Re: [gardeners] Something to do right now!

penny x stamm (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 00:50:29 -0400

George, the weather's been 10* cooler than normal for weeks now,
so it's no surprise that the raspberries and tomatoes never 
ripened more than a hair's breadth.  

I did cut and bring in 2 beautiful gladioli, and 2 lovely big dahlias.
Ordinarily I just never cut flowers for inside, but with the temps so
cold, I expect everything to go belly up every morning...  I managed
to bring in a very agile and rather large spider as well -- and since I 
thought it had landed in my hair, I went creepy for a coupla hours,
with imagination.  My hubby asked me why on earth I was beating
myself in the head like that...<g>..  

Have had a conundrum for the past six weeks:  My 8 gallon power
sprayer broke in 3 places at once, last August -- the pressure hose 
split a seam, the sprayer tank split a seam, and the threaded plastic 
drain cork jammed permanently in its hole. We took it all apart and 
repaired the pressure hose. Decided to order a replacement tank. 
And I found something at Grainger's, the mammoth everything-
parts place:  a brass fitting which was male threaded at one end, 
hollow throughout, and again male threaded at the far end, with a
closure cap that screwed on.  Yippee-I-Oh, just what I had always
craved for that sprayer drain. It had lasted four years with my 
screwing a plastic plug into a plastic tank body, and even with 
extreme care, the threads had finally given way...  Now Jimmie
could "chase" the threads on the tank, I could install the permanent
metal fitting, and I could then open and close the drain without
having to lift up that darned sprayer and turning it upside down,
which was the point I had reached...!  

I ordered the tank from Sears who said it was available for 
delivery. 2 weeks later, I called. 2 weeks later I called. 2 weeks
later I called again. It took 10 weeks for that durned tank to get 
here, and that meant that I could not do any spraying in that 
interval.  Roses in the north-east  cannot escape black spot (and 
some fungus) unless sprayed regularly. I cannot  use a hand-
pumped sprayer because I've had 2 disk operations, and a 
hose-end-sprayer is too powerful for the roses. And then, to make 
matters worse, the Tree man instructed me to pray the ailing 
azaleas with iron -- and I had no pump! 

Well, last week the tank arrived, and when Jimmie had finished 
assembling it all, I discovered that the battery had buckled, and 
was dead. Now where on earth can one buy a 12V 7amp sealed 
battery at the drop of a hat? No place. So I telephone ordered one 
from Radio Shack, and paid $5 extra for 48 hr delivery, because it 
had become desperately late and chilly for spraying evergreens with 
iron, but the decision was made that I HAD to try it, and hope for a 
warm spell to return. 

Meanwhile, Jimmie stumbled on a dead rhodie in the back of
the shrubbery , and got so mad that he decided to dig it out. Now 
Jimmie does have more brawn than brains, honest to Pete, for he 
had fallen hard the week before and hurt his shoulder.  Of course, 
poor boy, he fell again while digging, and slammed his hand 
against a "cyclone fence".  Broke his hand. So off we went last 
Friday to the orthopedist, and got a cast put on. Waiting for us at 
the front door when we returned was the new battery! And yes, you 
guessed it, while I was out buying food supplies, he managed to 
install that battery in the guts of the sprayer, a very difficult
maneuver -- 
even without a cast on!  Then he decided that the cast itched, 
and he opened it up. Grrrrr....   I finally got it all put back together 
again, but last night I noticed in profile that the broken finger was 
no longer being held down by the bandaging!  So back to the 
orthopedist today (he's a doll), for a re-taping. And at last I am free 
to go spray the iron!!!

Not so fast. Somebody has hidden the iron cheleate. It is nowhere 
to be found. I had two bottles waiting, and now nada. So off to the big 
garden supply house -- and it shouldn't be a total loss, I also bought 
8 bags of 10/6/4 for the lawn, 2 bags of cedar mulch, 3 qts of iron, a 
bottle of Osmocote pellets for spring planting, and a bag of bone meal 
for the bulbs in 2 weeks. Of course I did forget to get the acid
and with a sale of 20% off, I'll have to make another trip back, for we 
use 550 lbs each spring and fall, which means 11 bags. Now it
probably would pay me to get the spring supplies while the sale lasts, 
but I suspect that 1100 lbs would be rather taxing on the car...    

Anyway, I had a wunnnderful time amongst the nursery plants and 
trees, just smelling and smiling, wandering and walking thru their 
greenery...  I know Jimmie can spread the fertilizer on the lawn -- the 
only thing he cannot do is start the lawn mower, because of his injured 
shoulder.  I guess I'll have to eat an extra sirloin steak or two, to
up the strength to pull the rope to start the mower to mulch the leaves
to fill the composter that Jack built -- no, no, no! Penny, you're mixing
up your stories.........    

Penny in New York, zone 6

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