Cottage Gardening forum: Winter Chat #10

 
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Imagejoseph
Mar 1, 2016 9:04 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
I have 7 of the lamps. I've only been using 2 or 3 of them on the coldest nights. I'm just trying to keep favas, onions, and peas alive. And they are covered with bubble wrap and a floating row cover. I put the heaters under the bench, and the plants on the bench. The bench also has bottles of water on it that captures heat during the day. Anyway, last night the temperature of the plants was 16F warmer than outside.

Onions and favas in the greenhouse
Thumb of 2016-03-02/joseph/319878

My main field is about 50% snow-free.
Thumb of 2016-03-02/joseph/cd5948
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
[Last edited Mar 2, 2016 10:23 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1186500 (1)
Imagejoseph
Mar 6, 2016 10:03 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I started planting my garden today. Had a garden party with some friends. We sang, danced, ate, drank, told stories, planted some favas as the first thing planted, and harvested some sunroots as the first thing harvested.

Favas: Ready for planting.
Thumb of 2016-03-07/joseph/ca779f
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
ImageArleneB
Mar 7, 2016 8:12 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
They look great Joseph. A planting party sounds like fun.
poisondartfrog
Mar 7, 2016 4:05 PM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
It has become my custom to celebrate (???) my first snake of the season on the piggy thread as we are all sowing and growing our bounty. In the absence of that, this thread will mark my annual report.

I came home a little early because I have a "do" I have to attend and decided to rake off an area that I wanted to put a few more onions, thinking it would be a really quick task. Not taking time to go inside first, I grabbed my rake and headed out to what I had imagined to be a likely spot and started to rake away the leaves and sticks of pre-winter neglect when I spotted a golf bag a few feet away. I don't golf. I'd rather watch grass grow. How did that get there? I extended my rake to pull the blue and white leather bag closer for examination. It appeared to be empty and perfectly ordinary and yielded nary a clue as to its origin. As I stepped back to return to my chore a thick dark snake curled itself toward me from under the bag. As it twisted in my direction its lower body gleamed copper. I have no idea what it was or how long it was but it was as big around as my ankle. I lost it. I'm usually watching for snakes and do a fair job of controlling myself, but this was a complete surprise. I ran, high stepping to the point that I feared my knees would knock into my chin. I was perfectly aware that I was emittng a low-high-low screech but could not figure out how to stop. I was 250-300 feet away from the house, but I continued to prance and screech until I got in the front door.
I will be more decorous next time, but right now I am Rolling on the floor laughing at myself and congratulating myself that there was no one around to see, but I'm sure someone in the valley heard. *Blush*
ImageArleneB
Mar 7, 2016 5:45 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Who cares if someone saw or heard! Just glad you got away. Rolling on the floor laughing I always forget that snakes are a possibility and could be dangerous. Thankfully I have only come across one in my garden so far.
ImageBluespiral
Mar 7, 2016 6:44 PM CST
I'll bet your lack of decorum is what probably scared the snake away, so imho you've got good survival instincts going on there. I agree with Arlene - decorum, schmorum. And who, after getting stressed and pooped by the end of a work day, would be ready for such a surprise anyway? Sometimes, imho, survival instincts know best.

I don't know about your area, but in our area, usually sometime between March 5 and 11, woodfrogs emerge from the muck and emit a chorus that is perfect accompaniment for our annual skunk cabbage stink, which also flowers about now. And peepers join with high-pitched chimes. No wonder snakes get busy 'round about now - what snake can resist the dinner call of frogs & peepers, replete with Eau de Skunk?

Group hug Glad you're okay now and shared your adventure with us Group hug
My religion is simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama
[Last edited Mar 10, 2016 7:55 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1187381 (6)
poisondartfrog
Mar 7, 2016 7:39 PM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Thanks Arlene and Karen. Lovey dubby I know my phobia is ridiculous but it is what it is. I think I live in snake central and sharing my first encounter every year seems to help me get over it and get ready for the onslaught.
plantnutz
Mar 8, 2016 9:32 AM CST
Name: Brenda
7b
I don't blame you Alana, I would react the same way if it happened to me. I cannot believe that it hasn't. We have a creek at the back of our property. All I have seen alive in my gardens are little garter snakes but we saw several copperheads dead in the street and even one in our driveway last year. The scary thing is how well they blend in. I might not even see it!
Imagewildflowers
Mar 8, 2016 10:26 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Oh no, Alana, that's crazy the snake was under the mysterious golf bag. Maybe the golf bag owner threw it there after finding that snake... Blinking

I would no doubt have done the same as you! The only difference being, I would have five dogs as witnesses! Hilarious! I know they have had encounters with snakes too, the way they jump sometimes, but they can smell snakes too and often find the shed skins in the garden. This winter the dogs found a skin that was wrapped three times around a tree trunk!

Nice favas!! Thumbs up A planting party does sound like fun!
FAITH over fear!

[Last edited Mar 9, 2016 9:22 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1187462 (9)
Weedwhacker
Mar 8, 2016 8:06 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Snakes love golf! Hilarious!

Last summer a big pine snake (non-poisonous) hitched a ride home from the golf course under DH's car... now he's out there in our woods somewhere!
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
poisondartfrog
Mar 9, 2016 5:10 AM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
A snake wrapping itself three times around a tree, gasp. I'm glad I missed it. Not that I really want to know, but how big around was the tree? Hilarious!

Yikes. If snakes like golf that must be why I don't. Under the car? That's horror movie material for me. I will be worried that a snake is under my car while I'm driving now.

The golf bag remains a mystery. Someone would have had to come up my winding, single destination driveway to leave it up here, or they would have had to carry it up on foot or bring it through the woods. From the road you can't see the house so maybe someone was looking for a place to dump stuff?
Last fall and into winter some unknown visitor left candy bars on my picnic tables a few times, but a golf bag is a good deal more cumbersome. A few years ago a fugitive was living in a cardboard box in a wooded area next to the highway that I don't use or spend time in. I would never have known anyone was there if I had not been out enjoying spring when I heard a cough. And sadly, I get a lot of dropped off animals from people who can't be bothered to take their discarded pets to the animal shelter, but this is the first time ever for sports equipment. Big Yellow Grin
Imagewildflowers
Mar 9, 2016 9:33 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
poisondartfrog wrote:A snake wrapping itself three times around a tree, gasp. I'm glad I missed it. Not that I really want to know, but how big around was the tree? Hilarious!



Hilarious! Oh, I didn't mention that it was a large oak tree that I could barely wrap my arms around even once!

I think I'd prefer the snake to the fugitive.... Blinking
FAITH over fear!

Weedwhacker
Mar 9, 2016 11:13 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
poisondartfrog wrote:

Yikes. If snakes like golf that must be why I don't. Under the car? That's horror movie material for me. I will be worried that a snake is under my car while I'm driving now.



Alana, you can come up here and live in the-land-of-no-poisonous-snakes with me. Then you can just appreciate them for their rodent killing virtues! Smiling

(I'm guessing you didn't watch the movie "Snakes on a Plane" ? Big Yellow Grin )

"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagestarlight1153
Mar 10, 2016 3:13 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Hilarious! Hilarious! Too funny the snakes stories. They are out for sure. Already had my first encounter not of the good kind with one. Took forever to get it identified as a good snake. Worm and grub eater. I know it is out there too. Just glad when I was picking up leaves I didn't pick it up too.

Having to turn on the fans today. A stuffy, humid, 80 right now, and more storms coming in. I know we need the rain, but not too anxious for it to come again. Have a big 20 x 20' plastic tarp over one section of roof now where storms have caused leaking til I can get on roof and cool seal again.

While the weather is warm now, I don't think it is going to last. I looked at world map on news this morning and saw where Canada has two huge deep dipping sections of snow and cold. When it gets around it will hit us I'm sure.

Poision A while back you grew the tomato White Furry Boar. You posted a pic of it in what I think is the green stage yet over on ATP. I know the description from Tania's site says cream colored with pale cream stripes. Do you happen to remember by any chance if the final fruit was a yellow, off white or a pure white. I know it been a bit, but any info would be appreciated.

Finally saw the first butterfly of the season. Just got my hummer feeders all sterilized, filled and up. Even saw one bee and two wasps. Loads of pests. Not enough beneficials for sure.



poisondartfrog
Mar 10, 2016 5:47 PM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Snakes wrapped around trees and underneath cars have added new dimensions to my summer vigilance. I went back to the area that I encountered the snake this evening and there was my rake, right where I pitched it when I started to run. Hilarious! I will take another rake and retrieve it this weekend. I can't bring myself to put my hand down close enough to grab the handle yet.

If I remember correctly White Furry Boar ended up off white with light greenish yellow stripes. This year I am growing Wild Boar Mint Julep that I got in a trade. It is supposed to be a yellow and green striped plum tomato.
I've yet to grow a Wild Boar Farms introduction that I did not like.
Imagestarlight1153
Mar 10, 2016 10:17 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
I know I am walking very carefully around. I have even more new holes in the ground. I don't know if it chipmunk holes or some other creature, but I do know snakes will go into those holes, so I keep an eye on them to when raking and weeding.

I used to start way out with the rake and pull towards me a big pile. Not no more. I lightly do the top no more than a foot at a time and then re do to go deeper.

Poison Thanks so much for the info. That's a big help. I grew Brad's Black Heart last year and had two plants side by side, both treated the same. One produced like pic and the other one gave me little tiny B'sBH's. It was like somebody shrunk my fruits. Hilarious!

They both tasted the same and were good. The tiny one only had a few seeds and I plan on growing them out and seeing what develops.


Thumb of 2016-03-11/starlight1153/b7bac9
SCbuttercup
Mar 12, 2016 5:06 AM CST
Name: Judy
Simpsonville , SC
Joseph keep us posted on your longneck squash project. Pennsylvania dutch crookneck is a moschata variety that grows well here in mynzone, takes a long season so probably wouldn't work for you. but they have great flavor, huge fruits and easy to chop because no hollow middle in neck, just slice and peel.
ImageSorellina
Mar 12, 2016 8:03 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao all-

Flipped on the Today Show this morning while waking up with my coffee and saw flooding in Mobile, Alabama where Ella lives. Sending prayers for her as well as any of you who may be affected. Group hug

We have nothing like that here. Frosty morning, but warming up to 17C. I've a lot of winter sowing still to do, mostly herbs and tender annuals now, but it's a fair bit and then potting up once things sprout. Peppers are doing very well so far. Duane's taking a break from it for at least this year so he can catch up on things he never seems to get around to, so I get to learn something new! Peppers hate to be over-watered and even though I intuitively know that, I still nearly killed an entire flat with kindness. Most recovered, thankfully, once the dome lid came off, but it's a lesson learned the hard way. Eggplants and basil get started this week. Oh, and Alana, your Aribibi Gusano had perfect germination! I'm keen to see how we end up using it. Have you cooked with it?

Thumb of 2016-03-12/Sorellina/6567ad
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
poisondartfrog
Mar 13, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Let me know, Ella, how your shrunken BBH does. That could be an interesting development.

Julianna, Aribibi Gusano turned out to be too hot for me. I like medium hot peppers and after I scorched my hands, mouth and eyes with that one I could not bring myself to try to cook with it. I liked the look of it, but could not take the heat. I gave most of my harvest to a hot pepper friend (fiend?) and he is growing it out this year, too.
Imagewildflowers
Mar 13, 2016 9:45 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Saw this snake under the hood of a car on FB today and thought of you all...

https://www.facebook.com/AllstarzDjss/videos/983489638372358...
FAITH over fear!

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