Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 7-25-11 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 7-25-11

Sometimes modern technology, for all the marvelous things it can do, just gets you into trouble. This is a story about just such a circumstance.

My friends from Gridley, Kan., Mr. and Mrs. Ray S. Pettals, have had a busy summer getting ready for the mid-August marriage of their youngest daughter. Of course, those of you who have financed a daughter’s marriage know the costs just keep mounting.

Well, Ray and his missus, decided early in the spring to cut into the marriage cost by raising their own flowers for the wedding. They needed yellow flowers – and a lot of them – for all the floral arrangements they’d need.

To that end, they constructed a big flower garden, hauled lots of well-aged cow fertilizer to it, and planted the flowers. The flowers emerged in a good stand. They were growing well. Everything wuz going according to plan.

But then the hot weather and the hot winds hit and began to stress the flowers. No problem. Ray erected a nice shade over them to keep the temperature down. That worked for a while, but then the weather really turned droughty, and their precious flowers needed supplemental water – and lot of it.

So, rather than run up their rural water bill, Ray decided the logical solution was a gravity-feed irrigation system from an uphill pond near their yard. With a lot of pipe, hose and hard work, very soon a new siphon system wuz providing a plethora of water to the flowers.

But within a few days, the flowers began to wilt and look sick. So, they redoubled their watering efforts. All to no avail. The flowers got sicker and sicker.

Then, much too late to save the flowers, the light came on. Mrs. Pettals reminded ol’ Ray that he’d treated the pond with chemicals in the spring to kill the moss so the grandkids could fish easier.

The moral of the story is that chemicals that kill pond weeds also kill flowers.

Oh, well, I’m sure when ol’ Nevah and I go to the wedding in August, it will be beautiful – with lots of yellow flowers. Purchased ones!


Speaking of weed killers and gardens, my county agent friend, ol’ Avery Ware, related a true cautionary tale to me that all us gardeners might take to heart.

Two years ago, a very good gardener/rancher in the county hauled lots of cow manure from his cow lots to his garden. But, when he planted his garden that spring, the plants just didn’t thrive at all. They hung on for quite a while, but many of his veggies died, and those that survived didn’t produce.

The gardener called on Avery to solve the problem. So, Avery sent a soil sample to the horticulturists at Kansas State University. The results of the soil analysis weren’t good. The soil contained enuf of the brush killer Tordon 22K to kill plants – and the source of the chemical had to be the manure the gardener had hauled in.

And it turns out the gardner/rancher had sprayed his pastures that year with the standard brush killing concoction of Tordon 22K, 2, 4-D and Remedy. The only thing they could figure out wuz the rancher’s cow brutes had ingested Tordon from the drift that landed on the grass in the pastures and deposited their Tordon-laced manure in the cow lots.

That’s not the end of the story. This spring, the gardener scraped off about 4-inches of top soil from his garden and hauled in new dirt to replace it.

Well, this spring his garden started off normally, but when the plant roots reached below the new soil, the Tordon wuz still there and his garden once again failed.

Like I said, a cautionary tale for all us gardeners. Best know the history of the manure you fertilize your garden with.


Might as well go on with these gardening stories, but this one is funny.

My ol’ buddy from Platte City, Mo., Canby Handy, took his 3-year-old grandson to the garden one morning. Canby and his son-in-law dug potatoes, pulled onions, checked the cantaloupes, and picked six cucumbers.

They split the cukes, three apiece, and the son-in-law put his cukes in the front seat of his pickup truck where his son wuz sitting.

Canby and his son-in-law visited for a few more minutes before they got ready to leave.

But when the son-in-law got in his truck, he looked down at his three cucumbers and each one of them had a big bite taken from it. Then he looked at his son and wuz met by a mischievous grin and a dimpled chin dripping with cucumber juice.


Well, I hope you’re grinning a bit now and I hope you’re surviving this terrible 100 degree heat. I’ll close for the week with these few words of wisdom about grinning from American poet Ogden Nash. He said, “The only people who should really sin are the people who can sin and grin.”

Have a good ‘un – sinning and grinning.

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