Archive for November, 2006

Fall Leaf Compost


2006
11.27
Fall Leaf Compost
Make your Own Dirt

Easy, Instant Compost

Fill
a plastic garbage bag with leaves and some grass clippings.

 

Poke some holes in the bag and wet the leaves.

Scoop a shovelful of soil into the bag and shake it.

Shake the bag every few weeks and moisten the leaves if they dry out.

Next Spring you’ll have dark, crumbly leaf mold.

Roses in December


2006
11.20

December 2005
50 And Better Magazine
Gardening Forever
By Patsy Bell Hobson

God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.
James Matthew Barrie (1860 – 1937) Scottish dramatist, novelist

CHRISTMAS STUFF

The holidays are all about stuffing. Stuffed turkeys, stockings and mailboxes. The mail box isn’t so full of greeting cards as it used to be. But if you have ever received one gardening catalog, you have soon been added to the mail lists of many, many others. Garden catalogs now start coming before Christmas. Then, the big mailbox stuffing comes after Christmas. Catalog after catalog.

I don’t look at these tempting plant and seed catalogs. Not yet, anyway. They all go directly into a paper bag. Then, sometime after the first of the year, a “snow day” preferably, I dig out all the catalogs. It’s a winter ritual that helps an old gardener get through the winter.

Of course there are many variations on this theme. My garden catalog ritual requires snow on the ground. The first day I can count as a “snow day” will do. Or, if I can hold off, a couple of days into a snow storm is the best. And, hot chocolate is a must. A roaring fire in the fireplace adds to the ambience. Snuggling in with a big bag of seed catalogs is just about as happy as a gardener can get in the winter time.

If it turns out to be a particularly severe winter, this ritual may be repeated. In that case, don’t place the order for at least a week. Give reason time to set in. It may come to you that you have ordered enough seed to sow the entire state of Kansas.

ROSES IN DECEMBER

The legend of the Christmas Rose has been told again and again. I do not know the author. Next time you see a rose, think of this tale.

THE LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS ROSE

When the Magi laid their gifts of myrrh, frankincense, and gold, by the bed of the sleeping Christ Child, legend says that a shepherd maiden stood outside the door quietly weeping.

She, too, had sought the Christ Child. She, too, desired to bring him gifts. But she had nothing to offer, for she was very, very poor. In vain she had searched the countryside over for one little flower to bring Him, but she could find none, for the winter had been cold.

As she stood there weeping, an angel passing saw her sorrow, and stooping he brushed aside the snow at her feet. There sprang up on the spot a cluster of beautiful winter roses, — waxen white with pink tipped petals.

“Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold,” said the angel, “is offering more meant for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses.”

Joyfully the shepherd maiden gathered the flowers and made her offering to the Holy Child.

SNAIL NAIL
The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has seen promising results using 1 and 2 percent caffeine solutions to kill snails and slugs. Research showed the 2-percent caffeine solution more effective than metaldehyde, a common pesticide used to control slugs and snails. Instant coffee is about 0.05 percent caffeine. Normal brewed coffee is a little stronger. The coffee I make is defiantly strong enough to kill a slug. Though I have no idea where to find coffee cups that small.

DECEMBER GARDEN BARGAINS

Garden Works at Createagarden.com is a company run by gardeners for gardeners. Their products are designed to make gardening easier and more enjoyable. They have a great prepackaged gift that any rose gardener would appreciate getting. The Deluxe Rose Pro gloves, made from premium goat skin, is made to fit like a dress glove. Elbow high leather cuffs protect the forearm, making these comfy rose gloves perfect for pruning or working with woody shrubs.

I love these gloves. In fact, I had to order a second pair as a Christmas gift because I kept the first pair for myself. The gift box includes a pair of Deluxe Rose Pro gloves and a pruning tool. Everything I’ve ordered from this company is shipped promptly and well made. Check it out at http://www.createagarden.com/ or, E-mail : info@garden-works.net. Call 425-455-0568

All the tempting gift catalogs and garden catalogs should come with the same printed warning as your car’s rearview mirror. “Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.” Keep in mind that picture on the cover of the seed catalog was taken by a professional photographer. That is the best looking tomato or flower that the growers could find. As car makers also say, “Your results may vary.” Your plant is never going to look better than it does on the catalog cover.

I like gift certificates. Turns out the gift certificate idea was my husband’s. Jules buys garden related gift certificates not so much as a gift but as an act of budgetary self-defense. This is his way of protecting our bank account from those cold cabin fever days also known as the garden-catalog-snow-day-shopping-spree.

From our house to yours, Jules and I wish you a merry Christmas ands a peaceful New Year. Patsy Bell Hobson is a free lance writer and a Master Gardener in Liberty, MO. Send e-mail to patsy64068@yahoo.com

Snails, snow and coffee


2006
11.20

December 2003
50 And Better Magazine
Gardening Forever
By Patsy Bell Hobson

I have often thought, it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the Middle of Winter.
- Joseph Addison, 1672 – 1719

Gardens by Candlelight
Brighten your spirits with the sight of Powell Gardens aglow with hundreds of luminarias. Enjoy seasonal music, refreshments and holiday crafts. There will be seasonal displays in the flower beds near the visitor education center and you can learn how to make your own luminarias. free with the cost of admission, Sunday, December 14, 2003 from 5-8 p.m. Powell Gardens is about 30 miles east of Kansas City on U.S. Highway 50. Visit the web site http://www.powellgardens.org for a map, or call 816-697-2600 for more information.

Cabin Fever Cures
Cold wintery days are a good time to put that New Year’s calendar to use. Mark these dates on your 2004 calendar. Just knowing that these shows and seminars are coming up may provide some cabin fever relief.
The Remodeling, Lawn and Garden Show is February 13 through 16 at the American Royal Building. The Greater Kansas City Master Gardeners are planning their annual Spring Seminar Saturday, March 15. The Home and Garden Show will be at Bartle Hall March 20 through 23. The last freeze date is somewhere around mid April. All the details will be in a future issue of 50 & Better.

Snuggle Up To A Blanket Of Snow
Snow covering your garden is a good thing. Freshly fallen snow is an excellent insulator. The millions of tiny air pockets in freshly fallen snow hold warmth in the soil around plants. When the air temperature drops below zero, that snow blanket covering the garden is a relatively toasty 32 degrees. That added protection can help borderline hardy plants survive the winter. And it’s been good for our marriage.
When we were first married, I drug Jules out in the yard to make snow angels. I was in love and Jules was a good sport. The insulating properties of fresh snow are just one of the excuses he has come up with to avoid the annual snow angel ritual. “Better not,” he says. “We gotta protect the plants.”

Snail Nail
The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has seen promising results using 1 and 2 percent caffeine solutions to kill snails and slugs. Research showed the 2-percent caffeine solution more effective than metaldehyde, a common pesticide used to control slugs and snails. Instant coffee is about 0.05 percent caffeine. Normal brewed coffee is a little stronger. The coffee I make is defiantly strong enough to kill a slug. Though I have no idea where you find coffee cups that small.From our house to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas ands a prosperous New Year. Patsy Bell Hobson is a freelance writer and a Master Gardener in Liberty, MO. Send e-mail to patsy64068@yahoo.com Jules has been digging the holes and taking the pictures for the last twenty years.

Get Rid of Fruit Flies


2006
11.19

Mix the following ingredients together in an open jar or other container:

1/2 qt water (2 c)

2 T sugar

2 T (white) vinegar

Add a couple of drops of liquid dish soap

Leave the mixture sitting out in the infested area, as long as needed.

Non-lethal Fruit Fly solution

A non-lethal way to get rid of fruit flies is to put a half of a banana into a jar or glass, and cover with plastic and then poke small holes in the plastic. The fruit flies will fly in to get the banana, but won’t be able to get out. When you believe you have trapped them all, simply put the banana outside.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...