Saturday Gardening Thread: Tip Toe Through the Tulips (also, the Spinach, Nasturtiums, and Sunflowers) [Y-not, KT, and Weirddave]

Good afternoon, gardening morons! I hope you are all finally seeing real signs of Spring and making headway on your gardening plans. We had a little bit of snow earlier this week, but our flowers survived unscathed and our grass has greened up.

Here's a song to get us in the mood:


Herbert Khaury, aka "Tiny Tim". He had a troubled life, including OCD and bedroom "issues" (safe link).

This is what he looked like in 1952:

TinyTim1952.jpg

As I mentioned, Spring is well and truly underway here. Flowering trees are in bloom, as are the tulips. This weekend sees the beginning of the annual tulip festival that's held just up the road from me, so I thought we could talk about tulips today.

A bit of history:

Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. When Carolus Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips in 1592, they became so popular that his garden was raided and bulbs stolen on a regular basis. As the Dutch Golden Age grew, so did this curvaceous and colorful flower. They became popular in paintings and festivals. In the mid-seventeenth century, tulips were so popular that they created the first economic bubble, known as "Tulip Mania" (tulipomania). As people bought up bulbs they became so expensive that they were used as money until the market in them crashed.

TulipsInTurkey.jpg

Here's some more tulip history from a site called All About Turkey.

Speaking of history, did you know that the Dutch show their gratitude to the Canadians for their assistance during World War II by sending them tulips every year?

And here's a bit of SCIENCE about tulips, courtesy of Texas A&M:

TulipLifeCycle.jpg

A year in the life of a tulip.

Iowa State's extension office has a handy FAQ on tulips. Bookmark it for the Fall. You might also like to bookmark this page, which provides a list of tulips by flowering time.

I think tulips are pretty and certainly a sign of Spring, but I don't plant them myself. For one thing, most don't seem to last very long. For another, they don't have a nice aroma.

Well, I'm wrong about that last thing, apparently!

Like "Apricot Beauty", most fragrant tulip cultivars are early-blooming varieties. I guess they are Mother Nature's way of tempting sleepy bees to wake from winter's sleep. These early, fragrant tulips include both single- and double-flowered types. Some of my favorite singles include "Generaal de Wet", a wonderful, softly blushed orange tulip; "Prinses Irene" (often sold as "Princess Irene"), another sweet-smelling orange flower; and "Couleur Cardinal", a beautiful, dark-red flower with a violet blush and a light, sweet scent.

FragrantTulips.jpg

Double-flowered fragrant tulips such as the yellow "Mr. van der Hoef", pure-white "Schoonoord", and pinkish-red "Electra"

Cool!

What about long-lasting tulips? Well, according to this article, Darwin tulips are the longest lasting tulip plants.

But what about tulip flowers? Are there any varieties that have long bloom times? Let us know in the comments.

In the meantime, here's some advice on how to make your cut flowers last longer.

If you're like me - too lazy to plant tulips, but someone who likes to LOOK at tulips - attending a tulip festival may be for you! Here's a list of some of the better-known tulip festivals:

This month in the Pacific NW, there's the Skagit Tulip Festival.

Next month, Tulip Time will be held, in HOLLAND, Michigan!

Also in May, there's a tulip festival in Albany, New York.

There are many tulip festivals around the globe. Japan's festival is purported to be the the largest in the world. Or, you could go to Holland.

HollandTulips.jpg

Do YOU tip toe through the tulips in your gardens?


And now, heeeere's KT:

1-2-3, thatís how elementary it's gonna be . . .


Nice dimples

With all the craziness in the world lately, I thought we could take a break to discuss some really elementary plants which could even appeal to children. Some of these are easy enough for children to grow, with a little help. Others grow with no help at all.

Spinach and counterfeit spinach

Americans have invested a lot of energy in getting kids to enjoy eating spinach, with Popeye and all. I remember liking fresh-cooked spinach as a child, but also noticing that it made my teeth feel funny. Oxalic acid.

I have only grown spinach once. My parents stopped growing greens with a high oxalic acid content when my Dad got kidney stones. I once grew a variety touted for low oxalic acid content. It tasted like soap, so I guess the acid content was pretty low. I am not so sure it was low in other oxalate compounds. Most people don't need to worry about this. Think of all the spinach consumed by practitioners of the "Green Smoothie Lifestyle".

There may be some challenges to growing spinach that I don't know about (speak up in the comments), but as far as I can tell, the main ones are timing your planting so that it will grow in cool weather and avoiding leaf miners. Plant your spinach, harvest it a few weeks later and you're done. Succession planting works better than re-growth, I guess.

Johnny's recommends different cultivars for specific planting seasons. Floating row covers can keep out most leaf miners unless juvenile forms are lurking in the soil under the row cover.

ytreye.jpg

Despite Popeye, I never liked canned spinach

According to legend, New Zealand Spinach was first eaten by Captain Cook's crew. It is a counterfeit spinach. It can be harvested in much warmer weather than spinach. In the nearly frost-free locations where it is perennial, few veggies could be simpler to grow. It can also be grown as an annual in short-season areas. The large seeds are slow to germinate in my experience. It is quite drought tolerant. It sometimes naturalizes at the beach.

Pick the tender stems at the ends of the branches, with the attached leaves. It may be a month before you can harvest that plant again. This is not a plant that overwhelms a garden. But it can make a nice groundcover.

New Zealand Spinach is delicious cooked, with butter, but nasty raw. Most pests even seem to avoid it. Growing advice and a recipe here.

NZspinach.jpg

New Zealand Spinach

Chard was developed from the same plant species as beets. It is in the same plant family as spinach. I don't know why they call it "Swiss" Chard. It is one of the more productive plants in vegetable gardens because it can be harvested repeatedly.

Most varieties are pretty enough to include in the flower garden. Chard comes in a variety of sizes, leaf and stem forms and colors.

Swiss-Chard-Bright-Lights.jpg

"Bright Lights" Swiss Chard

Chard stems and leaves are often cooked separately. I have a friend who can't eat foods with much Vitamin K, because of medication he is taking. He enjoys growing and eating the stems of Swiss Chard. This description of "Argentata" stems appeals to me: "none of the oxalic aftertaste so common in other chards." Other members of his family eat the leaves, also tasty, which contain lots of Vitamin K.

Some varieties of Swiss Chard can grow huge leaves. If you are going organic, "promise you will simply ignore the bug holes in the leaves." Of course, you don't want the snail holes to be too big if you plan to stuff the leaves.

Stuffed-Swiss-Chard-Meatless-Monday-recipe.jpg

"cannelloni without the pasta"

Magenta Spreen, or Tree Spinach, is one of those plants that are so easy to grow that they are actual weeds. "Kids call this plant "lipstick plant" because the magenta coloring on the top leaves is a mealy stuff that rubs off, to be applied to lips and eyelids."

The tree spinach, as its name suggests, is an attractive spinach substitute. "It is fantastic melted in butter and keeps its magenta when cooked. It can also be eaten very young raw in salads. . . . One word of warning: it will reappear everywhere. It is not exactly a thug, but if you're not prepared to eat it, that's an awful lot of weeding."

Alys-Fowler-Tree-spinach-005.jpg

Tree Spinach

Malabar Spinach is a vining plant hailing from tropical Asia and Africa. It is easy to grow where it gets heat and moisture, but a challenge in other locales. "It creeps when temperatures are cool, but leaps when the mercury hits 90 F." Many people grow Malabar Spinach on a fence.

If it doesn't get regular water, it goes to seed and the leaves become bitter. The red-stemmed form (Basella alba rubra) is attractive and was used to demonstrate advances in agricultural technology when the Epcot Center opened at Disney World.

MickeyMouse.jpg

The green-stemmed kind is reputed to taste better. Cook it like spinach or chard, or in curries or other Asian recipes. In Japan, it is used in tempura. It can develop a mucilaginous quality like okra if cooked a long time -- fiber! This can be an advantage in soups, a disadvantage in some other long-cooked dishes. Don't let that stir-fry sit too long.

SpinachMushrooms.jpg

Malabar Spinach and Wild Mushroom Stir Fry

Strawberry Spinach is related to spinach, unlike some of the spinach stand-ins above. It is more heat-tolerant than spinach but may germinate on its own schedule. It has small, triangular leaves that can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, plus berry-like fruits that look pretty in a salad, though they donít really taste like strawberries. The "berries" are kind of fun for kids to see on a "spinach" plant.

SpinachStrawberry.jpg

Strawberry Spinach

Nasturtiums - for kids and kids at heart

Nasturtiums are fun to grow with kids because their fingers can grasp the big seeds. Brave kids can eat the flowers or leaves later. The spurred kinds hold some spicy-sweet nectar.

You can plant nasturtiums when you plant peas. They do best where summers are not too hot, but they don't need rich soil or a lot of water.

Pinetree has a fine selection. Of their Tall Climbing Single mix, they say, "One of our favorite places to visit in Boston is the Gardner Museum, because of the eclectic collection, the music, and the old-fashioned nasturtium baskets trailing their vines some fifty feet to the ground".

The "Nasturtium Party" at the museum generally runs from late March through Mid-April if you are traveling to Boston.

MuseumNas.jpg

THOSE are some "hanging baskets"

Sunflowers

Many sunflower varieties grow from big seeds that are easy for kids to plant. They are more heat-tolerant than nasturtiums and will grow in moderately alkaline soil. They should be planted later than nasturtiums.

Remember that sunflower seeds (and probably the plants) can inhibit the growth of other plants. The newer pollen-free hybrids may not make viable seeds. They are great for flower arranging. There are some gorgeous ones now.

Sunflowers.jpg

Pollen-free sunflowers "Harlequin" F1

If you want to see some happy kids, grow a sunflower fort using one or more of the taller cultivars.

SunflowerHouse-300x238.jpg

Y-not: Thanks, KT!

Now, here's Weirddave:


Itís spring. Have some fun in the garden.

Time for the Weirddave sing-a-long

Cleaning out the beds, cleaning out the beds.
I shall spend my morning, cleaning out the beds;
Raking up the leaves, raking up the leaves,
Skipped it in the fall now I'm raking up the leaves.

Sung to the tune of “Bringing in the Sheaves”, a traditional American hymn from the 19th century based upon Psalms 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." That's a good verse for gardeners. If you've never heard the hymn and would like to, here it is as sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford:

Anyhow, here it is April 11th. We've got a nice day outside, finally, and it's time for me to get the beds ready for planting. They're in pretty sad shape:

Garden1.JPG

Notice the potato tower I built last year-I forgot to harvest it! It never grew the way I was expecting anyway, I'm going to have to try again. Anyhow, the plant beds are full of the detritus of winter, along with some determined weeds, my job for the day is to get them ready for planting. This shouldn't be too hard, the weed cloth that I put down last year seems to have done it's job, only one bed has any appreciable amount of weeds:

GArden 2.JPG

The good news is that most of the weeds seem to be of the same type. I dunno what it is, some type of vine. It'll spread like wildfire if you let it, but the roots it throws down are very shallow, it's child's play to tear it up. During the season judicious use of the weed whacker keeps it in check.

Why must I get the beds clear you ask? Why, because I've got plants ready to go out! Actually, that's a lie. What I have is a bunch of stuff that's sprouted under the grow light in the basement:

Palts.JPG

They're not nearly ready to go out, but they are ready to be transplanted into larger pots and then to begin the process of hardening them. So that's my plan for the day: Working in the dirt. It's a glamorous life donchakno.


Y-not:

To wrap things up, here's Nick Lucas, who was known for the original version of Tip Toe Through the Tulips:


What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:15 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Eh???

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at April 10, 2015 10:29 AM (CIYAq)

2 Erahh ... It's hot down here

Posted by: Ted Kennedy in Hell at April 11, 2015 02:16 PM (PxdJM)

3 I'll be back later. In the midst of pruning and weeding. Ugh.

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:16 PM (9BRsg)

4 Is that the Hagia Sophia?

I heard it's a mosque again:
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/04/quran-read-inside-hagia-sophia-for-the-first-time-in-85-years

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at April 11, 2015 02:20 PM (AVEe1)

5 Talk about violent cultural appropriation - Haiga Sophia.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at April 11, 2015 02:26 PM (E8rOv)

6 The last of the snow should be gone tomorrow. I've been raking, getting ready to put down corn gluten to kill the crab grass. Got in an argument with the wife about how much to trim the hydrangea.

Posted by: fluffy at April 11, 2015 02:28 PM (Ua6T/)

7 I grew tree spinach last year - from the tiniest of seedlings it ends up pretty big, about 8 feet tall, and develops hard almost woody stems. Nice taste cooked or raw.

Another counterfeit spinach is Hablitzia tamnoides, a perennial woodland climber that emerges early in the year. I have a dozen seedlings on a windowsill.

Posted by: Botec at April 11, 2015 02:29 PM (uXFP7)

8 Watered while legal this morning. Mr. Bar The Door is whacking weeds now. Gotta thin the plums, Pluots and nectarines.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 02:29 PM (qahv/)

9 drip, drip drip said the sprinkler

Posted by: DM at April 11, 2015 02:33 PM (xyDAt)

10 Howdy gardeners. Nice day here in the 60s but I'm stuck inside at work. Rather be out in the garden.
It's been cool here most of the week. Onion sets I planted aren't doing anything yet. Got the 2 raised beds cleaned and compost added. Still have to get the Vegtrug in shape.

Posted by: Farmer at April 11, 2015 02:33 PM (3hlFs)

11 Now, guess the state.

Posted by: DM at April 11, 2015 02:34 PM (xyDAt)

12 Now that the last of the snow has melted, we're planning this year's garden. Have cucumbers (we've done well with them) and peppers (meh, but we try again) growing indoors, and are thinking about tomatoes.

Will buy lumber this week to build new planter boxes. At that point, the plants go outside. Not sure how any will fare this year after the awful and late winter. But ya gotta try....

Various bulb-like green shoots are popping up in the yard.

Posted by: MrScribbler at April 11, 2015 02:35 PM (P8YHq)

13 We got off easy on basement flooding. I was sure that with 38 feet of snow melting that we were in for it, but we just had a little bit of seepage.

Posted by: fluffy at April 11, 2015 02:39 PM (Ua6T/)

14 Need some moisture around here.
What's the old saying? April winds brings May dust bowl.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 02:43 PM (4NtAn)

15

I bet one legend that keeps recurring throughout history, in every culture, is the story of Popeye.

Posted by: Jack Handey at April 11, 2015 02:45 PM (OOJba)

16 Major leaf-miner probs here in Colorado Springs. Gonna cover my spinach and beets with that white fabric stuff this year. Ugly, but effective, or so I'm told.

Sunflower seeds sprouting. They endure those occasional freezing nights fairly well.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at April 11, 2015 02:50 PM (yxw0r)

17 Back from working the front bed.

I hate the previous owners.

They planted a Japanese type maple that drops tiny leaves in the Spring. They're impossible to rake up without pulling up the mulch (that WE put down). And they make tons of tiny flowers that the bees swarm, right near my front door.

The beds suck balls. Landscape fabric over unaugmented soil. They put in some type of flox - I think - that cascades and some pale grey-green cascading thing that makes white flowers (later). Both die off ugly as sin and are impossible to weed between. Then there are the roses, which I also hate. Then there are the purply-red leafed prickly bushes. Not very pretty and a bitch to prune.

grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:51 PM (9BRsg)

18 My arugula and radishes seem to be sprouting in the raised beds.

Raised beds = good

In-ground ornamental beds = evil

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:52 PM (9BRsg)

19 My husband stumbled upon a nursery going out of business a week or so ago....he scored about 15 maple trees, 2 or 3 redbud trees, a 15 year old japanese maple, a mature juniper tree, a 20 foot Alaskan cedar, many, many palettes of granite stones and some other flat stones and several evergreen trees. Most of the stuff he paid about 1/3 - 1/4 the original price (some even less) and some stuff they just threw in.

He's been a planting maniac the past week.

Posted by: Tami at April 11, 2015 02:52 PM (v0/PR)

20 That strawberry spinach plant is soooo cool!


Did I mention I hate my front beds yet?

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:54 PM (9BRsg)

21 I don't know where all of my birds went. It's like someone flew over and dropped a bird-b-gone bomb.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 02:56 PM (4NtAn)

22 The beds suck balls. Landscape fabric over unaugmented soil. They put in some type of flox - I think - that cascades and some pale grey-green cascading thing that makes white flowers (later). Both die off ugly as sin and are impossible to weed between. Then there are the roses, which I also hate. Then there are the purply-red leafed prickly bushes. Not very pretty and a bitch to prune.

grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble
Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:51 PM (9BRsg)


Nothing than an hour rental of a Bobcat can't fix.

Posted by: Sean Bannion at April 11, 2015 02:59 PM (V+kmg)

23 I'll bet that big Hawaiian guy could do a good version of Tip Toe Through the Tulips.

Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at April 11, 2015 02:59 PM (W5DcG)

24 If I could import one fecund pair of white tail deer to Holland the tulip would be wiped out in 10 years.

My assignment was to use fecund in a sentence.

Posted by: lonetown at April 11, 2015 03:00 PM (M6Esb)

25 Where do you live, Ronster? Here in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts we had quite a thinning out from the tough winter. Don't mind having fewer tree rats, though.

Posted by: fluffy at April 11, 2015 03:02 PM (Ua6T/)

26 My assignment was to use fecund in a sentence.
Posted by: lonetown at April 11, 2015 03:00 PM (M6Esb)


My interior is...fecund with various undiscovered and potentially toxic life forms.

Posted by: The Barrel at April 11, 2015 03:02 PM (V+kmg)

27 Did Miss Vicky ever get laid?

Posted by: lonetown at April 11, 2015 03:02 PM (M6Esb)

28 >>Nothing than an hour rental of a Bobcat can't fix.

Well, I'd have to tear it out, including the rock retaining "wall" and all the roses, then add in soil, then re-build the wall, and re-plant and re-mulch. It just ain't gonna happen. Not in our budget in the foreseeable future.

grumblegrumble

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 03:03 PM (9BRsg)

29 PLUS, I'd have to be handy enough to not disturb the in-ground sprinklers in the process.

grumblegrumble

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 03:04 PM (9BRsg)

30 Well, I'd have to tear it out, including the rock retaining "wall" and all the roses, then add in soil, then re-build the wall, and re-plant and re-mulch. It just ain't gonna happen. Not in our budget in the foreseeable future.
grumblegrumble
Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 03:03 PM (9BRsg)


::: pushes C-4 and blasting caps through USB port :::

Posted by: Sean Bannion at April 11, 2015 03:04 PM (V+kmg)

31 Where do you live, Ronster?

East of Colo. Spgs.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 03:05 PM (4NtAn)

32 Digging by hand builds muscle strength.

grumblegrumble

Posted by: fluffy at April 11, 2015 03:05 PM (Ua6T/)

33 When I heard that Y-not was going to post about tulips, I immediately thought of Tiny Tim. I hand never heard of Nick Lucas. But he sang that song in the movie "Gold diggers" (sp?) in 1929. Over-the-top staging on that number.

I think Nick Lucas has a vaudevillian voice. If I have to have that song stuck in my head, I would rather host the Lucas version Y-not posted than the Tiny Tim version.

I kind of like this a-little-too-bouncy arrangement, but I'm not sure which period in popular music it represents. Lucas was still singing into the early eighties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w7JECJpqBk

He also sang for The Great Gatsby. Here at 2 minutes and 5:25. Nelson Riddle won an Oscar for his arrangements for the soundtrack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHN1jIj3ljQ

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:06 PM (qahv/)

34 >>> East of Colo. Spgs.

How has the weather been? Extra dry would be hard on the insect eaters.

Posted by: fluffy at April 11, 2015 03:07 PM (Ua6T/)

35 ::: pushes C-4 and blasting caps through USB port :::

Sean Bannion comes through with a useful idea!

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 03:08 PM (9BRsg)

36 fluffy, it's always dry here, but that hasn't affected the birds before.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 03:09 PM (4NtAn)

37 The photo from your local tulip festival is spectacular, Y-not. I like the science and history links, too.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:09 PM (qahv/)

38
grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 02:51 PM

Sorry Y-not, but I couldn't help laughing as I read your post. So many *pretty things* just wind up looking like hell once they're done blooming.

Welcome to gardening in the Intermountain West!

btw, the greyish white-flowered creeper is probably 'snow in summer' and the pricklebush from hell is likely a Barberry.

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at April 11, 2015 03:13 PM (rhjQp)

39 >>> (safe link)

404

I guess it is safe.

Posted by: Anon Y. Mous at April 11, 2015 03:13 PM (IN7k+)

40 Lovely rain here in Central Texas, we always need it. Just came in from planting some heirloom varieties of tomatoes, I always buy too many so I had to borrow part of my neighbors garden. Thinking about planting some strange Asian cucumbers just to see what happens. I try to save room in the garden every year for odd varieties. Some of them work really well in our heat, mostly seeds from India and Vietnam. Renee's Garden and Baker Creek have a good selection. I have some English carrots that I planted in November and they really hate the heat here, I will have to pull them all pretty soon and they are only about 4-6" long.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 03:15 PM (eB2N0)

41 I need to get back to hoeing and pulling grass from the Bunyan sized flower bed. The cardboard covered with tree chips I put down around the trees last year is working well at least. Trying to decide where to plant the zucchini seeds I bought when it gets warm enough. One or 2 'hills' of zucchini is all I'll plant so I want to make it easy to water the squash and to keep weeds worked in the rest of the former garden area. I'm tempted to try the zukes in the tire towers mom used for tomatoes. Worst that can happen is the vines can't hold the weight of the squash and I don't get any harvest I guess.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 11, 2015 03:16 PM (7w/kf)

42 Wow, Fluffy. Wish we could have had some of that snow in our mountains. You don't need the water flooding your basement.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:17 PM (qahv/)

43 Wow, Tami.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:20 PM (qahv/)

44 Link fixed. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 03:24 PM (9BRsg)

45 I've been seeding and planting all week, things are looking good but behind because of late freeze here. I also scored on Craig's list, some folks were selling vegetable starts at a good price so I was going to pick up some to supplement what I started, I forgot, then I saw they updated ad with half price, so i stopped by their house with twenty bucks told the guy "give me twenty bucks worth." He started pulling and then said, tell you what, if you have room you can take what's left. Walked out with about 40 squash, (3 kinds), 50 tomato, 30 cucumber, 8 watermelon, and 2 parsley. If you have a farm Craig's list is your friend (until you meet the person that wants to skin you and make a woman suit, but hey, life's about risk right?)

Posted by: traye at April 11, 2015 03:25 PM (+YJrN)

46 Weirddave,
Time to get those bean plants out of the basement. Start moving them outdoors during the day, weather permitting.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:25 PM (qahv/)

47 Ok, I have things growing that I forgot what planted. I guess I'll wait and see what it turns out to be. I have stuff coming up everywhere that I can tell is from seeds, but what is it? I guess I should label next time instead of being lazy.
Just pulled weeds from my front yard since its a damp, overcast day. Perfect weather for it.

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 03:26 PM (xVgrA)

48 Tami--- Wow, SCORE!

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at April 11, 2015 03:27 PM (rhjQp)

49 Okay, came in to make some potato salad for dinner. Cooked the potatoes and eggs, cut the onions...who the hell used the last of the celery and didn't tell me??? So I made it without and will now to to the store for celery to add in. I hate that!!!

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 03:33 PM (xVgrA)

50 Give me some potato salad before you add the celery. I don't like celery in my pot. salad.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 03:35 PM (4NtAn)

51 Tray,

Sounds like you are going to have a GARDEN.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:40 PM (qahv/)

52 Dreadpirateroberta,
Do you remember any of the tomato varieties you just planted?

Weird cukes: The brown ones from India do well in the heat here. Baker Creek has several of the Armenian types in pale to dark green. They do well in heat because they are really melons. There is an Armenian selection for refined quality called "The Duke". I think Sandhill carries it.

For real cucumbers, I line Summer Dance. It's a Japanese type. Late, but heat tolerant. Still needs a trellis here. Afternoon shade is fine for cucumbers in these parts, too.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:45 PM (qahv/)

53 Is Kaboom! full of vitamin K?

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2015 03:46 PM (kivUY)

54 Picked some Gilfeather Turnips (or rutabagas) today. They have suffered from lack of water, but are not strong-flavored. They are very resistant to bolting.

Next year I need to plant them earlier.

Mr. Bar The Door destroyed my kale plant before it bolted. Oh, well.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:51 PM (qahv/)

55 Mmm, potato salad! With fresh chives, which I need to harvest now anyway.


Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at April 11, 2015 03:54 PM (rhjQp)

56 Think we had the last of the sweet taters from the garden for lunch. Some are starting to sprout for this year's crop. Some have shriveled. I won't plant as many this year because of the drought.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:54 PM (qahv/)

57 Must remember sweet taters!!

Posted by: traye at April 11, 2015 03:56 PM (+YJrN)

58 Y-not,

Maybe you could plant New Zealand Spinach between the early bloomers to cover them when they die. Or daylilies, maybe.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:56 PM (qahv/)

59 Shoves potato salad sans celery through USB to ronster.

Now baking oatmeal cranberry cookies with these 50% less sugar cranberries. This is a test batch since I've never used these cranberries before. Speaking of, how are cranberries grown?

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 03:57 PM (xVgrA)

60 Weirddave,
Time to get those bean plants out of the basement. Start moving them outdoors during the day, weather permitting.


Yea, I still got to clean out the beds. I got seduced by a gorgeous blue sky, moderate temps and a Harley 1200 Custom Sportster. Tomorrow's my birthday and wife's taking me out to eat tonight, so I guess that'll be the chore for tomorrow.

Posted by: Weirddave at April 11, 2015 03:58 PM (WvS3w)

61 KT are you in central Texas too?

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 03:59 PM (xVgrA)

62 Traye,

We will want to see photos of your garden later.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 03:59 PM (qahv/)

63 We had a spot of rain this week, which was welcome - our last frost is most usually mid-March, but we had started putting out stuff the weekend before that. I've had about a month of spring growing now, so things are moving well along; pole beans climbing up and up, the tomatoes in the hanging planters have about exploded in size, and the apple tree has tiny apples about the size of cherry tomatoes on them. I had a pot of Malabar spinach a couple of years ago, and it naturalized very handily; now I have it coming up in all sorts of places. I expect the birds love the seeds and spread them freely.
Speaking of birds - we had some wooden bird houses hung up along the front walk, and a nesting pair moved into one of them this spring. The babies have hatched now - and we can hear them peeping when we walk past.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at April 11, 2015 04:00 PM (95iDF)

64 Yeah, it was a great score. I've been listening to the beep-beep-beep of an excavator for days and now a bobcat today.

Posted by: Tami at April 11, 2015 04:01 PM (v0/PR)

65 Oh and we found out today that we have roof and gutter damage from the hail storm...so a new roof gutters are in our near future.


Did you know roofing companies now use drones to assess damage to your roof?

Posted by: Tami at April 11, 2015 04:03 PM (v0/PR)

66 If it works, it will be great, especially the hydroponic set up. That quadruples yield per plant on tomatoes.

Posted by: traye at April 11, 2015 04:04 PM (ptBEp)

67 Hmm! Tiger just dropped an OMFG on live TV. Wonder if he'll get fined?

Posted by: Mr. Natural at April 11, 2015 04:04 PM (/pOl7)

68 No, I'm in the Central Valley of Callifornia. It's hot in summer here, too.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:08 PM (qahv/)

69 Nick Lucas sang "I'm looking at the world through rose colored glasses" for the wedding of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki. Tulips, roses, . . . guess he liked flowers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jT1bpIun_I

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:10 PM (qahv/)

70 There are flowers all over our property these days. It's very informal
with little pretty things tucked in corners, among shrubs, along walkways, between blocks and in cracked pavement or hollowed stumps.
About a dozen varieties of creeping sedum are scattered throughout.

'Quinault' strawberries escaped their pot and now ramble around shrubbery and over the curb, onto the street. The bunnies keep them from going too far, while quail and squirrels get most of the berries. It's all good.

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at April 11, 2015 04:10 PM (rhjQp)

71 Just got in from the yard work. Did the first G-damn mowing of the season. (I HATE mowing!!!) Cut out some of the oldest dead wood from a lilac. But it is a glorious day: sunny, cool breezes, no bugs.

One odd note: this is the first time in over thirty years we don't have dogs following us around while doing the yard work. It feels weird.

Our indoor seedlings are doing great. I think we only had one seed fail to come up. If they continue to thrive we'll have some plants to give to friends.

Posted by: JTB at April 11, 2015 04:13 PM (FvdPb)

72 Still uncovering the perennial beds today. Crocuses are blooming and daffodils and snowdrops are up. About 2-3 weeks late here in western Conn. Lakes and ponds still have some ice on them!

Posted by: Caliban at April 11, 2015 04:14 PM (3GFMN)

73 Dreadpirateroberta,

Willhite Seed is in Texas. They have a selection of seeds from the Indian Subcontinent. Edible gourds and interesting eggplants in particular.

http://willhiteseed.com/

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:15 PM (qahv/)

74 Did I mention I hate my front beds yet?

Posted by: Y-not
-------------------------
Been trying to work on mine for four hours now - I got about 1/2 hour of work done.
4 bored kids, 5 - 9 years old, came over from next door to "help" me...
(Two of them are soul-stealing gingers!)

So far, all I've got done is pull all the rocks (bed edging) out from where they've sunken into the ground.

Posted by: shredded chi at April 11, 2015 04:15 PM (l1iXB)

75 73 Dreadpirateroberta,

Willhite Seed is in Texas. They have a selection of seeds from the Indian Subcontinent. Edible gourds and interesting eggplants in particular.

http://willhiteseed.com/

Thanks KT!

I know this was for DPR but I'm in central Texas too.

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 04:17 PM (xVgrA)

76 I like Tennessee Ernie Ford better without a maximum-vibrado organ backup, I think. Still, nice song, Weirddave.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:19 PM (qahv/)

77 Just went to your "Tiptoe" wiki link, Y-not. Quite a bit of history to that song. The first Looney Tunes cartoon ever?

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:23 PM (qahv/)

78
how about a beard gardening post?

Which beard is best? The William Shakespeare? The Richard Branson? The Mountain Man? The Grover Cleveland?



Posted by: Soothsayer, Inc. -- The King Unwilling est. 2005 at April 11, 2015 04:26 PM (gm6N1)

79 Speaking of, how are cranberries grown?

I think they are grown in a bog.

Posted by: Ronster at April 11, 2015 04:32 PM (4NtAn)

80 Hello horde

Went on you tube and watched Perry's speech to the NRA

My my. It's on

Posted by: ThunderB, Real Housewives of Dont Give A Fuck at April 11, 2015 04:43 PM (zOTsN)

81 78
Mountain Man, definitely. Go bush or go home.

Posted by: shredded chi at April 11, 2015 04:50 PM (l1iXB)

82 68 No, I'm in the Central Valley of Callifornia. It's hot in summer here, too.


Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 04:08 PM (qahv/)


Hey.... another Valleyite... LOL...

Atwater here...

Posted by: BB Wolf at April 11, 2015 04:53 PM (qh617)

83 So, you're a northerner, comparatively, BB Wolf. I'm in the South Central Valley. Heh.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 05:02 PM (qahv/)

84 78 .. "how about a beard gardening post?"

I prefer the Commander Whitehead version from the old Schweppes ads.

Posted by: JTB at April 11, 2015 05:04 PM (FvdPb)

85 Y-not, any chance of putting extensions on the sprinklers and creating some raised beds?

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 05:05 PM (qahv/)

86 Did the mountain man look 40 years ago. Two problems: 1. low flying birds and bugs; 2. tough to tie a necktie for the office. Thankfully retired now. Only wear ties for funerals these days.

Posted by: JTB at April 11, 2015 05:09 PM (FvdPb)

87 Most things are 2 to 3 weeks behind in our area due to the colder than usual weather this winter.

The salad greens will probably go out next week or so. Simpson Elite leaf lettuce, Space hybrid spinach from Jung Seeds, and arugula. We do staggered plantings a couple of weeks apart and had mixed salads into August. Mrs. JTB is no spinach fan but she likes this stuff. Hope this year does as well as last.

Posted by: JTB at April 11, 2015 05:16 PM (FvdPb)

88 NOOD

Posted by: Y-not at April 11, 2015 05:18 PM (9BRsg)

89 78
how about a beard gardening post?

Which beard is best? The William Shakespeare? The Richard Branson? The Mountain Man? The Grover Cleveland?



Posted by: Soothsayer, Inc. -- The King Unwilling est. 2005 at April 11, 2015 04:26 PM (gm6N1)


Mrs. Travolta?

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at April 11, 2015 05:32 PM (yxw0r)

90 Traye, your hydroponics set-up will be interesting to hear about, in particular.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 05:36 PM (qahv/)

91 Ok, just threw down a few more tomatillo seeds and remembered to put some shishito pepper seeds down. I'm trying parsnips for the first time, can't remember where I put them though. I guess I'll fine out when it harvest time.

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 05:42 PM (xVgrA)

92 52 Dreadpirateroberta,
Do you remember any of the tomato varieties you just planted?

Hillbilly, Indigo Apple, Vintage Wine, Custuluto Genovese, and Purple Calabash. They are all indeterminate and if I can get them through the hot and miserable summer, maybe they will produce through the fall. They were all grown by Texas Heirloom tomatoes. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I was up to my elbows in dirt for the last couple of hours. I pulled up most of my broccoli because it has gone to seed, but I left 4 plants for the bees because they are covered with little yellow flowers.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 06:59 PM (eB2N0)

93 Thanks for the info on the seed company KT, this is a new one for me! Very excited to try new things. I work with some Indian nurses who manage to smuggle all kinds of seeds back to the US when they come back from seeing family in India. I have several curry trees which are totally cool,( would be happy to share with anyone local) a couple of drumstick trees in pots and some strange eggplant seeds which didn't do well for me. I have gone to some of the Asian and Indian food stores and picked up some weird produce and grown it also. Taro root will grow, also turmeric root. I never know what I will find. Ask the store owner when they get their fresh shipments of produce delivered, it gets picked over pretty quickly.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 07:21 PM (eB2N0)

94 Roberta,
What's a drumstick tree? What does a curry tree look like? I get weird looks when I say I have persimmon trees.

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 08:07 PM (xVgrA)

95 DPR, Let me know if you like the Purple Calabash. I've seen mixed flavor reviews on that one. I think it is supposed to be intense. 30% shadecloth is sometimes recommended for protecting tomatoes through the hottest part of summer.

We just took our broccoli plants down. Even the flowers were gone. Dig the plants in to inhibit nematodes.

Posted by: KT at April 11, 2015 08:11 PM (qahv/)

96 I planted my potatoes. I have four black bags I bought a few years ago, and I put five seed potatoes in each, Yukon Gold potatoes that we found at the local garden store. We are going to try planting raspberries (again) this year. This time we will wait until May. Last year we planted too early and a late snow got them.

Posted by: Nancy at 7000 feet CO at April 11, 2015 08:42 PM (JreH3)

97 thanks for the advice KT. It will be a miracle if I get any production at all from my tomatoes because we have some kind of fungal disease that usually kills them at the beginning of the season. I have had to grow them in pots for the last couple of years because they died if I planted them in the garden. But I got tired of looking at the big ugly pots so into the garden they went! We shall see...

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 09:00 PM (eB2N0)

98 Hi Lindafell, the curry tree is about 6' tall and is in a pot because I was afraid that it would be invasive and eat the house. I think it gets very big in India where it doesn't freeze back. It has lots of fronds coming off the main trunk with small leaves running down the little frondy bits. It has a lovely strong fragrance and the Indians put in in everything, all their veg and meat dishes. I don't know why it is called curry tree because it is not used in the traditional meaning of curry. It puts out little trees from the roots and has clusters of berries at the ends of the fronds which have a hard seed in them, they will also grow into trees. They like full sun, but I have mine in part shade so they don't dry out so quickly.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 09:13 PM (eB2N0)

99 Thanks Roberta!
Now what does a drumstick tree look like?

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 09:16 PM (xVgrA)

100 The drumstick tree is a sight to behold. I wish they were freeze hardy because they are a miracle of nature for sure and I would have a garden full of them. Every part of the plant can be used. Some parts are medicinal/have antibiotic properties and some are edible either for humans or livestock. They have little leaves and can be pruned so that all parts of the tree can be reached for harvest. The have lovely little fragrant white and yellow flowers. They produce a long pod about 20 inches long-it looks kind of like a giant okra. This is chopped into 2 or 3" pieces and cooked in a vegetable curry with a lot of gravy. The outside is inedible. It needs to be broken open and then you scrape the shell with your bottom front teeth to get to the meat on the inside. It is delicious. I have never cooked it myself, but the ladies at work have shared it with me. My tree is 2 years old and has not produced any pods yet, but I am hopeful this will be the year!

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 09:24 PM (eB2N0)

101 Total benefits from welfare for a family can be up to $50k yearly if you add up all the different types of welfare for housing, food, healthcare, transportation, communication, energy, and cash payments. It isn't as if anyone is going to starve.

Posted by: Denver at April 11, 2015 09:59 PM (5+NlB)

102 Roberta,
Now I'm intrigued! Most people are fascinated with my plumeria plants but they are in no way edible, only nice to look at and the flowers smell divine. I also like a challenge when it comes to plants. Most people can't believe that I have two lovely hydrangea bushes going, in the ground, in central Texas. They were gifts in pots and I found the perfect spot for them. It usually too hot for them. I'm learning how to do simple propagation too. I can get new plumeria, bay laurel, hibiscus, and hydrangea going from cuttings now.

Posted by: lindafell is Cruzin' at April 11, 2015 10:10 PM (xVgrA)

103 I am envious Lindafell. I have never been able to grow plumeria. I have 2 hydrangeas but they are both in pots. One of them is called "shooting star" and it is so beautiful. I need to learn how to take cuttings. I once had an oakleaf hydrangea but managed to kill it. I think they must need almost all day shade.

Posted by: dreadpirateroberta at April 11, 2015 10:36 PM (eB2N0)

104 Sounds like there are some interesting things going on in Texas gardens.

Roberta, if there's something in your soil that kills tomato plants, you might try one of the hybrids with multlple resistance to the usually suspected diseases. It would be nice if you knew what the organism was.

Posted by: KT at April 12, 2015 01:26 AM (qahv/)

105 Back to the subject of tulips, my Mom, in Utah, has planted Greigii and species tulips among hostas in an area that gets spring sun and summer shade. The flowers seem to last a while, and the decorative leaves on some of them blend right in with the new hosta shoots, then get covered up as they fade.

They also seem to last for several years where they are happy. The species tulips vary in hardiness. Some are adapted to warm-winter climates.

Posted by: KT at April 12, 2015 01:31 AM (qahv/)

106 Lebanese- American cross-dresser. We have endless M*A*S*H reruns here and I always wonder where they got the idea for Klinger.

Posted by: bruce at April 12, 2015 07:31 AM (PrSOD)

107 What's sprouting around our (WA) yard this spring are mole hills. Seems like I'll have to make a trip into town for some dry ice to drop into their tunnels...

It's been a few years since moles have been significant in the yard, after the last dry ice tx.

Posted by: Seipherd at April 12, 2015 03:57 PM (pRSkv)

108 I was pretty much raised up on Tennessee Ernie Ford. Better than his hymns, I think, was the album of spirituals he released. Admittedly, his spiritual-singing does not sound all that authentic -- Ford was a white boy, after all -- but the music itself is awesome and I think Ford made a sincere effort to pay homage to the style. (Better, I think, to have been backed up by black singers, but it's too late now.)

This is a short visual clip, but sounds very much like what's on the album. My favorite, "Peace in the Valley"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-QBG6W-6EI

Posted by: Reformed Trombonist at April 13, 2015 06:50 AM (3Q5x8)

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