Senior Gardening

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December 4, 2019

One of the joys of getting a bit older is having the time to putter around in the garden. Below is my garden blog. This site also contains sections of recipes and features about specific, and often obscure, gardening lore.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - Winnowing Seed

Amaryllis from Burpee
Use promotional code AMARYLLIS19 at checkout. Valid online only until 11:59 P.M. ET on 12/5/19.

Our Senior Garden - December 4, 2019It's warm (50° F) and sunny today with a good bit of wind (20 mph). While not a day I'd pick to work outside all day, it was nearly perfect for winnowing saved seed. I had asparagus, basil, broccoli, and lettuce seed to winnow. There was also some marigold and gloxinia seed that needed to be moved to the freezer.

I've now cleared our seed drying area of seeds to be saved. That's a last step before doing our annual seed inventory.

Winnowing seed is a bit tricky. You want enough wind to blow away plant debris while hoping seeds in the mix are heavy enough to drop out and not get blown away. I dumped seed from a paper plate onto a small cookie sheet in the wind to do the job. While I didn't get all the plant trash out of the seed, I did enough that I felt confident to store the seed in the freezer for future use.

While I wanted to get the last of our kale and lettuce out of our main raised bed today, I heeded my wife's advice (admonition, command...) not to overdo things working outside as I recover from a nasty bronchitis infection. So when done with just a few outside chores this afternoon, I retreated inside to write this posting.

Fedco Seeds Catalog

I wrote about receiving the Fedco Seeds print catalog last Friday. I noticed today that they've now posted their 2020 seed catalog online as a downloadable PDF file. Fedco is an employee and consumer owned seed cooperative that sells both open pollinated and hybrid garden seed at very reasonable prices.

Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Our Senior Garden - December 1, 2019
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Extended Weather Forecast
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Not having gotten a lot of our fall gardening chores done last month, they become priorities in December. I still need to clear our main raised garden bed of the last crops that froze out it it and remove some remaining mulch that could harbor insects or plant diseases.

As long as our ground doesn't freeze, I should be able to plant our garlic in the next few days.

At some point, I'll need to clear the stalks from our asparagus patches. If our old compost pile is thawed, I'll screen some compost and move it to the patches.

There are still a few tools and sprayers on the porch that need to be moved to the garage. Our chemical tub on the back porch needs to be moved to the basement to prevent frequent freezing and thawing that can degrade chemicals.

I didn't get our annual seed inventory done last month, so that job needs to be done before we order any new seed for the coming season. Our garden plans need a little finishing, although most of that work is done for our initial plantings.

Shopping Guides

Gift Guide for GardenersShopping Guide for GardenersSeveral years ago, I put together a couple of shopping guides. The first one I did was a guide for non-gardeners shopping for a gardener. My wife often asks me what I'd like for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas present, knowing that I usually want some gardening item (kneeling pad or bench, rain barrel, buckets, etc.). This guide gives some garden gift ideas and where one can purchase them.

Having said that, it is appropriate at this point to include the required FTC disclosure statement:

Some text and banner links on this site go to our affiliate advertisers that will result in our being paid a small commission if you go through the link to purchase something.

After doing the gift guide, I realized that there were a lot of gardening items I wanted to mention, but weren't quite appropriate for a gift guide. So I put together a rather mundane page of stuff we like and use in our gardening efforts that didn't fit the gift guide.

Both pages get updated (links checked, items added or subtracted) a couple of times each year.

One big surprise I got when doing the updates was the price of corn knives. I think I paid about six bucks for ours, and until recently, they'd run a bit under ten dollars. I'm not sure why (possibly trade tariffs with China), but corn knives and machetes now run thirty bucks or more!

Broccoli Seed

The broccoli seed project I'd worked on all summer is over. I feared that freezing weather had come to soon for the plants to produce any seed. I crushed the Goliath broccoli seed pods yesterday between my fingers and in the palm of my hand. I got an awful lot of dust, but also got a few seeds. There aren't enough seeds to run a germination test and still have seed to start in the spring, so I won't know until then if the seed is viable.

Burpee Seed Company

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