Let's Talk about Gardens

Posted by Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor @rosemarya, Mar 31 8:23pm

Spring is on it’s way and many of us are looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather and being outdoors…and gardens!
Perhaps you look forward to digging in the fresh spring time soil as you prepare for a summer garden? Do you plant flowers? Do you plant vegetables?
Do you garden for enjoyment? Do you garden for health benefits? What do you want to share about your garden?

Can't get garden seeds? There has been a run on online seed companies on the internet, so some have quit taking orders and others show delayed shipping – but all is not lost!
Look in your shed or garage! If you have partial packets of seeds a year or two old, they will probably grow just fine. If you look on line, you can find ways to test germination – it only takes a few days to see if seeds are viable. Here is one link: https://www.southernexposure.com/how-to-test-germination/
Another tip – at this time of year, there is often a rack of seeds in the grocery store – maybe not the exact variety you would like, but we're all having to adapt.
And it is one of the places we still need to go to – so it's not an extra outing.
One final idea – ask your gardening neighbors or friends if they have extra seeds or plant starts to share – these can be left on your front step to practice social isolation…
Happy gardening!
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Can't get garden seeds? There has been a run on online seed companies on the internet, so some have quit taking orders and others show delayed shipping – but all is not lost!
Look in your shed or garage! If you have partial packets of seeds a year or two old, they will probably grow just fine. If you look on line, you can find ways to test germination – it only takes a few days to see if seeds are viable. Here is one link: https://www.southernexposure.com/how-to-test-germination/
Another tip – at this time of year, there is often a rack of seeds in the grocery store – maybe not the exact variety you would like, but we're all having to adapt.
And it is one of the places we still need to go to – so it's not an extra outing.
One final idea – ask your gardening neighbors or friends if they have extra seeds or plant starts to share – these can be left on your front step to practice social isolation…
Happy gardening!
Sue

Jump to this post

@sueinmn Our little town started a trading hub online. No cash, just barter. Trading seeds and starts back and forth, or trade for eggs, yard work, homemade soaps and lotions, etc. I don't know what will grow here, and don't have the knowledge to keep it growing ;)) My neighbor started some sunflowers for me in their greenhouse.

@jimhd Yeah…deer. We have 5 who regularly make our front yard their bedding place each night. Pretty to look at, drives the cat crazy, but what a mess! We also have squirrels and fox to contend with for munchers. No big deal as to the cougar and bear, they don't bother the plants!

Ginger

REPLY
@gingerw

@sueinmn Our little town started a trading hub online. No cash, just barter. Trading seeds and starts back and forth, or trade for eggs, yard work, homemade soaps and lotions, etc. I don't know what will grow here, and don't have the knowledge to keep it growing ;)) My neighbor started some sunflowers for me in their greenhouse.

@jimhd Yeah…deer. We have 5 who regularly make our front yard their bedding place each night. Pretty to look at, drives the cat crazy, but what a mess! We also have squirrels and fox to contend with for munchers. No big deal as to the cougar and bear, they don't bother the plants!

Ginger

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Ginger… I was just thinking yesterday that barter is going to be a trend, I would love to trade a loaf of bread right now with two cans of beans!!
Just read that a 104 years old Spanish flu survivor and WW2 veteran from Oregon is the oldest person to recover from covid 19. He is a resident in a veteran's home and others in the home were also infected. He celebrated his 104th birthday with appropriate social distancing. What great news to start my day.
It's nit as warm as yesterday but I'd better get moving.

REPLY
@sueinmn

Hello everyone – I would like to encourage everyone to PLEASE figure out how to support their local growers this year (not the big box stores.) They are small businesses in dire danger of not making it. I was on a conference call last night with Master Gardeners and nursery/garden center people. In addition to already having their plants started, with no idea if they will be able to open their pop-up stands and farmers' market stalls, a lot of small growers raise plants for community groups to sell as fund raisers. In MN and south TX, all of those sales are cancelled, and the growers are stuck with the costs and product. A number of centers in the Twin Cities have already set up, or are exploring, ways to sell on the phone or online, with curbside pickup. Please check with your local businesses for products, even if you pay a few bucks more, otherwise they will not be here for you next year.
Let me tell you a story – as Master Gardeners, we work on dozens of school, park and community projects every year. Not once in 18 years has a big box store donated product to us, except stuff that was too sickly or damaged to sell and would otherwise be thrown away. Our local garden centers, on the other hand, work hand-in-hand with us to plan and execute gardens in the community and landscape Habitat for Humanity homes, libraries, housing coops… Last year alone, 5 local growers in our county donated over $3000 worth of plants to our program/partners and to the local food bank gardens. Another small grower provides us plants, on consignment for our fund-raiser plant sale and accepts unsold plants back without penalty. Yet another, who doesn't have a retail location, raises plants almost exclusively for fund-raisers by non-profits. He told us his product is all planted – seeds/starts, pots, soil, fertilizer all bought, labor done, and 3 weeks of heat lights paid for, and 80% of the orders are cancelled. Unless he can get paid for his sunk costs by some of the organizations, he will have to close his doors. One of our large growers donates thousands of dollars worth of plants to Habitat for Humanity every year, which are then planted by homeowners with the assistance of the local Master Gardeners.
Happy gardening everyone – I hope you can find what you need to raise your vegetables or make your yards beautiful.
Sue

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@sueinmn

The greenhouse I mentioned is the only one I know of in our town, and I do pay more than a retail store but their plants are way better than what I find in the medium box store in town. The feed stores sell seed potatoes and onion sets every year. Living near a small town has its limitations.

Jim

REPLY
@gingerw

@sueinmn Our little town started a trading hub online. No cash, just barter. Trading seeds and starts back and forth, or trade for eggs, yard work, homemade soaps and lotions, etc. I don't know what will grow here, and don't have the knowledge to keep it growing ;)) My neighbor started some sunflowers for me in their greenhouse.

@jimhd Yeah…deer. We have 5 who regularly make our front yard their bedding place each night. Pretty to look at, drives the cat crazy, but what a mess! We also have squirrels and fox to contend with for munchers. No big deal as to the cougar and bear, they don't bother the plants!

Ginger

Jump to this post

In my previous home, we'd come home late at night, and the group of deer that was bedded down in the front yard looked at us, but stayed put as we walked past them into the house.

One year the town herd became more than a nuisance so the council asked a local hunter to thin out the herd, targeting first any injured ones and ones that were weak from an illness. The deer were threatening kids at school, and it's not good for wildlife to get dependent on the things they grazed on in town, and to become too used to people. The herd seemed always to swell in numbers the first day of hunting season.

The same was true with coyotes and cougars. They attacked some horses which subsequently had to be put down, and scaring the kids at school. But the cougars did help thin the deer population.

Jim

REPLY

@sueinmn ONe thing her in L.A. the farmers market are not allowing anyone to get flowers or vegies themselves . The farmers or there helpers get it for the people and they have to stay 6 ft apart by order of the Mayor . This seems to be working for everyone

REPLY
@gingerw

@sueinmn Our little town started a trading hub online. No cash, just barter. Trading seeds and starts back and forth, or trade for eggs, yard work, homemade soaps and lotions, etc. I don't know what will grow here, and don't have the knowledge to keep it growing ;)) My neighbor started some sunflowers for me in their greenhouse.

@jimhd Yeah…deer. We have 5 who regularly make our front yard their bedding place each night. Pretty to look at, drives the cat crazy, but what a mess! We also have squirrels and fox to contend with for munchers. No big deal as to the cougar and bear, they don't bother the plants!

Ginger

Jump to this post

We do love our animals right . even though they love our plants. In my garden I used dried blood sprinkle around the plants animals wont cross over it . I wont hurt you just like lyme

REPLY
@jimhd

In my previous home, we'd come home late at night, and the group of deer that was bedded down in the front yard looked at us, but stayed put as we walked past them into the house.

One year the town herd became more than a nuisance so the council asked a local hunter to thin out the herd, targeting first any injured ones and ones that were weak from an illness. The deer were threatening kids at school, and it's not good for wildlife to get dependent on the things they grazed on in town, and to become too used to people. The herd seemed always to swell in numbers the first day of hunting season.

The same was true with coyotes and cougars. They attacked some horses which subsequently had to be put down, and scaring the kids at school. But the cougars did help thin the deer population.

Jim

Jump to this post

@jimhd The only thing I can say is you have to do what you have to do One year our neighbor and us had a red squirrel problem they where eating up wire, wood and scareing our kids as they would jump out at them coming home from school so my husband and John neighbor got there shotguns out and thinned out the crowd so to say

REPLY

Thank you, thank you @rosemarya ! This is a great discussion especially as the days get warmer. Except here, we had 70 degrees yesterday and snow today! I love looking at gardens as I can no longer do the work. I’ll love following this!

REPLY

Becky, I agree. Happy for this discussion group. The same thing happened here! Yesterday, wonderful day in the garden and up to 85 degrees, tonight and tomorrow nights at freezing! Yikes. A bit concerned because when I took filled leaf bags to our dumpster, it was over the brim filled. Yesterday was one of two pick-up days and for the 1st time, no truck emptied our alley dumpsters. Filled leaf bags will just have to wait inside yard for awhile.

Liked by lioness

REPLY
@gingerw

@sueinmn Our little town started a trading hub online. No cash, just barter. Trading seeds and starts back and forth, or trade for eggs, yard work, homemade soaps and lotions, etc. I don't know what will grow here, and don't have the knowledge to keep it growing ;)) My neighbor started some sunflowers for me in their greenhouse.

@jimhd Yeah…deer. We have 5 who regularly make our front yard their bedding place each night. Pretty to look at, drives the cat crazy, but what a mess! We also have squirrels and fox to contend with for munchers. No big deal as to the cougar and bear, they don't bother the plants!

Ginger

Jump to this post

Ginger, What a great idea the online trading hub is! Years ago, I joined an online seed trading group. It was great fun and made some friends through that group whom I still stay in touch with.

REPLY
@sueinmn

Can't get garden seeds? There has been a run on online seed companies on the internet, so some have quit taking orders and others show delayed shipping – but all is not lost!
Look in your shed or garage! If you have partial packets of seeds a year or two old, they will probably grow just fine. If you look on line, you can find ways to test germination – it only takes a few days to see if seeds are viable. Here is one link: https://www.southernexposure.com/how-to-test-germination/
Another tip – at this time of year, there is often a rack of seeds in the grocery store – maybe not the exact variety you would like, but we're all having to adapt.
And it is one of the places we still need to go to – so it's not an extra outing.
One final idea – ask your gardening neighbors or friends if they have extra seeds or plant starts to share – these can be left on your front step to practice social isolation…
Happy gardening!
Sue

Jump to this post

Thanks for the prompt, Sue! Today is The day I go to the garage and select some "saved" seeds to send my grands! Sigh, I am sometimes far too proficient at procrastinating about some things. Just Do It sister! vbg

Liked by lioness

REPLY
@fiesty76

Thanks for the prompt, Sue! Today is The day I go to the garage and select some "saved" seeds to send my grands! Sigh, I am sometimes far too proficient at procrastinating about some things. Just Do It sister! vbg

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@feisty76 What a great idea! I think you should post it to the Covid-19 groups on staying in touch with grands and what to do with kids stuck at home. My former coworker posted on Facebook how she and her grandsons started seeds last week (she is their daycare) and they are sprouting already. Great science and life lessons that can be taught outside a classroom.
Sue

Liked by lioness, fiesty76

REPLY
@fiesty76

Thanks for the prompt, Sue! Today is The day I go to the garage and select some "saved" seeds to send my grands! Sigh, I am sometimes far too proficient at procrastinating about some things. Just Do It sister! vbg

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@feisty76, here are the links to the discussions @sueinmn referred to:

– How to Keep Kids Occupied & and Your Sanity during Self Quarantine https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-to-keep-kids-occupied-and-your-sanity-during-self-quarantine/
– Hey there grandmas and grandpas…opportunity knocks! https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hey-there-grandmas-and-grandpas-opportunity-knocks/

REPLY

Colleen, thank you for both links! I will enjoy reading and sharing them with others!!! You work so hard for all of us! Please take time out for some self-care too, ok????

Liked by lioness

REPLY
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