Over the fence chat for 4/22 to 4/28, 01

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Hey all! Wow - I can't believe that April is going this fast! We have had some thunder storms and a few rain squalls this past week, but nothing serious - the garden and the yard are growing like crazy. Our lilacs are blooming their fool heads off, pears and apples are blooming, peonies are turning from red to green and the honeycuckle is starting to bud. One of my friends at work (obviously insane!) wants some starts of honeysuckle, so I guess I will go invade the thicket. If you guys don't hear from me in a few days........

The 'maters I started indoors are getting their second set of true leaves so it will be time to move them to bigger containers soon. Pop is getting ready to start the melons and squash and I have been bugging John to start building the 'tater towers. 'Course, I've also been bugging him to build a slightly changed version of that chicken pen on page 50 of the new Countryside - wish me luck!

Mike is coming over to do some tilling for me the middle of this week and with my paycheck I get on Thursday, I will be getting the rest of the lumber for my raised beds. Hopefully, we'll get them all put together before the May 4th weekend - I have three whole days off in a row! (You KNOW it's gonna rain!) I'm thinking of making one end of one bed a nursery for new starts - don't know how far I'll get with that idea. Do you all have a lot more ideas than time, too?! If I could just clone myself....all that science stuff would have to be easier than getting some of these guys to move!! They just don't seem to understand why it has to be done NOW!! ('Cause I want to admire it for two weeks before I plant anything in it, Silly!) Don't waste any pity on Pop and John, they had their vacation the past two weeks while I was playing OT slave!

Well, it's nice and warm and the sun is shining and I've got more beds to turn and berries to weed and onions to plant and what the heck am I doing sitting in the house in front of this computer anyway!! You all have a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001


Hi Polly,

You getting into raised beds too? Could it be the knees just ain't what they u-sta be? I just finished building four "L" shaped boxes arranged in a square with a flower filled wooden tub in the center. Finished the "Chicken Run" coop to keep the ladies out of the gardens. Now if I can just grab the two rabbits that escaped from the neighbor kids before the seeds sprout. I have to laugh though. There's something very peaceful about seeing a rabbit fast asleep in the garden, waiting for the salad bar to open! :)

Have a good week!


-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

Hi polly, Great weekend, temps in the 70's in N. PA. Finally planted 'mater seeds in seed pots, and a short row of radishes in the garden. It's a start! Gardens still too wet to till up, have to wait, see what next week brings. All for now Polly, have a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

Beautiful here in KY this weekend- sunny and high 70's to mid 80's. Still behind on garden, too much school work! I only have onions, spinach, carrots, broccoli and radishes in, hoping to get more done next weekend. I hope everyone has a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

Well, Polly, you've got lots more ambition than I have. Probably because, like Craig says, my knees ain't what they used to be. In the last couple of weeks or so we just gotten rid of the last of the snow on the garden, even tho the temps have been in the 60's and the daffodils are blooming. Snow just seems to hate to leave the garden!! I'll be planting carrots, radishes, spinach, chard and maybe peas next week. Just hatched a batch of bantam chicks in my new incubator over the last few days. I've never used an incubator before and for me and my granddaughter it was lots of fun! Now what am I going to do with 25 bantam chicks?? Anyways, I'm sure glad spring has finally arrived in my part of Maine and am looking forward to 70* temps next week. Hope all of you have a great week ...and thanks for listening to me!!

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

It was beautiful weather this weekend, sunny and in the 80's. The redbud and dogwood trees are in bloom, they remind me of girls in their prom dresses. I was bad and didn't bother with sunscreen, now I have a sunburn on my face. Yesterday my herbalism teacher had a class reunion for all of her apprentices. We weeded the gardens for a couple of hours, talked, laughed, and ate lots of good food. One of the other students told me some potential good news; the zoning laws in Indianapolis may not be as strict as what I was led to believe. She says that it's ok to have up to 24 chickens (no roosters) and 1 goat(for milking purposes only). I don't think I'm quite ready for a goat (Keith would probably have a fit), but I might be able to have fresh eggs after all!

Today I helped out at the city's Earth Day celebration. We had an information table about earth-based spirituality and ideas about earth-healing rituals. Some of the other environmental groups were really PO'ed that we were there. Apparently we're not mainstream enough for some of the liberals! Afterwards Keith and I worked on reseeding the front lawn. The peas and lettuce that I planted a couple of weeks ago are doing great, the spinach is so-so, the beets are very sparse, and the carrots and dill are nonexistant. I think that I may have planted the seeds too deeply. I'll try again in the fall. I wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow, I'd rather stay home and play in the dirt!

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

Just checking in. I spent most of the weekend at the hospital with my mom, so of course not much got done around here! My wonderful husband did most of the chores and kept the home fires burning both literally and figuratively (kind of chilly and definitely raining here today.)

Mom is doing well and s/b discharged on Tuesday. There were some weird times this weekend and it seems like she's been in there for weeks instead of only a few days.

I love reading what everyone is doing in their gardens! Tomatoes are a total joke around here. If you even get enough heat and sun for the season, they die off from fusarium wilt or just plain old dissolving from the rain, I think. Patio tomatoes do okay I guess. I finally gave up last year after trying just about every variety in every location I could think of. We used to have a greenhouse and they did okay in there. I think I'll have to come up with a barter source this year, though.

Anyway, I wanted to get the garden planted out this weekend, but God directs us in ways we can't see, so I'm just glad that we got Mom getting well instead. I'm really glad to read about everyone's work on here and experience everything vicariously!

Have a great week!

p.s. A toast to nurses! (hear that, Polly?) What a thankless job....

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

Ah Polly your so funny. I can just see you out there swallowed up by the honeysuckle thicket.

Spring is here! My Pumpkins have sprouted out in the back field. I know, I know, any body in their right mind can tell ya that its too early to have a heat loven plant like pumpkins sprouting outside yet. But let me explain why gardening is not an exact science for me, and why my pumpkins, my sunflowers ,my borage and a mess of other plants just come right on up when they feel like it.

It all started with a pumpkin vine. There was a time when I followed the charts , read the books and I actually calculated the exact planting times and transplanting times of all my pumpking seeds. Well after all this effort I never had nice pumpkins. Oh we had a few to play around with, but that was about it. Then one year a pumpkin vine started to grow in the back field where we had left a pumpkin to rot. This vine grew and grew and grew. Jim mowed around it , you could stand there and watch it grow, and then it produced the most wonderful crop of pumpkins (I?) had ever grown. Ever since then I have just let a few pumpkins rot in the field and I am never for want of pumpkins. Now alot of people will tell you that it is too early to plant alot of things, and I agree, just let them come up!

However you garden , Have fun!! Tren

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

I also love to read what everyone is doing in their gardens, especially since here in rainy michigan (not today-hooray!!!) I am still trying to figure out how to WADE through the mud in my garden to the horseradish patch to dig some for David and Kim. I do have over 12 flats of things growing under grow lights in the house (sharon-you think nick is a saint-I am wondering if I have one too since the kitchen table has been a potting bench for several weeks now) We have interesting meals watching the plants. I have lettuce in a large tub that is ready to cut, salad tonight.

I was able to do chores in shirtsleeves this morning and open windows at 8:00AM- I am in heaven folks. The woods is calling my name as the mist of green in the tree tops is beginning to turn into a dense fog and I can smell the mushrooms. The deep snow cover this winter must have done something wonderful for the alfalfa because I have never seen the hay fields look so wonderful. I am out of here!!! Oh, Sheepish, glad to hear your mother is progressing. (((0))) hugs to all.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

Well my knees are the same, but my back's not what it was a couple of weeks ago! We went to permanent, no-till raised beds last year. No- till for us means no hard pan and much deeper soil. It also means turning over the beds manually and adding deep mulch manually (collected manually, of course) - hence the sore back! Planted the potatoes too, and we're still cutting firewood!

We put out about 100 tomato plants 2 weeks ago when the weather was summer-like. MISTAKE! Had to scramble for cover this week when near record lows were predicted! Turned out to be a useful experiment though. Six inches of wet hay saved all the plants in one bed, whereas 3 inches of wet hay and a plastic sheet only saved half the plants in the other bed. Fortunately the temps were not as bad as predicted, getting to about 29-30 degrees.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

I'm going to join in on this gardening conversation.... it's hard to believe that last year this time I have plants and onions out and I have yet to disk the garden yet for 2001. But will attempt that feat tonight....

we started plants a couple of weeks ago... and today we will transplant the tomatoes... they are going gangbusters... and I'm sure I don't need all that came up... so that will allow me to trade some plants for others... having rotten luck with peppers...

I plant open pollinated seeds so finding OP peppers at commerical greenhouses is a bit of a challenge.... errrerrrerr

also started herbal plants a few weeks back... but there are not coming up like I would like to see.... I have a nice size herbal garden and by no means is it a classical one where it is dainty and full of stepping stones... mine's is a working herbal pharmacy tho I do have plants placed in a round position... (no I no longer till down there as I have clover in there for walking paths)...

I do herbal tinctures, oils and ointments for family and friends... and I want mine local if at all possible... and now buy what I can not grow or wildcraft...

and I really hoping for a nice batch of lobelia... and that seed I must have saved wasn't good.... :( :( I will pull out lobelia from my seed stores that I bought commerically...

I, too, am off this week... at least I hope I am... I work part time but had been working full time since mid January.. so glad for the break when my work is picking up... however, being on call can change the best laid plans...

David... sorry to hear about your tomato plants... we leave milk jugs on plants until about mid June and by then the top of the plant is sticking out waving at us... tee hee.... but I have found through mistakes... and plenty of them... that the tomatoes do come back if the roots didn't freeze... and actually they catch up real quick to their brothers that were unaffected by the frost...

finding getting some much needed rain this spring... and what a great feeling it is to know that we will finally start a spring out with moisture... not talking the rest of the season here... but we have been so dry the past few years... that its okay not to plant the onions yet...and carrots and the spuds...

since I'm off this week I am planning on some spring cleaning too.... the basement is in bad shape... in my estimation and naturally the kids see nothing what so ever wrong with it... I have simply been keeping to much stuff.... to much... a pack rat...

I don't need so many sets of sheets for the beds... 3 each should be plenty.. then I rationalize that those sets of flannel sets don't qualify in the run up with those cotton sheets... so the next thing I know it is 5 sets again... I'm going to have a good hard and long talk with myself before I enter that closet!!!!!

I have son#2 moving out in about 3 weeks... so already have big plans (in my head) what I am going to do down there... move son#3&4 into his room.... take up their bed and gather me more storage space... did I say I was cleaning and ridding of stuff????

anyhow... sheepish... sending lots of love to your mother for a faster recovery... and give that hubby a big hug for all he done...


-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

We got some good news today. We were accepted as associate members of the local farmers market. We've got maybe 800 seedlings started of a variety of things so this weekend they're moving to the greenhouse for the next phase of their life. Last weekend I finished the covered chicken yard/flight cage so now I feel safe letting the birds out during the day when I'm at work. I keep pigeons too so the flight cage is for them and the chickens use the ground within the cage.

Still stuff to do to get the greenhouse ready for actual use but by the end of this weekend it should be good to go. Ya'll have a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

Hey everyone!! Hope this week is going well for everyone. I'm slacking off this week - only 48 hours on the schedule so far (I have caller ID and I'm NOT afraid to use it!!) Feels like I'm on holiday after the past two weeks. I really, really enjoy hearing what everyone else has been up to!

Thank-you Sheepish, for the toast. Nursing isn't a thankless job if you know where to look for the thanks - a smile, a hug, someone finally able to rest comfortable, a family member relaxing, a squeeze of a hand. Hope Mom's caregivers were kind, and hope she is doing well at home. Hugs to you both!

Kirk, I did blow my knee out in December while trying to push my car out of the neighbor's driveway - it only hurts when I move it!! I had my first raised bed garden in 1987 I think, at least the first one with boards around the beds. Before that I used a lot of wide rows - still have nightmares of facing the "okra jungle"!! I moved back to the home place in '94 (from a whole 1/4 mile down the road - whatta move!) and was gardening Pop's way since then - 'til last year, when I got belligerant and not only started gardening in raised beds again - but moved the garden to the east side of the house and right out by the ROAD!! Where everyone could SEE it! Pop's emphasis. He's gotten used to it now..... I have a center square bed that is 3 X 3, with a sundial, shasta and cape daisies and moss rose. Then I have 4 L shaped beds around it, then 4 more larger ones surrounding those. It ends up 27 X 27, with 369 sq ft of planting area. I'm currently getting the lumber to build the next 27 X 27 section, which is shaped slightly different and will include 4 peach trees and some perennials - fruits and flowers; with a covered grape arbor in the center. I have room for another 27 X 27 section in between the second one and the clothesline - can't decide whether to place in the center the chicken tractor (that close and south of the clothesline???) or drag out my old greenhouse that's been out behind the shed for the past 7 or 8 years? I went wild at the nursery yesterday (don't tell John!) - bought the cape daisises, delphiniums, oriental poppies, painted daisies, bee balm, nicotiana, citronella geraniums, moss rose, a dozen fuschias and lots and lots of petunias for my hanging baskets on my porch. Didn't I tell David and Kim that I already had more to plant than I had time for?! Had to bribe friend Jon with lunch to buy his silence - and his help carrying everything to and from the car! He escaped before I could con him into helping plant 'em though - darn! Gotta fix my hoe first anyhow - broke the handle out of it yesterday out in the berry patch - got Pop to put a new handle on it today and promptly snapped the blade off - think the hoe gods are trying to tell me I need a new one?! Or maybe someone is telling me that weeding is NOT a good thing?! I can dream!

Tren, I've often wished I had some artistic talent - I would love to draw cartoons of some of the things in my head - or of Kirk's bunnies snoozing in the garden! Does anyone else remember the "Weird Humor of Jack Vaughn" in the old TMEN? I'd love to see what he could do with some of my random thoughts!

Pop and I weeded in the bery patch today - got nine rows done so far - 12 to go! Lots and lots of blooms, some got frost bit last week but still lots of good ones and lots more coming on. I think Bun and the chickens are getting tired of having dandylions on the salad bar though - they barely gave them a glance when I dumped them in their pens today. Slackers! I keep telling them that some bunnies and chickies have to work for their greens........

Well, I've bored you all enough - and it's time for bed, so I can get up early and sneak off after a load of manure in the morning! Think I got Uncle Ivan conned into going with me - he wants some to mulch his raspberries. Hee-hee, another convert!!

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2001

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