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Topics - Gymgirl

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General Discussion / THE GREAT MIGRATION...
« on: August 12, 2019, 10:07:00 AM »
It is with a really heavy, but practical, heart that I pose this question:

When are we all moving over to the "Bayou Gardener Family" website?

I only ask because there are running threads here that we continue to post on, but, there are duplicate threads popping up on the other site.  At some point, we're gonna have to agree to all move the conversations.

I wish there was a way to migrate the threads from here to there, but, I'm pretty sure that would take forever to do, as a cut and paste thing.  However, if there is a way to do it, I would like to ask that the "What Did You Do in the Garden Today?" thread be the one to go over, first.  It has a running history of our daily activity, calendar time frames, pictures, planting schedules, issues, suggested remedies, and a whole lotta data that I, for one, reference quite frequently.  I think others do, too.

So, that's my take on things, as they are now.  I'd hate for us to go down over here, with no warning, and all that data is lost. 

Please consider, if there is a way.

Kindest Regards.

General Discussion / BEE HIVE REMOVAL
« on: May 22, 2019, 11:13:43 AM »
Anyone know someone in the Houston area who does beehive removal?

A co-worker has a hive, maybe in the subfloor of her two story home, on an outside wall.  Friends think it's a pretty big hive, because of the number of bees going in and out.

LMK, soonest!


General Discussion / Any Bets on how HOT this summer will be?
« on: May 03, 2019, 08:34:41 AM »
I've heard this is going to be a brutally hot summer, so, I'm still trying to decide what I want to throw all my water at in the veggie garden...

Fortunately, I have a couple beds strategically located in bright spots with natural wind tunnels running across them.  The constant breeze helps with the ambient temp.  And, one is located below the roof drip line that doesn't have gutters, so, it remains adequately moist from rain (when we get it) or condensation (when it's threatening rain...).

General Discussion / NEED A LOAD OF WOOD CHIPS...
« on: September 18, 2018, 01:58:41 PM »
HI, Guys!
I've been signed up with for almost a year now, and they haven't delivered a load of wood chips yet.

If I post my credit card on their website, and offer the driver a "tip" between $20-$80, they think I'll get a delivery much faster.  What do you think, duh?

Anyone know of a woodchip service in the Houston area that will allow you to come and pick up wood chips?  I'd rather rent a truck and go get it, than put my cc out there in cyberspace, for some wood chips...

Thanks in advance.

« on: June 14, 2018, 01:47:21 PM »
Post your creative replies, here!

« on: March 26, 2018, 09:40:28 AM »
I think I messed up a bunch 'a seeds, not realizing that cukes and squashes don't like their roots disturbed.

I started 4-5 seeds in each yogurt cup, thinking I was gonna be able to divide them like tomato seedlings, but, everything I'm reviewing says, "don't do it."  The preferred method seems to be to cut out all but 1-2 seedlings, and transplant those.

Has ANYONE successfully repotted cukes and squashes to individual pots?  Only asking because, most say you can't transplant beets, and I've done that successfully for years...


P.S.  Some of the seeds in the cups were my last ones, otherwise, I'd reseed in a minute...

If anyone has about 5 spare Suyo Long cucumber seeds, send me a dmail, please!

General Discussion / Any use a TORCH on their weeds?
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:56:20 AM »
There's a Canadian gardener who offered a tip about controlling weeds in beds he was prepping for sowing.  His method was to till the plot, wait awhile, and let the weed seeds germinate.  Then, he used a handheld butane torch to burn the weeds that came up.  He tilled a second time, and repeat the torching. 

Then, he sowed his seeds.

Only asking because I have a raised bed that is completely overrun with weeds that have flowered.  Very bad news.  I can hold this bed awhile, to work with those weeds, like his torch recommendation.
Seems easy enough to do before I sow seeds among the weed seeds...

Ya'll lmk.


General Discussion / American Farmers Killing Themselves in Record Numbers
« on: December 10, 2017, 10:35:43 PM »
Just read this article.  Very disturbing.  But, with our current economic state, not very surprising.

General Discussion / ANY Frigidaire Freezer Techs out there?
« on: December 01, 2017, 12:49:58 PM »
This IS garden related, cuz' my Frigidaire freezer door won't open, and all my garden produce is trapped inside, LOL!

I need access so I can can it up, and make space in there for what I grow in the Winter garden.


Could it be as simple as unplugging the freezer and letting it thaw out?  It's packed full, and frozen solid in there.

Sure would appreciate any comebacks to resolve this issue.  It's a single door freezer.  Nothing fancy.  Huge capacity (23?24 cu.ft.?), 5 wire shelves, a pull out wire drawer, a pull down wire basket, and loads of door shelf space.


Homesteading Skills / Presto Pressure Canner on a Camp Stove?
« on: November 28, 2017, 12:26:17 PM »
The book says not to use the canner on any outdoor gas unit in excess of 12,000 BTUs.  My Camp Chef stove goes to 30,000 BTUs.

Has anyone successfully circumvented this recommendation, and NOT burned up the canner?  Cheap, made in China, material....



Homesteading Skills / CANNING CARROTS
« on: November 13, 2017, 02:23:03 PM »
So, my sister brings me a 50 lb. bag of raw carrots. And, I canned them up!
I have a video, but, I don't seem to be able to upload it...shoot... Thumbs down

How 'bout this? I got 16 pints from what I actually processed. A lot were damaged, and I had to wade through the bad ones to get to the good ones. It was 1:00 a.m. and I looked up and decided "enough was enough," LOL!

As I told ya'll, I'm honing my canning skills this season, as it's a good tool to have on my belt.

I ran into a couple issues, but, I'm confident with what I did.

First, canning on an electric stove is the pits, at least it is for me. With gas/propane, I can control the flame and heat much better. As it was, my gauge registered a consistent notch below the 10 lb. mark. If I raised the temp to get that extra notch, the giggler giggled forever, and never settled down. I'd read that too much steam would escape and run my canner dry. So, I settled on that one notch below the 10 lb mark. and will pray it was enough heat going on to kill the bacteria.

Secondly, I think I added too much water to the jars, as fully half of what I put in siphoned out. Not a big deal, except, carrots have a sugar content, and the siphoned sugar water might compromise my seals at some point. I'll check the jars regularly to make sure the seals are true.

Other than that, it was a joy to go through this process. Looking forward to doing it again.

My gardener girlfriend (she's a newbie) and I have a day of canning scheduled this week, and we're lining up our attack, LOL! I binge-watched so many canning videos, with soooooooooooooo many possibilities, I was driving myself silly!!! So, we've settled on canning the following:

►Beans: Red Kidney, Black-eyed Peas, Limas, Garbanzos, Black Beans, & Pintos

►Ham Hock Stock. I'll just add all my seasonings, boil the flavor outta some smoked ham hocks, strain the broth, gel it, pull the fat cap off, then reconstitute it and jar it up for the canner. It tastes amazing! And, it will make a wonderful ham soup base, as well as become the base for the Red Beans. Discovered there's no taste in the ham hock meat after the stock is done, so won't be canning that up again, LOL!

►Cranberry sauce several ways (smooth, whole berry, and relished). Check out BexarPrepper on Youtube - She has a slam dunk method for processing smooth and jellied cranberry from one batch -- brilliant!)

►Apple pie filling by imstillworking on YouTube - I just picked up my apple peeler this week! So excited!!! Gotta find cranberries and apples in bulk.

And, finally, I hope to get some chicken legs raw packed in some "Better Than Bullion" broth. I think that'll round out the list. Looking forward to grabbing a jar of chicken legs off the shelf, too!

These are exciting times!


« on: September 11, 2017, 09:55:56 AM »
Did this over the weekend.  21 bell peppers on the dehydrator for 20 hours.

1 & 1/2 TBSP = 1 bell pepper

On the pantry shelf, good for  1-2 years. 

Will last ~6 mos. at my house, LOL!

« on: September 11, 2017, 09:19:50 AM »
Did this over the weekend.  Total of 21 medium bell peppers, 3/$1, at Joe V's Smart Shop.

1-1/2 Tablespoons dehydrated = 1 Bell Pepper


General Discussion / TROPICAL STORM HARVEY
« on: August 27, 2017, 07:21:52 AM »
I just walked outside to survey the flood situation in my neighborhood.  Water is ponding at the corner, and either the drain is plugged up, or, there's just no where for all the water that keeps falling to go.

I have a very curious question for the gardeners.  Could my raised bed garden possibly spare my home from flooding?

Sounds cooky, I know, but, something inside is telling me that there should be waaaaay more water in my yard.  But, my patio isn't even ponding, and it can fill up like a bathtub when the rain falls too hard, too fast, in a normal rain event.  It's been dumping BUCKETS on us all night long, and there's not even 1" on the patio.

I did clear all my huge cattle molasses tubs and potted plants off the patio, Friday, and laid a sheet of greenhouse plastic against the sliding door, to make a dam.  It's only a short step up from the patio into the den, and there have been occasions to hold my breath, wondering if the water was gonna come over the sill.  I used all the square, stepping stone pavers I had to butt the plastic against the patio on two sides, then set potted plants on top of the pavers.  Then, I consolidated all the potting mixes into the molasses tubs, and strategically placed them beneath where there are leaks in the patio cover.  I also use bags and bags of dry shredder paper as "sandbags".  I figured the all this material and the planters would soak up some of the water, and give me a chance to bail the patio, if push came to shove.  So far, so good.  Additionally, the two 3 cu ft. Geobins, the 90-gallon trashcan compost vessels and all the bags of dried leaves may be helping soak up the water too.

And now, I'm wondering if maybe, just maybe, my very dry raised beds are soaking up the tropical storm rainwater that should have me pacing by now?  Wouldn't that be something, though?  To be saved by the raised bed veggie garden!!!

Well, I'm thanking God, in advance, for providing a way out!

Stay safe, ya'll!  Will post as I can, while there's still power!

God Bless Texas, please, thru the next four days of this tremendous rainfall event!!!

General Discussion / Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss vs.....
« on: August 04, 2017, 12:45:51 PM »
Can someone tell me why Canadian Sphagnum peat here costs $24.95/3 cu. ft. bale at a local fertilizer store, and a bale of Turbo Sphagnum peat at Lowe's is only $11.95?  And, is it true that more people want the Canadian peat?

If there's some miracle growing component in the Canadian peat, please educate me!


General Discussion / TOMATO SEED SAVING - 201
« on: June 07, 2017, 04:16:38 PM »
Hi, Guys!

I know there are a bazillion ways to save tomato seeds.  Here's MY way, via a gardener on one of my other websites.  Been doing it this way for the last 3 years, and, it works for me!  Enjoy!

General Discussion / NEED A PEPPER ID....
« on: May 15, 2017, 10:02:06 AM »
Anyone know what this pepper is?  It's about little fingernail size.  Starts off green, then to reddish purple then to dark purple.  Has a bite, but won't scorch your tongue off!


« on: April 26, 2017, 12:12:19 PM »
Anyone ever dealt with these?  I need them gone.  I'll be taking down my infested collards, but, don't want to leave any eggs to hatch in the fall.  They LOVE the fall/winter brassicaes.


General Discussion / EARTHGRO Organic Hummus & Cow Manure...
« on: April 06, 2017, 02:25:15 PM »
Is anyone familiar with this product?  Have you used it before, and, what did it do for you?

I bought a couple bags this weekend to add to the homemade compost in my raised beds and, so far, I think I like it.  We'll see what the veggie seedlings say later this season...

It's on sale at Home Depot through tomorrow, and, if the reviews are good, I'd like to go back and get lots more.

Thanks!  :-*

General Discussion / CRUSTY COMPOST
« on: March 18, 2017, 09:53:21 AM »
Hi, guys,
Need some help.  I filled the bottom halves of both of my two new raised beds with a blend of topsoil & sand from a local soil yard. They didn't have the veggie blend that is a mix of the above, but contains compost in the blend. I went with that because I had a whole yard of finished compost in my Geobin. (I did NOT mix the two layers together, thinking the worms will pull the compost down...)

So, I shoveled my compost onto the top half of each bed. It was moist, and I didn't sift it first.

Well, it stormed here shortly thereafter, and filled those beds like bathtubs, which wasn't a bad thing, I don't think. They are well watered in.

Problem is, the top now has a hard, thick crust, I've never encountered in a veggie bed before!! It's so crusty, the squirrels aren't even digging in it!!!.

Do I need to sift it? Mix the two layers together??? Add some thing else to soften it up??? The soil is a gorgeous black color, and is full of worms, the first I've managed to cultivate in my compost.  If you break the crust, the compost underneath is crumbly and moist.

I need to direct sow these beds, ASAP, but, my seedlings will NEVER break through that crust!!



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