Pam Crooks: Calling All Gardeners–HELP!

Pam Sig

It’s been years and years since I’ve planted a vegetable garden.  So long ago, in fact, that the girls were all still home and in elementary school.   Oh, I’ve had a pot of basil for the past couple of summers, and a pair with tomatoes once or twice.  But for some reason I can’t quite fathom, a la Michelle Obama, I’m so in the mood for my own home-grown veggies this year.

Now I have to admit there’s more to my craving.  I’ve been challenged.  Let me rephrase that.  I’ve been insulted by my darling husband.  I guess he’s been married to me long enough to be convinced that the care and upkeep of my garden will eventually fall to him.  He’s ver-ry skeptical that my interest in caring for my little plot of veglets will continue once the temperature raises above 90 degrees (which it will certainly do) or once I fall in the throes of deadline hell  (which I will most certainly do).  He knows I don’t like the heat.  Worse, I hate bugs and worms.  Even so, I can’t let him win.

Let the challenge begin!

cattlemanBut first, I have a few questions for all of you.   Not only do I want to plant vegetables, I also have this driving need to plant more flowers around the house.  (Remember that wedding I blogged about not so long ago?  Yep.  It’s right around the corner.  And lots of people will be traipsing through the Crooks’ yard.  It’s important that they be impressed.) 

So I desperately need your help.  Share with me your favorite ideas.  Be generous with your advice.   Give me all your tips.  Help me win the challenge!

(And because I’m that desperate, I’m going to bribe y’all by giving away a copy of my brand new book–THE CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE–to the person who gives me the most help!)

I have a few questions about vegetables:

1.  A friend told me to save my banana peels, then put them in the ground before adding the plant.  I presume one banana per plant.  Has anyone ever done this?  And would I do it only once during the initial planting?  Would I ever put them above ground?

2.  Coffee grounds are another common way to use compost.  Again, how often?  Once a week?  Once a month?  Does it work? tomatoes

3.   Any other kitchen waste ideas?

4.  What’s your favorite Tomato plant?  I’ve never grown lettuce before, but I want to.  What’s your favorite kind of lettuce? 

5.  Rabbits are an *annoying* pest.  Have you had any luck in keeping them away, besides unsightly chicken wire?

I came across an informative article in our local newspaper on how to fill containers with flowers.  I’m happy to share:

Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers.

Even I understood this.  Flowers/plants that fall into the Thriller category are those that are bold, give color and dramatic height, like the popular spikes.  Fillers give texture and are of more medium height, coleus perhaps.  And Spillers are easy enough–ivies or trailing petunias.  

What do you put in your planters?

pansies1.  Last fall, we planted pansies.  They were so pretty, but I’d read they’d come back in the spring.  Alas, they didn’t.  Are they supposed to?  We have new ones planted now, but once they wilt from the heat of the coming summer,  must I re-plant again in the fall?

2.  Anyone have any luck with spring tulip bulbs?  Do they really come back every year?

3.  The north side of our house is a problem.  We have some hostas, but they grow spindly.  Give me some suggestions–what has worked well on the north side of your house?

Okay.  I’ll stop the questions, and I’m looking forward to your answers. 

(Don’t forget my bribe.  THE CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE–in stores very soon–to one very helpful winner!!)

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

51 thoughts on “Pam Crooks: Calling All Gardeners–HELP!”

  1. On the north side of our house we have lilies of the valley, ferns , hostas and some pretty yellow flowers (? name)that my MIL gave me. They are perenials so I don’t have to do anything. Spirea bushes grow well in the shade
    (white or purple flowers) and current bushes thrive in the shady areas too.

    I don’t have a garden so I don’t kown names of tomatoes or lettuce.

    Rabbits…they sell a spray that repel deer & rabbits at Ace Hardware, Home depot etc.

  2. Hi Pam! I admire your courage! There’s a running joke in our household. “Don’t let mom near a house plant. She’ll kill it.” It’s true. No green thumb here, but as the “Mark of Death” for house plants, I have some advice that might apply to the garden.

    Don’t do what I’ve done, which is over water and over fertilize. “If a little is good, more is better” does not apply to fertilizer! I wiped out a lovely pot of spring flowers by being overzealous.

    My husband’s the gardner here. One thing he insists on is matching plants to the right amount of light. He’s good with grass, too. He aerated the yard and it made a huge difference. We’ve got the best grass around right now.

  3. hello Pam-I really dont know much about gardening…so-there’s no hope for me here! LOL

    However-I have heard this:
    Eggshells from where you’ve boiled eggs are a great thing to put into a compost for growing things…be it veggie or flowers!

    As for keeping rabbits and other animals out-Ive always thought a nice white fence was cute around a garden-you can camo the chicken wire inside it, so it’s not so unsightly!

    My fave tomato plants would probably be beefsteak, cherry and grape!

    Oh-and of course it’s very important to cage or stake your tomato plants-so they grow up and off the ground!!

    Good luck!

  4. I was never a big fan for tomatoes, but my dad loved them. I always planted Beefstake tomatoes for my father. When I was growing up, I lived on a small farm and we had cows. I use some cow manure in my vegetable garden and flower beds. I also used peat moss in the soil since it was clay soil.

  5. I’m a city girl, but I found this from a web site on how to keep rabbits away: To discourage rabbits, you can put a low fence around your garden. Use wire mesh fencing no larger than one inch because rabbits can squeeze through small openings. The fence should be at least 18 inches high. If you live in jack rabbit country, the fence should be 24 inches high. Bury the bottom of the fence at least four inches underground and bend the buried fence outward to discourage rabbits from digging underneath the fence. If you already have deer fencing installed, attach fine mesh fencing to the lower part of your fence to keep out rabbits.

  6. I forgot I was going to tell you that the pansies and tulips that my mom and I planted always came up the next year. The tulips were planted along the south side of the house and the pansies were planted aroung the base of a sharon of rose shurb. I think the sharon of rose protected the pansies from the harsh winters.

  7. I knew I could count on my P & P friends to help me out this morning!

    Yes, LuAnn, mulch is plentiful and cheap. My hubby is a big fan of using the stuff wherever he can.

    Laurie, you’ve got my curiosity going about your yellow-flowered perennials. I do know about spireas–we have those along the back of our new addition. I like the way they spread.

    Hmm. That rabbit spray. I’ll check it out–wonder if it works. The rabbits around my house are getting way too chubby. 🙁

  8. Vicki, I had to smile on your green thumb woes and the reputation you’ve gained with your family. I’ve done the very same things, I’m afraid. . .

    I admire your husband for his knowledge of what plants need how much light. Soil befuddles me, too. And all those fertilizers, right for this plant, but not that one. sigh . . .

  9. Thank you for the fence and tomato tips, Melissa! I suspect a fence of some sort is going to be a requirement. Anon1001, I’m takin’ notes!

    I remember my grandfather growing beefsteaks. They got so big, though, that one would suffice for a meal. I’d be overrun in no time. Cherry tomatoes are a fave. I’m definitely having a plant or two this year!

  10. Aha, Becky! So pansies CAN come up the next year. Mine were planted in pots, so maybe that’s why they didn’t survive. Since I’ve never heard of sharon of rose. I’m off to Google it . . .

    Thank you!

  11. I have raised beds, Pam. Bought them on line from a garden supply house. They’re made of black pvc and snap together. Then you can fill them with great soil. Have 3 of them, each 3X3 feet. One grows tomatoes you wouldn’t believe. Also have rhubarb and aspargus coming up in another (those take a few seasons to do well). They may be worh a try for you. Good luck

  12. Hi Pam! Love your new cover. The little crest celebrating Hqn’s 60th anniv looks great.

    Best of luck on your gardening! My best tip: buy some gorgeous plants in hanging baskets and planters a week before the wedding. LOL you won’t go wrong.

    Other tips–my mom has a green thumb. When snails get into her lettuce, she mixes a bit of liquid dish soap with water and sprays the leaves. The snails stay away and the lettuce continues growing.

    As far as tulips, yes they come back every year but invariably one or two bulbs do not–they disappear due to rodents, etc. So the trick is NOT to plant them single-file in a row, but in groups of say 3 or 5 (odd numbers look better, so the gardening experts on TV say). That way if one bulb is missing the next year, you don’t have a row of tulips that’s missing one–which doesn’t look pretty. And try not to plant them in extremely windy locations (I did and the wind tears them apart). But they are fairly easy and cheap to maintain and always a wonder when they spring up the following year. You do have to upgrade the bulbs about every 3-5 years, depending on how many go missing. (squirrels love to dig them up)

    Good luck on making it look pretty! Post the pics when you’re done. 🙂

  13. You know what else? Marigolds are a natural mosquito deterrent. Apparently they don’t like the smell (I LOVE the smell.) I usually put a planter near the front door, and a few planters around the seating area at the back. I have noticed a decrease in mosquitos, but I’ve needed 2 or 3 planters (say 6 plants in each) to make a difference.

  14. Pam,

    I plant pansies every fall-usually mid October. If we have a mild winter, they will live all winter, and sometimes even flower in Jan and Feb. They look great all spring but wither under the Oklahoma heat. If you live where it gets really cold, they may not survive winter. You might try putting some kind of mulch over it during the coldest months. One year we got two inches of ice. You’d think it would have killed my pansies, but instead, the ice acted as an insulator. I had huge pansies flowering under all the ice. Beautiful. I’ve often though these flowers should have been named “Toughies” instead of “Pansies.” 🙂

    Back when I had a garden and could bend far enough to weed, I planted nasturtiums and marigolds among my veggies to help keep bugs away.

    Good luck!

  15. Elizabeth, good morning!

    I’m hearing and seeing more and more raised beds. If I can talk Doug into building me one, that just might be the way to go. My Better Homes & Gardens magazine was saying just what you did–that the soil can be much better with fab results. Oh, I’m excited!

  16. I’m a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig minimalist when it comes to gardening. I plant for food, not for fun. Same with flowers, I pick hardy things that need NO TENDING.

    Creeping phlox are the magic flower. They hold the ground, spread, don’t let weeds in and require no attention or fussing. They bloom in spring like a long cold drink of beauty after a bitter winter. Stunningly pretty when in bloom a nice ground cover the rest of the year.
    Here’s a picture of my creeping phlox in full bloom.

    Tulips aren’t nearly as hardy as daffodils, iris, hybiscus. I adore daffodils, get the lastest blooming ones you can or they’ll get nipped by frost about every other year. Mine did this year.
    Whatever you do, do NOT plant periwinkle, it’s pretty but it takes over everything and seems to be impossible to get rid of.

    I want a pot of basil and rosemary very badly. I’m going to hold my breath and kick my feet until I get one of each, especially rosemary.

    Maybe it’s the pretty NAME…but I love rosemary in soups.

    Potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, green peppers. Plant peas and eat them raw in the pod. In fact, eat them in the garden while you’re weeding.

    Picking green beans, which are soooooooo lucious fresh…is the closest a city girl can come to feeling like a migrant worker…not that there’s anything WRONG with migrant workers, if that’s what you want to do. But it’s slow, hot, hard work keeping them picked, but oh, those fresh green beans.

    The true magic trick to gardening is, I’m sorry, fertilizer–the kind that comes in a bag from the garden store like Miracle Gro, bug killer like Sevin, plenty of water and weeding.

    Not real organic if you’re into ‘green’ stuff but it all really works.

    North side of the house, ferns, viola, sweet rockets (these spread like crazy so be careful if you plant them) violets of all colors and seriously, the hosta should thrive on the north. Wonder why it’s not?

  17. Hey, Kate!

    I’m getting lots of compliments on my cover already–that slightly older hero look is appealing to all of us. 🙂

    I will most definitely take your ‘buy flowers before the wedding’ advice. LOL. Figure I can’t go wrong that way.

    Love the dish soap advice! Since I’ve never grown lettuce, I’ll try spraying them.

    And I had a DUH moment about the tulips. Planting them in a neat row along our flower bed is exactly what I did. So, sure enough, some of them didn’t come up this spring, and now my tidy little row is all messed up. Planting them in bunches is the solution. Yay!

  18. My current favorite tomato is Celebrity.
    Early girl come early but you know what? They don’t really, all hype. Beefsteak are really large and come a bit later. Celebrity is a nice hardy type, easy to find.

    Best thing for rabbits is a dog…who will probably dig up your garden so good luck with that.
    I also recommend a sniper but realize in the city there can be some problems with that. A silencer on the sniper rifle solves most of those problems.

  19. Awesome advice about the marigolds keeping bugs away, Vickie and Kate! Yay–my notes are getting longer and longer!

    Vickie, our Nebraska winters can be bitter, which is why I was skeptical (and hopeful) that the pansies would come up in the spring. What an interesting story about the ice saving yours!

    Alas, I fear the pansies will indeed wilt in the summer, but seeing their bright color late into the fall makes buying a new batch worth it.

    Thank you!

  20. Oh and Kate is absolutely right about planting the lovely flowers right before the wedding. I know you don’t need anything else to do that week but that’s the best way to insure they’re pretty and if you just buy pots, already filled and blooming you’re set in minutes. 🙂
    No one need know you didn’t nurture them all year.
    We won’t tell.

  21. I finally got to see a picture of your house, Mary! It’s 90 years old? No way! It looks so modern!

    We have grown phlox – and sister, it’s hardy all right. That purple is striking from the street, isn’t it?

    We grew potatoes one year–they were small and not really worth it. I’m not going to grow green peppers, either. Maybe it’s the variety that’s available around here, but they grow with such thin walls. I much prefer the ones in the grocery store.

    Re: herbs. I’ve been thinking on this one. Basil, without question, but I don’t think I’d use much rosemary. Cilantro, maybe. Can we grow cilantro in Nebraska?

  22. I laughed out loud about the sniper, Mary! Yes, that’s what I need–with all due apologies to animal lovers out there. Seriously, I don’t think anything else will work with those critters!

    My neighbor played sniper and had better results than the rest of us. And we are guarding his identity zealously because we admired him so much.

  23. And I forgot to mention my thanks for suggesting Celebrity tomatoes. It’s one I’d never heard of, but I’m definitely going to check them out. I want hardy!

  24. Pam, what an interesting subject. Nothing makes a home look prettier than a bunch of flowers. Here in Texas you need ones that require little rain and that can withstand the blistering heat. I’ve found that Vinca works really well. It’s very easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of work. Plus they flower all summer and into the fall. Sorry, but I don’t do gardening. It’s too much work for me. I applaud you though on giving it a shot. Hope you beat your hubby! 🙂

    Love the cover of your new book. Wow! He’s a hottie. I’m so anxious to read it.

  25. We bring in the peppers and I immediately dice them and freeze them then pour a few into soups, etc. all winter. So I don’t know about the thin walls. I suppose if I was going to use the peppers to keep noise out that might be a problem.

    And new potatoes, baby ones, about two inches in diameter are so delicious. There is no other food like it on earth but they are tricky for some reason, they’re really a really early crop, need to be planted on … I think it’s Good Friday, isnt that right, ladies? The old wives tale? Or maybe it’s the Dark of the Moon. Plant root vegetables on the new moon for the best growth. I love old wives tales like that, there’s a lot of truth in them. Planting on Good Friday really just means Early. Plant them early.

    And tulips can live for years but they need to be tended, dug up every few years and cleaned and rotten bulbs discarded and separated. To me that’s certain death ‘cuz I’m not gonna get them dug up. But daffodils can live forever with no attention.

    I love lilies, too. all kinds from the really old tiger lilies to day lilies. If you can get the old fashioned kind they’ll thrive and spread and be terrific, take over everything. Newer more beautiful ones aren’t nearly as hardy but they are spectacular and make a mid-summer bloom after your creeping phlox have faded.

    And my house? 90 years old? You oughta see the plumbing in that thing. It’s a bungalow build by my husband’s grandfather when my husband’s dad was a young boy. It looks like a split level built into the hill like that and the creeping phlox snazz it up and distract you from the leaking foundation, the mushrooms growing in the basement and the sagging floors.

  26. Hi Pam,

    I can’t help you. I have a Black Thumb. I don’t enjoy gardening, but oh, I love a pretty garden. Fortunately for me, my hubby has the Greenish thumb in the neighborhood. Our flowers are blooming all over. I only know to go outside and enjoy them.

    We too, will have a party at our house for our son’s engagement. So that’s added incentive for DH to get the garden beautiful.

    Good luck with your garden and with the wedding!!

  27. Linda, I love, love, love Vincas. I’ve had them in my front flower beds for the past several years, and their color is vibrant, they’re easy to grow, and they fill the beds nicely.

    Mary, for someone who proclaims she’s no gardener, you’re a wealth of info today. I do know what you mean about the peppers. In my tomato canning days, adding diced peppers was a great way to get rid of the glut. I added onions, too, and voila! Instant chili. Just add hamburger and beans. 🙂

  28. Hi Pam. We grow a garden every year. We like Better Boy tomatoes and Black Seeded Simpson lettuce.
    One tip I can give you to keep tomatoes from having blossom rot (blossom rot is when the bottom of the tomatoes rot because of calcium deficient soil)is to save your egg shells and crush them up and put them in the soil around your tomatoes. They add calcium to the soil and help prevent the blossom rot.

  29. Golden day lilies are popular here. Doug found deep red lillies in a magazine ad that I fell in LOVE with! I’m on the hunt for them. I HAVE to have them!

    Oh, and sympathies on the house woes. Maybe Barbour will help you find a new one, eh? 🙂

  30. I’ve never met your hubby, Charlene, but he strikes me as the type who would love yard work. I’m jealous you live in California with such gorgeous flower weather.

    Thanks for the kudos on the cover. Yes, I’m pleased. Keep us posted on your son’s wedding. I’m kinda envious. Being a groom’s mom is much easier . . . and cheaper!

  31. Oh, Crystal! Black Seeded Simpson lettuce. Thank you!!!! It really helps to have someone recommend a variety they like. You sound very knowledgeable about the egg shells, too. I’ll definitely take your advice and add saving them to my growing stash of banana peels. 🙂

  32. Hi Pam. Hot cover. I’m going to try the “add to your site” thing. Whew, gardening. I have about 20 rose bushes and I do okay by them LOL. Also some daffodils that come up each year without any help. My tulips only had leaves come up until this year when they finally flowered. They were very pretty.

    I also have a pot of rosemary, which is my favorite herb, and creeping thyme between the flagtones. Our favorite tomatoes are Early Girl and Beter Boy. I always mean to have a full-on little veggie garden but somehow run out of time and inclination. Although our tract was farmland thirty years ago so I know the soil is great.

    But more important: Yay weddings!


  33. For bunnies, which we have, we raised the garden and created a nice colored block wall about two block high.
    As for compost, we have a corner of the garden for all the stuff we place in and turn over… we put in all bits of raw fruit and veggies, coffee, tea, egg shells, even old plant clippings, wet the pile every so often and continuously turn over. We use the compost when we first plant, then when we think it could use a boost and after the season of planting is over to refresh the location.
    We have wonderful Big Boy tomatoes coming in and always get way too many cherry tomatoes, but it all makes wonderful sauce!!! 😀
    Happy Gardening!

  34. I forgot to mention the rogue tomato plant that appeared in a totally unusual part of our yard a couple years ago. It was Roma which we’ve never even planted. She grew more than six feet high and produced so many tomatoes I was the weird lady at the corner who snuck bags of them on unsuspecting porches. I use the female pronoun because we named her Audrey after Little Shop of Horros. Although she wasn’t horrible. Just giant and mysterious.

  35. Tulips do come back year after year but squirrels like to eat those bulbs so if you see a little hole where your tulips were then the squirrels got them.
    Hostas do well with a mixture of shade and sun. If the north side of your house is mostly shade then you’re limited on what will grow. Try rhododendrums, azaleas or ferns.
    You can buy compost or make it but we usually add it to the area we’re planting in only once, at the time we plant.
    Good luck!

  36. I’m so motivated now to have my own little compost patch, Colleen! Thank you for explaining how in terms I can understand. So you make sauce, eh? Good girl! Spaghetti?

  37. Maureen, yes, the north side is all shade. Sounds like my hostas were a poor choice. Again. I figured since they were so darn hardy, they’d grow anywhere.

    But rhododendrums or azaleas? Hey, I’ll try it! (I’m not a fern fan, though.)

    Thank you!!

  38. I also have the BEST canning method for tomatoes. Very fast. Freezing not canning. Massive quantities done in minutes.
    But honestly darlin’ I’m pessimistic about your chances for success. That whole, “I hate heat” think is gonna come back to bite you.
    So I don’t think I’ll write about the preservation process yet.
    Call me if you get a crop.

  39. And, I have killed so many rose bushes that the Gurney’s website has a picture of me on the Roses page with a red circle around my face and a slash through the middle.
    Do Not Accept Orders From The Rose Killer.

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But I have admitted defeat. I’m in counseling now to deal with the guilt.

  40. Ah, dear Mary, but I love to can. Freezing is very fast, and I’ve done my share of quarts that way. But honestly, one must know far enough in advance that one intends to use those frozen tomatoes, or else they take *forever* to thaw.

    A big plus for canned tomatoes. Pop the lid, and they’re good to go.

    I actually got away from canning years ago when I got my first glass top range. The salesman warned me against using canners on it because it would leave burn rings, so I didn’t dare.

    But now my new glass top is all black. I’m thinking I’ll be safer. And heck, with all the great tips I’m getting today, I’m going to have one heckuva crop!!!

  41. I second Kate & Mary on the plants in pots for the wedding, my lips are already “zipped!” (I’ll never tell!) My mother had the greenest thumb on the planet, but it was something I so obviously did not inherit. I don’t even have pictures of flowers up in the house because I would find some way to endanger them! Plants in pots is the only way I ever have flowers in the yard, but I always tell them that their lifespan is oh, so limited!

    Pat Cochran

  42. I love cherry tomatoes – for some reason the bugs have never bothered them as opposed to regular tomatoes and they’re wonderful in salads or even throwing in stirfrys. I also plant marigolds near my veggies because the critters don’t like them. Lots of luck!!!

  43. I don’t know about pansies but a lot of blooming plants like epson salt put on them I know Azellias do. Hostas don’t like a lot of hot sun they like the shade. Tulips are suppost to come back every year but when I plant tulip bulbs here the molls seem to get them so I only have the for a year or two. I have about gave up on them.

  44. 1. Banana peels add potassium to the soil. I use them for my roses all the time. I usually throw them around the base of the plant. If I have time, I turn the soil a little around them.

    2 & 3. Coffee grounds and tea leaves work well. What you need to do is start a compost pile. All your vegetable matter kitchen waste can go into it. You should also add egg shells and can add things like bread, crackers, etc. Just do not put meat or fatty things into it. If you have room, add leaves and grass clippings. Just make sure you don’t put items that have been treated with insecticide or herbicide. Till up the pile every once in a while and the worms, bugs and bacteria will soon turn it into rich soil to add to your gardens. Free fertilizer and dirt , and less waste in our landfills. Once you have set it up, it is really pretty easy to keep up.

    4. We have planted several heritage varieties of tomatoes. Last year we planted a large, red, sweet variety. Sorry, I can’t remember the name of it. We plant the roma for cooking and tomato sauce.. We plant a yellow and pink striped variety that is meaty and not very acidic. Great on toast and sandwiches. Your local green house can suggest varieties that will do well in your area. Try some heirloom green peppers too, they are great.
    We usually plant several varieties of bib lettuce.

    5. My husband’s response to “is there any other way to keep rabbits out other than fence?” A shot gun. Doesn’t do much for the plants though. If you are a good shot with a 22 it would lessen the chance of plant damage. We just figure figure we’ll loose some to rabbits, ground hogs, and birds.

    1. Pansies are wonderful. They should winter over is you keep them watered. They do not do well in really hot weather. Most people in the hotter areas of the country plant around them and don’t expect them to make it through the summer. Some may survive, but most people plan on replanting in the fall.

    2. Tulips do well. They should come back every spring. Daffodils will go on forever and keep spreading. Tulips will go on for several years, mine have been in for over 12 now. They will multiply a spread a bit, but not like daffodils.

    3. I’m still fighting the north side of my house. Hosta has done marginally well. I’ve planted dwarf snapdragons and they have done OK. I’ve been working so late, i’ve not had enough time to spend in my gardens the past few years. We plan to redo the beds this year and try some new stuff.

  45. Hi, Pat and Jeanne! Now, Pat – I’m surprised you don’t have a green thumb. You strike me as being very efficient and knowledgable and would certainly take the time to teach yourself how to do garden. 🙂

    Jeanne, I know what you mean about those cherry tomatoes. Funny how the bugs leave them alone–making it oh, so easy to just pop them into our mouths!

  46. You taught me something new with the epsom salt, Quilt Lady. Had no idea. But that’s goin’ on my list, too. Thank you!!

    Patricia, thank you for taking the time to send me some great advice! Wow! I’m especially glad to know you use banana peels, too, and with success. I’ve got a ziplock in the freezer full of them. 🙂

  47. Hi Pam!!! I am so not a gardener! LOL. I love flowers but so bad around bees that I don’t get much done when I try! I let my hubby do it all since he likes to do it. I’m sure he won’t like to do some other chores I do in here, LOL. My hubby makes a compost and collects that coffee grind and all. No meats! He has a special container for it and we put the stuff in it and he takes it out often. I have alot of luck with roses. We have some huge rose bushes so they have to be trimmed alot the longer you have them and use a (I forget what its called) but like a way for them to climb and grow on it and you can attach it to them and it keeps the branches from catching on to people. and looks better. The rest of your ideas are going to my hubby and telling him about them. I had no idea!! Cool post.

  48. Caffey, there were a ton of ideas today, weren’t there? Glad we could help spread some good advice around today!

    I’m so not a bee-lover, either. They scare me–I’ve never been stung, but sometimes, I think I should just to get myself over the fear of it. Sheesh!

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