Saturday Gardening Thread: Going Feral [KT]

HAPPY WORLD NAKED GARDENING DAY, Horde! This celebration is open to gardeners and non-gardeners alike! More below the fold.

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Panorama: Spring Spectacular Chez Browndog

Browndog sent in the inspiring photo above. It is his spring garden last year.

Chez Browndog has a Spring Garden. Lilacs, Wisteria, Quince (not shown), Cherry (behind the Pussy Willow Tree on the right), and bushes whose names are lost to the mists of time.

The Wisteria have overtaken some Pines and use them trees as a scaffold to provide a display that wows the neighborhood...and I'm OK with that. The beds support Black Eyed Susans, Daisies, Peonies, Hydrangeas, and Hostas. We throw various pots of annuals throughout the terrace and front entrance.

Not terribly exotic, but we're in WNY.

Thanks, Browndog. Now I want to visit your garden. The Wisterias are especially impressive.

As to the Wisteria, we have both White and Purple. The White blooms first and is more prolific. The Purple comes in almost after the White Blooms are gone. . .very odd that.

I'm not so sure that it is odd. Different species of Wisteria bloom at different times, and I think there is even more variation among their hybrids and cultivars.

If your trees could support another vine, here is an exuberant duo, Wisteria with Clematis montana. Not everybody could handle these two. Wonder if Clematis montana goes feral in the woods like Wisteria does?

cmontana.jpg


World Naked Gardening Day

Several alert members of The Horde have pointed out that today is World Naked Gardening Day. Thanks to all for the encouragement. I don't think it is a viable option in my yard. Neighbors would not understand. Police would not understand, either.

But now that you know about this celebration, do you plan on gardening today in the altogether? They say this can form a psychic bond between you and nature or other gardeners. You might want to review these tips from New Zealand first. I thought the most important tip from the video was:

No power tools. Don't want to cut anything off!

Do you have other tips for naked gardeners?

The top-rated city for observation of Naked Gardening Day is Houston, Texas. Did your city make the list of excellent spots for naked gardening?

What wasn't taken into account to obtain these rankings were: fire ants, mosquitoes, poison ivy, spiders and snakes, which gardeners despise even when fully clothed.

garden-gnome.jpg

Observing World Naked Gardening Day

Ironically, World Naked Gardening Day falls on May 6, the day after Cinco de Mayo, so some of that behavior could be post-celebratory

A note on Flowering Quince

Some recent comments have suggested that pruning Flowering Quince would be a particularly poor activity for World Naked Gardening Day. Because the thorns are so wicked and scratches take a long time to heal. We have discussed flowering quince before. (Don't comment on old threads).

Just a reminder that there are thornless cultivars of this early-blooming shrub, both short and tall. I used to have a little apricot one called 'Cameo'. This one is 'Pink Lady'.

quince.jpg

Some plants that may go feral on another planet?
(Or in Heaven)?

Last week, I read about a Wilderness Area in California where hunting feral pigs was allowed. Yes, in California. Actually, hunting feral pigs is encouraged in some parts of California because the pigs dig up native plants.

There are some rather unassuming European plants that can go feral, too. But they can still be nice in the garden where not banned. They are both butterfly magnets.

Does this plant:

valerian-officinalis.jpg

remind you of this? And if so, why?

Used since ancient times for its sedative and relaxing properties, Valeriana officinalis, commonly known as garden heliotrope, is native to Europe and Northern Asia, and its native habitat is marshes and river banks. Valerian grows from thick rhizomes, with 2- or 3-inch-long dark green, lance-shaped serrated leaves growing from a central rosette and a 3- to 4-foot-tall flowering stem with clusters of flower buds. . . . The foliage has a stinking, putrid odor, especially when handled or disturbed, but the flowers have a fragrance similar to cherry pie. The stinking foliage is as attractive to cats as catnip, and they will roll in the plants and tear them up if given the opportunity. You can sew up tiny pillows stuffed with valerian leaves for the cats in your life to enjoy.

Anybody out there into sewing tiny cat pillows to fill with stinky foliage?

The roots are still used as a sedative to this day. Flower stems can grow 5 or 6 feet tall sometimes, and the flower stems may fall over if grown in the shade. It prefers cool summers and moist soil. It can be invasive where happy. Still, flowers that smell like cherry pie sound appealing.

Valerian appears to be one of the safer herbs for human use. The basal rosette of leaves has an attractive, ferny look. Flowers come in white, pink or rosy red. This brings us to:

Keys of Heaven

Though she may not have known its identity, California Girl sent in a photo of a Valerian impostor sometimes known as "Keys of Heaven", along with the Balloon Flower she photographed outside a Catholic church in Wyoming. We talked about the Balloon Flower earlier. Don't comment on old threads. "Keys of Heaven" is kind of a pretentious name for the tough garden plant, Centhranthus ruber, which often naturalizes in the West. You can't sell this plant in Oregon or Washington. It does well in most parts of the West and many parts of the East, but does not like high humidity or damp shade.

balloon 1.jpg.jpg

I am afraid that photo makes me want to deadhead some old Keys of Heaven seed heads. They have already let go of their little dandelion-like seed parachutes and look kind of scruffy.

You know you are a hard-core gardener if you deadhead flowers
in other people's garden. - Sue Careless

Other common names for this plant include Red Valerian, Kiss-me-quick, Jupiter's Beard, German Lilac and Pretty Betsy. The White form of the flower used to be recommended by Sunset for low-maintenance day lily (and daffodil) borders. It blends easily with many other colors. I think it would also be compatible with Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), another great nectar plant for butterflies. Especially Hello Yellow. Or maybe in back of some Scabiosia Butterfly Blue, one of the longest-blooming plants I have encountered.

whit cen.jpg

Keys of Heaven comes in warm to cool red shades plus pink and white. Centhranthus ruber 'coccineus' is supposed to be especially long-blooming.

. . . this Mediterranean plant is favorite in Europe, embraced as a staple in grand estate gardens to cottage styled gardens. Its non-stop bloom-fest starts in June . . . But for me, the fact that it lures in butterflies who swarm to its nectar rich blooms made it an easy choice for my garden. . .

Why more hasn't been done to promote this plant to new homeowners looking for high impact plants with low impact needs is a mystery to me. It's a perfect winning plant for someone new to gardening, that will build their confidence as it grows from strength to strength. . .

centranthus.jpg

Red Valerian, or Keys of Heaven

Sweet Potato Science

It's getting to be about time for some people to plant sweet potato slips. Surprise!
Sweet potatoes are transgenic!

The first transgenic organism was not produced by a megacorporation. It was created by Mother Nature a long time ago. This phenomenon, in which an organism integrates genetic material from another organism of which it is not the descendant, is called horizontal gene transfer... and it's been going on for millions of years.

The sweet potato is an example.

sweet tater.jpg

Gardens of The Horde

Well, we have hit the triple digits in the San Joaquin Valley. Not quite as hot today. Rain forecast in some spots. Hope the new levees in the Valley hold, because there isn't much flood control capacity in the Sierras. If only Jerry Brown had followed his Dad's Master Plan for water storage.

Do you have good gardening weather today? Planting something new? Harvesting anything?

Have a great weekend.

red valerian 1.jpg

Keys of Heaven, with Swallowtail

If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:02 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Good morning.

Posted by: HH at May 06, 2017 11:55 AM (DrCtv)

2 Well, the weather here has finally turned really nice after days and days of rain. Going to visit my sister tomorrow and help her work in her garden.

Posted by: HH at May 06, 2017 11:57 AM (DrCtv)

3 Naked gardening, eh? Hmm. Think the neighbors would start a fund to pay me to put my clothes back on..

Posted by: IC at May 06, 2017 11:58 AM (gcme+)

4 Hi, everybody.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:00 PM (qahv/)

5 Speaking of plants, today is The Run for the Roses.

Posted by: HH at May 06, 2017 12:02 PM (DrCtv)

6 It's a bad idea to use gardening shears naked.

Posted by: steevy at May 06, 2017 12:02 PM (r/0kC)

7 Naked gardening eh?

This morning the wifey said she was off to class. She's learning to be a stripper.

Turns out it's a quilting thing.

Imagine my relief.

Posted by: budman at May 06, 2017 12:02 PM (mKcnZ)

8 >>>Sweet potatoes are transgenic!

Obligatory:

I'm just a sweet potato from transgenic transylvania.

Posted by: Dr. Frankentater at May 06, 2017 12:03 PM (vRcUp)

9 Well, it's cool and rainy today and we have young children next door, so I plan to keep my clothes on. At my age and in my shape, that is a wise decision no matter what day it is.

Posted by: JTB at May 06, 2017 12:04 PM (V+03K)

10 Roses/iris's blooming....bamboo shooting and kudzu creeping. Whoever brought over those 2 should be dug up and shot.

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:06 PM (x9c8r)

11 Cold and wet here. Working on my tractor and the metal is sucking the heat out of my fingers. I sure could use about 20 degrees of ambient temp.

Belly full of gluten-packed Malt-o-Meal is helping, though...

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at May 06, 2017 12:06 PM (di1hb)

12 Naked gardening?
Yeah... No.
Everything i planted this year is in containers in the front yard.
That wouldn't turn out well for anyone.

Posted by: Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 12:08 PM (xgKhT)

13 Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are...and to the dust we shall return.

Posted by: Insomniac, Lord Hurlingbone, Earl of Melancholy at May 06, 2017 12:09 PM (0mRoj)

14 Whine, whine, whine (with a huuuuge dose of envy as well) -- all I see is allergy misery from flowering trees and flowering woody shrubs.

Beautiful vista and wonderful job.


Posted by: mustbequantum at May 06, 2017 12:10 PM (MIKMs)

15 Do you have other tips for naked gardeners?


Yeah. Don't. But if you must: DEET and something with an SPF of at least 30.

Posted by: Insomniac, Lord Hurlingbone, Earl of Melancholy at May 06, 2017 12:10 PM (0mRoj)

16 Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:06 PM (x9c8r)

Wasn't the Kudzu planted by the government to stop soil erosion? The first time I visited the South it was like "Holy Crap, what is THAT"?

Posted by: HH at May 06, 2017 12:11 PM (DrCtv)

17 Do you have other tips for naked gardeners?

Don't stoop in the asparagus patch.

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:12 PM (x9c8r)

18 BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:06 PM

Bamboo and kudzu are two of the worst feral plants, for sure. Have you ever tried eating young bamboo shoots to get rid of them?

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:12 PM (qahv/)

19 Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:06 PM (x9c8r)

Kudzu is recommended as an easy-to-find, in the right states, basketry material. Also both it and bamboo shoots are edible, so that may be a way to keep ahead of them. And, of course, bamboo has many uses.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:12 PM (sEDyY)

20 KT,
I think I have some keys of heaven plants in my yard. The butterflies and bees like them. I never knew their name.

I was going to deadhead the roses today but it's windy and cold. It was 90 all week and I need to clean up some plants.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM (Ri/rl)

21 Browndog's springtime garden is lovely. I can just imagine seeing it on a misty morning...magical!

Longwood gardens has a springtime planting in one of its Italian gardens. All wisteria and forget-me-nots. Sitting there as a gentle drizzle falls feels like a trip to Fairie World.

Posted by: kallisto at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM (kD8Fh)

22 17 Do you have other tips for naked gardeners?

Don't stoop in the asparagus patch.
Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:12 PM (x9c8r)

Or run backward through the cornfield.

Posted by: Insomniac, Lord Hurlingbone, Earl of Melancholy at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM (0mRoj)

23 IIRC, wisteria figures prominently in Chinese and Japanese art.

Posted by: kallisto at May 06, 2017 12:14 PM (kD8Fh)

24 Wasn't the Kudzu planted by the government to stop soil erosion? The first time I visited the South it was like "Holy Crap, what is THAT"?

Posted by: HH at May 06, 2017 12:11 PM (DrCtv)

Yeah, FDR and his buds....Gave Tenn. the TVA, gave us (SC) kudzu.

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:14 PM (x9c8r)

25 23 IIRC, wisteria figures prominently in Chinese and Japanese art.
Posted by: kallisto at May 06, 2017 12:14 PM (kD8Fh)

Listeria figures prominently in food poisoning.

Posted by: Insomniac, Lord Hurlingbone, Earl of Melancholy at May 06, 2017 12:15 PM (0mRoj)

26 We aren't growing tomatoes and squash from seed this year but going with established plants, probably from Southern States. They normally have a good variety of plants to choose from and I know many of them are supplied by local folks.

We are in Zone 7, northern Virginia. We're trying for reliable production of stuff this year instead of experimenting with heirloom or exotic types. I thought Better Boy tomatoes would be a good choice and standard yellow neck summer squash.

Any suggestions from the Garden Thread folks about regular tomato or summer squash varieties (not beefsteak) would be welcome.

Posted by: JTB at May 06, 2017 12:15 PM (V+03K)

27 'Do you have other tips for naked gardeners? ''

Bring lube.

Posted by: Back Door Snake at May 06, 2017 12:16 PM (BO/km)

28 We wish we could get a gig tending a garden where we *wouldn't* be required to go naked. I mean, we even caught shit for wearing a f*cking fig leave, ffs.

Posted by: Adam and Eve at May 06, 2017 12:16 PM (vRcUp)

29 KT, do you have an open thread for any news or anything? Not that I *have* news, just in case.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:18 PM (sEDyY)

30 mustbequantum at May 06, 2017 12:10 PM

I agree that BrownDog and his wife have done a great job. And most of their flowering shrubs and vines would not be particulary allergenic because they are insect-pollinated. It's the wind-pollinated ones that are the big problem. Sometimes you don't even see the flowers that are making you miserable . . .

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:20 PM (qahv/)

31 Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:12 PM (qahv/)

Only bamboo shoots from the grocery. Had some kudzu jelly....tasted like...sugar.

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:20 PM (x9c8r)

32 Plenty of dew on the lily.

Posted by: Pro naked gardening tip at May 06, 2017 12:20 PM (Tyii7)

33 A friend of mine travelled to Amsterdam this week specifically to see the tulips.

I can't imagine having that kind of dedication to a flower.

Posted by: Tickled Pink at May 06, 2017 12:21 PM (smD62)

34 Honeysuckle is blooming now....last year I had some homemade honeysuckle ice cream....WOW!

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM (x9c8r)

35 CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM

Once I saw some beautiful shell pink Keys of Heaven growing on a slope in Morro Bay. The plants seemed to be shorter than the ones I have seen before. I wish I had gathered some seeds.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM (qahv/)

36 "HAPPY WORLD NAKED GARDENING DAY"

"Day"?

Posted by: Bill Nyet, Science Gxy at May 06, 2017 12:26 PM (Ndje9)

37 Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:20 PM (x9c8r)

Apparently the Japanese use some part (are there tubers, because that would make sense) to make startch that they use in cooking.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:27 PM (sEDyY)

38 kallisto at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM

The Longwood Gardens scene sound wonderful.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:27 PM (qahv/)

39 Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM (qahv/)

That sound like a beautiful sight (and site).

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:28 PM (sEDyY)

40 Not much to report this week. The leaf lettuce and spinach seeds are coming up and doing well. The rosemary, thyme, French tarragon, and chives are thriving even in this cool and wet period.

I figure it will be at least two weeks, probably three unless it warms up, before tomato and the other plants can go in.

Posted by: JTB at May 06, 2017 12:28 PM (V+03K)

41 Our pomegranate is starting to bloom. It was covered in blossoms last year but none "set" so we'll have to see what happens.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:29 PM (sEDyY)

42 Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:18 PM

I have something drafted, but I saw another post in the queue. It hasn't come up yet. If the Weird News thread gets too long, let me know.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:29 PM (qahv/)

43
Don't do nekkid gardening, but have been known to (TMI, yeah!) perform a 'Rain Dance' with a drought busting shower in August...

O/T. Annual airshow at Barksdale AFB this weekend. Perfect weather for a change. Already had a Sopwith Camel looking biplane fly over the farm this morning, plus several BUFFs. Blue Angels later...

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 06, 2017 12:30 PM (4DCSq)

44 Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:29 PM (qahv/)

It had pretty much died last time I checked.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:31 PM (sEDyY)

45 35 CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:13 PM

Once I saw some beautiful shell pink Keys of Heaven growing on a slope in Morro Bay. The plants seemed to be shorter than the ones I have seen before. I wish I had gathered some seeds.
Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM (qahv/)

I always assumed those plants were wild. I see them everywhere. They seem to be drought tolerant.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:32 PM (Ri/rl)

46 As a kid, I raised a swallowtail from a caterpillar, and released it. They look amazing.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at May 06, 2017 12:32 PM (vRcUp)

47 Quick gardening question. How do I keep the arugula from invading the choom? Asking for a friend...

Posted by: Prez'nit Gladiolus at May 06, 2017 12:34 PM (Tyii7)

48 Anybody out there into sewing tiny cat pillows to fill with stinky foliage?

Mrs928 fills baby socks with catnip and sews up the end for the grandcats.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 06, 2017 12:37 PM (LTHVh)

49 doing some brush cutting and burning. I'll keep my pants on.

Posted by: Hartmann at May 06, 2017 12:38 PM (buP4J)

50 41 Our pomegranate is starting to bloom. It was covered in blossoms last year but none "set" so we'll have to see what happens.
Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:29 PM (sEDyY)

My one pomegranate has a lot of blossoms. It looks really happy. I hope the wind doesn't knock them all off.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:39 PM (Ri/rl)

51 This week I found one last orange to remove from the newly planted baby satsuma. That brought the total to 277 for a four foot tree.

I'm hoping that bodes well for the future.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 06, 2017 12:39 PM (LTHVh)

52 Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 06, 2017 12:37 PM (LTHVh)

That sounds like a good recycling project. Will need to keep it in mind.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 12:41 PM (sEDyY)

53 JTB at May 06, 2017 12:15 PM

Better Boy is a good variety in many climates. You might think about the cocktail tomato Mountain Magic as an emergency tomato in case of Late Blight. There is also a late blight resistant Roma type. Royal something or other as I recall.

And SunGold cherry is wonderful if you like sweet tomatoes. Has a fruity flavor.

If the crookneck squash is not a hybrid, you might try a straightneck as well. Would probably be more prolific. One alternative might be to plant some squash seeds you already have. Zucchini, etc. You might find that there is little difference in how soon you get fruit, compared to plants.

Can't say the same for tomatoes.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 12:41 PM (qahv/)

54 Any suggestions from the Garden Thread folks about regular tomato or summer squash varieties (not beefsteak) would be welcome.
Posted by: JTB at May 06, 2017 12:15 PM (V+03K)

That must be tough for tomatoes or squash, the humidity.
You must need certain varieties. I have no idea what they would be.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 12:43 PM (Ri/rl)

55 What are you using the tomatoes for?

Posted by: Mr Aspirin Factory at May 06, 2017 12:45 PM (89T5c)

56 34 Honeysuckle is blooming now....last year I had some homemade honeysuckle ice cream....WOW!
Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM (x9c8r)


That sounds quite tasty, but also like a LOT of work. Do you have to pull the pistil out of a million blooms to get each tiny drop of honey? Do you just use the entire flower?

Posted by: Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 12:48 PM (xgKhT)

57 Just watered the garden and ate the first 4 ripe cherry tomatoes I found. I have one full 4x4 raised bed filled with coriander/cilantro that has bolted and is now flowering. It's covered in bees and butterflies which I'm fine with. I also plant one fennel plant just for the painted lady butterflies, I don't eat it myself.
Hydrangeas are starting to bloom....in pink again. I can't get the soil acidic enough to make them bloom blue. I've dumped a whole bag of acidifier around the thing and still get pink blooms.
7 Plumerias are leafing nicely and two are putting out blooming stalks. It will smell divine when they start opening up.

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 12:49 PM (kufk0)

58 Does anyone know how long it takes for Enlish Ivy to die?

I leave the cuttings (and pullings) in a barrel for about 3 or 4 days. I don't want the stuff spring back to like in the compost pile.

Posted by: fluffy at May 06, 2017 12:52 PM (jw2Xw)

59 58 Does anyone know how long it takes for Enlish Ivy to die?


After SMOD hits us, English ivy will die a few months after the last cocktoach.

Posted by: Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 12:56 PM (xgKhT)

60 JTB, we are just south of you & Mrs. JTB. Our Home Depot sells Bonnie Plants which have done well for us in past years. Looks like a good operation, based in Ohio, I think.

You might find local plants for sale at a farmers' market, too.

It's gotten so cold, I don't know when I'll get our seedlings off of the porch & into the ground.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at May 06, 2017 12:57 PM (GzDYP)

61 Spoof naked gardening day story. Pic NSFW.

http://www.suffolkgazette.com/news/world-naked-gardening-day/

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at May 06, 2017 12:57 PM (vRcUp)

62 wisteria featured in Asian art:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/397794579557582878/


/ turned this into an Art Thread/Gardening Thread mash-up

Posted by: kallisto at May 06, 2017 12:57 PM (kD8Fh)

63 Daughter just brought out some plants she acquired at the Farmer's Market. We may actually get some bit of garden this year, if only in planters.

HAPPY WORLD NAKED GARDENING DAY

When it comes to "pix, or...," the pix in the post don't quite qualify.

Image search on naked gardening is not recommended. Some yout' & cuteness. Mostly obesity and septuagenarianism and guybutts.

Posted by: mindful webworker - in coveralls and heavy boots, sprayed with Deet at May 06, 2017 12:58 PM (l/Pix)

64 Love Clematis! And I have a nearly feral one along one side of the property-- pics are from last year.

C. Montana (pink perfection?) and a few Dr. Ruppel blooms, planted 2011:

http://tinypic.com/r/2gy8z7n/9

City of Lyon, left and Jackman's, right, both planted 2014:

http://tinypic.com/r/16is36u/9


Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 12:59 PM (5muuD)

65 Nice garden CB Dog!

My knockout roses are going gangbusters. The reds and white ones are great, but the pink ones smell best. Like citrus and floral with Sela Ward in the background.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at May 06, 2017 12:59 PM (5VlCp)

66 Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 12:49 PM (kufk0)

I add the acid fertilizer to my hydrangeas too, they're still pink.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 01:01 PM (Ri/rl)

67 >>> After SMOD hits us, English ivy will die a few months after the last cocktoach.

I just have my sights on a individual plants ;--)

I've reconciled to the possibility that I may never eradicate it, just don't want a new front in the War On Vines.

Posted by: fluffy at May 06, 2017 01:01 PM (jw2Xw)

68 I put up an open thread for those interested.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:01 PM (qahv/)

69 >>>Does anyone know how long it takes for Enlish Ivy to die?

I live on LI. The most difficult weed to get rid of, IMHO is bamboo. Yes, it can grow on LI. The best way is to cut it down to a stump, then generously spray some herbicide like roundup into the remaining stalk.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at May 06, 2017 01:02 PM (vRcUp)

70 CaliGirl,
I just did a quick search and coffee grounds are supposed to be good for acidification. I'm going to try it.

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:05 PM (kufk0)

71 I wouldn't trust English Ivy *not to* spring back to life in a compost heap... Bag it and trash it, just to be sure.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 01:06 PM (5muuD)

72 BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM

Got a recipe?

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:07 PM (qahv/)

73 Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 12:59 PM (5muuD)

Those are gorgeous!

Posted by: OldDominionMom at May 06, 2017 01:10 PM (GzDYP)

74 Why do they name so many Sci-fi characters after plants? "Agent Valerian"? Is he supposed to make you sleepy?

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:10 PM (qahv/)

75 Steve and Cold Bear at May 06, 2017 12:32 PM

The caterpillars are interesting too, aren't they?

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:11 PM (qahv/)

76 Browndog's photo has given me a Herman's Hermits earworm because they do indeed have a lovely garden.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at May 06, 2017 01:18 PM (GzDYP)

77 Posted by: Hairyback Guy at May 06, 2017 12:59 PM (5VlCp)

The yellow ones smell citrusy as well.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 01:18 PM (sEDyY)

78 CaliGirl and lindarose-- another acidifying trick is Pickle Juice. Mom and Grandmother saved the liquid after pickles were gone, mixed a gallon or two of water per jar before watering plants with it.

It took a couple of years to get a good blue color (theirs were 'big leaf' hydrangeas, that's all I know about the cultivars involved) and they had to keep doing it or back to pink they went.

AFAIK, their soils were even *already* somewhat acidic.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 01:19 PM (5muuD)

79 Thanks JQ

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:21 PM (kufk0)

80 The yellow ones smell citrusy as well.
Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 01:18 PM (sEDyY)

Cool! I don't have any yellow ones. Thanks PtE, I may get some.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at May 06, 2017 01:22 PM (5VlCp)

81 The caterpillars are interesting too, aren't they?

Posted by: KT


Yes! I wouldn't want one crawling on me (caterpillars are my spiders)- but they have striking patterns and those weird horns.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at May 06, 2017 01:23 PM (vRcUp)

82 We do white trash Kentucky tomatoes holes here for our heirloom tomatoes using car tires. Composted soil mix about two feet deep the circumference of the ring of the tire and tire laid around the tomato hole. Tomatoes love heat and the black tire with the sun creates a thermal of heat. Plant as much of the stem of the tomato plant as possible as the hairs you see on the stem will produce roots also. Best fish emulsion fertilizer I have ever used is Alaska 5-1-1. Wally World has it.

Posted by: Sherpa_K2 at May 06, 2017 01:27 PM (TUhW5)

83 Its like 40 degrees outside, I'm not gardening naked even if I am a fairly wooly sort of guy.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at May 06, 2017 01:29 PM (39g3+)

84 Gotta run for a while. See ya later.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:31 PM (qahv/)

85
70 CaliGirl,
I just did a quick search and coffee grounds are supposed to be good for acidification. I'm going to try it.
Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:05 PM (kufk0)

My sister used coffee grounds at her old house.

Our blueberries like acidic soil and I know it's difficult to change the acidity of soil. We use a sulfur burner. There's a computerized fertilizer thing. They test it all the time.

The blues are in pots now.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 01:34 PM (Ri/rl)

86 Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at May 06, 2017 01:29 PM (39g3+)

Yeah, it's hardly surprising that Houston is a favorite spot since the subtropical climate makes it one of the few places where the weather is good enough. It's rude to others though, along with being just plain stupid.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 01:35 PM (sEDyY)

87 I tend to wear tough, durable clothing all over when I garden, to avoid being scratched and getting mud ground into my skin. old jeans, etc. A hat is good too, out in the sun. Its like people who hike in shorts -- you're an idiot. Cover up.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at May 06, 2017 01:38 PM (39g3+)

88 Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 01:19 PM (5muuD)

I'm going to try that. That's just vinegar.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 01:38 PM (Ri/rl)

89 I'm going to try that. That's just vinegar.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 01:38 PM (Ri/rl)

Yes, exactly! But the timing... I think that's why they did it with pickle juice. (Besides not having to spend extra $ or waste something they already had.)
Monthly treatments, perhaps?

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 01:41 PM (5muuD)

90 KT and everybody,
Thanks for the suggestions about tomatoes and summer squash. I have no preference between crooked neck and straight yellow squash but if straight neck is more prolific, I'll go with them. We have one large container unexpectedly available and I will try some squash from seeds in that. (Belt and suspenders.)

BTW, for some reason we always have good results with Roma tomatoes. If they are OK for zone 7, they grow for us. That's why I didn't ask about that type.

We eat a LOT of fresh tomatoes when they are in season. Same with the summer squash, which I'm addicted to. I use them fresh in salads, in soup, sautéed on top of rice, etc.

Any extra tomatoes get peeled (dip in boiling water method) and frozen in freezer bags. They make fantastic sauce even months later. The squash gets parboiled and frozen. We used to can them but prefer the frozen style and it is easier.

Posted by: JTB at May 06, 2017 01:43 PM (V+03K)

91 My husband was laughing at me awhile ago seeing me cinch up my bathrobe, strap on some gloves and fire up my cordless hedge trimmer to attack some evil English ivy sneaking over our patio fence.

At least I wasn't nude, and the Mission is Accomplished *stands with hands on hips in sweaty robe with a smug expression on face*

Posted by: stace, too much winning at May 06, 2017 01:44 PM (UG4SD)

92 Posted by: stace, too much winning at May 06, 2017 01:44 PM (UG4SD)

You. Are. Awesome!

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 01:46 PM (sEDyY)

93 Looking through my personal gardening notes for this week, there's not that much news from Idaho's Treasure Valley today.

The neighborhood irrigation is on, so this week was for debugging the system - making sure all heads pop up, all rotating heads rotate, and the drip zone actually drips. (We have over 20 zones, and most of the sprayer zones have 6 heads each...) Not quite done yet, but should be done early this week.

Under flowers, we did put in some lily of the valley pips. I tried some last fall, but I think I put them in too late for them to do much rooting, particularly given the Snowpocalypse. Our daytime weather's been nice and warm (hit 89 F for no obvious reason on Thurs.), so hopefully they'll do something this spring/summer.

Our "official Holland Dump" tulips are starting to fade. I'm cutting stems off as the flowers collapse. I also cut down a dead sagebrush in the back yard, and pruned the poor unloved rose in the front yard. (That poor thing doesn't match any of the other plantings. I think it may have been some sort of Mothers Day or anniversary gift that got shoved in the ground wherever it fit - and from the look of the stumps, it's been frozen and cut down multiple times before.)

Now that we're back from the northeast, and we have irrigation running, we got going on serious planting. I put in one orange and 3 red bell pepper plants, 2 jalapeño plants, 2 Roma tomato plants, plus one sage and one marjoram for the herb garden. (I chose sage and marjoram because my favorite poultry seasoning spice mix uses them - I'm not familiar with marjoram, so there will be some experimenting this year.) The pepper/tomato pair of raised beds got its "tent ribs" put up, so if it ever looks like a cool night, we can put the plastic row cover on. (Looks vaguely like a covered wagon made of clear plastic.)

Also planted a new row of green onions, a new row of carrot seeds, and 2 half-rows of radishes. (The half rows are to save room for husband's poblano pepper plants later. They're still small, but hopefully as temps warm up, they'll start getting bigger.)

We've been shopping for blueberry plants in 1 gal. containers with no luck. One nursery only has 5 gal. plants, another doesn't carry blueberries. We have one more local nursery to check. Home Depot has some, but we weren't completely sold on the varieties - we may have to settle for those if we can't find others.

Posted by: Pat* at May 06, 2017 01:47 PM (qC1ju)

94 ...cinch up my bathrobe, strap on some gloves and fire up my cordless hedge trimmer...

LMAO!!!!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 01:48 PM (5muuD)

95 Won't the pickle juice make the soil salty?

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:49 PM (kufk0)

96 Stace,
That's almost naked gardening....hahahaha!!

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:53 PM (kufk0)

97
Pat*, you have super gardening reports every week.

Thanks!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 06, 2017 01:56 PM (4DCSq)

98 Lovely garden, browndog.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at May 06, 2017 01:57 PM (FOnk+)

99 I was inspired by KT's post, but the robe was actually less than optimal. I was on a little slope and tripped on the robe a couple of times.
Thank goodness the lime green crocs provided stable footing.

Posted by: stace, too much winning at May 06, 2017 02:00 PM (UG4SD)

100 Won't the pickle juice make the soil salty?

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 01:49 PM (kufk0)I suppose it could. Pretty sure we didn't empty more than one pickle jar in a month, though. Also, the liquid was much diluted before watering with it.
The fact that the plants survived, tells me it wasn't a harmful amount of salt.
I like CaliGirl's idea-- plain vinegar. Guessing about a cup per gallon of water, once a month.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 02:01 PM (5muuD)

101 Ok, I'm going to go vinegar and water my hydrangeas.........

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:07 PM (kufk0)

102 lindarose at May 06, 2017 12:49 PM

It's hard to acidify soil that doesn't start out acid. Using peat moss in large quantities is the most common way to avoid having to dump on tons of acidifying fertilizer.

Even if the soil is acid enough, it may take a season before hydrangea flowers turn blue.

Blueberries need acid soil, too.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 02:11 PM (qahv/)

103 Polliwog the 'Ette at May 06, 2017 01:35 PM

Yes. I wondered how Minneapolis made the Naked Gardening list.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 02:13 PM (qahv/)

104 Ok, my hydrangeas smell like salad dressing now......

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:14 PM (kufk0)

105 Thanks KT. Next time I'm at a garden center I'll look for peat moss to spread under the plants like mulch.

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:16 PM (kufk0)

106 Pat* at May 06, 2017 01:47 PM

Thanks for the report.

It will be important for you to get the right varieties of blueberries. You need Lowbush or Hardy Half-High bush types because of your cold, dry winter air.

Examples of the latter are Chippewa, Polarais, St. Cloud, Northsky, Northblue, and Northcountry. I think you know they also need acid soil. If you can't get the ones you want, mail order may be the best idea.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 02:17 PM (qahv/)

107 lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:16 PM

I don't know that peatmoss mulch is the right approach. Might try raising your plants up a little in order to incorporate some peat moss in the soil. It may be easier just to go with pink flowers.

On the pickle juice thing: Works in areas of high rainfall and good drainage where the salt gets washed out. Otherwise, no.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 02:20 PM (qahv/)

108 I'll look for peat moss to spread under the plants like mulch.

Peat moss tends to repel water when it's dry, so mix it into the soil a little (while being careful of plants' roots) or cover the p.m. with more soil.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 02:24 PM (5muuD)

109 Ah, ok, till the peat moss into the soil....can do....

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:27 PM (kufk0)

110 At least I wasn't nude, and the Mission is Accomplished *stands with hands on hips in sweaty robe with a smug expression on face*
Posted by: stace, too much winning at May 06, 2017 01:44 PM (UG4SD)

Stace,

You are officially a bad ass chick! I Applaud you.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 06, 2017 02:27 PM (Ri/rl)

111 "Ok, my hydrangeas smell like salad dressing now....."

Don't get tempted to eat them, lindarose.
Heh.

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 02:36 PM (qahv/)

112 Aaarrrrggghhh, Nnnnnnnoooooooo!!!' My neighbors are nekkid gardeners year round. Please rain please rain please rain.

Posted by: bebe's boobs destroy at May 06, 2017 02:47 PM (hscyr)

113 Don't worry KT, I know hydrangeas are poisonous.

Posted by: lindarose at May 06, 2017 02:49 PM (kufk0)

114 Hey bebe, enjoy the view!!

Posted by: Bebe's nekkid neighbors at May 06, 2017 02:52 PM (kufk0)

115 Naked gardening? Oh, hell no.

Not enough privacy here for that--
and neighbors have little kids-- I love flowers, but NOT ENOUGH to go
to jail for them. (Sorry, my pretties)

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 06, 2017 03:08 PM (5muuD)

116 I live near a protected marsh, so I welcome certain neighbors getting their tender parts sipped by mosquitoes!

Posted by: NaughtyPine at May 06, 2017 03:30 PM (G8B7r)

117 I disappeared for a few hours, and I'm sure everyone is gone, but pine straw mulch will acidify the soil, too.
It's free & plentiful here.
The hydrangeas and azaleas love it.

Posted by: Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 03:54 PM (xgKhT)

118 Was helping put up fencing around a garden to keep deer out.
Monday I am stopping to get plants for my garden.

Posted by: Skip at May 06, 2017 04:10 PM (Ot7+c)

119 Thank you all for the compliments. It's my bride's vision. I'm just Manuel Labor...

This year is under water. What a shame...

Posted by: browndog at May 06, 2017 04:11 PM (bGMOs)

120 Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 03:54 PM

Thanks for the reminder on pine straw. It could help!

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 04:33 PM (qahv/)

121 Grump928(C) at May 06, 2017 12:37 PM

Aawwww . . .

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 05:14 PM (qahv/)

122 That sounds quite tasty, but also like a LOT of work. Do you have to pull the pistil out of a million blooms to get each tiny drop of honey? Do you just use the entire flower?

Posted by: Fried Baloney Sandwich at May 06, 2017 12:48 PM (xgKhT)

BignJames at May 06, 2017 12:23 PM

Got a recipe?

Posted by: KT at May 06, 2017 01:07 PM (qahv/)

You steep and strain the flowers. I've got a recipe from "Grits and Groceries" a restuarant CBD featured on a food thread last year...which is where I had the ice cream...topping a fresh fried apple pie. I'll try to post it on the food thread tomorrow.

Posted by: BignJames at May 06, 2017 05:38 PM (x9c8r)

123 I wish I had the very last buffalo gnat between my thumb and forefinger.

Posted by: Dave at Buffalo Roam at May 06, 2017 07:31 PM (kUG5n)

124 106 KT, I had 2 Blueray and 2 Bluecrop, which survived the winter without protection. Just bought 2 Earliblue and 2 Duke. The latter 2 are early, the Blueray is early-midseason, the Bluecrop is late-midseason. We don't have enough snow load in most years to need to grow half-high or low bush types. And all cultivars are hardy enough for our usual lowest low temperature of zero to -5F.

Yes, the soil pH was adjusted with peat moss before planting.

All varieties chosen based on listing in booklet "Growing Blueberries in the Inland Northwest & Intermountain West" by Danny L. Barney.

Posted by: Pat* at May 07, 2017 12:34 AM (qC1ju)

125 Pat*

I guess Sunset was being conservative in their recommendations. Those sound like their Northern California selections. Glad you have already had some make it through your winter.

Posted by: KT at May 07, 2017 10:28 AM (qahv/)

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