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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


HELLO to you all from your Garden Daddy here at the garden home! I have some things I wanted to share today, though this may take a few days to compile in one thought & writing. I want to remind everyone that one must treat his gardening almost like someone running a race. You are racing against EVERYTHING - weather, water, sun, warmth, cold, pests & pets, personal issues, time...especially and I guess that is really the greatest issue here is TIME! Planning, planting and harvesting whether it be fruit/vegetables or blossoms or just taking in the beauty on the stem, your race is against time and all it brings each season. Preparing and implementing your plan against all odds and making it really work is the true marathon and what gets us gardeners really going.
Since this is the last week of February, I want to get you to really get out this next week, March 1st, and get in the yard and get some tools out and get those beds cleaned out and prepare for side-dressing your flower beds with either your own homemade compost, find a friend with a good horse or cattle barn and beg some good fertilizer to add in or do what I add in with MY OWN composted material here at the garden home and check with your local utility company to see if they have what we have here in Jackson for purchase. My local utility, Jackson Energy Authority, takes our yard waste, grass clippings, limbs piled in yards for refuse pickup and leaves taken to the street or lined up in bags for public pickup and grinds all this stuff up, adds some sawdust and sand and then adds the dried and pasteurized waste water (sewage), piles it up to "cook off" after pasteurizing, then when it meets government standards for heat and purification they sell you back your own trash you already paid them to pick up from your own yard. I buy probably 4-5 pick up truck loads of this stuff a year and is it ever wonderful. They offer both "leaf compost" & wood chips. Either is good and I also use this for my potted plants on my deck and on from front entry stoop, as well as added into both flower and vegetable beds. Here is the website for better and further information for those of you here in Jackson or those interested in maybe passing this on to your local utility concerns:
I am so ready to get back outside and begin again on my own gardening marathon here at the garden home. I already feel I am behind for 2010 in that area and look forward to another wonderful garden season. I hope and plan to put my new found sense of "educated authority" from my UT Internship this past fall to very good use and look forward to helping and guiding you in any area(s) you feel you might need a little tip or some investigation on my part. Even those of you who had rather remain anonymous may feel free to contact your Garden Daddy via my email here and I will be happy to add what I can. I have also realized some of my plants are putting out "babies" around, either from seeds or runners or self-layering. I hope to share some of these as I can with anyone interested. I saw recently I have an abundance of very small Nandina (nandina domestica), often called "Heavenly Bamboo" not at all related to bamboo at all though. These have come up from the red berries they have had for the past few years since I arrived here at my garden home. These are the large variety, not dwarf size, which I like the larger ones better. I will remind you here that one does not trim these like hedge. They bloom and then produce their wonderful red berries on NEW growth. One must trim them very carefully as not to prune like a hedge. Let them be more natural and just cut or break off some of the tops after blooming and fruiting in late fall/winter. Leave the berries on during winter for good winter color and the birds here just love them when pickings are scarce as well as they look wonderful used in floral arrangements during the holiday season.

Well enough of this ranting for today. I just had some things I wanted to pass on to you and there you have it. So I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"

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