Groupings, Personal Space, Garden Art, and Color forum: Down on the Farm, 2017

 
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ImageMaryE
Mar 29, 2017 10:18 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
I don't have any pansies blooming but do have one of two surviving primulas showing a pink bud. I'm surprised it survived the deer pulling it out of the ground last spring, then the hot dry summer and the brutal winter.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
ImageElena
Mar 29, 2017 12:51 PM CST
Name: Elena
Middle Tennessee
Tough plants like that need to be appreciated. I have just about given up on plants that aren't tough.
ImageMaryE
Apr 3, 2017 1:13 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Yesterday I sorted seed packets and soaked a few tomato seeds, 4 Legend, 4 Big Beef, two yellow pear and two Oregon Spring (two each in case one of each fails to germinate and in case a gopher kills one after they are in the garden). This year I am not growing 20-25 plants, only about 10. That's enough since I am not planning to can any. Today I planted those seeds in cell packs in the greenhouse. The sun is heating the greenhouse enough so that the exhaust system is coming on periodically. Tonight it will be the furnace again, keeping the temperature at about 55. Tomorrow....? It's anybody's guess.

The past few days have been so windy and cold that very little has been done outside. I did clean one flower bed, tied loganberry vines to the fence, hunted for fresh gopher tunnels, checked thornless blackberries for signs of life (saw some!) and watched it snow this morning. Thankfully that little squall didn't last very long! Such things are expected, it's spring after all.

The primula I mentioned a few days ago has two bright pink flowers! It is about half the size of when I planted it. The second survivor is even smaller. I will have to examine it closely to see if it plans to bloom. The rose that Sharon sent me a few years ago is coming back to life in the greenhouse and has several nice new leaves! Outside, the wild roses have leaf buds. The maple tree in the yard is showing signs of life although the whole thing appears to be dying, giving us fewer leaves and less shade every year and loosing it's bark near the ground. We need to replace it with something that will grow taller than wide such as a hybrid poplar. I have examined the wisteria I planted last summer and babied through the rest of summer and fall, and I think (hope) it is waking up! No sign of the Neon Flash something. It might be Spirea or dead. The forsythia has buds. This week I saw one blooming in town. I need to anchor some of the new branches with rocks to encourage them to grow roots, then put it where that other plant is since I really don't think it survived, having struggled for years. Forsythia will be happier there with more sun than the mother plant gets and Forsythia are known to be vigorous or the one I now have wouldn't have made it.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagebillyporter
Apr 4, 2017 5:34 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Mary,
This year I have to can. I've drank almost all of my tomato juice.
Primula is hard to grow when it's cold. My neighbor keeps trying and hers are in a sheltered place. She still has to replant.
I am so glad Sharon's rose will live!
So much to do!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageElena
Apr 4, 2017 8:15 AM CST
Name: Elena
Middle Tennessee
I have to can also. Our home canned tomatoes are almost gone and the juice has been gone for a long time.
I too am glad Sharon's rose will live.
Imagebillyporter
Apr 5, 2017 5:16 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Elena,
I'm trying more paste tomatoes and trying to can whole ones again. Mine end up stewed if I try regular tomatoes. I have a few jars of juice left.
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageElena
Apr 5, 2017 8:46 AM CST
Name: Elena
Middle Tennessee
Actually stewed is fine with me as I use them in such things as juice, soups, spaghetti, etc. and don't need whole ones. I have found that we use more tomatoes in our diets than any other vegetable. I need to just call my garden a tomato farm we raise so many. Big Grin
Imagebillyporter
Apr 7, 2017 4:18 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Laughing! The first time I tried whole tomatoes was with regular tomatoes. Boy did they disintegrate!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageElena
Apr 7, 2017 12:47 PM CST
Name: Elena
Middle Tennessee
Thankfully, whole ones aren't on our menu unless they are fresh.....It is good to know that something can be simplified around here... Big Grin It seems that the older we get the more complicated most things are becoming.
Imagebillyporter
Apr 9, 2017 3:57 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
How true!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
Apr 13, 2017 11:50 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Last week we took a trip to the west side of the state where the climate is milder. It's full spring over there and even though the weather was showery, I enjoyed seeing all of the trees and bushes in bloom. The daffodils were finished blooming there and have just started here.

Now I am back to the battle with the weeds which are already ahead of me. I have started tomato seeds in the greenhouse and as of yesterday 3 of them are up. The weather is into one of those patterns where we have a lot of clouds, some showers, cold wind, some sun, frequent frosty nights and snow is likely again tomorrow. Today I am in and out, in and out, working long enough to get a backache or be cold, then coming inside for a while.

I need to be checking the gopher traps again.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imageirisarian
Apr 14, 2017 8:00 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Plenty of chipmunks running around here. We don't set traps. I hope the owls & hawks get them.
ImageMaryE
Apr 20, 2017 4:03 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Yesterday was a beautiful, warm spring day! Rick mowed grass around the buildings and along the driveway for the first mowing of the year. The battery in the riding mower needed recharging before that could be done. It was looking quite shaggy. The grass I call a lawn is next. I do that with the small push mower. Ryan came to prune some of the fruit trees and needs an orchard ladder to do the rest of them. Another neighbor has one he can borrow. I pulled a lot of weeds in a flower bed and started chopping out a big tree root. I'd chop, clean out the space, chop more, clean again, and finally got Rick to help me finish chopping through an 8 inch in diameter root. Nothing in that flower bed has ever done well and now I know that the tree at the corner of the yard had stolen most of the water and nutrients! We were working at least 15 ft from the tree, so it still has plenty of support and no doubt has roots of equal size going in all directions. I never dreamed it was that big! It'll be left in place because I would ruin the whole bed trying to take it out, and besides, it probably runs another 50 feet!

Most of the tomatoes are up now, and I started a lot of squash and cayenne pepper seeds in 4 pack pots a few days ago. I had trouble finding whole dried cayennes last winter so decided to grow some and sell the excess to the co-op. I bought some geraniums to fill a couple of planters where everything died, and still have to plant them. The top half of old soil will be replaced, just deep enough for the roots which tend to spread out more than going downward. That would be a good job for today because the weather has become very windy and it feels a lot colder than 52. Those planters spent the winter in the greenhouse and are still there.

There is water in the irrigation ditch now and we see sprinkler lines running in neighbor's fields. Some cattle are out on the hills grazing now, and others are still being fed hay. I brought Patch in from the big pasture where he was getting sore feet from too much green grass. He will be eating hay now until we get a hard frost in the fall. His feet will be more comfortable as soon as the excess sugar and carbohydrate is used up by his system. I had noticed that he was not trotting anywhere, and that his feet must be hurting because he spent more time lying down. When he walked it was slow, and when he stood still he shifted his weight from foot to foot. I used a shedding comb on him after I brought him into the small pasture and he enjoyed that. He's lost most of his heavy winter hair and I still got a lot off him. He won't be thrilled with having to eat hay which is nowhere near as tasty as fresh grass, but that's life!

So far I have moved the gopher trap several times and still haven't caught one. We need to rototill and then I will probe for fresh tunnels a few days later. We had planned to do the tilling today but will wait for a more comfortable day.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagebillyporter
Apr 21, 2017 5:03 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Mary,
I didn't know that about horses and fresh grass.

You've been busy. My pots are finally wet to the top so I can sow my tomatoes and other warm season crops.
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
Apr 27, 2017 9:54 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
The garden dried out enough for Rick to rotill it. Rain was threatening and we felt a few drops while he was doing that and I asked God to let him finish. The job was done and the rain started later! I need to go hunting for gopher tunnels now as they probably have made some in the last 2 days.

Yesterday was stormy so I worked at repotting and planting in the greenhouse. I need to look at the long term forecast to see if it would be safe to put the geraniums back into their barrels any time soon. Meanwhile, I have new purchases to plant. I bought more geraniums to replace some that had died, and also bought dianthus to fill in some gaps. I try to keep each big pot planted with only one color of geraniums. The ones I have already done look good sitting there on the greenhouse floor where it is cool.

The baby squash are mostly up. I'm still waiting for the peppers. Little tomato plants have real tomato leaves now, and the cutting I made last fall and repotted several days ago is tall and gangly looking.... almost needing support. I'm thinking about cutting it down to half and starting a new plant from the top part. The lower half should then make some side shoots. The drawback to that is that the top has several blooms that might already have little tomatoes forming... I'll have to look and decide.

Snow is flying sideways past the windows this morning. Spring is certainly here with all of it's variety and winter relapses. Before this latest cold front came I got a good start on another flower bed, pulling out Bouncing Bet which spreads underground, and also quack grass. I dug into a badly overcrowded patch of iris, some white and some yellow, and put a bunch of starts next to the fence where I had finished weeding. Rain came the next day so finishing there will have to wait for dry weather.

Patch is moving around much better after a few days of living mostly on hay. He is still hunting for and finding some weeds and wisps of grass, and looking out over the fence to where he wants to be. By this weekend we will have cattle in the big pasture.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagevic
Apr 27, 2017 10:28 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I'm so thankful Patch is doing better but that snow is not fun in April Crying
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagebillyporter
Apr 28, 2017 6:13 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
You've accomplished a lot and I'm glad Patch is doing better!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
May 7, 2017 9:38 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
I've almost finished weeding the strawberry row. I can finish it in about another half hour, hopefully tomorrow, then put the black weepy hoses in the row and water it. I am seeing quite a few bud clusters and some are already showing white, but none fully open. Can yummy strawberries be far behind? I hope the weather forecast is wrong.... we might get a light frost tonight.

Patch gets to graze for 1 hour a day in the small pasture above his home pasture that has a spring fed tank and a shed for shelter. He gets hay the rest of the time. Our neighbor who has cattle grazing here in our big pasture brought me another big bale of hay. I'm trying to stretch it and keep Patch's feet comfortable at the same time. It's like a high wire circus act. As long as he trots around with his head and tail up I'll know it's working.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagevic
May 8, 2017 3:23 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Hoping those cool/cold temps go away and my mouth is watering thinking about your yummy strawberries. So thankful dear Patch is doing well.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageMaryE
May 8, 2017 6:47 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Light frost last night. The flat of Wave petunias spent the night in the greenhouse. Smiling
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php

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