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Gardening &
Landscaping




   StormCnter  I have a question for those gardeners more knowledgeable than I. Landscapers hereabouts love to use cast-iron plants in flower beds. They look terrific when new, but over a season or two, hot weather and/or winter freezes, they get raggedy. I probably have a dozen of them scattered among the beds. Can I simply shear them to ground level as I would hostas or frost-bitten ferns to encourage new, non-raggedy growth? They are a type of aspidistra.
March 27 at 16:43 EST .

   3 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Our dear friend stopped by this morning after working a 24 hr EMT shift and brought her tiller to work up the garden. She got half done before we made her stop, go home and get some sleep. It is always great to see her, she is so funny and she absolutely adores Hagar. They get along great, he was teasing her about her "straight" lines in the garden. She did a nice job and her tiller is so tame even I could use it. Hagar's tiller is a mule and no way can I deal with it. She tilled the row for the asparagus in the Fall and used our tiller, she hated it.

I managed to get onions in the ground today. Yesterday and the day before I got raised beds planted with peas. I still have seeds left, maybe if I can get one more bed dug and soil sifted I can plant them. Have chard and beets to plant, radishes. Got some seeds started indoors.

As for the garden I will decide where the tomatoes and peppers will go and get those rows prepared with plastic. I pulled up the plastic from last Spring and it was easy to get up, the ground is lovely underneath, nice and fine. We plan to start with 3 rows of beans, flat,round and french style. Not yet though. Also one row of okra. Lots of other things but I cannot remember them all.
March 26 at 20:14 EST .

   8 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  Your post is making me feel extremely tired
March 26 at 21:50 EST .

 1 person like this.



   BirdsNest  The gardening stuff is a stress reliever for me, it is nice to have some grueling physical work to do. today the wind is screaming and it feels like 26F, so nothing outside today. The seeds are up so we transferred the setup to lights, they have all straightened up. I just spritzed them, some of the rows were dry on top.

Humana forgot to take out for health insurance so Hagar's SS was $259 shy this month-no plastic or soaker hoses or other seeds this month. Oh well.
Saturday at 16:06 EST .




   StarFire  All of our raised beds will be fallow this year so we can work on reconditioning the soil. We learned too late last year that the mulch we hauled in was heavily loaded with tree leaves (mostly hickory ) that greatly hinder growth. We might as well have drenched it in round-up.

We’re going to work in a lot of healthy mulch along with fresh compost material. The earthworms are almost over-populated, so we’re relying on them to help. If anyone has additional suggestions, please pass them on.

Meanwhile, we will have to plant in containers this year. At least the fruit trees are budding out. I’m crossing my fingers for my asparagus.

(Have to laugh. My post was blocked for ‘bad words’. I used a perfectly respectable word to describe hindered growth. )
March 22 at 00:38 EST .

   3 people like this.



   BirdsNest  I will have to ask Hagar if he has any thoughts on this...
March 26 at 20:15 EST .




   Gerty  Good news from the Mid-Hudson Valley of NYS: there were signs of serious snow-melting today! PTL! Now I can start thinking about what to plant!
March 11 at 19:22 EST .

   14 people like this.



   Balogreene  I love that. Here in Northern VA (NOVA ), it melted away today.Yesterday, we had to take mom to get some skin cancer cells off her face. My sister shoveled the ice away so mom could get into the car. Finally, today, it was 90% gone when I left for work. When I came home it was melted.
March 11 at 22:21 EST .

  7 people like this.



   MeiDei  We here in SE New England even with the thaw have 2'+ snow still covering lawns & gardens. The early bulbs that usually appear about now are in jeopardy I fear. With the water table so high, it doesn't look good for early plantings. On the plus side, no more dangerous icicles, the gutters held, no water seepage from the roof & we never lost power - all blessings.
March 13 at 07:54 EST .

  2 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Snow is all gone here, hooray!!
I worked on a raised bed, getting the soil all sifted, weeds out and today I need to add some Black Kow and level the soil. I wanted to plant peas, but our night time temps for this week are going to be lower than I thought and the peas are not coated with fungicide. Dilemma. I guess I will just cover the bed so the chickens don't re arrange it for me. I saw that my chives are coming back, I had to cover them with sticks to keep the chickens out, they seem to like them.
March 16 at 10:07 EST .

 1 person like this.





   BirdsNest  We had a bit of a nice thing happen at the grocery store yesterday. A sweet lady came up to us and asked if we were planting beans again this year. She got some from us last year and said they were the best, freshest beans she had ever had. She bought some for her patients(clients?? ) and they loved them too. Wow, that was so nice and we spent about 10 minutes talking to her, clogging up the aisles in the store! She said she would look for us this spring and summer. We were just talking yesterday morning about how we used to be anonymous, now we are recognized everywhere.
March 11 at 08:09 EST .

   15 people like this.



   Gerty  You guys deserve the recognition!
March 11 at 19:19 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Balogreene  Great guys, I want to come down sometime and meet you. A ay trip.
March 12 at 21:00 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  Birdie, In the interest of honesty, I don't think you should post the opinion of only one person. Please send me about 15 pounds of your beans and I will give you a second opinion on their taste, freshness,etc. I will be able to render my opinion quicker if you make it 20-30 lbs. (in case you're are in a hurry )
March 14 at 14:11 EST .

  2 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  Hmm, Birdie didn't buy my line,did she?
March 26 at 21:52 EST .




   BirdsNest  Finally some warmer weather.....yesterday it was 58F and sunny so I spent some time in the garden pulling up stakes and dead plants. Part of the plants will be composted, tomatoes which showed signs of blight will be disposed of separately and not used for compost material. I got almost all of the stakes pulled up. Some were still a bit frozen in the ground, those were the ones I pounded in trying to reach China, I think. Anyway, they will have to be pulled up at a later date. I am pleased with what I got done. Tomorrow I will pick up the stakes and sort them. Some broke off and some were shorter to begin with....I used whatever we had lying around last year, I was desperate for stakes. The land next door has piles of stakes, the farmer said to get what we want before they rot in place. This year I have plenty of tying twine for the tomatoes/peppers/eggplants, I won't have to use any substitutes. Some customers from the tracks brought me partial balls of twine, enough to last a couple of seasons. We got some lumber to make another raised bed. It will be used as a guide for digging out the hugelkultur beds, then we will get more lumber to complete those that get dug out. I have to raise up one bed another 4 inches for carrots. Have onion sets to plant and peas to get in the ground real soon. Lots to do.
March 9 at 20:49 EST .

   11 people like this.



   Balogreene  Man, it snowed Thursday, froze Friday, started warming up, til it was 61 on Monday. Today, it was only about 50, and it rained all day. I wouldn't think it was time to plant yet. Glad, you got started anyway.
March 10 at 21:03 EST .

  2 people like this.



   BirdsNest  No not time to plant yet, soon though for peas,potatoes,onions and even some greens. I have so much prep work still to do. I got the dead plants tossed over the fence for burning and all of the stakes gathered up and sorted. Broken ones in one stack, good ones in another stack. Already this morning it is 64F and will rain soon. I have plastic yet to remove from a few rows, but I am not sure if I want the chickens to get in there and scratch around. Soon they will be banished to their yard with high enough netting to keep them inside. They are very strong and can fly right over the 4 ft fence, so we need to make the enclosure so they cannot get out. They can tear up a garden in no time! I have raised beds to dig up and sift the soil to get the weeds out. And get them ready to plant. Thursday's bit of freezing rain caused me a bit of a problem. The door on the van was frozen shut so I climbed over the drivers side and elbowed the door from inside, only I did not think it through before I hit it and I think I bruised my ribs. They hurt, not as much as they did, but getting comfy at night to sleep is a bit of a problem. And sneezing?? Hurts alot.
March 11 at 08:04 EST .

  5 people like this.



   Balogreene  It seems like you could use the Chickens as roto-tiller starters ; )
March 12 at 21:02 EST .

 1 person like this.



   MeiDei  "Start out doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi I think this is Bird's method of operation.
March 13 at 09:09 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Gerty  Just heard from a friend who noticed some interest in garden rocks on this wall some time ago. He was nice enough to volunteer the following information for those of you who may still be interested.

"There is an interesting type of rock called "Feather-stone", which looks quite natural, but
only weighs ounces compared to real stone. It can be mortared if you wish walls, but is
mostly used as accent pieces in flower beds. It is often used in conjunction with "lava rock"
to offer more than one texture. Lava rock is not so easily used, as it is quite sharp.

Just thought some of the bloggers might like to know about this."
February 28 at 20:56 EST .

   9 people like this.



   MeiDei  We used lava rock, bean sized, as mulch in our flower beds in Colorado. It was very light weight, hauled a ton of it by myself. It kept the weeds out and held water. Isn't Feather-Stone what they use on building fronts? Will look it up.
March 3 at 11:08 EST .




   BirdsNest  Ordered some mini cucumbers and kaleidoscope carrots. These are items that are supposed to be "hot" in farmers markets this year. We shall see, this market here is tough, lots of people don't like things like beets,squash,and anything different. Hoping for a good garden this year, hoping even more that Hagar can participate more this year-he enjoys it so much. Health reasons last year kept him out of the garden once the ground was broken and ready to plant. Thanks to the black plastic mulch, there was little he could do anyway, the garden took care of itself with just minor watering from me and fertilizing(manure tea ). And of course harvesting. Some days it was at 3 am, the day before sale day at the tracks, providing the freshest possible veggies. String beans were always picked on Friday afternoon late for sale on Saturday-I have not yet perfected picking beans by flashlight. Hagar is threatening to put stadium lights on the perimeter so I can work at night! Not a bad idea really....I just want this winter to be over so we can get started. I have shoveled all the snow I want to shovel for this year. It is nowhere near the amount of snow many of you have had to deal with, but still-this is supposed to be the South!

Sure would love to hear from some of you of your garden plans this year.
February 28 at 07:41 EST .

   8 people like this.



   Surfhut  Love reading your posts, Bird. I'm pretty adventurous, especially when food is involved, and would love to see something like kaleidoscope carrots at a local farmers market. You probably have to make an educated guess about what you can grow and successfully promote at your local market. If a local grower sold those carrots here in OKC, I'd be a buyer!

My garden plans: I managed to grow a lot of veggies in the roughly 3x2 neglected space adjacent to the patio of my apartment last year. I'm moving into a house with a yard and hope to be relocated by Spring planting time. Most of what I want to plant will have to be from established seedlings. Hope to have bumper crops of several tomato varieties, English cukes, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, tons of herbs, and OKRA! I will need to figure out what I can do in terms of root veggies like beets and carrots.

If my new digs has a mature, healthy pecan tree ... sweet!
February 28 at 11:04 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Balogreene  I just want to have the time. Last summer I worked at work so hard, nothing happened. I'm planning a few tomatoes, herbs, would love to do english cakes, squash, and OKRA!. I'm not fond of root veggies, so, just a few things, with a few flowers.
March 1 at 19:20 EST .

  3 people like this.



   MeiDei  Our garden is still under 3-4' of snow - even with the thaw & refreeze. Vertigo & sciatica kept me out of the garden last year & this Spring looks grim due to the weeds and wild roses & blackberry bushes that have tipped & spread. Looking forward to getting the deck replaced and being able to do some waist high plantings : ) Love all the posts, they give me hope.and encouragement.
March 3 at 11:19 EST .

  3 people like this.





   BirdsNest  If you look at the list on the left, the walls list, you will see "Faith" comes before "Gardening". It takes a lot of Faith to manage a garden and all of its ups and downs and just plain hard work. I always feel closer to God and all of my loved ones who have passed, especially those who loved to dig in the dirt. Many times I will be just plain overwhelmed with the task I am involved in and sometimes not very happy about it, but soon enough the calm sets in and I am "good" again. I am anxious for the temperatures to start warming for real so I can get back out there and get things ready. Pretty soon we will be starting our seedlings, that is another job! Lots and lots of tiny seedlings everywhere! Hagar keeps telling me we should buy more of this seed and get some of that seed because these items will be "hot" at farmers markets. I cannot wait to see our little old ladies again, the ones with not so much money to spend(they always get extra from us because we love them, even the one who scolded me about the string beans! ).
February 24 at 07:34 EST .

   11 people like this.



   Jerseytomato  BirdsNest, your post is beautiful. I named my garden, 'Mamma's Garden,' because after my mother passed, that garden helped to heal my broken heart. Day after day, the hard work helped me to sleep at night. In the garden, you can sing, pray, watch butterflies and birds, forgive those who need to be forgiven, and appreciate a gentle breeze. God does work in mysterious ways.
February 26 at 18:42 EST .

  4 people like this.





   Jerseytomato  My garden is asleep, covered in snow and ice. Never the less, I come to read BirdsNest posts for inspiration. Gertys, too. Surely, BirdsNest has the greenest thumb of us all.

I don't see Rake King. Is he on vacation?
February 18 at 07:58 EST .

   10 people like this.



   BirdsNest  I think I merely have the desire for a green thumb. I have a rough time with houseplants, keeping them alive. We have lots inside this time and I keep my fingers crossed and hold my breath that they don't croak before warmer weather arrives. Garden plants are not always easy but I pray for guidance and hope that my dear departed father and grandparents watch me from above. Hagar helps keep me on the right path, he says my gardening is "shotgun gardening", I plant things all over. I merely tell him the plants tell me where they want to be. He doesn't buy it!!

As for RK, it seems he left the forum, I do not know the whys or any of that, he is missed. Wrightwinger left because many of his posts kept disappearing and he got frustrated I think. Lots fewer of us it seems, maybe lots lurking but it sure would be nice for some to participate.
February 18 at 09:09 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Jerseytomato  BirdsNest, your garden posts are always a joy. Perhaps our fellow L-Dotter's are over on the main page. With the daily twists and turns, it's almost become a full time job just to keep up with everything that's going on. I miss our Rake King, and Wrightwinger, too. I pray they are in good health, and return soon.
February 20 at 08:35 EST .

  7 people like this.



   Gerty  I'm still here, ladies! Even though I am hardly an inspiration for gardens these days. I miss my 50' x 50' plot at the Farmhouse---it was the talk of a County Rd. in Chenango county, NY. Not so much that it was a show piece--rather that it was accomplished my me (not from rural NY ).

Miss Birdie--plants like to be in a certain spot, you're right. I am happy to have a southern exposed window and the house plants love it! Gifts of potted orchids have been know to re-bloom 2 and 3 times. What a beautiful surprise when they do that.
February 21 at 18:53 EST .

  5 people like this.



   BirdsNest  That's what I tell Hagar...and when volunteer plants come up I like to keep them, as a message from God that he wants me to have them. It makes Hagar crazy to have the backyard scattered with cherry tomato plants growing all over. I just keep remembering the year we had no other tomatoes, thanks to the crop duster plane that killed our beautiful tomatoes. Those cherry tomatoes got us through. Plus a dear old man that brought us 30 pounds of tomatoes at a time. He passed away a few weeks ago. I went to see him at the nursing home, the employees caught me before I got to his room, he has died that morning. I was stunned. I miss the old guy, he was ever so sweet to us. He is the reason we started making pepper relish to sell. He couldn't find any locally made and asked if I would make him some. So really we have him to thank for many things. Sorry for the drift.
February 22 at 09:02 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Gerty  I know you don't like being made a 'fuss' over, Miss Birdie, so take the following as an observation---not just a compliment.
I takes a special kind of person to appreciate the connection between God and all living things--plants included! And I don't know many people who would take the time to go visit an elderly man in a nursing home (apparently not a relative ) because he showed kindness to you during his life.
You are blessed.
February 24 at 04:28 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Gerty  That would be, "...It takes a special kind..."
February 24 at 04:30 EST .

  3 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thank you Gerty. He was not a relative but I really took to him. He was kind to many people but I fear most of those people did not appreciate him. He had lots of money at one time, but it seems that he spent most of it on those who were supposed to be taking care of him. I will always remember his beautiful smile and the gorgeous head of pure white hair. I will miss the heck out of him for so many reasons, mostly because he made me smile. And he was generous to us when we had no tomatoes.
February 24 at 07:39 EST .

  4 people like this.



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