Sunday Morning Garden Chat: In the Midst of Winter…

A promise of summer. From intrepid gardener & commentor Marvel:

Here’s a spot of bright red happiness.

We grew a ton of tomatoes last Summer but when they came ripe, we were busy doing our fast/furious Buy New/Sell Old Home Switcheroo, so a couple of times a week, I just went over to the old house, harvested a bushelful, brought ’em home, quick-roasted them (to remove the seeds & skins) and tossed the lot in the deep freeze. These past two days, I’ve been thawing, cooking & canning a big batch (~2 gallons) of New Year’s tomato sauce. This quart escaped the pressure canner and will be joining us for dinner pronto — yay!

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard from Southern-hemisphere vegetable gardners. If any of you want to consider that a challenge…

Here in the (not as frozen as it should be) North, seed & plant catalogs have been showing up in my mailbox since Thanksgiving. Anybody placed their 2019 orders yet?

106 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Anybody placed their 2019 orders yet?

    To be followed, as usual, with a slew of “Ordered too many tomatoes. Again.” responses.


  2. 2
    Sab says:

    @NotMax: No such thing as too many tomatoes, unlike zuccinis.

    What time is it in Hawaii? 5 am EST. Midnight your time?

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    OT: Spent way, way too many hours playing Life Is Strange 2 (Part 1) on the computer on Saturday. Story just sucks one in. So much so that after finished it, went back and did it all again. Part 2 (of 5 altogether) supposed to be released on the 24th; looking forward to it.



    Far as I’m concerned, one zucchini is too many. Vile stuff, suitable only for landfills.

  4. 4
    Sab says:

    Finally planning a vegetable garden in the middle of the back yard where the two car garage used to be. Unfortunatley when they demolished the garage, they found another flattened garage under it. So I will have to have a lot of topsoil brought in. Any suggestions about prepping it. Right now it is a tiny little patch of lawn in full sun. I am planning slightly raised beds.

  5. 5
    Sab says:

    @NotMax: I am thinking zuccini preference is gender specific. I kind of like them, in reasonable amounts. My dad and my husband HATE them. Passionately.

  6. 6
    MazeDancer says:

    Having enjoyed all 8 episodes of Marie Kondo’s tidying up Netflix series, it is clear from the lovely photo that Marvel’s home is full of things that “spark joy”.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    So you don’t like zucchinis. Okay then, how do you feel about courgettes?

  8. 8
    NotMax says:


    Will add that the playing was done on the brand new, packed with up to date tech computer just got. Using it exclusively for gaming, the regular ol’ (relatively speaking) PC remains my choice for everything else. No way the game I mentioned could play on the older machine.

    Not a brand name, built by someone who does that for a living. Not stuffed with bells and whistles, nor extraneous software or bloatware that brand name machines ship with. Specs on it made my ultra-nerd techie friends say both “Wow!” and that they couldn’t have built one with the same level and quality of innards for the price I snagged it at.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Same way I feel about marrows.


  10. 10
    Sab says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Amir Khalid: So do you like courgettes?

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    I like pretty much all vegetables, courgettes included. ETA: Zucchinis too.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: You might feel different about Romanesco Zucchini. Not like the watery shit you find in a grocery store at all.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    Not the wateriness or lack thereof. The taste and mouthfeel are instantly repellent. in any form, zucchini bread included. Can’t abide bite one.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: The taste is nutty and the mouthfeel is different, but it’s your loss.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    Marvel, I’m going to miss photos of your garden..

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    Back from the Easy and after really shitty weather there it’s going to be 70 here. I think the girl will be in the garden!

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Raven: The weather was pretty shitty here also, and I plan on enjoying cleaning up the yard. .

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Yea, all of our friends kept telling us that.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    As the partial federal government shutdown ends its second week, many workers without paychecks, as well as their families, are becoming increasingly worried about their personal finances.

    That problem was on the mind of one fifth-grader in Gaithersburg, Maryland (a DC suburb), whose mother was furloughed from her job at the Food and Drug Administration back on 28 December. But instead of complaining, she, like any good entrepreneur, took action: she opened up a business.

    The business is called Bella’s Sweet Scrubs and it’s owned by 11-year old capitalist and marketing whiz Bella Berrellez.

    Bella’s company sells sugar scrubs, which is something I’ve never heard of. But please don’t take my ignorance as criticism. I’ve learned that a “scrub” is kind of a paste that you use in the shower and it’s a very popular thing.

    The products sold by Bella’s Sweet Scrubs are made of organic sugar, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic dye and organic essential oils. They’re handmade by Bella herself and she sells them on her Etsy site for only seven bucks a jar.
    But more importantly, she used her age and her story – which ties directly into a leading national news story – to get lots of media coverage, including a four-minute segment this week on a local television morning show. Oh, and I’m writing about her too. There’s nothing like free PR to help promote a new startup and I personally know a few entrepreneurs – decades older than Bella – who would kill for the same kind of exposure.

    But with all her media success, Bella’s still humble about the operation. “I was just thinking of creative and fun ways to contribute to the family,” she told local TV station Fox 5.

    So here’s your chance to help out a furloughed worker and support a young entrepreneur. Oh, and smell a little bit better too. Who can argue with that business proposition?

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  22. 22
    gkoutnik says:

    Thought of this right away.

  23. 23

    The café in this building has a weekly special pizza. This week it was zucchini pizza. We did not try it.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    More shutdown news:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Smithsonian museums are closed. There are no federal staffers to answer tourists’ questions at the Lincoln Memorial. And across the United States, national parks are cluttered with trash. Yet despite the federal government shutdown, a historic clock tower at the Trump International Hotel remained open Friday for its handful of visitors, staffed by green-clad National Park Service rangers.

    “We’re open!” one National Park Service ranger declared around lunchtime, pushing an elevator button for a lone visitor entering the site through a side entrance to ride to the top of the 315-foot-high, nearly 120-year-old clock tower.

    The Trump administration appears to have gone out of its way to keep the attraction in the federally owned building that houses the Trump hotel open and staffed with National Park Service rangers, even as other federal agencies shut all but the most essential services.

    Amanda Osborn, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, which owns the building and leases it to the Trump Organization, said in an email that the shutdown exemption for the comparatively little-known clock tower was “unrelated to the facility’s tenant” — the Trump business. The agency says the law that put it in charge of the site obligates it to keep it open, even as federal Washington closes around it.

    But the scene at the modest historic site at the Trump hotel building, where rangers often outnumber visitors, marked the latest episode in which Trump’s business interests have overlapped with the work of the federal government, creating at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Yeah, CREW isn’t buying it either:

    A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the GSA, seeking documents explaining why the tower was open, how it continues to be funded, and any communications between the agency and the Trump Organization, the president’s company. Trump gave up day-to-day management of the firm in 2017 but continues to receive earnings from its operations.

    “At the very least, this smells funny.” Said Noah Bookbinder, the group’s executive director.

    “We have not seen a satisfactory basis for why one park service property is opened when no others are,” Bookbinder said. “This raises tremendous questions about whether this property that intersects with the president’s business is getting special treatment.”

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    I was not a big post-Kooper BS&T fan but Sometimes In Winter is pretty good.

  26. 26
    Chris Johnson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For example:

    How dumb do you think we are?!?

  27. 27
    Charluckles says:

    Where do pumpkin and gourd growers go for seeds?

  28. 28
    Immanentize says:

    @Charluckles: Last year’s pumpkins and gourds?

    Speaking of gourds, my wife’s grandparents used to grow loofa in Texas, which they pretty much used as the exclusive scrubbing pad in their home. I had some of their seeds, but they just couldn’t make it up north when we moved here. Really sad about that.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    NPR hourly recap just did the mother of all “both sides!” reports on the shutdown. Both sides are content to just let it go on and on. Got that? I may have to stop listening to their “news” programs.

    Do love the music, though. And do love not paying those wankers a cent for listening.

  30. 30
    p.a says:

    I had such a productive grape tomato plant this year I kept seeds to try next year. Don’t know what, or whether, anything will bloom assuming the source plant was a hybridization. This is the 2nd winter I’ve taken in a serrano plant: pretty bullet proof and is producing (rather small) fruits now. Took in a cayenne and a tobasco plant also. They’re alive, but new fruits are a sometime thing. I enclosed the screen room in boat window plastic/vinyl (30 mil.) so on sunny days it gets quite toasty. PITA moving the plants back and forth (approx 2 gallon pots), but it’s fun just trying to keep them going. By spring they’ll look pretty scraggly, but bounce back in the ground.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Charluckles: I get most of my seeds from Baker Creek.

  32. 32
    charluckles says:



    I always like to try a new variety of pumpkin and this summer I want to make a good run at some larger gourds. Birdhouses and bottles.

  33. 33
    oldgold says:


    any suggestions

    Yes, plant carnations.

  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @charluckles:
    OzarkH, as far as I recall, is the gourd/pumpkin maestro around these parts, so I recommend whatever his recommendation is.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    @Charluckles: lots of choices:
    Park Seed
    Territorial Seeds
    are three I’ve used.
    Also SeedSavers Exchange, though I personally have had mixed results there.
    Edited: Forgot Bakers Creek, they’re good too, as OH says.

  36. 36
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Good morning everyone. Off to more sleep after asking Sab a very serious question.

    Sab: So the demo crew found a ‘flattened garage’ under the garage they demolished. Was the flattened one the Wicked Garage of the East? Unsuccessful attempt at Russian nesting garages? What’s the story here?

    Thanks for your attention to this very serious matter. :)

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Both sides are content to just let it go on and on.

    As of this moment, I can’t argue with that. They have different reasons, entirely different, but neither side has given an inch.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That is true. Although the Democrats did pass a measure to end it, under Democrats’ terms, and the GOP won’t even vote on it.

    You cannot teach Trump that he can get away with this shit because he’s a nihilist.

    There was no context provided in the report. None. Just politics as usual, to NPR. Because we live in such “usual” times. I think they are cowards. Thus, the no $$ to them.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    Oh, and Marvel: I love the tomatoes and the Craftsman looking chairs and artisan vase. Beautiful stuff to wake up to.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charluckles: Baker Creek has a plethora of different pumpkins. Not quite the same variety with gourds but still a wide selection including birdhouse and bottle.

  41. 41
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I always turn NPR news off as soon as it comes on, but I feel confident that Elizabelle is referring to the completely contextless way NPR “both side!” every news report. Staying that both sides are content to let [the shutdown] go in without noting that the Traitor has reneged on two previous deals in every news report is neglecting a key detail. Which helps Republicans diffuse who exactly is to blame.

  42. 42
    cope says:

    Tabasco pepper plants still producing here in, enough for one last batch of hot sauce. I’m going to fiddle with the formula and add fresh lemon juice and carrots to this batch. I’ve already produced several bottles of red and green hot sauce and a couple of jars of giardinera.

    I got about a dozen tangerines off the tree (our first edible crop) and am still waiting for some good cold weather to ripen up the navel oranges and pink grapefruits. That hasn’t happened for the last couple of years and I am not hopeful.

    Central Florida signing out.

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: and I see I surmised correctly.
    I despise NPR news.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    satby says:

    @oldgold: took me a minute.

  46. 46
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Elizabelle: This (and many other reasons lately) is why the Endless Screaming Twitter account exists.

    Back on topic, Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs regularly posts the Tiny Desk concerts if you like NPR’s musical offerings but want to avoid the ‘both sides!’ BS.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Now there’s another cool person to check in on some times. Charles Johnson (the sane one). Thank you re the Tiny Desk concerts.

    Paul Krugman is also a fan of TD concerts, and was probably wincing just as hard if he heard that “news” “update.”

    It is said that NPR relies on interns for a lot more of its work than we might think. Really makes me wonder who writes these broadcasts.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: A compromise will be made. trump will get some kind of money for something and no matter what the actual language is he will declare victory. The DEMs will get something in return, I would really like it to be a path to citizenship for Dreamers, but will accept whatever the DEM leadership negotiates. As of right now, the political winds favor them. Pelosi passing the Senate bill that passed 100-0 was just first move in this dance. It makes obvious just how disingenuous all the GOP is and just how complicit they are in trump’s shutdown.

    As of right now, the GOP owns it, and DEMs are quite content to reinforce that fact with voters.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    And: NPR does not staff a phone line for comments. You have to submit them online. The male voice tells us “all comments will be reviewed.”

    Wankers. FYI, their DC HQ number is (202) 513-2000

  50. 50
    satby says:


    Pelosi passing the Senate bill that passed 100-0 was just first move in this dance.

    Bet you serious coin that exact fact wasn’t mentioned at all in most news reports, and definitely not in the NPR one. And without that kind of context the both sides spin is strengthened. If the media can repaint this as an impasse between equally obstinate players instead of Drumpf reneging on agreement after agreement, the blame will start to spread. NPR and the others know what they’re doing.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: @Elizabelle: If you are expecting more than bare bones facts from a “news update” you are always going to be disappointed no matter what news source you are listening to.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: How was your feast last night?

  53. 53
    Barbara says:

    @Elizabelle: I just can’t be bothered anymore. When I was living in pre-Internet NC and Western Pennsylvania I never missed ATC, but it was a lot better then and an oasis in the desert. It was also before Cokie Roberts, who wound up at ABC. It has been a long slow slide.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This reporting without context is what brought us Donald Trump and his ilk.

    I don’t think he could have happened in a country with a functioning news media. One that was not careerist (money! page clicks! maybe I will have to work at Fox one of these years) and also cowardly (NPR, The Snooze Hour, ooh, I report honestly and big corporate donors and Republicans will hit me).

    Ozark, you should find a link and listen to that one. It was egregious. To the point of being dishonest.

    I am glad the Democrats are playing hardball here. They need to.

  55. 55
    JMG says:

    @Elizabelle: Don’t bother. NPR knows damn well the Republicans would zero fund them at the first hint of non-both sides coverage of US politics, so they will never ever deviate from that formula. If it’s proven Trump is getting cash payoffs from Putin, they will run a 10-minute segment on Alger Hiss.

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Feast? Simple seafood and rice soup and bread, very delicious.

    @Immanentize: Speaking of seafood, I was looking at pics of Monse’s paella and was reminded that she put lobster in hers as well. Not sure why my wife doesn’t, probably because she doesn’t like it or something.

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    PS: Ozark: not picking on you. Especially not after you shared that wonderful paella recipe and told me about Bomba rice!

    But I have not given up yet, so this stuff bothers me. Because things do not have to be that way. They are bad on purpose.

  58. 58
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My money’s on the GOP giving the Dems a bag of hot air (“Please return the bag.”) and a steaming pile of bullshit and then harping on and on about how they compromised.

    “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s a feast in my eyes!

  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And aha, you were thinking of paella at the very same time.

    That recipe deserves its own thread, one of these days.

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: He did link to the recipe in the thread yesterday evening.

  62. 62
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I expect salient facts get included in any news update. Especially a short 3 second fact like the one I quoted from you. Because @Elizabelle: is right: things are bad on purpose and they don’t need to be this way. So we have to hold the refs feet to the fire and call them out when they paint deliberately misleading pictures.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mrmoshpotato: You think Nancy and Chuck are going to buy that? Really?

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:

    @JMG: I know. Le sigh.

    @JPL: Is it the exact same recipe from a few days ago? (ie. a copy and paste?) Shall I check that thread for any updates? Missed it.

    I emailed myself Ozark’s recipe, so I would not lose it. Look forward to attempting it this year.

  65. 65
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: This is the dish he had yesterday arroz con mariscos..
    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s a feast. Was saffron readily available when your wife was younger?

  66. 66
    debbie says:


    Zucchini bread!

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: No new updates. Then there was a discussion about the correct rice to use, and at that point they lost me.

    You probably didn’t see the link in my latest email.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I don’t. Not in a news update. Because the salient facts of this issue go back decades.

    And I repeat,

    Both sides are content to just let it go on and on.

    As of this moment, I can’t argue with that. They have different reasons, entirely different, but neither side has given an inch.

  69. 69
    charluckles says:

    Thumbs up for Baker Creek. That’s just a pleasant site.

    Thank you

  70. 70
    debbie says:


    I’d like Pelosi to bring up that tower (from your previous post) during her next press statement.

  71. 71
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Was saffron readily available when your wife was younger?

    Probably, but as poor as her family was in the early days, I’m not sure they could afford it.

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @satby: looks like the link for Territorial Seeds didn’t copy, so here it is corrected.

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charluckles: They are good people too, kind of amazing for Misery. Most of us are unreconstructed assholes.

    @debbie: Somebody should, probably the chair of the Oversight committee.

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL: Thank you! Which thread was it? TaMara’s re the woman scientist and candidate from Colorado? I didn’t read most of yesterday’s threads.

  75. 75
    debbie says:


    NPR has made a deliberate effort to try to appeal to a younger audience, with younger hosts (who you can hear are smiling while they speak — which I hate). Reports are speedier, lighter, and not at all in depth because as you know, all young people are ADD.

    It is rare when I’m not yelling at the radio (“Stop rephrasing answers, Steve!”), but there isn’t much of a choice. I don’t have cable, and I refuse to stare at a tiny screen all day long.

  76. 76
    Quinerly says:

    @Raven: check out Al’s solo album, “Black Coffee” from a few years back. There’s a great Terry Gross interview with him when he was promoting it. Loved his autobiography, too!

  77. 77
    Sab says:

    @mrmoshpotato: They used to have a garage they didn’t like. Aluminum sided. They had it flattened. Hauled nothing away. Poured a concrete floor on top and built a new garage using cinderblocks and one piece of rebar per side. The floor cracked, so it had a two inch wide fissure running the length. The walls were buckling.

    When I moved in I was afraid to put my car in it, so I used it for storage. It was overrun with mice and chipmunks, so that didn’t work out too well. About five years ago I hired some guys to tear it down and haul it away. After they hauled away the new garage they got in with a bobcat to level the dirt and discovered all the aluminum and cinderblocks from the previous garage.

    So the soil on that part of the yard is only about six inches deep with aluminum siding underneath. I can’t plant trees or shrubbery there. Since it is very sunny I thought it would make a nice veggie garden.

  78. 78
    germy says:

    Here’s what my local sinclair station wants me to watch this sunday morning:

    Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson

    Were the True Effects of Vaccines Hidden by the Pharmaceutical Industry? The New Chapter of a Long Medical Debate

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @germy: Holy crap! That’s dangerous.

  80. 80
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Interesting comment about appealing to a younger audience.

    Which makes providing context even more important, since they did not live through it and only hear of Saint Reagan.

    Anyway, you have given me an idea.

  81. 81
    Quinerly says:

    @satby: Good morning! I took your suggestion a few weeks ago & ordered some heirloom tomato seeds… can grow them in pots, as they are dwarfs/miniatures. Don’t remember the name of the company. Seeds came lovely packaged. I’ll check the name when I go downstairs. It’s an experiment for me as city courtyard here so most every thing in pots except hostas and impatiens around the shaded goldfish pond. Starting them under grow lights in the walk out basement apartment. Never grown tomatoes from seeds, never grown miniatures. We’ll see. 💜

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:


    Anyone else want to call that show “Full Measure of Stupidity”?

  83. 83
    Quinerly says:

    @cope: 💙💚

  84. 84
    Gin & Tonic says:


    I want to make a good run at some larger gourds

    Here in RI, competitive pumpkin-growing is a thing among some small groups – like 2000-lb pumpkins. Don’t know if “larger” for you means over 1000. They trade seeds among themselves, but if you search in those groups you might find some.

  85. 85
    germy says:

    @JPL: @Elizabelle: If I wish to watch “Face The Nation” on my local cbs station (which is owned by sinclair) I will only be shown the first half hour. Then the station switches to “Full Measure” so if I wish to continue watching “Face The Nation” I have to change to a different sinclair channel; one that spends the rest of the day showing old westerns or infomercials.

    I assume the majority of their target audience doesn’t switch channels, so “Full Measure” is granted the seriousness of the CBS network show.

    My solution is to turn off the TV.

  86. 86
    satby says:

    @Quinerly: Good luck! It should work out. Looking forward to pictures of them.

  87. 87
    Quinerly says:

    @Elizabelle: I found one of my favorite singer songwriter musicians through those those tiny desk concerts. I haven’t listened to commercial radio in 20 plus years. If you haven’t ever checked him out, take a listen to Josh Ritter. Kinda Dylanesque. Also, puts on a great show… whether in a small or larger venue. Turns out that a friend’s daughter went to Oberlin with him.

  88. 88
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @MazeDancer: I was just about to mention that show! My wife is a big Marie Kondo fan, so when I discovered that on Netflix last night I played an episode for her entertainment. But it pulled me in and we watched a second episode, and I’m all inspired now to put every article of clothing I own into a big pile and just see.

    Those episodes skipped over her books and papers steps, probably don’t make good TV. But those are my biggest issues.

  89. 89
    JPL says:

    @germy: The local ABC station is for sale and I hope that Sinclair doesn’t buy it.

  90. 90
    debbie says:


    Attiksson is a pustule on the country.

  91. 91
    Yarrow says:

    @Sab: Whatever is in the soil where the garage used to be can get into plants you grow. Cars can leak oil and other fluids. If it was used for storage there could have been toxic chemicals as well. If it’s old it could also have had lead paint and gasoline used to be leaded. All of that can be in the soil and then get into your vegetables.

    It might be worth getting a soil test done on that spot before you dive in and start growing vegetables. You don’t really want that stuff in the soil where you grow your food. Some plants, called hyperaccumulators, are known for absorbing lead and other heavy metals. In fact they can help clean soil. That might be a way to help clean it.

    It sounds like the soil doesn’t go down all that deep, so another option might be to build up and grow your vegetables in raised beds with soil you bring in. The bad soil would still be underneath but depending how tall the raised beds are your vegetables could be fairly far away from it.

  92. 92
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    On topic, our back yard is extremely lumpy and uneven and I want to address that this spring, as early as makes sense. An article I read online suggests doing it 1/2” of topsoil at a time, which the existing grass can grow through so no need to restart the lawn.

    At the same time, I probably ought to grade it in a way that addresses our drainage and wet basement issues. But other than “try to slope away from the house” I’m very uncertain about what to do there.

  93. 93
    germy says:

    @JPL: they seem to be on a buying spree

  94. 94
    germy says:

    @Yarrow: Raised bed gardening. Bring in your own soil.

    EDIT: as said above.

  95. 95
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    But other than “try to slope away from the house” I’m very uncertain about what to do there.

    It’s the cheapest and easiest thing to do. That and make sure your gutters are clean and draining properly. Beyond that you are digging out your foundation, filling cracks, waterproofing from footing to above grade, laying fabric, pouring large gravel, installing drain tile, more gravel, more fabric, and backfilling the foundation with your soil again.

  96. 96
    Sab says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks. The soil is what I was worried about. I need raised beds to keep the dogs out anyway.

  97. 97
    MomSense says:


    Lots of composted manure.

    We are in a cold loop at my house. Kid brings a cold home from school. We both get it. Then I bring a cold home from work. We both get it.

  98. 98
    satby says:

    @Sab: check out the info and resources here (posting a naked link so others can check it out too):

  99. 99
    Yarrow says:

    @Sab: You could go with the taller raised beds and give them an edge to sit on. That way you aren’t bending over. Those are great for older people and people with mobility issues. As we age they can be more comfortable as well. More expensive to put in and take more soil, though.

    @germy: Depending how tall the raised beds are, the soil in the ground and the soil in the beds can get mixed up over time. In any area where vehicles were stored and/or toxic chemicals it’s worth doing a soil test prior to growing food unless you’re quite confident you can keep the soils separate.

  100. 100
    Ruviana says:

    I just want to mention the beautiful colored candlesticks in Marvel’s house. So bright!

  101. 101
    Sab says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks again. I think I’ll talk to my county ag extension this week.

  102. 102
    Yarrow says:

    @Sab: That’s a good idea. It sounds like a vegetable garden is a good use for the space so hopefully it’ll all work out for you.

  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    Anne Laurie, I think it was you who talked about some light green cherry tomato that was supposed to be as sweet as a SunGold.

    I swear I saved the information somewhere, but I can’t find it. Any idea what I might be talking about?

    edit: it’s possible that the word “ice” is in the name.

  104. 104
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I didn’t say they’d buy it. I said it’s what the GOP would offer as compromise. :)

  105. 105
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Sab: Wow. I never knew a garage could be plowed under.

  106. 106
    Sab says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Me neither. I think they used it as fill to relocate the garage up a little hill.

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