That Solarize Thing

So how did your Solarized bed do? Mine fried like I wanted it to. If you missed the Frost last week, I believe you will have another chance on April 3rd on the Eastern Seaboard, just watch your weather, and remember when the weatherman says, “Cover your tenders” then uncover your Solarized bed.

Uncovered the evening before Frost

Uncovered the evening before Frost


Next afternoon after Frost

Next afternoon after Frost. And will Continue to die off.


Garden Center Clearance Time?

Seed Catalogs are in the mail, compost is cooking, dreams and plans for the coming seasons are dancing in gardeners heads. All consuming our thoughts and making us just a bit distant to our friends. I myself have been out to the spent paradise, overlooking it’s new abilities. It’s Winter demise is actually picturesque to me, and I still get that Horticultural Therapy. I have my phone with me, looking at the pictures from last year as I am out there, planing.

But the big picture, the leftover products at box stores. The items in the overheads and last 3 things on a shelf, prices falling because they are discontinued from the new seasons product lines. Vendors don’t want them back, most times, and the store receives no credit. They get what they can, as the price tumbles, then toss in the compactor when the price is low enough to take the hit. Where does this leave you?

If you go to a big box store, and see the clearance items that are on the, let’s say, “Pot Wall”, the yellow “was/now” stickers, maybe there is a deal, or just the thing you were looking for. Same as the Hose Aisle, Bird Seed, Tools, and bagged goods, maybe even the Hard Scape Aisle. But in any case, with a little detective work, you can find some better deals. These aisles haven’t been as high maintained since late October, because of the Christmas Crash, and most of those other spots are considered “out of season”… Are ya seein’ it yet? OK, then here’s more. Most all of the merchandise for those aisles have been consolidated to the overhead where they belong on the racks. MOST box stores have been thru an inventory lately, so all the boxed freight in the overhead is plainly marked. Write down the SKU  or item number you see on a weathered box, search for it on the shelves, if you don’t see it, find an employee with one of those fancy phones and ask what the price is for that number. Maybe it’s not exactly what you want, maybe it will do, maybe, it’s a heck of a find.

On the fertilizer aisles, either large bags or the smaller boxed, check there too. Most, again, most of those stores can’t toss hazmat items away, and if it has gone to $.01, they most likely give it to you, it costs them a huge amount to send in a hazmat truck, away… Check the Chemical Wall too, same thing. Look in the overhead for anything that says, “Promo” anything. Then find that kid with that crazy phone.

It’s Gardening Deal time at the box stores. Right now, Christmas is on final clearance, there are Storage Events happening along with Vanities, etc, so no Gardening stuff is coming in yet. They aren’t even thinking about March. So give it a try, on the down-lo, see if you find some real deal goodies. You may even find some cheap racks in Flooring, and Light Fixtures in the Light Cloud. It’s time for deals folks!!

3 Weeks From Transplanting…

We are almost ready to transplant, and I’m sore already!!

   In a few weeks, the seedlings will be in the garden. Then it will be up to Ma Nature to decide. I have been trying to help, but in the end, it’s all in her hands. I just hope she sees how hard I’ve tried this Winter. Today I turned in some very nice cooked compost, along with some good Winter Rye. I will apply some wood ash and 10-10-10 in a day or two. We’re heating up here already, and the babies are almost ready for real soil. The drip irrigation I will install afterwards will help out a lot, I hope. I think I did a really good job gardening my soil this past Fall/Winter.. Didn’t spend any money on it, but it looks like the stuff I could get like $50.00 per 5 gal. bucket with plenty of worms, and not the first grub…. I’m just a proud dirt farmer..

Heres some pics.

Spring 2011 albumn.

Trial Thingy with Seeds

OK, you may think I am jumping the gun on timing here, but I have been saving Dryer Lint the whole Winter. I didn’t know why, but it hit me today, of, why… I started some Tomato seeds in my garage, some in regular starting mix, and a few in, well, Dryer Lint…  I used to put it out for the birds, and they haven’t been that active in the ball of lint this year, I think they were smarter than me, and went South.. WAY south! But the Crows! Oh man I have never seen so many here.. Quick! What Phenological reason is there for Crows massing up?

So I have this supply of clothes mulch leftovers, from the dryer.. So I’m thinkin’, veggies….  A few pots, I used it as mulch, a few, I used as the media, a few, I used straight soil…  Whats next, the stuff I get off the top of the ceiling fan? There’s some good stuff there too.. Somehow, I like to think the matter is a part of me.. John Travolta in the “Phenomenon”? The apple bite? Take it with you through eternity? I need to go check the vacuum cleaner. There may be gold in there too, plus a marble and a green Army Man or two, thanks, Jake.. I mean, You aren’t eating the floor debris, although the ten second rule may need a re-config here on growing from the root.. I dunno. I’ll let NASA figure that one out.

OK, Hell, they’re just Tomatoes and Egg Plant.. We’ll see who does best or the same or fails… I will let you all know.. But make NO mistake about it, I will eat it if it grows out of my shoe, as long as I know, it was my shoe…. I will keep them separate, for those who know me. When I bring you veggies, I will give you the ones from dirt and cow manure, like that makes it tastier…  I will enjoy the ones in the lint.

Dazed and Contused?


By now, here in central Va., you have had a bunch of rain, so you may be experiencing some minor problems. Before, we talked of soil conditioning. We need to realize that Ma Nature is the bomb. The plowing, feeding, mulching, weeding, don’t mean squat. Unless you have learned what exactly what SOIL is. I see a lot of you buying the cheap bagged stuff in the box stores. It will ( or has ) turned into the concrete you were standing on at the time you purchased it.  Where’s your leaves from the fall? Oh, no trees? Cutting grass now? There you go, Bag that green gold, and use as mulch now. FREE nitrogen, FREE mulch. FREE from amendments in the bag! Come on, ever hear of Sustainable Gardening? Use what Ma gives you. Your Grand Parents did. So did theirs. And there was always food on the table. Have a Koi pond? That “muck” you get out of there is like gold. Spread it around your plant bases. Ever tried manure tea? One bag of, OK, “store bought” manure, a burlap bag, a 32 gal Rubbermaid (or cheap one) trash can, some water, and a piece of rope, and you can feed your garden for 2 months. Put the manure in the sack, tie the rope around it to make a, well, tea bag of sorts. Put it in the water for a few days, and you can dip it out to feed your live goods. I have one in a field rain barrel, and use the hose to apply it.

For the rain issue. If your plants are turning yellow at the bottom, they are not thirsty. They are drowning. Don’t water. Soil amendments like Oak leaves, grass clippings, pelleted gypsum, will help a great deal. Of course, if you are one of those lawn jockeys, that throw every poison and weed killer at your lawn at the mention of it on the media, don’t put those clippings on your edibles. YOU WILL DIE too!.  Lets get smart here. If the bag of stuff says on the warning label, ” DO NOT INGEST” then DO NOT INGEST by second hand servings.

I have Tomatoes on the vine now. Peppers showing. Beans are on the climb, and my Squash and Cukes are almost in bloom. Red Sails Lettuce is going to be harvested this week. Cherries are abundant, not ready yet, Peaches, Apricots and Blueberries are making an impressive showing. Elderberries, Blackberries and Raspberries are making me proud. Onions, don’t get me started, holy cow! Been using my herbs for over a month now. I am happy. I am gardening. I am dirty. I am one with the natural order. I am full of poop…. Really. It’s a Zen thing. I like to give back to what I take from Ma Nature. Keeps my fire and water equal. Look at Michelle Obama. Her gaze is always proof of some fond memory. She can use a shovel. She knows the secret. You can as well…. Get on your knees and get dirty with a loved one. I am talking about weeding, for those shallow minded. They are up and running, robbing your work of nutrients. Maybe you will like to use Dandy lions in your salad, But Henbit, Wire grass, spurge, and chickweed, do not taste good.