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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: JustaDumbBlonde; All

Heh - the consensus seems to be, maybe not.

Thanks, folks.


101 posted on 04/21/2012 3:32:16 AM PDT by patton (DateDiff)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Just checking in, it’s batscat crazy with campaigns here and garden when I can. Will post some pics if I ever have time.


102 posted on 04/21/2012 4:21:32 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Election 2012 - America stands or falls. No more excuses. Get involved.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

What a gorgeous setting! Your hives are so well kept that they all look new. What type of base or stand are they on?

Husband just informed me that we will have lows in the 30’s next Tuesday. Grrrrrrr....I will have to find some way to protect the grapes, cucumbers and zucchini that are all doing so well. I can easily cover the veggies with some good dry straw....but I’ll have to figure something else for the grapes.

Our peach trees have all been sprayed for the second time...and are LOADED with fruit. Our figs got zapped with a frost ...but are recovering. Our new raspberry canes are sprouting like crazy and I just cut all the blooms off the rhubarb so the roots will really get a boost after their transplant this spring.

Oh....and I’ve prayed for your friend, Mark. ;-)


103 posted on 04/21/2012 6:07:44 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: Gabz; tubebender

I really don’t *do* flowers either, but Mr. Bender’s lovely wife has inspired me with her greenhouse full of flats every year. Went so far as to *buy* the seeds ... maybe I’ll get around to putting them in pots.


104 posted on 04/21/2012 8:49:51 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz; TASMANIANRED; tillacum; trisham; SumProVita

Thank you for your prayers. Mark had a rough night, with the pain, but is hoping for a better day.


105 posted on 04/21/2012 8:59:03 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; tubebender; Diana in Wisconsin

LOL! You sound like me. Diana keeps sending me flower seeds in with veggies seeds - this time I have to say I did actually get some potting soil.........that’s as far as I’ve gotten!


106 posted on 04/21/2012 9:13:40 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Continuing prayers for Mark, that each new day will bring more strength and healing.

Thanks for the update, JDB!

107 posted on 04/21/2012 9:20:17 AM 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: TASMANIANRED
Thanks!

Wow ... you were very industrious. I feel like a slacker now.

108 posted on 04/21/2012 9:21:26 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Gabz
"one of local farmer friends told us where he piles excess dirt on the farm and we are welcome to it at any time."

Well, there you go! I'd wager that his soil may be better than the stuff you'll buy. I was very disappointed with the stuff that I bought for my raised bed ... and I paid a small fortune for it when you add in the transportation he charged me.

It may very well be cheaper and more productive to get the free stuff and put your money into some quality amendments like a block of sphagnum moss, vermeculite, some coconut coir, etc. And a good soil test before you plant or do too much amending.

109 posted on 04/21/2012 9:29:05 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: trisham

Thank you, trisham!


110 posted on 04/21/2012 9:36:36 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Melian

Thank you for your kind words. The green pellets you are seeing are more than likely lime or nitrogen, but I couldn’t say for sure without seeing the bag. Phosphorus is generally in the tan/pink/red range, but a manufacturer could coat any element with another color for their ‘brand’.


111 posted on 04/21/2012 9:40:32 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

We ended up with some wind, a lot of lightning, but only 0.3” of rain. Thank goodness! The blob that was bearing down on us on radar images kinda parted and went around us. :)


112 posted on 04/21/2012 9:42:45 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

My husband wants to know if you have any pheasant hunting in your area. He has been wanting to get a hunt together for years.


113 posted on 04/21/2012 9:45:57 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Free Vulcan

Good to hear from ya ... can’t wait to see your photos.


114 posted on 04/21/2012 9:47:15 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Bellflower
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115 posted on 04/21/2012 9:55:48 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: cherry
Have you watched the Victorian Kitchen Garden series on YouTube?

I found it when I was watching the Victorian Kitchen series. Go figure. ;)

/johnny

116 posted on 04/21/2012 10:29:40 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

What he has is primarily known as “fill dirt” but it’s free, so after chatting with folks this morning at church, what I think I’m going to do is fill the pick up at his place and then add a few bags of the topsoil. But first I’m going to add a bunch of manure to “dirt”

I didn’t stop at the supply place on my way home this morning because I wasn’t in the truck and my car was starting to act funky again and I just wanted it off the road. I’m not going to be able to do anything about it now until mid week because of the forecast.

Just when I finally get the bug to “do something” I get all kinds of road blocks thrown in my face. GRRRRRRR


117 posted on 04/21/2012 10:50:58 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: MissMagnolia
Thanks for my new computer wallpaper ;)

The picture of the Iris is fantastic!

118 posted on 04/21/2012 12:19:50 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.)
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To: MissMagnolia

Good looking Figs - sad that the deer enjoyed them. Do you know what variety they are?


119 posted on 04/21/2012 12:49:46 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: JustaDumbBlonde

Some, but not a lot. 50-100 miles east of us is where the pheasant hunting starts getting really good. We have the wild turkeys, some Hungarian & chukar partridge, doves, and sharptail grouse.

http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/pheasants.aspx Map at the bottom of the page shows the HUNTER spending distribution, not BIRD distribution. However, by digging around on the site, I believe pheasant hunter-success stats can be found; I know they publish them for big game on a unit basis.

Of course, we’re in the very bottom, left-most county on the maps.

http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/prairie-chicken-ruffed-grouse.aspx

As a landowner with enough acreage to qualify, I can hunt small game & furbearers on our property without any license; and I can get a landowner preference for big game tags, if I apply for tags in the unit the property is located in. About half the tags in the first draw of a unit are set aside for landowners-only; basically it requires at least 160 acres, and residency to qualify.


120 posted on 04/21/2012 12:54:53 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Red_Devil 232

No variety known - we got them from my Uncle who had several fig bushes at his house. I’m guessing he got them from friends in NC. I know the ones he had got huge - taller than he was! I ate a lot of figs last summer so it will be disappointing not to have any this year.


121 posted on 04/21/2012 1:11:54 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: MissMagnolia

My most prolific and successful fig tree came from North Carolina.


122 posted on 04/21/2012 1:22:49 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: All

Was able to get out to my land today. It looks like the farmer up the hill has his field planted already, so I’m not going to ask him to drive across it. On the other hand, it looks like I won’t have to.

2 years ago I tried to see how much I could simplify the process of hacking out a garden from the weeds. I trampled the weeds down in an area, laid landscaping fabric over top, and waited several weeks before cutting slots in the fabric to plant through. My thinking was that the fabric would have the weeds smothered by then. It didn’t work, I only got one pumpkin that year. Last year I planted in the same place (I hadn’t removed the fabric) and got 5 pumpkins and an amaranth stalk. There was still a thick layer of dead, dry weeds between the fabric and the dirt, and there were live weeds growing up through the holes I’d cut in the fabric.

Today when I went out, there were so many weeds growing through the holes that I decided to try cutting a few new holes as far from the old ones as I could manage. Much to my suprize, I found only a few wisps of dead stalks, and under that was soft, loose dirt, rich with worm castings. It seems my original idea had worked after all, I just hadn’t waited long enough! So, I’ll be laying down lots of landscape fabric this year, as much as I can manage, so that my future garden beds can be ready for me. It would take a few years to get the weeds out if I went by conventional methods anyway, and this way I don’t have to do the work. It’s not a perfect solution, it probably would be laughable in a different situation, but for me this works!


123 posted on 04/21/2012 7:50:08 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: JustaDumbBlonde

We had our first sunshine after many days of depressing PNW “Mist” meaning it Mist Oregon and rained in Benderville. We had to transplant my Sugar Snap peas and Lady Bender’s dwarf flowering sweet peas yesterday and applied lots of slug bait and anti quail screens. Today I took the weed slasher to another patch of Oats and Austrian Field Peas. I have never had such a lovely cover crop as this combination and it is easy to cut as long as it remains upright. Nascar on TV tomorrow...


124 posted on 04/21/2012 9:32:16 PM PDT by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

You don’t have a slack bone in your body.

Can’t go down, I had to go up.


125 posted on 04/21/2012 11:14:23 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

You don’t have a slack bone in your body.

Can’t go down, I had to go up.


126 posted on 04/21/2012 11:15:54 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Ellendra

You can solarize soil and kill weed seeds.

After a soaking rain, put down clear plastic and secure it.

The sun will super heat the soil and sterilize it of weed seeds down to about 6-8 inches.

It takes hot sun and about 6-8 weeks.

Not real helpful for this summer but it would be ready for a fall garden or for planting next year...you can still use landscape fabric.


127 posted on 04/21/2012 11:20:50 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: All

While mowing the lawn yesterday, I noticed the pomegranate bush is really loaded - most 'fruit' I've ever seen on it. This bush is at least 45 years old (how long we've owned the property) & was probably planted around the time the house was built (1922). Last year there were 3 large, ripe pomegranates on it - I'm curious to see how many of these small ones make it to maturity. We have some really old bushes/trees around here and I find that I'm more and more 'attached' to them as we all get older! :-)

128 posted on 04/22/2012 7:22:34 AM 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: TASMANIANRED
The sun will super heat the soil and sterilize it of weed seeds down to about 6-8 inches.

The sun will superheat the soil, but only if it can get to the soil. Clear plastic wouldn't do much to deal with the 1-2 foot layer of weeds and dead stalks. Some of those weeds would even enjoy it, they're thick enough to push the plastic off the ground enough to get airflow underneath, and the result would be like a cold frame.

There was an area where I tried using black plastic, thinking it would sterilize the soil like that. The weeds laughed at it. The landscaping fabric I have now has some weight to it, and is tough enough the sharper weeds can't just poke right through like they did with the plastic. I do appreciate the suggestion, though!
129 posted on 04/22/2012 10:29:39 AM 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

you do have to Mow it or crush it first.


130 posted on 04/22/2012 11:14:27 AM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Ellendra

I’m in sympathy with you.

My garden was in last year’s hay field.


131 posted on 04/22/2012 11:15:31 AM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I harvested and chopped up my first harvest of the season, 3 gallon bags of chopped green onions in the freezer. This week, if things hold, I will be transplanting my tomatoes and zuchinni, and eggplant. Will plant beans. I never did get my greenhouse up. The money just wasn’t there for framing material but it will be done by fall. For next year.


132 posted on 04/22/2012 3:37:41 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 ("When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson)
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To: o_zarkman44

Imagine meeting a nice Nascar fan on the garden thread...


133 posted on 04/22/2012 4:54:18 PM PDT by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Snow here later tonight. Stupid NE Ohio.


134 posted on 04/22/2012 6:50:06 PM PDT by agrace
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

That is a painful operation he went through. Prayers for a peaceful night and feeling better each day.


135 posted on 04/22/2012 7:18:04 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I have one celery “cut off” in some soil, and am getting ready to plant about 3 more. We’ve had a house full of company and lots of snackers were made, plus salads and some cajun cooking. We use lots of celery.


136 posted on 04/22/2012 7:31:12 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: Gabz

Gabz, road blocks are only swerves on your way to the main event. Keep swerving toward your goal.


137 posted on 04/22/2012 7:44:24 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: TASMANIANRED

Thank you, very much. I have weeds in a garden by the pasture, so being in Texas, I’m going to try that. THANK YOU!!


138 posted on 04/22/2012 7:51:07 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: tubebender

So good to hear from you ... I was getting worried. Hope it dries up so you can garden your heart out!


139 posted on 04/23/2012 8:03:20 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: SumProVita
Thank you for your prayers and for your kind words on my bee yard. I only got my first hive in the spring of 2011, so they are all pretty new. I use a cypress hive stand as the first component of woodenware, which gives them a landing board when they come in heavy with pollen or nectar. All of the hives are sitting on wooden or composite pallets. The ground down there is not at all level, and it is easier shim up a pallet and then put the hive on top.

I hope that you figure out how to protect your grapes!

140 posted on 04/23/2012 8:09:23 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: All
Update on Mark: he is doing remarkably well. They are talking about releasing him from the hospital today or tomorrow and letting him go to the hotel that is across the street from the hospital. If that goes well, they will let him come back to Louisiana Wednesday or Thursday. They have chartered a plane to bring him in to our local air strip so that he doesn't have to go through the normal travel nightmare.

My thanks to all of you that prayed. There is no doubt that prayers were answered.

141 posted on 04/23/2012 8:13:01 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

My old bones are hankering for a warmer climate but it ain’t gonna happen so I’ll push on. Be 79 next month and I have been making compost since my mother had me dumping garden scrapes in a endless trench in 1939. (Ruth Stout had nothing on my Mother). I’ll get back to cutting the cover crop after I visit a couple of FRiends tomorrow then I’ll help my wife spade. Her seedlings are looking good in the greenhouse but we have to do daily slug patrol there and especially in the garden...


142 posted on 04/23/2012 7:50:52 PM PDT by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: tillacum

You have plenty of solar power.


143 posted on 04/23/2012 8:38:18 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: tubebender

We used to put down a salt barrier to keep the slugs away from our sidewalk and yard. I think my Dad used rocksalt.


144 posted on 04/24/2012 1:28:43 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: tubebender

I wish you were in THIS warm climate, albeit kinda humid sometimes. You would be my very favorite neighbor. I pray that your bones hurt less.


145 posted on 04/25/2012 9:15:11 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: All

Thank you again for all of your prayers. Mark is HOME!!! One week after departing for Mayo and undergoing open heart surgery, he is home. What a miracle.


146 posted on 04/25/2012 9:17:02 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Glad that Mark is home; there is no substitute for prayer.

Thanks for the seeds. According to the wise and all knowing internet, they can be planted direct or in starter pots. Whataya think?

And 8-15 years to bloom? I may not live THAT long!

147 posted on 04/25/2012 1:11:04 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (Newt 2012)
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To: rightly_dividing
I would start them in pots, with plenty of organic matter in the potting soil to hold the moisture better. I've become a big fan of coconut coir, but sphagnum moss is also good.

While it may be some years before you get blooms, you will have a nice green vine very quickly. My experience has been that wisteria grows several feet every year. Mine is under huge oaks, so it gets only a couple of hours of sun in the morning, and again in late afternoon.

148 posted on 04/25/2012 2:30:40 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Thanks. We have yard guys now so I will have to cage them for while after they go in the ground.
149 posted on 04/25/2012 2:49:16 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (Newt 2012)
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