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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Art, I can sooo relate to having to use something for leverage to get up. I too look around to see what I can do while I'm on the ground. Yesterday, while I was on the road doing a double run for the Pet Railroad, hubby was in the veggie garden turning the soil. When I phoned to tell him I was running late due to an unexpected Great Dane that took up too much room for the other dogs and cat, he was moaning. He said he'd 'wrenched' his back turning over the soil. It was a long night of ice packs, linament and massage. Today he drove 4 hours one way to go see his 92 year old mother who is in the hospital. He just called to say he's on his way home and to have the ice packs and linament on the ready! At least he got his onions in the ground!

    Much of the pleasure of my trip yesterday was that I got to drive 2 hours south into almost the central part of SE Virginia. All the forsythia were blooming along with daffodils. I could see the buds on the cherry trees ready to pop and some of the pears were already in bloom. Along with the puppy kisses I got, it made for a great day! Spring is on it's way to you.

    Newt

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    7

    Ouch!

    Newt,
    I can relate to the "wrenched back" and the pain that goes with it.
    What I can't relate to [but do dream about] is being able to plant in March!
    My father retired to Arkansas and he too was able to plant in March. How nice that would be!
    Here in our neck of the woods; we are lucky if we can get the peas in by May 15th. Everything else goes into the ground on June 1st [if the weather co-operates].
    I am going to try covering a few of the raised beds with plastic and attempt to make "mini-greenhouses" this spring. I still can't do that because of the snow surrounding my raised beds but will be doing it soon. The snow is receding quickly! I will soon be uncovering the garlic bulbs. Yippee!
    Our fruit trees are just beginning to show signs of budding, the raspberries still look as though they dead, The forsythias are actually limbering up, our daffodils and tulips are still shivering under the ground. A few brave bulbs right against the house have pushed themselves above ground [testing the weather, I think] and we look forward to the colorful show to come.
    It sounds like you have quite a houseful [and a car full]!
    Can you hurry up that delivery of spring?
    art

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Art, I can't hurry spring, but I can commiserate. I grew up in the Catskill Mtns. of NY State and my daughter and sil used to live north of Chicago. I remember the bone chilling cold and the deep snow. It has it's own beauty, but I do apprecaite the warmer climate here. One of the things I appreciate about the climate here is the great diversity of plant material. I do miss the fall colors that New England offers. In the fall of 2007 I visited New England all the way to your state and it was just one amazing vista after another. The lobster wasn't bad either! :)

    Newt

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    7

    Lobsters in Maine

    Hello Newt,
    Spring is getting oh, so close! Still have a bit of snow in the gardens but I can see a lot of bare ground. It won't be long until the land magically and very quickly, turns to all shades of green. No sign of my asparagus yet! Pea-planting, spinach, chard and radish planting about two weeks away. Then we will battle the frost and attempt to get in our other vegies. We will be putting out the hummingbird feeders in a week or so! Last week we were finding a lot of dead baby birds in the yard. Sadly, we think some of our over-wintering goldfinches got ahead of themselves. As for those yummy lobsters; I don't eat them but my wife and sister-in-law love em! By the way; they make fantastic compost! art

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Art, I'm so glad you mentioned the hummer feeders. I almost forgot to put mine out as I usually do it on April 1st. If you would like to track their route north to you, you can do that here and see when folks report they have arrived.
    http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

    I almost forgot to mention about the dead birds. I hope you didn't handle them with your bare hands. Take a look here.
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/west..._factsheet.htm

    Oh, and crab shells are also great in compost!

    Newt

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    7
    Newt,
    Great news! Spring has finally arrived and the raised beds are enjoying the warmth. My asparagus has burst forth as if by magic. Sure wish I could taste but this is only year two. Next year they won't be so lucky! My peas are up about 1/2 inch, chard, lettuce, carrots and mesclun about the same!
    A bit of bad [sad] news. Come to find out, I may have been unknowingly killing the winter birds! :{
    The local newspaper had an article in it that said a lot of birds were dying from salmonella poisoning! Because we feed so heavily and the feeders are permanent; there were too many seeds on the ground and it is possible that they warmed up enough to harbor the salmonella. Next winter I will do a better job at moving my feeders around.
    I bet you are enjoying the fruits of your garden labors already!
    We can't wait for that first bunch of chard and lettuce!
    Life is good,
    Art

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Art, what wonderful news about your garden and the arrival of spring!! We have already harvested leaf lettuce several times for our salads. One day our temps went crazy and it went from 94*F during the day to 30*F at night. I covered the veggies with sheets to keep the cold off them.

    I did read about the salmonella here too. We also had an outbreak of house finch eye disease aka micoplasmal conjunctivitis. It effects more then just house finches.
    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/hofi/abtdisease.html

    I've found that thoroughly cleaning the bird feeders every 3 to 4 months helps keep them clean. We empty them and throw away any seed that's left over, bring them indoors and scrub with hot water and soap. Sometimes I even use a bleach solution of one part bleach to 9 parts water to scrub if they have any mold. Then I wash and rinse again to get rid of any residue.

    We now use sunflower chips that don't have a seed case in our feeders. That way any seed that falls on the ground doesn't sprout and the ground feeder birds eat what spills. Unfortunately we haven't been able to find the sunflower chips (aka sunflower hearts) in the big box stores. Only the specialty bird stores seem to carry them.

    Thanks so much for the update.
    Newt

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Art, I have some sites with tools for the garden for those with physical considerations. Have you heard of this 'garden rocker'?
    http://2vertex.com/garden_brand.html

    They even sell a seat cover for those sensitive bottoms!
    https://2vertex.com/index.php?cPath=21

    This site has some user friendly gardening tools and 'stuff' and some tools that are ergonomic in design. Sadly, some of the sites I had are no longer around. It's a sign of the times.
    http://www.gardenscapetools.com/index.html

    Newt

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