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WEEKLY GARDEN THREAD VOLUME 14 APRIL 4, 2014
Free Republic | April 4, 2014 | greeneyes

Posted on 04/04/2014 12:54:31 PM PDT 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. We have overcast grey skies and temperature of 46 degrees that feels even colder. So what else in new? Ha!

Well we did get a few days of nice spring like weather in the 60s and 70s, and some beautiful sunshine. So we did get some yard work done. I got a couple of beds of potatoes planted - covered them with straw in case we had freezing temps, since we are not yet at the last frost date.

These potaoes were from Dakota Pearls that I grew myself last year, so this is a new experiment on my part. I have some butte russet and potatoes from the grocery that sprouted before I could use them all that I will be trying out this year too.

Hubby has some seed potatoes that he purchased, but is needing to make a bed to plant them in. All of his existing patches except one small one is within 50 feet of our walnut trees, so he will be coming up with a minumum of 3 beds further away from the walnut trees to use for rotation of nightshades with other veggies.

I planted my Walmart pot of potatoes and stuck it in front of the window. I have 3 containers of soil from last year's container plants a little over half full. I will add about 4 inches of mushroom compost and plant lettuce and spinach to grow indoors for a while.

I harvested basil grown indoors and a bunch of 4 cherry tomatoes that are slightly larger in diameter than a quarter. Salad tonight!

So I have been doing some reading on organic and homemade fertilizers, and compost. From the organic mother earth book that Hubby bought: the 3 cheapest organic fertilizers:

Soybean meal $5/lb 7-2-1 Cottonsead meal $6/lb 6-1-1 Alfalfa meal $$9/lb 3-1-2

So I have been reading also about some of the "free" stuff like used coffee grounds, eggshells etc. I have to refresh my memory as well as get more details doncha know.

Here's a link that has several links to articles that may be interesting, if any one is interested in the subject:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/fertilizing-plants-coffee-grounds-eggshells-44657.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/liquid-fertilizers-zm0z11zhun.aspx#axzz2xwfj67Ic

I haven't read the Mother Earth Article or explored all the other links yet, but it's been very interesting reading so far.

Have a great weekend. God Bless.

1 posted on 04/04/2014 12:54:32 PM PDT by greeneyes
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To: greeneyes

It’s Summertime in FL...85 degrees every day! :-)


2 posted on 04/04/2014 12:55:42 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: greeneyes; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Pinging the List.


3 posted on 04/04/2014 12:56:00 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: left that other site

I sure like your temps better than mine.LOL

Just think, the USDA recently reclassed our area from zone 5 to zone 6 and we had a really mild winter in 2011 I think it was.

So what happened? Where is the global warming when you need it. It feels more like the onset of a little ice age right now.


4 posted on 04/04/2014 12:59:30 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes
It's 49 degrees here in Massachusetts with overcast skies. My little spirea plant just arrived this morning.

I've never grown spirea, so this should be fun!

5 posted on 04/04/2014 1:03:16 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: greeneyes

Put me on the list! Suburban gardener that hasn’t gardened in 20 plus years. Nearing retirement and just had my yard redone with new garden areas (It helps that my neighbor just cut down some very large trees on my south side).

My goal for this year is beans, snowpeas (just planted), tomatoes, and some exotic vegetables my kids got me for Christmas.

DC area


6 posted on 04/04/2014 1:04:33 PM PDT by 11th_VA (Decriminalize Tax Evasion)
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To: greeneyes

Peas, green bean and tomatoes are my garden veggies that can’t be reproduced at the store. If people have others (tastewise) let me know.


7 posted on 04/04/2014 1:12:31 PM PDT by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: greeneyes

What are nightshades? Also, I had a 4 ft east facing retaining wall put up in my back yard to flatten a sloping yard.

The upper side of the wall is mostly grass now - nice level lawn. On the lower side of the wall is an area I’ve put in some garden areas. Excellent morning sun but after lunch, area is shaded by the wall.

Suggestions on what I might successfully plant? I’m going for beans, and maybe a section with corn later in the spring since the stalks should be above the wall and still get PM sun.

Thoughts anyone?


8 posted on 04/04/2014 1:14:40 PM PDT by 11th_VA (Decriminalize Tax Evasion)
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To: trisham

That’s a cute little plant! We’ll be expecting more pictures as it grows.


9 posted on 04/04/2014 1:19:40 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Thanks! I think it’s supposed to turn yellow/gold in autumn.


10 posted on 04/04/2014 1:20:51 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: greeneyes
Had lots of rain last night along with a thunderstorm. Lost power here for a while, and since I was away from the house, and not expecting rain at all... I lost 60 baby tobacco plants that were still in egg cartons. They were out where they could get hammered directly by the rain.

Everything else is doing fine. Potatoes are going crazy, putting out green, tomatoes and pepper plants are little, but doing well, sunflowers are growing faster than the weeds. All of the cantaloupe, pumpkin, and squash are doing well.

I started tobacco seed this morning for 56 replacement plants, and next week, I'll start peanuts.

Not terribly unhappy with the way the year in the big garden has started.

/johnny

11 posted on 04/04/2014 1:24:49 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: 11th_VA

Will do. I am sure that you will have some recollection of various aspects of gardening. I just started as a newbie in 2010 with lots of help from people on this thread and the internet.

Most important to inspiring me was the Sq. Foot Gardening book my daughter gave me. That first year my beds were made entirely of Mel’s mix. It is almost impossible to overwater!

Prior to that I killed everything I tried to grow. I now suspect that it was too much kindness/watering etc.

Anyway, every year I forget some stuff, and have to refresh my memory, but every year, I remember a little more.

So welcome to the thread.


12 posted on 04/04/2014 1:25:14 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

My Mom lives in Boston, and it has been a perfectly miserable winter.


13 posted on 04/04/2014 1:25:25 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: Starstruck

I think most if not all homegrown stuff just tastes better from the home garden. However, Tomatoes and Peppers are number 1 on my list, because I like them so much, and they taste so much better.

Also, peppers are really really expensive here especially the sweet red bell peppers, and I don’t like the thoughts of all the pesticides that are generally used to grow them commercially.

My produce is all pesticide free, and no chance of E-Coli on my spinach greens. It is all good!


14 posted on 04/04/2014 1:29:12 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; rightly_dividing; JRandomFreeper; sockmonkey; All
rightly, went to Lowes and the rain/temp gauge is stuck in the ground - no more constantly picking up the other one. My weather report says we will have rain tomorrow, which is Saturday, and Sunday. I insist on knowing how much rain I'm getting. I also got the Miracle Gro citrus tree granules for the orange tree. I'll use that sparingly and stick in a Jobe’s stake for good measure.

I was looking at the 90 or so containers on the deck and I put the plants out there as they needed to go out, so they are totally mixed up. A cucumber maybe next to a pepper and another cucumber in another place and another one in another place. Peppers are also everywhere next to whatever. Tomatoes in small pots until they get bigger are spread around here and there. Brussels sprouts, several kinds of peas, and many more are just mixed up.

I'm going to have to bend to move all those plants into categories. Rats on the bending but I'll do it, maybe some at a time and stop, then go back and keep doing that until its done.

I also got two water hoses. Each one is 15 ft. The Sears, guaranteed for life, heavy duty 50 ft. hose, is so heavy, it's hard for me to use. This morning I measured how long a hose would have to be for me to water everything and I could make it, barely, with a 25ft. hose. However, when at Lowes and a guy helping me, he had a 15 ft. hose, 5/8 inch as most hoses are, and it is a feather weight. I could easily hold one of those with one hand and another on top of that still wasn't heavy. Together, that gives me 30ft. and that is for sure all the length I need. They were 7+ dollars for each. They have solid metal fittings so shouldn't leak. I'll get that together before today is over and not have to fight that really heavy duty hose.

I read about the pocket hoses and none of them are worth buying, they fail plus they have plastic fittings and leak and I can't have a leak where it hooks to water as that water fitting is on the deck coming out of the wall of the living area and next to the wall of the storage room. I would have water going in both places. Anyway, I'm sure this new hose will be easier to use.

15 posted on 04/04/2014 1:30:32 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: left that other site

Here in Northern Texas I have put my seedlings outside already, some in raised beds and some in those fabric bags. I must say I like the bags already. Last night we had severe thunderstorm with large hail warnings and tornado warnings. I picked up all my bags and brought them into the garage so they wouldn’t get destroyed by hail. Next morning safe and sound I brought them back outside. I can also move them around on the back patio so they can follow the sun. Think I am actually going to buy more.


16 posted on 04/04/2014 1:34:47 PM PDT by heylady (we were brought up to believe that there were things more important,duty and personal responsibility)
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To: heylady

I heard about golf-ball sized hail! Stay Safe, FRiend! :-)


17 posted on 04/04/2014 1:36:42 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: Marcella
— maybe some at a time and stop, then go back and keep doing that until its done.—

That's how I do things.

18 posted on 04/04/2014 1:40:07 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.)
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To: 11th_VA

Members of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell and chili peppers.


19 posted on 04/04/2014 1:53:02 PM PDT by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)
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To: greeneyes

My son and I just finished planting starters for Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley and Lemongrass. Hopefully we are not too early. If so we will rig up a little hotbox for them!


20 posted on 04/04/2014 1:56:23 PM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: 11th_VA

Here’s a link for veggies to grow in the partial shade:

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/vegetablesherbs/a/shadeveggies.htm

The nighshade family includes Tomatoes, Peppers, and Potatoes and others. Many nightshades are poisonous. The three I mentioned are the only ones that I grow.

There is a story out there that a traitor to the revolutionary cause tried to poison Washington by putting tomatoes in his stew/soup. His plot failed. No idea it is true.LOL


21 posted on 04/04/2014 2:04:04 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Sorry for your loss, but glad to hear about the successes.


22 posted on 04/04/2014 2:05:49 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: left that other site

One of the most miserable here in Missouri too.


23 posted on 04/04/2014 2:06:45 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Yesterday’s storm was quite a blow.
Fortunately, all our plants were safe inside the beach house.

B. sprouts and peppers are hardened off and will go in the garden this weekend.

We bought some frost blanket material and plastic pipe to cover the raised beds in case it turns cold again...


24 posted on 04/04/2014 2:10:00 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: Marcella

Plants being mixed up is actually not a bad thing, and it may not be necessary to move them.

Here’s the deal, if you have for example tomatoes next to basil or onions, the tomato pests will not like the basil or onions. If you have tomatoes next to tomatoes, the pest will attack one and spread to the next tomato. So it’s kinda like a mini quarantine to help your plants.

However, the taller plants should be located on the Northern side so they don’t shade the other sun loving plants. On the other hand, in the case of lettuce and other so called cool crops, they benefit from some afternoon shade.

So I would only adjust the plants that may need more sun and leave them as is for the rest. YMMV


25 posted on 04/04/2014 2:16:46 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: trisham
I've never grown spirea, so this should be fun!

How does that Spirea get? The only Spirea I know about is bridal wreath which is a large shrub with cascading white flowers. People plant tham as hedgerows around here in TX.

26 posted on 04/04/2014 2:17:00 PM PDT by sockmonkey (Of Course I didn't read the article. After all, this is FreeRepublic..)
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To: heylady

I bought some bags from the mega green house. Haven’t used them yet, but looking forward to it.


27 posted on 04/04/2014 2:20:51 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Here are the pictures you wanted posted. Those sprouts look really healthy.

/johnny

28 posted on 04/04/2014 2:22:53 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: rightly_dividing

Me too- and not just gardening. EVERYTHING!


29 posted on 04/04/2014 2:30:08 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: ExpatGator

I have always just bought a rosemary plant. So are you starting it from seed or do you use cuttings?


30 posted on 04/04/2014 2:31:24 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes; 11th_VA

greeneyes - Forgot it was garden thread day. Whew, it was 90-something yesterday but today is nicer in the 70s and through the weekend. We’re having company tomorrow and I had planned on getting the little seedlings transplanted today and tomorrow. I did get some salad fixin’s and peas (yes, late) planted this morning and hubby worked on the hoses so the garden has water again. Will read up on the compost links as I have a kitchen bucket for that sort of thing.

VA - Nightshades include most of our garden favorites including tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. They contain alkaloid which causes some people joint and digestive problems. That’s why you’re supposed to eat potatoes that have turned green.

You’ve got the right idea with planting something tall by the wall so it’ll get the sun.

Johnny - I saw that big red weather radar spot headed your way last night and wondered how your plants survived. Heard there was grapefruit size hail at Denton. Two waves were barrelling down on us so we moved the seedlings into the garage but the storms split at nearly arm’s reach from us so nothing.

Erik - Nice set up.


31 posted on 04/04/2014 2:32:00 PM PDT by bgill
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Yes it was quite windy here too. Fortunately, we didn’t have anything we needed to worry about, and were quite thankfull to get the rain.

Hubby had just finished putting up the swimming pool, and rigging the downspouts to fill it. It’s more than a third full about 1900 gallons from just one rain.

He still needs to be able to divert it back to the yard once it’s full. We’ll be able to store about 4400 gallons once it’s to capacity. He already has a faucet on it. We live on a steep hill, so we will be able to use gravity to water our garden this summer during the drought months.


32 posted on 04/04/2014 2:36:53 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: sockmonkey
From the site:

Attracts Butterflies and Hummingbirds
Plant Patent Applied For: Glow Girl™ Spiraea 'Tor Gold'.
'Tor' is a Birchleaf Spiraea (S. betulifolia) that has done very well thanks to its attractive deer-resistant foliage, its impeccable health, and its beautiful white blooms. Well, now 'Tor' has been improved upon with distinctly golden tint to the foliage, adding visual interest to the plant for a much longer season!
For colorful blooms and foliage in the sunny garden, you can't beat this gorgeous Spirea! Glow Girl™ boasts rich red-tinged chartreuse foliage in spring that keeps its color all season long, and spring blooms of pure snow white that attract butterflies and hummingbirds to visit your garden in droves!
Easy to grow, with a compact, mounded shape, this lovely shrub offers months of beauty. Don't let the name fool you: Glow Girl™ is tough. Hardy, adaptable to most soils, and resistant to deer, this perennial requires little care to put on a spectacular show in mass plantings, mixed borders, or containers. Deadhead after flowering to encourage a rebloom, and provide regular watering --
Genus Spiraea

Species betulifolia

Variety Glow Girl™

PPAF 'Gold Tor'

Item Form 1-Quart

Zone 3 - 9

Bloom Season Mid Spring - Early Summer

Habit Mound-shaped

Plant Height 3 ft - 4 ft 6 in

Plant Width 3 ft - 4 ft 6 in

Additional Characteristics Bird Lovers, Butterfly Lovers, Easy Care Plants, Flower, Hummingbird Lovers, Repeat Bloomer

Bloom Color White

Foliage Color Chartreuse, Gold, Medium Green, Yellow

Light Requirements Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture Requirements Moist, well-drained

Resistance Cold Hardy, Deer Resistance

Soil Tolerance Normal, loamy

Uses Beds, Border, Containers, Foliage Interest, Hedge, Specimen

Restrictions Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

33 posted on 04/04/2014 2:37:19 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: JRandomFreeper; Eric in the Ozarks

Nice looking raised beds. I use pvc pipe in mine too. Only my beds are 3x4 ft. So I cross them diagonally in the middle, and then cover them with old sheets or plastic.


34 posted on 04/04/2014 2:40:08 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: bgill

I am learning some new stuff reading the links, and of course relearning stuff I had forgotten. I eventually want to be able to provide all the compost I need by using the remains of my harvest and kitchen waste. Don’t know if that is really possible. Hence the research.


35 posted on 04/04/2014 2:44:11 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Thank you, thank you, for posting my pix.


36 posted on 04/04/2014 2:57:49 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: greeneyes; rightly_dividing; JRandomFreeper; sockmonkey; All
The new hose is hooked up, not leaking, and the 30 ft. length is just right, goes to the back wall/fence. That gives you the depth of the garden.

I moved plants into like categories. Gee, I can start a cucumber farm, so many of different kinds. There are seven different kinds of tomatoes and from two to four of each. Plus, I have five seedling Cherry Punch tomatoes up under the grow lamp. It's the one with three times more Vit. C than other tomatoes. And, yesterday I planted sweet small peppers in two cups, 4 seeds in each cup. I have numerous kinds of peppers outside, both sweet and hot and the Fooled You Jalapeno that has no heat or little heat, I'll know when it produces.

37 posted on 04/04/2014 3:03:17 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: rightly_dividing; JRandomFreeper; sockmonkey

My new weather report says 48! Sunday night!

Johnny, what have you got for Sunday night? sockmonkey, what about Kerrville Sunday night?


38 posted on 04/04/2014 3:21:36 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: greeneyes

Started from seed. Never done them, so it’s a new experience.


39 posted on 04/04/2014 3:25:29 PM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: Marcella
47F is the forecast for Sunday night.

There are no more donuts, so I had to make a cranberry pound cake. It's still warm, and goes great with coffee. ;)

/johnny

40 posted on 04/04/2014 3:33:22 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: greeneyes

GloBull Warming is a B*tch.


41 posted on 04/04/2014 3:48:46 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: greeneyes

My small rosemary plant took a hit this winter. I had a plastic border around it and mulched the roots with dead leaves. Probably didn’t cover it well enough it seems. Its all brown now-—does rosemary make a comeback or should I expect its dead for good? I see no greenery on it whatsoever.


42 posted on 04/04/2014 3:57:05 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Another emergency meeting - this time Cranberry Pound Cake. Be right over.

I don’t want temp in 40s at night now.


43 posted on 04/04/2014 3:57:22 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: bgill; 11th_VA; Marcella; All

I need to clarify something on the info for the cost of the various organic fertilizer. The per lb amount references the per lb of nitrogen, which is a common way to compare fertilizer costs.

The lb. referenced is not the weight of the bag. For example the soy bean meal is $6/lb of nitrogen. Divide 1 lb by 6% to find the weight of the bag which is 16.7 lbs.

Now compare that cost to a popular lower cost organic fertilizer found in Walmart and other garden centers:

Miracle Gro Organic Grow fertilizer for example costs $24/lb of nitrogen @ 7-1-2 the bag is approximately 14 1bs.

The soybean at $6/lb of nitrogen compared to the miracle gro $24/lb of nitrogen, obviously a cost savings.

What’s even better, is grass clippings and used coffee grounds which will give you nitrogen for free. However, many do not have adequate supply for their gardens especially when first makig the beds, hence the search for the cheapest organic fertilizer.

I make no comparisons regarding the chemical fertilizers, because I don’t use them. Nothing wrong with them - I just don’t know about them since I don’t use them other than the slow release granules I use in my potted plants that I grow indoors.


44 posted on 04/04/2014 4:03:02 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: tflabo

I am not sure. I am in the same boat. I had mine covered with row covers and hay on top of that as well as all around the bed.

The rosemary looks dead as a door nail. I am going to leave mine alone till other stuff has greened up really well. I am hoping it will come back, but not holding my breath.

I love rosemary with my chicken dishes, so I hope it comes back. Sometimes, I even just bring in a sprig to stick in the kitchen for just the smell.


45 posted on 04/04/2014 4:07:36 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: left that other site

You got that right!LOL


46 posted on 04/04/2014 4:07:57 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: ExpatGator

Ok. I’ll be looking forward to hearing how it turns out.


47 posted on 04/04/2014 4:08:55 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Marcella

Ok, so we have 30 feet one direction. How about the other direction? How many feet for that?


48 posted on 04/04/2014 4:10:14 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

YUM !


49 posted on 04/04/2014 4:43:34 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

OH I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby tobaccos. :-(

I am glad you are not taking it too terribly hard, but still, you have my condolences!


50 posted on 04/04/2014 4:44:15 PM PDT by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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