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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
3/24/18 1:36 A
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I like the idea of watching the roots, but you might start two at the same time, one in the glass and one in the garden dirt. Talk about what is happening where you can't see it. If the roots in the glass get too long it might not survive the transplanting, but the garden baby will keep growing.

Janey

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
3/23/18 9:16 A

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A future gardener is sprouting in that single bean seed! Just think of the legacy you may be instilling in his mind and heart! I find that sort of thing so uplifting, for some reason. Small, but wondrous.
I was just thinking that I would plant a bean seed with my granddaughter. I thought I would put it in a glass jar, right against the side, so we could maybe see the roots developing as well. If it thrives, we'll put it in the garden.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (287,275)
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3/23/18 9:15 A

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That's great! Maybe he will continue to be interested in gardening, since you planted the seed (literally) early!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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8890KAREN's Photo 8890KAREN Posts: 4,480
3/23/18 8:31 A

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That's fun that he wanted you to plant it and that you're sending him updates.

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
3/23/18 1:39 A
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My grandson came over with a sprouted bean seed from school he wanted me to help plant. So we tucked it in next to a pepper plant that is headed into its 3rd season. The pepper is protected with a tomato cage so the bean can grow up it. Darned if 4 days later the silly thing has leaves already. I'm sending him daily photos and he sounds excited. I'm sure he will come see it this weekend.

Janey

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3/13/18 10:08 A

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Glad to hear you will be getting some sun now. And hostas are pretty hardy. As long as they are shaded from the hot mid-day sun, they seem to do well and may not have to be moved. Some varieties don't seem to mind the sun at all. The blue varieties though will fade if they are exposed to lots of sun.

We are taking out our 3 pine trees. 2 are too close to the house anyway and I've wanted them removed for 20 years now, but hubby was reluctant. They all seem to have some sort of pine tree bug and the bottom half is dead, so hubby finally agreed to let them go. Need to remove the magnolia next to the house too, and hubby agrees it does need to go, but he wants to see it bloom one more time at least. It too is planted too close to the house and driveway, and the petals can be a hazard, as they are slippery. If only it was planted further away, it wouldn't have been an issue. But it was already here when we bought the house 25 years ago.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 3/13/2018 (10:11)
-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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KSNANA2's Photo KSNANA2 Posts: 783
3/13/18 8:45 A

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Today we have a huge pin oak being taken out that is too close to the house. Plus 2 summers ago all the oak trees got a horrible little bug called oak tree mites which make terrible sores on you when they bite. They seem to fall out of the trees on you when you are under them. It was so bad we didn't want to work on our flower beds or even mow the grass under it. We did mow but that was it. The back yard is HEAVY shade but this will open it up for more sunshine. May have to transplant some of my hostas. But it will be fun to be able to have more flowers and vegetables back there again.

Margie
Kansas - Zone 5B

If hunger isn't the problem, then food isn't the answer. I want to be seen as a healthy person in control.
JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
3/11/18 10:16 A

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That sounds wonderful Cathy!
Where I am, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the snow-covered ground is a-sparkle with frost diamonds. It's beautiful, but I am longing for spring!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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3/10/18 9:38 A

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Sun is shining, sky is blue, crocus are blooming and the other bulbs are growing too! Nice day to work outside. The ground is still a bit soggy in places from all the rain, but it's not too bad. Thinking of trimming some of my bushes and cutting back the perennials that I left for winter interest, before the new shoots start growing (or at least before they get very high)

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (287,275)
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3/1/18 9:51 P

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Good article about reasons to go organic on Spark People, not that we need any persuading on this team:
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti
on
_articles.asp?id=682


-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
3/1/18 2:21 A
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My son worked on the project to divide the 10x10 raised bed in half. big project because it is 18 inches high. This will make it easier for me to access all my space. We are expecting rain!

Janey

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
2/28/18 12:45 A
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We are finally getting what passes for winter in SoCal. Nearly freezing at night, and a 10th of an inch of rain last night. We need more than that, but not so much please that we get more mudslides. I planted some strawberries, trying a spot where I will remember to water more regularly. As for birds, we mostly seem to get noisy rude ones like pigeons and crows. There will be some humming birds when it warms up.

Edited by: JANEYBEE at: 2/28/2018 (00:48)
Janey

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2/27/18 12:40 P

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Yep. When we moved here, there were mostly the brown fox squirrels. Then we started seeing more gray squirrels until it's about even. A few years ago, we started getting black squirrels too. Seeing them all over now, so guess they decided to move into this area. Have seen 4 at once in my backyard, though there could be more. And 4 of the fox squirrels have white tails. There may be 2 dozen or more squirrels that visit my backyard now.
I can tell some of them apart, but not all.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 2/27/2018 (12:42)
-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
2/27/18 9:49 A

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Wow! Cathy, it sounds like you have quite the menagerie!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/20/18 1:22 P

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I've had between 25 and 30 at one time last year. So far this year, the most that have shown up at once (that I've seen) were about 12.
I also get woodpeckers at my suet feeders - downy, hairy, and red bellied. I've gotten flickers in my yard too, but they don't seem to go for the suet feeders.
We also get chickadees, goldfinches, cardinals, nuthatches, juncos, mourning doves, as well as the sparrows, wrens, blackbirds (regular and red wing), and starlings.
The blue jays love to steal nuts out of the squirrel dishes (as do the nuthatches and most of the others).
The cedar waxwings eat the berries from my white flowering crab in late Summer/Fall (they don't seem to like the berries from the pink flowering ones). Haven't seen them in my mulberry, but sure wish they would come by and help eat all that fruit so it doesn't make such a mess all over (the raccoons, robins, cardinals, and others do their best, but lots of the berries still drop on the ground uneaten).

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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KSNANA2's Photo KSNANA2 Posts: 783
2/20/18 9:33 A

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I really love feeding the birds. I have a lot of woodpeckers here at my suet feeder. Flickers, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, and once in a while a large Pileated. My other feeders bring in all the other kinds, but never ducks! That would be fun to see!

Margie
Kansas - Zone 5B

If hunger isn't the problem, then food isn't the answer. I want to be seen as a healthy person in control.
JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
2/19/18 8:19 A

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How lovely to have ducks call at your feeder, Cathy! I get a fair number of different birds, but sadly, no ducks! Occasionally the rabbits will visit, but only at night, so we only know they have been here because of their tracks in the snow. Last winter we had a deer who would come - also at night - it would knock the feeder right out of the tree, then eat the spillage off the ground. But not this year, so they must have a more satisfying source of food elsewhere!
I enjoy having a bird feeder in the tree right outside the window. It is amazing how some of those tiny creatures can survive through the harshest weather! In winter we get a lot of sparrows of course, but also nuthatches, chickadees, blue jays, and woodpeckers. Soon the migratory birds will start showing up too! That is always so delightful! And in summer, the tree is always visited by many different kinds! They are a delight to watch!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/18/18 11:01 P

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We had over a foot of snow last week, to make the total on the ground about 16" deep. Had a couple of days in the 40s, and then about an inch or so of snow yesterday. But today was back up in the 40s, so we only have about an inch of snow left on the ground, with some places being bare. Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to get up around 60, so the rest of the snow should melt, except maybe for the taller piles of snow from when we shoveled. I did take my shovel to those and spread the snow around, so hopefully there won't be much of that left either, if any.

I have a bunch of ducks that show up in my backyard to eat whatever the birds and squirrels leave behind (especially the corn kernels, since the squirrels usually just eat the germ and leave the rest unless they are out of other food). They are showing up earlier each year, now that they know where to find some food. I'm sure these are the ones who stick around all year long, not the ones that migrate south for the winter. When we had all the snow on the ground, they stayed away, but now that it's mostly gone, they are back again.

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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TIFFA409's Photo TIFFA409 Posts: 3,745
2/18/18 10:41 A

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Seems like we are all experiencing something different. Winter is nowhere near finished here. We already have 2 of the 8 inches of snow expected here for today. ❄️ ⛄️

~Tiff~
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8890KAREN's Photo 8890KAREN Posts: 4,480
2/18/18 9:07 A

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We are having winter in Kansas, just no moisture. We've had a dusting of snow twice. It seems like we are moving back into a drought.

Karen

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
2/18/18 1:51 A
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We are having a non-winter even by So Cal expectations. My Sungold tomato keeps producing slightly sheltered from the wind by a low wall, and I'm getting lovely sugar snap peas (they don't belong in the same month in my experience). Asparagus is coming up but some of last year's fronds are still green. I don't know when to prune my apricot and peach trees, the peach still has some leaves but new buds are forming, not dormant season this year. Guess I just have to make my best guesses.

Janey

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KSNANA2's Photo KSNANA2 Posts: 783
2/16/18 10:55 A

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Had a lot of fun reading up on what you are all doing this year. Yesterday was upper 60's here so DH and I headed out to DD's place to clear out the gardens. Lots of trips with the garden wagon piled high to the burn pile. She has a tumble composter but this was easier. Large stubble of okra stalks etc. Felt so good to be outside working in the fresh air. Today is back in the 30's again, but the memory of yesterday is still strong!

Margie
Kansas - Zone 5B

If hunger isn't the problem, then food isn't the answer. I want to be seen as a healthy person in control.
CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (287,275)
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2/11/18 10:00 A

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I'll pass on that one! Someone else can participate in that.

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
2/11/18 9:49 A

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Tee-hee! Too funny!
It did sound like you were shovelling the snow out of your garden, CBRINKLEY!

Here is something to make everyone smile as we wait for spring to come!
www.wideopenspaces.com/world-naked-g
ar
dening-day-may-7th/?utm_source=facebR>ook&utm_medium=test&utm_term
=d
iy&utm_campaign=diy


Edited by: JOANNEJI at: 2/11/2018 (11:23)
~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (287,275)
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2/11/18 9:28 A

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I meant I spent all that time shoveling the snow, not the garden! LOL
Got another 3 or 4 inches of snow last night so had to shovel the driveway and sidewalks again this morning. Once the snow stops, it will be time to shovel the back patio and the deck, and to clear the paths to my bird feeders and squirrel feeders.
Lots of snow on the roof, need to reach up there with a broom and clear the snow over the gutters at least.

I did have to shovel dog runs in the front and back yards for the small dog we were watching, including a patch for the dog to do his business. He is back home now, so those areas are free to fill back up with snow again.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 2/11/2018 (09:30)
-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
2/11/18 9:01 A

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(MIND BLOWN!!)
Shovelling your garden!? In Alberta, I think I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who had ever heard of shovelling a garden!
We shovel our driveways, our sidewalks, sometimes our roofs. The snowplows and graders shovel the roads clear so we can drive on them.... but gardens?
Does everyone do this in Illinois?
How I wish I could think about getting the early seeds in at this time of year!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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2/10/18 12:38 P

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Our garden is currently buried in 12" of snow! Spent hours shoveling it (the snow, not the garden - LOL) yesterday (didn't let it get to high before clearing it, so it was over several sessions). At least everything is all clean and white now, and bare tree branches with snow look prettier than plain bare tree branches. This time of year, the temps do get above freezing, so it won't stick around for a long time (4 days next week predicted to be above freezing).
Getting ready to start some seeds, have to check to see which ones need the earliest start.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 2/11/2018 (09:28)
-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
2/10/18 9:47 A

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Some beautiful garden photos to look at:
www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-4296083
5?
ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchaR>nnel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&
am
p;ns_source=facebook


~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
2/5/18 2:07 A
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Beautiful! Thanks for the photos. emoticon

Janey

Elementary Resource Specialist

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2/3/18 9:23 A

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I will try to post some photos! I am not always successful! In the distance you can see the Chinook arch - the band of light sky. When a Chinook blows in, we have warmer temps, and big winds!







~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
2/3/18 1:48 A
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Sounds like a great adventure. I'd love it if you post some photos.

Janey

Elementary Resource Specialist

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
1/29/18 9:27 A

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You are right JANEYBEE! Yesterday, with fresh snow on the ground and a brilliant blue and sunny sky, I enjoyed a most glorious cross-country ski at my in-laws farm! Saw all kinds of animal tracks, but they kept themselves hidden in the trees!
The next time I go out, I will take some photos!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
1/29/18 12:34 A
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Fortunately, Canada has great natural beaty and other things to recommend it. So you can work around the climate.

Janey

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
1/28/18 9:18 A

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Exactly, WHITEANGEL4: blankets, electric heating pads (on my favourite chair), and warm rice packs at my feet when I go to bed at night. Also wool socks and long johns 80% of the time!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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WHITEANGEL4's Photo WHITEANGEL4 SparkPoints: (596,663)
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1/27/18 9:44 P

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I would be buried under 10 blankets if it were that cold here

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
1/27/18 10:11 A

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-19 celcius here this morning. Brrrrr!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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WHITEANGEL4's Photo WHITEANGEL4 SparkPoints: (596,663)
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1/26/18 9:50 P

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I love our area in NE. Florida. Enough cold days to enjoy, but a great cl imit for the rest of the year

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 2,078
1/14/18 12:38 A
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And of course I have that problem of where to go on vacation. It is so nice here, why leave? (Just kidding, I love to see other places, both new and familiar.) And I am always studying gardens where ever I go.

Janey

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
1/13/18 9:27 A

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Haha! Oh Janey, that hurt!!
And I know I would miss the changing of the seasons.
A younger me used to rant and rage about winter: why do I live here? I hate being cold!
But as I have aged (now in my 60s) I have come to appreciate even winter. It can be very beautiful, and I love the feel of being wrapped in the arms of my cozy home with a book, or my journal, and a cup of coffee. I even love getting out on some of the milder days and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. I have set up a bird feeder outside my window, and I love watching our hardy chickadees, sparrows and blue jays visit daily.
I still can't say I love our winters, but am glad I don't have to deal with tornadoes, earthquakes and much in the way of fires and floods - nothing like you folks have had, that's for sure!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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1/13/18 2:26 A
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Joanne, it often does feel like heaven on earth, but other times, no. This has been an especially bad year with fires and floods, all of which my little town has so far escaped, But it is scary so close by. I have lived places with 4 seasons, and sometimes miss it, my garden season does not have a set beginning, middle, and end, so there is no rest period over the winter and the weeds always have and advantage. I go through a lot more compost as it just burns up or wears out. Now please excuse me while I eat a tangerine from my tree. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Janey

Elementary Resource Specialist

California


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 4,483
1/12/18 9:09 A

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"...an almost endless growing season..."
Sigh.
That must be heaven on earth.
If we get 110 frost free days in a row, we consider it an extra-specially good year.
Some years it feels like we have an 'almost endless' winter season!! lol!
I don't usually start seeds from scratch because I haven't had great success with it, but one thing I do know is: you can't go away for a few days and leave those suckers untended. Those little peat pots dry out so fast!
I do usually start a few cucumbers, zucchini, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. These seem to be hardier seedlings, and with our short season a head start makes a huge difference. I buy my tomatoes well-established. Again, with the short season that we have, some years we get frost before the fruit has had a chance to ripen. Last year, one of my plantsonly managed to yield 3 tomatoes!
PS: I live in Alberta, in Canada, in case you were thinking, "In what godforsaken location does this poor soul dwell?"

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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1/12/18 1:59 A
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I agree with all these seed starting hints, and things usually go fine, but don't beat yourself up if you have to go out and buy some plants. There have been years when my favorites don't grow for some oddball reason. Another bit of advice is to keep all your seed starting equipment very clean. You can reuse pots but clean them well and don't leave any residue.
I'm sure other gardeners here have good ideas for other ways to extend your growing season. (For me it is all theoretical, I have an almost endless growing season as long as there is water.)

Janey

Elementary Resource Specialist

California


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WHITEANGEL4's Photo WHITEANGEL4 SparkPoints: (596,663)
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1/6/18 6:28 P

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That's a laugh, blocking the name of the pepper. Must be really not

Keep on track


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It depends on what you are planting. The seed packets usually say. Tomatoes and peppers are usually started 6 to 8 weeks before hand (I usually aim for 8 weeks for those), eggplants I believe say 8 to 10 weeks. Onions take longer than that if you are starting them from seed. Same goes with flowers, some will say 4 weeks, some as early as 12 weeks

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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TIFFA409's Photo TIFFA409 Posts: 3,745
1/2/18 12:08 A

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Thank you so much! Lots of great info! I grew up a couple hundred miles south of my current location and this far north (very northern Minnesota) those miles really make a difference. I truly appreciate.

Quick question: how many weeks before planting outside should I start things?

~Tiff~
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1/1/18 11:34 P

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Starting seeds inside is very easy to do. Main things you want to watch for are damping off if the soil is kept too wet, or having the seedlings dry out if you don't keep the soil moist. And keeping the soil temps warmer also helps encourage germination and helps against damping off. I usually put my trays in a warm place like above my refrigerator until the seeds sprout, then move them to a sunny window (for plants that don't require lots of light) or in front of a window under grow lights. For grow lights, it's best to put them on timers so they get enough light and also to make sure the lights are not too high above the plants (I like to place mine no higher than 6" above the tops of the plants). I also will turn my trays around at least once or twice a week, to help the plants get more even lighting so they don't start leaning too much towards the windows.
The stems will be stronger if you simulate a gentle breeze, either by having an oscillating fan on low blowing on the plants at least once a day, or by running your hands gently over the tops of the plants at least once a day.

-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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TIFFA409's Photo TIFFA409 Posts: 3,745
1/1/18 11:23 P

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Since we have such a short growing season here, I want to start my seeds inside to give them a head start. I have never done this and am feeling nervous!

~Tiff~
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MTRANCHWOMAN's Photo MTRANCHWOMAN Posts: 673
1/1/18 7:29 P

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My seed catalogs get stashed in a wooden basket made by the local FFA chapter. Haven't had time to look at them. I have raised gardens, I planted a pallet last year and 19 tires. Lots of fun.

I can do it with your help!


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I was trying to mention a couple of new varieties we are planting this year, including a popular Korean pepper but SP blocked my comment and told me not to use profanity. It just will not allow me to print the name of the pepper. LOL!

Dean
Kennedyville, Md.


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1/1/18 4:36 P

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I thought it would be a good idea to start a new chat thread for 2018. A place to share what your gardening plans are for 2018, plus anything else you want to talk about.

Gardening catalogs have been arriving for a few weeks now here, but unfortunately I've been battling a nasty respiratory virus and haven't felt up to starting to plan. Going to be starting my heirloom tomatoes from seed again this year, and I'd like to try a couple of new varieties along with my favorites. And I definitely need to plant a greater variety of veggies this year. Parsnips is one that I keep wanting to plant but haven't yet. Hopefully this is the year for that one.

Do you have any interesting types of veggies you like to grow, maybe ones you can't find in the stores?

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 2/9/2019 (13:45)
-Cathy B
Illinois, Central Standard Time Zone

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