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Thread: The plants/gardening thread!

  1. #91
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    Well if anyone tells you that the fruit of a 'Kings Red' Russian Olive is edible..tell them that they are nuts! It is sooo hot to be working in the yard/garden. I am going to have cactus pears this year..the big kind like you buy in the stores..for the first time this year. Anybody have any recipes or uses for them? My Crape Myrtle bushes look great. unfortunately I was weeding around my smallest(and favorite) one..it has purple neon blooms..and I accidentally broke off the very largest flowering branch..which was loaded with buds..shit! Such is life..such is gardening!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    My water bill is normally about $35. Due to lack of rain and all the watering I've had to do, it was $145 this month.
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    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    Oh crap! I was up gardening with the sun and discovered that both of my apple trees have dead fruit. Only going to be three viable apples per tree the way it looks now. The trees look perfectly healthy so I don't have a clue whats going on.

    On the other side I'm getting so much squash, zuchinni, tomatoes, canteloupe and watermelon that I've given up trying to can, dry, preserve, freeze and am giving away bags of the stuff.

    It's always feast or famine with gardening.

  4. #94
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator
    Oh crap! I was up gardening with the sun and discovered that both of my apple trees have dead fruit. Only going to be three viable apples per tree the way it looks now. The trees look perfectly healthy so I don't have a clue whats going on.

    On the other side I'm getting so much squash, zuchinni, tomatoes, canteloupe and watermelon that I've given up trying to can, dry, preserve, freeze and am giving away bags of the stuff.

    It's always feast or famine with gardening.
    I didn't buy a single plant or seed this year. But for some reason I have two tomato bushes growing in containers that I had used last year. I transpanted some bush cherries into the containers..and now I have tomato plants growing alongside the bushes! I guess they came up from seeds?
    Also thanks to our flooding rains this year I have only had to water container plants..no general watering needed so far..and we are supposed to have heavy rain again tomorrow night..flash flood watches are already out for just north of here. Thank God for the rain cause my water bills can be enormous in the summer...and the rain will hopefully end this hellish heat!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

  5. #95
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    YAY!! my hardy contorted Japanese bitter Orange tree..which has survived against all odds outside in my front yard for about 8 years now..has actually produced ONE FRUIT. Just one. But it is not even supposed to grow here, and certainly not supposed to flower and fruit. I checked it all spring and I never saw a single flower on it..but there must have been cause I was checking it and all of a sudden there is a green orange there..about the size of a golf ball. If the thing actually ripens I am going to find a way to preserve it. Any ideas? WOO HOO! (I will take any excuse at this time to find something good to celebrate, no matter how tiny and insignificant! )
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

  6. #96
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Plants/Gardening Thread!

    One fruit = POTENTIAL!

    I haven't weeded in weeks. It's just too hot. I wish it would cool off, because I have some projects and transplanting to do.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

  7. #97
    A*O
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    The bastard wind broke my lovely callistemon (bottle brush)! I think it will survive though - they enjoy some hard pruning anyway.


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  8. #98
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    ooooo those are pretty! I don't think we have them around here. And you have a lovely home, btw. Poor plant did take a beating, didn't it?
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I was admiring the house, too. *envy, wonders if I'll be living in a cardboard box at the beach soon given Vancouver house prices*

    I know what you mean Soj -- I gave up on my antherium or hibiscus ever flowering (they're indoor plants here, mostly) and today I was watering and both had bloomed. I am so damn proud of myself, even tho I didn't do anything. You have to take your victories where you can find them. Sometimes ignoring plants is the way to go.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Ya know PB, in non-tropical climates, hibiscus plants are so charming & lovely that we just put up with all the crap that goes with maintaining them. I do love them. Glad yours bloomed! Isn't that a mood lifter?
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    It is, especially since I didn't know what colour it would be. I bought it at a yard sale and they didn't know. It's a pale yellow with gorgeous red markings. And the good news is that there are four more buds!

  12. #102
    A*O
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    If you are lucky and pick the right spot you can grow hibiscus outdoors here and they last and last. Ditto orchids, bougainvillea (sp?) and frangipani. The bottle brush like mine is an Australian native and they grow like WEEDS everywhere. Lots of colours too from almost white, through various pinks and oranges to the bright red ones that I like the best. They are evergreen too so even when they aren't in flower they provide shade and general greenery.

    Thanks for the compliments - that's our back porch and we practically live out there during the summer. It's great even when it's raining (which isn't very often at the moment ).
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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  13. #103
    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd contribute to this thread.


    14 winter-prep tips for your lawn and garden

    A little attention to your landscape in the fall can make it look great the rest of the year. Time to get mulching.
    By Christopher Solomon

    You might think getting your lawn and garden ready for winter is as simple as Robert Frost's line to his apple trees: "Good-by, and keep cold." But not if you want them to be their healthiest come spring. In many parts of the country, now -- that is, before it gets too chilly -- is prime time to tend to your landscape so it will shine the rest of the year.
    Here's what the experts advise to make your plants the envy of the neighborhood:

    1. Feed that lawn! "Right now, it's key to work on your lawn," says Jim Welshans, regional turfgrass educator at Penn State University. In fact, despite what many people might think, autumn, not spring, is perhaps the most vital time in many parts of the country. Welshans explains: "In Pennsylvania we grow cool-season grasses, and during the summer they're not very active." Come autumn, however, they revive.
    Lawns with these cool-weather grasses -- Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, perennial ryegrass -- should be fertilized in two waves, say Welshans and others. The first application, from mid to late September in places like Pennsylvania, should be a fertilizer that's higher in nitrogen. The second application, roughly about Thanksgiving but before the ground is frozen, should be a fertilizer that's higher in phosphorus, which will prepare that plant for next year, says Welshans. (Exact timing for all the advice in this story will vary depending on where you live. A good way to determine if you're giving your lawn what it needs is to get a soil test. It will give you information like soil pH, and nutrient levels, and provide recommendations for fertilizer amounts.)
    Bob Mugaas, a regional extension educator in horticulture who's affiliated with the University of Minnesota, recommends modest application of nitrogen during the first couple of weeks in September, and repeated again around Halloween in the Twin Cities area. If you missed the first window, don't fret, says Mugaas, but simply make the second application around Halloween. Why not squeeze in two doses in quick succession? "You don't want to stimulate the tender, succulent growth" as the grass girds for winter, he explains; the late-season application is more for the root system. Another tip: Homeowners can drive over leaves with their lawnmower to create a fine mulch as long as the results don't blanket the lawn.
    Butů Exceptions to the "fertilize!" rule are the desert Southwest and the Deep South -- places like Georgia, Alabama and south Texas -- where lawns generally have Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine and Centipede grasses. These largely go dormant in winter and don't need fertilizer, says Dave Han, associate professor at Auburn University and state extension specialist for turfgrass. "I cut off fertilizing in this part of the world about Oct. 1," Han says. Fertilizing can be extended along the warmer Gulf Coast, however, and you can feed grass year-round in south Florida and coastal Texas, he adds.

    2. Repair summer's damage. Now is a great time to repair a damaged lawn and re-seed. If you're racing the cold, Welshans recommends putting down a perennial ryegrass, which germinates quickly (just four to seven days, vs. two to three weeks for bluegrass). Help the seeds take root by top-dressing them with up to one-quarter-inch compost or soil, he says.

    3. Don't put away the hose. Though places such as the Pacific Northwest may begin to get rain with autumn's onset, in most areas watering shouldn't end with Labor Day. Generally speaking, says Mugaas, a lawn should get an inch of water every 14 to 21 days. The ground should be moist as it heads toward winter, but not soggy, which could encourage mold.

    4. Go easy on the pruning. "Probably the most common thing I see people doing is pruning," says Ginger Pryor, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Master Gardener program, citing a common mistake. As a general rule, give your loppers and shears the autumn off. Why? Pruning promotes growth, and you don't want to encourage growth when plants are preparing to go dormant for winter. There are some exceptions, so call your local cooperative extension service if you have doubts about a particular tree.
    Now is a good time to cut off dead wood, however, so insects have no place to hide.

    5. Don't tuck in the vegetable garden yet. "There are some great fall vegetables you can plant and still get a harvest," says Pryor. Many vegetables aren't affected by a light evening frost, so long as the days still warm up nicely. Greens like lettuce and spinach often can be harvested within 30 days of planting. Got even more time before Jack Frost really settles in? Think about carrots, broccoli or Swiss chard.

    6. Cover that plot. To prep your garden for winter, plant a nitrogen-rich cover crop like clover that you can simply turn under come spring, suggests Elaine Anderson, program coordinator for the Washington State University/King County Extension Master Gardener Program. Or, "a lot of people just cover the beds in burlap -- keeps the weeds down. That's fine."

    7. Transplant away! The experts agree: Autumn is a great time to transplant trees and shrubs. "By planting trees in the fall in the South we have a much longer season for the tree roots to get established" while "it doesn't have those other stresses" such as heat, explains Shane Harris, a regional extension agent in east-central Alabama who is affiliated with Auburn and Alabama A&M universities. In short, says Harris, the tree benefits because it's "putting all of its energy into root growth."
    The same is true in other parts of the country, too. For example, as a general rule of thumb, evergreens should often be transplanted in the first half of September in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, Mugaas advises -- "obviously you can be earlier if you're a little more north, or later if you're a little bit to the south," he says. "Deciduous trees have a little bigger window."

    8. Mulch, part I. "We often say the mulch around the tree should look like a doughnut, not a volcano," says Pryor. Pulling the mulch away from the trunk a bit makes it less of a home-and-meal for voles, chipmunks and mice during the winter, she says.

    9. Making the (flower) beds. Flowerbeds don't need a ton of work, but there are some things you can do. "One thing we do recommend for fall is cleaning out perennials -- things that have a lot of dieback on them," says Pryor. In Pennsylvania, for example, there's a lot of rain in early spring and any dead growth can keep a lot of moisture in the soil, promoting rot in plants like peonies that have heavy root systems. (Other experts disagree about the importance of cleaning up but say it doesn't hurt, and at least can make a flowerbed look more tidy.) Pryor does recommend leaving ornamental grasses in place because they look beautiful in the winter.

    10. Mulch, part II. Harris suggests renewing the mulch in the flowerbed, especially the top two or three inches of plants' root crowns, because that protects a marginal plant from hard freezes. "That's where all of your new growth is going to come back," Harris explains of the crown.
    Up north, some homeowners put down hay, which "makes a very good mulch," says Mugaas. Ask at your garden center for "clean mulching hay" -- often made of oat straw or wheat straw -- but don't assume that the name alone guarantees it's weed-free: Examine the hay for seed heads and other impurities, says Mugaas. Also, hay should only be applied when the ground has gotten very cold.

    11. Clean the pond. Ponds, fountains and other water features are hugely popular today -- and they, too, need care to survive the winter. Late September is a good time to clean out the pond -- in particular, netting out the abundant leaves that, upon decay, build up the nutrients and cause spikes in ammonia levels that are harmful to the fish, says Brett Fogle, president and owner of Florida's MacArthur Water Gardens. If it's a small pond, you might consider tossing a cover over it from late fall through the winter. Consider using a bacterial additive in the water -- microbes that speed the decomposition of leaf scum, fish waste, etc., says Fogle. Also, he says, it's a good idea to drain your pond by 25%-50% for the winter months.

    12. Put your fish on a diet. "The biggest mistake people make is they keep feeding their fish handfuls and handfuls of food" even as their metabolisms are slowing down with the onset of cold weather, says Fogle. That can make them ill, and even kill them. As the temperature hits about 60 degrees, consider switching to a lower-protein, wheat germ food that digests easier, Fogle says. When temps hit 50-55 degrees, you can stop feeding the fish entirely. Don't worry about them going hungry -- their metabolism slows enough so that they don't need to eat when the water gets that cold or colder, he says. Yet koi and other pond fish will keep eating when they shouldn't and that can hurt them, Fogle says.

    13. Check pond equipment. Autumn is a good time to change out your pond gear. In warmer months, pumps are often used to circulate the water. "It's actually better for the fish not to run the pump all winter long," explains Fogle. That's because the pump disrupts the thermal layers in the water that the fish exploit to keep warmer during the cold winter months, when they settle near the bottom in a hibernation-like state.
    Shut down the pumps and filter and bring the pump inside for the winter, if possible, Fogle recommends. Loosen the fitting on what's left outdoors, so things won't crack in the cold -- especially on UV sterilizers, the units that pond owners often have installed that kill algae. Consider, too, a de-icer -- basically a floating unit that turns on at the freezing point -- or an air bubbler that keeps the top of the pond from freezing. Find more good info about pond care here.

    14. Think spring. Now is the time to plant bulbs for spring. They're not very expensive, and they give you something to look forward to. "In our part of the world, our smaller bulbs need to go in now, and the larger bulbs can go in later" -- perhaps mid-October or so in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, says Mugaas. Smaller bulbs include crocus and grape hyacinth. Larger bulbs include tulips and daffodils.
    Another tip: "It seems sort of counterintuitive to go shopping for plants right now," says Anderson, but she suggests buying perennials that are in bloom now, so you know what they'll look like later. In the Pacific Northwest, that could mean hearty perennials like yarrow and asters. Check the USDA's Plant Hardiness Zone Map to see what will thrive in your area.
    Finally, "It's also a good time to take stock to what did well and what didn't," says Mugaas. Gardeners are inveterate tinkerers. "We never have enough time, and we never have enough room."

    source:
    http://realestate.msn.com/lawns/Arti...umentid=999609

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

  14. #104
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    My property looks like shit right now. It is either raining or my sinuses are acting up and I do not want to be out with the pollen. Maybe Wednesday I will do something about it. Freeze did not seem to kill things off here. My Orange is turning yellow-orange now. Will have to take a pic of it here shortly and post it.
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

  15. #105
    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Sojiita, does your orange look like this (or is it going to)? That's from my parent's orange plant in their backyard. I assume it's a Japanese orange tree that they have. It had a few fruit so I ate a couple (made smoothies with them), they were a bit bitter and sour.

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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