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Have you been enjoying the first seed catalog of the new season?

Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at 6:34 PM

My first one was Pinetree out of Maine. https://www.superseeds.com/ They started out with a limited selection and packaging very small seed packets for gardeners who did not need to have 100 seeds of one selection.

They have grown substantially since that time and while still offering somewhat smaller packages, their selection has grown and their prices seem to stay somewhat smaller as well.


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Has anyone have a favorite a variety of eggplant that has done well here in Middle Tennessee? Any that are resistant to flee beetles?

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 9:17 PM

The above comment is awkwardly written, my apologies. :-)

I have been trying to find an alternative use for an old claw foot bathtub and growing eggplant in it to try to cut down on flee beetles is one idea I am considering.

I have been using it as a bog garden down at the end of my garden beds to provide an area for toads, snakes etc. to feel comfy, but keeping it in water has been a pain, so I am bringing it up close to the house.

Maybe right next to the antique washing machine that has mints and onions in it. I know, it is a shame we are not using it since it still runs but I could not convince Deb that it took the place of her current one.

I also have a gas grill that has cooked its last meal. Trying to think of a use for that, other than take it to the convenience center. Whatever will be in there will have to take some heat and probably dry conditions.

Not because it is a grill, but because it is black, relative shallow and up off the ground. It also probably needs to be a low growing plant since a tall pant would be unbalanced. Hmmmm, any ideas?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 7:47 AM

Grow some edible Mushrooms in it with decaying wood and a little shade...eventually the old grease and carbonic soil might flavor them like cooked steak or chops!...a small stone garden frog would even add some ambiance !...That's a tough one for suggestions.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:36 AM

I have plenty of wood chips, or would it be better to have small logs?

How would you protect it from wild mushrooms? I always wanted to grow shitake but never got one of those "round-to-its".

Plus, I am a little leery of unexpected intruders getting mixed in. I am not an expert at recognizing good from bad unless it is VERY obvious.

With shitake, I believe you seal the ends after injecting the spores, but again, I don't know this area very well.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:05 AM

Maybe it would be better to use sawdust? I could prop the lid halfway open to insure shade but would it get too hot?

Interesting idea, thanks.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:07 AM

From what I am familiar with sawdust works well for beginning it holds moisture....you can order spores which guarantee what type...I remember a friend of mine starting those spores in small glass containers like a Petra dish then transferring them later over to the container they also had a couple soft water logged blocks they had ordered "grow blocks" I think I do know any chemicals throughout the air will destroy a grow he was upset when his wife killed some mushrooms with Lysol(laugh a little here)Compost and hay are for like button mushrooms and but shitake or woody style mushrooms adapt better to a wood chip or like straw...so the sawdust might do great for that kind...they love good bacteria so compost is critical and has to be ready (well aged and self heated to kill organisms that are bad)from what I have read they love that white actinomycetes bacteria in compost....here's a link for begineers..http://www.mycomasters.com/Basics.html I found vary informative ....might try it myself..those baby Portabella ones are addictive with steak! and home-made mushroom soup is an all time favorite.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 8:17 AM

Mushrooms are a favorite of mine as well. AND they are supposed to be packed with beneficial attributes for us humans.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 7:22 PM


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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.