Cottage Gardening forum: #4 2012 Piggy Chat and Q&A

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Dec 14, 2012 6:14 PM CST
Name: Patti
Eagle Point, OR
We came from here:

Rules and Official starting line:

The sign up sheet:

Since it is hard for me to be here right now, The Admin Team is in charge. If they tell you something, it will be just like me speaking, so please be respectful of them and follow their advice and suggestions.

A few things have changed from last year, for one price of postage went up to cover this years increase. Second, I felt so bad about what happened with some folks not being who they were, so this year, even Survivors have to pay postage. Economy bad for everybody and hopefully that will lighten the burden a bit off folks and also keep things real.

As usual I have probably forgotten some things, and hopefully somebody will catch them. If I have and am not around, check with Tcs and Patti to make any corrections.

Thumb of 2012-11-15/tcs1366/5f955d
Dec 14, 2012 7:16 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
CC said:
>> ... ... ... was not mandatory for starting dahlia tubers.

LOL! "Honest, officer: tubers. DAHLIA tubers." He'd probably go back to the station house and tell his buddies "Now they're calling it TUBERS."

>> How HE knew and I didn't is still a mystery...

Maybe our parents were more 'with it' than we ever knew ... I saw some photos of my Mom and Dad and they looked like quite the party animals, for the 1940s.

I could easily believe there are families out there where the parents hide their "tubers" from the kids so as not to set a bad example ... and the kids hide it from the parents so as not to be grounded. Sounds reasonable to me.
Dec 14, 2012 10:03 PM CST
Name: Jill
NW Missouri
I'm hoping to wintersow most things this year and avoid the overcrowded mess in the house. I'll have to let you know how it goes. I wintersowed a few things last summer, but the drought caught up with me and most of them burned up after they were transplanted. Very bad year to garden. I am really hopeful that this year will be better.

Thumbs up
Dec 14, 2012 10:33 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Wedding this weekend, then it's pack pack pack the seeds until the last little packet cries "wee wee wee" all the way to Ella's home.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
[Last edited Dec 14, 2012 10:52 PM CST]
Quote | Post #934139 (4)
Dec 14, 2012 11:12 PM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
yup my Walmart FINALLY got the baggies stocked so I picked up a couple packs. I want to get my seeds out to Star as soon as possible.
Dec 15, 2012 12:23 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Jill, you are going to love winter sowing. It is so much easier than starting things inside - at least for the seeds which winter sow well. I also "late spring sow" some hardy perennials and annuals. I tried a few hardy tomatoes last year inspired by Nisi's success winter sowing tomatoes. They germinated, but starting them inside gives them a head start for the cold season.

tcs wrote "Absolutely fabulous.... my 2 favorite types of 'Maters in one..... i generally only grow Beefsteaks and Romas!! "...

Which tomatoes do well for you in zone 5? I am always interested in learning which tomatoes grow well for others with short seasons. My "keepers" so far are Mortgage Lifter, Goldman's Italian American (or perhaps its PA cousin - the large vined descendant of a swap plant from Nisi), Black Cherry and Tommy Toe. My favorite plum tomato is currently Roma. I keep hoping I will find a plum tomato with the San Marzano flavor and Roma productivity.

You are tempting me with talk of $1 for 100 zip lock craft bags. I continue to use my recycled envies. I save and re-purpose little bags from tea or vitamins and fold envelops from plant catalogs, etc. I am out of the re-purposed ones so I am taking a break from cutting and pasting printed labels to fold a few more envelops. Winston the pug keeps checking if I am having a snack. The papers rattling sounds like I am opening something tasty to eat....

I have a funny story about shopping for odd things at the hardware store. When I am not looking for vermiculite fro potting mix or concrete for garden "art" I look for copper wire for knit jewelry, nylon twine for crochet bags or other fun things at the hardware store. A while ago, my knitting group was going to try spinning yarn. There is a way to make a spindle from a thin dowel and a couple of cd's/dvd's, but you need a special grommet to hold the dowel in the center of the cds. I had a home depot part number printed out from an online spinning group (where we got the idea in the first place). I was getting irritated trying to find someone to help me and repeating the tale of "why I wanted this" and "what I was going to do with that". A young guy asked me if he could help me find something. I showed him the hand out. He asked what it was for, I said "sex toys". He asked "you are a spinner?" I said an aspiring novice spinner, I never tried it before. Our group was getting together and I needed this part for our project. He was super motivated to help. He even let me ride with him on the cart to check the computer and find the part (in the electrical aisle, of all places). He wrote down them http://www.....address for the Internet group and asked if I minded if he joined. I said sure, the more the merrier. I hope he wasn't too disappointed when he learned that it was a group for people who made their own yarn.....
Dec 15, 2012 12:27 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
My WM keeps running out of those cheap little zip baggies also, so when i find them I grab up 8 or 10 packs... and I ALWAYS get a "look" from the cashier, whether a raised eyebrow or a censorious expression, but nobody every actually says anything, not out loud, anyway.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Dec 15, 2012 12:37 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
Andi!! You slay me. Rolling on the floor laughing

I use the little zip bags because I love how easy they are to label by putting a computer-printed slip of paper right inside the baggie. The 2x3 inch size has enough room to include some helpful/descriptive info without resorting to teeny font sizes.

I also like Tuink's method of printing a larger, informative label (often with a pretty photo!) and taping the little waxed paper seed packet to the back of the slip... although if I use only a portion of the seed, I'm likely to fold the label over the remaining seed and put them both into a little zip bag, to make sure I keep the label with the seed!
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Dec 15, 2012 1:11 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
critterologist wrote:My WM keeps running out of those cheap little zip baggies also, so when i find them I grab up 8 or 10 packs... and I ALWAYS get a "look" from the cashier, whether a raised eyebrow or a censorious expression, but nobody every actually says anything, not out loud, anyway.

In the break room you are known as the "bag lady".

Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Dec 15, 2012 2:31 AM CST
Name: Diana
Dayton, TX
I went into Hobby Lobby to find the little ziplock bags, as the closest WM didn't have any in stock. I took 2 different sizes with me that had seeds already in them to show what I was looking for. No one even raised an eyebrow when I bought 300 bags. Hilarious! They were twice the price of WM, but still easier than making them.

I have a problem writing, so my daughter took pity on me and printed up most of the seed labels for me this year. I did hand write a few, sure hope you all can read them. Rolling on the floor laughing
Dec 15, 2012 6:38 AM CST
Name: Terese
Leesburg, FL zone9b
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Andi -- Just because I love tomatoes, doesn't mean they do well for me Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

last year was horrid for tomatoes for me.... I recall the San Marzano's always doing well though.
can't think of a Beef Steak that ever did outstanding....

an aside.... I have my tomato plants at home in IL and in the summers I'm in WI -- so they really dont get 'taken care of'.
I plant them and hope for the best... then when one of us comes home, we pick what there is.
Last year I must have had critters helping themselves, as once i saw a lot of red, then next time i was home, there was nothing and the kids said they did not pick them.

This year I plan to take some plants to WI -- my Mom's lot has a lot of sun, where I do not. I can grow them over there.
Terese -- Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi
My Email is my userID at

Dec 15, 2012 9:49 AM CST
Name: Robin Lange
Corydon, IN
I'm not sure that location had much to do with tomatoes last year. The woman who does my hair (and Lea, if you can believe it...) both had problems getting anything off their tomatoes, and I had bumper crops on all 4 kinds I raised. That being said, when I lived in Chicago the garden center I worked at could never keep Mortgage Lifters and Celebrity tomatoes on the shelf. The store was sort of in the middle of a bunch of cultural neighborhoods, and it didn't seem to matter whether the gardener was Polish, Italian, Czech, Mexican, or whatever - those were the two favorites, every year.

Last year I grew Celebrity, Sweet 100 and an heirloom (Purple Calabash). They all did quite well. I will NOT be growing Purple Calabash again, it had far too many wrinkles in it that made it nearly impossible to wash well before slicing.

As for the baggies and such, I usually always swing by the aisle when I'm at the store and grab a bag, so I've never had the opportunity to converse with anyone about their use. Whistling I did, however, have a weekly flyover from the cops' helicopter when I lived in Indianapolis and the only place I could put up my greenhouse was behind the garage. Hilarious! Their time would have been better spent peeking in the windows of the group across the street, I don't think they ever left the house without being stoned Rolling on the floor laughing
Dec 15, 2012 11:06 AM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
LMAO Rolling on the floor laughing
Dec 15, 2012 4:05 PM CST
Name: CC
2x3 inch size? I just used the snack size. I'll have to check out the craft department next time I'm there.
Dec 15, 2012 5:05 PM CST
Name: Sharon
near Detroit, MI
Well,those of you that get the plastic bags from me with red stripes at the top they come from ....
Pregnancy Kits we use in the lab. Each kit has an extra bag of pipettes . My co-workers always save the kits for me to perform Quality Control. Don't worry, the bags are CLEAN. We go through quite a few kits in a year. I just hate to see those bags go to waste.

We used to use a reagent that came in a bottle that was a perfect winter sowing container for one of our machines ... I was so sad last year when we changed machines.
Dec 15, 2012 5:21 PM CST
Name: Dianne
Sacramento, CA, zone 9a
Well, since we are laying bare the stories behind our baggies, many of the coin envelope ones that I have been using were leftovers from past projects where I work too. They were used to collect plant leaves, seeds, roots, etc. that were then put into drying ovens before being processed - whether just weighing for dry weight mass, or ground up for other analysis. So, when the projects are done, and no one else needs them, I use them for the seed swap Thumbs up

I also hate to see things go to waste. But, as the supply is running low as this is the 3rd piggy swap for me, I have to look elsewhere for future swaps. So, thanks to all of you for the Wal-mart hint - though it has been about 2 years since I have shopped there.......I looked at Michaels (a craft store we have here), but couldn't find them.
Dec 15, 2012 5:26 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I got annoyed with the static cling of the bags with some seeds. I also worry about fresh seeds getting moldy in plastic. I let my seeds dry thoroughly then keep them in bottles with desiccant until they get packed. This fall's seeds are in bottles with open tops because some are still damp. They will finish drying inside now that the heat is on. It has been a very wet fall.

I like the informative, pretty labels that some people include with their seeds. Maybe I'll do that next year, at least for the well dried seeds. Besides, I am tired of folding envies and gluing labels. Winston the pug ate my glue stick....hope it doesn't cause, ummm, problems.

My Walmart is too busy guarding the cold medicine and patrolling the parking lot to worry about someone buying zip lock bags. Besides, if they stock the baggies they must know who buys them. To be safe, you may want to buy guns and ammo on a separate trip. Someone buying ammo AND zip lock bags would probably set off a red flag.
Dec 15, 2012 5:47 PM CST
Name: Robin Lange
Corydon, IN
Andi, don't worry about the plastic bags, they're thin enough to not be a complete barrier. If your seeds are mature and dried properly they should be OK. Another thing I learned from the first Piggies was for those tiny seeds that are too annoying for a plastic bag (either too tiny, or static cling) wrap them in a small bit of either aluminum foil or parchment paper or wax paper - a small envelope of that inside the plastic bag will take care of that problem. NOT, mind you, that I did that with my tiny seeds....not organized enough that year for that! (And I find my bags in the jewelry section of hobby shops, if you don't want to go to WalMart.) In fact, it almost sounds like we could get together a massive group purchase of those babies Hilarious!
Dec 15, 2012 7:05 PM CST
Name: kacee
southern california
rick corey did a big purchase of the glassine envelopes. maybe we could ask him. i would join in, plastic, glassine or paper whatever.
i find the walmart bags hard to open, very frustrating, but better than nothing.
Dec 15, 2012 8:49 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Are the bags from the hobby shops less annoying than the ones from Walmart? Does anyone have a favorite brand? If they are as annoying as the bags that cheese comes in,.....I end up ripping the bag trying to get the zipper open.

I would feel guilty throwing away the little bags from tea, stevia, etc. that I now use from seeds. Besides, I think the ones made from the seed catalogs are rather pretty. Maybe I can get the kids who help me garden to help me make seed packets. They seem perpetually bored and in need of amusement.

I am still doing my fall cleanup and it is time to start winter sowing! As soon as I finish packing piggy seeds.....

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