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Discussion in 'Community Center' started by eisman, Jan 13, 2019.
It's pansy planting time!
Great looking crops, especially at end of season @LEGION 12
Tomato hornworms (6 in all so far) eating leaves in the wild veg garden. Fine with me - the tomatoes are ripening faster that the pups and I can eat them now ... and they are delicious. The larva seem to leave the fruit alone mostly. These sturdy snackers are about 3" long.
Summer's end makes everything ravenous it seems. I had to put the bee guards back on the hummingbird feeder because the bees were rousting the birds in spite of the size differential! Hoppers everywhere with the dry summer - the bee balm will keep feeding visitors until the first killing frost this year.
@LEGION 12 Do you deadhead the liatris spikes? I did this recently and counted about 90 spikes on what may have been 15-20 plantings at most in spring 2018. They were so tall in front of a window that they needed their seed heads removed when the beautiful purple gave way to brown.
22-rimfire almost all hummingbirds left several days ago - except the two little ones ... and I am hoping against hope that they will just be gone one morning soon. No adult female (i.e. Busby I suspect) is here with them except on rare occasion. Their acrobatics together are so entertaining ... they fly so much in sync like siblings which I believe they are. Now, I hope their mom isn't bringing along a second batch like Busby's mom apparently did last year - as wonderful as the experience with Busby was, I hope never to overwinter another hummingbird again in my lifetime !
Finches are getting more irregular to the feeders and the chickadees are arriving - times a changin' ... definitely cool nights.
Ha. Must be cooling off if it's pansy planting time in TN I'll start watching the sky for geese.
Anybody tried the propane fired mini weed torch on laneways or walkways?
In the last few days, hummingbird activity has been high here. I counted 6 hummers hitting the one feeder yesterday at the same time. It was hard to count them actually with all the movement. I switched out the nectar as they drank it down pretty quickly. It is possible that these are migrating hummingbirds? Don't know.
It is starting to cool off but we're still seeing upper 80's to low 90's temp-wise in the afternoons. Night time temps are getting lower. The cats do not want to come in at night now. A couple have really been pains as I like to bring them in at night to protect them. One of the young ones spent her first night outside last night. She's curled up sleeping in her little bed at the moment inside the house. Probably didn't sleep a wink during the night.
I feel sure the propane torch would work but be careful you don't set the field on fire in the process. I have one of the propane torches that you see on TV used around equipment to warm things up. Not something I use very often.
Would work for snow also .
I've always used propane heaters to thaw water lines and to warm the snowblower under a tarp in the coldest winter weather - and fire danger is a constant awareness thing with me in season.
Not to be used carelessly for sure. On aggregate and pavers certainly.
For snow - - love the optimism! Will let you know.
It would if the melt water didn't refreeze.
@taldesta Is this propane device something you have acquired or just looking? I have had to melt ice in garden hoses with the temp in the low 20's (F). You might wonder why on earth I needed garden hoses at that temp and with snow on the ground? Ans. I needed water inside the house to do my work and I was getting water from a distant neighbor (about 250 yds away). That is a LOT of garden hose to be laid out on the ground in sub freezing weather. Had to keep the water running or it would freeze inside the hose. Needless to say at the end of the day, draining the hoses was critical. Took the hoses inside my motel room to keep them warm at night. It was quite a big pile.
I have one and found it highly effective on new weeds that tried to take over the 3/4 crush I had placed in the lane by the house when I moved in. Then with the summer dryness, I did not use it much. Where it killed the new growth is an area almost weed free to this day - no stooping to weed, no re-seeding (well, fireweed might enjoy the experience ) - so I like the device, given that it is most effective used early. Also, I make a point to 'aim' the mower chute away from the aggregate - otherwise I would be planting weeds in bulk. I would be having to mow the aggregate in no time.
Lesson learned: When I moved into my last digs, the huge turnaround in front of the shop was overgrown with grass and required mowing - also looked neglected - so I removed all the 'greenery' with a flat-mouthed shovel, raked it up and wheel-barrowed it to a cold compost. That was one huge, horrible job. I literally divided the area up like a pie and tackled it day after day - kept a hose dangling from a stepladder to combat the heat. Once cleared by hand like this, I then used a drag on my riding mower to kill new growth - and stayed vigilant pulling anything green that popped up. So you see why I feel I want something effective for the job. No room to use a drag here.
I find traditional hoses heavy and hard to handle - yikes, in that bulk especially. I've used hose lengths to deliver hot water to thaw a frozen fuel oil line in winter many times (some design flaw in the tank outflow) - but that was a snap compared to the job you describe. I think that people lose a lot of nozzles, pressure washers etc by not draining completely before storing in winter temps.
I've experimented with new types of hose. Always pricey, though. One I didn't like - it was fabric covered, self-draining and recoiled itself - it was hard to drag around on the ground - always fighting me to recoil itself - just made the job more difficult. It worked fine at the garden centre sliding across the concrete floor though . A second type that I do like is clear, all weather and is self-draining. Very light, easy to move around - about 5 years old now and in good shape, does kink up a little now. It hasn't needed repair yet ... so don't know how that will go.
The more I think about this, the more I like the idea - especially to soften the ice buildup just outside the door on the porch. I could place some 18" square pavers so I don't set the porch on fire!
@taldesta I did some searching on the "propane flame torch" designed for weeding (because I like gadgets). I believe your version uses those small 1 lb propane canister that would screw into the back by the adjustment valve. They also make ones with hoses to connect to (I assume) standard propane tank fittings. I would thing you'd probably want a small cylinder versus the 20 lb ones commonly used for gas grills. I think they weigh more than 20 lbs full. Heavy to me and would be heavy to move around much. The concept interests me not so much for weed control but for a portable torch for things like yellow jacket nests or even ant hills. They make 5 lb tanks too.... interesting.
Do you have any idea how long a 1 lb canister would last.... minutes or an hour? It obviously depends on use, but I am curious as how quickly the little tanks would be emptied. Obviously, the 1 lb canisters are lighter and more convenient to use. It also depends on how often you would use such a thing as storing a bunch of propane tanks and not using them is a pain.
Since my beef (meat) allergy started, we have done very little grilling outside. Burgers, hot dogs, and sometimes chicken was the usual fare. For info, I tried the new Burger King beef-free burger.... it's actually very good and you can't tell it from beef. That said, the first one was great. The second time they had the patty already "cooked" and it was a little "tough" like an older burger patty that the restaurant might have left sitting cooked in waiting for the next order. So, the next time I will request a freshly cooked one just in case.
Added: Planted some onion sets today in the Legion container. The ones I planted in the spring are sprouting up now in the regular garden. They did rather poorly this year overall. I am definitely curious how onions will do in containers. Yes, Ace Hardware had onion sets when I stopped by yesterday.
On line, "they" said to have at least a foot of soil depth for the onions in containers. Can't imagine them needing that much depth unless it is geared toward moisture retention in the soil.
I may be ordering another container from Home Depot.....To me they are a little expensive. But will last for years and years unless you somehow crack the container.
Hot water is generally a great way to ruin a normal garden hose. I believe they have to be rubber to hold up to the heat. Growing up, we had one outside faucet that had hot water piped to it with a valve to switch between hot and cold water. Don't think many people do this any more.
FYI Re: overhead use of mini weed torch - there is a caution that this unit is designed to be operated at the 6:00 o'clock to 8:00 o'clock position - never invert past 8:00 o'clock position.
Yes, 1 lb canister - a nicely balanced piece of equipment from a quality supplier here. They have the connector hose ones with cart for the regular bbq tank size as well. Accurate regulator - this is why I chose this dependable supplier. I always have the small propane around - buy when HD puts them on deal - for camp mostly - oven, lantern, stove, ETA heater - great to have when fire bans mean no campfires.
I have been surprised that 1 lb will last until I quit, perhaps after an hour?, with plenty to spare - sorry - no hard data - should have timed a few sessions. It's quiet on low where I use it, noisier on higher setting of course. Also, when moving locations, you can turn it off and the fuel in the tube keeps on flaming for a little bit so it need not be sparked to start up again. This size 32" overall, 25,000 BTU, USA
Interesting. I think the 1 lb canisters would work just fine unless you have a lot of need for it. Lasting an hour is plenty for many tasks and it is certainly easier to buy the little canisters for occasional use than getting refills on a larger canister. I have a small gas grill that I take on picnics that uses those canisters. I do prefer building a fire, but sometimes activities are such that the fire tending isn't convenient.
Once I ran hot water only for a raised garden and it cooked all the creeping jenny in its path until the tank ran out of hot/or I made the discovery ... needless to say, creeping jenny returned tenfold!
I've tried the beyond burger at A&W here, also Sobeys carry the patties for the bbq at home - so far this is the best tasting beef substitute I've tried. The Lone Star tick has turned up at one location in Southern Ontario that I am aware of. I always ask my vet about ticks - the pups find everything first
22-rimfore - could you describe the workings of the container ... depth, drain holes, wicking, reservoir (??) Because I picked up a medium size container for mixing concrete at HD and it may just do the job for lettuce (near the house where turkeys mostly fear to tramp)
@taldesta The Legion container (called Little Pickers by the manufacturer-Emsco Group based out of PA) is about 20 inches by 24 inches by about 8 inches deep (effectively 6 inches of soil depth). The bottom two inches is used as a reservoir to store water that is supposed to wick upward into the soil. There are small drain holes on the sides of the container. These could be enlarged if you want to with an electric drill. There is a plastic grate above the reservoir to keep the soil out of that portion of the container. The corners are open to the water (about 2" square area). A 1" diameter plastic tube goes into one corner. (This is what you're supposed to pour water into to fill the reservoir.) The directions say to pack soil into the corners (damp) before filling up. You can add soil amendments if you wish. I add some granular fertilizer and mix into the soil. You fill the containers to the brim with soil. I'm sure there will be some settling. They also provide shade cloth that you are supposed to poke holes into to plant your seeds or plants. I don't use the cloth. There are also wheels on the container that you insert as you assemble them.
Those plastic concrete mixing tubs (two for sure and possibly three sizes available) should work. I have the medium and large sizes. The plastic is tough enough to drill holes into without splitting I think. I use these tubs to keep my Amarylis inside the tubs in their individual pots indoors. This way I can lift them in batches and move outside during the early spring and fall depending on the weather. They stay outside all summer after danger of frost is past (not in the tubs). I find those tubs really useful and have probably six of them that I use for plants and so forth. The handy thing about them for me is that I can water the plants indoors and if water drains out of the pots, it doesn't hurt anything and is captured inside the tub. That would not work outdoors exposed to rain as I could see everything getting really water logged.
If I used the tubs outdoors, I would elevate a little after drilling holes for drainage. They should work just fine as a normal container. Back when I was searching for a suitable rectangular container for outdoors, it didn't occur to me to use these at the time. Then I was wandering around in my garage and saw my "stack" of them and knew they would work fine if I chose to use them. Something inside me resists cutting holes into them, but they aren't expensive.
I think I'm going to pass on another one of the Little Picker containers. They were designed for kids to help them start gardening on a patio or whatever. Maybe next year. I think I have enough onions planted for us now and I can't think of anything else that I might want to try growing in containers in the fall of the year. Pansies will go into some existing containers used for flowers. Some will probably get planted in the ground.
No bueno for So Cal. That would not be well received by the local fire authorities.
Killed two in the last two days off my two new tomato plants. I saw the damage but could only find one worm. Today, I found the other one that I knew had to be there. I don't like these snackers. (I wanted the photo, but some how deleted it. Oh well....)
As far as I know, they are the larval form of the hummingbird moths.
Lots of hummingbird activity. I put out another feeder since there has been so many hitting my one feeder. There were hummers buzzing around most of the day today.
Thought I would show your photo of the Hornworm.
Suprisingly, no hornworms this season on my tomato plants. I think it just been too hot. Several days so far well over 100.
Had em last year though and dispatched any I found. They will phuck up your plants.