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BS: Gardening, 2009

Janie 15 Feb 09 - 01:02 AM
Tangledwood 15 Feb 09 - 04:12 AM
My guru always said 15 Feb 09 - 05:23 AM
bobad 15 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM
maire-aine 15 Feb 09 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Dani 15 Feb 09 - 08:49 AM
Bobert 15 Feb 09 - 09:03 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Feb 09 - 09:47 AM
paula t 15 Feb 09 - 10:39 AM
Janie 15 Feb 09 - 10:52 AM
SINSULL 15 Feb 09 - 10:57 AM
pdq 15 Feb 09 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Dani 15 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM
Maryrrf 15 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 09 - 05:48 PM
Maryrrf 15 Feb 09 - 06:04 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Feb 09 - 08:11 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 09 - 09:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 09 - 12:21 AM
Janie 16 Feb 09 - 12:24 AM
Maryrrf 16 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM
Bryn Pugh 16 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM
pdq 16 Feb 09 - 11:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 09 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 09 - 10:13 PM
Bobert 17 Feb 09 - 08:11 AM
MMario 17 Feb 09 - 08:37 AM
SINSULL 17 Feb 09 - 08:46 AM
SINSULL 17 Feb 09 - 08:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM
Bobert 17 Feb 09 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,MarkS (on the road) 17 Feb 09 - 06:52 PM
Bobert 17 Feb 09 - 07:34 PM
SINSULL 17 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 09 - 01:19 AM
Bobert 18 Feb 09 - 07:49 AM
Bryn Pugh 18 Feb 09 - 07:57 AM
maeve 18 Feb 09 - 08:24 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 09 - 11:54 AM
Janie 18 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 09 - 08:51 PM
Janie 18 Feb 09 - 09:07 PM
Janie 18 Feb 09 - 09:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 09 - 10:55 PM
Beer 19 Feb 09 - 12:29 AM
Bobert 19 Feb 09 - 07:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM
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Subject: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 01:02 AM

Well, I'm still observing and thinking, and other than to find places to put the plants in the ground that I brought with me from my old place last July, I don't expect to do a lot of gardening this spring. Even those, I will probably not site permanently for the most part, but they will do better in the ground and require less maintenance than if I leave them in pots. I'm having a hard time accepting that I don't have the time, the energy, or the money for major landscaping at the present time.

I did fill some large pots today with potting soil and fertilizer and am going to plant them with assorted salad greens, kale, green onions and the like. I figure there will be sufficient sun before the oaks leaf out to do that, and I can start moving the pots around to sunnier spots a bit later as needed.   There is absolutely no where with enough sun for a summer garden, but I may try a tomato in a pot out by the road, where it probably gets 5 hours of summer sun. Should get at least a couple of tomatoes from that.

It's late to being doing this, but I broadcast some "bread" poppy seeds in a little existing bed that I added a little dirt and compost to last fall. Was gonna use that little space for my salad garden, but unless I raise the bed and put a cold frame over it, or a little fence, the rabbits would just eat the greens. They won't bother the poppy plants.

I'm eager to hear about your gardens, plans, ideas and experiences, especially since most of my own gardening pleasure will be vicarious this season.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Tangledwood
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:12 AM

Janie, I'm not much of a gardener, and from your reference to oaks, probably on the other side of the world. However, I do know that some gardeners here have success raising sub-tropical plants in temperate areas by planting them on the sunny side of sheltered brick walls. Similarly, if they are planted amongst large rocks, the rocks work as heat banks.

Mal


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: My guru always said
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:23 AM

I'm not much of a gardener (yet) but I do a lot of 'tidying up' possibly at the wrong time of year for all I know!

The last couple of days I've been cutting our Old Roses back to good buds which I'm sure is right. While stuff isn't in growth I'm also trying to reconstruct/straighten path & driveway edges that have expanded over the years of neglect here. We're now able to position our caravan along the small driveway which used to be too overgrown, thus giving us more space on our main driveway.

We've an avenue of Yew trees along the drive from the road and lost one of the large branches to the weight of snow recently. Richard happily got his chainsaw out to take it off properly behind the break & we had a bonfire of most of the branch the other day. I went through it and salvaged some smaller, straighter branches first though!

Also trying to reclaim some lawn areas (I need them so more people can put up tents at our Easter party) which Japanese Anemones & Primroses have overtaken. I'm potting the stuff I take out so that I can either replant them in other areas of the garden next year, or pass them on to friends. Last year Richard managed to clear a large area of garden that had overgrown & lawn-seeded it in October. It's looking good & there's space for 2 more medium tents or 4 people *grin*

I'm out there every day we're at home & it's not actually raining. Who knows, over time I may start to learn a bit about actual gardening *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: bobad
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM

Ordered my seeds yesterday. Will be starting the plants indoors soon. Thus begins another cycle. "To everything there is a season."


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: maire-aine
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 08:38 AM

We had a few days when the snow was out of the yard, and it got me thinking about garden plans. Then it snowed again yesterday, so I put the plans to the back burner. But I took some pictures of the garden last fall, so I can make a list of what needs to be done. This is the first year that I've been retired, so I'll be able to (I hope) keep ahead of the weeds.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 08:49 AM

I pulled the dead leaves off the hyacinths nubbins the other day.

Does that count?

Also, I went to Home Depot and sentenced a palm tree to death. Once a houseplant comes to live with me, it doesn't have long on this earth, but I wanted it so much, and it might be happier here in its short life than it was at the store?

Dani


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:03 AM

Well, the P-Vine and I are slammed... Our chapetr of the Azalea Society of America is holding the national convention in NoVa the first weekend in May so we are busy with those details... 17 of us met yesterday to iron out stuff...

Plus, the P-Vine will be managing the garden center at the Page Co. Coop...

Needless to say, the next couple months will occupied in getting plants purchased form the various wholesalers...

We will be in N.C. on March 6 & 7 picking up stuff in a trailer from Plant Delights (Raleigh), Big Bloomers Flower Farm (Sanford) and Niche Gardens (Chapel Hill) and catch Pine Knot Farms in Clarksville, Va. on the way home...

As for our own gardens... Weather permitting I'm going to try to get a load of chicken litter down on the veggie garden before the "tiller man" makes his appearance... He has a 6 foot tiller on the back of his Ford tractor and tills everyone up in the spring... Our veggie garden is 90 feet by 40 feet and he casn till it in about 15 minutes...

We also have about 600 azaleas we have grown from cuttings and hope to get about jhald of them in this season and leave the rest in beds for future plantings....

Janie,

Do you still have Lenten Rose hellebore??? That plant will grow well in yer new environemnt... Ferns will, too... Pulmanaria should do well... Remember strawberry begonia... There's something very similar that is hardy and will grow and spread in the shade... Heck, it might even be starwberry begonia... And moss will be very happy if you have a source for getting it... We grab a handfull now and then and have it growing here and there...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:47 AM

My primroses/polyanthus are in bloom, the violets are showing new green, the buddliea has been denuded of the broken branches and I filled the bird feeders up. The new fence is still up and the birds are liking it. It's confused the hell out of the cats because it has an arched trellis top and they can't walk along it.

It's looking good on the bulb front, I can identify snowdrop, crocus, daffodil and hyacinth/bluebell, with a couple of early tulips that might not survive. Some of them may even flower this year, due to the major pruning the shrubbery got in December and the extra light that is letting in.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: paula t
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 10:39 AM

My garden is still covered by snow. It makes it look much more tidy!
I garden organically, so try to encourage the natural predators of garden pests. I therefore leave as much of the leaf litter etc on the soil as I can.I also leave the herbaceous plants alone in the Autumn. By this time of year I am gritting my teeth because it all looks so unkempt.
Whenever I am tempted to cut everything back to ground level and clear away the leaves , I look back to February a few years ago.The garden was looking neglected so I began to cut back the herbaceous plants and tidy the soil. I had been working for about 10 minutes when I disturbed a huge number of ladybirds nestling in the "rubbish" around the plants. Suitably ashamed at my impatience, I covered them back up again and put the tools back in the shed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 10:52 AM

Bobert, you will be driving right by Dani and I on your trip to three of the best nurseries ever was. Would love to offer a place to stay or to have you over for supper. PM if you are interested.

If you have time, you might think about contacting the Blue Bayou and to see if you might book yourself a gig there on the 6th. You would be a real hit.

The Hellebore is doing well and has several lovely, creamy white blooms that are nearly fully opened right now. I was very pleased and surprised to see it bloom so well. I dug it up last July to bring with me, and it is still in the pot. I potted up the azalea you brought me at the Getaway, and it is doing fine also.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 10:57 AM

Like Dani, I kill everything I plant usually with love. But I have a shamrock and a spider plant that have been resurrected numerous times. Poor shamrock died right back to the dirt when I forgot to water it. A liitle plane food and water and it is back - I have had it for about six years. A record.


Bobert,
Finances are tight and I would love to know how to grow azaleas from cuttings to fill out the bare spots. Any fairly simple advice?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: pdq
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 11:24 AM

A few years back I was remodeling an small Victorian house.

The "claw foot" bathtub was cute, but too small for me. Anyway, I love showers.

The damn tub was so heavy, three of us got it ouside and just past the patio when we took a break. The tub stayed right there for years.

I put a screen over the drain hole, placed a few rocks to hold down the screen, then filled the tub a little over halfway with a quality mix of sifted dirt and "mushroom compost", available as a byproduct of the mushroom industry.

I took a bag of "red potatoes" that had started to developed "eyes" and cut them out, dipping fresh-cut edges with Rootone. Planted them about 3 days later, perhaps an inch deep.

Grew the best potatoes I have ever had. Secrets are: good choice of potato variety, good drainage, regular wattering, fertile soil and the ability to raise the soil level when the potatoes start showing above it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM

I second the invite, Bobert! Do be our guests.

If you don't have time to get booked at the Bayou, at least make sure you're in town long enough for us all to catch a show there!

http://bluebayouclub.com/index.htm



Dani


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM

Janie and Dani,

I'll PM you with our itinerary when it finalized... We are meeting other people from our azalaea chapter so I'm probably not going to have much say in anything... Normal...

Sins,

Azaleas are fairly easy to propagate... You want to take new growth in July... All ya' have to do is snip off about 4 inches which, BTW can be accomplished withoout leaving any real evidence... Of course, they won't be in bloom so you have to make yer notes in May and June when they are in bloom as to whos azalea'd you like and ask permission to come back to get cuttings... It doesn't hurt the parent plant one bit...

Okay, don't let that cutting dry out... Put it in a baggie and store in the refrigerator up to a week if you don't have time to plant it immediately... Plant in 4" pots filled with potting soil and a little vermiculite...

How to plant: Take cutting and put them in water for a few minutes, remove the largest leaves on the stem leaving only two or three sets of leaves at the top... Now seperate what you think is the top set of two leaves and you'll find a tiny set of leaves which you pinch out... Cut the stem at an angle, dip it in root tone (with anti-fungicide) and plant it about an inch deep in moist but not wet potting soil... Now take what you have and put the pot with cutting in a baggie and close it and twist tie it...

If you have a room or garage where there is no heat, great... Buy a cheapie florescent light and put the cutting under the light... The light needs to stay on 24 hours a day... If you don't have such a space then leave them next to the north side of yer house in a protected area from deer and wind and varments... They will root in about 6 weeks and when you see new growth you can open the baggies and lightly water... Then in October they can be moved into a 6 inch pots which will need to be over wintered in some place that you can put a small portable heater that keeps them 40 degrees or better... Water every couple weeks as needed... Never over water... In the spring they are ready to go outside...

Most azaleas are hardy and if you get cutting off local azaleais then they will do fine....

From cutting to good sized plant is two to three years... Some of the cuttings will bloom in the pots... That's okay...

Any questions???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Maryrrf
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM

I have a garden patch that's 28 x 16. Yesterday I dug it all out and culitivated it, breaking up the dirt and getting it ready. Today I planted a row of English peas and assorted lettuce. It might be too early but the packets of seeds were only a few dollars - we'll see!


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:48 PM

Where do you live, Maryrrf??? Isn't it Richmond???


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Maryrrf
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 06:04 PM

Yes, Mechanicsville - a little east of Richmond. Do you think I should have waited a few weeks?


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM

Yeah...

There isn't quite enough heat in the ground fir those cold plants to get going but, hey, the seeds are cheap...

About April 1st for those...

But get an almanac for excat dates for planting becuase lunar cycles have alot to do with the the success of crops... BTW, theres a great nursey in Mechanicsville... It's called Sandy's and is on, ahhhh, Sandy's Lane... Not to far off 64...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 08:11 PM

I finished turning over the garden beside the back door, and hauled out the soaker hose I'll run through it. I plan to do some more contouring of the bed this year, and not plant things so close together. It made it too hard to move around and pick stuff. I have the luxury of enough space, other places to put beds (not like Bobert, but then, I don't know anyone else who gardens on the scale that Bobert does!)

Onion sets and some seeds go in this week. Beans, herbs, etc.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:16 PM

Yer in Texas, SRS, so you're way ahead of us folks back east... Actually, onion sets can go in here real soon but that's about it... But I'd cover 'um with a few inches of straw...

BTW, straw is the greatest mulch for the veggie garden... Little or no weeds and keeps the rain water where it belongs: In the soil... But if yer gonna mulch with it mulch at least 4 inches and better at 6 inches...

Man, gotta get some chicken litter (manuer) quick...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:21 AM

I usually buy the coastal hay in woven bags stuffed full. I paid for two today, but when they brought them out I sent one back, then got a refund. It wasn't full, it was puny, and they didn't have any others back there. I'll probably clear room in the garage for a bale and simply buy the larger, cheaper version next time. Heck, I've been taking the bags in every so often and just giving them back, but today he said how much they cost each ($1.09) and I could have gotten a couple of bales of hay for those bags. No more Ms nice guy! We'll trade! :)

I use coastal hay in the dogs' houses and enclosure in the garage. Every couple of months I clear it all out, sweep the area, then refill their houses with hay. And the hay that they trampled down goes into the garden as mulch. It may not last as long out there after the dogs have trampled and slept on it, but that's okay. I enjoy getting a couple of distinct uses out of it. And the dogs are soooo funny--when I put the new hay in their houses they just love to get in and curl up and roll around in it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:24 AM

Mary, I went ahead and seeded my pots with lettuce, kale, spinach and mesclun mix this weekend, (and onion sets in a long planter for green onions,) and know I am pushing the envelop a bit. But like you said, seeds are cheap, and there are more of them in the envelops!

I've never tried veggie container gardening before.    There is only me to feed, and every other week my son, so I don't need to produce much from a salad garden. I'll be curious to see how it goes.

Mid-February is when I usually have usually seeded most of what I seeded in pots this weekend, but it was always in a cold-frame or tunnels. Maybe I should cover the pots with seran wrap?


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM

Yes, the gardening book said "as soon as the soil can be worked" so I figured what the heck. Last year I put in the lettuce in mid March and it did fine. This year I'm keeping a record of what I plant and when, and I'll note down when and if it germinates, etc. I will probably buy the small tomato, squash and pepper plants and put them in around May 1st. That's what I did last year and it worked out. I don't really want to get into starting the seeds indoors and the plants aren't expensive in the nursery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM

Dear Janie,

Try this site : www.nsalg.org.uk.

NSALG is the (UK) National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd.

Regards, Bryn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: pdq
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 11:18 AM

In warmer areas of the US, the South through California, mid February is the last chance to prune fruit trees.

Immediatly after pruning, use a dormant spray that such as Kocide (copper-based) to stop peach leaf curl and other bacterial and fungal diseases.

Volk oil is also called a dormant spray, but it is used to kill (by suffocation) the eggs of aphids, scale insects and mites. It is organic, as far as environmental terms. It does not have any affect on peach leaf curl or other microbial dieseses


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 11:56 AM

It depends on what you're growing from seed. Each little lettuce they start for you adds up, but if you're buying something like a tomato or eggplant, you get a lot more fruit for the cost of the starter plant, that was my point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:13 PM

Last fall at Home Depot I bought two 1 gallon containers with several Swiss Chard each, I think they totalled $8. The contents were well over 12" tall, so were well established, and were much better looking than the bedding plants that my local nursery has ever offered. This delightful vegetable was being sold as "winter color" so they had some red, yellow, white, and green stems all in each pot. I put the contents of each pot in a different area of the yard; the chard out front is a little happier now but for most of the winter the bed near the kitchen door was doing best. I teased them apart and planted each color several inches from the next. They're so beautiful to cook with!

I've been eating chard all winter, putting it in soup, in quesadillas (shredded and steamed first and added to meat and or cheese). Tonight I ate it like spinach, steamed and served with some vinegar.

These plants will keep producing for at least two or three years, if treated right. And they will taste great. This is the kind of home growing and cooking that appeals to me!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:11 AM

SRS has brought up another thing that I have noticed... The big box stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes, buy alot of product from various nurseries and if ya' know yer plants you can and will find bargains at those stores... Especially as the various seasons wind down...

Exmaples:

Alaskian Pines- 16" plants, nice, $2.00 each at Lowes in December

Mount St Helens Native Azalea- $9.95 at Lowes in season!!! This is a $20-$25 plant anywhere else...

Arborvite- 5 foot plants $10 at Walmart the end of June...

So, my fellow gardeners, the deals are out there so don't be afraid of the box stores... Just be sure to replant those plants quickly and water them alot for the first year 'cause alot of them are grown in too much bark mulch...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: MMario
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:37 AM

Y'know - by the time spring hits my area I'm exhausted from reading what you southerners have been doing for months.

That's my new excuse for this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:46 AM

Thanks Bobert. Will the same procedure work for rhododendrons? My property is bare because every time I think I can buy plants, something else breaks. Free works for me.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:47 AM

How about peonies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM

Leo, this is a northerner amazed at the length of the growing season. But actually, it is a bifurcated season--March, April, May, maybe June, are okay, but then July and August are "keep it wet, try to shade it, cross your fingers it stays alive till fall" months. Growth resumes in September and October.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM

Trees are on 70% off sale right now. I'm going to get a couple of fruit trees, take all of the dirt off and plant them like bare-root trees. It's better for them, it turns out, than planting them in the dirt in their bucket and ending up with them root bound or planted too deep.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:21 PM

Rhodos are very tricky, Sins... I will have the P-Vine talk about how it is done tomorrow... She has choir prectitice tonight...

Peonies, to the best of my knowledge, cannot be grown from cuttings but can be divided at the root...

Well, we have just made a deal with a guy who we are lettin' take down some sickly locust trees for firewood to use his trailer to get us a load of chicken litter (manuer) so hopefully we'll have the veggie garden ready for the tiller man...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: GUEST,MarkS (on the road)
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:52 PM

Put in a garlic patch last fall and kept it under straw mulch all winter - the shoots are not starting to poke up.
Also - got a bunch of parts for the drip irrigator we used last year. It is sturdy but the header pipe will not stand up to being run over by the tiller.
Thinking about using a Garden Dragon (flame weeder) this year. Anybody have any experience with them?
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 07:34 PM

Yeah, Mark... Don't wear sandals... lol...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM

I have found the ultimate indestructible plant - hens and chickens. I got some in small pots from Maeve two years ago. This is their second winter on the back porch under several feet of snow and ice and still they not only live but grow. Go figure.

I bet when I finally plant them, they will die lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 01:19 AM

Azaleas and rhodys are ridiculously easy to grow--if you live in the Puget Sound area. They're native, or so close to native as to blend with the native varieties of things. Everywhere else, just duplicate the moist acid soil with good drainage and lots of rain of the Pacific Northwest. . .

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:49 AM

Yup...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:57 AM

Peonies can indeed be divided at the root to propagate, but don't expect flower in the first 12 - 18 months after this.

My experience with peonies is that they sulk, if moved or divided :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: maeve
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 08:24 AM

Mary, herbaceous peonies will thrive here in Maine with very little care. Soil preparation and sun exposure are important, and autumn is the preferred time to divide and transplant for our region. If any peonies you buy or are given have 4-5 eyes (the growing buds at ground level when dormant) they should bloom the next spring after fall planting. Fewer eyes simply means the plant will need time to grow before bloom is possible.

The main mistake people make in our region is to plant the "eyes" more than 1-2" deep, or they dump compost or manure over the eyes year after year; effectively burying the very part that needs to be near the surface. There are beautiful old peony varieties that have weak stems and flop their pretty blossoms into the mud the first time it rains. Other varieties are strong-stemmed and can withstand quite a bit of wind and rain.

Talk to me about what you want and I'll see if I can help. I also may have a lead on rhody starts. You will want to do a fair amount of soil preparation before you get any new shrubs.

maeve

maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 11:54 AM

My mother took peonies from her yard in Everett to her new yard in Seattle when she moved, it was a favorite variety of hers. And I have friends who have transplanted their rhododendrons and azaleas when they move, even writing it into the sales contracts. Some of those rhodies can get very large, like the size of a small house.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 08:38 PM

My parents planted a couple of catawba rhodies 20 + years ago against the back and side of the house. They are both now taller than the 2 story house and darn near as wide. In full bloom in late spring they are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

I've got the part shade and the acid soil they need, but all these oak trees suck up rain water as fast as it falls. Given our hot summers, I think they would require too much supplemental watering to thrive over time, and a non-thriving rhodie is a squirrelly thing to behold.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 08:51 PM

Down here in Texas everyone "waters the foundation," runs soaker hoses about 18 inches out from the house, to keep the slap from heaving or cracking in the really dry and hot season. I plant the things that need more continual watering around the foundation where they get that extra water. Some iris, some native hibiscus, and the cannas that I evicted from by the front porch. I put them in at the side of the house and they get enough sun and regular rain. They'll have been in that spot for almost a year now, so this year they should be spectacular. Last year they looked better than they ever had before. Since they weren't in my way I treated them with more respect. :)

I weeded today in an iris and daffodil bed I put in last fall. Mostly creeping Charlie (in the mint family) and a winter grass. Easy to pull. The daffodils are beginning to bloom, and the irises are putting on foliage.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:07 PM

Watering the foundation, interesting notion that I have never heard of! I wonder if it would be effective on non-slab-built houses with deeer foundations, or if it would take too much water? The house I bought had to have significant foundation work done before I purchased it, the result of the 3 year extreme drought that sort of ended this past summer. ( Happened with lots of houses that had stood 40 years or more with no problem. The water tables dropped so low, and the clay dried out so deep that pockets of space developed in the subsoil below foundations and houses settled, sometimes rather severely.

Daffodils are beginning to bloom here also. I'm noticing some tulips emerging. Doesn't look like there are a lot of bulbs that were planted on this property, but it is fun to discover what there is. Bradford Pear buds are swollen and turning the branches hazy green. There are some very early ornamental cherries blooming on UNC's campus. I expect frost will get them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Janie
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:08 PM

That would be "deeper" foundations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:55 PM

That's good--I wondered if you had a horrible plan for native ungulates in your area.   ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Beer
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:29 AM

I must remember to get my "grass" seeds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:32 AM

Sounds like raised beds and soaker hoses for you, Janie... That will do the trick... Also somewhat easier that having to dig...


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Subject: RE: BS: Gardening, 2009
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM

You know, Janie, despite the rhetoric to the contrary, trees aren't sacred. I grew up in logging country, I know. You could cut a couple down. Strategic logging.

SRS


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