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BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011

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
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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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