Bounty From The Mailbox


August 21, 1994|By MIKE KLINGAMAN

Harvesting a new crop of gardening mail:

Dear Dirt,

People at work used to think I was kooky. Other secretaries put out bowls of candy and mints on their desks. Not me. Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, from the garden, were in my offering bowl. Now, each summer, all I hear (from co-workers) is, "When does the tomato season start?"

Susan Cosgrove


Tell them tomato season starts when they bring in the bacon and lettuce for BLT sandwiches.

Dear Dirt,

Two years ago, you wrote about bloopers made by gardeners. I was the one (in the story) who planted my roses upside down. Just wanted to say the roses are doing OK.

Frank Michny



How far underground are the blooms?

Dear Dirt,

I am having a problem with cucumbers; sometimes they are bitter. I do water them when we have no rain for a long time. Can

you help me?

Frank Nelson

West Bridgewater, Mass.

You'd be bitter, too, if you only got a drink during a drought. Cucumbers are 90 percent water and need at least an inch of rain each week.

Dear Dirt,

I've enjoyed your column since its inception along with Mike Lane's drawings, from which I see that you and I share the same physical propensity.

Bancroft Williams



Let's both grow celery next year.

Dear Dirt,

I read your article on acorns. As a kid, I was fascinated by the American Indians and lived not unlike a hunter-gatherer, much to my parents' irritation. I'd bring home cattail roots, crawfish, wild leeks, herbs and raccoons, and cook them up. I also tried acorns, but I must have prepared them improperly because they were always too bitter.

Kevin Hendrickson

Stephenson, Mich.

My advice is: Feed the acorns, leeks, crawfish and cattail roots to the raccoons, and then go out to a good restaurant.

Dear Dirt,

I feed birds in our back yard year-round. One benefit is a great crop of volunteer sunflowers. Not only are the sunflowers beautiful, but the seedheads attract goldfinches in fall.

I've found that blue jays like peanuts best. They like to perch on our roof to eat them. I find peanut shells on our deck.

Patricia Morris


Be careful the jays don't take over your yard. One day they're leaving peanut shells on the deck; the next, it's swizzle sticks on the chaise longue.

Dear Dirt,

I, too, have a birds' nest in a hanging geranium. Mama is a lovely tiny veerio. When I tried to water my plant, she flew out and gave me a thorough scolding. I have a large yard with tall pines and towering oaks. Why did she pick a hanging basket of geraniums?

Ethel Salmon

Halifax, Mass.

Have you seen the price of a furnished pine nest in Massachusetts?

Dear Dirt,

About your column on gardening allergies: My neighbor has this problem real bad. Every weekend he starts weeding at 6 a.m. and sneezing at 6:05. He sneezes 10, sometimes 20 times in a row, loud enough to wake the entire block. How can we keep him from disturbing the peace?

Leroy Jackson

Harrisburg, Pa.


Have a block party and weed the garden for him.

Dear Dirt,

I am just a balcony gardener (12 window boxes and a rosebush), but your columns make it so much fun.

Margaret Weber

Bel Air


You must be using Sun Magazine for mulch.

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