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

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by eisman, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    You could let "Buz" loose down here. The local birds don't bother with the feeders now. Perris, daffodils, all the fruit trees, my rosemary, and just about everything else is blooming or getting ready too. Sadly, I think the late snow killed my Mason bees. They should be out now and they're not. I'm seeing both Rufous and Anna's now, which means they're moving.
     
  2. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Description of flowers blooming in the warmth would sound great to Buz indeed :)

    Overnight here 1F in a frozen marshmellow landscape lighted by a cold moon. Inside the temp had dropped to 53F because I don't set an overnight fire anymore. One warming fire set in the morning along with the sunshine keeps us snug for the day. 'Shoulder season' - technically winter is over The sunshine has reduced the snow depth by about 18". Some trellis, my Spaniel Crossing sign is half out and the flag is flapping (and needs replacing). The annual spring flag renewal.

    DSCF4479 LANEWAY 650 MED.jpg

    I trust the wild turkeys will come in droves to clean up the birdseed that has accumulated in the snow around the platform feeders. Early last April there was a nasty blow with lots of driving snow. The turkey and others looked pitiful in that storm.

    Red and Crockett

    DSCF4484 RED SQUIRREL CROCKETT 650 MED.jpg

    Also, last year the first hummingbird arrived here on May 6th. Thoughts of the big release are never far from my mind.

    I've dug my way into the 'shop' (10X20 tarp shed) and am encouraged to dive into the books on planters and trellises again. Dreaming summer while standing in my snow boots - as usual :thumbsup:
     
    JustaNick, annr and LEGION 12 like this.
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Quite an achievement with the hummingbird (buz). I keep watching for the first hummers to arrive here or pass through heading north. Spring has sprung here. I planted the two Patio tomato plants in large containers on my deck. I'll keep an eye on night time temps. The containers are too large to move inside in the event of a hard freeze. Will cover if needed. Rather than yank out the pansies that are blooming in the containers, I just worked the plants between them.

    The dogwoods are just coming into bloom here now. Red bud has been blooming for a week or so. Fruit trees are in bloom. Time to head to the woods in search of some of the early wildflowers (dwarf crested iris, trout lily, blood root and so forth). Trillium should start blooming soon in the lower elevations.
     
    taldesta and annr like this.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Pansies are really growing now that it has warmed up a bit. The two Patio variety tomatoes are each nestled in a large container with pansies I planted in the fall. They will peter out as it warms up and the tomatoes are fairly deep rooted plants. The rectangular box shot was to show last year's begonia's sprouting up from the roots. Guess they were protected enough to survive the winter chill.
    IMG_4825ed.jpg IMG_4827ed.jpg IMG_4828ed.jpg
    Added: Finally tilled up my little garden. My little tiller has been kind of contrary. I looked at the manual and I got it in 2006. Planted a couple short rows of onion sets and a row of red beets. We'll see how they do. I spaced the onion rows far enough apart to plant peppers in between the rows. Probably will plant some zucchini in a couple weeks and leaf lettuce in the next few days.

    Going to be working on making a new railing for my deck and replacing some semi-rotten deck boards. Not in any big hurry to do this. Would love a new deck, but my deck is pretty large (~32 ft long) and I don't want to spend that kind of money unless I have to. The flooring/decking is in surprisingly good condition considering the age.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    annr likes this.
  5. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Blooms are beauties! I always favour the blue spectrum pansies yet the deep reds with gold border are a treat too. Yellow - now that's a colour of spring. Tomatoes in March ... hahaha ... love it.

    Tell me about tillers. My sense is that I will need more than a hoe, a shovel and a mower to bring the lower field to a more maintenance-free colourful state. I want to plant dead centre as many bee balm as I can afford this spring. Their spreading habit should eventually make quite a blast of colour. Then I will only have to re-seed the centre as it dies out over time. Like my small Ariens snowblower, it must be manageable for my strength. I can't man-handle an overly large piece of equipment.

    But I can string a couple hundred feet of outdoor extension cord for an electric start :D

    :eek::eek: Busby has me worried. Eating is ok, not great ... but the moult or something has slowed her activity a lot. I believe the down and some feathers may be ingested ... not certain what's natural in this regard and not something I am able to research on dialup - so anyone can jump in here and shoot me info I'd appreciate it. Yesterday, at the local library, my computer wasn't even reading wifi signals while others were - and my research was stopped dead in the water. Busby needs some help or just understanding so I can stop the worry. Anybody?

    Overwintering birds have slowed at the feeder too. Maybe they are all coughing up feathers in the woods. All things 'bird' are in flux it seems.

    Pretty sure the barred owl got one blue jay. Judging from the bits and blood trail on the tarp that covers my snowblower ... and all the feathers in the snow nearby - no animal tracks.
     
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Tillers...... they now sell battery operated tillers. Don't know much about them at this point in terms of whether they work very well. But, if the tiller tine rpm is okay, they should work like the mini-tillers without all the starting problems they have.

    The really small tillers tend to be 2-cycle engines (like a chain saw >gas/oil mix). There are also regular 4-cycle versions of the same or similar. These are very light, often under 30 lbs. They have limited depth digging (about 5 inches, possibly 6 inches). They are light and bounce around a lot on hard or sodded soil. These would not be a good choice for digging up a field that has laid fallow for years. You want something heavier and bigger for this task. But they are great for limited digging or working around existing plants in flower beds or small portions of the garden as you plant new things. This is what I use for my small garden. I have a 4-cycle Troy-Bilt brand one; weighs 28 lbs or something like that. These small tillers are great for blending or mixing materials into the soil such as manure.

    The Mantis brand mini-tillers are good. I believe they are 2-cycle which I prefer not to deal with. They were the first to come out with this kind of tiller.

    It is a matter of scale for the most part and I only have a small garden, so the little tiller works for me.

    In general rear tine tillers (versus front tine tillers) do a better job on harder to dig soils. It is a weight thing. I grew up with front tine tillers and they bounce around a lot but work. They are more flexible than rear tine tillers. When Dad got a Troy-Bilt one, it worked so much better for digging, but not as good for cultivating unless you have wide rows (like corn or potatoes). They do come in different sizes however. Rear tine tillers are heavier, but generally have powered wheels. So, other than getting one to your property (loading and hauling) you could manage. It would certainly take a good while to do a large area from scratch that has grown up in weeds and so forth. I doubt you'd enjoy it much.....

    We tilled up our large "patch" with the larger Troy-Bilt tiller which was about 3/4 acre in size. We did it in sections, probably 20 feet wide sections (and about 80 yds long) at a time. Many hours of work.... After a couple years, Dad got a neighbor to do the initial spring plowing or working the soil and then tilled this looser soil as needed when planting with the Troy-Bilt.

    From what I know of your property, I would suggest that you have the field portion plowed by a farm tractor and then disced to break things up. From that point on, I would use a tiller. I doubt you will be doing a major area after then initial plowing.

    When I initially started a garden in a turf area, I hand dug with a shovel. Let the chunks dry and then tilled the chunks with a tiller. I picked out most of the roots and so forth to reduce the amount of "weeds" that would appear later. It worked out okay. Still a fair amount of work. Worth it to me....
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    taldesta likes this.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Was looking online, probably will buy an electric start feature for my little Troy-bilt tiller even though it's 10+ years old at this point. They aren't real expensive. Never really looked at them before. They also sell a drill bit that will insert into the hole for the electric start. I suspect that works just fine, but I will probably just go with a corded electric starter. Basically you insert a bit from the starter into a hole on the tiller and hit the button versus pulling the starter cord.

    Hoping Busby makes it though this time and perhaps can join its other hummer companions when they arrive from their northward journey.

    Was out yesterday for an hour or so of looking for woods wild flowers (WF) at one of my regular WF spots. The Blood Root and Yellow Trillium were just coming into bloom where I was wandering around. Hepatia was blooming. Took a few pictures, but didn't use my tripod for them. It was really a beautiful day yesterday here with highs in the lower 70's. Hand held shot of Yellow Trillium below.
    DSC03668ed.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  8. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    White trillium is Ontario's provincial flower ... and we get the less common red ones as well, but can't say I've seen the yellow ones. They are here apparently, naturalized ... but not all that common. The leaf of the white and red are similar here but not variegated. Nice shot - another welcome glimpse of spring :thumbsup:

    Re tillers ... thanks for the information. I've checked a number of them out online and, you're right, that lower field will take a serious machine to make a dent. I will likely try to get a small central section cultivated for me then work that for an initial planting of bee balm plugs and seeds. I didn't plant the 1,000 seeds from last year but they are likely ok.. The area could be enlarged over time, reducing the mower time little by little.

    The aggressive growth pattern of bee balm will work well by root and seed. It's a start. I will do what I can manage well rather than make it into a huge chore. In the end I want that whole field waving in the breeze, screaming red!

    Beauty day here yesterday as well, yet it's been snowing all last night and all of today - but remains mild. Ha .... For a few hours last week I actually caught a glimpse of gravel in the laneway. Gotta love the traction.

    Busby is tanking up on nectar a little better today and seems more active and hungry for bug dust treats. Feathers are looking grim. Hope it's just the moult.
     
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I believe Yellow Trillium is strictly a southern trillium. They are very common here in the woods, obviously in colonies.

    You can rent tillers at the equipment rental places. You don't have to buy one. A tractor would be the best approach I think at least to start and you can think about tillers later.

    Added: If necessary, you can rent a small tractor with the tiller attachment and make a big strip to start you perennials. They rent just about any kind of equipment these days. They deliver also (for a fee).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    taldesta likes this.
  10. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    FED87DFE-B6FE-45FA-902A-19CC2ABA0087.jpeg We’ve reached the 50’s–60’s in the day, but not much colorful planting yet or leaves on the trees. We get the usual birds—like these mourning doves—and enjoy the birds’ song.
     
  11. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    I've been working in the garage, but stopped to grab lunch. Looked out the back window and saw something red where there shouldn't be anything. Turned out to be a stray tulip, and closer look at some of the other beds showed some others popping out. Lots of blooms now, Camilla's, Plum, Daffodils, and even the wild current.

    [​IMG]
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  12. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Just soaking up the sunshine!
     
  13. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Spring is looking ... well - very sweet here :) Feeling even better!

    Taken on my flip phone on Monday - down the road from here on my way to town. I had stopped to watch a pair of mergansers paddling the sky.

    IMG_0033 RIVER OPEN LONG 650 MED.jpg

    IMG_0029 RIVER OPEN CLOSE 650 MED.jpg

    Meanwhile I've made up my seed order with a lot more perennials, tall perennials, some corn - because I decided to work a garden in the lower field this summer. Also more bee balm plugs to order. I'd prefer native (& free for digging) but my queries didn't pan out last year. Feeling ambitious - must be spring.

    I've started 13 begonia corms, three of these are survivors from last year, and picked up 40 glad bulbs that should be easy enough to lift and store over winter. I think!

    My list of what to pick up locally is made - peppers this year, tomatoes, potatoes etc. ... subject to temptations as they arise :rolleyes: Mocking myself with these lists that grow with the land available. 'Don't take your wallet to town' thought$.
     
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  14. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Addendum to add: And they're back :eek:

    Only three to begin with and that's preferable to the eighteen I said goodbye to last fall. With their digging and food-wolfing habit, they will make short work of the scattered seed left from winter (not a mound of seed here - just on top of mounds of snow).

    My watch-hummingbird :D alerted me to the approach. Pics through window - sorry they have enclosure reflection over images

    DSCF4531 WILD TURKEYS 3 ARRIVE 650 MED.jpg

    Almost busted as I s l o w l y crept up with my camera - extremely watchful birds.

    DSCF4543 WILD TURKEYS 3 BUSTED 650 MED.jpg

    ... but hungry

    DSCF4551 WILD TURKEYS 3 650 MED.jpg
     
    annr likes this.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    You are pretty ambitious with the garden... corn and potatoes. They take up a lot of space.

    I have already planted about 8 pepper plants at this point. Peppers are very nutritious. Want to find some non-hot interesting ones I don't have and plant those. I may well have planted some of my peppers right in the row with the red beets..... forgot they were there and they aren't "up" yet. Oh well.....

    The pictures look great. Saw a couple deer the other day at the entrance of our "development". Turkeys should be going into their mating period about now. They are definitely here.
     
  16. Win Heger

    Win Heger Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    ^^^ We get quite a few Turkeys, the DWR has been transplanting most but there are always stragglers.

    The Gopher plants are looking good. We have many around the yard, all from a couple that my wife bought. Spring is really coming on in the desert, we had a very wet Feb/Mar and everything is popping.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    What kind of grass (lawn) do people use in the desert for a yard? The picture is really nice.
     
  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Not all that ambitious :D The corn is just for the halibut - ornamental - no way near that great garden plot filled with corn that Jill Jackson posted for example. But I do like the idea of a large plot and I truly love corn on the cob, bbq style. Maybe in 2020!

    DSCF4566 ORNAMENTAL CORN 650 MED.jpg

    And as for the potatoes, you may remember my lazy plantings from last summer - the 'trash bag potato' experiment - yes exactly ... planted in bags laid on top of cardboard because I had no more energy to bust sod. This year, if I get in somebody with a tractor to run a few lengths for me, it couldn't be as bad as jumping on a shovel to turn over a little dirt. Mostly bee balm in lower field is the plan ... along with some fun stuff.
     
    annr likes this.
  19. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    @taldesta
    Hope you save time for your hobbies!:D
    (Ambitious is an understatement!)
     
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  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    It was really warm today and I checked the weather forecast for the coming week. Things don't look like it will freeze again or that is my interpretation (hope). Last year, we got a late frost on April 17th... which is unusual for here. Not sure if I am going to plant any tomatoes in the actual garden this year; just haven't decided yet.

    Planted two more container tomato plants today (Goliath variety-determinant). Like the other ones (Patio variety), I worked them between the shallow rooted pansies that are growing in the containers. The container ones seem to do okay. Last year the tomatoes didn't do so well, but we really didn't eat them like we did in previous years. Hence I am thinking about using the garden space for other stuff. That would give me room for a late season tomato planing if I can find fresh plants in July.

    Definitely try to get a person with a tractor to do the initial plowing or tilling in the field.

    My little electric start for the Troy-bilt mini tiller should be here tomorrow for a store pickup. I am curious how good they work. I read that as the little tillers age, they get harder to pull start and that has been my experience with the two I have owned. Frustration builds and you eventually buy a replacement. Trying not to do that this time.

    I planted six geraniums in large containers for my front porch. Have four Boston Ferns (hanging baskets) in the porch as well. Have a few more plants to get into the ground, mostly flowers. This is just the initial pass on planting. Lots more to do later $$. The azalea's have really started to bloom in my yard. It is time for the hummingbirds, but I have not seen one yet.

    I used to grow Indian Corn when I was a kid. Guess you aren't supposed to call it that these days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019

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