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Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 19 (Getting Projects Done) May 11, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 05/11/2012 8:02:17 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde


Photobucket 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 #2:


Bed #3:


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 won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t 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!

TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: bees; garden; gardening; raisedbeds
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To: Aliska
Honeysuckle is as invasive as kudzu. And persistent.

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.

41 posted on 05/11/2012 4:19:23 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: bgill

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.

42 posted on 05/11/2012 4:50:56 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It's time to take out the trash in DC.)
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To: Darth Reardon

I use one of those to protect my corn and I really need 2...

43 posted on 05/11/2012 5:37:30 PM PDT by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: doubled; JustaDumbBlonde
I was warned once by an arborist about building up around the roots of trees with a flower bed. he said that it was not good for the tree as the roots as they grow are at the depth they are supposed to be and the raised dirt could harm the tree. We did end up losing the tree, but it was going when I did the flower bed.

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.

44 posted on 05/11/2012 5:39:20 PM PDT by fanfan (.
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To: Petruchio

Do you find kohlrabi easy to grow?
Does it need a lot of water?

45 posted on 05/11/2012 6:00:23 PM PDT by fanfan (.
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To: txhurl
I guess honeysuckle could be invasive depending on the variety although the winters here would tend to slow it down. Even with the mild winter not all my plants came back this spring.

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.

46 posted on 05/11/2012 6:18:31 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Nice shot of the bee larvae. What kind of camera do you use?

47 posted on 05/11/2012 6:38:14 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: fanfan

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.

48 posted on 05/11/2012 6:41:20 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: Petruchio

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...

49 posted on 05/11/2012 8:04:25 PM PDT by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: painter

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.

50 posted on 05/11/2012 8:44:04 PM PDT by StarFan
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To: Arrowhead1952

My cukes, squash, zukes and green beans have their section of garden fence. Easy to see and get to from both sides of the fence. I don’t know why I plant the peas along the fence since they always seem to want to tangle up within themselves. Peas aren’t as smart as other vegetables. ;) Next year, they may go out in the middle with some short chicken wire or something. I’ll have to think on those.

The tomatoes got an extra two feet this year. The rain knocked the their blooms off. With the enlarged garden area from tiny to small, everything is getting more space so we’ll see how that works.

51 posted on 05/11/2012 8:52:00 PM PDT by bgill
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To: tubebender

We planted 96 hills of potatoes yesterday.

Around here, we call that “the first row”.

Thanks again for the help about garlic; got it straightened out, and ‘seed’ ordered.

52 posted on 05/11/2012 9:01:02 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: tubebender

Mother used to peel & dice into 1/2 inch cubes, blanch for 1 minute, then freeze in 1 quart ziplock bags.

53 posted on 05/11/2012 9:02:52 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: bgill

I planted some cukes too close to the fence one year and the deer helped themselves. Ever since that, I use parts of driveway reinforcement about three feet tall as the fence for them. Re bar support now and then and they do really well.

54 posted on 05/12/2012 5:04:57 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It's time to take out the trash in DC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
" What kind of camera do you use?"

Just a small digital. It's a Canon Power Shot DS990IS Digital Elph.

55 posted on 05/12/2012 10:52:31 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: illiac
"corn starts not looking good at this point"

Might not be bad though. Corn will usually grow out of a bite of frost. I'll cross my fingers for you too.

56 posted on 05/12/2012 10:57:31 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: FreedomPoster

Thank you!

57 posted on 05/12/2012 10:58:28 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
Thanks for the kind words on my projects. I don't know what was wrong with my brain when I did the flower beds. As I was putting the landscaping fabric on my raised bed, I slapped myself on the forehead for not having done it for the flowers. When I change the seasonal flowers, I'll probably put the fabric down then. Working around the azaleas won't be that difficult.

We've received another 1+ inches of rain, unfortunately in a slow soaker. It is way beyond wet here.

How's your garden coming along?

58 posted on 05/12/2012 11:01:48 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: tubebender
You and your son have birthdays very close to each other? Happy Birthday wishes to you and the younger Bender.

The 5 blueberry bushes that I set out a few weeks ago are growing very well, and the birds got all of the berries except a couple that I ate. My raspberries have 5' long shoots and are very happy.

Think I'll take it easier this coming week and maybe get in some fishing.

59 posted on 05/12/2012 11:07:08 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Three hydrangeas planted and another bed mulched. Slow and steady. ;)

My Nikko blue hydrangeas are often less than true deep blue. I read that putting 3-4 pennies at the base will deepen the color, anyone tried this?

60 posted on 05/12/2012 11:08:11 AM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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