An Uncapped Pen

June 4, 2009

Grandma Putt’s Wisdom Applied

Filed under: The Garden — cindylv @ 5:11 am

I picked up a gardening wisdom book for a dollar at my favorite used bookstore. The author quotes tidbits and anecdotes he learned at the knee of his grandma. Some of my favorites include the compost booster (1/4 cup of beer, 1/4 cup of ammonia, a gallon of warm water), and an ant repellent (a cup of geranium, a cup of marigold, a few cloves of garlic, a small onion and a quart of detergent – grind it up in a food processor, let it steep overnight and apply to the trunks of fruit trees).

We put the garden in a little earlier than usual this year, the third week of February. One of the things we learned a while back was that tomatoes need to be pollinated before the temperature reaches 100 degrees, or it's too hot to develop fruit. Planting in February can be risky though. We usually get one last freeze late in the month or early in March. Thankfully, we skipped it this year.

The nectarines are a little light this year. They’re turning red, but still quite hard. The apricots should be ready in a day or two. We'll be racing the birds to clear the tree. The first year trees: two apple and two pear, showed mixed results. One apple tree has produced approximately two dozen little green rocks. The other just ignored the whole fruit season. Both pear trees are flourishing, but only one has fruit. And the grape vines look great, but sadly production is a bit light.

Perhaps the most interesting crop is the volunteer sunflowers. I just love sunflowers!



  1. Wonderful stuff, Cindy! Let’s see; in February, we were planting tomato and pepper seeds in the greenhouse… we put the plants out in the garden 2 weeks ago, they’re about a foot high. We’ll be canning in August & September. Can you say “Zone 4”??? ;-)

    Do you guys have enough pollinators for your fruit trees and the grape vines? The bee population around here has been decimated by mites and colony collapse disorder, and some of my friends with fruit trees have taken to having “apple sex” — bopping around the tree with a Q-tip doing their own pollinating. Hey, birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it, no reason we can’t!

    Comment by Piglet, MPH — June 4, 2009 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  2. In regard to fruit trees, they have a good season and then an off season. That way they can recover from the strain of a heavy fruit season. It has nothing to do with you… :-)

    My grapes had absolutely nothing last year and this year are totally brimming with unripe grapes. It’s going to be a bumper crop. The other trees have a few things, just enough to be interesting. Hopefully, the fact that my other half has been fixing the plumbing out back and forgot to water everything for 3 weeks won’t have too much of an effect. Sigh…

    BTW: That book isn’t Jerry Baker’s, is it?

    Comment by angel — June 5, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the info. Yep, I checked. The book is by Jerry Baker. How did you guess??

      Comment by cindylv — June 6, 2009 @ 5:04 am | Reply

      • The (how shall I put this) “colorful” ingredients he uses.

        Comment by angel — June 16, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

  3. Happy Birthday, Cioco Ree Ree!

    Comment by Ben — June 13, 2009 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Ben!!! Love you, too.

      Comment by cindylv — June 14, 2009 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

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