Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Observation

Here is an observation of human behavior. It seems to me that there are two types of people. Those who put the roll of toilet paper on the holder with the tissue overlapping the roll. And those who just leave the roll laying on the floor. Or folks who keep the inside of their car clean and those who use fast food wrappers for car mats. And in Minnesota, those people who clean and scrap their driveways and those who just don't. In the grand scheme of things it really is no matter which habits prevail but as for me, I'm a scraper. It just seems if you keep a little section of your driveway clear, spring will come sooner. Well we just had 2 days of freezing rain and then cold. But thanks to driveway salt and my wife's help, we've managed to clear our driveway as you can see.
The outcome of our efforts though is a rather large glacier at the end of the driveway. With the forecast for tonight of 14 below zero, it doesn't seem that the glacier will be headed south anytime soon.
The Glacier

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Exciting Video

As you may recall my blog has stressed the need for a record of your gardening activities. Last year I went sans log. I now regret that oversight. I also regret the decision last year to buy seeds locally. I was very disappointed in the selection and quality. I am now happy to post that the seeds I ordered through the mail have arrived. And now without further ado, the exciting video!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It seems every year I end up going to a commercial green house to purchase plants. Last year was no exception, in fact I bought quite a few there. The reason for this can be attributed to the quality of seed I purchased last year. Usually I order seed through the mail and specifically from J. W. Jung Seed Company. I've found them to be the best value. Well last year I tried to do it on the cheap. Walmart, Fleet Farm, etc.
I grew plants but they just did not meet my expectations. Mid summer of last year I needed some flowers for one of my planters. I went to the green house and purchased a 4 pack of Dianthus and one Gerbera Daisy. The clerk informed me that the Dianthus are able to survive Minnesota winters so at the end of last season I planted them out back. I then searched the Internet for overwintering Gerbera Daisies. To sum up the information available - good luck with that idea! I pressed onward despite the naysayers. The first step was to totally clean the roots of the Gerbera. I had to totally remove all the soil it had been growing in outside. We have a new pest to our ecosystem - Earwigs.
 I had to be absolutely sure there were none trying to hitch a ride to a friendly environment. So I soaked the root ball in a bucket of water and then sprayed off all the soil. I replanted the Gerbera, trimmed off a few of the weathered leaves and brought it into the GrowCenter. There it received 16 hours of light from a 26 watt compact fluorescent bulb. The soil moisture was constantly being monitored by a sensor sticking in the pot. When the planter dries out the sensor makes a bird chirping sound. However, I did keep it relatively moist most of the time without waiting for a chirp.

Now it's my pleasure to present to you Gabby the Gerbera.

Please note: My wife named the flower, I don't name flowers.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Climate Change?

Today, January 27, it's raining in Minnesota. We had a drought last summer and NOW it decides to rain. I remember a few ice storms years past, but not in January. How does a gardener cope? One way is to page through the seed catalogs that began arriving last month and plan the garden. It's a lot like the prisoner who completely built a house, in his mind of course, while in captivity. Another coping strategy is to plant something. A week ago I planted some Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and bunching onions. Today there are green shoots in the GrowCenter.

Here are the seeds in the packs

And these are the Basil seedlings

It should be noted that these are Burpee Organic Sweet Basil seeds. They cost $2.49 at Walmart! What the hell was I thinking when I bought them???

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogger Benefits

Besides being a great way to pass the time in ones reclining years, bogging offers the benefit of self-aggrandizement. With the latter in mind I want to show off one of my gardening accomplishments.
In the spring of 2011 I had a desire to put in a small herb garden. I planned on the classic >
 - Parsley - Sage - Rosemary - & - Thyme -

Well 3 out of the 4 were quite easy to germinate from seed but Rosemary was more of a challenge. Here is the link to the post in March that describes in detail the challenge of getting Rosemary to sprout from seed. 

Below is the fruit of my labor

I carefully transplanted these sprouts and eventually planted them outside in my herb garden. Well the season passed and I thought, I'll bring one of the Rosemary plants ( they had now become plants) into the house to overwinter. Rosemary is not hardy to zone 4. That proved to be a success so in 2012 the little Rosemary plant went back outside and grew nicely. In the fall last year, I transplanted it into another pot and brought it back into the grow center. Now before I show you this ROSEMARY BUSH, let me first polish my fingernails on my shirt.

OK, drum roll please, TA-DA!!

Please notice, this thing has got a TRUNK on it. The plant marker is courtesy of my daughter who brought the rock from
Lake Superior and then carefully lettered it for me.

But I have to confess, it really wasn't all that hard to achieve. Now I'm considering trying to shape it into some sort of topiary. But I've got to read up on that first.
Coming up, More herbs in the GrowCenter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So, where have I been? I started this blog in 2011 and found out the difficulty in gardening and blogging simultaneously. Besides that, I was working full time, so the blogging stopped. Rather abruptly, and I apologize for that. I am now unemployed by choice, I prefer that euphemism to retired. Of course the question that comes up is - What are you going to do now that you're retired? I've searched for the best answer to that. Grow a pony tail. Get a tattoo. Those replies just got me a sideways look from the inquisitor. And then it dawned on me, the quickest way to duck the question and move on was to announce - 
Well, I'm blogging again!
And so it begins anew. Coming up, a huge success story.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Blog or not to Blog, that is the question.
My first attempt at the concept fell short of my expectations.
I found out that it's one thing to envision and another to accomplish. It's really a lot of work! Add to that the time it consumes and also the realization that you are the only one reading the damn thing.  Which begs the question - 
If a blog on the Internet goes un-read does it make a sound?
OK, step back from the reality of ones own insignificance and consider the task at hand. My intention was to digitize the gardening experience for easy reference. My blog did not accomplish that objective. I still need to keep a garden log. However, now that I have more time, I intend to force my blog out of dormancy. Coming up, where have I been and where is this going.