Spring must be close - 1st seed catalog came today

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Recieved 2 copies of the Territorial Seed Company catalog today, so Spring can't be to far off. I've never ordered from them before, but I will have plenty of time to look it over!

Gotta love it. Only 20 days or so and the days will be getting longer again. It's only been a few weeks since the frost finally got the last of the 'Maters and I'm ready to get going again. Doesn't take much to get me motivated anymore.

-- John i S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), December 02, 2003


Hey John, How are Joel and Becky doing? I haven't got a single catalog yet, and I'm jealous! I want to look at seeds too!!! Actually I have been searching around online. I and my family have come down with this awful Flu, and I have been planning the spring garden. Believe it or not I have green beans producing in the greenhouse right now. I have a large pot of them with a coil of wire fence in the center. I am getting just enough to nibble a bit of sunshine and summer when I go down there. I am planning on starting a few tomatoes down there for spring harvest. I'll have to bring them up to the house for a few weeks when it gets truly cold, but that should give me an early takeoff in the greenhouse. Last year I took cuttings off of the previous summer's plants. I had tomatoes starting in March. This year I am going to try sowing some right now and see if I can do the same thing. Another activity I am active in right now, or at least I will be when I get over this horrible nightmare of a FLU, is mulch gathering. It is my goal to cover my entire upper and lower garden this year. That is one garden 30x60 and another 60x60, or 5400 square feet. If each square foot is covered by two lbs of mulch, that is 10800 lbs of mulch. If you divide that by 125# bales of Hay, that means I need approximately 86.4 Bales. Or 90 Bales rounding up for safety. Now some of that mulch is going to come from my animals, even so finding that much mulch is quite a job. However I am firmly convinced that the only way to overcome my burmuda grass problem is mulching Densely and Thickly!

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), December 03, 2003.

John, I'll tell you, I have done a two year experiment with permanent mulch. The conclusion I have come to is that one year under mulch will not kill out burmuda. I believe that you have to keep piling more and more mulch on the plot in order to kill it finally and completely. However, I will say that the benefit of mulch with burmuda, is that it will hold back the burmuda so that it is much less of a drain on your plants. Cole crops plated in mulch this last year did much better than cole crops planted elsewhere. The other thing is, that I think you just have to keep applying as many different kinds of mulch materials as you can find readily available. I will say that in my opinion cardboard is much better than newspaper at keeping the weeds at bay. I have had good results just planting the plants right on top of the wet cardboard under the mulch. The plants just grow right through the cardboard. It also helps is you add a little compost as you go. It is important to keep the plot moist until the plants take hold if you do this.

I am also looking at planters paper. However, I was disappointed that when I received some seed catalogs today(YeaH!!!!), the only paper in them was one treated with a chlorine product(Yuck). I am also looking for some wool or cotton old carpeting to use for the paths in my garden.

I also want to build a kind of rolling seat contraption for picking, and weeding to help save my back. I want it to have an attached plastic crate to store tools and organic pest control products in. This way I can carry things like a bottle of vinegar to douse bugs in as I go down the row. I figure the carpeting would make good borders to my beds, and also allow my cart to roll smoothly down the row. It will also keep the paths from growing up to weeds and exacerbating my problems. I was reading last night in an old rodale book where corn was planted in mulch, and did very well. Also they talked about planting corn and following with a cover of soybeans, after the corn had a head start. Weeds were the bain of my corn patch this last year, along with growing in just turned sod. This year I am moving the corn to the old plot, in the hopes of having time to feed the soil on the new plot. I am beginng to see that winter for me is going to be mulching and mulching until spring when I want to plant. I can see many trips to garbage cans in my future for cardboard.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), December 03, 2003.

Hey John Boy. Sure is good to see ya'll postin again. Corse, I've been so busy with the cabin buildin that I ain't had time to scratch. I'm chompin at the bit too --waitin for my seed catalogues to arrive. Should be arriving here shortly---before Christmas. They sure know when to send'm out to us. We're so sick of winter before it even gets here that we'll order almost anything to do with gardenin and spring!!! Take care old friend. old hoot. Matt. 24:44

-- oldhoot (oldhoot@shawneelink.net), December 02, 2003.

1st ONE ???? I think Im on my 5th so far, been getting them since Nov

-- Stan (sopal@net-pert.com), December 02, 2003.

I received my first one last week, E & R, in Indiana. Yesterday the Vermont Bean Seed and Totally Tomatoes came. I usually wait until after Christmas to look at them but had to sneak some peaks yesterday!:-).

-- Terry - NW Ohio (aunt_tm@hotmail.com), December 02, 2003.

FIVE!?!?! Wowzer Stan! You must be on a lot more mailing lists that me. I only order from about 3-4 places but get a zillion catalogs every year. How come my veggies never look quite so pretty?

Hoot - Is your cabin coming along pretty well? I'll have to get ahold of you and come over and see it some time. Went to Virginy and saw Joel and Becky a few weeks ago. My youngest Boy and I spent a few days w/ them. Beautiful country around there.

Terry - E&R in Indiana? Never heard of them. Where are they located?

-- John in S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), December 02, 2003.

John, E & R is at 1256 E. 200S, Monroe, IN 46772. They don't have a phone or website as it is Amish owned. Their catalog is very nice and they carry some heirloom seeds and plants. E & R also has a supply catalog.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (aunt_tm@hotmail.com), December 02, 2003.

Joel and Becky are doing well. They have a really nice place there in Virginy. Beautiful and quiet. Got to do a few days of rubberneckin' and such. All those hills and whatnot are pretty impressive to a flatlander like me. I hope to be able to go back next Spring when all the Azalias are in bloom and take Sindy next time.

Mulch - You just can't get enough. Killing that bermuda grass is next to impossible. I'm gathering up cardboard and I'm planning on spreading it out and covering it with straw on an area for next year - as in Spring 2005. Let it set for a year and smother stuff.

I made a screen using 1/4" hardware cloth and sifted an area about 30x50 at the old house. And composted the rest of the turf w/ some real hot fresh horse dookie. That worked pretty well but was a killer job. I can't do that again.

I've gathered up a hold bunch of the leaves here and have them piled up for next Spring. If you have any rake 'em up and save 'em. Every bit helps. Tell your friends and family to save 'em too. People say leaves are to acidic, but if you keep adding compost and old manure it doesn't seem to do any harm. My garden just kept getting better the more mulch I added & I quit doing soil samples.

Oh BTW - 3 more catalogs today. Vermont Bean, Totally Tomatoes and Seymours seeds. I think these are all owned by the same people if I remember. They may be related to Shumways too.

-- John in S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), December 03, 2003.

Lil Bit - Have you ever tried plastic sheeting to solarize, or heat kill an area? I was wondering if that would work on Bermuda grass? Could follow then w/ deep mulch. You may be right that mulch alone for a year may not do it. Heck, I wonder if a tactical nuke would even do it! I hate that nasty stuff.

As for your rolling seat idea, were you thinking of a cart that you pull and then sit down on? Or something that you moved on while sitting? I'm having trouble getting the picture of just what you mean - but I just woke up. (Went in to cover the midnight shift w/o any prior sleep last night when someone got sick. The joys of nursing shortages). So today, it sounds like a job for Hoot to design that.

-- John in S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), December 04, 2003.

Little Bit, better figure 180 bales, because you probably won't find 125# bales. You will have better luck finding spoiled hay if you look for big round bales. Usually little bales are put up in the barn and don't go bad, but there are oodles of big rounds just rotting in the field each year in southern Oklahoma. Another option is asking the farmers if you can go out in the pasture and clean up the leavings where they have fed the big round bales. You'ld be surprised at how much hay is wasted that way and it will also be pre- fertilized.

-- Judy (tabletophomestead@earthlink.net), December 06, 2003.

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