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LET US TALK ABOUT SPRING

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (6)


Now that the seed catalogs are coming almost every day, we can begin talking about the seed package.

Pay close attention to the seed package. Any credible seed company will tell you a wealth of information on its packaging. Usually on the back of the package it may state that the seeds are F1 or OP. Now what in winter's day does that mean? F1 is a hybrid where the pollen from the male parts of a pure bred plant is used to pollinate a female pure bred. This is done to create a new plant with certain desirable traits, such as higher yield, larger, more disease resistant. Hybrids often have very favorable attributes. If you collect seeds from an F1 that you grow, it is not likely that you will get the same characteristics of the mamma and poppa plant. If you do not intend on collecting the seeds, this information lets you know that it is a hybrid and not a pure bred. Now to the OP. This is "Open-pollinated. If you want to collect seeds from the flower it produces, you will get the true flower, or the pure bred.

Seed saving is becoming very popular. Stay tuned in for a future chat on how to save seeds properly.

Also on the package it will (in my opinion should) tell you if it is GMO, organic, coated with any chemicals (not for an organic garden) and how long a shelf life the seeds have. This does vary. If you have a comment or question please post below.

Buy some seeds, and instead of a good book, have fun reading the back of the packages. Only a gardener will understand that pleasure.

GARDENING ADDICTED? 37 CLUES

Posted on January 11, 2018 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

37 WAYS TO KNOW YOU ARE ADDICTED TO GARDENING:

 

1. Your neighbors recognize you in your pajamas, rubber clogs and a cup of coffee.

 

2. You grab other people’s banana peels, coffee grinds, apple cores, etc. for your compost pile.

 

3. You have to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean.

 

4. All your neighbors come and ask you questions.

 

5. You know the temperature of your compost every day.

 

6. You buy a bigger truck so that you can haul more mulch.

 

7. You enjoy crushing Japanese beetles because you like the sound that it makes.

 

8. Your boss makes “taking care of the office plants” an official part of your job description.

 

9. Everything you touch turns to “fertilizer”.

 

10. Your non-gardening spouse becomes conversant in botanical names.

 

11. You find yourself feeling leaves, flowers and trunks of trees wherever you go, even at funerals.

 

12. You dumpster-dive for discarded bulbs after commercial landscapers remove them to plant annuals.

 

13. You plan vacation trips around the locations of botanical gardens, arboreta, historic gardens, etc.

 

14. You sneak home a 7 foot Japanese Maple and wonder if your spouse will notice.

 

15. When considering your budget, plants are more important than groceries.

 

16. You always carry a shovel, bottled water and a plastic bag in your trunk as emergency tools.

 

17. You appreciate your Master Gardener badge more than your jewelry.

 

18. You talk “dirt” at baseball practice.

 

19. You spend more time chopping your kitchen greens for the compost pile than for cooking.

 

20. You like the smell of horse manure better than Estee Lauder.

 

21. You rejoice in rain…even after 10 straight days of it.

 

22. You have pride in how bad your hands look.

 

23. You have a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter.

 

24. You can give away plants easily, but compost is another thing.

 

25. Soil test results actually mean something.

 

26. You understand what IPM means and are happy about it.

 

27. You’d rather go to a nursery to shop than a clothes store.

 

28. You know that Sevin is not a number.

 

29. You take every single person who enters your house on a “garden tour”.

 

30. You look at your child’s sandbox and see a raised bed.

 

31. You ask for tools for Christmas, Mother/Father’s day, your Birthday and any other occasion you can think of.

 

32. You can’t bear to thin seedlings and throw them away.

 

33. You scold total strangers who don’t take care of their potted plants.

 

34. You know how many bags of fertilizer/potting soil,/mulch your car will hold.

 

35. You drive around the neighborhood hoping to score extra bags of leaves for your compost pile.

 

36. Your preferred reading matter is seed catalogs.

 

And last but not least:

 

37. You know that the four seasons are:

 

Planning the Garden

Preparing the Garden

Gardening

~and~

Preparing and Planning for the next Garden

-Author Unknown

 

Early Spring is Right Around The Corner

Posted on January 10, 2018 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The fields are snowbound no longer;

There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.

The snow has been caught up into the sky--

So many white clouds--and the blue of the sky is cold.

Now the sun walks in the forest,

He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;

They shiver, and wake from slumber.

Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.

Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears....

A wind dances over the fields.

Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,

Yet the little blue lakes tremble

And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.

"Very Early Spring"    By:  Katherine Mansfield

Bike and Texas Long Horns

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Lots to look at in Texas.  


Bicycling Across Country Now in Ft. Clark Springs TX

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Last Day of March. Ft. Clark Springs, Texas     "Rollin, Rollin, Rollin"

Getting closer to home. Someone should be able to lable the plants. Make the comments.


Bicycling Across The Country Now In New Mexico

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Comment:

 

David 12:44 PM on March 31, 2015 

Hi Jude - Your photos are great! Nice to see all that color and those magnificent landscapes. Looks like you are having a good time. I'm jealous! Weather hasn't been wonderful here. I've been out on my bike only once, maybe again tomorrow. We're all thinking of you!

 


Renee 7:28 AM on March 27, 2015

Love, love all the pics! Keep them coming. 


A welcoming  and  flowers of New Mexico.


Bicycling Across The Country USA

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Comment:

Kathy Hartley 4:24 PM on March 23, 2015 

Although Jude is bicycling the "Globe", I didn't think Miami was on the itinerary! The yellow flowers again look like some king of evening primrose (Oenothera) but I can't identify the species. I have friends in Albuquerque who I visit fairly often, and I have to say I've never seen the glass art or glass embedded in the highway. How unusual! Thanks for sending this along Jude.


Here we go from Globe Arizona into New Mexico and a day off on Friday in Silver City New Mexico. Still a little rain but wow what a site.


Growing in the sidewalk.


Maybe they took a wrong turn?


Now they are back on course.

How things change when you leave the sand flats.

Using Glass in Pavement.

New Mexico Glass Art.

Cant wait to see what is next.




Biking in the rain but made it to New Mexico.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Comment:

Kathy Hartley 3:37 PM on March 21, 2015

Sorry it had to rain on the parade, but it is certainly needed out there. Identifying the flowers....the yellow ones are tough and a closeup would have been helpful. They might be some kind of mustard. The white/pink one look like Oenothera caespitosa, the stemless evening primrose aka the tufted evening primrose. They start out white and age to pink.The cactus with the flat pads is some kind of opuntia (prickly pear) and the "green snakes" plant is an aloe.

 

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Our happy traveler has arrived in New Mexico through the rain. Below you will find several pictures in AZ and NM. We need some help with identifying the cactus and vegetation of that area. Now we can observe the changes from sand and only cactus to the native grasses and perennials along the way.

As expected: I have to say it. Where is the Lone Ranger?    Name the wild flowers.


Bridge in AZ around Safford.

Through the good earth.

Native grasses.

One Way Home.

Spring has sprung in AZ.

Look at the grasses and the succulents mixing.

Lordsburgh New Mexico.  Now onward to the East.  We are with you in spirit.

Bike and a Lot Of Miles.

Posted on March 17, 2015 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (1)

 

Comment:

Kathy Hartley 3:59 PM on March 18, 2015

Great shots, Jude. High 20's and windy here in Troy today (Wed March 18). I'm jealous. As I said before, nature is grand even in its desolation.

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78 miles coming up today-rain in the forecast-some climbing-rest day on Friday I think! Lose track of days...Globe, AZ

Our comment is: They picked up a ghost driver.


Week of Biking Blythe CA to Gold Camp AZ Take a look

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)








Arizona here I come.


Love the rock formations.


Know your mountains?


Resting for a while.



Know your Cacti?  



Big ones near Phoenix AZ.


Map Meeting Gold Camp, AZ.  

Jude is working toward her goal. Let us make comments and cheer her onward to FL.
May the wind be at her back.


Agapanthus

Posted on March 11, 2015 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Kathy Hartley 3:54 PM on March 5, 2015 by [email protected]

The blue flower looks like agapanthus. I'd have to do more research on the red one.

Bicycle Trip, Cacti and Sand.

Posted on March 10, 2015 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (2)


 

Comment:

Kathy Hartley 3:54 PM on March 5, 2015 

The blue flower looks like agapanthus. I'd have to do more research on the red one.

Comment:

Kathy Hartley 1:41 PM on March 14, 2015

Isn't it amazing how a place so desolate could also have such beauty? I can't identify the cactus, but the blue flowers look like some kind of nightshade.

 




Lots of sand and cacti on many beautiful days. Note the Indian Trail sign. Please leave comments.

Lots of tans and blue sky.  The Indian Trail.   What is the cactus named?   Then we have lovely blue flowers.     Beautiful county our USA.

Red Catkins Maybe Chenille Plant (Acalypha)?

Posted on March 10, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Kathy Hartley 3:59 PM on March 9, 2015

Great pictures! I like the ones where Jude has taken a picture of the labelled plant along with the plant itself. The tree with the red "catkins": maybe it's some type of chenille plant (genus Acalypha)????

 

San Diego to Brawley CA

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Our biker is on her way from the shore to the desert and onward. She lost internet along the way.  Todays pictures are beautiful. 

Now what is this tree?

Ladies of the West.

A statement maybe?

Following our ladies.

Natural landscapes.

Wow.

Taking a needed rest.

Brawley, CA 

A Desert Ride Can be Fun.  

What do you think?


BIKE TRIP IS GOING WELL

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

West Coast Beauty.   Can you name the plants and trees?

These are from San Diego and Dog Beach.  Come on now name this cactus.  


THE JOURNEY BEGINS IN SAN DIEGO

Posted on March 4, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (1)

Our traveler has arrived in San Diego.  She writes: "Made it, was wicked tired! This is outside hotel"  I guess the plane ride was a long one. Let's see who can identify the flowers. JD can see any comments you make. Post as often as you wish.


FLOWERS, LANDSCAPES AND A BICYCLE

Posted on February 26, 2015 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We have an exciting event to share with you.

 

An Inch By Inch worker is traveling on a bicycle from California to Florida. Along the way she will be sharing with us pictures and comments on the flora and fauna along the many, many miles she will be covering. Stay clicked in to our website for what I think will be an exciting adventure for all of us. We will start in March and end in May. Keep watching this blog and make as many comments as you like. She will check in and comment when she can, as she peddles on her way. Good luck Friend. May the wind always be at your back and the road be smooth. See you in May.

 

Sue

 

THESE LITTLE BUGS ARE REAL SUCKERS!

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

There are hundreds of species of spider mites in the Family Tetranychidae. These 8-legged mites damage plants by inserting their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the leaves and suck out the juices. If unnoticed they reproduce in astounding numbers. Research shows that one mite can produce around 12 eggs per day per season. There can be 4 to 8 overlapping generations in a season. Mites are parthenogenetic, meaning they lay eggs without fertilization. They are also asexual. You see what a pest they can become.

The warmer the weather the faster they reproduce. Each mite grows in this progression: egg, larva, 2 nymph stages then adult. They hatch within 2-5 days as larvae, grow, molt and become adults in 7 to 21 days depending on the weather conditions. In September the adult over-winters in the soil, plant debris, canes or stems emerging in May or June. They start feeding on the older or mid-shoot leaves and disperse to the upper canopy in July and August.

 

How do you know they are there?

You will see white speckling on plant leaves and/or yellowish very small spots on upper leaves. There can be a silk webbing on the underside of the leaves. As populations grow, leaf margins (the outer edges of the leaf) appear dried and leaves turn silver or bronze, followed by turning yellowish brown then dry up and fall off. We use a 10X or 20X hand lens to see eggs which are tiny, clear marbles 1/150th of an inch and the adults who are 1/60th of an inch. Little creatures potentially causing major damage.

 

How do we find them?

Scouting (looking for signs and mites) starts in late May to early June. Leaf samples are taken from lower and higher branches. If with our lens we find more than one or two adults per leaf, we know that management is needed. A simple home owners test can be taking a piece of white paper, putting it under a suspect leaf and giving the leaf a few good whacks. Then you would need a high powered magnifying glass to see if the dark spots are moving. If they are, you have mites.

 

How do we treat them Organically?

Treatment decisions are based on good practices. They include spider mite density, abundance of predators, population trends, damage to foliage and weather conditions. We need to consider that mites do not fly but are spread by the wind. A few mites are usually controlled by predatory mites and insects, some lady beetles are good but they prefer aphids. Cool and rainy weather will reduce populations. These soft body mites are susceptible to water so a powerful spray of water hitting the underside of the leaves as well as the top can often fix a moderate infestation. A full blown infestation may require the adding of an organic wash such as Mighty Wash or a soil drench such as Azamax. Neem oil can be used but often customers do not like the light odor it creates.

All in all you may want us to come and check it out for you. Our garden experts will give you advise or will fix the problem. Remember, when you first notice them, you waited too long to contact us.

Sue

A VALENTINE FOR YOU.

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
ENJOY NATURE
WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

FORCING BRANCHES TO BLOOM

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

How do you force branches so they bloom in the late winter or very early spring?

 

Forsythia, pussy willow, deutzia, wisteria, lilac, apple, peach, pear, eastern redbud, magnolia, quince, red maple, serviceberry, are just a few ideas for branch cuttings.

Instructions:

 

Select 12 inch long branches, 1/2 inch in diameter with lots of buds.

 

Prune all buds 6 inches from the bottom or any part you will be putting in water.

 

Cut the branches, under very warm water 1 or 2 inches from the bottom. You don't want the oxygen to get into the branch.

 

Make several slits on the bottom of this cut at severe angles. This encourages the absorption of water.

 

Place these branches in a vase or tub in a low to dark light area that is about 45 to 55 degrees for 2-3 weeks or until you see budding.

Make sure you mist the branches and change the standing water one time a week.

 

After the branches are budding bring them out into a room and place them in a vase out of direct sunlight or too close to a heating source. In 1 or 2 weeks you will have a beautiful flowering arrangement.

 

If you cut branches every other week, you can have long lasting color of spring in your late winter home.

 

Have fun. Enjoy the beauty.

 


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