Senior Gardening

One of the Joys of Maturity

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The Old Guy's Garden Record

December 31, 2022

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Thursday, December 1, 2022 - Buying Guides

Gift Shopping Guide for GardenersShopping GuideI'll get this one out of the way up front. If you are holiday shopping for a gardening friend, let me suggest taking a look at our The Old Guy's Shopping Guide for Gifts for Gardeners and our Shopping Guide for Gardeners. Both contain lots of things gardeners would like.

Now that my advertisement is out of the way, let's move on to December gardening chores.

I have a lot to do early this month, as I didn't get our garden cleanup and soil prep done last month. All of our garden plots need to be tilled. Currently and somewhat amazingly with our drought classification, all of our land is too wet for tilling! And even if I can't till, I need to get our garlic planted.

I also need to clear our two asparagus patches. Doing so helps prevent disease and insect carryover. If our finished compost pile is thawed, I'll screen compost for the asparagus patches.

Main raised bed cleared

Our main raised garden bed is now cleared of active crops other than an overwintering double row of Walla Walla onions at one end. While the bed is no longer producing, we'll again be having freshly harvested spinach with our dinner this evening. The Abundant Bloomsdale spinach really surprised me at how frost hardy it is.

Once I get our outdoor work done, I'll turn to inventorying seed on hand before placing seed orders for next season. I keep all of our unused seed frozen which extends its useful life a good bit for most varieties.

I usually have my garden plans all mapped out at this point. But I keep making changes. Last week, I realized that I had our broccoli and cauliflower growing where our fall kale was. I corrected that, but today realized that I could plant our garlic in one of our narrow raised beds with another change. That may finish our raised bed planning. I have a plan mapped out for our large East Garden plot for next season. At 74 years of age, I wonder if I'll be physically able to plant and keep up with it. Due to injuries, I haven't had much of an East Garden the last two years.

Botanical Interests Burpee Gardening Required FTC Disclosure Statement: Botanical Interests, Burpee, Renee's Garden, and True Leaf Market are some of our Senior Gardening affiliate advertisers. Clicking through one of our ads or text links and making a purchase will produce a small commission for us from the sale. Renee's Garden True Leaf Market

Friday, December 2, 2022 - Planting Garlic

Hoeing in soil amendmentsFertilizer, bone meal sprinkled in planting holesWith winter weather setting in, I decided to go ahead and plant our garlic today. Even though the U.S. Drought Monitor still classifies our area in the "Moderate Drought" category, our soil is too wet to rototill and is not likely to dry out soon.

I began my planting preparation this morning by hoeing the narrow raised bed where the garlic was to go. There were just a few spots where the soil was frozen. In 20-30 MPH winds, I spread soil amendments over the bed. Muriate of Potash (0-0-60), Milky Spore, and ground limestone got applied with a good bit of it drifting off in the wind. The Muriate of Potash is great for root crops. The Milky Spore is to deter moles which tunnel under the bed sometimes. And the lime was added as I grew tomatoes on the bed this season and had let the soil run a bit acid. All three products were thoroughly hoed into the soil before raking it smooth.

I followed our usual practice of planting four rows of garlic. I space the rows eight inches apart and plant the garlic cloves around seven or eight inches apart in the rows. That gives me 18-20 garlics in each row.

Burpee Seed Company

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I use a dandy little garlic dibble that I got from Burpee to make holes for the garlic cloves. Burpee currently is out of them, but Amazon has quite an assortment of them. A garden trowel will also do the job, just not as easily. I add a little 12-12-12 fertilizer and a touch of bone meal to each hole before putting a garlic in the hole, careful to get it pointy side up. I try to keep the tops of the garlics about two inches under the soil surface.

All of our planting came from garlic saved this summer.

Our how-to, Growing Garlic, tells how we grow our garlic from planting to harvest to storing. The article begins, "Garlic is one of the easiest, most trouble free and productive crops one can grow in a home garden." Our four fifteen foot rows of garlic produce far more than we can use in a year. That allows us to feel good about sharing our abundance with our local food bank.

Burpee Gardening Supplies & Gifts

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - Butternut Squash

Butternut squash seed germination test - 90%Saved butternut squash seedWhen I made our butternut squash mock yams for Thanksgiving, I saved seed from the squash even though I'd boiled them for ten minutes to try to make peeling easier. A germination test I started on that batch of seed failed (10% germination). But I didn't toss out the seed, as I suspected that I hadn't adequately rinsed the germination preventing goo off the seed well enough.

Craving the taste of the butternut yams, I made another batch last week without heating them before peeling. The peeling went well, although I now think I'll simply skip peeling in the future and cut off the skins and immature flesh after an initial slicing of the butternuts.

I again saved butternut seed and started germination tests with both the older and newer seeds. Both germination tests turned out at 90%!

Huge butternuts with whited out thirteen inch rulerVolunteer butternut squash vinesThe squash seed is likely a cross of the Waltham Butternut and South Anna Butternut squash varieties. I didn't plant squash last spring due to a shoulder injury, but several squash plants came up out of our compost pile, and I let them grow.

The image at left shows the difference in the two varieties. The shorter, fat squash is a South Anna.

The image at right is of the volunteer vines I let grow. We ended up getting over thirty good butternuts with most of them going to our local food bank.

Since I have a lot of good butternut seed, I'll probably share some via the the Grassroots Seed Network and the Seed Savers Exchange. I'll need to clearly note on the listings that the seed probably isn't pure Waltham or South Anna. And I'll definitely be doing our planting next spring from this saved seed.


Sage growing in our sunroomStarting sage seedI've tried rooting sage cuttings three times this fall. So far, I have only one new sage plant that looks as if it will survive. The tall plant in the photo is a sage rooted last year that spent the summer in a tray on our back porch. It needs to be repotted to a larger pot and trimmed some.

So today, I started sage from seed. When I searched through our frozen seed from the big freezer in our garage, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had two fairly new packets of sage seed. The seed packets were from Seeds 'n Such (2019) and Fedco Seeds (2021).

I started the seed in a very old pop bottle bottom, planting halves of it to the separate batches of seed. The seed got a moderate covering of vermiculite.

While sage seed doesn't need light to germinate, the new planting went under our plant lights just to get it out of the way. Sage seed can take weeks to germinate.

Tradescantia Zebrina

Wandering Jew CuttingsWandering Jew PlantI took cuttings from our tradescantia zebrina plant in the kitchen today. At first glance, the plant looks quite healthy, but has lots of dead leaves and stems under its healthy growth. That's pretty much normal for this variety, as the only stay nice for us for about twelve to eighteen months. So I take cuttings each year to replace our kitchen window plant.

Our cuttings were about three to four inches long. I pinched off all of the lower leaves, leaving only two or three leaves at the top of each cutting. The stems got dipped in Clonex Rooting Gel and went into a deep sixpack insert filled with Sterile Potting Mix.


I'm once again becoming annoyed with some of our favorite seed houses for delaying mailing their seed catalogs until late December or early January. I'll want to plant onions, petunias, and geraniums at or shortly after New Years, so I need to get at least some of our seed orders placed by mid-December.

So far, we've only received print seed catalogs from our list of Recommended Seed Suppliers from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Fedco Seeds, and High Mowing Organic Seeds. As my own little protest, I'm giving each of the three some free advertising here.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds 2023 Catalog Cover Baker Creek melons Baker Creek melons

I did notice that this year's Baker Creek catalog is a bit slimmer than in previous years. It doesn't include the full listing of all the varieties offered online. But it's definitely pretty. Growing Great Melons on Heavy Clay Soil

High Mowing Organic Seeds 2023 Catalog Cover Carrots from Hign Mowing Organic Seeds Carrots from Hign Mowing Organic Seeds

I like HMOS's size comparison of carrots at the top of the center image. For years, we couldn't grow good carrots. That changed when I put in our raised garden beds with their improved soil. How We Grow Our Carrots

Fedco Seeds 2023 Catalog Cover Pea seed from Fedco Seeds Peas from Fedco Seeds

Call me old fashioned, but I like the woodcut illustrations in the Fedco catalog. Another Garden Delicacy: Homegrown Peas

Scanning Problems

Canon TR4720 PrinterMy current computer setupWhen I tried to start scanning catalog covers and pages, I found that my new Canon TR4720 printer/copier/scanner wouldn't connect to the scanner. It would print, but couldn't connect to the scanner.

I moved the printer closer to my computers hoping that using just one USB cord instead of the two I'd had patched together would fix things. It didn't, but I finally realized that reinstalling the printer's software might. And it did.

So the new printer currently sits beside my computer setup. It looks a bit intimidating, but really isn't. The top shelf contains a 2018 Mac Mini and a 2010 Mac Mini that runs old software that doesn't work on newer machines. The second shelf has large external drives. And the bottom shelf has drives for regular backups of the computers and external drives.

My desktopThe 2018 Mac Mini does most of the heavy lifting in creating content for this site. I have a lovely new 16" M1 Macbook Pro, but still haven't found a suitable alternative for it for Adobe Dreamweaver. With Adobe trying to extract $21 a month for Dreamweaver, I tried and liked Bluegriffon as an alternative. But it died with Apple's latest OS update. Fortunately, my old education version of Adobe Creative Suite still works well on my Minis. So while I spend a lot of time on the laptop, Senior Gardening gets written and updated from the 2018 Mac Mini.

Best Buy

Monday, December 12, 2022

Baccto Lite Potting SoilBotannical InterestsThere's not much gardening going on right now in our Senior Garden plots. I did spread some Repels All over our narrow bed planted to garlic. Something (cat or dog) had dug up an area, exposing one elephant garlic bulb that had begun to root already. I also brought in a big bag of Baccto Lite Potting Soil and moved two other bags inside our garage. Our garden center didn't have their supply of the potting mix when I began transplanting gloxinias last year as they emerged from dormancy. I attribute our lack of heavy blooms this year to the inferior potting mix I used. So I stocked up on the good stuff at the end of summer. Ah, those forty quart bags weighed well over fifty pounds each!


Drought Monitor for Indiana - December 8, 2022The U.S Drought Monitor still has our area in its "Moderate Drought" category. Until recently, we hadn't really suffered too much from the lack of rain, other than it affecting our fall crops. But now our deep well pump is acting up. It ran and ran trying to pull water from a depleted water table. Then, the pump wouldn't turn off until it blew its circuit breakers. It's really inconvenient to have to run downstairs and turn the well pump on and off at the fuse box when you want to flush a toilet, do dishes, take a shower...or do most anything.

Gloxinia seedI have a replacement pump on hand, but at my age am going to need some help installing it. It's heavy, and you really have to fight to make some of the necessary pipe connections. Fortunately, the pump is in the basement. Strange, but better there, even with its noise, than having lightening strike a pump at the well head...something that can happen when your well is way out in the open.

Later, I got into the well's control box and found some burnt wires. I fiddled with them a bit. Of course, now the well pump won't turn on at all!

And of course, we really, really need some rain to raise our water table.

Gloxinia Seed

On a cheerier note, we're beginning to get some gloxinia seed. For quite a while, I wasn't able to catch any blooms when they were shedding pollen. I finally did and harvested our first head of gloxinia seed last week. I have at least two more bloom spikes that appear to be maturing seed. That doesn't sound like something that would produce a lot of seed. But the photo at right is of the seed from just one bloom. As you can see, it produced hundreds of seeds.

If you're interested in saving gloxinia seed, I have a rather detailed how-to on the subject. See Saving Gloxinia Seed.

Now, on to replacing a well pump.Unhappy

Renee's Garden

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - Seed Inventory

I did our annual seed inventory last night and this morning. Now I'm ready to begin ordering seed for next season.

One change in doing our seed inventory is that I recorded it in a spreadsheet using Open Office. Since upgrading to a new MacBook Pro, I haven't purchased a new version of Microsoft Excel (Office). Open Office does a nice job of saving the spreadsheet in a version that Excel on my other computers can open.

Part of this year's seed inventory

The inventory involves assessing amounts of seed remaining. A big part of the job this year was adding seed saved this season. That included the usual tomato, pepper, and cucumber seed along with five varieties of lettuce, peas, some spinach seed, butternut seed, kidney beans, and several varieties of flowers and herbs.

I keep a similarly formatted spreadsheet for our seed orders. When orders come in, it's a quick cut and paste to put the items into our inventory. So far, I haven't spent too much on seed. Not having planted our East Garden last season, I didn't have to order any of the always expensive supersweet sweet corn varieties.

Priliminary seed orders

2023 Catalog CoversWhen going through our seed inventory, I noticed a couple of things. Reimer Seeds still offers the excellent Premium Crop broccoli variety. I thought it had been discontinued. And almost everybody other than the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is out of the Rossa di Milano onion variety. It's one of our favorites.

My preliminary seed order comes in at around $50, a whole lot less than in recent years. When I consider shipping rates, some items will get dropped or switched to other vendors. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds still offers free shipping on seed orders. Burpee's site offers the same deal, but apparently for a limited time only.

Seed Catalogs

Seed catalogs are still slow coming in. I've downloaded several digital versions, but am holding out for print versions before I place any seed orders. So far, I've only received print seed catalogs from Baker Creek, Fedco, and High Mowing Organic Seeds. Valued Recommended Seed Suppliers need to get it together and get their print catalogs out to previous, and especially long time customers, in a timely fashion. They are failing that test big time this year.

I've decided that any of our Recommended Seed Suppliers that don't have a print catalog in my mailbox next year by December 1 will lose that valued status.

Free Shipping on Orders over $35

Friday, December 16, 2022

We received another print seed catalog in today's mail. While I was having a busy day, I took the time to page through the Seed Savers Exchange 2023 seed catalog cover-to-cover. With my seed inventory now done, such catalogs can prove expensive, as I found a number of items I'd like to order.

Seed Savers Exchange 2023 Catalog Cover Carrots in the SSE catalog Seed Savers Exchange Spinach

The photography in this year's catalog is excellent with brilliant colors throughout. Two items, one I needed and another I wanted, made my seed order list.

SSE Yellow of Parma Onion Sweet William Electron Blend

Member Excahnge page in 2023 SSE CatalogA page in the catalog that others might just page over warmed my heart. For several years under a previous SSE Executive Director, the member exchange was downplayed. At one point, said previous director told me he wanted to spin off the member exchange!

That made me an online pain in the ass for the Seed Savers Exchange for a few years.

Fortunately, saner heads prevailed at SSE and the member exchange is again a central feature of the organization.

About My Day

I mentioned that this was a busy day.

When I planted our garlic, I vigorously hoed the area to be planted. Part way through the hoeing, I began to have some pain in my shoulders and upper chest. I went inside, took a couple of aspirin, and relaxed with a cup of coffee. The pain quickly subsided, and I resumed hoeing and planting. lovely wife insisted that I tell my cardiologist about the incident at a recent checkup. He immediately ordered blood tests, an ultrasound, echo cardiogram, and a stress test. Today was the day for those tests, and the effect of the drug given for the chemical stress test was nasty. But I got through it...results were delivered to the cardiologist without me getting a negative phone report on the results. (Cost after insurance: $1600)

On my way home from the three plus hour tests, I stopped at Walmart to pick up a bottle of my favorite Scotch as a reward. But when I began the drive home, an alert came up on my dashboard as pressure in one of my tires quickly decreased.

When I got home, I pumped up the tire. An hour later, the tire was down to five pounds of pressure! So I really charged the tire with air and rushed to our local Chevy dealer. An hour and $29 later, the tire was apparently healed, but my day was totally shot by then.

Seed Savers Exchange

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sage seedlings emergingSage plants in sunroomThe sage I seeded on December 7 is up. The older 2019 seed didn't germinate as well as the 2021 seed did. The older packet of sage seed probably needs to be discarded.

Once the seedlings get a little bigger, I'll transplant them from their communal starting pot to larger quarters, probably a deep sixpack insert or three inch pots. Eventually, they'll go into four inch pots. And at some point, I'll probably move the plants to our sunroom where some other sage plants are growing.

We use the sage plants as corner and halfway markers around our large East Garden plot. I started using sage this way as it was said that its odor deterred deer. Sadly, that didn't work out so well for us, but the perennial plants do make good markers and are especially attractive if they bloom.

Garden Tower Project

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Our Senior  Garden - December 20, 2022Burpee Seed CompanyThere's not much gardening going on in our current cold spell. But I thought I'd put up a last shot of our back yard and garden before a well repair crew digs things up tomorrow!

I also wanted to share that Burpeeicon is offering free shipping on seed orders through December 26.

And since Burpee is one of our affiliated advertisers, I'm also required by the FTC to note that if you click through one of our ads and make a purchase, we'll get a small commission from the sale.

Oh, our current weather forecast is calling for around five inches of snow on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Winter Solstice - 2022Ground disturbed by pump installationIt's the winter solstice for 2022 - the shortest day of daylight of the year in the northern hemisphere. It was also a busy and very expensive day here as a well crew installed a submersible well pump.

We now have a strong stream of water from our deep well, although it's pretty brown water that is slowly clearing. Running more water and changing our iron filter should have the water cleaned up by tomorrow I'm told.

Steve, of Rankin Water, warned me when doing an estimate that they were good at fixing wells, but were not landscapers. I'll need to run one of our rototillers over the disturbed ground a few times next spring before spreading grass seed. But it appears that we have dependable water once again.

David's Cookies

Friday, December 23, 2022

This morningOur Senior Garden - December 23, 2022What does a garden blogger do when it's -6°F with 30+ mph winds? In my case, I stay inside and cook, grateful that we now have running water and our furnace is slowly catching up to the cold winds outside.

Compared to other areas of our country, we got off pretty easy. The cold temperatures and strong winds were tough, but we only got a little snow overnight.

But it was way too cold to work for long in my upstairs office. Even with the outside temperature rising to zero degrees, the office with its heater just couldn’t keep up. The problem is that my office is adjacent to our unheated sunroom, separated only by a double ply plastic curtain.

Wanting to work downstairs in Dreamweaver, I brought my 2011 MacBook Pro downstairs. But it had to thaw out for several hours, as the sunroom where it was stored was running at 20°F.

Territorial Seed Catalog Cover2023 Catalog CoversIn the meantime, I folded clothes, started a batch of Grandma’s Yeast Rolls, and then bundled up and brought in the mail. I was rewarded for that last task by finding our print copy of Territorial Seed’s 2023 seed catalog.

Territorial uses multiple cover art for their seed catalogs. Ours is pictured at left while our downloaded PDF version had a different cover as shown in the anigif at right.

As the old laptop warmed and charged, I paged through the seed catalog. About my only disappointment with the catalog's info was that Territorial's already high shipping charge has gone up to $8.95. But there's lots of good stuff in there. And Territorial has been our go-to supplier of garlic when we've need to refresh our garlic for planting.

I should note here that I'm writing this posting now on my recently thawed out 2011 MacBook Pro. It still has some quirks in the trackpad, so I'm using a mouse and mousepad with it. And, I'm saving the file every few minutes in case the old laptop dies.

Starting my cooking binge last night, I made Shrimp/Chicken Portofino for supper. Annie doesn't eat shrimp, so I split the recipe part way through and made part of it with shrimp and the rest with seasoned chicken breast.

Shrimp and Chicken Portofino

If I don't get back to updating this site, here's wishing you the happiest of holidays.


As I finished this posting, the old laptop's fan kept turning on and it dropped its network connection...twice...and then refused to reconnect. I had been wondering why I'd abandoned this old computer back in July, but it reminded me today of all of its problems.

Sunday, December 25, 2022 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11 (ASV)

The image above is a "scene from a life size nativity at the Luxembourg Christmas market." It was taken in 2006 by graphic artist Debbie Schiel who lives in Far North Queensland, Australia, and shared on the royalty-free stock.xchng site.

Best wishes from Annie and I to you for a joyous and fulfilling holiday season.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Avocado Slicer from AmazonGame of ThronesOur Christmas celebration this year was a bit different and muted from previous years. Annie had hurt her back at work plus the winter storm made us decide to stay in over the holiday. I did venture out into the Christmas Eve crowds in search of some avocados! As a silly gift for my wife, I'd gotten an Avocado Slicer for her. Besides a sweater/coat and some gloves, I got her the complete series of Game of Thrones which our oldest daughter, Erica, had introduced her to recently. I think part of my Christmas giving was also foregoing Sunday NFL games as Annie binge watched Game of Thrones. grin

Some time ago, Annie gave me some shirts and sweaters she'd intended for Christmas gifts, but thought better of when she saw me wearing a ragged old flannel shirt. But she also got me among other things a set of really good Dewalt knee pads since the straps on my old kneepadsicon are just about worn out. And as a silly gift, she also wrapped a dozen Ball pint canning jars.

Diminishing our holiday somewhat, our new well pump installed on Wednesday failed! I don't know whether the pump itself went out or the line is frozen. So we're relying on bottled water.

Building Happy New Year GraphicBeef StewWhile Annie watched her shows, I got started building our annual Happy New year graphic. I make it in Photoshop out the year's best garden photos. I'll unveil the whole image on New Year's Eve.

Possibly the highlight of our Christmas Eve was some beef stew I made mostly following a recipe on Delish. Served with some Grandma's Yeast Rolls and a glass of milk, it was delicious. I left out the bay leaves and red wine recommended in the recipe and used our canned tomato purée instead of tomato paste.

With planned January seedings of vinca and egg carton petunias for hanging baskets, onions, and geraniums looming, I placed some seed orders today. Johnny's Selected Seeds got the bulk of the orders with six line items. Fedco Seeds and the Seed Savers Exchange had two items each.

Seed Orders for 2023

Not having planted our East Garden last summer plus our recent Christmas gifts, medical expenses, and plumbing bills made me really conservative on ordering seed this time around. Even so, I spent around $75 on seed, sales tax, and the ever increasing shipping charges. I did update most of the minimum shipping charges on our page of Recommended Seed Suppliers.

Hoss Tools

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Two more seed catalogs from our list of Recommended Seed Suppliers came in today's mail. Burpee hasn't gotten an order from us the last two years, as I stocked up on bean seed from them two years ago...and their print seed catalog always comes out late.

Burpee 2023 Catalog Cover Burpee beans Burpee watermelon

As usual, the catalog has beautiful photography. Towards the end of the catalog, I saw that Burpee carries the Garden Tower 2 at a slightly lower price than the manufacturer, the Garden Tower Project! I also noticed that nearly all of our Recommended Seed Suppliers, including Burpee, now carry seed for the excellent Blacktail Mountain watermelon variety. Developed by "eminent seedsman Glenn Drowns." Blacktail Mountains mature early in the season. They can produce fruit with good watermelon flavor without the really hot weather other varieties require to be really sweet.

From Glen Drowns' Sand Hill Preservation site:

Blacktail Mountain- 73 days- My own development, created while I lived in northern Idaho, a location which has cool 35 to 45 degree nights and short seasons.  The fruit is dark green with very faint stripes, flesh is an orange red similar to Sugar Baby.  Continuously, it is my earliest type in over 100 varieties grown each season.  Fruit averages 6 to 10 pounds.  Our son, Cory, and family moved to a new home in mid-July, 2013 and he wanted to plant a garden.  He stuck in some Blacktail Mountain  seed on July 18 and was rewarded in late September with an abundance of nice sized ripe melons. I planted the crop on June 19 in 2016 and the first ripe one was August 28 ( 70 days)  with a continuous supply thru the end of October.

Obviously, I recommend this variety.

Johnny's 2023 Catalog CoverCrispino head lettuceAlso in today's mail was our print copy of the Johnny's Selected Seeds print catalog. Although I usually wait for the print catalogs before placing an order, I sent in our Johnny's order on Monday, as I wanted some onion seed here to plant early next month. I rely on Johnny's for quality lettuce and carrot seed.

The Johnny's catalog is a little short on photography, but long on variety descriptions. Seed for our favorite head lettuce, Crispino, originally came from Johnny's, although we now grow it from saved seed. Our two favorite romaine varieties, Jericho and Coastal Star, also came from Johnny's. We'll be planting saved seed next year from the Jericho variety. The Coastal Star variety didn't bolt and set seed for us, so we'll be using Johnny's seeds again next spring. Also, the Coastal Star variety is a PVP variety, so we couldn't share seed from it even if we'd gotten any.

I've included links to my favorite lettuce varieties from Johnny's, as their over-the-top lettuce listings now make it hard for one to find favorite lettuce varieties without an online search.

A2 Web Hosting

Friday, December 30, 2022

Our Senior Garden - December 30, 2022Weather Underground Extended Forecast - December 30-January It's a dark, rainy day here today. I had to seriously lighten today's splashshot in Photoshop to make it usable. Fortunately, temperatures are in the high 40s with a couple of days near 60 in the next week. I hope to get out and clear our asparagus patches on those warmer days.

Our extended weather outlook from the Weather Underground looks pretty nice. It appears that we're past the recent cold snap and into some fairly nice weather for this time of year in west central Indiana.

With winter setting in, my cooking now leans towards winter fare. An on sale arm roast became pot roast for our supper last night. Right now, the leftovers and a bit more are turning themselves into stew for tonight's supper.

I did a little gardening today, moving twelve of our sage starts to deep sixpack inserts. The older sage plants I had in our sunroom all died from the recent sub-zero weather. In the past, I've moved a heater into that unheated room on cold nights. I just forgot to do so this time around.

Transplanted sage

Drain Cleaner Water Filters

SnakeAnnie and I still get a little giddy flushing toilets and running water in the kitchen after our recent well woes. Our new well pump is performing nicely, but we still have a lot of sediment in our well water. I stocked up on water filters at Walmart this week.

Of course, once we got the well problems fixed, our shower drain clogged...worse than it ever has before. I broke off the tip of our old snake and had to replace it. I also employed some sulfuric acid drain cleaner...which left a nasty smell in our bathroom and bedroom. But after the acid treatment and a bit of work with the new snake, the shower is once again usable. Ah, the joys of country living and home ownership.

The seed orders I placed on Monday with Johnny's Selected Seeds and Fedco Seeds arrived in good shape in today's mail. The Seed Savers Exchange order placed the same day apparently hasn't shipped as yet.

One last gardening chore was to dig out petunia, vinca, geranium, and onion seed from our big freezer in anticipation of starting some things next month (year grin). I also have a large kettle of potting mix sterilizing in the oven for those and other plantings. USA, LLC

Saturday, December 31, 2022 - New Year's Eve

Happy New Year!

Top Ten Features/How-To's/Recipes

Growing Asparagus Gloxinia blog
Mulching with Grass Cl;ippings Building a Raised Bed

I'm going to indulge again in some end-of-the year self-promotion. As I do each December, I've assembled a listing of our most visited pages other than this home page and indexes. Here are, in order, the ten most read feature stories and how-to's on Senior Gardening for 2022. No recipes made the top ten this year.

  1. Growing Asparagus
  2. Building a Raised Garden Bed
  3. Gloxinias (blog)
  4. Mulching with Grass Clippings
  5. Growing Geraniums from Seed
  6. Making a Sterile Potting Mix
  7. Growing a Buckwheat Cover/Smother Crop
  8. Growing Melons
  9. Our Tomato Cages
  10. Cutworm Collars

December, 2022, animated GIF of our Senior GardenFrom my About page:

I am a person of faith, even though I don't write about it much. I wasn't for a long time, but in the depths of my despair when my first marriage ended and we lost the farm, the Lord lifted me up and graciously granted me a new life and family. Living in retirement with all the problems of aging, there's so much to be thankful for and praise the Lord.

As the seconds tick down on what has been a difficult year here and around the world, let Annie and I wish you a joyous, healthy, and safe New Year. And may the Lord bless you throughout the year.

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