From faithful garden correspondent Marvel:
Starting to get itchy glove-hands, ready to start weeding & other yard chores. Thankfully (unfortunately?) those tasks won’t start for a few weeks — after the rains let up.
A friend of mine sometimes challenges/invites her Facebook friends to celebrate the day with haikus & photos. Being happy dwellers in the Pacific Northwest, our poetry/pix ’round these times often include, um, sufficient references to our mild-but-wet clime.
Here’s my submission from today:Mushrooms resplendent
on Winter-watered tree trunks
a subtle beauty
Here north of Boston — where we’re expecting another 8-12″ of snow today, on top of the 4″ Friday night, after the 12″ Thursday afternoon — I’m beginning to weaken on my “no tomato garden this year” resolve. Looking at my favorite websites, thinking I can cut back from last year’s overambitious forty-plus plants to just a couple dozen. After all, last summer was an anomaly, even the professional market gardeners in the area lost most of their tomato crops (I tell myself).
Problem is, our list of must-haves grows ever longer: Paul Robeson, Cherokee Purple, Black Prince, Blondkopfchen, Japanese Trifele, Black Cherry, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Chocolate Sprinkles, Opalka, White Currant… And I always want to try a couple new varieties, for fear of missing out on what will become a new must-have…
We also have a semi-functional basement now, where the cats and dogs aren’t allowed, so I’ve been eying a modest tabletop grow-light setup for seed starting. Anybody got advice on that topic?
What’s going on in your garden(s) planning, this week?
I wish I could tell
Which of them are safe to eat.
“Woodman, spare that shroom.”
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Crocuses are in bloom here in Raleigh.
Alain the site fixer
@ThresherK: there are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters. This is wisdom for the ages!
Clip back the crape myrtle in the front yesterday. Haven’t finished up the fall clean up to date. It might happen. I expect summer to be hot and dry yet again. I don’t bother planting tomatoes any longer. If a volunteer comes up and makes it good for it. The gallardia started last year for this year on the front porch planters are doing very well. Hope they make it through the spring. I get plants through the winter only to have them die in April for reasons unknown to me.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: I had two crocus bloom this past week in Philadelphia PA.
Soil temps are key. A heating mat under the potting tray will do the job.
Some seeds need sunlight to germinate. Others need only a little water. Still others need to be “scarred”. Baker Creek has a very informative guide to help.
I can’t believe it’s already February 12. Seems like yesterday when my weeds finally died off for the winter.
@OzarkHillbilly: yes, I always used a heating mat, just a sunny window isn’t enough. Especially if you keep your house below 72 degrees, and I keep my house much cooler than that.
And once I started using these with a heating mat, germination rates were practically 100%. It was rare for anything to fail. I have three now, with all different sizes of cells, for all types of seed sizes.
@Baud: LOL, it’s been mild enough here in S.Bend that I’m not positive all my weeds did die back. One tough petunia hung on so long through light frosts I finally decided to move it into the garage to see if it would overwinter. So far it’s still alive, though not flowering.
Uh-oh, Sean Spicer made another SNL appearance last night.
I had vowed not to grow much in the way of veggies this year, but I’m also spending hours coveting all the beautiful new varieties in the deluge of gardening catalogs being delivered. There are raised beds that have been fallow for two years here, I may relent and plant one in some veggies and the other already has my irises rescued from my old garden.
And because I also love mushrooms but don’t want the worry about hunting the wrong ones or the ticks from tromping through the forest to harvest them, I have gotten these kits in the past.
@OzarkHillbilly: heard that Booman called last night’s episode a declaration of war against the Trump regime. GOOD.
@satby: Strange weather this winter.
@OzarkHillbilly: Recorded it. Hope it was a good show.
@Jeff: root rot from too wet conditions maybe?
@Baud: I will catch it on youtube as best I can. It is shows like that that make me rethink my abstaining from TV, but not for very long. There just isn’t enuf to make it worthwhile.
@satby: Heh. Yeah, very good.
“It’s a good thing I had that putter,” he said. “It’s a good, solid, heavy putter.”
I always preferred a 9 iron for gators, but hey, if a putter is what you have it’s what you use.
Anne Laurie, I have to. It back my garden this year to Solaris half of it to hopefully rid the soil of wilt. So I am going to take the ten tomatoes I want to grow and randomly pick four. (Like out of a hat). If I am really sorry I didn’t pick one of them, then I know that one is a complete keeper and I’ll swap one out or just have 5 plants. But no more!
Also question — is your indoor set up for your now-legal 6 plants? ?
@OzarkHillbilly: The Kellyanne skit seemed possible. I wonder what Jake Tapper thought about it.
@satby: Satby, you know it’s kinda cruel to send a person staring at incoming foot of snow to the Park Seed site?
@OzarkHillbilly: I hear ya. I’ve given up on a lot of that stuff. But maybe we’re in the verge of an artistic renaissance as a means to deal with the horror.
Ok. Proud papa brag — my son’s FTC robotics team just crushed yesterday in the Vermont finals getting first place for robot stuff and the coveted inspire award (all around good kids). Now we will spend our spring break going to the super regionals in beautiful downtown Scranton. Yippee!
@Immanentize: Congrats. I for one welcome your son’s new robot overlords.
@Baud: that may not be too far off. The Immp is interested in creating better computer/brain interfaces and AI. He is, of course, 15. RUN!!!
@Immanentize: sigh… Or even without the snow, just locked in endless days or gray. But planning and dreaming is 1/2 the fun of gardening, and visual aids are a requirement.
@Baud: It is a combination of factors that keep me away from TV. The cost is one (we’d have to have satellite), the absolute overload of junk channels one has to buy as part of any basic package (not to mention that to get the channels I’d really want I’d have to pay more) and my own tendency to turn into a channel surfing zombie.
A man’s just got to know his limitations.
@Immanentize: Congratulations to your son and his very justifiably proud dad!
Here in South Central Indiana we hit a high of 62 degrees yesterday. On Feb 12. Basically the middle of winter.
That got me to thinking about the garden. And the fact that I need to pull the flange that mounts the handle on my tiller, take it to a machine shop, and have a replacement made that lets me raise the handle higher. This because my lower back is having L3 and L4 touching issues, and I have to be careful about stressing it. Cannot stoop and run the tiller as in the past.
Of course, I had meant to share how dangerous it can be to read a blog run by John Cole. Thirteen months ago, wife and I were hit in our car by someone running a red light. Car totaled. No serious injuries, but many lingering issues. Six weeks later, test driving an expensive used Mercedes, rear ended by a hit and run driver. So much for that dealer wanting to deal with us. (He was a real A-hole about it, But his insurance had to cover it. I think he learned a 5,000 dollar deductible was a dumb idea.)
So last Monday, we are entering the same intersection as 13 years ago. Car runs red light. Takes out one car, careens into us, hits us head on, our air bags deploy. First words out of my mouth, “am I still alive”, since the car, an almost new VW Passat SEL, has the recall Takata airbags, and VW has not gotten the parts to replace, although it has been almost six months since the recall was issued. Fortunately, the airbag propellant had not degraded, so no fatal shrapnel. Yeah!
The car is repairable, although it will cost almost 11,000 dollars to repair. We are both sore all over as can be. But glad to be alive and not seriously injured.
So, maybe yet another year of growing heirloom tomato plants??!!
@Immanentize: Can he build a roboBaud? I asked M^4 to do it, but he was too busy building the jump-to-bottom button.
@Immanentize: Brag away and congrats to your son.
@OzarkHillbilly: you don’t need satellite to stream Roku or Amazon Prime for far, far cheaper; but your other objections stand. I reupped Direct TV when I moved, and regretted it almost immediately, so now I’m just running the contract out and cancelling as soon as it’s done.
@HeartlandLiberal: wow, glad you’re basically ok but sorry you’re going through that again! Stay away from that intersection!
@Immanentize: Scranton! Everyone’s dream destination! Congrats to your son. Tell him he’ll know he has really built something when I shoot it.
@Baud: I think roboBaud is odds on favorite for the 2040 election!
Good Morning, Everyone ???
@OzarkHillbilly: well you might get the chance — the world competition is in St. Louis!
@rikyrah: Good morning.
hey check this out: Comstock (VA-10) is on the run!
She’s been a no-show to previous town halls and now is just ducking them entirely…
…so Dem activists are planning on holding one without her! What a marvelous idea – Jason Chaffetz’s district, are you listening?
My own district is safely blue, so I’m going to help Comstock’s district Swing Left and get her lying self right on out of Congress!
@HeartlandLiberal: wow. So scary and random. You need a new route! Please watch out for the after effects of soft tissue injury. Hurts!!
Actually, I do. We get our internet off satellite. Watching videos is a stop and go pain in the ass and as often as not I just give up. Mediaite seems to be behaving fairly well this morn. Thank you @JPL: :-) the Kelly Ann was every bit as creepy as I imagine she would be in real life.
@HeartlandLiberal: Wow.. It might be time to avoid that intersection.
@Immanentize: AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
Another great Santa Fe day yesterday! Close to 70 degrees. It was a big eating day? at The San Marcos Cafe and Feed Store, The Box Car, and The Capitol Grill.Touched base with a friend who specializes in selling vintage Fred Harvey jewelry for Smoked Sage Margaritas at the St. Francis Hotel. Yum! “The Fabulous Flying Quinerly Traveling Road Show” rolls into Abiquiu, NM later this afternoon. Poco, the traveling dog, has heard the doggy friendly rooms in the Abiquiu Inn have been rated 5 paws up! He will be sad, though, to leave his “girl friend”…..Tularosa. She’s a quite fetching Blue Heeler.?
roboBaud! 2040!: Resistance is Futile!
@rikyrah: Good morning rikyrah!
How neat that there’s a tomato named after Paul Robeson. I made the mistake of being suckered by a commercial into buying a tomato rocket. After I bought it, I looked up the reviews. I’ve been had. Sigh. Oh well. Live and learn.
@OzarkHillbilly: oh, yeah, it isn’t worth it then.
@Immanentize: Yay for your son’s success!! Some happy news to start a new week.
@Patricia Kayden: And it’s a beauty!
Edited to add: I also love the Big Rainbow tomatoes too, grew them one year and they were scrumptious. Thinking if ordering both of those varieties this year. Same link, at the bottom.
@HeartlandLiberal: Time to buy a lottery ticket!
@Immanentize: Adding to the “way cools” and “good luck” to the kid. Wonder if there’s a Joe Biden birthplace in Scranton to visit. Kids can make a pilgrimage honoring a VP who believed in science.
@HeartlandLiberal: Oh no. Thank dog the airbags worked, but that is too often.
Weren’t Hoosiers more known for getting “struck by objects” than run down by other Hoosiers? (ALaurie’s blogpost from last night.) Maybe they’re including “vehicles” in a very broad “objects” category?
@Quinerly: Sounds like a great trip, and a new pal for Poco.
Vintage Fred Harvey jewelry. Wow.
This is Trump’s latest tweet
Does anyone know, what the hell he is tweeting about and why?
@Elizabelle: I love the Biden birthplace idea. I am planning on taking him and a few of his team to the March for Science in April. My son loves Uncle Joe and calls dollars “Bidens.” because he is so money.
@Jeff: And I had a snowdrop up blooming this week…until 12″ snow covered it Thursday.
Anne Laurie- I used to work in a garden centre. Look around, you can probably rig up those components for half the price. IIRC those 24″ lights were less than $50.
Shelf mushrooms are so cool.
AL you have to grow Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I grew some kn containers last summer and they were amazing.
@Immanentize: Hope for Joe’s sake your kid gets to meet him. He would love to know about “Bidens.” LOL.
FWIW, projected high of 78 degrees today in Virginia Beach; yesterday was high 70s. Don’t know how atypical this is; Virginia weather fluctuates, but wow.
Hoping to take my nephew and his bride on a whale watching jaunt today. Through February 15, the company promises you see a whale or you get the next cruise free.
Went out Wednesday, when it was 70s in between fronts of colder weather. We did see one whale. One juvenile humpback whale, but it was the Nancy Kerrigan of whales — two twirling breaches, one pretty close to the boat. (The whale moved in on us; crew had been keeping the required distance.) Plus some tail lobbing and fin waving. Seemed like a happy whale that was not alarmed by boats.
What was cool was being able to hear the whale breathing before you could actually see it when it surfaced.
Save the whales. And all the sealife.
@HeartlandLiberal: OMG I remember reading about your accident last year. Can you–is there–just don’t GO that way anymore?!!?
Oh no! I’m so sorry.
Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire
Any tips for storing tulip bulbs outside of soil? I bought tulip bulbs in a glass vase (grown atop straw and watered). They’ve bloomed and we’re beautiful, but I hate the idea of throwing the bulbs out once I clip the greenery back, since it’s a perennial.
72% of refugees admitted into U.S. (2/3 -2/11) during COURT BREAKDOWN are from 7 countries: SYRIA, IRAQ, SOMALIA, IRAN, SUDAN, LIBYA & YEMEN
That’s the whole idea of that court smackdown, dumbass.
I met her last year when I was prowling around at the Winter Market at the Santa Fe Rail Yards. We became instant friends and I bought a 1940’s Fred Harvey bracelet from her at a great price. If anyone is in the area, look her up…Sierra Lusk. Definitely not Santa Fe prices, in my opinion. In related news, Ali McGraw was parked in front of me at the market yesterday. She is still beautiful…no makeup, salt and pepper hair slicked back in a bouncy pony tail. Unfortunately, I was digging around for more quarters to plug the meter so I wasn’t out of the car. She did look our way, smiled, and nodded her head (Poco says she was checking him out…his ego is out of control on this trip?). She was in just a regular, older beat up Subaru. I knew she is fixture about town and I have friends who know her rather well through pet rescue and charity work. In 7 trips, first celebrity sighting for me unless you count Robert Redford’s wife on Canyon Road 4 years ago.
@amk: Gee, it’s almost like there was a backlog of people from those countries or something. I wonder how that could have happened?
I hope that they contact local media. Local media loves stories like this. They are simple. They involve the local community. They take no time for research. Basically, the story is gift wrapped in a bow for them.
So, I imagined all the times Cuban talked negatively about Dolt45 during the campaign?
Glad to hear that you are OK
@Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: When they’re forced like that they seldom reflower unless they have a cycle or so of growth. Let the greenery die back naturally by watering less when it stops blooming, when it’s all the way dead the bulb is dormant. You can store it in peat moss in the refrigerator or a cool spot like a garage, then replant later; but for it to flourish it will need to go into soil at some point. You may get a year or two of greens only, but it will make bulblets and reflower in the future.
Here’s an amusing Maureen Dowd story (an old one but a good one).
We watch Focus On Europe sometimes on our PBS station. Host is Michelle Henery. Here’s what happened when she met Dowd:
Cuban recently said he doesn’t believe drump will last four years in office. Job is too tough.
@Quinerly: Great advice; noted re Sierra Lusk.
Santa Fe is gorgeous. You could still get some serious winter weather though, couldn’t you?
I think you might have to send Anne Laurie a pic of traveling dog Poco and his animal magnetism. Bonus for adobes in background.
I’m planning on doing a small raised bed with one or two tomato plants, maybe some lettuce this spring, and herbs. This will be my first summer here and I’m not sure that there’s enough sun exposure (tall building to the south of me, garage to the west, heavy tree coverage everywhere else). I just bought a pole chainsaw and am trimming back some branches later today, so hopefully that will help.
It’s Henery own fault for regarding Dowd as one of her journalistic heroes, which is the greater embarrassment.
That can only lead to disappointment.
Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire
@satby: I’m in an apartment, so no garage, and our refrigerator is packed. Could I just keep them in the freezer for their cold period, then thaw them a bit before trying again?
We are not in the position to buy a house right now, and we might not ever be, so I am very envious of you folks that have space to garden. Lucky you!
@Elizabelle: Seconded! It could be a series: Travels with Poco in search of America.
@satby: Never seen such a dark tomato. Thanks.
@germy: We all look alike, I guess – especially to someone as moronic as Dowd.
@rikyrah: What’s the point of waking up on a Sunday morning tweeting about Cuban. Maybe Trump had a bad dream..
Maybe the story is Henery’s subtle attempt to call herself good looking.
@JPL: I wish Trump were a bad dream.
@HeartlandLiberal: So glad everyone is OK. Finally had my air bags replaced. Customer service gave me a follow-up call to ask if I was happy with the repair. Told her I wasn’t interested in finding out if the new bags worked and she laughed.
@Baud: He’s a nightmare.
@Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: no, don’t freeze them. I’m pretty sceptical about that. Considering how long they’d have to grow to regenerate, it might not be worth saving them if you don’t have room.
I’d suggest a closet or cabinet on an outside wall that might be cool and dark, but whenever I did that I inevitably forgot all about them, only to discover petrified bulb remains a few years later.
@debit: interspersed with “Walter: the I’m still here” tour. Moar Poco and Walter (and Cole dogs on bed). Less Trump.
@Elizabelle: @debit: Thanks for all the interest and kind comments. I fell in love with Santa Fe and NM on my first February trip in 2011. Since then have met a lot of fun people here. Usually rent a casita at low off season rates for the month but changed it up this year. Basically a 6 weeks driving trip from St. Louis, here, to the Grand Canyon and through Utah. I’m watching weather and hopefully no issues in March as I hit 5 National Parks in Utah. Looking forward to the week in Kanab, Utah and a tour of that large animal/rescue sanctuary….”Best Friends!”
@Quinerly: I’m crushing on your road trip posts.
Your travelling companion with the wandering eye sounds like a swell chap.
Continued happy motoring.
@Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: You might try placing the spent bulbs in some spagnum moss in a paper bag. But be advised that next year’s bloom’s may depend upon adding a bit of fertilizer to the water that their in right now.
I appreciate everyone’s thoughts about the second car accident at same intersection. Problem is, it is about to become almost the only outlet from our subdivision. The new Interstate is going to cut off completely the other major outlet. There is still one alternative, but it is a scenic drive through a small park and valley, but no traffic, not a major intersection with four lanes of what is essentially highway traffic to enter into. I think we may just start going the scenic route from now on. I am feeling really burned. And I forgot to mention, I mean that literally. The seatbag propellant burned the top side of my right wrist, and the impact was hard enough I still have a brown deep tissue bruise on the lower side same wrist, six days later.
Curious about what your favorite websites are, as related to gardening. I want to get a little more out of our garden this year by planting some early stuff early, before getting to the stuff we had such success with last summer (most notably, tomatoes).
Welcome to NM. Enjoy every moment and keep Poco’s tail wagging. I love the San Marcos cafe. Were the chickens, peacocks, and quail still running around the grounds? A carne adovado breakfast burrito is what I want for breakfast right now. Did you get into Madrid? Coolest, funkiest cemetery I’ve ever visited is there, but most never know about it.
I start seedlings under cheap fluorescent lights in my basement. I also bought a cheap pump up sprayer to mist and water them. And put it all on an old (ruined for any other purpose) drop leaf dining room table. Set the whole thing up, including 4 double tube fluorescent lamps for about a 3.5 by 5 foot growing surface for under $100. I bought the stuff years ago so they might be more now.
@OzarkHillbilly: When I did this in Upstate NY years ago, nearly every seedling in a plastic starter pot would damp off and die, but none of the seedlings in a terra cotta pot did.
Trying to get a good list of DC area-native plants that do fine in part shade. I have a one local nursery that does native plants and lists them without indication of sun conditions, a yet more local nursery that I like without a list, Home Despot nearby, and a front lawn on the west side of the townhouse. Some of the Heuchera varieties do quite well as do the hostas.
Don’t know where you live, Annie, but tomatoes in my part of the world (Colorado) had a miserable year last year. Not many home growns at all. What do you suppose the problem was?
Thread be dead. Have friends in Madrid and actually stayed in a rental there for the month of February, 2016. The village really wants that cemetery kept secret but they do a poor job of keeping it secret.? This is my 7th February in NM…all visits include San Marcos. One of my best friends owns the first shop as you enter Madrid coming from Cerrillos. Check out “Lori Musil Art and Antiques” next time you are in Madrid. Tell her I sent you.
J R in WV
Wholly Shit that was a terrible run of driving mishaps…
Back in spring of 2013 I was driving a 2011 Mercedes into town when, stopped at a red light, I was rear-ended by a Nissan Altima, which I expect was totaled. The 18 month old Benz, which we bought with 8000 miles on it, was heavily damaged, it took 6 weeks to finish repairs. Various air bag igniters went off to move head rests and tighten seat belts. I hurt my shoulders some, and had replacement surgery in 2015.
Then coming back from a winter trip to SE Arizona Mrs J rolled my F350 diesel truck on I-25 in New Mexico, just past Las Vegas, totalling that vehicle. Mild concussion, dogs in the back seat were disappointed by the 360 right roll. Being in the passenger seat, I hit the side of the truck pretty hard.
So I can relate to your dismay. Glad the VW protected you.
Be careful, I had a couple of minor fender benders after that Truck Roll accident…
@J R in WV: I am glad you guys survived what sound like much more serious accidents. FWIW, I have decided I am going to so the in thing in Russia: install a dash cam in the car that is running all the time and I will have video of everything that happens. A friend has one, captured a school bus running a light, provided the school board, which was accepting the lying word of the driver he was not at fault, with a copy, and suddenly the driver of the car the bus had hit was compensated, and the case wrapped up pretty quickly. So the dash cams can even help others, not just oneself.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, I don’t have a tv in my apartment. Too expensive; need cable. But I am lucky to house and dog-sit for folks with wonderful tv sets with all the bells and whistles. At my last job, I finished watching the second season of Man In The High Castle. Wow. There’s a lot of tv I wouldn’t miss, but I’d hate to be without it completely.