Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread Vol. 18, May 4, 2012
Posted on 05/04/2012 7:31:41 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
Good morning FRiends and fellow gardeners! I really enjoyed all of you that participated in last week's thread. I've been so busy that I didn't have time to respond to each and every comment, but I think about what y'all write and the photos that you post while I'm out working on my own projects. You truly inspire me!
Looking forward to reading your updates this week. We welcomed 2 new members to the ping list last week, bringing us to 525 members. That is fantastic, and we are on track to add 100 members this year.
In my own little patch of earth, I've worked on many projects this past week and I did take plenty of photos along the way. If I get a chance I'll share some later on this evening, but if I don't, I'll post them all as next week's thread. My mind is reeling going from one thing to another and it would be easier to tell you what doesn't hurt on my body. It is all very rewarding though, as I'm sure y'all understand.
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!
Some are in half-gallon, some are in one-gallon. Two days without rain earlier in the week and they were starting to wilt.
#!^_&_$^(*%@!!! SNAKES!!! I hate snakes!! I was driving in and saw two making whoopie out in the road in front of the house. BIG ones!!! I ran over them but when I went to reverse on them, they were gone. I drove around looking for them and hubby came out to look and we couldn’t find them. Ugh, we’ve already had two - a little one dead in the garden and hubby took care of a big on on the porch a about three weeks ago. FYI, I don’t know what part of TX you’re in but the evening news out of Austin a few days ago had a segment on snakes and said we’d have a lot of them this summer because of the heat last summer (don’t know how that relates but whatever) and they were already getting more reports. Ugh, I just know they and their offspring will be camping out at my front door any day.
Y’all, be careful in the garden.
Lilacs need full sun to bloom happily. Are yours getting plenty of sunlight?
Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll look for them at the library. We certainly need all the help we can get. I look forward to the future when we can look back, laugh at ourselves, and help others. :0)
This was in the chickencoop.
You don't know how envious I am. My mango tree has been about 3ft tall for the last 2 years. It also dropped a lot of it's leaves.
Yes, I knew that. One year long ago I was walking through one of our cotton fields and noticed how the leaves were similar and the flowers were almost identical, but cotton flowers were smaller. That's when I started reading about the african origins of each.
If anyone wants to grow a few cotton plants as ornamentals, let me know and I'll mail you some seeds. Makes a very pretty plant. Areas where the temps cool off at night will provide a particularly good home.
I will do just that. My neighbor’s Lilac (right next door) doesn’t bloom either. A close friend who lives two streets away... no luck on hers. I keep thinking alone your lines... it is something in the soil (especially since the one use to bloom). Something has changed... the soil test may tell me what. Thanks!
Good article. Thank you, Mike. It is getting 5 hours of sun. We don’t really fertilize the soil; however, our next door neighbors dump everything you can purchase at Home Depot on their yard (grub control, seed, weed and feed, etc...) I am beginning to think there may be run-off of sorts. Thanks, Mom
This bush is probably about 12 years old. My newer Lilacs are between 2-8 years old. I drove around the neighborhood today and saw that no one’s Lilac has a bloom. All are placed in different locations (North, South, East, West) and all vary according to species. I did read online that Lilacs do best in a yard NOT well kept (meaning no fertilizer etc). My neighborhood has lots of folks with a yard without one weed. I’m beginning to think this may be the culprit. Thanks, AFTR!
Pro-Mix, workbench light, and you’re good to go...
What is sort of amusing to me if that Lilacs are suppose to be “easy” (compared to Tea Roses and such). Almost everyone you know had a Grammy that had a spectacular one in their yard.. filling the air with the most heavenly scent. I did read they like acidic soil (thus the one online recommendation of Epsom Salts). I now remember one woman I knew use to “mulch” hers in pine needles (thus the acid). Thanks, WWH!
Mama Bear... see Miss Magnolia’s info. An older plant is identified at 10+ years... so you prune 20%. He shows you how.... very interesting and great info. Seems you trim the entire plant from the bottom (the wood) and not the stems. Thanks, MM!
I prune the oldest third from my lilacs every year and they bloom just fine. I cut out the thickest and oldest parts.
My nextdoor neighbor’s lilacs have never been pruned and they don’t bloom well at all. Hers are about 15 feet tall.
We have the same variety and neither of us fertilizes them.
Yikes, you could have put up a warning!
What KIND of snakes? They can be your garden’s best friend, right up there with frogs & toads.
As long as they aren’t rattlers, copperheads, or moccasins, they are great mouse, vole, and bunny eating machines.
I’m slowly getting my trees planted. I don’t have much stamina due to health issues, so I’ve been limiting myself to 2 trees per trip, that way I don’t hurt myself trying to do too much in a day, and I can kind of baby the trees as I plant them instead of just trying to get the job done as fast as I can.
My strawberries came through the cold snap, blossoms and all, and the baby strawberries are starting to get bigger. We’re going to have more berries than we can pick again this year. I might have to invite friends over to help!
Had an unpleasant surprize on one of my trips out to the land. I’d decided to check out the spot I was planning to put the root cellar, and found that someone else thought that was a good place to dig, too, but for a different reason. It looked for all the world like a grave. So much so, that I had the county sheriff send somebody to check it out. They think it was just someone’s weird idea of a prank, but said if I decide to go ahead and dig my cellar there and find anything “interesting” I should call them back. They were nice and respectful the whole time, not like some of the cops who’ve been in the news lately. That was good. The county were my land is doesn’t have a big city anywhere, just a few small towns. Maybe that’s the difference.
That looks like the guy (bull sssnake) that I caught & releasssed in the garden about 3 times last year, before it got the messssssage.
It was crawling up the side of the house, assisted by phone & dish wires, to raid a bluebird nest under the eaves.
Around central Georgia. Argentina Sugar ants are an effective means of control for fire ants. Course they bring their own sets of issues.
Huge, Huge ant colonies and they actively farm Aphids. But no nasty bite.
Lady Bender finished spading the potato patch while I spread compost on a fallow bed we will be planting this year. I’ll be 79 in a few days and I feel 89 but I get a little done each day the weather lets me. We are a few weeks late with a couple of things but right on time with others. Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries are looking great and we are digging and using the little Vietnam Garlic as we need it. The Chinese Early will be a couple of weeks more if the bulbs don’t rot from the rains...
Did y’all know there is a Okra Texas?
I am going to start collecting some leaves this weekend and put them near the bottom. Thanks, WWHO! Years ago, I planted a yellow Lilac. I had always wanted a yellow Lilac. I had to wait six years before the plant was big enough to actually bloom. Bloom it did... for one year... one stupid purple Lilac. One! The next year, the stupid thing stopped blooming completely. (I am beginning to think someone up above doesn’t want me to have Lilacs. LOL!)
Somebody’s lilacs are doing well. In New Glarus there’s a lilac bush that’s just thick with blossoms! I see it driving to and from my land.
Here's a bloom from the one bush we have that is old enough to bloom - we have three very young ones just planted this spring that we are looking forward to seeing in future years.
How much bloom would you have if someone you love kept calling you “stupid”?
Remember: fertilizer will never cure stupid. Tons of it are trucked out from the government everyday and Obama is still stupid.
I live on a rock pile containing alkaline clay. Our creek is named Saluda, meaning salt. Even the rocks wither and die, but I keep trying to grow things the wind doesn’t blow away.
Happy gardening! LOL!!
My cat ate all of my seedlings indoors.
A bunny ate 90% of our snow peas and sugar snap peas growing out in the garden.
I give up.
Picked beans today and the tomatoes have lots of flowers! Corn is nearly tasseled. Got the cucumbers in late but they are finally flowering. Dry as a cork here tho. With my situation I have to water every day.
I use Mer-Acid on my Blueberries...
When I was young the fire ants were moving across the coastal plain. When the ants were up in the mounds, Dad and I would each get a shovel, dig out a big scoop and put it on the other mound.
Then you knocked the remaining ants off the shovel.
Enough of the invading ants made it to kill the queen and the mounds died.
Now it appears the crazy ants are wiping out the fire ants.
No bunnies, voles, or mice around here so don’t need them for that. I don’t bother checking for rattles but the odds would be in favor of any snake out here on a Texas river that it’s going to be a rattler, copperhead or water moccasin.
Dangit, Miss Magnolia. Do you think Jim could add some sort of scratch n’ sniff to FR?!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Cut a blossom and put it next to your bed... I promise you that you will drift off to sleep and awake with the sweetest perfume! (I am so jealous right now that I am green. LOL!)
Our next door neighbor waited for the so called YELLOW Lilac to bloom. Waited with me for years. We finally saw the small buds and just knew this would be the year. I went outside and just stood there... He came outside and said, “Uh.... you know what, I think it is a pale purple and maybe it will turn to yellow”. I won’t tell you the next few lines out of my mouth for fear of being banned. LOL! So, yes... I probably did hurt the Lilac’s sensitive feelings and sensibilities with my crass comments. Your alkaline clay is certainly a challenge to you... is there any sort of “regional” plant that does well or do you just go with pots?
I was told not to trim the old flowers off lilacs, because I might cut off next year’s flower buds which had formed over the summer.
Any parts you cut back hard won’t flower for at least two years, if then.
I’m in eastern Ontario, and I have noticed my Lilac is bereft of flowers, except on the top this year. Maybe they need a colder winter?
is there any sort of regional plant that does well or do you just go with pots?
Tumble weed thrives.
It’s real funny, we have an amazing variety of wild flowers, but they all miniature! We have to keep our eyes on the ground!
I have a raised garden. It’s only about 3 years old. This is the first year I’m having some success with potatoes, mixed lettuce, spinach, tomatoes looking pretty good, eggplant greening up.
The garden is approx 10x20, so it’s a few of these and those. Just my husband and I, and tons of work projects on our house and stuff....Keeping it simple for now.
But, in that small area I’ve added light soil, grass clippings I brought with me, a bale of alfalfa, manure from neighboring ranch, all my kitchen garbage, potting soil, ashes, etc., etc., chemical warfare... Pack rat traps.
Windbreak all around of old pallets and wire screen for the rodents.
It’s an incredible amount of work...but my Mexican petunias which are an invasive water plant from Florida are going crazy! Go figure!
We are in the 2nd year of an extreme drought.
But, I love a challenge, don’t you?!!!
Don't despair, you'll get better at it.
You were right about the light....you are trying to copy nature, so 24 hours of light is too much. Plants need to rest too.
When grown from seed, plants need to be “hardened off”, just as you described. Outside for an hour or two in the shade the first day or two, then two to six hours for a few days, then 4 hours in a mix of sun/shade, for three to four days. And don't listen to me about the timing, watch the plants. If it's too windy you won't leave them out for as long, as they will dry out fast, and possibly stress themselves.
The idea is to allow the plant to ‘learn’ how to deal with changing weather and wind slowly.
It sounds like you're doing OK with the peppers and tomatoes. Good.
Any plants you have growing in a sunny window need to be rotated every day. 180 degrees.
The best part about starting from seed, is that if you want 6 plants, it doesn't cost much to start 18 seeds, and then only plant the strongest survivors.
The plants want to live even more than you want them to. IOW, they are going to try to live regardless of what you do. So keep trying.
Gardening challenges can be fun IF you look at any sort of small success as a good thing. Okay, tumble weeds. Martha Stewart would glue small, silk flowers into the tumble weed to make them a “good thing”. LOL! At Christmas, she would use small, white lights in them to create a warm, holiday feel. LOL! You are doing so well with your garden. Good luck!
Maybe try planting the seeds outdoors this year instead of trying to start them indoors? If the danger of frost has passed, of course.
I am not going to panic you, bgill. But, my cousin in law lived in Cumberland and they had snakes (poisonous and not poisonous). Long story short, he ran over one and it wasn’t on the road. Later, he went to check his oil and a poisonous snake was curled up on the engine (somewhere on it where it wasn’t hot). I just wanted to pass this story on. According to him, he felt the tire somehow flipped the snake up and under the car and it made its way to the engine.
Walking around under my oak trees is not the same experience that it used to be.
That’s the first snake I’ve seen that looked like it needed a chiropractor.
I wish I could give you some positive info on your asparagus, but I don’t know a darn thing about it. Hopefully somebody here will share some info, or you might call your local extension office to see if you need to be worried. I’m guessing not ... we gardeners worry too much! :)
LOL! He stayed pretty kinked-up until he reached the first branch, which is about 20-25 ft. That trunk is straight up and it was kinda cool to watch him negotiate his path.
Thank you for those decorating tips!!!! Will Christmas never come?
Tender young tumble weed was included in the diet of Indians, and wandering souls out here. Real tasty with a delicate Hollindase sauce...so I’ve heard!
Funny that you mention the front porch ... I was potting some plants and putting them on the front porch today and I thought about you. :)
Looks like a brown rat snake.
That is true about lilacs blooming on old wood. That is why I said to trim an old bush half way down and wait for 2 years for new blooms. If we couldn’t cut the flowers for bouquets we could never use them in flower arrangements! And that is why you wait until after the bush blooms this year.
My lilacs are now about 18 feet tall and barely have any flowers any more.
BTW, I have 2 new bushes that I got from the Arbor Day Foundation. I planted them as 12” tall sticks 2 years ago and they are now 8 ft. tall and blooming for the first time. But, they’ll have to be pruned in order to shape them into a bush. Rght now, they are just these tall, spindly things. I planted them in the perimeter of my veggie garden for “storage” because I didn’t know where I wanted to put them forever. Got to make a decision soon.
I use my front porch (verandah?) as my potting bench. There’s water nearby, it’s sunny (sometimes too sunny) and I can keep a close watch on what’s happening out there through the big windows in the front. The driveway is right there too for bringing in potting soil, pots, etc. Handy.
Sometimes it gets messy, but I can’t ignore it. LOL.
our lilac is pretty well shaded, never pruned(can you say neglected) and is decreasing in blooms also. I hope this summer to make some progress in pruning many things & doing things I haven’t had time for in the past. Last summer I was on the go/road most of time (more neglect). When I was home, it was just a quick mow & off again.
Mom(her house) while she was living watched out windows & told me continually NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING.. she would handle it when she got better. It was not worth the hassle & I did not do a thing in back where she could see. Now in the front.. aha.. planted my English gardens, put in my driftwood & rocks from around the USA
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