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Gardening &
Landscaping




   BirdsNest  Starting to pull up plants in the garden. Squash and tomato row have been pulled and black plastic has been removed. It was easy to pull up and the ground underneath is weed free.
It will be a cinch to till that for greens. The hardest part of all of it has been pulling the tomato stakes. It has been dry and each one has to be dug up.

Few tomatoes still left....made a tomato olive quiche that was delicious, if anyone wants the recipe I can post it on the recipe wall. We have eaten bowls of tomatoes,oregano,S&P,and olive oil. Every night. Been canning quite a bit, most of it will be ready to sell at the community yard sale on 9/20.
August 23 at 17:36 EST .

   3 people like this.



   Gerty  Tomatoes, oregano, salt and olive oil...ahhhhhh, life is so good!
August 24 at 06:41 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Balogreene  Yes, please post the tomato olive quiche recipe, sounds good.
Anybody else think a little road trip is in order for 9/20?
7 hours ago .


   MeiDei  It's about an 11 hour drive across 8 States - my best wishes will be for you. Hope your husband is better Bird!
6 hours ago .


   BirdsNest  MeiDei, he had a good day on Wed. but has been a bit slow to get around these last couple of days. I sure hope we can sell some of the jars of canned goods, we have made things the folks around here like. A couple of weeks ago a man bought 4 jars of our Pepper Relish-he bought a jar at the townwide yard sale last year and liked it so much he wanted to get more. I made some green tomato mincemeat-it is for vegetarians to use in place of regular mincemeat for pie. I am curious to know what it takes like as a pie. I tasted it because I had a bit left over, but processing it in a hot water bath may have changed it a bit. We did grape juice for Hagar, 1 cup whole grapes in a qt jar,1/2C. sugar, fill with boiling water, process for I think 10 minutes. There was about a quarter inch of white sugar in the bottom of the jar when done. Well almost a week later, I looked at the jars and the sugar has dissolved. He is ready to crack one open and taste!!
6 hours ago .




   Wrightwinger  Gerty, you have now been tomato mooned...
   August 16 at 12:36 EST .

   3 people like this.



   MeiDei  Careful, that's red skin & a native American Indian may take offense : )
Joking aside I used to buy by the bushel such as these from a local farmer as they weren't considered saleable to the chain stores; made great marinara sauce!
August 16 at 13:13 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Gerty  That'sa onea nice a pomodoro, Mr.Wright.

Bellisimo!
August 16 at 13:44 EST .

  4 people like this.



   HopeandGlory  That's so "Cheeky" . . . smile!
August 16 at 16:08 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Gerty  Yesterday we enjoyed the taste of fresh, home grown tomatoes for the first time this season. What a delight!

This is a general 'thank you' to all out there who gift those precious fruits to your friends and neighbors---and a special thank you to Miss Birdie, who I know gifts all the time.
August 14 at 08:24 EST .

   5 people like this.




   StormCnter  Ok, gardeners. This Texan needs some advice. I am in North Texas, so the zone is 9-10. Last winter was brutal and I lost quite a bit of St. Augustine in a shaded area of the back yard. I have been unsuccessful in trying to, at least temporarily, cover the bare area. I tried perennial rye and it sprouted wonderfully, but died out within weeks. I will probably resod the area with St. Augustine next spring and will get the trees trimmed to open up to more sunlight. But, is there a better idea? I'm always a bit leery of groundcovers because I worry about a snake hiding under it. The area is sloped, so decorative mulch would probably not stay in place. I would appreciate any tips.
August 12 at 08:46 EST .

   2 people like this.



   MeiDei  We, in San Diego & w/a rattler issue, had a partial lawn of dicondra, here's a site for it. Ours was established so I don't know if the following would be something you'd care to start unless you can get it in sod form.
http://www.lawngrasses.com/odd-varieties
/dichondra-more.html#.U-uILVJdg
August 13 at 11:50 EST .

  2 people like this.



   StormCnter  I'd forgotten about dichondra. Thanks for reminding me. When we lived in California, we were impressed by the pretty ground cover along the highways. Obviously, easy to care for and quite attractive. I don't know if it'll grow in Texas, but I'll look into it.
August 14 at 07:26 EST .

  4 people like this.





   BirdsNest  Yesterday was a whirlwind day of errands and canning. Worked really hard and got 6 pts. blueberry jam and 3 pts of tomato sauce. This was our first try at this sauce, it can be processed in a hot water bath safely, by following the recipe exactly. It was a lot of work for those 3 pints, but it tastes really good. We had about a cup left and we fought over it using the last of a nice chewy loaf of french bread. Man I am tired today.
July 31 at 08:40 EST .

   16 people like this.



   MeiDei  Last year strawberries were on a huge sale & I decided to make my first batch of jam - canned and gave many away as part of their Christmas gifts. Will never buy mfg. strawberry jam again, there is just no comparison & so said the recipients! My good friend complained that her husband hogged the contents and they too fought over the last in the jar. : ) Yes, it's a bit of a job - but so worth it isn't it.
August 7 at 09:57 EST .

  7 people like this.



   Bettijo  BirdsNest, I have never done any canning. Can you tell us how to make/can tomato sauce. I make my tomato sauce from scratch as it is so much better than the bottled kind. Can I just use my recipe? I still need to know how to can it. In the past I have frozen it. Thanks for your help.
August 16 at 09:03 EST .

  4 people like this.





   Balogreene  Something Mei Dei said reminded me of a friend of mine. He collects old pallets that can no longer be used for shipping. A friend of his lays them out in his garden, and plants in the rows created by the pallets. Whatever is left, makes a great bonfire or two.

Most companies are more than willing to give them away, otherwise they throw them in the recycle bin. Our last location, there were a few companies, all of which were willing to give their pallets away. This new location, the only pallets I've seen are ours. But, Bird, and Hagar, you might want to check it out.
July 28 at 21:08 EST .

   10 people like this.



   MeiDei  Good tip Balo! Another neighbor of mine brought home from the Used But Useful Shed at our Town Dump (they're not grungy as in years past ) a few hollow core doors that had seen better days. He strip off the outer layers, added some metal spikes to the bottom for footings and resurfaced them with lattice (also freebies )painted them & made a privacy screen & trained clematis & trumpet vine on them. He used the left over paint from his trim & shutters for a finishing touch. I say "he" but it might have been his wife.
July 28 at 21:53 EST .

  11 people like this.



   BirdsNest  We scoop up any pallet we can! We use them for compost bins and are collecting them to make a shed for the tiller and mower. I have been haunting the ladies at the local Hardees for the banners they use to advertise burgers, they are a plastic that sticks to window glass but we want them for placing on the ground around the raised beds-then we place mulch on top. Weed control. We are always on the lookout for ways to re-purpose items.
July 29 at 07:22 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Gerty  Miss Birdie--I never tire of your posts! You and Hagar are so productive, it makes me feel like wanting to do more than I do to recycle, etc.

Keep those posts coming!
July 29 at 08:41 EST .

  7 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Ah, Gerty, some may call me cheap but I prefer the word "thrifty". Recycle. Re-purpose, whatever you call it, one man's junk is another man's treasure.
we get great pleasure out of extending the "life" of items. We have a friend who is a master of it, you should see the amazing planted he made out of barrel halves,scrap wood, bed springs, and old tin cans. Cute as heck.
July 29 at 19:13 EST .

  11 people like this.



   Jerico  I saw a pretty cool way to plant strawberries. They took guttering and suspended it. The plants grew in the guttering and it kept the berries off of the ground. I have not tried it though.
August 16 at 23:06 EST .

  2 people like this.





   BirdsNest  We were at the flea market spot today, got a good location, sold all of the peppers,squash,cukes, and EGGPLANT. As much as I loathe Facebook, one customer posted that we had the best eggplant she had ever tasted, one girl stopped by and bought them all. The lady bought one last week, prepared it and boasted about it on FB. When she got there we were sold out so when we have more ready she will get some.Another lady wants to buy blueberries,because we do not use any insecticide....she can buy them at the local store for $1.50 pint, but wants to pay more for ours because she knows where they are coming from. Finally people are getting it. It has been a fight, but now more and more want to buy from small gardeners like us. Last week one man looked behind our table to see what the veggies were being stored in, expecting to find boxes from suppliers, he was pleased to see "Homer buckets", plus I do not wash any of the veggies that way they instantly know they are fresh and not from a wholesaler. I don't have time to wash them....takes 3 hrs to pick beans on Friday evening and 35 min to pick cukes, peppers, and eggplant on Sat morning as soon as it gets light enough to see. We try to get to the place before 7am in order to get a spot. We had a really good time today, brought some Neems oil to a guy that was looking for it in the store locally(they had none ), so we told him to meet us there and we would give him enough to get started with. I am SO GLAD I remembered, he showed uo early. His wife stopped by later to thank us.
July 26 at 14:14 EST .

   14 people like this.



   Linder  Loved your post. Know how hard you work and happy to hear of customers appreciating the fruits of your labor.
July 26 at 19:32 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thank you Linder.
It IS hard work, but pays off with good food to eat and an opportunity to share with others. Our friends that used to get the loads of produce have been getting some, just not the quantities of years past. It is important to save part of the money for next years garden, we will need to replace 10 soaker hoses($15 each ), black plastic for weed control(this year we used $50 worth ), and next year we are planning to enlarge the garden with a new spot for tomatoes on soil never used before. Several years ago the East Coast was hit with tomato blight and I am thinking it is still in our soil. We have treated with Neem oil, but still the tomatoes show signs of blight. In order to till fresh ground we will need the services of someone with a tractor and tiller. Hagar talked to the man that broke our ground several years ago. He has retired but said he would do the work for us. So we have to sell vegs in order to have the funds for next years plans. And we want to put in some more raised beds. The back section of the garden is near;y impossible to keep watered for plant growth. There is a natural dry area, sandy soil and it will be better if we make raised beds there and use those for certain plants. Somewhere out there I would love to have raised beds for herbs, possibly 2 kinds of herbs to one 8 ft bed.
July 27 at 07:22 EST .

  15 people like this.



   MeiDei  Bird, you are one ambitious person - admirable. We have one local grower left in our area. I noticed for the past 2-3 years he has one section of land that he doesn't plow - he spreads this area in black plastic & puts individual pots on it in rows & I think they hand spray between rain as I don't see the pipe sprinkler system they used several years ago. He has a small stand for selling off that which doesn't get bought by the local stores, including local honey - it's my next stop to shop this week. I wish you every success.
July 27 at 11:58 EST .

  12 people like this.



   MeiDei  On another note, my friend's husband found a few tall bookcases put out for discard, the backings were gone. He brought them home, treated the wood (will have to ask what he used ) & laid them down in a side area and it became their herb garden, the shelves provided sections. It's still in use today - 20 years later.
July 27 at 12:21 EST .

  11 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thank you, MeiDei. And I love the idea your friend's husband had, very clever!
July 27 at 15:25 EST .

  10 people like this.





   Gerty  I guess this may come under Landscaping rather than Gardening but I don't know where else to place this bit of experience.

I love the little humming birds that come to my back deck. I hate those pesky little ants that get into the humming bird feeders! And they are relentless!

I searched the internet, etc. for all kinds of deterrents but found none I cared to use. So, until I do find some kind of ant repellent that meets my requirements, I jury-rigged a little deterrent of my own...I found some old fly paper in the basement and stuck it around the pole holding the feeder.

That was yesterday. Checked it all day today--just looking out my kitchen window, not one ant to be seen! I am still searching for a harmless ant repellent so I would appreciate anyone's recommendation. Also interested in any information on the old fly paper (the ones we used to unwind and hang under a light fixture or fan ). Are these things harmful in any way to the animals that come visit us?

PS Don't be concerned with the bear. I'm sure he can take care of himself!
July 25 at 19:11 EST .

   11 people like this.



   MeiDei  Just read something that might work for you. Take a paper plate (or use the old fly paper ) & spread some petroleum jelly or corn syrup on it, attach to your feeder and change as necessary. It's giving the ants an alternative to the sweet water hummingbirds like and makes it difficult for the ants to escape. Change as often as necessary. You might also want to check out the link to Jerry Baker's web page.
July 25 at 21:27 EST .

  11 people like this.



   Bettijo  This article suggests corn meal and I have read that before. There are other good suggestions here.

13 natural remedies for the ant invasion

Ants are making their way into homes this time of year. Thankfully there are natural pest control methods to help you cope with and eliminate the problem. Plus, many of the solutions use what you already have in your cupboard!


Read more: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blo
gs/13-natural-remedies-for-the-ant-invas
ion#ixzz38ZqXzLFH
July 26 at 08:32 EST .

  11 people like this.



   Linder  Hummers make my day! My feeder hangs from a hook over the eave trough on the porch...so no ant problems. Because it's usually so hot and humid here I put barely enough boiled sugar water in the feeder to make it work...and then clean and refill often. I notice just a few quick visits each day but later in August they will be constantly fussing with each other over the feeder. Great entertainment.
July 26 at 19:44 EST .

  14 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Linder we have planted a humminbird vine called "Cypress vine"
http://www.hummingbird-guide.com/humming
bird-vine.html
and another called "Cardinal Climber"
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dicti
onary/vine/cardinal-climber/

we have not seen Hummers here for years but this year we have several of these 2 climbers and the Hummers are back. Those beauties just make me smile.
July 27 at 07:34 EST .

  12 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  I have a hanging feeder. I coat the hanging cord with vaseline and wipe and recoat every few days. it works..Except in the heat of summer when it melts. But it still works somewhat. Ants don't want to crawl on it.

I've thought of mixing the vaseline with a little cinnamon. I hear ants detest cinnamon.

Now about the dozens of honeybees who discovered the feeder. The bee guards do NOT work. Any ideas? I will not harm a honeybee.
July 27 at 18:00 EST .

  13 people like this.



   StarFire  Can't help you with the honeybees. They don't seem interested in the hummingbird feeders, but they love my morning glories.

The ants can be kept off by an "ant moat". I made ours from the little plastic cups that my cat's food comes in. (We save them for all kinds of projects. Just toss them in with a load of laundry to clean them up well. )
Any small plastic cup should work... pudding cups, yogurt cups or individual serving vegetable cups.

Use a sturdy wire. (I took the wire from an old hanger They are getting so hard to find. ) Using pliers, make a hook at one end. Make sure the wire is at least an inch or two taller than the cup. Heat the end in a candle flame and melt a hole in the bottom of the cup by pressing the heated wire through. Leave the wire there. Bend the other end of the wire into a hook.

Use caulk to seal around where the wire goes through the bottom. Let dry a day or two. Hang between the mount and the feeder. Fill almost to the top with water.
August 5 at 16:42 EST .

  8 people like this.





   MeiDei  I don't know how many here are familiar with Jerry Baker (Master Gardener )formerly of PBS. He has an interesting website that he supports via sales of his books, however, there are links to his blog and various newsletters that are full of free information. If it hadn't been for the Zoysia grass comment below I would have forgotten about him & the grass tonic we use. You might find his website of interest:
http://www.jerrybaker.com/ Lots of interesting tips for home, garden, etc.
July 23 at 11:30 EST .

   11 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Tomato plants and fruit are a big disappointment this season. Plants are failing an the fruit is misshaped. Not for sale to anyone, but cut up with Italian herbs, S&P, and EVOO, they are delicious. Cukes, peppers, eggplant are doing well. String beans keep on making, and the pole beans that looked so sad after H. Arthur went through are now lush and flowering. Luffas,birdhouse gourds, watermelon are all over the fence-daily tending to keep them out of the path of the neighbors mower. Last week he actually moved several out of control vines and they did not get cut.....miracles never cease! I check on them daily now and I may get time to place a path of mulch so he does not have to get close to them. Fig trees are coming back, even a few figs, of that we are more than thankful.Blueberries are starting to ripen, have picked several gallons so far. Yesterday I picked some wild cherries and we processed 7 pints of juice. We don't have a cherry pitter so we chose to juice them.
How is everyone else doing with their gardens?
July 23 at 08:22 EST .

   11 people like this.



   Rake King  Here in the St. Louis metro area truck farms, tomatoes are so abundant the price starting is lower than last year. Native blackberries are as big as half-dollars. I can't explain why, but some relate that the deep and long cold of last winter killed off many plant pests. Even the roses have large blooms, again stated as fewer aphids and beetles. Re the pests, maybe Mother Nature said enough is enough.

Missouri is known for it's wine industry and they stated last years grape crops were poor, but this year appear to be flourishing.
July 23 at 08:35 EST .

  10 people like this.



   Gerty  Figs? Did someone mention FIGS!?!

Yesssssss!
July 24 at 20:00 EST .

  14 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird and Hagar, heard your area had bad weather today. Here's hoping everyone and everything is well. We didn't get more than 5 minutes of rain up here.
July 24 at 23:59 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Balogreene....a tornado popped up just on shore at Cherrystone Campgrounds where there were 1300+ people registered in in various camping accommodations. The place was torn up, trees down, power lines down, RV's turned over. Two people from NJ were killed and their son is in critical condition at CHKD in Va Beach. The city of Va Beach sent 6 ambulances, a mass trauma unit, and all ambulances on the entire shore were dispatched to the scene. It sounded like Beirut here with the numbers of sirens that flew by here within minutes of one another. The State Police headquarters is 10 miles north of us and they came by here at mach speed. There was also damage to boats in Oyster,Va and a tractor trailer was over turned on Rt 13. We had a bit of lightning and could hear the thunder down the road, we got some rain but no damage. The previous night wind broke a cherry tree limb and it fell over the fence. I was picking cherries when all of the madness was taking place down the road. My diabetes doc lives next to the campground, she lost her garden to softball sized hail and wind. She and her daughter were home and took shelter in an interior room til it was over. The campgound is a total mess and closed til whenever....this is their busiest time of year, you must reserve space 1 year in advance for this time of year-Pony Penning next week, Blueberry Festival this weekend.
July 25 at 15:21 EST .

  12 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird, I heard about the campground and was concerned for you guys. You never know about tornados, they can cut a big path, or just pop down in a short burst. Like I said, we got barely any rain.
July 26 at 17:45 EST .

  10 people like this.



   Jerico  My blackberry plants did not weather well. I had just planted them last year and they did not even begin growing until about a month ago. I have only harvested 3 berries. I do have quite a bit of plant growth now so I hope for better next year.
August 16 at 23:14 EST .

  2 people like this.



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