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BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011

Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 01 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 11:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 05:32 PM
Bobert 01 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Jan 11 - 06:55 AM
gnu 02 Jan 11 - 10:22 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 02 Jan 11 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 11 - 03:50 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM
maeve 02 Jan 11 - 05:31 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 05:43 PM
Cats 02 Jan 11 - 05:59 PM
LilyFestre 02 Jan 11 - 06:13 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 06:25 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 07:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM
Sandra in Sydney 02 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM
LilyFestre 02 Jan 11 - 10:43 PM
Liz the Squeak 03 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 11 - 11:08 AM
Bobert 03 Jan 11 - 11:14 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Jan 11 - 12:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 11 - 04:29 PM
EBarnacle 04 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 01:05 PM
Janie 05 Jan 11 - 01:36 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM
EBarnacle 05 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:35 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 04:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 11 - 10:56 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Jan 11 - 09:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 11:33 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 12:47 PM
maire-aine 06 Jan 11 - 08:03 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM
maeve 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 07 Jan 11 - 06:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 11 - 12:07 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 11 - 12:41 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 07 Jan 11 - 02:12 PM
Bettynh 07 Jan 11 - 03:13 PM
Bettynh 07 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 PM
EBarnacle 07 Jan 11 - 06:03 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 06:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM
Janie 07 Jan 11 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Jan 11 - 08:05 AM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 08 Jan 11 - 09:35 AM
s&r 08 Jan 11 - 09:45 AM
EBarnacle 08 Jan 11 - 10:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 11 - 11:36 AM
EBarnacle 08 Jan 11 - 11:55 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 08 Jan 11 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Jan 11 - 02:43 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 08 Jan 11 - 02:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 11 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Jan 11 - 04:46 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 08 Jan 11 - 05:08 PM
maeve 08 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 11 - 06:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 11 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Eliza 09 Jan 11 - 06:22 AM
maeve 09 Jan 11 - 07:05 AM
Janie 09 Jan 11 - 11:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 11 - 12:02 AM
mouldy 10 Jan 11 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Jan 11 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jan 11 - 06:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 11 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jan 11 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jan 11 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Jan 11 - 11:53 AM
EBarnacle 10 Jan 11 - 12:23 PM
Bobert 10 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jan 11 - 01:10 PM
mouldy 10 Jan 11 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jan 11 - 03:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 11 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Jan 11 - 06:56 PM
Janie 10 Jan 11 - 10:32 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 11 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM
MMario 11 Jan 11 - 08:48 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 11 Jan 11 - 09:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 11 - 11:11 AM
mouldy 12 Jan 11 - 02:47 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 12 Jan 11 - 07:43 AM
Bobert 12 Jan 11 - 07:45 AM
maeve 12 Jan 11 - 07:47 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM
maeve 13 Jan 11 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Jjon 13 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 11 - 07:45 PM
Bobert 13 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM
maeve 13 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 11 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Jan 11 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,JTT 14 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,JTT 14 Jan 11 - 01:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 11 - 01:52 PM
open mike 15 Jan 11 - 05:40 PM
pdq 15 Jan 11 - 07:10 PM
Janie 15 Jan 11 - 07:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 11 - 07:56 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jan 11 - 09:59 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Jan 11 - 10:12 AM
pdq 16 Jan 11 - 11:26 AM
Bobert 17 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM
maeve 17 Jan 11 - 10:42 AM
maeve 17 Jan 11 - 10:52 AM
Bobert 17 Jan 11 - 03:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM
Bobert 18 Jan 11 - 09:36 AM
pdq 18 Jan 11 - 10:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 11 - 10:14 AM
maeve 18 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM
pdq 18 Jan 11 - 10:47 AM
Janie 30 Jan 11 - 05:29 PM
Bobert 30 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 11 - 08:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Jan 11 - 12:26 AM
mouldy 31 Jan 11 - 03:00 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 31 Jan 11 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Jon 31 Jan 11 - 09:04 AM
Bobert 31 Jan 11 - 09:16 PM
Janie 31 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM
Bobert 31 Jan 11 - 09:49 PM
maeve 09 Feb 11 - 04:09 PM
Bobert 09 Feb 11 - 05:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Feb 11 - 06:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM
Janie 09 Feb 11 - 09:35 PM
Maryrrf 09 Feb 11 - 09:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 11 - 10:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 11 - 01:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 11 - 01:53 PM
pdq 10 Feb 11 - 03:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 11 - 06:27 PM
Janie 10 Feb 11 - 07:12 PM
Janie 12 Feb 11 - 08:04 PM
Bobert 12 Feb 11 - 08:20 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Feb 11 - 08:39 PM
maeve 12 Feb 11 - 11:14 PM
Janie 13 Feb 11 - 08:26 AM
Bobert 13 Feb 11 - 09:30 AM
Janie 13 Feb 11 - 04:14 PM
Janie 13 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM
Janie 13 Feb 11 - 05:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 11 - 08:37 PM
Bobert 13 Feb 11 - 09:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 11 - 09:56 PM
Bobert 13 Feb 11 - 10:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Feb 11 - 02:01 PM
maeve 14 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM
maeve 15 Feb 11 - 02:40 PM
Janie 20 Feb 11 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Feb 11 - 03:28 PM
maire-aine 20 Feb 11 - 04:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 11 - 06:35 PM
Janie 20 Feb 11 - 07:28 PM
maire-aine 20 Feb 11 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Feb 11 - 09:15 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 11 - 09:29 PM
Janie 20 Feb 11 - 10:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 11 - 12:13 AM
Cuilionn 21 Feb 11 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,TJO 21 Feb 11 - 06:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM
Janie 22 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM
Max Johnson 23 Feb 11 - 01:23 PM
Donuel 23 Feb 11 - 08:46 PM
Janie 24 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM
Janie 24 Feb 11 - 05:33 AM
MMario 24 Feb 11 - 05:48 AM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Feb 11 - 09:59 PM
Janie 24 Feb 11 - 10:23 PM
freda underhill 25 Feb 11 - 04:30 AM
freda underhill 25 Feb 11 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Feb 11 - 07:48 AM
Bobert 25 Feb 11 - 08:42 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Mar 11 - 03:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Mar 11 - 06:34 PM
Janie 03 Mar 11 - 09:23 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Mar 11 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM
Cats 05 Mar 11 - 08:36 AM
Maryrrf 05 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Jon 05 Mar 11 - 09:34 AM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Mar 11 - 03:17 PM
Janie 06 Mar 11 - 11:22 PM
Janie 06 Mar 11 - 11:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Mar 11 - 12:58 AM
Bobert 07 Mar 11 - 11:40 AM
Cuilionn 08 Mar 11 - 06:52 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 08 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM
Bobert 08 Mar 11 - 08:35 AM
maire-aine 10 Mar 11 - 07:54 PM
Janie 10 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Mar 11 - 11:57 PM
Bobert 11 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 11 Mar 11 - 07:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Mar 11 - 11:17 AM
Bobert 11 Mar 11 - 03:57 PM
Cats 11 Mar 11 - 05:15 PM
Janie 11 Mar 11 - 07:36 PM
Janie 11 Mar 11 - 09:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Mar 11 - 03:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Mar 11 - 06:31 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Mar 11 - 06:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 11 - 08:54 PM
Janie 15 Mar 11 - 12:04 AM
Janie 15 Mar 11 - 12:22 AM
Janie 16 Mar 11 - 07:24 PM
Janie 16 Mar 11 - 08:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Mar 11 - 11:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Mar 11 - 12:05 AM
Dorothy Parshall 18 Mar 11 - 01:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 11 - 03:22 PM
Maryrrf 20 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM
Janie 21 Mar 11 - 06:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Mar 11 - 10:15 PM
Janie 22 Mar 11 - 07:14 PM
maire-aine 24 Mar 11 - 03:21 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 24 Mar 11 - 08:36 AM
Janie 24 Mar 11 - 07:11 PM
pdq 24 Mar 11 - 08:34 PM
Bobert 24 Mar 11 - 08:48 PM
Janie 13 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 03:20 PM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 03:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 11 - 11:53 PM
Janie 26 Apr 11 - 12:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 11 - 12:43 AM
MMario 28 Apr 11 - 04:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 11 - 10:56 PM
MMario 29 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM
Janie 29 Apr 11 - 11:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 11 - 11:04 AM
MMario 05 May 11 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 May 11 - 02:42 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 06 May 11 - 07:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 11 - 10:55 PM
MMario 19 May 11 - 08:50 AM
pdq 19 May 11 - 10:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 May 11 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 May 11 - 11:47 AM
MMario 20 May 11 - 09:14 AM
pdq 20 May 11 - 10:13 AM
MMario 20 May 11 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Jon 20 May 11 - 11:04 AM
pdq 20 May 11 - 12:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 11 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 May 11 - 01:13 PM
GUEST 20 May 11 - 01:39 PM
pdq 20 May 11 - 01:46 PM
maeve 20 May 11 - 01:48 PM
pdq 20 May 11 - 01:52 PM
maeve 20 May 11 - 02:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 11 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 May 11 - 03:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 May 11 - 05:26 PM
Bobert 20 May 11 - 07:36 PM
maeve 20 May 11 - 07:52 PM
Bobert 20 May 11 - 08:01 PM
MMario 21 May 11 - 06:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 May 11 - 07:02 PM
MMario 22 May 11 - 10:34 PM
MMario 24 May 11 - 08:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 May 11 - 07:51 PM
maire-aine 25 May 11 - 12:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 May 11 - 12:44 AM
MMario 25 May 11 - 08:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 May 11 - 12:14 PM
maire-aine 25 May 11 - 06:57 PM
MMario 26 May 11 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 May 11 - 10:42 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 27 May 11 - 08:33 AM
MMario 27 May 11 - 08:56 AM
pdq 27 May 11 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Jon 27 May 11 - 12:47 PM
Arnie 28 May 11 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Jon 28 May 11 - 07:09 AM
maire-aine 29 May 11 - 07:02 PM
Dorothy Parshall 30 May 11 - 08:36 PM
MMario 01 Jun 11 - 08:27 AM
MMario 02 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM
MMario 07 Jun 11 - 08:29 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 07 Jun 11 - 05:01 PM
Janie 07 Jun 11 - 08:22 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 11 - 08:46 PM
MMario 09 Jun 11 - 08:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jun 11 - 10:29 AM
MMario 13 Jun 11 - 08:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jun 11 - 09:21 AM
MMario 15 Jun 11 - 09:19 AM
MMario 16 Jun 11 - 08:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jun 11 - 04:23 PM
Bobert 16 Jun 11 - 05:55 PM
Janie 16 Jun 11 - 09:41 PM
Bobert 16 Jun 11 - 09:50 PM
Janie 16 Jun 11 - 09:56 PM
MMario 17 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jun 11 - 11:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jun 11 - 04:12 PM
maeve 18 Jun 11 - 04:51 PM
Bobert 18 Jun 11 - 08:35 PM
MMario 20 Jun 11 - 11:37 AM
maeve 20 Jun 11 - 04:41 PM
MMario 22 Jun 11 - 09:39 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jun 11 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 23 Jun 11 - 11:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM
MMario 27 Jun 11 - 10:16 AM
Janie 28 Jun 11 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,Jon 29 Jun 11 - 02:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jun 11 - 11:47 AM
pdq 29 Jun 11 - 12:58 PM
gnu 29 Jun 11 - 02:15 PM
pdq 29 Jun 11 - 02:17 PM
MMario 29 Jun 11 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 11 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 11 - 12:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 11 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 11 - 03:44 PM
Janie 30 Jun 11 - 08:13 PM
pdq 30 Jun 11 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 11 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 11 - 09:25 PM
Bobert 30 Jun 11 - 09:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jun 11 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 11 - 05:32 AM
Bobert 01 Jul 11 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 11 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 11 - 02:04 PM
pdq 01 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 11 - 04:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM
pdq 01 Jul 11 - 05:11 PM
Bobert 01 Jul 11 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 11 - 06:11 PM
pdq 01 Jul 11 - 07:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 11 - 08:05 PM
Bobert 01 Jul 11 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Jon 02 Jul 11 - 05:02 AM
Bobert 02 Jul 11 - 01:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM
gnu 03 Jul 11 - 01:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 04:07 PM
gnu 03 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM
pdq 03 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM
Janie 03 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM
pdq 03 Jul 11 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Jul 11 - 09:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 11 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Jon 04 Jul 11 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Russ 04 Jul 11 - 01:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 11 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 04 Jul 11 - 06:14 PM
Bobert 04 Jul 11 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Jon 04 Jul 11 - 09:16 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 05 Jul 11 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 05 Jul 11 - 09:40 AM
maeve 07 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM
Bobert 07 Jul 11 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Jon 07 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM
maeve 07 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jul 11 - 03:25 PM
Bobert 07 Jul 11 - 07:12 PM
Janie 07 Jul 11 - 08:30 PM
Bobert 08 Jul 11 - 06:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM
pdq 09 Jul 11 - 03:39 PM
pdq 16 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM
Janie 16 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM
pdq 16 Jul 11 - 05:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jul 11 - 01:10 PM
Bobert 17 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM
Janie 17 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jul 11 - 09:29 AM
pdq 18 Jul 11 - 10:35 AM
Janie 18 Jul 11 - 08:02 PM
MMario 22 Jul 11 - 09:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 11 - 10:03 AM
Bobert 22 Jul 11 - 11:16 AM
gnu 22 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM
maeve 22 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM
maeve 01 Aug 11 - 12:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Aug 11 - 01:32 PM
Janie 10 Aug 11 - 08:25 PM
Bobert 10 Aug 11 - 08:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 11 - 10:28 AM
Bobert 11 Aug 11 - 10:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 11 - 07:27 PM
Sooz 12 Aug 11 - 03:47 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 12 Aug 11 - 07:35 AM
gnu 12 Aug 11 - 12:13 PM
Janie 12 Aug 11 - 05:40 PM
Janie 12 Aug 11 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Jon 12 Aug 11 - 06:23 PM
Janie 12 Aug 11 - 06:26 PM
gnu 12 Aug 11 - 06:44 PM
Janie 12 Aug 11 - 07:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Aug 11 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 13 Aug 11 - 02:26 PM
gnu 13 Aug 11 - 03:41 PM
Janie 14 Aug 11 - 11:33 AM
Bobert 14 Aug 11 - 12:32 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 18 Aug 11 - 03:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Aug 11 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM
maeve 18 Aug 11 - 07:22 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 19 Aug 11 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Aug 11 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Aug 11 - 07:04 PM
Bobert 19 Aug 11 - 07:14 PM
Bobert 19 Aug 11 - 07:15 PM
maeve 19 Aug 11 - 07:31 PM
pdq 19 Aug 11 - 07:44 PM
maeve 19 Aug 11 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Aug 11 - 08:05 PM
Bobert 19 Aug 11 - 09:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Aug 11 - 10:05 PM
Bobert 19 Aug 11 - 10:27 PM
Janie 19 Aug 11 - 10:49 PM
Janie 19 Aug 11 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Aug 11 - 12:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Aug 11 - 07:56 PM
Bobert 22 Aug 11 - 08:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Aug 11 - 10:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Sep 11 - 01:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 11 - 04:08 PM
Janie 26 Sep 11 - 07:48 PM
Janie 26 Sep 11 - 08:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Sep 11 - 09:20 PM
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Subject: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM

Here you go, Bobert, and I hope you'll be a regular contributor. It seems like you just moved to Virginia, and now you're headed to North Carolina. We await news of the zone, soil type, water quality, native plants, wildlife predations on your garden, etc.

My garden will continue to creep down the side yard along the driveway toward the street (an Edible Estate) and I have a couple of new beds underway directly in front of the house. Since the won't work without irrigation, I'll probably have to put in soaker hoses and a quick coupler on the front yard hose.

For point of reference, we are scattered through various hardiness zones and soil types. I'm in zone 7B and I do a lot of xeriscape plantings except in the vegetable garden (though it doesn't hurt if the plants are hardy there also!) Limestone underneath, blackland prairie that is rock hard when it gets dry. I use a lot of compost and soil amendments.

I have a few pretty things, lilies, Texas star hibiscus, iris, and daffodils that come back every year. Lots of slavia greggi around the yard, and the rosemary has pretty little blue blossoms. The silverado sage has lovely lavendar flowers a few days after a heavy rain. I tend to put in perennials and save my energy for the vegetable portion of the yard.

Good gardening to all of you, please report regularly!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM

Well, I just got my first issue of "garden porn", aka Johnny's Selected Seeds. But I'm in Zone 4 so it's gonna be awhile. I'm planning a big ol' sustainability garden, so tis the season for reading, planning and dreaming!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:59 AM

Do you start seeds inside? I keep intending to, and then realize the time has passed. Ideally I should start seeds this weekend to be ready for planting in a few weeks (especially beans and lettuces).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 05:32 PM

Most of my tomatoes from last summer are ripening fast now, but they're not very pretty. I'll blanch, cut up, and freeze them.

I have a couple of those fancy Boston Bibb lettuces that they sell with the roots. Know what? They grow if you plant them. I have one that is getting big enough now I'll start pulling the outer leaves off (I ate must of the lettuce then planted the little green core). The local grocery took them out of the fancy boxes and mixed them with the regular bibb lettuce, but didn't cut the root off the bottom, so they came at a very reasonable price. :-)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM

Well, we've been waterin' and waterin' the 400 or so plants that I dug and have in various sized pots... They are all in barns and dry out frequently... We're collecting water from one of the barns into about 30 5 gallon buckets when its warm enough to rain, then they freeze, unless we drag 'um in the one barn that doesn't freeze as bad...

Kinda weird not planning the veggie garden but we are still in garden/house limbo and the new house (should the banker accept the short sale" has a nice garden spot that the present owner is allowing his neighbor to use for his horses... Hmmmmmm??? Think we're gonna have to evict them first thing... No, we'll try to work somerthin' out but we're gonna need some of that acre or so that the neighbor has fenced in with the horses... Maybe he's got some other "open" area that we can use for the veggie garden but around the house is a little too shadey to grow good veggies...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:55 AM

Not garden - that's a deserted frosted wasteland covered in bay, ivy, pittisporum and cat poo....

BUT.... for the first time in years, 3 out of 4 of my Christmas cacti have flowered, including one that hasn't flowered (or done much in the way of anything) for the last 13 years. I inherited it when my father died in Jan 1998, and it's never done so much as put out a new leafy thing that didn't die off. Suddenly, this year, it's got half a dozen flower buds on it! I did think I may have been overwatering it, but as it has been neglected for months on end, I don't think that was it. I have just recently (because I'm trying to not kill some houseplants on loan from a friend who moved house and isn't settled enough to take them back yet) been watering a little more frequently, but I was wondering if, with the snow we've had this last 6 weeks, the variation in light might have been the catalyst - it hasn't moved from its shelf since I put it there in 1998....

Anyway... thought I'd share.... :-P

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:22 AM

I have ice growing on the wires and trees but it's expected to be 4C later today so I'll likely lose the whole crop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:30 AM

My annual reminder of the virtues of NATIVE GARDENING:

"Green"/eco-friendly gardening is native gardening, and vegetables, plus other consumables, should be the only exotic-flora we plant or hybridise - as doing so can help limit food-miles, etc. By filling our other garden spaces with natives, we use less water and other resources, whilst aiding the native-fauna that, over the centuries, evolved with them. (Even high-nectar exotics, such as Buddleia, that are very attractive to some native-fauna, should be avoided, because they upset nature's/God's balance – God created evolution, too, that is.)

Our green gardens, with their vegies and natives, can be made still-greener by the addition of compost heaps/bins; a wildlife pond – for native frogs, newts, and so on, rather than exotic goldfish; bee- and bird-boxes, plus carefully-selected regularly-cleaned feeders; rain- and grey-water butts; by growing everything organically - including thrifty home-propagation, plus species-swapping; and by leaving some lush neglected patches, decaying branches, etc.

From here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 03:50 PM

And this is my annual annoyed response to WAB. Your lunatic fringe stuff doesn't typically fit this discussion. Somehow you take rational concepts and turn them into nonsense. It never fails to irritate.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM

I almost feel like a fraud, these days, participating in the gardening threads. I mostly only can reflect on "Gardening Past." Most of my gardening is fantasy and daydreams about what I would do if I had time, these days.

However, I am very grateful that I confidently know all of my dear gardening friends on these threads will continue to welcome me. You can't know how grateful I am for that.

My Johnny's catalog arrived mid-November. It is the best reading and daydreaming book ever, as far as I am concerned.

Just home from spending New Year's with my parents. Snow hit up there before I had the chance to get their front garden cleaned up, but the ground was clear when I arrived Friday night. I had hoped to cut back all the frost-killed perennials, pull out the annuals, and pinch the pansies over the weekend, but it was too rainy to get out there and do garden clean-up. I noticed the irises had never been cut back. I'll be back up there in a couple or three weeks, and will be sure to do that so the iris borers don't have an opportunity in spring.

Yesterday I reflected that in years past, my New Year's tradition was to plant more spring bulbs. Haven't done that in 3 years now. Hopefully, the day will come again.

If you will bear with me for a moment, Melonoma is very erratic in it's growth. Since Thanksgiving, and especially in the last week, Dad is increasingly fatigued, sleeping much more, and his appetite has radically dropped off. He could plateau, however. Maybe he will live to see the early spring bulbs bloom one more time, and the pansies come on strong. It would be verging on miraculous if he saw the first of the roses bloom, but it could happen. Or he may be entering a steep decline and be gone within the next 3-4 weeks. He so loves spring and the flower and veggie garden in spring. I so much long for him to see at least part of one more spring. I don't know if he longs for the same or not. Our conversations recently focus being be grateful for each moment in the now, and what needs to happen to assure Mom is attended to once he dies. He considers anticipatory nostalgia to be This week I am going to start a planter indoors with seeds of lettuce and spring greens and onion sets. Maybe I will carry it to him, and maybe I won't. An early indoors planter is a sorry excuse for the season of early Spring, and his world and concerns are getting smaller and smaller by the day.

Once it sprouts, if it seems it might brighten his last days, I'll carry it on up to West Virginia. Otherwise, I will set it outside here in late February or March, and reflect on how much Daddy would approve each time I harvest a little salad.

Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:31 PM

Ahhh, Janie. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:43 PM

Oops, cut myself mid-sentence up there.

He considers anticipatory nostalgia to be an indulgence and waste of precious present time.

No, maeve. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cats
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:59 PM

I have wild primroses out on the bank, hellebores out in profusion and snowdrops sprouting. Also have one or two pots of bulbs which are shooting to about 3 or 4 inches of green which I think are daffodils. The garden needs a really good spring clean and weed. Had some gardening vouchers for christmas and have decided to use them to plant a heather bank near the old cyder press base.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: LilyFestre
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:13 PM

Janie,

   Does your dad like to watch things grow? If you are looking for something with a little color you can always force some crocus or tulip and even hyacynth bulbs. Amarylis is fun to watch grow too...they grow so fast and get so tall with giant blooms. It is tradition in our home to have a *race* to see who's Amarylis grows the fastest...we name them and everything. It's just nice to focus on something else. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. (((Hugs)))

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:25 PM

The pulmonaria maeve sent sent up leaves that are still standing. I expect the crested iris will emerge in spring. Won't know if the bloodroot survived until spring. It goes dormant here by mid-spring, but there were leaves on the roots maeve shipped. I am concerned the late summer and fall were so dry, and that I was unable to stay on top of watering sufficiently for it to have survived. Time will tell.

Bobert & P-vine have generously gifted me with three unusual azaleas over the past several years. Two, one started from seed, and one from a rooted cutting, are still in pots and are doing OK. The japanese azalea (sorry I'm too lazy to go root out the name right now) with such exotic blooms, has been in the ground two years now, but appears to be very vulnerable to at least two southern USA pests, lacebugs being one, and some sort of mite-like insect being another. If I could consistently and alternatively spray it every 2 weeks with neem, insecticidal soap, and dormant oil, as well as keep it well watered during drought periods until it were large and otherwise thriving I think it would be fine. I have managed so far to keep it alive, in spite of not having the time to give it the attention it needs. I hope this coming year I will be able to give it the attention it needs to firmly establish itself to the point it can survive and reasonably thrive in the face of assured neglect.

Pass along plants mean a lot to me. (Plus, I am a bit of a narcissistic plant snob), and I hope I am able to give this azalea the minimal nurturing it needs to eventually establish itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 07:02 PM

Redundancy are my middle name. (sorry for not proof-reading.)

Thanks for your ideas, Michelle. Dad is less enamored of watching things grow indoors than he is with watching and participating in natural seasons. I am the same. Having said that, it can be delightful to observe forced bulbs, and growing plants indoors out of season can be "soul food."

When my sister died, 20 years ago the end of this month, some one one sent a truly lovely spring planter to the house of forced hyacinths and paperwhite narcissis.   Olfactory memories are very visceral and very powerful. Their fragrance has filled me with a sense of dread and sorrow ever since. In the last 3-4 years, I have again begun to appreciate their fragrance gently wafting on a March breeze out-of-doors. Dad and I recently talked about this. He is in about the same space as am I.   That is why I am planting spring greens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM

Janie,

If spring is taking too long to get here, then you can take measures into your own hands to find something that will make late winter rich and interesting. Do you have a nursery in your area that would have Japenese flowering quince or forsythia? If you pot one of those and bring it indoors, you can probably get it to bloom before it would outdoors. For me, the surprise of finding the backyard quince (I planted it in 2002) in bloom tells me that spring is almost here. The forsythia was another of my northern seasonal markers, but I know they grow in these southern areas also, at least as an introduced shrub. And I suppose if you're really desperate for an early spring, you could go dig up some skunk cabbage and bring it inside. (At least, they were probably the first in the Pacific Northwest, and I get the impression from the landscape that you probably have something in the jack-in-the-pulpit family in your area swamps and wet areas beside roads, etc.)

You're in the realm of important ceremonies that represent what it is that is important to you both. Sometimes just a whiff is all you need.

I flew to Seattle to see my mother the last time when she was in Virginia Mason hospital, being treated for metastasized breast cancer. I walked over to the Pike Street Market to pick up a gift, something tactile she would enjoy holding, and as the clerk wrapped a piece of carved soapstone, she told me that the Copper River salmon were in. I mentioned this to Mom later, and she asked if I happened to have some for a meal anytime soon, would I bring her a bite?

I was spending the nights with friends, and in the morning I called the restaurant down at the yacht basin and asked if they had Copper River salmon, and could fix a lunch for me to take to her in the hospital. They were very nice and said of course. She was barely eating anything at that time, mostly on IVs, but I took that straight to her and she ate a couple of bites of salmon and she loved it. She wasn't eating much then, and my brother finished the rest - might as well not waste it! Nothing else appealed to her in the 2 more weeks she lived, nothing else food-wise was remarked on. But I am so glad that I was able to bring her something she really treasured for an important meal. If the fish hadn't been running, I'd have found a way to get some frozen, but I'd have gotten it. So do what you can to bend nature to your will and turn up with one of those surefire signs of spring, and I think you'll accomplish what you are hoping for. Take care of yourself during this time, let yourself enjoy those flowers also.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM

My garden is 4 windows as I live in a 4-room apartment. Plants stand at different heights on the sills & hang at different levels.

My north-facing window has flowering plants:
Begonias - one I've had since at least 1978, it probably came from my parent's garden when they left Sydney, others include more recent cuttings & seedlings.
Geraniums - the pink one a clipping taken from a garden a few years back, the new red ones were seedlings boughta few months back.
Christmas cactus & Zygocactus - the same plant under different names: some flower winter ie. mid year, some flower spring/summer ie end of year.

My 3 east-facing windows have mainly green indoor plants as they face the next building & don't get such good light. The one flowering plant is also a refugee from my parent's garden - a hoya which flowers most years.

When I move in a few years I'll be in a ground-floor apartment & have a very small raised garden to accommodate my sore knees & back. It will include a lemon tree & a franjipani tree, hopefully tomatoes & a few vegs, & some flowers & maybe some potplants. I'll be living with some inner-city farmers & gardeners who will have the type of gardens discussed above. I'll still have plants in every window! And hopefully one will be north facing.

It will be great to have proper yards after living here since 1980 in a block with a very tiny courtyard containing only green leafy plants.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: LilyFestre
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:43 PM

Garden catalogs have started flooding in around here too. We have a special basket for those kinds of catalogs that is kept between our chairs. It's totally dream time. I love to plan out the garden with my honey...we make an event out of it! The only item I care about getting this summer is my Providence corn. Of course there are several other things I'd like to see or try in our garden but they all come AFTER my PROVIDENCE corn!!!! I also have my eye on a climbing rose this year!

I'm off to dream of warmer days and dirt on my hands and face. :)

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM

A tragedy to relate....

An inquisitive cat has knocked the single bud off my white Christmas cacti, but at least I know it still has it in it to flower! With any luck and a following wind, it will put forth another bud. In the meantime, I can look at my forced hyacinth which are filling the room with perfume out of all proportion to their size. Plus, I know now by process of elimination that the one cacti not flowering is the red one.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:08 AM

I bought 2 very inexpensive little pots of christmas cacti at my local discount grocery last year. I repotted them and they have at least tripled in size. I knew this was the kind of plant that buying small and very inexpensive was fine, because it wouldn't take too long to be the size of the pricier ones. One of them has pink buds but hasn't opened any yet, and the other is putting energy into new segments but no buds. I'll have to put both of them in the window where the one with buds is to see if I can get blooms one of these days.

I couldn't have much in the way of houseplants for years for the very reason you mention - cats. There was one old guy who would eat just about anything. I didn't want him killing himself on the toxic ones, and I got tired of fighting him off of the few non-toxic I had around. Now I'm slowly expanding my houseplant holdings.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:14 AM

Janie,

We'll be in yer neighborhood next week for the Greensboro Nurseryman and Trade Show...

If you can "call in sick" on the 14th and want to get in we can arrange it even though it isn't really open to the public...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:46 PM

Plants/gardening have been such an important part of my life prior to Montreal. The full carload of house plants I took across the country from near Phila. to Whidbey Island, had to be left behind when I crossed the border into Canada. I managed to retain some of the planters and look forward to re-filling them. I also rejoiced with a friend who adopted some of the larger ones. I especially miss the four foot jasmine tree which delighted me two years ago when I could actually SMELL it for the first time - a sign that my MCS was less severe at that time. I had not even been able to smell lilacs for ten years.

Replacements are coming slowly: a Clivia miniata which is just finishing a month of bloom at the darkest time of the year! It had finished blloming last pring at Home Depot so I got it for a reduced price - willing to wait for the next go-round. Offices and industrial buildings becoming defunct have donated several large foliage plants which brighten our LR. And broken pieces of aloe vera and Christmas Cactus which are rooting - as I root for them!

I spent tremendous effort in the back yard last summer, restoring beds which had been unused for years. The yard included two truck loads of trash and lots of old bricks and chunks of concrete from when it was a horse stable. Considerable digging unearthed a 3x6 foot piece of concrete which is immovable and about 8 inches lower than the beds adjacent. At that point (August), I fell and injured my back for the season; I am still considering the better way of dealing with this object - get someone to break it up? utilize it as a feature? In what way? I am still waiting for a garden shed "near" there. Actually considering the possibility of one made of concrete blocks with the capacity of having a waterfall coming off the roof into a pond - about where this concrete pad is??? This may be a fantasy?

Anyway, around the edge of three sides of the yard, I planted shrubs and perennials, bought and donated, in profusion, knowing that "next year" they would fill in beautifully.
Found some heritage tomato plants at a co-op and learned which ones did well and also that they could have been planted MUCH sooner and done better. Also planted a round herb bed in a round wooden frame found on the street on trash day. I painted it and it provides separate compartments for four kinds of thyme, oregano, sage and two lavenders. from the wonderful Richter's Herb Farm. The 25x40 space is walled on all sides and probably offers a zone 5 micro-climate. It gets more sun than I expected.

I have a shade bed which includes a Solomon's seal (I hope it comes up again) dug from amongst the poison ivy at a deserted, falling down property in Ontario. The sunny side is reserved for vegies, including rescued rhubarb, so stunted the leaves were smaller than my hand! I dug a trench, sifted the soil and put manure in the bottom. Maybe this year...

I keep in mind the mantra of my 85 year old gardening friend: "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:29 PM

My organic guru said it's time to plant a lot of stuff already here in North Texas. Means I'll have to get out and work on the garden, adding soil amendments, digging some of the new beds. I bought a pair of swimming goggles to see if they keep my eyes from watering in the cold air. That is one of the biggest reasons why I don't get as much gardening in as early as I'd like. If they work, I'll get a pair for prescription lenses.

The garden gets better every year. And this year I need to work on my rain barrel again. It went unused last year, but I was lounging in the tub the other day, mulling the upcoming yard work season, and had an epiphany about how to manage it. More about that later.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM

As I sit here in the living room/indoor garden, the lettuce is abounding; the horseradish continues its mysterious ways; scallion stubs grow to amazing heights and the mint is trying to take over the room. We keep most of the same plants going, summer and winter. Various herbs are kept potted all year long.

My sister gave me the Christmas Cactus 35 years ago to decorate my office during my internship. While it has never spread, it has never died and puts forth flowers every November. It is an old friend and has lived in several places with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:43 AM

Further to my above post on NATIVE GARDENING, whilst our selection of indoor plants is, logically, not as critical to the ecology of our greater environment, I still choose natives, such as English ivy/Hedera helix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:05 PM

Walkabouts Verse, how CAN you recommend not growing Buddleia? I have always done so, and the number and variety of butterflies on it never ceases to delight and amaze me. Ditto Iceplants (pink, not red) I should imagine that huge numbers of garden plants and flowers are not strictly native, but nevertheless give enormous pleasure. I'm mad about wildlife (member of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB etc.) and have many little corners in the garden for sheltering small beasts. But unless some foreign plant is a real piggy (eg Japanese Knotweed) I see no harm in it. I also buy large packets of selected annuals for creating butterfly and bee nectar havens. They make a gorgeous show, perfumed to the skies. (Particularly Scorpion Plant) Many of them aren't native, but are welcomed nevertheless. The worst thing is a concreted plot with the odd tub of a box tree. No life at all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:36 PM

I thought already posted this- hope I didn't carelessly type it into the wrong thread....

My Christmas Cactus (red) finished up just before Christmas. Have had it about 10 years. Probably needs repotted. The first year after I moved I had no blooms, last year a few blooms, and this year more blooms, but it still has not bloomed as heavily as it did in the old house. Guess I best mess around with location and lighting, eh?

Am having 7 wood windows replaced this week. Cold frames! They are the same width as my raised beds, small enough to not be too heavy to lift, so should be able to rig something up to use them as lids pretty easily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM

Because, Eliza, if we plant species that have NOT evolved with our native fauna over the centuries, we are (to varying extents - some worse than others, as you say) upsetting nature's balance. And does Buddleia really deserve its flavour-of-the-month status - bit scruffy! Ivy, on the other hand, deserves a much better press, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM

Well, I've always cut my Buddleia right down in the autumn, and it doesn't look scruffy. I've got three different ones, one is quite pink in colour, another gorgeously dark and the third just ordinary. Are you even against roses? Because I don't think they're native, I couldn't bear not to have some roses in my garden! I love ivy too, it provides a good shelter for overwintering creatures, and a very nice dark backdrop for more colourful things. I'm thinking of Oxford Ragwort and Sycamore, both non-native and rather badly behaved, so I concede you do have a point!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM

Consider that quite a few public spaces have "Shakespeare Gardens." These are gardens which have all of the plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works. Somehow, I suspect that many of these are not native Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:35 PM

Exactly, EBarnacle, and also grass and prairie gardens (for example Beth Chatto's wonderful drought garden here in England) which are designed with North American plants. Even Lavender is not native to the UK. If one eradicated all these non-natives, where would we be? I just couldn't bear to lose all the delightful species of plants from around the world for this cause. The people at Kew would have forty fits! Last century, plant collectors went to the four corners of the Earth to bring us new examples. And plant breeders have devoted their lives to cultivating them. I don't feel I can agree with this purist viewpoint. But I do respect the concern for native wildlife and for maintaining the balance of Nature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:39 PM

...but the Dog Rose/Rosa canina is native to England, and wonderful, I think. (Apparently, it's the one that all the exotic roses have been grafted onto - hardy stock, because it's native, I suppose.)

For any Aussies reading this, I see, via the web, Don Burke has recently released a book on native gardening, called "Indigenous"; as I say, it's the good way wherever you garden, in my opinion.

And, to those over the pond, who's promoting native gardening there..?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM

Yes, the Dog Rose is delicate and beautiful. Most of our wildflowers are superb. I'm getting very interested in this viewpoint. But doesn't wildlife adapt to new things? Is it all bad? Or are some innovations beneficial?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 04:39 PM

The exception I've argued for, above, is vegetables and other consumables - to cut down on food miles, etc. But surely using remaining gardening space to create, as closely as possible, native habitat (so much of which has been lost to modern farming, etc.) has to be good for the diversity of native fauna and flora.

I accept that creating an attractive native garden can be quite a challenge (in Australia and England, e.g.), but it has to be a good challenge for gardeners to take-up. Thus, I was pleased a couple of years ago when Monty Don started a native-garden trend - but, sadly, it seems to have waned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 10:56 PM

At this point in time, there are so many species, benign and invasive, scattered all over the world, that planting native in the attempt to sort that out is fruitless.

Planting native plants to encourage the local wildlife is fine, but in this day and age, gardeners also have good options for appropriate planting from other regions and other continents for xeriscape reasons, for aesthetics, for food and other healthy uses (drugs, medicinal teas, pest control, etc).

I resent and resist Walkabout Verse's attempt to appropriate the sciences to his cockeyed religious views. (Even high-nectar exotics, such as Buddleia, that are very attractive to some native-fauna, should be avoided, because they upset nature's/God's balance – God created evolution, too, that is.)

He presumes to speak for his god (who he probably considers THE god and insists is it the same god that other religions worship, thereby appropriating them) to proscribe what we shouldn't do as gardeners and to prescribe the type of planting we should do based upon his preferred dogma. It's a bunch of nonsense, and is useless the garden.

Go post your doggerel on your web site, WAV, and leave the gardeners alone to do their work as experience and science dictate.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM

What Stilly said....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:02 AM

S.R.S: we agree on some exotics "for food and other healthy uses (drugs, medicinal teas, pest control, etc).", anyway, as above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:33 AM

You're using the word in the definition, again, WAV. Give it a break and go post your gardening ideas on your pages. I'm sure you probably have readers there who share your ideas and I'm sure you'd be happier there.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM

That's not for you to say, SRS - I did start another separate Native Gardening thread, but it was deleted by a moderator; so, as such an argument DOES fit within a "Gardeners' Report" thread, I posted it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM

So you got kicked off of a goofy thread you started and now choose to bring your nonsense here to sift it into the conversation instead? Prepare to be ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 12:47 PM

This weekend is supposed to be rainy, and then it will get very cold. I may take time tomorrow to work in the yard and put the employment hours in over the weekend.

Two things in particular - one method of knocking out pre-emergent weeds is to use an organic mix of 10% vinegar, orange oil, etc (see Howard Garrett's Winter Weed Control Update) is to hit the things coming up now in the dormant lawn and garden. It doesn't act like the environmentally-obnoxious chemical approach one finds in commercial "weed and feed" products. This stuff works pretty well on contact and isn't going to do any harm if it does get rained on 24 or 48 hours later (not like washing herbicides and fertilizer into the surrounding water system).

I need to start moving around some of my raised beds. They were too close together, but since they're not held in place by lumber on the ground, it's a matter of shoveling the dirt to where it needs to be and beveling the raised bed edge with the shovel. This worked just fine this year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:03 PM

Hi. We're not expected to go above 30F (-1C) all next week, here in southeast Michigan. But I am beginning to "think spring".

I'd like to find a vareigated (white & dark green) holly bush (I guess I'll need male & female). If anybody can suggest a reliable source, please let me know (either here or PM).

Thanks,

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM

Well, as I have stated in the past, "Native is not native at all"... I mean, let's get real here... We, along with critters, have move seed and pollen around the planet so much that it now just comes down to hardiness, Ph, light and not much more... What's the difference if a bird carries a seed or a man carries it??? None... So much for natives, unless anyone here is a thousand or two thousand years old and can tell us what was growing in any given place on the planet back then... And then, who cares???

Sorry... Just narrow thinkin' on some folks part...

With that, still waterin' the 400 or so plants in containers waitin' for the move...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM

Question about our native smooth hydrangea. I have a few of them. Don't think they are Annabelle's, but they are cultivars. Books and articles talk about cutting them back to about 6 inches every year or so once they are established. I haven't quite got up the nerve to do that. Anyone have any experience with them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM

All of the hydrangeas in my experience were in Seattle, and I don't think anyone did anything except let them sit there and grow the blossoms. My father's house had one in a poor dried out raised bed near the door and he didn't do a single thing to it ever and it kept on growing and blooming. Talk about "benign neglect!"

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 AM

Janie, our practice is to prune 'Annabelle' and similar hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) first thing in the spring. They bloom on the current growing season's wood, so in our climate the practice of annual spring pruning serves to remove winter killed stems and increase new growth, thus increasing bloom with the increase in new shoots. At the same time, we can shape the shrub and control its size.

Different species of hydrangea require distinctly different pruning- or lack thereof. 'Endless Summer' blooms on both new growth and last year's growth. Still others may never need pruning except to remove dead wood, control size, or restore vigor.

This link may be helpful:http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/how-to-prune-hydrangeas.aspx


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:13 AM

"Well, as I have stated in the past, "Native is not native at all"... I mean, let's get real here... We, along with critters, have move seed and pollen around the planet so much that it now just comes down to hardiness, Ph, light and not much more... What's the difference if a bird carries a seed or a man carries it??? None... So much for natives, unless anyone here is a thousand or two thousand years old and can tell us what was growing in any given place on the planet back then... And then, who cares???

Sorry... Just narrow thinkin' on some folks part..." (Bobert)...

On whose part? There's a huge difference in the effect that humans (such as the brave but misled Victorian plant-hunters) versus, say, birds on the wing can have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:07 PM

I don't know anything about the particular hydrangea at Dad's house, or the one in our yard in West Seattle, except that they withstood all weather, and while I think we occasionally cut flowers and took them in the house, nothing else was done to it. The flowers were either pink or light blue, or both, and I'm sure whatever cultivar was in the yards in the 1960s had been there for a decade or two already, so is probably not even part of the discussion of modern varieties of the plant.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM

There are hundreds of bees and birds for every man, Verser, and they are out there moving seeds and pollen around on some level all year 'round... Among the humans less than 10% care much about gardening and of them only a small percentage of them are hybridizing... I'd say that makes man far less involved in propagation and hybridization of plant material than our outdoor friends...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:41 PM

If you answer, you let him hijack the thread, Bobert.

Have you heard any more about closing on the new place? And will you be able to evict the horse from the garden spot gently enough to negotiate to get the droppings for future compost from where the neighbors move it?

There's a horse in the neighborhood, but I don't know what arrangements they make about the manure. I should stop by the house and ask them one of these days. Would you use horse, or do you prefer chicken?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 02:12 PM

I'm not trying to "hijack the thread", SRS, and do, rather, take an interest in other comments, such as on composting - but, yes, I hope more people consider Native Gardening...

And Bobert: all the exotics growing on the Isles of Scilly, e.g., are not there from "bees and birds", but from humans with a because-we-can attitude - and it's such native fauna that thereby suffers from a lack of native flora/habitat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bettynh
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:13 PM

The term "native" can be a bit tricky. Horses are native to North America if you consider 12,000 years ago the time of purity of our fauna. So are mastodons. No matter what we do things change. The non-native species that sends me into a dream state is the earthworm. Yep, there have been no native earthworms in the northern forests since the advance of the glaciers many thousands of years ago. There's evidence that there is a return, and the leading edge of that change is about here, in the middle of New England. The gardeners' friend and fish bait types probably originated in another part of the world, but there's a slow incursion of southern species moving north. When I'm digging around in the garden and turn up worms, I think about it for awhile. And I think about whoever studies and knows these things.
There's a discussion here


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bettynh
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM

Aside from dreaming about worms, I'm in a downsizing mode for my garden. Roger Swain called it "editing the landscape," and it's more about cutting down everything except a few things that I want to keep. it's been heartbreaking when I can't find another gardener who'll take bulbs and perfectly good perennials. I can't keep up, and the lawnmower will win in several spots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 PM

Well, Magz... We are still in a holding pattern... We hope to hear somethin' within the next week...

Then life will get interesting as it looks to me that the only place that gets enough sun to grow good veggies is where the horses are... The other area is around the pond on two sides... Not too sure that would be too attractive but I'm keepin' my mind open... It looks as if we'll be able to grow some stuff closer to the house... Like mostly greens that don't need as much sun...

Right ow it would be nice to just hear somethin'...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:03 PM

OK, all you Old World types. Get rid of the potatoes, tomatoes and other related plants. Jamaica, get rid of your coffee industry. Native plants only. Africa, get rid of cacao plants, that's New World. Pepper, that comes from southeast Asia.

This whole thing gets silly very quickly. The really important thing about non-native plants is whether they can spread madly, like kudzu, or whether they can be controlled so they do not get too pushy, taking over from other plants we wish to keep around for any of a variety of reasons.

Meanwhile, enjoy your own garden and try not to be too invasive to others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:11 PM

Actually, EBarn, we are raisin' quite a few beautiful, non-invasive hybrid azaleas which, of course, originally came from Japan... For shame... They are very well behaved and suited quite nicely to our landscapes... And had potatoes fir breakfast so I guess between those two we are eternally damned...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM

One of our friends in Oz was laughing that I would voluntarily plant lantana in my yard. It's lovely and dies back every winter. Apparently it is a wild weed down under.

Last summer I let some of the sunflowers that sprung from birdseed grow in my garden. There are lots of native sunflowers, I'm not sure where these come from, they're huge. But they were beneficial in that they attracted some of the pests away from the produce plants. Lace bugs are a problem in my eggplant most years, for example, but last year I found them happily munching sunflowers instead. Perhaps I should say "thank you, Tuscany."

Every summer I pick mustang grapes that grow wild in a copse of hackberry trees across the road from my house. If not this variety, it was another American grape root stock that literally saved the European wine industry after a disease wiped out the native Euro plants. I think the Euro grapes are grafted onto the American roots.

Gardeners who pay attention to their own gardens, make good plant choices, and pay attention to the research (I'm an organic gardener, and there is a LOT of research) are doing just fine.

Enough said.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 09:45 PM

Thanks, maeve.   I just needed to hear from someone who had actually pruned severely to have the nerve to do it.

Maggie, smooth hydrangea (hydrangea arborescens) is native to the eastern USA. As maeve noted, they bloom on new wood.   The blooms are a creamy white, and the cultivar I have does not have the huge blooms characteristic of Annabelle. I think smooth hydrangea is a graceful shrub, with natural variability to it's growth habit that I find very pleasing. Wild smooth hydrangea is fairly common along the woodland edges of country roads in the North Carolina mountains. It is beautiful in there in summer.

I'm guessing the hydrangeas your Dad grew were mopheads (hydrangea macrophylla.) I have them also. They are native to Japan. Lacecaps are are also h. macrophylla. I planted a couple of lace caps (tiny, in 4" pots,) the year before I moved, but couldn't stay on top of the watering during that year of the worst drought ever, so they died. I love lace caps, though, and hope to try again some day. H. macrophylla blooms on old wood. I do prune mine to keep them from getting too big for their britches, but do that by thinning out from the ground. I find them uninteresting in the garden when they get big and round - big round bush with big round flowers that flop and splay in the rain. Boring. Once established, I try to thin out a third of the old wood stems each spring. That keeps the plants at about 2 1/2 to 3' tall and keeps the over-all shape of the shrub more spikey and angular, in contrast to the blooms. It does mean fewer blooms, but I think the foliage is also lovely, and the blooms have more impact against the foliage and the shape of the shrub if the whole shrub is not covered with large balls of flowers. Except for some more recent cultivars that attempt to maintain a reddish or pinkish hue regardless of ph, the ph of the soil determines the color of the blooms. At the old house, my mop-heads were an emphatic blue. I layered them, and brought the results here to plant, next to the foundation. The ph must be mixed or neutral, because I get pink, blue and shades in between, all on the same plant here.

A friend gave me a start of an oak leaf hydrangea (h. quercifolia) last spring. I almost let it die during the dryness of late summer, but I think I rescued it. They are native to the southeast USA. I love their bark. A good understory shrub, and once established, more tolerant of dry conditions than other hydrangeas. I hope to be more attentive to this young plant in the coming year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 08:05 AM

A bit of sun today, so had a short stroll round the garden to see what's been going on. (Still shaky from the flu) Amazingly, quite a bit seems to have weathered the terrible winter conditions. I didn't 'cut back' much last autumn but left dead and dying twigs & branches in place, which has protected the new growth. Put in some flax plants last season, (gorgeous china blue delicate flowers) and I can see they're still alive and kicking under the dead stems. Ditto the Achillea and various strappy grasses. This year I want to plant Gaura (so delicate and wavy in the breeze), nepeta (ditto) and WHITE nerine bulbs. I can't stand the chewing gum pink varieties, but the white ones are unusual and rather nice. Trouble is, nerines are moody things, they either like you or they don't! Hope they will like me! Any info on best planting positions for them? ie shade or sun, drained or moist etc?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM

We have about a dozen hydrangeas cultivars and plan on takin' at least one of each... The Annabelles we prune back in late winter to about 8 inches... The oak leak we just let go... Pias aren't all that big so we let it go...

I'm not much of an authority on 'um but the P-Vine seems to know them purdy well...

A little dustin' of snow today makes everything look nice... Right outside the window is a false cypris that we bought outta Merrifield's "scratch and dent" (lol) section a couple years ago and I love the way the snow sits on it...

Garden catalogs comin' in in batches... Two or three a day for the last week... Haven't so much as opened on yet... Guess we need to order some seed just because it's that time of year... We still have lots of seed from last year so they aren't gonna get rich off us this year...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:35 AM

"OK, all you Old World types. Get rid of the potatoes, tomatoes and other related plants. Jamaica, get rid of your coffee industry. Native plants only. Africa, get rid of cacao plants, that's New World. Pepper, that comes from southeast Asia" (EBarnacle)...please note the exemption (to limit food miles, etc.) of "vegetables plus other consumables" above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: s&r
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:45 AM

My God David do you really thik for one frigging minute that anyone, ever will adhere to you bizarre lists of what you would allow in your Orwellian Zoo?

We shall never have little cages full of ethnically pure fruits, vegetables, birds beasts and humans.

You are as we all are, a mongrel resulting from interbreeding over aeons.
Get over it and practise your singing


Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 10:18 AM

WAV, if you are going to quote me quote me correctly and, in this case, include the fact that I thought [and still think] the whole argument was silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:36 AM

Today is nice, but tomorrow is supposed to be cold and snowy, so today I will head by the garden center at Home Depot and buy several bags of top soil and humate (at 40 lbs per bag, 10 bags at $1.25 each is a modest investment that helps keep the truck on the ground in the ice). I'll let it ride around back there till spring, when it will go into the garden. I have several places I've been slowly building up with imported soil, and since I don't know where it comes from, I make sure to mix in soil amendments (lava sand, greensand, decomposed granite, sometimes worm castings if I have them) and some of my back yard compost. This helps with the micro-nutrients in the soil and the compost helps establish the biological activity of the rest of the garden.

I'll buy more "Southwest Blend" bird seed at the same time. The little buggers can empty a feeder in a day. It introduces a lot of weed seed for next spring, but they are delightful to watch. Once again they're acclimated to me filling the feeder - they used to disappear for hours when I started filling them, but now I'm barely back to the kitchen window and the scouts are already knocking seeds out of the little trays.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:55 AM

A weed is a flower out of place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 01:00 PM

...the promotion of exotic plants has, over the centuries, sadly, included terming some natives "weeds."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:43 PM

Stilly River Sage, I'm with you on your replenishing soil and adding compost ideas. I try to run a smallish compost heap, and also add bags of soil-conditioning products when I can. It makes a great difference. We moved here last summer, and the garden hadn't been replenished enough. I'm hoping to rectify that this year. Also, this is a relatively dry area, so any moisture-holding tricks are favourite, eg mulching. Like you, I have many bird customers for the feeders, it can be a bit expensive but I feel we've saved their lives this winter, and it's such a pleasure to watch their antics. No-one who gardens can avoid having to make decisions about weeds. You can't just let anything and everything go mad. And I feel I have the right to decide which plants please me and which I want to eradicate. Otherwise, you'd end up with a bit of derelict land!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:58 PM

...but do you agree, Eliza, that it's good to leave an unkept overgrown patch, with rotting logs and/or branches, etc., for the benefit of insects and, thereby, birds, etc?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:42 PM

A healthy garden has insect pests like any garden, but the difference is that stronger plants can withstand their assault better and if you play your cards right, you attract the natural enemies of the pests. Having praying mantis, ladybugs, lacewings, etc, takes care of a lot of pests. Compost if it is active has a lot of insect larva in there along with the microorganisms that the birds can suss out.

I don't need to leave any of the yard fallow intentionally because it is a very large yard and I garden on a few hundred square feet of it. I live on a creek with a riparian zone, and the woods across the road extend on for miles along urban and rural creeks, so we have lots of birds and wildlife.

When I go into the garden I examine the plants closely, and I wear gloves so the easiest way to deal with a lot of pests is to simply pick them off or pinch them dead right there. This is preferable to simply spraying insecticides the moment an insect is detected.

My yard has a lot of wildlife, and I try to do the gardening in a way that doesn't disturb the things that have burrowed in and not emerged yet. I have a tarantula colony in the turf (the spider holes are distinctive) and I have lots of snakes and lizards and toads that live around the house. An organic approach has not only allowed them to thrive, it may have created more healthy zones for them than simply through benign neglect or leaving an area fallow.

If WAV is going to keep yanking chains and you're going to keep responding to him, then this is going to be one boring thread. I hope we'll be able to get back to simply discussing our gardens without feeling the need to justify our existence and methods to this FLAKE who would like to dictate to all his screwy ideas about the natural world.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 04:46 PM

Oh yes, I've always had a policy of little corners for wild things to shelter. In my last garden I dug out a deep pond, had a 'woodland' garden with native ferns in total shade, kept a wild ditch, and piles of old rotting logs and stones. It was surprising what creatures came to live there, newts, dragonflies, water boatmen etc. Even a quite large grass snake called Hissing Sid, and several slow worms. I had deer and foxes visit, a big old heron, woodpeckers. But this new garden is smaller, and not wide open to the countryside. I can still leave odd corners for small creatures though. I don't much like insecticides or weedkillers. I use a small trowel to remove weeds and like Stilly River Sage I pick off naughty things by hand. If you do it regularly, they don't become too much of a problem. Why do some people on this site get so unpleasant to eachother? It gets quite vicious and abusive sometimes, it's rather upsetting to the rest who only want to chat and discuss ideas etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 05:08 PM

I once rented a flat where I was allowed to work the small garden - I covered an area with ivy and planted a bucket, which came to be use by water boatmen and a frog, at least; or in verse - http://walkaboutsverse.webs.com/#112


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM

Welcome to the Mudcat Gardeners thread, Guest Eliza. This is usually a very friendly and supportive thread, in addition to it being a good source of information, experience, and opinion. A person who has a history of obstructive posting behavior has worn the patience of many on Mudcat, and it is that repeated behavior that informs some of the hostility you are observing.

I was in the new yurt this afternoon while a neighbor talked with TL about our plans there. It occurred to me that once we have crossed the current set of hurdles to readying it for moving out of the camper and into our new home, we'll have a few new options for gardening inside and out. One advantage to the slow process of finishing the interior is that we'll have time to contemplate what we want to grow inside, where we want to move the greenhouses, and how to plan for handling our fruit and vegetable harvest this year.

One of our baby apple trees in the young orchard produced several apples for the first time last year, and others should follow suit this year or next. We'll be needing to plan for processing and storing such fruits. We've planned for a real root cellar this time, so as we handle the lumber left from the yurt construction we can put aside that which will be best suited to that project.

We'll be moving most of our farm outbuildings and changing several gardens, so this otherwise frustrating time of slower progress can be useful in thinking through our revised needs and goals. I had picked up a nice handmade plant starting table with lighting fixture a month or so before the fire. I'm thinking it won't be long before I move it out of the shed that kept it from burning up, and into the yurt for selective seed starting. A number of my favorite plants do well germinating in a cold greenhouse, so the yurt will work well as a beginning place for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 06:28 PM

It was so warm today, it hardly seems real that tomorrow it might snow. I have a little pile of daffodils bulbs I forgot to plant sprouting on my front porch. I'll go poke them in the dirt before this next cold spell.

I was going to load dirt in the truck, but I found an antique dresser for free at the recycle yard before I got to Home Depot, so have to unload it first then go get dirt. ;-) (Another indoor job for bad weather - I think I'll clean up then lacquer this dresser, sans the mirror).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 07:20 PM

maeve or Bobert, have you ever used floating row cover? I'm thinking about how I might use that to keep the birds away from my strawberries in the spring. They really clobbered them last year. I got about 1/3 of the crop, the birds the rest.

The thing about the birds is that while I wish they'd leave the berries alone, it's really rather amusing watching them approach the patch, cock an eye to find the berries, then pounce. It's like trying to not laugh out loud the first time your toddler says "Shit!" in a perfect imitation of the way you do. You're kind of pleased at the same time you're kind of dismayed.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 06:22 AM

Thank you for your welcome Maeve. I was most interested in your posting. What type of apples have you in your orchard, cookers or eaters? Our one apple tree is a Bramley, with wonderful and enormous cooking apples. I made dozens of rhubarb and apple crumbles last autumn for the freezer! I have now got a greenhouse. I had one many years ago, and it will be super to have one again. My husband likes spicy food, and I'm hoping to research growing various peppers and chillis, also aubergines. It sounds as if you have a very large plot of land there. I will miss my little ride-on tractor/mower, but this garden is too small to need it. Another thing I'll miss is lighting bonfires in the chilly autumn evenings, and roasting potatoes in the embers. I don't think the neighbours would appreciate that here, it's too close to their boundaries. Stilly. what is 'floating row cover' please? Is raised netting a possibility? Or even a polytunnel?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 07:05 AM

Row cover- We've used different weights of floating and hoop supported row cover to protect plants from excessively hot or cold temperatures, and to block damage from undesirable insect pests. Because our strawberries continue to bloom and thus need pollinators even during harvest, I prefer to use a simple framework with bird netting extending well beyond the edges of the strawberry plants. Row covers can retain a considerable amount of heat so if you try a floating cover where you are, Stilly, you'll probably want the lightest fabric possible.
Floating Row Cover

There is some discussion of this issue at these 2 links:
http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1641/eb1641.html

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/sqfoot/msg0613250124975.html

Eliza, we have a small farmstead. Nothing fancy; we've been reclaiming the land for nearly 13 years. We've planted many fruit trees, including a young apple orchard with varieties for cooking, eating, and cider.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 11:20 PM

Not sure if all my plants in pots look as they do because of the cold or because I have not watered them. Been relying on rain and snow, and it may not have been sufficient.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:02 AM

I'll have to look into bird netting - you're right, pollination needs to happen for the strawberries, and row cover would cook them if it was too close over them.

I grow peppers and aubergine (eggplant) here, and they're a couple of my favorite crops. Last year I grew sweet banana peppers, poblano peppers (a well-flavored mildly hot pepper, as long as you remove the seeds) and green bell peppers. I've also grown jalapeno peppers, and would like to grow the Anahiem peppers (the sort that are the Hatch chiles in New Mexico).

I always grow the Black Beauty eggplant here, but have the Japanese variety. If you grow tomatoes and eggplant, I've been told that it's best not to have them too close together, but every year my tomatoes seem to sprawl all over the eggplants before the season is finished. It might be that you're not supposed to grow them where the other was grown the year before. Any of the rest of our gardeners hear anything about that, or is it an old wive's tale?

Last year I accidentally had sunflowers as companion plants, and I noticed they attracted a few of the pests that normally bother my eggplant (lace bug, in particular). Nice discovery! The sunflowers came from seeds that sprouted from the bird feeder up over the winter.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: mouldy
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 04:07 AM

Can I come in?
I am considering making a first foray today into the little back garden I took on a couple of months ago - the snow has gone,and I think the ground may have defrosted a bit.

It's small, mainly grass, with shrubs in need of pruning at one end. There are also a couple of small evergreen leylandii types that I want to get rid of. There is a Buddleia to be cut back, Californian Lilac and Choysia. Also an Elephant Grass in the lawn, which HAS to go. I have brought a dwarf apple tree with me to go there. I have also got a Fenton's Special rhubarb, and a young gooseberry, which is a seedling from the rampant fruit machine I used to have at the last house.

I have a raised bed along the front of the house (which is possibly nearly 200 years old). When I moved in I put some little winter flowering pansies, cyclamen and some spring bulbs in there. (They look a little flat, but seemed to have survived the snow falling off the roof on top of them). There's a dead Potentilla and what looks like a distant cousin of holly in there, which are going. There are also Pot Marigolds, which I like. It is west-facing, but gets light from late morning, and I have a rose to go in there - I'll probably plant more. I am a fan of the David Austin English roses: old style, perfumed floribunda sorts, but repeat flowering. They also sell the really old stuff like the Apothecary Rose, and Rosa Mundi.

I want to make a raised bed for veg on the yard at the back, but as serious building work may happen this year, I will have to wait until it's all gone. Anyway, an upside is that I have been told that the soil here is very fertile. It's volcanic, I think.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 06:23 AM

Stilly, your nice list of different peppers interested me very much. My husband will probably know them, but by African names! I think peppers are decorative as well as tasty. I'm intending to grow my tomatoes just outside the greenhouse on the south side. I've had some success in the past with outdoor varieties before. So that will leave the inside of the greenhouse for the peppers and aubergines. I think I heard that they don't mix with tomatoes because of their different requirements for humidity. Andrea, I think your new garden resembles mine in many ways, quite a bit to remove before planning new things. I dug out several plants/shrubs which aren't to my taste. But before putting in your little apple tree, I wonder if you'll need to replenish the soil a great deal if elephant grass previously grew there? David Austin roses are ACE, as you say, repeat flowering but with all the charm of the Old Roses (including stunning perfume) Your design plans sound beautifully cottagey and picturesque, just the style I like! Can't wait for Spring to come, and I can get delving!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 06:36 AM

We are going to try ferline as the outdoor variety this year. It is supposed to have very good blight resistance.

I'm not sure where we are going with other tomatoes and peppers, etc. The plan was to get a lean to greenhouse and put the alicante and ailsa craig in that leaving the existing greenhouse at least mostly (I was going to try a plum tomato in there) free for other things. The watering/feeding thing was not disconnected/drained before I was in hospital though and I'm unsure as yet how much we will be spending on repairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 10:42 AM

Eliza, these peppers are probably native to North America, so I don't know what they'd be called elsewhere, but later today I'll post links to photos and find scientific names so there is some translation. And if you'd like, I can mail some seed packets.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 10:55 AM

I can find all seeds for the peppers and the aubergine mentioned by SRS in the UK from Nicky's Nursery


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 10:56 AM

Made a mess of the link above... Nicky's Nursery


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 11:53 AM

How VERY kind of you both, Stilly and Guest Jon, to help me find these fascinating chillis and peppers. I have just looked at Nicky's Nursery and seen lots of different peppers seeds to order. I just can't wait to get started on this, as it's a new thing for me. My husband is thrilled, as he keeps rather wistfully describing different peppers his mum used in Ivory Coast, and of course I keep serving up steak and kidney pie or beef casserole, which just don't hit the spot. When I visit his family next time, I'll get some lessons on spicy cookery from his mum and sisters. I love to have a new project each year, and this is definitely The One for 2011. Thank you both again!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:23 PM

Mouldy, the important question we need answered before we can comment is: roughly where in the world are you located. It sounds temperate but what sort of rainfall do you get?

Welcome!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM

No, Magz, I don't use any plant row covers... Maybe I should, I donno... I've just always used straw as mulch and it does an excellent job of not only holding moisture in the ground and keepin' weeds down but also is a good protector against frosts... When I put in my seed for cold crops I mulch lightly with straw (1 inch) over the entire bed and then as stuff pokes up I continue to add straw up to about 65 inches...

But, unlike Maine where maeve lives, we have cheap straw... I've bought it for as little as $2.75 bale and the beauty of it is that once the season it gets plowed right into the garden and becomes wonderful organic material...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 01:10 PM

I noticed they had a lot of different ones, Eliza but we just settled for some sweet peppers - Rainbow mixed. Growing these and the tomatoes from seed will be a first for us this year. We've always used small plants/ seedlings in the past.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: mouldy
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:06 PM

I'm in the UK, in Northern Northumberland, about 2-3 miles inland from the North Sea, and level with South West Scotland.

I cut back the buddleia, cotoneaster, ceanothus and choysia. There was also a Spanish Gorse, which was totally in the wrong place! My garden faces east, but is surrounded on N/E/S by 5-6 foot stone walls, and is sheltered by buildings from the west. These shrubs were planted on the south side, but under the lee of a wall, which creates shade. The gorse was evicted, and the choysia and cotoneaster are doomed. The thriving ceanothus has had the bottom branches removed. Where the grass has been killed off by the overhand of the above, I am going to extend the bed outwards.

Rain stopped play after about an hour, so I took a break and hit my old copy of the David Austin catalogue. The order (8 plants) will be delivered in 3-5 weeks. I then went out front when the rain stopped and removed the scraggy potentilla and the other straggly shrub from the west facing raised bed. I had a little rose ready to plant, which I recently bought locally. The plan is to make a rose garden out front. The house is plain and grey, so it will bring a good bit of colour.

Yes, the soil will have to be replenished before the apple goes in. however, it may be a while, as I could have a bit of bother getting the clump of Elephant Grass out. It's not the biggest, but my back and shoulders aren't in the best of condition. Also, I need to clear the stuff I've cut off and dug out so far. The nearest recycling place is 15 miles away.

Hopefully I'll be able to get rid of the first lot tomorrow, and also get hold of a compost bin for the small stuff. I've inherited a pile of old prunings in a corner, so maybe an incinerator might be an idea.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:23 PM

I think 2 of the roses here came from David Austin - Paul's Hymalayan Musk and Rambling Rector. My mother did have some of his English roses when we lived in Wales but someone nicked them - there were other roses in the garden that were left so I think whoever did it knew what was what.

Re fruit trees. We planted an Oullins Gage at the end of last year. I hope it proves to be (and it is supposed to be easier) more a more reliable cropper than the Old Gage tree that was planted maybe 5 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 04:17 PM

Eliza, this should get you started: Poblano peppers. The peppers in this photo are like what I see in the grocery store (and they can get a bit larger). When you use these peppers often times people will roast them to remove the outer skin, but I found with the poblanos in my garden, a variety that never got larger than 4 inches long, that I didn't need to remove the skin. I took out the seeds and then for one dish (a casserole that ends up tasting like the chile relleno described on the page) I blanched them for 3 or 4 minutes, then dried them and put them in my baking dish. You could simply slice or chop them for fried dishes, no need to blanch or peel.

If I could only grow one pepper variety, I'd probably choose these. I use bell peppers a lot, they're easy to grow (they can grow in partial shade and they don't like the super hot weather of summer as much as the mild temperature of fall) but where the bell peppers have good flavor, the poblano have great flavor. (My preference, anyway.)

If you want to add bulk to a dish and want a mild pepper flavor, a good one is the sweet banana pepper. It's smaller and slim, and is like a sweeter bell pepper. I see other places refer to this as the Tuscan pepper and the wax pepper. "Banana" describes only the shape and color, no flavor cognate. Sometimes when I make a dish like chicken fajitas, I slice a lot of onions and banana peppers and will have at least half of the bulk of the dish as the vegetables, the rest chicken.

Hatch chiles are also called Anaheim chiles, and I think the Hatch variety partly get their flavor from where they are grown. Those are always roasted and skinned before they're eaten, and the aroma from roasting is heavenly. They're grown as both mild and hot (mild does have heat, a bit more perhaps that poblano, but it isn't uncomfortably hot). I buy these in bulk, already roasted, then freeze them in 1 pound bags. I pull a few out of the bag and use them in quesadillas (tortillas with a bit of cheese and maybe chicken or beef or peppers, a slim filling and it sticks to itself because of the cheese). I add them to a mix of hamburger, onions, seasoning, etc. that I use in tacos or burritos. I know if you're not from the US these dishes may take some translation (many have origins in Mexico or the desert Southwest, but there are some we think are Mexican that the Mexicans had never heard of!)

There are lots of other types of peppers, like the tiny little red chiles and such; I haven't grown any of those. The best way to distinguish them is that I use the bigger fleshy vegetable type more than the small hot or dry seasoning type. I have a few dishes where I use ground red pepper, but I bought it that way, I didn't grow and grind it.

Hope this helps!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 06:56 PM

How fascinating, all these new ideas for peppers and chillis, and those recipes sound absolutely delicious! Thank you so much SRS. I do like spicy food, but my husband likes sauces and chillis which burn unbearably, even if you put a tiny piece in your mouth. He must have an asbestos tongue, his eyes don't even water. He finds European food very bland and flavourless. He'll even chew a chilli raw, just as a snack. (ie those ones called Scotch Bonnets) I expect he'll be in charge of the greenhouse, and go in there to browse and munch. I think I'll get a selection of different seeds, so there'll be some hot ones and some sweeter ones. Mexican recipes are something new to me, and I might try some, as it's very healthy food. I've read that the peppers and chilli seeds need a long germination time and quite high temperatures. No doubt I'll learn as I go along.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 10:32 PM

Stilly, I've used row cover pretty much for the same purposes as maeve, and second all of her remarks.

I'm not a big consumer of peppers and have not tried to grow many varieties, but have also not had real good success growing either them or eggplant. Seems they are not very tolerant of moderate neglect, and since I don't have a big demand for them, I tended to give them short shift when prioritizing what got my limited time and attention in the veggie garden.

Hi mouldy, and welcome!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM

God knows, I present my arguments, such as the above one, reasonably politely - it's the likes of you and SRS who, sadly, attack the "person" (Maeve).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 08:48 AM

tomato/aubergines/potatoes are all reasonably closely related. It's reccomended that you not grow them where one of the others grew the year before to help prevent spread of diseases and pests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 09:01 AM

Well, I may get down to some gardening this year but there is still too much to be done to the house first to allow much to happen.
As for native species, on my land that is grass, reeds and rabbits!

I have about an acre enclosed from the sheep but will have to build rasied beds with wire netting support to keep the vegetables safe, and that implies a level of planning that has not yet been reached.

I do have a budlia which attracts the butterflies, but it will insist on growing in the wrong direction and bloking the path!

My main effort should be tree and bush planting to create some wind breaks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 11:11 AM

Black Belt,

Every so often someone calls into the Dirt Doctor program on Sunday mornings here in Dallas (Radio access online) and tells about an epiphany and how they transformed acreage that seemed exhausted or marginal to begin with. They seem to have farm implements handy (or neighbors with them) and will describe tilling in hay and compost and then adding soil amendments, broadcast at whatever rate per acre, and it's interesting how quickly they can turn around this property. Generally this is somewhere in the Texas prairie they're describing, but it could happen anywhere.

The thing Garrett has learned over the years is that it isn't just the fertilizer aspect you get in organic material breaking down, in the addition of sugars (he uses dry molasses or molasses mixed into a sprayer slurry of compost tea).

If you don't have farm equipment, perhaps you can rent or borrow a tiller and work on one area to start a garden, and work outward from there. Howard Garrett isn't the only one who does this, but all of his information is right there online and is free - I find the permaculture process developed in Australia very interesting, but there is rarely much about it online because it is the subject of very expensive and rather exclusive classes, and has a terrifically expensive text book to describe it. Several hundred dollars is out of the reach of most hobby gardeners. Get it through the library if you're interested and take a look, but there is interesting work to claim or reclaim land that is not robust enough to support a garden as it is now.

If all of that is too much, then think about starting very small and put in raised beds with imported soil, and over time, expand those and always integrate the native soil in with the import, to get the benefit of the existing microorganisms in the soil.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: mouldy
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 02:47 AM

As one or two may know, I have moved into a listed house that needs some serious work. The main job is the demolition and rebuilding (bigger) of a 2 storey extension out the back. I bought plans with permissions with the house, and I just noticed I have to undergo an archaeological survey before work starts, and also make room on site for a materials compound. That could mean losing the back garden this year, if the work goes ahead.

However, work will continue on the front flower bed, and the plans will still be laid in my head!!!

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:43 AM

I just found out that although the area around me is now devoted to sheep farming with a few head of cattle and several horse-riding centres, the people who moved into the farm in 1910 bought it with the intention of using it for market gardening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:45 AM

Well, the P-Vine and I are going to brave the ice and snow this morning and head over to Charlottesville for a doctors apoontment and then its on to...

...the Greensboro Nurseryman Trade Show in NC to check out what new hybrids are going to availbale this coming season...

Last year's big find was the "buckthorn" hybrid which we love...

I'll be checking in from various motels...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:47 AM

Have a safe trip, Bobert. We'll enjoy your reports as they come in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM

Stupid question.

Can you double glaze a greenhouse - and is it worth the effort?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:32 AM

That's not a stupid question at all. Yes, you can. You can also use what we know as bubble wrap to provide an insulated inner air space. It can be worth the effort. I'd suggest you check with a local garden club or some locally experienced allotment gardeners (whatever is possible there) for input. Someone may be willing to help you get started.

Regarding the time and effort to establish the raised beds you mentioned a few posts back, You could be making piles gradually starting right now. Just start with a few layers of newsprint (black and white), topped with available compost, soil, straw, manure, soil amendments, coffee grounds, etc. on top of the places you reckon you'll want them to be. Never mind shaping or perfection; just get it started, then keep adding to the different piles as you have time and finances. By the time you are ready to really focus on the raised beds you'll have done much of the hard work already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM

Twin walled polycarbonate is another glazing option. I think we will opt for this if we get the lean to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jjon
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM

One person's opinion re: twin wall polycarbonate here


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:45 PM

I picked up a couple of bundles of onion sets and a few seed potatoes today at the feed store. It's cold out now--too cold for the gardener, but by the weekend or early next week I might be able to put some of this in the ground.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM

Just got back to the motel after a day of the nurseryman's show and me head is spinnin'... Everyone wants to give you stuff to take home and we have alot to go thru later...

Found some real cool stuff but will wait until we're home and can digest it all...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM

Stilly, I echo what MMario said- Solanaceous members (potatoes, tomatoes, etc.) not only are all vulnerable to the same diseases and insect pests, they have very similar needs in terms of trace minerals, nutrients, etc. It's much better to not follow one with another for those reasons.

I find it difficult to effectively rotate crops effectively in a reliable way in a small garden, but by amending soil regularly, planting catch crops and cramming in cover crops wherever possible, we've managed with minimal rotation. I'd follow the tomatoes with a legume, say, and use the spuds in a new soil location. Potatoes are a good starter crop in new soil.

You'll figure it to suit your garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:50 AM

I've been aware of the rotation need for a while - I think I may have discussed this with MMario before. Thing is, so many of my plants are in the same family - peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, this year potato, that it is difficult to put them in new spaces. I need to turn over some of the dirt and rearrange the raised beds, that will help. I had a lot of volunteer tomatoes in the eggplant area last summer, and they all did better than the rest, so I suspect it takes more than two season for problems to develop.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:37 AM

I usually grow two tomato plants outside in huge plastic pots filled with compost. At the end of the season, I empty the spent compost on the flower beds as a mulch, and the next time start afresh with new compost, after having well washed and cleaned the pots. I think this prevents disease from lurking about any new tomatoes. As my requirements are few, two plants well fed and tended give me massive amounts of tomatoes. I stick a great big long cane down each pot before planting, and tie the plant to it gently as it grows. I just adore the smell of newly picked tomatoes, they're full of flavour and nothing like Tesco's offerings! In fact, isn't there a world of difference between home-grown fruit & veg and the supermarket apologies for same?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM

I've been reading Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury - it's an account of the Quaker families that made the English chocolate trade, and their competitors in Switzerland and the US.

One of the things the Cadbury family did was build a 'factory in a garden' in the countryside near Birmingham, so that their workforce could have a healthier workplace.

They built houses with 140-foot gardens, with an orchard at the back for the fruit and the pleasure of the blossom. Not only that, but they provided a gardening teacher so that people could learn to grow their own flowers and vegetables.

Within a few years the children of Bournville, the village built around the factory, were inches taller and pounds heavier than the friends they had left behind in the city.

There were no pubs or bookies in the village, but there were playing fields, swimming pools (outdoor and indoor) and gymnasia, with a sports instructor supplied.

Apart from the cheap and nutritious food that people grew, the lack of pubs and bookies meant a higher proportion of the wage went to buying food for the family...

Inspired by my reading I got out this morning and spent an hour tidying up the garden - far too early to start sowing or planting here in Ireland, but I'm doing some cutting-back. It looks lovely now.

Rather than a compost heap, I've been burying compost in a dedicated vegetable-grave for a couple of years now. It's crammed with healthy earthworms, and the compost made in this pit is far better than anything from any heap I've ever had - and it 'makes' in six weeks.

I've also got a wormery on the go, with plenty of healthy wrigglers eating up vegetable peelings and banana skins; and have found the ultimate way of growing strawberries - a discarded wheelie bin with 5cm holes punched in it, filled with that good compost and planted up with Lidl's strawberry plants (delicious berries from these).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:04 PM

Incidentaally, on the 'native plants' question, I've always found the concept queasily eugenicist. Apart from obvious disasters like the grey squirrels, which gobble up the food of native red squirrels, most invasion has been benign. Certainly don't try to take spuds from the Irish; we'll resist that forever!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:52 PM

In this instance, to reverse the joke, his dogma is trying to run roughshod over our karma. :)

I heard an interview recently with Deborah Cadbury, on either Diane Rehm or Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Possibly with both. It sounds "too good to be true," in some ways, but I think in fact it's a simple concept that healthy good, fresh air, and lots of exercise in a good environment is good for people.

The politics of chocolate was a real eye-opener in those interviews.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: open mike
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 05:40 PM

indoors plants--forced bulbs popping up..esp. paper white narcissus
and hyacinths....i stuck some potatoes in the ground a while back..
they may get frozen back, but mulch might protect..

most of my plants are container plants..hundreds of tree seedlings..
esp. Osage Orange...my experiment for propagating has proven successful

i made a slurry of the fruits...the size of grapefruits...and poured
in in a trench -- had a lot of sprouts...transplanted some into 1 and 2 gallon pots. they make a hedge row...and the wood is rot resietant
and a beautiful golden color...

also have dozens of lavendar plants in containers...waiting to plant
in a labyrinth...shaped garden path ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 07:10 PM

In the last few days, there seems to have been a workshop on PVC framed greenhouses right here in my little town.

Over 150 people attended representing about 4% of the town's population.

The simplest idea is to take 20' stock pieces of 1" PVC water pipe and slide each end over a piece of 1/2" rebar driven into the ground. Put two or more of these hoops in row and stretch cheap clear sheet plastic over the frames and yer done.

Much fancier designs are common too. I will look for websites with more ideas, but this may be one...

                     http://www.pvcplans.com/pvc-greenhouse.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 07:50 PM

I haven't made a greenhouse that way, pdq, but have done that on a small scale to make grow tunnels. I also made a small 3 x 3 cold frame that I could simply lift off the plants, then sit it down over them again. I used t and elbow fittings and lengths of pipe cut to the distance I wanted between hoops to make a rigid base. Worked pretty well once I realized I needed to tape the joins to keep them from popping apart when I lifted the frame.

Thanks for the link to that site. I'm gonna go explore it further.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 07:56 PM

Bois d'arc is the osage orange, native to a small corner of Oklahoma but it has been carried around and planted in much of the U.S. It grows along fences in the prairie north of us, and when the fruits are big and lime green they are easy to pick out of the cedar brakes and hackberry clumps. I think it was a particularly valuable wood among the indigenous people who harvested, perhaps even traded it.

This afternoon was heavily overcast but a comfortable temperature for once. A couple of layers over t-shirt and jeans was exactly right for slow-moving work in the garden. I dug up the area where I planted potatoes. Only four, I'll see how it goes before I decide to plant any more in future years. I have a couple that I may plant in containers to see how that works.

I planted some yellow granex and white granex onion sets today also. I tend to make short rows and plant them in zones, and this is the area close to my side door where I have herbs and chard.

I designated the spot for this year's compost with the weeds I dug out of the garden. Last year's heap is slowly sinking, the year before looks good and is what will go in the gardens this year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 09:59 PM

When I worked at an Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station - 1957-8 - it was found that Osage Orange fence posts outlasted concrete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM

PVC is wonderful for making frames... I'd suggest a little larger than the 1" if it's going top be something that one can actually stand up in... PVC, incidentally is for sewage and CPVC is for water but never mind that... Don't forget to clean the ends of the pipe real well with wet-dry sandpaper and prime before gluing... Great stuff...

There also used to be an outfit, Cover-it, that sold very expensive greenhouse kits... They sent you round galvanized pipe for your frame and were cheaper than anything else on the market and easy to assemble...

BTW, we're back from the nurseyman's convention and it's going to take a couple days to go thru all the material and then I'll share some of the plants I have found that some of you may or may already know about...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 10:12 AM

I'd not seen PCV fittings for making frames before but following PDQ's link, I see there is a place in the UK selling them and suitable pipe. I might try this for a couple of tunnels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 11:26 AM

I haven't looked for any more websites showing PVC "hoop" plans, but the one I linked to would be described as "pretty fancy" compared to the basic "Okie" version mentioned. Just pound pieces of rebar in the ground and slip a stock 20' piece of Schedule 20 plastic pipe over the rebar. Line up three "hoops" and tie the tops together with baling wire and guy wire them to stakes in the ground. I suppose the sheet plastic should be held on with small metal hoops so that the plastic can be raised in hottest part the day. Details needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM

The nice thing about PVC fittings is that you can get elbows in 90, 60, 45 and 22 1/2 degrees plus all kinds of couplings that couple as many as 4 pieces of pipe... Wish I didn't know all that stuff but plumbling is about all I did last winter... lol...

BTW, they say yer never too old to learn stuff and, boy, that is true... I put 200 or so of the 300 or so plants that I've dug in my open equipment shed/barn with deer fence across the front and they just didn't look as happy as the other 100 or so that I had down in the woods so I checked 'um out and the pots were frozen solid and frozen to the concrete floor... Hmmmmmmmm???

So yesterday I took what was left of the deer fence and made an outdoor pen for them and moved them all (yes, I'm sore today) into the pen with bags of pine fins around them... We're expecting snow/slop, rain and ice over the next couple days so hopefully the water will make them happy and with them being all packed together and surrounded with the bags of fines maybe the pots will thaw enough to get 'um back into being happy plants...

Spent last night sittin' on the floor organizing the hundred or so catalogs/price & availability sheets we got from the various nurseries and so over the next couple days I should have some plants, some new and some old, to talk about... Imagine that??? Talking plants on a gardening thread??? lol...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 10:42 AM

We use all sorts of row covers and hoop materials. My favorite was probably the 20 or so trapper's skin stretchers I bought for a dime apiece at a yard sale; just the right size and shape for a small hoop house row cover, with a dollop of poetic justice on top.

My goal is to try the method described in the Maine-based Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog starting on page 180. I like most of the methods used by Elliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch http//www.fourseasonfarm.com/


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 10:52 AM

Oops! The link for the Coleman/Damrosch gardens is http//www.fourseasonfarm.com/


Welcome home, Bobert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 03:44 PM

Thankee, maeve...

Okay, I've got about 10 or so plants to share and this is the 1st one:

                   **CRYSTAL FALLS MONDO GRASS**
                     (Ophiopogon jaburan "HOCF")

This one really excited the P-Vine... It's new to the trade and looks very much like liriope except it is much larger... The leaves grow to 30 inches and are 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide... It blooms white in mid summer up until early fall followed with bluer berries... It is cold hardy to 6b and will grow up to 9 climate zone... It is disease resistant and leave don't spot like liriope...

I can see using it along woodland paths interspersed with other perennials... The only thing I don't like about this plant is that it is a clumping plant rather than a spreader so it's going to be a little harder to grow out... Not too sure if the berries will grow new plants... Just going to have to do a little experimenting with it...

We stayed until the end of the show where the vendors are "allowed"
to sell out of their booth and bought one of the four that were there at the show...

So, Janie... Here's a good one fir you for your woods... I think the 1 gal. pots will be about $8 at the garden centers that carry it...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM

I was going to move the bird feeder beside the kitchen door garden, but the birds were poking around looking for it and I realized I'd better put it back or they'd be disturbing my newly placed onions.

This week I'll plan to do some digging in the new bed down at the front, and see if I can make inroads on the next part of the bed I have been extending each year. The soil is muc easier to dig in now, and the Burmuda seems a lot easier to pull out in this dormant stage. The roots don't seem to have so many shoots.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 09:36 AM

Here's one that I'm sure Janie and Magz know all about... Okay, maybe not "all about" but it is a Zone 7-9 plant:

                *** CALLISTEMON "WOODLAND'S HARDY" ***
                           ("Bottlebrush")

Sorry to my more northern gardening friends but I saw this at the show and thought it would make for a nice smallish plant in them landscape... It is evergreen with thin-ish leaves (like a yew) and red caterpillar shaped (fuzzy) blooms in late summer... Does nice in full sun or semi-shade... 3-5 feet High... Bushy...

Definitely one that we'll be addin' to our gardens when we get moved to NC...

Happy gardening...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 10:04 AM

Bottlebrush are native to Australia and they are close relatives of the Eucalyptus.

Once established, they need almost no attention which is why they are used many commercial applications such as parking lot landscaping and along freeways.

I don't believe any pests came here with them, but they can get rust if the humidity is too high and are subject to root rot if continually overwatered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 10:14 AM

I used to see those in the landscape plantings on the Tucson and Phoenix areas years ago. They're attractive - are they xeriscape?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 10:20 AM

Yes, Stilly. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/74813/


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 10:47 AM

Starting as early as late June and going into September, the Arizona desert can get occasional huge rains, often called monsoons. In very dry years they probably need some water. In a normal years with summer rain, probably not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 05:29 PM

Bobert, I would really like to get a head start on the lacebug problem with the azaleas this year. That one beautiful and unusual azalea (the first you gave me and I always have to go look up the name,) seems especially vulnerable and while it has hung in with me, it gets so infested, and so quickly, that it is not doing as well as it might. Another summer like last, and it might not survive the on-slot. I don't have the time to spray it at least weekly all summer long (I've used insecticidal soap, neem oil, I'm wondering if using a winter dormant oil might help reduce the infestation, and if so, when can I apply it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM

The lacebugs are worst in dry weather... The plant needs to be kept watered... The lacebugs tend to get up under the leaves making it very difficult to spray them... The best is to use a "soil drench" insecticide that will treat them systemically...

BTW, it's a "Koromo Sheikibu"...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 08:52 PM

It's 2 below F or abt. -26C outside and people want to talk about gardening? I'd be happy to see a lacebug or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:26 AM

Janie, I use a wide piece of masking tape and when I go through the garden whenever I see the bugs, the nests, or the young, I roll the tape across the leaf and they're stuck to it. If you go out and poke around in the spring it might seem tedious, but it keeps them down later. And I found that companion planting works well last year - a large sunflower attracted most of the lace bugs, they left the eggplants alone.

I heard today that a good way to repel the squash bugs that attack yellow squash and zucchini is to grind up dried bay leaves (the cooking type) and work them into the soil amendments where you'll plant the squash. Might put a few in the mulch as well.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: mouldy
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 03:00 AM

I'm enjoying reading the posts and tips. It would make a very handy gardeners' book!

Unfortunately, my back garden is going to be on hold for the forseeable future as, according to the planners, I have to provide a materials compound on site when the work eventually starts. this is so that the little road at the side of the row of houses doesn't get blocked. The only place is my garden.
However, I have ordered a rhubarb, and a minarette apple tree. The one I wanted (the Bardsey Apple) was sold out, but I ordered another variety. Darned if I can remember which one now! I was on the phone and had to choose from a few I like pretty quickly. Anyway, the rhubarb is a new variety called Raspberry Red. I can grow both in containers for now. I just hope I can get the work sorted out to be done this year, then I can really get to grips with the garden the following season.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 08:11 AM

My gardening so far seems to have been confined to rebuilding dry-stone walls that have shifted in the winter. This recent one had fallen across a footpath (not much used) but by the time I noticed it the stones were all frozen to the ground!

Is it the ground heaving when it freezes that disturbs them or is it some of these earthquakes (minor ones in the UK, I know, but they seem to have been more frequent of late) that we've been having?

The ground is still frozen so I can't dig it yet with anything less than pick axe, even a pile of gravel is a solid block.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:04 AM

Put three bat boxes up yesterday and helped move some logs to the shed but that's been about it outside, except for confirming some items including the marine pump did survive not being drained/disconnected before the freeze.

I think that means we will be able to do the lean to greenhouse this year (providing the land owner gives the OK). We quite fancy the 8' 5" version of this Elite Easy Grow with polycarbonate glazing. The width is right but I would might to sort the fixing out as the wall is only about 4'6. Also as I don't want to block too much light over the wall, I guess polycarbonate or acrylic for the back where the greenhouse extends above the wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:16 PM

Yo, Cat...

Yeah, when the ground freezes it pushed the rocks upward... Don't ask me why... John in Kansas knows but I am clueless...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM

No way, Stilly. Azaleas have waaaaaaaay too many leaves to do something like that. Time is the issue here.

I was hoping horticultural oil would smother a good many of the eggs that are over-wintering. I also need to move it to a shadier area, as Bobert suggested on a previous thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:49 PM

Yeah, azaleas love morning sun and that's about it... Also love pine needle mulch... Hate lacebugs... Treat the soil and keep 'um wet...

BTW, Janie... I had a sport on one of my Koromo Sheikibus last years and got a double flower... I know... Weird for a strap pedal azalea... I have a cutting from that sport... We'll see???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 04:09 PM

Gutter garden idea here: http://www.ahahomeandgarden.com/garden/how-to-make-a-hanging-gutter-garden/


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 05:14 PM

Nice idea, maeve, for patio or folks who don't have a lot of space...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 06:58 PM

I have several places in our city garden where I could use that gutter garden quite effectively! Great idea, Maeve.

Hard for me to think garden when everything is under two feet of snow. I am hoping to get a few yellow heritage tomato plants ASAP but that is a long way off! Of the 8 different varieties I had last year, that one did the best (Djeena's Orange) and was tastiest for us. If I get good lighting, I can start them indoors in large pots this year and bring them back inside in the fall, she says, hopefully. There is not much room in our yard yet for more than the rhubarb, the herb bed and a few tomatoes. The gutter system could hold lettuce sorts, thins that are small and do not need a lot of sun. I could make a "second story garden" hanging them from tall metal posts, a few feet above the other gardens. Exciting concept! Thanks again, Maeve! I have something to plan - in addition to all the non-garden planning!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM

I noticed on Sunday after the last of the snow and ice melted that a row of daffodils have sprouted and are 2-3 inches out already. We had more snow today, but they seem to have some kind of antifreeze in them. And I noticed daffodils coming up in an area where I thought I'd dug them all up last summer, along with some iris I moved. :-/

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 09:35 PM

A couple of new shoots on the hellebores have broken ground.

If the weather and my back cooperate, gonna plant lettuce, mescun mix, spinach and onion sets this weekend.

Should have done this last fall, but am also gonna sow some poppy seeds and see what happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 09:50 PM

It's too cold to plant anything now, but next month I'll put in lettuce and mesclum and maybe some greens. Thinking ahead - does anybody have any remedies for those stink bugs that seemed to be everywhere last summer? They ruined my melons and seriously affected my tomatoes. I had a hard time keeping them out of the house when it started turning cold.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 11 - 10:24 PM

The organic solutions are several: spray with orange oil (a couple of ounces per gallon is all you need) will kill them, and I heard a reminder on my organic gardening program that to avoid some other pests, particularly the squash beetles (that some of them look like stink bugs - they're related) and the vine borers, grind up some bay leaves and mix it into the soil around your squash and melons. Use some in mulch also. I've been meaning to plant a bay shrub, and this is another good reason why. Be sure you get the plant that is used for cooking, there are several things that are called "bay" leaves.

I wear gardening gloves when I work in the garden, and these days I simply pinch and kill those bugs when I see them.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 01:45 PM

The gutter idea reminded me of the means of watering plants in the beds around the balconies on my upper floor of a hotel in arid Kona, Hawai'i. Little tubes brought water to the shrubs periodically, as needed, with little being sprayed about to be evaporated.
The same is used in many greenhouses.
Tubes and soakers give water to plants without much loss to the air during the process. These accessories are found in many garden catelogues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 01:53 PM

I use soaker hoses around the house foundation, and anything right near the hose gets more water; in the summer, anything not right next to the hose dies without extra watering. I like a xeriscape plan in the yard, but since I have to water the foundation, I'd like that zone to be a little wider.

I have thought about what I could put down that would spread the water a little wider, without spraying it into the air like a regular sprinkler. One idea was to take one of those flat tape-like sprinklers and mount it a few inches above the ground with some kind of garden stakes, and let it spray downward. It would hit a broader swath than the soakers. I've contoured the soil and much some years to try to make a difference. I suppose if I had a small fortune I'd put in an irrigation system and have it all on timers.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 03:13 PM

There is some confusion about the merits of the Bay Tree of Europe v. Umbellularia californica, variously called Bay Laurel, California Bay Tree, even Myrtle or Myrtlewood.

Actually, the California Bay is stronger flavored when used in cooking and contains more oils. It was used by many Indian groups for medicine and does repel many species of insects.

Breedlove Guitars has been known to use it for a "tone wood". It is usually moderate sized tree when found on dry hillsides, but can get to 40-50 feet if growing in rich soil with sufficient water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 06:27 PM

The one that grows locally is Laurus nobilis. More info from my gardening guru.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 07:12 PM

re: the pvc gutter gardens.

Not all pvc is food-safe. From the little bit of research I've done, the pvc used in gutters often contains additives of phthalates and/or bisphenol A, both of which leach and are, as best I recall, banned from use in plastics used in children's toys or food/drink containers. There is controversy about how harmful either of these additives may be to adults, but for myself, I'd err on the side of safety when contemplating growing food in pvc gutters.

There may be some pvc gutters on the market with no, or with lower amounts of both additives than is typical to satisfy those of us who tend to be more concerned than the average bear about such things. It would probably take some research to suss them out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 08:04 PM

Bought another hellebore today and will plant it tomorrow. HGC Winter's Bliss, (helleborus x ericsmithii.) Creamy white up-facing flowers with palest pink reverse. I didn't plan on buying plants of any sort today - just stopped by Southern States Coop to buy bird supplies and a few packets of seeds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 08:20 PM

How do you spell "addiction", Janie???

Jus'[ funnin'...

We went to the Richmond Flower and Garden Show yesterday and the P-Vine swore that she wasn't going to buy a thing...

Hahahahahaha....

Bought a camellia and a new pair of loping shears... The ratcheting kind...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 08:39 PM

Janie: good point about the poisons in PVC! I wonder if the plants pick them up. Research is necessary. Planting time still far in the future in Montreal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 11:14 PM

Of course the best course when experimenting with materials used in a manner different from original approved uses is, as Janie said, to do your research. PVC comes in different formulations, some of which are safer than others in terms of chemical leaching. It's used in household plumbing for drinking water in many places. It's used in many growers' hoop houses, too. Many have found approved grades of CPVC pipes to be safer than the old metal plumbing materials, depending upon whether lead and other hazardous materials are leaching from pipes and solder, and what sort of water characteristics are involved (see link to Maine Cooperative Extensioninformation on corrosive water.) Here's a link for those interested in researching pvc safety in regard to use with drinking water and gutter gardens, etc.: National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
Following from that page, I found this:

"PVC, CPVC, PEX, and Other Plastic Plumbing Materials - Plastic plumbing has been used for potable and non-potable water applications since the 1950s. Initially, there were many concerns about these products potentially leaching harmful chemicals into the water. To ensure that the public's health was protected, independent standards were quickly developed which established strict guidelines for these products.

Today, plastic plumbing products designed for potable water applications are usually designated with either "NSF-PW" or "NSF-61" to indicate that the product complies with the health effects requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for materials designed for contact with potable water. This standard also establishes similar guidelines for other plumbing materials, including copper tubing. If your pipe is not coded with one of these designations or if it is designated with an alternative code such "NSF-DWV," it is probably not meant for potable water applications and should not be used for such purposes."
************************************
Perhaps one could learn more regarding the safety of PVC gutter materials by sending an email to the NSF International (info@nsf.org).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 08:26 AM

Expecting temps near 60F today, and almost up to 70F mid-week. Also sunny, windy and dry.

Headed out to Lowe's for composted manure, and maybe a mini-tiller.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 09:30 AM

We has a Mantz mini-tiller, Janie... Nice little tiller for smallish areas... Does not like roots or rocks, though...

Yeah, we have those warm temps headed out way, too... Maybe a day or two behind ya'll...

BTW, most PVC is used for sewage and CPVC for water... I'm surte the CPVC would be fine for planting in but you generally don't find it in anything over an 1" in diameter...

Personally, I think those gutter gardens are more for flowers... I don't think I'd want to eat anything grown in them... Especially when that plastic is out in the sun... Maybe I'm being old fashioned here???

We were just talking about growing peppers and tomatoes this morning with the hopefully impending move and figure we'll just have to grow them in containers this year and move 'um around...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 04:14 PM

When I decided to go big with gardening I bought a mantis. In my ignorance I did not understand the difference between a tiller and a cultivator. Found out pretty quick it was not the equipment to use bust sod in heavy clay soil. After renting a big tiller for that big job, however, the mantis was great for digging in amendments and loosening the soil each spring in the veggie garden, or when completely re-doing a flower bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM

The mantis, unfortunately (or perhaps not - the vibrations wrecked my knuckle joints,) did not last it's natural life. Hubby or I one grabbed the wrong gas can to fill it from, and burned up the motor for lack of oil in the mix.

Did not buy a tiller today, btw, and owe thanks to Bobert mentioning the mantis for that. I had forgotten what the vibrations did to my hands. My old lawn mower was about as bad. My knuckles are slap worn-out and very fragile. I have no business at all gripping the handle of a tiller. I finally broke down and bought a decent lawn mower when I moved to this place, and because of the shade, I also don't have to mow but once every 4-6 weeks during "grass season." Otherwise, I would have to hire some one to do it to save what I have left in my hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 05:40 PM

Sorry folks, I'm on a roll.

Spent 6 hours working in the church of the garden today. G-l-o-r-i-o-u-s!

It may be another 6 months before I have more than an hour a week to do anything at all out in the garden or yard, but all I can say is, It restoreth my soul.

Raked back the dead leaves from the beds, put down a little fertilizer, spread compost, re-shredded the leaves and laid them back down for mulch. Cut back dead stems on perennials that are starting to sprout new leaves under the mulch, pulled dead leaves from daylillies, Raked and mulched still falling oak leaves from here, there, and everywhere, mowed the yard to mulch the oak leaves that had fallen since Christmas, prepared the raised beds for peas, lettuce, onions, spinach and kale, planted violas at the edges of the raised beds and in a hollow tree stump.

Did not get the hellebore planted.

Not having a truck or any friends with a truck is problematic. Buying composted cow manure, garden soil or mulch by the bag is prohibitively expensive. Most of the beds got less than half the compost they need, or at least deserve, and even at that, I didn't have enough to do all the beds.

Also did some watering, though not enough. We are back in severe drought.

Stared intently at the large pile of wood chips from when I had the big oak taken down last summer. They need to be spread around trees. It is a big pile, but not big enough to mulch around all of the trees, and I still can't figure out how to distribute it aesthetically. (also stared intently at the gashes and piles of soil I can't mow over from large branches that plummeted in the process of that tree being taken down, and which the tree guy said he would come back and smooth out, but never did.) That is one of those jobs that a cultivator would make quick work of, but doing it with a shovel, a hoe and a rake will take half a day, and wreck my back and shoulders for a week or more.

Not whining, just struggling to come to terms with limitations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 08:37 PM

I have a big honker tiller my across the street neighbor gave me. I had it fixed, but then haven't used it because it turns out most of the places I till are better done by hand. I should get it running again and sell it, it takes up space in the garage.

Lovely day today, but I had to work mostly in the house getting ready for company coming tomorrow. I did take a wonderful walk with the dogs, it was probably 75o out there!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 09:07 PM

Cold as a pump handle here... Wind blowing so hard that a brush fire I thought had gone out a week ago got enough air in the bottom to resurrect it... 'Sposed to blow 45 mph tomorrow... Fun... Not...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 09:56 PM

Sounds miserable, BeauBear - stay warm, but not too warm! Hope that fire has gone out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 10:18 PM

Still burnin', Magz... That's good... It ain't goin' no where... Just burnin' the stumps...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 02:01 PM

I spent a long and discouraging time on line last night: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) has a lot of info on healthy houses and gardens but I could not find any specifics. Went on to "gutters" with no better luck. The jury is still out. I like the idea of hanging gardens but am keeping my mind open for materials. In a small city yard.... Maybe at the junk yard I will find something creative!

In the meantime, two feet of snow covereth all and it is exciting to hear about 75F days but, here, its going DOWN tonight. Thawing now, rain, turning to freezing rain, turning to snow - 19 F tomorrow. Thankful for indoor plants - cyclamen, kalanchoe, African violets and - ta dah! the clivia miniata pulled out one more blossom - not a stalk, just one single flower peeking out from the bottom of the leaves!

I am now waiting patiently (?) for my new - last Tuesday - worm composter to produce compost. It could take a couple months but I look at the critters and talk to them, ask them how it's going. No response. They are not good house pets - or maybe the BEST!??


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM

I've contacted the NSD International, the Maine Cooperative Extension, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to inquire about the safety of using CPVC/PVC gutters to grow edible and ornamental plants.

The other use I've seen for PVC (pipes sawn in half lengthwise,) is to make container gardens for starting vegetable seedlings at the desired spacing. When they are ready to transplant, they can be slid directly into the prepared row with minimal root disturbance. I suppose one could line the pipe with whatever inert material one feels content to use. One could experiment and report on results.

There is risk in everything. Many of us grew up in households with lead pipes or lead soldered pipes, polluted city water, unsafe well water, etc. We must each do our homework and make our best choices. It's nice when we pool information with one another.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 02:40 PM

Here's the reply from NSF:
"NSF International has not tested any gutter products for contact with drinking water and could not advise if they might meet potable water standards or be suitable for use in this type of garden. As a suggestion, I would encourage you to contact your nearest county extension office and request to speak with a master gardener about what materials might be suitable for an above ground garden.

Best regards,
Cheryl

Cheryl Luptowski
NSF Consumer Information Officer
info@nsf.org"
***********************************
I'd be content to wash the PVC carefully, then line it with food safe plastic film, or to line it with corrugated cardboard, and I think I'd only use the pipe/gutter containers to start plants prior to planting them in the garden.

Alternatively, what other, more stable materials might work in a similar manner?
Your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 03:18 PM

Still unseasonably warm, and very, very dry. Never thought I would be irrigating and watering in February but this extended warmth is causing lots of plants to sprout, and the soil is dry down to 6 or 8 inches.

Yesterday I sowed snow peas, lettuces, spinach, kale and onions. Had to really hunt for the Red Russian kale, which is my favorite. Also am trying another variety of Red Russian called Red Winter which is supposed to be sweet even without frost, which should make it a good spring sowed variety. Leaves are supposed to be even more tender than the standard Red Russian.

Laid out new irrigation hose in a few of the beds today, divided a stone crop that was here when I moved in and looked pitiful last summer with the crown dying out, and dug and moved ginger lilies and irises. Wrong time of year to move the irises, but I had stuck them in the ground willynilly 2 years ago - literally grabbed a shovel, dug a hole in the turf, tossed in some compost and then the irises. It kept them alive but just barely, and the grass had all come back.   When we made our pilgrimage to Eastern Kentucy 2 years ago to visit old family graveyards, my 84 year old cousin encouraged Dad and I to dig some of the irises growing on the grave of my great-great grandmother. My cousin's mother had planted them originally. I had planted my Dad's properly and they bloomed last year. They are a very old-fashioned looking iris, two-toned, and have the somewhat smaller flowers typical of many heirloom bearded iris.

Theoretically, I have now come inside to clean house, do laundry, pay bills and make a grocery list. Can't quite make the mental transition yet. Think I'll go fill the bird feeders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 03:28 PM

Norfolk UK: It's mostly been rainy or misty and at timee windy since the snow thawed in January. There have been few days where the weather has encouraged one to go out into the garden.

Doesn't worry me for my bits in the garden though. I won't be starting those till April.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 04:06 PM

Sent in my seed order for Italian broccoli . I saw some in the market when I was on vacation, and I have to try it.

Yesterday there were only 2 patches of snow in the front year, but now it's snowing like crazy again. I've had enough of winter. C'mon, Spring!

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 06:35 PM

I saw a forsythia in full bloom this morning. And my Japanese flowering quince has just started to bloom.

Picked up bags of top soil and humate today to build up some more raised beds.

I have a bay tree to plant. Picked it up this week after trying several places to find one.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 07:28 PM

Beautiful vegetable, Maryanne. I see it is a cauliflower. What is the taste like?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 07:31 PM

I have not tasted it myself, but the write-up says mild broccoli flavor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 09:15 PM

I'd suggest they are somewhere between the two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 09:29 PM

Not to worry, Janie... Iris is like a weed and doesn't much care where or when it is planted... Or if it is planted... I've dug 'um up, thrown 'um in the woods bare root and they do fine... No planting involved...

Dry here,too and worse??? Windy... Been watering the stuff in pots I dug up for the move...

Daffies pokin' their head up??? Can spring be far behind???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 10:56 PM

At the hospital where I work there is a small courtyard in the very center, enclosed on all 4 sides by the wings of the hospital. The daffodils planted there started blooming last week, but I haven't seen them blooming anywhere else yet.

Yeh, Bobert, the wind has been something else.   They weren't too strong today, but have otherwise been quite strong the last 7-10 days.

Bone dry and windy - brush fires all over the State. A few homes destroyed. The fire siren here has gone off so many times the last several days that it has almost become background noise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 12:13 AM

Iris are tough, and don't seem to care where they're planted. I've been separating out the colors of mine that got kind of mixed (I'd be given some by a neighbor, and after a couple of years I'd realize I had some striking colors mixed in). I've enjoyed nurturing them into larger populations to spread around and to give away.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cuilionn
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 11:32 AM

A lovely scattering of snow here in Southern Maine this morning, followed by the strong and hopeful light of the late February sun. Woodpeckers are busy at the edge of the woods. Chickens and bluejays are taking turns thieving from the compost pile. It won't warm up enough for it today, but two days ago the honeybees were out on cleansing flights, a sure sign that Spring Will Come.

All our seeds are sorted and ready to plant, but I have yet to get anything actually planted in flats and set up by the south-facing windows. Our farmhands are experimenting with rosemary from seed (they like a good challenge) and they have grow-lights and trays set up in their room already. I'm hoping to start some things out in the cold frames in our hoop house in the next week or two--maybe kale and snow peas, for starters?

I also want to try artichokes this year. I have a seed packet of "Imperial Star" and it says to start in February... am I too late? Do I need a grow-light to ensure success, or will a windowsill tray be enough? Also, prior to setting them out, should I use a heating mat under the tray or not? Any other Northern gardeners have artichoke-growing tips?

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,TJO
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 06:22 PM

FWIW, a Kensington, Montgomery County, MD report for y'all.

Some really warm 70 degree days last week -- one of the great things about D.C. area winters is the occasional warm spell that break the cold. But windy, windy the last few days, and 2-4 inches of snow forecast tonight. Our last batch of snow just gone ( in our North-facing sloped property), revealing daffodil leaves up, snowdrops blooming, swelling buds and color on some camellias (which will probably be brown after the snow). One purple azalea blooming !! -- a crazy Korean selection of mucronolatum we got from the National Arboretum years ago that opens buds all winter whenever the temp goes up for a few hours !! Got some nice big batches of cut forsythia inside blooming, but I think we're still a ways from any real action outside.

T.J.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM

This morning I started seeds for summer vegetables in flats in my sun room. Some things will be started by seed directly in the garden in a couple of weeks, but I'll also use these in April. My neighbor across the street has a rule of thumb that he won't plant his tomatoes before Easter, but other things can be in and going strong by then. Given 6 or 7 weeks most of these should be ready to go into the prepared beds. That means I now have to start with serious bed preparation!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM

Was looking at caladium bulbs the other day and wishing I had room to set up my grow lights and shelves here. It is a compact but very productive set-up. Just not compact enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Max Johnson
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 01:23 PM

Northern England.

Joys in my garden will be (I hope) the Magnolia, Honeysuckle, Clematis, Yellow Monbrecia and the red one I can't remember the name of. Buddleia. And my favourite - Sweet Peas. And Tree Lilies, just to show that I have a sense of humour.
If it ever stops raining, I'll plant garlic and asparagus, and later, runner beans, broad beans and salad stuff. I hope my rasberry bush survived the harsh winter - we'll see; none of my herbs did except the Rosemary and Sage so I'll have to plant again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 08:46 PM

Our first "spring" flowers bloomed last week in Maryland.

They are those white upside down fiddle flowers that bloom in the snow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM

I'm guessing you are talking about galanthus, donuel. Aren't they a wonderful harbinger?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:33 AM

Whoohoo! 100% chance of rain on Friday!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:48 AM

Still snowing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 09:59 PM

About 18 inches of snow in yard and another 6 due tomorrow. Spent the afternoon looking at the variety of heritage and other tomato plants I can order from the local food co-op. Will do mainly the low acid white and yellow varieties. Still need to narrow it down to what will fit in small yard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 10:23 PM

I love our gardeners threads!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: freda underhill
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:30 AM

I've had seven Weeping Lilly Pillly trees planted by my back fence today. They are already large and leafy and look beautiful. I'll be planting some pink bromiliads and native violets beneath them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: freda underhill
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:39 AM

weeping Lilly Pilly

Pink bromiliad

native violets


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 07:48 AM

Just had a look at our raspberries. They are budding nicely and have survived the winter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:42 AM

We finally got some rain here on the Blue Ridge... Yea!!!

It has been an unusually dry winter... Snow to the south of us and snow to the north but we've only had a total of about 12 inches since December 1st and it has been windy so things were getting very dry...

Okay, it was only .5 inch but we'll take it... The 300 or so pots waiting to move to NC we've had to hand over and over with yucky well water... I mean, good for drinking but plants don't especially love the stuff...

We're still in "short sale limbo" on the NC property but should hear within the next few days and then we'll head down for a couple days to figure out stuff like veggie garden, potting shed, overall garden designs...

There's a place in Warrenton that sells NOS (new old stock) doors and windows extra CHEAP and once I figure out the size potting shed room behind the existing garage, I'll buy what I need to make it work from that guy and haul it with us.... The best we'll be able to do is have as much glass at both ends and perhaps a skylight... Maybe a small greenhouse down the road.... But with grow lights this space oughtta work okay for propagation...

Happy gardening...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 03:14 PM

AFRICAN VIOLETS??? Not outside, inside but if anyone can clue me in on the great mystery of what is eating JUST the flower petals. Not the centers, not the buds, not the leaves. No, they are not dropping; there is not sign of them anywhere. Gone!! I thought it might be mice but mice cannot climb up a brass plant stand; that is where last night's feast was. Four out of five plants - new about three weeks ago. The remaining one is on top of a wood file cabinet. So far, not touched. These guys were all in full glorious bloom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 06:34 PM

Sounds like you need to set a trap, Dorothy. Or cover them with a clear something to keep away the predator. My African violets are also blooming beautifully right now. Only three pots, but that's enough.

My flat of seeds is almost completely sprouted. Another will be started this week. I always spend more than I plan buying bedding plants when I know just a few weeks earlier I could have started them myself. Procrastination costs me money in the yard, for sure. This year I'll save the money on bedding plants and use it on some of the amendments I can use.

Daffodils are up all over the place. So are a lot of weeds that started over the winter. Since the turf is still dormant, I can use my organic weed control without stunting the grass:

Vinegar Herbicide Formula:
1 gallon of 10% vinegar
1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant such as Bio Wash
Add molasses at 1 tablespoon per gallon to the vinegar formula
Do not add water

It's working. I didn't do it all at once, but a gallon of vinegar at a time. I've been out twice in the last week and do zones, then when I go back I hit any spots I missed, then move to the next zone. I'm trying to keep some of the weeds out of the veggie garden by not letting them hop over from the turf. (I don't really care if there are weeds in the turf, I can mow them, but I don't like them in the garden!)

Here is the whole article about organic weed control.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 09:23 PM

I always admire other people's African Violets but have never tried them myself.

I was rushing the season a little bit with my veggie seed sowing, but the Kale and spinach are both starting to sprout and a couple of onions are pushing green tips up above the soil line. I was about to give up on the lettuce, which I expected to germinate first. I still may re-sow, but a couple of sprouts were in evidence this evening, so I will hold off until I get back from West Virginia on Sunday to see what happens over the next few days.

Wishing I had thrown a blanket over the big leaf hydrangea. The long, unseasonably warm spell has caused it to begin to leaf out. It is supposed to get down to 29F tonight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 10:55 AM

Confirmed by poster on an African Violet site: mice like AV flowers! Getting more aggressive with two live traps and finding mouse proof places for plants! Guess this is the first time I have had both plants and mice.

Thanks for that recipe, SRS. Copied to file.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM

Pulled some leeks up today. Only one more meal for the three of us left now. Chard seems to be doing ok. That's about it here for veg at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cats
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 08:36 AM

This morning I planted a bank of winter and spring flowering heathers. This afternoon the hens have dug them all up and looking so proud of themselves!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Maryrrf
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM

Yesterday I went out with the cultivator and turned the soil in the garden - it was hard work but I felt invigorated afterwards - like I could feel the energy of mother earth rising out of the tilled ground. I harvested the last of the winter kale and collards, I might put some more in today or tomorrow, and I'm debating if it's too early to sow lettuce. I suppose I could give it a try and just resow if nothing comes up. Today or tomorrow I need to get some compost - I'll use what I have in my compost heap but it won't be nearly enough, and I'll also get some organic fertilizer. I'm sooooo looking forward to spring veggies, lots of light in the evenings to putter around in the dirt, bring on the Merry Month of May when it really gets going - oh yes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 09:34 AM

Haven't tried it yet Mary but we bought a book, Salad Leaves For All Seasons> that looks quite handy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 03:17 PM

Wonderful site, Jon. Puts me in mind of Ruth Stout's Gardening Without an Aching Back, from long ago. A gardening friend took a leaf from her book and developed a marvellous garden: She buried a briar patch "under the weight of public opinion" with newspapers, catalogs, cardboard... The following year, she had a lovely spot for a garden. The briars were "composted", the earthworms had aerated the soil. She planted, weeded and harvested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 11:22 PM

Will need to re-sow the lettuce if I am able and have the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 11:51 PM

Daddy is dying. I hope it warms enough in his zone 6 climate for his fall planted pansies to begin to put on a show I can wheel him out to see before he goes.

It is easy to take pansies for granted, they are such ordinary annuals. Study a bloom, though, and they have astounding depth and beauty. My dad is like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 12:58 AM

Janie, a slow death is not what any of us would wish for. Getting through the end of life with grace is what we hope for, but it's difficult.

I never met the woman who lived two doors up from me and across the street. But apparently the year I moved in here, when I made inroads on the ugly hedge out front and put in a few slim wands that are now trees, she really enjoyed my State Fair zinnias. I planted them in a couple of spots in the yard and they got huge, some of them five or six feet tall, covered with brilliant mixed colors. She would sit in the garage that was on the side of her house and look down the street strait at my house. I was at the estate sale after her husband died, shortly after she died. The daughter was pleased to learn where I lived, and told me about how her mother admired those zinnias.

Never take for granted those flowers that bring you pleasure. They may bring true joy to others who really need it.

Take care, Janie.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 11:40 AM

It's so sad to hear about your dad, Janie...

You tell him that a fellow hillbilly is thinkin' of him and rootin' for those pansies to bloom for him...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cuilionn
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 06:52 AM

Reading Carol Deppe's book, "The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times." Anybody else familiar with this? Mum just went to a couple of her lectures at the Pacific Northwest Garden Show and sent me a copy of the book right away-- says she's learning more from reading it than she's learned in over 40 years of organic gardening!

Deppe proposes five crops that, in judicious combination, can ensure survival: corn, beans, potatoes, squash, and eggs. (I like her sense of humour with the inclusion of eggs as a crop.) She has previously written about the breeding of custom veggie varieties and she talks at length about the process of seeking out or breeding crops suited to particular climates and personal needs/tastes. (She's gluten-intolerant, so she has spent a fair bit of energy seeking out heirloom corn varieties to replace wheat in her own diet.

I'm only partway into the book, but already fascinated by her wide-ranging and well-researched writing. This looks like a book I'll be turning to frequently as I gradually convert my plots into permaculture plantings.

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM

I spent most of Sunday digging away in a negelected area of the garden. Make that "even more neglected area", all of the garden has been neglected to some extent. Much of it was just a field and the rest had rubbish distributed in odd piles.

I can manage to dig for about 15 minutes at a time with 15 minute breaks without causing permanent discomfort. I have to build up my muscles as I am one of those people who has slipped a disk in the past and my vetebrae are not quite the shape that nature intended either, having additional growth on them. I can stand up straight OK, I just can't bend much.

Why is it that even in the most remote part, even when you think that you are breaking new ground on what used to be a field, there are pieces of broken Victorian crockery in the soil?

I have been clearing out the bottom of a shallow gully and removing dead wood from the blackberries growing there. Hopefully I can start to train them so that I can get at the fruit next autumn. The nettle roots were dreadfull to behold and the dock roots went down for yards!

I would like to create raised beds for the vegetables in the hope that I will be able to cope with them in later years. Planning ahead I hope. The trouble is when you haven't 100% decided where you want them, it's not easy to move them around!

I was hoping to do some more digging tomorrow, but having arranged the day off it now forecasts rain!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 08:35 AM

Well, seein' as the P-Vine is having here mastectomy a week from tomorrow and we haven't gotten the bank to sign off on the "short sale" of the NC property which will more than likely come next week we are going to NC tomorrow and measure rooms and try to figure out where the veggie garden will have to go... To the rear of then house is old growth forest and that is on the westward side of the property so areas around the house won't get much sun in the afternoon... The east side is the pond... The only place that get's good sun that is on our property is fenced in by a neighbor and we are told that their is a "handshake agreement" that the neighbor uses that piece for his horses in exchange a piece the neighbor owns that our driveway is on...

That leaves only the area between the driveway and the pond that will get good sun but there are smaller trees (maybe flowering cherry) every 30 feet along the pond...

I've kinda tried to get the P-Vine to see that we might just have to till up several plots between those trees and rather than having one big veggie garden we may end up with 6 (or so) smaller plots (maybe 8 feet by 15-20 feet)... She isn't there yet but I think that she'll arrive at the same conclusion once reality sets in...

No matter, this year it looks like our veggie gardens will be containerized and movable...

I was kinda thinkin' of buying an old truck when we get down there... You know, something that isn't exactly road worthy that go cheap at farm auctions... Maybe a flatbed with side pockets and a 14 foot bed and filling the back with dirt and planting veggies in it and then moving it around to catch the best sun...

Maybe I shouldn't think too much... lol...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 07:54 PM

My broccoli seeds have started to sprout. I planted 4 at first, and I'll start a few more next week. We still have a few inches of snow on the ground, and big piles of it where I ran the snowblower. But we finally had rain instead of snow today. Don't forget to change your clocks this weekend.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM

The time changes this weekend?!!!!

Thanks, Maryanne. Don't know that I would have picked up that little tidbit otherwise.


We have had a couple of inches of rain over the past 48 hours and the plants are loving it. Everything has perked up and started growing. Was afraid we were going to get so much so fast that it would drown my little seedlings, but that did not turn out to be the case. Even with all the rain, the ground is moist but not muddy. It has been dry, dry, dry.

The snowpeas are emerging. More green onions are popping up. the kale and the spinach had good germination rates - still just codtyledon leaves, as it as been coolish during the day and often in the low 30's and upper 20's at night. A little more of the lettuce is up. If I get home before dark Sunday I will press more lettuce seed into the ground. I think the reason I got lousy germination with the lettuce is that after I broadcast the seed I took my hand and stirred the dirt a little instead of just pressing the seeds down, and too many of them got covered up.

I still have 1/2 flat of mixed yellow and purple violas purchased a month ago, intending to plant in strawberry pots. That probably isn't going to happen due to time constraints, but I think I'll take them up to Mom and Dad's this weekend, plant most of them in their garden, and put a couple of them in a small pot for Dad to enjoy indoors. I can plant them out in a week or so when they stop blooming from too little light.

The lavander-rimmed violas I planted in the hollow tree stump have really taken off. The Pulmonaria maeve sent late last summer is sending up lots of leaves. No sign of the bloodroot or the iris. I knew the bloodroot was iffy but am surprised the iris have not emerged. I had trouble finding time to keep the new plantings watered in, but thought the iris would make it.   There is still time. Keep your fingers crossed.

Bobert's azaleas are looking pretty darn good, as is the hellebore he gave me a few years ago. All the divisions of the stonecrop, even the tiny ones, are taking off.

The assorted daylilies are up 4-6 inches and the Single Apricot chrysanthemums are forming a dense spring ground cover. The crocus are about to bloom. Seeing lots of henbit, some purple deadnettle and wintercress blooming. I bet if I walked in woods or fields I would find dense mats of chickweed just right for salads.

Last weekend I finished cleaning up Mom and Dad's beds. Here in zone 7, peonies eyes are beginning to sprout. No sign of sprouts yet in Mom and Dad's zone 6 garden but the Stoke's Asters are sending up a lot of leaves and the day lilies are up nearly as far as here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 11:57 PM

I've been watching for seeds to sprout in the garden. I'm going to hover over my beans until they're too big for the snails to demolish.

I hate this spring daylight savings time nonsense. I always feel like it is a switch between "real time" and daylight savings. I'd prefer they not switch (and in Arizona they don't, so they in effect move from one time zone to another by not moving. And then I have to remember what time it really is there.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM

Well, I love coming south this time a year... The cherry, pear, sweet bay magnolia, etc. are in bloom here in Charlotte...

We're off to the "hopefully" new house this morning and, yea, the sun is supposed to return... That will be nice just to see where exactly it is in relationship to everything... This is going to be a lot like gardening back in Wes Ginny...

Unfortunately, we're already way behind for this summer... Everyone around here is tilled up and ready to get it on???

Glad to hear that the azaleas are looking good, Janie... I've got couple more with your name on them... I did get one nice plant out of that koromo shikibu that came out as a double... We'll have to wait until next spring to see if it duplicates....

Well, gotta get crackin'...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 07:28 AM

Hi everyone;

Just a quick word about bearded irises. . . while it is true that they are tough, it is worth it to try and move them at the right time of year, when they're dormant. July/August is the ideal time, though warmer climates can get away with replanting in late September/early October. A general rule of thumb is, the colder the climate, the earlier one should replant bearded irises. Also, it isn't a great idea to plant them using compost unless it's very well decompose because this can cause the rhizome to rot.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 11:17 AM

Bearded iris are as tough as cactus around here and take almost no end of abuse. They don't like particularly rich soil, or as our visitor comments, compost, but I have seen them sprout in the compost. ;-)

The mower must come out this weekend, there is no more ignoring the tall weeds. I find as I walk around the woods here with the dogs I catch the whiff of some of our blooming shrubs, and my quince is leafing out now.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 03:57 PM

Yeah, Iris are indestructable...

I've dug 'um up and thrown them in a pile and they just grow right there on top of the ground...

We just got back from spending 3 hours at the new (hopefully) new house and mad some discoveries... I thought there was a creek on the property and sho nuff there is and it's a nice one that looks as if it runs all year around as opposed to being a run off creek... And the water looked clean... I already see where Mr. Kabota and I are going to put a road thru and we'll be able to plant lots of azaleas back there...

Still have to figure out how to grow food but it's looking as if we're noy going to grow much food this summer... Bummer...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cats
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 05:15 PM

It's my brothers 70th birthday soon and as he has been a nurseryman / garfener all his life thought we might name a rose for him. Has anyone ever done this and how successful was it? Have looked at websites but need to be sure


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 07:36 PM

Hi Auxiris,

And welcome to the garden thread, and perhaps the Mudcat Cafe!

Seems to me the old varieties (those ubiquitous tall, pale lavender iris, or those very early, shorter, deep, deep purple iris, for example,) will keep blooming, even in an untended field or yard, despite years of neglect. Newer varieties need more care and better soil to bloom well, though they will survive for years without bloom, or only occasional bloom if simply accidentally dropped off the side of the porch.

In these parts, iris borers are a big problem, especially when irises are planted en masse, and the dead blades allowed to lie on the ground.

There were irises here when I moved in two years ago, in the old neglected beds. They are still here, hanging on, but I haven't seen them bloom or increase.   I figure that unless or until I get some decent work done on the beds they are better off left undisturbed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 09:03 PM

Cats, you are a breeder of roses? Tell more!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Mar 11 - 03:31 PM

Uncovering strawberries today (they're starting to bloom) and running hoses to get water to all of the beds. I've also been digging weeds and will use the string trimmer then use my vinegar weed killer on a lot of the smaller thistle and mustard and Queen Anne's lace type of deep root weeds. I think it will take them out.

Lots of wasps hovering around the front of the house. I heard birds in that hole in the top of the rock wall on the house that I still haven't filled. I saw a cottontail running across the road yesterday.

Spring seems to be here!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Mar 11 - 06:31 PM

I made a good start on the yard. Mostly in the side where the veggie garden will grow. One of my rosemary shrubs was dead, this last winter finally took it out. It is the contents of this week's large Rubbermaid trash can down at the curb. Next week I might have another - I planted three rosemary plants way too close together, and they became this huge hedge. It's a popular hangout in winter for the songbirds who visit my feeders. As I prune this back I can see where my bay tree is going to go - there is a place near the kitchen window that will be perfect. It means I won't be able to see the garage door from there, but I hardly could anyway, I had to lean way over in the corner over the sink, so it isn't really the loss of a great vantage point.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Mar 11 - 06:06 PM

I was told, emphatically and repeatedly, that iris do not bloom if the rhizomes are not exposed - as I repeatedly weeded and tended to about 200 feet of iris beds for an iris fanatic. They DID bloom.

The top few inches of my composter is can now be seen - on the sunny side only! Thankful for the worm composter which seems to be perking along.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 11 - 08:54 PM

I've cleared another raised portion of the garden this evening. Last year there were tomatoes on part of it and eggplant on part of it. I'll move those down a bed and put something else in there this year. I have a bed all set for lettuce and more beans. I have to arrange my irrigation before I plant so I can see where to put stuff. That will probably be tomorrow.

I'm going to use a sprinkler in one part of the garden, a soaker hose in another, and compare results. Last year's soaker hoses worked well when I had only a few plants in the area and the hose ran right past. But in places with close rows and stuff fairly close, the soaker would have to wrap around a lot to hit it all - not practical.

The roots from last year's plants were strong and spread way out - looking the way you want them to. When I first gardened I remember going back at the end of the season and finding the plants that hadn't thrived also had barely grown past the size of their original bedding plant container.

I'll be simultaneously gardening and sending good wishes P-Vine's way tomorrow. It's the least I can do!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 15 Mar 11 - 12:04 AM

Dorothy, Bearded Irises will not bloom, or will not bloom well if planted too deep anywhere, but whether or not the tops of rhizomes are best left exposed depends on both how well drained the soil is and the climate zone.   I think good drainage is the most important element regardless of climate zone. I had a variety of soil types, and both raised and unraised beds in my Hillsborough garden and experimented a good bit with Bearded Iris. The more friable the soil, the deeper they could be planted and do well, but regardless of soil type, they bloomed less well if planted with more than 1/2 inch soil over the tops of the rhizomes. In the less well drained beds (either because the beds were not raised, or because the soil was the native red clay, even though well-amended,) planting them more than 1/2 inch deep resulted in more rotted rhizomes, and in fewer or even no blooms, although in some places in the clay soil, the plants produced abundant leaves and the rhizomes mulitiplied well, where drainage was good but planting depth was below the 12 inch mark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 15 Mar 11 - 12:22 AM

Oops. That last should read "1/2' inch ...."

Also want acknowledge the best planting depth for many plants varies according to climate zone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 16 Mar 11 - 07:24 PM

The spiraea prunifolia (aka Button or Popcorn spirea) have burst into bloom, and some of the flower buds on the flowering almond are starting to open. Sweetest surprise, when I went out to fill the bird feeders this evening, was to see a solitary clump of Quakers Ladies in bloom. They occur throughout my yard, and I will watch eagerly now to see them gradually create a low, pale blue mist of color across the lawn. The sepals on the dogwoods are just starting to open. I have one, squirrelly scrawny little redbud (I think, from looking at the base, the previous owner cut it down due to some kind of disease, and then let a couple of pollarded sprouts alone to regrow) It is feebly blooming. It had been in the shadow and the water zone of the big oak that died and was taken down late last summer. Nearby is an equally scrawny little dogwood. I have been tempted to take both of them out ever since I moved in. Think I'll watch and see how they do with a little more sun and with less competition for water this year before I decide.

We may still have a bit of a cold snap, or an unexpected hard freeze, but Spring has definitely arrived in this little piece of the southern part of heaven.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 16 Mar 11 - 08:03 PM

Mystery!

Along the back of my property line grows a thin and neglected tree/hedgerow.   Good bird habitat, and otherwise an eye-sore except for one or two very stalwart, untended and overgrown early flowering shrubs. They are also eye-sores most of the year, but startling lovely in early and mid-spring.    Other than to whack back seedlings, saplings and some privet to get them out of the way of the shed when we built it, I have ignored what I think of as my live brushpile. Strolled out just before dark to look at how strongly maeve's pulmonaria (sp?) was emerging, and noticed two, and only two, fat, pink flower buds on a little sapling. About 6 ft. tall and no more than 1/2 inch thick at the base. Tiny leaves sprouting all up and down it. My first guess is a cherry sapling of some sort, planted by bird droppings. I'll let you know when the buds open.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Mar 11 - 11:26 AM

Dug more beds for the garden, then accidentally flooded it this morning. Must buy a new timer for the water. Seems I have to buy a new one every year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 12:05 AM

A few weeks ago I started seeds in trays of 1" pots, and some of them are good sized (squash, zucchini, etc.) so I used a spoon to extract them from the flimsy tray and put each in it's own 4" pot to grow a little more before transplantation into the yard. I usually put this off too long and pay through the nose for bedding plants. I'll still buy my Super Fantastic tomatoes, I rarely ever see the seeds for those. But the rest - my squash, chard, beans, peppers, eggplant, they're all seeded here. Okra I even harvested from last year's wonderful plants (I'll plant those directly in the soil.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 01:06 PM

Oh, happiness is 47F, sunshine, and seeing the two primrose peeking out from under the ice in the 3X10 front "yard" - where the sun shines most all day, until the tree in the sidewalk gets leaves. I planted them after the tree leafed out last year, thinking this was a shade garden. Then I planted some sedum - also starting to show!

Have to pick out bits of trash and broken bottles from time to time. The bus stop is so close people sometimes sit on our front stoop and TALK before we're ready to face the day, smoke and it comes through the mail slot - a project for about now! A new mail slot.

Anyway, now I am inspired to order the heritage tomato plants for the back garden - even if it is still under two feet of snow. I saw the top of the composter the other day - about 6 inches. The worm composter has been perking along. I see they are hard at work.   Go, worms, go!

Janie, You are a fund of info! Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 03:22 PM

Today was the first official, full-fledged mow of the front yard. I also did about 1/2 of the back, but I'll have to finish later, I have guest coming for a late lunch. It's a workout with all of those tall wet weeds in the turf!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM

OK the garden has been composted and fertilized, soil has been carefully worked with a cultivator, and I've got my herbs (basil, cilantro, dill and parsley) planted. I've got mint, too, but far too much of it. It has taken over a large spot. Also put in some Swiss Chard and - my favorite: lettuce! Romaine, Simpson, two kinds of Mesclun and I can't wait to dig into fresh salads again! The rest of the garden will go in on or around May 1st - zucchini, yellow squash, okra, eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes. I love this time of year!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM

I refueled and mowed the rest of the back yard. I don't always do the entire 1/2 acre in one day, but because it got so very cold a few weeks ago, the weeds are a little behind in their growth. I was able to get through the front and back without stalling out the mower once!

My potatoes and beans are coming along; the rest will be going in in stages. I have more digging to do in a new section of the garden, and I'll be bringing in some more topsoil to elevate those dug-out areas into raised beds.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 06:34 PM

Lots of stuff really popped out while I was gone over the weekend, especially trees. A couple of the azaleas are coloring up.

I cut the smooth hydrangea back just now, per the suggestion of some one, (Bobert? maeve?) Probably should have done that a bit earlier as the leaf buds have greened up and some buds higher on the stems were starting to open.

maeve's pulmunaria is blooming. The solomon seal and my one miniature hosta have broken ground. The lettuce keeps germinating, a little bit at a time. I'm going to sow some more in a pot in another week. Have sown another little patch of mesclun mix.

The yard needs mowed to mulch all those last leaves the oaks hang onto until stripped by the March winds. That is not a job can be done on weekday evenings until my son is out of school. Traveling every weekend now, and think I have decided to just not worry about the lawn. or the house while we are so involved with taking care of Daddy. With the change to daylight savings, I have a little time to putter around when I get home on Sundays. That is soothing to me, and so I will very much target my garden activities to those in which I take the most pleasure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:15 PM

Keep finding solace in the garden, Janie. It's good place to work and think.

I mulched leaves this weekend - ground them up on the front lawn, and I'll spread them around some more soon because I see still a bit of a windrow of the fragments from the last few passes of the mower.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 07:14 PM

...and what to her wondering eyes should appear...but a patch of crested iris, compliments of maeve!

Last night there was nothing. Tonight, a little 4 inch patch of dirt has tiny little iris blades poking 3/8th inch above the surface! For some reason I thought they would be really early, like reticulated iris. Now that I think about it, I realize that on camping trips to the North Carolina mountains, they are usually in bloom about Memorial Day along old logging trails.

Thanks maeve!   Seeing those little pale green points made my old heart go pitterpatter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 03:21 AM

Garden cleanup has been put on hold for a while. Snow & freezing rain have returned, and it will be cold thru the weekend. My rosemary did not make it thru the winter, but the rest of the herbs seem to be doing well-- thyme is thriving and the chives are up about 2 inches. I was thinking about raking up the leaves around the heaths & heathers, but that will have to wait a week or so. My broccoli seedlings are doing well under the grow-light. Last chance for frost isn't until mid-May, so they'll stay inside until then.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:36 AM

Spent yesterday moving most of a pile of stone. It was in the middle of where I want a lawn and I've moved it about 50 feet and made it into a wall which seems te most efficient way of storing it for future use. It might even stay as the wall. I'm guessing that it was about 15 to 20 tons so Ishould have had a fair bit of exercise!

I need to go over all the area that we are converting from field to lawn extracting proruding rocks and cutting off tusocks so that I can use the mover. After a couple of seasons it should be OK to buy a ride-on mower and use that. I shall have ruined the present one by then knowing my luck.

The idea is to put in shrubs and trees first to get some basic shape to the garden and to work our way down in plant size as we progress. I am very much a beginner gardener in that I never paid much attention to what my parent did with theirs, even though my late mother was a National Assosiation of Flower Arrangers Judge and could rattle of the proper names of everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 07:11 PM

Boy, wouldn't a Mudcat Garden Tour be a wonderful thing!

Hope you are documenting your work, bbcw, and will post pics as the work unfolds.

Oh Me of Little Faith! maeve's bloodroot lives!

Tulips don't tend to be reliably perennial here. The lady of the house before me had planted them here and there at some point in the past, and in the last few days they have colored up and some are in full bloom.

I never met her. She was in a nursing home and the house was sold by her son, her power of attorney. (I hadn't thought about it before, but the first house, the one in Hillsborough, was sold under the same conditions.) The neighbors tell me she was a gardener, and there is evidence that was the case, though she must not have been able to do much for quite some time, and I am also realizing how light must have changed over time as trees got bigger and shaded more area, based on what she planted that is still growing, but in areas much too shady now.

I'm sorry I never met her.

Thank you for the tulips, Mrs. Harris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:34 PM

For the date of 21 MAR 2011, NOAA says...

                NATIONAL TEMPERATURE EXTREMES

                HIGH MON...95 AT PECOS TX

                LOW MON...5 AT PRESQUE ISLE ME

Quite a spread there. It was a high of 46 degrees F in the sagebrush of northern Nevada. Cold and ugly.

Folks must be able to start a garden somewhere in the US, but not here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:48 PM

Sniff...

This is the time of the year that we are generally cleaning up and planting the veggie garden but with the move comin'??? We're having to sit this one out...

Did plant tomato, pepper and eggplant seed which will get moved into containers and moved with us so we'll at least have a few buddies...

Nice thing about where we are going is a cattle farm a mile away and we're told we'll be able to get manure from that farmer...

Meanwhile, blue bells in bloom, blood root, linten rose, daffies, pulminaria and I'll be diggin' stuff up as it comes up...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM

Things have exploded here in the time I've been gone. All the azaleas are in full bloom, the dogwoods are just past their peak. The yard is carpeted in Quakers Ladies. The Solomon's Seal are blooming, tulips are nearly finished, irises are in bud. The ferns are all up and many of the fronds are just fully opened.

Tiny flower buds on the mop head hydrangeas and the smooth hydrangeas, the ones I cut back late, are sending up lots of new shoots - got a bit of a slug problem with them but not bad enough to worry about. A friend gave me start on an oak leaf hydrangea late last summer. I let it get too dry. Thought I had lost it. While the existing stems are dead, a new shoot has emerged from the ground.

Tree pollen everywhere. The car is coated. The porch and furnishings are coated. My sinuses and bronchial tubes are coated. Great green clouds of assorted tree pollen burst out of the tree tops with every strong puff of wind. The white pines sometimes look like smoke is pouring out of them when the wind hits.   Zyrtec pooped out on me and have switched to Allegra. Benadryl works best, but turns me into a dope. Some years the allergy thing doesn't rise much above the level of annoyance. This year is kicking me in the behind.

The neighbor brought me seedlings for yellow squash and a Cherokee Purple tomato this evening. My tiny little raised bed is full of spring stuff just now reaching harvest size. I figure if I go ahead and plant the summer crops, the spring stuff will be harvested or will have bolted by the time the summer stuff needs more room and less competition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 03:20 PM

Snow peas are blooming!

Need to thin the kale seriously.

Do any of the rest of you have trouble making yourself pull out perfectly lovely-looking seedlings, even knowing it is necessary?

Hope the sun comes out and it dries off a bit by early evening. I try to respect the feelings of my neighbors, but absolutely must get the grass cut this weekend - Although I try to avoid mowing on Sundays, on occasion it is necessary. But Easter Sunday?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 03:32 PM

Going thru papers last weekend I stumbled across a $75 gift certificate for Niche Gardens that my friends at work gave me when I resigned last June.

I need to find a place to put it where I won't forget I have it. I now remember that I set it aside until I actually get some new garden beds put in - and who knows when that will happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:53 PM

Mowing on Sunday is as good a way as any to connect with the natural world, and the out-of-doors is as much "church" as I ever encounter as far as my beliefs. So I don't worry about running the mower on Sunday. The people who would worry about it should be in their churches. ;-)

I have some small seedlings in that I started in the house but never got very big. I've put them in and if they make it, fine. I should have waited and just started them from seed in the garden. I bought a few extras today, a couple of bell peppers, a beefsteak tomato, an eggplant. I need to add more peppers, chard, okra, etc. and some will be by seed.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:03 AM

Bobert and P-vine,

HELP!!!!

I have a number of pink azaleas that are of small stature, small leaves and small, densely packed blooms. They all appear to be of the same variety - slightly earlier than the rest of the azaleas I inherited here. Also a number of nearly red azaleas. Most have large blooms, though one as smaller blooms and a different growth habit from the rest of the reds.

The blooms on all of the pinks and the one red with small blooms have turned brown. So far, at least, the large bloomed reds and the azaleas you folks gave me are unaffected. All of them also bloom a tad later.

In Hillsborough, I had one white azalea that developed a fungal disease that also hit the camelia) and had to take it out. What has happened with the azaleas here looks different, and also has not happened the 2 preceeding springs I have been here. The plants are covered in brown, dead flowers. Not mushy. Still firmly attached to the shrub. If we had experienced an unexpected, late, hard frost, that is what I would attribute it to. But that didn't happen. The brown flowers are crisp, and well-attached to the plant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:43 AM

I finished the digging for my keyhole garden, but now I'm working on the building (which has stopped for a few days until things dry out. Lots of spring rains last week.)

The garden is coming along, potato plants getting larger. Tomatoes in, eggplant, some peppers. More to follow soon.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 04:11 PM

It didn't rain last night (well - not until almost dark) which meant I actually managed to get some garden work done. This has been a record April for rain in the area....though we had a couple of dry days early in the month when I couldn't stand up because my back was out....

So I got the itoh peony planted, and the gobi berry, and the honeyberry, and the red daffodils I bought last fall (they most likely won't bloom, but they are **IN** for the future). Have a couple pots of things to plug into the garden that were my sisters Easter flowers (Early easter because she left on a cruise good firday)

Just got a shipment with some witch hazel, mountain laurels and what is suppossed to be a JULY flowering azalea....

So have to get them planted.

Hopefully the mulch will arrive this weekend. My b-i-l hired two of the gardens raked and cleaned while my back was out - so if I can get the mulch down they won't need re-weeding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 10:56 PM

Between work and dog walking I have a couple of hours for chores and gardening. I have a friend I meet at 7 (usually) that I need to do for social and exercise purposes. This week I've used some of that time to dismantle a little stone wall (a kind of wing wall, there is one on each side on the front, a very-1970s look) and use the stones in my garden and tote the crappy mortar to the back of the yard to dump to fill it in. I'll spread topsoil over it once I finish and seed it with something.

Tomatoes still look awful, though they're not dead. I'll do some foliar feeding again tomorrow and that should give them the boost they need to get started. A couple are already beginning to turn around.

Veggie seedlings are tiny, not doing much. Starting from seed can be more satisfactory, but the results are a crap shoot. :-/

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM

yesterday I stopped and picked up a bow saw - removed the limb on the magnolia that I've wanted to take off for three years; may take off another as it is rubbing the roof.

planted the easter lily, two pots of hyacinths and an azalea. My winter hardy banana arrived - the truckloads of mulch won't arrive for at least a week ....so I guess I will try to pick up enough bags to do the front gardens at least....they shouldn't take more then six or eight bags...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 11:28 PM

In summer, Leo, I wish I lived where you do. Come our early springs and long, mild falls, I'm glad I don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 11:04 AM

We need to find another equivalent for Mudcat Gardeners since the Google Groups went away. Leo posted some lovely photos of his yard there.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:02 PM

Ias it actually gone? (I can't check from work) - the search feature for google groups is still there and there is also links to "new google groups" - and instructions for setting up groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:42 PM

Drought drought drought! Hosepipe every evening. Water bill just arrived ... Gulp!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 06 May 11 - 07:53 AM

We've finally got rain. There have been several fires in the hills around us but we are in an area of sheep grazing fields rather than open moorland.
I reckon the rain came because we persuaded our fireman pipe and tabor playing friend to play Black Joke, which has a reputation as a rain attracting tune.
We should start a campain to fit all fire engines with morris tune compatible musical instruments.

I have managed to clear rocks from another area and build some more low walls in the process. I know that hedges provide more shelter than walls because they are not as sudden an interuption to the air-flow but the walls will do some good at lessening the wind at ground level.

The main problem is in moving some of the bigger rocks. When they are heavier than I am the best method is usually to roll them but several have to go uphill. There are a few slabs that will require rollers and a winch to move to where they can be part of a path (though some are actually wider than I planned to have the path).

I have some potatoes and some onions planted for now but it may all be subject to change when I finally get all the land dug over as I want. I have to rabbit proof it yet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 11 - 10:55 PM

Leo, it does look like Google Groups are still there, the old ones and a new form. I'll poke around and see if the new one is any easier to lay out. That was the problem with the earlier one, making the pages look the way we wanted.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 19 May 11 - 08:50 AM

I'm thinking of building an ark.

But at least with the cool-ish weather the flowers are lasting - those that don't get beaten up by the rain. Magnolias lasted about a day this year. But the azaleas and rhodies are coming along slowly and hopefully will have a long season. Some of the seedlings I planted last year are just starting to break leaf buds....I only need a few to survive to have made a "profit" over buying locally -

SOMETHING has been eating the rhodies....but only the younger ones - they have ignored the larger bushes.

My bayberry bushes survived! It took me YEARS to find someone who had them for sale. Hopefully I got both male and female.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 19 May 11 - 10:47 AM

We had four nights of hard frost for the last days of April, 25-30 degrees F.

Then it looked safe to plant, so I put in the entire potato crop plus a few tomato and summer squash transplants.

Early Monday morning, May 16th, it was 27 degress again.

They may come back from the root, but right now there are 40 dead potato plants and some dead squash. Half the tomatoes seem unhappy, but alive.

People keep talking about Global Warming, but all I can say is "bring it on". The last eight years have had earlier frosts in the Fall and later ones in the Spring. My gardening season is now about the same as in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 May 11 - 11:39 AM

My tomatoes are going, but something has started eating holes in the leaves. I'll address that with foliar feeding. I need to weed, the rain we've had let the weeds take off and hit the garden running. I've been weeding then laying a few sheets of newspaper and mulch on top.

Volunteer plants coming up and I'm moving them while they're small. I didn't last year and I had a tomato jungle. Lots of different sorts of volunteers, and in the areas where I planted from seed, they were slow so I got some bedding plants to add to the bed. Of course now the seedlings are happy and taking off. They just wanted company.

I have a light pink salvia greggi in the front bed that I'm not really in love with, and I have a couple of scarlet salvia greggi that I love and need to transplant, and this year I realized the pink was pollinated with the scarlet and dropped seeds and I have a gorgeous dark neon pink that I'm going to transplant and pamper. It's a fabulous color. Thank you, pollinators!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 May 11 - 11:47 AM

Potatoes, cucumbers, leeks, sweet corn, courgette, butternut squash, peas, runner beans, climbing french beans, sprouts, red onion, shallot, lettuce, radish, beetroot, carrot, spinach planted outside so far. I think we've used most of the space we have now. Tomatoes and peppers planted in greenhouse, another 8 tomatoes in pots to plant out.. More salad bits in seed trays. Oh and we've got 5 Okra plants. The three outside in a growbag are looking sad, and thinking of sad... something, I think a mole has, killed one cucumber.   

I suppose the main concern is water. We've got 12 x 200Litre butts joined together for the watering system and they are well under 1/4 full. 2 other butts we use to fill watering cans are empty. We can use mains water but try not to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 20 May 11 - 09:14 AM

more rain last night - I have planted zuchinni - have another packet of seed to put in - since I seem to be the only person in the world who can't grow prolific zuchs ....I average one per plant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 11 - 10:13 AM

About zucchini...

Have you tried Burpee's Foodhook variety? Plant seed and duck. The neighbors know what I am trying to give away when I ring their doorbell in the summer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 20 May 11 - 10:17 AM

That's one of the varieties I'm trying this year...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 May 11 - 11:04 AM

We didn't have that much joy with courgette/zuchinni last year. A few good ones but a lot went with what I think was called blossom end rot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 11 - 12:55 PM

Everyone will have a different solution for "blossom end rot". Some may actually work.

My suggestion is to set aside a test plot and amend the soil with gypsum, as well as iron and other ingrediants that reduce the pH of the soil. Most plants, unless they are found natively in alkaline soils, will grow best with a pH between 6 and 7.

If the soil is not slightly acidic, the plant cannot absorb nutrients well, even if the elements are there.

I use a product called "Iron Plus-soil acidifier", plus a little gypsum and a reasonable amount of home-brew compost, which is essentially the leaves that blew into my yard last leason.

To be clear, gypsum adds calcium but does not raise the soil pH as some other addatives do. Soil acidity is the key to most garden problem where I live, essentially an alkaline sink in the high desert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:01 PM

I planted for sweet potato slips this morning. I've never grown those before, so it's an experiment. I have Irish potatoes in the garden that should be ready pretty soon. The plants are big and healthy and have been in the ground since January.

When the retaining wall in my front yard is finished I'm going to put ornamental sweet potatoes and flowers in the garden to grow on top and down the front of it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll test the pH when I can. The courgettes are in tubs so I can just adjust them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:39 PM

Question???

Looks as if we're are heading toward building box beds for growing our veggies... I know that railroad ties don't have anything poisonous in them but they are clunky and not what we want... I'd love to use pressure treated but have heard it has arsenic in it??? Anyone know for sure???

Other ideas???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:46 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:39 PM

Question???

Looks as if we're are heading toward building box beds for growing our veggies... I know that railroad ties don't have anything poisonous in them but they are clunky and not what we want... I'd love to use pressure treated but have heard it has arsenic in it??? Anyone know for sure???

Other ideas???

B~


ANSWER: Yes on both. I think it is more important to avoid the green colored treated lumber than the railraod ties. Treated lumber has arsenic.

Redwood and cedar are used on the West Coast but are not available everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:48 PM

Hey there, Bobert. I usually turn to the Cooperative Extension for up-to-date gardening information. Here's a link that may be helpful: http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=g6985

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:52 PM

Sorry, I did not read the GUEST post correctly.

Railroad ties certainly are treated with poisonous chemicals such as creosote. If they have been used by the railraod for years, very little will leach out, but some might. Best to use them near decorative gardens, not vegetable gardens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:15 PM

The "Guest" post was from Bobert.

Here's more information regarding pressure treated lumber:

http://woodworking.about.com/od/safetyfirst/p/SafeACQLumber.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:38 PM

I wouldn't use railroad ties (soaked in creosote) or treated garden timbers. I would use regular timbers and replace them every few years, or would use recycled plastic lumber. You'll find the boards and kits at various Big Box and other home and garden stores.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 May 11 - 03:15 PM

Is a box bed the same as what we call a raised bed in the UK? Pip sometimes says she'd like them and has said in the past that she's heard that used scaffolding boards are supposed to be good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 May 11 - 05:26 PM

Guest, Jon- Many people used raised beds here for their vegetables.
Some growers with deeper pockets use cedar rather than scaffolding. It lasts a long time.

The ground is finally thawing- blooming are pasque flowers (anemone), wild Anatolian tulips, one of those little blue bulb plants (my mind is absent today), and everybodys' favorite, the dandelion.
Nanking cherry budding (very small fruits, but good for jelly). They seed all over so seedlings have to be removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 20 May 11 - 07:36 PM

Yes, I'm sorry... That was me...

We have already had the extension agent out... He spent two hours with the P-Vine and prolly learned more from her than vice versa... He wasn't sure about treated lumber these days but thought that arsenic had been taken out... I really don't want to have to redo these bed boxes every few years... I'm going to do more searching and see it there isn't some paint/shelac that locks the bad stuff out...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 20 May 11 - 07:52 PM

The arsenic has been replaced with a copper solution. In general, the recommendation seems to be to use a stable sealant and/or to use a plastic barrier between the treated lumber and the soil of the food crops.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 20 May 11 - 08:01 PM

"Stable sealant" works just fine with me... I've always used shellac when doing a renovation where the old flooring/sub flooring is stinky... Locks the stink out (in?) before putting down new flooring on top... Now I have to make sure that shellac ain't terrible... Other than fumes it gives off which will definitely give a righteous buzz even with ventilation...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 21 May 11 - 06:53 PM

30 bags of mulch today - three trips in the vehicles; got almost the whole left side of my driveway mulched (the short leg) finally - it took about 36 bags at 3 cubic feet each; and mulched the RIGHT side of the long leg. Tomorrow I start the roadside and the left side of the long leg....and the few spots on the right side of the short leg of the drive if I have enough mulch   . . . then the big projects...start....

planted some more zuchs and also set out some butternuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 May 11 - 07:02 PM

I was curious so poked around under my potato plants this afternoon - and came away with one huge one, two medium sized potatoes, and one new potato. I should go for a couple more new potatoes and have them for dinner. These are the first ones I've ever grown. Whoo hoo!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 22 May 11 - 10:34 PM

finished the inner curve of the drive today and started along the road. something has bitten or broken off all three of my witch hazel seedlings! right below the last bud....they MAY sprout....I hope so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 11 - 08:40 AM

As I passed the nursery last night on the way home it is pouring rain - so I didn't stop and get any mulch...

a quarter mile past the nursery it stopped raining. By the time I got home it was sunny and almost dry... ... ... wasted oppurtunity. But I did load the old burning barrel into the wheelbarrow and cart it off to the dump pile - and got some other non gardening chores done... so the evening wasn't wasted.

Did I mention something nipped off my three witch hazel plants? I am really ticked off about that. They didn't even EAT them - the stems were lying beside the stumps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 May 11 - 07:51 PM

Same thing happened to my one robust bean plant - I was hoping to get a few beans, but it got clobbered - I think it might have been a direct hit from hail.

I'm to the point of mowing the front yard one day and the back yard another. With the storms the grass is so thick and tall that it takes about an hour a lawn with my push (gas) mower. I get a great workout!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 25 May 11 - 12:04 AM

Turned over my small vegetable garden, and planted my 4 tomato plants and my 6 Italian broccoli plants that I started from seed.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 May 11 - 12:44 AM

Maryanne,

I planted some of my "started from seed" plants and they seemed to be languishing. So I bought bedding plants at the nursery and staggered them through the garden, so now my "started from seed" are rolling right along. They seem to have wanted some company. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:25 AM

Zuchinni hate me! I planted two packets of seed - about 6 dozen all told. currently have a grand total of 5 sprouts... they should all be up by now....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 May 11 - 12:14 PM

Lost my only poblano seedling overnight. Looks like a snail snipped it off - as with your plants, Leo, the top was just lying there beside the base, not eaten, just chomped through.

Darn.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:57 PM

I'm just hoping that my poor little plants don't drown. We've had rain all day. Nothing too violent yet, just continuous.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 26 May 11 - 08:28 AM

it rained overnight - it could rain this evening. I "took the night off" last night - the only gardening I did was snap photos of the tree peonies for my b-i-l as he is out of town; and set up some poles to plant yard long beans on.

That was it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 May 11 - 10:42 AM

Rain here at last. Forecast (which has been wrong as often as right the past few weeks) said light showers. We got hail plus heavy rain or we did. It was throwing it down for 10 minutes but as I type this, it seems to have stopped.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 May 11 - 08:33 AM

Woo hoo!! I finally got my garden going, after a month of the kind of rain MMario has been faithfully reported. Since we're tilling ground that has never been managed before, which still has roots and rocks and BOULDERS buried, I had to wait for the local farmer boy to come with his heavy-duty tiller, and he had to wait for a chance to dodge raindrops. But now, I have a 12X20-ish plot with lettuce, spinach, beans, beets, tomatoes, basil, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, and sugar pumpkins,

And I've been starting the flowers as well. Planted my first rose-bush, a gift from my chorus. Got the dahlias in, bought some black-eyed Susans and bee balm at a local school plant sale, and planted a border of annuals to make it pretty for a family party this weekend.

Got 2 honeycrisp apple trees from the county extension service- wish me luck!

Mulch, MMario? All I wanted in this world was buckwheat hull mulch, and I looked all over, and finally found the local Agway selling it at $20 a bag!!. So, the rosebush gets it, and the apple trees, and the small shoots from the "wedding lilac" we were married beside, but everything else is going to have to wait till I make a bit more money!

Cueing the "Pushing Spring Tango"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 27 May 11 - 08:56 AM

picked up (yet more) mulch last night - planted the yardlong beans...rejoicing because 3 more zuchinnis have sprouted! ! ! !

Several azaleas I thought hadn't made it through the winter are budding out - probably only leaf buds - but these particular ones bloomed three times last summer so I can't complain!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 27 May 11 - 10:03 AM

About zucchini and other summer squash germinating, I know one avid gardner who soaks the seeds in water at room temperature for 24 hours before planting. Seems to work.

I just ordered asparagus seed because it would have cost about $200 to buy the quantity of root crowns I wanted. Seeds cost $3.49. Instructions say soak for 48 hours before planting, so there may be somthing to the soaking trick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 27 May 11 - 12:47 PM

I think I'd be too impatient to do asparagus from seed but there again, I think we only have 9-10 plants. 4 of these are going to be replaced next year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Arnie
Date: 28 May 11 - 06:38 AM

Kent, UK - planted out a load of bedding plants on a warm evening last week. Two nights later we had a cold night which has wiped out all my busy lizzies, young geraniums and a pot of young tomatoes that I forgot to put in the greenhouse. Petunias and lobelia are obviously hardier as they survived but I'll now have to buy some replacements. I've salvaged a few tomato plants but not enough so will have to buy some for the first time in years. I knew I should have waited until June for planting out but the spell of warm weather lulled me into starting early!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 28 May 11 - 07:09 AM

I got a bit wet in the hail storm the other day because of tomato plants I'd planted out the day before. I placed flower pots over them.

I think the only weather casualties we have had here (Norfolk UK) have been the Okra I planted out (there are still 2 plants in pots in the greenhouse). We'll try again but be more careful next year.

One thing I do need to sort out is cold frames esp. now that we have a propagator and are growing more from seed. Once we start to plant stuff "permanently" in the greenhouses, we find we are running out of space for seedlings and this increases the likelihood of things getting planted out a bit earlier than they could be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 29 May 11 - 07:02 PM

Hi, everybody.

Does anybody have experience starting cuttings from an old rhododendon bush & successfully growing a new plant. My old one is on its last legs but it has the most beautiful red color. I want to try to grow a new one.

Thanks,

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 May 11 - 08:36 PM

Buckwheat hull mulch! ????? Here I am in Quebec where buckwheat could be a great crop - about 28 days to harvest. I grew a field of it once - 1972. It was one of the most beautiful field crops - beautiful heart shaped leaves, star shaped pink and white flowers, just humming with bees! A hummingly beautiful experience. We cut it with a scythe, threshed it over a sheet... And then - how do you get the hulls off????? We had no way of doing that so we stored it in the cabin while we considered that problem. In the spring, we found neatly hulled buckwheat in a small quantity. The mice had a feast. But we still have the memories of that beautiful field.

I have never even SEEN buckwheat mulch, even here in Quebec. No wonder it is expensive!

I wonder what that farm down the St. Lawrence does with its hulls....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 08:27 AM

Got most of the south side of the south drive mulched last night - and turned the corner from the roadside bed on the north side of the north drive onto the drive itself.

Heading out of town this weekend - need to stick an azalea in the ground first and move a couple pots of lilies onto the "porch display" - they wintered well - pots sunk into a pile of mulch...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM

two 95 degree days have pretty much "done in" the tree peonies...add in the VERY strong gusty winds yesterday and today and what little didn't "go by" got blown away...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 08:29 AM

well - it only took 4 years - but I finally got the clump or bi-coloured violets a friend promised me....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 05:01 PM

It looks like a garden! Although it's been quite dry since I started, I have a fully operational veggie patch, a strawberry bed, and a large empty oval waiting for the village plant swap this weekend! Can't wait- I'm hoping to have a perennial bed.

Now, on to the weeding, since I can't afford any more mulch of any flavor (but oh, I do love that buckwheat! No idea how they hull it Dorothy- but it's lovely!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 08:22 PM

maire-aine,

Easiest and most sure way, if there are low live branches of the rhody, is to "peg" it.    Loosen and mix a little compost into the soil under the branch where it will come down to the ground, pull the branch down to the soil, cover it with a little bit of soil, then weight it down with a brick or rock to keep it in contact with the soil. Pay attention to watering that spot some over the summer - but don't over-water - uniformly moist, not wet.   If not this fall, then by next spring, roots will have grown from eyes, and you can sever the branch from the main shrub, dig it up, and plant it.

After quite a nice spring, it has turned really hot and dry - dry, we are getting used to - days and weeks of mid and upper 90's in late May and early June, we are not, so having to try to irrigate much more, and much more often than is typical this time of year.

I'm in the process of trying to work out just what is possible for me in terms of gardening at this particular point in my life. Had a good crop of spring greens, lettuce, snow peas and kale, because the weather co-operated with little intervention on my part - and most of it did not get eaten because I didn't have time to harvest and/or cook. So not planting any summer veggies in my little raised beds. No way will I keep them adequately irrigated and fertilized. And no ornamental plantings in pots. Will focus on keeping alive what is in the ground and the stuff in pots I still haven't managed to get into the ground.

Satisfying gardening takes time, and I simply have to accept time is one thing I do not have. Learning to love wonderfully resilient day lilies, and need to learn to love other plants for their ability to survive our climate and neglect.

Reading the posts to this thread is a joy to me, even though I am myself doing virtually no gardening. Thank you, you lovely people, for sharing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 08:46 PM

Poster is Bobert.
Well, well, well...

The place we have moved into was excavated before the house was built and so the holes we are diggin' are shale and clay... Not too nice lookin' to plant in but...

...we had 4 yards of "top-soil" brought in today and will mix permatil and pine fines into it to make planting medium... The top soil is tan... Not too sure it has anything in it in the way of nutrients??? Back in Virginia we knew that the top soil that I'd scoop up was real dark and it worked great...

Here???

I donno???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 08:33 AM

*sigh* all I got done yesterday was to water the potted plants...I *looked* at my beans....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 10:29 AM

I've been working on my hose watering grid this week. I decided to replace some of the soaker hoses with the ribbon type that squirt a small spray along it's length. I gave it a test this morning (I've "pegged" the hose in places to get it to point a particular direction) and I see I need to rework it. I found a buy 1/get 1 free offer on 50' hoses at Home Depot, so I'm able to free up still working hoses of various sites and reposition them.

It's muddy damp work, and there is the added adventure of the cicada killer wasps hovering over my herb area wanting me to move along and let them finish their mating and digging up the bed. I've scattered red cedar chips around a couple of times now, trying to get them to move along. I like them, but not in such high numbers. I suspect they all hatched in this garden - I'm getting more wasps returning to this spot every year.

My wall is built and I've planted flowers along the front edge of the berm. I need to take my weed whacker around the yard and then get a photo of it to post. Folks on facebook have been seeing the stages. Anyone who sits at the stop sign on the street that intersects my street sees that wall directly in front of them and probably realizes it's meant to keep cars out of the house. But I want it to be attractive to anyone who looks at it. I may balance it out with a low structure of some sort on the other side of the yard. Just a thought at this point.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:13 AM

started on the "hard" parts - the gardens that didn't get weeded or mulched last year...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 09:21 AM

Leo, I have to make inroads into those tough areas a little at a time, and over the years gradually push the garden to where I want it to be. I have a tiller, and I'm going to sell it because I never use it - if I tilled this area to put in a garden I'd be pulling out Bermuda grass from here to eternity. There is no way to get it out except by hand. You probably have a comparable grass or ground cover there.

I've so far weeded about 10' of the path between the traditional garden and the keyhole garden. This means digging then pulling out the rhizomes followed by putting down many layers of newspaper and covering it with mulch. This is to keep the path from growing into both gardens. I know some people can leave a grassy path, but that is garden suicide down here.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 09:19 AM

I didn't feel like weeding last night - so I cut the limb off the apple tree that I've been meaning to get rid of for five years. It was shading my peonies and daylilies and VERY inconveniently placed anyway....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 08:47 AM

Apple trees are vicious. Enough said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 04:23 PM

I got rid of my tiller this week - I had had it worked on, then couldn't start it by myself. Now a coworker has told me that she has a chipper that she might want to sell. Now that's what I could really use - if I could start it by myself. She said she'd ask her husband what price he thinks he should put on it. Like I can afford to buy a postage stamp these days. . .

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:55 PM

Hi, everyone...

Seems that the ol' Bobert is somewhat back so...

We are having a difficult time wrapping our heads around the new property in terms of gardens... The "top" soil is tan colored and we're not sure if that's because it's all washed out and has no nutrients or what... But that's what it is... In the woods, just slightly darker... We bought 4 yards of it for various and sundry uses... We also bought a yard of pine fines cheap ($40) and will use it in mixing soils for all our trees and shrubs...

I have constructed two 10 ft X 5 ft. raised box beds... They still need to have posts to hold them in place but the beds are ready once the post holes are dug and posts set... We'll grown veggies in them... We already have about a 15 ft X 15 ft plot that I tilled and have tomatoes, cukes, eggplant and peppers growing in it... I brought down 8 decent asparagus plants for the raised box beds and well grow squash in them, as well...

The poor tomato plants have been thru Hell... We started 6 plants (3 varieties) back in Virginia then they came down with a load of other plants when they were on 6 inches tall... They rode on the floorboard of the truck and didn't like the ride and 2 were badly wilted by the time I got here and went directly into P-Vine Plant Hospital but all are fine now... We'll be late getting tomatoes but at least they are the variates that we know and like...

We are slowly digging holes for the trees but have only actually planted 2 camellias... The other trees are sitting in pots which are sitting in their holes... The soil here is also shale so I'm digging the holes 25% larger than I ordinarily dig them to give them as much decent medium before they have to fight with the shale... Hope it works...

The P-Vine has about 40 deciduous azaleas which she grew from seed which are now up to 20 inches or so... We're going to find an area where they can all grow together... That will make for a great show with all those native colors (oranges, yellows, roses and whites)...

I have an engineering problem with my pond for which I have a plan: divert water from an active creek that is also on our property... Mr. Kubota and I have put in a woodsy primitive road and I have found some decent fallen trees and actually pulled one out onto the road and will cut it in 12 foot lengths and push them to the end of the road into the creek to act as a dam... Once I get it dammed up then I'll rent a pump and pump that water some 200 feet to the pond... The I'll set a permanent submersible pump in the creek for maintenance...

Okay... That kind catches me up on my gardening... Good to read what everyone else is doing...

Nice to be gardening again!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 09:41 PM

Bobert, check out http://www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/soilsurvey/index.html

You can find out on-line if your property or nearby properties have had soil surveys completed, and then find the county office to visit to get a copy of the map.

I'm guessing you already know your county extension office has what you need to take and send in soil samples for testing at a reasonable fee.

Divided Mom's daylillies last fall, and thought I brought home some Stella's... to transplant.

"Sorry I dug up all your pretty peachy colored daylillies, Mom, the one's that look so good against the pink brick of your house.   They look real nice beside my blue hydrangeas, but I'll bring most of 'em back to you in the fall, and trade them out for some of the Stellas."

I love heuchera's. Talk about a versatile plant that can stand drought, heat and likes shade!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 09:50 PM

Thanks, janie...

We've already have the extension agent out... He's not the brightest bulb in the shop... But he tries...

Yeah, we need to send this soil out fir testing... I'd bet that without lots of amendments that it is wored out...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 09:56 PM

Are you still in one piece, Mmario, or in several, such as the apple tree limb?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM

I swear - more water sprouts on that d*mn thing then branches....

I'm in one piece...just frustrated I can't reach some of the thing that wants trimming - and getting further and further behind on weeding - as we've had two beautiful sunny days that turned to rain as I drove home after work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:23 PM

I planted some of my okra seed today in the spot where I'd had the potatoes. I'll have more this year, to eat, freeze, and give away.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 04:12 PM

One of those jobs I've put off for ages - I'm decluttering the shelves and area around the bay window in my sun room. Lots of potting stuff and seeds and containers that need some organization. It's too hot to go outside now; I cooked myself at noon doing a little mowing, glad I got it done earlier, we're headed toward 104o today. So hot I brought the dogs in.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 04:51 PM

MMario- What variety of apple is it...or perhaps it's a volunteer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 08:35 PM

Okra??? Hmmmmm??? The P-vine hasn't even brought it up but then again she doesn't have her two raised bed boxes in place... She'll be planting it, you can take that to the bank... We found a nice produce stand that sells what they claim to be all organic stuff and they sell it for $2.19 a pound... That's cheap for okra... But she'll still plant it!!!

We had a minor setback with our time this evening... We had a doozy of a thunderstorm and it blew over a 100 foot tall red oak across the drive way... Me, Mr. Stihl and Mr. Kubota went down there and at least cut up enough of it to get out... Lotta firewood there but ain't gonna to the top of the priority list... Maybe later this week I'll at least get it all cut up and cleaned up... Heck of a mess...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 11:37 AM

@maeve - a "famauese" I grafted when in college.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 04:41 PM

Oh, that's a nice one! For anyone who isn't familiar with the wonderful Fameuse, here's some more information: Fameuse Apple


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 09:39 AM

phew - okay - I got the spanish bluebells dug and seperated and replanted in seven new spots....now I can mulch that bed; and dig the daffies that need dividing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 09:45 AM

Yesterday I worked on one of my favorite sprinklers, that has a telescoping rod and can be as tall as 36", but it was dribbling more than it was broadcasting water. I found the teflon tape and went over all of the moving parts and parts that screw, and it's now looking good. It's great for this time of hear because the water hits everything, it doesn't stop and the foliage nearby like a low sprinkler. I still have my soaker hoses, but still need to water all of the soil occasionally.

Note for those with both dogs and a compost heap where you want to put food scraps: if you scoop the poop around the yard in a bucket then add water and let it sit for a few minutes, you have a suitable repellent to keep the dogs from digging through and eating the food. I use bins and collect the kitchen scraps for several weeks, then let them age into a soup for even longer (I have a system of two bins) it still attracts the dogs. Even if you dig in and bury the wet stuff, they can still smell it, so the poop tea works to keep them out of exploratory digging.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 11:21 AM

A must for all farmers, horticulturalists and gardeners. A BBC4 tv programme, screened last night all about "weeds". Included in this category are rhododendrons, buddliea and Japanese knot weed. Fascinating and informative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM

Squash aren't doing squat in the new bed where I planted a few. I'm going to bail on that project and try putting some peppers there. I think there is a bit too much shade for squash to be happy, but peppers are okay with some shade.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 10:16 AM

was away for four days - so I'm looking forward to checking out the garden tonite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 11:45 PM

Rain! Glorious rain!

Several hard showers last night that dumped a couple of inches that mostly ran off, and about 2 1/2 hours of steady but mostly not-so-hard-it-all-runs-off rain tonight. I had been irrigating, more than I was comfortable with considering the water bill, (and especially considering it is only June,) and was on the cusp of deciding to sacrifice some plants and places in the interest of sound household fiscal policy. Now I can put those kinds of decisions off a bit longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:16 AM

Rain! Glorious rain!

I wasn't saying that yesterday when a thunder storm damaged some of my computer equipment but maybe we still needed more. There seems to have been quite a few wet days over the past couple of weeks.

Before that, it was very dry and we ran out of (12 barrels of) rain water for the irrigation. They are pretty full now. Perhaps next year well add another 4 or 8 (1/2 palette/full pallet - helps with delivery costs) into the system. If we go for 8, I'll probably add the small bed that runs the back of the house onto rainwater, leaving only the front of the house needing tap water.

Anyway, possible gardening task for me today is planting out some beetroot, lettuce and radish and starting some more salad seeds off

Think I'll probably try to finish my windmill (well it's motor driven - and I've written a small program on a PIC chip for it so it spins both ways and two speeds "randomly") off first though. And hope I don't snap another tap or drill bit getting the last fixing for the roof. Had a clumsy/bad day the other day and gave up in disgust...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 11:47 AM

Haven't had rain in weeks and the high yesterday was 105o. That doesn't bode well for the garden. I watered only the vegetable gardens early this morning. The grass can dry up and blow away for all I care. I wish the cicada wasps would finish already, there is one bed I haven't been in much at all because I keep getting buzzed and bounced off of by these huge yellow and black wasps. They're not particularly aggressive, but there are so many of them, it's hard to ignore them, especially when they're digging up the soil for their cicada-dragging egg-laying activities.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 12:58 PM

Rain here also in the northern Nevada sagebrush country. Not much, but we get just over 5 inches per year.

Expected high today of 68 degrees F in Reno. It was 97 degrees F six days ago.

Summer squash seeds have germinated well and all mounds have three health plants. The light rain and low temps seem to be making them perk up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:15 PM

My carrots came up 5mm. My carrots went down 5mm. Ants?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:17 PM

More likely Bugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:41 PM

or wilt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM

    Poster is gnu.

Wilt did it? How did he do it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 12:32 PM

I have some Swiss chard coming up finally, so I transplanted the sprouts to line up near the soaker hose. I'd love to get a good batch of that going, my fall crop was killed by the hard freeze and I hadn't gotten around to this yet. Also put in some melon seeds. The volunteer cantaloupe has a couple that look like they'll be ready in a week or so. It's happy out there climbing and draping itself on all sorts of stuff.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 12:49 PM

Pip pulled our Swiss chard up the other day as it had bolted. Round here anyway, spinach often bolts and chard is fine but it's been the other way round. We will be planting some more. We cook then freeze most of what we grow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 03:27 PM

I've managed to keep Swiss Chard going for a couple of years (per plant) down here without bolting when we have mild winters and when I cut a lot of the leaves off of it. I don't pull the whole thing, I use a few leaves at a time. I've missed it, it's a favorite crop, but last summer is the last good crop I had. What I started in the fall didn't overwinter because we had a week of weather down in the low teens.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 03:44 PM

I think the ones Pip's pulled up went in last summer. They did survive the cold spell (think we got to below -10C which is very cold for here) and I had thought they were going to be good all this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 08:13 PM

Jon,

I'd be interested in hearing more about your experience with rain barrels. 12 barrels is a lot of barrels and I'm guessing you are well experienced with them.

I have wondered about how much garden a rain barrel could water, and for how long during dry periods. Here in the Southeast USA, even when we are not in drought years, we can have weeks to a couple of months of blistering hot, dry weather, with little or no rain. I've looked at and thought about rain barrels for years. It has seemed to me that while they might be useful in conserving water and reducing a water bill, it would not be possible or practical to store enough water to make the cost and installation financially practical.

I speculate 200 gallons are the maximum amount of water I could store. (4 50 gallon barrels, one at each downspout.) and that the precise irrigation system I would have to put in place to make it labor effective and also minimize run-off would be prohibitive.

Do you hand water from the barrels? Use soaker hoses or drip emitters? Are the barrels elevated? How much garden to you have? How long did the water in the barrels last? Were you doing survival watering, or going for the proverbial 1 inch per week? (hope you can convert to metric - I'm afraid I can't.) How much time do you or Pip have to work in the garden or spend watering, if you hand water.

I have friends who use a rain barrel or two to feel virtuous, and save a little on water bills until the barrel runs dry, but the way they use them and the amount of water involved is minimal. Plus, they are all retired and have time to hand-water selected garden spots. None of them are hooked up to be used as a controlled, efficient irrigation system. I know these are a lot of questions, but you are the first person I know with significant storage capacity, and, I'm guessing between you and Pip, some very thoughtful experiments to try to use them efficiently.

Tell all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 08:25 PM

Just for the record, Jon Freeman's -10o C is +14o F.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 09:02 PM

I'll try Janie but no, I'm not experienced with them, it's something that built up over a few years, adding as new ideas came and a bit of money to spend on the garden was available. It started as Pip was finding watering more difficult.

The area that is watered by the rain water is a bit of land we rent in a field (there is a pipe to a septic tank that tractors break so this bit is unusable to them as farm land). As a guess, the main veg plot is about 20yds X 6yds. There are also 2 green houses, 1 8x4 ft and 1 (leanto type) 8x2ft. There are hanging baskets, beds (including 3 grape vines) around an area with 4 pigsties and there is another smaller veg plot.

The barrels are recycled plastic ones that once held mango chutney! Say about 45 imperial gallons each. They are in 2 locations. The first set of 8 collects from the roof surfaces of our bungalow. The remaining 4 are located in the field and collect from a shed we call "the wendy house". The sets of barrels are about 30 yards from each other and are connected together by a 1" plastic pipe which runs behind the pigsties. (I could add extra barrels in the middle of this pipe run).

The we use spray and drip watering and as well as plain watering, can apply soluble fertilizer to the areas. the water is pumped.

There is an 80W solar panel on the wendy house and this (as well as a pond pump and at one time some LED lights) powers the pump. I use a marine freshwater pump like this one

The water is turned on by tap timers. I don't use the automatic time of day features but I do use them as they water for a set time. It's just a case of setting them to manual and pressing a button and the timer will water the areas for the programmed durations.

As for how long the water lasts... Apart from fertilizer, we only really water when things look as if they need it and this year, a lot of the time it looked in need - particularly the young seedlings that were wilting a lot...

We don't water for long (and I'm not sure how long the battery in the solar system would do on a dull day...) but water each area on average about 5 minutes or 10 if I run it twice, etc. and I think the plants do appreciate a proper rain soaking when the rain does fall.

Last year, the rainwater lasted. This year, I was out by June but subsequent rain has filled the butts again - wasn't far of lasting the dry spell out.

Sorry it's so vague but I hope it gives a bit of a picture for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 09:25 PM

I use a marine freshwater pump like this one

(Actually it's not that one. Ours is one of the higher pressure (30psi) models. I think the regulator for the feed to the tap timers is set to 22psi)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 09:48 PM

Back in Wes Ginny I had the ultimate rain barrel... It was a plastic 400 gallon tanks that I installed under a deck and had all the rain on the back half of the house going to it (with overflow for when it was full)... Then I mounted a pump on top and it ran to an underground hose which ran to my veggie garden... The pump was in a switch and all I had to do is reach down from the comfort of my rear deck chair and flick the switch and the water got pumped to an oscillator which was set up right in the middle of the veggie garden... Worked great!!!

BTW, it is amazing what a 1/2 inch of water equals to on a 60 X 12 pitched roof...

Here??? The two raised box beds are finished and filled with top soil & compost and we have three squash mounds in one and three rows of okra in the other... We'll see???

Lotta shale here so we're planting all out shrubs and trees in larger holes that we are used to to give them a better chance...

Tomrrow I'm going to put in the 8 asparagus plants I brought down in the move... I tilled up a 5 X 10 plot out by the pond where there is better sun and put in a lot of compost and well see how they like it...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 10:13 PM

My white turk's cap lilies are going to make a fine show this year (Lilium martagon album).
Years ago a friend was looking at the plants where a house had been demolished to make way for an apartment building. He found a few dead lily stalks and dug the bulbs. From one that he gave me I must have raised hundreds, giving some away from time to time and I still have about one hundred in a group in the garden. Very hardy here in Calgary, 3-4-foot stalks with many flowers, perhaps my favorite plant.

Flowering already is the cutleaf red peony, a division from a friend. A variety of tenuifolia rubra plena, with large fully double flowers, he got in Ontario (cost him $50 for the bulb). It also is trouble-free in Calgary. It grows easily from divisions.

At my age, plants have to be easy to care for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 05:32 AM

The pump was in a switch and all I had to do is reach down from the comfort of my rear deck chair and flick the switch and the water got pumped to an oscillator which was set up right in the middle of the veggie garden...

We water too selectively to do it that simply but I've sort of toyed with the idea of switching from inside the house, maybe via a computer. One reason I've not gone further with it is that we really need to look around the garden and greenhouses, etc. to see which areas actually do need the water. It makes more sense for us to switch on while "inspecting".

Maybe one day I will have a look at sensors, weather forecasting software and devices that I could use to switch the valves with such a set up. It could be quite interesting to try but I think such a plan would be a long way off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 10:38 AM

We still use the Wes Ginny sensor, Jon... It's called a rain gauge... lol... Plus we keep a glass bowl in the garden to act as a rain gauge when watering... 1 inch per week is just about right tho in late season hand watering plants that are putting out lots of food may need hand watering or 1 gallon plastic jugs with a couple small holes in the bottom filled with water for slow soaking...

The P-Vine and a neighbor youngin' are just about finished putting the asparagus in while I have been finishing up a step project that I started Wednesday... Turned out nice... The people had put in a stacked stone retaining wall behind the pool and it was just too high so I unstacked the stone in one area and used stone, a couple 24 inch pieces of r-rod and an old metal piece that I found that had fallen from the catwalk off the railroad bridge over the Mississippi outside of West Memphis, Arkansas... Turned out "Southern Living" nice...

Okra is up and everyone seems happy... We're getting about 10 plants a week in at this point... Should have them all in by winter...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 11:09 AM

Okra has failed here. The first three I planted out died of cold/wind. That left me with two in small pots in a greenhouse. A few weeks later I moved one of those to a big pot and put it outside in a more sheltered place but it didn't appreciate the conditions either... I've still got the other one but I'm sure it would die outside and I haven't got the space to put it in something bigger and keep it under glass. I guess we'll get a couple of pods and that will be it.

I'd never tried growing before but I will try again next year but I think I will have to bodge up some form of "greenhouse" (probably bits of wood and polythene sheet) for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM

Pip's been to the local nursery and come back with chard and leek plants. They will be planted very shortly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 02:04 PM

Chives easy to grow here. the lavender flower heads are attractive and fresh chives are good in salads, soups and whatever.

A variety of oregano also does well. Don't know the variety, it came from New Mexico. It is less pungent ("sweeter") than the Greek. Seeds well, so lots of plants now. Good in bean soups.

Leaves of wild Tarda tulips are dying. I got 6 bulbs years ago, and they havemultiplied and done well here. One of the first bloomers here in our cold spring season. White with yellow center, and some pure yellow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM

For Calgary, perhaps you should try to score some bulbs for Avalanche Lillies or Glacier Lillies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 04:27 PM

The glacier lily grows in moist mountain meadows and slopes 50 miles west of Calgary in the Rockies, but is difficult in semi-arid Calgary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

Lovage, a large celery-flavored plant (but much stronger flavor) has bee growing well for me, although some guides list it for warmer zones.
All parts of the plant are edible.
It grows to 6 feet, so I have it on the back fence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 05:11 PM

Check out this related species in Olympic National Park...

               
                                                                                                 Avalanche Lily


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 06:01 PM

Okra like hot air and warm soil, Jon... If you don't have both then forget it... If you live in a cooler climate than black plastic needs to go down before planting to warm the soil and hold the heat at night... Once you get it going then mulch with 8 inches of straw...
Also likes sandier soils so if your soil is like woods dirt then no good...

BTW, if you are growing it so that you can see what it tastes like I'd suggest buying some from a farmer to see if it's worth it to you... People either love it or hate it... I am some where in between...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for the tips Bobert. I'm not sure if we will make the conditions but I'll try the plastic and straw and give it another go.

As for eating it, I only know it in Indian dishes, particularly bhindi bhaji which I love. I don't know where the Indian restaurants get it from but it is not something I could get from a local farm shop or the supermarket.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 07:28 PM

Okra is abit like liverwurst in that you get a huge amount of vitimins and other healthy ingrediants that you cannot get elsewhere. Stir fry fresh medium-sized okra pods for a couple of minutes and ad just a little salt. Try a plate with helpings of meat, rice and stir-fried okra.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 08:05 PM

A place in Houston had okra sliced and fried, served as a vegetable. Very good! I tried to duplicate it at home, but it turned out limp and not so good.

Here in western Canada, it shows up occasionally frozen, but no fresh pods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 09:38 PM

The only way I can eat it is fried or baked... Baked is better... No slime...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 05:02 AM

Try a plate with helpings of meat, rice and stir-fried okra.

I'm unlikely to have it with meat as I live with two vegetarians but I'll (if we get any next year) try it stir fried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 01:03 PM

Yuck!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM

Gathering rhubarb today.

With stewed rhubarb, cut up oranges (rind and all) and add to the pot. Remove peel before serving or use in other dishes.

Cold stewed rhubarb, with a good vanilla (or preference) ice cream is a fine warm weather dessert.
(Can't say hot weather, Calgary never gets to Mumbai levels).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 01:59 PM

Oranges? Never heard of that. I may have to try it. Quantities, Q?

I replanted carrots after using some of that ant killer liquid placed on a plastic Marg container lid. Hmmmm... I wonder if I will get carrots but with toxins? I kinda think not because I doubt if the ants' (there are at least two colonies) nests are in the plot as the soil is essentially potting soil which wouldn't be stable enough for tunnels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 04:07 PM

gnu, didn't measure exactly, but I used one large navel in roughly two quarts as it was simmering on the stove.
Like a lot of 'additions', put in a rather small amount and taste before adding more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM

Cool. Thanks, bud. If I get my patch going again I'll give it a try. Gave it up a few years ago but I miss it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

I planted 84 seeds in the new asparagus garden exactly one month ago, June 2nd.

A few days back, there was no evidence of any germinating. There were a thousand small weeds coming up, thanks to the good soil and my flood-watering, but all the plants were dicots, except a pesky grass that is easily recognized.

Early this morning with the sunlight coming in at a sharp angle, I could see as many as two dozen tiny plants coming up. They they look rather like a single hair extracted from a boar-bristle paint brush. A few may have a tiny bit of branching starting at the top, but not many.

This variety has the oh-so-romantic name of UC 72.

The 72, I suspect, refers to the average age of the plant owners when they get a real crop of big fat asparagus spears from their seeds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM

It is always so interesting to me to mark the difference in growing seasons among all the climate zones represented on this thread.

The time for sowing seeds of any sort is long past here in my climate zone, and the only two things I would even think about planting seedlings of right now are basil and tomatoes.

Okra? I may live in the south, but there are two southern foods I can not abide - okra and grits.

Back to different climate zones - one thing that I know little about, but which I think factors into what we can grow and when is day length. Some of you northern folks have much shorter growing seasons in terms of first and last frost date, but those longer summer day lengths have got to make a difference. Here in the USA, coastal Washington and Oregon are much further north, but are in a milder climate zone because of ocean currents, and I think that may be true for the UK also.

Stilly, can you readily grow fall crops of lettuce, broccoli, etc.? You have a longer fall day length than do I. By the time temps cool enough here to fall-seed lettuces and cabbage family plants, the day lengths are too short for the plants to reach harvestable size before it gets too cold for the plants to grow to harvestable size. They over-winter well (lettuce and mesclun mixes need a cold frame, but not cabbage family plants) for early to mid-spring harvesting the following year, but not gonna get fall salads or kale from seed sown in late summer or fall.

When I read about gnu and pdq and carrots and asparagus germinating in July, it boggles my pea-brain.

Love it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 08:34 PM

Just checked the weather station site...it shows a hunnert degrees as of 4:56. First time since September. Prediction is mid ninties for a week or more. Every day in July may beat 90 F, not unreasonable. Summer squash plants have some of the buds that develope into squash. Summertime...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 09:06 PM

Lettuce (the Little Gem variety we grow anyway) are sort of spring through to autumn for us. There were a couple left in the ground last years very cold (for us in the UK) winter. They did survive it - just went into a sort of "suspended animation".

Our own garden thins out towards the end of autumn through to spring but a couple of things we should have for winter harvest are leeks and sprouts. A hope with us for us (and perhaps others in the UK - not sure off hand if it is a "tradition" or not is that your sprouts are ready for Christmas dinner.

I;m really not sure what the status is with cabbage family and our garden since Pip took in some of "friendly neighbours" plants that soon looked to have club root are year or two ago. The sprouts we have in are supposed to be a resistant variety and at the moment are looking very healthy.

Fell out with Pip over club root the other day btw. She took some more cabbage family from the same neighbours ground and this time planted them in some large tubs that had fresh soil. Now I don't know if that's going to be "polluted" or not. Anyway (and she is the gardener) our difference of opinion at least from my side of the story is that cabbage family simply aren't worth the risk unless from a trusted source. Hers (from my admittedly biased POV) appears to be not upsetting the neighbours and not "wasting" plants should come first...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 12:39 PM

I had my first BLT (bacon lettuce tomato) of the season (I don't know why I bother to spell it out, except that maybe someplace else it has another name, 'butty' or whatever). Homemade bread, homegrown tomato. It doesn't get any better.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 12:50 PM

No ripe tomatoes in our garden yet. There are some green ones but they need to grow a bit more before ripening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 01:33 PM

Picked 1st 3 tomatoes of the season today.
Burpee 4th of July.

Russ (Permanent GUEST in DE)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 03:10 PM

Some growers here raise tomatoes under cover, but most varieties need a longer season than offered in Calgary. Tomatoes 'on the vine' from British Columbia are sold here, and we use those, or sometimes get the varieties grown under shelter.
We like BLT but with added cheddar- calorie count be damned ! Tonight we are having burgers made with lean Canadian beef, tomatoes, cheddar, sliced onion, and spiced with oregano and Hy's seasoning salt and finely chopped onion.

Calgary, east of the Rockies and on the edge of the foothills, gets the chinook cloud condition- Winds from the west are lifted by the mountains, and a cloud forms over Calgary. Look to the west and the mountains are in sun, look to the east, and see the edge of the cloud some 20 miles east.
Moreover, at 3500 feet altitude, the growing season is short. Go 200 miles north to Edmonton, a thousand feet lower, and more plants reach maturity, tomatoes (still not all) do better. We had a little farm near Edmonton and we could grow strawberries in the field.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 06:14 PM

Tomatoes can be grown under glass or outdoors after the risk of frost has gone here (Norfolk UK). They grow rather more vigorously under glass. A big problem I have with outdoor growing is late blight. I often wind up pulling plants up before we've had 1/2 the crop. Ferline, one of the varieties (there are also 4 cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets) I'm growing outside is supposed to offer very good resistance. I'll be interested to see how it does.

Another new to me one I'm trying (under glass) is Roma VF. Last year, we turned a lot of our tomatoes into ketchup - I think the first time we've tried it and it was a very successful. I thought it would be interesting to try a plum variety which is "designed" for ketchups, soups, etc.

---
Had some garden produce for tea today. Baby turnips and new potatoes in/with a vegetable crumble and stewed rhubarb with custard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 09:08 PM

Asparagus is best grown from dried roots... Buy 'um in the spring, plant 'um and in two years you'll have asparagus... The roots are cheap... One that I dug up and brought down was over a foot round with hundreds of roots... All are planted in compost now and should be fine for next spring...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 09:16 PM

Our asparagus is about 4ft high now. Have to wait till next year to pick some more. We've played about with the area it is in, I think the decision is now that we will be adding 5 or 6 new crowns next year - March I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 07:40 AM

We started our tomatoes a bit late this year as we are still in the earth-moving business as regards the layout of the garden (and will be for the rest of the year at the present rate).

Do rabbits eat tomatoes? We don't know whether they'll try nibbling them even if they don't like them (like they did withthe onions).

It will be next year at least before the garden can be rabit-proofed, we saw six of them on the lawn yesterday and they will let you get within 15 feet before they shuffle off! The fox doesn't seem to catch many.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 09:40 AM

Having a very good garden year, been picking Toms indoor for 3 weeks Sweat Peas wonderful Cabbage excellent,Artichokes looking good. However I planted the Runner Beans 5 times as I had "Black Root Rot" caused by not cleaning out the water butt that I had added Horse Muck to last year. Washed it out and bleached it and now everything is O K. We had 8 things out of the garden for tea last night. LOVELY


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM

Warning: Giant Hogweed on the move in New York state:
http://news.yahoo.com/dangerous-10-foot-megaweed-invades-york-195602542.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 11:58 AM

Is that the same as pigroot, maeve??? If so, it is hatefulest weed I know... No, thistle is but at least the sticky buds are purdy...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM

We've had it in our (Norfolk UK) garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM

I don't think so; at least, I know there's a datura called pigroot, which is a terrible nuisance but not the same as Hogweed (aka Giant Cow Parsley).

Here's the article to which I linked earlier:
***********
"Giant hogweed might sound like something out of Harry Potter, but it's straight out of New York. This noxious weed has spread across the state, threatening humans with sap that causes severe burns, blistering, permanent scarring and even blindness.

The outbreak has grown so bad that the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a giant hogweed warning and set up a hotline.

Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus region of Eurasia, and was brought to the United States in the early 1900s. The gargantuan plant blooms bunches of tiny white flowers the size of umbrellas, which made it a showpiece in ornamental gardens, including one in Rochester, N.Y. In the century since it was planted there, it has spread across the state, with 1,004 confirmed sightings so far this blooming season.

In the words of Charles O'Neill, coordinator of the Cornell Invasive Species Program, hogweed is like "Queen Anne's lace with an attitude." Specimens of the megaflora grow "more than 10 feet tall with two-inch thick stems, flowers two or more feet across and leaf clusters as wide as you can stretch your arms," O'Neill explains in the New York Sea Grant's official giant hogweed fact sheet.

If you see it, "stay clear!" O'Neill warns. Hogweed is New York's most striking, dangerous and invasive plant, and its sap "can make a case of poison ivy seem like a mild itch." [Gross Image: Click to see a hogweed sap burn ]

"If the sap gets on your skin and it's exposed to sunlight ... you end up with third-degree burns, oozing and scars," Naja Kraus, the DEC's giant hogweed program coordinator, told the press. "If it gets in your eyes, you can go blind."

The DEC urges people to phone the Giant Hogweed Hotline to report finding a specimen of the dangerous plant. They'll immediately dispatch a crew to dispose of it.

This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @LLMysteries."
**************

This Wiki article includes more information and some photos:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Hogweed


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 03:25 PM

A shrub rose, Rosa acicularis is making a big show in our back yard. Also known as the "Alberta wild rose."

Years ago, a doctor in the little *French town of Legal, Alberta, saw a specimen of this wild rose that had a few extra petals, a mutation. He started making selections with it and produced a double variety.
He named it Therese Bugnet for his wife; now it is grown in many gardens in western Canada.

*Immigrants from France, not French Canadians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 07:12 PM

Must not be the same plant, maeve...

We have finally come up with a couple design/planting ideas for alot of our hostas, a couple rhodos and some select azaleas... It's going to be an omeba shaped raised bed roughly 35 X 25 with creek rocks bordering it to hold the bed in place... I spent a couple hours today on the Kabota and with tons of "tractor and front bucket abuse" now have cut a ramp down into the creek bed itself and can get the tractor in the creek... This will make it a lot easier to collect the rocks and get them back to the proposed bed... I also found an ara on the ouside of one of the curves in the creek that has some of the finest looking top soil deposits that I've seen here and "harvested" 7 1/2 yard buckets, dumped it on top of the screened topsoil we bought and mixed it with the bucket... This stuff is looking purdy decent as a planting medium... The raised bed, however, will require about 10 yards and we're trying to figure out how we want to mix the various soils and amendments... The folks we buy it from will mix it any way we want...

Found a major patch of "yellow bell" down by the creek... Maybe bring some out and start us a yellow bell bed???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 08:30 PM

Bobert, it is in the parsley family - home to carrots and Queen Anne's Lace as well as water and poison hemlock. Wikipedia cites it as being highly phototoxic - a very noxious plant - and we all know how readily parsley family plants self-sow.    I'm just hoping that like Angelica, it doesn't like heat and so will be unlikely to migrate down my way over time.

Thanks for the heads-up, maeve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 06:26 PM

Thanks, Janie...

Ol' flat-lander hillbilly and Mr. Kabota been in the creek all day picking up dark colored rocks to build a large raised bed for rhodos, hostas & azaleas... Wore both of us out but I'm sho nuff getting to know the creek purdy well...

We have a lot of shale which concerns me about the raised bed because it's going down right on top of the shale... My gut feeling is that I should take out about 4 inches of it and put gravel in and then landscape cloth and then the mixture that will be the soil... I'd hate to kill stuff because it rots in a wet bowl??? I donno... Gardening here is going to be challenging to get it right...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM

My daughter and husband have sowed their hay. Last year it was constant rain at harvest and much of it moulded, but they hope for better luck this year. Usually they can sell some that isn't needed for their horses and even make a little profit.

This spring-early summer is wetter than usual, and plants are more lush.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM

I've pulled the soaker hose from one garden where simply nothing will thrive, if it manages to grow. I think the tree nearby has something to do with it - not the shade, but perhaps the ability to be toxic to other plants nearby. It's a theory I'm working on.

Cantaloupe continue to grow, the rest of the garden just bakes in the heat. I picked a couple of buckets of wild mustang grapes last week and some this morning, and have steam juiced the lot to get a gallon and a half of juice for jelly. I bought a flat of peaches to can. Good thing the freezer is still full of a lot of stuff, and I still have a few jars of tomatoes I canned in the fall of 2009. I need to finish those this year, and hope for a good fall crop here to refresh my supply.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 03:39 PM

What a great time for the garden.

Lots of beets, carrots and turnips safely stored away in the refridgerator veggie bins. Lots more to come.

Last 6 kohlrabi were the size of baseballs and they were picked today. Could be planted just for their "beefy" greens.

One tomato plant has set three pea-sized tomatoes and one of the zucchini has one female flower just starting to grow.

A few snow peas, but the plants are just getting big enough to tie to supports.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM

Well, a crookneck squash flower raced into the lead to become the first bloom of the year. I had to get a male flower from my neighbor to make sure there would be a bouncing baby crooknek in the future.

Today a zucchini produced its first bloom, also pistilate. Had to bum another staminate flower from the neighbor.

There are three kinds of pattypan squash and, as usual, they are a bit tardy, but the hybrid called Sunburst is growing like a champ and should bloom in the next few days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM

For supper last night: fresh beets and sauteed beet greens. For supper tonight: new potatoes! A neighbor gave me a bunch of perennials, which in my garden are leggy and awkward looking, but next year should be fantastic.

And my "Floribunda Animaterra" rose is blooming for the second time this year! I call it that, because my chorus gave me a gift certificate to a local nursery, and I bought a huge floribunda rosebush.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM

I love pattypan squash.

Favorite southern country meal - lightly breaded and fried pattypan squash and green tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, lightly marinated cukes and onions, cantalope, slices of ripe German-Johnson 'maters, green beans and cheap cut of meat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:50 PM

Ok, I'm writing all that down...

The old standard pattypan variety called various names such as "white bush scollop" grows much larger than most varieties. Not white but very pale colored.

It stays tender enough to eat up to about 5 1/2" in diameter. I have several recipes for stuffing and baking them. Last year I had only one plant and so they never got that big 'cause I was in a hurry to eat 'em. I try to have three varieties in a pot each cut to similar size pieces.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:10 PM

My red Lasota potatoes finished weeks ago, and are stored in a bin of peat moss in the house, as are the onions. I have okra in the spot where the Irish potatoes were, a couple of more weeks and they'll probably start blooming. There is a lovely hedge of sweet potatoes coming up in the keyhole garden, those will be ready probably late August.

Tomatoes are standing there doing nothing, it doesn't cool enough at night for pollination and hand pollination hasn't worked. Melons are being picked now, another half-doze in various sizes on the vine. Herbs look good, and I have some small chard coming up in the keyhole garden.

Eggplant like this heat and they're setting fruit now. Asparagus is in for the first year and the shoots are growing, but I need to pay more attention and keep them happy in order to get any next year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM

Arggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!

Tomato horned worms!!! Found about 8 already and took them off to the pond for fishing & getting eaten by bass lessons... lol...

Finally got all trees planted (mostly youngish Japanese maples)...

We had 2.1 inches of rains fall and it all but filled our pond... Another 1/10th or two and it would have been to the spill pipe and the duck weed would be gone rather than covering the entire pond...

We finally have gotten enough stuff for our two-chamber compost tumbler so we should be getting our first decent compost in a month or so...

Like Magz, we have our asparagus planted and mulched and hopefully happy... We'll know next spring...

Happy gardening...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM

Another spate of blistering temps headed our way, but this weekend sure has been nice. Cleaned out the raised beds and hope to seed fall kale in the next week. Finally got bags of topsoil and compost dumped where I will eventually move some ferns and the bloodroot. The bags had been laying beside the shed (too small to move them inside unless I want to move them everytime the lawn mower comes out) in a very unsightly heap since early February.

Due to a spate of car problems, (picked up at the mechanic's Monday night, and had to have it towed back to the mechanic's Thursday night - now waiting for parts to come in,) I have been home 3 weekends in a row. I really hate I haven't been able to get up to Charleston for Mom, but must say it is nice to feel half-way sane, even if only for a little while, and being able to do a bit of work in the yard and garden is the main contributor to that sanity.

I think the same tree fungus that killed the big oak is showing up on some other trees. Apparently there isn't a whole lot that can be done. During the 3 year severe drought they got really stressed, and in the past two years, while the drought has eased, yearly rainfall is still below normal with frequent periods of less extreme drought, and they really haven't been able to recover their full vigor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:29 AM

Janie, is that oak wilt that you're experiencing? Here is the oak wilt discussion at the DirtDoctor.com site I use all of the time.

Yesterday I put in another batch of mulch around the garden -this time around some tender young plants. It seems when I pull weeds that displaces the mulch, so I have a continual cycle of weeding mulching weeding mulching.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 10:35 AM

The disease called oak wilt is most common in the Midwest and is rather selective about the type of oak tree it will attack.

More likely, the problem is oak root fungus, which will kill other types of trees including pines. It produces brown mushrooms at times.

It is tempting to water the tree in the summer when it looks stressed but that usually helps the oak root fungus more than the tree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 08:02 PM

It is really unclear, SRS. Some unholy alliance between beetles and fungus. Plus, there are other, more benign fungus that infect the stressed trees and it isn't always easy to tell the benign from the not so benign.

The arborist who took down the big oak was recommended, but I wasn't impressed with his knowledge, and when I did further research based on his comments and recommendations, I realized this was a fellow who had not kept up with the research and knowledge base in his field since he graduated from arborist training, a good 30 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: MMario
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 09:21 AM

I have alot of crisp brown plants....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 10:03 AM

It's fucking hot down here, an ironic term since it's too hot for fucking . . . :-/

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 11:16 AM

Most arborists I've met are a tad on the chainsaw-happy side...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM

How hot is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM

It's SO hot....

...the ground in Portland is currently 130 F.

...the roosters have stopped crowing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:14 PM

Update on Giant Hogweed: It's in Maine!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 01:32 PM

Get out the blow torch, maeve, and burn those suckers to the ground!

My garden exists, but except for eggplant and cantaloupe, not much is producing. We're just hoping things survive till fall when it NORMALLY cools off and the garden produces another crop. Who knows this year. The last three weeks of "spring" were like the heart of summer, so who knows how long it will take for autumn to finally arrive.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 08:25 PM

The combination of heat and drought is proving deadly even to some well-established and drought tolerant plants. I've irrigated as much as I can afford, but have had to let some beds live or die on their own.

Much as love my hydrangeas and Japanese anemones, I am seriously considering taking them out, and perhaps the ginger lilies also. The amount of water I have to put on the hydrangeas each week would probably be sufficient to keep two or three other beds going with enough water to survive, if not thrive, for 3 or 4 weeks.

Even the day lilies are in dire straights.

The drought is not nearly as prolonged or as yet severe as was the case a few years ago, but most zone 7 garden plants are not "built" for an entire late spring and summer of temps consistently in the mid-90's to low 100's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 08:37 PM

We're a 100 miles south of Janie but we have been fortunate in getting decent rain all summer... Knock on wood... We're still trying to get everything planted and beds created but at least have some help... The son of the guy we bought the house from works for us 6-8 hours a week... That is really helpful...

We are also getting some veggies: zucchini, yellow squash, cukes and a few tomatoes...

But it has been very hot & humid and we're not used to the humidity...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 10:28 AM

So far I think I have all of the trees alive, but I've lost some major shrubs that had a long-standing presence in the yard. You drive down the street here and look up and see the tops of even the native wild-seeded trees brown, crisp from the bright sun and hot days.

People need to stop pouring drinking water on grass. There are other things that are much harder and more expensive to replace, that are more critical to cooling our houses (trees) that should be watered, but ditch the turf.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 10:41 AM

Yeah, watering grass is downright retarded...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 07:27 PM

Yeah. The asparagus is still with me! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Sooz
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 03:47 AM

I have an amazing sunflower plant. One plant with 40 flowers - growing amongst my pink fir apple potatoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 07:35 AM

The local radio is raising concerns about the amount of ragwort (poisonous to cattle and horses) around in Lancashire. I pulled a plant up last week but can't see any more on our ground.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 12:13 PM

My double impatiens... bought a whack of em. The only ones that I bought that were the "same" as last year were the Burgundy. Thre others were all "new" varities which grew very slowly and were late to bloom. They are still only half the size of the Burgundy and a few are not blooming well. I always buy a three spares and put them in a hanging pot. The Burgundy is fine but the other are smaller abd STILL have not bloomed... what can I do to make them bloom?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 05:40 PM

Bbcw, can you provide a latin name for the "ragwort?" I don't think it is the same plant, and possibly not the same family as what we call ragworts in the Eastern USA, but would like to check.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 06:20 PM

Is this it? Senecio jacobaea L.? on googling, I see references to this species on googling to horse poisoning in the UK.

Doesn't grow in the southeast USA, according to the distribution map, but is found in the northeast, northwest, and Canada. Here, it's common name is apparently stinking willie in the east and tansy ragwort in the west. It is in the same genus as the assorted plants in these parts that are known as ragworts.

Sounds like all of them have toxicity to some degree or another. (Some are used for cancer treatments.) Apparently livestock tend to avoid grazing it but once dried, the plants lose their unpalatable taste. The greatest risk to livestock, it seems, is when ragworts invade hay fields and get baled in with the hay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 06:23 PM

That's our (UK) common ragwort, Janie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 06:26 PM

I dunno much about impatiens, gnu. I only planted the doubles once or twice and never did as well with them. Have trees grown so there is more or more dense shade? They like shade, but like bright shade and do need sufficient light.

Are you having a cool summer? They like warm soil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 06:44 PM

Thanks Janie... but, the deal is the Burgundy, which I have had for years are doing the same as always. The "new" strains suck. It looks okay as I have a pattern that I plant them in in the front yard flower boxes... it looks as if "I meant to do that" but it just doesn't look as nice. And the hanging pot is a real disappointment as it's mid August and no blooms on the new strains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 07:12 PM

It is a fact of gardening life that different colors of the same variety of a plant do not always perform equally well. You have not only learned something yourself, you have passed along that knowledge to the rest of us.

Thankee kindly, gnu.

And thanks, Jon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 12:10 PM

Today we have lovely, heavenly gentle rain. The first in months, and it has been raining for several hours. I am beside myself with gardening joy, even knowing that the smell of compost will meet me later as all of the dead stuff starts to rot.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 02:26 PM

Just eaten a greengage. The trees only fruited twice since we planted it and last time the fruit all split. They are OK this time.

Will pick them and the Victoria plums tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 03:41 PM

SRS.... GLAD to hear of your rain.


Let it rain!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 11:33 AM

Had not heard of Amanda Marshall before, gnu. Thanks for the link.

We got some of that beautiful rain yesterday also, and expecting more today. Major break in the temps with 2 days so far in the mid 80's.

Sweet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 12:32 PM

I like the New Ginni (sp) impatiens... Plus, you can bring 'um in in the winter and have 'um all year 'round...

We continue to get decent rain here in south-central North Carolina... Hope you're getting some, too, Janie...

We're taking a few days off gardening because the P-Vine's sister is here to help unpack boxes and help the P-Vine in ordering me around... lol...

They got the idea that all four of the bathroom faucet sets had to go and new ones put in... I've installed three and have one to go but it's tough on the back getting in those positions...

BTW, I lost my "monkey puzzle" criptomeria but was lucky enough to find another at "clear 'um 'out" prices... Yeah... Love that plant...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 03:15 AM

I decided to try a new ploy to deter the rabbits. I've put up a black painted plywood cut-out of a dog on the lawn (it's informally been christened Nodrog in homage to John Kirkpatrick's "Nodrog's woofing waltz").
I've not had a rabbit on the lawn since, but we've also had a fox invasion so the results are inconclusive.

Now I have to find a way to deter foxes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 03:10 PM

Down to 5 C in Calgary a couple of nights ago, 1 C at Millerville 30 miles away and freezing in low-lying areas. Time to think about winter preparations.

Jack rabbits (hares) are common in Calgary in winter. They may dig out shallow depressions in which to rest. Some people complain about this, but any damage in my yard has been minimal, usually a couple of spots near tree bases. In winter, they are white. They seem to subsist on the dead plant matter in winter, and I have not heard of them damaging dormant shrubs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM

Picked the greengage tree yesterday. It's the first time we've harvested a crop from it (the fruit split one year and the tree has done nothing other years). Pip's made 12 1/2 pounds of jam and there's about the same again stewed up although she's still pondering about what to do with it.

Victoria plum tree next. That's got rather more fruit than the greengage had. I think Pip will be sick of the sight of plums soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 07:22 PM

The plums post would be from Jon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 05:06 AM

The foxes are starting to become a nuisance now.

When I got out of bed this morning there was a noise from downstairs. I discovered that one of the local trio of growing cubs had nosed his way into the porch and knocked over a broom, which fell against the door trapping him inside.

I had to unlock the inner door and slowly reach out and remove the offending obstruction so that the outer door could be opened for him to escape.

He didn't seem to worried by my presence once he realised that he couldn't get out without help but he did knock over a couple of plant pots first!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 05:28 AM

Yep, the plums one was me.

We've got a damson tree too and it's fruit are nearly ripe. The other plum, an Oulins gage didn't do anything but it was only planted last year and looks healthy so maybe next year. It is supposed to be a lot more reliable and heavier cropping than the "old" greengage type.

Staying with trees. The pear tree has also done well as have most of the apples. Scrumptious is ready and the Bramley is about there. Our "unknown" is a bit of a disappointment in that for some reason the only section I can get to easily has not fruited. I'll still be able to pick some though and as usual will be juicing what we have, probably mid to late September.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:04 PM

Greengage crumble today :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:14 PM

A big ol' ***HOOOO-RAYYY*** from here in "Win-git", NC... The P-VCine and I finished out first major bed... It has ferns, acubas, azaleas, sarcacocca, a nice boxwood vestigiata (columnal) and three of our large rocks from Virgina... It's about 60 X 20 and we've had help from the 18 year old boy who used to live here so the three of us spread 3 yards of mulch over it toady and raked in front of it and it looks great...

One down...

Whew...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:15 PM

BTW, anyone know what to use for tomato horn worms that is organic???

Other than picking them off and throwing them in the pond, that is...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:31 PM

Bobert, try this link: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/p/tomatohornworm.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: pdq
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:44 PM

Please don't use Bacillus thuringiensis to control hornworms or any other insect.

The spores of BT are carried into the environment and continue to kill our native species for generation after generation.

We have lost 99% of the butterfly population in some area in the last 50 years, BT is the most obviouus culprit, even more responsible than habitat loss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:52 PM

I don't use it; we hand pick them. Bobert asked for information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 08:05 PM

Just looked hornworm up. It's not something we have in the UK.

Late blight is the thing I most dread over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 09:23 PM

I won't use BTs again... Last time I did it I had a mask and still ended up with bacterial phenomena...

BTW, I found that link interesting, maeve... We did find one with the wasp eggs all over it (maybe 50 or so) and those eggs were sucking so much out of the worm that it could no longer ravage the plant... The P-Vine knew they were wasp eggs so we left it alone...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 10:05 PM

This fellow suggests dipel, which he says is organic.
http://expectus.hubpages.com/hub/Tomato-Plant-Pest-Hornworm

We don't seem to have hornworms, but only the most optimistic try to grow tomatoes here. Mostly a greenhouse effort here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 10:27 PM

It is organic, Q... But being so it is also a bacteria and can make you very sick or, if not treated, can kill you...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 10:49 PM

Handpicking of tomato hornworms is the best option if one has the time, and predator insects are a good back-up, but probably won't substitute for hand-picking.

I agree, pdq, that bt should be used with discretion, but I don't read evidence that bt is the primary culprit for the decrease in butterfly populations over all. I'm not particularly well informed, though, and don't always know how to evaluate the research. Would appreciate links or leads to research that strongly supports your statement.

I've never used bt, but that is mostly because I never got around to it.

The moth larva that threaten most home garden crops are far from endangered species, and the application of bt by home gardeners is mostly likely to be done in a very selective manner, and only on targeted crop plants.

I can certainly understand concern if bt is used in large commercial fields and applied in a manner that leads to widespread overspray onto non-commercial food plants for species such as the Monarch.

I know there are concerns about the effects of bt corn on the Monarch population. The USDA cites research that indicates the pollen from bt corn does not get spread in sufficient concentration to threaten Monarchs, but I think the jury is still out on that because those studies are single issue studies, and do not take into account that when there are a number of factors contributing to the decline of a species, no single one of them may be individually significant, but taken all together, all of them are significant.

There are also many different strains of bt that target different species in their larval stages. The only time I seriously considered using bt was when I was growing flowers for market, and considered treating my lawn with a strain to control japanese beetles. It didn't take much research to realize that unless everyone in the neighborhood did the same, I was wasting my time. I ended up using my roses (which really aren't a viable flower crop for a local farmer's market for many reasons,) as a trap crop, and focused on keeping the roses well-tended and well fed to produce lots of blooms from which I handpicked the beetles, minimizing damage to other, more prolific and more durable blooms, especially zinnias and dahlias.

I have never had any significant problem with tomato hornworm. (Maybe, in part, because I live in tobacco country, and monoculture pest control practices to control tobacco horn worm have also reduced the tomato horn worm population.) Cabbage moth larva have always been the beasties I have had to combat. My veggie garden has usually been small enough that I could use row cover to protect plants from most of the damage.

I suppose it comes down to this; the large scale use of any pesticide or herbicide in commercial practice can pose a significant environmental threat, regardless of whether the control is organic, natural, or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 11:01 PM

Congrats on that garden bed Bobert!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 12:33 PM

Cabbage moth larva have always been the beasties I have had to combat.

Cabbage white butterflies are a menace here too. We did try some cheap fruit cages but they didn't last long and I would up making some using alluminium box and EasyFit connectors and covered them with netting. The odd butterfly does somehow manage to find a way in but they mostly solved the yearly battle with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 07:56 PM

I've used BT successfully for years, but it is never something to broadcast. You use it carefully on just what you want to treat. Dipel contains BT.

Products coming to market these days are found to have a concentration of BT in the plants because of how it has been used in some commercial agriculture, so I suspect it will become a hot topic in organic gardening circles.

I often pick the hornworms and toss them into the woods across the road or relocate them to something I don't care about. They can eat all of the datura (jimson weed) they want, I have a fair amount of that. They love it. The hornworms become a great pollinator, the sphinx moth (ironically, it is the tobacco hornworm that attacks my tomatoes, not the tomato hornworm. I've seen other hornworm varieties also, in a yaupon holly). There are a couple of particular predators for the hornworms, a wasp, and the tachinid fly. Here's a blog entry I wrote after finding and photographing one in the garden a couple of years ago. I kind of like these Pillsbury dough boys of the garden - I've written about and photographed them several times.

On the gardening front today, after 56 days over 100 this summer, all it took was one day (Saturday, August 13) of a gentle rain and lower temperatures for several tomatoes to get pollinated in my garden. They may not end up very big, but they're out there! Ordinarily if it isn't below 80o at night they won't pollinate. We've proved that to be true this year. They won't even respond to the Q-tip approach.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 08:32 PM

Thanks, Janie... It came out real nice... One major bed down one to go... Well, I hope it's just one more major one...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 10:12 AM

Hand watered this morning, and I have one infestation of mealy bugs to treat. The plant may be too wet in the ground at that point, I'll see if I can reposition the soaker hose.

No rain in sight in the long-range forecast.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 01:58 PM

We finally have cooler weather, and we had a couple of nice rainfall amounts a week or two ago. But it is still severe drought here. The fall weather has helped some things perk up - I'm swimming through the dense okra this year (last year it was taller, more spread out, but I also started it much earlier). Eggplant are happy now that it is cooler and has rained. I see a few small tomatoes starting, but so far the Super Fantastic that should produce tennis ball-sized fruits is turning out cherry-sized fruits. Early in the spring I got a few normal sized fruits, so it's an interesting result of drought but I hope they go back to bigger 'maters.

I haven't dug the sweet potatoes yet, the vines were looking pretty awful with the heat, but now it's cool they're are happy again so I'll let them grow till we get closer to the first frost. I have some small acorn squash (first time I've grown those, and these are from some seeds I saved.) Chard is beginning to grow.

I have a greenhouse now, rescued from a friend's house that has been foreclosed. It's a plastic building that I dismantled, moved, and rebuilt in my back yard. I'm looking forward to a more organized way to start my bedding plants, and I'll go to the trouble to order the seeds I want instead of hoping they might turn up in the feed store, or having to buy bedding plants and then hope they're healthy. Any seed sites or catalogs you want to recommend?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 04:08 PM

Leaves are beginning to turn. Fall cleanup soon (Calgary).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 07:48 PM

Maggie,

Johnny's Selected Seeds has been my most preferred seed supplier for many years. Good product, good selection with many organic selections, great customer service, and their catalog provides just about all the information you might want regarding starting and cultivation as well as comparisons among varieties of their different attributes.

Johnny's caters to small market growers and home gardeners. In addition to veggie seeds, they have a very good selection of culinary and medicinal herb seeds as well as flower seeds (flower seeds are definitely tailored to small commercial cut flower and bedding plant growers.)

In addition to the above, their reviews of their gardening tools, aids, seed-starting equipment are good and honest. Some of the more common products such as assorted row covers are probably available at lower cost elsewhere, but I rarely bought without first reading what Johnny's had to say, and often paid their higher price as compensation for the good information.

Not sure a product is right for you? Call 'em up. Their CSR's are knowledgeable or will have some one who is get back to you, and they won't try to talk you into a product that isn't right for your needs.

Bet you can't tell what a fan I am, huh?


johnnyseeds.com

http://www.seedsofchange.com/ is an excellent company also. Their selection is more limited and their catalog is not nearly as informative. I don't think I have ever ordered from them, but have bought and planted their seeds for years from my local food coop. Their offerings are all, or nearly all, organic, open pollinated varieties.

Have always found the germination rates for both Johnny's and Seeds of Change to be excellent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 08:14 PM

In spite of having been completely ignored, unfertilized, unwatered and virtually decimated by cabbage loopers and cabbage whites earlier in the year, then nibbled by deer, my Red Russian kale has soaked up the rain and the more moderate temperatures of the past few weeks and regenerated itself nicely.

The single apricot mums are in bud. Autumn Joy sedum is blooming -but doesn't get enough sun so is a bit scraggly appearing.

I moved the Ginger lillies very early this spring, so am not surprised they didn't bloom. They are still looking for good homes if anyone is interested.

Question for Bobert or other hydrangea growers. I did cut back my smooth hydrangeas to 8-12 inches, but did it late - early to mid April, and the leaf buds were about half opened and 2-4 inches long. I got lots of new wood, slowly, but no flowers. Am I correct to assume that day length is a factor in production of flower buds, and the new branches did not have the opportunity to grow enough and develop flower buds before the days got too long (or too hot?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 09:20 PM

Isn't it nice to be talking about living gardens again? Even if they're in the "struggling back" stage, it's good to be out there in the dirt and compost.

Thanks for the recommendation, Janie. That's exactly the type of endorsement I was hoping for. I'm looking forward to putting this greenhouse to good use. It's small, it's plastic, but it's a big step up from how I've started plants before, if I didn't plant directly into the ground.

I went out the side door late this afternoon and my next door neighbor was in the garden picking okra. As I've invited -almost insisted- that she do when she wants. I'd picked around noon and thought I'd gotten most of it but she came up with another dozen a few hours later. We're both starting a bowl in the fridge, building up to big meals with fried okra. :) She sometimes comes home for lunch and will pick a bowl and take it in and boil it to go with her meal. When we know their grandkids are coming for the weekend we stockpile several days worth and it still vanishes before it has barely had time to cool (they have a lot of grandkids). And because I put in several more plants this year than last, we'll both end up with a sizable amount in our freezers for over the winter. Good gardens make good neighbors!

SRS


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