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Preparing your garden for winter is the discussion topic tonight. Ya'll come!

Posted Friday, November 19, 2010, at 3:11 PM

A Shepherd in the manger. Photographer unknown.
It looks like nature is wishing peace to all in this manger scene. Sorry, I do not know the photographer. It was forwarded to me in an e-mail.

Since this is our last meeting until January 21 what better topic than getting our gardens ready for the 2-3 months that we have coming up. That does not mean that our gardens or plants have stopped growing or evolving so it is our job to get things set up for healthy development and ready for the new growing season.

What am I talking about? There is still a lot going on under the soil during the winter. Many roots are still growing, bulbs are getting set, in some cases they are actually looking forward to the cold so that they come back in full splendor next spring.

Worms, insects and bacteria are still doin' their thing during this time, so what can we do to help then along or stop them, in the case of the bad guys? Stop by and we'll talk about it.

No officers, no dues, just friends and neighbors talking about our mutual love, gardening.

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We have a short burst of winter coming in tonight. Got any last minute chores to take care of today?

Being Thanksgiving, you might forget something, so.....

I think I am ready but there is always more wood to cut and I just remembered it is time to disconnect the hose and winterize the spigot.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Nov 25, 2010, at 10:00 AM

PS: If someone knows how to use Outlook for me to create a schedule and post on our web page, PLEASE get in touch with me. Or if you know a software that will do that?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 7:59 AM

Farewell to the 2010 growing season. I was pleased by the turnout for our last meeting and all the festivities. I was also surprised that residents in the Assisted Living seem to be following our progress in the blog and the T-G paper. They knew this was our last meeting and when we were starting back up on January 21st, 2011.

That meeting will be the start of a slightly adjusted format for our gathering. There will be an informal "chit chat" period where we get to visit, then a presentation on a particular subject. We will still avoid officers and dues but we all agreed that we needed more focus.

So, we will take all the suggestions gathered during the past few meetings and from this blog to formulate a schedule of topics for the following year. If you see one for which you want to be discussion leader, please speak up. I can supply a computer, projector and screen for audio visual.

We have also toyed with the idea of having a 15 minute segment to allow suppliers to the gardening industry to present their products or services. We are sure there are companies, individuals of whom we are unaware and products that we have never tried.

I once got special "ergonomic" tools from a Canadian mail order catalog and showed them at a meeting for those of us who could use extra assistance. A professor at MTSU once brought his collection of tools that included both antique and every day practical ones that he used in his greenhouse.

If you have that special idea for a presentation, it is not too late to let us know.

The bottom line is, we will have a schedule of topics and they will not all be presented by me. Yeah!

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 7:57 AM

I just harvested three of the Datura seed pods and will bring them with me to the meeting.

The nicotiana (just noticed I misspelled it in the original post) is so small I just spread them out to see if I get more next year. I am starting to like the idea of natural seeding. Just sprinkle it and go on. That is how I did my beets and they grew fine.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Nov 19, 2010, at 4:32 PM

By the way, I am receiving my seed catalogs. Pinetree was the first and right on front is the Ballerina Purple Datura you gave us espoontoon.

I am leaving the main plant outside but collecting some of the seed pods to see what comes from them next year. The catalog says it is hard through zone 8 but they know of some surviving in zone 5 so small micro-climates may be why some survive and some don't.

I am doing the same with the nicotinia (flowering tobacco). One plant comes in, one stays out and I will see if I can get some seeds. Their smell at night is as close as I can get to the gardenias we had in Mississippi.

I just looked at the USDA Hardiness Zone map and we are either in 6B. I have trouble keeping up and have not moved in 18 years. 6B translates to a possible low of 0 to -5 degrees. I like 7 better (0 to +5) so I am going to declare my part of the world zone 7.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Nov 19, 2010, at 3:42 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. 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.