My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Oh my….I have been gone a long time….Terribly dismayed…..Everything has changed on WP…….Do I have time to learn the new “system” every time I log on….? Well, I’ll see how this goes……..and ponder the merits……

It’s official……my garden is a zoo……I’ve even got turtles now…..didn’t go get them, they just appeared……One was a river turtle……and had gotten pretty big….Took him to a nice pond….The other is a youngish box turtle……Plenty of worms for him to eat….loves tomatoes that aren’t good enough for canning or sandwiches…..If I haven’t lost my mind….. my slug and snail problem disappeared around the same time the turtles showed up…….. I appreciated it so much…..I made him a bath….It’s a flee market sink with a plug that’s easy to drain…..

My attitude about many things ‘garden’ has changed…..don’t see most weeds as my mortal enemy anymore……Naked ground is the only thing unexceptionable….

Also I don’t gnash my teeth over the water bill anymore….Yes, it does double in the summertime……but so what……in return I get fresh, organic fruits & vegetables….and IT IS MY THING…. plus…..I’m supporting a zoo now……

 

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Basil in a Flower Vase

basil in a vase

basil in a vase

Basil in a flower vase………… Yes ……….. one month and still going ……… One sprig is actually trying to take root……..Don’t know how I did that…….Pick them when a little bit of bloom is coming. …… smells good too ……don’t know about eating this one…..I think I’d still pick fresh over vase…… the scent might ward off a few mosquitoes…

Monkey Grass in a fish aquarium…….. Oh yes, it will even take over……..Just goes to show you how much water that monkey grass can take…….

American Beauty kept short

American Beauty kept short

American Beauty ……… grows wild and wooley in my yard ………..Tame it by chopping it down………. I absolutely did my best to kill this one without actually digging it up………….Some times a fail is a success………… Doesn’t happen often, but sometimes its great.

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You can do what with what?

freeking outSo……I watching this show on Netflix called Man and Beast……where poor natives in Asia use cow urine as an insect repellent….

But as a medical professional, I know that pee is pee, generally sterile, unless the patient is sick…………..

And I’m thinking: How cheap is that? ………….

Yet, as a gardener and a dog owner, I know that too much urine in one spot is a plant killer……………

But I am always interested in self-sufficiency……….just in case the SHTF and the stores close ………..

So……….It looks like another experiment is on the horizon………..

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Low Tech Stink Bug Catcher

Introducing low-tech stink bug catcher……….

$29.95……….or you could just get your own Popsicle stick and piece of tape……..

This is duck tape…..think I’ll try packing tape next……

stink on a stick

stink on a stick

Either way, it does work better if the tape is tight on the stick, especially when you’re weaving it in-and-out of the leaves on the plant.

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blooms in feb???

blooms in feb???

Update on last year’s Cayenne pepper plant that I brought into the house. It actually has blooms on it. Incredible, if I do say so myself.  So what happen? What is different from last year? Well, first: I sealed the window from the inside, so NO drafts……Then I raised the ledge and opened the heater vent on the other side of the room so that warm air blows right on the plant. It does dry-out the soil, but resist over-watering it. After all, this is last year’s plant–not a seedling— and it’s pretty strong. Plus, wind makes plants stronger anyways……Kind of like walking makes bones stronger.

(Don’t forget, you can click the photos for a bigger image….if you care)

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Saving Sargent Pepper

cayenne pepper

cayenne pepper

So last year’s Cayenne pepper plant did so well that I thought I might try to save it. By the middle of September, it was 3 or 4 times as tall as in the picture, and I knew that I did not want that much plant in the house, so I pruned it, being careful to keep enough of the two main forks….enough being just a guess on my part. Ha-Ha

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Gnats in the House

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Now is the time to get a big, ole bag of potting soil. Place it in a pot and sit it on the back porch where not one drop of water touches it. Not even misty rain.

Turn the soil a couple of times, until top is bottom and bottom is top. Otherwise ignore it. When the soil is powdery dry and much time has passed, you can be certain than not one single gnat egg is left alive in it, and much of the bacteria will also be dead.

In the Spring, this soil may be used for starting seedlings without fear of bring gnats into the house…….At least, it works for me…..

However, be warned: If you bring one single, infected plant into the house, all this will be for naught. Sometimes, if the winter is especially warm, I will also forgo saving table scraps to start the new year off right. And of course, if you already have infected plants in the house, this will not work for you.

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SWEET POTATOESSo, way back last May, I asked the question: How many sweet potatoes would I get from one slip. The picture shows my answer. Plus more, growing off to the sides. Tada! Digging them up without puncturing them is definitely the hardest part and a learning experience.

I did not start the slips until May, because I did not have an open plot and then it was kind of an experiment. I could have started in April and maybe have gotten more.

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Getting Ready

El Nino Predicted for Fall 2015

Wetter: Southern US from California to the Carolina’s then up parts of the East Coast. Temperatures warmer in the early winter and cooler in the late winter and early spring…… as spoken by the National Weather Service. Not me.

If this holds true, it should be an excellent Fall garden, provided that you have good drainage. And I do. And an excellent time to plant flowers and fruit that should be planted in the Fall:

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Seeds

seed viability

 

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