Saturday Gardening Thread: Appalachian Spring [Y-not and KT]

PLEASE USE THE THREAD BELOW THIS ONE FOR NON-GARDENING TALK. THANKS!

Y-not: Greetings gardening morons and moronettes!

Let's start things off with something pretty:

Cheekwood in the Spring

Last weekend Mr Y-not and I spent an afternoon at Cheekwood, a botanical garden in Nashville. (You might recall that I shared some photos from our visit last Fall in a previous Saturday Gardening Thread.) This was our first visit to the gardens in the Spring and, boy, was it impressive.

PanoCheekwood.JPG

We managed to catch the tulips at their peak:

OrangeTulips.jpg

These were my favorites:

MassOfPinkTulips.JPG

(The tag nestled amongst these tulips read Beau Monde.)

I loved the contrast of the vibrant tulips with the crepe myrtles, which have yet to bud:

TulipsCrepeMyrtles.jpg

In addition to an explosion of color from tulips (and some daffodils, although most seemed to have gone past their bloom time), Cheekwood's collection of redbuds were quite impressive:

RedBudsDistance.JPG

Here's a close up for those of you who are unfamiliar with these striking trees:

RedBudWithCloseup.jpg

Did you know redbuds are members of the legume family?

Redbud flowers are edible, with a slightly nutty flavor. They can be added to pancakes or fritters or used as an attractive garnish on salads. Or you can use them to make a unique pickle relish! If you want to sample Redbud flowers, remember, as with the gathering of any wild edible, don't take all that you find. Leave plenty for the tree to produce seeds, for the insects to get nectar and pollen and for people to enjoy for their beauty.

When green and tender, the seed pods are also edible and can be cooked and served with butter just like peas. As they mature, the pods become brown and papery. They may persist on the branches until the following spring. Considering the abundance of seeds produced, it is interesting that only a few birds are known to make them a regular part of their diet.

I honestly don't remember seeing these beautiful trees where I grew up in Maryland, although it is part of the redbud's range. In any event, they are spectacular and appear to be amongst the earliest to bloom in our corner of Kentucky. Mr Y-not and I will probably plant a few in our yard this Fall.

The dogwoods were also in bloom during our visit. Sadly, none of my pictures turned out very well.

Off in a quiet section of the gardens, we found a lovely mossy spot:

ShadySpot.JPG

We especially loved this bench:

MossyBench.jpg

We spied this Witch Alder nearby:

WitchAlder.JPG

It sounds like it could be a good shrub to plant near our cedars. I like the idea of planting things that add year-round interest.

Finally, I have two "mystery plants" that we saw during our visit to Cheekwood, but whose tags I failed to find. First, this low plant was in a shady spot:

MysteryShadePlant.JPG

This plant seems familiar, but I couldn't identify it.

Second, several large trees that had not yet leafed-out seemed to have clusters of foliage on them:

MysteryTree.JPG

I am pretty sure these were not squirrel nests. They appeared to be comprised of green leaves. Here's a close up:

CloseupBall.jpg

Does anyone know what this phenomenon is? I was wondering if it could be some sort of parasitic plant. It reminded me of ball moss, although I don't think that's what it was.

Spring in the Countryside

On our way back home, we enjoyed seeing the first signs of Spring in rural Tennessee and Kentucky. One striking display that I was unable to photograph were fields of brilliant yellow flowers. I'm pretty sure they were rapeseed (aka canola).

I was more successful photographing some farm scenes. Many of the farms around here display "barn quilt" squares:

BarnSquare1.jpg

BarnQuiltSquare2.jpg

No quilt square, but I liked this old barn:

oldbarn.jpg

How far along is Spring in your neck of the woods?

Backyard Ponds

Last week, commenter UDM asked the following:

Wondering if any of you Morons have information on pond care. We bought a house with a small pond, about 45 ft across and around 8 feet deep in the center. It is home to many frogs and snails that we would like to keep, and lots of vegetation that we would like to remove. Is there a good product that anyone has used with success? Any suggestions (regarding the pond) would be greatly appreciated!

He asked his question toward the end of the thread, so I thought I'd include it in this week's post so the collective wisdom of the Gardening Horde could be put to work.

I have no experience with ponds, but I found a few resources that may be of help:

Courtesy of SF Gate, here are some recommendations on safe ways to kill pond weeds without harming fish.

This website suggests "natural" ways to keep pond water clear.

Finally, here are some suggestions on farm pond weed control from Mississippi State.

Do any of you have suggestions for UDM?


Now, here's KT:

Hello, Horde. It pained me to learn about the Global Warming that hit so late in the season in the East. Hard on gardeners. Harder on farmers. The blizzards are bad enough without those really, really cold temperatures this time of year.

Out here in the San Joaquin Valley, the daytime temperatures got into the high 80s, with 50s at night, at midweek. Then it clouded up and started to sprinkle a little. Hoping for a little more rain today. A lot of rain would be better. We are still on water restriction. But I can't complain too much. Our weeds love the weather. The other plants seem to be doing OK, too.

How is your garden handling the weather where you are?

I figured that Y-not would be presenting some eye candy this week to cheer us up, so I thought I would write about something we could eat, and some related plants.

Chervilry is not dead (at least until summer)

I have noticed a dearth of ummm. . . refinement in public discourse lately. Post-modern codes of social conduct are kind of complex topics for a gardening thread, so I thought that maybe we could discuss chervilry instead. Depending on which of the following plants you choose (and your growing conditions) you could make your garden either more refined or less refined and civilized. Choose wisely.

Garden Chervil

Chervil is an annual herb that is most often associated with spring. Though I should have planted some last fall. It will grow in the low deserts over winter, too. If you live in USDA Zone 7 or higher, consider planting it in the fall for harvest during winter and spring, with some frost protection as necessary, or in a cold frame.

High Mowing Seeds sells an extra-hardy cultivar, Brussels Winter Chervil. It requires only 18 days from planting to your first harvest of micro-greens. And just 40 days to the baby leaf stage or 60 days to full-grown leaves. Chervil is a good plant to try if you are not into long-term commitment in the garden.

Chervil resents transplanting but does well in containers. So you can start it early indoors if you live where winters are cold. Put it out when the weather is moderate, bring it in when global warming threatens your garden with a hard freeze:

These tender young leaves have been used in spring tonics for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Greeks. . .

Chervil is also linked to the Easter celebration in parts of Europe, where it is eaten as part of the ceremony for Holy Thursday. Chervil is associated with Easter because its aroma is similar to that of myrrh (one of the gifts to the baby Jesus from the three wise men) and because its early spring sprouting symbolizes renewal.

Chervil is one of the classic French Fines Herbes, a mixture of four herbs which loses much of its flavor when dried. Fines herbes are typically added to dishes at the last minute. Chervil, in particular, "does not last long once cut and is easily bruised, which is why it is not commonly available in stores. Sometimes you can find the potted plants at farmerís markets."

Chervil is also an ingredient in traditional mesclun mixes. It is a prominent herb in French and Armenian cuisine. Here are quite a few Things to Do with Chervil as a solo herb. There are also recipes hidden in some of the links above.

Chervil's name is derived from the Greek chaerophyllon, meaning the herb of rejoicing or, less reverentially, the happy herb. It's a notion that spread beyond the ancient world, too: in European folklore, the eating of chervil was encouraged because it was said not only to aid digestion, but to inspire cheerfulness and sharp wits.

Could anyone besides me use some cheerfulness and sharp wits these days?

Keep in mind that the writer is in the UK, where moist, cool conditions favor the growth of chervil during the summer:

This has to be one of the prettiest plants in the herb bed; so pretty, in fact, that it would merit a place in the flowerbed, too. It looks like a lacy, very dainty version of parsley, which is no surprise seeing as they're close cousins . . . . As you might expect from its refined appearance, chervil tastes mild and subtle, a little like parsley, but with a sophisticated yet gentle, aniseedy warmth.

Chervil is one herb you can grow in dappled shade. One site recommends planting it with cilantro, another quick-growing herb. They look kind of similar. Might be a surprise getting chervil in your salsa.

Both chervil and cilantro bolt easily. Sometimes keeping them picked (and removing flower stems) delays bolting. As with cilantro, those in suitable climates can re-plant chervil every few weeks and pull out plants that bolt, unless you want them for flowers or seeds. As the leaves get old, they may darken in color and lose flavor. That is another reason for succession planting if you are mostly interested in eating chervil rather than looking at it. Though the plants are nice to look at as they flower, too. The flowers attract ladybugs.


Tasty Flat-leaved Chervil starting to bolt

I was an adult before I tasted chervil. I think it is more popular in Europe than in the USA because summers in much of the USA are warmer than in most of Europe. And maybe also because of wild relatives that formed negative associations in peoples' minds. I grew chervil in Southern California, near the coast. I like it. I donít remember what time of year I planted it, but it died before the plants got to the flowering stage. Not sure I gave them the proper conditions. I have fed Anise Swallowtail caterpillars on chervil and I expect that it would work for the Eastern Black Swallowtail, too.

Both flat-leaved and curly-leaved cultivars are available. I have only grown the curly-leaved kind. I don't think the curly-leaved plants are as striking as the flat-leaved ones, but the curly leaves are distinctive on a plate or in a salad. There is a photo of curly chervil plants, plus instructions for growing indoors in a fancy apparatus here. With a video.

Outdoors, you may need to watch out for slugs. Some people say chervil attracts slugs strongly enough to use it as a bait plant. Others say it repels slugs. I never saw slugs on it in Southern California, but your results may vary. It may cause strimmer dermatitis if whacked back with a string trimmer. This is also a risk with some other members of the carrot/parsley/celery family.

Root Chervil

There is also a plant called Root Chervil or Turnip-rooted Chervil (Chaerophyllum bulbosum). It is from a different genus, but the same family, as Garden Chervil. The link above includes a great deal of information on this rare vegetable, including planting, cooking and storing guidelines. It comes from a book on unusual root crops, some of which may surprise you: "One of the most rewarding parts of having your own vegetable garden is being able to grow plants that you will almost never find at the grocery store." The book may be of special interest to Gardening Morons in the Pacific Northwest. Available in print or on Kindle at the AoSHQ Amazon Store.


Root Chervil - the size of a small, fat carrot

It is interesting to me that the roots don't taste particularly good until they have been left in the ground during cold winter weather or exposed to refrigerator temperatures after harvest. The flavor is reportedly subtle, with hints of carrot, chestnut and chervil.

Root chervil seeds should be sown when fresh (try buying seeds in the fall). They must be stratified, either by leaving them in the ground over the winter, or by cold treatment in the fridge. Or maybe by wintersowing. Purdue University notes that when grown for the gourmet market, Root Chervil is sown either in November or in February after stratification. It is harvested in July.

The plants are taller and ganglier than chervil plants, though they were once grown as an ornamental in the UK. They were encouraged to flower, sort of like Queen Anneís Lace.

Wild Chervil, Ornamental Chervil

Speaking of Queen Anne's Lace, one of the plants that goes by this common name is in the same genus as Garden Chervil. It is also known as "Wild Chervil", "Mother-die" or "Cow Parsley".

Cow parsley can be mistaken for several similar-looking poisonous plants, among them poison hemlock and fool's parsley. . . . Cow parsley is rumoured to be a natural mosquito repellent when applied directly to the skin. However, it can be confused with giant cow parsley/giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), the sap of which can cause severe burns after coming in contact with the skin.

Actually, while wild chervil (cow parsley) does look an awful lot like deadly poison hemlock, giant hogweed looks more like the native cow parsnip. And I thought cow parsnip was a big plant!


Giant Hogweed

Be careful out there. Wild Chervil (Cow Parsley) is listed as a noxious weed in Washington State and it is on watch lists in the Northeast. But at least it won't kill you or burn you like some other plants in the same family. There is another chervil relative you might run into called Bur-chervil or Burr Chervil. It is an invader at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve, which I visited last November with Cub Scouts. Didn't get any burrs in my socks.

Sunset lists one garden cultivar of Wild Chervil. Fine Gardening also seems to like Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'. Its main attraction is its lovely dark foliage. It can be somewhat invasive. Unlike Garden Chervil, this plant is a biennial or perennial. It takes low to medium moisture and full sun to light shade. It is listed as hardy in USDA Zones 6 Ė 10. Could be worth a try in colder climates, too. Sunset lists it for our hot valley, but not for the desert.

You may want to cut off the tall flower stalks as they appear, unless you want the plant to self-sow. Or unless you are aiming for an effect like the one below. Check out some of the garden design posts by the blogger at the link under the photo, too.


'Ravenswing' flowers with Tibetan Cherry Tree

Have a great week. I hope you get a chance to try something new. But not poison hemlock or giant hogweed, please. YIPES!


Y-not: Thanks, KT!

To close things up, a song about Spring:

This is one of Mr Y-not's favorite pieces of music.


What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:14 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 Pretty.

Posted by: HH at April 09, 2016 12:12 PM (DrCtv)

2 Giant Hogweed you say?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjPS3mqz_Y0

Posted by: Rusty Nail at April 09, 2016 12:17 PM (S2VsH)

3 I did alert the others.

Posted by: HH at April 09, 2016 12:17 PM (DrCtv)

4 Speaking of giant hogweed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTuJQL8GBqY

Posted by: Don at April 09, 2016 12:18 PM (IJe0X)

5 Nothing plantedyet, it's snowing

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 12:18 PM (9VEpl)

6 Good old Aaron.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at April 09, 2016 12:19 PM (/WPPJ)

7 I love the bark on that cherry tree.

Posted by: Y-not (@moxiemom) at April 09, 2016 12:20 PM (t5zYU)

8 Our crocuses are under snow.

Posted by: French Jeton at April 09, 2016 12:21 PM (WMvHw)

9 Appalachian Spring; one of my favorite pieces of classical music. Now to that long thread.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:21 PM (vvmPQ)

10 I have a question, which I guess is sort of gardening.

I have a bunch of trees on my property and I have been trying for years to grow grass under them. I usually am able to get the grass started in the Spring but usually around July, when it get a bit dry, all the grass disappears.

My soil is a bit on the sandy side with lots of broken-up sandstone, so it drains well, maybe too well.

Any ideas ?

Posted by: Islamic Rage Boy at April 09, 2016 12:23 PM (e8kgV)

11 Just look at all those tulips. Lot of work keeping up with those because they are a bulb plant and have to be dug up and separated every few years.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:23 PM (vvmPQ)

12 that parasitic plant in the tree might be mistletoe. Ty here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe

Posted by: Retread at April 09, 2016 12:24 PM (O764R)

13 Lovely photos, I suppose spring will get here then, eventually.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 12:25 PM (9VEpl)

14 Crepe Myrtles. I have a whole row of those. The last late freeze we had killed all but one. I have replaced them and now we have another late freeze coming tonight after my apple trees have started blooming.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:25 PM (vvmPQ)

15 "How far along is Spring in your neck of the woods?"
=====================================


hahahahahahaha

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at April 09, 2016 12:26 PM (dFi94)

16 Only seeds I have up are lettuce and spinach, I'm going to shoot for may 1 to plant them. No other seeds have sprouted yet.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 12:27 PM (9VEpl)

17 Good call retread.

Shoot em out the trees at Christmas.

Posted by: Golfman at April 09, 2016 12:27 PM (48QDY)

18 Those clumps up in the tree look a lot like mistletoe which you can find all over the South.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:30 PM (vvmPQ)

19 How far along is Spring in your neck of the woods?


We are half-way through it here but a freeze warning for tonight.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:31 PM (vvmPQ)

20 Spring for me lately, as in yesterday, has consisted of wearing my full length down coat with the fur hood, fur-lined gloves and snow boots. Tulips? What's that?

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at April 09, 2016 12:32 PM (dFi94)

21 Looks like mistletoe in the trees, you can use your .22 and shoot sprigs down for Christmas.

It's going to freeze here tonight. I hadn't planted anything because Joe Bastardi told me not to, that this was coming. So I have lots of things waiting, but wifey is taking off this week to help me get everything in the ground.

The hydroponic stuff that's out, I'll just put them all in a bucket of water and bring them inside overnight.

Posted by: traye at April 09, 2016 12:34 PM (yLIiz)

22 I just finished planting my herb garden. I have rosemary and catnip that have been around for a couple of years. Flat leaf parsley, basil, lemon thyme, regular thyme, two kinds of oregano and cilantro. This week I planted french tarragon, dill, chives and lavender. Even if I don't use all of them, I get such enjoyment out of having them, tending to them, and knowing that if I need a sprig of this or that I don't have to run to the store.

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod at April 09, 2016 12:35 PM (+eR2D)

23 Vic, don't get me started on apple trees. I had to chop down five of them. We have something called mountain beaver, kind of a cross between a nutria and a mole, that eats the roots.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at April 09, 2016 12:35 PM (/WPPJ)

24 Looks like consensus is mistletoe

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:36 PM (vvmPQ)

25 23
Vic, don't get me started on apple trees. I had to chop down five of
them. We have something called mountain beaver, kind of a cross between
a nutria and a mole, that eats the roots.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at April 09, 2016 12:35 PM (/WPPJ)

Get an outside cat.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 09, 2016 12:37 PM (vvmPQ)

26 Just cause I don't post in here often, doesn't mean I'm not reading the gardening thread. Thanks thread.

Posted by: Draki at April 09, 2016 12:40 PM (F6/Mp)

27 I have a tree in my yard that I couldn't identify until now. It's a redbud. Thanks, Y-Not!

Posted by: Duke Lowell at April 09, 2016 12:40 PM (kTF2Z)

28 Vic, don't get me started on apple trees. I had to chop down five of them.

Save the wood, if you haven't gotten rid of it already.

Posted by: Grey Fox at April 09, 2016 12:40 PM (bZ7mE)

29 They call Mountain Beavers "Boomers" around here. The Toledo, OR high school mascot is the Boomer.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 09, 2016 12:41 PM (6DMur)

30 Islamic Rage Boy at April 09, 2016 12:23 PM

The tree roots are probably sucking all the moisture out of the grass roots by July. It is hard to find things that thrive under some mature trees. Maybe some sort of bulb that goes dry in summer in its native habitat?

The few others I know about can be on the invasive side. Let me know if you are interested.

You could always put some potted plants under your trees. How heavy is the shade?

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 12:44 PM (qahv/)

31 Vic, which we have. Cat chases then in to the bushes. What happens after that I don't know. But the solution has been to deprive the critters of a food source. Now they leave us alone and are pestering the neighbors three houses down.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at April 09, 2016 12:44 PM (/WPPJ)

32 I'm going to lose my apple blooms too, but that's not a huge deal. Now my brother, hoo boy, he has several hundred apple trees, I feel terrible for him.

But the damn things are a PITA at best, every disease and bug wants to kill apple trees. I was going to give him a bunch of plums, nope, there is something that plums carry that will kill apples. They are the special snowflakes of fruit trees, always need a safe space away from everything else.

Posted by: traye at April 09, 2016 12:44 PM (yLIiz)

33 Grey fox, yes, I am seasoning the wood. Lots of uses for applewood.

Kindltot - that's right, I wonder why it's just an Oregon name.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at April 09, 2016 12:47 PM (/WPPJ)

34 Apple wood makes some good smoked cheese, and game birds seem to taste better with it than the harsher woods, MHOO.
I have wee little lettuce, spinach, kale, radish and snow peas up. Frost last night didn't seem to hurt anything.
AWFUL dry here (KCMo)
I have pics of my deer fencing, but NO idea how to post?

Posted by: MarkY at April 09, 2016 12:48 PM (GnUuD)

35 32 your brother's name is hoo boy?

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 12:50 PM (e3bId)

36 The thing in the tree looks like mistletoe to me.

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 12:51 PM (e3bId)

37 His name is John Boy Bubba Joe Bobby Lee (after robert e off course) Wayne (family is real southern) but that gets long so I just say hoo boy.

Posted by: traye at April 09, 2016 12:53 PM (yLIiz)

38 The thing
In the tree
Looks like
Mistletoe,
To me.

I'm a dang poet!

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 12:54 PM (e3bId)

39 DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod at April 09, 2016 12:35 PM

Nice herb selection. If you planted some chervil seeds, you could make Fines Herbes.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 12:54 PM (qahv/)

40 One of the suggestions I had for a small pond is to get ducks. They eat a lot of the vegetation. I have a deep fondness for ducks, we had them when I was a kid.
Other suggestions are to not get carp, since they like to root around and stir up mud, but Koi are better. And of course you can always do bass. But you need something to eat the mosquitoes.

If you have a small backyard pond, it helps to have a sump for your recirculating pump. The pump is up a small draw dug into the bank, but the water has to go over a deeper sump, usually the size of a 5 gallon bucket, that allows the sediment to settle down before getting sucked into the filter in front of the intake of the pump.
It makes the pump and the filters last longer, and the sump is easy to clean out by lining it with a 5 gallon bucket with a bail you can just haul out and dump once a week, or just suck it out with a trash pump or the like.
It is supposed to be good fertilizer.

Almost any book or article on aquaculture would have some suggestions on this too.

(I have to comment that a long time ago I knew a friend of the family who had a backyard pond, and from time to time he would re-direct the recirculating pump to use the pond water to cool the condenser in his small still - a Moron at heart)

Posted by: Kindltot at April 09, 2016 12:55 PM (6DMur)

41 37 yes, I can see how hoo boy would be easier.

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 12:56 PM (e3bId)

42 Wonderful tulip photos, Y-not. There are some suppliers that offer pink mixtures. Takes a lot of bulbs for displays like those in your photos.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 12:56 PM (qahv/)

43 Y-not, The low-growing unidentified plant in your photo is a spurge (Euphorbia). Maybe E. serrata. Related to Poinsettias.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 12:59 PM (qahv/)

44 We don't even begin to think about planting around here until after Mother's Day..

As far as my veggie garden goes, I wait until June.. I know some garden centers in the area that usually grow too many tomato varieties.. by mid-June they are usually 2-3 ft tall with buds and some small tomatoes on them.
I started doing tomatoes this late after we had a hard freeze in late May one year and ruined the whole garden. While availability of some varieties is limited doing it like this, I get healthy big plants that have grown in perfect conditions.

Posted by: Chitown-Jerry at April 09, 2016 01:00 PM (UpGcq)

45 Of course, if I had a pond I'd plant cattails and wapato (sagittifolia)

Posted by: Kindltot at April 09, 2016 01:01 PM (6DMur)

46 Mystery plant #1 is Euphorbia. I'd need a better shot of the foliage to guess the cultivar.

Posted by: plum at April 09, 2016 01:02 PM (h+OMg)

47 Nice herb selection. If you planted some chervil seeds, you could make Fines Herbes.


Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 12:54 PM (qahv/)



Maybe next year! I've never used chervil, but I'm willing to try.

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod at April 09, 2016 01:03 PM (+eR2D)

48 Things I learned this week: The original Green Goddess Dressing included chervil. And anchovies. It was apparently first served at a function in honor of an actor in the play "The Green Goddess". Haven't changed much in San Francisco since the 1920s, have they? Still going on about Gaia.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:05 PM (qahv/)

49 Can I make a request for a future gardening thread topic?

Shade grown vegetables, and container grown vegetables.

Our yard is mostly shady but the deck is sunny almost all day. I'd like to grow something(s) in containers in the yard and/or on the deck. Tips and suggestions for what works, what doesn't work, and why. Zone is mid-Atlantic.

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 01:06 PM (e3bId)

50 Traye,

Your brother sounds like a great guy.

Have you ever seen potted chervil offered at your farmer's market?

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:08 PM (qahv/)

51 So all of you people with green thumbs....when and how do I prune the three rose bushes I planted to fill a bare spot in a bed on the front lawn?

They get a lot of snow on them because they are right in the path of my snow-blowers chute, so they get beaten up a bit. And they are a bit scraggly because I planted them and i kill everything I plant.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at April 09, 2016 01:14 PM (Zu3d9)

52 Weasel at April 09, 2016 01:06 PM

I'll make a note on veggies for containers and/or for shade.

You might start with some leafy greens. I have grown baby leaf lettuce in those little containers for barbecued chicken with holes poked in the bottom. Photo here: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/353682.php

And you could plant chervil in a pot in part shade. Maybe some parsley and chives, too.


Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:15 PM (qahv/)

53 Posted by: Islamic Rage Boy at April 09, 2016 12:23 PM (e8kgV)

What kind of trees? If they're pines then I think you're fighting a losing battle as decayed pine needles make the soil too acidic for even a shade-tolerant grass. Have you thought about a ground-cover? Here's a link to "stepables" under trees and shrubs: http://bit.ly/1SWwshH.

Posted by: plum at April 09, 2016 01:19 PM (h+OMg)

54 Thanks KT!

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 01:20 PM (e3bId)

55 WOW, Y-Not that is some great post! Thanks.


Everything in Charlotte is in full bloom. My cherry trees are full bloom ready to drop in my pool. Booo.

Posted by: Nip Sip at April 09, 2016 01:22 PM (jJRIy)

56 I live in northern Virginia. Three rosebushes are almost fully leafed out--frost damage from yesterday, never mind what tonight is going to do. I have covered a fully blooming bleeding heart. I hadn't noticed the Bletilla orchids had sent up flower shoots until yesterday--already lost maybe a third. They are now covered. I brought some overwintered plants back in, but the rest is going to have to sink or swim. This is why gardeners turn philosophic or give up gardening...

Posted by: Lirio100 at April 09, 2016 01:24 PM (WY8ka)

57 Tree with clusters? Mistletoe?

Posted by: Nip Sip at April 09, 2016 01:25 PM (jJRIy)

58 Thank you for the gardening post and the photos.

I'm pretty sure that this is my first time to comment on the Gardening Thread, so please don't assume that a lack of comments doesn't mean that many regular AOSHQ readers ignore it. I've actually bought plants based on things I've read here, so your popularity and influence is more substantial than you may think.

The "ball" in the tree is mistletoe. We have tons of it in Texas, especially in oak trees.

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:25 PM (dPpmC)

59 Thank you for the Aaron Copland. That is a stupendous piece, and paints a beautiful picture of America-and what it should be: glorious, bright, hopeful.

As for gardening, I just ordered seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange-and I am excited to start planting heirlooms from which I can "save" the seeds. They have old varieties, and include crop seeds in their catalogue, such as cotton, sorghum, tobacco, and others. If we ever get warm ground, I will plant them and let you know how they fare.

If nothing else, the seed packets are absolutely gorgeous. I want to frame them.

Posted by: Moki at April 09, 2016 01:31 PM (ezHMO)

60 CharlieBrown'sDildo at April 09, 2016 01:14 PM

If your plants are still dormant, you can prune your plants to just 3 or 4 strong canes. Make your pruning cuts above an outward-facing bud. You will get fewer, bigger flowers with this kind of pruning.

If your plants are already awake, it may be better to prune them gradually. I defer to the rosarians here to tell you how to do non-dormant pruning.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:32 PM (qahv/)

61 We had one of the mildest winters in years here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so spring has already sprung and we're heading into summer.

We had wildflowers sprouting in late January; last year they didn't sprout until late April. We're already finished with the first round of wildflowers and the second and third rounds will start soon.

The El Niño is rapidly fading and La Niña looks like it will make an early appearance. I'm resigned to a long, hot, dry summer.

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:33 PM (dPpmC)

62 56 I live in northern Virginia. Three rosebushes are almost fully leafed out--frost damage from yesterday, never mind what tonight is going to do. I have covered a fully blooming bleeding heart. I hadn't noticed the Bletilla orchids had sent up flower shoots until yesterday--already lost maybe a third. They are now covered. I brought some overwintered plants back in, but the rest is going to have to sink or swim. This is why gardeners turn philosophic or give up gardening...
Posted by: Lirio100 at April 09, 2016 01:24 PM (WY8ka)


I'm with you in NoVa-we had snow this morning. We are waiting until late April to prep the soil, and I want to plant by 15 May.

With my luck, we'll have another freeze May 16.

Posted by: Moki at April 09, 2016 01:34 PM (ezHMO)

63 Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:25 PM

Thanks for the nice comment.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:34 PM (qahv/)

64 Have you ever seen potted chervil offered at your farmer's market?


Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016

I have not but this lady is a master at herbs, every herb you can think of she has several varieties.

http://sheltonherbfarmnc.com/

I'm going to visit her this week, I want to get some herbs that will naturalize here to put them out for oinkers to eat. The only issue with visiting there is you end up spending lots of moneys.

Posted by: traye at April 09, 2016 01:34 PM (yLIiz)

65 Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 01:06 PM (e3bId)

I don't have sun where I have yard so all my veg gardening is done in containers on the patio. I have a couple of larger 16" pots for summer squash and zucchini, but I grow tomatoes in those utility buckets that you can get at Lowe's or HD. In fact, if you ask your local sandwich shop to save their pickle/mayo/etc., buckets you can often get them free. You can grow beans (filet & bush) in pretty much any container - they don't need much space at all - they do need succession planting to have a steady crop, though.

Posted by: plum at April 09, 2016 01:37 PM (h+OMg)

66 It's going to freeze here tonight. I hadn't planted anything because Joe Bastardi told me not to, that this was coming. So I have lots of things waiting, but wifey is taking off this week to help me get everything in the ground.
Posted by: traye at April 09, 2016 12:34 PM (yLIiz)


Funny. I'm also a premium subscriber to Bastardi's company, WeatherBell.

If Bastardi isn't already a Moron, he should be.

http://www.weatherbell.com/

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:41 PM (dPpmC)

67 62 Yeah, I refused to look out the window; if I couldn't see it there was no snow. I usually cheat a little and start sneaking plants out after May 1st, but I suspect this year won't be good for that.

Posted by: Lirio100 at April 09, 2016 01:42 PM (WY8ka)

68 RE: container gardening

I grow all my herbs in containers. Our soil is awful, so containers were the way to go. Plus it keeps the dogs from stomping all over them. We've also had success with cherry tomatoes, lettuce and onions grown in containers. Herbs can be grown in smaller pots, although my rosemary is in a fairly large pot because it is perennial.

We grow the tomatoes and onion in a 5 gallon bucket/pot. Lettuce can be grown in smaller containers and the great thing about lettuce is that you can grow multiple varieties all in the same pot.

Some things to remember with container gardening is that you have to make sure your pots have good drainage. Holes in the bottom and/or stones and gravel make for good drainage. Also, because the pots and plants are exposed on all sides, they need more frequent watering than something that grows in the ground. They also are more susceptible to heat and cold for the same reasons.

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod at April 09, 2016 01:43 PM (+eR2D)

69 I love my herbs, my curly parsley, oregino and chives have survived from last year. I'm trying to get dill and basil from seeds but if not will get grown plants. I put the herbs every day on my salads, chives in tomato soup and dip. They are very usefull. Also in the fall I get these large colorful caterpillars on my dill, they seem not to bother it much but I let them live.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 01:44 PM (9VEpl)

70 Moki at April 09, 2016 01:31 PM

If you plant to save seeds from the field crops you mentioned, only plant one kind at a time, or learn how to isolate during pollination.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 01:46 PM (qahv/)

71 The snow has actually carpeted the ground now.

Posted by: @votermom at April 09, 2016 01:48 PM (nbrY/)

72 Joe Bastardi's publicly available Saturday Summary.

http://www.weatherbell.com/saturday-summary-april-9-2016

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:48 PM (dPpmC)

73 Beautiful photos, it makes me want to plant tulips under my crepe myrtle.
I have weeds that look like the wild chervil.
It's sprinkling here too KT. we may get an inch by Tuesday I hear. I just had my windows washed Mon and Tue, so of course it rains.
I'd wash my windows every week for more rain. The old farmers are telling me, I remember 6 inches of rain in April, I hope they're right.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 01:50 PM (egOGm)

74 Pretty sure the green growth on the trees you showed is mistletoe.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at April 09, 2016 01:51 PM (FsuaD)

75 Another NoVa denizen here. I try to stick to the recommended May 1 planting date pretty religiously just because of weather like this. However, I wrongly assumed it would be OK to unwrap the fig trees. Had to rush around yesterday wrapping them back up. Hope they survive. They almost didn't make it last year.

Posted by: Hoplite Housewife at April 09, 2016 01:51 PM (tXvWw)

76 Nice trip Y-not thanks for sharing your photos.

WI has many barns with the quilts. Interesting

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at April 09, 2016 01:52 PM (voOPb)

77 Pretty sure the green growth on the trees you showed is mistletoe.
Posted by: Jane D'oh at April 09, 2016 01:51 PM (FsuaD)


Yep. Absolutely mistletoe. We have it in spades here in Texas.

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:55 PM (dPpmC)

78 Holy cow! That's a lotta post!
Nice job!

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 01:57 PM (SEXy3)

79 In Minnesota it's been, "Hey, winter is over. Uh, except for this week. Now it's over. Ummm. Okay, this time...." I watch the soil temperature. It was up to 43 a week ago. Now it's back down to 39.

Still, the strawberries insist it's plenty warm, and they're up. Some of the herbs in the sunny spot next to the house like the chives are also. I'm guessing we might plant a week early this year.

Posted by: Gordon at April 09, 2016 01:58 PM (R+3uy)

80 51 So all of you people with green thumbs....when and how do I prune the three rose bushes I planted to fill a bare spot in a bed on the front lawn?

They get a lot of snow on them because they are right in the path of my snow-blowers chute, so they get beaten up a bit. And they are a bit scraggly because I planted them and i kill everything I plant.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at April 09, 2016 01:14 PM (Zu3d9)




The best explanation that I've found is that you prune them right as the buds begin to swell for new growth. Then you thin out crossing branches and such. Then you pick about five main canes roughly in the shape of a cupped hand and cut each down to an outward facing bud about 2 feet up from the base.



Of course, rose pruning is right up there with longbow v. crossbow....

Posted by: cthulhu at April 09, 2016 01:58 PM (EzgxV)

81 And as others have stated, yes, that is absolutely Mistletoe.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 01:58 PM (SEXy3)

82 Plum & DG - thanks for the container veggie tips!

Posted by: Weasel at April 09, 2016 01:58 PM (e3bId)

83 For container gardening, I've had great luck with Burpee Spacemaster cucumbers, as well as "Little Prince" Eggplants from Renee's Garden seed company. I'm no gardening expert, but was able to get bumper crops from both of those varieties.

Posted by: Hoplite Housewife at April 09, 2016 01:59 PM (tXvWw)

84 Yep. Absolutely mistletoe. We have it in spades here in Texas.

Posted by: Michael the Hobbit at April 09, 2016 01:55 PM (dPpmC)


We have a lot of it here in coastal Georgia, too.


Have a landscaping crew coming next week to severely prune the azalea jungle in the front and back yards. Those things grow like weeds.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at April 09, 2016 02:01 PM (FsuaD)

85 CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 01:50 PM

I hope those old farmers are right, too!

Thanks for washing your windows so it would rain! Heh.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:03 PM (qahv/)

86 Snow is laying on my deck, not deep enough for the grass to not show.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 02:03 PM (9VEpl)

87 Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at April 09, 2016 01:14 PM (Zu3d
I watch the guy that works for us prune the roses. I realized it's an art. He's planning what he will cut next year too. He did what Cthulhu said to do, but I think he imagines what it will look like.
He summer prunes some of the roses too.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 02:03 PM (egOGm)

88 Before I built my new raised bed garden a couple years ago, I did tomatoes in pots on my patio. My old garden got surrounded by neighbor's trees over the years and only gets 2 hours of sunlight, so I did limited gardening in pots on the deck.

I found patio tomatoes work well in pot. They are a low growing plant with a thick stem. I always see these at Lowes and Home Depot.. simply labeled "Patio".

Basically, these are a determinate varieties of tomato, also called "bush". They will mature in a short period of time and produce all the fruit within a couple of weeks to a month, then they are done.

I do most of my herbs in containers as well.

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at April 09, 2016 02:07 PM (UpGcq)

89 Have a landscaping crew coming next week to severely prune the azalea jungle in the front and back yards. Those things grow like weeds.

***

I hate standard Azaleas, but love dwarf Azaleas. The dwarfs produce blooms longer than the standard version and require virtually no pruning.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 02:08 PM (SEXy3)

90 Forgive the off topic but CaliGirl I wanted to say that it made my week when you posted in the ONT a few days ago about the field hand bringing you the lost wallet on the highway and your work to locate and contact the owner.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 09, 2016 02:09 PM (3kUGE)

91 for Weasel, Plum and DangerGirl

If you like planting in 5 or 7 gallong utility buckets, you can make Global Buckets from two of them stacked, with a water reservoir in the bottom. They are patterned after the more established commercial Earth Box. There are some good videos out on design of these, and other self-watering containers. Here is one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE8OrdUZQKk

Mosquitos are a concern if you don't let the reservoirs dry out. You can add a Mosquito Dunk or screen openings to the reservoir.

Tomato addicts like bigger containers better.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:10 PM (qahv/)

92 Thanks for the garden thread as always and especially for the segment on redbuds. They aren't only pretty, they are tough. We have one in the front yard which is basically some clay interspersed with plenty of rocks. I used a pick ax to get a hole marginally deep enough for the sapling. The thing has thrived and comes back a little bigger and more colorful each year.

I might have mentioned this before. Several years ago a drunk driver (an illegal to boot) skidded off the road at 2AM on New Years day. He ran over the redbud, sheering it off at ground level before grinding to a stop in the yard. I figured it was a goner. At least I had the sour satisfaction that it ripped out the undercarriage and rear axle of the SOB's van. The roots below ground were still there so I covered them with good dirt and prayed. Come spring, new growth emerged and we even had buds and leaves that season. It's now about ten feet tall and brings that gorgeous color to the yard each April. And due to the mild spring so far, the blossoms have lasted longer that usual.

Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 02:11 PM (V+03K)

93 Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 02:08 PM

Ah, to live where standard-sized azaleas are the problem plants.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:12 PM (qahv/)

94 KT, that's an awesome idea. I love planting in buckets, so much easier to care for...

Posted by: antisocialist at April 09, 2016 02:13 PM (9n14Y)

95 Hi Gardeners, the pet thread is nood for anyone interested

Posted by: L, Elle at April 09, 2016 02:15 PM (2x3L+)

96 Skip at April 09, 2016 01:44 PM

If you can find where one of those big caterpillars makes a chrysalis, you can move it to a cool, sheltered location away from winter sun to hatch a butterfly the next year. See the Eastern Black Swallowtail link in the post.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:16 PM (qahv/)

97 Palerider,
Again, it was the right thing to do. I googled her but couldn't find a number. I called the Dr office on the immunization card. They wouldn't admit her child was a patient, but they called her and gave her my number. She was crying. ID, cash, credit and debit cards. SS card too.
I told her not to carry SS card in her wallet anymore.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 02:17 PM (egOGm)

98 Our indoor seedlings, especially the tomatoes, are doing well. In fact, this is the best they have ever done. They are tall but not scraggly. The stems are sturdy and properly thick. We have the grow lights on a 2 foot tall frame so we can adjust the height above the plants. I hope the temps warm up soon or they will outgrow the light frames. And we haven't lost even one seedling yet. I am hoping this is a good omen.

Now I wish I knew what we did right so we could do it on purpose.

Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 02:20 PM (V+03K)

99 Chervil pesto seems to be a thing now. Think of it as Spring Pesto.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/z5zzful

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:24 PM (qahv/)

100 Self-watering containers:

For the self-watering containers mentioned above, it is very important to use the right soil mix: one that wicks water but is not overly water-retentive.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:25 PM (qahv/)

101 Ah, to live where standard-sized azaleas are the problem plants.

***

Puhleeze! I live in Florida. We are the Australia of plants that want to kill you and/or take over the world.

Azaleas just want to take over.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 02:26 PM (SEXy3)

102 Yes, the green in the trees is mistletoe.
Looks like the other mystery plant is a species of Euphorbia, probably Euphorbia pupurea commonly known as Glade Spurge. Native to eastern North America and listed as a vulnerable species. Once thought to have been extirpated in Delaware until rediscovered in 1997. Nice to see it being used ornamentally...

Posted by: Anabolic State at April 09, 2016 02:28 PM (zvFrQ)

103 Caligirl, I was like "of course CG went out of her way to do the right thing, I just knew she had that kind of character"

But it was a mild and pleasant surprise that a field hand that might be expected to have more of a "pffft, if they could not afford to lose it they would have taken greater care of it" mentality like that one ONT poster, shared your values.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 09, 2016 02:29 PM (3kUGE)

104 And sorry gardeners about the off topic. My total gardenish stuff for the week has been pulling a few weeds from the bed of trees we have south of the house.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 09, 2016 02:31 PM (3kUGE)

105 Palerider,
The amazing thing was a crew found it. It went through a few hands before it got to me. I'm restores my faith in humanity.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 02:33 PM (egOGm)

106 JTB,

Congrats on your seedlings. Maybe you could size up the pots for your maters and put them out during the day when the weather is over, say, 60 degrees.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:35 PM (qahv/)

107 The 'not squirrel nests' are mistletoe. It is a parasitic plant rampant in KY, TN, etc. Sort of a pest. The best thing about mistletoe except the kissing is it is harvested by blasting it out of the trees with shotguns!

Posted by: Robert Hooper at April 09, 2016 02:36 PM (/9SVN)

108 I've never seen mistletoe growing, how cool.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 09, 2016 02:39 PM (egOGm)

109 PaleRider, it wasn't off-topic. It was chervilry. Heh.

I loved the story.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:40 PM (qahv/)

110 Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 02:26 PM

And do any of those plants that want to kill you harbor animals that want to kill you?

My cousin in Florida gets the occasional gator in his yard.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:42 PM (qahv/)

111 Hi KT, So Cal by the coast and we are definitely getting more rain here today which the garden loves! I grow chervil but it doesn't last much past spring. It has a nice light, anise taste.

Fun thing today: got a bunch of plants at Tomatomania and as I was planting them, I noticed one lost it's tag. I bought so many varieties and it wasn't one of my usual ones, so it will be fun to see what tomato plant it actually is once summer comes and it has some tomatoes on it!

I planted a comice pear in November next to a hood pear. Hood looks gorgeous, comice has no leaves on it yet, but it is alive. I'm trying to decide if I just wait it out this season or rip it up and put a new one in if I can find one this late in the season.

Posted by: keena at April 09, 2016 02:44 PM (RiTnx)

112 CaliGirl,

You may not have seen mistletoe because many of the trees on which it grows where you live are evergreen.

If you look closely, you may notice it on oaks, etc. The foliage will seem extra-thick in some locations.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:45 PM (qahv/)

113 106 ... I think we'll have to do that for the biggest ones. Never needed to go beyond the red Solo cup size in the past but we have slightly larger pots if needed. There have been a few warm days but it hasn't been consistent.

We do have a couple of those collapsible plastic sheeting green houses. I can secure them to the fence, otherwise the wind blows them over, in a sunny spot and put the pots in there during the day. According to the weather reports, it will be at least a week or more before I can work the garden soil. Right now it is a very cold and wet block of dirt. At least the garden tools are cleaned and sharpened for use when things thaw out. It's a good thing there's globull warming or we would have to build igloos.

Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 02:54 PM (V+03K)

114 I was a bad gardener last fall and now have hundreds of "Heirloom" tomatoes and tomatillo's coming up. Now I have to pull them so my actual tomatoes and tomatillo's will grow.

http://tinypic.com/r/2upvdcy/9

Posted by: lindafell de spair at April 09, 2016 02:55 PM (xVgrA)

115 Keena,

It will be fun to get a tomato report from you later. Glad you are getting some rain. You are the first commenter who has grown chervil! Sounds like your experience was similar to mine.

Sunset does not rate Comice for coastal Southern California. You might try Moonglow or Flordahome. They are both resistant to fireblight, as is Hood.

Kieffer is also rated to SS zone 23, but has inferior fruit quality (at least fresh).

Asian/European hybrids to try are Fan-Stil and Monterrey.

Seckel is rated to SS zone 21.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:59 PM (qahv/)

116 I'm sure a million people have told you your plants are mistletoe and Mediterranean spurge. (Euphorbia charcia or something like that)

Our redbuds are almost over, but they're one of my favorite trees. I have planted a bunch of saplings along the front of our place, and underplanted them with pink-nosed white daffodils, a mix of pink, white and blue windlflowers and vinca minor. Not much to look at yet,but in a few years it shoud be breathtaking.

Our dogwoods are in bloom now, great year for them, and e have late daffs and early iris blooming.Been a long cool Spring, so we're getting a lot of bloom overlap and it's just gorgeous.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at April 09, 2016 02:59 PM (q1FtT)

117 lindafell,

Looks like you could transplant those little mater plants for a nice ground cover somewhere. Heh.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 03:08 PM (qahv/)

118 I have a potted kieffer lime just for the leaves which are used in Thai cooking. I've never even attempted to try the fruit.

Posted by: lindafell de spair at April 09, 2016 03:08 PM (xVgrA)

119 Tammy al-Thor at April 09, 2016 02:59 PM

Love to hear about your well-planned garden beds.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 03:10 PM (qahv/)

120 Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 02:10 PM (qahv/)
Interesting - I'll bookmark that. Unfortunately, I live in the "no-win" zone ;-)
We have an annual hose-pipe ban where such a thing would be helpful, but there's always a day or three when we have incessant rain and all the toms split - then I make sauce and hope for a late frost for the un-ripened.

Posted by: plum at April 09, 2016 03:11 PM (h+OMg)

121 Thanks, KT. The guy at the store insisted comice would grow but now that I look, I'm sure we don't get enough chill hours for it, which explains no leaves. I will look for a Flordahome this week!

Posted by: keena at April 09, 2016 03:13 PM (RiTnx)

122 And do any of those plants that want to kill you harbor animals that want to kill you?

My cousin in Florida gets the occasional gator in his yard.

***

I have indoor/outdoor cats thus won't live on the water. They're that prolific and I'm in NE Florida. They are even worse in South Florida.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 09, 2016 03:22 PM (SEXy3)

123 116 ... Tammy, that arrangement should be beautiful. Of course, I'm prejudiced because daffies are my favorite flowers. We're concentrating on vegetables now but eventually I want to start a daffy area where they will naturalize. The effort to establish the bed would be worth it for a few weeks of glorious color and scent.

Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 03:26 PM (V+03K)

124 It's been (deceptively!) warm this week and so tempting to plant-out, but I'm not falling for it.

Bought some cell-packed tomatoes and peppers, but only potted them up into #1s rather than planting in-ground.
-----------------

We got a *trunk full* of sturdy black nursery pots, various sizes, from a crew doing some local "roadside beautification" project a few years back...

I made hubby pull over so I could ask the guys whether they'd let me have a few of them-- they said "take 'em all, then we don't have to go back and pick them up!" Lol.

Those things may not be pretty, but they last nearly forever.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 09, 2016 03:29 PM (044Fx)

125 plum at April 09, 2016 03:11 PM

You can water the Global Buckets by hand through the pipe that sticks out at the back if you face restrictions on hose watering. Excess rain should drain out through the holes at the top of the reservoir.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 03:32 PM (qahv/)

126 Thank you, KT, that means a lot to me, coming from you!

keena, I keep meaning to say it's nice to see you here!

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at April 09, 2016 03:32 PM (q1FtT)

127 Apparently spreading fresh mulch does not deter snow storms.

Posted by: DaveA at April 09, 2016 03:34 PM (DL2i+)

128 lindafell de spair at April 09, 2016 03:08 PM

My uncle used Kieffer lime juice in cooking. He wanted to be a chef growing up, but became an MD instead.

Posted by: KT at April 09, 2016 03:35 PM (qahv/)

129 Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 03:26 PM (V+03K)

Oh, I love them, too, JTB! (In truth, I prefer tulips, but I have given up on them here, deer issues) I am a bit obsessed.

When you get ready to start your beds, I highly recommend Van Engelen if you're planning on planting large quantities, and if you care to go to just a tad more trouble, I'd overplant them with daylilies and interplant some Chinese lilies among them, too.

Have you been able to read any of the Susan Roth book? I've been paranoid that I was too enthusiastic in my praise.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at April 09, 2016 03:37 PM (q1FtT)

130 129 ... Tammy, Thanks for the suggestions. Mrs. JTB loves all sorts of lilies. I haven't read the Susan Roth books but our library has several of them. They are on my list for the next visit. Her books certainly gets a lot of 5 star reviews on Amazon.

BTW, being paranoid is not necessarily bad thing. (As he looks over his shoulder again.)

Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 03:55 PM (V+03K)

131 As for pests kind get tent catapillers on my flowering crab apple trees, I when possible cut them out and burn them with extreme prejudice. But if not possible I break open their tents and hose with chemicals. Wonder if they are liking the snow right now. The other pest I get on my trees and a particular rhododendron are Japanese beetles.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 04:08 PM (9VEpl)

132 Posted by: JTB at April 09, 2016 03:55 PM (V+03K)

LOL! (glances over shoulder)

And ignore me, I think it's JT Flyover who got the book!


I have several patches of the daff/daylily/Chinese Trumpet lilies combo, and it's really nice, albeit very informal looking.


Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at April 09, 2016 04:25 PM (q1FtT)

133 My six yo daughter just "helped" me plant 3 carnation diathius, 2 lilacs, and one rose. Then she "watered"....I'll go back and water everything when it cools down a bit. I'll also work on my mato ground cover.....

Posted by: lindafell de spair at April 09, 2016 04:26 PM (xVgrA)

134
A late, hard freeze (27F) pretty much wiped out this year's pear crop. The trees had set fruit and were about the size of a pencil eraser. Maybe 10% survived somehow. There won't be enough to share with the wildlife this year!

The apple trees weren't fooled by the early spring, though. They are just now blossoming...

Posted by: Spun and Murky at April 09, 2016 04:28 PM (uiVGU)

135 The barn pictures with quilts are very much like Amish hex signs. If you don't know what I'm describing look them up, there are meanings to many of them.

Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 04:52 PM (9VEpl)

136 What kind of trees?

Crimson Maples, Pinoaks, apple and dogwood trees.

Yes, I have some pines too ... and yes, it is hopeless trying to get grass to grow there.

Interesting, I don't have this problem with my dawn redwoods.

Posted by: Islamic Rage Boy at April 09, 2016 05:34 PM (e8kgV)

137 Posted by: Skip at April 09, 2016 04:08 PM (9VEpl)

I've used a lit propane torch taped to a pole saw against tent caterpillars, but they've learned to nest higher up in the trees!

Posted by: Hrothgar at April 09, 2016 05:37 PM (wYnyS)

138 Hi Tammy you too! I love this gardening thread.

Posted by: keena at April 09, 2016 06:26 PM (Vvusm)

139 Again, thanks for great content.

I have rose bud in my garden in Japan, but had no idea it was edible. I have to try it now, although I am sure my neighbours will think i am nuts.

It is called hanazou where I am. I have it intertwined with yukiyanagi (snow willow?) (Spiraea thunbergii) so in spring I get red and white strings intertwined.

The thing is, in the west, one is a tree, the other a low bush. Here they are both 1-2m bushes with lots of stalks.

Posted by: Gentlemen, this is democracy manifest at April 09, 2016 08:15 PM (LWu6U)

140 just tasted the redbud. tastes like raw spinach stalks. not really appealing. maybe the beans are better.

Posted by: Gentlemen, this is democracy manifest at April 09, 2016 08:37 PM (LWu6U)

141 I have tomato plants in pots on the back deck, caged in the ground, and in a straw bale garden, along with green peppers and zucchini, all doing well but with a forecast of 35 degrees for tonight I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted by: javapoppa at April 09, 2016 09:44 PM (dV9yT)

142 Cruz won all remaining CO delegates.

https://twitter.com/alanhe/status/718982201732255744

Posted by: Y-not on the phone at April 09, 2016 10:01 PM (TJ9+R)

143 I made a 2x2 barn quilt, but it is sitting in my living room right now, not on the side of our barn. I really liked making it...it appealed to my love of patterns but it was still artistic. A lady in town gave a class and it took about 3 hours to do. I didn't like the color selection she had. I would definitely do it again in colors I picked myself.

I have started 4 flats of things inside, mostly tomatoes that are 6" high, and eggplant and peppers that i just started yesterday. Next will start the okra and cucumbers/squash. I try not to put things out until close to Memorial Day so I am a little later than others around here (central Kansas).

I make newspaper pots, and use half a pizza box inside a plastic trash sack to hold them. I can put 40-50 newspaper pots in each half of the pizza box, and then I can water from the bottom. They are under grow lights. I used to use an entire box but that was hard to move in and out when I was hardening them off. Half a box is just right to handle moving outside. When they are ready, I plant them directly into the garden (making sure to not let any newspaper stick out above ground...that could cause the water to wick up and away) and the roots can go right through the newspaper because it is soft by then from the 6 weeks of watering. Last year I had to buy a few tomato plants from the greenhouse. The ones I bought had blossom end rot and the ones I raised did not (didn't keep them uniformly watered all year). When I pulled them up, the ones I raised had a great branching root system and the ones I bought were in an little ball. I never find evidence of the newspaper in the garden after the season is over, so it deteriorates just fine.

We do have lettuce and some herbs and two types of flowers started in the 4 year old's garden. Still need to put out dill and cilantro there.

I learned something this week. Tried my hand at lasagna gardening a small patch. Wet newspaper, cardboard and straw do not stand up to 45+ mph wind gusts. Oy. Newspapers all over the yard and cardboard flipped over and everywhere.

I have to finish taxes tomorrow, so no garden time for me.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 10, 2016 12:53 AM (L6jDH)

144 The clumps of green leaves in trees not leafed out yet ... that is mistletoe. A parasitic plant that lives on host trees.

Posted by: Bruce at April 10, 2016 10:30 AM (aY12a)

145 Something about redbuds. Deer like to eat the leaves and bark on fresh growth. But redbuds are hardy and the deer won't kill them out. Cut a redbud down and it'll put out lots of shoots from the roots ... deer love to feed on those shoots - both the leaves and the bark on them.

Posted by: Bruce at April 10, 2016 10:39 AM (aY12a)

146 Gentlemen, this is democracy manifest at April 09, 2016 08:15 PM

Thanks for the interesting information. There is a redbud that is native to China and Japan. If the leaves have a transparent line around the edge, that is probably the one you have.

Posted by: KT at April 10, 2016 11:36 AM (qahv/)

147 mullingthingsover at April 10, 2016 12:53 AM

Nice progress report. What kind of mix do you use in your newspaper pots?

Posted by: KT at April 10, 2016 11:38 AM (qahv/)

148 Nice progress report. What kind of mix do you use in your newspaper pots?
Posted by: KT at April 10, 2016 11:38 AM (qahv/)
---------------
I use Miracle Grow Moisture Control in the pots. Been using that about 3 years now and it works just fine for me.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 10, 2016 04:36 PM (L6jDH)

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