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JANUARY 2016
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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2282 Posts
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1
January 1, 2016 - 6:03 am

HAPPY NEW YEAR my friends.  May the new year bring you bountiful harvests and a loving, happy and healthy life. Peace to all.  As Ellen says, "BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER."  After 52 years together (48 married) we no longer see the new year come in. BUT we do celebrate. Eating our favorite appetizers, drinks, music and then a movie.  I have never been a late night person. 

I need to get my onion seeds ordered and planted NOW.  Most other seeds will wait until February and March.  I promised myself not to start the warm season seeds too early.  Last year I was cutting back the plants a few times.  They got way to big for growing indoors. But I will use my same methods and techniques.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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CarolJean
central Wisconsin
99 Posts
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2
January 27, 2016 - 11:17 am

We are nearing the end of January and getting closer to spring everyday.  I have liked the milder than usual winter Wisconsin is having.  Yet we have enough snow to give the garden beds a nice blanket of protection.  I spend the weeks following the holidays making plans for coming growing season.  Last year I worked hard to get my yard ready to be part of our local Garden Walk in July and planned that this year could be more relaxing.  Also my beds are getting full and I didn't have any big redesign projects planned.  I want to spend more time on my vegetable garden this year and saving more of it for the winter (canning, freezing, storing.)  Three years ago I was able to add to my veggie garden area so this winter I decided to change from a 3 year rotation plan to a 4 year rotation.  It was enjoyable drawing the new plans; I love graph paper!

But a new design project has presented itself.  I have a narrow (8') side yard on the east side of my home that I have ignored; it doesn't have any flower beds.  It has a low spot that has resulted in a water problem in my 65 year old basement.  I want to move in soil to create a surface sloping away from the house.  If I have to purchase soil, I'm going to get a landscaper mix and make it a new garden.  I plan to make it a combination of vegetables and flowers.  Since it can be seen from the road I want it to be pretty.  We have deer in the neighborhood so I will have to fence it in and of course I don't want to spend a lot !!  I have learned better, less labor intensive ways to make new beds than when I started my perennial beds 15 years ago but I'm also 15 years older.  I'll share pictures if I get it completed this year.

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2282 Posts
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3
January 27, 2016 - 6:29 pm

I like the idea of gardening in that narrow area.  East side should be good for gardening.  Or does it get shaded by something?

OOOOOOOOOOOOH  I relate to the 15 year old garden and a 15 year older body.  After gardening in my present home for 20 years, I have gotten smarter on how I use my body.  LaughBut yet every year I seem to add another project.

Good luck on your new gardening adventure.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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KeyWee54
Western Kentucky Zone 7a
616 Posts
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January 28, 2016 - 4:44 am

You two are getting me excited for spring!  My daffs are up about one inch (they always do that in January and then just kinda stall out for a month or two).  

 

But what do you think about the BIG blizzard planned for 2/2?  Is that a load of Facebook malarkey?  Poor little groundhog.

 

Lark, I can't wait to try the scarlet runner beans you sent me.  I have been reading up on them and laughed at the lady who posted that she planted them on a straight-up pole, they climbed up and bloomed, and then all sank straight down the pole when the beans appeared. Bwahaaahaaa ~ reminder to self, plant on trellis.

 

MG meeting tomorrow and we will plan what type of events to conduct this spring and summer, other than maintaining our extension demo garden.  I am excited to rub elbows with my dirt buddies.  And I am excited to hear more about all of YOUR plans for the new gardening season.  Come ON May!!

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2282 Posts
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5
January 28, 2016 - 5:12 am

Kentucky warms up so much faster than here is Wisconsin.  Lucky you.  What blizzard for 2/2?  Where? I was waiting for you to tell us about your daffs.  Of course after you dug them out of all the SNOW. LaughWhat was your final total inches of snow?

Yes indeed you need a trellis.  Those beans can get quite heavy.  BUT I usually try to pick them on the small side, for eating.  Before the bean itself starts getting puffy.  Good luck.

How many events do you usually do for a season with your MB club?  How many people do you have?  I can't remember if you told me, does your club sponsor a community veggie garden?

The longer days are so good for our heart and soul.  THINK SPRING my friends.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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KeyWee54
Western Kentucky Zone 7a
616 Posts
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January 29, 2016 - 6:50 am

Oh yes, speaking of warm ~ we are supposed to hit the low 60s tomorrow and Sunday, but that won't last.  I checked my daffs again yesterday and one is trying to bloom.

 

I saw the blizzard thing on Facebook (surely everything you see on there is the truth?) and so I checked my Mom's weather for Manitowoc and sure enough, they are calling for snow (3-5) on Tuesday.  Some front they are tracking from the north.  We will just get rain here.  We ended up with almost 10" of snow last Friday, but it's gone now.  Good insulation and good watering:)

 

So, I can EAT the scarlet beans??  How do you fix them ~ in soup?

 

We have around 10 active MGs at this time, but our new hort agent plans to add another training soon, so we should get more.  All of them are retired except me.  I have to take the day off of work to attend meetings.  We will have at least one event for the public per month, March through October.  Our first is a mini-MG conference set for 3/5 and I am looking very forward to it.  Yes, we also maintain a community garden at the extension office (they have about 8 acres to work with).  We connect it to a beginners' veggie garden class and participants can take the classes and then do hands on in the garden, and take their produce home.  I tell you we had veggies out of our ears last year.  We ALL took more than we could use, gave some to the soup kitchens, and told local folks to go and pick what they wanted, and we were STILL throwing stuff in the compost.  It is amazing what a 40x40 plot can produce.  We were still picking beans and sweet taters in November!

 

Ah yes, I am thrilled to pieces that the days are longer.  Last night I looked out the kitchen window and could still see light, and it was AFTER 6pm ~ wheeee!!  Light in the tunnel!

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CarolJean
central Wisconsin
99 Posts
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7
January 31, 2016 - 10:21 pm

There is less than 2 hours of January left but I'm not looking forward to the storm coming in the first days of February.  I don't know if the last two days in the 30's and 40's was a good thing for the gardens either.

But the talk of Master Gardener projects prompted me to want to share about the conference 'Garden Visions' put on by the Northcentral Wisconsin Master Gardeners last weekend.  I've attended for many years; it's my winter treat to myself.  The keynote speaker was wonderful and spoke on design tips for easy-care front yard garden beds.  My breakout sessions were on hostas and companion plants, planning a vegetable garden to eat all year, and peonies.  We have a local commercial peony farm/grower and she has such a passion for the flowers.  It's just fun to listen to her and see her pictures.  I've been reading gardening magazines and books for years, attending classes, & following several blogs but there's always something to take away.

cj

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