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hazelinok

Winter begins this week--December Week 4 2023

hazelinok
3 months ago

What's going on in your gardens, garden plans, and life in general? What's everyone doing for the holidays?

Comments (48)

  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    This is the first day I have been out to check my 3 house gardens for a few days. My north garden still needs to be cleaned up, but not much growing in it, the sun does not hit it much in the winter, and will get worse each year because of an oak tree shading it.


    I noticed that I had more onions coming up in a mineral tub. It is cool enough that my onions and garlic are not growing much, but my greens are not growing much either.


    I had planned on tilling some, but it is too wet, and I don't expect it will dry out any time soon.


    The ladies are making plans for Christmas, I will just do as I am told.


    Madge and I are having med problems, just like most other old folks, but we are doing better than many people.


    Jennifer, thanks for starting the thread, I tried to start one, but I just cant get one to post.

    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • jlhart76
    3 months ago

    My dad is coming down tomorrow so we'll celebrate with him. Then the doggie horde descends tomorrow. We have drop-offs tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then starting next Tues they'll all leave. And this is my last week of work for the year, I'm taking off next week and hope to get some stuff done around here (amid all the dogs??? I might be delusional). Then my niece and her boy and boyfriend will come down sometime, or I'll go up to dad's after the first of the year and celebrate with them. I signed my nephew up for the christmas card swap over on the Round Robin page, so far he has about half a dozen envelopes to open. That plus whatever he chooses out of my stash should make for enough seeds to keep him entertained all spring.


    I went through my seeds and pulled out everything 2019 and older. I need to organize them by planting dates, but I'm pretty sure I'll be planting 4 or 5 times what I have space for. But since they're older seed, I'm not expecting all of them to sprout. Which we all know means everything will germinate. I wonder if my neighbor wants to expand her garden? lol.

    hazelinok thanked jlhart76
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  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Larry, Houzz is weird. It doesn't play well with all devices for sure.

    Is it a relief that you just let the ladies make the holiday plans or would you rather make the menu and plan it, as well as the other things? I always wonder that with Tom. I think he prefers that I plan it and make the shopping lists, etc. Although, I try to consult him and have him chose an appetizer or dish or two and ask him to make them. He enjoys cooking too. My Dad always made peanut brittle and a Swedish sugar cookie every year. He and I would choose the tree. He would put the lights on it and Mom and sister and I would decorate it.


    Kim, I want to try winter sowing too, but probably won't this year. I was impressed with the plants that Rebecca brought to SF and they were all winter sown. As I was walking around the property yesterday, I made mental notes of how I need to keep things simple in 2024--at least in the garden. With the baby coming, and a possible trip to Arkansas in May, simple will be the wise choice.


    Jen, it looks like you have a busy couple of weeks coming up. Does your family still live in Grove? We have some good friends who moved there in 2020. Their son is an attorney and that is where he lives. He and his wife were expecting their first baby....and my friends wanted to be close to them all. I understand that. In fact, when we were picking up food in Edmond on Saturday to take to M & M's house, Tom ran into a co-worker and she asked, "when y'all moving to Edmond?". lol The same thing happened to her. Her daughter had a baby and she moved to Edmond.

    It's not that easy for us. We have a lot to consider and, although my property isn't fancy, we've put a lot of work into this place and had planned for it to be our forever home. Who knew that my kids would chose to NOT live near Moore? Anyway, we would have a dog, chickens, two shop cats, two house cats to move. I prefer a well instead of city water. I need a minimum of a half acre and would prefer a full acre. Edmond allows backyard hens. There's a lot to consider and we aren't going anywhere soon....if at all.

    But, that's one of the reasons I'll be so busy this summer--driving. Edmond is an hour and half round trip which eats up a lot of time.


    Today, I'm home all day. We forgot to get salt for our water softener and turtle food last night, so I'll be heading back to the store at some point, but for the most part, I'll be home.

    I've already got my little farm fed and my neighbors' too. She has mules and ponies in addition to all the things that I have.


    I have laundry going and am about to start cleaning Ethan's room. I have emotions about it. I haven't really looked around in there since he left 6 months ago. Today is the day. He's collected nutcrackers since he was little, so I'll decorate his room with them too.


    Kim, I need to try Porter. Never have grown that one.


  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Jennifer, I don't do any of the Christmas stuff, I did when I was much younger, but I am so beat up now that just walking around is a chore. Madge even picks most of the places we go to eat, she always ask me where I would like to go, and most often I just tell her that all I need is a place where I can sit and gaze into her beautiful eyes, and that she cant find a place where I can't find something good to eat, which is pretty well true.


    Kim, I read about Porter tomatoes last night, and thought that I would like to try them, but there must be 100's of tomatoes I would like to try, but there is no way I can do that, I am sure that I already have more tomato seeds than I can use in the rest or my life.


    The only new plant I want to try now is potato onions. I will have to get my grand daughter to order my some because I cant find any locally.


    Jennifer, I need to get our center bed room cleaned today for guest that are to be here Sat.. I have a lot of gardening junk in that room, and need to make room to use one of the beds.

    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    I was wondering if I would have enough sweet potatoes last summer. I did not care for them properly and let the Johnson grass take over my sweet potato bed. In desperation I cut 4 slips off of the plants in the south garden and planted them in the north garden where I could better care for them, ( those were the 4 plants that produced 71 pounds of potatoes.) My potatoes were not good quality, but I have a bunch of them to try to store. I am trying to place them all under the king sized bed in our bedroom. I bought a 5 x 7 tarp to place them on, I am not sure they will all fit. I will take the ones I plan to use for slips and place them in the center bedroom to start making slips early next year.


    My wife tells me often, "don't plant so much". I am a slow learner, and maybe a little hard headed, but I think "Father Time" is going to force me to listen to Madge, and not plant so much.

    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • jlhart76
    3 months ago

    HJ, yea, my dad is still up there in the same house we grew up in. And my middle brother moved back to the area a couple years ago. And my niece and her boy are close to there too, so when I go up I get to see everyone.


    Kim, I don't need enabling, I get into enough seedy trouble on my own. But I'm always looking for more ways to do so.


    I've been wintersowing for 20 some years. long before I found gardenweb and learned someone gave it a fancy name. I think Trudi still has a facebook group. I got banned from it, so I can't be sure. And there are a couple other good facebook groups if you need any more enabling lol.

    hazelinok thanked jlhart76
  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Jen lol. They are very strict in that group. I haven’t commented much but she will ban you for talking anything except winter sowing. Trudi actually worked with usda to coin that phrase. She doesn’t monitor the group at all anymore.

  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Jen, we've only been to Grove once to visit our friends and it was a lovely area and a lovely drive.


    Larry, it's hard to not plant so much. I do that too--start too many seeds and push plants off on people who may or may not really want them.

    Because I've felt overwhelmed lately, I'm forcing myself to grow what we'll really eat as far as food goes. I don't want a lot of produce sitting around on counters, in refrigerators that just rot. It's depressing. The thing is, you (and I) know how to grow food so if there's ever a situation or food crisis, we have that option--to grow more. Growing a lot of stuff in 2020 was very rewarding because of the shortages and because (for me) I had a lot of extra time at home to do stuff. But, it's back to normal now....and honestly I'm not as busy NOW as I was before Covid. We were active band parents and the food coordinators for all the contests and had to plan, shop and cook food for about 300 at each competition every weekend in the fall practically. Anyway...good times.

    It's okay to grow less. To grow what you'll eat. And, what you enjoy looking at--flowers, herbs and such. Yes, a nice veggie garden is nice to look at, but you have to figure out where you'll store all the produce.

    I still have a cardboard tray of potatoes that haven't been used and at this point I'll probably have to throw some out.


    I find it enjoyable to go out to the garden and pull what I need each day or even for the week. That way it doesn't get wasted or lost in the refrigerator.


    Yesterday, I had a long work day but it was the last day of work until next Thursday, which is the day Ethan flies back to Oregon, so work will be a good distraction. We had a kids' decorating gingerbread house event last night and around 90 came! It was so good.

    Today, I'm sitting for a bit and drinking my tea. Roomba just picked up a large jingle bell on a curling ribbon and was dragging it around the house. LOL Festive, but probably not a good thing.

    I've already started some laundry and watered house plants. That chore was decided for me because FInbar knocked over a houseplant and made a mess. He's feeling a lot better. His ear is completely healed up. He's back to his naughty self. If your pets ever have ear issues, let me know and I'll find the name of the product I ordered from Chewie. It's good stuff for dogs and cats.

    My neighbors' pullets are laying like crazy, so I'm getting tons of eggs. She told me to keep them while they're in Cali. We will be well stocked until February when my hens start laying more. I have 3 (I think) of the young pullets who are laying, but still have a lot of molting and stuff going on with the older girls. Most of her flock is new. And her pullets are a little older than mine--or most of them.


    I ordered a set of Christmas sheets for Ethan's bed some am going to get those put on the bed. They came in yesterday and Tom kindly washed them for me while I was finishing up at work. I've always wanted Christmas sheets. The have an evergreen and reindeer (of course) print.


    So, after tidying up a bit and putting the eggs away--stuff like that, I'll start baking. I'm going to try a new cookie this year. Lebkuchen. It's a German Christmas cookie. Anyone ever make that? I'm sure Moni has. We had something similar while in Portland at a cute little bagel shop across from our Airbnb. We all enjoyed it a lot. It's sweetened with honey and dark brown sugar. The European cookies (and every other place in the world) are less sweet than most of ours in America. When Tom's old friends from Switzerland visited us a few years ago, he brought us some cookies and Ethan really like them. The sweetness is subtle. While they were here, I stopped at a bakery to get a dessert. I could tell they struggled with eating it--too icky sweet for them.


    And, I'm going to make my Winter Solstice sun cookies too.


    We aren't have a Solstice party this year. It's been 3 years since I've had a party. I miss it, but a little celebration on my own with prayer and reflection is fine too. I still haven't chosen my word for the year. I'll think on that today while baking.

    Does anyone else choose a word for the year?

  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I forgot a couple of garden things to mention.

    But, first. Wow. My above post (which I just read through) is SO full of typos and mistakes. I often have those, but that post is ridiculous. I'm not fixing it though.


    So....a few days ago, Chip Drop sent an email to re-signup for a drop. Normally, it can take years to get a drop. But, a couple of days ago I got a drop. This one is good too. It's all chips. No logs. I don't know if you remember the pictures of our last drop. The "logs" are bigger than I am. The guy offered to bring multiple loads, but Tom was like nope....just one.

    Anyway, I'm excited to have fresh chips. I'll probably start putting them down in the pathways in February.


    And....my cabbage and broccoli are mostly flops this year. What a disappointment. I just checked the hoop house and they're just not good.


    I forgot to tell y'all what all I found under Ethan's bed while cleaning his room a couple of days ago. I only share this because I like to know things like that. (Like if each of you told me what was stored under your beds right now, I would find it interesting. I'm weird.)


    So, I found a pair of slippers that look like he never wore and they're Ugg brand, so nice ones. I found a baseball bat, a BB gun, a jar of BBs, a yearbook, a sock, a stuffed shark, and his Ninja Turtle sword that makes swishing sounds that he got as a 4 year old.

  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Jennifer that’s funny. I have seeds under my bed :)

    hazelinok thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Jennifer, you are funny. There is nothing of value under any of our beds. The bed in our room has sweet potatoes and shoes under it. I am going to pull the sweet potatoes out and re stack them to make more room. I sent my ex-wife a message this morning to see if she and hubby could use some sweet potatoes and turnips, got a return message quickly stating yes. I will see them on Christmas day. We meet on holidays at my daughters. It is so nice that we can still be one large family.



    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Larry that is awesome. I just bought some sweet potatoes my granddaughter four years old insisted I make my breakfast hash for her. I cook sausage onions and sweet potatoes together and it is really good. Sometimes I will throw in some apples at the end. Someone asked me how I became a creative cook. It’s only out of necessity. When I go to the cabinet and refrigerator I just pull stuff out and put it together. My kids go to the store with recipes and buy whatever they need for the recipe. I only do that with cookies and tomorrow I’m going to make about 10 different kinds of cookies at my daughters.

    hazelinok thanked Kim Reiss
  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    3 months ago

    We've been babysitting all week. Daughter took boy to daycare Monday and the other kids were all sick. She said nope and turned around and left. She didn't want to give a super hug for Christmas.

    One or 2 things still to be delivered. I want to get the stockings out, and things wrapped but it is complicated by a 3 year old visitor.

    I bought Ron a bunch of Renee's container vegetables, since he requested peas to plant in containers. I also ordered too much from Kitazawa. I'm a sucker for Asian greens, especially purple ones. He wants to do a 3 sisters garden next year. I have to decide where to get the corn and which beans to use. And which squash.

    Larry I'm sorry about the health issues. It makes me miserable, too.

    Trying to imagine Jen getting banned from winter sowers, LOL. I need to clear out old seeds, too.

    Jennifer what did you get for pet ears? Sasquatch has ear problems.

    I was thinking the other day, I'm tired of cold already and it's not the solstice yet.

    I typed this in a notes app because houzz has been especially contrary lately.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

    hazelinok thanked AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Merry Christmas to all. It’s a busy week. And I am off until the 5th

    hazelinok thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    I have a stupid question about propagation. When you save seeds, do you save seed from your largest fruit, or just any fruit? I like to save seed from my best fruit on most things, but when I make sweet potato slips, I use the smaller potatoes because they fit in a 10 x 20 flat better, and I can get more slips faster. It seems as though the quality of my sweet potatoes is dropping, could that be from the use of smaller seed stock, of because of the rotten weather? I might also add that I like smaller sweet potatoes better for baking whole, because I don't want to have to eat a large potato, and don't want to throw anything away. It also seems as though the smaller potatoes will cook quicker.


    Kim, my mother was a creative cook, my wife, not so much. I think of both women as being good cooks, but mom could not run to town just any time she wanted to, and had to make do with just what ever we had.

    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Amy, this is the product. Ear med It was amazing for Finn's very bad ear infection or whatever he had. He's a booger to get to the vet, so I tried this first. So happy it worked. His ear was gunky and smelly and gross...now it's not.

  • jlhart76
    3 months ago

    HJ, it's beautiful up there. We're on the tail end of the Ozark mountains, so we have the pretty green, rolling hills, lots of trees, and lush soil. I swear you could just drop a seed and it germinates. But being at the base of the mountains means we also have tons of rock. I had to dig rocks out of mom's garden every year.


    I'd love to do some baking. I usually make fudge, peanut butter balls, and all the other sweets. But we currently have a houseful of dogs so doing anything in the kitchen is a bit of a challenge. Currently have 3 great danes, so the house got a lot more crowded lol. Tomorrow's my last day of work, then I'm off until the 2nd, so maybe I'll do some next week.


    HJ, I get a word each year, only on epiphany instead of the solstice. So I've got another week to live with my word for 2023.


    I'm like Kim, I have seeds. That's the only place to store mine that's dark, coolish and dry. Oh, and really large dust bunnies. When you have this many dogs come through, the dust bunnies get huge.


    Amy, I got banned because an admin posted one of Nancy's pics of her storage tote setup for wintersowing, without giving her credit, and I told her she should give Nancy credit instead of letting people think it was her idea. Ironically, I've been banned from another wintersowing group, too; that one was because the admin claimed the wintersowing process as her own, so she didn't like when I posted comments about "I learned from Trudi". I'm such a rabble rouser, aren't I?


    Larry, conventional wisdom is you save seed from the fruit that has the genetics you want. So if you're trying to get earlier fruit set, you want to save from the earliest fruit. If you're looking for size, or color, or varigation, etc, you select the fruit that has the characteristics you want. So it's possible it's from saving the smaller potatoes.



    hazelinok thanked jlhart76
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Jen, thanks, I may experiment a little with the sweet potatoes this year. I still get a lot of nice sized potatoes, but they have seemed smaller the past 2 years. I have also planted closer together than I use to.

  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    It was so foggy and misty outside this morning that it was difficult to do the chores.

    Jen, I feel good about my 2023 word....which led to my 2024 word. So always a work in progress.

    I don't have seeds under my bed. I have one of the handy plastic containers from the craft store for seeds. I think they are for photo storage. I've cleared out seeds too, so everything fits in the container. It's stored in an armoire in my office room.

    Under our bed, we have flat plastic containers that hold family photos and my kids "best" artwork, school awards and programs to concerts and thing they've been involved in.

    Today, after a quick pick up and kitchen clean up, I'm going to make more cookies. Yesterday, I made chocolate chip. Used a new recipe that didn't come out quite as well, but they taste great. And Solstice sun cookies. And candy covered pretzels. Today, I'll prepare the dough for the German Christmas cookies and make a chocolate cookie with peppermint candy. And get the "cookie people" cookies ready for Sunday. We have a tradition of decorating a cookie of ourselves. Used to do that on Solstice, but it's hard to get everyone together on Solstice some years. I suspect Ethan will be here with Stella next year on Solstice since it's the weekend before Christmas. She is an only child and an only grandchild on both sides, so it's hard for her to not be home at Christmas. The weekend before works well for us. I don't have to have our celebrations on the actual day of Christmas. I mean, I prefer to have my family for all the things--Solstice, Christmas Eve and Christmas---but that isn't reality when kids grow up. And, next year we'll have a baby boy.

    I left my simmer pot on medium heat just now while sitting here. Mistake. Usually, I'll get it to simmer and then shut it down to "warm". Now, instead of the delightful smell of orange, rosemary, clove, and cinnamon, it smells like burnt cranberries in my house.

    We have to go to the grocery store for holiday food items this evening. Probably won't be a relaxing shopping experience. So glad that Tom goes with.

  • farmgardenerok
    3 months ago

    I wrote a LONG post yesterday about the garden and experiment with potatoes, chickens, what is under our beds, and attached a couple of pictures of the potatoes - Houzz destroyed all if it. So Merry Christmas everyone. May you enjoy a healthy, happy holiday with your loved ones. Cherish every moment

    hazelinok thanked farmgardenerok
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Farmgardner, I am sorry we did not get to read your long post, I always enjoy everyone's post.


    Everything is still about the same in the garden, nothing is growing much.


    I will try to post a couple of Madge's plants. Madge never messed with plants till she married me, and I guess I corrupted her. The first pictue is of some of her plants. We really don't have a place in the house where plants do well, but she seems to make it work. The fake Christmas tree and the Poinsettias she just bought a few days ago, but the others are some that she manages to keep. The 2 pale green sweet potatoes under the table have spent the past 2 summers in the lawn on on the deck. The other plants I know nothing about, other than she has to cut them back or divide them each year to keep them small.



    The same thing goes for the next picture, she has to divide them each year to keep them small. They look a little ragged because we have spent so much time going to the doctor, or just feeling bad, we have not had time to care for things properly.



    The next picture is where we are trying to find a place for our sweet potatoes. We have moved all of out 2022 harvest out of the center bedroom. We still have a lot of our 2023 harvest under our bed. This picture shows some of our 2022 harvest in the center of the pile, I plan to try to make slips from them, based on what Jen said about keeping seeds on what you want. These are Covington sweet potatoes, and they all keep well, but maybe I can even improve on them. The potatoes shown in the black feed tub and the wire basket are Red Wine Velvet, I don't do well with them. I will keep trying to improve on the shelf life, but I have a long way to go to make them a long keeper, but they have a wonderful taste.



    hazelinok thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Merry Christmas!

    Enjoying a few minutes of sitting with my feet up. Yesterday was my busy day. Today will be busy too, but dinner is at my Mom's house. I just have to make a couple of dishes to take. Yesterday, after church, we had brunch at my house. Christmas Eve has sorta become our "Christmas morning" where the kids open their gifts. That will change next year. Another change.

    Ethan arrived safely on Saturday evening.

    The kids gave us a Skylight Frame. I had looked at those for my Mom last year but didn't get it. It's pretty cool. Ethan can send pictures to it from Oregon and M & M can send pics from Edmond....or anywhere. I found a good place for it too...where I can see it in the kitchen and living room. It's nice because a notification comes up on the screen when new pictures are added....it's a touch screen, so it's easy to see the new pictures.

    We have an old fashioned digital screen, that Tom found in a drawer yesterday, so we've been looking at it too. Pictures from years ago. The Skylight frame is more attractive and super easy to upload to....for everyone connected--which is everyone in my family....and from anywhere.

    The old one was more complicated, so it never got updated.


    Anyway....what's everyone been up to? What are y'all cooking? Any interesting gifts received or given? Maybe just enjoying the time off from work and relaxing?

    We saw the Wonka movie yesterday afternoon. It was pretty good. I was surprised at the lack of people at the theatre. I realize we can order tickets online now and chose our seats at the time of purchase. That is nice because you don't have to go to the theatre 2 hours early and stand in line so you're not stuck on the first row. BUT....for years we've gone to the theatre on Christmas Eve. Part of the fun was the people and the crowds (normally I don't like that, but in this situation it was cheery. The Warren was the best too. The theatre has an art deco decor.... and back in the day, even the old fashioned curtain that opens when the movie starts. The announcer was awesome and even the ads for the concessions were creative and enjoyable. At the holidays, they would invite local high school choirs and bands to come and play a song or two while you're sitting and waiting for the movie to start. All concessions were open and stocked. Employees were dressed nicely in white shirts and ties. Regal bought them out and it's so different. (Still nice, tho.)I saw an elderly couple a couple of weeks ago struggling with the kiosk. Where's the staffed ticket booth? Regal send an email asking for a review. I gave them a good review but suggested they keep one person at the ticket booth in case elderly people need help. Or anyone.


    Anyway....rambling again.








  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I had to run into Walmart yesterday. They're setting out seed starting supplies.


  • farmgardenerok
    3 months ago

    Walmart in Edmond is crazy with people looking for bargains i hope to not go back until next year

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    We seem to always be behind everyone else, but I have not checked the seed racks. There are only a seeds I want to buy, potato onions being one item I want, which I expect I will have to order. I seldom go to Walmart, there is just too much walking.

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  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Ethan is on the plane now (I'm at work) but it hasn't taken off yet. I had a crazy thought just now to tell him to stay and not go back. Get off the plane and stay!

    Coming back was very enjoyable for him but it made him realize how much he misses it. Our house is calm. It's uncluttered and the energy feels peaceful. I've worked hard to make our home that way. And, there were times it wasn't easy. Early in our marriage when our daughter was 3, we lived in 4 different houses in 4 different cities in a 6 month span. I had to work hard then to make our homes calm and peaceful in that situation.

    Our home is far from perfect, but it is a comfortable place to be.

    Stella's house is the opposite. He felt sad last night, but I talked him through how he will be in his own home in 3 weeks and he can create the energy in this apartment as well as his future homes. He felt better about it all.


    I should see him in five months.


    Anyway, I'm at work. It's very slow today. I've already cleaned my office and will get a bit of work done. There's not much to do right now.

    But, I brought my stack of new seed catalogs and I might start looking through those for fun. I'm not going to buy a lot of seed, but want to try new varieties of peppers, although, after Peppergate last year, it makes me a bit nervous.

    It will be an adventure.


    Supposedly we got to 29 early this morning, but the chicken waterers were not frozen.

    ?


    About Walmart. It's often a madhouse but we regularly go there.


    This year was too much as far as staff parties, community group parties, etc. Take a dish to this thing, take a finger food to that thing. Bring a gift under $20 to play DIrty Santa. Community group gift exchanges. Stuff like that. SO, on Tuesday I shopped for all those under $20 gifts for next year. Things were marked WAY down, so I got $20 gifts for $5, Honestly I'm going to wrap them tomorrow while the wrapping paper tub is still out, put them in a box in Ethan's closet and I'm ready to go for next year. No thinking, shopping, wrapping or planning for those "obligation" parties. IF I could make dishes a year early, I would do that too. BUT, I might get some recipes ready. And cash for the "bring $5 to this party so we can play Left, Right, Center", etc. Have cash already in marked envelopes that I can pull out and give to the hostess and not think about it.

    I enjoy the season so much, but the obligation parties can be a drain. It's not that they're not fun....it's just a lot crammed into a short time. And not just the parties themselves, but the preparation for the parties.

    Anyway....I sound grumpy, but I'm really not.


    So...back to gardening. Is anyone going to try something new this year? A new (to you) way to garden? A new variety of plant/seed? A different style?


    Back when Dawn was with us (she still is in spirit), someone would be starting the onion thread soon.





  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    I have been wanting to try a raised bed. I used raised beds when I was younger, but, they seemed like too much work, but now I have a tractor with a front end loader and plenty of area to dig soil from, so, I want to try to build a small bed where I can have deep soil. My native soil is very shallow. I think that I can haul the compost and soil to an area, mix it with a tiller, then dump it into the raised bed with the tractor, without a lot of walking or lifting on my part. I may try more mineral tubs, the tubs I used last summer did pretty well, but I need to use a higher percentage of potting soil than I did last summer.



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  • HU-422368488
    3 months ago

    About onions . I've already gotten my 2024 Dixondale catalog:

    https://dixondalefarms.com/


    Thinking about onions is a January thing for me.

    Oh ... it's almost January.


    Rick



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  • farmgardenerok
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Jennifer I empathize with you about Ethan. I’ve been blessed to not have a child go further than Dallas. Letting go is very hard, but they and you have to let them try their wings, knowing you can always pick them up if necessary

    I totally admire and am in awe that you have gifts for next year. I’ve thought about it, but never followed through

    Larry, for us older folks or like me not able to have anything except raised beds they are a lifesaver. Raised beds have some learning curves but try them. If i can get Houzz to cooperate I’ll post some pictures of some of mine and the experimental potatoes later

    Some if my raised beds are old hay bunks or bale feeders - not the fanciest but they are perfect for me.

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  • hazelinok
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Rick, yeah, that's why in the "Dawn Days" that thread would be made pretty quickly after New Year. That's what I was referring to when I said someone would be making the onion thread soon. Everyone is thinking onions in January.

    Dixondale sends their catalogs really early. Pretty sure I got mine in November. Crazy.


    Farmgardner, I'm only getting those gifts because I am selfish and want to enjoy the holiday things that bring me joy. If I take care of the "obligations", I can do the things that bring me joy.

    Ethan is doing very well. But, I genuinely like my kids. I like their personalities and just enjoy being around them. Last night at this time we were watching the X Files. It was so fun. The house is just empty without him. Daughter was in college when we bought this property so it's never really been her home.

    I just got so sleepy, so night, Friends.



  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Farmergardener, my body is beat up too much to garden by hand, I have to do most of the gardening with some type of power tool. I do have more mineral tubs I can use, or, I could push up some soil into a mound, sort of like a raised bed. I don't want to make too big of a mess in the lawn, that someone else will have to clean up. Madge and I both are too near the end of our gardening life.


    I bought a vegetable slicer to fit the Kitchen Aid mixer. I cut up some turnips and sweet potatoes and tried cooking them a little differently. Madge is not too fond of it, but I think it shows some hope for new dishes, but I am the one that like to try new things ( toys ).


    My bunching onion project is working pretty good. I saw some of the last onions I harvested and just cut the roots and a short stump off the bottom end to replant, those stumps are just breaking through the soil surface. When I harvest onion in that manor I have a lot of waste, but this time of the year there is a lot of waste on the tops of the onions anyway. Some of the other onions I replanted 2 or 3 months ago have bulbs about the size of quarters and half dollars, but I planted them too deep, I will have to dig many of them. I know that it is too much trouble to plant that way, but I am pretending times are hard, and food has to be produced in every way.


    I will plant bulbing onions in a few weeks, but my other onions will be here for backup till the bulbing onions are ready. I might add that my garlic is still looking good also.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    It's boring picture time. Wife is not feeling well, so I am going to try to make lunch. This gives me a chance to play in the kitchen and make a mess.


    I want to use something I am growing to help make the lunch, and being as I am playing with what type, and how many onions I need to grow for the two of us, and maybe some for the kids, I though I should try to use some for lunch.



    I dont know what these onions are, but I will be sure to save some for seed stock if we like them. The 3 on the left are some onions I have been growing for years, and I pulled these from the south garden and transplanted to the pasture garden this fall. I am going to have learn how to plant them, they were so deep I had to get a nail bar to pull them to keep from pulling the tops off.


    The center 2 onions are just some type of bunching onions that I planted sets for this fall. The same remark applies to the red onions, except I am not sure if they are bunching onions.


    I am going to try to cook some small sweet potatoes. Normally I use the small potatoes to make slips, but I always wind up with too many small potatoes to use for slips.




    I would like to cook the sweet potatoes like baked Irish potatoes, with sour cream, butter, onions, and jalapenos. You may not see me post for a while, my cooking may kill Madge and me both.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Larry your pictures inspire me. I haven’t had a successful garden in years so it’s a little daunting to get back out there and try again. I know that everything has to be covered in row cover to prevent the grasshoppers from taking it out I lost so much because of them. I’m going to start doing just a little at a time and hopefully will end up with a decent garden.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Kim, my gardens are never impressive, but I do get lucky often. The insects can be hard to deal with. I expect that having a lot of un-sprayed pastures may help, if we have enough moisture in the ground that the young growth can regrow after baling the hay, the insects have a place to go for food, other than my garden, but when it is extremely dry my garden looks like an oasis, and I cant save it from the insects.


    Kim, take it easy building your garden. I cheat, I have equipment that a lot of you on this forum don't have. I can do very little by hand, but on a tractor I can do a lot.

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  • jlhart76
    3 months ago

    Not necessarily "new", but I'm remodeling the bed layout. One large 8ft x 16ft bed didn't work the last 2 years, so I'm turning it into 3 8ft x 3ft beds. Also, I'm moving most of my plants to that big circle bed in our driveway. I really need it filled with plants because the weeds and grass just make it an eyesore, and last year I realized I don't have time to keep up with it and the bed in the back. So I'll fill the beds in the back with cucumbers and gourds, all the viney stuff that takes up so much space. And most of the other things will be in the circle.


    When we bought this property, the one thing I wanted was to make the garden beds with aging in mind. I already have trouble getting up and down off the ground, so I want raised beds that I can sit on my wheeled seat and roll down the path.


    HJ, that photo frame thing sounds interesting. I like the idea of other people adding photos to it for you. As digital as we've gotten, that seems like a great way to share photos with family.


    I did our office dirty santa and got a set of bowls. They're bright colors, pretty, but nothing I'd use. So I'll set them aside and re-gift them to someone else later. I still have the tabletop fountain I got last year, too, I haven't found a reason for passing it on yet.


    Currently going through my seeds to decide what, when and how to plant. I'm clearing out everything 2019 and older first, so I need to list everything out and see what I don't have. I'm going to take all the flower seeds that can be planted at the same time and mix them together, then just broadcast them where I want them. Right now I have a 5 gallon bucket of zinnia, coneflower, and tithonia flower heads; then another coffee can of verbena bonarenisis, feverfew, spilanthes, and other tiny seeds. I'm not sure how many are actually viable since I cut them before the first frost and not everything was fully mature. But out of 5 gallons, I'm sure there will be more than enough viable ones.


    I took this week off hoping to get some "dirt therapy", but it's been a madhouse here with all the dogs. We had 15 (plus our 3) for the holiday, plus my dad came down for a couple days and then my niece and Cliff's sister came down the day after Christmas. They've thinned out, only 6 left but we're getting 3 more tomorrow for a couple days, and then by the weekend we'll be done. Until the next herd descends lol.


    I remember Dawn used to post the different threads (onions, cool season crops, warm season crops, and of course the tomato list). I always looked forward to them to see what everyone else recommended.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    I just scored 10 free mineral tubs!!! I am going to meet up with the lady next week. That will put me in the garden game. I might also buy a Greenstalk. I have looked at them for several years. I want the seven tier with insect netting.
    I think I will plant all onions in my 3’x10’ inground bed. By time they come out it will be time for okra.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    !0 free tubs is quite a score. I need to score some compost or potting soil to go into my tubs. I would like to find some dead wood or rotten logs to stick in the bottom of some of my tubs. It might be worth the time to drive around the place looking for an old log.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Larry for shallow rooted stuff I fill 1/3 of the way with plastic water bottles. Cover with cardboard and add my soil. For root crops I use all soil.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Kim, I used 4" plastic french drain around the inside of mine, then weed barrier over that, then filled up till about 4 or 5 inches to the top of the tub. They seem to work pretty well, but they are too heavy for me to move without my tractor. The tomatoes and onions did okay, the sweet potato did not.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Larry I can’t hardly move mine either. My son is coming next week so I may have him help me move a few things.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Time for seed inventory. It’s bigger than I thought ; /

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    I found livestock in my PEPH peas. They were from the feed store.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Kim, I don't see great, but it looks like you may have a pea, of bean weevil. I don't recall ever getting any from the feed store, but I can see how it might happen. I like to place my saved seed in the freezer for a few weeks in hopes of freezing out critters like that. I cant see any damage to the seed in the plastic bag, I expect that you will still get a good stand from the seed. Then, on the other hand, I may not be seeing what you are referring to.


    We went about 70 miles south today to visit relatives, and I had to stop at the local Farmers Co-op in their town, It also happens to be my favorite Farmers Co-op. I had to go in for a few minutes to visit and buy a few seeds. My neighbor insists that Top Notch seeds are better than Tri Star, I have used both and can not make that statement. I have used a lot more Tri Star, so there fore I expect I have had more flops with the Tri Star seeds, but I want to try a side by side comparison. The Mena Co-op is the only Co-op that I visit often where I can buy both brands of seed. It seems as tho it is harder and harder to know for sure where your seeds are coming from.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 months ago

    Amy, thanks for the tip on welsh onions, I need to have grand daughter order me some seeds. The more I read about onions, the more I learn about how dumb I really am.

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  • Kim Reiss
    3 months ago

    Jennifer I had already boiled those critters just in case and tossed it all outside. It was a big envie of seeds from the feed store. Thankfully everything else was unharmed.
    It was a disgusting mess

  • Rebecca (7a)
    3 months ago

    I’m back! Christmas craziness is finally over. i love it but I’m always glad to leave it behind for another year. I’m finishing washing the cookie cutters and rubbermaid containers and such, and putting away the christmas sprinkles, so I can get my winter sowing gear out. Hardy perennials and root crops first.


    The guy who mows my yard for me is coming over tomorrow to start building my new raised beds. i have 5 new metal beds to replace the 3 bag beds I lost in the Fathers Day storm last summer. Might as well increase the size to match the increased sun footprint. Then the fun job of filling them starts.


    I’m thinking onions too. I can get Dixondale plants locally, but a much smaller selection than is online. Part of me feels like I should branch out from Candy and Superstar, but those work for us.


    I’d love to find a potato privider who will ship seed potatoes early enough to be ready for planting mid-March.


    HazelJen, you should try winter sowing a few things this year. I think you’d like it Definitely keeps the mess outside. Sometimes the tomatoes freak me out, that they won’t be ready to plant on time, but they always catch up. It makes the flowers so easy too.


    I didn’t get garlic planted until Christmas week. Hopefully it’ll still make.


    Also need to dig the gladiolus bulbs.


    I ordered tomatoes too.


    That might be all.

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