July 2014 Hotter than a firecracker!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We had a dirt floor in our vegetable washing room. I made a floor of treated lumber, some 2 x 6 & some landscape timbers. Left spaces between the boards. Never get wet feet & it is easy to stand on. Stone or mulch may be hard on your feet & legs.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

This is what I was talking about Will.
cg I thought of using rubber mulch. Figured that would be easier on my feet. But since I dug it all out I could put a 'porch' type walk way for sure. I just have to make sure the walkway is below the door so they can open...lol

CG I have a question I have a mass of cantaloupe vines. I am going to need to water and I don't have a clue where the plants are. What would be my best way to do this. I could use a sprinkler. I should of put a soaker hose under them, but way to late now. I must have atleast 20 cantaloupes on the vines.

I did finish digging out all the soil in front of the potting bench before it got any hotter. I don't know about you guys but I can sure drag out alot of stuff. I got the tractor and loaded the bucket with pots, plants, sacks, tools, you name it. Now I have to put it all back up.

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(Zone 5a)

It is now July! We picked beans early in the day and now have them snapped. Tomorrow morning, we'll try to get the rest as I know we missed some, snap them and then can them. One of the children say the bean plants look abused. :P

I watered my native plant babies and three have already died. :( Two was a type of grass and the other a forb.

The Maximilian Sunflowers have started blooming. This is odd as I thought they were late summer/early fall bloomers. My Cow Slobber is still showing colour. :)

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Ju, the bugs are allowed on everything except my veggies unless pollenation happening. lol. I don't grow many so need what I can get.

Will, the tree will get planted this fall. It's in partial shade though so it's happy.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I am making a window frame for the new,old window I put in our old red shed! - pic #1
I decided to do the unmitered window frame, It's easier and I'm tryng to save time and lessen stress
here. I've got a little more to do on it yet, the top and bottom. I owe that window frame to Joyce!
I saw your plans up there, Joyce, for a window. That's the RIGHT way to do it..lol This is just an old waferboard shed that shoulda been torn down 20 years ago. But, it doesn't leak and it even has a concrete floor, so it's worth keeping I suppose. And besides, my friend here won't let me tear it down! I sure do like your potting bench happ. Now all you need is a gutter and an awning or roof so you can work there when it's raining lighty and also when the sun is shining.

What's a Cow Slobber, Chillybean?

I always did like the Maximillian Sunflower, it's pretty.

Oh, I see pepper. That Honeylocust overwintered fine in the pot and without any protection last Winter.

I too grow from seeds on occasion, it does take some time. Do you know ju, do Black-Eyed Susans come from the dried flowers like Coneflowers do?

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

My goodness! You've all been busy here & I'll never get caught up reading all the posts. I've been busy canning pickles and blackberry jam & I don't see things slowing down for a while now.

I love this time of year!

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Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Will I do need gutters, but I have a big umbrella for shade. That way in the spring and fall I can have sunshine if I need it. Guess I could make a roof of material that slides back and forth when needed. Hummm that is a thought. Actually the potting bench is on the west side of the house facing east and pretty close so all morning is shade, then it gets some sun for a few hours and then the sun is behind the potting bench and back in the shade. I have really used it alot this summer. So far the only thing I would add or change, is adding a second grate. Then when I unpot a plant I could put that old soil in a old soil bucket... ;) rofl...I don't do rain, I don't like to be rained on, never have, even as a kid..rofl.

Well I am afraid my tomatoes have blight! The first year I went out of my way to try and do everything right. I have soaker hoses, I have a tied them all up on a cattle panel and this is what I get...dang. Read on the internet ways to try and stop it. I will see what happens.

Cant remember if I posted this pic of my vine growing on my pergola. It is so funny looking.

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(Zone 5a)


Cow Slobber AKA Snotweed AKA Spiderwort. :)

We had a storm so unexpected this morning that even NOAA knew nothing about it. I turned on the weather radio and they were just rambling on the forecast with a 20% chance of boomers this afternoon. :P It knocked over much of the Cow Slobber, but the sunflowers are doing well. We never staked up the tomatoes and they do not really look worse for wear.

I wanted to pick more beans this AM, but the storm did not take away the miserable humidity. Do I really need more beans?

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

HOT AND HUMID here! No rain. Yeah they don't always get the forecast right...rofl...can we say 30percent right...I use to say if that is all I got right at work I would be fired. I am confused I thought spiderwort was a shade plant?

Got out EARLY which was good the water garden almost empty itself...geehz so had to figure out what was wrong there. I have plants as the filter and they stopped up the spillway and poured the water over the edge. One thing I did right was in a book it said never put your pump on the bottome of the pond, because when the pond get pumped out, not if but when, you will have enough water to save your fish....so my fishyes were fine.

Then went out and stripped all the tomato blight leaves off and I was so very careful, not that I think I can save them, but I am going to try some sprays. By the time I got done at 9:45 there wasn't a dry spot on my body. I am playing indoors today! Oh yeah and watered all the plants. So I am done for the day until I find spray.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I need to spray my maters again too but I'm waiting til tomorrow night when it's cooler. I dug some some taters and dumped the old soil in a low spot on the north side of the yard. Watered stuff and called it good. Even my neice and nephew refused to stay out long. Course skeeters attacking them good today too.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

In my opinion muskmelon are superior :o)

Skipping to the bottom and working up. I'm woefully behind again :o(

My taters are still blooming and we watered yesterday.

Wow, almost empty? I hope you figure out why and I'm glad the fish were ok!
I hope you get tomatoes too. So far my tomatoes look good and we're picking again. I lost one to wilt early this spring and I think it was ''Box Car Willie,'' an old timey tomato and more susceptible. We also keep ours off the ground.

Hi Chillybean!
I'm not sure I've seen your name before, but yayyy, another Iowan :o)
Yesterday's storms were a few counties south of us. We got a quick rain that barely wet anything and yep, that 20% chance....
I need more beans, LOL!

A sliding roof! That even sounds cool!
AWESOME BLOSSOM!!! Is that pipevine? And do you have the caterpillar?

I canned 8 more pints of green beans, have beets to pickle and made freezer pickles with 6 cups of sliced cucumbers. I love putting garden up too!

Nothing wrong with unmitered. It's just a window. The good thing is, you have the know-how to replace it.

We were up at 3:30 am yesterday. DH heard the outdoor cat playing around the steps out front. He thought there were two big field mice under there so he set two traps. Curiosity always gets the better of him so he kept going out and looking. Turns out we had the CUTEST little 6'' weasel under there! First one I've ever seen. I see why people think ferrets are so cute. But it has a odor musky too. DH tinkered with the steps so much the weasel left. He put things back together and fixed it so it couldn't get back under. So far it hasn't.

Much cooler today and I get to mow with my new self propelled mower!

Have a good day!!

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Hi BillyP glad to see the storms are passing you by. Yes that is a dutchmans pipe. So fun and strange...lol.

Chilly the humidity dropped here thank goodness....yesterday was MISERABLE!
I went shopping and it was too hot in the lawn and garden, I was ringing wet! But anyone needs pots and especially big pots Lowes in Liberty had some great buys. There were a bunch of BRIGHT colors. Then some fancier ones which look like ceramic but are plastic also.

Yesterday was no fun doing much of anything. Grasshoppers are getting bad here. Welll better go play.

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Sounds like everyone is doing well, we have picked over a bushel and half of green beans, Joe is getting tired of them, so I see their fate right now. He has been digging potatoes one plant at a time as they yellow, we eat them as soon as they are ready. oing to try this new green bean and taters recipe, quarter potatoes n a baking dish, drizzle with oilive oil and mrs dash, cook for 20 mins in oven at 350, then pull out and lay whole green beans criss cross, drizle and season and cook another 20 mins. We will see how that goes. We went to see Jackson Brown at the Orpheum the other night,, he is still singing pretty good for a 65 yr old,
nice concert. Emma came by last night ( my 6 week old grandaughter) and it was nice since I missed seeing her on Saturday ( in bed with Migraine at that time), babies always smell so good and she actually sees me now and smiles at us.

Wel, I am at work, so off for now.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Hi bp, we usually wake up tp stray cats fighting. We now feed 3 stray cats. They all share the food pretty good except the one that thinks he owns our house. I let him in so the other 2 can eat. I have to watch the one I let in or he'll pee on stuff. Here's a pic of the other 2 after they've ate. That beige one is headed back across the street, (see him behind my car?). - I've also done alot of raking lately, (they have to be raked sometime I suppose! I found this tiny Garter snake yesterday, (that's my shoe for scale on how tiny it was, I picked it up by it's tail). I let it go in the yard after the photo so it would be hard to see by cats or birds, it was smaller than alot of worms I've seen.

Oh, I like Lowes too. I remember in 2007 II had applied for a job to that one and had 3 interviews in a row, all by someone in a different department. Then, after all that I got a "no thanks" card in the mail.
I was pissed, I called the hr lady and I said, "how do you give someone 3 interviews and then tell them no thanks?!. She said, "you can apply again in 60 days". I told her "thanks alot' and I hung up. I had a cushy gov't job then making over $3 more an hour. Each interview was a work day and it was 30 miles away one way to that store in Liberty. Why aren't I still at the cushy job? Hehe.. that's another story. I like big pots though. Now I feel bad, I paid more for one of those pots! Actually, I've done alot of shopping in that store when I used to live up that way in a mobile home.

Boy, yesterday was HOT, it said 98 degrees on the news site I go to. - http://www.kshb.com/weather

Wow, a Weasel! The most unusual critter we've seen is a Groundhog in the yard.
That's an unusual flower on that vine of yours Joyce. Is that a flower or a seat cushion..lol

Thanks Chillybean, so Cow Slobber is Spiderwort eh. Maybe you know, you have Black-Eyed Susans, do you get their seeds in the Fall from the dried flowers like you do Coneflowers?

Hi Derby Debra!

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Hi Will, I am glad you take care of the cats.. My brown eyed, and blackeyed susans and all rudbeckias come back from the dropped seeds of the dried out flower heads. they fall out easily when they are "ripe", they look like little black flecks.. hope this helps.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks, I'll get them then!

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

we had a garter snake for three years in the front, I just let it be, well I found it be-headed on the side of the house, prolly by by a blue jay.. anyway, hope we have some babies around here..

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

It is pretty out now.
Will were you swimming yesterday? I probably wouldn't of come out of the pool it was so hot. Dont like being stuck inside.
What a tiny little snake. I probably wouldn't of seen it.

I am building some temporary beds out of the soil I dug from the potting bench, composite from the chickens, sand, and old dirt from pots. DH cut these big round metal rings for me from an old tank, but I think I want to insulate the sides of them with something, just to slow down the cold and the heat.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I started to go swimming. I turned the filter on and put on trunks then my friend said she didn't feel like swimming. She keeps it cold in here anyway.

I can't look away from cnn, they are going thru Netherlands with the hearses. Thousands are lining the route in Netherlands, it is a little moving. They are really upset in Netherlands, as they should be, everybody is. I took this photo of the tv. - I was sanding on some joint compound by the tv, I just couldn't stop watching.

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suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Ack, poor snake Jw!
Well, I got the shed window all done. I finally got done with the window frame, it's just some scraps I had around.

My $2 TropiCanna Gold is starting to look like it's worth $2! I haven't decided what I want to do with it. Do I plant it deep underground in hopes that it returns next year or do I bring it in for the Winter to be safe.

Was the Jackson Browne concert sold out, Debra?

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(Zone 5a)


I am pretty new to this forum. We did get a half inch of rain out of the storm and by evening it became pleasant, but I did get more green beans. No one wanted to help me out there in that heat. I am glad all the little hands were willing to snap them for me. Only to find out my canner seal was in sad shape. It's all fixed now!

Yes, the Black-eyed Susan seeds are easy to get, but I usually do nothing with them until spring if they need that cold stratification. Maybe they don't need it, but just to be sure. Then I just spread them around the same area the plant already was. I am thinking of putting some of the seeds elsewhere, too. I have not yet had any success with Cone Flowers, not for want of trying.

We had a weasel or mink get in the basement the wrong time of year and killed two of our ducks. You think the basement is the safest place! But they can squeeze through one-inch diameter holes. If you wonder why we keep ducks in the basement, it's only during the winter and the path to the coop would get seriously drifted over and in ice storms the door would freeze shut. Other things kept popping up, so into the basement they went. There is a south window, so they get sun. :)

Today we saw a Brown Snake at a friend's home, such a cute little thing. :)

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Hi all, I'll try to catch up this weekend. Up for work at 5:45 and out the door around 6:40 & back home around 4:40. Fix dinner, yard work, pick garden, tend to pets, little laundry & cleanup, put up 5 pts. blackberry jam & 4 qts. kosher dill spears which will finish processing at 11:30 & bedtime.

I love this time of year! (Though it poops me out. lol)

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

welcome Chilly, I am debra, aka joeswife, we welcome you. I have a basement that is heated, lighted and that is where my rescue turtles and the huge goldfish tub and all my plants go to in winter.
as far as cones are concerned, I leave them on until late fall, cut them low to the ground and stick the stem in potting soil, sometimes I get a plant from the cutting most times the seeds end up shaking out and then setting plants. when I am dead heading ripe heads, I just drop them where I want them to come up the next year. I do that with EVERYTHING LOL I am seriously addicted to seed planting.
The window looks wonderful, will, and yes jackson brown was sold out. not bad for a 65 yr old.
had to go to wally world tonight for new fish tank filters, could not believe how fried everything was in the garden department, so glad I do not do annuals except for marigolds. which I start from seeds .
a basement garden room in January looks like this for me here in Kansas.
I like gardening in winter much better than summer..here is my banana out front, and Joyce one banana is at my daughters and one out back..
last pic shows how I need to move the cutleaf coneflowers to the back.. they are hogging the sunlight for the other flowers, I had no idea LOL

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Betty, I will order some jam from ya .. LOL
I get up at 7, go out and water, then go to work by 9 and get off at 6 ish and home by 6 thirty.. hardly any time for gardening except Sundays right now..

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Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Love the pics as usual Debra, your flowers are all so happy and healthy. Boy Will the shed looks professionally done, just the finishing touch.

Yeah protecting our ducks and chickens is number one priority. We built a big pen and dh must of dug down 2 feet and secured everything...rofl. I have to give him credit, all winter long he stomps his way out there and carries water. We have heated water tanks and feeders make out of pvc pipe. The feeders have worked really well. Food stays clean and they seem to waste less.

Coneflowers I have NO problems with. they seem to spread everywhere. I don't do a thing but let them sit there all winter. The birds eat some of the seed heads and the rest must fall on the ground and reseed by the tons. I go thru in the spring and cut off the dead stuff, dig up lots for our sale and yank out the ones I don't want.

Yesterday I did make two temporary planting areas for overwintering hardy plants. Most of them are for the master gardeners sale and mostly hostas. But when I got done I thought BAD idea, I did it in the back of the property and didn't think about deer.... think I will buy some pvc pipe and make a top and screen them in. I used the dirt from the potting bench walk way I dug out, mixed with old dirt from pots and added composite from the chickens and ducks. Just hope the composite isnt too hot. It has been there forever. I still have a bucket full of hostas to plant in individual pots. I feel like I did alot but when I read about Debra and GB holey moley I am so lazy, but I am so VERY happy now, I keep telling DH how happy I am and he just smiles.

Saw the forecast now I don't trust the forecast but they are saying high 80 on Monday! unreal.

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suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the compliments on the shed. Now, I need to paint it. That Black Eyed Susan that I got for $2 should be a good donor of seeds I gotta go for now, we're meeting some people for lunch.

(Zone 5a)

I have one son who wants chickens, but there HAS to be a building closer to the house and it cannot destroy any of our wannabe prairie. I can think of one spot and all we'd have to do is move a bluebird box. He's 14 and loves hard work, but this is a big responsibility. At least he'd have no bulls to contend with.

I hope you do not mind hearing this story. He really doesn't like it when I want him to share it with people. But it is so funny...

He went down to Kansas for "farmer camp", helping friends for a month. His favorite chore was tending the chickens and gathering eggs. One of the chickens was really broody and these eggs were for selling, so the eggs must be gotten. He used to set the chicken on the floor, but she'd get back on that nest lickety split, so he tossed her a ways. She was fine and it gave him enough time to get the eggs.

One day, he accidentally left the coop door open and a loose bull started to come in, probably wanting the feed. My son happened to have that hen in his hands, so just threw it at the bull! Thankfully, the bull just sauntered away, as they can be unpredictable.

I am still befuddled, why is my Maximilian blooming? I am glad they are living since often my plantings fail, but I was kind of looking forward to the late color. I put these in spots where they can just go wild. We have the space to do so.

I walked around some of my wannabe prairie to see what birds were around and came out without any ticks! I never remember to put on the greenbug.

And a vine I thought was exploding cucumbers, turns out to be some kind of melon! Huh? We have clay soil, and heard melons like sandy soil. It was probably a seed from the compost. There is an area of the garden that is a bit of a mess with green beans, tomatoes and now these melons.

Debra, nice meeting you. :) My name's Kim. Do you rescue turtles for an organization? I really would like to get into bird rehab, helping in any way.

(Zone 5a)

Well, that is nasty! I was running low on sea salt while canning so got some extra just in case. Not thinking, my husband grabbed Morton's Sea Salt. The name Morton gave me pause, but figured if I needed salt, it would get used. I had only recently switched from Real Salt to sea salt because now and again the salt didn't dissolve fully and it was like eating sand.

Now that the beans are done, I looked at Morton's ingredients, which should say Sea Salt... nothing more, right?. Well, it had an addition, Yellow prussiate of soda. That didn't sound good and a quick search shows that isn't good. Just look at those uses

I am not a super healthy eater, but I try to avoid additives of unknown natures. Any more, there is some strange stuff out there.

At $1.94 this won't get returned, but I'm not using it. Maybe I'll have to go back to RealSalt. I just did a search there and yes, there is sand in the salt and they claim its supposed to be there. :P

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Chickens are alot of fun I think. In fact I just so happened to take some pics of mine taking a dirt bath.They will destroy flowers, much, and gardens in a heart beat. Hostas are a real treat! Mine run loose when I am there to watch them. We have ducks also and they are less destructive on the plants but LOVE tomatoes.

First pic are the holding planters I made out of an old tank DH cut up for me. Then I have taken pvc pipe and bent it over the planter and will cover the planter with chicken wire so the deer cant get the plants. Hope it works. Speaking of chicken wire you probably already know this but DO NOT use chicken wire on a chicken pen it is not strong enough.

I have two more round planters. I think I will put them in the sun and put the wire over them and then drape plastic over them in the spring to start plants early.

2nd pic we are peeking at the chickens taking a dirt bath...lol Our ground has gotten so hard I took shovel and broke the dirt up for the chickies.

3rd pic is of the duckies taking a swim..lol they have so much fun diving and swimming under the water.

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Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Morning all. Have a busy day planned wanted to say hello and then I have to get busy. Have a great day.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I worked only 4 hours today but man I was sweating!! lol. Watered most of the time trying to get some more stuff watered. Very little got hit today.

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Debra, I'd be happy to share my jam with you!

Still no time to read posts, but hope to get caught up this weekend. I want to know all about what's going on with everyone. Chloe is here right now, and we're going to have a fire and make S'mores later. She helped me cook dinner (mac 'n cheese, fried catfish, and broccoli with chocolate ice cream for dessert). We've still got the cool weather here and have been spending time outside enjoying it before the heat wave reaches us tomorrow. It was so cool outside today that people were wearing sweaters. We did finally get some rain earlier today.

My RU plants are all doing well. The cacti really like the south facing sun porch window ledge. I'll have to find a nice place for the plants to winter over. Any suggestions?

BP, We'll have to share some of our canning successes and failures. I don't have a pressure canner, but have thought about picking one up. Do you use a pressure canner? Anyone else?

I believe that I asked about saving holly hocks seeds. If anyone answered me, I can't locate the post. Sorry if I overlooked it. I believe the seeds are ready to harvest now because the seed pods are dry and turned from green to light tan.

Take care all and try to relax and enjoy your weekend. : )

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I've been busy hiding from my neice and nephew all week. Not joking either. lol. My nephew was a turd (and I'm being nice here) all week and of course my neice bounced off of that and it was just overload. I don't mind that occasionally like once or twice a day but every waking hour just gets on my bad side so I hide. lol. Tonight is last night for them before they go back home. Yay!! lol

Other than that I've been watering my plants and trying to determine if I will get a decent crop of maters or not. They never got staked so are sprawled all over the place. Did a soap mixture on them the other day to get rid of bugs and need to do it again when it cools down next week.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Chillybean, he oughta consider being a farmer, they even used Iowa as an example when I searched farmer wages and Iowa seems to pay pretty good. - http://www.ehow.com/info_7746377_farmers-average-salary.html Maybe he could consider getting in the FFA (Future Farmers of America). Maybe he could go to university for agriculture or whatever they call it. I have a nephew in that at Texas Tech. His Facebook page is public so sure he don't mind if I post it. - https://www.facebook.com/dan.burcham.9?fref=pb&hc_location=friends_tab He's a good kid, there's no jackbutt stuff on his page. I'm William if you see me, mine is public too.

Hehe! Ducks in happ's swimming pool!

Speaking of a swimming pool, I might get in ours tomorrow again, it's gonna be 97! It's 92 degrees right now. - http://www.kshb.com/weather

That dark red rose from Joyce (happ) is really growing this year. I put on gloves and threaded some more long shoots in the trellis, next year it will be even more profuse! - pic #1 That pic was after I worked on it, they'll prolly all come back out like they usually do and I have to wait till they get even longer.

Glad to hear the plants are doing well, Betty (Greenbrain). Just fyi, I don't remember if that cactus "Cactuar" is one of them but the shiny orange top might be fake and glued on. Pepper is the one that told me that they put a pretty top on them. I'm not suggesting you rip it off with pliers or anything but so you know that orange top might be fake. I always thought it looked nice, I liked the orange top part. If it is fake they went to the extreme, It even has needles in it like it's part of the cactus..lol
It's this one, pepper, if you can tell us. I think it mighta came from walmart though, so maybe it's not a fake orange top. pic #2
I'd wait until the Fall myself, or at the earliest Sept. to get my Hollyhock seeds, Green, to make sure they're developed. If there anything like acorns, for example, they have to be developed all the way. I think seeds kinda grow like plants. Some people tie little baggies on the seed pods in case the plant wants to disperse seeds.

I think I'll start taking dirt baths like chickens, they look like fun!

This message was edited Jul 25, 2014 9:51 PM

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KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

That one is real. It's the small ones that actually look like flowers that are fake. Pretty obvious when you look at em. lol

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Will, I appreciate your advice about the hollyhocks. I want to have seeds to share at the next RU.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Well I went to two garage sales today and had good luck I think again.
I got a jenny lind bed (that I thought about making into a bench like pic no. 1) but kind of hate cutting up an antique that is in pretty good condition. I know it is old because the casters are the really old rusted type small type. Then I got a bunch of small tools (screw drivers, measuring tapes, wire cutters) for my tool box so I won't have to use DH's, a big old wooden ladder (turning it upside down to make a trellis out of it), then an old bow shaped saw like pic no. 2. I about fell out, I ask if she could make me a deal because I had so many items and she said how about 15.00!!! I couldn't get her paid fast enough. LOL Then went to another and found one of those wooden wire cable spools and a set of flower pots for 15.00!! A really good day shopping.

Now what to do with everything...lol

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Happ, sounds like you had fun at the yard sales! I don't have that kind of patience, but years ago my mom & step-dad Gale went to yard sales every Saturday. My step-dad was always buying stuff for me. I still have and use items that he gave me. I used the old food mill all last week when making seedless blackberry jam.

Will, I'm very fond of "Cactuar" just the way he is. Cactuar's bright orange head can be seen thru the porch window all the way from the alley. Mobot had cactus just like Cactuar in their gift shop. They were called "grafted" cactus. I guess like grafted fruit trees and roses. The prickly pears are growing fast and I'm hoping for some flowers before summer is over.

Chillybean, that's interesting about your canning salt because I've been putting up dill pickles and had concerns too about the type of salt that I was using. I thought that it was only important to use iodine free salt, but read that you need quick dissolving salt. For the first time, I bought regular canning salt. A big bag wasn't that expensive at Walmart.

Pepper, I understand about the niece and nephew. Nicole is that way with Chloe sometimes. Nicole just gets tired after a few hours of playing games and needs time alone. That's when my hubby or I step in and take over.

Looks like everyone else is busy doing what we all love best this time of year -- gardening!

We had the heat yesterday and thundershowers passed thru the area, but not a drop fell here! That's been happening all week, so I'll be dragging out the water hose this morning. The highs are suppose to drop back into the low 80s this week and remain sunny. No rain predicted until Friday and again isolated thundershowers, so nothing certain.

An update on our church pastor after the amputation of his lower right leg. He's recovering well and was at church last Sunday. Friday was his 56th birthday and he got wireless internet service, so he'll be able to stay connected while housebound. My hubby was at his home setting it up yesterday. Thanks all for your kind words and prayers.

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday and have great weather too! Please send some rain my way. lol

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

GB I am NOT a garage sale person because like you I have way too much to do to go on wild goose chases...lol I did it once all day with a friend and 98percent of the sales were horrible. Now if they are in my little town and I pass one I will stop. lol

So glad to hear your Pastor is doing good. It is so sad tho he is so young.

I got to spend most of yesterday home alone...lol It is rare I get the house to myself, it was nice. Don't get me wrong I don't want to be alone all the time but like you Pepper it is nice to escape from everyone once in awhile..lol

Wow just reading about what is in salt is pretty scary. I am still furious knowing we are importing cooked chicken pieces from China to the US to be sold and they are not required to tell us who is using it. If that isn't bad enough look at this. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/21/mcdonalds-kfc-china-scandal/12929885/

Well on my way out to water, looking forward to the cool down tomorrow.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Sorry to hear that about your pastor, Betty, he's not that much older than me.
Yeah, sorry about that Betty. That orange top one isn't one of the fake ones. I remember which ones are the fake ones since pepper mentioned it, it's the little ones with flowers on the top. Last year I gave one of those to my grandparents and the flower came out, but the cactus is still alive, I guess that's good. Here is a post then. - http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=9688319
The first pic is around when I got it, the 2nd pic is when I took it to my grandparents' rest home.
The 3rd pic is that grafted cactus named Cactuar. - I'm about certain now that I think about it, that I got that cactus at walmart. Oh btw, that first cactus I remember was a leftover one, the flower on it wasn't even that good. On the Prickly-Pear Betty, (I hate to be a bummer) I don't think it will flower this year. I believe the earliest they flower is after 4 or 5 years. It's worth waiting for though, it is one of the best, most solid yellow flowers I've ever seen. I think someone once told me that each pad is a year and I think you have 2. I know yours have 3 but the second and third ones come from the first pad, only making roughly 2 seasons growth. IMHO, the way to get flowers is to let them get at least 5 years growth on them (without pruning the pads off). And putting them in a big pot or planting them, either way so the roots are comfortable and not crowded. This photo was a great big pot of them several years ago and I'd never seen a prettier yellow flower. - pic #4
Maybe that's why I got sick! I ate expired Mcdoubles! : ) I think I get food poisoning.

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