Re: [gardeners] Tumbler tomatoes

penny x stamm (
Fri, 15 May 1998 00:58:08 -0400

George, I was unaware before this month that the Osmocote would
"use up" in the very hot weather. I had thought that a 90-day or
a 120-day fertilizer would last 90 days or 120 days, more or less. 
Now I realize that this would only be if the temps remained at about
70* or 75* -- their "fine print" is too darned fine!  Last summer I
did go around with a hose-end sprayer and give the annual beds
a single booster shot of liquid fertilizer in August. It worked very
well. Osmocote had a much longer lasting product on the market 
for a very few years -- it was called "Once" -- but the company 
decided that it didn't sell well enough for them to sustain the cost
of supplying it, so it disappeared.  Pity...

About the paint -- I agree that the peeling paint must have come
from some form of improper application, and/or moisture. This 
was a $8900 whole house repair (painter, roofer, carpenter) after
the Winter From Hell with its 18 snow storms. The south-facing 
gutter froze over, and the melting snow worked its way into the
eaves and then into the attic, ruining my ceilings. It also did an
incredible job on the outside of the shingles:  the water came down
the sides of my white house a brilliant orange, completely staining
the shingles! This was the product of the melted snow water getting
into the attic lumber and then running back out. 

My hubby Jimmie discovered it outside while I was finding it coming 
down the kitchen venetian blinds and thence down the wall into the
basement!  State Farm sent for auxilliary adjusters from Chicago and
Atlanta to handle the volume of claims -- and I was allowed every
penny for repair that I had requested!  It's interesting, BTW, that my
carpentry and roofing repairs were done by my excellent firemen 
who have side businesses. They are the greatest find of the century!
They never fail to show up; they always finish the jobs; they never
charge exhorbitant prices; and they are super-conscientious. 

So, Jimmie grabbed me and dragged me outside in the snow banks,
while we decided what to do with an orange house. He rigged a 
garden hose to the kitchen sink hot water faucet, and washed down 
the house with as much force and heat as he could muster. The color
disappeared!  Then he Rube Goldberged the hose to a threaded steel
pipe, at the top of which he screwed on a garden sprinkler body. 
Then together, with me halfway out the 3rd floor bathroom window, we
hooked that sprinkler body over the edge of the frozen gutter, and he
turned on the hot water from inside the house just fast enough not to
run over the gutter, and left it on to melt down the blocked ice both in 
the gutter and the leader. It worked -- ain't that grand? Periodically I 
would sit half way outside that bathroom window and with a very long
pole, I would urge the ice chunks to move on - or I would even shove 
them over the edge, into the snow bank below. It ws a challenge, and
while it was deadly serious, it also was kinda fun.. 

So, the painters certainly could not repair the outside in January in
the snow, and waited until April. The entire house had been sanded 
down to bare wood only one year earlier, what a shame!  They did
what we thought was the right thing -- but here I am with sudden
peeling paint.  The boss painter came over to look, and said that
he will absorb the cost of redoing the entire back of the house, even
tho it's been several years! Will miracles never cease..!  

I have to add one more comment:  right after we used the hot water
on the whole side of the house, the painter commented that this
could end up causing us grief, for the moisture might have penetrated
into the wood shingles or BEHIND them, and the new paint might not
stick. I told him that I could not very well have left the house all
because it would have taken him 10 coats of white to hide it later, and
MORE paint is never better. Under these horrendous circumstances,
there was no right answer...

Penny, NY zone 6

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