Appalachia Gardening

Garden Update

Our spring garden seems to be going a little slow this year. Not sure if it’s the cold weather we’ve been having or that I’m just impatient for things to grow.

The lettuce and kale we planted back in February are finally coming along. I also have kale and lettuce that made it through the winter. Not much of the fall planting survived our unusually cold winter, but a few plants did and we’ve been enjoying them. So have the chickens.

Last weekend we planted Sow True Seed beets, lettuce, radish, spinach, turnips, and horseradish. We also planted some onion buttons I picked up in town.

Chitter and I got Granny’s onions and lettuce planted a few weeks back and I planted her a row or two of Sow True Seed Turnips while we were out working over the weekend.

The major chore we accomplished was cutting the hemlock tree back from Granny’s porch. If you look close at the photo above you can see The Deer Hunter on the roof. The tree’s branches were laying on the porch roof. He used his hand dandy pole saw to reach the limbs from the roof. In between cuttings I tossed the brush off Granny’s bank.

Granny wants to be outside so bad and I don’t blame her. Who wouldn’t want to be out in the spring sunshine with the earth awakening around you? But oh my I worry about her being out there by herself and falling. I worried last summer too, but compared to this year she seemed downright spry last summer even though she wasn’t. I asked her if she’d use a cane if I got her one. In typical Granny fashion she said “I already have a cane.”


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  • Reply
    lynn legge
    April 27, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    tipper its a slow coming spring here also..last nite it was 37….hubby has been waiting for golf to get started.
    I hope soon your garden will be thriving..with golden sunshine and butterflies and bees….
    and don’t forget the ladybugs
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    My Gardens are late too. I’d like to blame it on the late cold – soil just finally warmed up two weeks ago – yes, two weeks ago. So why is my garden soil just lazing in the sunshine? I was helping my sister at her house when I tripped on some of her stacks and took a tumble. She couldn’t help me up but did get ice packs to me so I could pack my knees and elbows and layed some against my back until I could tolerate getting up. Silly me – thought I’d be up and running in a couple days but my body is reminding me how old I am – takes me ’til noon to get loosened up enough to do anything productive! Bah!Humbug! Thought I’d get to it this afternoon but Dad kept needing things then they guy working with my husband provided a little excitement by passing out!! (He neglected to tell us he is diabetic! – drank a Cola and is O.K. now. We’ll watch him closer in the future.) – – so – – hope my starts will forgive me and will settle into the garden O.K – maybe I’ll get some in tomorrow.
    About Granny: After my Grandfather died my Grandmother set about making afghans for all her children,their spouses, grandchildren & spouses, and great-grandchildren. That’s quite a few!! At first she’d only work for a few hours a day making sure to take breaks and check her flowers or make noodles or an apple pie. But things weren’t going as fast as she’d like and she started worrying about dying before she had them all done. She began spending more and more time with her crocheting and taking fewer and fewer breaks. This tall proud lady who loved working with her flowers, especially her roses, became very hunched over and soon could only move with a walker. Long story short: Granny needs to move – sit as straight as she can, turn her head side to side and up and down, sit in a chair and lift her arms up and down as far as she is comfortable, then lift her knees and kick her feet, making sure she has something to hold on to while she “wiggles and waggles”. Stop if she feels the slightest lightheadedness – but move – sit in a chair and use a broom to do sweeping motions on both sides- kind of like rowing a boat; lift the broom in front of her. Anything to get moving but always being very cautious. Maybe the doctor would prescribe home physical therapy and balance therapy; sometimes home health can provide physical therapy. It is just so important to keep moving. I know this sounds preachy but the more you move (within reason – no balancing on 2X4s!) the longer a body may be able to stay independent. Tell Granny I’m thinking of her even though she doesn’t know me. Take Care.

    • Reply
      April 25, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Tamela-thank you for the comment! And I so agree with you about movement being the key to staying mobile. Unfortunately for Granny, she has several compressed/crushed vertebrae in her back that prevents her from doing a whole lot without pain. But with an eye to my own future I’m trying my best to stay active and in good shape for sure 🙂 Miss Cindy is the fittest person I know and she says it’s because she has made a real effort to stay active.

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    April 24, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    My garden thus far this year in a nutshell is best described in a poem by a Scotsman, Robert Burns, in 1785,

    “But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain;
    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!”

    In Modern English it reads,

    “The best laid schemes of mice and men
    Go often askew,
    And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
    For promised joy!”

    Right now I feel more like the mouse than the man behind the plow. Maybe that will get better before its too late this season.

    “Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never Is, but always To be blest.
    The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” – Alexander Pope

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I heard Abb (the radio announcer’s dad) talking about Johnny’s Produce and he had Strawberry Onions from Florida (as big as I’ve ever seen). They plant them between rows of Strawberries to help make them Sweet. And I got a box of tomatoes for my Cornbread Salad along with a box of New Potatoes. I got some pinto beans, but I’m out of Black Beans and other beans. (can’t think of their names right now). Old Timers disease I guess. Just thought of it, “red Kidney Beans and some of that White Dressing. I’ll know it when I see it and I’ll let them all “marry” till morning. Tomorrow will be fine. …Ken

  • Reply
    Annette Hensley
    April 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Tipper, I am a big believer in any senior who lives alone having Life Line or some similar service. We had it for our parents and I have it for myself. Mine hasn’t been used but it’s nice to know that if I have a fall, a heart attack, or anything else that dictates I need help that all I have to do is press a button. Can’t tell you how many times Dad used his!!! And the cost isn’t prohibitive!!! Spring appears to have finally sprung here in Michigan. Daffodils are in full bloom this week and the yellow bells blossoms are opening. Hurrah!

    • Reply
      April 24, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Annette-thank you for the comment! Thankfully Granny has an life line alert and she wears it most of the time 🙂

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I miss not having Fresh tomatoes this year for the Cornbread Salad and those delicious sandwiches. I guess I’ll have to break-down and get some at the Fruit Stands, they’re pretty good sometimes. Later on, our local fruit stand gets stuff from local farmers and they’re real good.

    This Winter just won’t turn loose, just last week we had Snow for about 4 or 5 hours. (didn’t lay tho.) Folks that have to work outside have a hard time. …Ken

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 24, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Although I’ve tilled it twice, I don’t have the first thing in the garden. I’ve never been this late before. It’s sort of embarrassing.

    Regarding Granny and her cane…let me tell you a story about Daddy and old age stubborness.

    It was about fifteen years ago, and Daddy would’ve been in his early-mid 90’s. Br’er Jim had been home for a visit stepped through a rotten place on the back porch floor as he was heading back to Rock Hill and didn’t have the time to deal with it at the moment. I did have some time, so came over from Knoxville to cut and yank up the original floor (probably over 100 years old at the time) and put down a new one.

    After I had all the old flooring up, with just the floor joists showing, I was out in the yard sawing replacement flooring on a pair of saw horses. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Daddy starting to head toward the screen door on the porch, likely to come supervise me. He’d had a stroke, from which he pretty well fully recovered, but usually walked with a cane. But here he came, trying to walk across the floorless porch by stepping on the floor joists (which are on a two foot span).

    I won’t say what I said because it’s the sort of thing that ought not to be repeated. But it’s the only time I ever had a harsh word for him. Amazingly, it took holt, and he went back inside. Neither one of us ever said another word about it to each other.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    April 24, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Dear Tipper, I just now caught up with my daily Blind Pig reading since Sunday because I have been unusually busy. I just had to comment on the absolutely wonderful post by Paul and the background of the song he wrote. Everything about it was beautiful. I hope to listen to it again today. You and your family are a daily source of inspiration for me.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    April 24, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Everything’s late this year. Winter sure took its time giving up.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 8:50 am

    My garden is going to be late, real late. The tomato seeds I planted indoors on March 15th are about half the size they should be. They have rarely seen the sun this year. The cold weather has kept me busy moving 48 plants to the sun porch each morning and back in at night. With snow, frost, freeze warnings and plenty of rain in the past week, I’m not thinking garden right now. My snow peas are looking good though.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Finally got my Sow True Jericho lettuce in and it jumped out of the ground running. Now if I can just keep the deer away. We had a storm last week with golf ball size hail, and we lost half of our early tomatoes to that. We replanted just in time for the rain. Blackberries are just starting to bloom in Belmont. I’m enjoying the cool rainy blackberry winter while it lasts, and after that it will be garden, here I come.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 24, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Tip, I knew who was up on that roof as soon as I say the picture today. That’s my little boy…well maybe not so little any more but he will always be my little boy.
    I wish Granny were doing better but the truth is if you live long enough, you get old. It’s all part of the divine plan.
    I don’t plant a garden, I just wait for yours to grow, but I do have a little herb garden and my mint and oregano are already growing great guns from last year’s planting.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 24, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I planted by the signs this year, first time ever. Your planting by the signs post for April was just what I needed. I planted almost everything on the 16th and 17th in the sign of Taurus. I knew the ground was a bit cold still for the summer crops but I also knew it was primed to warm rapidly. I will plant a few more nematode-resistant tomatoes if I can find them.

    Blackberry winter was only one cold night down to about 38 degrees. Blackberries were blooming heavily this past Sunday.

  • Reply
    Yancey Davis
    April 24, 2018 at 6:19 am

    A lot of my seed come from Sow True since I’m right here in the Asheville area. (Fairview) We’re all a little impatient. My garden is about 3/4 of a mile up the road from the house and I’m there almost every day just looking. Beautiful garlic planted last October, red and Candy onions in the ground, a small patch of turnips along with cabbage coming on. Sowed 2 varieties of bets, 3 varieties of parsnips overseeded with 3 varieties of radish for row markers, and a row of carrots last Thursday. Radish and turnips were already coming up when I planted 150 row feet of Bloody Butcher corn Saturday. Hope nothing washed away with this rain.

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