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The 2019 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

eisman

Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
5,949
Since we're into a new year I figure it's time to start a new thread. Here in the Pacific Northwest it's been fairly mild, although we had a heck of a windstorm come thru last week. I ended up with 30' of fence down and the neighbors carport in my yard. The fence was part of that which I had not replaced in the last 5 years (since I moved in) and was due. I think I'm more upset by the fact I'd just a week prior took a day and picked up all the leaves, and now I have a new set from somewhere else...

But it's foggy here today, even now at 1pm. So instead of messing around outside I've been getting ready for spring. I built three new Mason bee nests from some scrap lumber. that should be enough for 300 bees, which I don't have. But I do have a fair number, and I'm taking half down to a friends place. She and her husband have 10 acres with numerous fruit trees and they also have honey bees. But the Mason's are early bees and they are great pollinators for fruit trees so I hope to help out their orchard.

pBFOFhh.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2016
Messages
663
It's too wet to do much of anything here in NW Tennessee. My hellebores look to be ready to bloom soon. Won't be long before the garden season takes off. I have some new areas I want to take back and make beds, and one area I may let go back to the wild this year.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
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90
I’m going to keep my eye posted on this thread. Always wanted a garden but simply don’t have the space to do it. Interested in what you fellers can conjure up.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
19,385
It's too wet to do much of anything here in NW Tennessee. My hellebores look to be ready to bloom soon. Won't be long before the garden season takes off. I have some new areas I want to take back and make beds, and one area I may let go back to the wild this year.
My Hellbore is also getting ready to bloom. It is one of the first things to bloom here in the late winter. Looking forward to another year of gardening. My brocoli plants are still growing form last fall and forming heads now. If we don't have a really cold stretch, I will probably have some for the table soon.

Still too early to see any daffodils or tulips poking out of the ground.

Sig96, You can do fairly well with large containers for growing things like tomatoes and peppers as well as other stuff that you might be interested in. Don't skimp on container size is my main suggestion.

Added: I have four Amaryllis blooming now. Two are new bulbs and varieties I got for "Christmas", so no big surprise on the blooms on them. Have maybe 6 to 8 other ones that are sending up bloom shoots. These are all old bulbs and I'm pleased. I guess I treated them right this past fall in terms of getting rid of yellowing leaves before frost to the point that there were only a few green leaves left on a few. I gave them about a month or so of "rest" and they are taking off now.

Any of you folks have cats? A new thing for me is growing cat grass which is mostly a blend of wheat and oats. The cats really are gnawing on the green growth for vitamins (so I read). Will probably start another container of grass in the next week for a second batch.
 
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taldesta

Retired :-) Time is the Gold
Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,779
Back at the Bracebridge library - shush.

Just a few seconds of Busby's English ivy bath routine. This is an ignored plant in his world until it is refreshed under the tap at which time it becomes the bath tub. You will see the lengths of effort he goes to in order to clean his beak by scraping it on the tough leaves over and over - this is not for food.


Another few seconds where he is squeaking his happiness. I made an opening for the camera and it is difficult to keep him from investigating the lens close up :D


Energetic grooming after daily bath. This is one high energy bird - every speck interests him. Notice how he uses his claws to groom head ad neck where beak cannot reach.


This video shows the attention again to cleaning the beak and tongue

 

cj65

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
32,148
My Hellbore is also getting ready to bloom. It is one of the first things to bloom here in the late winter. Looking forward to another year of gardening. My brocoli plants are still growing form last fall and forming heads now. If we don't have a really cold stretch, I will probably have some for the table soon.

Still too early to see any daffodils or tulips poking out of the ground.

Sig96, You can do fairly well with large containers for growing things like tomatoes and peppers as well as other stuff that you might be interested in. Don't skimp on container size is my main suggestion.

Added: I have four Amaryllis blooming now. Two are new bulbs and varieties I got for "Christmas", so no big surprise on the blooms on them. Have maybe 6 to 8 other ones that are sending up bloom shoots. These are all old bulbs and I'm pleased. I guess I treated them right this past fall in terms of getting rid of yellowing leaves before frost to the point that there were only a few green leaves left on a few. I gave them about a month or so of "rest" and they are taking off now.

Any of you folks have cats? A new thing for me is growing cat grass which is mostly a blend of wheat and oats. The cats really are gnawing on the green growth for vitamins (so I read). Will probably start another container of grass in the next week for a second batch.
In my previous life, I was a nurseryman here in Southern CA.

If, you can grow tomatos in the ground, do it, they prefer even moisture when in their growing stage. Keep em on the wet side in the spring to promote green vegetative growth. Once up to size, you want to back off or taper off on the watering cycle to allow a little bit of drying out. It will then aid in flowering, Which will give you the fruit of course. Once you start producing tomato’s keep the watering even, do not let wilt occur. The skin of a young tomato needs water to grow and expand. If you go too dry, the skin gets leathery due to low water supply. Then, when the fruit can grow again, the skin cannot expand or grow and keep up with the inside “meat” as it grows. This can cause the splitting of the skin in the summer time.
Anywho, thanks for letting me share.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
19,385
All of the store bought hanger thingies I have seen are mostly too short. I like yours! I have found one that is taller now that has my sunflower feeder hanging from it much to the displeasure of the birds, squirrels, and raccoons.

I have a shorter one as well. Think I am going to saw off the bottom spike thing and just insert it into a pipe of some sort to give it more height.

Just noticed > I do have some daffodils poking out of the ground now. They're about 2 inches tall at the moment.

On the tomato and container or planter thing.... yes, growing in the ground is generally a better choice. But the containers allow you to totally control the soil being used as well as potentially being able to move them if needed. Choose large containers.... larger than you think you need in general to allow for root growth and storage of moisture.

The blue birds are very active in my yard now and hitting my mealworm feeder daily. Essentially they mostly empty it in a day or so.
 
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Joined
Nov 20, 2005
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19,385
Yes they are Monk Parrots first time I saw them around here I couldn't believe it but there are flocks of them all year round.
I saw them in your photo, but I thought they might not be "alive" so I just didn't comment. No parrots in my neck of the woods (ever) unless it is an escapee. Pretty cool!
 

LEGION 12

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
52,974
I saw them in your photo, but I thought they might not be "alive" so I just didn't comment. No parrots in my neck of the woods (ever) unless it is an escapee. Pretty cool!
They are pretty loud and obnoxious birds but they are cool , in the summer they sit right over us and demand food our fault for feeding them .
 

cj65

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
32,148
I just thought they stayed out of snow. Learn something new all the time. We have flocks of parrots in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Pasadena and other locales, my assumption was they need a temperate climate.

I visit my dad in the residential care facility here in town and I keep a bird feeder full outside his window. I am using safflower, nyger and also a parrot mix. I don’t see many parrots in Simi, but I bet there are some here too. I wanted mainly finch, and not just brown sparrows. The sparrows have cornered the market on French fries at Mc Donald’s.
 

eisman

Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
5,949
Yes they are Monk Parrots

Back when I lived in Pasadena, CA I had a plum tree in the back yard. Pasadena has a large flock of parrots gone wild due to a fire at a pet store decades back. When the plums were ripe I'd wake up to the sound of 40-50 parrots fighting over plums in the tree. A strictly California experience...
 

taldesta

Retired :-) Time is the Gold
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Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,779
Parrots are now officially snowbirds!

Tomatoes are doing zero here ... will give them a little more time :D

DSCF3957 TOMATO GARDEN SNOW 650 MED.jpg

Meanwhile the livestock entertainment outside Busby's window counts 8 red squirrels in this pic. Most I have counted at one time - 10. Plus, one grey and one black come on warm days as well. Evening and pine grosbeaks, jays, sparrows etc. share the platform feeders while the chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers take seed from the suspended feeders and suet cage. Rarely a dull moment. Keeps the little guy hovering.

DSCF3919 8 SQUIRRELS HUMMINGBIRD WINDOW 650 MED.jpg

Surprisingly, the snow is not deep enough to require snowshoes yet. I've only had the snowblower on the job clearing the lane three times so far. Of course with the machine's modest size that is 18 trips (6 per) with it up and down the laneway plus clearing the upper yard which takes longer still. 2 hours per clearing - not bad.

The texture of the snow is marshmellow crisp - walk on top - because of the mild temps, a little freezing rain and sunshine. The fluffy stuff is melted down, exposing the lacework of critter tunnels under. Never alone.

DSCF3956 MOUSE MOLE TRAILS 650 MED.jpg

I caught a two second clip of the most beautiful fox near the meadow up behind the house. The pups, who stick like glue generally, have been drawn by their noses to a kill - bones pretty spread out (that I cannot find) in the woods - and were bringing small bones down - likely a rabbit. So I am getting plenty of woods hiking tracking my two dogs - Daisy is half deaf and Dez saw totally deaf in the rearview years ago! Calling and the whistle don't cut it anymore with either of them. It's catch up to them and tap them on the back or get lucky with a snowball in order to get them to look for my hand signal. Come! Old dogs are the treasures.

And, while pondering equipment, but of another season, I should mention that I picked up 2 Echo gas trimmers on an exceptional deal - one for my son. I might even allow him ;) to use it here in the lower field weedpatch - but only if I'm in a very good mood.
 
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Messages
19,385
Looking good Taldesta. Big storm moving into the Mid-Atlantic and New England area (US) this weekend. I suspect you will get hit with this one too. We're South of the impact area for snow and ice. Where I am they are predicting about an inch of snow.... I suspect the mountains will get that and we'll get a coating.

It will be a while before you warm up those gas trimmers. But I'm glad you made a choice to deal with the weeds. I'm good with battery trimmers. The latest ones are like 40V. I even see 60V stuff now for trimmers and blowers and such (so add about $100 for that battery choice). But only 40 minutes use time.

Electricity is the way of the future. Of course you have to generate it first. VW is building a factory in my area to build electric cars in the US. They are saying 1000 jobs. (It's a big deal here.) I think the market is expanding but they still need to get the battery thing improved.
 
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taldesta

Retired :-) Time is the Gold
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Jan 24, 2013
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rimfire, I agree whole heartedly, batteries. I am a composter, recycler, re-user and consider carefully every item I add to my earthly goods with my environment in mind. I have 1,000 bee balm seeds to start in the lower field and hope to set their aggressive nature where the nastiest weeds seem to thrive. First the nasty seedheads need decapitating in season before their army of millions can grow here ... for the long game.

Last summer as you may recall I checked out some quality battery trimmers - Stihl among them ... and learned that they didn't carry them as rentals because of the operating times in comparison. I will be delighted to be able to lose deafening gas trimmers harnessed inches from my ears for a battery quiet. It's just the long game for me with the size of this property. And I definitely hope to be standing and trimming and still living country when battery op trimmers hold their own. Make it so :thumbsup:
 
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