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Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 16, April 20, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 04/20/2012 10:06:22 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde

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Good morning to my FRiends, fellow gardeners, future gardeners, and lurkers! It is beautiful and sunny today here in NELA. We received 2-1/2 inches of rain earlier in the week and it is still very wet in the yard and garden.

I've been keeping busy with my bee yard ... I got called about a swarm day-before-yesterday, about 25 miles south of my house. I still had all of my bee catching equipment in my truck from doing a hive cutout last weekend, so off I went. Below is a photo of the swarm when I got there, and the latest photo of my bee yard with the newest hives on the right-hand side.

It is my hope that everybody is getting the weather they need, and none of what they don't. Check-in and let everybody know what you're up to in your neck of the woods.

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The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: garden; gardening
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To: rightly_dividing
Have you thought about acquiring a small four wheel drive vehicle to climb the hill for you? A Subaru wagon or small PU?

I have thought about it, but even those couldn't get up the 12' near-vertical drop-off where the uphill side of my land meets the road. If I were to buy the land next door it would be possible, the slope mellows out a little there, but it would still be nerve-wrecking. After I get my house built, I'm thinking pack animals. Maybe a nice mule.

The difficulties in the land are part of the reason I could afford it, so I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. I love this place! It just takes some stubborness and ingenuity sometimes to get things done.
51 posted on 04/20/2012 2:31:22 PM PDT by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: Ellendra

The obvious, to me, is that you need to mix that manure with compost or straw and some soil so that it will age/cure properly. Just my thought.


52 posted on 04/20/2012 2:32:50 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

OK - that was easier than I thought - now to figure out how taht is going to relate to bobcat scoop fuls - but as I told the gal at the supply place - I’ll discuss it with her in the morning because she was speaking greek to me!


53 posted on 04/20/2012 2:32:50 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Thank you - I definitely have to talk to them in person. I just looked at the bags I used for behind the house and they are 1 cubic ft each. At $2.50 a bag, that will become cost prohibitive, hopefully their bulk is cheaper!


54 posted on 04/20/2012 2:39:08 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz

It is 7’ x 7’ and 1 foot deep

49 cubic feet or

1.8 cubic yards


55 posted on 04/20/2012 2:40:47 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Prayers up for Mark.


56 posted on 04/20/2012 2:42:14 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: Gabz

It is quite possible that they know how many cubit feet their loader scoop holds. I would if it was my business.


57 posted on 04/20/2012 2:46:12 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Petruchio; Red_Devil 232

Thank you both. I will be heading over there in the morning.


58 posted on 04/20/2012 2:54:25 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Gabz

Allowing for settling, and I know this from filling a raised bed last year, I would get 2 cubic yards.


59 posted on 04/20/2012 3:09:36 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

one of local farmer friends told us where he piles excess dirt on the farm and we are welcome to it at any time. Depending on the price of all this topsoil I may go half and half.

I’m still planning to go and talk to them at the supply place in the morning (after I finish setting up the church hall for Sunday’s pancake supper) and talk with them. but because my husband has service calls tomorrow - 2 hours and 2 states away - it can’t be done tomorrow. So because of the storms that are coming in Sat night and hanging around all day Sun - I have to put it off another couple of days........grrrrrrrrrrr


60 posted on 04/20/2012 3:36:20 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: patton
Should I plant the victory garden over the septic field, or not?

I wouldn't because the extra water might interfere with what the field is supposed to be doing. But I really don't know. Mine is eased in around the septic lines so between not wanting to disturb them and having a tiny yard, the garden is at its max now.

61 posted on 04/20/2012 3:58:31 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Gabz

Gabz,

I remember when I built my raised beds. The topsoil that was delivered was kinda lousy. Real heavy and clay like. I ended up mixing up a blend of 2 parts crappy topsoil, 1 part peat moss, 1 part sand. Thinking back I should have gone with more peat moss in the mix.

Keep in mind the beauty of raised beds is you can make the soil perfect and you don’t walk on it so it never gets compacted. Invest the added effort now as you build the beds and it will save a lot of effort in the long run.

Oh, one other thing I noticed over the years. Back when I planted everything on the ground, I lost quite a bit to rabbits. I was always chasing rabbits out of the garden. Now that I plant everything in beds raised 1 foot, the plants have not been touched by rabbits in 14 years!!!


62 posted on 04/20/2012 4:17:41 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Wonderful pics, JDB!


63 posted on 04/20/2012 4:21:48 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Prayers for Mark are on the way. Please keep us posted.


64 posted on 04/20/2012 4:23:31 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: pitviper68

I love bamboo. It’s a great screen.


65 posted on 04/20/2012 4:25:30 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: gorush
That is a beautiful photo! I am not familiar with bee pods as such, but there is lots of useful information on Beesource.com. Most of the best known beekeepers in the world post there and will answer just about any question you can think of. It is definitely the FR of the bee world!
66 posted on 04/20/2012 4:29:46 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz

I don’t do well with the traditional bleeding hearts here in Massachusetts, but the fern leaf dicentra is mistake proof, and lasts all summer.


67 posted on 04/20/2012 4:31:10 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: DirtyHarryY2K
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68 posted on 04/20/2012 4:31:18 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Ellendra

Looks like a very expensive, proprietary top-bar.

http://www.beepods.com/product/beepod-top-bar-hive


69 posted on 04/20/2012 4:51:45 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Thanks for the link...going back now.


70 posted on 04/20/2012 4:53:50 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Petruchio

Thanks for the tip!

Rabbits are not a problem around here - the foxes and eagles keep them in control. My biggest problem is with deer. they think baby canteloupe are snickers bars!

This raised bed is just for flowers. I don’t normally do flowers, but I caved into a fund raiser for the children of a friend. They were selling bulbs to raise money so the K and pre-K classes can go to the Smithsonian.


71 posted on 04/20/2012 5:06:18 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: trisham

This is an experiment I have been promising my daughter for nearly 3 years. We shall see.


72 posted on 04/20/2012 5:07:38 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Gorgeous photos!

It is so warm and balmy here in So Cal that I’m having a hard time keeping my mind on my work.

A while back, I posed a question about small, green, mostly round pellets I see scattered as fertilizer. It is not for hydration, but food. I can’t find out what it is, though I’ve searched high and low. I’m wondering if it is lawn fertilizer. If anyone has any ideas about what it is, let me know. Thanks! The mystery is really bugging me!


73 posted on 04/20/2012 5:12:30 PM PDT by Melian ("Where will wants not, a way opens.")
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To: patton
Can I pose, um, a reaaly dumb question? Ah-hem. Should I plant the victory garden over the septic field, or not?

You really should not have anything but grass growing over a septic field . Anything that produces deep roots can end up causing you drainage problems when roots start clogging the field . Putting something that you also have to water directly on top of it will make your ground soggy and interfere with how the field wicks away water . It could possibly cause the field to collapse and or back up into your house (totally gross , stinky and very expensive to fix)


74 posted on 04/20/2012 5:42:19 PM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
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To: rightly_dividing
Bees don't require a *great* deal of time ... I spend more time that most people because they are so fascinating. Let me know if y'all have any questions before deciding.
75 posted on 04/20/2012 5:53:47 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
Rain is almost here, Red. Wind is starting to blow after a calm, very hot day. We don't need the rain right now, we are trying to get the corn sprayed and laid-by and the cotton planted. But we will deal with whatever comes.

My sweet corn is looking good. Was about to plant some purple hull peas, but the rain will put a hold on that.

76 posted on 04/20/2012 5:57:21 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: bgill

Sounds like everything is growing really well, including the weeds! Think of the harvest ... it is a good motivator! LOL at your chubby dove. I have a pair that sit in the corn trailer under the equipment shed. Surprises me that they can even fly out. I’ve run across several baby doves that don’t fly yet out in the yard. Luckily, they’ve all been across the pond where the cat doesn’t hang out much.


77 posted on 04/20/2012 6:01:07 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: bgill
My reaction to bee stings has diminished over the past year, so I think you can build-up some tolerance. I wouldn't recommend it, though!

Thank you so much for your prayers. Mark's wife said that he is still in ICU, of course, and he has been in and out ... complaining that his chest hurts. Well, I guess so! I can't even imagine.

78 posted on 04/20/2012 6:04:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: greeneyes

Sounds great! I hope you continue success, and thank you for checking in.


79 posted on 04/20/2012 6:05:21 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Petruchio

Thank you for your prayers. Hopefully, it will warm up again so you can get those beautiful little plants in the ground. Let us know how the water crystals work out. I received a bunch of those big gel things packed around some of the fruit trees I ordered. They stayed wet for what seemed like forever.


80 posted on 04/20/2012 6:08:04 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: ApplegateRanch
Hope that you're able to get the missing parts for your greenhouse. Thank you again for the onions ... I'm going to try to put them out tomorrow. They are going in a raised bed, so I don't think tonight's rain will hinder the planting.

Do you think the celery would have developed roots if you left it in a container of water before planting? I have no clue.

81 posted on 04/20/2012 6:11:24 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Prayers for Mark.

My dh and I are thinking about bees. We had never heard of the top bar hive. I found plans for diy at http://www.saveourskills.com/downloads/How_to_build_a_TBH.pdf


82 posted on 04/20/2012 6:39:41 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Are you just south of Monroe or further east?


83 posted on 04/20/2012 6:46:03 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

I am on I-20 40 miles east of Monroe and 40 miles west of Vicksburg. You pass my house every time you come through.


84 posted on 04/20/2012 6:49:13 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: All

Pretty thrilled to see our fig bush absolutely loaded with baby figs ...... three days later, it is bare ..... evidently the deer were thrilled about the baby figs, too!

Got this picture of the inside of one of the 'black' iris that are blooming around the house ... not really black, but so dark purple they look almost black.

85 posted on 04/20/2012 6:54:11 PM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: patton
Should I plant the victory garden over the septic field, or not?

I'd be really careful about that, and do research on every plant used. Septic fields require plants that have thin, shallow roots, and that can adapt quickly to both dry and damp conditions. Maybe start with grasses, as those are what septic fields are designed to work with. I keep thinking of growing sweetgrass, which looks like regular lawn grass but has a vanilla/cinnamon scent to it. A septic field might be a good place for that, or there are other ornamental grasses. There are probably other plants that might work, but like I said, be meticulous about researching first, or you could end up with an expensive mess!

Also, don't plant something that's going to require watering frequently. The moisture it pulls up from the septic field itself should be enough. I'd also suggest staying away from annuals, since you want it growing and drawing moisture as soon as the snow melts off of it. And the plants have to grow thick. (Hmm, maybe mint would be a good one there?) From what I understand (which admittedly isn't much) the septic field actually needs the plants drawing out moisture and nutrients in order for it to work properly.
86 posted on 04/20/2012 6:59:36 PM PDT by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: kalee
Okay, a top bar hive is something with which I am more familiar, but the Langstroth hive and frames allows us to spin the honey out with a centrifugal extractor, leaving the wax comb intact to be placed back in the hive. The less time the bees spend building wax, the more time they spend making honey.

Thank you for the link. That was an interesting and very well-done presentation and instructions.

87 posted on 04/20/2012 7:00:04 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: kalee

And, thanks much for the prayers.


88 posted on 04/20/2012 7:02:17 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: NautiNurse

Thank you so much! Extra points for the lovely photos!


89 posted on 04/20/2012 7:04:43 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Could you please add me to your ping list? Thanks in advance.


90 posted on 04/20/2012 7:13:11 PM PDT by steerpike100
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To: hattend
"So, how do you find the Queen under that lump of bees in the top of a tree?

Or is that how you disperse a hive? Do you use some pheromone?

Well, in the case of a swarm, I am not concerned with *finding* the queen, you know that she is in the middle of that ball of bees, which is why they are in a ball -- to protect her and keep her warm.

This particular swarm decided to gather in this tree, which was just outside the front door of this little 90-year-old lady's home. She was frozen in fear that she would be stung and killed.

The swarm was about 12 feet above the ground, and I wanted to get every bee possible because of her concerns, so I got up on a step ladder and vacuumed them up with the bee vac. I started at the bottom of the ball, and about 15 minutes later I was done. I could tell once I had the queen in the capture box because the bees started voluntarily flying down the hose because they were following her pheromone.

We do place pheromone, or lemongrass oil which mimics queen pheromone, into swarm traps to try to catch one that might be in the area. Have 4 traps up in a 5 mile radius of my house, but haven't caught a swarm in one yet. Trying to get permission to trap my husband's golf club course because he has seen a couple of swarms go by while playing.

Had the swarm been closer to the ground, or further from this lady's door, I would probably have just put a hive box under the ball and grabbed the ball of bees and dropped them in the box. Once the queen goes in, the rest of the bees that may be straying around will follow.

91 posted on 04/20/2012 7:16:26 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: patton
"Should I plant the victory garden over the septic field, or not?"

LOL ... your question reminds me of a Erma Bombeck's book, The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. The answer is really, I don't know. Can't honestly say that I've ever heard of anybody doing so. I do remember that my Granny's kitchen sink drained directly out of the house into a kinda trench that went across the side yard. She had the most beautiful Tiger lilies that grew along there, but that was way back before they started banning phosphates in detergent.

92 posted on 04/20/2012 7:23:11 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Ellendra

Yay for trees!! I think it is wonderful that your doc will barter with you ... great going! No doubt, he will enjoy your canned goods.


93 posted on 04/20/2012 7:25:58 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Please don’t go! At least stop in for the gardening thread ... you know we don’t let politics interfere with our fun here.


94 posted on 04/20/2012 7:28:08 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: pitviper68

You are only the 2nd person I’ve ever known that grew bamboo on purpose. It does make a great screen and barrier to noise, which is what my neighbor has done with it. He blocks the view and the noise from the interstate.


95 posted on 04/20/2012 7:30:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: steerpike100
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96 posted on 04/20/2012 7:32:59 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: MissMagnolia

Breathtakingly beautiful iris! Good thing you got a photo of the figs to remember them by. :)


97 posted on 04/20/2012 7:36:45 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Missing parts are shipping on Monday.

Again, you’re very welcome for the onions; raised bed sounds perfect.

I hilled up a raised wide-row, and planted 150-200 of Bonnie’s Walla-Walla Sweets (http://bonnieplants.com/products/vegetables/onions/walla-walla-sweet-onion) started-onions today...among some other odds & ends. I buy 2 bundles of them, 75-100/bundle. If sweet reds come in, I’ll buy them, too, as they did good last year.

I left the celery in a saucer for nearly 2 weeks, and it looked like it was starting to put out roots, so potted it. After about 10 days in the pot, it suddenly began to collapse. It may need to stay in water longer.

Oh, we finally got a broodie hen; been glued to the nest for 4-5 days now. She’s one of the Black Jersey Giants; and since both roosters are too, at least hers will be pure, but I’ll bet she’s also stolen some of Slow White Cross Rocks’ eggs.

I can now start to thin the flock down to a manageable size, and still have excess eggs. Neighbors flee when they see us coming, and it isn’t even zucchini season. LOL Boiled eggs—I did over 50 last weekend; pickled eggs; 8-egg lemon-poppy seed pound cakes; omelets; deviled eggs; ... egg foo yung .

Monday, a game warden from Iowa & his buddy showed up to fill their last archery turkey tag; been here a couple of prior years, too. Today, the Minnesota Highway Patrol, 3 of them, rolled in right on schedule for their turkey hunting; 2 of the 3 have been here before, also. They’re all really great guys; they also know & are liked by several of the surrounding neighbors, too.


98 posted on 04/20/2012 9:04:23 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: painter

Sorry for the delay, been busy with other issues today and just got back to the computer. We are projected to have a low of around 36 degrees here in SE Missouri. Cold enough to bring all the tomato plants and citrus plant indoors.

I think all the plants close to the ground and in raised beds will be ok. The plants up higher in the air were the ones that suffered last time.


99 posted on 04/20/2012 9:19:18 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; pitviper68

Back in the mid-70’s, our landlord, and another tenant on the property grew a large patch of bamboo in one corner of the yard. Pretty stuff, and practical, too.

It was a very effective screen for their joint pot garden. LOL We had a large planter box next to our unit’s door, and I had to watch it like a hawk every spring, because a former renter had dumped their seeds in it, and volunteer marijuana seedlings look very much like tomato seedlings, until they start getting a couple of sets of true leaves.

That’s what happens when you live in a ‘student ghetto’ in sunny southern California.


100 posted on 04/20/2012 9:22:39 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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