Warm weather makes it happen

The other day when the temperature reached 82ºF (28ºC) I knew I had to take advantage of it and get something done in the garden. But what? Where to start? Actually, the answer was pretty easy: the veggie garden!


These raised beds, fenced to keep the herbivores out, sat fallow and unused all of last year. I suppose "unused" is the wrong word though, since Nature used it to grow whatever it wanted to.


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The pond, end of January

After a very cold start to January, the pond had a thick layer of ice on it. I can't really say how thick it was (at least 6"/15cm), but it lasted for most of the month. It thawed a bit once and got over an inch of rain on it, then another cold snap froze that.


By the last day of the month though, most of the ice was gone and I was able to take a good look.


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What to do: dividing Aloes

Like many gardeners -- even casual ones -- I have a few Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) plants that I received from others. This "small" one is now several big plants, each ready for its own pot.


The question I have is how exactly do I divide this?


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Seven-year anniversary: best of INWIG 2016

Hey, I only just realized that I never did a "best of 2016" post last March!  Here it is, only 351 days late!

According to Blogger I made my first blog post on March 5, 2010 which means today is my seven-year anniversary!  One of the main reasons for creating this blog was so I'd document everything I did in the garden, and I have to admit I've done a pretty good job of that. Did I list every detail of every task I did? No, certainly not. I missed lots of stuff, including some important details such as what exact varieties of veggies I planted, spacings, fertilization schedules, etc. but I also shared a lot of things that I would normally have just observed and enjoyed for myself, and have hopefully given some entertainment and knowledge to you, my readers.


Today, as I've done every March 5 since I started, I'm going to take a look back over the past year and list my favorite posts in chronological order. If you haven't seen them before please take a look. If you have seen them already, then take another look -- it's still fun! I did this type of post on my previous anniversaries too, and I really like the way they turned out. Expect it every year.

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Weird Winter?

So I've been noticing: it's been a pretty weird winter, at least here in St. Louis. For example, here's yesterday's forecast:


Yes, it was over 80ºF (27ºC) yesterday, dropping to 32ºF (0ºC) at night.  (Our normal high is about 45ºF / 7ºC)


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Mid-winter, still pretty

We're approaching the time when the garden starts changing pretty quickly (wishful thoughts of Spring?) so I thought I better post what things looked like on January 19th. I went out there intending to take photos of the bamboo for comparison with the "before" photos taken earlier.


I did get a few of those, but instead I was distracted by how pretty things were, in a relative way. The browns of the winter garden really make the other colors pop, and the blue, blue sky doesn't hurt. I love the pergola shadows in that first photo!


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It was cold and damp once

This winter has been bitterly cold at times, alternating with days or weeks of warm dampness. Very little precipitation though, so it's mainly dry.


During one of the damp mornings in January my vehicle windows showed some interesting patterns.


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Fried

Worst Foliage Followup ever? The "cold snap" (that's a friendlier, happier way to say it I think) we had to welcome the new year did what I expected to the bamboos: fried them.


Some of these groundcover bamboos get fried every year so no real harm done -- they provide a good way to ease into this post though.

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Backtrack: bananas

I realized recently that in my flurry of pre-freeze activity last month I never posted about my banana overwintering preparations. I let my Musa basjoo do whatever it will until a really hard freeze is forecast -- usually that means a low temperature below 25ºF (-4ºC) or so.


This year that condition was not forecast until December 6, so that's when I had to get moving on this. (Note that there had been a few nights of below freezing temperatures so the foliage was already fried, but the thick pseudostems can handle those temps without damage.)


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