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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

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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!

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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; soil
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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.

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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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To: Drill Thrawl

That was a timely chart - a rumble went through about 15 minutes after the initial post, didn’t last long, some rain received later in the afternoon. Hope more follows!


61 posted on 02/24/2012 5:15:38 PM PST by Sparky1776
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Damm Goats??? I got a little weeding done in the Blueberry patch today and Lady Bender finished weeding the Garlic plot then a Church member/friend brought a PU load of garden debris to dump in the gulch. The Church has about 10 volunteers for the gardens that have won the City Beautification a couple of years ago. They give one award per year...


62 posted on 02/24/2012 5:19:01 PM PST by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-Nmg0q9jE&feature=related

Just found this.. compost sifting.

It’s giving me ideas.


63 posted on 02/24/2012 5:55:23 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Well, I done did didit.

I just placed my order for this year’s seeds.

Sweet Peppers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Golden Beets, Swiss Chard, Summer Squash, and Honeydew Melons.

Where can I place an order for the energy to plant all this???


64 posted on 02/24/2012 6:42:20 PM PST by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Not much going on ‘round here garden-wise; still a little early to start tomatoes and peppers...but I’m doing a lot of sprouting for salad greens and we have the third floor walk-up attic prepped as the ‘Chick-a-Torium’ come April. (We have a brooder pen - they don’t get the full run of the attic!)

We had a clear, cold day with no snow, so we did get a lot of the orchard trees trimmed and the scrap trees that were crowding out the chicken coop are now GONE - and Good Riddance! I can FINALLY paint the west side of the coop, and there’s more firewood to boot. Happy, happy! :)


65 posted on 02/24/2012 8:18:15 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: TASMANIANRED

Nice contraption he has designed.


66 posted on 02/24/2012 9:38:25 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: samiam1972

Do not panic! You are not late. I’m 300 miles west of you and probably 2 weeks behind your season, because of higher altitude.

Previously, I usually started peppers about March 1 and Tomatoes about March 15. I have decided that is too early, and will delay those dates by about two weeks this year. Last year, we were still having freezing temps on May 15, which is considered our “last frost date”, and my seedlings were huge, and a pain to take care of before I got them set out.


67 posted on 02/24/2012 10:48:10 PM PST by tdscpa
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To: DaxtonBrown

Good plan on the early/late tomato crops. There are many members of this group that report tomatoes not producing in extreme heat, but I’ve never experienced that. Wish I knew why. What variety of eggplant are you growing?


68 posted on 02/25/2012 5:05:26 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: ImProudToBeAnAmerican
Wow, you got a really good deal on the barrels. What are they made from?

What kind of fruit trees are you pondering?

69 posted on 02/25/2012 5:07:00 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: sneakers
I think you are safe with the lettuce and cole crops, and you probably should be starting your tomatoes indoors if you can put them in the ground by the end of April.

Enjoy that cold frame!

70 posted on 02/25/2012 5:09:21 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Sparky1776

Very nice selection of veggies! Y’all will be eating very well :)


71 posted on 02/25/2012 5:10:21 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: who knows what evil?
Glad you're enjoying the mild winter. We met a bunch of folks from the east coast while we were skiing due to the lack of snow in the NE.

Do you have the cheddar cauliflower or the purple? Have you grown colored ones before and, if so, is the taste similar to the white?

72 posted on 02/25/2012 5:12:58 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: trisham

Thanks, trisham! Good to see ya.


73 posted on 02/25/2012 5:14:17 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: left that other site

Thank you! It’s good to be back home and in touch with my gardening FRiends. :)


74 posted on 02/25/2012 5:15:25 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: SumProVita
"I would like to plant two hazelnut (filburt)bushes. What varieties would be best for Tennessee? Anyone know?"

I don't know much about hazelnut bushes, except that the Arbor Day Foundation has been working on bushes that grow well almost anywhere. This is the link, if you're interested in checking them out. I was planning on trying some.

75 posted on 02/25/2012 5:20:44 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: PrincessB

Sounds like your gardening is well underway! Thanks for checking in!


76 posted on 02/25/2012 5:21:54 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Hey! I’ve been following the ducklings on Facebook and they are precious. Sounds like y’all are pretty good at doctoring too. Be sure and post some pics when you get all those implements going in the garden. I’m so excited for you.


77 posted on 02/25/2012 5:24:34 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: DollyCali

Glad you checked-in, Dolly, and doubly glad that you are enjoying a pleasantly mild winter. With no more cold weather than we’ve had here in LA, I cringe to imagine the insect pressure we’ll have in the Spring/Summer. I’ll really have to be on my game with the spraying.


78 posted on 02/25/2012 5:29:13 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: MtnClimber

Good luck with the okra! I was grocery shopping in Bozeman 2 weeks ago and ran across some fresh okra in the produce section. $5.99/pound. People in the Deep South would die laughing as they walked on by.


79 posted on 02/25/2012 5:33:41 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: samiam1972
"We’re fairly new to gardening and are praying we don’t mess this up!"

Don't be apprehensive, you'll go just fine. Check with your local county extension office. They will have tons of useful information and you can get your soil tested. Hey, we pay their salaries anyway, might as well take advantage.

I don't know a thing about 4-in-1 fruit trees. If they are offered by a reputable company, you don't have to worry much.

80 posted on 02/25/2012 5:38:52 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: txhurl

Did the maters make it through all that wind??? We had a cool front come through, and thankfully it was a dry line. Little bit of wind, but nothing close to what you had.


81 posted on 02/25/2012 5:40:11 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz

Thank you, Gabz, it is good to be back. I have to agree on the weather ... it is absolutely strange.


82 posted on 02/25/2012 5:41:36 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

We’ll keep you in our prayers for additional rain. I can’t imagine seeing Lake Travis that low. I have an aunt that lives there and I never remember low water levels when we visited during the summers of my youth. Lots more people pulling water from it now.


83 posted on 02/25/2012 5:44:48 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Sparky1776

How tall will your deer fence be? Around here they can clear 5-6’ without even thinking about it.


84 posted on 02/25/2012 5:47:29 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender

Lord Bender, I am so sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I will pray for a quick recovery. Is the berry thief keeping you full of chicken soup?


85 posted on 02/25/2012 5:48:54 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Do you have the cheddar cauliflower or the purple? Have you grown colored ones before and, if so, is the taste similar to the white?

Neither wife nor I detect any difference in flavor...it's more of a 'presentation' thing...people always ask if the 'sunset/cheddar' variety tastes like cheese...it would save a few steps when preparing it for dinner, but alas...it just tastes like good 'ol snowball cauliflower.

86 posted on 02/25/2012 5:50:25 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Texas Fossil
I've never used a DIY soil test, but AccuGrow gets good reviews. Since we send out dozens of soil samples every year for our farmland, I always throw in a bag of my garden soil too. The company we use always includes the exact amounts of everything that needs to be added to accomodate the planned crop.
87 posted on 02/25/2012 5:55:08 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Too much of the purple can make you tipsy, though... :-)


88 posted on 02/25/2012 5:55:13 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Sparky1776
"Are DIY test kits ok?"

If you have some experience in gardening and amending the soil to achieve a certain result, DIY is fine. For myself, I prefer a professional analysis like you would get from the county agent or similar lab. They not only analyze, but offer guidance on what and how much to add. I posted a link just above for some soil test strips that are available.

89 posted on 02/25/2012 5:58:55 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Sounds like you’ve been busy, as usual. You need to talk the husband into solar while the tax rebates are still available.


90 posted on 02/25/2012 6:01:21 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz

Central VA here - 3.5 inches of snow last Sunday, 80 degrees yesterday. Opened the windows & enjoyed until the ‘cold’ front blew through during the afternoon. No tornadoes here, just watches, heavy winds/rain, & hail (enough to make my aunt’s yard look white) across the river.


91 posted on 02/25/2012 6:01:56 AM PST 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: Darth Reardon

Funny story and great photo! Those green beans are beauties! Great looking good doggie too. I love bully breeds.


92 posted on 02/25/2012 6:04:12 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Petruchio

Thanks so much for checking-in! I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays. :)


93 posted on 02/25/2012 6:05:15 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JDoutrider
We love Bald Eagles too. Saw dozens of them during our trek to Montana. They were all over the Gallatin Valley.

Let us know when you get that garden started!

94 posted on 02/25/2012 6:07:36 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Sarajevo

Looking forward to those photos!


95 posted on 02/25/2012 6:10:42 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Interesting ...because these are the exact hazelnuts that my sister just got. I think I’ll try them too. They are much less expensive for one thing. ;-)

Thanks for the link.


96 posted on 02/25/2012 6:12:04 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: Red_Devil 232

Nice job on the trailer! I hope the move goes smoothly. Honk at me on the way by :)


97 posted on 02/25/2012 6:12:34 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: TASMANIANRED

Yes, we did tear up the slopes. After I got my ski legs back for a couple of days, I took a full day advanced lesson and learned some really good stuff. Was enjoying black runs by the end of the lesson, which was okay, but I prefer to cruise a challenging blue. Not too many of my friends ski black at our age, so more company to hang with on the blues as well.


98 posted on 02/25/2012 6:16:22 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Sparky1776

Sparky, I am a strong proponent of soil tests. They are inexpensive and give you much better odds of success. You can have all of the nutrients in the world, but if your pH is off, the plants will not be able to utilize the nutrients. A good year of gardening always starts with tests. Seeds and plants are too expensive to gamble.


99 posted on 02/25/2012 6:19:07 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender
No, it wasn't the damn goats this time, but probably some disgruntled kids. There are a couple of teens that I've caught poaching in our woods and they are unhappy with the consequences. They've been trouble since they were 7 years old.

Took all afternoon, but the fence is repaired.

100 posted on 02/25/2012 6:22:12 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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