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Weekly Gardening Thread (Home Sweet Home) Vol. 8, February 24, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 02/24/2012 7:48:38 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde



Greetings from hot and sticky NE Louisiana! We set a record high yesterday at 89 degrees. I miss the mountains of Montana already. It averaged around 15 degrees while we were there and I was walking around in shirt sleeves. Without the extreme dampness, the cold is really comfortable.

I want to extend a big THANK YOU to Red Devil_232 and Ellendra for taking care of the thread in my absence. Y'all did wonderful work and I appreciate your efforts more than you will know. I had expected to be able to post the thread for the past 2 weeks, but things did not go as planned and the only internet access I had -- when I could get a signal -- was my smartphone. Trying to post a thread from that is just beyond my level of patience.

Most of you have healthy and happy plants started indoors by now. I am getting mine started this weekend, about 2 weeks later than I should have, and the anticipation is really exciting.

My short series on soil structure is coming along nicely, and I apologize that it is not ready to publish today. Structure is such an important part of growing a healthy plant. Now that vacation and some health issues are out of the way, I will be able to devote a bit more time to this endeavor that I love so much.

Let us know what you doing! I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you! Happy Gardening!


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; soil
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

“Glad you had your soil analyzed. It is really the first and most important step in garden planning”

Are DIY test kits ok?

41 posted on 02/24/2012 9:24:40 AM PST by Sparky1776
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; tubebender

After being assured yesterday that the big winter storm was passing well to the south of us, we awoke this AM to 6 inches of fluffy snow. I had to wait for the plowman to clear my driveway before I could go to work.

Last week I was treated to the sight of a ground hog running around in a surprise snow storm. The temps have not been too cold and the snow melts right away, so I’m sure that the indigenous animals are totally confused.

My new front windows are in with a coat of primer on the outside (too cold for exterior paint yet). THey’ll be finished later in the year. But, they look gorgeous.

I’ve hired the carpenter independently to put up aluminum soffits on the underside of the roof, so I won’t have to worry about peeling paint there any more and it will also improve the air circulation in the attic. Yay!

I hope all this work improves the heating and cooling costs of the house. It’s costing enough! I think we’ve spent a sum equal to the cost of my first home, just on these improvements.

42 posted on 02/24/2012 9:28:48 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; Sparky1776

Sparky1776 requested to be added to the ping list last week.

43 posted on 02/24/2012 9:35:36 AM PST 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: JustaDumbBlonde
Cleaned up gardening pots yesterday. Sowed lettuce, parsley, rosemary, lobelia and candy-tuft seeds. Hyacinths blooming, daffys poking up out of the soil, leaves coming out on rose bushes. New growth coming up on perennials. Have an eye on local weather reports as severe thunderstorms coming this way as well as dropping temperatures. Gotta stow away some stuff which could become flying missals.
44 posted on 02/24/2012 9:38:50 AM PST by tob2 (November can't come soon enough for me.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Never mind I see you added Sparky earlier!

45 posted on 02/24/2012 9:53:20 AM PST 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: JustaDumbBlonde
Last weekend I noticed that some of my celery were drooping, which is usually a sign that it's time to fill the reservoir for the hydroponics. Nope. Upon closer inspection, the stalks are all really thin, the leaves growing all over the place and shading out all the plants below, and the roots and/or stalks have grown so thick they are starting to crack the pot. Looks like they need to come out.

As soon as I started cutting I knew something was terribly wrong. Those &*^#&^%#^& neighbor kids must have come over in the middle of the night and planted parsley! The stuff grew like a weed.

Fortunately, I had freezer space and I can use parsley in the dogs' food. So, after spending quite some time prying and carving the roots out of the pot and replacing the growing medium, I chopped some parsley. And then I chopped some more. This was followed by, yes, more chopping. At this point, I thought about using the food processor, but figured I'd end up spending as much or more time emptying the bowl and I'd have one more item to clean. What else could I do? Maybe a couple passes with the lawn mower?

Okay, I mentioned I had freezer space. Past tense. Between several gallon bags of chopped parsley and the broccoli and cauliflower coming in strong lately I'm pretty well full up. I would have some space left except a couple days ago I noticed that some of my celery was starting to droop. And boy, was it leafy. Oh, "no" [not the word I actually used]. Not again.

A picture of Monday's trip to the garden for those up north who can't wait to get planting.

46 posted on 02/24/2012 10:07:01 AM PST by Darth Reardon (No offense to drunken sailors)
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To: All

I’ve got a fencing issue that needs to be addressed immediately ... I’ll be back ASAP to get in the conversation!

47 posted on 02/24/2012 10:15:04 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Sparky1776
The chart is a servre weather probability chart. In plain terms...

Green = might get some thunderstorms today.
Yellow = You'll probably have some bad weather today.
Red = You're going to have bad weather today, just not sure how bad.
Magenta = Get in the basement and stay there until the storms pass.

48 posted on 02/24/2012 10:24:10 AM PST by Drill Thrawl (Brass, copper, lead. The new precious metals.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Checking in from the Chicago suburbs . . .

Overnight we had 4” of very wet, heavy snow. Third snow of the so called winter. Most of the winter has been temps in the low to mid 30s and bare ground. Too cold to grow anything and too warm to go ice fishing. The only happy thing is my heating bill. This weird weather is making it vary hard to guess last frost date.

49 posted on 02/24/2012 10:29:12 AM PST by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Our garden is still in hibernation with all the snow we have been getting here in N. MN. It’s been warmer than usual this year with few below zero days, which means we will won’t have to wait too long for the soil to warm up enough to plow!

We DO have a large harvest of Bald Eagles right now! They are cleaning up a road kill whitetail just down the road and are hanging around our place between bites... We just love those beautiful birds! There are about a dozen of them here at one time...

50 posted on 02/24/2012 11:12:39 AM PST by JDoutrider
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To: trisham

Yes, it is extremely early for warnings about tornadoes - but it is also too bloody early for it to be in the mid 70s in this part of the country. Of course the forecasted high temp for tomorrow is around 50.

51 posted on 02/24/2012 11:22:13 AM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Thank you. I was wondering, but did not want to mention it, knowing you were on vacation.

The okry garden is going to be in a new patch, with open access for pulling equipment! My wife LOVES orkry. I am gunna call her on this one, I hope to fill a freezer with it this year. LOL Guess we will be eatin lotsa Gumbo, and fried okry, and okry and maters, and fried okry and fried green maters together. I guess I had better put in some eggplant to fry, also. I guess ya can tell she's a 'Ssippi gal!

52 posted on 02/24/2012 11:40:07 AM PST by rightly_dividing (You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt !)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

You just think drought is over (No good news for Texas)

San Antonio Express-News, 24 Feb., 2012-- Colin McDonald

The drought isn't over, but San Antonio is in for a respite from watering restrictions and a welcome display of wildflowers.

With rainfall this year three times the normal amount, plus a wet December, the Edwards Aquifer has steadily climbed to 664 feet above sea level at the J-17 monitoring well.

If by March 5 the well still is above 660 feet, the once-a-week watering restrictions will be lifted by the city on March 6. Residents again will be allowed to water their lawns any day of the week between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., something that hasn't happened since April.

"I'm thinking we will come out of Stage 1 for awhile," Karen Guz, conservation director at the San Antonio Water System, said Thursday.

But she does not believe the once-a-week restrictions are gone for good. With Medina Lake, Canyon Lake and the Edwards Aquifer all lower than they were at this time last year, another summer of drought with watering restrictions is likely, she said.

The National Weather Service is predicting slightly below-average rainfall through May. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map, Bexar County continues to be in a moderate drought. That's an improvement over the extreme and exceptional classifications last year.

"Short term, we are doing really well," NWS meteorologist Mark Lenz said. "The aquifer is back up. People's lawns are nice and green. But in the long term: no."

[Which lawns is Mr. Lenz looking at? Those belonging to people who watered and nurtured their lawns illegally . . . or had teenage sons water their yards by hand every day or so . . . or every day? And charged them with digging up the invaders?

On San Antonio's far west side, we're digging up four foot high, flowering, mystery weeds plus some spreading weeds which look like lettuce and parsley.

Every year something new, exotic]

53 posted on 02/24/2012 11:52:57 AM PST by Racehorse
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I started plants indoors a couple weeks ago, and all came up. Suddenly, all the cukes and a couple types of melon wilted and died. I guess that I'll plant the remaining seeds directly in to soil and let them go from there.

The peanuts seeds I bought on a lark are reaching for the sky. I hope they'll do well outside. We'll have plenty of tomato's and beans also. The hoophouse I built last year was such a success that I'm going to expand the center section and add more raised beds. I'll post pictures when it's up and running.

JADB- That white stuff looks a tad chilly!

54 posted on 02/24/2012 1:03:03 PM PST by Sarajevo
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
It got up to 82° here in East Central Mississippi yesterday. Sure felt good! It is cloudy and much cooler today - High expected around 60° Today. Peggy will be making a trip back here Sunday. On Monday we will load up my F-150 and a small modified (added plywood sides) utility trailer with some our belongings and head over to Marshall, Tx on Tuesday. This trip is being made just to make a small dent in our move with with the 26 Ft. Pensky rental truck on March 6th. On March 3rd she starts a 7 day vacation and we will drive back in my truck and use the 4th and 5th to set up all of our "stuff" for the loading day on the 6th. Drive to Marshall very early on the 7th and start unloading. We are "supposed" to have help from her sister and husband and possibly one of his friends on that end.

My modified utility trailer. We have used this same modified trailer to move some of our "stuff" from San Antonio, Tx to Meridian, Ms in the past. It has new plywood, which I cut and painted yesterday and installed today. The cargo area is 4'w x 8'l x 3'h. and will have a plywood top and closure on the rear. It is only designed to hold boxes and those plastic storage boxes.


The rear seat of the crew cab is removed from the truck and Cashmere's bedding well be installed so she will ride in comfort.

55 posted on 02/24/2012 1:07:47 PM PST 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: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

yes I believe we are neighbors. I am in the Northfield area

56 posted on 02/24/2012 1:13:10 PM PST by DollyCali (Don't tell God how big your storm is... tell your storm how BIG your God is!)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

So, did you tear up the slopes?

Great photo.

57 posted on 02/24/2012 1:28:22 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Darth Reardon

Great photo, especially with the peeking pooch.

58 posted on 02/24/2012 1:32:33 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Greetings from hot and sticky NE Louisiana! We set a record high yesterday at 89 degrees.

Grumble. Half a foot of the heaviest, wettest snow it has ever been my misfortune to move. Well the driveway is plowed and the steps are shoveled. For today. How long to gardening season in lovely, frozen Michigan?

59 posted on 02/24/2012 3:21:24 PM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: Red_Devil 232; JustaDumbBlonde

Again thanks for adding me to both of your lists!

Any thoughts on DIY soil tests like this one at Agway (or similiar):

“Rapi-Test Soil Test Kit performs 40 total tests for soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.”

To be honest I wasn’t even going to bother because my backyard is pretty much solid peat and hasn’t been farmed for 60 + years and figured it must have some nutrients in it but you made me think JustaBlonde that perhaps I should.

Any thoughts?

60 posted on 02/24/2012 5:12:39 PM PST by Sparky1776
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