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RE: Labor weekend

I like to look at cactus gardens, but I'm not that into growing them -
especially the thorny ones. That dragonfruit looks interesting but says
it will only tolerate short periods of frost. We freeze regularly from
November through March, so if I wanted it, it would have to move into
the greenhouse like my lemon tree does. 
I have an opuntia cactus that I was hoping to get prickly pear fruit
from. But the tunas are not very big, I think I chose the wrong variety.
There's a guy down the street with a HUGE one, very few thorns, nice
fruit and I've been hoping I'd see them outside so I could ask for a


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
Behalf Of james singer
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 11:30 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Labor weekend

I'm impressed!

Do you like cactus at all, Cyndi? Sounds like you've got an ideal
location to grow some of the more interesting ones. Don't know if
Hylocereus undatus would do for you, but would sure be an interesting
addition to your orchard.

On Sep 6, 2006, at 1:02 PM, Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT wrote:

> I finally got through all the mail you guys generated. Sounds like 
> everyone had a pretty good weekend and there was even some rain where 
> it was needed.
> We labored much over the Labor Day weekend but alas, not much of it 
> was in the garden. Mostly we are adjusting to the new horse. Thursday 
> we had corral fences delivered to extend the two stalls. After looking

> at the original installation we decided it didn't take as much space 
> as we'd expected and we were able to give them more room, so we bought

> the extra. So, take down the old, move the horse out of the way, take 
> down the cross-fence to allow in the delivery truck. All I can say is 
> thank heaven the delivery guys were willing to install the new fences,

> because they were 24' long instead of 12' and correspondingly more 
> heavy, and while I'm not weak I'm no match for guys - husband and I 
> would have spent hours wrestling those things into place and instead 
> it took maybe
> 45 minutes.
> Since we just gained so much time we then put up the fences for the
> round pen. That was only a couple hours too. Of course it's getting 
> hot by then so we collapsed in the hammock under the tree. But husband

> could not rest...he decided to start the concrete work under our 
> vehicle gate.
> Between the back and the front there are several big gates, and this 
> one had a long section of cattle panel - very heavy welded wire - over

> the ground to keep the dogs from digging out. We decided that we 
> didn't want the horse walking on that and if we dug a trench and 
> filled it with concrete right under the gate, it would work as a 
> barrier. So off he goes with his shovel. It's dead of summer of 
> course, this is the desert, so the ground was like rock. The shovel 
> was discarded in favor of a pickaxe. After watching him turn beet red 
> within seconds I figured I'd better help so there's the two of us, 
> pickaxing away at a 12' long trench. Then we had to go get the 
> concrete, 25 bags at 60 pounds apiece which we loaded into the truck. 
> Then we mixed the concrete and filled the trench, and since he was 
> mixing, I got to move all those bags again.
> And when we were done with THAT, I went for my 3 mile walk with my 
> friend, who was getting snarky about me giving her all these excuses 
> for not walking because I was busy with the horse.
> So that was Thursday. If you think that was a lot of work, why yes it 
> was, thank you for noticing. :-) I'd also like to know why all that 
> calorie expenditure didn't show up on the scale. Life is not fair. But

> anyway...
> The good part is that what we did on Thursday was my husband's entire 
> to-do list for the weekend. He got a lot more little jobs done over 
> the next few days so that was helpful. We worked the horse a number of

> times, quite educational for all of us. I picked bell peppers and 
> stuffed them for the freezer, and I made pesto and froze it. I had to 
> tackle a heck of a lot of grass in the herb bed to get to the basil, 
> but the worst of it is out of there. The basil has gone to seed pretty

> much but I cut it back and with luck I'll get another few cups of 
> pesto before it freezes in October. There are few zillion peppers, I 
> have plans and just need the time to deal with them. Zucchini and 
> cukes still producing but a massive attack of aphids has arrived - I 
> sprayed with light oil, so we'll see if I did any good. Maybe I'll go 
> in there with the hose and spray real hard in a couple days. I'm 
> getting enough eggplant to make me happy, there are no tomatoes to 
> speak of, and the melons are pretty much worthless. I'm not growing 
> honeydew ever again - despite reading many descriptions I am having 
> terrible luck guessing when they're ripe, either I get dry and 
> tasteless or fermented melon bombs. I like cantaloupes better anyway. 
> I'm surprised I am not getting much okra, I thought that was like 
> zucchini in terms of mass production, but there are only a couple pods

> a day out of maybe six plants. Not enough water maybe.
> I had planned on digging and moving a lot of bearded iris but never 
> got to it, that needs to be done. The dry garden still has russian 
> sage, salvia greggii, germander sage and the desert willow blooming. I

> haven't seen the zauschneria blooming yet and I'm kinda curious why 
> not. There are a few roses and the sedum is making big blossom heads 
> but they are not open yet. Liriope looks very nice this time of year 
> with its purple spikes, I should start dividing some of the bigger 
> clumps.
> At our fair I talked to a guy from one of the local conservation 
> districts, he has native California juniper available. I have been 
> looking for that for my back fence so next month - if I remember - 
> I'll drive that way and see if I can get one or two. He said they grow

> slowly but I'm hoping with a little extra water I can speed it up. He 
> also said that they are pretty hard to germinate which may explain why

> I never see any seedlings around the one in my yard. I am sure having 
> a time getting stuff to establish back there. But I have two mesquite 
> planted this spring that look pretty good, another two saltbush, and 
> even the manzanita is not looking too bad. The elderberry all croaked,

> oh well, and one each of mesquite and saltbush didn't make it. 
> Well...another ten or fifteen years I guess before it looks 
> good...then no doubt we'll decide to move.
> Cyndi
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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