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Thursday, August 13, 2009


Here we are in mid-August and I would almost say it is October from a look at the temperature for this week. It is supposed to be around 87-degrees today. Not like the worst of the summer. It seems like even the garden is going through a slow down on production due to the milder weather for this time of year. So as the garden is on slow down this week, except for the grass, I am concentrating on the inside of the house a lot this week. I am preparing the garden home for the 2009 Christmas Home Tour for my historic district. Week before last I was at the library and did the needed historical research on my home. My deed says my home was built c.1910. But I found it was actually built and deeded around Jan. 29, 1922. It appears the land was purchased on April 04, 1920 by Mr. & Mrs. A.E. Estes (A.E. & Annie Estes). The Estes evidently owned several lots here on Division and were quite the property owners here in JACKSON, owning many parcels of land in town. They sold one of the lots next door to me (I do not know which side though) in 01/29/1922 for the sum of $1.00 for the lot. But the overall investigation was very interesting and fun and I even found out what each owner did for a living, children, etc.
Now that I know I am the owner of the historic "A.E. Estes Home" I can proceed with working on my home and setting the mood for an excellent tour that I will be proud of and hopefully inspire others to get in the Christmas mood by the end of the tour dates, Dec. 4-6, 2009, Friday night through Sunday afternoon. I look forward to having anyone who is not able to attend the official tour showing dates to come in for a private tour when I have the decorations up and the beds dressed for the holidays, etc.I am attaching an update on the blooming bananas. You can see the baby bananas at the base of the blooms. I keep forgetting to stake up the tree or I will go out one day and it will be broken off like the last one I had bloom. This bloom stalk will grow about 2-3 ft long and will pull the tree over. It is already leaning a bit now so I must do that when I work my yard later today after the dew dries. That is one tip I would like to pass on to you for today...remember to NEVER mow wet grass and that is for multiple reasons. Here is a copied notice from the U. of Ohio: "Avoid mowing when turf grass is wet. Mowing wet grass causes clippings to come out of the mower in clumps. Clumps of grass left on the lawn are unsightly and can damage the grass under them. However, do not allow turf to become so high that mowing removes more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. It is better to mow when the lawn is wet than to let the grass grow too tall. If the grass does grow taller, raise the blade so that no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade is removed". Another reason for not mowing is that the wet grass build up on your mower can often affect the precision mowing of your machine and cause it to stall with the wet grass clumping under the mower or bogging down in the opening of your grass catcher. I personally ALWAYS "catch" my grass as well as leaves, etc. And of course as long as it does not have seeds in it should be added to your compost pile for the "green" additions that will help the pile. Also, I have a neighbor who has a washing hillside and I have arranged to put my clippings as well as theirs on the hillside to not only stop the washing away of the hill but it also adds the grass seeds that will germinate and stop the washing. It also stops the growing of unwanted vines and the ugly stuff that comes up naturally from bird dropping, etc. This grassy addition to their hillside also packs down and looks like a mulch when the green turns brown and it is better than muddy soil and looks like your put down your own mulch.
So all you Southern gardeners enjoy this mild weather and get to thinking about your fall garden maintenance as I think about my fall UT internship for the TN. Master Gardener program.


  1. Thanks for the quick primer on mowing. What about those who say that a 'mulching' mower or setting is good for the grass roots?

  2. MOST PEOPLE think that "thatch" is caused by too many grass clippings when the opposite might be true. Grass clippings are actually ok for a normal lawn. If one has disease, fungus or other lawn issues then you MUST catch and discard the clippings or the problems just get worse. But normal clippings of 1" or less are ok for a lawn. They dry up and break down rather quickly and add their own nitrogen back to the soil. On the other hand they will also add nitrogen back to your garden soil and other good nutrients in the way of additions as mulch around tomatoes or just added to your compost pile. As for me personally - I choose to catch my clippings as an esthetic value rather than for "garden food" value. But if one mows often enough then the clippings are not an issue. But if they clippings pile up and up then you might actually start a fungus in the grass by not allowing the turf to dry out and the dangerous grass issues begin. Just mowing weekly will be ok but most people do not mow as often as I do, often every 3-4 days anyway. So happy mulching, Charlie!

  3. Still the best garden blog on the web! Thanks for all the info!