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Author Topic: Gardening 2024  (Read 6879 times)
cineater
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« on: January 04, 2024, 02:27:14 PM »

Planting plants and weeding, one would think.   hihi  Probably should call it garden management. 

I get a text this morning from the head of the office at 7:30.  She misses not seeing me, longest she ever went.  Yeah I do spend a lot of time up there.  I was giving them a chance to do their year end stuff before I ran up there and took up office space next week.  Lots of printing and laminating to do.  But, really, 7:30?  I not an employee, it's winter and if it was summer, I would have been busy working by then.

We ended up spending $6300 of the $9000 and something of the budget for last year.  Little over our average.  We did good.  We're down $1900 for this year.  It's okay, we took care of a bunch of stuff last year.  A big chunk will go to construction.  New this year will be fruit trees and bushes.  And the renovation gardens:  Chocolate, Moon and Bee beds.  And Phebe is growing mushrooms.  I'm going to do spring tours but probably not the fall ones.  May do some more stuff but I'll think about that later.  I'm fully staffed at the moment so I can concentrate on my beds and mowing.  I really miss mowing.

I'm really thinking this will be my last year as overall lead.  It's going on 5 years.  Trouble is, this is Joe's last year as president and they will be looking to me to take that roll if I'm not demo garden lead.  Oh hell no to that.  Or take over education.  Kind of interested in that.  It really needs a visionary but I'm not into setting up all those functions.

The onions have grown back into the lights.  They are getting the fan and light fertilizer in their water.  The rosemary continues to shoot up a sprout here and there.  Still all in the same half flat.  Marsha has already reseeded at her house.  She'll make the determination tomorrow if we'll let what I have continue to try to come up or trash them.  Depends on how many lights we have available for what we are seeding up on Saturday.

I still have kale, swiss chard, new england aster and marigolds going in my yard.  Marigolds are suppose to be good for keeping animals away, yet I saw a squirrel nab one of them, run off and eat it!  The cats are hanging in the house so the squirrels have taken over the yard.  We have a very old oak tree and acorns are in abundance along with the squirrels.  It's okay, I like squirrels.
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cineater
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2024, 01:49:15 PM »

Marsha's rosemary is popping right up, of course!  She figured it out.  I seeded at a quarter inch deep like the package said.  She only did barely cover.  She figures it's going to take longer for mine to come up.  This morning I looked and I do have 3 new little seedlings.  We're going to leave them a little longer to see if they come up.  Difference between seeding outdoors and under grow lights.

I'll just turn the onions sideways under the lights and free up more space for what we seed up tomorrow.  I can raise the lights for the onions and they will be happy campers.  I also have the option of moving the onions to my work table under the spotlights but I run the risk of cat attack.   hihi
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2024, 04:38:58 PM »

Better bring my rosemary plant in the house.  Winter starts next Friday.  Temps drop into the 20's for the highs.  I have more of the rosemary seedlings popping up.  We're going to have way more of those than we need.

We had a seed party yesterday.  I brought home two flats of plants that will go out in the gardens.  Only the beginning of those.  We have 2108 seeds of those to get up and into the greenhouse.  We have overseeded those so we get the number of plants we need.  We're pretty successful so we're going to have extras.  There's only so much room in that greenhouse.  The extras here aren't on the for sale list so at some point the extras have to die, excuse me, complete their life cycle early.   hihi  Kill them or they come home to my garage.  It's how I got 900 plants waiting to go to the parks in my garage last year.   hihi  Turns out the parks don't really have a budget for annual plants.  Am I the only one sending them plants?

My lights are at 12 flats.  I can go as high as 17 and the table has room for 3.  I have fungus gnats all ready.  Little fuckers love coffee!  Won't treat for them until the seeds get up and out of the ground.  Too late by that point.  They live here by then.
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2024, 03:12:24 PM »

Some free webinars:  https://partnersfornativelandscaping.stlouisaudubon.org/2024-webinar-series One would think if it's through the Audubon society it would be about birds but it's mostly native plants.  The Social Benefit of Trees looks good.  I've heard the keynote speaker from the zoo before and he's really interesting.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2024, 03:59:09 PM »

Shit.  In our meeting Saturday, they were talking about free places to meet.  Someone mentioned the Ambulance District's new building.  I've seen it.  Totally barron of landscape.  It calls to me everytime I drive by.  It's not very far from the gardens either.  I'm thinking, we are not meeting there because you know what's going to happen.  No way Beka can look at that and not want to draw up a garden plan.  No way we can walk on property and not want to plant something and keep going from there.  I kept silent about that as a possible location. 

But then Leslie called this morning.  They need a meeting place close to the gardens.  I had to tell her.   hihi  There is not a shady spot on that massive piece of property.  Formerly farmland in the flood plain.  I'm not saying nothing.  Anybody talks to me about it, I'm going to laugh hysterically before I ask what's my budget.  I have 40 trainees that need a project.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2024, 11:04:57 PM »

Met the group of 40 trainees.  What am I going to do with all these people?  Chatted them up for a little bit.  I won't start working with the class until April.  My friend DJ is taking the classes.

The ground heaved under the gate to the tool shed and it won't close.  Threw Eli's christmas tree on the deer barricade.  Man do we have a lot of mole tunnels.  We're going to have to address that this year.

I wrote up Beka's nomination for Master Gardener of the year on the state level.  I don't know if they will give the award to one of our people again.  We got it the last two times and we pissed them off when we said we wouldn't do the conference.  I mentioned in steering committee I was nominating her, thinking somebody else might want to nominate someone, because we can only send up one person from our group.  Nobody said anything except that it was my thing.  Oh really, you want to down play it with two of the winners sitting right here at the table.  I didn't hear anybody mentioning my name when there was all the excitement somebody from our group won.  Then one of them offered to proof read, meaning, rewrite what I write up.   hihi  Under appreciated and taken for granted should be on my name tag. 

I think I'll start skipping a few steering committees like the next one.  I turned in the donations I got for the garden.  Marsha is determined to redirect the money to the general account and not let it go to the garden budget.  They'll talk about it at the next meeting.  Doesn't matter to me what they do with it right now, eventually it will come into my budget.  In the meantime, I'm not offering up any of the Menard's rebate money to Marsha.  She wants to put her garden budget on hold and possible return if we don't make enough money from the plant sale, I'm okay with that.  We've been dumping a lot into that garden and it can be some of the other gardens turn.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2024, 06:40:09 PM »

That was nice.  The University did a featured story o our pantry beds.  https://extension.missouri.edu/news/a-flood-of-support
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2024, 04:51:15 PM »

The greenhouse opens on Friday.  Get it warmed up and ready to start receiving plants on Saturday.  I've got greenhouse duty starting Sunday running through the end of April.  And all those calls, "you"re close enough, can you run over there and check on something?"  It's okay, it's nice in the greenhouse.

Last week for the onions at home.  Not sure what I'll be growing after that.  Room for 17 flats.  Takes a minute to get back into growing.  Forgot everything from last year when I switched gears to the garden.  It will come back.

Maureen has some seeds for me that should have been started in December.  Different kinds of milkweed.  I'm eventually going to do a milkweed display.  Need to look up what else goes with that.  The milkweed is for the caterpillars and the butterflies need something to eat.  I'll probably seed those up and put them in the frig for a while but I may just keep them with me all summer and plant them in the fall.  Maybe not, they do better in the ground.  I don't know, it's been foggy here and that seems to have creeped into me.  I slept till noon and if I wasn't feeling guilty about that, I'd be back on the couch dosing off and on all afternoon.
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2024, 12:46:48 AM »

My friend who is taking the Master Gardener classes called in a panic.  She doesn't think she's going to be able to pass all the tests.  She did fine on the first test but is freaking out over the second test.  Okay, stop that.   hihi  It's an open book test, call somebody else in class or since it's online just shrink it down and look it up.  Can't tell if she's looking to drop the class or just has test anxiety.  She thought the shrink it down and look it up was a pretty good idea.   Cheesy  Only 14 more classes to go.
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2024, 02:42:50 PM »

Another raid on the park's wood pile.  Got some stuff.  They don't want to give up their cinder blocks.

I have bulbs trying to push up at the gardens.  My Sunday watering crew has increased to 7 people.  I am getting tons of questions from folks.  They're all into it and I'm trying to bring myself out of winter hibernation.   hihi  I have got to wake up.

The Canadian Geese are back.  They mate here this time of year.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2024, 09:19:56 PM »

60 people, 6 hours.  We got a lot of seeding and transplanting done.  I have 2/3 of the pantry cool season crops home with me to grow up.

I got Showy Milkweed seeds and Rose (Swamp) Milkweeds from Maureen.  They need cold stratification and it's too late to do that outdoors so they are in paper towels in the refrigerator for a month.  Donna is also giving me Butterfly Milkweed.  I'm working on a display of Milkweed.  I'm not going to use Common Milkweed as it's too tall and takes over.  There's three others I'm looking for but I'm probably going to have to buy them at $6 a piece.  And then I have to figure out what I want to put in there for mama butterfly to eat while she's laying her eggs.
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2024, 09:59:25 PM »

I already have seedlings up and the covers off of them.  The cold season crops they tried in the greenhouse, not under grow lights have come up too.  Those are planned in the containers we sell them in so they don't have to be transplanted.

Ever heard of Bee Bricks?


Something they are doing in England for solitary bees, a home to the cavity nesters.  Some towns even require they be used in new construction.  Interesting concept.  They're kind of expensive.  It's cute but if you don't plant the flowers they need for food and are spraying to kill bugs, this won't help.  It's a conversation starter but not something I think they should require.  There's plenty of cracks out there.
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2024, 06:30:33 PM »

65 today and 72 tomorrow, then possible snow on Monday.  I wanted to take a few of my seedlings out for some fresh air today but once they go outside, I don't let them back in the house because they might have bugs.  I don't think this means spring is here.  It was just a nice period in the middle of winter.

We did get a donation of a Blueberry bush yesterday.  And one of the people is going to a town where they have a bunch of antique stores so she will look for the cast iron porch pillars we're hunting for.  Our team on the bed renovations is waking up.  A couple of people are asking who is going to England, they want those bricks.  hihi
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2024, 09:50:00 PM »

She didn't find any porch pillars.  And the blueberry bush the girl was going to donate is the large variety and we need a container variety.  Back to start.

The oak leaf lettuce is not coming up.  It's planted too deep or the seed is old but we had this same problem last year so I'm going with planted too deep.  Very few germinating problems so far.  The greenhouse is getting too hot though.  Well into the 90's during the day and that's with the windows down.

I did mention to Beka today I was thinking this would be my last year as overall lead.  Asked her about taking the job.  She didn't think she could be mean enough.  hihi  She is a sweetheart but she doesn't like controversy.  You know, into every life a little controversy works its way in.  But she has the right stuff to deal with it.  She's never mean.  You don't see me being mean.  I come here and bitch a fit and get it out of my system then go deal with it.  It's one of her strengths, she doesn't get pissed off, ever, but as she says one of her weaknesses.  She'll give up before she allows herself to get pissed off.  Not to worry, Marsha and I are still around, we don't let that shit go.

So what will I do if I'm not overall lead?  I put in over 1100 hours last year.  I'll still have my personal beds.  All of the former overall leads have got up and walked away, never to be seen in the gardens again.  hihi  Dave dropped by the other day.  Not sure why but it was during a time when we wouldn't have been there.  He was overall lead when I started.  He hasn't been around for years.  I asked him what he was doing now.  I was hoping to get some ideas.  He said nothing.  That doesn't help me.   hihi
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2024, 12:22:40 PM »

I had lunch with Marsha yesterday.  She got her hair back!  Long enough if she let me throw some gel in that, I could punk her out.   hihi  It's been about a year getting through the cancer's worst part.  She's changed for the better.  Not a complete change.  She's still looking for your faults.  But she's starting to throw people's strengths in there.  We all have faults, it's recognizing the strengths, build on those that move things forward.

I got to play with my new drill driver, removing the screws from the boards we got out of the park's wood pile.  Some of them are bent so bad or the heads striped, they aren't coming out with a drill.  I looked over Kevin's work on the bricks.  That's a hot mess.  Hope he can fix that up.  If not, it's not a place we walk and at least they are in.  I know, lower your expectations, didn't pay for that.  hihi

I look around the place, we have a mole problem, but my vision has run out.  I see things that could be done but nothing I want to commit to.  It's time to let someone with a vision take over.  I didn't tell Marsha.  She's in plant sale stress.  No need to add to it.  But I hear her talking about getting ready to turn over the fruit arboretum.  It's wrapping up and her vision is coming to an end.  She wants overall demo garden lead but says she can't do that and the plant sale too.  Lady, you can do whatever you set your mind to but I'll think you're crazy if you take both those jobs.  hihi

Anyway, snow coming tomorrow and a few days of cold return.  It's been so warm, we've had stuff coming up.  Not a really bad cold snap so I'm not expecting any damage.
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2024, 08:24:29 PM »

Shit!  Trimming mom's bush and a twig got around my eye wear.  Hit me right in the corner of the eye.  Feels like there is something in there.  I guess if it's not better tomorrow I'll call the eye doctor.  That's the first eye scheduled for surgery too.

The deans from the universities are coming in May and want to tour the gardens.  Not sure if that's just something to do while they are at our office or if somebody will get a research idea or something similar to do with our little garden.  If they do, what's in it for us? I'm not really interested in doing for them for the honor.   hihi  I'm just not that impressed.
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2024, 06:53:56 PM »

I think my eye is healing.  Very patriotic red, white and blue.  Mostly swollen with a lot of fluid.  Annoying but it doesn't hurt.  Not near as bad as the last time this happen.

We got about 3 inches of wet snow.  Nice blanket of insulation for a drop in temperature tomorrow.  Then we shoot back up into the 50-60's next week.  Way too warm for this time of year for too long.  The bush I was trimming yesterday was budding out.  My allergies say there is pollen in the air.  Ordered up my allergy meds I take during the growing season.
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2024, 11:54:23 AM »

Monarch Butterflies Wintering in Mexico Drop to Second-Lowest Level Ever Recorded
https://organicconsumers.org/monarch-butterflies-wintering-in-mexico-drop-to-second-lowest-level-ever-recorded/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=OB+839+Saturday&utm_content=OB+839+Saturday
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2024, 02:34:55 PM »

Marsha has to get 4 more rounds of chemo.  And my eye isn't getting much better.  In the meantime, there's stuff to do in the greenhouse.  We don't have to talk or feel good, just work.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2024, 08:35:28 PM »

Big day for transplanting and seeding.  A good amount of help but we were still there for 8 hours.  Tomorrow we go in and finish up what didn't get done.

Marsha told her team the cancer has returned.  She thought she only had to do 4 more treatments but it's 6.  Instead of every three weeks it's now every 28 days.  She doesn't think she will be as tired this time because she's not taking one of the meds.  Okay, where are we going to go to see the lights when she's free and clear?  I think night lights are a perfect way to celebrate.   Cheesy
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