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Author Topic: Gardening  (Read 7941 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #390 on: June 10, 2008, 10:01:01 PM »

Ps. That is not actually "a spine" but folded wings that give the appearance of a  high point in the middle of the back. My own personal begonia pet looked more like something from an antediluvian age when it was smart to look foreboding.
 
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #391 on: June 11, 2008, 09:33:59 AM »

We had a rain storm the other night and my hydrangea is looking great now.  Trimmed off all the blooms and babied it a little yesterday .... whew!
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kitinkaboodle
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« Reply #392 on: June 11, 2008, 09:47:48 AM »

 

  So, it was hot and thirsty  Tongue...

Battling beetles on roses here...big Japanese Bombers.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #393 on: June 11, 2008, 10:10:21 AM »

So where do you live, kit?

I think the hydrangea was reacting to a significant increase in temperature (about 10 degrees).

Are Japanese beetles those humongous things that fly in an upright position? 
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kitinkaboodle
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« Reply #394 on: June 11, 2008, 10:25:07 AM »

   

 State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations -- or -- 'lil Rhody -- for short.

   Those beetles look as if they could be on a scarab bracelet -- all gold and glimmer -- but they are nasty beasties.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #395 on: June 11, 2008, 11:29:30 AM »

I love Rhode Island. 

We have flying black beetles down here that I had never seen before I moved here - I have no idea what they are, but they are about 1 1/2" long, and instead of flying belly down like most insects, they fly bottom down, so it looks like they're standing up as they fly. 

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kitinkaboodle
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« Reply #396 on: June 11, 2008, 11:50:20 AM »

   

  Bizarre!  Can't imagine -- I detest all and any bug, beetle, spider -- it's whooosh &  smooosh -- no mercy.  I have one extremely kind-hearted chum who literally won't "hurt a fly".  Not me, a certain satisfaction in that crunch or splaaaat, although it took me awhile to do it myself.  But, those big and glossy beetles are tough -- they do crunch and I do hate the feel of that -- even with a (sandaled) foot.   And, trying "green" products to deter the beetles; garlic seems to be having some effect but there are still way too many munching  away....
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madupont
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« Reply #397 on: June 11, 2008, 03:13:57 PM »

Kitinkaboodle,

Be careful what you apply to remove the Japanese Beatles chemically. My tree in the front yard was sprayed two seasons ago, for the first time with something detrimental because much of the faux cherry fruit dropped off which used to feed robins and squirrels. There have been no birds to normally eat insects since that chemical intervention by the management(not me. I told the guy as soon as I saw him un-spool the hose that it would be good of him to aim toward the street and not toward the house --which has that floral border, the greater part of which is my own doing at my own expense.)

The result of which is that roses took off and grew upward in the shade so that I can tie  the vines to a window-frame hook.

And that squirrel, the only one left in poisoned territory? He secretly digs in my  back sun garden , uprooting what he considers "squirrel delicacies" in my tomato barrel; or gnaws off the top of the saw-toothed Leaved sunflower in the corner of the border. I picked up a pinwheel "at the Good's Store" last week to flash light in his eyes.

Of course, it could be a rabbit that gnawed, but I  haven't seen any around when they don't want to be seen. They no longer think of this place as Paradise, it's just "Manor" something and no longer their "Terrace".  They sneak around in the dark to get from there to here and back to there. Rabbits seldom can scamper up the side of a staved half-barrel, however.

Most people in this vicinity where suburbs preferably climb the hills above farms, post a Japanese Beetle trap which is bright yellow and hangs from a post in which ever  yard they are trying to protect. It is my hunch that the spraying squad, which is a replaceable changeable man each season, is not really informed about precautions to exposure. But that the management company which buys either the supplies or the service realizes a bargain on chemicals no longer legal.

The effect of the chemical spray on the tree was such that much of the faux fruit dropped off in a high wind storm and this has a deleterious effect upon the lawn which we,(I and Christopher, a very young farm boy who has been left as the only person in charge of two housing complexes to do all maintenance on the properties)are trying to encourage to grow back. Raking the rotting fruit was almost impossible, it is the size of a cherry; Chris seems to think they are miniature crab-apples, a decorative full-size tree for shade which is now losing leaves as well because the pH is wrong as a consequence of the chemical application "guaranteed to deter Japanese Beetles".

Now, it is one thing for a management company to have such largesse about losing plantings that have to be replaced before they can sell properties; but, it is another thing for you doing your own landscaping and gardening to afford.  I can say this after losing 21 years of plants propogated plus the expenses of caring for them because of a landlord with an addled mind who wanted to assert his dominance up to his last breath.
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harrie
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« Reply #398 on: June 11, 2008, 09:57:44 PM »

And, trying "green" products to deter the beetles; garlic seems to be having some effect but there are still way too many munching  away....

Catnip is supposed to work, too; and I've seen recommendations for white geraniums as well. Though with the geranium, it has to be white, and I think the object is for the Japanese beetles to eat the crap out of the geranium instead of whatever you're protecting.  Maybe it's just me, but I find it difficult to sacrifice a geranium; though I have no problem doing exactly the same thing with eggplant. (And we still get a good number of edible eggplant, so it's not all that bad, just ratty-looking.)  Gotta say, though -- garlic works wonders in so many ways, and it's tasty too.  Those bag traps can easily work against the gardener, so lots of garden writers say not to even bother with them.

madupont, I read the winter squash as ground cover and just can't wrap my mind around it.  Having experienced the groundhog nightmare of a few years ago, I cannot imagine leaving the delicious product just hanging out there, begging to be chewed on.  We corral our winter squash and go absolutely nutty protecting them.  I may have nightmares over this.
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madupont
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« Reply #399 on: June 12, 2008, 12:24:20 AM »

DO YOU MEAN THAT THE GROUNDHOGS DIG UNDER THE FENCE?

I know they are capable of digging burrows to be comfy. I think this was a PAllen Smith suggestion but not sure.

Reminded myself today to put some garlic-chives under the rose vine with the beetles in mind.

I vaguely remember white geranium being recommended for beans of all kinds (and although I do not have a bean of any kind in my garden right now, two bean beetles showed up out of nowhere as soon as desdemona mentioned them.  I wonder what else that they like, which I apparently have out there, that caught their attention where ever they keep it, not smell so what kind of receptors do they have that responds so emphatically as they did to desdemona's beans?
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harrie
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« Reply #400 on: June 12, 2008, 09:17:38 AM »

DO YOU MEAN THAT THE GROUNDHOGS DIG UNDER THE FENCE?

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but YES!  They will chew through fence that is not metal (trust me on that one!) and dig under to a certain degree.  We have not had a digging under problem since sinking the metal fence about a 8-12" deep and then building the Walls of Jericho (banking dirt up against the interior side of the fence) and periodically applying coyote urine around; but our garden coordinator guy had something, presumably groundhogs (but could have been cute little bunnies), dig a Great Escape-type tunnel that came up into the middle of his garden.  His zucchini was just massacred.  Groundhogs (and bunnies):  So, so cute....but evil.
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madupont
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« Reply #401 on: June 12, 2008, 01:18:08 PM »

No sarcasm. I think the guy who came up with the vines on the outside of the fence, as well as on the inside to save squash, was offering entanglement involvement which many scavengers detest.

I tried this out at one time, without a fence, when I added a section to my garden when I planned to grow pumpkins.  I had prepared the soil with marigolds the year before, and then put in those Paris potirons with plenty of vine.  My neighbours across the road tried to grow corn, because they had moved to the country, and often insisted that my cats were stripping the stalks of cobs! Which just goes to show they were city people now suburbanites, since cats are not that interested in corn on the cob. I knew the culprits were raccoons that I've previously described in rural Midwestern areas.

That was the year when the house was sold because the realtor's tax-write off on property in their inventory elapsed. They decided to subdivide, selling two lots;  and to develop the lot on which my garden had thrived, the slow ten year nourishment of the soil would go along with the lot frontage from property line to property line of beautiful purple lilacs. I think they kept the white lilacs parallel at the back of the property dividing it from the neighbor who experienced the Spring flooding of driveway.

I relocated, taking a job in the Pathology laboratory of a city hospital; and never did see how the pumpkin project turned out as I'd been too busy packing when also coming home from the hospital and finding that the realtor while showing the house had left doors open to the outside as they departed, using up the fuel as the heat went out the door. Sometimes leaving lights on as well.

My Amish neighbors here in Lancaster grow large fields on the slopes alongside the lane, from their gross dawdy haus where they can watch the pumpkins grow to an immense size, and then their sons load them for sale up in New York state and surrounding area. (I much prefer the Connecticutt "Cheese" pumpkin ever since finding out about it while living in New Jersey. It is both handsome as decor and edible in pies.)

I've noticed that here in Pennsylvania farmland many of the scavengers took the hint from the continual field activity for the last going on 300 years and just moved on to set up their territorial imperative elsewhere; with the exception of the seasonal deer, and the occasional cougar, and the twice yearly arrival of raucus black birds because the location is on their migration route.

Meanwhile, the excessive rain that we've had with encroaching storm patterns, after years of drought, caught me off guard. New little lobelias and alpine campanula tucked into corners of a square decorative planter that holds agapanthus never needed drainage before, so they've now been practically drowned out in one night's downpour for which there was no warning it would be Evan Almighty!  Otherwise I would have thrown a plastic over the thing and weighted that down rather than miss out on the beautiful shade flowering of diminutive blue and violet colours.
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harrie
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« Reply #402 on: June 12, 2008, 01:46:58 PM »

Quote
(I much prefer the Connecticutt "Cheese" pumpkin ever since finding out about it while living in New Jersey. It is both handsome as decor and edible in pies.)

That's funny (ha-ha, not strange).  Here in Connecticut we call them Long Island Cheese pumpkins.  At least that's how I've heard them referred to.  This year we're giving Rouge vid d'Etampes ("the Cinderella pumpkin") a try as well as the good old carvers.

I know what you mean about the entanglement factor - the hubby doesn't ask me to water the squash mounds after a certain point, since on occasion I've lost my balance in that patch and gone all Godzilla -- but it takes some time to get to that point.  And the critters in my neighborhood move in when things are nice and tender. 
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Donotremove
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« Reply #403 on: June 12, 2008, 02:19:38 PM »

Is anybody composting?

Or using worms to eat garbage and using the worms castings for dressing in flower and veggie beds? Holy-in-your-face worms eating garbage . . . one web site has a unit that is a coffee table if you live in an apartment!

I got started looking into the worm thing after I read a book title "Worms Are Eating My Garbage."
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thecap0
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« Reply #404 on: June 12, 2008, 08:03:55 PM »

Is anybody composting?

Yep!

I purchased a commercial drum type composter last fall.

Everything organic goes into it - coffee grounds, lawn clippings, leaves, vegetable peelings, and a bit of composted manure as a starter.  I turn the rotating drum about every 3 days.

I put it on my garden this spring, and I'm beating my tomatoes off with a stick.

It takes about 3-4 weeks to turn my scraps into really rich, dark organic stuff.
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