Gardening Journal February

gldno1February 12, 2009

Yesterday February 11, planted snaps, Early Wakefield cabbage, Stonehead cabbage, 'Cora' white vinca, Hidcote lavender. Lavender is being chilled in fridge. Snaps are in a cool window. Others are under lights on back porch.

Today, February 12, finished the cold frame made of hay bales this morning,

Raised the Martin house. I do hope they come back this year. We had two nests last year.

Brought down two bales of straw to barn (whoops, that's a farm chore.........well I will use it later for compost)to clean cow's stall.

Wrapped electrical tape around the foil on the fruit trees. The winds blew it off yesterday. Hummert's did not have the right kind of tree guards; guess I will have to order some.

Plans: This afternoon plant two flats of Candy and Super Star onions. Will do this in the barn today and not the kitchen.

Possibly place an order for a few more fruit trees and the guards.

What have you all been up to?

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Sound like you have been busy.
I have been going out and messing around w/some of my flower beds w/weather permits.
I wish I knew of a way to help cut down on earwigs. I had a problem w/them last year in one area of my lawn/beds.
I have been going out an stirring the soil up really deep when it is cold out in hopes to uncover/disturb any unwanted things in the soil so hopping they might be gone by spring. I know I will also get rid of the wanted in that bed but really it is a case of one against the other. Can't win.
I plan on putting on some rubber boots my son size 12 1/2 left here a long time ago (me size 7 1/2). An plant out some shrubs I had bedded down in a winter holding bed. They can be moved out to where I want them now so they will be ready to soak up some of that spring rain.
That is about it so far.
Happy gardening everyone!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:21PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Planting seeds of various flowers in plastic containers at night. I am going to throw old seeds in spots along my driveway. These are things like hollyhocks and morning glories mixed and unknown varieties which may or may not make it on their own. I am planting what may be OK and throwing the rest along the driveway. The unknown things can fight it out with that dreaded cinnamon vine and poison ivy. Planting shirley poppies in the yard just scratching up a spot. Pulling weeds in the pots that I can identify as weeds. Playing with my hole in the ground with the rubber liner which I will not yet classify as a pond. I had a fiberglass form that leaked then I cut up a waterbed liner - ugliest thing you ever saw. It had goldfish in it and I liked them even if it was ugly. I now have to try to get this new ugly thing level so when it rains mud doesn't run in.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 3:22PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Boy, am I impressed! You guys are really hitting it. I've been buying soil ammendments and looking for pine fines and coarse silica sand (no success so far) for container gardening. The other day I ordered some vertical growing bags from Park's Seed for my Ozark Beauty strawberries. Ten planting holes in each bag and will just hang them on the fence. Neat, huh? Bought some very fine tulle for row cover in one bed to hopefully defeat the dreaded squash vine borer and squash bug, known in forum talk as SVB and SB. I'm going to grow pattypan and zucchini if it kills me this year.
Last week I set up bricks and a tarp next to my compost bin and patiently (for me) smashed about 5 pounds of Golden Oak charcoal to smithereens. Soil and compost folks say it's (ahem) Terra Petra. Well, sort of. I put the pieces in the beds and compost. It was a beautiful sunny day. Every day I take a small bag of veg/fruit scraps out to the compost, along with my leftover coffee. Compost is cooking very well, and I'm just nuts about the process.
Soon I will put onion sets in. Looked all over town for Burpee's Brandy Boy tomato seed, but no luck. Maybe, just maybe, Albert's will have the plants.
Bonnie, I just read yesterday on one thread here about earwigs. She used a margerine tub with lid, punched holes in lid, Add water to tub, a few drops of tunafish oil, drop or two of dish soap, and a piece of fruit or something sweet. Lid on, dig tub into soil so lid is level with soil, and it's supposed to really work. I'm planning to do just this, so I made notes.
Thank you for the nice welcome!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:46PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Me? I'm wearing out my shoes, dragging my feet! !
I'm wanting to get started on building my raised beds, so I don't know how much room I'll have to plant in, hoping I'll get enough beds done to get fall crops in.
Sure would like to be rich and young-I'd hire them all built, get 'em filled ready to plant.
must get the one done for sweet potatoes, because they're already ordered, as are the onions. horseradish and rhubarb on order, but they will go in pots.
bright me-- I'm going to build from each end of the garden in--I'll either have a narrow bed in the center--or a wide aisle!
Sunny, the problem I had with Park's bags, were that they dried out pretty fast. I put the water crystals in the dirt, but didnt help much. I had cherry tomatoes in mine.

Trying to wait till the first of the month to start tomatoes, and peppers, seems I always start too early.

And must remember--just because I have 5 shelves, lights, and equipment for each shelf, I can , (I CAN) just start a few!!!!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:53AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

I have a correction -- it's Royal Oaks charcoal I have smashed up for the beds -- Wal-Mart, $6.97 for 10 pounds. Was $4.97 a couple of years ago!
Thank you, Cresesone for the heads-up on the Park's bags. I guess I will add soil conditioner and extra Oil Dry to the mix. Anyway, I'm a Mad Scientist-type gardner and get my thrills from experimentation. My scale of plantings is probably tiny, compared to all of yours, and this is only the second year for vegetables in raised beds, although I have several perinneal and rose beds.
Everybody, please keep posting so we can be encouraged by your experience of what you do each month.
Cresone, indeed I remember you from the soil forum. You definitely have Wisdom.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:55PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think strawberries would use up less water than ceresone's tomatoes unless they were a very small variety of tomato. Some people on the Oklahoma forum were having trouble finding Brandy Boy seed this year. I had never heard of it; too bad I already have more tomato seed than I can grow unless we get another rainy year.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 1:28AM
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Gladno: I may be out of my mind for trying it ... yet AGAIN ... but I found some lavender seeds for sale and I am trying to grow them .. AGAIN ... Mind you, I am in a tropical setting now, so I kind of freaked when you said you have yours chilling in the fridge. Why are you doing that? Do they need some cold weather to germinate? I thought they were hot weather, Mediterranean sort of plants...

Honestly, one of these days I am going to get this plant to grow!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:24AM
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Yes missfourseasons,
Some varieties of lavender do need the cold warm cold type to germinate.
But there are the other types from mediterranean areas that do well will just cool and then warm.
Also look on the packet. if it says any where on there that they like a large stone/rock near or plant close to your house in a protected area. Then that is the type that likes heat at the root area. I have mine w/ some stones on the north side of the group. Helps keep the cold directly off and holds heat at night. They are on the south west corner of my house. They also do best if the soil drains very well from what I have read.
Good luck. I really hope you can grow them there. Now that would be great for pushing the zone : )

I woke up to a light dusting of snow on the roof tops and swing. Sort of nice to see. It will also be great for all of my winter sow that I have out there. As well as the ones I will be adding to the collection today.
I have decided to bake some bread today since I'm going to have the fireplace going.
I spent a lot of time yesterday p/u those gum balls that fall from the neighbors tree. I really don't want one to sprout in my yard. It would be ok down away from the front door. But what a mess. I stepped on one of those last spring w/o any shoes on. ouch.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:59AM
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I just did what the package said to do! The one plant I had that died last year after several years doing well, was raised from seed. I did buy a small plant from the local nursery last year. Don't know if it will survive yet or not.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:01PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Well, today I ordered poly growing bags for my potatoes and some tomatoes. Also found corn gluten meal (very small bag) at Lowe's for the asparagus. Sent an order to Burpee for several things, the least of which was --- Brandy Boy seeds. Yea! I can't wait. Cleaned up the greenhoue and took photos of everthing blooming now. A friend put air holes and drainage holes in my "new" burn barrel (!) and I'm ready for warmer temps tomorrow to burn a lot of sticks, etc. from the yard. I'll have to decide what to do with the ashes. I'll also have to prune back the roses to three buds, but I'm not looking forward to that!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:14PM
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Sounds like everyone is enjoying these few nice days we are having.
Lots of busy people in the ozarks.
Be careful burning. They were saying on the 16 news tonight we may be under a burn ban tomorrow. We are to have high winds and it is dry w/all the brush and ice damage.
I'm getting itchy hands to get out in the dirt and dig.
That is another bad thing about getting mulch from town if it has anything bad in it. I just dig in w/my bare hands most of the time. I get my gloves out but I will take them off to do something and well... don't put them back on.
I found some inpatients coming up in a raised bed today. I'm sure they will die the first freeze we get.
Come on spring.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:33AM
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I went back to Hummert's because I forgot to buy Candy onion seeds. I was very disappointed at the seeds, had to get two small packages at $2 each and that probably won't fill my flat. Next year I will order from Harris Seed again and do it early.

They still don't have any plants in the greenhouse but I did see they had seed potatoes in and onion plants. Today I hope to get the onions seeds planted.

The wood ashes would be good scattered around lime loving plants....lilacs and clematis come to mind. Or just sprinkle them over any flower bed or a compost pile. I somtimes scatter them around the base of the trees.

We are pretty wet in our area and I might burn off the old vines on a cattle panel today if the winds aren't too bad. I will keep the garden hose near just in case.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:05AM
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Just checked under the lights and found one variety of cabbage was up about 3 inches and the other just beginning. The vinca is up. Uncovered all and moved the light closer to them.

I will be heading out to the Milk Parlor soon to plant the onion and sweet william and maybe a few others from the seed supply.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:46AM
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gldno1, you were saying that it hurt you to stand in the barn for a long time b/c of the hard floor.
Have you tried putting down some layers of cardboard to stand on. Then when the are too flat to do much good any more put them in your lasagna beds? Just a thought. I used to use it to stand on when I worked in a factory. Wasn't as great as on of those rubber stall mats but better than the concrete floor.

Question, the onion you are going to start from seed. Are they ready for use this year or next. I was planning on buying the plants at the feed store. But if they will be ready I will get the seed instead. I really like growing things from seed.
Do you put your onion seed under lights?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Bonnie the variety I grow will take 85 days. I buy day-neutral varieties such as Candy and Super Star. Yes, I do start them under lights. They will make onions about the size of baseballs or larger. The Candy keeps better than Super Star and both are sweet as sugar. I sure hope they do well this year.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 3:44PM
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That will work for me.
I also think I will grow some green onions for using until they are ready.
I use a lot of onion. funny b/c I never liked onion until I wan in my 30's.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:06PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Are those onion plants you see for sale now all for green onions? I like green onions, but I may branch out and try something different.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:18PM
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Just thinned some impatiens from seed I saved.They were so pretty last year.I had never grown them from seed before.Also have nicotiania from saved seed and joe pye weed from PARKS THAT DIDN'T GERMINATE WELL(THEY ARE SENDING MORE SEED-WE'LL SEE).aM RESISTING STARTING TOMATOES-THEY GET SO LEGGY.gOT THE GRAPES AND APPLES PRUNED WITH HUBBYS HELP AND HAVE BEEN RAKING UP THE Leaves under the grapes and giving them to the chickens in their very muddy yard.They are laying now too.Hubby made me another shelf with more fluorescents for Valentines day.I always seem to need more growing space in the spring.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:24PM
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Hey, Posy, I see you had a birthday last week. Belated Happy Birthday!

Park Seed hasn't done well for me for so long that I have quit ordering from them. I hope you get yours replaced in time.

Congratulations on the impatiens from seed. If I remember, they are pretty hard to do...need total darkness? Am I correct?

I am very annoyed about the onion seed from Hummert; it didn't do even a half tray! I should have ordered from Harris Seed. I am afraid it would take too long to get them now and onion seeds are supposed to be very fresh to germinate well.

Helen, all onion plants should make bulbs. You just have to thin them out to 3-4 inches apart and keep them weeded well and by late summer the tops will brown and fall over. Then they can be dug or pulled, cleaned off, let cure (out of the sun) in a warm spot for a few days before storing in bags (mesh) or hung in bunches. They make bulbs according to the day length that is why the day-length neutral ones are safest for me. With them it doesn't matter.

Posy, I haven't gotten to my grapes yet and this is the year I need to get the wire up for the trellising. I dread the pruning since I know very little about how to do it. Do you have any easy hints for me.

My bottom tier plant light fixture wouldn't work at all this year. I took it apart and could see no problem. Tested all the bulbs and they were good. I was about to order very expensive new ballasts when it occurred to me that both shouldn't have failed at the same time. That just left the on/off switch. I decided to bypass it. I was almost afraid to plus it back in............that was it! So I now have all twelve trays ready. A new fixture would have cost $l70....knew I didn't want to do that.

Speaking of tomatoes, I won't start mine until around the first of April. I am shooting for 6 weeks instead of 8 before last frost. Usually I have to dig a 24 inch trench for them.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:34AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

O happy day! I got to do my most favorite gardening "chore" today -- turning my compost pile. I still had unfinished "offerings" but I just buried them and added more shredded leaves. There's 2 ft. of finished compost down underneath and the next warm day I'm going to put it on my raised beds. Of course, "warm day" is relative, isn't it? I'm freezing out there, but the sun is shining, at least and it's warm-er.
I turn from one side to the other and use what's underneath the side I've turned from. That's usually enough compost for me at one time and if I add UCGs and alfalfa pellets, the unfinished goes down in about 2 weeks in summer. Then it smells really good, unlike today when I was glad my nose was frozen and I couldn't get much of a whiff. You guys with big, huge, serious compost piles would laugh yourselves silly at my concerete block bin! But it keeps me out of the Mall and my checkbook appreciates it --

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I still follow what all are doing. So far this month I have planted potatoes, english peas, onion sets and spinach. I am taking a chance hoping the cold doesn't do them in. I also started tomatoes, peppers and egg plant from seed today. There's so much to do this time of year, but I love it! James

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 8:24PM
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Ahhhhh, you Zone 7 gardeners get me impatient!

I will have to hold off about a month for in ground things.

I did plant two varietes of parsley yesterday (under lights). I didn't realize they were difficult to germinate. I soaked them 24 hours in hot water.....hope that works. Wouldn't be the end of my gardening life if it doesn't, but my sis sent me the seeds from her collection so I am giving it a shot.

I am saving about 7 lbs of white potatoes that had sprouted on me....will be planting those out next month. I think the label said Norkotah.

I could probably do spinach and lettuce out. I will check the soil today. May be too wet.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 7:11AM
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James - I was looking at old posts on potatoes and Millie had said you could plant them anytime during the winter and they would come up at the right time. I thought that was interesting.

Posy - Nice Valentine's Day present. What a great guy!

I winter sowed some leaf lettuce this week. I think I'm a little early but they may not come up for awhile anyway since I set the containers outside. I didn't plant all of my seeds yet. I want to get some larger containers and will start the others a little later.

Gld - The grape pruning info I've found is a little too confusing for me. It's almost enough to make me not want grapes but a friend of my husband is giving us a few so I will need to learn. I'm going to try watching some youtube videos to see if that will help. Here's what came up when I put in "Pruning Grapes". You may want to try putting in a particular method if you know which one you want. (I don't) or just try putting in "pruning grape vines" or "pruning table grapes". Let me know if you find a good one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Grapes

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:18AM
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christie, thanks.

I know the potato thing will work because I always miss a few in the row and have very early potatoes the next year.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:53PM
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Christie, I had not planned on planting the potatoes so soon, but when I went to the co-op, they advised it was time to put them in the ground. James

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:49PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have heard plant potatoes on St. Patrick's day. I bought some at MFA $5 for 10 pounds. Norland Red is what I got; they had Yukon Gold and others. I guessed at the name to get. I am waiting a while.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:26AM
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I was able to till the garden this morning! Just one spot was a little too wet but the rest got a pretty good tilling. I will wait a couple of days and then try some early planting.

I also cleaned up the tomato patches, burned a pile of debris (I don't compost tomatoes) and now am ready for a cup of coffee and a rest.

I see lots of daffs up about 4 inches, iris up showing some green tips as well as some daylilies. My pale blue aster is up about 4 inches under all the dead top stuff which I will leave in place for protection a bit longer. Sadly a plum tree is showing white tips on the will probably be a goner. The rest of the fruit trees look ok.

Henbit is growing in every bare spot possible. I did clean out one tiny bed of the darned stuff.

Lots more to do, but it feels really good to be doing something productive at last.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:02PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Would you compost henbit?? I'm willing to pull it, but I need it to compost pretty quickly. Some of the purple flowers are showing -- would it go to seed in the pile?
Thanks -

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 1:07PM
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You can compost it, once smothered by other stuff or turned upside down, it will die quickly.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 4:07PM
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I planted three kinds of lettuce today outside (beat the rains!) and then did a small sampling of all three in some plug flats to see how that does. Should be interesting. Now if the little cocky banty rooster and his wife will just stay out of the garden!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:52PM
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I have some little sprouts coming up in a container of mixed greens that I winter sowed a week or so ago. I don't think it's lettuce though.

I have winter sown stokes aster and silene coming up too.

I checked some plants today that I had put in the garage for the winter and could see some growth on a few of them. I was worried that my garage would be too warm so I set some of them outside. A salvia 'Black and Blue' and salvia greggi have new leaves. I stuck my hanging basket of fuchsia in the garage too and it has some new growth coming out. The other pots are still looking like dead plants (three more salvias, a container of spike plants and one that I can't remember).

There were six deer by our driveway when my hubby drove in just after dark Tuesday. It's unusual for us to even see two at a time.

We have snow in our forecast for Friday night and Saturday. I haven't heard any estimates on amounts but it's been awhile since we had one of those foot-deep surprise March snows. Do you think we're due? lol

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 4:50PM
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We are probably due since we really haven't had any deep snow for a while!

Actually, a deep snow might be a good thing about now....keep that ground insulated as well as plants that are prematurely sprouting.

I am curious about the fuchsia staying alive in the garage. Does it freeze in there?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:03AM
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