) relatedness of magnolias and gardenias. This post shows what's called a phylogenetic tree analysis of "food" plants. It's worth a gander, especially if you want to understand one of the modern ways that evolutionary study is conducted.

If you're interested in learning more, here's a scientific primer on phylogenetic trees from UC Berkeley.

Also from UCB, I thought that this was a useful discussion of the predictive power of phylogenetic analysis:

Phylogenies also allow us to generate expectations about the characteristics of living organisms that we have not yet studied. For example, scientists discovered that the Pacific Yew produces a compound called taxol that is helpful in treating certain kinds of cancer, but it was difficult and expensive to get enough of the compound out of the tree to make its use broadly feasible. However, based on the evolutionary relationships among yew species, biologists expected that close relatives of the Pacific Yew might produce similarly effective compounds.

Happily, they were right! They discovered that the leaves of the European Yew contain a related compound that can also be used to efficiently produce Taxol. Taxol is now widely available for cancer treatment.

BTW, from what I can glean, Gardenias are not particularly highly-related to Magnolias. Gardenia is a Genus in the family Rubiaceae (the Coffee or Madder family). Magnolia is a Genus in the Magnoliaceae family. The other member of that family is Liriodendron (the tulip tree).


Finally, in honor of the Easter holiday, here's W.A. Mozart's Regina Coeli KV 108:


Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:27 AM




Comments

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1 1 ?

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 09:59 AM (HVff2)

2 Formatting fail.
I'll fix.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 09:59 AM (zDsvJ)

3 Something's wrong with your blood if it's wet, slippery and not a bit sticky.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 10:00 AM (HVff2)

4 The local news just reported that we got about 20 " of new snow in April alone. No gardening here for at least a couple more weeks.

Posted by: johnd01 at April 19, 2014 10:00 AM (r0+v0)

5 UGH! Missed another formatting fail.

Not my week.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:01 AM (zDsvJ)

6 We have both types of those Dogwoods blooming on my block now. If you stand out in the road on my street it looks like a fairway at Augusta National. If the weather wasn't so crappy I would move a chair down to the end of the driveway and take a cooler.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 10:02 AM (T2V/1)

7 Oh, ffs. I missed the carriage returns in one of WD's stanzas.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:04 AM (zDsvJ)

8 Hello horde.

Whatever Dogwoods are native to Missouri are a PITA to grow.
They tend to spout up between other trees, and if you try to grow one they tend to get diseased within the first 5 years or so (they'll trudge on after that but they won't be as nice.)

My hops came in yesterday, if my wife ever gets out of bed, we're going to pick them up and plant them today.

Posted by: tsrblke, PhD(c) (No Really!) at April 19, 2014 10:04 AM (HDwDg)

9 Shoves Vic my winter coat thru USB port. Enjoy the flowering trees

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 10:05 AM (HVff2)

10 I'm raising some heirloom tomato seedlings in my apartment window. A coworker friend has kindly offered to plant them in her garden for me! So I (we) get the produce and I don't have to water, weed, or toil in the sun.

My kind of gardening.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at April 19, 2014 10:10 AM (QBm1P)

11 I put 3 dozen iris and gladiolus bulbs in yesterday--crossing my fingers.

Posted by: Average Jen at April 19, 2014 10:11 AM (8Y661)

12 Tomato plants have flowers, blackberry bushes have tons of flowers. Cucumbers and peas are sticking their heads up. Potatoes are doing so well they are starting to scare me.

I've been planting flowers. Impatiens, pansies, petunias, geraniums, begonias and a marigold that the local bunny ate. Well, ate the flowers, but it has new buds, as do the snapdragons that he ate.

So far, I've only killed one plant!! I need to get more soil and plant more. Somehow one bed (circle of bricks around a tree) ended up with plants on only one side. I'm sure it wasn't my poor planning...

Posted by: Mama AJ, poor planner in denial at April 19, 2014 10:12 AM (SUKHu)

13 9
Shoves Vic my winter coat thru USB port. Enjoy the flowering trees

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 10:05 AM (HVff2)

This has been the crappiest spring in my memory and it follows the crappiest winter in my memory. I have lots of winter coats but sitting out on the cold rain and wind to drink beer is just not appealing.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1)

14 Oh and the wife and I started some perennial seeds about 6 weeks ago. They're going in the ground next week.

My wife will be planning seeds while I reseed the lawn.

Posted by: tsrblke, PhD(c) (No Really!) at April 19, 2014 10:12 AM (HDwDg)

15 I didn't know you were from my neck of the woods Y-not. I've got one of those white dogwoods in my backyard. It's kind of scrawny because it's a wooded lot and there are a bunch of oaks shading it from the sun. (Hmmm, I could parody Rush's The Trees....)

Posted by: Weirddave at April 19, 2014 10:13 AM (N/cFh)

16 I planted 6 milk jugs with flowers from a site I found online. That was a month ago, not a darn thing has sprouted. Someday the greenhouses will be open here in Wisconsin

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 10:13 AM (HVff2)

17 Whoa! That's quite the activity, MamaAJ. Where are you?

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:13 AM (zDsvJ)

18 >> 15 I didn't know you were from my neck of the woods Y-not.

Yep. Grew up in Hyattsville, then Columbia. My dad and sister are still in MD.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:14 AM (zDsvJ)

19 This has been the crappiest spring in my memory and it follows the crappiest winter in my memory. I have lots of winter coats but sitting out on the cold rain and wind to drink beer is just not appealing.
Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1)

Sorry to hear that. Our winter is just ending, waiting for spring. Looking forward to working in the flower beds

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 19, 2014 10:17 AM (HVff2)

20 An interesting thing I noticed is that the tarragon that survived the winter doesn't seem to smell as strongly of tarragon right now. I've crushed some leaves and they just don't seem to pack the same punch. Does anyone have experience with herbs losing their flavor?

Also, my chive plants are a little different. The leaves are flatter this Spring than they were last years.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:18 AM (zDsvJ)

21 Wife cut pussy willows several weeks ago and placed them in several vases with water and food coloring to see if she could get them to color up. ( like carnations). Well epic fail the woody stems colored up but the bud not at all

Meanwhile we have many flats up in the greenhouse. I managed to damp off ( probably just overwatered) a flat of fifty Roma tomatoes. New ones are now up. Okra is up and looking good blah, hate it slimy crap. Egg Plant another non favorite. More peppers then we'll ever get set out. And a crap load of different flowers. I need to retire and just do this

Posted by: NativeNH at April 19, 2014 10:20 AM (pcoLw)

22 Okra is up and looking good blah, hate it slimy crap. Egg Plant another non favorite.
---

Mmmm. Fried okra. Love it.

Never thought to plant okra though. Does it take a lot of room?

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:22 AM (zDsvJ)

23 I just posted a pic on Twitter (MamaAJ123) of a bunch of stuff in the garden, including my streched out shadow). There's a lot in the pic!

On the right, peas, then tomatoes.

On the left: celery, onions, lettuce (some gone to seed), peas that survived the winter and then the potato bags. Oh, and you can see the iris way in the back.


I'm in NW Louisiana.

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 19, 2014 10:23 AM (SUKHu)

24 Last of the thorn bushes out today in hope of prepping hummingbird garden when it's finally warm enough to do so up here...

Posted by: H Badger at April 19, 2014 10:23 AM (er9dx)

25 Never thought to plant okra though. Does it take a lot of room?

Well it's about the same size as a pepper or tomatoe plant nice flowers I think it's of the hybiscus family

Posted by: NativeNH at April 19, 2014 10:26 AM (pcoLw)

26 More on WeirdDave's dehybridized Campari tomato: Poking around on the Tomatoville site, I found that if you had a friend in Sweden, you might be able to get seeds of the Campari F1 hybrid for about a buck EACH. So, maybe you've got something worthwhile to give to friends.

Others note that the F1 seems stable when grown out, so maybe it's an OP tomato pretending to be an Fl. In which case, you might name it something like "Dave's Cocktail Tomato" for casual distribution.

If you like Campari, Moravsky Div might be good for earlier fruit (Victory Seeds, where you can also get rechargeable desiccant packets for seed saving).

Since this post is heavy on science, useful links for amateur tomato breeders: http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=45

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 10:26 AM (qahv/)

27 I have heirloom tomato seedlings going now. They came out great last year. I am closing on a new house soon, so they will have to go in planters this year.

Oh well, better than no tomatoes!

Posted by: Anthony L. at April 19, 2014 10:27 AM (qRDBx)

28 Looks really nice, Mama!

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:28 AM (zDsvJ)

29 Congrats on your new house, Anthony.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:29 AM (zDsvJ)

30 Well off to relocate chicken fence. The chickens are pecking at the plastic on the greenhouse ( which was relocated into a corner of their yard) and they with poke holes in it in short order if I don't cut that corner off.

Posted by: NativeNH at April 19, 2014 10:30 AM (pcoLw)

31 Vic. I'll be inside, as well, working on depleting my inventory of brown Val-u-rite.

Dogwoods here are taking a beating due to Anthracnose. Have seen fewer and fewer in the native landscape. NC State says its mostly a problem in the mountains but something is going on here in the coastal plains.

Posted by: golfman60 in NC browsing on Opera at April 19, 2014 10:32 AM (vVOWk)

32 We used to have a couple dogwoods in our backyard, but we cut them down a year or so ago - we were trying to clear out the brush and the little trees were just contributing to the mess without flowering or growing properly.

I now have the trunks stripped of bark and drying in the basement for lumber - dogwood is supposedly hard and dense enough that it was used to make wedges for splitting other trees, and of course it is not available commercially.

Posted by: Grey Fox at April 19, 2014 10:33 AM (pljWy)

33 Full credit for the veggie to my husband. I stay out of the way.

Our strawberry plants have berries, too, but they don't have netting on them, so we've actually eaten about 1 in the last two years, so I can't get excited about them.

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 19, 2014 10:36 AM (SUKHu)

34 After weeks of 70 degree temps, the plunge into the 30s at the start of the week has tricked Mrs928's broccoli into thinking that 'Winter is Coming' and they are all trying to flower rather than filling out the florets. Still tasty though.

Posted by: toby928© at April 19, 2014 10:37 AM (QupBk)

35 Whoa, that's quite the temperature drop, toby!

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:42 AM (zDsvJ)

36 KT, thanks for the info. If you see a tomato variety called the Baltimore Weirdo pop up commercially, you'll know I've launched the next GM.

Posted by: Weirddave at April 19, 2014 10:44 AM (N/cFh)

37 34
After weeks of 70 degree temps, the plunge into the 30s at the start of
the week has tricked Mrs928's broccoli into thinking that 'Winter is
Coming' and they are all trying to flower rather than filling out the
florets. Still tasty though.

Posted by: toby928� at April 19, 2014 10:37 AM (QupBk)


Yet another winter that refuses to give up. I think that is 3 or 4 now. Sure signs of an impending ice age.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 10:45 AM (T2V/1)

38 I'm about to go out and set my sweet potato slips, should be done by the afternoon, provide nothing tries to kill me like last Saturday.

I was scrapping out the bottom of our ginormous compost enclosure of the last remnants of last years composted leaves when an oak tree from the wooded lot adjacent to us tried to fall on me. Not a branch, but the entire tree from about 10 feet up on the trunk. Luckily, by cat-like reflexes had me moving off at the first *crack* from the trunk.

It did crush about half of my stored tomato cages, a bunch of border bamboo, the barbed wire fence. It took a half day to cut up and clean up and threw my whole schedule off.

Posted by: toby928© at April 19, 2014 10:46 AM (QupBk)

39 Dogwood is really hard wood and makes good mallets.

Really.

We had a few blown down when a tornado came thru our yard a few years ago. I cut most of them up and burned a lot of it in the shop stove. And made a couple of mallets.

The remaining ones are blooming right now. I alway look forward to that because it meansthe really cold weatheris pretty much over.

Posted by: freaked at April 19, 2014 10:46 AM (JdEZJ)

40 Thanks, Y-Not! It's exciting. I planted dormant strawberries last spring, so I didn't get any last year, but I hope to get some before the big move. What started as 10 plants just took off.

Oregano made it over the winter too, I just left it in the ground, no mulch, no nothing. It's going strong now. Pretty surprising considering the bitter winter we had.

Posted by: Anthony L. at April 19, 2014 10:48 AM (qRDBx)

41 Y-not, many herbs will taste less strong in cool weather or if they've had a lot of water. Nice that your tarragon survived the winter. I doubt that it was grafted to Russian tarragon, which has much less flavor, but if the flavor doesn't recover, it's a possibility. Never buy a tarragon plant grown from seed. French tarragon, the good kind, usually doesn't set seed.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 10:48 AM (qahv/)

42 Trying to resurrect the garden on the property we bought. Bought a greenhouse kit through Amazon, got that set up...

...and a huge storm front blew through, thunder, lightning, pounding hail, even a tornado two towns over. The greenhouse actually stood up to that...

...until the tie-down stakes snapped off at ground level.

So, straightening out the tubing, applying clamps where needed, etc. The greenhouse will have a charmingly "organic" look at this point... but it IS going back up.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at April 19, 2014 10:51 AM (XO6WW)

43 Yeah, KT, I planted both French and Russian... and I think this is the Russian, so I'll probably pull it out and replace with the French. Live and learn!
----

>>>I planted dormant strawberries last spring, so I didn't get any last year,
>>but I hope to get some before the big move.
>>What started as 10 plants just took off.

We've been trying naturalize a problem bed that tends to get muddy (and therefore the place the doggehs just LOVE to run around in) with mint and strawberries. Seems to be working pretty well.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 10:51 AM (zDsvJ)

44 Weirddave you learn something new everyday. I just learned that Dogwood was/is also used forknitting needles andcrochet hooks.

Posted by: freaked at April 19, 2014 10:53 AM (JdEZJ)

45 Wheretheheckdoallofmyspaceskeepgoing?

Posted by: freaked at April 19, 2014 10:54 AM (JdEZJ)

46 This is my favorite feature of AoS. The easily scrolled by nonsense. Gardening? For reals?

Posted by: Brennan at April 19, 2014 10:57 AM (AwvMv)

47 Thanks for your contribution, Brennan. It really makes the blog.

Posted by: Y-not on the phone wearing tinfoil at April 19, 2014 10:59 AM (zDsvJ)

48 I am a humorless, boring scold with nithing better to do than piss on a thread.

Posted by: Brenan the Brony at April 19, 2014 11:01 AM (zDsvJ)

49 Brennan is my favorite commenter. The easily scrolled by nonsense. It makes reading the threads go so much faster.

Posted by: Weirddave at April 19, 2014 11:04 AM (N/cFh)

50 Thessaloniki is a nice, crack-resistant tomato, a little on the acid side. Open-pollinated, developed in Greece in more sober times. From now on, I'm going to associate it with whacked-out Greek soccer fans and their Stadium Ring of Fire. And anchovies.
http://tinyurl.com/lkeyek8

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 11:05 AM (qahv/)

51 Still waiting for the nursery order to arrive. Did call and get the utilities marked though. Two branches and the trunk left to go on the live oak we're removing to replace with a fruiting crabapple.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at April 19, 2014 11:05 AM (GDulk)

52 Dogwood is really hard wood and makes good mallets.

Really.


I sure it does. Turned carving mallets, or the hammer-like variety?

Posted by: Grey Fox at April 19, 2014 11:07 AM (pljWy)

53 Y-Not, love the Regina Coeli. Baroque is my thing, and we almost never do it. Occasional Mozart and of course Handel at Christmas, but never otherwise.

Dave has asked for help gardening today. I'm prepping for 20+ for dinner tomorrow so I'm less than thrilled about this but I sure like the results. He's got me a rhubarb plant! I haven't had a rhubarb plant in 15 years.

Posted by: Gingy @GingyNorth at April 19, 2014 11:11 AM (N/cFh)

54 It is beautiful, Gingy.

Posted by: Brenan the Brony at April 19, 2014 11:14 AM (zDsvJ)

55 sock-y fail

Posted by: golfman60 in NC browsing on Opera at April 19, 2014 11:16 AM (vVOWk)

56 Speaking of dogwood mallets, know what makes the best firewood kindling I've ever seen? Azalea wood. I have a bank of azaleas out back, and someone who lived here before had trimmed a bunch of them back, dumping the trimmed branches up in the woods. I found them, nice and dry, and started using them to start fires in the fire pit. I'm telling you, they light and burn almost like fatwood. Shame it's all gone, but I'm not going to cut down my good bushes to get more.

Posted by: Weirddave at April 19, 2014 11:21 AM (N/cFh)

57

Planning to replace my wood, and make a larger garden plot using stone walls.

That's about it. Busy planning, etc.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at April 19, 2014 11:21 AM (IXrOn)

58 Finally, in honor of the Easter holiday, here's W.A. Mozart's Regina Coeli KV 108:
***********

Beautiful. Thanks. Happy Easter.

Posted by: gracepmc at April 19, 2014 11:24 AM (rznx3)

59 The warm up has arrived in NE IA. We've been busy all week. Planted 50 asparagus crowns in a new bed with plenty of composed sheep & horse manure, set out 20 leek starts, spinach and lettuce sprouted a couple of weeks ago and will be ready to eat in about 20 days got the beets planted the week before last and we're now eating a few beet greens, next week we'll plant the potatoes and cover them with a layer of straw.. The tomato and pepper starts are healthy but we'll wait to the average last frost date to transplant.

Longer daylight and warmer temps have got the hens laying and the rooster randy. Tomorrow we'll have a family diner with leg of lamb and other goodies. Its time to celebrate spring and all the small blessings of life. God bless you all.

Posted by: Angel with a sword at April 19, 2014 11:27 AM (hpgw1)

60 56 WeirdDave, if you know anyone who has a eucalyptus tree get some of their cuttings. They called them the gasoline tree out in CA when I lived there and they are one of the reasons the coastal fires get out of control so quickly.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 11:28 AM (T2V/1)

61 NativeNH, if you're still in the North, pick an okra variety that's not day length sensitive. There are some dwarf ones you can grow in a big container. Plants can be kind of itchy. Wear long sleeves to harvest.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 11:29 AM (qahv/)

62 Thanks again for the garden threads--such a variety of interesting info!

BH and I were wondering just the other day, whether Dogwood is hard- or softwood, as my dad needs to have a couple of trees removed.

JQ's garden plan this week--

Get the tomato plants *out of the dining room* and sheltered outdoors. (It's not yet 50 degrees today, btw, but should be in an hour or two....) About 3 dozen of the #1 (6.5"dia x 7"tall) pots are crowding us!

Then there's the 20 or so pepper plants, in 3x4" pots, in the livingroom windowsill. They may need to come back indoors a time or two before planting out.

Also need to fill the floral planters with soil and pretty things...

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 11:45 AM (82lr7)

63 I'm not a gardener, but the place I moved into has a small raised bed with tomato plants. Tomatos are fine, but a little bland. I bought a pepper starter kit, I'm gonna sprout them inside and transplant them.

Hopefully this works out. I assume just water, sun? Anything else needed for basic operation/growing?

Posted by: .87c at April 19, 2014 11:51 AM (qZPXs)

64 Does raising backyard chickens fall under gardening?

Planning to help build my mom a chicken coop, since she was eyeing some at the state fair. Anyone got helpful tips or advice?

Posted by: ConservativeMonster at April 19, 2014 11:52 AM (M9BzG)

65 64
Does raising backyard chickens fall under gardening?



Planning to help build my mom a chicken coop, since she was eyeing
some at the state fair. Anyone got helpful tips or advice?

Posted by: ConservativeMonster at April 19, 2014 11:52 AM (M9BzG)


Better make sure local codes, deed covenants, and HOA allow it first.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 11:58 AM (T2V/1)

66 .87c--Peppers don't tolerate cold weather very well.

I've got mine in a south-facing windowsill until night temps are over 40*F, then into the hothouse (probably in larger pots at that point) until night temps are reliably over 50*F.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 12:04 PM (82lr7)

67 Well, just found my old kitteh dead.

RIP, Boris. He was a Texas kitty.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 12:05 PM (zDsvJ)

68 Local codes should be good. Good call on the HOA - they limit pets to cats, dogs, and domesticated birds.

Might get away with it if the neighbors don't complain. (Definitely no roosters)

Posted by: ConservativeMonster at April 19, 2014 12:06 PM (M9BzG)

69 Thank you, Open Blogger, for your understanding of the trials, tribulations, and satisfactions (the deepest kind) of gardening -- being part of the miracle of renewal of life, and fighting off "death and disease" (and pests).

After a four year wait, I became the (temporary) holder of a community "farm" plot, small, but all my own, worked with children and small grandchildren. The latter did three hours of pretty intense work to help get it ready for planting. They also work in my home garden, but there is too much shade at different parts of the day to make it as successful. Lots of love and pleasure in gardening.


Great pleasure in reading your essays.

Posted by: pyromancer76 at April 19, 2014 12:08 PM (i0aYq)

70 Oh no, Y-not! Sorry about your kitteh.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 12:08 PM (82lr7)

71 20

Y-not, if you've had wet weather recently, that might explain your tarragon losing flavor. Many herbs need to be grown on the dry side to concentrate their flavors (or perhaps it's drought stress that causes the plant to increase the active compounds, I don't remember precisely). Your plant should be back to normal after the weather gets drier and warmer.

Posted by: Mindy at April 19, 2014 12:10 PM (d/OIV)

72 Condolences, Y-not.

Posted by: ConservativeMonster at April 19, 2014 12:10 PM (M9BzG)

73 Thanks for the stories of the dogwood and the pussy willow. I didn't know either and they were very appropriate for this time of year.

Posted by: shibumi who is exceptionally cynical today at April 19, 2014 12:11 PM (25HWz)

74 67 Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 12:05 PM (zDsvJ)


So sorry Y-not.

Posted by: Vic at April 19, 2014 12:12 PM (T2V/1)

75 .87c: If you're a beginner, probably better to start with pepper seedlings from a nursery. Where do you live? If there are already tomatoes planted, it's probably kinda late to start peppers from seed.

Peppers do better in pots than tomatoes do. If your raised bed already has tomatoes, how about planting a couple pots o' peppers and making salsa? Use a good potting mix, not garden soil.

Depending on how the soil in your raised bed was prepared, you may not need much more than sun and water the first year. But consider some fertilizer if the plants don't seem to be growing as fast as they should.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 12:13 PM (qahv/)

76 Y-Not: oh no about kitteh

about the fungus killing white dogwoods. Most red dogwoods (Cherokee e.g.) are more resistant

Posted by: kelley in virginia at April 19, 2014 12:15 PM (mgzY0)

77 Sorry about your kitty, Y-not. It's always hard.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 12:15 PM (qahv/)

78 The good peppers need to be started in Feb. or just buy them on Ebay. There is nothing better than a pound of velveta, couple pounds of hamburger, and two dried and crushed ghost peppers. And its not even fattening!

Posted by: Up With People at April 19, 2014 12:17 PM (pf+hU)

79 KT thanks, yes still in NH Wife orders all seed and does her research. I'm mainly labor. That being said she has her garden and I have mine. Cause we garden different hahahahaah

Posted by: NativeNH at April 19, 2014 12:21 PM (pcoLw)

80 How old was the kitteh?

Posted by: dantesed at April 19, 2014 12:30 PM (88xKn)

81 Any Gardening Guru's have any good advice on reducing transplant shock?

I just planted 8 blueberries bushes and 3 cherry trees.
2 of the blueberries are showing stress. I have watered regularly and added pine mulch to the blueberries.

Any Ideas?

Posted by: Picric at April 19, 2014 12:30 PM (QnQ+g)

82 Last weekend, I got a (tinkertoy) greenhouse assembled out on the deck.

It's fairly sturdy, due to built-in shelves, but I had to fasten it down with a ratchet-strap when it got windy last Saturday afternoon.

Overnight heat is the problem. Electric heaters are right out, but several large water jugs might make a good enough heatsink to keep light frost at bay. That's really all we need at this time of year.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 12:31 PM (82lr7)

83 Ok back to the chicken fence, lunch being done. And yes there is still as many rocks as ever, seems like I've hit one in every post hole

HOA. Deed covenants. Zoning everybody wants to control YOUR property. Thank god I'm zoned rural/ag here. I have abutters that get pissy with me but there isn't much they can do

Posted by: NativeNH at April 19, 2014 12:34 PM (pcoLw)

84 Picric, did your blueberries move straight from a greenhouse environment to the outdoors?

If so, they may need shade, warmth, shelter from wind--best approximation of their former environment you can provide.

Best of luck, hope they recover!

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 12:40 PM (82lr7)

85 I have a white dogwood in the front yard. It survived a lot of things. A bigger tree that was also in the front yard got blown over and took part of the dogwood with it when it came down. It looked like a T-rex took a bite out of it. I was going to cut it down, but decided to let it ride, and over the years it filled in nice. Then it survived Sandy. I never knew anything about it until now. I never could decide what to ultimately do with it, but I think I'll be keeping it

Posted by: Berserker-Dragonheads Division at April 19, 2014 12:47 PM (FMbng)

86 Again, for Picric--

How long ago did you transplant? I think it's normal for some plants to go droopy for a few days afterward.

Mom used to say shrubs "aren't dead until they've looked dead for 2 years."

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 12:51 PM (82lr7)

87 (((HUGS))) Y-not. Its hard to lose our doggies and kitties.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 19, 2014 12:53 PM (FYUWS)

88 They were probably wintered in a greenhouse, but were exposed to the elements after the spring. I have heard that adding a sugar water solution would help the shock, but wanted to see if any ideas abounded on the blog.

Posted by: Picric at April 19, 2014 12:54 PM (QnQ+g)

89 .87c: Last year, I planted 2 Mariachi peppers and a Monster Jalapeño in a great big pot (with drainage holes), with a little 6 pack of French Marigolds. Looked great, produced quite a few peppers. Pot got a little afternoon shade because of our very hot summers.

Used light-textured Kellogs Patio Planter Mix in the bottom of the pot, Miracle Gro Moisture Control in the top half.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 01:00 PM (qahv/)

90 Advice: If you buy a greenhouse, when the seed packet says "4-5 seeds" go with 3. Oh, and cut germination times by 20%.

It's like a jungle in there in only #twoweeks!

Beans, melons, carrots, squirrels, Money Tree, etc.

Crazy good madness. Will post pics later this week.

If I had kids I'd move them to the greenhouse and expect them to pop out as NBA forwards.

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 01:00 PM (x3YFz)

91 JeanQ:
Also the plants were planted recently, with in the past week or so. Keeping and eye on them just wanted to see if the situation worsens what people have done.

Posted by: Picric at April 19, 2014 01:00 PM (QnQ+g)

92 I'll post our soil mixture in a bit (have to race out and look at all the names again).

coconut husks, shredded
regular soil mix
some other stuff
some things

We mix it in the bucket of the tractor (yeah, we're rednecks).

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 01:04 PM (x3YFz)

93 I have heard that adding a sugar water solution would help the shock, but wanted to see if any ideas abounded on the blog.

Well, my grandmother swore by "Ortho Upstart" for planting her roses (which were gorgeous!) but I only used it while I had the bottle she gave me. Didn't notice a difference, but I was planting bare-root stock. I think it's no longer available? Haven't seen it in quite awhile.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 01:05 PM (82lr7)

94 I had never heard that story of the dogwood, and it's my State Tree. That was nice. I've always loved them. They're in bloom all over the neighborhood, but sadly, I don't have any on my entire acre.
I tried twice in the past to transplant wild ones I brought back from my sister's property, but they didn't take.

A couple out in the front yard would be perfect. And maybe a few redbuds along the street.

Posted by: shredded chi at April 19, 2014 01:13 PM (vztUc)

95 92 I'll post our soil mixture in a bit (have to race out and look at all the names again).

coconut husks, shredded

----

That reminds me. Any of you ever try the cocoa husk mulch? We used in when we lived in CA and really loved it. Smells terrific and nice and light, so it is easy to spread. You have to watch it at first because it'll blow around. But after a while it sort of forms a crust (when it's been wet a few times) so that's not an issue.

It's a true mulch in the sense that it'll decompose after a couple of years. So not for weed control really.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 01:15 PM (zDsvJ)

96 Keeping and eye on them just wanted to see if the situation worsens what people have done.

Well, in your situation:

Protection from wind will help keep the leaves from drying out.

If the plants lose their leaves, keep their wind protection but don't panic yet. Watch for new growth buds within a couple of weeks.

If it's very cold, try putting black plastic on the soil around them to help warm the root zone during the day, and put a 'hotcap' over at night--a tomato cage covered with garbage bag could work--remove it during the day.

If they flower, then drop the flowers without producing fruit, don't panic the first year.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 01:24 PM (82lr7)

97 This time of year northern gardeners are awaiting that first crocus blossom, while in Israel it is harvest season (except for a few things like olives). No rain falls all summer. They irrigate vegetables and orchards, but olives and watermelons are about what you get without irrigation. No grazing, either.
So, the lamb harvest is in the spring. So are Passover and Easter.
Here's a short documentary made by Joel P. Kramer (who, incidentally, was the first to cross Niugini without aid of motors) about the paschal lamb.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/m6xucp3
Here's a song by the O.C. Supertones explaining that the shepherd is the lamb.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d7j5me7
Easter greetings, and Tov Pesach!

Posted by: an old shepherd at April 19, 2014 01:30 PM (1/4XQ)

98 You know, you guys were better off sticking with hobo hunting and boobehs.

Posted by: Warren Bonesteel at April 19, 2014 01:37 PM (q6kaG)

99 vermiculite is our secret ingredient.

In the spring:

We put two 40lbs bags of good potting soil, 2lbs of shredded coconut husks (keeps the soil aired) that have soaked in water for two weeks, and 4 cups of vermiculite in the tractor bucket. Mix, say a prayer, and it fills 20+ pots/rows.

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 01:40 PM (x3YFz)

100 Save the banana!
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ltmfp6c

Posted by: ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny at April 19, 2014 01:40 PM (1/4XQ)

101 Well, Mr Bonesteel, just *you* try to choke down the hobojerky without a garden salad on the side! Humpf!

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 01:41 PM (82lr7)

102 I once had a stand of about twelve 20' high white dogwoods along my fence line. They were beautiful in the spring and were a backdrop for one son's wedding. Anthracnose has whipped out four of them and the rest are showing signs of severe stress. I try to keep them very well fertilized, but I am amazed every year when they produce blossoms at all! As far as I know there is no cure for this blight!

Posted by: Hrothgar at April 19, 2014 01:48 PM (o3MSL)

103 Thanks eveybody! I'll let you know how this turns out.

Posted by: .87c at April 19, 2014 01:52 PM (ws8De)

104 I'm outside & about to open a box of 7? Roses I ordered last fall. I have to soak in water & have no water outside. I had irrigation system installed late in summer 2010. I didn't know I had no water outside until next spring. I will put trash cans in back so I can use neighbor's hose.

Posted by: Carol at April 19, 2014 01:58 PM (gjOCp)

105 Please wear sunscreen on face, neck, ears & other parts that will be exposed to the sun!
I always forget hands & they look like it.

Posted by: Carol at April 19, 2014 02:01 PM (gjOCp)

106 We have a dogwood (Cornus florida) that got nailed by a falling oak limb in Fall 2012. I trimmed the damaged limbs and the shape it starting to come back.

Posted by: fluffy at April 19, 2014 02:11 PM (Ua6T/)

107 One of the most pleasant memories of my 77 years is from 1981 when we traveled from South Louisiana to upstate New York. The dogwoods were blooming when we left and we managed to make it a dogwood trip as we took our time and saw dogwoods all the way from Louisiana from Albany. If you love dogwoods you might want to try it sometime.

Posted by: Ruth H at April 19, 2014 02:20 PM (AoUdG)

108 Dave, Dave, Dave... you've been hanging out by the chloroform, not the chlorophyll!

My favorite garden song :

Ricky Nelson

"Garden Party"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxdiraVxwkI

I just finished trimming back the Green Monster Cherry Laurel hedge that was about 14' down to 7' so the east end of my garden gets light sooner than 11 AM. Corn and Okra going in the ground in a bit.

Also about to put up two more tomato fences and then maybe wander by and see if there are any heirloom plants at the co-op.

Still a bit cool-ish here for my seeds to start but they are out there in starter trays.

Do NOT let anyone talk you into growing Mint!
Its a trick/trap! The stuff spreads like crabgrass!
I have 5 different varieties growing now and I've got to get some edging to stop it from going everywhere, although it may be to late...

Posted by: Gmac-Pondering the coming implosion, and hoping its 404care at April 19, 2014 02:23 PM (baiNQ)

109 Y-not. Sorry for the Kitteh. It is tough to part.

God stepped in and took care of things for y'all. Saved you from the tough trip to the vet.

God bless the time spent. We all love our four legged friends.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at April 19, 2014 02:24 PM (/djtm)

110 Do NOT let anyone talk you into growing Mint!

Posted by: Gmac-Pondering the coming implosion, and hoping its 404care at April 19, 2014 02:23 PM (baiNQ)

That's why I plant it in full sun and keep it short of water. It fills in tough spaces while seriously slowing the spread.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at April 19, 2014 02:25 PM (GDulk)

111 One of the most pleasant memories of my 77 years is from 1981 when we traveled from South Louisiana to upstate New York. The dogwoods were blooming when we left and we managed to make it a dogwood trip as we took our time and saw dogwoods all the way from Louisiana from Albany. If you love dogwoods you might want to try it sometime.

Posted by: Ruth H at April 19, 2014 02:20 PM (AoUdG)

Nice!

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 02:29 PM (x3YFz)

112 Y-not. Sorry for the Kitteh. It is tough to part.

God stepped in and took care of things for y'all. Saved you from the tough trip to the vet.

God bless the time spent. We all love our four legged friends.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at April 19, 2014 02:24 PM (/djtm)

When you sign up to be the companion of a critter, unless it has a lifespan that exceeds yours, You're signing up to give a lifetime of the best possible care you can.

When it ends, and it will, it's painful, as it should be.

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 02:42 PM (x3YFz)

113 We ain't got a lot of edibles going this year, just heirloom 'maters, strawberries, herbs and peas. Using shredded cypress for mulch, first time to try it. Seems good so far, doesn't float and should last.

Posted by: Mr. Dave at April 19, 2014 02:47 PM (USdns)

114
I like this gardening thread. It's optimistic... life goes on and at times can be rejuvenating, inspiring and beautiful...more often than we realize....that's something conservatives need now and again.....a reason to be optimistic in the face of all the insanity coming from the left.

And to the believers at the HQ... Happy Easter! And to the non-believers... Have a wonderful weekend, you horrible filthy heathens!

Posted by: Some Guy in Wisconsin at April 19, 2014 02:55 PM (jLWHq)

115 Mint is so invasive, but is manageable especially if you cut them back before flowers go to seed. Dried leaves make a pleasant tea.

We had to dig out a large patch when putting in the garden: soaked the soil, then lifted the dirt w/fork to get out as many rhizomes as possible.

Containers are *highly* recommended, to keep them from spreading far and wide!

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 02:56 PM (82lr7)

116 The people who owned my house before me never did a damn thing to improve the land.

I have been destrangling trees for the last five years.

I never knew vines could grow to 6 inches in diameter until I lived here.

Posted by: Kreplach at April 19, 2014 02:58 PM (Xkr8I)

117 OH!

We also add azomite.

It's hit or miss, depending on the soil composition.

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 03:11 PM (x3YFz)

118 114?
Some Guy in Wisconsin ?I like it, too, altho I seem to have Black Thumb. For a while I was sorta-seeing the widow of an old friend. Wildflowers made her happy so I scattered planted them all over the yard. Know what mainly thrived? Horse nettles- they are pretty but poison. Tried to grow squash for fried squash blossoms. ( via Maggie's Farm ) Not a one thrived. Oh, well....

Posted by: backhoe at April 19, 2014 03:15 PM (ULH4o)

119 Both my thumbs are red and sore at the base. If I hadn't worn gloves they would be severely blistered.

Posted by: fluffy at April 19, 2014 03:15 PM (Ua6T/)

120 @michellemalkin

Dying grandmother uses Oculus Rift to walk outside again

Posted by: weft cut-loop at April 19, 2014 03:19 PM (ujux6)

121 I forgot how much I detested painting T111 panels! The gallon of exterior paint I used should have covered 400 sq ft, but barely lasted the ~200 I needed. One word - porous.

I've been converting a large, wooden shipping crate to a chick nursery. We have a dozen and a half day old Bar Rock pullets arriving the first week of May.

Relationship to gardening, you ask?

Chicken manure is just about the best (and strongest) natural fertilizer around, properly composted and aged, of course...

Posted by: Spun and Murky at April 19, 2014 03:23 PM (4DCSq)

122 Thanks for the condolences, folks.

Boris has a nice spot under our pine trees.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 03:37 PM (zDsvJ)

123 Thanks for the condolences, folks.

Boris has a nice spot under our pine trees.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 03:37 PM (zDsvJ)

Still looking for a spot for Nero's ashes. Had we thought about it, we'd have placed them in the concrete slab for the greenhouse.

Posted by: tangonine at April 19, 2014 03:44 PM (x3YFz)

124 Picric: If you blueberries lose leaves, don't over-water. A DILUTE nitrogen-containing fertilizer (Miracle Gro or whatever) is recommended for transplant shock. Maybe an acid azalea/rhododendron fertilizer in the case of blueberries.

Posted by: KT at April 19, 2014 03:51 PM (qahv/)

125 Miracle Gro makes a transplant/starter solution. "Upstart" is the trade name, IIRC. I have used it and it seems to work, but I haven't done blind testing so YMMV.

Posted by: Hrothgar at April 19, 2014 03:54 PM (o3MSL)

126 Y-not, sorry to hear about your cat. Recently lost Potluck, mine of 21 years, but at least he got out of CA and got to see Texas. I'm sure you gave him a good life.

Posted by: Richard McEnroes at April 19, 2014 04:04 PM (mdu7U)

127 Y-not, I live just a bit North of you. Idaho isn't in the natural range of pussy willows, either. But they seem to do pretty well here.
I know the local D&B Supply sells a lot of them.

You might be able to find some where you're at.

Posted by: Luke at April 19, 2014 04:10 PM (iv/0U)

128 Re: pussy willow--my grandma in north Idaho had them. USDA zone 5b.

Posted by: JeanQ at April 19, 2014 04:18 PM (82lr7)

129 123?
T9?

When my young wife died unexpectedly I had no idea what to do. She had wanted a High Church funeral but left no instructions, being so young. So I had a service with relatives co-workers friends- in my back yard. And buried her ashes next to her beloved animals ashes.

Posted by: backhoe at April 19, 2014 04:28 PM (ULH4o)

130 Nood!

Posted by: TiminAL at April 19, 2014 04:56 PM (A9c4d)

131 Got some Plumeria cuttings from Hawaii and put them into pots. Once they root I'll sink the pots into the ground throughout my flower bed so I can pull them up and put them in the garage for the winter:
http://tinypic.com/r/4lk3nt/8

Finally finished mulching the flower bed along one fence line in my backyard since the live oak leaves stopped falling:
http://tinypic.com/r/1y5oix/8

One of my three raised garden beds that has squash, beans, bok choy, kale, scallions, edamame, and shallots. We got hit with pea sized hail last week pretty badly so the plants are still recovering:
http://tinypic.com/r/2n7jxht/8

These are just a few of the things that have been keeping me busy this week.

Posted by: lindafell at April 19, 2014 05:16 PM (PGO8C)

132 Well, the garden at Casa Hayes is chugging right along - since we had a couple of weeks of more than usually temperate spring weather in South Texas. One of you gardening 'rons a month or so ago suggested building raised beds with chicken wire or hardware cloth, lined with weed barrier, and filled with leaves to compost away underneath about ten inches of soil on top. So that is what I did - since the soil here is crap clay and only fit for making bricks out of, and I had an abundance of leaves once we got around to raking up all of what the ash and the next-door neighbor's oak tree finished molting all over my yard. It's working like a charm, so far - the starts that I put out in the first week of March in these raised beds are now a good size and covered with blossoms and what my daughter calls 'fetal tomatoes' - about the size of BB pellets and small grapes. So - thanks for the suggestion, 'rons! Had to start all over again with three hanging tomato planters - the upside down kind? High wind this week broke off three of them just at the point where the stem comes out the bottom of the pot. I have pole beans vaulting up the poles, and about half a dozen eggplants getting to be a good size. (I like eggplant - and okra, too - but only as pickles or in gumbo.) I did spend $3+s/h on some special 'gherkin cornichon' cucumber seeds, (a teeny packet of 20 seeds!)so that I can pickle my own cornichons. The darned things are so expensive, I think that I will let a couple of them go to seed - that is, if they thrive - so I don't have to go through this expense again. I have a raised bed of potatoes, and the sprouts are all up to a good size and blooming ... who knew that potatoes bloomed? And every sound pot that I have is now filled with good potting soil and either starts or seeds.
Yes - I do get a head start on the garden season, but don't envy - by July it will be so hot, I will be gasping for breath, and having to water everything twice daily.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at April 19, 2014 05:42 PM (Asjr7)

133 127 Y-not, I live just a bit North of you. Idaho isn't in the natural range of pussy willows, either. But they seem to do pretty well here.
--

Oooh, thanks for the tip, Luke.

Posted by: Y-not at April 19, 2014 06:10 PM (zDsvJ)

134 Y-not, so sorry to hear about the beloved Kitteh, I hope you had some happy years together. Very hard to say goodbye, I feel for you.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 19, 2014 06:46 PM (2d8bF)

135 Here in Texas the rain barrels are finally full and it is a fun way to water the plants if one has plenty of time. We are eating the snap peas that we planted in January and they are delicious. Still picking onions, carrots and beets planted in November. The tomatoes are blooming and this year they look fungus free thank the Lord. They have all died a horrible death for the last 5 or 6 years with no production. I can grow most veggies here in S. Texas until the end of June/July and then it gets too hot. Also gets too expensive to keep watering! Have given up on fruit though, it is impossible to fight the raccoons and the squirrels. We are getting ready to build a little rock waterfall for the birds outside the bedroom window. Oh, the excitement! I know the cats will enjoy it.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 19, 2014 06:57 PM (2d8bF)

136 Moles -- The fix is in... CO2 -- help out global warming, kill a mole.

If you've got a yard full of moles that just are taking over, just go down to your local dry ice store (Google dry ice)...

Get a $5 block of dry ice, or whatever the minimum is. Usually comes wrapped in something like newspapers for insulation. Don't handle without gloves...

Put on some gloves, and a hammer and head out into the yard. Pound your block a few times with the hammer to break it into 1-2" pieces. Carefully search around any mounds of dirt the moles have pushed up for the mole tunnel. Place one or two chunks of dry ice in the hole, and gently cover with the dirt from the mound. Repeat thru the yard until you run out of dry ice.

The dry ice melts, and being cold dense CO2, it pushes out the warmer air in the tunnels. The mole families, not just a mole caught in a trap, go to sleep... End of story.

Repeat in a month or so, if new mounds appear.

Do you part to recycle cold CO2 back into the air...

Posted by: Seipherd at April 19, 2014 07:58 PM (1etLu)

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Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat