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GOOOOD Morning! I didn't have to stay in the hospital two nights, just one and they let me out late yesterday afternoon. The best news is that when they got in there, they discovered the device itself was sound and in good shape so all they had to replace was the plastic knee cap and plastic meniscus disk. I can tell they did less work because I can walk really well on that leg. Recovery will be a lot quicker! Rehab starts Monday.

After not being able to get comfortable in bed I spent the night in the good old recliner. Today will be spent halfway in La La Land, playing on the computer and dozing on and off. 5th Gear is a great nurse!.The brassica seeds I started Tuesday were up this morning and are now under the lights to begin their life's journey. I think I have a few to start today but I'll have to check.

Y'all have a great day!
 

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Back in the saddle! Well, almost. The REALLY good news is that they didn't have to replace the whole joint! It was pretty solid except for the plastic knee cap and the plastic meniscus disk so they changed those out. It's amazing. Later in the day of surgery they got me out of bed to walk down the hall to PT and it was amazing. I could tell right away
that there was a huge difference as I probably could have walked without the walker but they made me use it. LOL! And I didn't have to stay two nights; just one. I came home late Thursday afternoon after one more antibiotic IV.

I'm walking around without crutches or walker, something that has astounded 5th Gear. I'm also doing the few exercises they gave me at the hospital to keep the knee from stiffening up. The first PT appointment is tomorrow after lunch and I'm sure my PT lady will make sure the knee stays limber. And from past experience I will take a pain pill right before I leave the house. LOL!

That's about it for now. Sitting in this office chair means the knee is bent all the time and it's telling me it wants to straighten out so back to the recliner and ice bag I go. After breakfast I will go check on and water any tomato micros and little seedlings that need it.

Thank you all for the good wishes! It's good to have this behind me.
 

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I hope so, CK! I had my first PT session yesterday. I'm way ahead of where I was on the first session last time and I'm not using crutches, cane or walker. Still, I think there were too many leg raises done and they tweaked something in a lower right back muscle , making it painful to straighten up after getting out of a chair. I will do none today and tell my therapist no raises at tomorrow's next PT session before easing back into them.

It's time to start hardening off the first round of brassica plants for setting out Feb 12 or 13. It's 35 out there right now so I'll let it get into the mid 40's before they get a spell of real sun.

Speaking of sun, old Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow (on a cloudy, snowy day?) so six more weeks of winter up north. Meanwhile, Georgia's General Beauregard Lee didn't see his so we'll supposedly have an early spring. Phil's accuracy rate is about 40% and I have no idea what Beau's is. :D
 

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Speaking of sun, old Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow (on a cloudy, snowy day?) so six more weeks of winter up north. Meanwhile, Georgia's General Beauregard Lee didn't see his so we'll supposedly have an early spring. Phil's accuracy rate is about 40% and I have no idea what Beau's is. :D
The OKC Zoo is doing a Groundhog thing later this morning... we'll see what they say, but right now it's mostly sunny where I am. Which I suppose means 6 more weeks of winter around here.
 

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Apparently, the OKC zoo used grizzly bears instead of groundhogs... I'm not really sure what the verdict was, the zoo didn't actually say. But the online comments seem to have mostly interpreted it as an early spring. From a weather standpoint, this contradicts the traditional folklore I posted about in my own thread. It's a bright, cloudless day here today.
 

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As I said on your thread Brett, enjoy it. We're heading towards the -40s here pretty quick. That's serious cold! But nothing engenders a sense of gratitude more than serious cold. I'm grateful for my heat house, a full pantry, and every shred of clothing and blanket I have. My three cats will be quite friendly as well! Poor Morty is going to the vet on Friday too. Oh well.
 

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I'm bored. Tired of sitting, tired of reclining, in between seed startings, crappy weather, etc. Fortunately the rain went away yesterday and I was able to take my knee out for its first garden stroll. Time for an inspection with a side mission of pulling more carrots and scallions. Just the thing to cure the winter doldrums!

The carrot bed is getting pretty decimated. I pulled some nice ones on the Yaya side of the bed except those coming from a 6' stretch at the end of the row. That is a known nematode-infected area and the carrots from there looked like golf balls. Yay on the left, Bolero on the right and the last radishes in the middle.



The bed with the collards, kale, cauliflower and kohlrabi needs cleaning. The caulis have been cut and the plants are yellowing up, needing removal. Old leaves need to be removed from the collard and kale plants on the near side.



The kohlrabi's on the far end are later plantings, looking good and just now forming heads.





The Savoy cabbages are heading up. They're all supposed to be 'Savoy Perfection' (92 days) but I have no idea which of the three plants is what they're supposed to look like as I've never grown these before.



I'll have to do a separate posing about the micro tomatoes.
 

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A micro tomato update. They’re getting taller and some have been producing. I’ve had to rearrange the eight on the “tall” table, putting the tallest up front, mainly because of the Groovey Tunes and Chibikko overachievers. And on the other end, if the light can’t be brought closer to the plants, one brings the plants closer to the light. A few books under the smaller plants seem to be doing the trick for now. A bit precarious so I have to make sure I don’t bump into them but the plants seem to be doing OK.

The Groovey Tues and Chibikko got put into larger pots a couple days ago as they had outgrown the yogurt containers. I love the chartreuse color of the GT foliage. The fruit is supposed to be purple wiuth green stripes. Can't wait to see that!

L to R: Red Robin (8”x12”) , Lille Lise (11”x12”), Groovey Tunes (12”x15”), Chibikko (17” x 10”)



The Chibikko is starting to put on fruit.



Behind the front row are smaller micros. The Pinocchio Orange seems to be leading that row in fruit set. No ripe ones yet.



In order to make room for some Chinese broccoli that had outgrown the light shelves and needed the tall lights, I moved a little Jochalos to the light stand. It’s been producing even thought it’s just 4.5”x7-10”. It seems to be a lot shorter than the one I grew on the porch this past summer.

 

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These are the first round brassicas that will be heading out to the garden tomorrow. They've been hardening off for a week. The weather forecast is for highs in the 50's with lows in the mid-low 40's, nice for brassicas. I think we'll still put a tunnel over them right off the bat, ends open so that when it's needed there won;t be any rushing around to do it.



These are second and third round brassicas. They're coming along. I need to give the scallions another haircut.



Tomorrow I will start the last broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants as well as more asparagus seed. Then there will be a break until the last week of this month when the pepper plants get started.
 

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The first brassica plants are in the ground. Sister 5th Gear did the planting after I marked where the planting holes were. Teamwork! Round #2 is on the porch hardening off and Round #3 plants are coming along under the lights . They'll go out for hardening in maybe 7-10 days. Yesterday I started seeds for Round #4 (the last brassicas) plus a dozen more asparagus sets.

This is what the knee looked like six days after surgery with the staples in. You can see the little smilie that doc drew to insure they would be working on the correct leg!

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content


Now we're 18 days out and the staples were removed four days ago. Doc says the discoloration and bruising is normal after what was done to the knee. I was glad to hear that because I was getting a bit scared. The last thing you want is an infection to set in!



The knee has been swollen a bit more than the doc wanted to see so I've been told to do a lot of elevation and ice. For two days now I've been doing that (with the one exception of a stroll to the garden for planting) and the swelling seems less this morning. I'll be in the recliner a lot today with the ice. Good thing there's the Daytona 500 to watch.

And what on earth does all of this have to do with gardening? Well, probably not a lot except that impediments to getting gardening stuff done are a major pain in the butt. And waiting for stuff to heal is kind of like waiting for planted seeds to pop up, especially the ones that take forever to show their faces. :rolleyes: Patience, patience.....

The next seeds up for starting on the 21st will be eggplant and pepper seeds as they're kind of slowbies. More scallion seed plus direct-sowing the first radish seeds out in the garden will happen on the 28th.
 

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Yikes girl! This must be why they say that getting old isn't for sissies. Take care of that knee! This is one good thing about a Wisconsin winter: in 2007 when my leg was broken, I wasn't tempted into the garden because of the weather. But a woman has to eat, and I for one can't stand grocery store veggies anymore! Ugh.
 

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I can walk on it pretty good but am trying to be a good girl and not doing that. But I will do a quick visit to the garden later with 5th Gear to put some protection over the few plants that went out last week. Lots of wind today and getting down to 29 tonight. At least today we will see the sun after a long gloomy stretch of rain and drizzle. I was about to start growing moss on my north side.

Three days ago I started the last of the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants.

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One broccoli and one cabbage sprouted up yesterday. There was nothing else up at 6am this morning but by 9:30 more decided to have their birthday. It's nice to see green sprouting up!

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Still to come up are the two 6-packs of asparagus seeds and a couple of cabbage seeds. Soon will begin the lights dance where the seedlings and I do a do-si-do with light heights as things grow at different rates. :)

Meanwhile most everything started a while ago is out on the porch getting used to real life, both Rounds 2 & 3.

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We got the newly planted plants covered in the garden yesterday afternoon and it did get down to 29 last night. There were just two blocks of plants to cover so I opened up two tomato cages, stuck them over the plants, then covered each with an old bed sheet and plastic sheet. It was a quick fix.

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All of the plants did just fine as were the plants hardening off on the porch. These are some of the Chinese broccoli:

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I made the mistake of stepping with one foot into the bed to place a brick on the tunnel end and my foot promptly sunk about 8" into ooze! That was my surgery leg and it was a good thing that 5th Gear was there to steady me as I pulled my foot out. Fortunately there wasn't a big Suction Monster wanting to keep hold of my foot! Just one muddy sneaker to wash. :D

Today's sun will be a pleasant memory as more rain is heading in after midnight. I think the "possible severe storms" will pass south of here.
 

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More rain today. I think this small southeastern part of the US is the only part without all the freezing temps, ice and snow but lots of rain. This is the winter rainy season that occurs every January and February. And as usual, the bottom of the garden has been turned into ponds. This pic was taken last year but it's similar to how it looked yesterday. After several big downpours this morning the water on the closer side is probably up to the first bed just visible on the bottom left. And there is most likely standing water between the first and second beds on the other side.



Fortunately these two areas will not be needed until April. The closer area was to be Silver Queen corn but that's been deleted from the plans due to my knee. Too much prep required. The areas on the far side will be squashes that need the running space.

Today I need to start two more cabbages to replace the Stonehead seeds that aren't germinating well at all. It's last year's seed and should be preforming well. The first several Stonehead seedlings that finally did come up earlier are rather distorted. No problems with any other plants using the same seed starting soil. This morning I'll start some Charleston Wakefield to replace the Stonehead.
 

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I was just reminded that like tomatoes, potatoes are also determinate and indeterminate, something I learned about only one or two years ago. It also explained why sister 5th Gear never had any success growing potatoes in big pots.

Like determinate tomatoes, determinate potato plants grow shorter and more bushy than indeterminate potatoes. They make potatoes sooner (early in the season) and also produce somewhat fewer potatoes than indeterminates. The potatoes all grow in a layer just above the seed potato and because of that they don't really need a lot of hilling, just enough to keep the sun from greening them up.

On the other hand, indeterminates are more long and lanky plants that set potatoes up and down the stem, thus producing more potatoes. Indeterminate potatoes take longer to make ("late season") and need hilling all the way up. Intermediate season potatoes can be determinate or indeterminate depending on the variety.

When I thought about it and checked the garden records, it seems that 5th Gear was using determinate potatoes for her potato bag or pot. And although she added soil and mulch to the container as the potato stems grew, the only potatoes that were ever produced were some rotten potatoes at the bottom where the seed potato was. I think she also killed them with kindness by overwatering.

This year we'll still grow the determinates Yukon Gold and either Red Norland, Red Pontiac or Kennebec because they grow faster and because we like them. B ut it will be an indeterminate type that will be used for one more go at growing taters in a container!

Here's a good article about this with lists of both determinate and indeterminate potatoes:

Just search "determinate and indeterminate potatoes" for a lot more articles.
 

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Yesterday was pepper and eggplant starting day. One Millionaire eggplant is a plenty but I also found a toy to play with and that's Chinese String eggplant, something from Baker Creek. Then I started 20 pepper plants, 8 of which are for a friend. Sweet peppers for here include Gypsy, Margaret’s (a freebie) and Red Marconi. Hot peppers include Jalapeno M, Prairie Spice, and Rooster Spur.



For the past two years I've been pruning the central leader out of the peppers when they get about 8" tall and that stimulates the growth of a bunch of new branches at the leaf axils. That temporarily slows the vertical growth down a bit. I want to make sure the new growth is coming on good before finally planting them. They'll produce a lot more peppers than unpruned plants.

The micro tomatoes are coming along and we’ve been getting ripe cherries from three of the eight varieties. The chartreuse Groovey Tunes has just one tomato on it and it’s now 1.25” wide. It’s supposed to end up purple with green stripes so it has a way to go yet.



The Chibikko which had gotten 18” tall finally bent over with the weight of its tomato trusses.



And finally, here’s the micro table with large ones in the front and shorties in the back. The front, right to left:

Chibikko, Groovey Tunes, Lille Lise and Red Robin.



Today we will set out a few more broccoli and cauliflower plants as well as the two kales and collards and first few cabbages sets. Hopefully we will also get the two pea beds planted.
 
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