Re: [gardeners] Something to do right now!

George Shirley (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 08:20:09 -0500

penny x stamm wrote:
> 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
> fertilizer,
> 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
> gather
> 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
I don't know about the rest of the folks on this list but I thoroughly
enjoy the "soap opera" of The Adventures of Jimmie and Penny. Got a good
laugh to start the day off right and have to admire you both for the
efforts you put into maintaining your home and grounds. Keep it up!

George, still grinning