Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Veggie Garden Update-January 2009 & Perennial Plant Society Meeting

Tina's Update:

This is a dual post-hope you don't mind. There is not much going on in the vegetable garden this month for me. That is it above under a dusting of snow. You can just make out the A-Frames in the background of the tree-looks cold huh? It is, but it still has some green showing with the onions and garlic, but that is about it. Siberian irises are starting to poke up, the love in a mist is still growing, as is chamomile with lots of green foliage. The bananas sleep, as does the rest of the garden. Next month it will wake up. Enjoy some down time from the vegetable garden.

But! For all you seed starters, now is the time you may be wanting to start some cool season crops seeds such as: lettuce, broccoli, chard, cabbage, cauliflower.
I plant all of these from starts so I do not do the seeds, that is why I am resting this month. If you plan to start cool season crops from seeds, start now. You also want to prepare for the main spring season of planting seeds by getting all your supplies in order now. I have found that if I start seeds prior to the end of February (for my area), I am in trouble. Do not start too early. As a general rule of thumb, look at the average date of your last frost (for us here in upper Middle Tennessee it is 15 April) and add two weeks to that date as a target date for planting out seedlings. Base your start times on how long the package says to start them in advance. Generally 6-10 weeks is a good time.

This month's PPS meeting is a member sharing meeting. Each member will share their favorite garden helps sites. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm in the Botanic Hall at Cheekwood, refreshments and socializing at 6:30 pm.

Additionally, Mr. Jim Janosky will give a short presentation on the Horticulture Program at Nashville State Community College. This is the very same program I am enrolled in. Fortunately I am taking a different weekday class than Tuesday so I am going to be able to attend these meetings.

I do hope to see you all come on out and meet some really nice gardeners in the Middle Tennessee area.

in the garden....

Today is of course the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. A great day in our country's history to have a minority President elected, but aside from that fact, the fact he is such a dynamic person and has brought so much hope to our country is heartwarming. May the next four years bring only good things to our country, and to the world as well as to President Obama.

Skeeter's Veggie Garden Update:

The Saint and I have started to prepare our Georgia vegetable garden for spring planting. Here you see him turning over the soil with a shovel. The top of the soil consisted of straw (hay bales from my 2007 Fall Display) used as mulch last year along with fallen pine needles and leaves from the trees above.

It was one muddy mess due to the recent rain falls. Even though, the Saint kept at it until he had the entire little garden turned over. Next we hooked up our little red wagon to my Red Rider and we went across the street to visit with our friend Silver. Silvers sister horse, Georgia was off on a ride with her mommy.

Disclaimer: Due to the nature of the remainder of this post, you may want to set down your bowl of cereal, toast, bagel, cup of coffee or what ever you may have in your hand at the moment. I will not be held liable for any accidents or replace any computer keyboards or monitors! Place the phone near by for quick access to 9-1-1 in the event of chocking on donuts or such matters.

Now back to our story...
Who did not know what was next to come? Let me see those hands all you slow pokes.

Ah, the Saint is such a Saint indeed. Rose over at Prairie Rose's Garden says Tina's Mr. Fix-it is a Saint for getting a little old piece of metal in his eye for Tina. Well, has Mr. Fix-it ever shoveled horse poop for Tina? Ha, probably so! tee hee!
(Mr. Fix-it, I do hope your eye has healed for you) That Saint of mine is continuing to be a Saint by rolling up his sleeves and grabbing a fork and going to work.

A little horse poo never hurt anyone so I was hard at it as well. The picture to the right shows me thinking, "the things I do for a blog topic!" Hey, good exercise for me as I let the Saint ride my Red Rider as I did the walking around the pasture. He did insist I ride for a bit though. Such a sweetie, or was he just wanting a bit of exercise as well? Hum, I will go with the romantic aspect of being a gentleman. Can a man be a gentleman while shoveling poop?
Once the wagon was full of good old Georgia and Silver horse poo, we headed back to the garden. Now we (yes we, I only snapped a picture or two then went to work also) slung a wagon of poo into the garden being sure to spread it all over the entire top of the freshly turned soil. We shall now let Mother Nature take its course and work her magic. The next day we had a half inch of rain fall onto the garden so hopefully, things are already starting to happen.
Such a Saint as he smiles big for the camera while cleaning up my little Red Wagon. Argg, look at all that weed in the grass. No, look at that beautiful man helping his woman play, In the Garden...

*Tina, our husband's are indeed Saint's to us...


  1. Hi Tina and Skeeter, I vote for both of the husbands, and my own, being worthy of the title Saint. :-) I am very envious of your cold frame Tina, and your red rider, Skeeter. I could have posted about garlic in the garden and seeds in the greenhouse that are doing great with the help of heat mats and lights, but there was something else on my mind on this historic day. Next month for sure there will be veggies to post about, the lettuce is ready to eat.


  2. Good morning ladies, Tina- the coldframe is a nice thing to have. One of these days....
    Skeeter- the first time we got some horse manure it wasn't aged very well. Over the course of the growing season we had all sorts of grasses germinate and come up. Was more selective about the manure we got after that.

  3. Wonderful, helpful hubby's!!
    Sounds like you ALL are working really hard!

  4. I should get so little snow! Skeeter you are so lucky to have poo across the street! I need to be thinking about where I'm going to get mine, hopefully Jack of all Trades will help!

  5. Skeeter and Tina, I think your husbands are both definitely SAINTS! I will say my husband has shoveled some horse manure in his time, though not for my garden:)

    It's good to see someone actually being able to work in the garden at this time of year. Skeeter, your vegetables are going to be terrific this year. Some years ago, when my dad finally sold off the last few head of cattle he had, my mom planted her vegetable garden in the old cow lot. Talk about big tomatoes after that!

  6. My dears,

    I agree with Rose...the men in your lives are saints!

    Skeeter, I showed the photos of the Saint to Mr I. He says he shovels enough horse manure at the corporation he works for...Rose is that what you mean about your dh! Mr I is a saint in so many other areas of our life...but not the garden.

    Years ago a farmer advertised in a local weekly "Manure by Josie"! The price included delivery and spreading it on the garden! I can't find him anymore.

    Tina...I will see you tonight at the meeting. I am really looking forward to seeing you. It has been ages! Thanks for the heads up on sharing.


  7. Good morning all! Another cold day here with the ground frozen:(

    Frances, I agree! All spouses who let us pursue our passions and hobbies and even help occasionally-have to be saints!

    Janet, My poor coldframe is missing windows and needs some work. It has winter sown seeds in it right now so it is adequate I suppose but needs some updating. The windows are easy to find thru Freecycle or yard sales, then some scrap lumber and walah. Give it a try. I'm embarrassed at its condition right now.

    Linda, It is so great to have help in the garden. Have a great day!

    Dawn, Thought you'd like that dusting. Ha! Too far north you are! Go to some local stables, I bet they'd freely let you take all the manure you wish. We have a local stable here that will actually load your trailer for you, you just have to take the trailer and leave it for a while.

    Rose, We all love our hubbies and that is a good thing:) Yes, working in the garden this time of year is such a boon for gardeners. One reason why I love the south so much, and I bet Skeeter too, though she is born and bred in the south so she has other reasons too.

    Skeeter, I think it great you and the Saint got all that horse manure! Your veggies will love you, but be prepared to pull lots of clover. I don't know why but horse manure tends to have this, even when aged in the garden all winter. I did it one year and it was SO worth it, but there were a few weeds. Nonetheless, the organic material for your soil is great and how super you get it from your neighbor! Lucky you! And guess what, nope, hubby never shoveled poop for me but he does park the trailer wherever I want him to so I can shovel it:))))

  8. Gail, I am looking forward to it. It has been since September-where has the time gone?? I have your special bit of my garden in my car for you. My friend Debbie and I carpooling and get a pizza at Belle Meade-would you like to join us? We just get it to go since you can't sit there but that is okay. Let me know. We should be there around 6-6:15.

  9. Hi Tina, interesting comment you made about winter sowing in a cold frame. I wonder if that would work in my area?

    Anyway, you are both lucky to be doing something outside in mid January. It takes all my courage to just make short dashes from house to car;)

  10. Yes Marnie I do believe it will according to what I have read on the subject just this month. Monica the Garden Faerie started me on it as I had never heard of it before. Check out her posts with links to other posts-plus she wrote a book on it and shows results. There are also pics on blogs of winter sowing. I have never done it before so just experimenting, but I planted colombine, shastas, beets-so many I'd have to pull up my garden catalog. But do check it out. I did mine like on the first and it was simple. I hope for great results. I actually already winter sowed by throwing seeds outside, but never in a specific spot or pot, like now with the coldframe. I guess that is the difference. You too probably already winter sow. Like when sunflower seeds pop up under the bird feeder? This is it-just in pots so you can control the environment a bit. I used flats under the coldframe. Do let us know how it goes.

  11. Marnie, I have to smile with the short dashes to the car to dodge the cold. I do this in the summer to dodge the heat! Ha!

  12. That was just down right sweet of him to help you out with the nasty stuff!

  13. Yay!!! How fortunate you both are to have your very own Saint! I'm happy to say I have one too. Makes you feel blessed! Looks like you have just created the perfect environment for a vegetable garden. I can't wait to see it growing. I don't get to plant too much of a variety of veggies down here in S. Florida, so I'll watch what you northern gardeners get to grow.

    Wishing you both a great day!


  14. Tina -- great advice on the seeds. I am so ready to get started, but we can have frost here after April 15th (as we've found out for the last two years).

    Skeeter --horse manure-- you just have to get used to it. I grew up with horses and used to raise Arabians. When I gave away the manure, I told folks it was special -- purebred. :-)


  15. Good morning everyone! Windy and chilly this morning and even a few snow flurries but probably will not amount to much. Historic day in this country and I hope all those people on the Mall in Washington DC are staying warm in their heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves! Burr, it looks cold there....

    Tina, your garden looks so peaceful while sleeping. Before you know it, the warmth will awaken it and she will take off like weeds! Yep, those guys are something else for us. I would have lost money on the bet of Mr. Fixit shoveling poo for you! lol

    Shoveling the horse poop was actually fun for the Saint and I. We had all kinds of jokes for each other with forks in hand! I am a bit concerned about weed issues but these horse's are on a special diet and eat certain type hay. I dont think this type hay will have many seeds in it. Plus I have the hay bales from the Fall Display to set around the veggies as mulch. So hopefully, we will not have much weed to deal with. Only time will tell though. We plan to get more poop for the compost bin as well. Just waiting for the weather to cooperate.

    Silver the horse in the picture is about 27 years old and starting to look really bad. Sigh, Her backside is starting to cave in with age and little nutrition getting into her system. We fear her time on this earth is dwindling. Will be a sad day for us to say goodbye to our friend...

  16. A historic day for sure. However, I feel, with all the hype that the expections are set way too high. Hope for all of us I am wrong.

  17. Good Morning Everyone,
    Tina, Skeeter I'm so glad you have such 2 fine men to help. You both are so fortunate.
    Tina, enjoy the sleeping garden while you can for it won't be long when you will be busy, busy, busy.
    Skeeter that horse poo sure will make your garden jump.
    An old barn lot sure is a great place to plant. It grows huge tomatoes. Did when I was a kid.
    Have a lovely day all.

  18. Jean, I am with you on your thoughts and I am trying to be Optimistic about all of this. The swearing-in of Obama will be soon as they are on the podium as I type. Once the hoopla is over, time will tell… I am pulling for him to turn our country around for the best ever!

    Lola, we are two lucky women to have such wonderful men :-) I hope that poo helps things this year. It was a struggle last year but we had such luck that we believe this year will be better for our veggies... Snow flurries here today! That is exciting as is the swearing in of our new President and hopefully Positive Change for our country!

  19. It's cool (I can only imagine!) having a spouse who loves gardening! Do the banana trees really grow bananas? I love their cool leaves, but they'd definitely be an annual here.

  20. I have been glued to the TV all day today! It is exciting to see the Great Hope within this country today....

    Monica, I will let Tina answer your question....

  21. I agree with all the other commentors about how wonderful both your husbands are. They come in handy in the garden, don't they? Lucky too that you can get outside to do anything at all. If you had vegetables to show I would have been blown away!! Have a fun meeting tonight.

  22. Hey all, Cold-brrrr-tonight. Gail it was SUCH a pleasure talking with you!

    Dot, Thanks!

    Karrita, Sounds like you have a keeper too:)Veggie gardening is fun-and I am betting you can do it even in your area. There is a gardener down there at Hoe and Shovel who I think does veggies. Check her out but you can enjoy ours too-we are north to you for sure.

    Cameron, Hard to believe it is nearly time. I am looking forward to seeing what seeds you start for that wonderful garden of yours.

    Skeeter, I too have sympathy for Silver. Does her mommy know she and her-um-wastes are now stars on the Internet? :) The weeds from the poop will not be so bad, very manageable-I promise.

    Mom, One man can only do so much, he'll give all and hopefully things will work out. Like us gardeners, we give all and hope, than wait and wait...

    Lola, Yes, busy busy busy! This weekend the ground is set to thaw out. Back to digging. It's okay. I'd rather dig now than the summer.

    Monica, Nope, no bananas here, but it did bloom! Yes, definite annual there. But they do grow fast:)

    Skeeter, Thanks...

    Kathleen, Yes-I love digging in the winter. Men can be pretty good to have around for the heavy lifting.

  23. Silver's mommy knows I blog about them but I dont tell her when I do it. I asked persmission a long time ago to post her fur babies... She has such an active life, there is no room for blogging for her.