Cottage Gardening forum: Winter Chat #10

 
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Imagejoseph
Apr 2, 2016 9:10 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
I'm growing these tomatoes for opening day of the farmer's market 5 weeks from now... I'm waiting a few more weeks before starting tomatoes for myself.

Tomatoes
Thumb of 2016-04-02/joseph/e15efb

Greenhouse is getting full.
Thumb of 2016-04-02/joseph/c10d74
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
Imagecritterologist
Apr 5, 2016 1:00 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Do you have any luck selling plants for "different" tomatoes (yellow, black, bicolor, heirlooms in general), or do your customers just want "regular red" hybrid tomatoes like Big Boy, with the occasional italian paste tomato for variety?

I'm trying out a hybrid this year (first time in years), one that Ella picked out... it's called 'Boy oh Boy!' I also started my last few 'Momotaro' seeds (a hybrid pink beefsteak, good flavor for a hybrid).

BTW, most of my tomato seeds are getting pretty old -- 8 years or more -- and they still germinated fine, maybe a few didn't sprout, but since I double-sowed I ended up with a ton of extra seedlings. :-) I'm mentioning this because Ella sent back some mixed tomato seeds as "too old"... but I grew the mix out last year and got great germination. I had one variety that didn't sprout at all, and it was from a 2 year old trade packet. My seeds are stored in a dark drawer at room temperature (A/C in summer keeps it under 80).

So don't toss those "too old" seeds... if they are a kind you want to grow, give them a shot!

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Imagejoseph
Apr 5, 2016 5:53 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I sell neither heirlooms nor hybrids... I don't do hybrids because taste is often iffy, and seed is expensive. I don't do heirlooms because productivity is typically poor: Because they were developed long ago and far away with different climates, soils, bugs, diseases, social-customs, etc... There are almost no heirlooms that can deal with our short-season and cold-nights. I don't grow paste tomatoes because of problems with blossom end rot and low productivity.

So I grow modern open/promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Last year, my most popular tomatoes were 6 packs of mixed varieties, that had a cherry tomato, a couple of slicers, a couple of saladettes, and a couple of yellow tomatoes.

This year I am doing three different kinds of six-packs: 1) Super-early red saladette and small slicer tomatoes. 2) Yellow/Orange only tomatoes. A couple of cherries, and the rest medium to large slicers. 3) Sample pack containing a couple yellow/gold, a super-early red saladette, a bi-color yellow/red, etc.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
ImageArleneB
Apr 15, 2016 5:30 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
I have started going to market again, hopefully for the last year. Last Saturday was our first week. We have lots of leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots, parsnips, onions and tomato plants. I grew out some tomato seeds my son got in a swap that were starting to get old. Not great germination on most but Berkeley Tie Die, I swear every one ca,e up! I ended up wopith 43! I will sell most of them and probably only plant two in our garden. We are going to end up with four rows of twenty plants this year. I also got a Mr. Stripey and Boxcar Willie from a friend.

This Sunday I am going to try and get the rest of my tomatoes planted and my peppers, more beans, corn, cucumbers and squash. I need to do another planting of root veggies too so I have them through the summer.

I planted my zinnia seedlings in the garden on Tuesday. I will still plant seeds direct, hopefully this week. I feel so far behind but in actuality, I think I may be ahead of where I usually am. The weather has been cooperating for the most part, thankfully.
Weedwhacker
Apr 15, 2016 7:11 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Arlene, if I lived near you I don't think I'd even grow a garden... I'd just buy your veggies at the market! Smiling
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
ImageArleneB
Apr 15, 2016 8:03 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Rolling on the floor laughing Sure you would because you'd be so excited to be able to grow for so many months!!! Once in your blood, forever in your blood!
Imagewildflowers
Apr 16, 2016 7:46 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Very true, Arlene. Smiling

I'm still moving slow this year. I'm not sure why, the weather has been great and crazy at the same time, a very mild winter and everything is already green an plush about a month earlier than usual. I do have tomatoes in the ground and a couple of squash. Time to get the cucumbers, eggplants, okra and the like ready and maybe I can put the peppers in the ground now.

FAITH over fear!

Weedwhacker
Apr 17, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
ArleneB wrote: Rolling on the floor laughing Sure you would because you'd be so excited to be able to grow for so many months!!! Once in your blood, forever in your blood!


I'm afraid you're right! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagejoseph
Apr 21, 2016 11:55 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Yesterday in the greenhouse.


Thumb of 2016-04-21/joseph/a9355b


Thumb of 2016-04-21/joseph/4edcaa


Thumb of 2016-04-21/joseph/2863ae


Thumb of 2016-04-21/joseph/509903
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
[Last edited Apr 21, 2016 11:58 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1194010 (9)
ImageArleneB
Apr 21, 2016 12:56 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Very impressive!!! You've got a lot of work in front of you.
ImageAndi
Apr 21, 2016 8:54 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Checking on my piggy friends.

I had a terrible winter.

Last summer and fall, I finally found a copetent endocrinologist to replace the previous, deceased physician. It took too long to find a doctor who could help me adjust the level of thyroid hormones I take. In fact, we are still fine tuning the levels, but they are much better than before. I couldn't find a doctor who understood my condition. When ones thyroid is too low, the entire body slows down. I was feeling like a narcoleptic zombie and unable to get help. What a nightmare!

Late fall, my yearly mammogram showed two lumps. Luckily it was two tiny benign lumps. however, I was very nervous for a while. Problems with hospital bureaucracy including a radiologist who didn't show up for the appointment to "explain everything" and a referral to a physician's assistant for a "specialist" (which I didn't bother to schedule, instead finding my own real specialist with a MD from a respected American medical school). At the time when I would normally be doing the last fall cleanup, I was "not lifting anything". It is nothing compared to the ordeals of people like Critter and Jonna who undergo treatment for cancer. I am thankful.

Then I got bronchitis. It haunted me all winter as I went thru several courses of different antibiotics. To make things even worse, a storm took out the power to the neighborhood and damaged something involved with my electric supply. I was without heat and with emergency heat for a while, cold, coughing, trying to complete my online coursework and work via computer with nonexistent or unreliable electricity, etc. When Winston the pug started sniffling, it was the last straw! I packed up and stayed with a friend in NY state for a while telling the landlord that I would return when the house had heat and electricity. My friend didn't have internet, but she had a phone (including one with a rotary dial!!!) and fax and heat. She spoiled Winston cooking him little hamburgers on demand and giving him vanilla ice cream in a crystal bowl. I stayed with her until the temperatures started to warm.

I hate to ask anyone for help. My friend is the same way - actually she is the mother of a friend who became a friend as well. She was having foot surgery at the same time I was having housing woes, so we were able to help each other.

I have rarely been so glad to welcome spring!!!! I suffered more this winter than I did during the past two polar vortex winters.

Needless to say, I didn't do much wintersowing and got a late start spring sowing. My seeds didn't begin to germinate until the temperatures began to raise inside and out. I suppose my home is cooler than the optimal seed starting temperatures. Winston the pug thinks ist is colder than optimal lap dog temperatures too! Things are starting to sprout, finally!

I garden for enjoyment. Instead of regretting the tasks that I didn't complete, I am trying to enjoy the process of creating a garden this season. I am still building garden beds and paths from the bountiful rock supply. (If I ever run out of rocks and boulders in my yard, neighbors have piles of extras they would love for me to remove and use) Instead of worrying about any goals, I am going to nurture my surviving plants, add new ones grown from seed or acquired and experience the joy of nurturing plants and creating a beautiful refuge in a difficult world.

I am trying growing potatoes for the first time - just a few from purchased seed potatoes. I'll be adding lots of easy annuals like zinnias and nasturtium. I am going to plant some veggies - starting with whichever seeds decide to germinate on the light shelf. I also want to try different ornamental lettuces and greens - direct sown.

I am considering saving my pennies and snowbirding next winter! January - March in the Poconos is truly miserable. However, I would like a sweltering Southern summer even less. I don't know how you stand the heat, humidity, bugs and reptiles. My viking blood begins to overheat when the tempreratures rise above 85'F.
plantnutz
Apr 22, 2016 4:01 PM CST
Name: Brenda
7b
Andi, so sorry you had such a miserable winter. But you pulled through, good for you.

How long was your place without electricity? We are so spoiled, aren't we? My kids could not survive without cable, internet and cellphones.

I had another incident. I fell down some concrete steps on my face. It was awful. I did go to the Emergency Room because I was afraid my bottom lip was going to burst. It took about 6 weeks before I looked normal again. I take blood thinner after the heart attack so that is why it affected me so. My daughter said she would not have believed how bad it was if she had not seen me. At least I did not break anything.

I'm behind on everything. I did not wintersow anything and I have not planted anything yet. Haven't even gotten DH to plow the garden so still hoping that is going to happen.
Weedwhacker
Apr 22, 2016 5:19 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Andi -- so sorry to hear that your winter was so awful! I'd have to say -- maybe just save your pennies to get a better place to live? Group hug

Brenda -- falling down concrete steps is never a good thing, even less so when you're already on blood thinners. It sounds like you are doing okay now, though? Group hug to you, too!

I have SO many seeds started this year... some winter sown, some under my lights, and quite a few of them are from the last Piggy Swap -- then more from a swap on All Things Plants. The seeds in my WS jugs have just recently started sprouting... no wonder I don't try to do my tomatoes and peppers that way. Blinking I've already put everyone on notice that this is my all gardening, all the time year... my butterfly garden WILL become a reality, finally! Big Grin
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagewildflowers
Apr 23, 2016 10:10 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Group hug Andi and Arlene. Better times are ahead so stay positive. Group hug

Sandy, that sounds great. I'm still working on getting there, it won't be this year for me but I'm not a quitter. Hilarious!



FAITH over fear!

ImageAndi
Apr 26, 2016 8:25 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
How are you doing Ella? Hope this is a better year for you and your family!

I was without electricity for several days and with electricity "under repair" for weeks. Since I wasn't feeling well - I suffered more from the cold than usual this year. I borrowed a generator then gave up and stayed with a friend for a while. It worked out fine. There are more repairs being done this spring both by my landlord and by the electric company.

Brenda, your fall sounds terrible! My friend's aunt had a terrible fall and was having trouble healing. She was at risk of losing her nose. Her doctor prescribed oxygen chamber treatments.It worked wonders!

Thanks for the good wishes. Winston the pug and I are alive and well this spring!

I don't want to buy a home in the Poconos, I don't want to pay higher rent and I don't want to move again!!! I am sticking it out in this neighborhood for now - affordable rent and nice neighbors are better than life in the Sanity Gap or moving yet again. This part of the Poconos is much safer and less "transitional" than the area where I used to live. The entire area is growing, but this neighborhood is growing in a good way - no blaring rap music, English as a second language in kindergartens or home invasions. Any rental will have problems. I like the neighborhood, so I am making the most of life in my little cottage. I keep thinking everything must be fixed by now.....then I am surprised.

Best news of all - the best hospital chain in the area bought the local hospital. I was having trouble with the hospital bureaucracy and transportation this winter. I found a gp that I really like less than 5 minutes from my home, but she belongs to the local hospital group. It makes tests and reports much easier, but she was constrained to recommend specialists in her group. That is no longer a problem. I also changed insurance companies so I no longer need referrals to specialists. What a nightmare medical care in America has become. We still educate the best doctors in the world - I learned to be certain that I insist on doctors from American or European medical schools. I refuse to wast my time and money on male doctors born and educated in countries that don't respect women. Or female doctors with headscarves like my radiologist who didn't bother to show up for the appointment where she would finally answer my questions about my biopsies! How on earth can an educated (medical school) professional woman walk around with her face peeking out of a pink head scarf? I wrote to my insurance company and copied the hospital requesting that they NOT pay for the appointment, but they did. I was raising all sorts of heck with the local hospital this winter

Saving my pennies and snowbirding is a definite possibility!

I have been working hard on my garden. I still don't have a rototiller, only a pitchfork and shovel. Sometimes my neighbor helps me with big rocks. He is glad to have a neighbor who gardens. He gets bored, I think. I I bought him his first rose for his birthday last year. The major challenge is rocks - heavy rocks every single place I try to plant anything - and deer. Lots of deer. Strolling the neighborhood every day!

I posted some early garden pictures on my facebook account. I am trying to figure out how to get them from the "smarter than me" phone to the computer...I am late to the cell phone brigand, mainly because the wireless service is better than the regular phone service in this neighborhood. I am having fun trying different aps - reiki aps, Pocket Pond 2, Punch the Trump....

Many of the seeds that I wintersowed last year are blooming this year - others are waking up from their winter rest. Of course, there are tons of weeds, leaves and acorns - buckets and buckets of acorns.

I have veggie seeds starting on the light shelf. I'll direct sow others, or start them outside in containers. There is always something to do for any gardener! ! am usually doing some crazy thing - growing roses, refinishing furniture- gives the neighbors something to talk about.
Imagestarlight1153
Apr 27, 2016 6:30 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Finally, got my puter fixed. Yah!!!!!! And now it storming big time and will have to get off in a minute.

Plantnutz Girl friend! Boy you having it rough. Have you been to doc to find out why your falling so much? You need to find out what is going on before you have a really serious health issue. Are you staying hydrated enough and keeping your blood sugar level up? I hope you find out what causing it soon.

Poison I think it was from you, if not you then from Arlene, I managed before hard frost came to save a little Coconut Ice Salvia seedling that had germinated. It finally is growing and blooming. Looks so pretty. : )

Dang , don't know if it just my puter or if everybody seeing same thing, but the imogee's are all messed up on couple showing.

Andi Has the snow and bad weather finally moved out of your area? I know you had lots of bad..bad weather. Hopefully you'll be able to get a few things grown. Mainly veggies for you to eat I hope. You and Blue haad lots of icky weather up there and now worried about our Texas piggies. I hope and pray they ok. So much flooding.

With such crazy weather, I know it gonna be a weird year for folks to try and grow.

Weedwacker Glad to here you are having a good year. Puts a smile on your face when things start coming together doesn't it? : )

Hope everybody, wherever they at stays safe and has a good year. :)
plantnutz
Apr 28, 2016 6:50 AM CST
Name: Brenda
7b
Ella, thank you for the concern. I must have mislead you by saying another incident. My first being the heart attack. I was referring to ER visits. I hate the ER. But you can be sure I am trying to be very cautious and not fall again. I hope I don't for sure!

How are you doing? Hope your computer is fixed for sure! I hate being without mine.

I told my hubby a friend was going to New Orleans for a jazz festival and he said this week? That's where all the bad weather is coming through there. So everybody stay safe.
[Last edited Apr 28, 2016 9:00 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1195030 (17)
ImageAndi
Apr 28, 2016 1:38 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Thanks for your concern, Ella. The weather here is better than last year. It is cloudy and rainy, but above freezing. There is no flooding, just drizzle. I am pretty far "up mountain" I am far away from any potential floods by design! Now that it is a bit warmer, more of the seeds are starting on the light shelf. I am still getting areas of the yard ready for plants - lots of rocks, weeds and acorns! The deer still have acorns to eat everywhere, but they would rather sample plants. I spray diy Bambi be gone spray constantly. It works, if you don'' miss any plants or new growth.

I am trying a batched of mixed seed potatoes including purple ones that allegedly stay purple after cooking! It is my first time with taters. I am trying them in a tower so I don't have to dig deep holes for them. So far, they are surrounded by short fences as they get started. Once they take off (hopefully) I will get so wire mesh to make the tower taller.

I wish I lived closer. I would be glad to help you keep the old computer working - my specialty! I even have some spare parts at the ready for the inevitable rebuild..
Imagejoseph
May 1, 2016 9:41 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Woo hoo! The greenhouse didn't blow away in the wind storm. Before it arrived, I screwed the doors and windows closed.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
Imagestarlight1153
May 3, 2016 8:37 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Sure glad to hear that, especially after all the work you went through and with all your babies in there. Did you cement and bolt yours down under the ground?

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