Gardeners Corner
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#1 Mar 19, 2011
As the thunderstorm passed across the sky over my home, hail the size of quarters began to pound on the roof and I couldn't help but to look out the window only to see an old hen running around searching for refuge. I should have felt sympathy but that old hen never stays in the chicken coup and she destroyed a number of my pumpkins last fall, so all I could do was laugh as that hen ran from the falling sky. She did find cover under the pickup, but when the hail subsided, that old hen didn't run back to the coup. No, she just strutted over to where the wild bird feeder hangs and began to eat the feed that was knocked down by the hail. I'm still angry about the pumpkins but I have to admire such an independent chick. :-)

United States

#2 Mar 19, 2011
I'll have to admire that old hen myself, REWBA. Think of those old people in Japan. So many in their 70's and 80's having to live in total discomfort away from their now destroyed homes. I must admire their pluck. Bless them.

The rain smelled and felt good this morning. Wish now I had planted spinach seed yesterday like I wanted to.

United States

#3 Mar 19, 2011
When the quake was reported I really worried for a Japanese kid that my sons befriended when they were attending ESU. Thank goodness for the world wide web. He posted on facebook that he was alright and people from at least six different nations across the globe responded, relieved to know our friend was well. Living on the southernmost islands of Japan, he was shaken by the quake but wasn't washed away by the tsunami.

United States

#4 Mar 19, 2011
You know, growing up in Hawaii, the idea of a tsunami is deeply ingrained in the population. In fact, they hold weekly siren tests there like we have tornado siren tests here. But always, the spectre of that giant wave looms in the back of your mind. When I was still there, I remember having to evacuate once. The wave wasn't a strong one, but there was one.

Of course the loss of human life is great, but on another front, much of their farmland is now soaked in salt water. I hope they will have a way to deal with that. I don't know of any product that will neutralize salt. I do know, however, that seaweed makes good fertilizer.

I'm glad to hear that the young man you speak of is okay. Good of him to let everyone know. Boy, that facebook has become an invaluable resource.

United States

#5 Mar 20, 2011
I am so sad about the Gaz site because I was having such great teaching moments with uranidiot who was even kind enough to say he/she would buy a book on downhome gardening were I to write one. What a nice thing to say.

I was so happy to share my experience. Sometimes all the formal directions in the world don't go as far as one backyard gardener's experience. That's how I learned when I first moved to Kansas. My first next door neighbor taught me so many things that serve me well about this area.

I hope uranidiot has followed us to these threads because I am interested in how his/her garden and compost is coming along. He/she were to have begun a compost pile today. Good day to start since raking up is a little easier when things are damp.

United States

#6 Mar 20, 2011
hi create! when we last chatted about gardening, i asked if you put epsom salts around your 'maters. i do and they turn out huge and sweet. also do you have any secrets about growing black eye peas and okra up in kansas. i think its to cold up here.

United States

#7 Mar 20, 2011
It seems to me that Steve Sauder has been trying to get rid of the Gazette forums for a few years. His own web site at KVOE doesn't allow comments. People like Sauder want to dictate their world view and they don't want any talk back. That's why he has a one way radio station.
I'm not going to return to the gazette forums if the walkers are just going to be jerks like sauder. I only went there to read the forum comments anyway. Without the comments, the gazette's online news sucks and as they loose readership, they will also loose online ad revenue.
I enjoyed reading your gardening tips too. I started planting basil because you spoke so well of it. Hopefully our anonymous friends will find their way to these strings and join in too. That would be nice.

United States

#8 Mar 20, 2011
If your soil lacks magnesium, adding small amounts of Epsom salt(Magnesium Sulfate)could correct the problem. A better way for acidic soils would be to use dolomite limestone, which also contains calcium along with magnesium. The best way to correct a nutrient problem begins with a good soil test.

While magnesium is an essential nutrient for plants, if it turns out that your soil is not lacking magnesium, adding Epsom salt crystals could indeed harm, rather than benefit your plants. Many soils already contain an excessive amount of magnesium, and adding more of this mineral could reduce the availability of other nutrients...Calcium and potassium. Excess magnesium will also make heavier clay soils even stickier.

Earlier, prettier, sweeter tomatoes??? Recent research has indicated that an excessive amount of this mineral to be linked to tomato white core (white stones inside of the tomato) and a yellow halo around the stem scar, called tomato yellow eye.

We all want the best performing plants, but before you apply special soil additives of any kind, first test the soil to see what it needs.

United States

#9 Mar 20, 2011
Valuable information about epsom salts, REWBA. I didn't know that about the white core and yellow halo. Very good to know.


I've never grown black-eyed peas. I'm guessing that black-eyed peas would be like any other bean or legume plant. All legumes grow well in Kansas, hence the many farmers who grow soy beans.

Okra requires real hot humid weather, but I've been successful growing it here as long as you keep the ground moist. I like to harvest okra when they are real small. I see the people at the farmer's market selling okra, but they wait way too late to pick them. Those big pods are too tough and stringy. The same is true of zucchini. Why do people think the big zucchinis are so great? They have big inedible seeds and the flesh is too watery. Never let zukes grow longer than 6 or 7 inches.

Good to see you, scarlett. I hope uranidiot makes it.

You know, REWBA, I wonder if Steve Sauder threatened to sue the Gaz after the last tirade on there? It all seemed so sudden, and Walker seemed to be running scared. At any rate, the 4th Estate does does exist around here. The Gazoo seems very interested in obtaining names.

Milan, IL

#10 Mar 20, 2011
create, yeah i knew okra needed really hot humid weather. the only thing big pods are good for is gumbo. or seed for the next year. i've eaten it all my life. it's a southern staple. so are black eyed peas, i just haven't had any luck with them up here. i do miss them tho. i was hoping you had a gardening secret for either one of them.
one question, what is the forth estate you all talk about?

United States

#11 Mar 21, 2011
From Wikipedia:

"In American usage, the phrase "fourth estate" is contrasted with the "fourth branch of government", with "fourth estate" used to emphasize the independence of the press, while "fourth branch" suggests that the press is not independent of the government."

The Fourth Estate or the power of the press was more evident when I was growing up. Today, it is more evident in the big city newspapers who are not afraid of printing the truth. The best modern example I can come up with is the Washington Post which printed stories about Watergate and as a result, sunk the Nixon presidency. See the movie "All the President's Men" and you'll see what I mean. Around here, there is no such thing. It may have been that way during the days of William Allen White when editorials held real power. Editors today have no real guts because they are afraid of lawsuits.

I grew up in Honolulu, where two major dailies fought for the public's attention and advertising. Each leaned toward one political party and many people subscribed to both papers. Today, those two papers are no more. They have combined to become one. A very good friend of mine was city editor for the Honolulu Advertiser in the 70's. Those were cutthroat days for sure and I was witness to many a headline story, one, a series about the underworld so powerful that death threats were made and private security had to be hired. We were told, don't start your car until you check under the hood. We put a strip of scotch tape along the hood and fender of the car. If the tape was broken, don't start the car. Gutsy days.

Since: Dec 09

Boise, ID

#12 Mar 21, 2011
i also only went to the Gaz to read the comments and to hear opinions, I dont comment very often but i am always reading. I will be here with you folks. i sure wish i could have a garden again.

United States

#13 Mar 21, 2011
i've seen that reference before but i didn't know what it meant. thanks for clearing that up.
i only started reading the gazette for the obits. then i stumbled into the opinions. if i want news i go to topeka, wichita, kc, or dallas papers. now i'm back to only checking the obits. i did notice the printed edition is getting smaller every week. the gazette could be doomed.
is steve corbin going to follow us to this site? or any of the others?
i've got 4 more days stuck in the city limits, and i'm counting them down! i want my bed!

United States

#14 Mar 21, 2011
I'm so sorry to hear of your discomfort, scarlett. It won't be long now, you'll be back home again. Your first night's sleep will be wonderful I imagine.

I'm glad you're here, Chrissylynn. The EG news artcles are actually featured over on the right hand side of this page, above the horoscope thing. I guess you could read the story and comment here.

I'm glad to see, for example, that experts are measuring and testing Wolf Creek. They are involved in an outage right now.

United States

#15 Mar 21, 2011
hey create, i'm ok. just looking forward to being home. next week i have the pleasure of seeing all the surgeons in wichita that will be uncomfortable. wanna trade? hehe :)

United States

#16 Mar 21, 2011
Well, I got the spinach planted. It's been such a nice day even with the wind.

scarlett01_98, I plant okra on the south side of a building in full sun. The south facing walls will reflect sunshine back onto the plants making those spots great for heat lovers like okra and beans.

United States

#17 Mar 22, 2011
What a great plan, REWBA. As I scan my garden, I have no ground for planting on the south side of a building unfortunately. Everything is west of my house.

Spinach should be sending up their shoots soon. I'm looking for peas anyday now. Am also repotting a jade plant and making a couple of new ones with cuttings. According to Feng Shui, a jade plant needs to be in an east facing window in order to attract money.

scarlett, I wish you well in Wichita and hope you can be home soon. I dearly love okra too. I lived in Louisiana for two years and learned to cook that style.

Me, I'm trying to get accustomed to using one of those ergonomic keyboards. I hate it and wish now I had not purchased it. My old one was conking out.

REWBA, I am participating in something called "Just One Star" which is sponsored by the Moda fabric company. Quilters are asked to make one star block and submit it. They will then take all the star blocks they receive and use them to construct quilts for wounded military men and women. They are willing to foot the bill for all the quilting which is the most expensive part of the process. I'm guessing they will receive a large number of blocks. It only took me about a half hour to make one star. I like the idea that the star I made will be put alongside others made by other women all over the country. They ask that we use a permanent fabric pen to put our name and state on the stars. Neah huh?

United States

#18 Mar 22, 2011
I love jade plants. I had one that was ten years old but I asked a neighbor to water my plants when I went away for training and when I got back, most of my plants had died of dehydration. The jade was one of them. I was able to save my pachira aquatica so I still have an old money tree.:-)

That "just one star" program sounds interesting. If I could sew, I would make a star block. Where would I take the star block? Is it that quilting shoppe on Commercial?
New Gal

Wichita, KS

#19 Mar 23, 2011
We could all be gardeners full time if we only had a government like the Khmer Rogue. Everyone just living for today. No hell below us, above us only sky. My daddy would have loved that. He loved farming.

See ya 'round the 'ol water well,


“Flooded emotions = lower IQ”

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#20 Mar 24, 2011

Here is a link to the directions for the Just One Star quilt block. When it's done, take it to the Prairie Pieces Quilt Shop at 911 Commercial St.

Give me a call would you?

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