Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 19 (Getting Projects Done) May 11, 2012
Posted on 05/11/2012 8:02:17 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
Good morning FRiends and fellow gardeners!! Here's wishing all mothers and grandmothers a very joyous and beautiful Mother's Day. We rock!
It has been a very busy couple of weeks in my yard. Lots of projects going on and I was able to finish a few of them in between serious dumpings of rain. My rain gauge has registered just over 4" since Monday. We have a 50% chance of more by the first part of next week. Need to be harvesting wheat, but can't really be upset with the rain after the drought we experienced last year.
A look at the radar this morning shows blessed rain falling in Texas. I hope that everybody that needs some rain is receiving it.
The main project I've worked on for 2 weeks is placing flower beds around 4 of the 7 old oaks in my front yard, utilizing reclaimed railroad ties. Each bed contains 10 azaleas, with some assorted colorful plants added to offer something appealing until the azaleas grow and bloom next Spring.
I don't know what it is, but RR ties look HUGE when they are being loaded on your trailer, but when you dump them out next to a big oak, all of a sudden they look as small as a landscape timber. It took 2 men to move these things around. Step one: dump 8 of them by each tree.
Next, we layed-out the first bed in the basic configuration I had been pondering in my head, and figured out how we wanted to cut them. Note: the creosote in RR ties totally ruins the chain on a chainsaw. Be prepared to sharpen the teeth every 6-8 ties, and replace the whole chain when you're done.
After settling on the joints we would use, the ties were cut. Really happy with how the joints turned out. We have drilled 2 holes in each of the long sides and hammered a piece of rebar through the tie and about 18" into the ground. The secured ties hold the angled pieces in with the joint.
I purchased 30 yards of soil from a friend and he delivered it right to the front yard. He dug from an area where he fed his cows for a decade or more, and the soil is rich with decayed hay and composted poo. Very loamy and absolutely gorgeous. Everything I planted should do very well.
The four bundles of azaleas that I ordered from my very favorite nursery in Georgia. They had their patented (named) azaleas on clearance for $3 each, so I got 10 per tree. Each bundle is a different color. The colors were Lady Mildred which is purple, Peppermint which is a pink/white stripe, a red and a hot pink, neither of which names I can recall right now. The nursery takes them out of the pots and packs the roots with moisture-retaining gel. Then they ship them to me via UPS. They experienced some transplant shock when I put them in the beds, but the stems are still very much alive and green, so I have every confidence that they will recover nicely. If not, they are guaranteed and I'll get replacements when they resume shipping again in the Fall.
Bed #1 when we got finished with it:
Bed #4 doesn't have any accent flowers yet ... I ran out and haven't had a chance to buy any yet.
With some soil left over from the flower beds, I moved on to my raised garden bed where I grow my lettuces and other salad makings. When I originally built this 8' x 16' bed, I filled it with potting soil, which turned out to be a poor choice. I put 100 feet of soaker hose down before I added the new soil:
Added the soil and got it spread out nicely:
Then I covered the soil with commercial grade landscape fabric, utilizing an old framing square to tuck in 4" on all sides.
Got the bed finished just in time for a thunderstorm! The tucked edges, along with 5 landscape pins down the middle, kept the fabric nicely in place.
Some of my geese, very much enjoying playing in the rain:
Finally, I took this photo when I had one of my bee hives torn apart. This frame shows nurse bees tending everything from eggs (lower right corner area) to larvae ready to be capped until the baby bees form and emerge.
Looking forward to hearing about your week in the yard and garden! Please check in and let everyone know what you've been up to. Photos are always appreciated and enjoyed!
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
Previous weeks' threads:
Weekly Gardening Thread (Catalog Fever) Vol. 1 Jan 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Seeds) Vol. 2, January 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 3, January 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (U.S. Hardiness Zones) Supplemental Vol. 1
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Types) Vol. 4, January 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 5, February 03, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation) Vol. 6, February 10, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Vacation?) Vol. 7, February 17, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Home Sweet Home) Vol. 8, February 24, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Structure Part 1) Vol. 9, March 2, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Transplanting Tomatoes) Vol. 10, March 9, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Useful Links) Vol. 11, March 16, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 12, March 23, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 13, March 31, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread (Happy Easter!) Vol. 14, April 6, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 15, April 13, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 16, April 20, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 17, April 27, 2012
Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 18, May 4, 2012
first post? Good morning.
Detailed State Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
|Alabama||District of Columbia
||Kentucky||Montana||Ohio||Texas ( East )|
|Alaska||Florida||Louisiana||Nebraska||Oklahoma||Texas ( West )|
|California ( Northern )
||Idaho||Massachusetts||New Jersey||Puerto Rico||Virginia
|California ( Southern )||Illinois||Michigan||New Mexico||Rhode Island||Washington|
|Colorado||Indiana||Minnesota||New York||South Carolina
|Connecticut||Iowa||Mississippi||North Carolina||South Dakota||Wisconsin|
Wow, how do you do that??? Good morning!
We had frost last night and expect some more tonight - waiting to get he garden in ....corn starts not looking good at this point, although Saturday the nights are to get much warmer, as are the days. Latest frost for our area that I can remember for a long time....keeping out fingers crossed.....
Great pics again, nice project.
Your projects are always interesting and done to perfection. Not much happening here in NE Texas. We have had a few of those rain showers you mention but today’s rain is slipping to the south of us and it looks like it might do the same in your area, at least for this morning.
Your photos leave me week in the knees just looking at the work you do!!! I have a Doc appointment this morning and then back out in the yard after lunch with our son on his birthday...
JDB how much soil can you put on the tree roots before it is bad for the tree? I have some trees that the roots are working out of the ground and I want to protect them. I am worried that too much could harm the trees though.
Its nice the way you planted tree rings, they are so attractive.
Our garden is going great with a squash ready to pick and a hot pepper about ready too. Maters are small but growing.
Oh, and we got the usual volunteer pumpkin vines coming up in the compost heap. I generally let them come on. I'm already starting to clear lettuce rows to make room for tomato and pepper plants.
Good morning! Love those tree beds
I'm no expert, but shouldn't roots be covered with soil?
I've been covering the gradually exposing roots from the willow tree in my yard with some compost rich blended soil and it seems to like it. Plus, it protects the roots from the mower.
WOW! That’s a LOT of WORK! :-)
Has anyone else heard about this?
I love planting season!
The weather is perfect and supposed to stay that way this weekend and the last frost should be gone so I'm getting ready to get everything planted.
It's amazing what happens when you ignore some plants. My spinach that survived the winter is doing great. In fact we have leaves that are about 8” long (no kidding), plus lots of little fresh ones.
I'm going to be transplanting some strawberry plants as well. Does somebody know if there is anything I should do to the soil first? I thought I had heard they like acidic soil, is this correct?
I’m a huge caladium fan, too. It is my favorite bedding plant and the most beautiful, to me, are the huge white ones.
Any ideas on how to keep them out?
Yep, what I’ve read on strawberries says well-drained acidic soil. They don’t like wet feet. I just put pine straw around them....hopefully that’ll work but I’ve heard conflicting info on that.
I have a handful of strawberries turning red already. VERY excited about that! Glad I got some new varieties last year to extend my harvest season.
Central Texas got just over 2” of much needed rain yesterday evening. I hope the lakes come up enough to get off watering restrictions.
Garden is doing great. Tomatoes are close to ripe and cucumbers are growing really well.
That explains why they love old coffee grounds so much. Not only does it keep the bugs away, it helps the soil for them.
I'm not sure if they are any physical obstacles that would stop a raccoon. I know they put chicken wire around the base of trees in some of the parks along the Boise river to keep the Beavers form getting to them. You might try something like that. Might try electrifying it, if it were me; but I am only talking off my hat here so by all means defer to the experts.
Our front yard(and rear) are heavily shaded, so caladiums are on target for adding color to our flower beds. We are going to start them in containers from now on thanks to Mr. Squirrel.
I'm also slowly getting my bareroot trees planted. I have them packed in damp shredded newspaper while they wait their turns. I want to baby my trees without messing up my back and shoulder again, so I'm limiting my planting to 2 trees per trip. That way I can carry the soil supplements for each tree, and take the time to dig a nice roomy hole.
I brought a friend along on my last trip out to my land. He's a photographer, so he spent most of his time glued to the viewfinder. I was thinking of investigating that grave on my land, but wanted someone along because it's just too creepy. He took one look at it and decided he really didn't want to know what was at the bottom! I guess I'll have to work up the nerve to do it myself. After I'm done planting trees, though.
My strawberries are covered in little green berries now, and my raspberries have blossoms on them. On the land, my pea shrub has very pretty flowers on it again, but it won't have a pollinator so I won't know what the peas are like until hopefully next year. When I planted it I didn't realize I needed two, but this year I've planted a second one nearby, so that’ll fix that. I like the idea of a perennial protein source.
Mom's irises are blooming, I love that smell!!!
We’ve had a week of lovely weather here in Central Missouri. All of my herb starts have been potted and placed in the garden. Dug some oregano and transplanted it in Mom’s garden. All of the peppers have been transplanted to the garden. Seeded ~75’ row of okra. Still need to plant cucumbers, squash and cantelope which will complete the spring phase of edible plantings for me. Dug through the bucket of giant elephant ear corms and set out ~20 of the nicest ones. I started out with three that were purchased at wallymarts in the spring of ‘09, now have more than I have room to put out.
AH - The rain has indeed been wonderful in Central TX. Lake Travis is still below half full and Buchanan is right at the halfway mark. Have you checked out the TX Forestry wildfire risk map? Of course, I’ve got some spots of the dark red highest risk back in the hills near us. It’s scary and will be for several years what with all the dead cedars.
The garden here is doing fine. The rain knocked off the tomato blooms but the squashes and cuke blooms are lovely to look at and are producing. Been picking green beans, peas, mustard, salad greens, asparagus, salad greens and onions for the table. The deer have been snacking on the corn and sunflowers and all the pecans those bushy-tailed rodents have planted are popping up. Still pulling weeds, haven’t finished the round of the garden and the weeds are already up again where I started.
JDB - I always look forward to your pictures. Such a lovely place you have. Happy Mother’s Day to you and all the FR moms!
texas_mrs - I’m with you one my favorite caladiums being the white ones. Most of the new ones I planted came up white so I’m all happy!
Oh, the peppers are coming on, too. Picked a few banana peppers for supper tonight.
Starting about 2005 I took up gardening again and started planting flowers and had to dig big holes for the roses which is fortunate because my back will only allow no more than half hour of light weeding now although I can still dig a couple of those big nasty dandelions that get in the beds with a shovel.
The first photo is the view from my kitchen breakfast room window this spring which is glorious due to our mild winter. I'm slowly trying to weed and maintain the long strip but you can't see too many flaws in the photo. The huge dark pink rose I scouted around town for cuttings and rooted two, that's one. Way in the back by the alley is a different pink I rooted which I hope will eventually spill even more over the terrace. There's two more in the back yard I rooted you can't see. The others I purchased.
Second photo is Crown Princess Margareta (sp?), a David Austin own root rose. I got six bare root plants from Jackson Perkins and was it a job to space and plant them. I let them do what they want, and the first flush this spring is spectacular. I still need to clear dead stuff from last year out of that long strip which doesn't look quite as long as it is in the photo.
The purple in the bottom left corner is Baptisia "Purple Smoke". I get a lot of plants from Bluestone Perennials because they usually ship healthy plants in very small pots which make it easier to dig. They take off in no time but some take up to 3 years to get established to make a pretty showing.
I don't do veggies and the only edibles I have are the cherries (lost the mate to that little tree when a huge limb came down) and some black raspberries I grew from seed in an exchange I wintersowed. Five of those plants survived and are thriving around my compost heap but no signs of blossoms yet.
I had that problem last year - this year I’m going to cover the tree with netting.
It’s been a beautiful day here in NC. We spent the day pruning Lady Banks roses and taming the jasmine and honeysuckle that are running wild.
We are trying to grow tomatoes in plastic tub as someone here recommended a year or two ago. I saved the directions and decided this year to try it.
We are also putting in 10 new hydrangeas along the front fence. Still have 3 to go.
I have a brick patio that needs weeded (we really should put garden cloth under the brick) as well as some beds that need weeded and mulch that needs spread.
My herb garden got out of control a couple years ago when my mother was ill. Last year it seemed so overwhelming I just ignored it. This year I think we will just dig it out and start over. :(
I could use a full time garden helper. lol
I have one of those! It works so well for cats, also keeps the UPS guy in line too. ;)
Today was he first day the soil in my raised beds was dry enough to work.
Tomorrow I plan to finish the other 4 raised beds.
I've got some trellises that need assembling and plenty of things that are hardy here. One rose I set out 2 years ago is a vigorous climber and is going to be too much for me. That monster rose in my photo only blooms in the spring and I've been thinking of getting rid of it, don't know.
I was going to get rid of the 6 apricot roses like that one photo because I'm tired of having my hands and arms (and clothes) torn up trying to weed around and through them but they're so beautiful and rebloom all summer I will try to put up with it.
It won't be happy out there once the Jap beetles emerge but I don't waste too much energy on them. I hope my cherries are good and can get them frozen before they come. This is year 3 for that little tree and I need to untie and pull out that stake.
That passionvine sure is pretty though, I must say. I'd settle for a honeysuckle if I could find some like a couple I've seen around town that tells me they are hardy. Only problem is some are invasive or hard to keep in bounds.
trap and .22
Those apricot roses are stunning, maybe you should just move them.. you could in theory create a hedge in a corner somewhere if you combine the rose with, say, a large wisteria and and hydrangea? They look weird at first but once trimmed into a hedge are an interesting conversation object.
I decided to put my cucumbers on wire fencing again this year. I did that a couple of years ago and we had no problem finding them when they were ripe. They have a tendency to creep into the tomato area and are hard to find in all the green leaves.
I use one of those to protect my corn and I really need 2...
Has anyone else heard about this?
Yes, I've been told the same thing.
I think it relates to the age of the tree VS the depth of soil added. JDB’s oaks are so big that 8-12” of soil is nothing. Do the same thing to a 10 year old oak, and it might be a problem.
Do you find kohlrabi easy to grow?
Does it need a lot of water?
As to moving the roses, I've given it a lot of thought but I'd have to pay somebody to do it and there's no place left that would hold 6 that would be prettier than where they are. I like them with the iris blooming at the same time. The front is pretty much full, too.
I wanted to tier that terrace (I took the 2nd photo from down below) with large blocks of limestone but to go to that trouble and expense, I might not be able to keep it all going so decided to leave the terrace alone so it gets mowed.
Those are hydrangeas and gorgeous. They grow here. It looks like they've fertilized to change the ph of the soil at intervals to get the two colors. Gorgeous! I got just one last year but gave it to my son, and he probably didn't bother to plant it.
There's more stuff in there that should bloom later but the mowers with the weed whacker have ruined a lot of it before I saw what they were doing and tried to mark it off.
I've heard that kudzu is awful, glad we don't have it here. Maybe they can make biofuel with the stuff. Don't know why not. Ought to be good for something.
Nice shot of the bee larvae. What kind of camera do you use?
I’m not sure. Mother used to grow them years ago. She passed a few years ago so I can’t ask her. I just remember I liked them steamed then put in a cream sauce.
The things I am planting are things I either do not see in the store, or they are too dang expensive in the store.
Kohlrabi is great steamed plus I like to just eat it out of hand in the garden. I just planted 72 starts of it this afternoon, now we need to find a way to preserve it. We planted 96 hills of potatoes yesterday... Red Gold, Yukon Gold and a new one called Purple Haze. Another week and I pull the Chinese Early Red Garlic and the little Vietnam garlic...
My husband tried putting a piece of metal around the bark making it too slippery for racoons as well as squirrels to climb up. We also have two fake snakes near the base to scare off the birds which feed wildly on them. Worth a try.