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Sunday, February 21, 2010


HELLO from your Garden Daddy here at the garden home! It is with joy and great pleasure I report today of the wonderful temperatures we have been experiencing over this past few days. Now we are getting unusual 60+ degree temperatures in the daytime and this morning it was in the low 40's at 6:00am. We have not had this kind of weather for so long and today was the first day in many-many weeks that I only wore 1-pair of socks instead of a white cotton pair under my regular dark socks! I am thrilled with this except that starting again tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, we are going back into the 40's for highs again. But I will take full advantage of this today for sure.
I should be able to go retrieve the gift of the picket fencing I was given from a neighbor at some rental property they own, all for the sake of just going and getting it. That is the start and basis of the new vegetable garden I am laying out this year. Once I get the 4 x 4's in place and set then I can install the fence panels. I am so anxious to get this project done. It should give my veggie patch the look I want and keep little "Max" from trying to terrorize the neighbors' white Shepperd that is very calm and docile but "Max" seems to want to jump his head and create a backyard "fight club" with him. "Max" of course is only 13lbs, being a Silky Terrier, or as I call him a silky terror, as he envisions himself to be about 80lbs instead. I will use the interior perimeter around the entire area to plant and support my tomato plants on the inside of the fence area and then plant the middle with the rows of other vegetables, flowers and herbs I want and usually have to offer in my neighborhood gifting of homegrown vegetables.
Now, you are probably asking yourself what kind of winter gardening should I be doing here in the middle of what should be a long, cold winter that is still ahead of us all, right? The end of February/first of March is the perfect time to begin some projects for either future completion or to prep some areas of the garden to get a head start. You can use these milder, late winter days to build that rock wall, install a fence, clean out your gutters again from winter leaves clogging them before the heavy spring rains hit...there are numerous projects to work on. You can start to prune some of your trees if you have not already done so. FYI: REMEMBER, NO CRAPE MURDER! That is do not trim your crape myrtles where they look like 3 or 4 sticks there and nothing else. The place I work has done just that. They have let the property management company that handles our landscaping completely ruin our crape myrtles. You want to just trim out the old bloom heads if any are left and basically just shape the tree. Read the following attachment and learn the best way(s) to care for your crape myrtle and enjoy them for years to come :
You can prune your fruit trees if you have not done so but do it carefully as this years buds are really already forming and preparing to shoot up. Do this only this time of year if there has been severe winter storm, ice or other foul weather damage to your fruit trees. Otherwise just live with what you have for this spring and then trim as needed in the late fall or NEXT November 2010 after the leaves and sap are down. But you can prune back other items at this time. Lower tree limbs on most other shade trees are still very dormant and have not at this stage started putting out buds of any kind yet, here in Jackson, TN anyway. Some other yard clean up you can do when weather permits is to go ahead and clean up your day lily beds and get the old brown, dead foliage out of your beds and ready to side dress with your compost from your last years compost bin. Get the remainder of your leaves out and added to your NEW compost pile you should be starting almost anytime now. All in all other than some trimming go ahead and start your yard clean up any time after March 1st here in our area of Zone #7 and get a jump on your neighbors. Go ahead as well and get some of those seeds out and started in some flats in the house or the basement if you plan to "grow from seed" some of the long season items. This could give you some many weeks ahead on items such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc., that you can transplant into your cold frame later on in the late spring when weather permits. So I feel I have given you some ideas to at least get you started and then just keep checking back with your Garden Daddy for new and updated ideas at time draws near and projects are needed.
Remember the upcoming West Tennessee Home & Garden Show dates of Feb. 26-28Th here in Jackson: West Tennessee Lawn and Garden Show; Jackson Fairgrounds Park, 800 South Highland Avenue; Downtown Jackson (Madison County) - The Lawn and Garden show promises the newest in landscaping, home building, and home improvement. Admission is $5 per day, children 12 and under are free. Friday 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. For more info, call 731-664-6161.
I leave you today with our ongoing and forever Garden Daddy original affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME"

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