Saturday Gardening Thread: Bookworm Edition [Y-not and KT]

Note: Open Thread Below for non-gardening discussions.

Y-not: My heart wasn't in this week. Although the Gardening Morons are a uniformly wonderful bunch, my motivation to produce content is at an all-time low thank to a vocal minority of commenters on other threads.

Fortunately, the incomparable KT has content for you this week:

Greetings, Horde! The windy phase of spring has started here in the San Joaquin Valley. People are sniffling from blowing pollen. My Roger's Delight Geranium (well, O.K., Pelargonium) had more flowers a couple of weeks ago. Here are a couple of the remaining small clusters with Ruby Rocket snapdragons. Part of the "Rocket" series. They are supposed to grow pretty tall. Shoulda started them earlier.


Our climate is not ideal for geraniums (pelargoniums), but I have kept this one alive for several years, in part shade. Almost lost it to frost and wet soil a couple of times. When I remember, I start a few cuttings as bloom slows down in late spring. You can see that some of the stems are getting past their prime.

Roger's Delight is sort of like a small Martha Washington geranium with lemon or lemon-rose scented foliage. It seems a little tougher than the large-flowered Martha Washington types that I loved so much in Southern California. We have some scented geranium fans in The Horde. Has anybody gone big with the Martha Washingtons? I think it would be fun to post some photos sometime, maybe along with some Azaleas or Rhododendrons for comparison.

Insect of the Week

The Geranium Budworm is a major pest of zonal geraniums - the kind most of us think of first when we say "geranium". Some of the other types of geraniums seem more resistant to this particular pest. I have never noticed them on my Roger's Delight. In Southern California, I inspected zonal geraniums for tell-tale holes in buds and squished the worms inside. When populations are high, these worms can destroy nearly all the flowers on a plant.

This caterpillar can change color depending on what it eats, so sometimes it can be quite colorful. It is also known as the Tobacco Budworm. It feeds on the flowers, flower buds and tender foliage of several desirable plants, including edibles, and on a lot of weeds, too,

It particularly likes petunias, which are related to tobacco. Here is a study comparing lacewings to Bt for control of this pest. Bt won. But don't expect miracles. Once they get inside a bud, systemic insecticides are about the only thing that will touch these caterpillars. The authors of the page linked above advise us to look on the bright side: the worms could destroy some older flowers, stimulating the plant to produce new ones!

Ever felt like this petunia looks?

The University of Florida has a more comprehensive profile of this worm, its habits, enemies and controls in its Featured Creatures series. What a long list of host plants! It is very closely related to the corn earworm and attacks plants in a similar manner. Sounds like weed control, cultivation and destroying dead flowers all help. There are some parasitoid wasps that lay eggs on them, too.

Have you had experience dealing with these bud and flower-destroying caterpillars?

Book Nook

I have dreamed about creating a little spot in the garden just for reading. Has anyone out there actually achieved this? Reading a book about gardening in the garden could be especially nice. I may not be the only one who would like this. In the comments to last week's thread, Tammy al-Thor said, "We should all list our favorite gardening books and authors some day." Great idea.

Of all her garden books, Tammy seems to love The Four Season Landscape by Susan Roth the best. Tammy also notes that this author "has one about Weekend Gardening that is well worth it."

Commenters recommended several other general gardening books to those who had a gardening challenge. And some books were recommended just for the pleasure of reading them. I'm going to try to summarize. Get that AoSHQ Amazon link ready if you are looking for some fun and informative reading. If you have another favorite, please let us know about it in the comments:

Vic recommends the New Complete Guide to Gardening by Better Homes and Gardens. Especially for beginners.

JQ Flyover said,

Fave garden book would be Sunset Western Garden Book. Plants referenced alphabetically, by both latin and common names, with illustrations, so you can actually FIND what you're looking for. Also it has sections on plants for particular areas, such as for privacy screening, drought-tolerance, shade, etc.

Downloaded (at no charge) the Idaho Master Gardener handbook from UI extension site. Definitely for the more serious side of gardening and farming.

We have discussed the Sunset Western Garden Book in a previous thread. It is the one I grab most often when I have a new plant or project in mind. JQ may have the same edition I do, with plant illustrations. The newest edition includes common names in the plant descriptions, but the alphabetical common name cross-references were given up in order to add photos of plants.

Does anybody have a report on The New Southern Living Garden Book? I wonder how many similarities there are to the SWGB, since both parent magazines are now part of the same "corporate family"?

When it comes to reading for pleasure, my choice among general gardening books is Principles of Gardening. The author is hoity-toity enough for the AoSHQ Sunday Morning Book Thread. "Hugh Johnson is the world's pre-eminent writer on wine." Maybe some of the people who frequent the Food Thread on Sundays have one of his pocket guides to wine.

This author writes really beautifully. Some reviewers compare the Principles of Gardening to a long essay on gardening. But is includes a lot of useful details for an essay. The photos are also wonderful. The information on historical gardening is especially well-presented.

Someone took my book. A dark cloud forms over my head when I remember this. I had the 1983 version (fine quality paperback) and loved it. The subtitle of that version is "A Guide to the Art, History, Science and Practice of Gardening".

I think the first edition was released in 1979 The title seems to change with each major update. The 1997 edition gets 5 stars at Amazon.

There is also a "Gardening Companion: Principles of Gardening" from 1998. It doesn't seem to have attracted the following that the others did. Hugh Johnson has also written books about trees. I think the latest (2010) is The World of Trees.

So that brings us to books about specific gardening subjects. There's a lot of ground to cover. Can't do it all today. Do you have a gardening passion? Our friend JTB seems to have one. I think it would make a fun topic one of these weeks:

I have a book from the 1970s called "Pirating Plants" by Peter Tobey. Lots of stuff on grafting and weird ways to propagate plants. Kind of a fun, late Hippie era read, especially if doing it to experiment without too many expectations. . . .

I've always regarded seeds and other means of propagating plants to be very cool. Even when Mrs. JTB and I were too busy to garden or have house plants, I would glance through the 'Pirating Plants' and 'New Seed-Starters Handbook' just for pleasure.

I think seed catalogs often provide some nice book recommendations, depending on your interests. This year Pinetree offers books in the categories like Gardening ("Epic Tomatoes" by Craig Lehoullier sounds nice); Children's books, puzzles and coloring books; Cookbooks featuring garden produce; Preserving (two whole pages); Healthy Living and Crafts and Hobbies. An amazing range of garden-related books. I like their clearance page. But I always want to read more books that I know I will have time to read. So, suggestions from The Horde on the best books are a big help.

Hope you have time for some fun and relaxation this week, either working in the garden or reading about gardening.


Y-not: Thanks, KT!

Link to the archives. (Looks like I need to update the archives sometime soon.)

Have a good day, gardeners.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:30 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 Getting seeds started

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 11:55 AM (fizMZ)

2 Wow, lots of content. Still laid up, can't wait to shovel up new beds

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at March 26, 2016 11:55 AM (voOPb)

3 Too cold to garden around here.

Posted by: HH at March 26, 2016 11:56 AM (DrCtv)

4 Time machine

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at March 26, 2016 11:56 AM (voOPb)

5 Lettuce, spinach, green beans, dill, Anaheim peppers, bell peppers, dill, and basil.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 11:57 AM (fizMZ)

6 The Nichols Garden Nursery newsletter is out. One spring observation is that Asian pear blossoms stink.

Now there's an honest gardening catalog.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 11:58 AM (qahv/)

7 I finally added to my garden, removed rocks, fixed the fence, graded just need a month in which hopefully my seeds will all be ready to plant.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 11:59 AM (fizMZ)

8 You must really like dill, Skip.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:02 PM (qahv/)

9 The new tulips are struggling through. Some little SOB is chewing them. I hope they can make it all the way.

Posted by: Bruce at March 26, 2016 12:02 PM (8ikIW)

10 Any clue what's chewing them, Bruce? Slugs? A worm of some sort?

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:04 PM (qahv/)

11 Rabbits like to eat fresh greens. Little bastards

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at March 26, 2016 12:05 PM (voOPb)

12 Dill is good, it usually self sows but last year I think rabbits cut the stalks down and it killed them so going to try seeds to get them going again. Also last year had lots or free ranging tomatoes but as I've really turned over the whole plot I don't know what will come up where.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 12:07 PM (fizMZ)

13 "Rabbits like to eat fresh greens". Yes. The domestic ones sometimes make themselves sick by over-doing it. The wild ones seem smarter.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:09 PM (qahv/)

14 Rabbits got my green beans last year so I'm going to double up the fence on the bottom to keep the furry little bastard out.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 12:09 PM (fizMZ)

15 Love the butterfly picture but the Reuters headline writer needs glasses, that is a pair of butterflies on oranges not "A" butterfly.

Posted by: PaleRider at March 26, 2016 12:10 PM (3kUGE)

16 Dill usually grows best from seed, Skip. There are cultivars that are best for leaves and others that are best for seed heads.

Tomatoes may or may not turn out well when they grow free-range.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:11 PM (qahv/)

17 Thanks as always, KT and Y-not.

Texas has such challenging i.e., shitty soils and climates that a lot of experts here say to in general use books written for Texas or nearby states. I'm not at home so can't peruse my library. Pirating Plants reminds me of a book I have called Passalong Plants. It's about plants southerners pass along to each other by cuttings, etc, and it has a cute southern sense of humor.

We're in the Hill Country for Easter and saw lots of bluebonnets and Drummond phlox on the drive yesterday.

Posted by: stace at March 26, 2016 12:13 PM (sIhFA)

18 This thread is implying that I should be outside cleaning up all the twigs on the lawn in preparation for mowing next weekend.

I consider it a microaggression and I demand a safe space.

Posted by: rickl at March 26, 2016 12:13 PM (sdi6R)

19 Wild rabbits did a number on my glads last summer. I'm making a new glad bed with fencing so they aren't eaten

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at March 26, 2016 12:14 PM (voOPb)

20 The blizzard last Wednesday blew over a 40' Blue Spruce in the front yard doing some damage. Could have been worse. Anyway, I can't get the garden tractor and tiller to the garden until the tree is sawed up. That may take me about 4 months at my speed. Tree bark soup may be on the menu instead of tomato soup.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 12:15 PM (7VC+5)

21 ROFL Rickl.

Posted by: PaleRider at March 26, 2016 12:15 PM (3kUGE)

22 Spruce?

Go for a cheap gin valu-rite instead of bark soup

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at March 26, 2016 12:17 PM (voOPb)

23 Interesting how many of our favorite garden books are out of print. A lot of new ones come out every year, though. I'm eyeing "Flower Hunters" on the Pinetree sale page. About the intrepid men and women who discovered new plants not too long ago, historically speaking.

They also have a "red hot cookbook", a book on seascape gardening and one on "The Weather Resilient Garden".

There's also one from a Valley writer, David Mas Masumoto, who made news with "Epitaph for a Peach" several years ago. I have a feeling it was his best work.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:18 PM (qahv/)

24 14 Rabbits got my green beans last year so I'm going to double up the fence on the bottom to keep the furry little bastard out.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 12:09 PM (fizMZ)



Good heavens. Plant a second row for the bunnies. You cannot eat an anorexic rabbit.

Capsicums started: Jalapeno M, Jalapeno Gigantea, two varieties of Cayenne, some wild seed of a tiny little upright bastard I collected in the Philippines, and Scorpion Tail. Started under a heating pad. Emerged after 6 days.

Posted by: cicero Kaboom! kid at March 26, 2016 12:20 PM (d7wFx)

25 22.

But many parts of a spruce tree are edible.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:21 PM (qahv/)

26 25 22.

But many parts of a spruce tree are edible.

Duh. The Goose Spruce.

Posted by: cicero Kaboom! kid at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM (d7wFx)

27 Has anyone ever tried the "winter sowing" that Y-not linked to a couple of years ago? I collected milk jugs like a boss for 2 years and never did anything with them. I can't really grow anything except herbs in pots on my back deck because our yard is pretty much all shade, but it turns out I'm too lazy to even try starting those from seed early.

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM (2WwbN)

28 cicero Kaboom! kid at March 26, 2016 12:20 PM

I am impressed by the wild pepper from the Philippine and the Scorpion Tail. Probably to chicken to grown them myself.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM (qahv/)

29 It is looking like Spring here in NE Ohio, but we are far away from anything beyond tending the flower beds, Preening and very light weeding.

There was some talk in the first morning thread of bluebells (we have a commenter by that nic) and some confusion over Bluebells / Virginia Bluebells / Bluebonnets. To the best of my knowlege, Bluebells (or as we called them Bluebells of Scotland), are related to Hyacinths and are in the Asparagales family, while Virginia Bluebells are in the Borage family. Lastly there are the Bluebonnets which are in the Acanthus family. Personally, I like all of them -- although we had only the two former mentioned in NE Ohio where I grew up. That said, we did have Lupine varieities which are relatives to the Bluebonnet.
My contribution for the thread -- happy Easter to all and happy gardening!

Bluebells of Scotland -- http://tinyurl.com/jzgg6s6

Virginia Bluebells -- http://tinyurl.com/z82x34a

Bluebonnets -- http://tinyurl.com/jxn5kxa

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM (v+/ty)

30 Hey billygoat, you rang?

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:24 PM (2WwbN)

31 "Duh. The Goose Spruce."


*steps into Gardening Thread*


What? No.


*steps back out*

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 12:26 PM (9ym/8)

32 We have lots of cottontails around here (along the edge of town) and they chew stuff right down to the ground.

I've noticed the little buggers have their preferences, though:

They love crocus, lettuce and white clover;
will happily munch tulips, new green shoots on most shrubbery, petunias.

They seem to dislike daffodils, asiatic lilies, Hellebores, most old-woody growth.

All bets are off when the snow is deep-- then they'll eat anything they find!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 12:26 PM (044Fx)

33 KT, I am a gal from flyover country, in LA for just a few years for work. While I have been desperately lonely for some normal friends, I have been delighted by the western wonders in my backyard. You are so right about the windy spring - lots of schmutz in the air. However, the scents in the air are amazing. I took the pups out for a late night pee and was hit with the most beautiful fragrance floating on the breeze. My nose traced it to a grapefruit tree at the back of the lot upon which I dwell. I've never smelled anything so lovely. I also have petunias blooming (related to tobacco? Who knew?) and some calla lilies. All this gorgeousness makes me anxious to get back to my own garden where I can get my hands dirty. I have a great little garden right outside my kitchen door, where I pick tomatoes and green beans for dinner most summer evenings. So fun! Thanks for a great post, and I hope Y-Not can shake the blues about the loud mouths.

Posted by: Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 12:28 PM (VqWZX)

34 For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, Steve Solomon, who started Territorial Seeds, wrote a book called Gardening West of the Cascades, it is in its 35 year anniversary edition now

http://astore.amazon.com/aoshq-20/detail/1570619727


He also has two other books not so PNW centric on Gutenberg.org

Gardening Without Irrigation: or without much, anyway by Steve Solomon

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4512

Organic Gardener's Composting by Steve Solomon

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4342

I printed and use the two books in my gardening and composting, I found they helped a lot in figuring out what I want to plant and how to plant them best.

He doesn't do much for perenials or fruit trees though.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 12:28 PM (XQHkt)

35 How far back should I trim my roses, and when?

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at March 26, 2016 12:30 PM (Kucy5)

36 A "boy" poses with butterflies? That's racist!

Posted by: Prothonotary Warbler... Ask not for whom The Donald Trumps. at March 26, 2016 12:30 PM (0OG8D)

37 Virginia bluebells are the type that grew wild on our hill in Colorado. They're tough suckers given the heat, cold, and dryness they had to weather there. Tasty too since, like clover and honeysuckle, there's a bit of nectar that can be gotten at even by humans.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 12:31 PM (GDulk)

38 Just finished picking and cleaning my dandelion greens for Easter dinner...with PA Dutch hot bacon dressing. Yum!!!
Picked a bunch of mustard greens too, gonna have a nice salad tonight too.

Posted by: Clarney at March 26, 2016 12:31 PM (dgO4h)

39 Hi bluebell, ddn't see you here!

As mentioned, there was some talk about the flower(s) in the AM thread -- figured I'd toss in my .02!

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:33 PM (v+/ty)

40 Polliwog, are you sure? Because here in Virginia the Virginia bluebells in the wild grow in the shade in the riverbanks, and they are ephemeral (only last a few weeks at the most).

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:33 PM (2WwbN)

41 "A little spot in the garden just for reading." I like those, but. Don't read your gardening books there, or you'll work yourself to death. Also, New World Problems: many people won't interrupt you when you're actually working the garden, but if they see you just sitting there, they'll assume you want company.

I've done a couple of blue spruces. They're easier to "reduce" than most trees. Wear gloves! and long sleeves! Use a limb-size chainsaw to bare the trunk, then leveraged hand-loppers to make the brush lay down. The trunk usually isn't all that thick, and, soft wood. Some evergreens are gummier, but you'll probably still gum up a chainsaw blade. It's that brushpile that's going to take all year. You only have a few days to get them to hell off grass before they start dropping needles, and sharp prickly needles they are too. I tractor or trailer them to a neutral zone so they can drop the needles into a mulch pile before I try to grind them. That helps some.

There is a spruce beetle moving into our area, and I took one tree down just because it was failing to thrive, gradually getting bald spots, enough to worry me that it was infected. Another one looks like it got better. Always something to worry about in the wood lot.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at March 26, 2016 12:34 PM (xq1UY)

42 bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM

Yes, winter sowing works for a lot of plants. I would only try it with the annual herbs, though. Parsley is very hardy and can be started while there is snow. Basil could be started later.

You might also think about extending the idea into spring. I have grown great baby lettuce in barbecue chicken containers with holes poked in them and less than 2 inches of potting mix. And micro-greens take some of their energy from the seed, so they are not as dependent on light. Maybe sunflower sprouts?

If you are interesting in ornamentals for the shade, keep an eye out for future posts. The hellebores we discussed recently grow in shade.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:38 PM (qahv/)

43 So we're gonna be moving into a house north of Denver I less than two weeks. I'm really looking forward to getting some bulbs started in pots on the patio. Anyone have some suggestions?

Posted by: CrotchetyOldJarhead at March 26, 2016 12:38 PM (ShplO)

44 The "bluebells" that I see in ND and Colorado pastures most resemble the pic of the Texas Bluebonnets. Perhaps they are a related lupine species.

Posted by: PaleRider at March 26, 2016 12:40 PM (3kUGE)

45 billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:23 PM

Thanks for the clarification and the links on those blue flowers. Why we use scientific names for plants.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:41 PM (qahv/)

46 35
How far back should I trim my roses, and when?

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at March 26, 2016 12:30 PM (Kucy5)

Used to have over 125 rose varieties in a prior life...this is a good source for advice:http://tinyurl.com/jp2mpoo

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:42 PM (v+/ty)

47 Thanks, KT! I may have to collect a few milk jugs and sow some basil soon. I actually grew some mixed lettuce greens in a big half-barrel last summer - was very proud of myself since I really don't have a gardening thumb.

I will indeed keep an eye out for future posts for shade plants. We have a patch in the front yard that is an overgrown mess of virginia creeper (although my husband has been diligently trying to get rid of it) and some sickly azaleas that really could stand some sprucing up.

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:43 PM (2WwbN)

48 Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 12:28 PM

There certainly are a lot of plants that smell great in the LA basin. I did a lot of garden reading there when I lived in apartments but was surrounded by some great plants.

I have to go to the nearby foothills to be surrounded by the scent of citrus, though trees will grow in protected spots here,

Thanks for the fun comment. Hope you can get back to gardening soon.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:45 PM (qahv/)

49 The only exciting thing here is that a couple of years ago I bought a wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) at a wild plant show, and it is starting to flourish and has put out a flower this year!

I am pretty amped about this. I want Trilliums and Camas lilies now.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 12:50 PM (XQHkt)

50 I tractor or trailer them to a neutral zone

What I need is a loader with a grapple hook, which I don't have. Will probably have to drag the limbs out of the yard by hand.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 12:51 PM (7VC+5)

51 CrotchetyOldJarhead at March 26, 2016 12:38 PM

Are you looking for a one-time show, or do you want to try to plant out the bulbs later? Sun or shade?

Spring-planted bulbs you might consider include freesia (perfumed) and babiana (interesting flowers). Also gladioulous, including dwarf ones.

There are a lot of interesting bulbs in the spring bulb catalogs. Thinking about dahlias for summer?

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM (qahv/)

52 Think I just felt a little earthquake.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM (qahv/)

53 Posted by: Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 12:28 PM (VqWZX)

There are some really wonderful things about SoCal (have a sis in North LA) -- they have grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, jasmine, gardenia, apricot, etc. in their yard...being there in early Spring is heaven...! And all for the morons in SoCal, I highly recommend a visit to The Huntington in San Marino.

http://tinyurl.com/d6q9pq

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM (v+/ty)

54 Dusting of snow here Thurs, but it's warmed up since. Have some potatoes planted in pots and mesclun in a container, hopefully can get some early stuff in the ground this next week.

Posted by: Farmer at March 26, 2016 12:54 PM (3hlFs)

55 Kindltot at March 26, 2016 12:50 PM

Cool about the woodland plants. Thinking Death Camas or other kinds?

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:56 PM (qahv/)

56 Craig Lehoullier has a lot of interesting tomato info on his website (CraigLehoullier.com). He's the guy that bred/discovered the Cherokee Purple variety. He mostly grows in containers on his driveway - quite a sight! It's still winter here in NE - we don't usually plant out until memorial day, so I'm still perusing seed catalogs.

Posted by: plum at March 26, 2016 12:57 PM (h+OMg)

57 Does anyone have any experience with greenhouses ?

We've got a 1 acre yard, mostly in back, and garden about half of it. I'd like to put up a small greenhouse, but really don't know where to start.

The Louisville / Ohio Valley climate really doesn't allow you to plant with confidence until Derby weekend - so I'd like to build something to do my own starts, and maybe even go the heirloom seed route.

I've looked at stuff on the web - but I just don't know. This is uncharted territory for me.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Posted by: ScoggDog at March 26, 2016 12:57 PM (fiGNd)

58 Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 12:50 PM (XQHkt)

...LOVE trilliums.

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:58 PM (v+/ty)

59 billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM

You are so right about the Huntington. Knew a man once who had an office in the library there. Was jealous.

And speaking of scents, when the Osmanthus fragrans is in full bloom in the Japanese Garden at the Huntington, it's sort of like walking through apricot jam.

Tiny flowers can put out some powerful fragrance.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:00 PM (qahv/)

60 ...LOVE trilliums.
Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:58 PM (v+/ty)

--------
Me too! I've only seen a few, in the wild, but they were just lovely. I saw a lady slipper once too, just beautiful.

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 01:00 PM (2WwbN)

61 The wild Blue Bells growing in the pasture around here mostly resemble the Virginia Blue Bells. If we get a wet spring, they are abundant.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 01:01 PM (7VC+5)

62 We probably should do a roundup on regional gardening books sometime for you Northwest and Texas gardeners. And others.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:01 PM (qahv/)

63 Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM (qahv/)

The patio gets about of early morning sun, and then is shared by the afternoon. I'm gonna try getting them started in pots and then naturalize them into the landscape. Probably gonna have to go to the botanic gardens for some ideas.

I want to find something that can share the landscape with dwarf pines and medium woody shrubs. And aspens. Apparently we have to have a trembling aspen.

Posted by: CrotchetyOldJarhead at March 26, 2016 01:01 PM (ShplO)

64 Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 12:33 PM (2WwbN)

Yes, the picture is the same. These didn't last long either and grew in the shade of the pine trees not in the flatland areas.

Posted by: PaleRider at March 26, 2016 12:40 PM (3kUGE)

Lupines do grow in Colorado as well, but these are very different. Also, aren't lupines poisonous?

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:02 PM (GDulk)

65 billygoat at March 26, 2016 12:53 PM

Descanso Gardens is not too far from the Huntington. Some of the once-blooming shrub roses should be nice about now. May still have some camellias.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:04 PM (qahv/)

66 Wife is sorting the butterfly jungle. I'm just muscle in case of snakes.

Posted by: Dave at Buffalo Roam at March 26, 2016 01:05 PM (DXYiV)

67 Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:00 PM (qahv/)

WOW!...I would be beyond jealous! If I lived in SoCal, I would be a member of The Huntington. Plus, if you like the genre of 'court paintings', they have a great collection.

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 01:06 PM (v+/ty)

68 For a "cozy" gardening read I can recommend the Beverly Nichols trilogy ("Merry Hall"/"Sunlight On The Lawn"/"Laughter On The Stairs").
Also liked "The Essential Earthman: Henry Mitchell on Gardening" and "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education" by Michael Pollan (before he got all preachy - it has some laugh-out-loud passages.

Posted by: plum at March 26, 2016 01:06 PM (h+OMg)

69 Also, aren't lupines poisonous?

They are poisonous to cattle and horses and maybe other animals.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 01:06 PM (7VC+5)

70 #46 Thanks for the link!

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at March 26, 2016 01:07 PM (Kucy5)

71 plum at March 26, 2016 12:57 PM

Interesting information on Craig Lehoullier. I check in on some tomato nut sites where he contributes from time to time.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:07 PM (qahv/)

72 I don't know on poisonous Polliwog. I never ate them, nor saw livestock eat them. They are just a fun bit of spring color in the pastures, its not like they take over and crowd out the grasses. Used to see what we called violets, blue bells and wild crocus in ND in the spring and still some here along will all the burrs and tumbleweeds that grow in sand.

Posted by: PaleRider at March 26, 2016 01:07 PM (3kUGE)

73 Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 01:00 PM (2WwbN)


Ohio Trillium(s)...

http://tinyurl.com/hb66vx6

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 01:08 PM (v+/ty)

74 KT,
yes, it's wind season on the central coast too. I use Zyrtec and flonase.
My dahlias are growing. I cut my first rose today. I also cut some tulips and ranunculus.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:08 PM (egOGm)

75 My tomatoes are sprouted indoors in starter pots and putting on secondary leaves and my bells and a few cayennes are up as well. I can almost not wait, but it's still cold here (Texas Panhandle) at night and some days. We may have snow tomorrow, I hope.

Posted by: huerfano, Cowboys fan at March 26, 2016 01:08 PM (NSb9d)

76 I'm putting off trying to set in the sleeves of the kurti I'm sewing, but if I want to wear it tomorrow I need to stop procrastinating.

Almost forgot, I was given a bunch of cut bamboo. That makes me really happy since I wanted some for shop displays and possibly sale items but there is *no* way our yard is remotely large enough. Turns out two of my kids are allergic to it though. Both Son and Littlest Kidlet broke out in haves wherever it touched their skin. I din't know it could do that.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:09 PM (GDulk)

77 Ronster at March 26, 2016 01:06 PM

There are some non-poisonous lupines, even lupine seeds that people eat, but many of our native lupines are poisonous.

Some are only poisonous to livestock at certain times in their lifecycle, which complicates things even more.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:10 PM (qahv/)

78 @Posted by: ScoggDog at March 26, 2016 12:57 PM (fiGNd)

I don't have a greenhouse but I've bought supplies from
http://www.charleysgreenhouse.com/ and find their prices reasonable and their customer service excellent. You should at least request their catalog.

Posted by: plum at March 26, 2016 01:10 PM (h+OMg)

79 Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:04 PM (qahv/)

Holy crap...my sis lives in Sunland - Tujunga; Descanso is just East of theirs...! It's on my list for the next trip out!

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 01:12 PM (v+/ty)

80 Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:10 PM (qahv/)

My understanding was that they were the "locoweed" of western legend because of "fixing" selenium like legumes do nitrogen. Walmart has some right now and I was really tempted, but I like as edible as possible of a landscape and I couldn't remember if they were one of the ones that affected plants around them.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:13 PM (GDulk)

81 KT at March 26, 2016 01:07 PM (qahv/)

He used to be active on the old GardenWeb Tomato forum before Spike sold it. I am in a similar situation in that I don't have soil where I get sun so I also grow my toms in containers.

Posted by: plum at March 26, 2016 01:14 PM (h+OMg)

82 70
#46 Thanks for the link!

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at March 26, 2016 01:07 PM (Kucy5)

YW -- and I can say from experience, do not be afraid with roses...they really are hardy. Other than that, I will say this -- use systemic fertilizers for both feeding and insect control. Also, be religious about keeping your beds clean...fungus and other blights are the scourge of good roses.

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 01:16 PM (v+/ty)

83 CrotchetyOldJarhead at March 26, 2016 01:01 PM

You might think about daylilies that you could inter-plant with daffodils. Do you have critters (deer, rodent, etc.) that would eat plants? What is your soil like?

The patio should be perfect for starting plants. Keep reminding us what you are working on, and we will try to get some more specific information for you in the future.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:17 PM (qahv/)

84 Scoggdog if you want to get nuts, investigate Crop King, they have greenhouse/hydroponic packages.

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:18 PM (jD97e)

85 I prefer camas that don't kill me. Anyways, the regular camas are much prettier than the death camas.
I also want cats-ears (mariposa lilies) and lambs's tongues (fawn lilies)
If I plant my yard right I won't be able to mow until late June.

We have calypso orchids in the woods too, but I doubt I could get them growing. They are really the only showy orchid around here, the rest are pretty boring. They are very rare.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 01:18 PM (XQHkt)

86 Love the idea of a reading area in the garden. We 'sorta' have a spot now but want a more permanent set up with a big umbrella or tarp for shade and so we can use it in the rain. I have three requirements: a table to hold the books, binoculars and iced tea or coffee; it has to face the bird feeders and flowering plants; we want a view of the vegetable garden and containers. Fortunately, our current set up allows for these things.

Posted by: JTB at March 26, 2016 01:18 PM (FvdPb)

87 Some are only poisonous to livestock at certain times in their lifecycle, which complicates things even more.


Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:10 PM (qahv/)

When my BIL was ranching, he said Spring was the worst. Don't know if he really knew.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 01:19 PM (7VC+5)

88 KT,
I took some pics of our newest field of tunnels. 20 more acres of organic blackberries. They just finished putting up the tunnels. I'm not sure if these plants will be harvested the first year or not. My husband explained the whole permacane thing. I forgot already.
I know the pics come out crooked. You need to click on view original image.
http://tinypic.com/r/t03hok/9
http://tinypic.com/r/28a87wm/9
http://tinypic.com/r/jsiqz5/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:19 PM (egOGm)

89 Cali girl, how many total acres do y'all have?

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:21 PM (jD97e)

90 Caligirl what type of blackberries? Kotata, marionberries or other types?

What sort of arbors are you putting them on, and how will you pick?

Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 01:23 PM (XQHkt)

91 Last year we had a bunch of volunteer thorn canes and I told Son to leave them alone once I learned here that blackberries usually grow on 2-year canes. Sure enough, there are medium sized white blossoms this year, and canes in a couple other places as well. I'm looking forward to finding out what they are exactly when they set fruit.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:23 PM (GDulk)

92 I enjoy reading on my covered patio. It's not really the garden but I can watch the birds in the trees.

My go to garden book is sunset western garden book. I have the new edition. I don't know the names of the plants so the pictures help.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:24 PM (egOGm)

93 Cali girl your soil looks so beautiful.
Mine looks so much better this year than it did last year, but I've got a long way to go still.

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:28 PM (jD97e)

94 Traye,
We farm on about 1600-1700 total acres. We have 17 different ranches we farm. The one near my house has 450 farmable acres.
We farm close to the ocean, also 30 miles inland. Moving equipment constantly.
I want to add, I am constantly wrong. My husband has to correct me.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:28 PM (egOGm)

95 Kindlot,
We are a grower for Driscoll. They own the varieties we use. I'm not sure what kind they are.
They string them up on wire. We hand pick them, well not me the crews do.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:31 PM (egOGm)

96 "I want to add, I am constantly wrong. My husband has to correct me."


Your too affable, CG. You may be right more than you know.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:31 PM (9ym/8)

97 Claerney, That hot bacon dressing you mentioned is what Mrs. JTB uses on her German potato salad and what she calls wilted lettuce. Using it on our home grown salad greens is beyond good. Apparently, it is an old recipe her ancestors brought over from Germany in the 1840s and has continued in her family down the generations. To say it's delicious is a huge understatement. I think it qualifies, or should, as its own food group.

Posted by: JTB at March 26, 2016 01:31 PM (FvdPb)

98 I can't in the deepest thinking parts of my brain imagine what it'd be like to have to manage that with the government of California.

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:33 PM (jD97e)

99 Ugh. Blackberries. On our hillside in back. We might make one blackberry pie a year, otherwise it's a constant battle. Woodsman's Pal is your friend.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at March 26, 2016 01:33 PM (/WPPJ)

100 Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:13 PM

The "locoweed" designation has been applied to lupines and other members of the pea family, such as Astragalus. Sometimes it is related to high selenium content in the soil. But the chemical that causes animals to act "loco" is Swainsonine. Astragalus seems to be worse than lupine in this regard. I think there are other things in lupine that make animals sick sometimes.

Don't worry about garden lupines affecting your other plants.

Incidentally Astragalus is a host to the State Butterfly of California, the Dogface Sulfur.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:34 PM (qahv/)

101 Just finished a helping of easy kraut from last Summer. Wifey makes me eat some before every meal. Says it's healthy. I don't believe her.

Posted by: Ronster at March 26, 2016 01:34 PM (7VC+5)

102 Traye,
Yes it's good soil. The blueberries did not like the soil. I think it was too heavy. We are planting in pots now under the tunnels.
We just started the berries a few years ago. It's a learning curve.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:35 PM (egOGm)

103 Just got done with carpet bombing/area denial of the weeds.

That's my extent of gardening.

But great thread. Nice to see the horde has a green thumb.

Posted by: RWC - Team BOHICA at March 26, 2016 01:37 PM (hlMPp)

104 Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 01:08 PM (v+/ty)
____________
Oooh, billygoat, that trillium link is lovely.

Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 01:37 PM (2WwbN)

105 I made a mistake with blackberries last year. Planted hundreds.

I figured I'd plant them along the pig fencing and let that be the trellis and they'd grow up above the pig's reach, what I didn't count on is how much they'd like the roots. It's actually a preferred food and they've cleared about 15 acres of all wild blackberry plants.

This winter I'm planting more outside their area. It's my favorite berry.

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:38 PM (jD97e)

106 "Just got done with carpet bombing/area denial of the weeds. "


What'd you use?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:39 PM (9ym/8)

107 A couple of other books I enjoy: 'The Founding Gardeners' by Andrea Wulf and 'The Year-Round Vegetable Gardner' by Niki Jabbour. Founding Gardeners is fascinating in what it reveals about Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. Gardening for science, decoration, commerce (Washington was a serious capitalist), and even to promote an American vs. British emphasis. Neat stuff.

I haven't put the Year-Round Gardener to use yet but it is interesting and gives me ideas for the future.

Posted by: JTB at March 26, 2016 01:39 PM (FvdPb)

108 Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:33 PM (jD97e)
It's very difficult. My husband said if he tried to start a farming business today, he couldn't do it. Small businesses with no money or assets can't compete because of all the regulations.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 26, 2016 01:41 PM (egOGm)

109 CaliGirl,

The blackberry plantings are impressive. We went to a pick-your-own blackberry place near Bakersfield once, The plants were trained on some really, really heavy supports. A lot of work.

Jealous that you are picking ranunculus.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 01:41 PM (qahv/)

110 There are a couple of fruit companies that do that, the farmers raise the fruit and sell to the companies. It used to be that the co-op canneries would buy from the members, but those co-ops haven't done so well recently.

There are also a bunch of small farmers that grow 20-50 acres of berries in this area, they sell to the canneries and stores. In the last 10 years or so there have been some small pie and jam companies that have popped up, but they don't seem to have a lot of production. A lot of Saturday market sales.

Jam and preserves you can sell all year, that is the nice part about that.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 26, 2016 01:42 PM (XQHkt)

111 I live in blueberry central, thousands of acres around here because our soil is perfectly suited. They grow as wild here as blackberries do.

Posted by: Traye at March 26, 2016 01:43 PM (jD97e)

112 Just got done with carpet bombing/area denial of the weeds. "


What'd you use?
Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:39 PM (9ym/


Ortho Groundclear Concentrate


I don't follow the instructions regarding diluting it. I do a somewhat, but not much.

Posted by: RWC - Team BOHICA at March 26, 2016 01:44 PM (hlMPp)

113 Lots O Content today. For anyone interested, pet thread is nood.

Posted by: L, Elle at March 26, 2016 01:44 PM (2x3L+)

114 Granted, I'm just a home gardener--

Generally speaking, on the thorned berries:

Blackberries, raspberries produce on previous season's growth. These are this year's "floricanes."

New growth, which doesn't produce this year, are called "primocanes." (Next year, these will be the floricanes.)

After first frost, cut out the canes which have produced--they won't fruit again. Leave the new growth, they will bear next year's crop.

Here's some good info:

http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/BUL/BUL0812.pdf

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 01:45 PM (044Fx)

115 And I attached my AR sling to the sprayer so it would be deadlier.

Posted by: RWC - Team BOHICA at March 26, 2016 01:45 PM (hlMPp)

116 "Ortho Groundclear Concentrate "


Had real good luck with Ortho weed spray. Killed the damn Hell outta them. Cheaper than the altternatives too.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:47 PM (9ym/8)

117 "And I attached my AR sling to the sprayer so it would be deadlier."


You were really thinking.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:48 PM (9ym/8)

118 Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 01:45 PM (044Fx)

Thanks!

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 01:52 PM (GDulk)

119 117 "And I attached my AR sling to the sprayer so it would be deadlier."


You were really thinking.
Posted by: Ricardo Kill at March 26, 2016 01:48 PM (9ym/

Laziness is the mother of all invention

Yeah, only have good luck with Ortho. I don't care about the area being treated as there is absolutely nothing but weeds there.

Posted by: RWC - Team BOHICA at March 26, 2016 01:53 PM (hlMPp)

120 Thanks to Y-not and KT as always. This thread is always informative, fun and gives me ideas for the future. I seldom read the political threads anymore but this and the other weekend threads are wonderful.

Posted by: JTB at March 26, 2016 01:56 PM (FvdPb)

121 I have an older edition of the Southern Living Garden Book.
As a plant reference it is pretty good with sevral types of lookup tables and most of the book is an encyclopedia of plants sorted alphabetically by latin name. The last part of the book is a comprehansive index that you'll need to find the latin names. As a whole, it is a book about plants.

I also have the companion book, Southern Living Landscape Book. This a guide to landscape architecture using real landscaping to teach how it is done. Little to no technical information about plants, but lots of gardens and landscaping pics and descriptions.

Both books are specific to the SE (basically Virginia south and Texas east).
Maybe they combined both books into one.

Posted by: Burnt Toast at March 26, 2016 01:56 PM (T78UI)

122 Just saw that the NEW Southern Living Garden Book is 768 pages. They must have combined the two volumes.

Amazon reviewers said that the publisher pooched up the page numbers big time though.

Posted by: Burnt Toast at March 26, 2016 02:01 PM (T78UI)

123 Good luck, Polliwog!

I'm guessing your "volunteers" are the Vicious Wild Blackberry which fills canyons and devours the flesh of those who would dare pick its luscious fruit... birds poop out the seed everywhere and the stuff Takes Over where unchecked.

Ah, many a sunny afternoon I've spent on rural roadsides, picking these delicious freebies. (And stained lovely purple for a week, arms scratched bloody, fingertips full of thorns.)

Beware: this plant will root everywhere it touches the ground and will spread from those roots. Keep it contained from the start!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 02:04 PM (044Fx)

124 ScoogDog - last year I helped build a kit greenhouse for my sister. It was about 8 x10 and you could walk in and had windows which could be opened for cooling. I'm not sure how much but will find out tomorrow. It may have been 300$ but not sure. Look on line I'm sure you will see a idea.
My sisters garden is probably 25 X 100ft. She got ghe greenhouse to get plants started. This year she could have veggies all but flowering it's been so mild.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 02:09 PM (fizMZ)

125 JTB...I'm happy to find someone else who understands the wonder of hot bacon dressing!!!

Posted by: Clarney at March 26, 2016 02:10 PM (dgO4h)

126 Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 02:04 PM (044Fx)

Too late! Although it (they, now) is in a separate side yard area.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 26, 2016 02:15 PM (GDulk)

127 Burnt Toast at March 26, 2016 02:01 PM

Thanks for the reviews on the Southern Living books. I have really been curious.


Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 02:20 PM (qahv/)

128 Too late!

Well, that didn't take long...

Given regular water, and periodic top-dressing of compost, The Thing should overgrow your house in no time you'll soon have loads of huge delicious blackberries.

They really are yummy. Seedy, though, so I usually make seedless jam-- straining out seeds reduces yield by about half!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 02:22 PM (044Fx)

129 Oh my gosh, how flattering!! Thanks so much for sharing my recommendations...I hope anyone who might buy the books enjoys them as much as I did.

And what a day to miss the thread...but t's so lovely here, I couldn't stand staying inside.

First, some more recommendations. Garden books are my thang, so I have a metric boatload of them, but will try and mention only my utmost favorite authors.

And keep in mind that anything I read is most likely to be about flowers and landscaping, as opposed to vegetable/fruit gardening.

I don't have too many technical how-to types, most of the ones I like are kind of telling how they went about starting and maintaining their gardens, even though they put you plenty of knowledge while doing so. Anyone who just likes to read about gardens will adore these, I promise. If you're looking for just technical stuff, how-to manuals, and/or textbook style reads, you might want to pass.

They're all probably on Amazon for a penny plus shipping.

In no particular order of preference:

Henry Mitchell His are definitely reading-for-pleasure, but man oh man is he a joy to read. Just get them all. He wrote a gardening column for years in one of the bigger newspapers, Washington Post, I think. He was a true Southern gentleman and there will never be another like him.

Ann Lovejoy Based out of Seattle, all her books are great. I'd start with The Garden in Bloom, The Year in Bloom and The Border in Bloom. Also love her book about making a tea garden, but again, they're all great, especially her earlier works

Lauren Springer The Undaunted Garden is freaking amazing, even if you aren't gardening on the high plains of Colorado. Passionate Gardening is also good. Plant Driven Design is probably also very good, but I didn't like the style of the gardens, so I don't have it.

Martha *fucking* Stewart The book called Gardening is a gawt damned masterpiece, and she does have sections on veg and fruits. Seriously, seriously good, and beautifully photographed, too.

Cassandra Danz These are so so so funny and full of great basic knowledge. Mrs Greenthumbs and Mrs Greenthumbs Plows Again. Her suggestion to use the Greek (?) Golden Ratio in laying out flower beds and planting around fences/ornaments and such made a huge difference in the appearance of my gardens, as well as those of my clients. BONUS: She was a total 'ette, too. One of my favorite lines of hers was when she said that she seldom used a tool for measuring because, as a married woman, she knew exactly what 6-8 inches looked like.

Allen Lacy Not quite as good as Henry Mitchell, but still damned good.

Miscellaneous fantastic authors, mostly British : Rosemary Verey, Penelope Hobhouse, Christopher Lloyd, Margery Fish, and Stephen Lacey, who only has one that I am aware of but it's fantastic, called The Startling Jungle, which is all about scent in the garden.

I do have one about veg/fruits called The Practical Garden of Eden by Fred Hagy,which is about edible landscaping and I really love it, too, though some if it is a bit dated, insofar as some of the plants may not be in production any longer, but still some great basic ideas.

Also, for those who just want some lovely, funny books about making a garden with some kittehs thrown in and all done in British humor, please get yourself some Beverly Nichols books. They were written in the 50s (?) but are great fun. (Start with the Merry Hall Trilogy)

I have a bunch more, but this should get you started. Oh there's one pretty good how-to that I can't find right at the moment and don't remember the author, either, but it's called something like What to Do and When To Do It that is very practical. I believe her name is Tracy ...something Italian sounding.

Helpful, I know.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 02:24 PM (q1FtT)

130 The thing to keep in mind about any gardening book is that the author probably lives in an area that is totally different than you do, so know your zone before you do exactly what they say.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 02:28 PM (q1FtT)

131 Folks ... thanks for the advice. Much appreciated Traye, plum, and Skip.

Thanks again. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Great thread.

Posted by: ScoggDog at March 26, 2016 02:31 PM (fiGNd)

132 Also, re: petunias, if you're a smoker, you want to wash your hands thoroughly before you handle them as well as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, apples, grapes, and I can't remember what else, because you run the risk of passing along tobacco leaf mosaic. (It's a virus and can live for years in dried tobacco leaves)

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 02:37 PM (q1FtT)

133 Billygoat, thank you for the reco to go see The Huntington Library. It looks incredible and is less than 20 miles away from me! I can't believe I've never heard of it! I've tried to take advantage of being here...gone to many of the beaches, the Getty, LaBrea Tar Pits, the Reagan Library. I am going to take off a weekday to go to The Huntington so that I have plenty of time for the gardens and to check out the collection of paintings. Thanks again!

Posted by: Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 02:42 PM (VqWZX)

134 Posted by: ScoggDog at March 26, 2016 12:57 PM (fiGNd)

The problem I had with mine was keeping it clean, not so much dirt, but mold/mildew. I didn't think it was worth the hassle, but I am not very patient.

If I do it again, I'd pay extra for one to plumb so I had running water, too.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 02:52 PM (q1FtT)

135 My sisters greenhouse is totally in the sun and sat through the winter just fine, Her granddaughter used it as a playhouse some. One thing is a cost vs savings, being a serious gardener it should really come out.

Posted by: Skip at March 26, 2016 03:07 PM (fizMZ)

136 Posted by: Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 02:42 PM (VqWZX)

The Arboretum is not too far away in the Grand Scheme of things, if you haven't been there.

And if you haven't been the the Getty Villa in Malibu it so sooo worth the drive. I didn't care much for the new Getty, too modern for my taste; the Villa was the original, iirc.

Also, some of the missions are worth seeing, if you haven't yet. (San Juan Capistrano is my favorite, although it'd be a long drive for you)

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 03:07 PM (q1FtT)

137 Posted by: bluebell at March 26, 2016 01:37 PM (2WwbN)

YW bluebell!

Posted by: Tired Mom at March 26, 2016 02:42 PM (VqWZX)


YW Tired Mom -- also in case you missed it, KT put out a note re: Descanso Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge...never been but it's now on my list for my next trip to SoCal...!


Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 03:25 PM (v+/ty)

138 Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 03:07 PM (q1FtT)


...second re: the original Getty -- was lucky enough to have visited it prior to the new Getty...

Posted by: billygoat at March 26, 2016 03:27 PM (v+/ty)

139 We had to remove a very large tree this winter. Without that shade, the summer sun will be cooking our house from daybreak to mid-afternoon.

Hops vines, I'm thinking. Now, to decide on an attractive support system, because it will be at the front door. Hmmm. Bingled some pictures, looking for inspiration.

Ordered rhizomes last night: Cascade, Centennial, Newport.

Brother brews, so he'll get the flowers. We just want some quick shade, until we can come up with a more permanent solution.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 03:44 PM (044Fx)

140 If I may recommend a gardening book: Grow or Die: Survival Gardening.

http://www.amazon.com/Grow-Die-Guide-Survival-Gardening-ebook/dp/B018BKK10E

A somewhat macrebre title, but it has lots of good information.

Posted by: shadowofashade at March 26, 2016 04:09 PM (owQDO)

141 I haven't finished the comments yet but I thought I'd put my books in first.

The one that started it all "Herb Gardening in the South" by Sol Metzer, 1977. I've tried most of the plants in there in the last nearly 40 years most of which don't do well here. He's writing from Houston, warm, wet almost no freezes and I'm in the Hill Country near Austin, dry, bad soil, erratic late freezes that kill off your tender peppers. (I lost most of my young peppers last week to a freeze that didn't quite extend to the weather center in Austin.)

Online I found "Fruits of Warm Climates" by Julia F. Morton. This one explains why my loquats don't produce. It doesn't get cold enough to freeze the plant but those erratic freezes usually kill the flowers or the fruit. She even gives exact temperatures.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/zbajrae

Posted by: gingeroni at March 26, 2016 05:11 PM (0oJ9U)

142 Wow!

Thanks for all the additional book recommendations.

Posted by: KT at March 26, 2016 05:21 PM (qahv/)

143 There's a gardening book by Huge Johnson? Sounds good. --- Barry O

Posted by: CMU VET at March 26, 2016 06:18 PM (ejB0r)

144 The other books I like reading are "Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention" by Lee Reich, 1991, http://preview.tinyurl.com/j76j6jy and "Garden Guide for Austin and Vicinity" Travis County Master Gardeners Association. The Garden Guide has awesome charts showing when it's a good time to plant vegetables, herbs or flowers, monthly lists of plants and tasks and recommended varieties and techniques.

Now back to reading comments.

Posted by: gingeroni at March 26, 2016 07:20 PM (0oJ9U)

145 I love the Sunset Western Gardening book but I also discovered Pat Welch's Organic Gardening which is great for So Cal and she has it in a month by month basis so I can remind myself what I may be forgetting to do.


Citrus trees all blooming and smell wonderful. Planted a bunch of So Cal native plants on our very dry, sunny hill. Hopefully, they will grow where other plants dared not.
All veg are in except tomatoes. Waiting for Tomatomania in a couple weeks to get some great heirloom varieties. Love Spring!

Posted by: keena at March 26, 2016 07:21 PM (RiTnx)

146 ScoggDog, if you have a Harbor Freight Tool store near you, they have some assemble-yourself greenhouses that are inexpensive. I can't vouch for the quality either way.

Posted by: Gordon at March 26, 2016 07:24 PM (R+3uy)

147 keena, as I'm sure you know, Pat Welch also has ( had?) one called Pat Welch's Guide to Gardening in Southern CA, too. I left mine with a friend when I left CA, but it's a great one.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 26, 2016 07:31 PM (q1FtT)

148 Tammy-al-Thor, yes,that's the one! I just looked and it's called Guide to Organic Gardening in Southern California. I love it. The other one which is great is Sunsets Garden Book of Edibles which really helped me to figure out what varietals of fruit trees, grapes and berries would grow best.

Posted by: keena at March 26, 2016 07:44 PM (RiTnx)

149 Oh, I nearly forgot! Moar books---

One of my favorite yard sale finds was:

10,000 Garden Questons Answered by 20 Experts 3rd edition 1974 (Both volumes for fifty cents!)

Every time I refer to it, I end up reading more and more-- sometimes forgetting what I picked it up for! Just a bunch of information, and not for the attention-challenged such as myself...

Amazon has some used ones for very low price.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 08:34 PM (044Fx)

150 Thanks, Tammy al-Thor, for The Four Season Landscape suggestion-- it arrived today!

Rodale's put out some awesome books.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 26, 2016 08:47 PM (044Fx)

151 I wrote my Sister's survived through the winter well, she has the floor in brick

Posted by: Skip at March 27, 2016 01:56 PM (EX5wM)

152 Okay, so I was way off on Tracy's book, but it's a fairly decent one:

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques

And her name is: Tracy DiSabato-Aust

She has one about mixed gardens that is decent. I need to re-read it, as mixed is the road I'm heading down, but my recollection is that it's still fairly prennial-heavy.

I swear I have a book about perennial gardening called What to Do and When to Do It, but darned if I can find it.


Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 27, 2016 02:27 PM (q1FtT)

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