Saturday Gardening Thread: DO Look Down! [Y-not and KT]

PLEASE KEEP THIS THREAD FREE OF POLITICS. THANKS. Y-NOT

Y-not: Greetings gardening morons and 'ettes!

To start things off, this is not gardening-related, but it seems appropriate as Tax Day approaches:

(ICYMI, Tax Day was moved to April 18th this year. Here's why.)

"DO look down!"

DrippingCaveEntrance.JPG

"Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
Where trickle and plash the fountains,
Marble fountains, yellowed with much water.
from "In a Garden" by Amy Lowell

My contribution will be rather short this week as I have family visiting. Being a good hostess, we have been hitting many of the Kentucky tourist destinations, including Mammoth Cave. The original entrance to the cave is pictured above.

This was my first visit to Mammoth Cave National Park, but I'm sure it won't be my last. A bit about the cave here:

Under a swath of Kentucky hills and hollows is a limestone labyrinth that became the heartland of a national park. The surface of Mammoth Cave National Park encompasses about 80 square miles. No one knows how big the underside is. More than 365 miles of the five-level cave system have been mapped, and new caves are continually being discovered. Two layers of stone underlie Mammoth's hilly woodlands.

In addition to the spectacular cave, the above ground portions of the park are lovely:

OldEntrance.JPG

Old Entrance seen from outside Mammoth Cave.

Spring is just now arriving in the Park. Many of the trees are still bare, but the redbuds and dogwoods are blooming. The greenest parts of the park right now are down at ground level. We spied many types of mosses, ferns, wildflowers, and even carnivorous plants during our short visit to the park:

MossFernsFlowers.JPG

GrowingOnARock.JPG

SmallFlowers.JPG

A bit about Mammoth National Park's flora here:

Mammoth Cave is located in the transitional zone between the open grasslands and drier oak-hickory forests to the west, and the more moist mixed mesophytic forests to the east. It is likewise located transitional between the sub-tropical climates to the south and the colder climates to the north. Many of the plant species found in the park are at the northern, southern, eastern, or western limits of their natural range.

Contributing even more to the immense diversity of the flora is the wide variety of habitats supporting differing plant communities. There are dry upland flats and sandstone-capped ridges, limestone exposed slopes, ravines and karst valleys, broad alluvial bottoms along the Green River, gorge-like hemlock ravines, deep sinks with exposed subterranean streams, old-growth timber, successional growth forests, barrens and savannah habitats, and wetlands, including ponds, forest swamps, springs, seasonal wet woodlands, and cobble bars and banks along the Green River.

Past botanical surveys in the park have found 25 species listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern by Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Mammoth Cave National Park is a vital refuge for the protection of plant communities and individual species in danger.

We didn't have time to take any of the guided above-ground tours on this trip and I haven't had a chance to I.D. the plants I saw yet. (Perhaps the Kentucky Native Plants Society will be of help in my efforts.) However, we did recognize one very distinctive plant:

PitcherPlant.JPG

Pitcher plant growing at Mammoth Cave National Park

These meat-eating pitcher plants belong to two large families of monocots -- the Nepenthaceae (Old World) and Sarraceniaceae (New World).

The pitchers under the Old World clan live high above a tree. Because there is not much of a food source up there, the plant resorts to find an alternative source of nutrients. What it does is to fold the ends of its leaves like a cup and concocts nectar juices and waits daintily for its helpless victims.

Meanwhile, the New World family members enjoy the attention of many more insects while staying on ground. Unlike its relative who lives up in the trees, these pitchers actually form a whole pitcher out of its leaf.

The variety of forms these plants take is quite spectacular. I like this one a lot.

Several weeks ago we were talking about what to do with perpetually soggy areas. Perhaps I can create a bog garden!

Have any of you devoted all or part of your yard to bog or shade gardening?

Gone to the Birds

For the past week or two we've had an occasional visitor, a female duck.

We usually spot her in the early morning. I had assumed she was stopping by on her way to one of the nearby golf course ponds. Imagine our surprise when we saw this:

DuckAndEggs.jpg

'Looks like our dogs will only be allowed supervised visits to the backyard for several weeks!

Meanwhile, the house finches who built a nest on top of our patio light fixture are busy raising their young:

BabyFinch.jpg

So far I've only spied two heads (and mouths!) when the parents visit the nest to feed.

Things are very lively at Casa Y-not these days! Do any of you have wildlife raising young in your yards right now?

Lawn Mower Advice

Do any of you have a favorite lawn mower to recommend?


Now, heeeere's the incomparable KT:

Thanks for the great information on Mammoth Cave National Park, Y-not. And thanks for looking down. A lot of people would miss the interesting plants you shared with us today.

I love that there are places where regular people can explore and study natural flora, fauna and geology. There is nothing quite like our National Park Service in the Old World. A natural attraction somewhat similar to Mammoth Cave is le gouffre de Padirac in France. You can take a boat on an underground stream to view cave formations. But the tourist attraction there was privately funded - by a beer maker.

Our National Park Service cannot hope to fund the projects already on its list with its budget. What if you wanted a National Park in your area? Could a park in, say, Maine be created without sticking American taxpayers with the bill? Is there an advantage to having Washington D.C. control a park in Maine? To whom is such control advantageous? Something to think about.

I also loved Y-not's surprises from Lady Duck and the house finches. We have apparently had some wildlife families in our yard, too. Jack of Spades left half a gopher in the garage. We have had some other gopher-y gifts on the porch, too. And a baby ground squirrel.

I found a much nicer surprise than half a gopher on Sunday morning when I checked last week's thread. We got a couple of comments on growing Redbud, from a gardener in Japan!

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.

Growing Redbud with a Companion Plant

Visualize these blooms of Chinese Redbud (Photo from Australia)

intertwined with these Spirea blossoms (photo from a Japanese park).


Leave a comment in English or Japanese.

They must be delightful together. This imaginative pairing sent me content-mining into the links on Redbuds that accompanied Y-not's gorgeous photos from Cheekwood. Then one thing led to another . .

Many parts of a Redbud tree are edible . .

After reading Y-not's information on Redbuds, our correspondent in Japan also posted this report:

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

The Eat the Weeds Guy supplies a lot of additional information. Including history. George Washington planted some Redbuds at Mount Vernon.

Anyway, I learned that the lighter top part of the Eastern Redbud flower is sweet, but the lower part is bitter. The pods are best when very young. Think an inch in length. Maybe cooked with a little olive oil and vinegar. You can also eat the leaves when they are young. The dark-leaved cultivars like "Forest Pansy" could be interesting in a salad.

Y-not's revelation that some parts of Redbud trees are edible came from the Great Plains Nature Center in Kansas. Nice plant profile if you missed it last week. The photo below may give you an idea which part of the blossom is sweet and which part is bitter. There are many edible flowers which have palatable petals and unpalatable bases. But if you like bitter foods, you can eat the whole Redbud blossom.


Photo by Bob Gress

Can anyone identify the insect above?

A perfect companion wildflower for Redbud turns out to be a common lawn "weed". Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) often covers yards in April. It blooms at the same time and the color of Henbit's flower nearly matches that of the Redbud, making a wash of violet on the landscape.

Would you eat a plant called "Dead-nettle"?

"Henbit" is a common name for one species of annual Lamium, or "Dead-nettle". Chickens love it. Some Gardening Morons have mentioned ornamental perennial types of dead-nettle in the comments. These are usually used as ground covers or hanging basket plants. Maybe I should profile them someday. The common name "dead-nettle" refers to the resemblance between some species and stinging nettle. These "nettles" are "dead" because they do not have stinging hairs. Dead-nettles are in the mint family, unlike Stinging Nettle.

Henbit is an annual weed, often found with its cousin Lamium purpurea. The latter is sometimes called Red Archangel or Purple Archangel. Both of these weeds are edible. The Eat the Weeds Guy likes them. As usual, he includes a lot of other interesting information. If you are into history, be sure to catch the part on purple dye production in the ancient world. Plus:

"Lamia" was the name of grotesque creatures in Greek mythology and means "female man-eater." The little flower can resemble creatures, if you have an imagination.

Note the resemblance between a contemporary image of Lamia and the photo of the little flowers below. Heh.


Lamia from The Elder Scrolls

Lamium flowers attract hummingbirds and the annual kinds serve as an early nectar and pollen source for bees. In Texas, Henbit flowers are sometimes called "Giraffe Heads". These weeds are very widespread. They are even found in California. I know I have seen them. Not sure where.

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Sunset notes that there are two broad categories of Spireas: The "bridal wreath" type with white blossoms all along the branches, and the kinds with pink and/or white blossoms n terminal clusters. There are several species even in the "bridal wreath" category. I really like the name "snow willow" for the Spiraea thunbergii grown by our correspondent in Japan. It has much narrower leaves than any Bridal Wreath Spirea I have seen. The form of the leaves must provide a nice, subtle contrast with Redbud leaves during the summer.

There is a yellow-leaved cultivar noted for holding onto its attractive fall foliage longer than most deciduous plants. Especially in the Pacific Northwest. It is called Ogon in Japan and 'Mellow Yellow' in the USA. The preceding link includes suggested companion plants. Winterberry is recommended elsewhere to complement its late fall color. This is its early summer form:


Check out the fall foliage, too.

There is also a low-growing Bridal Wreath Spirea, S. nipponica 'Snowmound' that blooms later than S. thunbergii. There is a big Bridal Wreath that needs little winter chill, and there are also a couple that are rated by Sunset for Alaska. Some Bridal Wreaths have single flowers, others have double flowers. Let me know if you want details.

Redbuds: Not just for the South

Y-not's link last week from Southern Living called Redbud an Essential Southern Plant. But some Redbuds are very hardy. Eastern Redbud is, after all, Cercis canadensis.

The dark-leaved, weeping and variegated Redbuds may like part shade, but there are some for full sun in blazing heat, too. 'Oklahoma' and 'Texas White' are selections from a subspecies with leathery, heat-tolerant leaves. Redbud is the State Tree of Oklahoma.

There are some improved forms of Chinese Redbud, too. "Spectacular in the high deserts of Arizona" according to Sunset. Avondale, discovered in New Zealand, will take a tree form with some training. Don Egolf is a smaller seedless cultivar that you can buy through the AoSHQ Amazon Store.

In our dry, hot-summer area you often see shrubby redbuds planted along freeways. Tree-form redbuds are more common in home landscaping. But they are generally smaller than the trees grown the East. Some people think the seedpods of the drought-tolerant Western Redbud are an attractive feature. What do you think?


More photos here

Southern Living Climate Zones?

You might recall that I asked about similarities between the New Southern Living Garden Book and the Sunset Western Garden book. I got some informative feedback in the comments. Maybe I can reciprocate.

Y-not's link on Redbuds from the Southern Living site included a lot of information that seemed to have been taken verbatim from my Sunset Western Garden Book. There were some additional details added. And the climate zones were different. The Sunset Western Garden Book uses the Sunset Western Climate Zones.

At the link above, USDA hardiness zones are included in the descriptions of various Redbud cultivars. The AHS Heat Zones are listed for the Mexican subspecies of Eastern Redbud. There are also some abbreviations I had never seen before. I looked up a key:

US = Upper South
MS = Middle South
LS = Lower South
CS = Coastal South
TS = Tropical South

Has anyone seen a map for these zones, or whatever they are called? Compare to the seldom-used Sunset National Climate Zones for the Southeast.

I found some lush flower photos by a blogger in one of those zones. In Central Maryland to be specific. Take a look around the site if you are in the mood for some spring.



Y-not: Thanks, KT!

To close things up, here's a song by the Man in Black that's more appropriate to the Saturday Gardening Thread...

Here's some Johnny Cash trivia you might not know.


What's happening in YOUR gardens this week?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:30 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Don't grow Triffids!

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2016 12:28 PM (DrCtv)

2 Good afternoon greenthumbs

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:28 PM (Dpy/y)

3 HH, congratulations on the Hat trick yesterday. First?

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:29 PM (Dpy/y)

4 Still having trouble getting seeds to come up, trying to get some heat into their pots. Going to plant some of the lettuce within 2 weeks but still getting close to freezing at night here.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:31 PM (Dpy/y)

5 Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:29 PM (Dpy/y)

No. And why is it called a hat trick anyway?

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2016 12:32 PM (DrCtv)

6 Y', there's thos pics of the mansion I gave you poo about before.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:33 PM (9ym/8)

7 I shot a duck in Reno
Just to watch him die.

Posted by: Cicero (@cicero) at April 16, 2016 12:33 PM (sl+zA)

8 Skip, check your bean seeds to make sure they are still alive. They don't do well in cold, wet soil.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 12:34 PM (qahv/)

9 The lamia was an inspiration for the Type V Demon (marilith) in the Monster Manual. Although the mythology more treats her as a succubus, where the marilith is less sexual and more violent.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at April 16, 2016 12:35 PM (6FqZa)

10 Take in both Mammoth Cave and Lake Cumberland. Get a hot brown.

Posted by: Kentucky Nocturnal Colonel at April 16, 2016 12:36 PM (gwG9s)

11 In hockey 3 goals in a one game is a hat trick. So I call 3 firsts in a day here a hat trick.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:36 PM (Dpy/y)

12 "I shot a duck in Reno
Just to watch him die."

I once shot a Mack truck. Don't know if it died or not.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:37 PM (9ym/8)

13 Hat trick came from cricket. Take three wickets, big party, you get a hat.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 12:37 PM (xq1UY)

14 A little off topic, but there is a quilt in a little town in Texas where I was born that has the quilt that my great grandmother donated. It is a quilt that has been in my family for generations. The reason I bring this up is because it was hidden in Mammoth cave during the Civil War. I remember reading that on the placard and my aunts talking about it. Pretty neat.

Posted by: Arson Wells at April 16, 2016 12:38 PM (/E+t2)

15 Yeah, but why do they use that term?

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2016 12:38 PM (DrCtv)

16 Finally got moved, and the first weekend we have to do something in the the yard....its snowing! But there are flowering trees (redbuds or crabapples) along the fence in full bloom. Looks pretty cool.

Posted by: CrotchetyOldJarhead at April 16, 2016 12:39 PM (rxjJk)

17 " A little off topic,"

Got get, Arson.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:39 PM (9ym/8)

18 We will be discussing Floyd Collins and his high-laced caving boots, won't we?
Because that was a Hell of A Thing.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 12:40 PM (xq1UY)

19 Y-not is entertaining today and I will be in and out. Friend with a broken shoulder.

But I found that even the Farmer's Almanac has weighed in on Tax Day. Did you know that Donald Duck was once used to encourage people to pay their taxes?

http://preview.tinyurl.com/zqrqxj9

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 12:40 PM (qahv/)

20 Hello Ricardo!

Posted by: Arson Wells at April 16, 2016 12:41 PM (/E+t2)

21 Apologies, we are getting away from gardening.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:41 PM (9ym/8)

22 Never knew that about cricket, but in hockey people do toss hundreds of hats onto the ice, most get them back afterwards at Flyers games I think anyway.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:41 PM (Dpy/y)

23 "Hello Ricardo!"

Hola, Arson. If it's a family thing, go get.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:43 PM (9ym/8)

24 Well hell, Skip, in hockey they throw octupi, octopuses, octopods SQUID on the ice.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 12:45 PM (xq1UY)

25 On the lawnmower thing, you're likely to get as many different answers as there are commenters, but:

I like my Husqvarna (I think a 700 model). Got it from Home Depot (?) 4 years ago I think. Honda engine, so it still starts on the first pull every time. Even on "last years" gas.
I believe CDR-M ended up with the same mower when he shopped around a while back.

Posted by: Chi at April 16, 2016 12:45 PM (Te2JU)

26 " most get them back afterwards at Flyers games I think anyway."


You're in Philly?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:46 PM (9ym/8)

27 I have finches as well, but there aren't eggs yet. I also have great horned owls. I saw two owlets yesterday peeking over the nest at me. They are the cutest things.
I can hear the quail, I haven't found any nests yet.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 12:46 PM (egOGm)

28 I am also trying dill to come up which usually self sows but got chopped early by rabbits last year. I should take the seeds and put them in the garden were they should go.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:48 PM (Dpy/y)

29 Too damn wet to garden or do much yard work. If only we'd listened to Gore, Hanson, et al, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem today! *snark*

Posted by: Commissar M at April 16, 2016 12:49 PM (vcIHi)

30 "On the lawnmower thing, you're likely to get as many different answers as there are commenters, but: "


Let's see:

Troy-Bilt rider 2005-$1000 They sell the same rig today for the same money. Runs like a sumbitch.

Several different weed-eaters for the money but Bolens was the best. Little motor don't quit.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at April 16, 2016 12:49 PM (9ym/8)

31 I'm in the suburbs, while never been to a Flyers game have had Co workers who do.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 12:50 PM (Dpy/y)

32 I am going to start planting this week. Last weekend I borrowed a tractor with a tiller deck to turn over the garden. It is a bit small to plow that way, but I got it done really fast.
I will have to expand the garden next year, I suppose

I am planning on getting something planted today.

The Camas are blooming at Bush Pasture Park in Salem, OR. I was out there last weekend walking with a friend.
There were an amazing number of extremely pregnant women getting "pregnancy pics" done in the nice weather.

I figured there must have been a lot of June weddings last year.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 16, 2016 12:51 PM (TVASf)

33 Mmm, Dill rabbit. Good eatin.
After many years of having a margin of garlic serve well as a rabbit control, last year I lost several rows of beans and peas, eaten as shoots. I try hard not to use any chemicals at all in my garden, but now I've got those animal repellent powders that have capsaicin and cinnamon.

Those are expensive spices, historically. Makes you think. Last year, all the damage was early. I can't help but think that my enthusiastic groundhog-trapping program was a factor.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 12:54 PM (xq1UY)

34 CaliGirl,

So fun having all those baby birds. I love to see quail running around. Lived with roommates in a house where a quail family visited years ago. It was in a suburb, but there was a little irrigation canal running through the back yard. Not sure how it survived development.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 12:55 PM (qahv/)

35 Y-not, ducks are a 25 day incubation. I always set a calender reminder when I put eggs in the incubator otherwise I never can't remember who is supposed to hatch when.

I've got my garden going pretty well now, still a bit of stuff to put out yet and I'll keep going, trying to have summer veggies until Nov/Dec.

My sister and a couple of friends bought an old house and are renovation so I just seeded a lot of flowers to give her when they have their open house.

Posted by: Traye at April 16, 2016 12:55 PM (BDUKE)

36 The henbit is going crazy this year in central Kansas. Never seen it carpet fallow fields as well as yards as much as it has this year.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 12:57 PM (L6jDH)

37 Kindltot,

In my experience a tractor with a tiller does a much better job of tilling than a rototiller. Was that your experience, too?

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 12:57 PM (qahv/)

38 It's not a carnivorous plant.

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

Posted by: chuckboy at April 16, 2016 12:59 PM (ScX+o)

39 I want to plant Rosemary for cooking. Especially the Tuscan Blue variety. Most of the nurseries in town don't have it or not specifically labeled.

I'm thinking of ordering seeds or the plant through mail but not sure if it would be worth it since I would have to rely on the place being honest. Any suggestions for a good site to order from?

Posted by: Arson Wells at April 16, 2016 12:59 PM (/E+t2)

40 Traye, do you have henbit in your woods for your chickies? I saw a site that sold henbit, purple dead-nettle and white dead-nettle. I think the last one is perennial. There is at least one ornamental form, but the herbalists use the regular leaf kind.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:00 PM (qahv/)

41 My Meyer lemons are going crazy this year ..
I will have to stake them or they will break down.
Magnolia trees are also blooming now .
Live in West Houston

Posted by: Velvet Ambition at April 16, 2016 01:01 PM (QPdNE)

42 A pair of ducks visits our backyard every year. We aren't positive they're the same ducks but their behavior is similar. They walk right up to us expecting bread, no fear. Guess it's possible it's the same ducks?

Posted by: shinypie at April 16, 2016 01:02 PM (cuj20)

43 A tractor-mounted power tiller can contra-rotate, and that's the advantage. I've never seen a "Troy-bilt" that will do that. I'd like to have one, but OMG they cost as much as a decent used tractor. Still shopping.

Know what else does a heck of a job, and you almost never see in a garden?
A plow. If you compost the surface, every couple-few years you should give it a deeper turn to get those biologics down into the subsoil.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:03 PM (xq1UY)

44 Arson Wells at April 16, 2016 12:59 PM

Don't plant rosemary from seed for culinary use. Some of them smell more like pine than rosemary. Get a recognized culinary variety.

You can buy a plant that smells good to you at the nursery, or order a plant with a specific form online. I recommend one in your general region, or on the Pacific Coast if you are in California, with its slow plant inspections.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:04 PM (qahv/)

45 This is my first spring in northern IL. Anyone in the area? Is it share to plant seeds in the flower beds? Planting zinnias and marigolds.

Posted by: Duke Lowell at April 16, 2016 01:05 PM (kTF2Z)

46 Thanks for the help KT, much appreciated.

Posted by: Arson Wells at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM (/E+t2)

47 I've got eggplant, peppers and more tomatoes started this past week inside. The tomatoes I planted earlier are going crazy. Will plant okra next along with cucumbers/squash. My table is getting pretty full so I need to figure out how to make a box outside for them to live in. Too windy to just put them out there. Maybe surround them with straw bales?

I didn't do anything outside this week except mow my Grandma-in-law's yard and half of mine. Stirred around in the mulch/compost and it is coming along slooooowly. I have neglected the moisture component of the composting, so I'm not doing it right.

Chickens are going crazy so I'm trying to sell some eggs. Only one hit so far.

Rhubarb, horseradish and asparagus are coming up. I try not to use too much sugar so I'm having trouble using up all the rhubarb. I like it roasted with sweet potatoes, beets and onions.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM (L6jDH)

48 As a strange garden creature, the last two years I've had a toad live in my garden. It hasn't been the same one as I found them dead at the end of the year.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM (Dpy/y)

49 Velvet Ambition at April 16, 2016 01:01 PM

Meyer lemons are the kind people usually grow around here because they are a little hardier than other lemons.

I think they taste a little like oranges. Interesting fragrance. They sure are juicy.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:08 PM (qahv/)

50 48 As a strange garden creature, the last two years I've had a toad live in my garden. It hasn't been the same one as I found them dead at the end of the year.
Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM (Dpy/y)

----------

It.was.soap.poisoning.

Posted by: Ralphie the Toad at April 16, 2016 01:09 PM (kTF2Z)

51 I just saw a pharaoh moth at my hyacinths. I have never seen one before summer. Huh.

Posted by: Clarney at April 16, 2016 01:12 PM (T4LBu)

52 Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:03 PM

Thanks for the technical info. on tillers and the plow information, too. In Orange County, CA there is a plow on display with a blade taller than a man. It was used by early settlers to break through hardpan.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:13 PM (qahv/)

53 sweet garden thread. Watching the snow fall today but earlier in the week the daffodils were in full force, tulips budding and a few other bulbs I'm not sure of names.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 16, 2016 01:17 PM (ADtrU)

54 Skip, I had toads for a couple of years, and not a bug to be found anywhere.
Then, they went away. I find one or two now, but I had "flights" of them once.
Until I find them eating my food, we're going to be best of pals.

Give you warts, though.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:17 PM (xq1UY)

55 I do have henbit, the field closest to the mostest chickens is almost cleared of it.
I actually walk around and pick mature seed heads of all the edible weeds otherwise the chickens would just completely clear the field of everything.

Vetch, chick weed, dandelion, ameranth you name it, I'm plucking it and reseeding

Posted by: Traye at April 16, 2016 01:19 PM (BDUKE)

56 Duke Lowell at April 16, 2016 01:05 PM

I don't live in Northern Illinois, but I think it is a little too cold still to plants zinnias and marigolds outdoors. Especially zinnias.

You might try the winter-sowing method to start them off. Use a planting mix, not garden soil.

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/353682.php

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:21 PM (qahv/)

57 The best lawn tractors for the price are Snappers. They are made in the USA in GA. But I have had good luck with my Cub Cadet which is a lot cheaper than a Snapper. You just have to keep up with the annual maintenance on it.


As for yard stuff I finally got to mow my weeds this past Monday.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at April 16, 2016 01:21 PM (vvmPQ)

58 KT, I might go one size smaller for your side-yard garden!
Something you used to see all the time when the Interstate rights-of-way were being graded, not so much anymore: The Drott-LeTourneau hardpan scraper, with a Cat pushing and another pulling, dredging that gumbo. Hard dirt. Hard machinery.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:22 PM (xq1UY)

59 I have a little 1 bottom plow for my garden tractor. It works great. I usually don't use it except for sod. I also have a tiller for the garden tractor. It needs some of the tines replaced, but I'm lazy. Maybe my nephew will help me.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 01:22 PM (wILdd)

60 Skip, I had toads for a couple of years, and not a bug to be found anywhere.
Then, they went away. I find one or two now, but I had "flights" of them once.
Until I find them eating my food, we're going to be best of pals.

Give you warts, though.
Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:17 PM (xq1UY)

My husband hates, loathes, detests toads. I mean, a really irrational dislike. He sees one, he kills it, even if he has to chase it around the garage.
Me, I love 'em. Can't seem to convince him that they serve a much bigger purpose. I've got a little toad house in my flower bed, have to keep it hidden behind the bird bath so it doesn't get "disappeared".

Posted by: antisocialist at April 16, 2016 01:24 PM (9n14Y)

61 Skip at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM

Toads are great garden denizens. Always had one or two here until the water restrictions. Have to make little hiding places to keep the cats from pestering them. You can buy toad houses, too.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:25 PM (qahv/)

62 Your pitcher plants are Jack in the pulpits...

Posted by: Jay at April 16, 2016 01:26 PM (0t4Up)

63 The Robbins are having a tough time in the blizzard that is going on right now. They may have come a little early.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 01:28 PM (wILdd)

64 It often hid under a rain gutter up use to get a downspout past my garden. I thought of putting a shallow pond in my garden to see if it would attract a toad. I figure he was there to eat insects so didn't mind him. Also see praying mantis around and transfer them towards the garden.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 01:28 PM (Dpy/y)

65 Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:22 PM

Wow. Amazing the machinery people come up with.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:28 PM (qahv/)

66 I spent about 8 hours this week pulling Khaki Weed from my yard. What a PITA. Still, I didn't come close to getting it all. All I got was the immature weeds that had the burrs on it and, of course, I didn't get all of that either.

I do have to admire it. It resembles clover, and grows near clover, so you don't really notice what it is until the burrs start showing up. It spreads out along the ground, in all directions, weaving itself into the grass. In Florida, with St Augustine grass, that means it basically weaves a little basket that is difficult to pull. As you grasp the base of the spidery web-like thing and begin to pull, the St Augustine will strip the burrs and deposit them in the soil.

Once the thing matures, it sends a taproot so deep it's almost impossible to pull it all out.

OH! And there is no herbicide that can kill it.

My research has revealed that, with dedication, and constant pulling of the weed, within 3 years it might, possibly, be under control.

See? PITA.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 16, 2016 01:29 PM (SEXy3)

67 I don't think toads are attracted to water like frogs are. They just like moist dirt.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 01:31 PM (wILdd)

68 Don't know about the warts, but toads often pee on your hand if you pick them up.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:36 PM (qahv/)

69 Hah, bird nests!

My best bud's dad hadn't taken down the wreath from the front door yet this long after Christmas. Turns out when he went to do so a week or two back, well, let's just say they know why that bird kept dive bombing them at the front door...

That wreath's going to be up a while apparently.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, hither and yon at April 16, 2016 01:39 PM (D0J8L)

70 I think you are right Ronster. One of my neighbors hates toads and dumps them in a bucket to relocate on her commute. She says they kill the flowers digging to get to cooler soil. I've never noticed an issue in our flowerbeds but they are just bulbs and annuals that self seed so the beds are never tilled. I try to pull the grass enough that the flowers have a chance but that and a bit of watering in hot dry summer is all the help they get.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 16, 2016 01:39 PM (ADtrU)

71 mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM

You have been busy. Straw bales might work, or even a permeable barrier to break the wind. Squash seeds may be a little hardier than cukes or okra. Sometimes they self-sow around here.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:40 PM (qahv/)

72 Craftsman has never let me down. I have a 21 horse garden tractor. Just replaced the craftsman push mower after22 years.

Posted by: Clarney at April 16, 2016 01:40 PM (T4LBu)

73 Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 16, 2016 01:29 PM

Yow! That Khaki weed looks and sounds awful.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 01:44 PM (qahv/)

74 the poet's plaint

"ah, tis spring in the air
the birds are awing
the flowers abloom
and the sap is rising!"

and his wife says
"since you're getting up,
take out the trash."

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at April 16, 2016 01:44 PM (WTSFk)

75 Thanks, KT. It's 70 right now, but I know this has been a weird spring so it could snow in a couple of days. Reckon I'll wait.

Posted by: Duke Lowell at April 16, 2016 01:45 PM (kTF2Z)

76 I personally like Deere brand even though you have to pay extra for the green paint. My garden tractor is a JD 140 made in the '80s. Still going strong except for the charging system.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 01:47 PM (wILdd)

77 My JD 140 was actually made in 1970. I was only off by ten years.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 01:50 PM (wILdd)

78 I got a pretty cool photo of my bleeding hearts blooming in a background of snow last Saturday. Unfortunately it did a number on them.

Posted by: Clarney at April 16, 2016 01:54 PM (T4LBu)

79 @76 Boo. Yah. "It looked good to Irene." I bought a cheap box blade for mine, and a can of green paint. It started working better as soon as the paint dried.

So many tractors, so little time.
Best mower ever, Wheel Horse, especially pre-Toro.
Just saying that to make you feel bad; they don't make them any more.

Mine was new in, I guess 1972. Inherited from father-in-law, who really knew how to take care of things. Kohler, about 8 horse, still going strong. I gave it a new spark plug last year. Had to change the deck wheels once. Put in a new battery yesterday. The guy at the shop checked the code, and laughed. "How long did you want it to last? This is 10 years old." I said, "Have you got a better one?"


Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:56 PM (xq1UY)

80 Hasn't Deere gone away from the cast iron frame this century?

Posted by: Clarney at April 16, 2016 01:56 PM (T4LBu)

81 • In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years....

• In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight....

-Great Moments in Failed Predictions
http://bit.ly/1YzOMP0

• ...Because as ports struggle to cope with a global oil glut, huge queues of supertankers have formed in some of the world's busiest sea lanes, where some 200 million barrels of crude lies waiting to be loaded or delivered, Reuters reports today.

The vessels, filled with oil worth around $7.5 billion at current market prices, would stretch for almost 40 km (25 miles) if formed up in one straight line....

-Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge
http://bit.ly/1SS3NaX

h/t: Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan
via Baron Bodissey, Gates of Vienna

Posted by: mindful webworker - oil glutton at April 16, 2016 01:57 PM (G0G8s)

82 DANG IT! Feel free to delete my comment, which was posted in the wrong thread!

Posted by: mindful webworker - oil glutton at April 16, 2016 01:58 PM (G0G8s)

83 Thanks for another wonderful and informative thread. The photos of the caverns and their environs (never been there) was fascinating. Our redbud is indigenous to the area and has been especially lovely this year. The mild spring let the blossoms remain longer than usual. It is gorgeous in the morning sunlight.

Posted by: JTB at April 16, 2016 02:01 PM (V+03K)

84 Correction, my B-80 Horse is 1974. Well then.
Yes, all new mower-size John Deeres are of foreign origin, and sheet-metal like everybody else. They still have some nice features, but not like they used to be.
Then again, Cub Cadet used to be IH, and they were solid iron too. The current line is somehow related to Murray/MTD. I think Troy-bilt is in with them, too.

But it's like driving a Studebaker. Somebody says "They quit making those!" and you answer, Your problem, buddy. I've got mine.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:04 PM (xq1UY)

85 Yow! That Khaki weed looks and sounds awful.

***

I'll never complain about Crabgrass again.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at April 16, 2016 02:04 PM (SEXy3)

86
Hasn't Deere gone away from the cast iron frame this century?

I don't know. I haven't looked at anything that new.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 02:05 PM (wILdd)

87 Mindful webworker:

No problem with that one: oil is related to geology is related to national parks . . . sort of.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:07 PM (qahv/)

88 I haven't looked at anything that new.

See?

And, why would you?

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:09 PM (xq1UY)

89 About lawnmowers: It's much different buying a lawnmower today due to EPA and OSHA mandated "features" - automatic choke, blade brakes, interlocks to stop the blade and maybe the engine if you let go of the controls. Gaaaak! It;s enough to make anyone who made money as a kid mowing lawns with a 1960's vintage mower wonder why we're not maimed or dead. Some day my 1982 Lawnboy 2-cycle mower will go to it's reward and I dread the day.

Having completed my rant, I did buy a new mower for my son as a Christmas present in 2015. While he only has a small lot, I stepped up from a basic mower to a somewhat better featured self propelled Honda. Here's why:
- The Honda product reviews indicated much more reliability with the automatic choke that is required today by the EPA. It starts on the first pull every time so far, even today after winter storage.
- It has an interlock so the motor continues to run when you let go of the controls. Only the blade stops. Our son has a dog, and sometimes... Short story - it's much easier to do a quick cleanup and not have to restart the mower.
It also does have a mulching or bagging option controlled by a lever which is convenient, although this was not a requirement. It has a double blade system so the mulched grass is finely chopped.
What's very cool is the oil fill tube acts as the old drain. Take out the dipstick and tip the mower on it's side to drain the oil at the end of the season.
A 3 year manufacturer's warranty is also a plus. Our local dealer added another year to that.

So, my recommendation is a Honda. A more basic model might work for you if, for example, you don't have a dog!

Also - one of the great myths of lawn care is that the clipping are what causes thatch. Not so - the googly/bingy/yahooey thingies show many articles about this. I don't mulch or bag - the clippings just sit there. The next rain drives them into the grass plants. The next cutting chops them up.

George V.

Posted by: George V at April 16, 2016 02:10 PM (LUHWu)

90
My mulching mower never seemed to cause a thatching problem. You could always de-thatch every couple of years. They sell a mower blade for that.

If money was no object I would go with Toro. but they all just spin a blade, get one self-propelled if you have a big yard. and if you really want to scrimp, I've seen yard sale running mowers going for $25.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at April 16, 2016 02:14 PM (ODxAs)

91 We are finally getting enough warm and dry weather to work the garden soil in the ground and the containers. We're setting up one of those small plastic covered green houses so the seedlings can start to harden off. It's still too cold at night to leave them out all the time. The leafy greens will go out this week for direct sowing and the herbs are making a come back. If we have the good season for greens we had last year, fresh salad will be a regular feature on our table. Here's hoping.

Posted by: JTB at April 16, 2016 02:15 PM (V+03K)

92 See?

And, why would you?


Exactly

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 02:16 PM (wILdd)

93 Yay, garden thread!

Thanks for your hard work, Y-not and KT.

Having the garden thread as a retreat from politics, is rather like having a real-life garden as a retreat from everyday hassles.

It got cold early this week, but is now warming... should be nice enough to leave tomatoes and peppers out for a few nights, maybe.

Hubby built a birdhouse last friday, hung it under the eaves of our shed-- house sparrow moved into it the next day!

I tried uploading a cute pic of it to photobucket but failed. I screwed it all up last weekend moving pics around... ugh.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 16, 2016 02:19 PM (044Fx)

94
Oh, I almost forgot....I had to cruz over with my sanders to trump off some hillary weeds what with spring being here and all.


Posted by: Guy Mohawk at April 16, 2016 02:19 PM (ODxAs)

95 JTB at April 16, 2016 02:01 PM

Your redbud sounds lovely. I was surprised, looking around the web, at the variety of redbud trees and shrubs that are available. Also surprised how much I liked the look of the white ones. Oregon State has a bunch of redbud photos.

I had a big park-like yard in the Southeast, I might go for something like this. Love the monochromatic colors:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/jfyawxg

Missouri Botanical Garden says that Chinese Redbud is resistant to deer and that it can be grown near black walnut. Any experience with the Eastern Redbud in the presence of these challenges?

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:20 PM (qahv/)

96 Hey, I can relate peak oil b.s. to gardening in one simple step:

There are people who are farming, learning to farm, making community gardens, etc. because they believe they will need to soon because peak oil is just around the corner.

The eyes doth roll, yes, but there are many reasons why these skills are good and may well be needed.

Lots worse things to do with your time.

"Peak oil sustainable farming" is what one might google to read about it.

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 16, 2016 02:21 PM (nXeSu)

97 Hubby just picked a bunch of peas. Actually enough for 5 servings for dinner tonight! The one pea plant that survived the winter may take over the garden...

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 16, 2016 02:23 PM (nXeSu)

98 Wulyahbut, for every peak-oil gardener, there's a couple of us who only farm as an excuse to keep antique equipment running. And, cuss at ethanol in the gas but mostly...

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:24 PM (xq1UY)

99 I didn't recognize that little white-flowered plant from Mammoth Cave. Anybody know what it is?

I think I saw a couple of violet leaves, though.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:24 PM (qahv/)

100 Peas, ain't they something though? I swear, you can just throw a few out in the snowbank, and they'll find a way.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:26 PM (xq1UY)

101 Mama AJ at April 16, 2016 02:23 PM

Yay! Fresh peas!

Though I would probably serve them raw. Love them straight from the garden.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:27 PM (qahv/)

102 Could that white-flowered plant from Mammoth be Dutchman's Breeches? It kind of looks like it, but it's hard to tell from the photo.

Posted by: bluebell at April 16, 2016 02:29 PM (2WwbN)

103 Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 01:06 PM (L6jDH)
------------------

Where are you located that you can't get people interested in your chicken eggs? Gosh, around here people pay upwards of $5/dozen for eggs from Happy Hens.

Posted by: bluebell at April 16, 2016 02:31 PM (2WwbN)

104 When buying a riding mower or garden tractor, I recommend getting one with a hydro-static transmission. Cost more, but worth it.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 02:33 PM (wILdd)

105 95 ... thanks for the link, KT. Ours looks like the pinker one in the foreground. It's an Eastern Redbud and native to the area. The county extension service was pleased that it wasn't the Chinese variety as they encourage planting native species. (This wasn't deliberate on our part. It was a gift that came from a very old estate in the area. It sure qualifies as hardy!)

Can't help with other plants nearby. Ours grows in luxurious isolation in the front yard.

Posted by: JTB at April 16, 2016 02:35 PM (V+03K)

106 KT, sorry, I was out mowing the lawn (cheap-o MTD bottom rung mower, by the way)

The Kubota with a tiller deck does a whole lot better job than a hand tiller. You can go in and fluff everything up much deeper and better. The down side is you have to take extra care not to leave tread-prints. That compaction can cause issues.

On the positive thing is that it really knocks the weeds down (but spreads the bindweed)

The down side to fluffing things up is you will want to do some minor compaction on the bottom of your planting holes so the moisture has a way to wick up to the roots when you put them in.

I usually just lean on my fist in the bottom of the hole and then put the plant and fill dirt in.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 16, 2016 02:42 PM (TVASf)

107 If we are doing apologies for non-gardening content, I apologize for including le gouffre de Padirac.

I just love saying "le gouffre de Padirac". There is a photo of a children's garden at the link, though. And some "almost Mexican" architecture in France.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:42 PM (qahv/)

108 I cut with a Simplicity 44" Broadmoor. Kohler 16 HP with a full rear roller. Amazing tractor. Turns on a dime and gives you .04 back and beautiful, awesome striping. Looks like a ball field after I'm done.

I'd agree about the Honda. I had an HRR model with the twin blades and it was the best mulcher ever. Worked too good at times. If the grass wasn't completely dry, the deck would clog up and you'd have to clean it out a lot. My niece has it now. Always started 1st pull, maybe two if it was the first start up of the season.

Posted by: jsg at April 16, 2016 02:43 PM (2KZyb)

109 Thanks, Kindletot.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2016 02:44 PM (qahv/)

110 Thank you for the gardening thread! Love it every week!
Now that's it's finally stopped raining for a minute, we are going wild on the yard and garden today. Lawnmower in the shop so looks like an abandoned lot right now. Yep, we are those neighbors. shudder.

Posted by: shinypie at April 16, 2016 02:49 PM (B3Pr1)

111 Hydrostatic, hmm. I'd have to think about that one. Got both, like both. Once you're up to real tractor'in', loading or back-and-filling, well yeah.

#1 cause of mower retirement is rust-through of the deck. Those cheapos will last real well if you occasionally scrape the mud and grass compote out from the whole underside. Not the easiest chore with some of them. Some people are real persnickety, and clean them thoroughly after each and every use. Can't hurt, but any effort helps.

Just this last season (overhauled a deck for a neighbor, so had to try it) I've been using the spray-on nonstick coating. Too early to say for sure, but it's got possibilities. I do a lot of mowing in less-than-ideal moisture conditions -- sometimes you've just got to go knock it down even if it's raining every night -- and that muck builds up pretty quick. Pros have told me to let it dry and blow it out with a compressor so as not to introduce even more wetness. That sure dusts the rest of the machine well, I'll say that much.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:53 PM (xq1UY)

112 I going to try some Bradford Watermelons this year because of their historical connection to South Carolina.

Posted by: tmitsss at April 16, 2016 03:03 PM (L0IIq)

113 This is the 200th Anniversary of The Year Without Summer so enjoy your Global Warming if you get any

Posted by: tmitsss at April 16, 2016 03:07 PM (L0IIq)

114 Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 01:03 PM (xq1UY)
Is a plow what I call a ripper?

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:09 PM (egOGm)

115 Stringer,
My toys are diesel.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:12 PM (egOGm)

116 Mulch laid.

Preen activated.

Now soaking in the sun on this beautiful Saturday.

Posted by: RWC - Team BOHICA at April 16, 2016 03:14 PM (hlMPp)

117 Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 02:53 PM (xq1UY)

I prefer the hydro-static because you can exactly match the ground speed to what you are doing. Especially nice for tilling and mowing heavy/tall weeds.

Posted by: Ronster at April 16, 2016 03:14 PM (wILdd)

118 Stringer,
I read the definition of a plow. We have a machine on the back of a tractor that plows. My favorite thing is the ripper because it brings the big rocks to the surface. I take them to my house. I have big rock piles.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:27 PM (QGTpc)

119 thank you for the wonderful thread as always, very nicely done.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:28 PM (QGTpc)

120 @114 I have a mini-ripper for my JD. Here it's a "mid-buster." There's also a deep-buster, but that's for Cats. I've only got 33 HP after all. I've seen rippers used just to take out old fence and drainage tile, but they can also do scary stuff, which you probably do out there. I've gotten away with using one to make a tile trench. I used one with a "foot" as a plow last year, but only because I'd been tilling light and regular and wanted to go 18" deep as a soil-building exercise. Cutting just one slot (hate to even call it a furrow) it takes a little while.

My grandfather labored and homesteaded in S.D. just before WWI, and crewed turnover plows behind a set of steam tractors. He said they'd plow through roads and all, go one way all day, for miles, then camp out, turn the plow over and head back the next. Six feet deep first turn. Black dirt all the way. The rest of his life he called an easy job "plowing in the new ground," but it must not have been that easy, because he was a tough SOB and guv 'er up.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 03:36 PM (xq1UY)

121 My favorite thing is the ripper because it brings the big rocks to the surface. I take them to my house. I have big rock piles.
Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:27 PM (QGTpc)


I read that and had to think, "doesn't frost-heave bring them to the surface?" and then remembered where you are.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 16, 2016 03:39 PM (TVASf)

122 Where are you located that you can't get people interested in your chicken eggs? Gosh, around here people pay upwards of $5/dozen for eggs from Happy Hens.
Posted by: bluebell at April 16, 2016 02:31 PM (2WwbN)
---------------------------
Middle of Kansas. I'm guessing too many people have their own? I don't know. I thought it would be easy as well. So far I've sold to my neighbor and gave a dozen to my MIL.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 04:10 PM (L6jDH)

123 118 Stringer,
I read the definition of a plow. We have a machine on the back of a tractor that plows. My favorite thing is the ripper because it brings the big rocks to the surface. I take them to my house. I have big rock piles.
Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 03:27 PM (QGTpc)
------------------
I have just read about something called the Talus Garland effect,which is when you pile rocks on the south side of the garden that is supposed to help with gathering dew/water.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 04:17 PM (L6jDH)

124 Posted by: Stringer Davis at April 16, 2016 03:36 PM (xq1UY)
The plow thing is neat to watch, at the end of the field it lifts up and turns over.
I think we disc first, then rip, then plow? Then make rows. I could be wrong.
If I get too close to them while they're working like that they'll stop and come to me, they think I need something. I've learned to watch from a distance.
I can't imagine a steam tractor. No horses or mules? My husband would use the phrase above for that situation.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 04:23 PM (egOGm)

125 Took most of my dill seeds and raked them into their area and watered soil, see if they come up.

Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 04:29 PM (Dpy/y)

126 Stringer,
The phrase my husband would use is they're shi**ing in tall cotton.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 16, 2016 04:29 PM (egOGm)

127 CaliGirl, my husband would say "cutting a fat hog in the ass"

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 04:59 PM (L6jDH)

128 Okay, still can't add to my photobucket. *sigh*

Here's hubby's cedar-scraps birdhouse, complete with brand new resident:

http://tinypic.com/r/351dbn8/9

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 16, 2016 05:04 PM (044Fx)

129 Bought a lawn tractor at Home Depot last year, 46" Ariens -- search now comes up "discontinued." (Bet there are some still around, tho.)

We like it, price was $1300 on close-out.

Amazon has it for $$$:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/jtxgthf

Also have MTD front-tine tiller, runs great, on its fourth year. Of course, garden is only 25ft x 30ft...

We only use ethanol-free gasoline in them.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 16, 2016 05:34 PM (044Fx)

130 Got the eggs sold. One lady wanted 3 dozen, so I have 1 dozen in reserve, and 5 more in the coop, probably.

Posted by: mullingthingsover at April 16, 2016 06:03 PM (L6jDH)

131 WELL HAHA!! iN MASS WE ARE CELEBRATING "PATRIOTS DAY" AND THE CONCORD MINUTE MEN WILL BE ON THE COMMON & OF COURSE THE "MARATHON" PLUS THE :RED SOX OFFICIAL OPENER IN BEAN TOWN!! OUR TAXES ARE DUE @ MIDNIGHT ON THE 18TH. AHH HOW SPECIAL ARE WE ON MON?

Posted by: Prinacat at April 16, 2016 06:51 PM (Og26C)

132 @130 are you in Il or Mo by chance? My Som hits the FM on Sat?

Posted by: Prinacat at April 16, 2016 07:01 PM (Og26C)

133 It often hid under a rain gutter up use to get a downspout past my garden. I thought of putting a shallow pond in my garden to see if it would attract a toad. I figure he was there to eat insects so didn't mind him. Also see praying mantis around and transfer them towards the garden.
Posted by: Skip at April 16, 2016 01:28 PM

As usual I'm late to one my favorite threads, as I always work on Sat. I used to bring toads home from the farm to put in our gardens, they were plentiful in wet yrs.

Also bought praying mantis yrs ago from Gardens Supply. Still see one on occasion.

Our small wooded area in the backyard has May apples up and Dogtooth violets blooming. End of report from N IL.

Posted by: Farmer at April 16, 2016 08:19 PM (o/90i)

134 My family stopped by Mammoth caves last spring on the way back to Texas from Otter Lake Resort in the Poconos of eastern Pennsylvania. I wish we had spent more time there but the camping was primitive and it was hot already.

Posted by: lindafell de spair at April 16, 2016 09:21 PM (xVgrA)

135 For some reason , my post didn't come through; the colorful insects are "ailanthus webworms".

Posted by: Roger DePoy at April 17, 2016 08:59 AM (udAPG)

136 Oh, no! They make webworms? Thanks, Roger.

Posted by: KT at April 17, 2016 10:39 AM (qahv/)

137 On second thought, maybe webworms aren't so bad, depending on how you feel about Ailanthus - Tree of Heaven.

Posted by: KT at April 17, 2016 07:28 PM (qahv/)

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Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat