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Gardening &
Landscaping




   Wrightwinger  Here is a site that describes how to save your seed for non hybrid tomatoes. This would work for cucumbers, melons, squash, etc. as well I think. If one reads the comments, there are some alternative methods suggested.

http://cubitsorganics.com/2012/08/how-to-save-heirloom-tomat
o-seeds/
2 hours ago .




   BirdsNest  Yesterday was a whirlwind day of errands and canning. Worked really hard and got 6 pts. blueberry jam and 3 pts of tomato sauce. This was our first try at this sauce, it can be processed in a hot water bath safely, by following the recipe exactly. It was a lot of work for those 3 pints, but it tastes really good. We had about a cup left and we fought over it using the last of a nice chewy loaf of french bread. Man I am tired today.
10 hours ago .

   1 person like this.




   Balogreene  Something Mei Dei said reminded me of a friend of mine. He collects old pallets that can no longer be used for shipping. A friend of his lays them out in his garden, and plants in the rows created by the pallets. Whatever is left, makes a great bonfire or two.

Most companies are more than willing to give them away, otherwise they throw them in the recycle bin. Our last location, there were a few companies, all of which were willing to give their pallets away. This new location, the only pallets I've seen are ours. But, Bird, and Hagar, you might want to check it out.
Monday at 21:08 EST .

   1 person like this.



   MeiDei  Good tip Balo! Another neighbor of mine brought home from the Used But Useful Shed at our Town Dump (they're not grungy as in years past ) a few hollow core doors that had seen better days. He strip off the outer layers, added some metal spikes to the bottom for footings and resurfaced them with lattice (also freebies )painted them & made a privacy screen & trained clematis & trumpet vine on them. He used the left over paint from his trim & shutters for a finishing touch. I say "he" but it might have been his wife.
Monday at 21:53 EST .


   BirdsNest  We scoop up any pallet we can! We use them for compost bins and are collecting them to make a shed for the tiller and mower. I have been haunting the ladies at the local Hardees for the banners they use to advertise burgers, they are a plastic that sticks to window glass but we want them for placing on the ground around the raised beds-then we place mulch on top. Weed control. We are always on the lookout for ways to re-purpose items.
Tuesday at 07:22 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Birdie--I never tire of your posts! You and Hagar are so productive, it makes me feel like wanting to do more than I do to recycle, etc.

Keep those posts coming!
Tuesday at 08:41 EST .

  2 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Ah, Gerty, some may call me cheap but I prefer the word "thrifty". Recycle. Re-purpose, whatever you call it, one man's junk is another man's treasure.
we get great pleasure out of extending the "life" of items. We have a friend who is a master of it, you should see the amazing planted he made out of barrel halves,scrap wood, bed springs, and old tin cans. Cute as heck.
Tuesday at 19:13 EST .

  3 people like this.





   BirdsNest  We were at the flea market spot today, got a good location, sold all of the peppers,squash,cukes, and EGGPLANT. As much as I loathe Facebook, one customer posted that we had the best eggplant she had ever tasted, one girl stopped by and bought them all. The lady bought one last week, prepared it and boasted about it on FB. When she got there we were sold out so when we have more ready she will get some.Another lady wants to buy blueberries,because we do not use any insecticide....she can buy them at the local store for $1.50 pint, but wants to pay more for ours because she knows where they are coming from. Finally people are getting it. It has been a fight, but now more and more want to buy from small gardeners like us. Last week one man looked behind our table to see what the veggies were being stored in, expecting to find boxes from suppliers, he was pleased to see "Homer buckets", plus I do not wash any of the veggies that way they instantly know they are fresh and not from a wholesaler. I don't have time to wash them....takes 3 hrs to pick beans on Friday evening and 35 min to pick cukes, peppers, and eggplant on Sat morning as soon as it gets light enough to see. We try to get to the place before 7am in order to get a spot. We had a really good time today, brought some Neems oil to a guy that was looking for it in the store locally(they had none ), so we told him to meet us there and we would give him enough to get started with. I am SO GLAD I remembered, he showed uo early. His wife stopped by later to thank us.
July 26 at 14:14 EST .

   7 people like this.



   Linder  Loved your post. Know how hard you work and happy to hear of customers appreciating the fruits of your labor.
July 26 at 19:32 EST .

  5 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thank you Linder.
It IS hard work, but pays off with good food to eat and an opportunity to share with others. Our friends that used to get the loads of produce have been getting some, just not the quantities of years past. It is important to save part of the money for next years garden, we will need to replace 10 soaker hoses($15 each ), black plastic for weed control(this year we used $50 worth ), and next year we are planning to enlarge the garden with a new spot for tomatoes on soil never used before. Several years ago the East Coast was hit with tomato blight and I am thinking it is still in our soil. We have treated with Neem oil, but still the tomatoes show signs of blight. In order to till fresh ground we will need the services of someone with a tractor and tiller. Hagar talked to the man that broke our ground several years ago. He has retired but said he would do the work for us. So we have to sell vegs in order to have the funds for next years plans. And we want to put in some more raised beds. The back section of the garden is near;y impossible to keep watered for plant growth. There is a natural dry area, sandy soil and it will be better if we make raised beds there and use those for certain plants. Somewhere out there I would love to have raised beds for herbs, possibly 2 kinds of herbs to one 8 ft bed.
July 27 at 07:22 EST .

  8 people like this.



   MeiDei  Bird, you are one ambitious person - admirable. We have one local grower left in our area. I noticed for the past 2-3 years he has one section of land that he doesn't plow - he spreads this area in black plastic & puts individual pots on it in rows & I think they hand spray between rain as I don't see the pipe sprinkler system they used several years ago. He has a small stand for selling off that which doesn't get bought by the local stores, including local honey - it's my next stop to shop this week. I wish you every success.
July 27 at 11:58 EST .

  5 people like this.



   MeiDei  On another note, my friend's husband found a few tall bookcases put out for discard, the backings were gone. He brought them home, treated the wood (will have to ask what he used ) & laid them down in a side area and it became their herb garden, the shelves provided sections. It's still in use today - 20 years later.
July 27 at 12:21 EST .

  4 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thank you, MeiDei. And I love the idea your friend's husband had, very clever!
July 27 at 15:25 EST .

  4 people like this.





   Gerty  I guess this may come under Landscaping rather than Gardening but I don't know where else to place this bit of experience.

I love the little humming birds that come to my back deck. I hate those pesky little ants that get into the humming bird feeders! And they are relentless!

I searched the internet, etc. for all kinds of deterrents but found none I cared to use. So, until I do find some kind of ant repellent that meets my requirements, I jury-rigged a little deterrent of my own...I found some old fly paper in the basement and stuck it around the pole holding the feeder.

That was yesterday. Checked it all day today--just looking out my kitchen window, not one ant to be seen! I am still searching for a harmless ant repellent so I would appreciate anyone's recommendation. Also interested in any information on the old fly paper (the ones we used to unwind and hang under a light fixture or fan ). Are these things harmful in any way to the animals that come visit us?

PS Don't be concerned with the bear. I'm sure he can take care of himself!
July 25 at 19:11 EST .

   4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Just read something that might work for you. Take a paper plate (or use the old fly paper ) & spread some petroleum jelly or corn syrup on it, attach to your feeder and change as necessary. It's giving the ants an alternative to the sweet water hummingbirds like and makes it difficult for the ants to escape. Change as often as necessary. You might also want to check out the link to Jerry Baker's web page.
July 25 at 21:27 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Bettijo  This article suggests corn meal and I have read that before. There are other good suggestions here.

13 natural remedies for the ant invasion

Ants are making their way into homes this time of year. Thankfully there are natural pest control methods to help you cope with and eliminate the problem. Plus, many of the solutions use what you already have in your cupboard!


Read more: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blo
gs/13-natural-remedies-for-the-ant-invas
ion#ixzz38ZqXzLFH
July 26 at 08:32 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Linder  Hummers make my day! My feeder hangs from a hook over the eave trough on the porch...so no ant problems. Because it's usually so hot and humid here I put barely enough boiled sugar water in the feeder to make it work...and then clean and refill often. I notice just a few quick visits each day but later in August they will be constantly fussing with each other over the feeder. Great entertainment.
July 26 at 19:44 EST .

  8 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Linder we have planted a humminbird vine called "Cypress vine"
http://www.hummingbird-guide.com/humming
bird-vine.html
and another called "Cardinal Climber"
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dicti
onary/vine/cardinal-climber/

we have not seen Hummers here for years but this year we have several of these 2 climbers and the Hummers are back. Those beauties just make me smile.
July 27 at 07:34 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  I have a hanging feeder. I coat the hanging cord with vaseline and wipe and recoat every few days. it works..Except in the heat of summer when it melts. But it still works somewhat. Ants don't want to crawl on it.

I've thought of mixing the vaseline with a little cinnamon. I hear ants detest cinnamon.

Now about the dozens of honeybees who discovered the feeder. The bee guards do NOT work. Any ideas? I will not harm a honeybee.
July 27 at 18:00 EST .

  4 people like this.





   MeiDei  I don't know how many here are familiar with Jerry Baker (Master Gardener )formerly of PBS. He has an interesting website that he supports via sales of his books, however, there are links to his blog and various newsletters that are full of free information. If it hadn't been for the Zoysia grass comment below I would have forgotten about him & the grass tonic we use. You might find his website of interest:
http://www.jerrybaker.com/ Lots of interesting tips for home, garden, etc.
July 23 at 11:30 EST .

   6 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Tomato plants and fruit are a big disappointment this season. Plants are failing an the fruit is misshaped. Not for sale to anyone, but cut up with Italian herbs, S&P, and EVOO, they are delicious. Cukes, peppers, eggplant are doing well. String beans keep on making, and the pole beans that looked so sad after H. Arthur went through are now lush and flowering. Luffas,birdhouse gourds, watermelon are all over the fence-daily tending to keep them out of the path of the neighbors mower. Last week he actually moved several out of control vines and they did not get cut.....miracles never cease! I check on them daily now and I may get time to place a path of mulch so he does not have to get close to them. Fig trees are coming back, even a few figs, of that we are more than thankful.Blueberries are starting to ripen, have picked several gallons so far. Yesterday I picked some wild cherries and we processed 7 pints of juice. We don't have a cherry pitter so we chose to juice them.
How is everyone else doing with their gardens?
July 23 at 08:22 EST .

   8 people like this.



   Rake King  Here in the St. Louis metro area truck farms, tomatoes are so abundant the price starting is lower than last year. Native blackberries are as big as half-dollars. I can't explain why, but some relate that the deep and long cold of last winter killed off many plant pests. Even the roses have large blooms, again stated as fewer aphids and beetles. Re the pests, maybe Mother Nature said enough is enough.

Missouri is known for it's wine industry and they stated last years grape crops were poor, but this year appear to be flourishing.
July 23 at 08:35 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Wrightwinger  Well, I had some difficulties with the garden. A lot of it was blocked by access problems, mower problems, and so, much is in pots this year. I have a lot of small cherry tomatoes that are good, a volunteer watermelon is growing from one pot, and has a lot of blooms and a 3 inch melon. This may not make it, but I am going to see what happens. My sweet banana peppers are producing, my herbs are doing well except for the basil. Did you ever eat nasturtium blossoms or leaves? Turns out they are good with a slightly radish flavor that I like. We canned some potatoes and some green beans. I ate some pink tomatoes I bought at a farmers market today that were fabulous, and some corn as well.
July 23 at 17:52 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Gerty  Figs? Did someone mention FIGS!?!

Yesssssss!
July 24 at 20:00 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird and Hagar, heard your area had bad weather today. Here's hoping everyone and everything is well. We didn't get more than 5 minutes of rain up here.
July 24 at 23:59 EST .

  5 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Balogreene....a tornado popped up just on shore at Cherrystone Campgrounds where there were 1300+ people registered in in various camping accommodations. The place was torn up, trees down, power lines down, RV's turned over. Two people from NJ were killed and their son is in critical condition at CHKD in Va Beach. The city of Va Beach sent 6 ambulances, a mass trauma unit, and all ambulances on the entire shore were dispatched to the scene. It sounded like Beirut here with the numbers of sirens that flew by here within minutes of one another. The State Police headquarters is 10 miles north of us and they came by here at mach speed. There was also damage to boats in Oyster,Va and a tractor trailer was over turned on Rt 13. We had a bit of lightning and could hear the thunder down the road, we got some rain but no damage. The previous night wind broke a cherry tree limb and it fell over the fence. I was picking cherries when all of the madness was taking place down the road. My diabetes doc lives next to the campground, she lost her garden to softball sized hail and wind. She and her daughter were home and took shelter in an interior room til it was over. The campgound is a total mess and closed til whenever....this is their busiest time of year, you must reserve space 1 year in advance for this time of year-Pony Penning next week, Blueberry Festival this weekend.
July 25 at 15:21 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird, I heard about the campground and was concerned for you guys. You never know about tornados, they can cut a big path, or just pop down in a short burst. Like I said, we got barely any rain.
July 26 at 17:45 EST .

  5 people like this.





   Rake King  Those of you with Zoysia grass lawns, be alerted a disease is killing off patches of lawns. If you see this contact whomever you use for lawn treatments. If not the disease, it can also be the results of grubs attacking root structure. Normally a trouble free lawn grass, I don't recommend re-sodding, as that is being found the following year to have also died.
July 20 at 19:21 EST .

   6 people like this.



   MeiDei  Having had various lawn problems including grubs & friends, dog spots & snow melt areas I've used to great success - Jerry Baker's Lawn Tonic. The following is from a site in praise of it.
"The Jerry Baker Lawn Tonic..
About twice a year I spray our lawn with a lawn tonic that was originated by Jerry Baker. It is a combination of liquid ingredients that accomplishes several great things for your yard. I am often asked for the recipe so I thought I would post it an everyone could have a beautiful lawn.

The ingredients are generally found at the local dollar store:
•One bottle of liquid dishwashing liquid (not anti-bacterial )
•One can of beer - not light
•One can of regular cola (not diet )
•1 cup of household ammonia
•1 bottle of antiseptic mouthwash like Listerene (or store brand )
•10 or so drops of hot sauce like Tobasco

Mix the ingredients in a bucket and apply to your lawn in some type of hose-end sprayer. The above amount should cover around 5000 square feet. Hose end sprayers vary, so you may have to move fairly quickly as not to run out.
Here is my understanding as to what these ingredients do:

•The dishwashing liquid breaks up the oily film on the surface of your lawn's soil. This allows water to reach the deeper grass roots for a healthier lawn. It will also allow the other things you do (like fertilize ) to go deeper in the soil. Dishwashing soap is also distasteful to insects and critters.

•The yeast in the beer feeds on the sugar in the soda and helps to break down thatch.

•The ammonia is liquid nitrogen for a greening boost. (but don't overdo it )

•The mouthwash helps fight lawn diseases.

•The hot sauce is an insect and critter repellent.

I apply in the spring and fall and have had great results."
July 21 at 12:20 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Oh, the above is for large lawns - just checked my repurposed large glass pickle jar that I mix this up in for my "recipe" - same as above but just 1-1/2 cup dish detergent (or cheapo powder laundry ) and 1 or 1-1/2 cup listerine. My recipe from Jerry dates back to the early 80's & doesn't include Tobasco.
July 21 at 12:33 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Rake King  Mei, I hope you don't get mixed up and drink it!!!
July 21 at 21:10 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  OH thanks for the laugh! It stays in the jar on a shelf in the laundry room - & it's labeled with the recipe.
July 21 at 21:25 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Rake King  Seriously, I have seen a mixture much like you outline from an old Chech who lived next door to us in my youth, and who cut his lawn with a hand-push reel type mower.
July 23 at 08:42 EST .

  8 people like this.



   MeiDei  As a kid visiting my grandparents, a push mower was the only thing to use & the grass was always greener where the laundry wash water was thrown outside instead of down the sink. During a bad drought many years ago, when the lawn & pool police would check residences - we bailed the washing machine as much as possible & used the "grey water" on the barest spots - Californians should take note.
July 23 at 16:32 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Rake King  Only thing about California, my son who live outside L A, says green lawns attract the Water Police, so would they believe your use of wash machine waste water?
July 26 at 08:41 EST .

  4 people like this.



   MeiDei  Good question Rake. We lived in San Diego for a few years but not during a drought. The County Extension Agent in Denver, however, suggested laundry & bath water as a cure for a particular lawn problem that traveled in a straight line from lot to lot. In fact, he suggested we sprinkle powdered laundry detergent sparingly across the lawn & water it in - same suggestion here in MA from our CE Agent. The trick is to transfer the detergent from it's original box into a pail before going outside otherwise the local kids run home and tell their parents that the neighbors are washing their lawns. : )
July 26 at 18:12 EST .

  5 people like this.





   StormCnter  Two things. I had planted 8 pittosporum, 4 on each side of the front sidewalk, a couple of months ago. The four on the south side get afternoon shade and are thriving, with new growth and healthy, perky foliage. The 4 on the north side of the sidewalk, just a dozen feet away, get full sun all day and are having trouble. Extra irrigation and a bit of fertilizer haven't helped at all. They look wilted and sick. Lo and behold, Texas got several days of the "polar vortex", with rain and much cooler temperatures. Those four pittosporum have sprung to life. They're not as large as the others on the south, but they are plenty lively. I'm loving it.

Second thing: I have a very large Brown Turkey fig tree on the southwest corner of this house. It extends well over the roof and bears two crops of figs each year. Right now, it is loaded with figs about a week away from full ripeness. My former habit was to stroll around the yard, plucking sun-warmed figs from the tree for munching. That was until last year when one of my beautiful sun-warmed figs had a salty flavor. I realized a squirrel had visited that branch before I arrived. Now I bring them in the house and wash them before I snack. The reward is great, but the experience is just not the same!
July 20 at 09:56 EST .

   10 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Storm---Ain't Nature wonderful? (Chuckle.. )
July 20 at 18:52 EST .

  7 people like this.



   Alice  Funny, thanks a lot squirrel... oh how lovely an 'untouched' sun-warmed fig is!
July 21 at 14:07 EST .

  4 people like this.





   Magdalene  I regret to say that my garden has apparently bit the dust. Mildew, wilt, I don't know what it is but I can't get out there and take care of it. I've picked a half dozen cherry tomatoes but I think that will be about the extent of it. Makes me really sad.
July 11 at 22:15 EST .

   6 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Mags, have you tried something indoors? I am hoping you are feeling better and turn my suggestion over to Miss Birdsnest. I'll bet she can give some advice.

There is something so uplifting about using the fruits of your labor---I know the feeling because I miss the huge garden I used to be able to manage.
July 12 at 08:01 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Rake King  Mags, take care of yourself first and the garden later. Being out in the heat is not something you should be doing, at this time. Gerty's suggestion is a good one and put it on the sunny side of your home.

Tell David I said "Hi".
July 12 at 08:25 EST .

  5 people like this.



   MeiDei  Rake is right - take care of yourself first! You have a garden to tend to within and one to tend to outside next year.

Sadness & disappointments are not in this years budget. But thanks for sharing, will know how to direct our prayers
July 12 at 10:27 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Surfhut  We're in the same boat. The roofers took out 1/2 of my garden. A neighbor's dog took out the other 1/2. I managed to get some cucumbers. Planted another tomato but it's probably too late to get a crop. I still have herbs in pots that are OK.

We'll give it another try next spring, Mags.
July 16 at 06:41 EST .

  3 people like this.



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