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Garden Gleanings - Start promoting the meeting on Friday

Posted Sunday, April 6, 2008, at 12:02 PM

We had four new faces last week, and hope they come back, but we certainly can use more, so start talking it up with your friends.

John, we could sure use some publicity by the T-G. It will be in the Hong Kong Restaurant meeting room on Madison, (old Shoneys) at 6:30 this coming Friday, April 11th. We got 50% of our members with your help a month ago.

I have some Rosemary cuttings started, some lemon mint, and catnip. If anyone wants watercress, aloe, or garlic chives, SPEAK UP.

Feel free to bring some plants of your own for sharing. We are not selling anything inside the restaurant.

Remember, I am bring a laptop and projector to show pictures, if you bring them. I will also start on a composting presentation today.


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We'd love some lemon mint and rosemary, if that's okay? Is garlic chive the same plant that seemingly grows wild on everyone's lawn?

I meant to ask last time, doess garlic grow well here? When we still lived in Maine, we visited a farm and they gave us some cuttings from the tops of the garlic (garlics scapes, I think they're called) and told us to saute them in butter with some salt - so good. I've been wanted to grow garlic since then just so we can have more.

-- Posted by cfrich on Mon, Apr 7, 2008, at 8:37 AM

We used a fresh garlic from the garden yesterday in our watercress soup. It was a young one and actually very mild.

The garlic chives are different than the wild garlic and onion in our lawns. This is a flat leaf version that chops up very nicely. I will bring a few divisions in pots.

To my knowledge, many types of garlic do well here. Last year was our first growing since we moved here. They over wintered well. I tried hard-necks in M'boro, but did not get a good crop, but it was a wet year. Too much water will rot the bulbs.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Apr 7, 2008, at 10:04 PM

Steve, I am chanting the meeting date every day this week. We definitely plan to be there. I'd love some of the Lemon Mint, Garlic Chives, and Rosemary too, especially since the Rosemary that we tried to start from seed never came up.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 7:40 AM

I'm planning on it. I have an extra cutting of ivy growing like wildfire that I can bring and you can fight over it!!

I feel the need for some Chinese. I will be there around 5:00 to eat and grade a few papers. It's not worth the gas to drive 15 minutes home and drive back.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 9:17 AM

I will get some garlic chives set up. I also am bringing some African Violet cuttings. Some have a purple flower, the other are purple with a frilly white edge to the flower.

Keep in mind that I am purposely keeping these cuttings small to increase chances of successful rooting. Too much plant above ground puts stress on a system that has no roots to support it. We need just enough to support photosynthesis.

We will talk more about rooting at the meeting.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 2:02 PM

African Violets are so pretty - I tried to grow some once in my apartment and they never lasted very long.

-- Posted by cfrich on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 2:18 PM

African Violets do well under lights, but for the last 14 years they have done well with filtered southern exposure or strong eastern.

In the past. mealy bugs were my major pest on the violets. It took weekly preening with alcohol tipped cue-tips to finally eliminate them. After that, be very careful on of the health and insect status of plants you bring in.

The next thing that can cause issues is over-watering. They can go without watering a lot better than they can with too much water. We cut back in the winter, unless they are in direct winter sun, which they usually are not.

There are a few do's and dont's to a good watering schedule, but maybe we will touch on that another time.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 9:02 PM

I would love to rummage through some cuttings again, Steve.

-- Posted by Mary on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 11:40 PM

Great Mary. I have the chives and cut the cactus lobes last night to let them cure up over the next day or two.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Apr 9, 2008, at 8:29 AM

Steve,you don't need alcohol and Q-tips.

You can remove the bugs and grow mealies as feeder insects for birds,small mammals,reptiles and pan fish.

Get a Rubbermaid or Sterilite tote about 10" X 17" X 6".

Put in about 1 -2 inches of wheat bran or non-instant oatmeal.

Don't use the lids!

The bugs can't climb out and they need to breathe.

Cut 2-3 sheets of newspaper to cover approximately 2/3 of the surface area of the container, leaving space between the edges of it and the container sides.

Mealworms will often crawl between the sheets of paper.

Spray the paper (only) with water once or twice a day using care not to soak the paper and/or moisten the bedding.

Keep the container warm (the warmer, the faster you will produce beetles and then worms) and soon your mealworms will begin the morphosis process to pupae and then beetles.

Replenish the bran or oatmeal as it is eaten and add veggies or fruit (apples,melon,carrot) for moisture.

A fourth of an apple or the equivalent will suffice for a thousand worms.

For small numbers of worms,get a butter tub,cottage cheese container or the like,pierce the top, add the bedding,fruit,etc, put in your mealy bugs as they appear on your plants,label the container and refrigerate.

Any mealies not eaten up while they still fit in the fridge container can be put in the tote to breed.

Soon,you could be harvesting your own mealworms for sale or to feed your own critters.

Making the intruders earn their keep is only fair plus local beetles might prefer dining in the tote to nibbling on your plants and avoid your violets if there's appropriate mealy fodder elsewhere.

(Leaving your violets around for flower-friendly predators might work,too.)

Good luck with all your plants.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Apr 9, 2008, at 3:18 PM

Mmmmm, you are making me hungry. No, maybe it is just the time of night.

Anyway, you must have good experience feeding some little mouths. Birds, reptiles, fish or all three?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Apr 9, 2008, at 10:44 PM

Small mammals,actually.

They eat fruit,vegetables,a kibble and a protein source.

Sometimes,that's yogurt,cooked egg or baby food poultry but they like mealies best.

The folks who don't want to sell bugs or feed insectivore pets can give the buggy treat to the birds in their yard.

Mealy bugs are very popular with the pest-eaters we want to encourage and can be used to supplement winter food and nourish nesting critters.

I wouldn't advise eating too many as a bedtime snack.

They are quite high in fat so nuts,seeds,popcorn,dried fruit and veggies and pretzels might be a safer crunchy choice for late night noshing.

;)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 5:32 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.