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Randomville! => Main Street => Topic started by: rva on August 28, 2007, 02:27:15 PM

Title: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 28, 2007, 02:27:15 PM
I have this dry, steep bank where nothing will really grow.  I've come to the conclusion that the area is just too tricky for any sort of garden plan.  You just can't count on things to reliably live. There are plants there now, but they are plants that were supposed to go with other plants, only those other plants died.  So it's just random weird plants that don't go together.

So I've decided my new, simplified "plan" is this:  I'm just growing daisies.  I think if I plant enough of them, I can actually use them as a groundcover.   I'm just going to get like 30 Black-eyed Susans and 15 Shasta daisies and just mix them up randomly.  That way, if a plant dies it's easy to replace.  Maybe I'll toss in a Russian Sage somewhere to give me a blue, white, and yellow mix.  I'm going for sort of a casual, wild-flowery meadow sort of look.

What do you guys think?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 28, 2007, 02:31:07 PM
It sounds good to me. My MIL had something like that around her pool, she had blackeyed susans mixed with a bunch of low growing flowers and plants. She LOVES blackeyed susans, so low maintenance. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: kcneon on August 28, 2007, 03:17:43 PM
Sounds like it should work & would look really nice on a steep bank.  I keep thinking I'll experiment with some ground cover, but I never can get away from ice plants which is my fav because it reminds me of the beach.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 28, 2007, 03:51:24 PM
Yeah, I have some ice plant at the top of the bank.  I bought two of them this year. They're in about a 2 foot space where the bank hasn't gotten too steep yet, and also it's under the overhang of the porch roof.  When they came they were about 4" across now they've covered about 2-3 feet.  The only complaint I have is they haven't bloomed that well.  Still, I'll probably keep the ice plant around to fill out that top bit of the slope.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 28, 2007, 03:54:54 PM
As long as the area gets a lot of sun you should be in business.

Why not throw in a few purple coneflowers too? They seem to thrive in the dry heat and look great among shasta daisies and black-eyed susans.

Have you tried spiderwort? They also like dry conditions and mine really thrived in poor soil - when it was moved to a new location it hasn't done as well, probably because the soil is too rich.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 28, 2007, 04:38:11 PM
I'm mulling over purple coneflower.  I like the color on the petals to go along with the yellow and white, but I've never liked the huge, fat middle part to the flower.  Still, I should probably toss at least one or two in there.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 28, 2007, 10:00:42 PM
What about a butterfly bush? Or some astilbe or allium? You can still get the nice purple color but without the weird cone center (which I'm iffy on too, it's why I haven't had the guts to plant it in my yard yet).
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 30, 2007, 01:52:16 PM
When we moved to Newport we inherited a daffodil bed. I've never grown daffodils before and don't know a whole lot about them, but I'm learning.

I have a few questions and concerns about them before I replant them.

1. They didn't bloom this year because we had a real cold snap when they were in bud. I'm assuming that this didn't "kill" the bulb and that it will be ok next year. Is this a correct assumption?

2. I had to dig all the bulbs before the greens had finished dying back because we were getting ready to build the deck over the bed where the daffodils were located. I put them in a bucket with dirt and put them in the garage to finish dying back. Once the greens were brown and dry, I tore them off and cleaned the dirt from the bulbs and put them in a net bag. My question is - even though they were dug before the greens had died back, will the bulbs still be ok to replant?

3. How far down do the bulbs need to be planted? I've heard conflicting things about this - some say 6", some say at least 12". The bulbs I dug out of the bed were pretty deep, but I don't think they were a foot deep.

4. How far should the bulbs be spaced? I want them to be very dense, but not so dense as to choke them out.

5. I'd like to plant them in the ground in the next two weeks. Is that too early? Should I wait until October? And once the bulbs have been planted, do they need to be watered like regular plants or not?

Can anyone help?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 30, 2007, 02:15:11 PM
MK, go here (http://www.oldhousegardens.com/howToFall.asp), they sell heirloom bulbs but the advice might be similar to what you're looking for. For daffodil specific help, scroll down the page a bit.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 30, 2007, 03:41:12 PM
All about daffodils (technically):

1)  All daffodils are not the same.  Technically, there are no less than 13 types of daffodils.  Some will rebloom every year and naturalize and spread.  Others will bloom well every other year, although you should still get some blooms every year.  Daffodils with small, multiple flowers that bloom early tend to be come up every year.  Mutant daffodils with huge showy flowers take longer.  They've been bred so that they expend their energy creating one huge awesome flower.

2)  The size of the bulb dictates how deep you need to plant them.  You might want to go 12" for the larger ones, and maybe as little as 3" for the small ones. 

3)  If you are awesome and have nothing to do with your time, you should dig them up every year.  Some daffodils could use a bit of mild refrigeration (away from your fruits and vegetables!), some don't need any.
If you have a cool dark place to store them, I'd just do that.  If not, a month of refrigeration is probably a good idea.

4)  Daffodils have slightly different spreads.  The size of the bulb should give you a general idea of how big the plant is.  A good rule of thumb is depth=width.  Another good rule of thumb is twice as deep as they are tall.  Another good rule of thumb is plant the bulb 3 times as deep as it's size.  Balance those three out.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 30, 2007, 04:39:44 PM
All about daffodils (in the real world):

If you know what kind of daffodils you got, then you would follow the instructions above exactly for your species.  This will insure the maximum bloom time (per plant), amount of blooms, and also make sure they all bloom at once so you get a nice show.  That's awesome if you're running a display garden and you just want a small formal cluster of all the same daffodil.  Most of us aren't running display gardens, don't have the time, and aren't that anal.  Also I personally hate formal settings. 

The real truth is, daffodils aren't all that fussy.  In fact, they're the easiest thing in the world to grow.  All the above shit is overkill.  And you probably don't know what kind you have, or you have a bunch of different kinds.  In reality, you can do one of two things:

1)  Play the odds.  Don't dig up all your bulbs.  Leave some in the ground.  The ones you dig up, refrigerate half of them and don't refrigerate the other half.  The ones you replant, plant some a bit deeper and some a bit more shallow.  Since each bulb is treated a little different, they'll respond differently.  Within the same species, some will bloom a little earlier and some a little later.  Between species, you'll at least insure that at least 1/4 of them will get the exact perfect treatment so you'll never have a disaster where you lose all your bulbs.  You will get a longer bloom time overall but you won't get the eye-popping flush.  Still, you should get enough to put on a decent show.

2)  Be a lazy-ass (aka naturalization).  Dig a trench/hole/ditch that covers the appropriate area.  Make it about six inches deep.  If it's not uniformly six inches deep, so much the better.  Ditto if the area ends up kinda blobby instead of a nice circle/square.  Grab enough bulbs to cover that area if you planted them 4-6 inches apart.  Put bulbs in a bag.  Shake it up.  Grab a bunch of bulbs and toss them into the hole.  Literally-- just toss them.  Keep tossing until area is covered.  Examine your spread.  If one area seems to lightly covered, you can move a few bulbs around.   If two bulbs are too close next to each other, you can space them out.  Just remember, it's a matter of aesthetics.  The bulbs could literally be touching and both plants will still grow.  Cover the area.  Then just leave the bulbs in the ground and never mess with them again.  Over the years, they'll just sort of naturally take care of themselves to get you a nice coverage and a meadow-type look. 

Bonus #2:  Mix in the daffodils with other bulbs.  If they're really small, you can do it layers.  Go 8" deep, toss in a few big bulbs.  Cover them up.  Now toss in your daffodils.  Cover them up.  Now toss in your anemones. 

Super-bonus #2.  Mix up all your bulbs and just chuck 'em all in at once.  Six inches is within the range of almost any normal bulb.  If some of the bulbs are particularly large, you can just push them in a little deeper. 

My method:  Most of the time, you aren't working with a totally pristine new bed.  For one thing, bulbs die to the ground so by the summer, you'll have nothing.  And for the later part of spring, you'll be stuck with dying, ugly leaves-- which you do NOT want to remove, the plant is purposely draining those leaves to store energy for next year. 

So anyway, you're probably working in and around perennials and shrubs.  What I do I just toss them on the ground first.  Then I plant them where they land using one of those bulb planting/auger attachments you can get for a hand drill.  Just drill a hole where the bulb lands and toss them in.  It also makes it easy mix different bulbs because you can easily adjust how far you drill the hole. 

And you can do it in different seasons.  Sure, every now and again you'll throw a bulb down exactly on top of another bulb and accidentally drill into one.  But that's just fate.  In the wild, those bulbs would have to duke it out for that space anyway so you're just replicating (kinda) mother nature.

The "plant 'em where they land" and "naturalization" strategy isn't just to save time.  I think it makes the area look a lot better, because daffodils need that sort of random-y setting.  I would not do this will something more formal like tulips.  But then, I wouldn't plant tulips because tulips suck and pretty much need to be replanted every year anyway.

Also:  I feel bad doing this, but I use OHG to read about bulbs and stuff and then order from Brent and Becky's.  They're like 1/2 the price, and the bulbs are just the same quality (awesome).  OHG will generally have a few things B and B don't, so they are worth checking out and ordering from just to support them, but I wouldn't try to you know, build the whole garden around them.

http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 30, 2007, 04:43:07 PM
http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/

Okay, I'm in love with their crocus selection (and their prices).
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on August 30, 2007, 06:09:10 PM
On daffodils:
One of my coworkers gave me a HUGE container of bulbs this winter that had been under her deck for over a year. She had dug them up to move and never replanted them. I got them in February, and decided to try planting some of them (Some were starting to sprout).  In mid March I had blooms! Sure, they weren't the best (rather small) but to be in the ground for 6 weeks and still bloom was impressive!  I love daffodils for the reasons RVA mentioned above.  I still have half the container and will plant them this fall, scatter-shot.

On tulips:
They suck.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 31, 2007, 09:06:47 AM
Well it sounds as though the bulbs I have will probably be ok then. I was afraid that the double-whammy of freezing while in bud and then being dug before the had died back might end up killing them, which in that case I'd be wasting my time in replanting them.

I already know where they are going to go, (and they are being mixed with the hyacinths that were also removed from the same bed) but I'm still not sure when to plant them.

Should I wait until the end of September to plant, or are they ok to go in the ground now?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on August 31, 2007, 10:58:52 AM
Unexpert opinion, but I'd go ahead and plant them- that way they are in the ground now, rather than waiting a month and then having bad weather or forgetting for another season.  It might not be the best, but I don't think it would hurt them too badly.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 31, 2007, 01:46:38 PM
It's up to you.  Optimally, you'd wait until October and you can even go into November.  In fact, you can plant bulbs so long as the ground isn't too frozen to dig (but you might not get a bloom the first year).

But like va_vacious said, you could have bad weather, or you could be really busy during that time. Or you could just lose your enthusiasm for doing gardening by then.  Or the biggest factor  might be if you plan on doing a lot of fall planting and you can't squeeze it all into a few weekends.  Daffodils are the hardiest bulbs and they're not expensive.  So if you need to stretch out your planting times, I'd prioritize getting the other stuff during the fall window.  If it's truly a huge container of bulbs, then getting 200 bulbs in the ground and losing 15% beats waiting and then maybe only getting 50 in the ground and losing 5%.

It looks like the worst of summer might be past and you have a nice three day weekend   Doing it right is a much bigger factor for success both aesthetically and for plant yield than waiting for the exact perfect time.  If you're psyched up and have the time, go ahead. If you can wait a few weeks and it's no big deal, then wait a few weeks.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on September 07, 2007, 09:53:59 AM
I have a dahlia question, one of my heirloom dahlias seems to have succumbed to the drought and leafhoppers. I was wondering if the tubers would still be salvageable?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 07, 2007, 12:25:06 PM
I've never tried to grow dahlias, but I imagine there's a decent chance the tubers are still good.

Dig it out, and see if there are eyes on any of them and what parts look kinda dead-ish and what parts look good.  It might take a year or so for the plant to get fully up to steam, but it's worth a shot.

If it looks kinda shot, I wouldn't worry about it too much.  You can always divide one of your good dahlias. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on September 07, 2007, 01:27:30 PM
Thanks rva, I hope you're right. I've only got one good plant left, it's a beautiful flower and I'd hate to lose it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 07, 2007, 03:08:11 PM
You should probably dig it up then, just to be safe. 

I'm in Zone 7 and supposedly you can get away with overwintering, but I don't know anyone who does it.  On the one hand, the people I know that grow Dahlias are the anal, organized-type gardeners so maybe you don't have to.  On the other hand, it probably says something that only anal, organized-type gardeners dare to grow Dahlias or keep them alive long enough to dig up every year in the first place.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on September 07, 2007, 03:14:01 PM
Heh, that's my MIL (her garden and yard is always perfect). I just like these and dig 'em up because I probably won't be able to buy them again for at least another 5-10 years, I let another heirloom dahlia go b/c I knew I could buy more next season. We're zone 6 so we can't really leave them in the ground and expect them to make it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 07, 2007, 03:42:24 PM
Maybe you could join your local Dahlia society and get some tubers cheap.  There has to be one.  There's one for every other plant in the world.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 16, 2007, 11:54:09 PM
Here's a picture for MK of some Rainbow Knockout Roses in bloom at the Portland Rose Garden. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13671501@N03/1395015406
(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1115/1395015406_123f7b339e.jpg?v=0)

I noticed that in several places where they just had to fill up some spots with roses (near random walkways, by the parking lot, etc.) they used at least a few knockouts, which is a good testament to their usefulness in tough settings.  My mom and dad thought the Pink knockouts were prettier, which I both agreed and disagreed with.  I think the Rainbows will look better in most yards.  In a massed setting you get a more casual, cottage-y look which I think is cool.  But if you are only planting like one shrub in a prominent place, the pink knockouts do have prettier, larger flowers.

Here's a link to some more pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13671501@N03/sets/72157602040205600/
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on September 18, 2007, 11:13:10 AM
Maybe you could join your local Dahlia society and get some tubers cheap.  There has to be one.  There's one for every other plant in the world.

I think there's a chapter of the national dahlia society in town. It looks like my dahlias are coming back, there's new growth on the plants. Holy shit this one is hardy.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 25, 2007, 04:36:58 PM
We have a flower bed between our sidewalk and the house with a retaining wall at one end (the entrance to the house is well above driveway level).  This could all look pretty good but there are a couple of problems.

1.   The idiots that lived there before us left ivy growing, unchecked, just about everywhere, including both front beds, the beds in the back and all along the back fence line.  I donít necessarily dislike ivy but I donít want to spend my entire life fighting this stuff from taking over everything (it was starting to grow up under the siding in the front, yeah, no thanks) so Iíd like to just nip it in the bud.  Iíve been told itís pretty hard to get rid of ivy.  Weíve been ripping it up every now and then as we stand around looking at the mess befuddled and I sprayed some weed killer on it which did nothing at all.  Any suggestions?  Iím thinking I should maybe dig the top six inches off of the entire bed, should I do that or should I just dig it up where it sprouts and pull it out root and all?  Will that even get it all?

2.   The retaining wall isnít long for this world.  It was made of smaller river rocks and thereís nothing behind it to permit draining without allowing the soil to run out behind it as well so thereís been a fair amount of erosion going on.  Plus it's just plain falling down.  We bought some inexpensive lodgestone bricks to build a new wall with and I gather that some space behind the wall should be filled with gravel and the whole thing should be lined with landscaping fabric to keep the soil in.  Does anybody have any experience with building one of these?  How deep should the gravel be?  How far below the driveway level should I start the first course?  Iím assuming at least one course of the the wall should be buried, I've also read for the first course the bricks should be turned upside down and backward so that they're level and the first real course will line up with the tab on the bottom.

As for drainage it's a pretty small wall, maybe 4 1/2' wide by 4' tall.  I don't need to run a corrugated drain or anything do I?

I hate that those lodgestone bricks are so common and bland, and I'd like to use something better but this was $.88 a brick compared to $3 and up for something nicer.  What other choice could I make?

What should we plant?  Loweís had some nice perennials on sale and I understand that fall is good time to plant shrubs.  I donít mind the thought of having something growing as ground cover but I donít want anything that is going to climb and I donít want to have to do much more than trim at the edge of the driveway or the retaining wall.  Clipping hedges is cool, obviously, but I donít want anything that will get too big.

We both kind of like those ornamental kales, anybody have any experience with those?

I can't wait to work on the back, the dummies planted hostas in areas that get tons of direct sunlight.  Read the little card on the plant ya schmucks, probably shouldn't plant a shade loving plant in a place with a clear western view for 400'.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 25, 2007, 05:08:30 PM
I'm kind of weird I guess, because I enjoy pulling up ivy.  To me, it's one of the easiest groundcovers to deal with.  Because other stuff is all thin and when you pull it up, it breaks.  Ivy you can just grab a big root and just sort of keep pulling.  You rip that particular runner out of the ground while at the same time tracing it to it's source.  And then you can yank out a huge chunk all at once.  I just think it's kind of fun because you're like destroying stuff and at the end of the day you can see the progress you made.

If you have two people, you can dig it out.  Do it like you're peeling a sticker or rolling up a mat.  Start at a corner and pull it back.  Dig out the roots underneath.  Grab some more along an edge and dig that out.  Then just sort of keep rolling/peeling it back, digging the roots out each time.

Weed killer doesn't affect ivy at all.  The leaves have that waxy coating to them, the runners are real tough, and they can root anywhere along the runner so you have to kill the whole thing, not just part of it and wait for the rest to die.

You could always go to an Army Surplus store and see if they've gotten some leftover cannisters of Agent Orange in the back.

Hostas will grow in direct sunlight and damn near any other condition.  If the leaves are dark, they should be all right.  You can pull the hosta if you want (because they can be kind of boring).  I'm just saying you probably don't *have* to.

The general rule of thumb is:  Don't build a retaining wall over 3 feet.  In fact, the decorative retaining wall stuff like Lodgestone usually carries a warning about it.  It shouldn't be a big deal though.  Just do it in tiers of 2 feet.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on September 25, 2007, 05:19:33 PM
Oh, Ornamental Kale. 

When I lived in Williamsburg, *everyone* grew it.  I never heard of anyone having much problems with it.  Annuals are generally like that.  They're almost impossible to kill, but you have to replant them every year or let them self sow.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 07, 2007, 02:52:29 PM
I just spent 6 hours the last two days digging out a bed.  I used: hoe, chainsaw, loppers, two different types of shovels, turning fork, hand saw, drill, hammer, railway spikes, helmet, work gloves, hose.  Also, I'm exhausted and I think I might puke.  Seriously, I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.  And I haven't even put a plant in the ground yet.

I have not used: hand trowel, watering can, handheld shears, sunhat, gardening gloves.  Who are these little old ladies with their garden carts and dainty garden gear?  It's all a huge lie.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 08, 2007, 08:45:01 AM
Last week I planted all the daffodil and hyacinth bulbs in one of the front beds. I think I will wait until spring to remove the evergreen shrubs that I'm planning to get rid of.

Rva, you sound like you are doing industrial gardening, not little-old-lady gardening. :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 08, 2007, 08:45:35 AM
Thanks for the photos of the rainbow knockouts. Hopefully ours will be in the ground in the next week. :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: clemsonfan on October 08, 2007, 12:24:25 PM
I'm thinking about putting in some large raised beds in my backyard for growing vegetables. I would wait until late winter/early spring to do this. Has anyone done this sort of thing around here before?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 08, 2007, 03:20:36 PM
Are you talking about a full raised bed with a frame around it?  I personally don't think they are worth the time and expense.  You'll waste a weekend just building the frame.  I especially wouldn't do it with a vegetable garden, because I'd worry about the chemicals in the pressure-treated lumber leaching into the vegetables.  You know how they pressure treat lumber?  They inject arsenic into it.  Nowadays they have more environmentally safe methods, but I still don't trust it.  I doubt it's a serious health hazard, but at the same time it's kind of like what's the point of going organic then?

You also need a lot of soil, which will be super expensive plus you'll have to rent a truck or something to get it dumped in there.

The "easier" way to do it is to do a double-dig/raised bed.  What you do is

1)  Dig a trench one spade-length deep, maybe 1-2 feet wide, and four feet long.  Dump the soil onto a tarp or wheelbarrow.  Hopefully your trench will be between 8-12" deep.

2)  Take a turning fork and stick it into the bottom of the trench to loosen the soil at the bottom.  This will get you another 8-12" deep of loose soil.  If you're really lucky, you'll hit some soft subsoil, and you really won't have to do much turning.  You might even be able to skip this step, or at least totally half-ass it.

3)  Dump a bag of garden soil into the bottom of the trench, about 3" deep.  Mix it up with the loose soil at the bottom a bit with the turning fork.

4)  Dig a second trench the size of the first, but toss the dirt from the second trench into the first one so it is now filled up.  When you toss it on the first trench, you may want to break up the dirt clods.

5)  Loosen the soil at bottom with a turning fork, add 3" of garden soil, mix it up.

6) Dig a third trench, toss the shovel from the third trench into the second trench.

7)  Repeat.

8)  When you've dug the last trench, take the dirt from the first trench and dump it into the last trench. 

9)  Between the three inches of soil you added, plus extra height from loosening what was previously compact soil, you'll have a bed about 6" or more high.  You can take a hoe and push the dirt around to either make a crown in the middle (or if it's backed against a wall or something a slant from back to front.)

What you'll have is a bed that's about 18-24" deep of nice loose soil.  It's also raised and crowned so a bit so water won't gather.  I have to warn you though, this method can suck.  Big time.  This is what I just spent all weekend doing. 

If your soil doesn't suck and doesn't have big-ass tree roots in it, you can just rent a rototiller from Lowe's.  Toss about 3-6 inches of garden soil on top of your bed, then just till to 18".  Or you can just do a foot if your soil is reasonably good.  It's still tough work, but it beats the crap out of double-digging.  In my mind, it's totally worth the extra expense. 

But if it were me, I'd just buy some of these:  http://topsyturvys.com/10001b.html.  It's probably cheaper and a lot less effort.  Plus you can grow all year round if you want.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 08, 2007, 03:28:21 PM
Thanks for the photos of the rainbow knockouts. Hopefully ours will be in the ground in the next week. :)

I just ordered two more.  I can't believe the one I ordered in spring is still alive, given the ridiculous drought we've had over here, and the fact that I put it in an unbelievably crappy location.  But not only is it alive, it's still blooming! 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: clemsonfan on October 08, 2007, 04:19:42 PM
The reasons I was thinking about doing a raised bed for my vegetables were:

1. I have 2 dogs and at least one of them might destroy a big veggie patch. I was hoping a raised bed would minimize damage.

2. There are tons of rabbits around here. Last time I grew salad greens the old fashioned way, the rabbits ate it all. I have grown them in containers before but I want to expand my garden a bit next season.

3. I know it sounds lazy, but I hate weeding. I was hoping a raised bed would make weeding less of a chore since you wouldn't have to bend as far down.


I wonder if I could just get some stones or concrete blocks to sort of build it with. I was watching Living With Ed on HGTV and Bill Nye made some raised beds out of bricks, but I don't know if I'm committed enough to actually lay bricks.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 08, 2007, 05:00:03 PM
oh, I see.  Yeah, a raised bed will work but you'd probably have to build it at least two feet high.  Bricks or concrete fake bricks would look more attractive than wood, but it'd be pretty expensive if it's a reasonably big bed.

I'd just wrap about two feet of chicken wire around it.  That's what my sister does.  It's kind of ugly but it works, and it's a lot cheaper and a lot less work than a raised bed if all you want to do is keep pests out.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 09, 2007, 09:00:52 AM
At the start of the season Rva recommended the topsy-turvy to me and I can thoroughly recommend it. We got loads of tomatoes from them and they were really easy to use. The only thing you've got to do is remember to keep them watered (but not overwatered).

I think next year I am going to try growing green beans in one of them.

As far as keeping the critters out of the beds, do as Rva said and run chicken wire around it, or put wooden stakes around the bed and secure a net over it. Put bricks on the edge of the net to hold it down (and keep critters out) or alternately you can buy small metal landscaping stakes to secure the net into the ground. I bought mine at Wal-Mart for around a buck for 20.

I used a net not so much for rabbits (although they can certainly be a problem) but for birds. The birds were having daily parties in my strawberry patch, and the only deterrent Dad and I could come up with was netting. The birds were not happy about it, but it worked.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on October 16, 2007, 09:00:04 AM
I have a quickie question, I'll be receiving some heirloom tulips and daffodils within the week--should I plant them as soon as they arrive? Or should I wait a week or so?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 16, 2007, 04:01:21 PM
A week is not going to make much of a difference one way or the other.  If you have more time the following weekend, or it's going to rain and soften up the soil, or especially if you want to some time and maybe do a little preparation on the bed, that's far more important.

If it absolutely makes no difference to you, put them in as soon as possible.
 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 16, 2007, 04:26:53 PM
I'm a complete novice about this gardening thing so bear with me...

We bought some mums over the weekend, smaller plants not terribly expensive so there's not a lot invested.  Should I plant them?  I've often heard that people have problems with them not coming back the following year.  Am I wasting my time if I plant them or should I just arrange the containers for now and then chuck them once they die back?

What do they look like the rest of the year when they're not blooming?  I assume I'm going to want to plant some spring blooming plants in the same area so that I don't just have dull foliage the rest of the year?  Or do they die off completely between spring and summer?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 16, 2007, 05:01:12 PM
These are like mums for planting, right?  Not like the potted flowering mums they sell.  If it's the potted flowering kind, don't bother planting them.  They're really just supposed to brighten up your house for about a month or so before dying.

Assuming it's the mums for planting outdoors, see if there's a tag with a full name on it, because there's lots of different kinds of chrysanthemums, some of which are now being re-classified or whatever. 

They are generally pretty hardy, in fact they are almost evergreen.  When I was in Alaska, everyone grew Shasta Daisies, so they're pretty cold-tolerant.  I think most mums have nice foliage myself, pretty full and dark. 

But if you think that's too  boring, then yeah you can plant stuff with them.  If you want a quick little garden, buy some bulbs and you can plant them both at the same time.  Plant the mums however far they tell you to space them.  Then plant the bulbs in the spaces between.

The bulbs will be pretty in spring, and then they will die (and they do look ugly) but by that point the mums should be going pretty good and will serve to cover the dying plants.

A pretty standard garden combos is daffodil, day lily, and mums. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 17, 2007, 08:42:06 AM
I have no idea, they're probably just the throw away kind.  We bought them at a farmer's market, they're potted.  No little tag.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 22, 2007, 12:06:56 PM
How should I dispose of yard waste without sending it to the landfill?  I'm talking about sticks, tree/shrub/bush prunings and sweet gum balls not just grass clippings and weeds which I'll compost.

We have three big silver maples on our property that drop sticks at even the slightest gust of wind.  We also have several honeysuckle bushes along our fence (which I hope to eventually remove entirely) and some other assorted bushes and hedges.

For right now when I prune or pick up sticks etc. I take them back and toss them under a big clump of honeysuckle bushes and other scrub brush at the very back of the yard, but I want to eventually clear all of that out as well.  My dad used to have a pile in the woods just beyond our fence that he tossed stuff on, which I'm sure was good habitat for something, but I don't have any woods beyond my property just someone else's yard.  Most of our neighbors just seem to have a big pile of stuff in their yard.

I wish there was some way to use the stuff but it's not good for compost.  The only other thing I can think of is to burn the stuff. 

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 22, 2007, 01:40:02 PM
It's probably best to simply bundle up the sticks/twigs/trimmings with some twine and put them to the road, unless you want to invest in a wood chipper, which is really for large limbs.

You might want to check the laws before doing any burning. I believe it is illegal in the city.

Good luck with that honeysuckle. It's a beast to get rid of.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on October 22, 2007, 01:49:40 PM
Ditto MK. Honey suckle is a pain in the ass to pull up, it can be done. You'll end up just wanting to toss gasoline on it and lighting a match though.

Got my tulips and daffodils on Saturday, they're going in the ground tonight! My dahlia is blooming again too  ;D
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 22, 2007, 01:50:23 PM
Raleigh has weekly curbside collection for yard waste - probably since it is illegal for us to dispose of it in the landfill.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 22, 2007, 03:05:15 PM
I really had assumed that burning wouldn't be legal, like you said MK.  What would I do with the stuff if I did chip it?  I can't see investing in a chipper but I've gathered several good sized piles of twigs and clippings this year (not to mention 4 or 5 five gallon buckets of sweetgum balls) and I just can't see putting it all out to the garbage to take up landfill space.

Maybe my honeysuckle camouflaged pile isn't so bad after all.  A little patch way in the back isn't going to hurt anything much.

This isn't the first I've heard that honeysuckle is hard to get rid of.  For right now it's hiding some unsightly crap on the other side of the fence in the neighbor's yard so I'm reluctant to even try to remove it until after they sell but on the other hand it's getting out of hand too and needs to be cut back drastically.  Hopefully whoever buys the place will cleanup some.  Otherwise I'll be extending the privacy fence.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 22, 2007, 03:16:57 PM
I seem to remember Middletown, or perhaps it was Butler County, offers curbside removal of yard waste once or twice a year, usually in the autumn. Might be worth checking into if you want to get rid of the sticks.

As far as what to do with wood chips, if you chip them small enough you can just add them to the compost pile.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 22, 2007, 03:22:57 PM

Got my tulips and daffodils on Saturday, they're going in the ground tonight! My dahlia is blooming again too  ;D

You know, I planted my daffodil and hyacinth bulbs on the 6th of October, and already the hyacinths are coming up and getting ready to bloom. I am really surprised that they would come up this quickly - but I guess it's all that weird weather we've had.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on October 22, 2007, 03:50:40 PM
I'm worried about that with mine, it's all the rain and warmth--they must think it's spring. My lavendar is blossoming again too, it should've died back by now.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 22, 2007, 04:31:51 PM
Yeah, we just had our back garden landscaped and added six lavendar bushes - I noticed one of them was blooming yesterday. Too weird.

I noticed that the hyacinths that I planted last year were coming up as well as the ones I just planted. I'm not sure about lavendar and dahlia's but I know those hyacinths will be ok. Hell, I've seen them bloom when there was still snow on the ground.

I hope your plants and flowers will be ok!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on October 22, 2007, 04:53:20 PM
My dahlias will be good until the first big frost, then I'll have to dig 'em up and store them. It's nice having color to offset the brown spots in our lawn :)

My lavendar has been coming and going all summer, seems like each time we get some rain it blooms a little. Weird.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: trixi on October 22, 2007, 10:14:05 PM
Kwyj,

I can't remember where you live, but here's some info for you

Butler County Recycling (http://des.butlercountyohio.org/html/recycling/Yardwaste.cfm)
Hamilton County Recycling (http://www.hcdoes.org/sw/yardwaste/yard_waste.htm)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on October 24, 2007, 01:34:23 PM
I'm just amazed my lavender is even alive.  I lost about 2/3 of it.  I had this goal that I wasn't going to water the plants unless it came from the rain barrel, and then it didn't rain for literally 10 weeks.  I finally gave in and started watering two weeks ago when it looked like my Camellias were on their last legs.

Since then, we've had some decent rain and I'm amazed how few things died.  I lost two small shrubs that I cared nothing about, and that's about it.  Granted, things are still a little brown and patchy and the plants are about half the size they should be... but it looks like they will all pull through pretty well.

Strangely, my hydrangea kicked ass the whole time.  They're supposed to need a lot of water, and this one was even potted.  Now I don't know what to do with it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on October 24, 2007, 02:36:02 PM
Wow, I'm really surprised at your hydrangea-I thought they needed a lot of water.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on December 06, 2007, 02:23:55 PM
I forgot to post this earlier, here's my dahlia the week of halloween. It was going right up until we had the extended cold snap in Mid-November, I almost had flowers at Thanksgiving.

(http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7cc27b3127cceb12382ef405a00000026108Ecsm7lozaq)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on December 06, 2007, 04:29:52 PM
That's gorgeous!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on December 06, 2007, 04:50:30 PM
Thanks. I love that flower, it's so beautiful, it became my favorite this summer. (and it won Steve over, so next summer we're gonna have a ton of dahlias in our yard!)  ;D
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: clemsonfan on February 19, 2008, 01:32:47 PM
So.....what is everyone going to plant this coming season?

I'm trying to figure out what seeds to buy this year.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on February 19, 2008, 02:00:30 PM
I've got to find lots of room for dahlias this year, so I have to limit my veggie and herb gardens this year. I want to get a dwarf fruit tree to replace our ailing cherry tree, I found an apple tree and a pear tree that fit the bill--I just can't decide which I want.

Beyond that, I'm looking into growing spinach and blueberries this year.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: vizzah on February 19, 2008, 02:58:12 PM
My dad is pretty anxious about helping me fix up the place this year.  I think we're going to put burning bushes all along the front.  I may very well till and plant petunias again, after seeing how incredibly hardy they were last year.  I also have such a sprawling, flat back lto that I'd really like to plant some kind of fruit tree back there.  Any recommendations?
Hopefully the nice tree that my husband "pruned" (read: butchered and possibly ruined) has survived winter alright and will grow back, giving a nice shade to my front yard again.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on February 19, 2008, 03:18:11 PM
Are you looking for a tree that will produce Vizz? There are some really great dwarf apple and pear trees out there.


If I truly had my way, we'd have a lilac bush planted in our front yard--but it's just not big enough.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: vizzah on February 19, 2008, 03:30:07 PM
Sadly, there's a giant stump in the yard where a lilac bush used to be.   >:(
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 20, 2008, 04:03:25 PM
I don't really know what I'm going to plant this year. 

I think I got most the front yard under control, which I'm pretty pleased about.  I've got about 50 daffodil pushing up right now.  I have a bunch of campanula and Rudbeckia that I planted last year and looks about ready to start kicking ass that will hopefully take over as the daffodils die down.  And then I still have like four types of groundcover and I'm hoping one or more of them will spread out and cover up any remaining bare patches.  I've got like every inch theoretically covered by at least three plants, so it's just kind of wait and see which plants "win" and what that looks like.

In the backyard, I planted this huge-ass perennial border last year.  But a lot of it died or disappeared mysteriously.  I'm not really sure what's going on back there, I think there must be some cats or something that eat it all.  Or some homeless guy is lying in it.  I try not to think about it.  I don't think it's totally dead, but probably 50% of it.  I guess I'll have to see what comes up and just randomly fill in the bare patches.  Don't really want to spend too much on plants back there until it's more under control.

And then I have a bunch more space that needs clearing and digging before I even think about planting anything.  I want to take some of that and turn it into a butterfly/hummingbird garden, but I'm not sure yet.  I'm just trying not to think about the backyard, really.

I've got a few purchases in mind:

1)  I've got three knockout roses planted along one side of walk (which is also the entire front yard on that side).  I'm thinking of some groundcover there to fill up the space underneath/around the bushes, although it's almost an impossible area to try and plant.  Rozanne geranium would be nice, but I guess I may just resort to letting the English Ivy take over that spot again.  Have to think about this.

2)  I have a climbing rose going up one side of my porch.  I may try to shoot a clematis through the it.  The bush also borders my neighbor's yard where there is an ugly-ass trash bush of some kind.  So there's lots of places for the clematis to go. 

3)  I have a dry shady strip about 3 feet wide which is the space between my porch and my neighbor's porch. I'm putting some pulmonaria (lungwort) in there, and maybe try some small ferns.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 20, 2008, 04:07:54 PM
If you were going to move a rose bush when would you do it?  We've got one that the previous owners planted in a really retarded spot that we want to move.  I've gathered that it's best to do it when it's dormant but should I have done it in the fall or should I do it while it's cold or wait until closer to spring or what?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 20, 2008, 04:37:31 PM
Optimal moving date depends a bit upon the rose, but generally maybe in another two weeks.  As soon as possible after the last frost. 

You ever ordered a bare root rose?  They ship them out in early March, but you can get them all the way through April.  And what you get literally, is a small bunch of root.  No top, not even a true rootball.  Just... some root.  But you dig a hole and plant it and your rose will grow like gangbusters.

So I wouldn't worry about it too much.  The bigger the rootball you can preserve, the less you have to prune it back, but I would still probably cut it down 1/3 to 1/2 minimum.  Depending on the type of rose, it might cost you some blooms this year, but no bloom>dead.  If it starts looking dead at the edges, prune it back a little more.

The only thing that really gets roses is not enough water, and they'll give you plenty of notice before dying.  And once they're established, they don't even the water requirements aren't too bad.  Bucket of water once a week, some weak organic fertilizer once a year and you're set.

It's getting the foliage not to look like total crap and keeping them pruned so they don't sprawl all over that will drive you nuts.  Roses just don't die, even though you often wish they would.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 30, 2008, 04:23:54 PM
Spring update:

They've developed these new miniature butterfly bushes.  You might be able to get the first one, "buddleia Blue Chip," this year from certain places.  They max out at 20"-30" tall and wide, and they apparently don't seed so they aren't invasive like other buddleias.  I saw some today growing in a container.  Very cool.

I'm trying to decide whether I should kill some more dianthus this year.  I don't get it.  They're supposed to be easy to grow.  And they look tough when you get them, they're all kinda spikey and bad-ass looking.  It's like they're trying to bust out of the pot which is always a good sign.  Then I plant them and they start growing really fast the first two weeks and then one month later they're gone.  Not just dead but disappeared.  I planted some last fall and just went back to check.  Gone.  They're supposed to be evergreen, too. 

I planted some huechera last fall.  I bought one of those pre-planned gardens and it was part of the package (along with the dianthus).  It looks like about 30% of it died, which I kinda expected.  The rest of it is kinda scraggly, this being the first year and all.  Except the heuchera, which have already spread so they are touching.  I may have to get some more, but I don't know which kind.  There's the regular kind with normal green leaves and flowers.  Then there are the crazy mutant kinds with crazy colored leaves-- everything from peach to lime green to purple.

All my daffodils came up nicely.  As did the grape hyacinth and anemones I planted around them.  The blue and yellow look really nice together.  I've seen people walking down the street stop to look at it.  The rudbeckia is looking good, as are the shasta daisies and campanula.  I may get a few more shasta daisies.  I did something stupid last year which was the shasta daisies didn't look so hot so I moved two to where the campanula was and now I have these shasta/campanula mounds which are all grown together and can't be separated.  So I may order a few more shasta daisies.  Maybe not.  We'll see.  At any rate, I seem to have that garden more or less licked now.

The rainbow knockout roses I had all survived the winter rather nicely.  One looked a little sketchy for a bit there but now it's fine.  I put that one in before the huge drought last year so I'm not surprised it had a bit of a tough go.  I need something to plant around the base of them, and that's probably where I'll put some heuchera.

The two camellia I had seem to have pulled through as well.  They were really hurting after the drought but now they've come back.  I need to figure out how to prune them as there seems to be a lot of dead wood.  But supposedly they prune very well.  I hope so, otherwise I'll have one of those ugly dead-on-half-a-side deals going on.







Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 01, 2008, 08:45:09 AM
I quickly scanned through here and nothing jumped out at, so sorry if I missed it.  Just a quick question about the fake mulch.  Basically, does it do everything traditional mulch does, but just lasts forever?  Any downsides?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on April 02, 2008, 10:33:47 PM
It actually doesn't do everything traditional mulch does, which may be a disadvantage or advantage depending on what you want. Traditional mulch keeps the weeds down when initially, but eventually also breaks down into the soil which can be a very good thing because it provides nutrients.  If you have bad soil, a good mulch is like weed control and fertilizer rolled into one.

If you're just looking to suppress weeds, rubber mulch is much better precisely because it's inorganic.  It's nice and chunky, so you don't need to layer it on as thick as you do other mulches, it lasts forever, and it's heavy so it doesn't get washed away by water or blown away by the wind.  It also does a better job retaining moisture and insulating in the winter, with the caveat that if you have a hot, humid summer and plants that are particularly susceptible to rot, then the heat and moisture might actually be too much.

For what most people want mulch to do, rubber mulch is better and while it's more expensive per bag it will easily be cheaper in the long run because of it's longevity and the fact that you don't need to apply it as thick.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 03, 2008, 09:27:36 AM
Pollen count today in Atlanta: 1089

EEEEEK!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 03, 2008, 12:20:02 PM
I'm itching to start my tomato plants and beans, but my parents always planted by the phase of the moon, and so do I, so I have to wait another week.

CR built a cold frame for me too, so I'm doubly excited to finally be able to start from seed. I have heirloom seeds that I saved from last year, and my biggest worry is that I'll somehow screw this up and lose all those precious seeds.

It's been ages since I was a kid helping my Dad out in the greenhouse, so hopefully that knowledge isn't completely gone and is just rusty, but if anyone else has done this and can share pointers I'd appreciate it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Buzzstein on April 03, 2008, 12:22:01 PM
I like plants you can eat.  Somebody grow me some zucchini.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 03, 2008, 01:56:46 PM
I got yer zucchini RIGHT HERE!


Hang on a sec....oops...that's not mine.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: whigsgeek on April 03, 2008, 09:34:46 PM
Quote from: Buzzstein
Somebody grow me some zucchini.

Mmmmmm, I needs to make me a batch of zucchini brownies. So moist and chocolatey. Yum yum!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 04, 2008, 08:40:21 AM
Quote from: Buzzstein
Somebody grow me some zucchini.

Mmmmmm, I needs to make me a batch of zucchini brownies. So moist and chocolatey. Yum yum!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Sneak attack of the "M" word.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Dan on April 04, 2008, 09:46:29 AM
c-lando, sometimes I wonder if your name is Judy. I used to know a great girl from Mississippi who hated that word with a wondrous passion as well.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 04, 2008, 10:07:21 AM
I like this Judy from Mississippi. She sounds like good peeps.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on April 04, 2008, 10:08:13 AM
c-lando, sometimes I wonder if your name is Judy.

I often wonder this as well.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: whigsgeek on April 04, 2008, 10:31:37 AM
Quote from: Buzzstein
Somebody grow me some zucchini.

Mmmmmm, I needs to make me a batch of zucchini brownies. So moist and chocolatey. Yum yum!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Sneak attack of the "M" word.

Please forgive me. I had no idea. (And all this time I've been making a painstaking effort to never use the word "anyhoo."  :()
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 04, 2008, 11:00:02 AM
*psst* Whigs, you'll want to avoid using the word panties around here too.  >:D
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 04, 2008, 11:22:52 AM
*psst* Whigs, you'll want to avoid using the word panties around here too.  >:D

DIE, DEVIL WOMAN. DIE.

*AND CHANGE YOUR EFFING SIGNATURE ALREADY! I GET IT.

;)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Cockney Rebel on April 04, 2008, 04:28:10 PM
Yes, from here on in I think we should start referring to the phrase as Poist Manties.

(I am sure if I had a spellchicken, that would come out as "Post Manatees" which is the kind of website I'd like to see!)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Buzzstein on April 05, 2008, 04:11:35 PM
moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties moist panties
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Dan on April 05, 2008, 06:42:22 PM
I think Buzz is asking for a beatdown! WOW!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Buzzstein on April 05, 2008, 09:57:44 PM
I had to do it! :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 07, 2008, 08:23:18 AM
I had to do it! :)
You're dead to me.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 07, 2008, 08:35:13 AM
And this is why I love this board so very much  ;D
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 09, 2008, 12:18:14 PM
Pollen count in Atlanta today: 2792
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 13, 2008, 04:21:26 PM
So, I got my shipment of dahlia tubers from old house gardens. And they sent me two or three (I only ordered one) of this flower, (http://tinyurl.com/6k2z4e) does anyone want the spare? I have to fully inspect them, but there are at least two, maybe three.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: watusi on April 22, 2008, 01:41:49 AM
The princess and I have so far planted tomatoes, sage and in containers some things we've never tried before; garlic, potatoes and of course...

(http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/7337/dscf0002wk9.jpg)


Grilled onions.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on April 22, 2008, 11:09:41 AM
That? Is genius!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: watusi on April 22, 2008, 07:13:46 PM
Thanks, although I'm not so sure my neighbor saw the genius in me out fooling around taking pictures at 1:30 in the morning.   ;D
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 21, 2008, 03:46:28 PM
Anybody have any idea how well Vinca or Phlox does in shady areas?  We're looking for a ground cover plant and a trailing plant for our front beds which are pretty well shaded almost all day.  We like the look of both but all of the varieties we've seen say they need full sun.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 21, 2008, 04:10:01 PM
Vinca grows very well in shade.  It grows well everywhere.  Your biggest problem with vinca will be keeping it under control.  If you want to grow it, don't buy it.  Someone will be pretty happy to give you a bit.  I could cut about 6" of Vinca out of my yard, put it in an envelop with no soil and mail it to you and you could take that bit of vine and just toss it on the ground where you want it and it will grow.  That's the kind of plant we're talking about.

Phlox should be okay in shade depending on the kind.  It's not going to spread as well or as fast as vinca, but that also means you can keep it under control better.  If you try to grow them together, the vinca will overrun the pholx for sure.  Like in weeks.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 21, 2008, 04:31:23 PM
oh, and I had vinca and I pulled it out and replaced it with trailing campanula (Campanula poscharskyana) last fall.  The six plants have filled out a 10 x 4 area so it spreads fast but it's much easier than Vinca to control.

Veronica Georgia Blue or Cranesbill would be other decent choices.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 21, 2008, 04:32:09 PM
A good ground cover plant is Ajuga. It has really pretty purple spikes in the spring and nice deep green foliage the rest of the season. It spreads rapidly but is easy to keep under control - you just pull up what you don't want.

As for a trailing shade-lover, that's a little more difficult. Phlox really needs full sun. If you don't mind an annual, trailing begonias would work well. Of course you'd have to replace them each year, but they aren't very expensive.

You guys should go over to Bern's Garden Center. They would be able to hook you up with lots of good suggestions. They've got a really large area of shade-loving annuals and perennials.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on May 21, 2008, 04:45:34 PM
We've got something in the bed that goes around our house that's thriving (it's a shady area), but damn if I can't remember what it is. I'll take a pic tonight and post it tomorrow. It's pretty and has these cute, blue flowers that come up every spring.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 21, 2008, 04:53:59 PM
Yeah, I have some Ajuga Chocolate chip in the backyard.  It's fairly manageable, but I bought it precisely because it isn't as invasive as other Ajugas. 

I like it.  If you are just trying to cover an area, it stays in it's general place pretty well.  But it still looks like it would have a tendency to crowd out other plants if it's mixed into a bed.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on June 22, 2008, 08:39:06 AM
I've got a question about knockout roses. We had three planted in our back garden in October of last year. They bloomed like crazy in the spring but now there isn't a single bloom on them, and I thought they were supposed to bloom all season long. In fact, that is why I specifically requested knockout roses from our landscaper.

Is there something I should be doing to keep them blooming? Do I need to feed them? I thought knockouts were supposed to be relatively care-free (aside from cutting back in the spring) so I'm a little frustrated by this. Could it be that they aren't blooming all summer because it is their first year?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on June 22, 2008, 12:33:03 PM
Did you get the rainbow knockouts, MK?  If so, I've noticed they tend to put out some rose hips after blooming.  You need to cut those off, because they tell the plant to stop blooming.  You don't need to deadhead the whole bush every time you get blooms, just check on them periodically and clip off the hips that develop after the blooms are spent.

I think it's mostly because it's the first year and because it's summer.  Putting out flowers is pretty taxing for a plant, so if you get a whole rash of blooms it takes them some time to recover.  It's true that knockouts don't really have a particular bloom season, but all plants kinda bloom in waves.  I noticed last year I got a big bloom in the spring, and then some flowers through summer and then another big bloom in the fall and then lots of nice orange hips for the winter. I have three, one is blooming but the flowers are starting to get faded, one just put out some new buds this week, and one is doing nothing. Mine are also getting chewed up pretty bad by some kind of bug right now, plus we had that insane heat wave, which probably doesn't help.

A little pruning and fertilizer would probably help.  Not a lot of fertilizer, just maybe a bit of nitrogen to give them a bit of a boost.  Mix up a pretty diluted solution though; you're just trying to give them a bit of energy to recover from blooming, not trying to grow them.  Too much and your plants will grow foliage instead of flowers.

But yeah, your plants should be alright.  Another year to get established will definitely help.  And I think the blooms will always be a bit more scant in the hot summer months, but compared to other supposedly "reblooming" plants, I think knockout roses come pretty close to living up to the name.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: monkey neck on June 22, 2008, 03:08:10 PM
Anyone know how to effectively combat or prevent mold in the flowerbeds?  I just put in new mulch a few weeks ago, so it's definitely retaining moisture (as it should). 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on June 22, 2008, 08:00:28 PM
That slimy gunk, ala "dog vomit mold?"  I think it looks kinda gross and cool, so I just leave it.  Actually I don't think there's anything you can do about it anyway.  It spreads for a few weeks, then it hardens up and goes away.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: monkey neck on June 22, 2008, 10:42:52 PM
That slimy gunk, ala "dog vomit mold?"  I think it looks kinda gross and cool, so I just leave it.  Actually I don't think there's anything you can do about it anyway.  It spreads for a few weeks, then it hardens up and goes away.

Yeah, that's it.  I had some pretty interesting red mold last week.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on June 23, 2008, 08:48:08 AM
Thanks for the info on the knockouts RVA, I'm going to feed them a little and deadhead the rosehips. I didn't get the rainbow knockouts, btw, although that is what I wanted. The landscaper couldn't get the rainbows that late in the season so we had to settle for the regular red knockout.

Monkeyneck, whenever I get slime mold on my mulch I just remove it with a hand spade (be careful, some types "explode" with brown spores everywhere), dump it into a bag and throw it away. It's pretty harmless but looks disgusting.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on June 26, 2008, 09:46:46 AM
Anyone know anything about cherry plum trees?

We just discovered that what we thought was a cherry tree is actually a plum tree. The birds usually pick the tree clean in the spring, but with the cicada emergence they've left the tree alone and the fruit is actually ripening. Problem is, we know very little about this cultivar. It's got reddish/purple skin and red flesh.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 26, 2008, 01:28:28 PM
All I can say is good luck with it.  Plum trees generally die of disease/fungal issues in these parts.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 21, 2008, 11:58:27 AM
RVA:  I'm thinking of doing a Japanese garden.  Not the kind that takes zillions of hours to maintain.  Just section off a bit of the yard, fill it with sand or gravel, and then put some rocks in it.  Maybe 6 x 10.  Seems fairly low maintenance.

Garden Guy:  Yeah, it's low maintenance alright.  It's also a terrible idea.

RVA:  Oh?  How so?

GG:   "I'm thinking of building a huge litter box in my backyard, what do you think?"

RVA:  Okay.  I get your point.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on August 21, 2008, 12:16:10 PM
Have you ever wanted to start a garden on someone else's dollar?  Here's your chance:

After some unexpected defoliation by our local energy company and years of willful neglect on my part, we have a wide open backyard that needs something done with it.  The problem is, my wife is pretty busy with her multiple commitments, so it has fallen to me to do something about it and I know nothing about garden/horticulture. 

Here are some of the details:

* We have sandy soil.
* I have a cedar privacy fence that runs the length of my backyard (about 50 ft.) which gets high sun exposure.  It is newly installed and is in an area where there was a ton of overgrown weeds.  I've been fairly diligent about pulling them before they get too big. 
* Along the side of the yard, it is pretty shady, maybe getting 3-4 hours of sun daily. 

What I am looking for is a very low unmaintained plant/flower/shrub/vegetable garden.  Because the outdoor faucet is so far away from the area I'm looking to work on, water can be a bit of an issue, especially if it needs to be frequently watered.  Really, something that I can stick in the ground, water a couple times a week from a can and maybe prune once or twice a year (less would be better.)

I honestly have no idea where to start, so if you have questions or need to see pictures, please let me know. 

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 21, 2008, 01:22:36 PM
Are you talking about just like a strip along a fence or the entire backyard?

I guess if you send me a picture, I can do a sort of basic landscape design for you, or maybe hit you up with some ideas.  I guess the dimensions of the area and a general style (formal, informal, Asian, any kind of plant you particularly like), too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on August 21, 2008, 01:37:13 PM

I guess if you send me a picture, I can do a sort of basic landscape design for you, or maybe hit you up with some ideas. 
If I sent you a photo of my backyard, you'd just have two words for me.

Kerosene.
Match.

I have seriously thought of starting a site called "www.ugliestyardinamerica.com" and seeing if I could get landscape folks to take pity on me and my dumb yard that I have NO idea what to do with. It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 21, 2008, 01:47:13 PM
Ours is hideous as well.  We have what I would call a small grove of honeysuckle bushes in our back yard.  Two small groves actually if you count the one further back surrounding the downed tree that is back there.

We also have several 3 1/2' to 4' piles of cut up lumber that the previous owners used for firewood lined up next to our patio and a flower bed that until this past weekend was full of weeds, a pile of sticks collected from the silver maples (how I hate them), a gazillion lava rocks (now removed) and a lonely hosta.  Oh yeah, and then there is the rose bush that is inexplicably just kind of growing at the corner of the patio... it's just kind of out there, in the middle of an open space, growing up out of the grass.

Then there is the rickety swing hanging from the tree that is tethered together so it doesn't split like a banana.  The abandoned dog house with the sagging roof.  And did I mention all of the honeysuckle bushes?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Bronzetree on August 21, 2008, 02:08:04 PM
My back yard, if you can call it that, is shitty also. I really want to do something with it, but money and laziness have nipped that in the bud. We're finally getting around to fixing the fences and stuff back there, but the yard itself is pathetic.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 21, 2008, 02:23:51 PM
FG, thought of creating a hobo burial mound?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on August 21, 2008, 02:36:07 PM
FG, thought of creating a clown burial mound?

Fix'd.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 21, 2008, 02:42:27 PM
I learned the hard way that large-scale landscaping is way more important than a garden.

Maintaining a nice perennial bed is a lot of work.  And even if you did it right, a pretty flower bed in a shitty backyard still looks like a pretty flower bed in a SHITTY backyard.  A couple of nice shrubs and just grass might be a little boring, but it still looks nice.  A living, boring hosta patch is better than a bunch of dead rose bushes.

So the trick-- even in a really small area-- is making use of open spaces, not trying to fill everything in with pretty flowers.  Pick three or four nice "foundations" or features. 

A tree or large shrub would count as one "feature."  A perennial bed is also just one "feature."  One entails maybe spending $75-$100 and one afternoon of digging and planting.  The other entails spending $200, several afternoons to prepare the bed, several afternoons of planting, and maybe 2-3 hours a week of weeding and maintenance.  Pretty easy call.

The flower beds are like the bonus that puts a yard over the top if you really want it to be beautiful.  But until you have it landscaped and a few bushes and trees as a backdrop, they're useless.

If your backyard is trashy, spend the $500-$1k (or get out the chainsaw) and just mow the shit down, clear it all out and start over.  I've wasted so much time and effort trying to polish a turd.  I finally just got everything in my backyard just like scalped to the ground this year.  I wish I'd done it five years ago.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 21, 2008, 03:08:23 PM
Word.  Doing away with all of the honeysuckle and the downed tree has been my goal for the summer.  Unfortunately the chipper/shredder I got off of Craig's List that needed a simple repair has needed a lot more than a simple repair and I'm never home so between the two I've just barely got the chipper running and it's August already.  Now I've got to cut all that shit down and make it managable and chip it.  Neither are small undertakings.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on August 21, 2008, 03:13:59 PM
If your backyard is trashy, spend the $500-$1k (or get out the chainsaw) and just mow the shit down, clear it all out and start over.  I've wasted so much time and effort trying to polish a turd.  I finally just got everything in my backyard just like scalped to the ground this year.  I wish I'd done it five years ago.
Unfortunately, due to a bad neighbor who was around LONG before we bought the house, we have tons of Wisteria vines that are strangling pines and have taken over 1/2 of the chain-link fence. I think we'd have to shell out MAJOR $ and have someone come in and Bobcat the entire area. :( This sucks because I would love to install a privacy fence so that the dogs could run around in the backyard without supervision. Sadly, they can hop the chain-link and tend to do that whenever someone walks by the yard with a dog. They just want to greet every pooch in the neighborhood.

But, I do get what you're saying about weeding and adding shrubs. That would work for the front & side yards, if only we could get rid of the mosquitoes (thank you, nearby creek) long enough to tolerate working in those yards.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 21, 2008, 03:20:28 PM
Neighbors suck don't they?  We don't have wisteria, thank God, but we do have ivy all over the place thanks to our neighbors.  I can only assume that the neighborhood's stray cats hang out in our backyard because there are mice/rats living in all that ivy.  I know for a fact that it's full of snakes.

Plus they have two or three big piles of garbage back there from where they've had to cut down trees and such and they've just piled everything up and thrown more junk on top of it (like used up patio furniture) and let the ivy over take it.  Really ugly.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on August 21, 2008, 03:45:27 PM
Yeah, I have a neighbor with this ugly ass trash tree.  The trunk is barely on their side of probably 80% of the roots and branches are on my side.  The branches brush up against my roof and I have to get them cut back all the time.

The original neighbor I had was a cool guy.  He always wanted to get the tree cut down but didn't have the money.  What he *did* do every year though, was go up and cut all the branches back about two feet from his house, and then he'd walk onto my roof and do the same for me.  Since he moved, I've had two different neighbors just basically living there for grad school so they could care less about maintenance.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on August 21, 2008, 10:31:05 PM
Snakes.
Why'd it have to be snakes?
*SHUDDER*
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 22, 2009, 06:27:37 PM
Fuck it, man. I'm going Ajuga-crazy this year.  Crazy front-yard slope?  Ajuga.  Weird little 4' x 10' space on the side of the house?  Ajuga.  Little 6'x '10 bed on the other side of the house that WAS finally starting to shape up until someone plopped a gigantic A/C unit in the middle of it?  Ajuga. 

Ajuga everywhere.  I'ma buy like 3 flats of the stuff.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 22, 2009, 06:41:37 PM
I love ajuga - it's too bad the little flowers don't last longer though.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 22, 2009, 07:45:52 PM
Who is the idiot who designed my backyard?  The biggest plot I have is a 9' x 11'.  That's a friggin' SQUARE almost.  How do you plant a SQUARE?!? 

Especially when the the path borders two sides of it.  Path on four sides, tall stuff in the middle.  Path on one side, tall stuff in the back.  Path on two sides, you're screwed.  There is no "front" or "back."  All you can do is put the tall stuff in the opposite corner, but then trying to plan plant heights and plot out concentrically is impossible.  It's impossible!!!  Plus then it's like this crazy slope into the back corner that's all like "WAAAHHHH!!!"

I've been working on this all weekend, man.  9'x11' is just an impossible size to work with.  It's IMPOSSIBLE.  It's too small for a tree.  You have to use dwarf shrubs.  But one dwarf shrub looks totally stupid.  You have to mass like three of them.  And it's too small for that, too.  And it's way too big for a perennial bed. 

Also, it's rock hard clay.  And I am NOT double digging feet of clay, nor am I buying $300 worth of coarse sand and compost to amend it.

Also, it's bordered by a huge ass three story building only 15 feet away, plus an 8 foot fence.  So most of it is full shade in the morning and blistering hot full sun in the afternoon, except for the part that is blistering hot sun all day which is also not exactly the best but at least I could grow some cactus or something.

Also, there's like huge tree roots through the entire area from the trash tree next door which desperately needs to be cut down but the neighbors won't do it.  Despite the fact that 3/4 of the tree (my house and where it went over the easement) have been eliminated, so it looks like a pie wedge on telephone pole. 

Also, there are stumps and suckers everywhere from the ex-homeowner's apparent attempt to grow holly and Nandina, and some sort of evergreen.  And I can't get a stump grinder through the back gate.  Because the back gate is a stupid size.   Speaking of bushes and fences.. you know what this dude did?  He grew a bunch of juniper?? right next to the fence.  And then he tied them to the fence.  It's called "espalier," motherfucker.  It takes A LOT of skill.  And the right kind of plant.  And a little thing we call a "trellis."  You have none of those three things.  And you know what happens when you just haphazardly tie a giant bush to a fence slat?

IT PULLS THE FENCE DOWN. 

AND IT ESPECIALLY PULLS THE FENCE DOWN WHEN YOU DON'T USE ENOUGH POSTS.  AND IT ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY PULLS THE FENCE DOWN WHEN YOU ALSO DON'T DIG THE POST HOLES DEEP ENOUGH, DON'T TAMP THEM DOWN, DON'T THROW SOME ROCKS IN THE BOTTOM, AND DON'T USE CONCRETE TO SET THEM.

Also, sugar maple in a 5' x 5' space?  Umm, no.  See, that thing gets to be 100 feet tall.  Yes, that's right.  100 feet.  And the roots pull up the fence, especially when precautions are not taken (see above).  And then the branches rub against the house and the fence and thing just has no room to grow so you end up with a stunted, horrible looking thing that is still 20 feet tall which is already too big.  And a messed up fence.  And a messed up sunroom.

And about that sunroom.  The double-paned insulated windows you put on it?  Nice.  Except see, you have to also size and set them correctly.  The insulation does no good if there's a gap that you just covered up with weather stripping.  And see, now those windows are about to fall out.

Look-- I'm not saying I'm Mr. Awesome handyman.  Would I have screwed up trying to put in a fence, or install windows, or trying an espalier?  Probably.  But that's why I don't do that shit.  I hire someone to do it.  Actually, I lied.  I can install windows and put up fences.  I just don't have the time to do it.

Now I'm depressed.  Depressed and angry.   Maybe I can do something with I don't know, ornamental grass or something.  Blah.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 22, 2009, 09:43:18 PM
I got it.

Far back left corner=Ornamental grasses (probably three Mis. Sinensus 'Morning Light')
Front left corner= Three lavender
Kinda middle-ish= Shrub.  Either Abelia or Weigela 'Wine and Roses.'  I'll probably go with Weigela.

That leave me with a U-shape left.  The back left corner has some kinda-- thing going on.  I think it was supposed to be a half-ass little stepping stone path... but now it's just random rocks. So I leave that alone.

That gives a nice manageable, fairly broad L-shape that's maybe 3'-4' wide.  I can put two mini-roses at each end, fill the middle part with Huechera and then Ajuga in the front of the border and filling in all the gaps.

That is four count' em FOUR seasons of interest.  Plus at least four shades and four textures of foliage.  Blue blooms in the front, red blooms in the middle. 

It's genius.  Sheer genius.  I know the lavender works because I'm already growing some.  I can't see why the grass wouldn't work.  So as long as the weigela doesn't die then I have the foundation for both that area and the yard as a whole.  The mini-perennial border I can swap plants out any time; doesn't really matter. 

And it only took me like 20 sheets of graph paper and 40 hours!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 22, 2009, 10:43:06 PM
Have you thought about using Moonbeam Coreopsis? I've been really pleased with it and it lasts and lasts and lasts.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 23, 2009, 12:09:54 AM
I tried some Moonbeam a few years ago along with some Creme Brule, and wasn't a huge fan.  They bloomed the first year, which was promising.  But they also flopped and failed to rebloom.  Since they aren't that big and the flowers are tiny, it wasn't that impressive.  The second year they came back a bigger and healthier but I got hardly any bloom.  Then they all died.

Granted it was a terrible drought year, and I probably should have sheared them back after they bloomed and flopped.  But I don't know how much it would have mattered.  I don't care how "reblooming" they a plant supposedly is, nothing will bloom when the temperature is over 90 degrees consistently. 

Coreoposis are sort of on my experiment list right now.  I know I can grow them and get them to bloom, so maybe they just need a bit more TLC.  But since I'd have to buy like 20 of them just to have any sort of impact it's just not money I'm willing to spend.  At some point I may try Zagreb which is larger, supposedly hardier, and also has the advantage of being able to self-sow.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 23, 2009, 08:56:37 AM
I admit that at first I wasn't sure about moonbeam coreopsis and our landscaper had a job convicing me that I'd like them, but you know what? He was 100% correct. I have been really happy with them - each plant bushes out about 2'x2' and flowers like crazy.

I'm surprised that yours didn't do well because they are incredibly drought tolerant, which is one of the reasons the landscaper recommended them. I have nine of them along a curved brick path and they look stunning all summer and into the fall.  They look great paired with the knockout roses too.

I've been so wowed by them, in fact, that I am considering pink coreopsis to compliment the purple echinacea and shasta daisy circles in the front yard.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on February 23, 2009, 10:20:42 AM
just give up and plant millions of hostas.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 23, 2009, 10:59:40 AM
Pretty sure it was the heat, not the lack of water because they didn't just shrivel up and die... they flopped and then just straggled and eventually the heat sucked the life out of them.  We're a few degrees hotter than you here which translates to maybe 4-5 extra death zone 95-100 days a year.

If I can get my hands on some for cheap off eBay or something, I might give them another shot.
They'll be on the East side of the house rather than the West, so they'll still get plenty of sun... just not that brutal 100-degrees-at-3:00-shining-right-on-you sun. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 23, 2009, 11:29:44 AM
They are native to Florida, so I would have thought they could take that kind of heat, but maybe not.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on February 23, 2009, 11:32:08 AM
just not that brutal 100-degrees-at-3:00-shining-right-on-you sun. 

Looking forward to this kind of sun when we go to Orlando in late July this year.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 23, 2009, 12:44:28 PM
You talked me into it. 

I was going to try to do the Echinacae Mac n' Cheese and Tomato Soup combo.  But they want an arm and a leg for either plant.  Plus I bet they aren't as good as the catalogs make out.  I have yet to see a picture of a whole plant.  Just like 15 flowers all bunched up together like you're going to get a packed floriferous show like that, but that's obviously impossible since you are planting them 18 inches apart.

So for a red/yellow combo., I think I'll get some yarrow 'Paprika' and try some coreopsis in front of it instead.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on February 23, 2009, 01:01:42 PM
I'm going to plant impatients
and hostas

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 23, 2009, 01:11:13 PM
I think those will look nice together.

I've got a thing for blues and purples, so it took a lot of convincing for me to go with NINE yellow bushes, but I'm glad I did it because the combinations really pop, especially with the addition of the knockouts.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 23, 2009, 01:12:27 PM
I'm going to plant impatients
and hostas

Those are fine for shade, but Rva and I both need sun-lovers. Paging Trixi, paging Trixi!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 23, 2009, 01:29:50 PM
I really like yellow/blue and yellow/red as combinations.  Yellow and white are always good for underplantings.  I think moonbeam is a nice color that works just about anywhere because it's a soft, kinda glowy yellow instead of bright orangey-yellow.

J, do you know what kind of hosta you want?  I don't like the blue leaf ones, or the straight green with white edges, but I like a lot of the variegated yellow/green/blue ones.  I have Hosta 'Guacamole' and I really like it.  The one I really want to get is 'Halcyon'.  'Pizazz' and 'Stained Glass' are also cool.

If you want the old-fashioned kind, get them off ebay.  There's always someone who has just divided some and will sell them for like $1.00.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 23, 2009, 01:43:31 PM
I don't remember the name of the hostas we have W but they're very similar to the two you mentioned.

We planted impatiens last year and they absolutely went insane.  We planted them a good ways apart and they grew into each other they got so big.  I'd never seen anything like it.  I can't wait to get some more in there with some of my compost this year.  We just have to figure out how to keep the dog out of them.

Speaking of that, seriously, does anybody know how to keep a dog out of flower beds and to keep them from digging especially?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on February 23, 2009, 03:40:07 PM
No clue on names either.  The one in back is green and yellow.
I think the ones in front are a mix of green adn white and green and yellow.

I'll totally look on ebay though. That's an awesome idea. 

The hosta we have in back is full direct sun most of the day.  We didn't plant it there, it was there when we moved in.  We just have to water it every single day and it does fine, which I'm told is amazing for a hosta.  Guess it's just super hardy.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on February 23, 2009, 03:50:37 PM
Our arborvites in our front bed are dying off (one was infested with bagworms and never recovered), so we need to find something to replace them with. The bed gets full sun, has decent soil, and gets a fair amount of rain. Steve wants something that will be pretty but also have foliage throughout the year. We have no idea, if anyone has any suggestions we'd love to hear them.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 23, 2009, 04:19:27 PM
Cuddly, do you want something shrubby there? If so, have you thought about spirea?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 23, 2009, 05:29:55 PM
Camellia!   Although if it's really an honest-to-goodness 8 hours of sun that might be pushing it a little bit.

Spirea is always good.  There are some nice evergreen Viburnum.  Rhododendron.  Abelias come pretty close to being evergreen.  There's so many varieties of all the above shrubs that you can almost always find one you like.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 24, 2009, 08:05:30 AM
Good call on viburnum, Rva. I LOVE viburnum - but it has the be the scented type - preferrably the Judd. I grew up with loads of viburnum and lilac bushes in the yard, and there's nothing quite like the scent of viburnum in the breeze. Ahhhhhhhh.........

Thing is, they tend to get big and need pruning each year to keep them under control, much like a lilac bush. If you've got plenty of space to fill they are ideal, otherwise they can be work.

I'd love to have a Judd viburnum in our garden, but there simply isn't room. Sad!!!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on February 24, 2009, 08:54:30 AM
*writes all those down* Thanks guys. MK, Steve wants something shrubby (he'd like an evergreen). Pruning won't be a problem, we're used to keeping the other stuff in that bed in check (it grows really fast in the warm months).

ETA: I'm going to run the Spirea, abelias, and rhododendron by Steve. I'd LOVE to put a lilac out front, but we'd have to put it closer to the fence to give it enough room to grow. Hrmm...maybe we'll get a dwarf lilac, then we won't need to freak out about missing the lilac festival every other year!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 24, 2009, 11:55:30 AM
Rhododendron's (and their sister Azelea) need lots of water and prefer a sheltered location for overwintering. When I still lived in Franklin I had a rhodo that Dad and I picked out and planted together in a fairly sheltered location. It thrived really well the first few years but then we had a really bad winter in the early 90's and it never recovered.

They are really awesome plants though - if you can find them cheap enough I'd go for it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on February 24, 2009, 12:08:22 PM
I think we have a Rhododendron in the front yard and I hate it.  It's hideous 51 weeks out of the year.  The one week when it bloomed it was beautiful, but it's an eyesore the rest of the time.  It's got ugly brownish green leaves that curl up and look sickly.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 24, 2009, 12:25:21 PM
I think we have a Rhododendron in the front yard and I hate it.  It's hideous 51 weeks out of the year.  The one week when it bloomed it was beautiful, but it's an eyesore the rest of the time.  It's got ugly brownish green leaves that curl up and look sickly.

Yours is in the process of dying. This is what happened to mine when we had a severe winter. It took about 5 years for the thing to die completely, but after the bad winter there was nothing Dad and I could do for it. We tried everything - changing the Ph of the soil, extensive watering, feeding, the works. Once they take a hard freeze, they're pretty much toast.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 24, 2009, 01:20:35 PM
I know they have dwarf spice viburnums now, but the reviews I read on them said they didn't flower as well as the large ones and people seemed a little disappointed.  I know this because I wanted one.

I guess you just have to look what's out there.  They are introducing dozens of new cultivars of the commonly used shrubs every year, so they are getting longer blooms, more cold-hardiness or whatever all the time.  

They have insanely cold-hardy rhododendrons now, although if you don't like them there's no reason to get another one.  You can also try pruning that rhododendron hard, but I don't see the point of that either unless you really liked it, which clearly you don't.

Of course, there's never anything wrong with a nice boxwood or whatever.  I hate boxwood hedges, but one or two somewhere as a constant nice green feature all year round is nice.  I think most people tend to underappreciate evergreens, but when you think about it, having some nice green in the winter instead of just brown sticks is probably at least equal to having a gorgeous 1-2 week display in the summer.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on February 24, 2009, 03:35:38 PM
yeah, I really do not like it.
We tried to think of something to plant there, but it's kind of an akward spot.  It's next to the steps, but in front of part of the porch, so it's a pretty small area. 

I think we'll let it bloom one more time then rip it out sometine next year and just plant more impatients. 

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 24, 2009, 03:43:28 PM
I think we'll let it bloom one more time then rip it out sometine next year and just plant more impatients. 

I think the dog is going to take care of ripping it out...
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 24, 2009, 04:00:26 PM
I just hate re-planting annuals every year is all.  I wish I could get annuals to self-sow but the ground here is just way too hard. 


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: whigsgeek on February 24, 2009, 08:49:52 PM
This thread fascinates me. It's like I've stumbled into a completely foreign world where I understand none of the language.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on February 24, 2009, 10:02:22 PM
That's how I feel when I read the Fizzy Pop thread. :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 24, 2009, 10:47:42 PM
I forgot to say...if anyone is worried about the size of the space, MK's suggestion of spirea is a good one.  There are plenty of types of spirea in all different colors that don't get over 4' and many smaller than that, in all different kinds of flower and foliage colors.  Goldflame, Magic Carpet, and Neon Flash come immediately to mind.  You can prune the crap out of them too, so they can really be whatever size you want although I'm not sure anyone wants to look at a tiny 6" x 6" bundle of sticks.   

But you're not limited to spirea.  As people have smaller and smaller lots, the "dwarf shrub" market has really taken off so there are dozens of small shrubs you can put in a 3-4 foot space.   The knockout roses that MK and I have could easily be kept to 3' x 3' with an annual pruning.  Weigela Midnight Wine I think is 2' x 2' with dark purple leaves.  Deutzia Gracilis Chardonnay Pearls is about the same size with lime yellow leaves.   Plenty of dwarf evergreens, too.although a 1' x 1' shrub isn't much to look at it so you might as well just plant a perennial at that point.

You could throw some mini-roses or hydrangea in a container out there if you wanted to, and they'd be fine.  Might have to move them onto the porch or garage or some sheltered area during the really cold part of winter, but since they're in a container it's not big deal.  And if they die during the winter, who cares?  It's like $10 for a potted shrub at Lowe's so it's no more expensive than buying a bunch of impatiens.

Really, the major tradeoff whether you want year-round interest or flowers.  Pretty flowers takes a lot out of a plant, so things that flower have to take the winter off.  You can get some berries and some crappy-looking tiny flowers on evergreens but it's not really the same thing.

Of course if you like impatiens, go nuts.  If you get bored with Hosta, you can go with heuchera ferns, pulmonaria, or ferns if it's shady, or celosia in the sun.  Celosia are annuals, but if you're putting in impatiens every year anyway, it's no big deal.  You'd be looking at a eight plants to cover a 2' x 4' area, so it's like an extra half hour, tops.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 25, 2009, 03:03:10 PM
I had a guy come in and look at my backyard today. 

He's going to tear down my old fence and put up a new one (about 55' plus gate).  Then he's going to take the old planks from my fence and build me a two tier raised bed,  redo my the three step wood porch stair that is rotting, put a little lattice barrier to conceal my A/C unit, wire me up a porch light, fix the broken floodlights, clear away a bunch of crap in my yard and level out the ground near my fence and along the patio so I can redo the patio and walk on my own, and dig out about 5 small stumps.

Essentially, he's going to give me a brand new blank-slate yard and I can work on the patio or make the beds fancier myself (and do all the planting).

His estimate was $2.5k-3.k.  He can come in mid-March and have it done in two days.  My half-ass estimate of material costs was about $1.75-$2k.  So essentially $800 for this dude's labor.

I'm pretty tempted to do it.  I think I could probably do all the work myself, but it would probably take me at least three weeks just to get the fence in working primarily on weekends.  And that's a long time to have my house open to an alley frequented by many shady types.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: frizgolf on February 25, 2009, 03:31:02 PM
This thread fascinates me. It's like I've stumbled into a completely foreign world where I understand none of the language.
+1.
It does my heart good, on a warm day like today, to see a Gardening thread at the top of my Unread Posts.
Other than that, I have nothing to add to this thread.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 25, 2009, 03:48:05 PM
Rva, I think that's a good price that he's quoted you.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on February 25, 2009, 07:40:50 PM
Having it done in two days would be a good thing.  It's DONE that way!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 25, 2009, 08:08:26 PM
I think so, too.  

I'd end up with a 6'x14' bed on one side (full sun) and a 4'x14' (part sun/shade) on the other side.  Perfect well-drained soil, no more clay with roots with unkillable vinca and ivy growing over the top.  Imagine what you could grow in there!  It'd be awesome.  






Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on February 26, 2009, 10:21:25 AM
This thread reminds me I need to kill all the crap growing on the side of my house, fence, shed, etc. NOW before it starts growing again.  That way, I can start with a nice, clean slate again this spring and then neglect it just like I do every year.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: frizgolf on February 26, 2009, 10:36:57 AM
Woxy just played R.E.M.- Gardening At Night.
Is Mike reading this thread?  ;)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 26, 2009, 01:29:22 PM
This is kind of neat:

http://myfolia.com/
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 26, 2009, 01:39:11 PM
This is kind of neat:

http://myfolia.com/

That's a great idea! I wish I'd known about it last year when I documented my progress (http://veggieoption.blogspot.com/2008/05/our-tomatoes.html) from saving the seeds from heirloom tomatoes that my great-aunt had given me to the final, juicy product. (http://veggieoption.blogspot.com/2008/10/last-of-this-years-heirloom-tomatoes.html)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on February 26, 2009, 08:34:34 PM
MK, your gardens are insane!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on February 27, 2009, 08:07:44 AM
MK, your gardens are insane!

Dude, I haven't even started on the annual stuff yet. You did a bad, bad thing introducing me to that website. I'm addicted!

It's such a great concept too - now it'll be easy to keep track of stuff from one year to the next, as long as the site doesn't disappear.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on February 27, 2009, 08:58:44 AM
Ooo...I need that site. I'm taking over part of our backyard and starting a kitchen garden, that site will be perfect for tracking what works and what doesn't work in that spot of the yard.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 06, 2009, 09:29:23 PM
Check this out.  Okay, so when the guy came in to do my backyard, he asked if there were any plants I wanted to keep.  I guess this was the first week of April.

So, I went through the ravaged remainder of the one semi-decent bed I had (or once had) and underneath a ton of leaves (from the neighbor's tree that I had pruned all the way to the fence) and overgrown vinca (finally gone!) and other junk I found three little bits of green.  One was some kind of sedum.  One was a tiny 3" salvia leaf that I wasn't even sure was attached to anything except how else would it be there?  And one was a mushed up torn bit of catmint that looked like it might be okay.

So I told him to just dig those out and toss them in the ground somewhere and we'd see what happens.  Free of vinca competition, with some healthy soil, and finally getting the sun they deserve the sedum and the salvia are now looking nice and green.  They are still small, but they've grown a bunch of leaves although they are really starting over so they look like first year plants.  But the catmint went insane! 

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3298/3508414907_9bd023c633.jpg)

Look at that thing.  It's a good three feet wide and two feet high.  The foliage is perfect, too; not a spot on it.  And blooming nicely.  That thing was 3 or 4 inches a month and a half ago.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 06, 2009, 09:44:28 PM
Oh yeah.  I bought a gardenia off ebay for only $14.00 and it came with tons buds.  It planted it yesterday and today one flower opened up and it smells sooooo good.   You can just open my back door and the scent hits you.

I have some doubts about it's ability to survive the summer and even more doubts about its ability to survive the winter and even even more doubts about whether it will flower next year or ever again if it somehow makes it through.  But man, it looks and smells pretty right now.

The thing was only like $14 off eBay.  At that price, I'd totally get one every year and just grow them like annuals.  If I can get 4-6 weeks of bloom, it's totally worth it.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on May 07, 2009, 08:19:06 AM
*jealous*

Your yard must smell awesome right now. The gardenia at the conservatory here was already starting to wilt, but you could still smell it before you saw it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 07, 2009, 09:34:21 AM
RVA, that catmint is impressive! Is that Walker's Low? Mine hasn't started blooming but it's about the same size as yours. I usually cut it back a few times before I let it bloom, but I'm surprised yours is already bursting with blooms. Wow!

I've heard that it's really hard to kill sedum, and it sounds like yours managed to survive even while the vinca tried to choke it out. I've got one sedum and it's pretty hardy but never seems to grow more than about the size of a textbook. I'm cool with that. (as an aside, my sedum and catmint are right next to each other too!)

I'm guessing that the spot they are in is shaded? If it is, throw in a Spiderwort plant - I think it compliments the catmint and sedum nicely.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 07, 2009, 11:44:14 AM
Yes, it's Walker's Low.  I don't know what to do with it now, because I hadn't drawn up any garden bed plans for that area.  I was planning on doing that next year.  But I guess I'll just plant the bed around it since it is so happy there.  I think the Sedum is Autumn Joy so the red and the blue might look good together.

The location they were in used to be shady, but since I hacked my neighbor's tree back it is now mostly sunny.  It's on the East side of the house, so it gets a little shade in the late afternoon.

Spiderwort seems like it might work there.  I mean, they're native.  How hard can they be?  I'll take a look at that, MK thanks.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 07, 2009, 11:47:41 AM
Spiderwort doesn't like the sun. It'll thrive in the shade, but as soon as any sun hits it the flowers all go bye-bye, so probably not good in that spot. If you have a super shady spot though, spiderwort is a nice alternative to the boring hosta.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on May 07, 2009, 02:10:10 PM
Spiderwort doesn't like the sun. It'll thrive in the shade, but as soon as any sun hits it the flowers all go bye-bye, so probably not good in that spot. If you have a super shady spot though, spiderwort is a nice alternative to the boring hosta.
damn, there you go hosta hatin' again.
[channels David Brent]Racist.[/channels David Brent]
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 09, 2009, 11:33:56 PM
I've been working in the yard this week.  I chopped back the azaleas in front of the house- they not been pruned in a major way in over 5 years.  So, I hacked them back to about 18" from about 7'. I'm PRAYING that I didn't ruin them.  My neighbors on either side have done the same multiple times, and theirs have come back better, so I'm hoping.  I fertilized them well, watered it in, and will give them some extra TLC in the next few weeks until I start seeing new growth.

I also got three new azaleas that will only grow to about 5' tall.  I planted them in the back yard, I hope they do well but at $2.50 a plant I'm not that worried.

I've been searching for geraniums this spring.  It's been hard to find them in small pots, rather than pre-done planters. Finally, I found some today.  In fact, all of my "go to" plants have been kind of hard to find this year, which is odd.  I can't find lantana to save my life, though today I came across some great specimens at Wal-Mart for $4 a plant.  I think I'll get some next week, if I get everything else in the ground.  I like them because they are perennials.  Have great color, too.

I picked up some portulaca, Mexican heather, and a couple of different herbs that are drought tolerant. In my planter troughs I will put marigolds.  In the regular pots will be sweet potato vines, this feather plant that's cool, and a yet to be determined plant.  Maybe coleus.

I'm hoping that everything does well this year.  Last year my plants did very well, despite the lack of rain. 

Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 10, 2009, 12:01:04 AM
I know they're boring but impatiens do really well in our front bed.  Oddly, we haven't been seeing many this year.  Maybe it's just too early, but Julie and her sisters usually get them for their mother for mom's day so it shouldn't be.  Dunno what the deal is, usually you can't swing a cat by the tail at a home center without hitting some.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 11, 2009, 08:43:32 AM
Va_vacious, do you have Meijer groceries out your way? The ones around here have tons of geraniums $8 for a carton of 6. I saw a bunch at Lowe's yesterday too but couldn't find prices on them. They are hot pink and are sold for Breast Cancer Awareness or some such charity.

Kwij, I bought several flats of impatiens two weeks ago at Lowes. When I went yesterday they were almost wiped out of them, so maybe there's a shortage this year or something.

I'm planning my annual trip to Berns this week. I'll see if they have any.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 11, 2009, 09:06:32 AM
Berns is a great place but soooo freakin' expensive.  There's a Delhi on Cin-Day between Monroe and 129 now, you might want to stop by there on the way back from Berns, it'd be right on the way.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 11, 2009, 10:00:23 PM
Va_vacious, do you have Meijer groceries out your way? The ones around here have tons of geraniums $8 for a carton of 6. I saw a bunch at Lowe's yesterday too but couldn't find prices on them. They are hot pink and are sold for Breast Cancer Awareness or some such charity.

No Meijers in NC, but it's almost worth it to come to Ohio for those prices! Wow- I could only find small-ish plants for $3.50 per.  The planters were running around $20. Have not seen a single 6-er of geraniums here. 

We've got impatiens coming out the ears- I've done them in the past, but I'm ready for something new.  They are great plants, but I'm tired of them at this point. I double plant my window boxes, and they do very well in them. 

We finally got rain today, I'm so excited!  We're 11 inches below normal- this is not going to be a good summer.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 18, 2009, 12:52:01 AM
I took a bunch of cuttings from plants last week and rooted them.  It went well.  Now I have like 10 small catmints and a bunch of other stuff.  Now I don't know why I did that.  I don't need any more catmint, much less 10. 

I never understood the whole propagating thing.  Or buying from seeds.  It's like you can buy three plants for $15 or 200 seeds for $3.  So on the surface, the seeds seem like a great deal, except who needs 200 plants?  You could just plant three seeds, but then you have to wait an extra year or more.  Not to mention the cost of lighting and seed trays for your makeshift greenhouse.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 18, 2009, 08:08:11 AM
Rva, you ought to look into taking them to a farmers market or a plant swap.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on July 10, 2009, 10:32:07 AM
If anyone wants some high-end frou-frou gardening stuff or some vases or junk like that, Smith and Hawkens just went out of business and is liquidating everything in their stores.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: vizzah on July 10, 2009, 10:34:19 AM
Is anyone else having problems with their spinach this year? 
Mine was rampant last year - I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. But, this year it's pitiful.  The tomatoes and onions in the same bed are doing great and producing like crazy, but the spinach just keeps turning yellow. It came from the same batch my dad used for his garden and two others and said he's not having any luck, either.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on July 10, 2009, 10:38:05 AM
If anyone wants some high-end frou-frou gardening stuff or some vases or junk like that, Smith and Hawkens just went out of business and is liquidating everything in their stores.
Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank you!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on July 10, 2009, 10:59:21 AM
We didn't plant spinach this year, but it's been hit or miss for us this year--both for flowers and veggies. Our cucumber is massive (we're picking 6 cukes this weekend with a ton more on the way), our tomato plant looks healthy but I don't know if it will produce much b/c the cucumber has about taken over the whole bed. Our strawberry is probably going to die off, but that might be due to a poor container choice rather than an actual affliction.

Our flowers have been pitiful this year, only our knockout and dahlias seem to be doing really well so far.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Rafe on July 10, 2009, 11:44:04 AM
We've planted a lot of shit from seed this year, with varying degrees of success. Runner beans and courgettes look to be coming along famously, as do the tomatoes. I've a trough of carrots doing nothing so far, our chilli's and sweet peppers are doing ok and I'm still waiting on planting up some late season spuds and sweetcorn. It's been fun to do, and all in pots.

We ordered a small greenhouse to stick on the side of the house recently. It was delivered yesterday, and it looks like a bloody nightmare to put together. Guess which mug will be toiling over that this weekend and probably getting it all hideously wrong. I wish it was like a Transformer!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 10, 2009, 01:50:38 PM
If anyone wants some high-end frou-frou gardening stuff or some vases or junk like that, Smith and Hawkens just went out of business and is liquidating everything in their stores.

Man, I could hug you for this news.  S&H is one of the customers I have to deal with in my job and they are a gigantic pain in the ass.  No surprise to me they're closing, most backwards bunch I've ever dealt with.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on July 10, 2009, 02:12:10 PM
I just can't understand how Plow and Hearth is still open. 

I mean, maybe no one really needs to pay $80 for a tomato stand or something but at least if you got it Smith and Hawken it would generally be the finest tomato stand you could buy.  Plow and Hearth just sells the same one everyone else has for 3 times the price.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on July 10, 2009, 06:21:01 PM
I need to post some pictures of how my deck is doing.  The marigolds are looking good, and the sweet potato vine is taking over! I need to replant some things so that they will have some more room.  I'd originally over planted a couple of containers, but too much is getting shaded out. 

I also got an awesome planter for my b'day- it's shaped like a snail shell and is cobalt blue.  I think a spider plant would look good in it, or the sweet potato vine, if I take it outside.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 10, 2009, 08:19:23 PM
Plow & Hearth are cunts.

Like I said. Cunts.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on July 11, 2009, 01:22:26 AM
I went to Smith and Hawken today.   It was rather depressing. 

People would be coming in like "Hell yeah, Smith and Hawken are closing!  Bargains galore!"  Then they were grabbing stuff and trying to negotiate lower prices or complaining about how it should be cheaper.  Basically like "You're going bankrupt, who are you to charge me for this shit?  Shouldn't you take what you can get?!?"

Which okay... admittedly the sale wasn't that hot.  They just took everything in the store and marked it 20% off full price.  Problem is, much of the stuff at Smith and Hawken is constantly on sale anyway so 20% off full price is essentially the normal price you'd pay there.  Which is more than you'd pay online, and way more than you'd pay for a non-excessively awesome product.

But my thing was, why complain and act like jackasses to the sales people?  If you don't like the price just don't buy them.  They just fucking lost their jobs, assholes.  Now they're trying to make do in a packed store full of nutty people and I'm sure their inventory system or price checking computer shizz is all offline and out-of-whack because it's anarchy at S&H HQ.  How about cutting them some slack?

It's like "Yay!  You lost your job!  Now give us some free shit!"  One lady came in and sniffed "Huh.  I guess since you all are going out of business you don't feel like you need to put out cookies and coffee anymore." Another dude was like "All sales final, huh?  No wonder you're going out of business.  You don't stand behind your products."  WTF, dude?  Do you not understand the concept of "going out of business?"  You cannot return your product because there will no longer be an entity to return that product to.  That is what going out of business means.  Business. OUT.  Bye-bye.

Then I was looking at some planters and this dude came and just shouldered me out of the way and grabbed two of the ones I was looking at.  Like yeah dude, you better grab 'em fast because otherwise I'm going to buy totally going to buy all 10 of these planters.  And not just those, but also all 30 of the same ones on those other two shelves which you didn't notice because you were all-fired up to get those two planters because how the hell could you live with your front porch without those two EXACT plain white planters?

Another lady was sorting through the orchids, but basically just grabbing each pot, checking the price, and then chucking it on a different table.  I saw her break the spike off at least two plants.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on January 08, 2010, 05:29:20 PM
I've decided that I can grow ornamental grass indoors.  I tried to look it up on the internet, but apparently no one has tried it.  Probably because it can't be done.  But then, those guys aren't smart like me.  They probably water their plants and give them fertilizer, and pay attention to things like "Needs full sun."

I mean, you buy grass from some plant shop it comes in a container right?  So I'm just putting some grass in a container....indoors, is all.  No plant escapes getting killed by my cat anyway so there is nothing to lose.

I don't even know if grass looks good indoors.  I bet it doesn't.  But I'm growing it anyway.  And then it's gonna be the new hot shit and then I'll be all over Apartment Therapy like 'Cool Modern Plants for Living Rooms' and I'll be all "Yes, the strong vertical lines of ornamental grasses can accent any art deco or danish style while adding a touch of wabi sabi.  Especially useful to soften the lines of modern arrangements which too often tends towards the harsh and sterile."
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on January 08, 2010, 06:52:36 PM
Well, you can grow regular grass inside without too much trouble. All kinds of cute containers and options are out there. (I'm sure you are looking for "cute", aren't you?)

I'm planning on growing some wheatgrass for my kitties to chew on.  They have already eaten my other houseplants.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on January 08, 2010, 07:41:19 PM
I grew wheatgrass.  It grows really well and my cats like it, but I thought it might save my other houseplants and it totally failed at that.  It takes maybe a week to grow to a real nice size.  And my cat eats it in about a day or two and then even if you have another batch ready, my cat would still be like "meh... I need a change of pace." 

And then he'd go back to eating my houseplants.  And then the next day eat the wheatgrass.  And then he'd eat some more houseplant.  And then the houseplant would be all dead so then he would poop in the planter.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 29, 2010, 01:55:02 PM
MK--  You have Karl Foerster grass, right?

I bought a gallon pot of this last year and planted it, and it hasn't done anything.  It's alive and all, but it just looks like a circular clump of grass.  And I by "grass" I mean the kind of grass you have on your lawn.  It didn't shoot out any vertical stalks or whatever last year which I thought was okay because it was the first year.  But it doesn't look like it's doing anything this year either.  Do I just have to wait longer?

Also, how high does it get for you?  I'm hoping for somewhere between 3' to 5' and maybe for 2'-3' width.  Right now, I have 6" high and maybe 1 1/2' width.

I ask because I'm thinking about getting some more, but obviously only if they're going to grow correctly.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 29, 2010, 02:10:30 PM
That sounds weird - my feather reed grass has never looked like regular grass, even when it was first planted. If anything, it resembled liriope when it was planted, but it got to be about 2' in diameter by the end of the season (whereas the liriope stayed a fairly compact 6") and the stalks grew to be about 5 1/2 feet tall.

Which reminds me - I need to cut them back as soon as I get a sunny day.

Does yours get full sun? That's the only thing I can think of that would keep it from flourishing. When it first starts growing I guess it looks a little like regular grass, but with thicker blades. I'd suggest keeping an eye on it - but if it doesn't send up stalks this season it's probably a dud.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 29, 2010, 02:31:58 PM
Well, that gives me some hope.  Like you said, it doesn't really look *totally* like regular grass.  What I have is a circle of liriope-looking blades.  Maybe a bit more slender.  And the clump is close to 2' in diameter.  So other than the no-stalks-having thing, I might be okay.

When in the season are the stalks supposed to appear?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 29, 2010, 02:39:36 PM
Ours usually appear around mid-June, I think.  I only ever really notice them when we start running the A/C a lot, because they wave when the unit is running.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on March 29, 2010, 07:03:36 PM
I'm so happy to see this thread come back!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 15, 2010, 02:31:45 PM
The back of our house faces west and our yard is wide open for about 325ft back.  Needless to say, we need some shade.  What kind of trees should we be looking at and how far back should we plant them for maximum shade of the patio and house?  I'd also prefer something that doesn't require a lot of up keep.  I've already got sweetgums and silver maples dropping shit everywhere, I don't want to add anything else to the mix.  I realize getting something that meets all of those criteria is probably tough and getting something that will do all of those things and be effective shade immediately is probably not gonna happen but if I can hit most of the criteria and have some shade in a couple of years that'd be swell.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Doug on April 15, 2010, 02:55:45 PM
I've already got sweetgums and silver maples dropping shit everywhere, I don't want to add anything else to the mix.

I was definitley going to suggest you NOT get these, but I see you got it covered.

Personally, I think a nice row of evergreens would be great.  You can't really sit under them, but they tend to grow quickly and provide an excellent wind shield to your home.  Plus, they're always green and pine mulch is great stuff.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on April 15, 2010, 10:46:06 PM
There's two things I think are tricky about trees:

1)  You can never be sure about the exact height and spread.  You can ask two people and get two totally different answers.  If you wait a zillion years and growing conditions are perfect, almost any tree can grow to monstrous size.  Some people will quote you that maximum size, even though it's unlikely your tree will come close to it.  OTOH, some people will tell you how big the tree will be in ten years, as if it's suddenly going to stop growing. 

2)  Growth rate and expense.  Trees that grow fast are cheap but typically grow to huge sizes.  So yeah, it's nice to spend $25 on a tree and watch it grow big enough to give you shade in 5 years... but in 10 or 15 years that tree will be a major problem.  OTOH, why spend $50 on a three year tree that is 2" tall and only grows 6" a year?

So just make sure you get a couple of opinions on growth rate and likely realistic size.  Beyond that, it's pretty hard to kill a tree.  And there are usually a lot to choose from... especially evergreens that come in just about ever size and shape.

Personally, I think it's really hideous when people grow like 7 upright pines, evenly spaced all in a row to make like a gigantic hedge.  That's my major objection to evergreens.   That's just me though.  Some people like that formal look.  And it's not like you can't stagger them a bit or whatever to make them look less placed.  Other than that, evergreens are generally low maintenance and you can get them in just about any size, shape, color or texture you want.

If it were me, I'd probably try to get a smaller tree but plant it  near the house for shade.  Something maybe 15-20 feet that doesn't have an aggressive root structure.  Like a dogwood or maybe a lilac.  Then for shade in the yard and as a sight/wind barrier a few strategically placed evergreens.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 27, 2010, 11:08:25 AM
So I bought two flats (24 plants in each flat) of Alyssum - one flat of white flowers and one flat of purple - that I found clearanced at the garden center this past weekend. I've never grown it before and after looking online have found contradicting info about the plant. I am wondering if anyone has experience with it. Specifically, full sun or filtered/partial?

Also wondering about planting it in containers. The little plant info stick says that it's good in containers, but it also says the plants grow to 8-10" in height. I was going to put some into a container with geraniums, but am wondering if they would overshadow the geraniums because they'd kinda be the same height. When I asked the girl at the garden center, she said, "Well just trim the alyssum when it gets too tall" which I guess kind of tells me that it might overshadow the geraniums.

My other option is to plant them in alternating colors along the rock wall at the front of the house, but it gets full sun and I'm not sure alyssum will be happy in full sun.

Can someone help a sista?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on April 27, 2010, 01:19:03 PM
Sweet Alyssum are annual, aren't they?  My guess is that they would probably like as much sun as possible just in terms of light.  Not sure how the heat and/or humidity might get to them, though.  But why not give it a shot.  It's not like they won't die anyway.  The whole thing with annuals is to just try to get them to look good as long as you can before they croak.

I just planted some Alyssum "Mountain of Gold" last month, and while we haven't had any scorching hot days yet they are doing well in both full sun and filtered.  And they look hardy as hell.

You can also abuse the hell out of creeping phlox.  So maybe you can put the alyssum in the rock wall for now and gradually replace it with phlox.

In a mixed container, I would probably consider Alyssum the same level as geranium.  Something tall in back, geranium in the middle with Alyssum at the sides, and then something trailing in front.  I'm not very creative though.  I tend to stick with the "Thrill, fill, and spill" trilogy.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on April 27, 2010, 08:08:08 PM
anyone have any words of advice on Snapdragons?

I planted them this year, because they looked fun, and I'm not convinced they will make it.  The ones in the front (lots of sun) are looking weak, but I blame that on perhaps not enough soil, and I need to add some more. The ones in the back (filtered sun, full sun in pm) are fine so far.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on April 27, 2010, 08:48:30 PM
If you can figure it out, I'd love to know the secret.

Are you in Zone 7 or 8? 

I've never seen snapdragons or gladiola not flop over and look like ass anywhere around here, which is why I hate, hate, hate them.  Everyone just cuts off the flower stalks as soon as they can and lets them bloom in a vase. My mom really likes gladiolas and always asks me to plant some for her.  Then she spends the rest of the summer complaining about how they all just flop over and you can't see the flowers.  Just some ugly green leaves everywhere with a few flowers peeking through from bent over stalks lying on the ground.   It seems like even if you try to grow them through one of those hoops they still flop over and look awful.  The only thing you can do is try to cut the flower stalks off and let them bloom in a vase and then just mow over the remaining foliage.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: trixi on April 27, 2010, 09:23:09 PM
I've never had problems with snapdragons and love them.  I have even had them come back the next year.  I have planted mine in full sun and partial shade and I think that the partial shade ones seem to do better.  That might be because they like it better or because I'm not so great about watering.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 28, 2010, 07:55:30 AM
I think gladiolas are supposed to be a cut flower rather than a garden flower, because I have yet to see any that don't flop on the ground as soon as they start to bloom.

As for snapdragons, I agree with Trixi - never had any problem with them. Must be a zonal/climate thing.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 08, 2010, 05:59:21 PM
I took MK's advice last year and planted some Jethro Tull coreopsis.  I bought them from Bluestone, which sells everything in threes, even though according to the spacing guidelines I only needed two.  But you're supposed to plant in odd numbers anyway, and I foolishly doubted MK and was like "these might not die, but I bet they don't spread like they're supposed to."  So I planted all three, kinda squished together.

Now I have this ginormous mound of coreopsis that is blooming like crazy.  I have to say it looks pretty awesome, but I wish I had followed the directions more.  I had some butterfly weed planted in front of it and it's getting overgrown.  Now it's eying my catmint with ill and bad intent.  That would be a clash of the titans.

Pretty much everything I planted in my garden last year grew and bloomed.  Which is good, because it shows I'm good at growing stuff.  But it's also bad, because some things grew A LOT bigger than I thought they would, and other things grew lower and wider than I thought they would.  And other things grew more or less the way they are supposed to, but don't look nearly as cool as they do in the pictures.  Or I realize I should have put them in a different place.  So it's basically kind of a huge mess.

I mainly blame the catmint.  They get really huge, which is kind of cool, but they also get really unkempt and floppy unless you cut them back hard.  So half the time they are crowding everything out, and the other half you have cut them back and then you have like a giant crater in your bed with a small catmint in it.

I also planted some Agastache.  Really for no reason.  It didn't fit into my garden scheme, but it just looked kind of cool.  The website said they grow 8' high, but take a few seasons to settle in.  Also, they need well-drained soil and I have clay.  Anyway, these dudes are 6' high already.  Which kind of makes the dwarf Japanese maple I planted in front of them look pretty stupid.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 30, 2010, 11:09:21 PM
Last spring I planted three azaleas and babied them throughout the year.  Two of them bloomed this spring.  I figured the third was a dud.  Nope- it just bloomed more than a month after the others were completely finished.  Strange.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 07, 2010, 09:04:56 AM
What should I pay for a fairly mature Lilac bush?  I found someone on Craigslist selling one that is a few years old and looks to be very healthy for $25.  Is that a good price?  What are the chances of it dying when I transplant it?

We have one lilac that is way over grown.  I want to start pruning it back to a reasonable size this year and we want more of them, the one we have does pretty well despite the fact that it's way cramped between two other gigantic bushes.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on June 07, 2010, 06:46:33 PM
Crap!  I managed to weed-whack one of the new azaleas! Only half of it, so I hope it comes back pretty well.

Kwyj- $25 sounds reasonable to me, I was finding jasmine last summer for no less than that, and they weren't very large. But I'd still get other opinions.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on June 10, 2010, 01:50:57 PM
If anyone in the Cincinnati area is looking for good, cheap perennials, Granny's Gardening School (http://www.grannysgardenschool.com/414-0-00-surplus-perennial-sale.html) is hosting their yearly surplus sale this Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Loveland Schools.
Title: Random Garden Thoughts:
Post by: rva on March 08, 2011, 03:16:10 AM
Random plant pairing:  Panicum Virgatum 'Heavy Metal' (ornamental switch grass) and Coreopsis Jethro Tull.  They don't really go together, but that just deepens the irony!

Random plant complaint:  Can the plant experts of America ever agree on either the height or spread of a plant?  I constantly see stuff like "Width:  12"-24".  Hello?  A 12" difference is a big deal.  You can't tell if a plant is twice as big as another plant?  If I plant them 12" apart and they grow 24", they'll crowded each other out, look terrible, and possibly die.  If I plant them at 24" apart and they grow 12" there will be a gaping maw equal to the size of the plants between them.  Which totally ruins your design.  Either you have to transport a bunch of plants, or you pretty much star over.

Random plants I keep growing for no discernable reason:

Veronica:  Not the big kind.  The tiny groundcover kinds.  It always looks so cute in the stores and catalogs.  And it's not like it doesn't grow.  It's just that it grows really slow and is so tiny that it just gets overrun by anything near it.  Every year, I go weed out some area and it's like "Oh, there's a tiny 2" bit of veronica!"

Russian Sage:  I never actually killed this, but I can't say I've ever successful grown it.  I get like a twisted sickly looking twig with just one or two leaves coming out of it to let me know it's not dead.  Then I just pull it since I don't even like it.  Then for no reason, I order it again.  Ive got two sad twigs in my backyard right now.

Gaura:  This one, I kill.  I don't know why, but I like the way it looks in catalogs.  It's always like a last minute addition to an order.  Then I have no place to put it, so I just stick it somewhere and ignore it and it dies.

Random garden news:

I pretty much wiped out two of my three beds and just started from scratch.  The tree by my front yard got bigger and it went from full sun to mostly shade, and then the English ivy and vinca went crazy during the drought we had last year. So I'm just gonna ajuga the shit out of it.  I also put some Hellebores (Lenten Rose) at the top of the bank by my porch.  They've been there two weeks and have all grown about six inches, so I think I may have a winning formula here.  There were some surviving shasta daisies, black-eyed Susan, and campanula, which I temporarily relocated to my back yard until I figure out what to do with it.   

I think I'm gonna yank my roses.  I just got tired of the thorns, and the ugly shape, and how the leaves look like crap. The one climbing rose I have looks great 3 weeks out of the year, and awful the rest.  The Carefree roses are better, but they kind of outgrew their space, while at the same time not really growing in the direction I wanted.  I could prune them way down and start again, but I'm just sick of them.  I'm never growing roses again.

I had two really nice guacamole hostas that I loved and was going to divide this year.  They just totally disappeared over the winter.  I think a vole must have got them.  They were interplanted with Japanese painted fern that never quite took off.  And every year they took forever to come up and I always thought they died.  So I just planted a row of lungwort there.  Don't look as good, but they're evergreen.  If the ferns come up I'll transplant them somewhere.

I pulled the catmint because it was out of control and I got tired of pruning it all the time.  They were HUGE, but as foundation plants they don't cut the mustard.  So I killed them both and put in two azaleas.  Then I just said screw it.  I had some bee balm and achillea, but they were two big for that space and I think they are ugly so I lifted them as well.  Then there was almost nothing left in that bed so I just started over.

I over pruned the Karl Foerster grass.  I read somewhere to cut it to 3", so I did.  Then it turns out every other website said 6" or just trim it to be tidy.  It didn't die; in fact it's springing back quite well.  But I probably don't get the nice plumey seedheads this year.  Oh well.

The gardenia is totally kicking ass.  I planted a daphne and that looks to be doing well, but they only grow like 3" a year.  The purple and gold foliage shade garden is generally doing well.  Except that some of the "purple" stuff ended up not being purple.  But it's just tinkering there.  It's like a real garden at least.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on March 08, 2011, 09:49:06 AM
My dutch irises are blooming right now, this makes me very excited because they barely bloomed last year and the were no where to be found the year before--they seem to have propagated which excites me to no end. They're small, blue and lovely.

We've decided were installing a raised bed in the back yard. The kiddo and I are quietly planning what we're going to plant (veggies, herbs, and maybe some fruit). But we also have to figure out how to keep the dog out of the bed--anyone have any ideas?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on March 08, 2011, 10:20:20 AM
We've decided were installing a raised bed in the back yard. The kiddo and I are quietly planning what we're going to plant (veggies, herbs, and maybe some fruit). But we also have to figure out how to keep the dog out of the bed--anyone have any ideas?

Since he's a short little thing, maybe some chicken wire (sunk into the ground a bit so he can't dig under it) around the perimeter.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 08, 2011, 11:14:56 AM
That would help keep out rabbits as well. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 08, 2011, 02:42:49 PM
RVA, let me know how your coreopsis does this year. Mine was great the first couple of years, then they failed miserably and have never come back. So the space in front of the knock-out roses is prime for replanting this season but I'm not sure what to put there. I need something (preferably perennial) to plant that will be about the same size as coreopsis (both height and width). Any suggestions?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 08, 2011, 05:55:24 PM
The good news is the coreopsis was doing really well.  I divided it at the end of last year and I had six 6-10" little mounds already showing. 

The bad news is I just dug them all up and threw them away as part of the garden redesign. 

But the good news is, the reason I pulled them up was because I got really excited by Shasta Daisy Banana Cream (http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/32927-product.html).  Should be about the same height, maybe a little less wide.  They're new so kind of stupidly expensive but I found someone was selling them on eBay for $8.00.  I was still not happy to spend $24 on 3 plants but they just look really cool.  Perfect size, long-blooming, evergreen, and I actually have grown Shasta Daisies with success in my garden so I think this have a reasonable chance of doing well. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 08, 2011, 08:24:38 PM
I don't think I want to go the shasta daisy route because I've got tons of them already. I'd like to grow some sage (I grew it at my old house) but it's too big for the space. I wonder if four o'clocks would work?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 09, 2011, 01:28:14 PM
I bet Four o'clocks would look really nice.  Either the annual or perennial kind.

I always hear about geranium rozanne being the perfect underplanting.  Supposedly you get a nice 24" mound but it will also sort of creep around a bit and just fill in all the spaces between bushes and maybe even climb through the lower branches a little a la clematis.  That might be something else to look at.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 11, 2011, 09:12:24 AM
Hmmm...perennial geranium is a good idea. I have a couple in the front yard which always seem to do really well.They spread out but don't get too tall.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 11, 2011, 07:22:42 PM
A Tale of Clematis

I've had a rather shitty two or three weeks at work.  The only thing keeping me going was thinking about the garden... which probably led to my over-enthusiastic pulling and pruning of everything.  But anyways, I've been sitting around trying to plan a bunch of stuff out.  And one thing I have always wanted, bought (poorly) and then failed at is Clematis.  But I really love clematis.

So I've been looking at clematis a lot in my spare time. 

One problem with clematis is they like full sun, but they also like their roots cool.  So the trick is, you have to find some place that's shady underneath plants or some structure, but gets full sun three feet up.  It's not that easy. 

Another problem with clematis is you need to train them to climb up something.  Which generally means building or buying some kind of lattice or obelisk.  Which is either time-consuming or expensive. 

The third problem with clematis is that they are awfully expensive.  You really need to start them off in containers and wait a few years, or buy them in a gallon pot (making them expensive to buy and to ship). 

The fourth problem with clematis is they get really huge.  There's only a clematis that grow 3'-5'.  Most of them are created by this guy Raymond Evison.  You can get Evison Clematis easily in the UK, but only a few places in the US sell them.  And because of their rarity, they are often sold at outrageous prices for tiny plants (see above, and White Flower Farm I'm looking at you).  Supposedly they sometimes have them at Lowe's but I've never seen them.  And Lowe's is sketchy anyway.  If you are vigilant and go every week, you can find some great plants at outrageously low prices.  If you don't go every week, you're just going to find $15 Purple Palace huecheras.

I wouldn't say they are insanely hard to grow, but it takes a little effort and specific plant know-how.   Much of which I have only accumulated over the years after killing a clematis.   Like, I only figured out they have a much higher survival rate and can really only be put into the ground at a certain size last year.  So what always happens is, I decide that I won't plant clematis.  Then I'll be shopping somewhere online and at the last minute I can't resist and will chuck a tiny $8 clematis into the order.  This is basically a recipe for failure.  I have no place in mind to put it, it's really small, it usually arrives in bad shape, I leave it sitting too long deciding what to do with it, then it goes in a bad place already half dead and I know the odds for survival are low so I don't put the effort into it.  I would say over the last ten years, I have probably bought and killed at least 12 clematis.

So anyways, this year I decide once again at the last minute that I want some clematis.  Only this time, I've learned my lesson.  I DON'T chuck a clematis into my order.  Instead I walk around and look to see where I might be able to put one and what kind I want.  And I decide I'll only do it if I can pay the big bucks for a two-year old plant at least.  So the last week or so I've been looking up all kinds of clematis and reading about them and searching websites for the right one whenever I have spare time.  It helps me get through my crappy life.  And I even looked for various obelisks to buy and what kind would be best.

And I can't find a solution.  I'm willing to spend $35 on a clematis, but only if I *know* it'll live.  And I'm not assured enough and the one I want is always sold out or whatever.  In the meantime I'm getting slammed at work and working late so I can't like organize Plan Clematis.

So finally today, after work I walk carefully around the yard with all my newfound knowledge and skillz and decide there's really only one place with a decent chance of clematis survival.  It was in an area where I'd tried some clematis before, but now I knew the exact spot.

So I go over there to move some mulch and see what the soil is like.  And there's a tiny stake.  Huh... that's funny.  And tied to this stake is a dead looking little 6" brown string.  BUT near the bottom of this dead little brown string are two shoots, both of which are healthy green and with some leaves coming off them.  It's a clematis!  And it's alive!  I put one there last year and forgot about it.  I thought I'd planted it about a foot away.

So now I'm like okay, what kind of clematis is this.  I seriously have no idea.  But then suddenly a thought comes in my head.  Mariska Hartigay.  And then another:  Marissa Tomei.  So I run to my laptop and start looking frantically for "Clematis Mariska Hartigay" or "Clematis Marissa Tomei" or even "Clematis Mar" or just finding someplace that has clematis and browsing through all the M's.  No dice.

So I go back in the yard and start feeling around in the mulch.  And I find something.  A faded, plastic, plant tag.  The kind that comes with the plant and you stick it in the ground and it immediately breaks, disappears or fades because it's just a cheap plastic plant tag.  But this one's been buried under mulch, protected from plastic breaking, ink fading UV rays.  I flip it over.  It says "Clematis Franziska Maria."
It's a type 2 clematis.  Which means that dead up top is okay because you trim it back to new growth every year anyway.  And type 2 is the best clematis (although Type 3 is supposedly easier to grow) because it blooms on both old and new growth.  Which means you get two seasons worth of bloom.  And its not just a Type 2 clematis... it's a Raymond Evison clematis.  And its a really pretty double with deep blue flowers and a cream center.  Which is probably why I made an impulse buy of it. 


So I go back out and trim 4 inches off my sorry 8 inch clematis, leaving me with a two inch shoot with to more two inch shoots branching off it.  And I poor some fertilizer around it, and carefully cover up the base with mulch to keep the roots cool, and I retie the stem to the stake.  I was literally like in my yard on my hands and knees, fists clenched towards the sky shouting "YOOOOUUU MUST LIVE!!!

So now I don't have to order a clematis, because I have one.  It's not just that I don't have to order one, I REFUSE to order one.  I've got one.  And the one I have has made it through the risky first year and now I think I know what to do and it just happens to be in a perfect place.  I don't know what I'm going to do if this thing dies.  It's pretty much priority one in my life right now by a long shot, with fantasy baseball draft a distant second and somewhere way off in the distant horizon "girlfriend."

I've been going out every half hour to look at it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 11, 2011, 07:29:18 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot.

Part of being slammed at work and ordering plants that arrive at random weekdays means I've been Gardening at Night.  Which is really stupid because as REM said "hmmumblejumbamubmbledoodygardening at night, gardening at night" which means you can't see what you're doing.

Anyway, it turns out I didn't pull up all my coreopsis.  I still have two 5" patches and another 3" patch.  So MK, if you want some coreopsis maybe I can figure out a way to ship this to you.  It supposedly grows well from cuttings, so if I send it wrapped and any part of it is living you could maybe cut that part off, stick it in some root hormone and then put it in a pot and see what happens.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on March 11, 2011, 08:22:53 PM

I've been going out every half hour to look at it.

Spoken like a proud Father.  ;D

I keep staring at my tulips which are coming up with an alarming number of leaves this year, I can't believe the f'ing squirrels didn't get them.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 11, 2011, 09:54:57 PM
My pansies are still going well. I love plants that I can plant and then do nothing with for the entire winter. We're even in a severe drought, and I haven't watered them since I planted them.

My jonquils have bloomed. I'm sad they don't have as many flowers as they used to. I guess fertilizer would help. The hyacinths are starting to get a bit straggly, too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 11, 2011, 10:29:35 PM
Hyacinths just stop blooming well after a couple of years.  I have some tulips that are the same way.  They came with the house and for whatever reason, I haven't done anything to them.  They still come up every year, they just don't flower.  Which is pretty pointless.

I like pansies but the ones with the super huge flowers kind of creep me out.  They look like something post-nuclear holocaust.   I love violas.  I wish they did better in the heat.  First really warm week in spring seems to wipe them out.  My jonquils are not blooming yet, but I can already tell it's going to be a bad year for them.  They're not looking that robust.  I don't know if it was too cold this winter or too wet this spring so far or what.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 11, 2011, 11:47:47 PM
I actually have Panolas, which are slightly smaller than pansies. I also have a pot of violas, but the squirrels liked their roots too much when I first planted them, so I lost half of them.

I don't remember the hyacinths not blooming in the yard when I was growing up, but then again it's been 10 years since I've planted these - which is longer than my childhood.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 12, 2011, 12:46:08 AM
Panolas are like cellos! 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on March 12, 2011, 02:36:33 PM
Ella, you may need to thin the jonquils. And I don't remember the hyacinths at home not blooming either, but we only had about 4 total.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do this year.  Last year was a total bust, since we didn't have rain for about 60 days. Even the most drought tolerant plants can't handle that! (Well, I refuse to plant cacti) In the process, my front yard has died. I don't even have weeds any more. I'm thinking I'm going to plant some grass, which really bugs me since I prefer native species that aren't water hogs. My yard is sand, so I will have to amend in some way shape or form.

I found some great containers at homegoods, and they had good prices, so I think I'll add to my deck planting. Had some great success with perrenial ground covers in pots last year. They were pretty, and spread so well that I need to divide and replant. Woot!

AND my blue salvia I bought four years ago an annual is thriving!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 12, 2011, 09:48:07 PM
Ella, you may need to thin the jonquils. And I don't remember the hyacinths at home not blooming either, but we only had about 4 total.

That would mean I'd remember to thin them in the fall.  :P
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 14, 2011, 08:07:27 AM
Speaking of thinning, I decided to tackle ripping out the periwinkle in the back garden. It's totally getting out of control - it choked out my favorite plant (a contorted filbert tree) and hindered the growth of the red leaf coral bells last year, so it needs to be gone.

Even with the ground nice and pliable with all the rain we've had, that blasted periwinkle is a BITCH. I managed to dig out about 1/3 of it and it took me over an hour. If I ever get it torn out, I'm going to put ajuga there instead, as I know it's much easier to contain and thin.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 14, 2011, 10:53:44 AM
I just spent the weekend doing the same thing.  Periwinkle sucks.  I have to deal with it continuously, because even if I pull all of mine out (which I've done at least twice), it still comes in from my neighbor's yard.  Plus English Ivy on top of that.

I also came up with the same solution as you, which is to ajugafy the whole area.  I was going to order just a few plants, or just transplant some Black Scallop from the backyard, because it spreads so fast.  But I decided not to even mess around.  I ordered 108  Sparklers, which should be enough for a plant every eight inches.  By this fall, I'll probably be pulling Sparkler out left and right so I wasted $50, but I don't care.  I need that vinca gone.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on March 14, 2011, 11:22:57 AM
I just spent the weekend doing the same thing.  Periwinkle sucks.  I have to deal with it continuously, because even if I pull all of mine out (which I've done at least twice), it still comes in from my neighbor's yard.  Plus English Ivy on top of that.

Ugh, I spent an hour on Saturday reclaiming my patio from a shit ton of English Ivy. I've got it cut WAAAAAY back but there were some stems I couldn't cut with my clippers and I couldn't pull out from under/between the slats of the fence around my patio. I wish I could rip it all out and then salt the earth so it never comes back.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 14, 2011, 01:29:25 PM
Ugh, english ivy is terrible, no matter how much fun RVA thinks it is to rip out (yeah, read back through the thread, he said that).  I managed to rid myself of the stuff in our front beds but it's still sneaking under the fence in the back from the neighbors yard.  I ripped a bunch out last year and I spray the fence line heavily but that stuff is b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

We just had all of our shade cut don in the front of our house (East facing) so no idea what we're going to do this year, but we need to do some serious landscaping because it is BARE.  We probably won't be able to plant impatiens now which is sad because they grew like crazy in our big bed.  Gonna have to water the hostas like mad now too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 14, 2011, 05:17:21 PM
I still hate English ivy because it's so thick and grows so fast.  But compared to cleaning out vinca, it's a picnic.  The slope in my front yard was covered in English ivy and I pretty much cleared that out the first summer I was there.  I still haven't purged the vinca. 



Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on March 14, 2011, 07:59:22 PM
I will lend you all my dog, he's doing a fine job of killing off the ivy in our side bed. If we're really lucky, he'll kill off the arborvites out front too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on March 14, 2011, 08:01:30 PM
All right, a question. I've got an approx. 8ftx10ft bed between my patio fence and the parking lot. It is mostly empty (2 small bushes and a couple tulips occupy the upper portion)... It gets full sun and is covered in mulch. Frankly, it's boring and I'm lazy. But I want to put something there. I wish I'd thought ahead and put bulbs in last fall but here we are... I need some ideas of things I can put there that will be a) reasonably easy to maintain, b) something that the landscape guys won't rip out (like they did last year  >:( ), and c) pretty.

I will be planting zinnias at the top of the bed because I managed to get a couple zinnias last year that bloomed well into October (I still had blooms at Halloween) and I want the butterflies to come back (they loved the zinnias). But outside of that, I'm stumped.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on March 14, 2011, 08:04:15 PM
Lantana loooooves full sun, and it blooms all summer and spreads out, depending on the variety you get.
And butterflies like it, too!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on March 14, 2011, 08:12:08 PM
Lantana loooooves full sun, and it blooms all summer and spreads out, depending on the variety you get.
And butterflies like it, too!

I wouldn't mind something that spreads, it's a large bed and would be expensive to cover in stuff that doesn't expand...
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 14, 2011, 09:46:11 PM
It depends on whether or not you want to grow annuals. I'd suggest wave petunias - they pop with color and spread like crazy. They do, however, need regular watering and stop blooming if there are several days in a row over 90F.

I also had great luck last year with alyssum, and it doesn't need much work or babying. It pretty much takes care of itself. The downside to alyssum is that there isn't a broad choice of colors available.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 14, 2011, 10:46:16 PM
That sounds like a fantastic idea, MK.   Maybe try and buy a shrub or ornamental grass you like for the other side of the bed.  Get your basic structural foundation in there so it has some time to grow.  Buy some annuals this year.  This fall add some bulbs.  And then every year just add a couple perennials or whatever you really like. each year.

I should do that myself.  I hate annuals; I dont know why.  It's really stupid.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on March 14, 2011, 11:14:25 PM
We just had all of our shade cut don in the front of our house (East facing) so no idea what we're going to do this year, but we need to do some serious landscaping because it is BARE.  We probably won't be able to plant impatiens now which is sad because they grew like crazy in our big bed.  Gonna have to water the hostas like mad now too.

I'm seriously starting to wonder if this is really the great idea we thought it was.  Yeah, we had really good reasons for all 4 of them coming down, but our yard looks like crap.  Plus the poor hostas and impatients.  Boo.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 14, 2011, 11:52:09 PM
Your hosta might be okay, especially if they have yellow leaves.  I see them out here in full sun all the time.  You just have to give them more mulch and more water in full sun.  You might  as well try it.  If the leaves dry up and go brown then you know you're in trouble.  If not, you're okay.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 15, 2011, 08:00:26 AM
We have four I think, they're all green or green/yellow variegated.  I think they'll be okay, we'll just have to be careful to keep them watered.

I'd like to put a small ornamental tree in the front to shade our living room... something that won't get too big.  Our front yard is pretty small and we have the sewage line to contend with (which was the reason for getting rid of the one tree we had that we actually liked).
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on March 15, 2011, 10:52:27 PM
I will be planting zinnias at the top of the bed because I managed to get a couple zinnias last year that bloomed well into October (I still had blooms at Halloween) and I want the butterflies to come back (they loved the zinnias). But outside of that, I'm stumped.

Dahlias? The place I get mine from is pricey, but they're super hardy and totally worth it--you'd have to dig them up in the winter if you wanted to keep them, but they winter well and hold up beautifully--plus they don't need much (I deadheaded and fed/watered during the really hot and dry months--that's it). The daffodils and tulips I got from them have survived horrible things and have propagated (the daffodils are going to be everywhere in that bed this spring). They should be in bloom when you visit next.

Do you have anything evergreen? Like a small shrub you can use to anchor the bed year 'round? That way you can plant for all seasons and not really have to worry about anything beyond watering, feeding, and fixing the mulch.

We're investing in at least one more knockout rose as the one in front has exploded and proved to be darn near unkillable.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 18, 2011, 12:22:37 PM
I think my Hibiscus need to go.  They're pretty and all when they bloom, but they kinda suck too.

They take forever to come up, so you have a big blank spot in the garden.  You can try to underplant it I guess.  But then when they do come up they grow like crazy and totally crowd out the underplanting.  Plus they're a little too big and too loud in that bed.  Then when they are done blooming, you just kind of have an ugly bush for four months.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on March 19, 2011, 02:03:27 PM
I feel like I've taken  my gardening game to a whole 'nother level this year. 

Technically, I've improved my soil eye and microclimate recognition.  I still have a tendency to chase some plants outside the zone, but you have to pitch to me now.  You can't just stick a pretty picture in a catalogue and expect me to get myself out buying it.  I've also developed an inside game.  Tall plants still eat me up, but I've got some sneaky low post moves now and I feel like I can match up with the 3 footers now.  I'm still too right-footed, but that doesn't really hurt you much in gardening.

My aesthetics still lag behind, but there's been some growth there as well.  I'm incorporating a bit of electronica in my textures, and there's an increasing post-punk influence in my plant placement. 

I made a couple of big breakthroughs this week. 

Thanks to a helpful tip someone sent me on myfolia, I realized I need to plant the heucheras IN FRONT of my smaller shrubs, and I need to plant more of them.  They're getting kind of lost.  But some of the ones I have are big enough to be divided, so I might not have to buy any.

Today I looked at the two azaleas I planted earlier this year and realized they were planted a foot too far back.  I dug them up, and realized I really hadn't loosened the rootball so they weren't getting any water.  So not only do they look way better moved up, but I think they would have died had I not taken another look at them.  And that just completely opened up that bed because now I can put two rows of taller plants in back instead of one.  And I only need to put one row of shorter plants in front + maybe an edger.  It was killing me trying to find all these short, ground cover-y plants to fill in the huge gap in front of the azaleas.

The clematis put out maybe 2" of growth this week and it looks like it's shooting off some side stems.

Of course everything looks good in spring when the weather has been nice and there's been plenty of rain.  We'll see what happens when the heat and humidity set in.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 22, 2011, 03:20:35 PM
Rose question:
About a year after I moved in to my house, I discovered that I had a rose growing on the south side of the house. It's a climbing rose, as opposed to a more busy variety, and has clusters of blooms in late April/May. I've left it alone, since it's in a spot in the yard that I have no idea what to do with, and it was growing through another bush, which acted as a trellis. 

The other bush has finally died, and I went back there last week and whacked everything in this 5x5 section, leaving only the rose.  (Which bloomed this year better than I have ever seen) The whips are long- I made a 6 ft triangle trellis for it to hang on, and a single whip wraps around it at least twice.

My question is, how and when do I need to prune this thing? Do I need to feed it?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 22, 2011, 03:58:36 PM
Went a little nuts at the garden center today. I ended up with marigolds, salvia and celosia* in various shades of red, yellow and a couple pinks. I planted my zinnia seeds (fingers crossed that they come up like last year)... It took me three hours but if these things establish themselves like I hope they will, it will look fantastic out there. And since I bought more flowers (note to self: look at the planting distance next time), I was able to put saliva and marigolds in the bed in front of my patio! I'll post pictures in a week or so when they have settled into the beds.


*Does seem like a lot, but it was a 6 pack for $1.50. I bought 18 bucks worth. I will be sore tomorrow.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 22, 2011, 10:55:40 PM
My question is, how and when do I need to prune this thing? Do I need to feed it?

Most roses bloom on new growth, which technically means you should prune it in late winter.  It sounds like yours follows the same pattern since you hacked it up some which probably made it send out more canes and it bloomed more for you this year.   But if your rose is anything like mine or most of the other climbing roses I've seen, you're not going to have a choice.  You're going to have to prune at least twice a year to keep from drowning in a mess of thorns.  And at least you stand a chance of coming out somewhat unscathed on the new growth.  If you trim the woodier, older stems, expect to bleed.  A lot.  So just keep it pruned and hope it blooms off new growth, and if it doesn't, junk it.

Roses are heavy feeders so supposedly you should fertilize them once a month.  But honestly, it doesn't matter.  My take on roses is there are two ways you can go.   You can either do nothing, and the leaves will look like crap but it will still bloom heavily and look nice blooming.  Or you can go through a lot of effort and the leaves will look ever-so-slightly less crappy and the blooms will be about the same.  Or you can buy a bunch of stuff and read all about roses and spend incredibly massive amounts of time babying the shit out of it and spraying it with chemicals and your leaves will look good and the blooms will still be about the same.  I choose option A.   Actually, I'm leaning heavily towards option D which is to throw the damn thing away.  That canes on that thing will grow 15-20 feet easily every year if I let it.

I dug up my knockout roses this year and replaced them with thornless minis.  MUCH nicer.  Easier to keep under control, they repeat bloom at least as well as the knockouts, and I don't bleed to death everytime I prune them.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 22, 2011, 11:05:59 PM
I was able to put saliva and marigolds in the bed in front of my patio!

 :o
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 23, 2011, 12:30:03 AM
I ended up with marigolds, salvia and celosia*

My salvia has been very happy in pots for years, I love this plant! It looks like crap in the winter, but come back gangbusters in the summer. And I've planted celosia this year and last.  It did very well last year, so I got more this year and gave up on the impatiens. 

RVA, thanks for the advice on roses. They are massive whips, so I'll probably cut back drastically in a few weeks.  Leaf-wise, they look ok, so I'll probably skip fertilizing.

How hard is it to start cuttings from roses? I think this one is self-starting new bushes/whips/plants/whatever.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 23, 2011, 07:23:59 AM
I was able to put saliva and marigolds in the bed in front of my patio!

 :o

LOL... I blame the sunstroke for my lack of spelling prowess.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on May 23, 2011, 10:19:27 AM
Last year, we didn't even mulch.

This year, we actually did mulch and clean up our flower beds and Andrea planted her tomatoes in containers to keep the dogs and neighborhood stray cats out.

We also planted 3 "Mountain Fire" Pieris Japonica plants in the foundation area of the house in the backyard.  That bed had gotten ridiculously overgrown with weeds and random crap last year, so I mulched that and am committing to trying to keep it weeded.

Really, our main consideration was the plant has to like shade since the backyard is mostly covered by a large tree.  I didn't realize at the time that these plants we got are actually large shrubs that can grow 5-6 feet tall, and 3-4 feet wide.  But that will actually work well for the space if they grow to maturity... whenever that might be. 

But much of the yard is also now covered with large branches that we cut down from that same tree last year, so this year we plan to cut them up and burn some of them in a fire pit.  Our backyard is probably only half covered in grass and half is pretty much bare.  We have tried to patch it before, with little success.  I think we are resigned to just waiting a few years, and then getting a landscaper or someone to come out and just re-sod the whole flippin' yard, because it looks so ridiculously awful at this point.  But at least we've started taking back the yard with the tomatoes and the new shrubs and the mulch, and I don't completely feel like we are the worst looking yard in the neighborhood anymore.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 23, 2011, 01:35:43 PM
If you've got that much shade you're going to have a hard time getting grass to grow from seed.  Plus you'll probably have to amend the soil, which you would still have to do to get your sod to root properly.  You might consider clover or rye... they grow pretty much anywhere and you won't need to amend your soil as much.  Around here you're going to end up with a pretty weedy yard anyway.  To me, just so long as it's green, I don't give a crap.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on May 23, 2011, 01:48:33 PM
If you've got that much shade you're going to have a hard time getting grass to grow from seed.  Plus you'll probably have to amend the soil, which you would still have to do to get your sod to root properly.  You might consider clover or rye... they grow pretty much anywhere and you won't need to amend your soil as much.  Around here you're going to end up with a pretty weedy yard anyway.  To me, just so long as it's green, I don't give a crap.

Yeah, that all sounds like a lot of work.  I tried the "XTREME shade" grass mix (ok, I made that up, but whatever it's called).  I'm pretty much out of ideas short of taking the tree down, which is still a possibility in the future.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 23, 2011, 02:02:08 PM
You got the wrong bag.  XTREME shade is only good for conditions of extreme darkness with short bursts of decent lighting.  It's mostly used by those who wish to grow grass indoors using hydroponics.

You wanted ULTRA SHADE PRO with Filtered Light Concentrating Action.  There's a little prism glued to each seed.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on May 23, 2011, 02:08:53 PM
You wanted ULTRA SHADE PRO with Filtered Light Concentrating Action.  There's a little prism glued to each seed.

Friggin' Scott's, always thinking about ways to jack up their prices.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 23, 2011, 02:28:27 PM
That's exactly what I was saying.  Buy a bag of rye at your local co-op and throw it by the handful.  You're never going to get grass going there without breaking your back.

On the other hand, how big is the tree?  Big enough and close enough that it would damage your house if it fell?  If so I'd get rid of it.  We just had four cut down and it wasn't as much as I'd have thought and yours has to be smaller/more accessible than ours were.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on May 23, 2011, 02:36:14 PM
On the other hand, how big is the tree?  Big enough and close enough that it would damage your house?  If so I'd get rid of it.  We just had four cut down and it wasn't as much as I'd have thought and yours have to be smaller/more accessible than ours were.

Pretty big.  Big enough that it ripped a line and a panel of siding off our house during a storm last year.  We've already pretty much taken down a third of the tree just from wind damage attrition alone.  We're lucky it didn't take down the fence between us and the idiot neighbors.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 23, 2011, 02:46:42 PM
Our biggest trees (I can't imagine yours being as big as these were) cost us $750 each to have removed.  And these were hanging over our house and our neighbors house and were in between the two houses so they couldn't do anything the easy way (i.e. let anything just drop).  I can give you the guys name, Poncho actually referred him to us.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: clemsonfan on May 23, 2011, 04:39:16 PM
Our biggest trees (I can't imagine yours being as big as these were) cost us $750 each to have removed.  And these were hanging over our house and our neighbors house and were in between the two houses so they couldn't do anything the easy way (i.e. let anything just drop).  I can give you the guys name, Poncho actually referred him to us.

I would love his name. I've been wanting this tree down for ages.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 26, 2011, 06:13:21 PM
Disaster!!!

It rained so hard that it was waterfalling out of my gutters right into the bed with newly planted flowers. I had gotten trapped at the gym until it was all over and when I got home, I found 5 of my new plants laying in the parking lot.   >:(  A good chunk of my plant bed was laying in the grass , sidewalk, and parking lot. It was a mess. I could only find remnants of the holes for 2 of them, the others I had to wing it.

Ever try to replant stuff in a completely soaked bed? I have. I don't recommend it.  :'(
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 26, 2011, 07:07:42 PM
Dislike!  You shouldn't have to chase down plants! That is the joy of gardening- they are supposed to stay where you put them.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 27, 2011, 07:34:50 AM
Dislike!  You shouldn't have to chase down plants! That is the joy of gardening- they are supposed to stay where you put them.

Inorite? Ended up being 6 plants, I found another marigold lying in the parking lot this morning all brown and shriveled. And I'd wager that most of my zinnia seeds are somewhere in the sewers by now, they only get planted in 1/4 in of soil so they probably got washed away too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 31, 2011, 05:44:35 PM
The house next to me is up for sale, so today these two people were looking at it.  They were trying to peek over the back fence to try and get a look at it to decide whether it was worth it to call a realtor and get a tour.

So, trying to be a nice guy I offered to let them into my backyard as the fence is lower on that side and they could get a better look at the backyard.  So the lady walks through my bed and takes a look.  As she's walking out, she tromps right on the lobelia I just planted.  The thing is, it looked like an open space because I just planted the lobelia this year and it's still small and it has dark colored leaves so she just didn't see it.  But the other thing is, because it was so small, her stomping square on it just crushed the crap out of it.

The dude saw it happen and was like "You... uh...." and then sort of stopped.  I think he saw the horrified look on my face before I could wipe it off.  But you can't really say anything.  I mean, it was a total accident, totally understandable, and you can't throw a hissy fit right especially after you chose to invite people in.  It's like a $10 plant so really not that big a deal but still... I was sooooooo pissed for like 30 seconds there.

Now I have this poor crushed stem propped up with two rocks like "No, it's still alive!  It's standing!" but that thing is tooootallly dead.  Maybe if this was the spring the plant might have pulled through but in this 100 degree heat, it's not happening.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 31, 2011, 07:28:07 PM
Now I have this poor crushed stem propped up with two rocks like "No, it's still alive!  It's standing!" but that thing is tooootallly dead.  Maybe if this was the spring the plant might have pulled through but in this 100 degree heat, it's not happening.
That sucks.  At least it's something you can replace relatively easily (if you're so inclined).

The plants that got washed out of my front bed last week aren't doing so hot either. One of the marigolds is going die, one of the salvia is looking pretty sad and I am concerned about the others. They looked like they were rebounding on Sunday but 3 days of 90+ degree weather is not doing anything good for them. I gave them a good soaking this evening so (hopefully) that will perk them up. I am debating getting some miracle gro or the like to boost them up a bit but, at this point, I don't know that it will help.

On the bright side, 2 of my zinnias have sprouted.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 31, 2011, 08:14:32 PM
Your salvia might very well pull through.  They are actually pretty hard to kill.  At least if we're talking about the kind with a bunch of tiny blue/purple flowers on a spike.

You may have simply uncovered the downside to Salvia.  Which is that (at least where I am), they pretty much always look like crap in the summer.  The second it gets hot and humid, they flop to the ground and look dead. 

Once your salvia are established, they'll have more leaf to them, and you can put them in a hoop support or just cut them back down to six inches tall after blooming.  They still look pretty good and bushy/leafy that way, just shorter.   The problem I have is Richmond is so hot and humid that my salvia will flop when blooming or even before they bloom.  Which kind of makes them pointless.  Which I guess means I'm probably going to get rid of mine.  Which means if your salvia do die, I can send you some plants or a bunch of cuttings in the mail this fall if you want.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on May 31, 2011, 09:42:46 PM
The summer season of death is officially upon us.  I had this one little groundcover plant that was doing really well.  It had spread to maybe a foot wide.  It was looking a bit wilty on Sunday, but that wasn't unexpected.  I turned on the microdrip system for 40 minutes on Sunday and that plant had a direct 1 gph feed.  I came out today and it was gone.  Like literally.  Not just dead but like entirely disappeared.  I looked pretty hard and all I found was two brown little things that appeared to be anchored to the ground which could have been vestiges of stems, but not even sure. 

It was supposedly good for zones 5-10.  Not only that but it supposedly could take full sun and was xeric.  I had it in partial shade and it was getting more water than most of my garden. Everything else looks fine.  So clearly that plant information was bad, or missing something.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on June 01, 2011, 07:29:40 AM
Your salvia might very well pull through.  They are actually pretty hard to kill.  At least if we're talking about the kind with a bunch of tiny blue/purple flowers on a spike.

You may have simply uncovered the downside to Salvia.  Which is that (at least where I am), they pretty much always look like crap in the summer.  The second it gets hot and humid, they flop to the ground and look dead. 
Well, most of them seem to be thriving (they're red flowers on a spike), but the ones that got beaten up in the rain last week aren't doing so hot. I might end up chalking those couple of plants up to a loss and hope that the rest don't go the same way.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 01, 2011, 10:29:56 AM
Karma = they'll buy the house and get you a new one, and you'll always have a story to reminisce over with your new neighbours. "Remember that time you were a cunt and trod on my plant?", etc etc
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on July 01, 2011, 11:19:38 PM
Okay folks, should I deadhead marigolds? My marigolds look amazing but there are some spent buds and I am not sure whether I should take them off.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: rva on July 02, 2011, 06:00:19 PM
You can if you want.  I think most of those mutated annual plants will just keep blooming regardless, but it couldn't hurt.  If nothing else, it'll look better without the ugly dead flowers.  The only thing is, you'll get less seeds if you care about that. 

I guess the ultimate in anal gardening would be to deadhead them right up until late summer/fall, then let the last set of blooms go to seed.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on July 02, 2011, 07:54:52 PM
Okay, thanks. The spent blooms don't seem to be doing any damage and I've got my hands full trying to keep the weeds (and ivy) from taking over, if I can ignore something I'm a happy girl.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 10, 2012, 04:51:56 PM
I'm thinking of doing something crazy.

I have an abelia kaleidescope which is really rather pretty.  I only put it in last fall and it's already grown close to a foot.   The problem is, I thought it would only grow to about 2 feet tall and wide but it looks like it's going to get waaay bigger than that.  At least three or four feet wide, possibly 3 feet tall.

So I'm thinking of pulling out this perfectly healthy, beautiful plant that I paid $8.00 for, in favor of a daphne cneorum which I can only find online for an outrageous $37 in a tiny 3" pot which means it will be super easy to kill in top of the fact that daphne are already super easy to kill.  If you go online, all you read about is people going "I planted a daphne.  I've been growing plants for 50 years.  I read up on it for days.  I gave it perfectly well-drained soil and checked the ph and did everything I was supposed to plus I pulled out every garden trick I know.  I checked up on it every day.  It was doing great for about three or four months and then suddenly it just died for no reason.  Daphne needs extremely well drained soil... but then it also need constantly moist soil and full sun, which doesn't even go together.  Well-drained soil+full sun=dry soil.

And this is in the Pacific Northwest which is a mild, rainy, well-draining soil paradise.  I'm in Virginia.  No one grows daphne in clay, which is the opposite of well-drained.  And Virginia red-clay is about the worst clay you can get, and I'm right smackdab in the middle of the Jurassic red beds.  It's crazy to even try it.  And I'm not even that great at gardening. 

Except the thing is.... I have a daphne.  Not only do I have one, but it's thriving.  And it's growing much faster than it is supposed to.  For whatever reason, I can't get something simple and common like salvia or shasta daisies to grow well but I can grow a daphne in a location it has no business growing.

The only problem with the daphne I have is it really isn't very fragrant.  It does smell really awesome if you actually put your nose right on the flowers, but the scent doesn't carry.  So I want the smaller rock garden kind that you can supposedly smell from a block away.  Which is the kind that costs $37 for a tiny 5 inch plant just begging to be killed.

But I'm gonna try it anyway.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 10, 2012, 10:01:04 PM
I'm glad you restarted this thread. I don't have anything to add to your story, but I'm hoping someone might be able to give me advice about hydrangea. I have never grown one and have always heard they are a pain in the arse to deal with because of the ph requirements. The thing is, when my sister died last month the company I work for sent an outrageous sympathy basket to our house and it has a live hydrangea in it. I've managed to keep it alive and happy in the basket, but pretty soon I will need to transplant it. I have a shaded location in mind, but I'm not sure when it is safe to transplant in Northern Ky, and if there is anything specific I need to do to prep the soil. Any ideas?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 13, 2012, 10:48:49 PM
I think it is actually pretty hard to kill hydrangea.  We had one at my old house that we completely neglected and it grew to be huge and lived for years until my dad finally cut it down.  I also had one in a container that I threw on the porch and only watered when I noticed all the leaves were totally brown and I thought it was dead.  It kept recovering and even made it through two unreal hot summers and two winters through total neglect.  It did finally die, but it was actually because it outgrew it's pot.

So I think that even though everyone says they need a lot of water, I think that's a little exaggerated.  I think it's just something to be aware so you know to give them a little bit of shade and some extra water to get them through the worst parts of summer (and your summers are probably slightly less bad than mine) and not something you need to worry about overly much.

I don't know how much you need to do with the soil.  The hydrangea at my old house bloomed every year, but they were ugly chalky grey flowers.  But I think the old hydrangeas were like that, perhaps on purpose.  So you threw some aluminum/acid in the soil if you wanted them blue.  Or you somehow took aluminum out/added alkalinity if you wanted pink.  But I think some of the hydrangeas you get nowadays pretty much lean one way or the other and will naturally bloom pink or blue without having to do so much work in the soil, although it's probably harder to flip the colors. 

I think a lot of the new hybrids now are smaller, and they a lot of them bloom on old and new wood so you get longer bloom season and pruning at the right time is less important.  And I mean, at least as long as they don't die, you get a new chance every year to mess with the soil and try again.

I bet your soil is probably alkaline, so hopefully you want pink because blue might take some work.  The hydrangea I had was a blue lace cap, and it came up blue without me doing anything (though admittedly much paler each year).  But I mean, considering how I treated it, it was pretty impressive that it lived at all much less bloomed so it's probably not too hard to bring out the best color.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 14, 2012, 10:38:34 AM
Thanks for the info - do you think it is safe to transplant this early? We are having such a weird spring that I'm afraid I'm getting lulled into the false sense of no more snow, and then right after I transplant the darned thing we'll get dumped on. Maybe what I should do is remove all the other plants out of the memorial basket, leaving only the hydrangea in there so that it has plenty of room. The other plants are houseplant types, I think, so repotting them and keeping them indoors shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 14, 2012, 02:14:26 PM
If it were me, I'd be rushing to get the plant in the ground now.  I've been transplanting for the last two weeks, and begging people to send me plants early.  It's 82 degrees in Richmond already!

But I think you have the luxury of waiting because you are a little cooler and because you already have the plant in hand.  I would just put the hyndrangea outside on your porch for 4 or 5 days to let it harden off.  If it gets really cold one night or really hot one day, take it in.  But otherwise just leave it out there so you can minimize transplant shock in general.

If I had to err, I'd err on the side of too early.  I think we might get a weird super-cold night or two, but you can probably just put a box over the plant for those nights and it will be okay.  You could probably also do that if we get a really hot day or two. 

But I think the risk of a heat WAVE is much greater than that of a cold wave.  You probably can't keep a box over a plant for an entire week.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on March 18, 2012, 06:30:49 PM
I've been a bad gardener/groundskeeper for the last couple of years. We've had a nasty drought, and I refuse to water grass.  As a result, my front yard looks like the sahara-- really. Well, the Sahara with a magnolia tree, weeds, azaleas, and lantana, the only things that have survived.  I found a picture of my house when I bought it almost 8 years ago, and it actually had grass back then. I must admit that the yard does look better with grass and not random weeds and blackberry brambles. I just don't think I want to put grass in. it's probably only 20 feet from the sidewalk to the house, and about 40 feet wide, so it's not like it would be a huge project.

Since this weekend was incredibly beautiful, and I had Friday off to knock around, I spent some time working in the yard. On Saturday, I worked on the fence row in the back yard. I've ignored it ever since moving in (as did the previous owner), so there was lots of privet and tiny oak trees that are trying to make it. And this evil, evil vine that has thorns and grows like well, a weed. I spent close to two hours on one little section, and made it look not too bad. Decent enough that I'll be able to mow down the weeds as they grow. I also discovered that there is a rose bush in all of this. Maybe it will bloom, but I'm not counting on it.

Today I decided to tackle some of the front yard. I have giant azaleas that are about 8' tall, and they are about to pop- I'm not touching them until after they bloom, then I'll whack them back a couple of feet. On the south side of the house are some shrubs that are ancient, and as a result they are dying. Very skeletal, and leaves only on the very tips of branches. I started cutting them back, but quit when I noticed a bird's nest in one of them. I'll wait until after the birds hatch before I take out the rest of the plants. But that left me all of the tiny little trees that I had to cut out, too. Live oaks and something that might be elm, but I'm not sure. SO many of these little trees, that I would love to keep, but they are less than 10 feet from the house, and a live oak becomes enormous and would ruin the foundation. So, chop, chop, chop!

I want to rip out the generic shrubs and put in something that will grow skinny and tall.  I've also heard that you can root azaleas, and that would be awesome, too.  I'd put them all over my backyard. The ones I have are MASSIVE, and completely covered in fuchsia for three weeks in the spring. Would love to have more!

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 18, 2012, 07:36:43 PM
Well I threw caution to the wind and planted the hydrangea. If it lives, it lives. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on March 26, 2012, 09:07:49 AM
I have a 4x10 raised bed garden plot at my neighborhood community garden. So far I've planted radishes, two types of carrot, two types of lettuce, broccoli, onions and peas. I need to construct a trellis for the peas but the idea I had failed miserably. Basically I was going to use two tomato stakes on either end of of the four foot space and run twine between them for the peas to vine on. This sounds great in theory but I couldn't drive the stakes into the ground deep enough for them to stand firm when the twine was pulled tight. They kept wiggling free.

So now I'm wondering if I should try the bamboo teepees instead. I used them last year for my heirloom goose beans and the vines were so heavy that they broke the bamboo poles. Does anyone know if pea vines are as strong/heavy as pole beans? I'm familiar with bush-type peas but not the vining type.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 26, 2012, 02:27:32 PM
So a few weeks after I found the dead clematis last year that I wrote about, I was poking around and found... another clematis!  I watered that one like I did the first.  Then I went to Lowe's and bought two cheap-ass small trellises because I didn't really want to invest too heavily in two nearly dead clematii.

The first clematis grew to maybe foot last year between spring and summer and then something happened.  I don't know if the growing tip got broken or what.  The other one grew to 18 inches.  Neither of them bloomed.  And then over mid/late-summer they turned brown and the leaves fell off.  It was hard to tell if it was death or dormancy, but I figured it was probably death.

I kind of forgot about them over the winter.  Then last weekend I looked and both clematii had taken off and had three feet vines.  In fact, one had outclimbed the trellis and flopped over.  And it looks like both of them have buds. 

Now I have to figure out how to switch trellises, because the ones I have are clearly too small.  I guess I'll wait until after they bloom, unravel them as best I can, prune if necessary and hope for the best.  I think I'm okay now, though.  It seems like both of them have pretty healthy root systems now, so having to send out new vines from the ground shouldn't be too big a deal if they can grow 3 or 4 feet in a month.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MaxieWOXY on March 26, 2012, 07:46:59 PM
So a few weeks after I found the dead clematis last year that I wrote about, I was poking around and found... another clematis!  I watered that one like I did the first.  Then I went to Lowe's and bought two cheap-ass small trellises because I didn't really want to invest too heavily in two nearly dead clematii.

The first clematis grew to maybe foot last year between spring and summer and then something happened.  I don't know if the growing tip got broken or what.  The other one grew to 18 inches.  Neither of them bloomed.  And then over mid/late-summer they turned brown and the leaves fell off.  It was hard to tell if it was death or dormancy, but I figured it was probably death.

I kind of forgot about them over the winter.  Then last weekend I looked and both clematii had taken off and had three feet vines.  In fact, one had outclimbed the trellis and flopped over.  And it looks like both of them have buds. 

Now I have to figure out how to switch trellises, because the ones I have are clearly too small.  I guess I'll wait until after they bloom, unravel them as best I can, prune if necessary and hope for the best.  I think I'm okay now, though.  It seems like both of them have pretty healthy root systems now, so having to send out new vines from the ground shouldn't be too big a deal if they can grow 3 or 4 feet in a month.

In my experience, clematis grows like a weed and is very hard to kill.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 19, 2012, 07:32:22 PM
Can anyone identify this plant? It was given to me by a friend of a friend of my mom's who heard that I have a blue/purple flower garden. It is a perennial and stands about 1 1/2 feet high.

(http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7099/7229939150_891859a676.jpg)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 19, 2012, 11:24:33 PM
It looks like a hyacinth on steroids!
I can't help you on this one.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 20, 2012, 03:33:51 AM
Looks like campanula to me.  Not sure what kind.  C.glomerata maybe.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 20, 2012, 10:24:39 AM
Thanks ZK, that is definitely what it is. I've grown campanula before,  but never this type. After reading about it, the plant sounds like it can be invasive. Luckily I planted it somewhere that is easy to contain.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 20, 2012, 04:25:45 PM
I have campanula poscharkyana, which isn't too bad.  It definitely spreads, but it's also easy to pull up.  It seeds as well, which might be more annoying.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on August 10, 2012, 10:43:53 AM
yeah, so uh, everything died this year

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 10, 2012, 10:59:18 AM
:(

Droughts are bad.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 10, 2012, 11:43:59 AM
yeah, so uh, everything died this year



I needed a laugh.  Thanks, hon.

(not that crops dying is funny, but you randomly posting it out of the blue in the gardening thread *is*)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 10, 2012, 01:55:33 PM
MK, have you divided your Karl Foerster Reed grass?  I think I need to do mine.  I'm wondering how hard it's going to be to dig it up.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 10, 2012, 02:56:47 PM
I haven't yet, but it needs it. It's probably going to be a nightmare.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on September 27, 2012, 07:42:50 AM
Found out what's been digging up my garden. I'd been blaming the plethora of squirrels around my apartment for the holes but I was mostly wrong. When I closed my living room window last night, I was greeted with the business end of a skunk. Luckily, he/she heard me coming and just scampered away.

Anyone know a good way to repel skunks?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Juliana on September 27, 2012, 09:42:52 AM
Anyone know a good way to repel skunks?

Move?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 27, 2012, 10:57:45 AM
That would be the skunks repelling her, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 27, 2012, 10:59:37 AM
Buy a large skunk and set it loose in your yard.  It should chase the other skunk away.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on September 27, 2012, 11:22:12 AM
Buy a large skunk and set it loose in your yard.  It should chase the other skunk away.
An interesting idea... somehow I don't think the apartment complex would appreciate it though.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 27, 2012, 11:24:16 AM
Buy a large skunk and set it loose in your yard.  It should chase the other skunk away.
An interesting idea... somehow I don't think the apartment complex would appreciate it though.
No problem, once your skunk issue is resolved just get yourself a mongoose to take care of the big skunk.  Problem solved.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on September 27, 2012, 12:02:08 PM
Buy a large skunk and set it loose in your yard.  It should chase the other skunk away.
An interesting idea... somehow I don't think the apartment complex would appreciate it though.
No problem, once your skunk issue is resolved just get yourself a mongoose to take care of the big skunk.  Problem solved.
As long as I get to name it Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on September 27, 2012, 07:48:29 PM
Buy a large skunk and set it loose in your yard.  It should chase the other skunk away.
An interesting idea... somehow I don't think the apartment complex would appreciate it though.
No problem, once your skunk issue is resolved just get yourself a mongoose to take care of the big skunk.  Problem solved.

And you should swallow the spider to catch the fly. That always works.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on September 27, 2012, 08:05:25 PM
I think I'm accidentally growing my own pumpkin for Halloween this year. This big, leafy thing sprang up a month or two ago and it's producing little pumpkin shaped gourds which is kind of cool except for the fact that it's in my flower bed.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: luisterpaul on September 27, 2012, 09:10:45 PM
I think I'm accidentally growing my own pumpkin for Halloween this year. This big, leafy thing sprang up a month or two ago and it's producing little pumpkin shaped gourds which is kind of cool except for the fact that it's in my flower bed.
The best way to get rid of it is to get a bigger pumpkin.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on September 27, 2012, 09:32:09 PM
I think I'm accidentally growing my own pumpkin for Halloween this year. This big, leafy thing sprang up a month or two ago and it's producing little pumpkin shaped gourds which is kind of cool except for the fact that it's in my flower bed.
The best way to get rid of it is to get a bigger pumpkin.

Will I then need a mongoose to take care of the larger pumpkin?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on September 27, 2012, 11:51:30 PM
I <3 this thread! :)

I splurged and bought a bleeding heart at the beginning of the summer. And by the time I got it home, I'd already broken off one of the branches. A week later, a no good, good-for-nothing squirrel did the same to another branch, and within another week it was dead. So, I planted some ground cover that is doing really well (had to divide the plant four times this year), and some volunteer celosia. As I got ready to move three weeks ago, I noticed that there was a plant I hadn't planted in the container: lo and behold, the bleeding heart has come back!

So, I used valuable car space to bring this plant to Tennessee, since I gave up ALL of my other plants in this move. So far, it's happy and alive on the patio! Yay!  Now, if I can keep it going over the winter...
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 12, 2013, 04:26:23 PM
My neighbor was talking to me yesterday and she was like have you noticed there's a bunch of flies around this year?  I said I hadn't.   She was like, yeah they're this weird kind of fly and they keep getting in my flowers. 

--Ummm... are you sure it's a fly? 

--I don't know but they creep me out so I've been spraying them with this insecticide.

--That stuff is pretty toxic are you sure it's not killing the plants, or worse?

--Who cares it kills the flies.

--Well okay then see you later.

I guess I can go ahead and take down my Mason bee house.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 13, 2013, 12:09:21 PM
The irrational hatred some people have for bees irks me to no end.  Even for those that are highly allergic running around, waving your arms, screaming,yelling and committing mass bee murder is pretty hard to support, they're not that difficult to avoid.  I've never had a bee attack me unprovoked and being stung just isn't that big of a deal.

Spiders on the other hand...
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: luisterpaul on March 13, 2013, 12:31:44 PM
It's Oprah's fault.

(http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/7044/oprahbees.gif)

(I just wanted an excuse to post this again...)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Homsar on March 13, 2013, 01:06:03 PM
Spiders on the other hand...

Don't move!  Don't move a muscle!  If you stay still, they might crawl off and go away. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on June 18, 2013, 05:44:20 PM
I'm towards the end of a weeding and sprucing up our yard project and have run into a problem: rampant English ivy, honeysuckle, and a ground creeping vine I haven't identified.  No problem.  I rip the shit out of it in my yard and, with their permission, about a foot from the fence line in each of my neighbors.  The problem is that my neighbors aren't the gardening type and have jobs where they frequently travel.  I've asked a couple of times if they'd keep it back, but it's a time consuming job so there's been no result.  I've accepted that because they're otherwise dream neighbors and I live in a community where most of the residents are generally pretty casual about their lawns.

That leaves me with the question of how do I keep their stuff at bay while also maintaining mine and (dream) planting some stuff there.  Pretty much anything or any combo of (legal and friendship sustaining) things are an option.  I'm considering some sort of fencing, but give me other ideas.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 19, 2013, 09:18:10 AM
I have a similar issue.  There is english ivy going crazy along my fence line and they don't do anything to kill off the honeysuckle bushes that try to sprout up.  Unfortunately in my case my neighbors are anything but a "dream" and do nothing to help with the situation.  I wish roundup worked on that shit but it just doesn't.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on June 19, 2013, 09:28:44 AM
I tried a number of natural products and sweat equity to get rid of the honeysuckle and ivy, but those plants are insidious and so hard to kill.  The guy at Reading Feed suggested using Roundup's Touch Brush and poison ivy killer with a bit of dish soap added to the mixture.  The soap helps cut through the ivy's waxy coating and it does work beautifully.  I also sprayed the honeysuckle with it and the shoots have died off.  Time will tell if the actual plant follows suit.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 19, 2013, 12:57:29 PM
At least if you can somehow manage to get English ivy out of a spot, you can keep it somewhat under control by just weed whacking or mowing over the vines that cross into your yard.

Japanese honeysuckle is awful, though.  I try never to use Roundup if at all possible, but I'd use it on honeysuckle without a second thought.  It's the only way to kill it.  Plus it's a horrible invasive species so the responsible use of small amounts of glyphosate to eliminate it is probably a net win for the environment.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 19, 2013, 03:05:52 PM
I did some googling this morning and found the soap tip as well... will have to try that. Looks like Tractor Supply has a generic of the roundup tough brush (http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/groundworkreg%3B-poison-ivy--brush-killer-1-qt (http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/groundworkreg%3B-poison-ivy--brush-killer-1-qt)).  I use their roundup equivalent and it works really well... much cheaper too.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 19, 2013, 04:12:31 PM
That's interesting.  Roundup is just glysophate + surfactants.  Glysophate is pretty non-toxic to non-plant life, but some of the surfactants are not.  Which then if you are adding dishsoap as a surfactant then the chemical crap they added must not work too well.

But then dishsoap has phosphates in it... which is pretty much a fertilizer (which is why it cause algal blooms in lakes and rivers).  So I wonder if you aren't fertlizing the honeysuckle at the same time you are trying to kill it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 19, 2013, 09:50:28 PM
Well, too much fertilizer kills plants too..

I saw a couple of mentions that you should add some nitrogen to the roundup/soap mixture as well.  I guess it entices the plant to absorb the mixture, since it's food.  Essentially killing itself while feeding

Of course, this is "the internet" that we're talking about... and we know how hit or miss that can be.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on June 20, 2013, 08:24:06 AM
Any thoughts on tackling Japanese Knotweed? I think I'm just fucked but you guys seem to know what you're doing around here.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on June 20, 2013, 09:19:41 AM
You could try cutting it way back, then digging out the roots.  Depending on where in your yard it is, you'd probably not want to use Roundup because, well, Ozzie.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 20, 2013, 09:21:09 AM
According to the directions it's actually pretty safe for dogs, you just don't want them around it while it's wet.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on June 20, 2013, 09:45:05 AM
You could try cutting it way back, then digging out the roots.  Depending on where in your yard it is, you'd probably not want to use Roundup because, well, Ozzie.
This stuff grows quickly and gets to like 10 feet. We tried to catch it early and pull it at the roots, but that was very difficult because it decided to crop up where there are tons of dead/dormant wisteria vines. We had a couple of trees cut down and the vines cut back and then this stuff decided to creep up out of nowhere. We're read about tarping it (obviously before Spring), but it seems like you have to do that for years before it will do the trick.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 20, 2013, 01:08:43 PM
C-Lando... beware... In Europe Japanese Knotweed in and/or around a property will declare that property unmortageable until it is fully - and professionally - eradicated and not present for at least two years. The damage it can do to ground and foundations is unreal. Its growth patterns are ludicrously unpredictable
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on June 20, 2013, 02:08:22 PM
C-Lando... beware... In Europe Japanese Knotweed in and/or around a property will declare that property unmortageable until it is fully - and professionally - eradicated and not present for at least two years. The damage it can do to ground and foundations is unreal. Its growth patterns are ludicrously unpredictable
Hopefully I am incorrect about what I have in my side yard!!!!!!!!!! OH Brother.
It looks like bamboo and rhubarb had an evil love child.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on June 20, 2013, 02:13:29 PM
It looks like bamboo and rhubarb had an evil love child.

Rhuboo? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 20, 2013, 02:25:17 PM
The only way to get rid of knotweed is to attack it in every way possible.  Dig up the rhizomes if you can, roundup, hack it up, put tarps over where it was.  Probably have to keep this up for 3-4 years just to have a chance.

Bamboo is worse than knotweed, but it's pretty close.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: trixi on June 20, 2013, 07:29:15 PM
I'm having to deal with bamboo.  I hate my backyard neighbors...they've got a virtual forest back there and now it's spread into my yard.  I mow over it, tear it down, etc.  I  am going out with a shovel next to see if I can get to the roots and then  what i've seen on the internet is to put a barrier about 18 inches into the ground so that it can't get through. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on June 21, 2013, 10:01:13 AM
I hear ya, Trixi. We have a bonehead in our neighborhood who planted a lot of bamboo in his yard, which is becoming quite a nuisance to surrounding homes. I have heard that bamboo roots go down into the ground as far as it is tall out of the ground. Hopefully you don't have to dig all the way to China to eradicate that sh!t.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 21, 2013, 01:16:31 PM
My dad planted bamboo in his yard... on purpose.  I don't know what the hell he was thinking.

I swear sometimes I think he's plotting his afterlife revenge on me.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on June 21, 2013, 01:50:42 PM
I'd love to have a bamboo garden in my yard, but I've learned that one has to accept one's limitations.  So, no bamboo, children, or motorcycles for me.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on June 21, 2013, 03:10:31 PM
I just know that our neighbor is probably plotting our death. But, we didn't plant this shit. It just came up out of nowhere. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Some of it is seriously 10 feet tall.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on June 21, 2013, 06:55:04 PM
Pulp it and make paper!!!

My next garden will be paper-related. :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: slow-dog on August 07, 2013, 07:13:10 PM
I just know that our neighbor is probably plotting our death. But, we didn't plant this shit. It just came up out of nowhere. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Some of it is seriously 10 feet tall.

I say take off and nuke it from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on August 07, 2013, 07:19:59 PM
Last year, I planted anise hyssop. It's a perennial and it's doing really well this year and when you tear off a leaf it smells like black licorice. So I can ask my neighbor's if they like the smell of my anise.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: slow-dog on August 07, 2013, 07:33:05 PM
Any recs on colorful plants/shrubs that are good for wet areas in the yard? We have terraced beds with a few wet areas from runoff from neighboring yards.  I was thinking red dogwood.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on August 08, 2013, 09:04:56 AM
My Tsuki Yori No Shisha is about to bloom and I am excited. The blooms are huge (5-8") and the plant is tiny.

This is what it looks like (https://www.oldhousegardens.com/display.aspx?photo=TsukiYoriNoShisha.jpg)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 08, 2013, 09:56:20 AM
Any recs on colorful plants/shrubs that are good for wet areas in the yard? We have terraced beds with a few wet areas from runoff from neighboring yards.  I was thinking red dogwood.

My neighbor has a red twig dogwood.  I'm pretty sure it's "Arctic Fire."  I like it.  It's kind of boring when it's green, but in the winter the red bark is definitely pretty cool.  I have a Japanese Maple "Winter Flame" in my little garden.  It will slooowly get to maybe 8' or 9' tall.  Mine is about 8 years old and it's just over 6 feet.  The spread is maybe 3 or 4 feet, same as my neighbor's dogwood.  But for me, I think the Japanese maple takes up less space in the yard than a shrub since the trunk goes up about 4 or 5 feet before it starts branching.

But you can put just about anything in a wettish area.  Especially once they get large the roots will suck up a lot of the water and then it won't be so wet anymore. 

There's also a lot of really cool ornamental grasses that do really well in moist spots.  A Panicum would probably grow there and they go anywhere from 2 feet to 8 feet depending on the kind.  They reddish ones and blueish ones and different shapes as well.
Or you could join MK and me in the Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass fan club.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 09, 2013, 05:21:01 PM
I saw a huge bed of Dahlia at Golden Gate Park last week and it made me think of cuddlyevil.  I don't like the ones that look too round.  They creep me out a little.  I also don't like those freak mutant "dinner plate" ones.  They creep me out a lot.

I really like the spiky ones.  Also ones that are a little more open or don't have quite as many layers. 

I've gotten to the point where I can grow just about anything.  It just comes down to how bad I want it.  Like, I *can* maintain that plant, but is it actually worth the trouble?  Also, I can get things to grow, but I often can't prevent them from looking like crap. 

I've come to realize more and more though, that that neither of those things are my fault so much as false advertising in catalogs with the pictures they take and descriptions they write.  You can't really know how well something will work until you actually plant it, see how it looks ALL YEAR ROUND, and how it grows over several years.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 01, 2014, 09:25:26 AM
I just came back to this thread and saw your post ZK :) There are some lovely spikey or daisy-like dahlias out there. I'm planting a variety called Clair de Lune (http://www.oldhousegardens.com/display.aspx?photo=ClairDeLune.jpg) this year and I'm excited about them. They're small, a lovely pale yellow and perfect for bouqets.

I have a gardening question for those with greener thumbs than me. I am moving into a new place and there is a giant tree in the backyard--there is no grass or any kind of ground cover at the base of the tree. The property owners have told me they've planted stuff there but it never seems to take off. Any one have some suggestions for a good, full shade ground cover/plant?

I am getting some hosta cuttings for some of the other beds and will be expanding their little herb garden (it is the only sunny spot in the yard.).
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on April 01, 2014, 09:37:15 AM
I'm also going to be in the market for some partial/full-shade ground cover. Since I moved and the boyfriend did nothing with any of the beds, I get carte blanche to do whatever the hell I want. But, my last apartment had FULL sun in both beds so I get to play with new stuff this time around. My tulips are coming up like gangbusters in the front bed... but I need to get started on planning the spring/summer plantings.

I also need to break out the pickaxe and take out a stupid shale lined raised bed... the shale is probably 20 years old and is basically flaking into horrible, sharp points of lawnmower death.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 01, 2014, 10:03:57 AM
There are some lovely spikey or daisy-like dahlias out there. I'm planting a variety called Clair de Lune (http://www.oldhousegardens.com/display.aspx?photo=ClairDeLune.jpg) this year and I'm excited about them.

Those are awesome!  I love that Old House Gardens catalog, too.  I don't really plant bulbs, so I've only ordered from there a couple of times but someday when I have a bigger yard I'll put together a bulb garden from there.

Actual spreading groundcovers like Lilygrasss, and ajuga will grow in deep shade because they grow anywhere.  The ajuga can take off, but I've never had any problems with pulling it out, it's just a bit of a pain to have to do it twice a year.  Oh, and wild ginger which I find rather unexciting but definitely spreads pretty fast.

I bet there are some geraniums that will do well in full shade.  You have to look a little bit though, because some need more light and also some are sort of sprawly vs tightly packed.  Some of them are semi-evergreen, too.  I planted one geranium in my backyard about four years ago, and now it covers about a 3x3 area.  Ajuga can cover that in a season.

There are also plants that do well in shade that you can plant close enough together so it's like a groundcover.  But most of the time when I try to do it, I can never get the spacing right.  Also, it's expensive because you are buying each individual plant, not just like three plants and then they spread like wildfire.

Hostas and ferns are the classic shade plants, and they are kind of big and leafy and spread-y, so those are two you actually can get to cover ground fairly easily.

There are a lot of awesome grasses that like shade, but it usually has to be moist and if it's underneath a tree it's usually super dry shade.  But if it's feasible I have always wanted to plant a bunch of Hakone grass.  But it's expensive, and they also grow really slow.

And Poolio-- for a perennial shade garden, I would use astilbe, columbine, huechera, hellebores and toadlilies.  I have it all planned out because I've always wanted a shade garden, but my whole tiny yard is full sun.
 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 01, 2014, 10:15:47 AM
Thanks ZK! I hope the clair du lune's come up and look like their picture. I'm kind of mad that they brought back my favorite dahlia (which was only available once every 10 years or so but has been back two years in a row) and I didn't realize it until now when it's too late :( But I love Old House Gardens so much, their customer service is top notch and they give excellent advice (I actually got a call from Scott the owner/master gardener last year when I had a problem with some of the tubers I ordered).

I'll look into those ground covers. My landlady told me I had carte blanche to "make the beds happy", so yay!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on April 01, 2014, 11:27:25 AM
Oh, I love hellebores and columbine, I will look into those.  Thanks!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 01, 2014, 12:28:19 PM
oooh, I forgot Bletilla Striata.  It's a groundcover orchid!  I got a tuber once from email just for fun.  I put it in the ground and totally ignored it having already decided it had no chance.  It actually came up for 2 or 3 years in a row.  It never spread and kind of struggled but I just literally dug a 3 inch hole in some clay, threw it in, and never thought about it or watered it again so it must be really tough.

There's a hiking trail near me and at one point it goes by this half-shaded hill.  That hill is almost covered with Bletilla Striata that must have escaped from a nearby house.  When it's in bloom it looks amazing.  When it's not in bloom it's not quite so impressive, so that's bad.  But if I had a little bare spot by a tree I'd at least try to grow a little three foot patch of it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on April 01, 2014, 01:37:11 PM
Hmmm... I do have an additional tiny bed (think 4x2 size) by the garage door. Groundcover orchids would be perfect!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 02, 2014, 09:57:24 AM
oh boy!  a gardening thread!  is there anything cool you cats don't like?  the woman and i are completely in the process of reshaping the minuscule yard our new one hundred and twenty four year old house.  everything that was lawn will now be edible, almost.  i'm building a raised garden bed out of rehab stone that measures twenty feet by five by maybe three.  all of my best buddies are either landscapers or were landscapers and one of them has a truck of his own. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 02, 2014, 10:11:28 AM
Where do you get your rehab stone and is there a significant price differential between that and the stuff I'd get at a landscaping place?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 02, 2014, 10:32:21 AM
Where do you get your rehab stone and is there a significant price differential between that and the stuff I'd get at a landscaping place?

building value in northside.  i got 70 stones for $35.  the guy i talked to told me to deal with him or his dude and not the manager as that dude would charge full price.  but even then, i don't think we're talking too much.  their entire operation is sweet http://www.buildingvalue.org/ 

i haven't boughten from a landscape firm and don't know what the prices would be.  my one buddy sold his garden center and landscape business a few weeks ago and i coulda got you some deals but another buddy does great work with stone but i imagine you want to work on your own? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 02, 2014, 11:16:47 AM
Where do you get your rehab stone and is there a significant price differential between that and the stuff I'd get at a landscaping place?

Jungle Jims (Fairfield) has a bunch of pavers and stones that are salvaged, you can see them in big piles behind the store.  I know they post the stuff on Craigslist but I'm sure you could just call them up.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 02, 2014, 12:08:01 PM
Now way, Kwyj.  Going anywhere near Jungle Jims is a stupidly expensive affair for me, so I limit myself to one visit per year.  I mean, who doesn't need several hundred dollars worth of cheese, charcuterie, beer, and condiments?

I check that place out, DD.  We have hired a guy to build out our patio, but I wanted to do some raised beds in a couple other parts of the yard and the rehab stones sound like a deal and a half. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 02, 2014, 12:09:32 PM
I don't know what you call them-- salvage yards, maybe?

But those places that are junkyards only much fancier.  The ones that pull stuff out of old houses, so like if you have an old house and you want to restore it but you want a clawfoot bathtub, or vintage bullseye molding or transom windows or hardwood floorboards, or old fashioned door knobs.  Those places.

Yeah, they places usually have rocks.  Not fancy pavers, but lots of cobblestone and rocks from say, fist size to forearm size.  Way cheaper than landscape places especially if you only need less than 100.  There's two different places in Richmond like that.  They charge $1 a rock/cobblestone but almost always when you go they are trying to get rid of a big pile of them to put some other pile of junk in that place so they usually knock the price down to $.50.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 02, 2014, 12:39:12 PM
Now way, Kwyj.  Going anywhere near Jungle Jims is a stupidly expensive affair for me, so I limit myself to one visit per year.  I mean, who doesn't need several hundred dollars worth of cheese, charcuterie, beer, and condiments?

You know you need a case of balut for that upcoming dinner party.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 02, 2014, 01:00:47 PM
Why God, why did I search Google to find out what balut is?

*barf*
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 02, 2014, 01:50:53 PM
Yeah, you can't unsee that.  Sorry, dude.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on April 02, 2014, 04:34:30 PM
Still no garden for me... stupid apartment with no balcony or patio. I miss my yard! I love this thread. Daytime Drinking, please post photos of your progress!

Anyway, I've got full shade, and I'm planning on getting some Boston ferns to hang from the steps.  Any thoughts on flower boxes that can go over a railing?  Would it be better to make my own?  I can't permanently install them, obviously.

And what plants would you do?  I've been in full-sun territory for 10 years.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on April 02, 2014, 09:47:23 PM
My Firepower Heavenly Bamboo (I like to say this as though I'm in a Kung Fu move) aka Firepower Nandina looks like shit this spring. I've never known it to get so brown. Guessing it's due to the harsh winter. Thinking about cutting it way back. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 02, 2014, 11:16:27 PM
Cut it back if it looks ugly, or leave it be if you're lazy.  Spray it with five gallons of roundup if you want.   Those things are indestructible.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 03, 2014, 01:02:23 PM
Still no garden for me... stupid apartment with no balcony or patio. I miss my yard! I love this thread. Daytime Drinking, please post photos of your progress!

Anyway, I've got full shade, and I'm planning on getting some Boston ferns to hang from the steps.  Any thoughts on flower boxes that can go over a railing?  Would it be better to make my own?  I can't permanently install them, obviously.

And what plants would you do?  I've been in full-sun territory for 10 years.

for serious?!  no way! 

(https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=8e24177d86&view=fimg&th=145287d1fc5670fe&attid=0.0&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ-loxcciK09j09Bgc0I6kLcL-fdBD7w4ibVOqJPtXhS78iDWK-sVmHAKnh065e9vCngdpkd1fO3QHvVaA8eyB6AkkfjPmYnJpTvAgL0jWTya_ipc0eJQ57oEWE&ats=1396544196255&rm=145287d1fc5670fe&zw&sz=w1188-h511)

the bean trellis (knock on wood) is holding up surprisingly well for me not knowing how to tie knots .  step one on the stone is complete.  next is getting some more concrete filler and many more stones, and mortar.  i'm going to be disappointed once this project is complete
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: slow-dog on April 04, 2014, 12:31:45 PM
My Firepower Heavenly Bamboo (I like to say this as though I'm in a Kung Fu move) aka Firepower Nandina looks like shit this spring. I've never known it to get so brown. Guessing it's due to the harsh winter. Thinking about cutting it way back. Any suggestions?

two words:  pet panda.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: slow-dog on April 04, 2014, 12:34:53 PM
I have a gardening question for those with greener thumbs than me. I am moving into a new place and there is a giant tree in the backyard--there is no grass or any kind of ground cover at the base of the tree. The property owners have told me they've planted stuff there but it never seems to take off. Any one have some suggestions for a good, full shade ground cover/plant?

It may depend on the type of tree.  Growing up we had redwoods, and they have a lot of shallow roots (in addition to their deep roots), and dropped a lot material, so over time, the grass started to recede from under the tree, not due to the shade issues.

BTW, for those who were eagerly awaiting an update from my last post in this thread, a year and a half later I finally got a red twig dogwood bush, but then it rained like a MF for two days, so I have to wait for the backyard to dry out so I can plant it--I've got a hole for it already dug that's currently a wading pool.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on April 04, 2014, 01:48:24 PM
pet panda.

That was the band I was in out of high school, we never went anywhere with it though.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on April 04, 2014, 07:52:23 PM
My Firepower Heavenly Bamboo (I like to say this as though I'm in a Kung Fu move) aka Firepower Nandina looks like shit this spring. I've never known it to get so brown. Guessing it's due to the harsh winter. Thinking about cutting it way back. Any suggestions?

two words:  pet panda.

Good idea. Anyone here tight with the Chinese ambassador?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 04, 2014, 08:15:28 PM
It will kill the panda, because well... pretty much everything kills pandas.  But also because nandina is toxic.  Then again, nandina's pretty small and pandas are pretty stupid so you could probably get a panda to eat the whole thing before it keels over.

All you need then is a panda cleaner.  Or maybe a Danish zoo, those guys could probably figure something interesting out.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 06, 2014, 03:28:06 PM
i guess the picture of the garden in progress didn't show up since nobody said how sweet it was.  here's another attempt

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/weylerka/garden_zpsd8dc626a.jpg) (http://s104.photobucket.com/user/weylerka/media/garden_zpsd8dc626a.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 06, 2014, 05:56:13 PM
Very cool, DD! What are you planning to grow besides beans? Looks like a lot of room!

As for mine, I just started my seed beds today for tomatoes. I usually start the seeds in March so this is a very late start for me, but hopefully they will be OK. I've planted four types of heirloom tomatoes from seed saved from last years harvest. Eva Purple Ball, Chocolate Cherry, Stupice, and a seed handed down through my Dads family.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on April 07, 2014, 10:25:19 AM
Nice, DD!

Looks like you've got a narrow enough bed that you can reach the back of it without having to trample plants in the front. All that space to plant things!!!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 07, 2014, 10:47:55 AM
I have a gardening question for those with greener thumbs than me. I am moving into a new place and there is a giant tree in the backyard--there is no grass or any kind of ground cover at the base of the tree. The property owners have told me they've planted stuff there but it never seems to take off. Any one have some suggestions for a good, full shade ground cover/plant?

It may depend on the type of tree.  Growing up we had redwoods, and they have a lot of shallow roots (in addition to their deep roots), and dropped a lot material, so over time, the grass started to recede from under the tree, not due to the shade issues.

BTW, for those who were eagerly awaiting an update from my last post in this thread, a year and a half later I finally got a red twig dogwood bush, but then it rained like a MF for two days, so I have to wait for the backyard to dry out so I can plant it--I've got a hole for it already dug that's currently a wading pool.

I think it's partially due to the shade but also due to the roots of the tree--I think it's a large oak and there has been some soil erosion around the base of the tree. The landlady also said she could get things to grow there, but not for more than a year or two--once they got too big/deep, they started dying away.

I'm picking up a push mower today because I can't justify buying a gas mower for a lawn that's teeny tiny.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 07, 2014, 11:00:25 AM
building value in northside.  i got 70 stones for $35.  the guy i talked to told me to deal with him or his dude and not the manager as that dude would charge full price.  but even then, i don't think we're talking too much.  their entire operation is sweet http://www.buildingvalue.org/ 

Good tip, man.  The missus and I went there Saturday and bought a bunch of stone (not all I need because I drive a subcompact).  Plus, we were looking for a new medicine cabinet and found a really nice, hardwood one for really great price.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 23, 2014, 11:24:33 PM
Very cool, DD! What are you planning to grow besides beans? Looks like a lot of room!

As for mine, I just started my seed beds today for tomatoes. I usually start the seeds in March so this is a very late start for me, but hopefully they will be OK. I've planted four types of heirloom tomatoes from seed saved from last years harvest. Eva Purple Ball, Chocolate Cherry, Stupice, and a seed handed down through my Dads family.

we're going to attempt cucumbers, squash and other viney things.  we took a container garden class yesterday at imago in price hill.  that place is amazing.  they have many different types of classes if anyone is interested.  next week we're taking a rain barrel class

http://www.imagoearth.org/home/public_programs.html

here's the progression of the raised garden (this is from last week) 

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/weylerka/garden2_zps262bcfa8.jpg) (http://s104.photobucket.com/user/weylerka/media/garden2_zps262bcfa8.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 23, 2014, 11:27:08 PM
building value in northside.  i got 70 stones for $35.  the guy i talked to told me to deal with him or his dude and not the manager as that dude would charge full price.  but even then, i don't think we're talking too much.  their entire operation is sweet http://www.buildingvalue.org/ 

Good tip, man.  The missus and I went there Saturday and bought a bunch of stone (not all I need because I drive a subcompact).  Plus, we were looking for a new medicine cabinet and found a really nice, hardwood one for really great price.

man, i got two more loads of stone last week but couldn't choose my pieces.  they skidded 'em all up.  i had to make do with rocks that weighed at least 70 pounds.  hope you fared better.  nice that you found some other shit there.  that place is a freaking gold mind.  and they recycle batteries
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on April 24, 2014, 07:15:24 AM
Update! I am running a little experiment on my (mostly) shaded garden. I have planted some impatiens, Japanese spurg and a couple Guacamole plaintain lilys (ie: hostas) in the small bed. So far, the spurg and impatiens are doing pretty well. The hostas are looking slightly yellow-ish. I think the garden might be getting a little too much sunlight and the soil is pretty crap so either might be the reason. Everything looks pretty nice so far, if the hostas make it, I'll post a picture once everything gets established. If the hostas don't make it, I'll be tossing some columbine in their place.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 24, 2014, 09:59:24 AM
Hosta Guacamole is kind of a yellowish color to begin with, so you are probably okay. 

I have about 6 of them.  I used to have one, but I never knew what to do with it, so I kept digging it out and transplanting it.  And every time I did, it wouldn't dig it out completely and chunks would break off and those chunks and remnants would grow.  So it's a pretty hardy plant.

The biggest one I have is growing directly under a large camellia.  Like completely underneath, so it gets pretty much no light.  Like you have to look really carefully just to see the tip of a couple leaves peaking out from underneath the branches.  If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't notice.   I'm too lazy to do anything about it, and I think every year it will die, but it never does.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 24, 2014, 10:04:41 AM
I've got some surprise hostas popping up around the tree in my backyard.

This weekend is my big push to get the lawn/weeds mowed and the beds prepped.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on April 24, 2014, 12:12:37 PM
Hosta Guacamole is kind of a yellowish color to begin with, so you are probably okay. 
That's good to know, they were rather green when I chucked them in the ground.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 29, 2014, 09:09:55 AM
Okay, so my lawn is a mess.

Most of it is weeds, but there are some spots where the moss has forced the grass out. The rest is either grass or wild onions.

I'm only renting, so I can't justify anything too ambitious, but I feel like if I put down weed n' feed I will have so many bare spots.

I love, love, love my reel mower though--took me less than 15 minutes to mow on Saturday.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on April 29, 2014, 09:12:48 AM
I've got some surprise hostas popping up around the tree in my backyard.

This weekend is my big push to get the lawn/weeds mowed and the beds prepped.

Coming this spring to PBS Saturday afternoons:  Surprise Hostas!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 29, 2014, 09:17:31 AM
Oh Cuddly, wild onions are nearly impossible to eradicate. I remember a neighbor battling them for several years when we lived in Franklin. He did manage to get rid of them eventually, but to do so he had to torch the entire lawn, plow it under, grade it and reseed it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on April 29, 2014, 10:01:28 AM
I don't mind the wild onions really, they're easy to pull and I can cook with them. I'm more worried about the bare spots and the moss.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 30, 2014, 10:37:26 AM
I don't mind the wild onions really, they're easy to pull and I can cook with them. I'm more worried about the bare spots and the moss.

we have the wild onions as well.  good to know that we can cook with 'em.  when they first started to spring up, the wife wasn't sure what they were (she thought they were something) so she dug em up and transplanted them up front.  ha!  i still poke fun at her for that.  "saya sugar tits, this thorny thistley stuff might need a new home.  no idea what it is."  for the record, we're new home owners and had no idea what had been planted by the previous owner.  still fun though

wish i woulda known you needed one of those powerless mowers.  we don't have grass anymore
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 02, 2014, 10:18:41 AM
so five cubic yards of garden mix topsoil was delivered yesterday.  i didn't envision me having to haul it all into the backyard.  the man says, "nome, i just deliver.  see ya."  so he dumped it in the alley behind my house and i spent the next five or four hours shoveling it less than ten feet until i ran out of room and then just loaded up pickle buckets and threw em into the raised garden bed.  got me a nice size bruise on my forearm just from shoveling.  i ain't doing shit today, even though i want to.  the neighbor looked over at me as i was carrying two buckets of dirt and said, "you never pick anything easy do ya?"  i can take some pride in that, even though like i said (or alluded to), i thought they were going to put it where i told em.  well they did but not where i initially wanted it.  fuck that shit
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on May 02, 2014, 10:58:15 AM
Oh, dude, that sucks...
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 02, 2014, 11:10:51 AM
it wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to weed in our other garden plot and focus on getting the raised beds all ready this weekend.  speaking of our other garden plot, i was planting potato starters and had just about finished when my buddy looks over at me as i dropped a tater and says, "you know you have to drop them so the eye is up?"  well i didn't know that.  so i had to find out where i planted a whole plot of taters and reset them.  i did the same thing with the onions.  reminds me of the time i painted my wife's (girlfriend at the time) room.  she had the walls labeled with what color she wanted on each.  i said to my buddy who was helping, "wouldn't it be funny if we painted the walls the wrong color?"  turns out, i did.  how many fucking shades of purple are there?!  i guess it's not surprising i did that considering i didn't know how to open a can of paint and when it was open i was about to dip the paint brush into the can before my buddy accosted me.  so many people question how i'm even alive
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 02, 2014, 11:45:21 AM
You do not have to plant potatoes with the eyes up.  They'll probably grow a little faster that way because that's the way they were starting to grow but that's about it.  I mean, once you know it's simple enough to try and plant them with eyes up, but you don't have to go dig up all the ones you've already planted.

The onions would have grown too.  Not even sure which way you plant an onion seed to be honest.  If you were growing sets than anything other than deliberately going out of your way to have the pointed side straight down would have grown, too. 

Have you seen how they plant things on farms?  Some dude gets on a tractor and just drives along the plot while some sort of attachment on the back of the tractor drop spuds/seeds/whathaveyou.  How they fall out the tractor and land is how they get planted.

Why don't you have a wheelbarrow?  I mean, unless you have steps or some situation where a wheelbarrow won't work.  It would have made transporting that dirt much easier and you are going to need one anyway once you start to gather the yield.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 02, 2014, 01:22:13 PM
I was going to say... don't potatoes have eyes pretty much all over?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 02, 2014, 01:48:18 PM
You do not have to plant potatoes with the eyes up.  They'll probably grow a little faster that way because that's the way they were starting to grow but that's about it.  I mean, once you know it's simple enough to try and plant them with eyes up, but you don't have to go dig up all the ones you've already planted.

The onions would have grown too.  Not even sure which way you plant an onion seed to be honest.  If you were growing sets than anything other than deliberately going out of your way to have the pointed side straight down would have grown, too. 

Have you seen how they plant things on farms?  Some dude gets on a tractor and just drives along the plot while some sort of attachment on the back of the tractor drop spuds/seeds/whathaveyou.  How they fall out the tractor and land is how they get planted.

Why don't you have a wheelbarrow?  I mean, unless you have steps or some situation where a wheelbarrow won't work.  It would have made transporting that dirt much easier and you are going to need one anyway once you start to gather the yield.

the taters were pretty big so we cut them in half and in some cases thrice, so the eyes weren't on one side.  the onions, you got me.  my buddy just told me that.  i don't a big yard at all.  the area i was moving the dirt to was less than 10 feet and a wheelbarrow wouldn't work as a few shrubs and trees block the path to the garden as well as a foot high wall.  i also don't have a wheelbarrow
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 03, 2014, 11:45:29 AM
just got back from the civic garden center plant sale.  $120 of my wife's money, money well spent.  ass loads of peppers.  it's going on tomorrow too!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: juggles on May 04, 2014, 01:15:22 PM
I trimmed back my FIREPOWER HEAVENLY BAMBOO (say it like you're in a Kung-fu movie) a couple weeks ago and it doesn't appear to be coming back. I think I killed it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 04, 2014, 01:41:47 PM
I would be stunned if you actually managed to kill a Nandina by pruning it.  I used to weedwhack those suckers to the ground, and spray the area with round-up and they'd still come back within weeks. 

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 30, 2014, 11:39:28 AM
here is the completed garden.  this is almost a month old as we've gotten nothing from it yet, but strawberries and radishes from adjacent groweries

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/weylerka/05071420421_zps1dda0d19.jpg) (http://s104.photobucket.com/user/weylerka/media/05071420421_zps1dda0d19.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 30, 2014, 04:49:14 PM
Looks nice!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on June 05, 2014, 04:07:28 PM
Planted my dahlias, one got eaten (I think--it's gone), but the other one has double in size in less than two weeks! So excited.

Now if I can just keep the mint from choking it out, I'll be good.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: cuddlyevil on July 23, 2014, 11:45:00 AM
My dahlias are blooming! I will get pictures and post them tonight :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on July 23, 2014, 11:59:07 AM
i'm sure the wife is gonna like that.  she quizzes me on our walks in the woods.  i get offended when she points to a fern, but i get it.  soon a dahlia (whatever that is) will be as familiar as one.  can't wait to find out! 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on July 23, 2014, 12:09:10 PM
one of my thai peppers turned red, so i plucked and cooked and ate.  our green peppers are doing good 'cept they get a bit of the old bottom rot.  with think it's cuz they weren't getting enough sun.  so we moved em.  they was in a bucket.  got us some heirloom maters and roma and cherry.  and ground cherries!  wonderful!  quite a snack.  the zuke's and cuke's are a riot and dem onions is a producin'.  this first year is thus far a success! 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on August 11, 2014, 06:27:55 PM
so, how's the garden's doing?  made my very first batch of salsa a few weeks ago with almost exclusive garden vegetables.  at first taste i was disappointed.  after a couple of days it was wonderful.  i'm beginning to become nervous at the bounty of tomatoes.  we needs learn how to can 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on August 11, 2014, 08:56:57 PM
Good to hear you are having good luck with the garden. Learn to can the tomatoes (messy but worth it) and if you have cherry tomatoes, slow roast them. They are like candy. I roast hundreds of them every year and freeze what I don't use in a couple of weeks.

Bottom rot is more likely caused by infrequent watering than lack of sun, I think.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on October 03, 2014, 12:31:43 PM
so i've got a late blooming garden of sorts.  my habeneros are finally turning color (and growing more) and my tomatillo are finally producing.  if i were still single, i would spend about 10 minutes foraging in my garden and then i would go out for the night.  the scent is incomparable.  panties be droppin
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on October 03, 2014, 12:55:11 PM
Our stupid tomatoes waited, in large part, for me going out of town.  By the time I get back, those bastard 'maters will all be eaten by my nemeses (deer, raccoon, squirrel, punk neighbor kids.) 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on October 03, 2014, 01:14:25 PM
your punk neighbor kids indulge in home grown maters?  where do you live, mariemont? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on October 03, 2014, 01:18:40 PM
Used to.

Maybe I should hire Butter out.  He did a bang-up just getting rid of those hobos stealing my pies cooling on the windowsill.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on October 03, 2014, 01:37:44 PM
it's probably because he dressed up as a hobo as well
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on November 14, 2014, 03:14:44 PM
have some green tomatoes left that i've been frying and putting on house made pizza.  it's wonderful.  fried green tomatoes are like vegetarian fish sticks.  we have a few plum butternut squashes that need to be souped.  any y'all got a recipe?  also have many purple taters that could be incorporated.  i've never made soup
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 24, 2015, 07:11:01 PM
I just dug the most kickass bed ever.  It was this compacted red clay. It was so bad that when I was digging it, I actually found 5 or 6 bricks in it.  But I couldn't even tell until it came out in a brick shape.  I kept hitting hard stuff and thinking it was a brick but it was just clay.

Anyway, I took a pickaxe to it to break it all up, then carted off about 4 inches of soil.  Added sphagnum moss, some sand and organic mulch.  Turned it over a bunch of times.  Now it is good draining dirt for about 8 inches.  Technically, I would prefer a foot, but this is a tiny strip so I will only be planting small, shallow rooted plants. 

I also "dug" the worst bed ever today.  It is on a really sharp slope and was also totally compacted.  If I loosened up the soil, it would just all slide down the hill.  So I just graded it out a bit so the slope is not quite as bad.  Then threw some organic mulch/ soil conditioner on top.  Hopefully, the mulch will break into the soil a little bit.  I dunno.  The only thing that gives me hope is all my neighbors have the same soil and things grow on it.  Granted, not much and not well, but it grows.

I have also thrown plants in there.  Usually they die after a couple years because the ivy takes over, plus I ignore it.  But the fact that it at least hangs on for a year or so gives me hope that with more attention and a lower grade to help hold water, it will work.  At least for hosta.

Tomorrow, I dig the third tier in that hill.  The soil there is loose because it is under my porch roof and never gets rained on.  It is just kind of dust.  So I will need to throw a lot of soil, moss, organic matter, etc.  but at least it is easy to work with.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 12, 2016, 01:55:02 PM
What is up with this new thing of throwing tiny succulents into tiny (often expensive) planters.  Every where I go I see a little baby jade plant planted in some tiny space struggling to survive. 

You know you're not really growing a jade plant.  You've just got a jade plant twig jammed into a decorative space.  Like just rip off a jade tree branch, and toss it on the floor.  It stays green for six months.  That's all you're doing, watching a jade plant twig die.

Don't even get me started on air plants.  Next time you get your hair cut, just grab a chunk of hair, duct tape it into a bundle and shove that into a glass bowl.  It will look just as attractive as an air plant and survive just as long.

Time to grow up and grow a real plant.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on September 29, 2016, 09:00:42 AM
my buddy and i were engaged in pertinent matters over espresso and morning beers when the topic of composting came up.  and then naturally the slow decaying egg shells.  he pulled out a mason jar that he'd been cramming with egg shells.  he lets em dry and spreads over his garden.  says it's like diatomaceous earth, which is coincidentally what i want to be for halloween. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 29, 2016, 03:15:11 PM
Composting is a bit harder than it looks.

If you get the brown to green ratio just right and some nice hot days, it all breaks down pretty fast.  Don't even have to turn it over too much.  But get it wrong, and it never breaks down at all.

That's the problem with composters.  You throw kitchen scraps and newspapers in there and hope you get it right.  But if you don't, you've just got like a half a composter full of junk.  Don't really know how to fix that. Just guess and add more greens or browns I guess.  But your composter never really empties.  It's just like dead branches and grasses and then an eighth full of actual compost that you can't get out easily.

The only way to do it is just to have a compost pile, and whatever doesn't break down then you just pull out and use the rest.  Except that if you live in the city, then it's not really a compost pile anymore.  It's really more of a vermin attracter and fly breeding ground.  My sister tried to have a compost pile in her yard.  Some anonymous neighbor complained to her HOA.  I guess I couldn't really blame them.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on September 30, 2016, 11:56:33 AM
black soldier flies take care of my shit.  annoying when they get in the house
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 30, 2016, 10:28:43 PM
Love the BSF.  Compost things faster, take over the pile so you don't get fruit flies or house flies or some other annoying thing. 

They can fly around in my house all day.  Small and not really noisy.  They don't really even try to evade capture if you scoop 'em up gently.  Then just dump them outside.

Unfortunately anything in my area that is remotely fly attracting gets houseflies which are the lamest, annoyingist flies or flesh flies which are actually beneficial and cool but gross and disease spreading.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on November 11, 2016, 10:03:16 AM
there was a mound of black soldier fly larva atop the compost.  it was so fuckin gross.  usually those types of things intrigue me, but i had to turn away and shut the lid.  i can still hear it at night.  slurping
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on December 27, 2016, 07:40:51 PM
finally put the garden down.  forgot how much fun that can be.  also was nice to be outside working in the winter.  granted, it was a pretty mild day.  i would have liked it to be about 10 degrees colder.   at the heart of every man is the need to work outside in winter.  it's vindication for his very soul
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 24, 2017, 11:55:54 AM
it's annoying sometimes when you have to plant two of the same type of trees.  our peach trees are taking up a quarter of real estate in the garden.  my wife read this book about cramming a bunch of plants and trees into a small urban lot.  she's always finding room somehow.  but the effect is pretty stellar.  i don't mind having to plant two paw paw trees.  that's always a good idea
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 29, 2017, 08:32:43 AM
spoke a little too soon about them peach trees.  my wife thinks one's diseased
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Dan on May 30, 2017, 10:42:11 AM
Make sure you get it a nice casket.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on May 30, 2017, 04:35:46 PM
We thought The Greg wasn't allergic to poison ivy.



We were wrong.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 30, 2017, 09:22:16 PM
yeah, i've never gotten poison ivy either.  this girl i was hitting on at the time told me she thought she wasn't allergic to it either and then bam!  got it when she was in her early thirties.  i imagine that i've just been extremely lucky.  i mean i've been lost in the woods overnight before
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on June 11, 2017, 10:15:13 AM
i have two compost bins; one i use for daily waste and the other which festers over winter to use for the fall.  either mother winter didn't kill off the worms or, well i don't know how else to explain it.  it's looking like good shit
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Poolio on June 12, 2017, 09:19:34 AM
We thought The Greg wasn't allergic to poison ivy.



We were wrong.
Oh dear. Hopefully, it's not a really bad case.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 12, 2017, 11:43:20 AM
I dug out the root crowns of about four or five small honeysuckle bushes yesterday.  I have the strength of a wet noodle today.  I am exceptionally out of shape.  Unfortunately, I probably have about 20 more to go.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on June 12, 2017, 12:56:01 PM
that'll be the end of that problem
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Dizzy on August 11, 2017, 01:25:54 AM
Sigh, another year, another short season for my cucumbers and melons due to powdery mildew.  But damn that one cantaloupe was worth it. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on August 11, 2017, 09:44:00 AM
But damn that one cantaloupe was worth it.
And that's why you keep doing it, right?

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelon!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on August 11, 2017, 10:08:33 AM
my grandfather used to put a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream with fresh ground coffee on top and serve it in a cantaloupe.  then he would set to demoralize me in cribbage
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Dizzy on August 11, 2017, 11:12:25 AM
But damn that one cantaloupe was worth it.
And that's why you keep doing it, right?

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelon!
Haha, yup. That and the pickles make it worth it. I also have a couple spaghetti squashes sitting on my counter right now but those aren't anything to be excited about. 

my grandfather used to put a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream with fresh ground coffee on top and serve it in a cantaloupe.  then he would set to demoralize me in cribbage
I had mine with goat cheese and prosciutto but that sounds good too. Guess I will have to wait until next year.   
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 11, 2017, 12:32:02 PM
Do you do the square foot gardening thing?  I bet powdery mildew is a bitch if you grow in raised beds that way.

Plants got to breathe.  It prevents the moisture retention that causes the mildew, plus then they are farther apart so the mildew doesn't spread so easily.  Of course if you do that, then you can only grow like half as much stuff.

I don't understand why people even vegetable garden.

Planting is a pain.  Then all the netting and applying organic pesticides that don't work while stuff is growing to keep the bugs and voles and whatever away.  Then you have to harvest.  And then you have to plant cover crop. 

If you actually get it all right, and you get a bumper crop... then what?  What do you do with extra 150 tomatoes?  You can't use them all, so you preserve them.  Why?  You don't need to preserve tomatoes if you have a garden cranking out tomatoes three seasons of the year.  You're only preserving them because you feel like it's a waste if you don't eat them.  But no.  That's not the waste.  You know what the waste was?  You spending all the effort to grow tomatoes.

But that's not even enough.  You got to make it extra hard on yourself.  Pressure treated wood for my raised beds?  Hell no.  That stuff actually lasts a good 25 years.  Who wants that?  I'd much rather spend an extra $500 for cedar that I have to replace every 5 years.

Farmers are not doing well in the US. Think about it.  Their entire livelihood depends on their crops.  They do this 24/7.  And, they don't make it extra hard on themselves with the eco-pesticides and non-GMO.  They have tractors and sprinkling systems and everything you can get to make growing shit as easy as possible.  And it still doesn't work.

Oh but I get 50,000 seeds that yield 1,000,000 tomatoes for like $25!  It's so cheap!  No.  It isn't.  One free tomato seed plus potting soil plus netting plus stakes plus water plus whatever pesticide.  Price that shit out.  It's not cheaper than buying tomatoes at the store.  It's not even cheaper than buying tomatoes at the Farmer's Market from some asshole who tries to grow them the hard way like you do.

The whole thing is just a simple exercise in how well you understand sunk costs.  Everyone fails.

You're not growing a vegetable garden.  You're growing a squash borer habitat and vermin sanctuary.  Which is nice for the wildlife I guess.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on August 11, 2017, 02:52:14 PM
we rarely weed or water our small plot.  we throw our compost on the garden bed (i made a raised stone bed a few years ago) after the season's over and right before it starts.  it's mostly tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.  i used to get excited about making spaghetti sauce but now i see three giant tomatoes and don't feel like doing anything about it because i'm already overwhelmed.  i eventually get around to a bumper crop with as little waste as possible.  once i'm actually making the shit, i get back into my groove.  but yeah, we have been growing a less variety of produce.  the tomatoes however, could use a significant pruning.  it's hard to get back there
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on August 12, 2017, 12:36:15 AM
you are most likely right zafer, but i would think that would pertain more to people such as ourselves in urban environments.  even though some people find every aspect of gardening therapeutic.  weeding has been enjoyable for me when we had a couple plots at various community gardens.  i had room to stretch out and really get my ass in the ground.  fucking chiggers man.  i'm not really great or astute at any aspect of gardening, but it's worth it just to be able to walk outside and pick a green pepper.  the worst that happens is you'll tell em you'll get em next year and halfway believe it because you're putting the garden down with a purpose.  i love putting the garden down.  that shit's fun.  the biggest takeaway with a vegetable garden is that you get to spend time outside and put in some work 

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 13, 2017, 02:24:22 PM
Yep.  You nailed it.  That's actually the secret to vegetable gardening that for whatever reason, people don't want to admit.  It isn't about the vegetables. It's the process. 

I just totally kicked ass today.  I bought this garden cart, so I got up today with my tool set.  Assembled it in about an hour.  Then I dug a bed.  The ground was as perfect as I have ever dug, and I have dug a lot.  We had a nice, on and off light rain for two days.  So my edging shovel was just slicing through the grass like a knife through better.  It was coming up in these beautiful crumbly chunks.  You could just grab a big chunk without it falling apart, but slam it in the ground, and the soil was just crumble away.  Toss the grass and roots left in your hand.

The one thing I am really good at is digging beds.  I was in the zone, instantly seeing exactly how much ground I could take up in the next shovel.  I dug out about a 6x10 area in maybe an hour or so.  Then got the turning fork, turned it over.  Got the hie, smoothed it out.

Then I went to the hardware store and in two trips bought like 20 bags of mulch, 10 bags of leaf gro, and a bunch of lumber and stuff.

Came back, threw down the leaf gro, turned it over and smoothed it out again.  Then I laid down the mulch,  and I got to wheel the garden cart back and forth doing all this.

Then I broke out the saw, cut up the lumber, got the tools out and built a 4x6 bed.  Went back to the hardware store, loaded up on  vermiculite, peat moss and compost.  Threw that in, raked it out.  Perfect.

I wanted to dig another bed, but I knew my back would hurt if I pushed it.  So I stopped, but it was still not bad because I know I have another three beds at least look forward to.

But here's the thing with perennials.  Once I plant those beds, it's over.  I will never use the garden cart or the edging shovel or fork, etc again.  In fact that fork was brand new and had been sitting in the basement if my last house for like ten years.

I will still have to mulch, but I won't ever get to just lay down big heaping mounds and rake it all smooth and fluffy.  I'll just do little handfuls at a time.  In 2-3 years maybe the plants can be divided, but that is not fun.  It actually makes your garden look worse for a bit.  And you don't get to eat the plants, you just throw them away.

So yeah, if you vegetable garden, you get to start new and plant all the time.  You are always growing, instead of just tending to what has grown. 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on August 17, 2017, 10:17:31 AM
and as i idle away, three juicy ripe tomatoes are going to rot soon.  i saw a squirrel eating one.  should probably put fodder in the bird feeder
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 20, 2017, 02:39:26 PM
Man, fuck Monarch butterflies.  Why is every conservation group bending over backwards to suck Monarch dick?  They're not even close to endangered. 

Tired of looking at butterfly sites and they're all like "milkweed!"  You know what species really likes milkweed?  Monarchs and Oleander aphids.  And oleander aphids are invasive. 

If you want to save butterflies, grow goldenrod.  It's much easier to grow than milkweed, it's attractive, and it is a host species/nectar source for 100 species of butterfly instead of 1. 

And it's not even clear that milkweed loss is responsible for the declining population of Monarchs anyway.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on September 23, 2017, 06:14:28 AM
Man, fuck Monarch butterflies.  Why is every conservation group bending over backwards to suck Monarch dick?  They're not even close to endangered. 

Tired of looking at butterfly sites and they're all like "milkweed!"  You know what species really likes milkweed?  Monarchs and Oleander aphids.  And oleander aphids are invasive. 

If you want to save butterflies, grow goldenrod.  It's much easier to grow than milkweed, it's attractive, and it is a host species/nectar source for 100 species of butterfly instead of 1. 

And it's not even clear that milkweed loss is responsible for the declining population of Monarchs anyway.

Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 24, 2017, 06:12:30 PM
I spent from 11:00 to 6:00 doing yard work.  My neighbors were out there the entire time, playing with their dogs and kids and grandkids and grilling.

My yard does not look any better than theirs.  How is this possible?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on September 24, 2017, 10:49:21 PM
Man, fuck Monarch butterflies.  Why is every conservation group bending over backwards to suck Monarch dick?  They're not even close to endangered. 

Tired of looking at butterfly sites and they're all like "milkweed!"  You know what species really likes milkweed?  Monarchs and Oleander aphids.  And oleander aphids are invasive. 

If you want to save butterflies, grow goldenrod.  It's much easier to grow than milkweed, it's attractive, and it is a host species/nectar source for 100 species of butterfly instead of 1. 

And it's not even clear that milkweed loss is responsible for the declining population of Monarchs anyway.

and ladybugs eat the aphids.  which are also invasive.  it's a crazy world out there.   i think milkweed is a pretty plant.  it gets those cottony things in the fall.  marvelous fall decor.  decor de jour.  funny story, well maybe.  my wife is a monarch goofball.  she's got her sign in the front yard about being a monarch waystation.  during her pregnancy her serenity espace was that field the monarchs migrate to mexico.  i kind of crushed her spirit when i said people aren't allowed to visit the site because of their protectedness (i'll defer to zk regarding their endangered status, but why'd someone make a big deal out of it?  the liberals?  anyways) .  but i think that made her think it all the more beautiful.  it is a beautiful thought.  a metaphor for the journeys we all take that no one gives a damn about.  a journey is just an idea without some force behind it and who can take your journey but you?  speaking of journeys, and this isn't the right thread, and i do want to talk about monarchs, but i've been on a journey (although touring journey with my father would be memorable), i've recently arrived from the land of journeys.  iceland.  this isn't like the iceland trip that would have occurred had i not pussied out of teaming up with american science in aught ten.  this isn't even the story about that trip.  this is about what happened after, man. 

i've been away for like ten days.  so i had a lot of internetting to do.  i'm about three beers deep, pretty high, and then my fucking laptop crashed.  i was playing madden 96, one of those snes emulator on line things.  i'm slightly embarrassed about playing it.  i haven't played it over a year because of the tyke.  while really getting into it, the laptop sounded like it was starting to overheat pretty hard and i thought, naw naw, blitz.  blitz.  daryl williams snuck in from safety to narrowly miss a sack and an 80 yard pass to hermann moore.  yeah, then so it crashed.  naturally my heart starting racing.  i still had quite a bit of interneting to do.  i hadn't even checked evernote.  and i love to write when i'm high.  so i guess i'll have to do that.  but with a notebook.  i wasn't quite ready for that, and i profess to being a luddite.  so i made sure all the cables were in their proper places and they seemed to be.  i even climbed over the couch and checked a little better than i usually would to see if the shit didn't come unplugged.  yeah, it seemed like i was going to have to write in my notebook to take advantage of being lifted.  i thought ok, this is probably one of those good things.  like, here's this situation you are in.  these are monumental builders of character.  how do you react.  in a minute i will leave you hooligans with this moving parting, it's what happens after the journey. 

i learned that.  reflection is a pivotal moment in the journey.  it's when a new journey begins.  the main reason i posted this in the gardening thread is because this page was open when the laptop died and i was in the process of reply to zafer's post.  so it is all kinda relevant. 

i didn't even get around to the story, which i'm pretty sure my wife is ok with me telling ten people.  so my wife, the butterfly lady, as she's known in a neighborhood full of butterfly ladies, bought a second hand aquarium from my buddy who could really use ten bucks.  we woulda given him fifteen if he said.  so she would set up a little monarch habitat inside and once she found a caterpillar in the wild, she would relocate him.  i knew she had her reservations playing god and she whimpers, i know. 
well anyway,

if you know anything about monarchs, they become a caterpillar than they cocoon and then they become butterflys.  i'm envisioning a stick of room temperature butter hovering about my kitchen.  i digress.  she really loves to see the metamorphosis.  it was my job (this is where the story picks up speed), since i'm home all day, to when those crazy bastards broke free of those chains and learned to flutter to.... make their escape as inconvenient as possible.  i had to do something, which i knew at the time but can't recall now.  one of them clearly wasn't going to make it while the other looked good from what i could tell.  so i turned the aquarium on it's side to help the not so good guy out.   i came back in an hour or so, but the one who seemed to have his shit together seemed to have taken a turn for the worse.  the other might have slightly improved.  so i introduced sticks as a coaxing mechanism, obviously i wasn't much help and you can assume how it ended.  and i feel kinda bad about it.  it's still a good story, like the fable; god.  too many cooks in the kitchen.  or is that an allegory? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on September 24, 2017, 10:51:18 PM
I spent from 11:00 to 6:00 doing yard work.  My neighbors were out there the entire time, playing with their dogs and kids and grandkids and grilling.

My yard does not look any better than theirs.  How is this possible?

you into them monsantos? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: euro60 on September 25, 2017, 09:20:03 AM
I spent from 11:00 to 6:00 doing yard work.  My neighbors were out there the entire time, playing with their dogs and kids and grandkids and grilling.

My yard does not look any better than theirs.  How is this possible?
Urrrr, maybe you simply suck at gardening?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 25, 2017, 11:38:38 AM
I spent from 11:00 to 6:00 doing yard work.  My neighbors were out there the entire time, playing with their dogs and kids and grandkids and grilling.

My yard does not look any better than theirs.  How is this possible?
Urrrr, maybe you simply suck at gardening?

I don't think I suck at gardening, but sucking at gardening doesn't make things take longer.  You dig a hole, you chuck a plant in there.  It's the same effort whether you do it well or poorly.  If you're bad, you dig the hole in the wrong place for the plant.  And then you don't water or mulch or weed.  So actually, sucking at gardening takes less time now that I think about it.

I think I just leaked a lot of time.  Like, I finally got a trimmer.  So unboxing the trimmer, assembling it, a quick read of the manual and adjusting the handle where I wanted it, then tearing down the box to throw it away probably added 45 minutes.  And then the yard had not been trimmed all year so the trimming took maybe 15 minutes longer than it should have.

Also, their gardens are mature and I am out trying to plant stuff.  Like, I won't be planting four shrubs every weekend. 

But mostly, it's that those guys are retired.  So they can do all the regular lawn stuff like mowing, weeding, watering, trimming, etc. during the weekdays.  It would really only take them 1/2 an hour each day.  But I have to do it all at once.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 25, 2017, 01:20:07 PM
But mostly, it's that those guys are retired.  So they can do all the regular lawn stuff like mowing, weeding, watering, trimming, etc. during the weekdays.  It would really only take them 1/2 an hour each day.  But I have to do it all at once.


This.  I'm surrounded by retirees and self-employed types.  Their yards all look amazing, and I get to watch them mow, and weed, and keep their porches painted, and all the other things I'd like to be doing while I sit in my home office saving big-box retailers pennies on their facilities supplies.  It's really pretty demoralizing if I think about it too hard.  All I get is my two day weekends and most of those are so booked up with other things to do that I end up getting nothing done.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on October 01, 2017, 01:50:54 PM
my wife said that milkweed is the only plant that a monarch will lay it's eggs on.  it's like a baby and a tit.  i said thanks and told her i had some shit to talk about on the internet
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 02, 2017, 02:07:02 PM
A lot of butterflies are like that.

You might have Karner Blue Butterflies near you.  They only lay eggs on lupinus perrenis.  The Karner Blue is way more attractive and endangered than the Monarch.  Lupinus Perrenis is way more attractive and endangered than milkweed.

But no one gives a shit about Karner Blue butterflies and lupinus perrenis.  Because Soros is funding NAMBLA and NABA and pimping out Monarchs to the lamestream media.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: adyonka on October 02, 2017, 02:17:17 PM
A lot of butterflies are like that.

You might have Karner Blue Butterflies near you.  They only lay eggs on lupinus perrenis.  The Karner Blue is way more attractive and endangered than the Monarch.  Lupinus Perrenis is way more attractive and endangered than milkweed.

But no one gives a shit about Karner Blue butterflies and lupinus perrenis.  Because Soros is funding NAMBLA and NABA and pimping out Monarchs to the lamestream media.

Quote from: Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife
By 1988, the Karner blue had been eliminated from Ohio. The loss of habitat, its larval host the blue lupine, was the main reason for the extirpation of the Karner blue. Another reason for the loss of this beautiful butterfly was the effects of fire suppression. It is currently listed as a state-wide and nation-wide endangered species. In 1997, adult Karner blue butterflies from Michigan were taken to the Toledo Zoo, where a population of adults was bred. Adults released at Kitty Todd Nature Preserve in the summer of 1998 have bred and are doing well. Thus, the Karner blue is once again part of the Ohio landscape. (Source: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/species-guide-index/butterflies-skippers/karner-blue)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on October 02, 2017, 04:34:06 PM
how's that tyler durden quote go?  maybe the monarch's are spotlighted to ensure a larger healthier (albeit still endangered) butterfly might not meet such a similar fate and one day reclaim the glory of being the world's most beautiful butterfly.  is that soros' plan in a nutshell? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 21, 2018, 01:08:28 AM
I tried to grow Echinacea from seed.  I had 10 seeds.  After 1 month, none of them have germinated.

About a week after I started the Echinacea, I started some snap dragons.  I think maybe 5 out of 20 have sprouted.  And they're all in one 4" pot.  So I really don't know what to do.  I guess I'll have to snip some and then wind up with hopefully 2.

Yesterday I grew frustrated and started another tray with some marigolds and zinnia.  The zinnias are already sprouting.  In less than 24 hours.  I don't get it?  I did nothing different.  It was supposed to take a week.  They're going to mature too early.  I don't have enough light to support mature plants indoors, and if I put them outside they will freeze and die.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 21, 2018, 09:20:40 AM
I tried to sprout some peach pits last fall from a family friend's tree.  They never sprouted.  I'm bummed, they were some damn tasty peaches.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 21, 2018, 03:18:47 PM
I mean, it's still only February.  Maybe there's still time for them to come up?  I still have a ton of stuff I planted last year looking dead or there's just a dirt patch that I'm hoping just need a week or two.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on February 21, 2018, 08:41:10 PM
what kinda peach trees?  we have two dwarf guys in our backyard.  didn't start them but my buddy has and was successful.  he's not the kind of person who puts a lot of effort into things, always needs $50 or to borrow my car.....  come to think of it, he does but a lot of thought into his yard.  he's always out there.  i suppose when all you do is not look for work, you can focus on your hobbies

our peach trees last year appeared to be dying.  the leaves started browning and the fruit was long gone.  taken, by the birds.  we summoned horticulturist friends and the diagnosis was grim.  either way i was fine with it.  die or don't.  open up some land on the garden bed (which is where they were).  so we did nothing and that was the way to go 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 21, 2018, 11:42:08 PM
I mean, it's still only February.  Maybe there's still time for them to come up?  I still have a ton of stuff I planted last year looking dead or there's just a dirt patch that I'm hoping just need a week or two.



These are in a zip lock in the fridge, which I read was the way to go, and then transfer to a container.  They look like they did when they went in so that clearly didn't work.

I don't know what kind, the original trees are in Oak Harbor.  I don't even really like peaches, but these made my toes curl
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 22, 2018, 11:15:55 AM
These are in a zip lock in the fridge, which I read was the way to go, and then transfer to a container.  They look like they did when they went in so that clearly didn't work.

I don't know what kind, the original trees are in Oak Harbor.  I don't even really like peaches, but these made my toes curl

Yeah, you crack them open to get to the pit.  Then you wrap the pit in a couple of moist paper towels and stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge.

I used to do it all the time when I was little.  Not because I wanted a peach tree.  I just thought it was cool for some reason.  It only worked maybe half the time, though.



Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 18, 2018, 06:10:04 PM
When I moved into the house, there was this overgrown strip of daffodils and roses.  I am not big into either one, so I cut down the roses and put a different bed on top of the daffodils.  I dug out a bunch when I was digging, but I knew I did not get them all.

So this year, the daffodils came up.  There are hundreds, maybe even a thousand.  I had plans like I would wait and then dig them out.  But then I realized that was going to be a ton of work and what would I do with all those bulbs anyway?

So today, I came home and just out of curiosity, pulled at one.  The ground was soft, so it came out with this tearing/plop sensation.  And then I realized how much easier it would be to just pull them out now.

So I did.  And it just turned into this horribe daffodil slaughter, just pulling out 4 or 5 at a time.  It felt bad to be killing all those plants and wasting them, too.  But it also felt good, like peeling off a scab.  It was awful.  I think I pulled about 200 or so in 20 minutes.  That as all I could do before I started feeling too weird.  I guess tomorrow I will do 200 more.  I think some of them had been there a long time.  Maybe 20-30 years or more, who knows?  They were nice ones, too.  A lot of jonquils and doubles and tazettas that you donít see too much anymore.

I will try to keep some of the sna
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on April 18, 2018, 10:51:05 PM
Maybe there is a garden group you could give the bulbs to? Like extension agents or an arboretum, and they could sell them?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: c-lando on April 19, 2018, 10:19:00 AM

So today, I came home and just out of curiosity, pulled at one.  The ground was soft, so it came out with this tearing/plop sensation.  And then I realized how much easier it would be to just pull them out now.

So I did.  And it just turned into this horribe daffodil slaughter, just pulling out 4 or 5 at a time.  It felt bad to be killing all those plants and wasting them, too.  But it also felt good, like peeling off a scab.


This is why I should weed more in our yard. Pulling stuff intact from the ground is EXTREMELY satisfying.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Butter on April 19, 2018, 12:03:30 PM
I will try to keep some of the sna

Snakes?
Snafus?
Snark?

It's gotta be snark.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on April 19, 2018, 12:16:12 PM
Maybe there is a garden group you could give the bulbs to? Like extension agents or an arboretum, and they could sell them?

This is a very good idea but I think you will need to let some of them die back naturally and then Dig, Dry, Donate. Quality daffys are always in demand.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2018, 02:31:34 PM
Maybe there is a garden group you could give the bulbs to? Like extension agents or an arboretum, and they could sell them?

This is a very good idea but I think you will need to let some of them die back naturally and then Dig, Dry, Donate. Quality daffys are always in demand.

Yeah, but that would a huge pain.  I'd have to dig instead of just pull.  And they are in a new bed which needs mulching so I don't want to mulch around the daffodils, just to dig everything up and re-mulch.  If we were just talking about 50 daffodils, I might do it.  But 500 or more is just too big a PITA. 

Most of the bulbs are still pretty fat.  I think they would be fine, you just might not get blooms the first year.  Or at least they would be fine if I put them in my garage for storage today.  Which I won't.  It's just too out of control.  I do feel a little bad, but I mean it's not like daffodils are an endangered species.  If they were natives, I'd try to save them but they aren't native and are messing up the natives I'm trying to plant. 

I also have a bluebell problem.  Not as a bad as the daffodils, but there are still 50 or so random bluebells of the non-native kind coming up in weird places in my yard.  It's not totally random, just not organized either.  At some point someone had a some beds laid out in a way that no longer makes much sense given the current yard layout.  I'm leaving them for now.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 28, 2018, 04:53:56 PM
Was at Loweís today.  Garden section was packed with people buying mulch and plants, getting all ready for the season, looking happy.

Iím like the walking dead.  Iím already burnt on gardening.  Iíve been mulching, growing, and weeding, pulling out 1,000 daffodil bulbs since February.  Iíve actually been mulching year round since August really. I am like 90% mulched but now I need to re-mulch already.  Next year I am just going to get a pallet of like 200 bags and do it all in a weekend.  This eight to ten bags of mulch every weekend is killing me.

 I finally got my beds ready and my plants came this week.  Iím too tired to plant them and now theyíll just die because I ran out of steam at the critical juncture.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on April 28, 2018, 06:20:58 PM
Memorial day weekend Lowes has a special of $2.50 bags ou'd mulch that includes free delivery. Or, at least they have the last couple years.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 29, 2018, 10:54:17 PM
there's a place in blue ash that has free compost, mulch, and dirt.  it's from all the local curbside pick ups.  i have more information if anyone's interested.  you have to pick it up and most times you have to back up to the gate and set out on foot with five gallon buckets.  but it's free
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 30, 2018, 08:03:28 PM
I hit the gardening wall today.

The unfortunate casualty is going to be this Baby Joe Pye weed.  Too bad, because tI was really looking forward to planting that.  But the plants came all twisted up and kept falling over in their pots, and then they were overly pot bound and dried up no matter how much I watered.

So, with the situation desperate, and them needing to be planted today I had nowhere to put them.  Their designated place is still filled with infernal daffodils that would require serious digging.  Which just shows how great a place it was that there were so many daffodils ands weeds there.

So I found a different place, which I had semi cleared out.  But that place seems to be pretty dry, which is horrible for Joe Pye weed, which likes it on the wet side.  I didnít even dig a bed.  I just dumped an ass,lad of mulch over the grass and then dug barely big enough hole.  If anything survives it will be a bonus.  In the meantime, the mulch will hopefully knock down the grass and set me up to plant something there next year.  Or not.  Who cares?

I did have a pretty awesome survival rate on stuff I planted last fall, so thatís good. I think I lost two turtleheads, a fern, a coreopsis, and maybe two asters out of close to 200 plants. 

My Meyer lemon survived the winter indoors.  It was looking kind of crap and the leaves all fell off, but now it has tons of new leaves and buds.

All my shrubs and trees made it, which is the important thing because they are most expensive and take up space and need the most time to grow.  So 4 Clethra, a witch hazel, two fringe trees (and they both have fringes already), 6 shamrock hollies, 3 viburnum, 1 hydrangea, and 3 chokeberries, 1 Illicium parvaflorum , 5 Itea all looking good.

My columbine actually grew huge and flowered, which never happened before.  Usually they survive for me, but just kinda struggle for their 2-3 year lifespan without ever flowering.  Also my green-and-gold flowered, which is another plant that I plant and five years later I find tiny surviving bits still but it never takes off or flowers.

I think it helps that I had my rain gardens dug professionally, and that I planted all natives.  And that I planted way late into the fall and actually even winter.  Like seriously half that stuff went into the ground a week or two before the big snowstorm on December 8.   Heat just kills everything.  The snow actually provided an insulating later then kept the ground moist for weeks.  Of course, then I stupidly planted in the spring again.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on April 30, 2018, 08:50:45 PM
not the joe pye weed!  it's my favorite plant.  love seeing that shit in the wild because it's pretty remarkable when you see anything native anymore.  naturally, one has to venture into protected places to glimpse it.  what's your native population, percentage wise?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: notoriouspbake on April 30, 2018, 10:25:35 PM
just checking in to give a thumbs up for all the native plants!

zafe, no coneflowers? purple loves full sun.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 01, 2018, 01:00:01 AM
what's your native population, percentage wise?

Of the stuff I planted, 100%.

I have three ligustrums I inherited which are really horrible, invasive plants.  They are probably leftover from what was once a privet hedge but have grown into small trees.  I decided to leave them for now but they may go at some point. 

Other than that everything is native, but not hardcore native.  Itís probably like 60% hardcore straight species that are native to Richmond and 40% that are either ďnativarsĒ (selectively bred or hybridized from natives) and/or native to East Coast but probably not Richmond.  Iím most excited by the Rattlesnake Master.  So far, they are tiny and Iíve almost stepped on them a dozen times but they are healthy as hell and hopefully will grow to 4 or 5 feet eventually.  I donít know if they will flower this year or not.

I have a container garden on my deck that is non-native.  Itís like strawberries, a dwarf peach, a dwarf lemon, flowering annuals, and some vegetables.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 01, 2018, 01:04:12 AM
just checking in to give a thumbs up for all the native plants!

zafe, no coneflowers? purple loves full sun.

I just planted them out on Sunday.  I donít know about them.  I started them from seed way early but they took forever to germinate, and then they took forever to grow.  The ones I planted still only have two tiny leaves and are less than an inch tall even though they have been outside in starter pots for over a month.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: va-vacious on May 01, 2018, 09:30:38 PM
I finally got a pot of day lilies into the ground, two years after I bought them. They are the orange variety, and I bought them at a plant sale at the historic cemetery. They divide plants that are planted (and survive) at the graves, as well as get new plants.

I got a butterfly bush that I am hoping will do well, and moved some lambs ear around.

I'd like to get more natives, but that is going to take awhile.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: notoriouspbake on May 02, 2018, 10:27:14 AM
Iím most excited by the Rattlesnake Master.  So far, they are tiny and Iíve almost stepped on them a dozen times but they are healthy as hell and hopefully will grow to 4 or 5 feet eventually.  I donít know if they will flower this year or not.


i've used rattlesnake master in a native plant lab i use in class with my seniors. cool plant, monocot. FYI, all monocots have the stomates arranged in parallel rows. dicots have random placements. i tried to post a pic we took but couldn't figure it out.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 02, 2018, 01:19:48 PM
Huh.  That's interesting.

I never really thought about it, but I guess I assumed they were dicots because they have tap-roots. 

What I learned in HS bio:

Monocot:
One cotyledon
Fibrous/network root system
Flower parts arranged in groups of 3

Dicot:
Two cotyledons
Taproot/central root system
Flower parts arranged in groups of 4 or 5

Endicott:
No cotyledons
Up from 5:00
Givin' it all he's got
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: notoriouspbake on May 02, 2018, 08:55:20 PM
monocots have parallel veins on their leaves.

this is a cool site to learn about natives: https://www.wildflower.org/plants-main/ (https://www.wildflower.org/plants-main/)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 04, 2018, 04:57:06 PM

Endicott:
No cotyledons
Up from 5:00
Givin' it all he's got

WIN!
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 18, 2018, 03:53:16 PM
Man, I don't know what to do about violets.

I think the flowers are kind of pretty, and they are native so I hate to kill them.  People are always planting wild ginger, and to me, native viola are just wild ginger only with flowers.  Leaves are almost the same, and both are good ground covers.

OTOH, they spread everywhere.  And they don't stay a reasonable size.  They get gigantic and crowd everything out.  Also, while some might like the foliage... I don't.  If it would just behave itself and grow in small patches to fill in my beds I'd be fine with it but it doesn't.

So far I'm just pulling it.  Which does absolutely nothing to actually stop it, but it does pretty up the garden temporarily.  Maybe that's how I will make peace with it.  By just half-ass weeding it with no herbicide there will always be enough to grow and flower and sustain itself but it will stay somewhat under control.  Of course, that means a ton of weeding.

Also, the Baby Joe Pye weed lived.  It's actually been growing like gangbusters the last week.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: foolsgold on May 18, 2018, 10:13:08 PM
We've had some luck putting violets in large pots. It doesn't look nearly as good as it does on a lawn, but it's a decent compromise. Now our yard is mostly free of them and have been replaced by a good half dozen other kinds of creeping groundcover (and giant trenches from the  voles and rooting roots of a tree we took down.) I'm not going to pay one of those lawn care companies to come give me a nice looking  yard. I just don't care that much, am lazy, would feel bad paying for something like that. So,
I can live with pretty much anything so long it's green.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 21, 2018, 12:03:46 PM
Yeah, I'm okay with violets in the lawn.  Just not sure I want them in my beds.

I made a little flagstone pathway and the violets are totally taking over between and alongside the stones and I'm okay with that.  I put down mulch and I go through after a rain and spend 15 minutes randomly pulling some out just to keep it thin and somewhat in control but I don't mind it being kind of a violet meadow.

The Bermuda grass is bothering me far more than the violets at this point, though.  I'm debating whether to forgo my organic gardening goals and just the beds with a one-time application of Round-up.  I don't know how I will get rid of the Bermuda grass (and bindweed) otherwise.  If I could just clear it out from those areas one time real good, then I can probably manage the beds through hand pulling from then on. 

But I dunno, full sun plus decent soil is Bermuda grass heaven.  I am pretty sure some asshole at some point actually seeded the yard with Bermuda, so not even sure if Round-up would fix the problem.  I cannot stand Bermuda grass.  It's ugly, it's non-native, it's insanely invasive.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 21, 2018, 12:49:38 PM
are there grasses that can compete with bermuda? 
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 21, 2018, 02:52:52 PM
are there grasses that can compete with bermuda?

Not really.  Bermuda grass is pretty crappy in shade, but in full sunlight it's unstoppable.  It's from Africa, it laughs at drought.  It spread both by seed AND by underground stolons.  You ever try to pull Bermuda grass?  It's impossible, the roots bury themselves super deep.  And all it takes is one small bit of it left anywhere in the ground it will grow again.  Maybe St. Augustine grass could give it a run for its money.  But replacing Bermuda grass with another non-native grass that is even more aggressive is hardly a win.

The typical solution is to spray round up over the lawn to kill everything.  Then cut and strip the sod.  Then aerate and plant new seed on the bare dirt.  And even then Bermuda grass will come back.  It's just manageable.  Mostly by hitting it with more Round Up whenever it appears again.

In a way, it's not as bad for me because I don't care about it in my lawn.  I'm just trying to get it out of my garden beds.  But in a way that's worse because it will just keep growing into my beds from the lawn.  And also because I don't mind a weedy lawn, but a weedy bed defeats the whole purpose of a garden.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 22, 2018, 09:27:06 AM
the very first thing we did when we bought our house was to kill all the grass in the front yard.  just cardboard and topsoil.  now it's wife's natives' sanctuary and butterfly habitat.  isn't much of a plot up there but that grass is certainly gone.  not sure what type of grass it was before.  some native grasses introduced into the backyard are the only patches we have
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 22, 2018, 04:19:28 PM
Yeah, I'm going with the "smother it in cardboard and mulch" approach so far.  It knocked it back a ton last year, and I thought I had it licked until it came back full-force after the huge rains.

I'm going to hope it's at least weakened and go another round of smothering and mulch, along with putting in some 8" edging to try and cut the garden beds off from the lawn so the stolons can't spread.  See how that goes, but I don't have high hopes.

Your wife should be happy to know that despite my whining about what pampered bitches Monarchs are, that I did end up putting in four swamp milkweeds.  I tried not to, but I kinda ran out of interesting, viable butterfly-friendly natives.  I was hoping they would die, and I expected them to as they weren't in the best location.  And one of them I did think was a goner, but just in the last week I saw a little green and then it rained for four day straights and that was enough for it to really take off.  I'm not going to water it but I think it has already passed into the drought-proof stage now.  There are a lot of birds back in that area, so maybe the monarchs will come to the plant and the birds will eat them.  I hope so.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 23, 2018, 05:19:38 PM
Our condominium complex has a communal patio on top of our 5-story garage. When the complex was first developed some bright individual thought it would be a good idea to plant bamboo in large landscape boxes to hide an unsightly area.

It did the job, but fast-forward 10 years later and we want that shit GONE. I know it is almost impossible to kill but I'm asking for pointers anyway. So far we've cut it right back to the soil and placed tarps over it to block out the light and water. Will this be enough if we leave the tarps there until next Spring?

The plan is that after it is dead, we will have a landscape company remove all the root system and dirt, then refill the boxes with fresh soil. Ideally we'd like to salvage the boxes for reuse.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 23, 2018, 05:42:52 PM
The key thing with bamboo (or Bermuda grass or most other invasives) is they need to be contained.

If they are in an area bordered by concrete that they can't get out of, then lack of light and moisture (along with potentially a helpful solar heating impact) will pretty much kill everything.  If you put down a couple of layers of tarp and pin them down really well so no light and very little water can get in, then you should be okay.

Also see if you can check on how the bamboo grew or spread.  If it was an expanding clump, that's good.  Clumping bamboo you can possibly dig out the whole chunk.  If it was running in lines, that's bad.  Running bamboo will regrow from any tiny, little bit left in the ground and it really wants to spread out.  It's more aggressive typically in both how it spreads and how quickly it grows tall.

It sounds like you have clumping bamboo contained within a landscape box so you should be good.

Honestly, that is a situation where I would be okay with Round Up.  You are not spraying it in mass amounts indiscriminately. All you would be doing is dabbing it on culms.  And you are not using it in lieu of hand pulling, which would be impossible.  There are no plants around that might be impacted.  It sounds like even any water is contained so no run-off.  No one is eating anything from there.  You are getting rid of a non-native, particularly invasive weed that is could cause a lot of damage because I have seen bamboo break up concrete even.

I mean, I think the tarp will work and it is always better to avoid chemicals when can.  That would still be my preferred option.  Iím just saying if you do not have the urgent next year to buy plants, or if someone is raising a huge stink or you think people might mess with the tarp or whateveró if there is extenuating cirinstance I would use roundup and not feel bad about it.

I do not know how big the area is, but letís say you put a rain garden in there.  You could absorb 5k-10k gallons of water a year, so getting a rain garden started a year earlier offsets the enivironmental ding of a judicious one-time use of herbicide in a controlled, very small area.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 24, 2018, 12:55:00 PM
is there bamboo that doesn't spread?  it's neat as fuck.  you can build with it
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 24, 2018, 01:28:44 PM
is there bamboo that doesn't spread?  it's neat as fuck.  you can build with it

The standard practice is to buy a non-aggressive clumping type.  And then you dig a 2 or 3 foot trench around the area you want controlled and install a barrier.  Even then, more and more places are just outlawing bamboo altogether, even if it isn't running bamboo.

If you just want the bamboo to build stuff with, pretty sure you can just put an ad on Craig's List offering to cut and haul away any bamboo they have on their property and people will pay you large sums of money to do it.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 24, 2018, 01:45:36 PM
Thanks for the info, ZK.

I have no idea which type of bamboo root system we are dealing with, It is contained but the roots are so thick that it's almost impossible to penetrate with a hand trowel. When I tried using a sharp hand trowel, it was like trying to cut into a dry loofah sponge with a piece of string cheese.

One of the ladies in our gardening group is very Earth-friendly and doesn't want us to use Round-Up because of the possible impact on bees, butterflies etc. I can understand her concern, even if I don't think it'd be too much of an issue if we coat the bamboo with the stuff and then immediately cover it back up with the tarps.

Any idea if Round-Up residue would linger for a year in the wooden boxes or on the underside of the tarp? We want to reuse the boxes. They are lined with landscape fabric, which we plan to remove and replace after the bamboo is gone and the boxes have been refinished/repaired.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Paco on May 24, 2018, 01:53:39 PM
Round Up becomes inert once it comes in contact with anything other than plants. The biggest danger is if, say, your dog walks through it while it's still wet and tracks it where you don't want it.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 24, 2018, 04:58:00 PM
Any idea if Round-Up residue would linger for a year in the wooden boxes or on the underside of the tarp? We want to reuse the boxes. They are lined with landscape fabric, which we plan to remove and replace after the bamboo is gone and the boxes have been refinished/repaired.

What Paco said.  Roundup is a contact killer that is effective only when it gets sucked up by plants and penetrates to the roots.  It does not screw up the soil.  I mean, I don't know if I would totally trust Monsanto's word on that 100% but you all would be using a fairly small amount in a small area.  You're not planning to grow anything to eat on it, and you are replacing the dirt and fabric anyway so I don't think it's a big deal... to humans anyway.  And probably pets.  It may create some mutant butterflies if they land on the plant while it's still on the plant but I believe my views on the the sissification of butterflies has been expressed.  You kill a few butterflies this year to plant nice pollinators that will help butterflies for the next ten years... it's a worthwhile trade.

If someone wants to freak out about something, your boxes are probably pressure treated lumber and if they are older than 10 years probably with the old CCA which means it is leaching arsenic.  But you don't have to tell your garden group that.  It really only penetrates an inch or so at the edges and again-- no one is eating anything from the boxes.  Not that it would matter even if they did.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Paco on May 24, 2018, 05:41:14 PM
Any idea if Round-Up residue would linger for a year in the wooden boxes or on the underside of the tarp? We want to reuse the boxes. They are lined with landscape fabric, which we plan to remove and replace after the bamboo is gone and the boxes have been refinished/repaired.


If someone wants to freak out about something, your boxes are probably pressure treated lumber and if they are older than 10 years probably with the old CCA which means it is leaching arsenic.  But you don't have to tell your garden group that.  It really only penetrates an inch or so at the edges and again-- no one is eating anything from the boxes.  Not that it would matter even if they did.

Oh man, the old CCA. When I was a wee lad in the mid 80s, I lived near L.A. and drove truck for a lumber company. One of the places I had to occasionally haul out of was the processing plant that made the CCA lumber. i could only get about half of the board feet of a usual load because the wood was so wet, still dripping with the chemical soup. Nasty stuff indeed.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Paco on May 24, 2018, 07:07:42 PM
It's a funny coincidence y'all have so much bamboo going. I just did a major exterior renovation and part of that was the plant situation which had been mostly ignored for a couple of years. i sort of considered trying bamboo but wasn't sure it was viable here in dayton. I think I'm glad I didn't after reading everyones problems in getting rid of it.
I had the same issue with Mulberry and Honeysuckle that had grown out of control for 20 years or so. I had 6 Mulberry trees that were 20-40 feet tall and enough Honeysuckle to choke the Budweiser Clydesdales.
After getting it cut down I was given some Herbicide from an Arborist I know which is specific to woody plants. He told me the proper chemical name but needless to say, you can't get this stuff from Lowes. Put it on grass, flowers, weeds, it won't do anything. But if you paint a ring around the trunk of an existing tree or the top of a stump thats leftover, thats it. In a matter of days or a week, it's as dead as....dead.
 
I'm curious if it would work on bamboo. Probably not, since bamboo is technically a grass, correct?
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 28, 2018, 08:43:13 PM
I mean, Roundup will do a number on most anything.  If you want to spray a shit ton of it into a grove, clear out what gets killed, spray again, clear, spray, etc. three or four times and each time did out as many rhizomes as you can, you can clear that area.

The problem is, it spreads so fast that as you are clearing that area it has sent runners out and has started growing somewhere else.  It is hard to keep pace with it.  The bigger problem is your neighbors.  You can only kill up to your property line.  If your neighbors are growing it, it comes right back.  People sue each other for tens of thousands of dollars over this stuff.

I saw a House last year when I was house hunting and the neighbors were growing bamboo as a privacy hedge on 2 of the 4 sides.  I told my realtor I was out immediately.

My neighbors had a mulberry tree in their backyard.  It was a total trash tree that needed to come down, but because no one ever lived there long or it was rented, they never did it.  The tree would grow up into my roof and also shade out my back yard completely.  I had to get it trimmed to the property line every year even though it was not my tree.

Right after I moved, a giant limb fell off that tree into my yard.  No one did a thing about it.  I had to call my buyer and have him call the city to get the limb cleared out.  It was sitting there resting on a power line.  I had to talk to my other neighbor and she was like, that explains why we keep losing power every few hours.  Idiots.  It was a good thing I came back to drop off the keys or it would have been that way for a month.


Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 28, 2018, 09:26:42 PM
I went to war with the Bermuda grass this weekend.  I pounded in some edging to separate it from the lawn.  The first step is always containment. 

Then I started digging with a trowel.  I would dig down about 6 inches, hoping to get under the rhizomes and runners, then just pry up.  Then I could kind of reach underneath and grab the runners and pull until I got to a rooted node, then dig again.  It was a nightmare.  I pretty much ended up just redigging 1/3 of that bed... with a trowel.

But I feel like I took out a lot more than grew this year.  I dug out tons of those nasty nodes that had dozens of roots and runners shooting off in every direction.  I am sure there are dozens of tiny rhizome bits in the ground that will regrow, but they are pullable now.  They are not attached to three feet of roots and rhizomes in a crisscrossing network.  As long as I weed properly with a trowel and not just pulling by hand, I can get them out.

Thereís one spot where the grass is too thick and it is between some plants and I canít really get to it or dig too deep.  I am going hit it with Roundup, which sucks but oh well.  I looked at my gardening pledge and it is actually kind of wishy-washy.  It doesnít say no chemicals.  It says ďMinimize the use of chemicals.Ē  If I spend 15 hours hand clearing an area of Bermuda grass and I need to hit like a 1.5 square foot area with Round Up one time to clear it enough to never need Round up again, I call that ďminimizing.Ē

Thereís another, huge area that has a bigger Bermuda grass problem but I have lots of space between fairly vertical plantings, so Iím just going to give that the tarp treatment.

Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: MissKitty on May 29, 2018, 12:28:04 PM
Thanks for the info, Paco and ZK. We've cut the bamboo right back to the soil and covered it with tarps. I'll check it in a month and see if there is any green whatsoever. If I see even a smidgen of life I'm gonna Round-Up the hell out of it, possibly under cover of darkness when the Earth-friendly member is asleep. :)
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 29, 2018, 03:34:41 PM
I have both mulberry and endless amounts of honeysuckle.  I should be pitied.

I've gone to town on the honeysuckle, but it's a long slow process.  I bought a tractor last fall and have been using it to rip the fuckers out of the ground stump and all.  It's rewarding work, but it's slow, and with no-one helping me it's a real work out.  Climbing up and down off of that tractor to move the chain is better exercise than I get any other way.
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: daytime drinking on May 31, 2018, 10:47:51 PM
so apparently you can't just cut bamboo and make shit.  there's a process that involves some time and effort.  just trying to build a trellis for some grape vines on the deck.  wife wants the bamboo for the trees she procures and it's ideal trellis material.  guess i'll just use shit i find lying around the yard.  shoulda harvested some sunflower stalks from last go round
Title: Re: The gardening thread
Post by: Paco on June 01, 2018, 02:59:36 PM
I have both mulberry and endless amounts of honeysuckle.  I should be pitied.


I feel your pain. They're both a scourge.