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Up dates April 8, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, crafts, garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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The tree guys are coming today to start removing the old tree.  It’s exciting and sad at the same time.  I’m sorry to see it go but at an estimated 120 years old it had a good life and we won’t have to worry about it damaging our house in a wind storm.

All the tomato seedlings are doing great.  The first pepper seedling popped up yesterday.  Now I’m just waiting for more.  I’ll keep a close eye on them the next couple of days.

Bubba is finally regulated on his insulin and diet.  He has lost about 4 pounds and doesn’t have to go to the vet again for 3 months.  I know he’s happy about that.  He’s such a good boy for the vet techs but we know he hates having to spend the day there.

With any luck I’ll get a load of manure to add to my compost this weekend.  The last several weekends have been crappy weather (pardon the pun) so we couldn’t get it.  Along with the manure I’ll get some straw to use as mulch.  It’s all coming from a local dairy farm. 

Great news, the afghan is done.  I finished it Monday night.  Now I need another project to keep me busy at night. 

And after 13 years in this house we are finally doing something to the kitchen.  Paint, some new cabinets and counter tops and a new floor.  The old floor is from about 1950.  It sucks

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What’s Your Zone??? April 7, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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planting20zonesYou need to know the zip code your mailing a letter to.  You need to know the area code your calling.  And if your planting a garden you need to know the planting zone.

It’s simple really.  Find your zone on the USDA hardiness map and match it to the back of any seed package or plant tag.  I’m a zone 5.  Most plants can be grown in several zones.  You’ll see some thing like “for zones 3-8.” 

You can extend that a zone a little by starting seedlings inside and using greenhouses and containers.  I also have a heated sun room.  It helps me grow some container plants I couldn’t other wise have.     

I started my tomato and pepper seedlings a week ago yesterday in the sun room.  Almost all the tomatoes have came up.  No peppers yet, but the seed packs said 10 days to 2 weeks, so I’ll wait a little more.

Don’t Til the Dirt April 4, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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This is a repeat of what was about my first blog.  But it’s worth saying again.  Please don’t til the dirt in the garden.2560784473_655051884e

Deep tilling of the garden does damage that won’t be repaired for years to come.  Remember there are millions of living things down there.  Things we can’t see, but that do so much good.  When you til the dirt you upset their homes and lives and sometimes even kill them. 

There is a much better way to plant.  I know because I’ve been doing it for several years now.  And it is so simple.  In a couple of weeks I’ll remove the winter cover from the garden beds.  In my case that’s leaves, other garden scrapes and newspaper.  Then I’ll dump on a couple of inches of my well aged compost on the beds.  I may use a hand spade to work in the new compost a little bit.  I’ll use an old tree branch to make my rows, sprinkle out the seed or place in seedling, cover lightly with dirt and I’m done.

It works great for new beds also.  Lightly break up the existing dirt, dump on lots of compost, at least several inches thick and plant.  I did this with a new strawberry bed last year and they grew like crazy.

If your interested in finding out all sorts or ways to have a garden without tilling the dirt, check out my favorite source, Mother Earth News at www.MotherEarthNews.com.

Life after Death March 15, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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In about 2 weeks the old tree will be gone, or most of it anyway.  But the old dear will continue to give and add to our lives after it’s own life is over.tree_photo1

It will kind of be like a tree organ donor program. 

The tree guys will cut some of it up and leave for us to use as fire wood in the fire pit.  So this summer when friends and family gather around to enjoy each others company, the old tree will be adding to the warmth of the evening.

The tree guys will mulch some of it.  I’ll keep a small amount and they’ll sale the rest locally.  So our old tree will be providing water conservation and weed control all over the area.

There is no way the stump can come out without damaging the foundation of our house and that of our neighbors, so it will stay.  We’re going to leave it about 3 feet high and make a table top on it.  I’ll use that as a potting area.

So in many ways the old dear will enjoy a full life after it’s death.  I kind of like that idea.

What’s Your Favorite??? March 11, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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veggiesWhat’s your favorite type of plants to grow?  Flowers, vegetables, berry bushes, trees or shrubs?

I really don’t have a favorite and I’ll try almost anything.  I spend most of my time concerting of the vegetables but probably enjoy the flowers more.  But I really like eating the berries while I’m watering.  In fact most of the berries never make it to the kitchen.

So what’s your favorite?

Oh Yea Baby March 11, 2009

Posted by liajo in good things, weather.
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16_08_25-snow-scene_webFinally, some snow.  Not nearly enough, but a couple of inches.  What we really is need is rain.  About 3 days of a long, slow rain.

We’ll take the snow for now.  I’m still holding the rain dance in reserve though.

Good Bye Old Friend March 6, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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tree_photoPart of the garden plan this year will include cutting down a very old and dying tree.  It has not been an easy decision.  I’ll entertain the idea of just cutting out the dead, but I think it’s to far gone.

I worry every year that during a storm a large, dead limb will either go through our roof  of the neighbors. 

I worry also about the birds and the squirrels that will lose their homes.  It is a bit of any irony, but I had tree specialist out a couple of years ago and he said the squirrels were actually killing the tree.  I guess if that’s the case, they won’t be surprised that they have to move.

Record Breaking Weather March 1, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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sol_a_portrait_of_our_sun_1__rthorvaldIt’s official, this February was the driest on record.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it was also one of the warmest on record.

The weather guys have began saying that we might want to water a little bit.  Something almost all gardeners around here had already figured out for themselves.

March is not looking any better on the moisture front.  There is no rain, much less snow in the forecast and tomorrow is supposed to above 70 degrees.  Close to another record.

Never Before In February February 25, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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tree_photoMother Nature has given us a double blow this winter, not enough moisture and too much wind.

This week I started watering the gardens and raking and watering the back lawn.  I’ve never done that before in February and we’ve lived in our house for 13 years.

In a usual February we should still have snow on the ground in the shady areas of the yard and mud everywhere else.  Not this year.

I’ll keep watering a little until we get some moisture.  I’m afraid if I don’t do it now it will be to late in a couple of months and there will be no hope for the gardens and this grass this spring.

Catalog Order Day February 15, 2009

Posted by liajo in Uncategorized.
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veggiesThis morning was plant and seed catalog ordering day.  After spending sixweeks reviewing all the catalogs I’ve received I went with just one for the whole order, Gurney’s.  I’ve had good luck with Gurney’s in the past and I couldn’t beat their $25 early order discount.

We plan on really expanding the vegetable gardens this year so I ordered things I never have before.  I’m also adding lots of berry’s this year.  I had good luck with the raspberries that I planted last year and will be adding more of them along with blueberries and blackberries.

Since most of my flower beds are pretty well established I just ordered a few seed packs.

Everything should start arriving in a couple of weeks.  Shortly after that the real work will begin.