[gardeners] Monday at work and play

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 10 Dec 2001 19:44:35 -0600

Went off this morning to sing for my breakfast at the local Shoney's and did a one-hour safety
meeting for a client. After that I hit the local Brewhut and got 100 Grolsch bottle gaskets
(bail-top bottle) for half of the prices I found on the web. Visited another client to help them
with some paperwork and then called on a friend who just got word her Marine son is going ashore to
an "unknown" location. We all know he's moving into Afghanistan with his outfit so had to calm her
down a bit.

After that I visited another friend who is under the weather right now to see if he and his equally
sick wife needed anything. All were doing pretty good there so stopped at a local fast food place
and had a foot long hotdog with chili, cheese, onions and jalapenos - home to the Maalox bottle.

Decided to pick some sweet and hot chiles so got a bucket of those while Sleepy Dawg frolicked in
the 60F weather in the bright sunshine. Into the house to toss the hot chiles into the proper bags
in the freezer for later manufacture of hot sauce and then capped, deseeded, and chopped the sweet
chiles for later use in cooking. All but a couple which we had with our pickup supper tonight.
Didn't feel like cooking so we both scrounged leftovers for our dinner.

The chile plants are really looking good in spite of temps down to 40F. Nice green plants, recent
rains soaked the soil well, lots of blooms, small chiles and in various stages of growth. The New
Mexico chiles are outdoing themselves this year but are slow to turn red in this weather. The
longhorns are doing much the same and I am very pleased with the production of the one Aji de Limon
de Peru plant. It has ceased blooming but still has a number of chiles slowly turning bright yellow.
I would estimate a gallon plus of chiles off this one plant which is 2 feet by 2 feet in size.

The rye grass in the main garden is about 6 inches tall and we will probably cover it with compost
this weekend and let it rot over what remains of our winter and then till it all under in February.

The cabbage and broccoli got a late start so they aren't doing much at the moment although the leaf
lettuce is starting to get big enough to thin it for salads. I am inordinately fond of oak leaf and
red sails, both very tasty varieties that do well here in the winter and early spring.

The leaves need mowing and picking up so that's another chore that will be done soon, adding more
brown mass to the compost with a little green (grass) to go with it. The fruit trees have all been
pruned to specifications and are awaiting springs first breath. The sassafras and the fig trees are
actually budding up already. It may have been our, so far, warm fall and winter or they just may be
contrary this year.

I'm still contemplating ripping out the blueberries, boysenberries, and raspberries. They haven't
done well at all and are getting to be a problem. I hate to have non-productive plants occupying
good soil so they will probably go. I'm thinking of putting in some asparagus but am not sure about
that. I'm also thinking of one of the blackberry cultivars that have been selected for this area,
preferably a thornless type. If they don't do any better than the boysen and rasp berries it will be
wasted time, effort, and money though. Any ideas from other folks who might live in USDA zone 9 -

Life is good.