Re: [gardeners] Xmas Gifts

George Shirley (
Sun, 28 Dec 1997 08:40:08

At 07:03 AM 12/28/97 -0700, you wrote:
>At 06:13 AM 12/28/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>Got a box of seeds purported to be a mixture of many of the things grown at
>>Giverney, Monet's home in France. The seeds are grouped by color only, are
>>mixed annuals, perennials and biennials, and are supposed to fill a 12 x
>>25' space. Anyone miss what's wrong with this picture? For someone who
>>still has trouble discarding seedlings occasionally, regardless of the
>>reason, I'm thinking these containers of seeds would be best thrown away
>>sooner than later. I'll recognize many of the plants as they get true
>>leaves but my head is already aching. Believe it or not, someone with a
>>garden gave it to me. Do I meet the challenge or throw the whole business
>>into the meadow? What did you get?
>>Cheryl Schaefer
>>Zone 5 in the fabulous Finger Lakes of NY
>One thing I got was two truckloads of shredded leaves, courtesy of the
>professional lawn tenders who work in our neighborhood.  Since I have
>drive-in access to my garden, I let them dump grass clippings there most of
>the summer, thereby saving them at least an hour of driving to the
>landfill.  I let the clippings rest for at least two weeks, then spread
>them as mulch in my garden.  The owner of the maintenance company is still
>mystified at the disappearance of tons and tons of organic matter over the
>years he's had crews bring me grass.  Early in the Fall, we spread all of
>the contents of my compost containers over the garden and tilled everything
>in, so I had some empty spaces.  Just haven't had the gumption to move the
>leaves into any  of the containers, and layer them with stuff.  I don't
>think I have any green stuff.  I have only horse pucky and leaves.  Hmmm.
>Am I gearing up to make a big gardening mistake?  Margaret
Nope, no mistake Margaret. Miz Anne and I have composted just horse pucky
and leaves for years. If the horse pucky is aged add a little high nitrogen
fertilizer to each layer to accelerate the heating process. One year we
composted about 5 acres worth of oak leaves along with shredded newspaper
and aged horse manure. Had a pile about 15 feet across and several feet
high and accelerated it with ammonium nitrate. In 3 weeks it was half the
size and had begun "smoking" the next day. May not be strictly organic but
it works for us in our high rainfall area.

I gave Miz Anne a book on tree identification and she "allowed" me to order
Hill and Barclays "Southern Herb Growing" from I was getting
tired of borrowing my daughter's copy. I, uh, accidently bought two other
herb books while I was at it. As we're talking about books, does anyone
know where I can get a copy of the "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs"
published by the Herb Society of America? It's the big thick jobby that
costs about $40.00. Should have gotten it while Books A Million had it but
delayed because of the cost. (This from the guy who cheerfully spent
$125.00 for professional books.) Since December 26, 1997 was our 37th
wedding anniversary I gave Miz Anne a flannel nightgown and she gave me
several hours labor in developing a new herb bed. I can't do much digging
and pulling anymore due to angina pain but my lady is still young and
strong. Gotta go, my daughter and her youngun's are coming in today to
spend the day with us. My little girl is 36 today, seems like it was just
yesterday I was powdering her butt.