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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 52 DECEMBER 27, 2013
Free Republic | Dec. 27, 2013 | greeneyes

Posted on 12/27/2013 12:25:05 PM PST by greeneyes

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!

NOTE: This is a once a week ping list. We do post to the thread during the week. Links to related articles and discussions which might be of interest are welcomed, so feel free to post them at any time.


TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: agriculture; food; gardening; hobby
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Greetings from Missouri. Hope you all had a great Christmas. We are having a reprieve from winter the last few days. Today, the sun shines bright, and the temperature is almost 60 degrees. I hope all you buried in snow and ice are managing to stay warm and healthy.

We have been sitting by the patio door drinking in the sun shine and drinking some Wassail. Got a lot of cleaning done this AM, including giving all the house plants a bath in the tub to wash all the dust and bugs off the plants. Trimmed them all to fit the space they are growing in.

Hard to believe but another year is nearly gone. This is the last ping for the year. After the holiday break, the garden catalogs will come out to study. I won't be buying much this year as I over purschased and under planted last year. LOL

Have a great weekend, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! God Bless.

1 posted on 12/27/2013 12:25:05 PM PST by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the List.


2 posted on 12/27/2013 12:27:44 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

The lemon grass that I had in water to root finally got serious enough that I had to pot it. It's almost 3 ft tall, the other one is just a little shorter. I guess I'm growing lemon grass now.

/johnny

3 posted on 12/27/2013 12:30:49 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

How cool is that!?


4 posted on 12/27/2013 12:31:39 PM PST by Black Agnes
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To: greeneyes

The rebel tobacco plant as of this morning. The shotgun shell is for scale.

That plant just has no idea it's the wrong time of year for it. So I'll play along with it.

It will have to be re-potted into a gallon container in the next few days.

/johnny

5 posted on 12/27/2013 12:33:47 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Black Agnes
Pretty cool, since I have NO idea what I'm doing growing lemon grass. I know how to cook with it... growing it? I guess I get to learn.

/johnny

6 posted on 12/27/2013 12:34:53 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

Good afternoon. I hope you had a merry Christmas with all the family.

We had the Ms. gang out and it was great, but is good to get back to the everyday routine.

Nothing much going on in the garden, we did get the teenagers to spread compost over the garden while they were here.

Thinking about seed starting that will go on in a few weeks. Gunna do something a little different this year. Gunna bend a cattle panel over into an arch and grow some trombone squash and heirloom maters in containers and let them grow overhead. Need to do someting different to keep interest alive, same old, same old kinda gets old.


7 posted on 12/27/2013 12:41:54 PM PST by rightly_dividing (2 Tim. 2:15)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I guess you are!LOL


8 posted on 12/27/2013 12:43:22 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

That’s a nice looking plant. Thanks for the photos of that and the lemon grass.


9 posted on 12/27/2013 12:44:17 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I wasn’t clever enough to root any of my own. I bought a plant from either shumway or jungs last spring. Put it in the biggest pot I had and it very nearly filled it by the end of the growing season. It’s in my garage right now. I might separate it next year but I need to read up on that first, lemongrass might take offense to that.


10 posted on 12/27/2013 12:45:11 PM PST by Black Agnes
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin

There’s about 15 inches of snow on the ground around here — no outdoor gardening will be done in Wisconsin. I did receive my first garden catalog, however, — from Jung’s. Thank you Diana. But, it’s too early to be browsing and dreaming yet.

We had a most unusal event here. There was a huge barn fire in my neighborhood on Christmas. (about a mile from my house) Do you know how I found out about it? An email from Southern California from a former business colleague of my husband’s whose grown daughter knew the wife of the farmer from AFS years ago.

This fire was so big that it burned from 5 AM until late in the night on Christmas, but we didn’t have a clue because we were out at church, or out at the movies, or had our window shades closed all day to keep the house warm. It was a huge, beautiful 100 year old barn — gone. We drove by this afternoon, and it is still smoldering. We don’t know these people, but we know their relatives and many of their neighbors.

Nobody was hurt, and they got all the cous out, thank God. One person was treated for smoke inhalation because he was recovering from pneumonia at the time of the fire, and he went in the lead 20 cows to safety. The fire was caused by a space heater.

Well, that’s all the “news from Lake Woebegone”!


11 posted on 12/27/2013 12:45:37 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JRandomFreeper
Johnny... Do you know the variety/ cultivar of tobacco plant that volunteered ?
Do you grow one kind only , or several varieties ?
12 posted on 12/27/2013 12:46:05 PM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin

There’s about 15 inches of snow on the ground around here — no outdoor gardening will be done in Wisconsin. I did receive my first garden catalog, however, — from Jung’s. Thank you Diana. But, it’s too early to be browsing and dreaming yet.

We had a most unusal event here. There was a huge barn fire in my neighborhood on Christmas. (about a mile from my house) Do you know how I found out about it? An email from Southern California from a former business colleague of my husband’s whose grown daughter knew the wife of the farmer from AFS years ago.

This fire was so big that it burned from 5 AM until late in the night on Christmas, but we didn’t have a clue because we were out at church, or out at the movies, or had our window shades closed all day to keep the house warm. It was a huge, beautiful 100 year old barn — gone. We drove by this afternoon, and it is still smoldering. We don’t know these people, but we know their relatives and many of their neighbors.

Nobody was hurt, and they got all the cows out, thank God. One person was treated for smoke inhalation because he was recovering from pneumonia at the time of the fire, and he went in the lead 20 cows to safety. The fire was caused by a space heater.

Well, that’s all the “news from Lake Woebegone”!


13 posted on 12/27/2013 12:46:16 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: greeneyes

It is nearly 50 degrees in SW OH, a bright, dazzling sunny day. My kittehs have been warming their stripes in the sun. I wish the catalogues would start arriving in earnest...


14 posted on 12/27/2013 12:46:50 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: Black Agnes
My daughter's in-laws are Cambodian, so they cook with lemon grass all the time. They gave me 3 dried up old stalks and I put them in water and that's what I wound up with.

Let me know what you find out about propogating them, as I said, I'm clueless.

/johnny

15 posted on 12/27/2013 12:51:35 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
There was a huge barn fire in my neighborhood on Christmas. (about a mile from my house)

Was it full of hay? That would take a long time to burn down. It can spontaneously combust if not cured properly or if it gets wet once in storage...or mice can destroy barn wiring. I saw some barn fires while I lived in the sticks, and they are impressive...and sad, a great loss to the owners. I'm relieved they got their animals out.
16 posted on 12/27/2013 12:51:50 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: Tilted Irish Kilt
I grow bright leaf burley, and the stray seed that started had to be from that. I only grow that variety, because it meets my needs. I don't grow a lot of varieties of anything. I find what works and stick with it. I'm boring. ;)

/johnny

17 posted on 12/27/2013 12:53:36 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
So sad about the barn, but good they got the cows out. I hope the cows had insurance on their barn.

I'm getting tons of catalogs in the mail, and 2014 is the year that I'm least likely to buy any seeds. Most of what I'll plant this year is seeds that I've saved from last year.

/johnny

18 posted on 12/27/2013 12:55:47 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Nepeta

Yes. They lost all their hay, and they have about 80 head of cattle to feed. I doubt that there is any hay available around here. Certainly, it won’t be easy to move the hay in with 15 inches of snow on the ground. I’m sure their neighboring farmers will help, and there probably will be a fundraiser. It’s a tragedy to lose one of the old barns around here. We lose a couple a year due to fire, or wind.


19 posted on 12/27/2013 12:57:06 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: JRandomFreeper
JRandomFreeper :" I find what works and stick with it. I'm boring. ;)"

I somehow doubt that !!
You are just a "methodist" and keep it simple .
I understand that you are looking for salsa to survive 2014.
You better ask Marcella , Agnes , or your daughters-in-law for some lemongrass salsa recipies.

20 posted on 12/27/2013 1:03:27 PM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: rightly_dividing

Sounds cool. Maybe some pictures later, when you get it going?


21 posted on 12/27/2013 1:04:44 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Those space heaters can be dangerous. My ex son-in-law’s house burned due to a space heater. They forgot to turn it off when they left, and so weren’t there when it started.


22 posted on 12/27/2013 1:07:47 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper; Nepeta; greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin

23 posted on 12/27/2013 1:08:31 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Nepeta

I love these sort of days in the winter. I have received about 6 catalogs already. They usually don’t come in this early.


24 posted on 12/27/2013 1:10:24 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Nepeta

That’s one reason why a lot of people don’t use their barns to store hay. They have a hay shed located well away from the barn and house.


25 posted on 12/27/2013 1:11:50 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Tilted Irish Kilt
I'll have salsa. I just hate having to buy crappy canned jalapenos and tomatoes at the grocery store. I should have a bunch from 2013. Grrr.

/johnny

26 posted on 12/27/2013 1:16:30 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Tragic. Prayers up for the family.

/johnny

27 posted on 12/27/2013 1:17:13 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

One of my reasons for doing an arch is simply laziness: I dont feel like tilling an addition to the south side of the patch. That tiller has thrown me before, and I aint wantin any new trips to the ER. In fact, we may do “no till” gardening this year. A youtube gardener suggests watering the garden during the winter to water the worms and good bugs to keep the soil alive, so I turned on the drip system today for 30 minutes since we have not had any rain in two weeks or so. It may not help any, but it got me outside for a few minutes, so I guess it was good.


28 posted on 12/27/2013 1:18:04 PM PST by rightly_dividing (2 Tim. 2:15)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Everything about growing/propagating Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratusis, USDA Zone 8-9), which I used to grow on the Farm in GHs.
29 posted on 12/27/2013 1:20:39 PM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Its good to see you on here again. I hope that you will be able to play in the dirt this year. You always have the nicest gardens.

Prayers up for the barn fire people.


30 posted on 12/27/2013 1:22:30 PM PST by rightly_dividing (2 Tim. 2:15)
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To: greeneyes

T Bender reporting in for the South North West region. Our weather has been insanely nice for nearly all of this year BUT… we have had less than a third of our usual rainfall and December has only seen a half inch against a normal 8 inches. We have received a multitude of seed catalogs but I have not found where Lady Bender is hoarding them. She is in great pain because of a worn out hip joint or two and faces surgery after she gets her flowers planted in late spring. I have a few photos to post but Flickr is not giving me the correct HTML code and I really want to share the heart warming gift I gave my Child Bride...


31 posted on 12/27/2013 1:23:11 PM PST by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: carriage_hill
Did you mean to post a google search? Or was there a specific site you wanted to recommend? Either way, thanks.

/johnny

32 posted on 12/27/2013 1:24:00 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: tubebender
Prayers up for Mrs T Bender. Looking forward to the photographs.

/johnny

33 posted on 12/27/2013 1:30:33 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That is just heart breaking! My surviving sister is a lover of old barns and has a small one on their vineyard in Fresno County. All of her greeting cards are Barn themed.


34 posted on 12/27/2013 1:31:35 PM PST by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Thanks JRT. I sure wish FR had a like button aka face book


35 posted on 12/27/2013 1:39:15 PM PST by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: greeneyes
I meant to ask you about my winter wheat. A couple of weeks ago we had that really hard freeze, and now the tops of the wheat are browning. The shaft of the plant near the ground is still green. Has this ever happened to you?

/johnny

36 posted on 12/27/2013 1:49:40 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: rightly_dividing

I never till my garden. Sometimes I do a little digging. I do as little as possible to get the plants to grow. LOL


37 posted on 12/27/2013 2:09:43 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tubebender

Hope ya’ll get some rain. I’ll patiently wait for the pictures. Always like to see what you have to post.


38 posted on 12/27/2013 2:11:29 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I do not recall ever seeing that. Of course, I don’t go outside when it is cold either. Winter wheat is so cold tolerant, I would think that something else is going on rather than cold weather.

Our winter wheat and winter rye is usually green as a gourd all winter.


39 posted on 12/27/2013 2:14:44 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
Bright green all winter is what I normally see. We'll see if it comes back. Grasses grow from the roots, and not the tips, so it may come back. I just had never seen this before.

/johnny

40 posted on 12/27/2013 2:17:38 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

Not much to report from here. Turnips are getting ready for harvest. Leaf lettuce is nice and fresh for sandwiches. I got a few late season tomatoes as well.


41 posted on 12/27/2013 2:21:44 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: greeneyes; JRandomFreeper; rightly_dividing; sockmonkey; Nepeta; Silentgypsy; ApplegateRanch; ...
Too bad that barn burned - history and hay gone.

rightly said: “Need to do something different to keep interest alive, same old, same old kinda gets old.”

Stick with me, rightly, since I don't know all the rules of planting/growing, I'm not hemmed in by rules, so I do weird things and some of those may temp you to do them, too. You will enjoy the Tromboncino Squash and it grows so fast you can sit outside at night and watch it grow. I want another Stevia plant and have to get a Meyer Lemon dwarf tree AND NOW:

I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUCUMBERS.

The short version of this story is I am self locked in my house as people are dying of H1N1 in this county - four have already died and I don't know how the other four are. I can't take the vaccine and being 80, I will die if I get that. Here is my problem:

I am eating my food storage. Yesterday afternoon, I was going to make tuna salad and discovered there was no pickle relish in the fridge and it took me cleaning out the pantry to find one small bottle of relish. Rats. When that is gone I will have NONE. I do have two bottles of sweet “Stackers” which are thinly sliced Bread and Butter sweet pickles and can make relish out of that.

I have stacks and stacks of canned chicken for an emergency, but I have to buy bottles of relish. Now, I need to plan for growing cucumbers to make sweet pickles so I got my big “The Joy of Pickling” book and found a fast recipe for sweet pickles. Other types of sweet pickles in this book take three to four days but these can be prepared and put in the canning bath in one day.

I would need cucumbers that are 3-4 inches long. Is there a cucumber you grow that is resistant to insects and cans well? That may be a dumb question but I don't know if some cucumbers are better canners than others.

You slice these cucumbers 3/16 inch thick. To make 3 1/2 pints, you do this (IS THERE SUCH A THING AS MAKING ACTUAL RELISH, THEN WATER BATH CANNING IT? There probably isn't.):

QUICK SWEET CUCUMBER SLICES
1. Toss the sliced cucumbers (3/16 inch thick) with 2 tablespoons pickling salt. Empty an ice cube tray over the cucumbers and let them stand for 3-4 hours.
2. Drain the cucumbers , discarding any ice cubes that haven't melted. In a nonreactive pot, bring to boil the 2 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 1/2 cups cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp. whole coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tsp. whole allspice berries, 1 tbsp. whole yellow mustard seed.
3. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Add cucumbers. Over medium heat, bring to a boil again. Pack them unto pint or half pint jars leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Close with two piece lids and process in boiling water for 5 minutes.

When I needed relish, I would cut them up along with a bit of the sweet juice to make relish.

I must have relish in an emergency situation. I asked greeneyes on another thread earlier today to drive here from Missouri and bring relish to my door so I don't have to leave my house, but she hasn't driven here.

What cucumber seed should I get to grow cucumbers - remember this is hot Texas so they have to endure heat and be strong to keep insects from killing them.

42 posted on 12/27/2013 2:33:33 PM PST by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: JRandomFreeper

There are 10-15 decent-good sites there with growing/propagating info and tips, so I posted the full search results so you could browse them. Depending upon your USDA Zone in TX - 6, 7, 8, or 9 - some of the sites are tip-specific, so indoor/outdoor cultivation varies somewhat. Some species are perennial; down in TX, you should have an easy time with it. I grew it up in 6b, in and out of GHs, easily. It’s worthwhile for culinary usage, and not invasive.


43 posted on 12/27/2013 2:38:49 PM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: carriage_hill
I've read several pages on growing and propogating. It seems easy enough. I don't know what zone DFW finally landed in, I know they were changing all that, so I don't worry about it much. ;)

I've cooked with lemon grass since culinary school, so it will be a welcome addition.

Thanks again.

/johnny

44 posted on 12/27/2013 2:43:43 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
I'm using the e-cig. now, but if the SHTF, couldn't use it due to no power plus couldn't get refills. As a result, I just started looking at pipes with the filter inside. Growing the tobacco, drying it, would allow an easy way to smoke, just put it in the pipe and it's done - no rolling and having to have tubes or papers.

What do you think about this? I've got the tobacco seed and could punch holes in the fabric over the dirt I have and let it grow in the ground. Is there some insect that would attack it? Could tobacco be grown in containers? I would need so much, wouldn't have that many containers. Do you know how many plants could grow in say, a four ft. square plot? If you could estimate that, I could figure my ground as to how much I could grow.

Am I nuts to think of using a pipe?

45 posted on 12/27/2013 3:08:09 PM PST by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: JRandomFreeper

Had Air Farce One flown over prior to the browning of the plants?


46 posted on 12/27/2013 3:09:02 PM PST by tubebender (Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.)
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To: Marcella
No, you aren't nuts for thinking of a pipe. My great-grandmother smoked a pipe.

The only insect I have problems with on tobacco is the tobacco hornworm. Twice daily going over the plants and squishing the worms works for me.

You might squeeze two plants in a 4 ft square plot. Roughly 50-100 cigarettes can be made from one good mature plant.

I'll let you know on container tobacco in a few months. I transported my rebel tobacco plant into a one-gallon container this afternoon. It's doing fine in a pot (see pic upthread) so far.

/johnny

47 posted on 12/27/2013 3:14:03 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: tubebender
LOL! No, we haven't been blessed with THAT. We have had a C-5 in the pattern today, though. Big sucker, and loud at 500ft.

/johnny

48 posted on 12/27/2013 3:15:22 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I’ve been reading up on sprouting lemon grass. Can’t say I’ve ever eaten any but it sounds interesting. I forgot to ask the Christmas city crowd to bring some. Keep us updated on yours.


49 posted on 12/27/2013 3:16:17 PM PST by bgill
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To: bgill
You may have had it in soups in asian restaurants. It's not something you would see.

/johnny

50 posted on 12/27/2013 3:18:19 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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