January 31, 2015

Saturday Gardening Thread: Minimalist Edition [Y-not, Weirddave, KT]
— Open Blogger

Good morning, gardeners!

Today's thread is brought to you by Wolffia, the world's smallest flowering plant:

Wolffia.jpg

Candy sprinkles compared with a thimble filled with wolffia plants (mostly Wolffia columbiana). The average diameter of a globose wolffia plant body is about 1/25th of an inch (1 mm). To appreciate their minute size, wolffia plants are comparable in size to the multicolored candy sprinkles used for decorating cakes and cookies.

Many apologies from Weirddave and myself. Neither of us were able to generate much by way of content this week. Fortunately, our Better Third, KT, has delivered high quality content!

Take it away, KT:

Cold and Twisted - or not

I have been thinking about plants that can be used indoors or appreciated outdoors during winter. There was a recent question to The Horde in the comments about Ikebana flower arranging. That is generally an indoor activity.

ikebana02.jpg

Ikebana reminded me of branches which can be brought inside for greenery and/or blossoms while the weather is still freezing outside. Some shrubs include cultivars with twisted or gnarled branches which are especially prized for flower arranging. These can make your first Ikebana arrangements look authentic to the uninformed even if you are not sure what you are doing, like me. This is one example of how professionals use these branches:

Ikebana-3.jpg

FEATURED BLOG: I found a great blog post on shrubs with a twist. It features striking photos of twisted stems covered in snow or coated with ice. Below is some additional information on these plants, and their relatives:

Flowering Quince

Flowering quinces are available as either low-growing or tall shrubs. Their early-season bloom makes them good candidates for mixed borders. The thorny ones are used as barrier plants. Taller flowering quinces can be trained up a wall.

9c51dcb70d7fb3ffefb14fa5f23bceaf.jpg

Cutting budded branches of flowering quince to watch them bloom indoors encourages new growth and more blooms the following year. The cultivars "Contorta" and "Contorta Red" have twisted branches which lend themselves to flower arrangements and to bonsai. Flowering quince can be grown as an outdoor bonsai and brought indoors for a few days at a time for display.

Quince-bonsai-06-300x225.jpg

Fruit size and quality varies between cultivars, which derive from three species of Chaenomeles. Some are hybrids between the species. Thorns are prized by some flower arrangers and bonsai enthusiasts. Breeders of landscape cultivars may shoot for thornless, fruitless cultivars. I once had a peachy-pink "Cameo" flowering quince. It is an older compact, thornless cultivar that produces fruit.

297_chaenomelescameo300.jpg

Dave's Garden has a nice summary on growing flowering quince. It includes a recipe for quince jelly. Flowering quince fruits can also be used to make a lemony syrup. It is high in pectin and has more vitamin C than lemons. Estonian recipes here. The fruit is less hard and astringent after frost, when it starts to soften. The softening process is called "bletting". Look for more information on bletting fruits in a future episode of the Saturday Gardening Thread.

Chinese Flowering Quince (Pseudocydonia) is one species that is thornless. The fruit gives off and intense, sweet smell while ripening. It is used medicinally and for beverages in China and Japan. I imagine that the astringency of the flowering quinces could be useful in some cider or perry blends.

Flying Dragon Bitter Orange

Flying Dragon it a remarkably hardy citrus (to Zone 6) that loses its leaves in the fall. The thorny stems are used in winter flower arranging. It is also used as a dwarfing rootstock for other citrus trees. It imparts a little cold resistance to the citrus grafted to it.

FlyingDragon.jpg

In warmer climes, many citrus trees are known for Winter Interest because they are covered with colorful fruit or fragrant blossoms in winter - and beautiful leaves, too. Incidentally, the California navel oranges and Texas grapefruits are really good about now.

citrus.jpg

Hazel

Contorted Hazels are related to the typical filberts we see in nut mixes as Christmas approaches, which come from two species. If planted in the ground rather than in a container, Harry Lauder's Walking Stick can grow 8 to 10 feet tall.

0001928.jpg

Filbert trees for nuts are typically a little taller, but have a similar shrubby shape. They are also prone to suckering. There is a native California hazel that has long catkins in late winter. It is good in partial shade. The Turkish Hazel is a tall, pyramidal tree with small nuts, used as a wildlife habitat tree. Hybrids with the more familiar filberts are called Trazels and have sweet nuts.

More

Thinking ahead a few months, here are some Halloween Twists. These include a houseplant and some non-woody plants as well as woody ones that could also be used in flower arranging, even in winter. I would keep the Curly Willow in a big pot unless I knew that invasive willow roots would not be a problem in a particular location.

Yard and Garden Planning Corner

Some members of The Horde, like Mr. and Mrs. JTB, are in the beginning stages of planning their future yard and garden. I came up with a couple of ideas for outdoor winter activities to help with garden planning.

Right on cue, a couple of challenges showed up in the comments to illustrate real-world applications.

1. Watch sun patterns

Start tracking the patterns of sun and shade in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon about once a month. Make notes. Take measurements if you need to. Your notes could help guide your choices for plant, tree and hardscaping placement later.

You might even want to put down some markers to show where the sun hits at the beginning of your growing season and at summer solstice. This is especially important on the north and south sides of the house. Watch how sun hits your windows, too.

Our challenge from last Saturday's comments is replacing a sad patch of grass near the front door of a home in Central Texas. The home faces north.

Central Texas has a demanding climate for plants. This location presents additional challenges. A lot of great suggestions have already come in from The Horde. We want that entryway to look great!

At our house, there is no sun on the north face of the house in winter, but there is morning and afternoon sun at summer solstice, with shade at noon. It's enough sun to grow Clove Currants, though the plants are kind of gangly. They're deciduous, so they don't need winter sun.

On the south side of the house, a little afternoon shade helps heirloom tomatoes set fruit in our hot summers. Or it did until we took in dogs that thought the tomato patch was a special dog habitat.

CloveCurrant.jpg

Clove Currants with Verbena

2. Watch water patterns

During storms or thaws, watch how water drains on your property and in your neighborhood. Think about how future hardscaping, etc., could affect drainage and possibly lead to (or help avoid) flooding or earth slippage. This could help you decide whether you need to engage a landscape architect or similar professional - an idea Y-not brought up. Your observations will also help with plant choice and placement.

Our challenge from last Saturday's comments is a new greenhouse in the Pacific Northwest. "Not so simple. On a hillside; we thus need to make this a major civil engineering project." Anybody else have similar building plans?

My mother once had to have some landscaping and drainage work done on a small rental property because water was draining into the neighboring yard after storms.

We'll be addressing the topic of greenhouses and similar structures in the future.

In Gardening and Agriculture News

Fluorescent bulbs for starting seedlings

Problems for citrus growers in Florida

FFA takes over California High School


Y-not: Thanks so much, KT!

As KT mentioned, Mr Y-not and I are toying around with hiring a landscape architect to plan out a multi-year project that we could tackle piecemeal. When we bought our first home (in Indiana) the seller included a landscape plan with the sale of the house. We weren't able to tackle it, but I recall at the time thinking of that as a nice plus, particularly in that house's case because it had an unusually shaped corner lot with a very tricky slope.

In the meantime, I have started to investigate what tools are available for the home gardener. This list from Gardenista provides brief descriptions (and reviews) of 10 Garden Design Apps. Most of them seem to focus on plant selection or vegetable/herb garden planning, which is not exactly what I had in mind. I want a tool for planning major landscaping projects, both tree and shrub planting as well as hardscape design.

Does anyone know of a good tool for this task?

I did stumble into this publication, Garden Design. Although it has topics of interest to me, it seems to be a better source of inspiration than of how-to guides.

To close things up, here's an Absolutely Fabulous video about minimalism:

What's happening in your gardens this week?

E.T.A. - Weirddave Content! I have actual content! Well, rdbrewer does, he sent me this link VIA Twitter. Also, it's about wolffia, which is Y-Not's content, not mine, but I am the one typing here, so I'm chalking it up as a win.

Content!

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:45 AM | Comments (101)
Post contains 1554 words, total size 12 kb.

1 Aren't sprinkles illegal? Trigger!

Posted by: t-bird at January 31, 2015 06:37 AM (FcR7P)

2 I'll let a gardening aficionado get "First".

Posted by: rickl at January 31, 2015 06:38 AM (sdi6R)

3 What is the little orange tree pictured below the Flying Dragon? If it's in a pot, I may actually be able to keep it alive.

Posted by: t-bird at January 31, 2015 06:41 AM (FcR7P)

4 Sorry about the minimal content from self this week. I had a craptastic week of car troubles, pet issues, and sinus headaches. Thank goodness for KT! No Politics Thread today from me either. Thankfully CBD had some good content ready (and planned).

Posted by: Y-not at January 31, 2015 06:41 AM (9BRsg)

5 I think that's a quince.

Posted by: Y-not at January 31, 2015 06:43 AM (9BRsg)

6 Remember that loon in my timeline from this morning? The batshit crazy Vegan? I repeat: This is not your average loon. http://bit.ly/167c1ui

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at January 31, 2015 06:46 AM (DmNpO)

7 Sprinkles! OMG? I am feeling all microaggressed.

Posted by: PJ at January 31, 2015 06:47 AM (cHuNI)

8 Nature. The pure art.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 06:50 AM (IXrOn)

9 PJ. I'm sure that you will perceive the AoS establishment's microapology as regards to your perceived sense of their microagression? But of course! /snerk Jim Sunk New Dawn Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim at January 31, 2015 06:55 AM (RzZOc)

10 Why has not someone genitically engineered a tree to produce ears of corn? Or pork chops? A meat tree would be pretty cool.

Posted by: eman at January 31, 2015 06:59 AM (MQEz6)

11 Mmm. Sprinkles.

Posted by: homer simpson at January 31, 2015 07:00 AM (L6/+u)

12 Mmm. Pork chop tree.

Posted by: homer simpson at January 31, 2015 07:00 AM (L6/+u)

13 Instead of an app, I used a handful of different landscaping books and gardening books, which had everything I need. I'm decent with drawing my own on grid paper (to scale), so did my own drawing and scaling. I did this for a retaining wall in the past, a deck (which I gave to the actual deck builders), stone paths (one of which I also gave to the pave layers), and all around plant landscaping for my home(s). Takes time, but well worth it. I used prisma-color pencils to emphasize plants and different regions, like dry, well drained areas versus wet, etc. As well as sun-drenched, or mostly shaded areas. The books are great for picking plants for those areas.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:02 AM (IXrOn)

14 Very nice post. Thank you, once again.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:03 AM (IXrOn)

15 My apologies as well. Last night time got away from me, and I didn't sit down to write the fundamental concept thread until after 2AM. By 3 when I finished, I was in no shape to write anything garden related.

Posted by: Weirddave at January 31, 2015 07:05 AM (WvS3w)

16 Thanks, I'll look at quinces.

Posted by: t-bird at January 31, 2015 07:06 AM (FcR7P)

17 stop apologizing bloggers! we all know life gets in the way. this is a beautiful post part art part garden

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:07 AM (IXrOn)

18 Son and I are going to attempt making our own garden tower. I'll report back on if/how it works.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at January 31, 2015 07:07 AM (GDulk)

19 My two lemon trees are toast, due to a hard freeze a couple of weeks ago.  Hope they come back.

And momma owl is due to have her owlets hatch any time now!

http://landingsbirdcam.com/

Sadly, we were warned in our local paper today not to be surprised if one of the babies tosses the smaller of the two out of the nest. 

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:09 AM (FsuaD)

20 A metric ruler?! The metric system is an insidious Jacobin plot!

Posted by: The Hat by inches and feet at January 31, 2015 07:10 AM (0Ew3K)

21 Witch hazels are a personal obsession of mine, as is Ab Fab and I have to leave for a funeral in 5 minutes, damn it! Just a quick THANK YOU for an awesome thread!

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at January 31, 2015 07:11 AM (Pauop)

22 t-bird, it looks like a mandarin, but it could be one of the kumquat hybrids. The rootstock is very important to the eventual size of citrus trees, because heavy pruning reduces fruiting. But some citrus are naturally smaller than others. Here's a link on indoor citrus: http://www.indoorcitrustrees.com/

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:11 AM (qahv/)

23 Thank you Y-Not and WeirdDave for making the garden post such a going concern (and getting great co-cobs like KT) that even on down weeks we're here to see what there is to learn.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at January 31, 2015 07:12 AM (GDulk)

24 And momma owl is due to have her owlets hatch any time now! http://landingsbirdcam.com/ Sadly, we were warned in our local paper today not to be surprised if one of the babies tosses the smaller of the two out of the nest. Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 12:09 PM (FsuaD) oh, I thought this was Feb some time so now I don't want to watch

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:12 AM (IXrOn)

25 Had to mow earlier this week (SE Texas) to get up the leaves and pine needles that had fallen since mid-December. Then sprayed on some weed killer that the nice man in the lawn & garden store said would take out the various strains growing all over the yard, front and back. I took him samples. Am now waiting to see if the stuff worked on the weeds and did not kill my grass.

Posted by: Count de Monet at January 31, 2015 07:13 AM (JO9+V)

26 my gardening this week: shoveling again, then shoveling again after the plow comes through the streets barely stepped outside - only once for a walk in the sunshine

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:14 AM (IXrOn)

27 The darned pine pollen is already beginning to fall here on the coast.  Ugh. 

It coats everything with green powder which turns to slime when it rains. 

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:14 AM (FsuaD)

28 t-bird, the flowering quinces are ABOVE the Flying Dragon. They're quite hardy to cold. Check the link for the newer thornless kinds for compact cultivars. I've got something started on regular quinces for later, if you're interested. They're not related to citrus.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:15 AM (qahv/)

29 Niedermeyer's Dead Horse: Heh.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:16 AM (qahv/)

30 Bright green pine pollen. We get that too in heaps, but not this early in the year. You have an especially warm winter?

Posted by: Count de Monet at January 31, 2015 07:16 AM (JO9+V)

31 Sounds like Y-not should hire you to make a landscaping plan, artisanal 'ette.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:18 AM (qahv/)

32 Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:15 PM (qahv/) The quinces are gorgeous (and seem like a good way to sneak edibility into a landscape) but if they need a frost to be tasty that doesn't sound like a good choice for the Houston area.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at January 31, 2015 07:18 AM (GDulk)

33 30 Bright green pine pollen. We get that too in heaps, but not this early in the year. You have an especially warm winter?

Posted by: Count de Monet at January 31, 2015 12:16 PM (JO9+V)



Not really.  But we live along the coast and it doesn't get quite as cold as inland, which was down to freezing last night.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:19 AM (FsuaD)

34 Need ideas for naming our two latest garden/garage kittens. I think they're sisters, but they didn't show up together. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/561031003183927296

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:20 AM (qahv/)

35 Thanks for including my gardening conundrum in the thread! I can't wait to hear more suggestions. Also, I love the look of those quince!

Posted by: Lauren at January 31, 2015 07:21 AM (MYCIw)

36 On that greenhouse on a slope. Since you don't need a floor I bet you could minimize the dirt work needed by designing stepped side walls and stepping at your 2x4 or poly sheet wall spacing.

Posted by: PaleRider at January 31, 2015 07:22 AM (7w/kf)

37 I'd love to be able to plant more interesting things in our yard, but sadly, we live on a deer "super highway."

So we'll have to be happy with azaleas (which they're also fond of).


Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:23 AM (FsuaD)

38 Dave thanks for the post really good and you are right about what works and how horrific that thought is. Jane thank you for the link to the owl cam I've watched it quit a bit and its mesmerizing. And for Y - not, KT and Dave I very much enjoy the gardening threads a welcome relief from all the crap that's going on out there.

Posted by: Fourth Horseman looking for my saddle at January 31, 2015 07:24 AM (A7LEa)

39 "15 My apologies as well. Last night time got away from me, and I didn't sit down to write the fundamental concept thread until after 2AM. By 3 when I finished, I was in no shape to write anything garden related.

Posted by: Weirddave at January 31, 2015 12:05 PM (WvS3w)"



No need to apologize.  That was a great fundamental concept post and one of the all time best posts.

Posted by: Obnoxious A-Hole at January 31, 2015 07:27 AM (KDbAT)

40 Polliwog, Depending on your microclimate, you might not get enough winter chilling for some flowering quinces. If you can prevent fireblight, regular quinces might be better. Flavor improves as they hang on the tree. More in a future thread.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:27 AM (qahv/)

41 There's a link at the Owl Cam where you can go to Cornell's site and bet on when the owlets will hatch.

The winner gets a Cornell throw.  Don't know if it's autographed by Keefums Olberdouche or not.  Heh.


Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:28 AM (FsuaD)

42 Yes, thanks for the gardening thread and info. My grandfather and grandmother were avid gardeners, known for their tulip displays surrounding their well-manicured home. That gene did not get turned on in me, sadly. I'm lucky to keep ahead of the HOA's nastygrams about the condition of my hovel.

Posted by: Count de Monet at January 31, 2015 07:30 AM (JO9+V)

43 The average diameter of a globose wolffia plant body is about 1/25th of an inch (1 mm)

So, I don't even need to chop it up to do lines of it, huh? Saves on time.

Ab Fab! Reminds me of their Boli Stoli! Name for a drink (Bollinger Champagne and Stolichnaya Vodka), and kittens.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at January 31, 2015 07:31 AM (sH832)

44 We have two large 'Blooming' Quince as we call them. Controlling them requires a yearly effort. I've pondered trying to produce jelly from the fruit, but have never done it.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 07:32 AM (F2IAQ)

45 Sounds like Y-not should hire you to make a landscaping plan, artisanal 'ette. Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:18 PM (qahv/) nah, but thanks it's way too much work and a very personal thing One thing I found is I have to live in the space for a while to get a feel for what I want. I can then figure out where I tend to spend more time, or places I want to remain more private versus others (fences and walls), which is more like landscape architecture. It gives me time to analyze the patterns you mention. I only have one good spot for tomatoes, for example, and another for my herbs. It's fluid too, as shrubs and trees grow larger and spread their shade. One of the biggest challenges I have now is living around tons of snow for so many months, the duration of the melt, and the aftermath of the melt. It's a real drag.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 07:32 AM (IXrOn)

46 g'early afternoon, 'rons

Posted by: AltonJackson at January 31, 2015 07:32 AM (4gN5w)

47 Tammy al-Thor, Those are "nut" type hazels. We would love to learn about witch hazels from you when you have time.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:32 AM (qahv/)

48 Re Ab Fab. I have named my Oldsmobile 'Patsy'. She's getting older, but still looks good, and is fast.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 07:35 AM (F2IAQ)

49 Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 12:32 PM (F2IAQ)


We have a pindo palm that produces grape-like fruits.  I've seen palm jelly for sale in SC. 

The birds and deer go crazy for the fruit. 

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:36 AM (FsuaD)

50 Actually did some "gardening" here at my winter house in Arizona, if spraying Roundup on a weird and wonderful assortment of weeds counts as "gardening".


Any tips on rejuvenating moribund citrus trees? And how do you pull weeds growing up between the very spiny leaves of an agave? Them things are sharp!

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at January 31, 2015 07:43 AM (upitO)

51 Cat bait...primed for destruction.

Posted by: BignJames at January 31, 2015 07:43 AM (HtUkt)

52 Most interesting garden incident this week: Princess Darla acted like our giant turnip was catnip. Rolled around on wet concrete, rubber or rested her head on the cut top for an hour. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/561030663835369475 Turnips with their tops here. Territorial just started selling "Just Right". It's the giant one. It is crisp like jicama. Fall planting only. Oasis is tender. Hakurei is in between the two in texture. Wish it weren't so ugly in cold weather. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/561029352918241280

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:43 AM (qahv/)

53 I'm now obsessed with Heirloom Tomatoes after the Carl's Jr spot.

Posted by: Justin Wilson's Victory Garden at January 31, 2015 07:43 AM (gwG9s)

54 Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:43 PM (qahv/)


Good grief.  That turnip is bigger than your kitteh's head!

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:46 AM (FsuaD)

55 I saw something once on weeding spiny plants, AOP. I'll see if I can find it. Probably not today. Don't know much about saving moribund citrus. I'd probably plant a new one in a different location. If it's in Arizona, get an Arizona-adapted cultivar.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:46 AM (qahv/)

56 We have a kitteh who goes nuts over the smell of banana peels.  Weird.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:47 AM (FsuaD)

57 The birds and deer go crazy for the fruit. Posted by: Jane -------------- It's the heat, humidity, and rattlesnakes down there. Makes 'em crazy. ;-) I am probably the only person in the room who seeks out Kudzu blossoms. They bloom in the early Fall, and have the astounding fragrance of grape jelly. It is no surprise that in areas of the SE, one can find Kudzu jelly every now and then.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 07:48 AM (F2IAQ)

58 Took us 4 days to eat it, Jane. Two pounds a day.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:49 AM (qahv/)

59 57 Addendum. Pic of Kudzu blossom: http://tinyurl.com/lfos8vn

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 07:50 AM (F2IAQ)

60 58 Took us 4 days to eat it, Jane. Two pounds a day.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:49 PM (qahv/)



Ummm....

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:53 AM (FsuaD)

61 Is Kudzu Jelly made from leaves, flowers or fruits, Mike?

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:54 AM (qahv/)

62 Kudzu lives off a diet of trees and old houses. 

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 07:54 AM (FsuaD)

63 artisanal 'ette, I think you have a good approach to the planning process. It is especially important to get a feel for the property before placing trees and big shrubs. Or hardscaping. I read once that it's a good idea to concentrate on annuals just after moving. But some perennials are easy to move if you get their location wrong.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:58 AM (qahv/)

64 Dang. Y-not's tiny plants are in a thimble.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:59 AM (qahv/)

65 Is Kudzu Jelly made from leaves, flowers or fruits, Mike? Posted by: KT ------------------- There is no fruit. I have never actually made any, I just collect the cut blooms for their aroma. The jelly is made using the blooms. Here is the method/recipe: Ingredients: Serves: 36 Yield: 6 Half Pi ... Units: US | Metric 4 cups kudzu blossoms (make sure that they haven't been sprayed with chemicals) 4 cups boiling water 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 (1 3/4 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin 5 cups sugar Directions: 1 Wash kudzu blossoms with cold water, drain well and place them in a large bowl. 2 Pour 4 cups boiling water over blossoms, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. 3 Strain liquid through a colander into a Dutch oven, discarding blossoms. 4 Add lemon juice and pectin; bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. 5 Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. 6 Remove from heat; skim off foam with a spoon. 7 Quickly pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars; filling to 1/4 inch from top. 8 Wipe jar rims. 9 Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. 10 Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes. 11 Cool jars on wire racks.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 08:00 AM (F2IAQ)

66 A few of my neighbors have flowering quince, but I din't know anything about it, except it's gorgeous, until this post. I bought a 15 gal Mexican lime tree, and potted it up yesterday which about killed me, but at least it was good exercise. Lauren, they didn't have Kaffir limes, but I'll keep looking. In continued violation of my vow not to plant winter veggies, I bought some seed potatoes, red lasoda. I'm such a dumbass, I opened the bag at home and thought, shit, I could've bought these things at HEB. So, off to the internet to learn about seed potatoes and how to plant them. I'm going to try them in some grow bags that are sitting empty. Still having a mild winter. Things in my yard/patio that are blooming are trailing rosemary, cyclamen, violas (which are winter bloomers anyway), knockout roses, bulbine, a wee aloe, purple lantana. I"m waiting for a hard late Feb. freeze to slam everything in typical Texas fashion.

Posted by: stace at January 31, 2015 08:00 AM (ImzkZ)

67 Sorry about the minimal content from self this week. I had a craptastic week of car troubles, pet issues, and sinus headaches.

No excuses!  And don't think we won't remember come bonus time. 

Posted by: pep at January 31, 2015 08:00 AM (4nR9/)

68 and sinus headaches. ---------------- I think that snorting Wolffia takes care of that...., oh..., wait..., maybe it just causes a distraction.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 08:03 AM (F2IAQ)

69 Feds gave Tenn. the TVA....gave us kudzu.

Posted by: BignJames at January 31, 2015 08:04 AM (HtUkt)

70 Off to the local lunch counter/gossip-fest.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 08:05 AM (F2IAQ)

71 Love the Fundamental Concepts post, Weirddave. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/354671.php

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 08:05 AM (qahv/)

72 If you take a look at your filbert trees when the catkins are in full extent, and look really close at the thick buds, you will see the filberts' female flowers.

They are little scarlet anemones about the sized of the lead tip of a wooden pencil

http://preview.tinyurl.com/nvtvxme

truly one of the miracles hidden in plain sight.

In Oregon, in the Willamette Valley filberts are big business with more acres planted to them these years than even wine grapes.  When I used to work for a nursery the inspectors would be down to inspect any decorative nursery stock because the dept of Ag was worried about a disease that could be spread by nursery stock.

I could never square that with the fact that wild filberts grew everywhere the bluejays would stash the nuts and forget about them.

Posted by: kindltot at January 31, 2015 08:06 AM (t//F+)

73 Any tips on rejuvenating moribund citrus trees? And how do you pull weeds growing up between the very spiny leaves of an agave? Them things are sharp! Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at January 31, 2015 12:43 PM (upitO) A cactus seller I go to uses long surgical forceps and fish hook removers. That's mostly for smaller plants, though. If your weeds are huge it might not work.

Posted by: stace at January 31, 2015 08:07 AM (ImzkZ)

74 Feds gave Tenn. the TVA....gave us kudzu. Posted by: BignJames ---------------- One of my standby responses when someone says, "The Government ought to do something!", is, "Would that be the same Government that gave us Kudzu?" More effective in the SE than northern climes.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 08:07 AM (F2IAQ)

75 Those ikebana flower arrangements are gorgeous.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at January 31, 2015 08:08 AM (Zu3d9)

76 One of my standby responses when someone says, "The Government ought to do something!", is, "Would that be the same Government that gave us Kudzu?"

More effective in the SE than northern climes.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc at January 31, 2015 01:07 PM (F2IAQ)



You need to convince the local LIV's that one can get high by smoking dried kudzu roots.



And I am off to hit some swap meets/yard sales for some tin snips and other sheet metal tools. Fixing Triumph floors. I am.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at January 31, 2015 08:14 AM (upitO)

77 O/T  Bobbi Christina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston, has been found unresponsive in a bathtub in her home in Roswell, GA.

Link at Drudge.

Sad, just sad.

Sorry for the O/T.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 08:16 AM (FsuaD)

78 34 Need ideas for naming our two latest garden/garage kittens. I think they're sisters, but they didn't show up together. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/561031003183927296 Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:20 PM (qahv/) ------ Quince and Kudzu!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at January 31, 2015 08:17 AM (KH1sk)

79 Hate to break in...but Bobbie Kristina found unresponsive in bathtub....Whitney's daughter....SMH

Posted by: KWDreaming at January 31, 2015 08:18 AM (/yOZJ)

80 Most interesting garden incident this week: Princess Darla acted like our giant turnip was catnip. Rolled around on wet concrete, rubber or rested her head on the cut top for an hour. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/561030663835369475 wow cute kittie

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 08:18 AM (IXrOn)

81 Weirddave's new content is fantastic! Wolffia dip -- just in time for the Superbowl! Here, beer and frozen pizza are what's on sale. Nothing like Wolffia dip is even conceivable in my little town.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 08:20 AM (qahv/)

82 I'm now obsessed with Heirloom Tomatoes after the Carl's Jr spot. Posted by: Justin Wilson's Victory Garden at January 31, 2015 12:43 PM (gwG9s) speaking of melons I just saw the new Kate Upton Game of War commercial (on NBC). Competition of fruits.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 08:20 AM (IXrOn)

83 We're growing hot peppers again this year on deck containers.  I'm also replanting my raised garden bed on the north side of the house with eggplant, squash, and whatever else I feel like.  Need to get more deer fencing. 

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 31, 2015 08:23 AM (FsuaD)

84 I could never square that with the fact that wild filberts grew everywhere the bluejays would stash the nuts and forget about them. Posted by: kindltot at January 31, 2015 01:06 PM (t//F+) this is a good idea for a future gardening thread post Nuts (and seeds)

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 31, 2015 08:24 AM (IXrOn)

85 Nood.

Posted by: Y-not at January 31, 2015 08:26 AM (9BRsg)

86 All Hail Eris, Thanks. Quince and Kudzu is kind of alliterative. Plant names for cats! The classic tabby pretends she's a Flying Dragon sometimes . . . . .

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 08:43 AM (qahv/)

87 Thanks for the info on the filbert catkins containing tiny flowers, kindltot. The reason the authorities care more about nursery stock than about your native hazel is that the native one is immune to Eastern Filbert Blight. This disease took out a lot of commercial plantings years ago. I think most of the new nut trees they are planting are immune cultivars now.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 09:04 AM (qahv/)

88 OT but in case you are interested: At noon tomorrow on the Hallmark Channel they are doing The Kitten Bowl. This is a couple of hours of kittens playing in a football arena. At 3PM the Animal Planet channel has The Puppy Bowl which is similar. If you can deal with several hours of ultimate cuteness, these are great. I look forward to them every year. I don't really care about the football game this year, just hope it's a good game. But I've seen every Super Bowl so far and don't want to blow the streak.

Posted by: JTB at January 31, 2015 09:09 AM (FvdPb)

89 Hope it's not too late but thanks for the beautiful pictures and landscaping suggestions. Mrs. JTB is already thinking how to apply them to the yard.

Posted by: JTB at January 31, 2015 09:26 AM (FvdPb)

90 Thanks, JTB. Let us know if you start to firm up some ideas. We're going to be addressing landscaping-related topics in the future, too.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 09:32 AM (qahv/)

91 Now I'm in the mood for a Stoli-Bolli, sweetie.

Posted by: stace at January 31, 2015 09:32 AM (ImzkZ)

92 RE: Ab Fab: It would be more fun to be Patsy. Unfortunately, I am more Edina.

*sigh*

Posted by: shibumi who is awaiting SMOD at January 31, 2015 09:41 AM (trX1O)

93 Nice turnips KT ...

and fine content from you all ... doesn't need to dazzle every week to keep garden type folks interested, but this week dazzles just fine.  Ikebana looks intriguing, and bringing plants in for winter color is a great idea.  We used to find bittersweet and make dried arrangements from the branches with its little orange "fruit".

I started a tray of Buttercrunch lettuce from old seed, 85% germ rate as of Sept 2010.  A few germinated already, put them under four T-5 bulbs, which sit on my 90 gal aquarium.  It's by a window, but lotsa gray short days in winter.  Running the lights makes the aquarium too warm, so I vent it, then it gets drier than I prefer.  The coleus cuttings are fine, the lettuce will demand more light I suppose.  But having bright lights on leafy lettuce in winter will be therapeutic.  Thousands of snow geese flew over yesterday, offering hope for an early spring.

I also have 72 hardwood grape cuttings in little 1.5"x1.5"x10" milk carton type tubes for about ten days now, with a little bottom heat, hoping at least half root.  My lettuce sits above those, close to the light.  cheers ...

Posted by: Illiniwek at January 31, 2015 10:26 AM (JWHJX)

94 Stace, grow bags are perfect for potatoes this time of year. They're subject to soil diseases, so you may want to use potting mix.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 12:58 PM (qahv/)

95 Illiniwek, The aquarium set-up sounds fun. If the lettuce starts getting floppy, you might think about eating it, then planting more when the light from your window is a little more intense. Or cut the tops off and let it re-grow. I'll be interested to year how your grape cuttings do.

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 01:03 PM (qahv/)

96 Y-Not, WeirdDave, and KT, You guys do a fantastic job on the gardening thread. I've learned so much, and hope to put it to good practice this Spring in Central Idaho, at about 4000' MSL. Seasons are short, and the critters are prolific up here, so I've opted for a big greenhouse, 11 x 24', by Santa Barbara Greenhouses. http://www.sbgreenhouse.com/ Can't say enough good about their quality. Got the Deluxe kit, and spent the better part of several months giving the redwood a clear stain finish. About 600 pieces, including the benches. Every piece fit perfect. Free shipping of 15 boxes at about 2000 lbs of stuff (tempered glass sides), when you order before Mar 1. It is holding up great to its first winter. Snow slides right off, as soon as any amount collects. Will see how my first season goes. Got a bunch of seeds from Victory Seeds, based on my Moron Education. Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Posted by: Jimmy Doolittle at January 31, 2015 01:34 PM (8LUwF)

97 Sounds like a great greenhouse, Jimmy. We'll be looking for details on how you decide to do the plant part. Since your in Central Idaho, you might find some interesting things at Sandhill Preservation. Glenn Drowns once lived in a mountain valley in Idaho, and developed a few short-season veggies there. Like they say at Pinetree, "he's the real deal" when it comes to heirlooms. Don't expect fast shipping, though. http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 03:51 PM (qahv/)

98 I'll check him out! Thanks. Too bad I can't send pics. I refuse to dive into the social media swamp to share them.

Posted by: Jimmy Doolittle at January 31, 2015 03:55 PM (8LUwF)

99 Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 05:58 PM (qahv/) Thanks, KT! I'll go with the potting mix.

Posted by: stace at January 31, 2015 05:31 PM (ImzkZ)

100 I think that the mix for potatoes in a grow bag does not need to be too light, but as you fill in the upper part of the bag as the plants grow, the potatoes will be easier to harvest if you use a light mix, straw, wood chips, etc. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrridw_how-to-grow-potatoes-in-a-bag_lifestyle

Posted by: KT at January 31, 2015 07:30 PM (qahv/)

101 sprinkles are on the leftard hit list cause they have transfats in them. seriously

Posted by: torabora at February 03, 2015 06:38 AM (3h0hg)

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