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Can't wait to start planting the garden!

Duckboots 10 Mar 01 - 11:38 AM
Rick Fielding 10 Mar 01 - 11:44 AM
Sorcha 10 Mar 01 - 11:44 AM
Allan C. 10 Mar 01 - 12:14 PM
Susan from California 10 Mar 01 - 12:20 PM
MAG (inactive) 10 Mar 01 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Sarah2 (at work) 10 Mar 01 - 04:11 PM
MAG (inactive) 10 Mar 01 - 04:52 PM
Duckboots 10 Mar 01 - 04:58 PM
Duckboots 10 Mar 01 - 05:01 PM
MMario 10 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM
Gypsy 10 Mar 01 - 10:36 PM
black walnut 11 Mar 01 - 08:06 AM
MAG (inactive) 15 Mar 01 - 03:35 PM
JenEllen 15 Mar 01 - 04:03 PM
Hollowfox 15 Mar 01 - 04:07 PM
Sorcha 15 Mar 01 - 06:04 PM
roopoo 16 Mar 01 - 02:48 AM
Ella who is Sooze 16 Mar 01 - 09:07 AM
Auxiris 16 Mar 01 - 12:10 PM
Grab 19 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM
black walnut 20 Apr 01 - 02:40 PM
Charley Noble 20 Apr 01 - 05:08 PM
Sorcha 20 Apr 01 - 05:35 PM
Charley Noble 21 Apr 01 - 11:10 AM
Llanfair 22 Apr 01 - 05:04 AM
Melani 22 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM
Allan C. 14 May 01 - 04:59 PM
Sorcha 14 May 01 - 05:03 PM
Allan C. 14 May 01 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Duckboots
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:38 AM

Looking out the back window as the snow slowly melts. I can see little patches of green (well, mostly brown actually) and I'm getting that "planting urge" again. Rick has assured me that his "wee hoose" out back (the one his Dremel exploded in) will double as a Garden Shed, so I guess I won't be tracking mud from my "duckboots" into the house this year.

Any tips or tricks people have come up with over the winter?

Duckboots


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:44 AM

A PORTION of the little house!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:44 AM

Ha! Neither can I! Unfortunately.........Mother Nature is still on the rampage here. Yesterday was 65 degrees. Today we have 3" of snow and it's still coming down. No neat tips, unless you don't know about putting a teaspoon of Epsom salts (magnesium) in the bottoms of the hole for tomatoes and peppers........lots more yield.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Allan C.
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 12:14 PM

Here is one I tried with GREAT success:

Mark off a square that is five feet from corner to corner. (No, I don't mean diagonally.) Next, find an old, plastic five-gallon bucket that has a lid. Using a 16d nail, poke three holes into the bottom of the bucket. Dig a hole in the middle of the square deep and wide enough to fit the bucket into. Put a handful or two of small rocks in the bottom of the hole. Bury the bucket so that the lip sticks out of the ground about an inch or two. Next, plant the tomato plants of your choice at the corners of your square and plant a good, stout stake and/or cage along with each. If cutworms are a problem in your area a light collar of aluminum foil around the base of each plant will deter them. Then mix up a batch of Miracle-Grow plant food (there is a specific blend for tomatoes but the general vegetable mix is just fine) according to directions. Water your new plants with a bit of it. (I usually water the hole before I put the plant into it.) Then mix up another batch of Miracle-Grow for enough solution to fill the bucket. Put the lid on. Then stand well out of the way because before long you will have more tomatoes than you could ever imagine coming from only four plants. Be sure to check the bucket every few days and refill it to be certain that there is a steady supply of nutrients and moisture available to the plants. Oh, and if you can lay your hands on some straw, use it to mulch the area around the tomato plants to a depth of about four inches. You can use lawn clippings instead as long as you mix them with leaves or something to prevent them from becoming a soggy, slimy mess. If you haven't staked or caged the plants well enough, you will eventually get to a point where you won't be able to reach the bucket anymore. But by then, you'll have so many tomatoes you won't care.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Susan from California
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 12:20 PM

The only problem w/ gardening in California is that there is NO DOWN TIME. Normally I don't think of that as a problem :-) but right now the weeds are getting the best of me! But I recently put in 6 new rose bushes from Jackson & Perkins (approved by the UFW) and they are all leafing out. When all the roses bloom in May it is beautiful (I have about 70) My peach trees are in full bloom, the early daffodils are long gone, and the iris are about to pop. Thne azaleas are at the end of their run, and the camelias this year are quite nice.

But still, I used to love that first turn opf soil after a long winter. The smell of the soil, the rich dark color because the leaves had decomposed nicely. Last week a huge flock of Robins migrated through my yard, so those of you farther north, take heart. I have only seen robins twice in the last 20 years, so I was very excited!


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 12:55 PM

We generally have a a false spring here which confuses the plants no end. this year, winter hasn't come back -- yet -- so maybe the groundhog just didn't see his shadow after all.

The epsom salts works on roses too, but sprinkle about a cup at the drip line. or use green sand. or, my favorite, "Roses Alive" from Gardens Alive, a mail order organic supply company. Do we have to worry about mad cow disease in bone meal now? Glad to know there is another rose grower, Susan. I have about 20. I go for fragrant pink and purple ones.

I have gotten stuck on the Brandywine tomatoes -- they take forever to mature, but the flavor is absolutely the best. I am starting them indoors, now.

My back and knees are giving me major trouble. any tips on getting rid of the buttercups, without taking out the wild strawberries which are SUPPOSED to be the groundcover, would be much appreciated.

MA


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Subject: Lyr Add: CONFESSION (Sarah Atherton)
From: GUEST,Sarah2 (at work)
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 04:11 PM

I wrote a song once:

CONFESSION
– Sarah Atherton

Oh, I'm out to the garden on the first day of Spring,
Though it's still too chill to do much of anything.
But I pull a few weeds and my heart begins to sing:
You see, I just like to play in the dirt!
Oh, I get it on my fingers, on my face and on my knees;
And I might make some noise about planting green peas,
But we both know the truth and the truth won't hurt:
I just like to play in the dirt! (I do!)

Then the days grow warm and the sun shines down;
You'll find me out behind the house a-tilling up the ground.
It's me and the earthworms a-burrowing around –
You see, I just like to play in the dirt!
So I get it in me hair, on me ankles and me nose,
And I track it to the kitchen 'cause I wear it on my clothes;
I'm as fond as I can be of this dirty old shirt:
It's the one I wear to play in the dirt!

You put a blessing and a song over each and all the seed,
And God's good earth will give us what we need.
But how can you call it work when the Child inside is freed
To run about and play in the dirt?
Now you've got it on your elbows, on your neck and on your chin,
And you've smeared it o'er your mouth so I can hardly see your grin.
Ah, your face is now a glad disgrace, you muddy little flirt.
I knew you'd like to play in the dirt! (It washes off…)
C'mon, we'll go and play in the dirt!
The dirt! The dirt! (It's lovely stuff…)

Sarah (pouring over the catalogs)


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 04:52 PM

OK, let me introduce the musical side to this thread:

On Saturday April 28, I will be having a "Spring Fling" program at my library: Earth Day, Arbor Day, and May Day all rolled up into one. Kids from the environmental Studies program at nearby whitman College are coming to do their skit, and help with crafts. They are also building me a Maypole so kids can do the ribbon thing. We did this at my college (German roots, nturally) which shoes how far back I go.

The swing and Trun thread got me thinking about using that instead of what I was planning. We are doing simple play party circle games -- I never fail to be astounded by kids not knowing the simple moves for these dances. You know: Skip to my Lou, Round and round the Village, etc. Circle to the left, circle to the right, one player weaving in and out. Swing and turn is a ge=reat song, tho. The library's one Jean ritchie album turns out to be missing.

Any thoughts on what else to do? I have a bad habit of overpreparing for these things, and having 3x the mterial I need, or can use. Beats the opposite all to pieces.

MA, the resident children's librarian


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Duckboots
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 04:58 PM

Some terrific suggeations, I'll use them!

MAG, the only "music content" in my gardening is hearing Rick play the banjo, splayed out on the couch, while I'm outside up to my wellies in mud.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Duckboots
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 05:01 PM

I know people who've lived together for years start looking like each other, but now I'M signing HIS name!

Duckboots (A.K.A. Heather)


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: MMario
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM

Duckboots - a lot of wives do that - but normally on checks! *grin*

Evry spring I get the urge to garden - so I try to go in and lie down until the urge passes. We have so many gardens (My b-i-l puts in a new one every year) that for the past five years I haven't even managed to get them all weeded at the same time ONCE!


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Gypsy
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 10:36 PM

Roses also like banana peels...put in hole before planting for best results, altho digging in later will help. Ya'll can have our robins...we grow strawberries, and the cusses are murder! Four and twenty robins, bake in a pie, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: black walnut
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 08:06 AM

Duckboots, you're farther south. Please tell me when you see spring coming over the lake. I want to go out right now to prune my bushes, but hubbie says I'm outa my mind. He says it would be better to be able to see them first.

May the snow melt down quickly before I do.

~ b.w.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:35 PM

No suggestions for good Mayday songs?? I don't think I can get the kids to circle to "Will ye Go Lassie Go."


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: JenEllen
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 04:03 PM

We have a teensy taste of Spring here. My carrots and radishes are coming up. The herb bed survived the winter and I ever took some oregano off of the plant for sauce tonight. The rock garden has english daisies that are already flowering (the rocks flower all year long).

Terrific idea Allan, I'll have to try that this year. And it works just as well for any type? We hung out our Sweet100's in baskets last year. Funny to see folks lounging on the porch, reach up and grab a 'mater, and keep lounging without missing a beat.

Any advice for growing great strawberries??

Jen


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 04:07 PM

Hi Ho the Rattling Bog might work.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 06:04 PM

elle, I'm gonna strangle you! LOL! Snowed again here today, I'm afraid my tulips are going to freeze. Have you tried one of those tiered type things with holes in the sides for strawberries? "Strawberry Towers" or something.........


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: roopoo
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 02:48 AM

The sparrows were seen the other day pecking at the buds on my plum tree, the little...darlings.

I've done some pruning, but I have yet got to dig. I had to leave a double row of spuds in last year as they got slugged and wormed to death. The early variety weren't touched, and in the same bit of garden too. So I have got the pleasure of removing all those and the soil is he-a-vee! Then there's all the wild strawberries that have gone wild. And the greater celandine which seemed like a good idea at the time, but now seeds all over the carden. That and Herb Robert and Herb Benedict too. So do the evening primroses and the smallage (wild celery), but I don't mind that so much.

By the way, 2 years ago I put a failing Aspidistra down on the sheltered patio in its pot for the summer, and forgot it. Despite frosts and a little bit of snow, it's still very much with us! I know they call them the cast-iron plant, but that's because they'll stand lack of watering!

Andrea

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 09:07 AM

Went out to have a look at my herb patch...

My marjoram has gone mad... the oregano is all over the place, the poor sage plant looks tired, my Rosemary hedge of 4 plants looks like it needs a good hair doo...

the chives are not playing at all - though will have to hide them from my 5 year old neice, she eats the stems raw and we wondered why she always smelt of onions........,

the hyssop, Dill (wow that stuff gets big) lavender, camomile all looks worn out...

And all the other herbs need some major sorting out too... Just don't know where to start.... hmmm... concrete.. patio....

Ella


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Auxiris
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 12:10 PM

Hi, all. . . have already weeded, fed and treated against funguses over 400 iris plants last weekend. All the different varieties of seedlings from last year's iris hybridization programme are up--except for one. The herb garden is fine, though a bit, uh. . . unorganised, let's say. Haven't really done all that much planting because here in north eastern france, we have quite "cold" soil (lots of clay) and it isn't warmed up enough yet. Today was the first really warm "teaser" sort of day we've had, plus a break from the nearly non-stop rain we've been cursed with since last October.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Grab
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 11:16 AM

Our garden was total chaos last year - we'd only just bought the house, and the place hadn't had any attention for several years! Add to that, most of the plants were fairly uninteresting. So over the winter, we've dug up over half the occupants of the garden, and we've just finished replanting with more interesting things. Can't wait to see if our wisteria takes off...

Top tips - sweet chestnut trees have lovely leaves, and if you get a bagful in early winter from your greengrocer and keep them somewhere cold, they'll germinate quite happily. But don't plant them in the garden unless you've got LOTS of space, cos they grow big. The daft bat next door has a sycamore about 18 inches from the wall of her house which is already about 5-10 years old and growing fast - she's in for a surprise when her insurance spots it!

Oh, and lychees. Apparently lychee seeds are usually infertile and difficult to grow, but I'm currently running on about 1 in 2 germinating! Large-seed ones work best, the small ("bird's-tongue") seeds seem fairly unresponsive. Trouble is, they don't seem to like the potting compost I'm giving them (or maybe it's the hard water), so I've got to experiment with that to find what works best.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: black walnut
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:40 PM

OY! The physiotherapist told me not to garden. No twisting, no digging, no planting, no bending, no reaching, no dragging, no lifting....

....but the rhubarb, the wild geranium, the barren strawberry, and the serviceberry trees are all starting to show signs of life. That's good news, right???

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:08 PM

Slug by slug, weed by weed, they's all waiting for you to try that garden thing again. Why should they risk going to the shop & save when they can count on you to do something for them in their back yard.

Sigh. Time to turn over the snow drifts in the south forty.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:35 PM

Mr. just better get home and till........that's all I can say! I still have 3 weeks before the "frost date" and nothing is done.........too much rain and snow.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD SCRABBLE HARVEST (Dahlov Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:10 AM

I thought I'd add a song to the discussion from my mother.

HARD SCRABBLE HARVEST
(Words by Dahlov Ipcar from children's book of same title © 1976, Tune by Priscilla Herdman © 1993 as sung on her CD Daydreamer)

The farmer plants early in the spring;
He'll be lucky if he harvests a thing.

Crows in the pea patch the very first day;
Set up the scarecrow; scare them away!

Chickens in the garden scratching up the row;
Run, farmer, run! Chase them with a hoe!

Ducks in the strawberries, ducks and a drake;
Run, farmer, run! Chase them with a rake!

Pigs in the clover, sheep in the corn;
Fences are down as sure as you're born.

Rabbits in the lettuce patch; call out the hound;
He'll run those rabbits right into the ground!

Horses in the melons, cows in the hay;
Run, farmer, run! Chase them away!

Raccoons in the cornfield; up all night;
Chase those coons by lantern light!

Summer's almost over, harvest drawing near,
Most of the cauliflower eaten by the deer.

Grapes on the arbor, apples on the trees,
Gather the tomatoes before they freeze.

Bring in the apples; it's cider-making time;
Fatten up the turkey; fatten up the swine.

Bring in the winter squash; pile them high;
Bring in the pumpkins for pumpkin pie.

Dig the potatoes; store them away;
Corn in the corn crib, barn full of hay.

Jellies in the cellar; honey in the comb;
Winter is a-coming, home sweet home.

Stuffing in the turkey, cranberry sauce;
Sit down to eat it, hungry as a hoss.

Sit down to eat it, hungry as a pup;
Here come the relatives to gobble it up!


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Llanfair
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:04 AM

It's raining again today, so no digging again. Plenty to do in the polytunnel and greenhouse though. Our last frost date is June 14th ish, so plenty of time yet!!
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Melani
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM

I had planned to clear another bed of weeds and put in the bush beans and zuccini today, but I hurt my knee skiing on Friday and am sitting here at the computer instead. That's the beauty of Northern California--three hours away from a blizzard in the mountains, it's time to plant vegetables!


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Allan C.
Date: 14 May 01 - 04:59 PM

I mentioned in my tomato-growing method above that three 16d nail holes should be made in the bottom of the bucket. I have learned (by way of Sorcha) that sandy soils allow the bucket to drain too quickly. My soil had a high clay content. I suppose some experimentation might be in order here. Perhaps it may be wise to start with one hole and add others if needed. You may even need to reduce the size of the nail to an 8d if you live somewhere that is especially sandy.

I didn't invent this method, BTW. I think I read of it in Organic Gardening Magazine.

Now that I look back on what I did the last time I used this idea, I remember that I mulched the tomato plants with about a four-inch-thick layer of straw as well. But the straw may not work well in some areas as it might increase the chances for certain kinds of mould.


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:03 PM

Yup. I did 3 holes and within minutes the bucket was empty. Your suggestion worked, tho, Allan. I put 2 of the nails back in the holes and it slowed it way down. I may need to put the third one back in too. I gather it should take several days for the bucket to empty?


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Subject: RE: Can't wait to start planting the garden!
From: Allan C.
Date: 14 May 01 - 07:20 PM

The article didn't really specify the rate of flow but mentioned something about refilling the bucket every few days. I guess the idea is to keep the deep soil level damp and full of nutrients. Osmosis takes care of the rest, I suppose.

I hope you'll keep us posted on your results, Sorcha.


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Mudcat time: 6 April 6:09 PM EDT

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