Category Archives: Donny/Hubby/Significant Other

Salsa and All Things Tomato

Last summer was the first in three that I had any success with growing tomatoes – so much so that I DID win (at least, I am claiming victory) Continue reading

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Friday: Hot Date Night

I did RSVP to a Marriage Dinner for Valentine’s Day today – friends of ours celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, so will be honored that night. So, I guess that kinda counts as a ‘Date Night’ with MacGyver, and I can then plan one with my seeds and seed catalogs too. Tomorrow it is! Such Friday night excitement!

Inventorying old seeds it dull, so I’d best do that first, and quickly. Get it over and done with, and all that good non-procrastination self-talk…

Then I can sit back with that glass of wine and dream of spring and summer while I stick Post-it tabs on beautiful flowers I have never tried before, yummy veggies I can’t wait to taste, and fresh seeds of the ‘Tried and True’.

When done, I might even take a peek at a book I purchased for .18 on Amazon at the suggestion of Carol, at May Dreams Garden, ( http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/):                                                                  ‘Gardening on Main Street’ by Buckner Hollingsworth. I’m anticipating this to be journal like and thoughtful as opposed to instructional and just what a wintry night needs.

Tomato Sacrifices

I’ve been meaning to write about this for about 10 days, but soccer and football and ‘back to school’ took over.

As you know, I always get a late start to my garden because of wet springs – typical here; too large a yard and a need Continue reading

Aside

With water already boiling on the stove, I picked the first four ears of our much anticipated Silver Queen Corn. It’s officially the only kind we grow due to not wanting to risk cross-pollination. To assure good pollination, you need … Continue reading

The Tomato Whisperer

5 Gallon Bucket Tomato

 

 

 

 

Ahh… There it is in all its 5 gallon bucket glory with the new tomato cage and sitting securely inside the fence of the pool.

Being in a pot, of sorts, (and, yes, I did find an attractive off white plastic pot, of the same size, in the barn… Of course, it didn’t come with a sporty handle for moving it when company comes to the pool, but I digress…) it needs to be watered daily. Continue reading

The Deer Fence Saga Continues

After one full week, we have had two invasions over the fence. The first was not bad and we really tried to convince ourselves it was previous damage.

However, last night was practically a smorgasbord. Continue reading

Gotta Love A (Gardening) Project

MacGyver and I are that odd couple who actually gets along better when we are working on a project,  side by side. I provide the challenge and he provides the solution – it works for us. Provided we both are interested in the results.

And, did I mention my love for fishing line and cable ties and conduit – many things we have done have involved those very items… Yeah, I know it sounds like a shopping list from 50 Shades, but we were doing it first…

While I love getting his help on my ideas, I especially love it when he helps with my gardening ideas. I only really get his time for that when it involves protecting the plants he is interested in:  tomatoes and corn.

So, it was with a twinge of sadness, and a surge of encouragement, that I announced just before dinner that my weeding trip to the garden had revealed a pile of deer scat, two okra seedlings with no leaves, nibbled borage, and the top missing from the in-ground Better Boy tomato (not to confused with the one in the ugly white 5 gallon bucket sitting in plain view! on the pool deck, behind fencing, and now also being supported by a new tomato cage. The cages in BG are old, rusty, and held together by…   wait for it…   cable ties! But, I digress…)

I had his attention now and he agreed to a post-dinner trip to Lowe’s to purchase 1/2″ conduit! I even suggested we use 3/4″ conduit to sink as sleeves into the ground – I looked brilliant! When I asked if I could wrap cable ties on the conduit in 1′ increments to act as ‘rests’ to prevent the fishing line from slipping down, I had him. This is engineering foreplay at its best!

Conduit

When we returned from said shopping trip with seven conduits (1/2″ diameter, 10′ long), he then promptly found seven scraps of 3/4′ conduit that could be cut to 18″ lengths with one end hammered to a point so that they can be driven into the ground as sleeves. (See? After 25 years, I have learned a thing or two. Having taken a Strengthsfinder 2.0 test after being downsized a few years back, I was classified as a Maximizer – surely only because hubby has rubbed off on me…)

Oh, I also admitted that I had done a little research on-line for how this deer fencing could work but admitted that I hadn’t seen anything too ‘official’ – just from fellow bloggers and on Pinterest.  Hook, Line , and Sinker!

Then, something even funnier happened. MacGyver went to YouTube for some more ‘expert opinions’ of how to do this than I could offer and we enjoyed three videos about preferred methods of fencing out deer:

  1. Bamboo stakes holding 12-15 lb test fishing line along the length of the garden with overturned buckets at intervals supporting tin cans tied to the line that fall when a deer moves the line – interesting…
  2. 30 lb test fishing line held taut between stakes – I have 15 lb so will upgrade as this post mentioned trials and errors with thinner and thicker line
  3. A more complicated system involving lines layered diagonally to create a fencing system wider than my area will allow but one that can be lifted for mowing

All of these seemed sensible and insightful until we struck upon a video about designing a water spraying device to deter a cat using motion detection. After many minutes of admitted epic failure on the trials of making the system work, the host admitted that it had taken him 3 weeks to perfect the system only to find that the wannabe banished cat had, in fact, been put to sleep two weeks earlier.

Maybe it is my snorting laughter that keeps MacGyver inspired?

Gallery

Gone Fishing?

Wanted to do something to fence in my veggies against deer and saw an inexpensive one in a catalog but Donny convinced me it was too short. (I KNEW this but wanted to believe that some deterrent would be better … Continue reading

Like Father, Like Son

Twenty years ago, our first spring in our new-to-us home, Donny ordered some trees from the  Arbor Day Foundation. I don’t recall how he heard of it, but as new property owners, we  got a lot of junk mail and catalogs.

These days it’s all on-line; you simply put in your zip code so they determine your hardiness zone, and select from different packages: firs, flowering, Autumn classics, to name a few. And, soon, providing it is an appropriate time of year to plant them, 10 free trees will arrive in your mailbox when you become a member of their foundation.

If you are now wondering how big a postal box you need, worry not, these are tiny saplings. We still laugh about our mailbox trees. In fact, I think he may have done this for a few springs as he actually took a strip of land from the previous owner’s defunct garden and made it into a nursery area. When the trees got bigger, and my interest in expanding Little Garden into Big took over the space, he planted them out in the yard.

As we sat out enjoying a bonfire last weekend, we recounted which of the trees in our yard were from this fledgling attempt at landscaping and I was amazed at what had survived and how large they now are. In fact, he just recently moved an unknown variety –  what we believe is a pear – in front of my daffodil section, next to a large pine that also came via post.

So, while visiting my father-in-law this afternoon, we got talking about some trees he has had to take down in his yard and one he fears will need to come down soon, pointing out a very large maple with a girth of at least 10′ in diameter.

Doubting the answer, I asked him if he had put the tree in originally only to be stunned to find that every tree in their yard, including some in the yards of neighbors had been picked up in much the same fashion through a local extension some 50 years ago. He went on to show my where he had had a nursery bed to grow saplings that were about a foot tall until he could plant them out.

I was fascinated to hear this story as Donny had never told me and I am certain he never told his father he did the same thing. Apples surely don’t fall far from their trees.

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

 

 

What A Difference A Week Makes

I didn’t want to admit it, but before I had that moment of clarity that explained my reluctance to face Big Garden, I didn’t think I would ever see it like this again.

Big Garden 0607014I probably should have taken a ‘before’ to fully explain the difference. Maybe I should interview my new neighbors who moved in last fall when it was at its worst and see IF they ever thought it would look this tidy?!

 

Surely not, if even I lacked faith!

Last weekend, I was still battling with the clean up after tilling and reforming the beds and the paths plus the weeds. After Saturday, everything is in but the marigold seedlings.

What you see in the foreground are the chives bordering the left side – the marigolds go in between. The first dirt beds are arugula on the right and heat wave mesclun on the left with okra to their left followed by the asparagus bed that has ended for the season. Behind them are  the tomatoes and just beyond on the right are the new blackberries with the triangular herbs surrounding the chives/alium diamond. (Still need to convince MacGuyver to make that tutuer I found on Pinterest to replace the defunct bird path.)

Back of BG 060714This behind the scene shot shows the backside of Big Garden where the sprawling crops grow. Stage right is the pumpkin patch; its’ 10′ x 12′ bed (I am adjusting measurements as I realize I have under-estimated in some cases) probably isn’t really big enough for the 5 varieties I have sown, but we will make it work. We typically get a nice number of pumpkins – not enough to sell, but more that we would ever buy and we have a fun Halloween display.

To the left is where the corn – always Silver Queen – was sown last night. We had a three-man team working this and it was the most pleasant experience to date. Usually, it is back-breaking! Significant Other (he is only really interested in the Better Boys and the Silver Queens) put in sticks at each end at 2′ intervals and then laid a tape measure between so that Thing Two could use the dibber to make holes every 6 inches. ‘SO’/MacGuyver  dropped a seed and then I, suddenly and unceremoniously  referred to as ‘Dirt Woman’ (really, no reference to my Kindle book list, I swear!) plopped loose dirt over each hole. We got 232 seeds sown in no time.

And just to the left of that bed are the squashes and melons:  acorn and spaghetti squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe and a yellow watermelon.

The two back edges that are not the corn bed will be bordered with REALLY tall sunflowers – 12-18 feet. When and where did I purchase those seeds? Insane!

What you can’t see if the left half of the front beds. More to come…