Saturday Gardening Thread: Signs of Spring [Y-not, KT, and Weirddave]

Good afternoon, gardeners! Spring is coming...

Beautiful!

I spotted a nifty planning tool on Twitter last week:

BloomColorCalendar.jpg

Our calendar depicts bloom times based on data provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden; the oldest botanical garden in the US, founded in 1859.

Colored bars show the months in which a particular flower blooms. A two-year duration has been chosen to clearly show the overlap between bloom periods at the end and beginning of the year.

So I thought it would be a good week to talk about the first Signs of Spring.

Here's the "Bloom Report" for Casa Y-not and surroundings on the Wasatch Front:

aspencatekin.jpg

Our aspens (and the neighbors' aspens and cottonwoods) are making "catkins," fuzzy progenitors to their blossoms. They're just starting to form, but in a few weeks our entire yard (and much of the neighborhood) will be filled with a layer of "fluff." Over the years I've developed a (fairly mild, I think) allergy to aspens. It's a cross I'm willing to bear to enjoy these amazing trees. If you have aspens, here's a handy FAQ about common issues to take into account when caring for them.

The aspens are one of our earliest signs of Spring, but we have others that are quite common throughout the U.S., such as crocuses and daffodils.

Although not especially common here (the only ones I've spotted have been at higher elevations in the Summer), I also recall Lily of the Valley being one of the earlier harbingers of Spring when we lived back East. (It was one of my Mom's favorite flowers, so I have a soft spot for these special flowers with their unique appearance and lovely aroma.)

HGL101991.jpg.rendition.largest.ss.jpg

Fun fact about this awesome flower from Mental Floss:

Known by the scientific name Convallaria majalis, the lily of the valley is an herbaceous (the leaves and stems die at the end of the growing season and there's no persistent woody stem) perennial found in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The plant forms large colonies by spreading underground stems and appears above ground with upright stems called pips. The lily blooms in the late spring and has white, bell-shaped, sweet-smelling flowers and small orange-red berries.

The plant pops up in Christian legend several times. As the story goes, lily of the valley was formed from the tears of Mary as she wept at the crucifixion of Jesus, and grew from the blood shed by Saint Leonard of Noblac during his fight with a dragon. The lily of the valley was also used as the floral emblem of Yugoslavia and is the national flower of Finland

The lesser periwinkle we planted last year on our "problem slope" seems to have survived the winter and started to spread. Earlier this week I noticed the first cheerful blue blooms emerging.

VincaMinor.jpg

Evergreen perennial lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor), also called creeping myrtle, is a ground cover for shady areas in USDA zones 4 through 9. Plants are 6 inches tall and spread 2 to 4 feet wide. Thin stems have medium-sized green leaves, with blue flowers in spring on the species.

Our shrub roses are starting to green up as well. You're recall that last year I experimented with pruning them in the Fall. Well, I was not happy with the results, so I'm returning to Spring pruning and hoping for better results.

Other plants at Casa Y-not that are starting to show some Spring activity include mint, strawberries, dianthus, and clematis. The latter is really amazing in terms of how quickly it grows after essentially dying back to nothing each year. Ours are in their third year, so we're expecting great things from them.

In addition, a number of edibles in our raised beds including chives, onions and shallots are green and growing. By the way, we had harvestable herbs all winter from our rosemary, lemon thyme, sage, oregano, and winter savory, so that was awesome.

Finally, our next door neighbors' forsythia bush is making some nice yellow blooms. That's another sign of Spring I remember from my childhood in Maryland. Even if you want to maintain the natural look (which I prefer over "hedges") you'll want to consider doing some pruning in the Spring:

Pruning of forsythia bushes is best done just after they've finished putting on their flower display in spring, because they bloom on the prior year's growth (pruning either too late or too early interrupts the growth/blooming cycle). Begin by pruning 1/4 to 1/3 of oldest branches, pruning them right down to the ground. This will encourage new growth and a more compact form. Beyond this "renewal pruning," you can also selectively cut newer branches in order to improve upon the overall shape of your forsythia plants.

Note that annual pruning is by no means mandatory. If you're happy with your forsythia shrubs as they are, you may wish to go several years between prunings. Note also that there's an additional incentive for pruning forsythia shrubs just after their spring blooms start to fade, beyond wishing not to interrupt the growth/blooming cycle. This is the time when it's easiest to tell the newest branches apart from the older. Only the older branches will have blooms; the first-year branches won't have any yet, so you have a graphic reminder to avoid pruning them.

So that's a quick roundup of Spring on the Wasatch Front thus far.

Here are some more resources for identifying Spring activity in the garden:

Better Homes and Garden's Gardening by regions resource is useful for identifying which plants flower at different times of year.

Courtesy of the National Arboretum, here's a list of average blooming dates for plants in their collection.

For those of your lucky enough to be in the Desert USA, here's a link to a wildflower watch. One of my favorite memories is of visiting Arizona in the Spring. I love the plant life there.

Out West, another Sign of Spring is when the poppies bloom. Here's the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve report for those of you able to visit California in the near future.

AntelopePoppies.jpg

Last weekend was the River Oaks Garden Club Azalea Trail in Houston. This was one of our favorite activities to enjoy when we lived in Texas. I'm sorry I forgot to point it out in time, but there are probably still plenty of great blooms to see in Texas right now.

To make it up to you, here's a link to the Texas Highways wildflower report.

Finally, courtesy of the National Park Service, here's a handy guide to the Cherry Blossom Festival peak bloom dates:

When do the trees bloom?
2014 peak bloom occurred on April10, 2014
2013 peak bloom occurred on April 9, 2013
2012 peak bloom occurred on March 20, 2012.

The average peak bloom date from 1992 through 2013 is March 31.

I have very fond memories of going to the Cherry Blossom festival in D.C. when I was a little girl. Someday I'd love to go back and enjoy it as an adult.

CherryBlossomTidalBasin.jpg

What are the Signs of Spring where you live?

Y-not: Speaking of cherry blossoms...


ASK WEIRDDAVE

Sorry I was gone last week. Two weeks ago, I announced a new segment called "Ask Weirddave". Well, poster KT posed the following question:

"Can you educate us about flowering cherries? Sweet cherries probably aren't real big commercial crops in your area. Any wild cherries around where you live? Do people eat them? "

That's a really good question, but really I'm not the person to answer. A much more knowledgeable response would come from my co-blogger Kay............Teeee......!Crap.

Guess it's up to me. I actually live in the Mid-Atlantic, and if you're looking for flowering cherries, the National Cherry Blossom Festival starts next week in DC. If you can make it down to the mall it's a beautiful sight.

The festival celebrates a gift of thousands of cherry trees from the nation of Japan. These trees were meant to symbolize friendship between the two nations, and were airdropped by Japanese planes on Pearl Harbor the morning of December 7, 1941.

Just kidding. The actual history is pretty interesting, you can find the whole story here. Did you know that the 1912 trees that we see today were the second attempt at establishing cherry trees from Japan?

August 30 (1909): The Japanese Embassy informed the Department of State that the City of Tokyo intended to donate to the United States two thousand cherry trees to be planted along the Potomac River.

December 10: Two thousand cherry trees arrived in Seattle, Washington from Japan.

1910: On January 6, the two thousand trees arrived in Washington, D.C.

January 19: To everyone's dismay, an inspection team from the Department of Agriculture discovered that the trees were infested with insects and nematodes, and were diseased. To protect American growers, the department concluded that the trees must be destroyed.

As for locally grown cherries, there are some orchards around that grow them. Cherries can be grown in zones 5-9, which gives them a range into New York, but I've never seen any wild trees around.

park-cherry-blossoms.jpg

Does anyone have any questions for next week's edition of Ask Weirddave?


Y-not: Thanks, Weirddave. Now here's KT with another seasonally-inspired contribution:

FAREWELL TO MY WINTER VEGGIES

Some members of The Horde are likely thinking about planting cole crops right now. But I am saying a slow, fond farewell to my winter cole crops. It is time to plant tomatoes here.

TomatoBulgaria.jpg

Bulgarian Triumph


Eat your broccoli - even if it bolts

The above is a suggestion, not a demand. I remember the brouhaha when George HW Bush banned broccoli on Air Force One, saying: "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli."

Let me re-phrase: If you like broccoli, consider eating it even if it bolts.

In the comments to the Saturday gardening thread two weeks ago, Xavier said:

We have various ornamentals to attract butterflies and bees but in the garden I let a row of kale and a row of broccoli flower and go to maturity. The small yellow flowers on both attract bees and butterflies better than anything else I've seen and they bloom for a long time. We save the seeds for the next year's crop. Cheap and effective.

As it turns out, here in the South-Central San Joaquin, we have had broccoli and turnips flowering in the garden for a few weeks. Not many butterflies out this time of year, but the bees really like the flowers.

I have saved kale seeds in the past, but I am not diligent enough to save broccoli or turnip seeds. Instead, we are trying to eat the bolted broccoli buds and flowers. We are not making much of a dent. Thanks to Xavier, I can pretend I planned it this way. For the bees.

I planted 10 broccoli plants, several Savoy cabbages, a lot of turnips, a few rutabagas and one kale plant in our winter garden. We got some really nice main heads of broccoli, but when the side shoots started coming on with the main heads of the later cultivar, it got to be too much (along with the other cruciferous veggies). I don't particularly like the flavor of turnip buds and blossoms.

KungFuKitty.jpg

Kung Fu Kitty also likes broccoli blossoms more than turnip blossoms

I prefer the flavor of bolted broccoli buds to the familiar heads of broccoli for raw eating, at least when eaten naked, with no dip. They are also good stir-fried. They have a sweet flavor that is a little different from their flavor before bolting. If you snap off the buds where the stems bend naturally, the stems will also be tender. I think regular broccoli generally tastes better steamed and in some marinated salads.

Fully opened broccoli blossoms also taste pretty good, but the pollen gives them sort of a floury character. I munch a few while working in the garden. Broccoli flowers are generally lighter in color than turnip blossoms. My two hybrids have flowers in different shades of yellow. I once let a cauliflower bolt, and its blossoms were almost white. They're all edible. Some of the Asian greens related to mustard have buds and blossoms that taste nice, too.

Recipes: It was fun last week thinking about exotic edible flowers like the Dendrobium phalaenopsis orchids you may be served in a Thai restaurant. But broccoli and kale buds and blossoms are far more accessible to me.

A sweet vegetable medley can be prepared in a skillet by sauteing a small onion, chopped, in butter and/or oil until translucent, adding a couple of carrots cut into coins and allowing them to caramelize slightly. Add a tablespoon of water and salt and pepper to taste, cover and allow to steam until the carrots are almost tender. Add enough bolted broccoli or kale buds to loosely fill the pan. Cook and stir uncovered until the buds turn vivid, dark green. Turn off the heat, cover and steam until buds are tender. This just takes a minute or two. Don't over-cook. You can include some open broccoli or kale blossoms, but they are not very attractive when cooked. It is better to garnish with the fresh blossoms if you are serving company.

This recipe also works with regular broccoli in place of bolted buds. Just steam a little longer at the end. You can also add some yellow crookneck squash if you like. Or top each serving with crumbled bacon.

Recipes from the web: I think that substituting bolted broccoli or kale buds for the stronger-flavored "True Rapini" would result in better flavor in these recipes. (Not so sure about the pizza recipe). Bear in mind that I'm something of a wimp when it comes to strong Brassica flavors. Go ahead and use "True Rapini" if you're Italian enough to like the strong stuff.

This recipe with orecchiette and bacon sounds good. The recipe with cheese instead of bacon looks great (below). If you try a recipe today, you might like to report on it tomorrow in the comment section of CBD's famous Food Thread.

PastaDish.jpg

Orecchiette with rapini and crispy bread crumbs

The "wide spacing for drought" experiment for my cole crops worked out fine. I watered only with a watering can. I did two additional experiments with my cruciferous veggies this winter. (1) I pinched back one broccoli seedling to see what would happen later. It did not make a central head, but did make large, extra-tight side shoots after the other plants had made central heads. Below is one that bolted. I think it looks ready-grown for use as a bridal bouquet for a "green" wedding. The wedding party could eat the bouquet after the ceremony.

WeddingBouquet.jpg

Broccoli bridal bouquet - admire, then munch

(2) I noticed some aphids on the cabbage early in the season. I decided to try planting some Sweet Alyssum around the plants, to encourage little aphid predators. Don't know if it worked, but my aphid problem almost disappeared. It turns out that Sweet Alyssum is also edible. It is remotely related to cabbage, broccoli and kale. It was reportedly once used in Spain to treat or prevent scurvy. Mine isn't in flower right now, but the leaves taste something like a really peppery watercress, or wasabi.

alyssumnew.jpg

Sweet Alyssum: Eat it, attract beneficial insects, knit socks

Note to Preppers on "The Hungry Gap": The Siberian kales, related to rutabagas, are noted for bolting late in the spring. A kale breeder at Wild Garden Seed says about Red Ruffled kale, "Rodrigo . . . harvested a treasure of "kale raab" from it during the hungry gap, before spring has arrived and markets are spare. He commented on the caliper of the tender stems, their weight, and sweetness. Leaves grey-green with purple-red veins and stems."

My own rutabagas (planted late) and my Red Russian kale are not bolting so far. I'll munch on some buds and blossoms when they do. The cabbage is still holding. I'll write about it later.

Red Russian is the only variety of kale "napini", "raab", "rapine" - or whatever you want to call the bolted stems and buds - that I have eaten. The flavor is fine, considering that the plant bolts in very warm weather here. The flowers are perfectly edible, too. They would be highly appreciated at a time when other veggies were not available in stores.

Those in northern climes might want to try the extra-hardy Beedy's Camden kale, "The Last Kale Standing". You can get seeds from the socialists at Fedco. Or elsewhere.


Y-not: Thanks, KT! To close things up, how about a very silly Spring-related song?


What's happening in your neck of the woods this week?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:30 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Is this thing on?

Posted by: goatexchange at March 14, 2015 12:35 PM (5/bBl)

2 (That's right, I don't read the flower stuff. I just barged in and dove for the bottom, to be first. suck it.)

Posted by: goatexchange at March 14, 2015 12:36 PM (5/bBl)

3 Wow Ace movie review: I'll do a piece at a time.


First signs of spring here are the Bradford Pears blooming. My neighbors finally have started, mine is younger and has shallower roots so it hasn't yet. They are about 3 weeks late due to global warming.


The next item that should come up are the camellias. I suspect they will be late as well. After that the dogwoods and other blooming trees start. The apple trees are the last thing that blooms. Along in there somewhere the grass starts turning green. Some of the weeds already have.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 12:39 PM (wlDny)

4 BTW, the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC as well. I saw and linked an article on that a few days ago. Also I will have no blooms on my Pomegranate Bush this year. Wifey paid a bush butcher to come in and trim it and the apple trees. He trimmed the bush almost to the ground.



Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 12:43 PM (wlDny)

5 link fixed

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 12:43 PM (9BRsg)

6 Speaking of cherry trees I have a Japanese cherry tree that is doing pretty good. It is very young so shallow roots and late bloomer. About the same time as the apple trees.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 12:44 PM (wlDny)

7 I miss the quaking aspens and the Wasatch Front. I grew up in North Ogden, with Ben Lomond as my lode star. http://snipurl.com/29rpr03

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 12:45 PM (MYPM9)

8 >>3 Wow Ace movie review

We're paid by the word and I need a new car.

;-)

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 12:46 PM (9BRsg)

9 Beautiful Turd.

Ummm... well, you know what I mean!

I have a nice view of Timp and Cascade. Timp is the more famous one, but for some reason I really like Cascade.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 12:47 PM (9BRsg)

10 I have a nice view of Timp and Cascade. Timp is the more famous one, but for some reason I really like Cascade.
Posted by: Y-not

---

I climbed 'em both in my BYU days! I'm in Oklahoma now and feel a bit of vertigo when I go outside and I'm not surrounded by mountains.

I assume you've been in Timpanogos Cave?

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 12:51 PM (MYPM9)

11 Spring! The time of weed proliferation, and lawn mowing. My enthusiasm for it has dwindled over time.

Bah, humbug. I'd rather have snow. It's pretty, and low-maintenance.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at March 14, 2015 12:51 PM (F2IAQ)

12 So what is it with rose bushes? I have a neighbor that has one. For the last couple of years I've trimmed the damn thing back. Way back. And each year it grows even bigger!

Thinking of renting a chain-saw.

Posted by: HH at March 14, 2015 12:51 PM (Ce4DF)

13 "Eat your broccoli - even if it bolts"

I tried to, but it was too quick for me. I think the estrogen treatments are decreasing my muscle mass. Sometimes being a woman is very difficult.

Posted by: Brucella Jenner at March 14, 2015 12:52 PM (XrHO0)

14 I climbed 'em both in my BYU days! I'm in Oklahoma now and feel a bit of vertigo when I go outside and I'm not surrounded by mountains.

I assume you've been in Timpanogos Cave?
--

I haven't. I really need to rectify that. Seems like when the weather permits us to go there something else interferes.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 12:53 PM (9BRsg)

15 "Eat your broccoli - even if it bolts"
---------
Here I sit all lonely-hearted
Had to bolt but only darted

Posted by: written on the bathroom wall at March 14, 2015 12:53 PM (MYPM9)

16 The flowering cherries at the state capitol mall are in full bloom in Salem.
And it started raining again.

And I am trying to get around to doing the spring turn-over of the compost heaps.
I know I am doing well there because the earth-worms I dig up could almost qualify for the nick-name "Maker".

I need to get my peas planted, and I might as well get the first attempt at potatoes planted too. Probably plant 'em in the oldest compost heap I plan to tear down and dig next fall.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 14, 2015 12:53 PM (t//F+)

17 Posted by: Y-not
--

The sooner the better--every year that trail got longer and steeper.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 12:54 PM (MYPM9)

18 ...compost heap I plan to tear down and dig into the garden, I mean.

I dig my compost heaps all year long.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 14, 2015 12:56 PM (t//F+)

19 Turd

You might find this interesting:
http://www.uvu.edu/5year/

President Holland hiked to the summit of Timp with some UVU students.

Amazing part is that he did it with a bum knee.

IIRC they did have mules for part of the journey, but he had to do some of it on foot.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 12:58 PM (9BRsg)

20 "I think that substituting bolted broccoli or kale buds for the stronger-flavored "True Rapini" would result in better flavor in these recipes."

If you can't appreciate the wonderfully intense bitterness of broccoli rabe, something's wrong with you.

Posted by: Bitter Conservative at March 14, 2015 01:00 PM (3F6F8)

21 Nice.

Sasanqua Camellias are some of my favorites. Sad to see they didn't make the color wheel.

Grass is starting to green up here. Glad to see it. Time to get pre-emerge herbicide down. That is if you are not in the people's republic of whatever township in Maryland that is prohibiting the use of lawn enhancing chemicals.

I hope the Vinca Minor works out for the problem slope Y-Not. I like that one too.

Posted by: Golfman-I Have Hills. They Have None. at March 14, 2015 01:01 PM (JQhmK)

22 I think I saw a Bluebird a couple days ago. Which means they are migrating. First sign of Spring for me. I need to clean out the houses. Hopefully a few will stop and nest. Nothing green here, been too cold. Going to be a warm weekend though, in the 70s.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:01 PM (ymjdW)

23 Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at March 14, 2015 12:51 PM (F2IAQ)

Lawn mower blade sales through the roof!

Posted by: Golfman-I Have Hills. They Have None. at March 14, 2015 01:02 PM (JQhmK)

24 I assume you've been in Timpanogos Cave?


Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 12:51 PM (MYPM9)

I've got an interesting cave for you!

Posted by: Plato, now with allegory at March 14, 2015 01:02 PM (KXS9e)

25 The ground feeders at our feeding station are thrilled. As the snow has been receding, more and more buried bird seed is getting exposed.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:05 PM (Ua6T/)

26 Thanks, Y-Not! That's pretty cool.

I actually had Holland as a teacher his last year at BYU (before he got the UVU Pres. gig). He was a very good teacher: he taught a required course called "American Heritage," where we learned what sets America apart in a good way. One of the reasons I loved going there, as opposed to some "America is the source of all evil in the world" institution.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 01:06 PM (MYPM9)

27 I assume you've been in Timpanogos Cave?




Posted by: Turd Ferguson
I've got an interesting cave for you!


Posted by: Plato, now with allegory

-----

Me too!

Posted by: Lena Dunham at March 14, 2015 01:07 PM (MYPM9)

28 >>> Cherries can be grown in zones 5-9, which gives them a range into New York, but I've never seen any wild trees around.

I believe it grows in Southern New England. I'm not up on my dendrology, but my neighbor tells me he sees it around.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:07 PM (Ua6T/)

29 I have a little Downy Woodpecker that comes around to pick on the suet. I named him Woody. Original huh? Also have some Juncos eating the seeds I put out.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:08 PM (ymjdW)

30 I actually had Holland as a teacher his last year at BYU (before he got the UVU Pres. gig). He was a very good teacher
---

I wondered if you'd crossed paths.

The UVU students love him. He still does a Great Books "course" each year and salts in quite a bit of his own scholarship on Lincoln, Franklin, and the Founders in the speeches he gives.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:08 PM (9BRsg)

31 Oklahoma must be quite an adjustment for someone from Utah!

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:09 PM (9BRsg)

32 I normally see blue birds all through the winter here. I have three bluebird houses out.


Its about time for the hummingbirds to come back though. I wish I had somewhere to hang my feeder for them.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 01:10 PM (wlDny)

33 It's nice to see university educators be unabashedly pro-America--especially at a state university.

I mean, you hear about them, but it's usually in hushed tones, as a cautionary tale. Utah's got its faults, but America-hating ain't one of 'em.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 01:12 PM (MYPM9)

34 >>> I think I saw a Bluebird a couple days ago. Which means they are migrating. First sign of Spring for me.

We had three (a family?) winter over. I guess their flight was cancelled.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:12 PM (Ua6T/)

35 I wish I had somewhere to hang my feeder for them.


That shouldn't be too hard. Soffit, tree branch or whatever.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:13 PM (ymjdW)

36
Oklahoma must be quite an adjustment for someone from Utah!

----

I'm still trying to find some activity I can do outside. My waistline misses hiking.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 01:13 PM (MYPM9)

37 As Y-not stated, spring in the Arizona-Sonoran desert can be very pretty. I grew up in Tucson. One of the more picturesque spots around April is Picacho Peak, fairly halfway between Tucson and Phoenix. Amazing flowering.


Oh, and loved the video. Been a long time since I've seen it. Truly a W.T.F? moment for the audience.

Posted by: HH at March 14, 2015 01:13 PM (Ce4DF)

38 For the longest time, I have been trying to grow a baked potato with sour cream and butter and I'm just not having any luck.

Posted by: Miss Teen U.S. America at March 14, 2015 01:15 PM (Dwehj)

39 >>> Also have some Juncos eating the seeds I put out.

Hardy little guys. When they snow melts here, they fly north for the summer.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:15 PM (Ua6T/)

40 You people with Bluebirds all year round are lucky. One of my favorite birds.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:15 PM (ymjdW)

41 35 That shouldn't be too hard. Soffit, tree branch or whatever.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:13 PM (ymjdW)

I tied that and the wind blowing it around spilled all the sugar water out ontto the lawn and feed the ants instead.

I used to hang it on a hook screwed into my front porch side beams where it was sheltered from the wind and where I could see it from inside the house. But since I spent $13,000 getting the house covered with vinyl siding I am refusing to put screw eyes through that vinyl into the wood.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 01:17 PM (wlDny)

42 Ooops...I think I mispronounced potatoe.

Posted by: Miss Teen U.S. America at March 14, 2015 01:17 PM (Dwehj)

43 It's nice to see university educators be unabashedly pro-America--especially at a state university.
---

To be honest, one reason I sometimes have to tune out of the conservo-sphere is that in my thirty years in higher ed I've met plenty of well-intentioned people in the field. There's this cartoon depiction of higher ed "administrators" (I'm not sure what people think that word means) and even faculty that simply does not match with my considerable experience.

A handful of loudmouths make the entire industry look bad and/or institutions make decisions in response to Federal regulations or market demands (from prospective students)... but that all gets lost in the drumbeat.

Holland was a good fit for UVU. He's trusted by the community it serves and his team has done a great job keeping tuition low. It's one of the most affordable comprehensive (meaning they teach everything from the trades through Masters degrees) in the country.

It irritates me that Mike Lee never seems to acknowledge the great work being done in his own state. Oh well.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:17 PM (9BRsg)

44 Hardy little guys.

Yes they are. One of the few that overwinter here.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:18 PM (ymjdW)

45 I'm still enrolled in "Keeping Green Things Alive - 101."


The snow is finally melting in my part of Canada. I'm going to fertilize the lawn as soon as it melts unless people on this thread tell me that's a fatal mistake.


There was a moss that destroyed about a third of the backyard I had to literally shovel out. Nothing destroyed it, not even the good chemicals my farming relatives applied. Grass seed was replanted the last couple of years and the lawn looks pretty good.


I've going to continue to dig out any remaining moss I see but I think digging it all out and regrowing new grass will finally take care of the issue. It seemed to be thriving in the more sparse areas. One uncle mentioned something about the PH balance in the soil returning to normal after a few years so the moss should no longer grow like it had.


So the plan is:

1. Dig out any moss as soon as the snow melts.
2. Fertilize the lawn
3. Plant grass seed in a few spots on March 28th.


Last year, I planted about $200 dollars worth of seed - 5 huge bags and spent 2.5 weeks watering everyday. I'd like to avoid watering everyday but rain never seems to be reliable so I figure I'll just water this and give it every chance to grow.


That's the plan. I just felt a need to share because it's a gardening thread. Thank you all for your assistance in the past and with any advice you may have for today.

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at March 14, 2015 01:19 PM (AC0lD)

46 Speaking of birds, we have robins hanging out in our yard all year. I can't figure out what they're eating since they don't go to feeders.

I think we have some robins that *do* go south for the winter because there seems to be an influx of more robins each Spring, but there's a subset of them that stay.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:20 PM (9BRsg)

47 It irritates me that Mike Lee never seems to acknowledge the great work being done in his own state. Oh well.

Posted by: Y-not

----

If there aren't problems, then a politician is out of a job! He can't admit things are going well--that's when Utahns elect people like Hatch.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM (MYPM9)

48
Not growing anything in the Adirondacks but snow drifts as yet.

But there are signs of Spring, heard the 1st geese this AM sliding down on the passing front.

So we have that.

Posted by: irongrampa at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM (jeCnD)

49 46 I think we have some robins that *do* go south for
the winter because there seems to be an influx of more robins each
Spring, but there's a subset of them that stay.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:20 PM (9BRsg)

We have Robins all over the yard now. Especially since I just dethatched and aerated the yard. They love it.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM (wlDny)

50 Stateless
Is there a reason you want grass there? If not, you could try vinca/periwinkle.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM (9BRsg)

51 >>Posted by: Turd Ferguson at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM

Good point!

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:23 PM (9BRsg)

52 BTW, KT mentioned she'd pop into the thread latish. I'm not sure if she meant West Coast time or East Coast. So if you have questions for her, put them here and check back.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:24 PM (9BRsg)

53 Hey Vic, I've seen bottom mounting Hummer feeders. Maybe that would solve your problem.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:26 PM (ymjdW)

54 Cherries are a major crop in my area. There's orchards all around me. They've just started blooming, some trees are already pretty loaded. It's about a week early this year (at least according to my photos from last year). It's supposed to be in the low 80's today - so the trees think it's Spring.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at March 14, 2015 01:29 PM (sH832)

55 53
Hey Vic, I've seen bottom mounting Hummer feeders. Maybe that would solve your problem.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 01:26 PM (ymjdW)


I think what I am going to try to do this year is find some horizontal eye hooks that I can mount into the 4x4 support columns for the porch roof in the same place I had it before. Just may be a pill finding hooks like that.

That will require one of those soul tempting trips to Lowes.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 14, 2015 01:29 PM (wlDny)

56 >>> There was a moss that destroyed about a third of the backyard I had to literally shovel out. Nothing destroyed it

Lime it, is what I hear.

For me, moss is just a patch that is easier to mow.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:30 PM (Ua6T/)

57 I look outside today and the azaleas are in bloom, laurel oaks are dropping yellow leaves and spring breakers are clogging the damn roads.
Must be March on the Gulf Coast

Posted by: Drewbicle at March 14, 2015 01:32 PM (Yii4t)

58 50
Stateless

Is there a reason you want grass there? If not, you could try vinca/periwinkle.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 01:22 PM (9BRsg)

It's just easiest, theoretically. There's really no bare spots left - just a few areas that can use a bit of extra grass seed. So the hard work is done.

We never had any problems before. On the plus side, I did learn much more about lawn care than I did before. And thanks Y-not - you did help before with links to what the moss might have been. I still actually don't know.
My neighbor's lawn has several patches of it and I told her to keep an eye on it. And I also found some at the dog park which is one block away and I alerted the town maintenance crew about it one day when they were there. I'm keeping an eye on both. I'm just wondering why it overtook our yard so thoroughly, so quickly.

I'm going to happily mentally accept "PH balance in the soil" and move on with my life - there's other things to worry about.
Thanks so much. Everyone have a great weekend.

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at March 14, 2015 01:37 PM (AC0lD)

59 Spring is almost here and about damn time! We haven't had the unusual amount of snow like the last couple of years but the low temps were well below average and that seems to be delaying everything. Saw the first robin last week, a month or more later than usual. Same for the various flowering trees. SIGH!

But the seeds we started inside this week are coming up. The Chinese cabbage appeared less than 24 hours after planting. We now have the start for borage, bell peppers, and 4 types of tomatoes. The first true leaves haven't appeared yet but I love seeing those first signs of green coming up from the starter mix.

And the early daffodils are peeking up through the soil.

Posted by: JTB at March 14, 2015 01:38 PM (FvdPb)

60 Lime it, is what I hear.



For me, moss is just a patch that is easier to mow.

Posted by: fluffy at March 14, 2015 01:30 PM (Ua6T/)

It had a nice, golf course like feel to it. I didn't even notice it or care until it was all over the place.

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at March 14, 2015 01:39 PM (AC0lD)

61 Hydrated lime. Via spray.

Posted by: Golfman-I Have Hills. They Have None. at March 14, 2015 01:43 PM (JQhmK)

62 Snow pack is still two to four feet in depth but daytime temperatures are warm enough to melt the snowpack. Overnight temperatures refreeze the snow and it takes more than just a few degrees above freezing to restart the transition from ice crystals to snowmelt.

Today we enjoyed a 'wintery mix' of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow but the five day wx forecast predicts warming temperatures.

Crocus will be above the soil surface by the time the snow uncovers them, and they bloom as soon as they receive direct warming sun, Tulips won't be far behind.

Gardening enthusiasts who have hot boxes and start sprouting seeds inside will be a month ahead of those who wait for soil temperatures to reach optimum for planting which might not occur for eight to ten weeks. There is still a significant probability of at least one, perhaps two or three major snow events before spring break up is over.

Posted by: 46 degrees North at March 14, 2015 01:46 PM (XJRDA)

63 We had our first robins of the winter at our birdbath yesterday. They and the cedar waxwings make the berry rounds in big flocks before performing a mass-poop on our cars and heading back north. Thanks, guys! We refer to the waxwings as the Evil Ones, but they really are pretty birds.

Redbuds, mountain laurels are in full bloom. I'm on the road to Austin to visit offspring and haven't seen bluebonnet one. I'm guessing they've been delayed by the cold cloudy weather we'd been having. So has my Mexican buckeye, which always blooms at Spring Break.

Posted by: Stace at March 14, 2015 01:46 PM (c2q/b)

64 Dang, last thing before I go....


I'm not sure if you ever need a thread topic and I don't know if this is anything to write about, but you might consider about growing and planting in dense, urban areas if that interests you.


The only reason I mention it is that when I was in South Korea teaching, right across the street from my apartment was an undeveloped lot. And the Koreans are smart, industrious and used it to grow vegetables - which surprised me. There were a few other patches of land I'd see in my area and they were turned into farms / gardens when the weather allowed.


I thought it was cool. I've heard of people trying that in Detroit - hell you could feed the city growing food on all of the empty land - but I imagine that those would simply get destroyed or the plants stolen.


There was a certain level of societal trust to growing vegetables in such an area where anyone could literally steal all of the vegetables of your effort.

Now I have to go.

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at March 14, 2015 01:48 PM (AC0lD)

65 Wait'll you see the sequel: Springtime for ISIS!

Posted by: President Obumbles at March 14, 2015 01:48 PM (9GG/0)

66 The Spring River is flooding, the Black River is flooding, Eleven Points River is flooding, the White River is flooding, and the Strawberry River is flooding. Must be Spring in northern Arkansas!

What are called jonquils in the South and daffodils everywhere else are known as Easter flowers here, and the early ones are blooming now. I tend to prefer the white ones, which are late bloomers, and mine are budded up. My hyacinths are about halfway up and starting to color. Some of my tulips got about an inch worth of growth before the deer found them...I sprayed Deer Off on them, so we'll see. Still overcast, and if it rains, I'll have to spray again. I hate deer.

My witch hazels have been blooming off and on. I had Thor tear our forsythia out, as I find them raggedy and uninspiring for the 50 weeks they don't bloom. Everyone else around here has plenty, so I don't miss the show, which I do enjoy. None of them are blooming yet, though.

We had a cold winter with very little snow, and many of my flowers that are supposed to be evergreen turned brown, so I thought I lost them, but it looks like most of them are greening back up! All my roses appear to have made it through, albeit it with die back in places that will make for ugly shaped bushes, so I may just prune them back hard.

We have robins all year here, too, and they eat worms and bugs, as far as I can tell. They mostly peck around the lawn like chickens.

Thinking about taking my experimental flowering baskets outside now...I overwintered them in our pump-house with nothing but a heating lamp and three very light waterings, and they all made it. They ain't purty, but they're very much alive. The fuchsia flowers are ghostly pale and blooming on bare sticks. She may have to sit in a bathroom window for a week or so to harden off.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 14, 2015 01:54 PM (1ND2u)

67 Lots of seeds planted in January and February are sprouting, so that's exciting.

I was at the nursery yesterday and was seized with inspiration. I have a bare spot on the 4' wide strip of land separating my front sidewalk from the garage. I think I'll try an espaliered camellia there. The spot is sheltered by the garage and faces south. My biggest concern is that it will be cooked in the summer. Anyone have any experience in this regard? I'm DC suburbs, so 7a.

Posted by: pep at March 14, 2015 01:58 PM (4nR9/)

68 My lawn grows dandelions and prostrate spurge pretty well.

Posted by: Insomniac at March 14, 2015 01:59 PM (mx5oN)

69 Oops just saw some bluebonnets barely poking their little heads up, right outside of Austin.

Posted by: Stace at March 14, 2015 02:02 PM (c2q/b)

70 Insomniac, Prostrate Spurge is curable nowadays, it is an outpatient thing with light monitoring.

You could sleep all night again if you'd have the procedure done!

Posted by: Kindltot at March 14, 2015 02:04 PM (t//F+)

71 Been spendin most our lives
Commentin in this moron's paradise.

Well, most of this weekend anyway.

Posted by: WeirdAl at March 14, 2015 02:06 PM (cIoI4)

72 Crocus just finished, Daffodils now full-bloom, Hyacinth beginning to open...ah, spring. Ah-ah-chooo, spring!

I love the flowers anyway.

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 02:08 PM (rhjQp)

73 The Daffodils are blooming here, saw a few on Tuesday, more today out back.
Time to push some seeds in the planters and hope it doesn't freeze again.

Springtime for ISIS, wasn't that the so called 'Spring Revolution' hatched by our feckless State Department under the guidance of Her Imperial Empress 'The Email-less Hillary I' or was it John 'I servered in Vietnam and married a heiress' Kerry? No matter, both were and are fools when it comes to foreign policy as evidenced by the results of their efforts.

Posted by: Gmac- Pulling in feelers in preperation... at March 14, 2015 02:08 PM (74McK)

74 Lol Austin. Just saw a billboard that said "car wreck? Call the attorney who rocks!" The picture shows a middle aged white guy with long dreadlocks.

Posted by: Stace at March 14, 2015 02:08 PM (c2q/b)

75 Before I forget, thanks to The Big Three for the gardening thread. It is always nice but this weeks is a treasure trove of advise, recipes and memories. (Helps that I love broccoli.)

Most of the houses in the neighborhood where I grew up were built around the turn of the century. Some, like ours, were closer to the Civil War. Many of the perennials had been naturalizing for decades. Even as a kid I recall the sight and smell of all those lily of the valley beds coming up: that fresh, moist, green aroma. It was pleasant in itself but it also meant the coming end of the school year, a big deal when you are six or seven and ball games and the beach are beckoning.

Posted by: JTB at March 14, 2015 02:09 PM (FvdPb)

76 that sandwich at pir is calling my name....i can't talk anyone into going with me to get it though................ it would be a great way to help me celebrate a great weight lifted off my shoulders........even if it put that weight on my ass......

Posted by: phoenixgirl at March 14, 2015 02:11 PM (u8GsB)

77 pep, for inspiration, Google "Hell-strip gardening".

I believe Lauren Springer coined the term and she's designed pre-planned gardens for those areas, sold at High Country Gardens.

http://tinyurl.com/k3yfxfw

http://tinyurl.com/n8vuodl

You could just research a bit and find plants you like, that maybe more suited to your high-humidity area, but things like salvia and centranthus rubia oughtta work for you, too. (I hate the centranthus, but it's a hardy bastard and works just about everywhere, to the point of weediness!)

http://tinyurl.com/m8k3u5u


You could probably also just underplant your camelias with things like that, although you'd have to be aware of water requirements for everything. Also, camelias look rather formal, so you wouldn't want anything too wild-looking under them. Lavenders and pinks might be nice, but again, not sure but what they might prefer less water than your camelias?

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 14, 2015 02:12 PM (1ND2u)

78 Posted by: phoenixgirl at March 14, 2015 02:11 PM (u8GsB)

Whatever it was, sweet pea, I am so glad it's gone! Go get your sammie. I'm sure your ass is just fine!

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at March 14, 2015 02:14 PM (1ND2u)

79 If I was in phx I would go with. I need to dig up a ton of old iris. Wish I could find someone who wanted them. Any ideas on how to dispose of them and not just throw them away? I am tired of having them where they are and no where else to put them.

Posted by: Infidel at March 14, 2015 02:18 PM (CyhiK)

80 Since KT mentioned letting veggies bolt and eating the flowers, I *really* recommend letting radishes bolt. The flowers of the Icicle Radish at least are variegated purple and reasonably attractive in their own right and the seed pods give you many times more mildly radish flavored nibbles than using the root would (plus, no dirt to wash off). The pods do need to be used before getting too big and fibrous. I just slice them like I would a radish, although it takes a few more since they're hollow.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 14, 2015 02:22 PM (GDulk)

81 Don't know if anyone posted this yet:

Bristol Palin announces engagement to Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer Truly the luckiest girl in the world

Good for them.

Posted by: Nevergiveup at March 14, 2015 02:30 PM (nzKvP)

82 Mom used to give me the extra plants, after dividing clumps in her flowerbeds. (Usually, it was 'payment' for my work with the shovel, lol.)

We'd shop garden centers together: "Oh! This one's so pretty!" "Oh, so is this!" "You buy this, and I'll buy that and we'll swap when they're bigger so we'll each have both!" And on this went every year.....and we'd keep those plastic pots for giving away the treasures.

As years passed, we traded flowers regularly when our gardens got overgrown-- we both also traded with friends and neighbors-- 'a shovelfull of mine for a shovelfull of yours and we'll both have some of everything.'

We laughed at our little game, and declared that the "winner" was the one who got rid of the most plants + pots, and received the least in return!


Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 02:31 PM (rhjQp)

83 "The pods do need to be used before getting too big and fibrous."



Uh Oh...

Posted by: Kevin McCarthy at March 14, 2015 02:31 PM (Ce4DF)

84 The one thing I miss as winter fades is the birds in our yard that only appear during the colder weather, like juncos and a couple of finches that come down from the even colder Blue Ridge. Still, they are a regular, seasonal treat at the feeders and always enjoyed.

Posted by: JTB at March 14, 2015 02:32 PM (FvdPb)

85 77
pep, for inspiration, Google "Hell-strip gardening".


Wow, thanks. Great idea.

Posted by: pep at March 14, 2015 02:32 PM (4nR9/)

86 Still can see the red light 1/2 mile away thru the trees. Give it another week.

Posted by: DaveA at March 14, 2015 02:51 PM (DL2i+)

87 This thing still on? If so, I'm still watching The Walking Dead. At what point do you start growing your own food instead of looking for past canned stuff?

I mean seriously, that would start to get really old.

Posted by: HH at March 14, 2015 02:53 PM (Ce4DF)

88 For those going to see the cherry blossoms in DC, consider going at first light, especially on a clear morning. The traffic is lighter, the tourist crowds are smaller and the air is fresher coming off the Tidal Basin. I think the early morning light coming through the blossoms show them at their best and the slanting shadows make a nice contrast with the glow from the petals.

Posted by: JTB at March 14, 2015 02:57 PM (FvdPb)

89 At what point do you start growing your own food instead of looking for past canned stuff?

If the *zombie apocalypse* actually occurred, I would start some kind of garden as soon as I could secure a suitable area.

Hunting would be a Must-- but you've got to beware of Tainted Meat!

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 02:59 PM (rhjQp)

90 Well, as long as it's not a flower garden.



"Look at the flowers HH".

Posted by: HH at March 14, 2015 03:06 PM (Ce4DF)

91

My dad's picked over a dozen Valencia oranges this past week off his little dwarf tree. Man are they good.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at March 14, 2015 03:08 PM (IXrOn)

92 I made the recipe for orecchiette and bacon just now, using broccoli which I had on hand vice rapini. The toasted bread crumbs are a nice change of pace and pick up the bacon and butter nicely.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 14, 2015 03:09 PM (KH1sk)

93 I spotted a nifty planning tool on Twitter last week:

very nice.
thanks

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at March 14, 2015 03:09 PM (IXrOn)

94 For those of your lucky enough to be in the Desert USA, here's a link to a wildflower watch. One of my favorite memories is of visiting Arizona in the Spring. I love the plant life there.

gorgeous

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at March 14, 2015 03:15 PM (IXrOn)

95 aw Tammy al-Thor thank you!!!

Posted by: phoenixgirl at March 14, 2015 03:15 PM (u8GsB)

96 I have very fond memories of going to the Cherry Blossom festival in D.C. when I was a little girl. Someday I'd love to go back and enjoy it as an adult.

My husband and I keep talking about doing this, but just haven't found a window to get over there in the small window of time you have.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at March 14, 2015 03:17 PM (IXrOn)

97 first sign of spring? the bottom goes out of the road.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at March 14, 2015 03:19 PM (l3vZN)

98 Tammy, thanks for "Hell-strip" links! Didn't know that's what they're called, but it's surely what they ARE.

We got juniper starts from the backyard for ours.

Just pull up any branch that lays on the ground-- cut off a chunk with plenty of roots, soak it for a half hour if the roots are dried. Make a shallow hole, fill with water and cover the woody part with wet soil, leaving the greens exposed to light-- easy peasy!

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 03:20 PM (rhjQp)

99
happy Valentine's Day everyone

Posted by: Soothie at March 14, 2015 03:27 PM (9sdh/)

100 I'm seriously thinking about getting that garden tower. Expensive as all get out, but it sure looks neat. Besides, I'm rich, so who cares?

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 03:27 PM (ymjdW)

101 Israel and Hitler in the same post? Oy vey!

Posted by: Fritz at March 14, 2015 03:28 PM (dVmLD)

102

If any of the horde know of retirement communities with gardening plots for the residents (in the Souteast), can you toss it here?

I was researching for them, and so far, ran across one in Ohio.

http://bit.ly/1BiyY5N

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at March 14, 2015 03:33 PM (IXrOn)

103 Ronster-- the garden tower is pretty cool. I'm hoping the price will come down, maybe next year.

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 03:35 PM (rhjQp)

104 I'm hoping the price will come down

That would help a bunch.

Posted by: Ronster at March 14, 2015 03:39 PM (ymjdW)

105 Nood.

Posted by: Y-not at March 14, 2015 03:39 PM (9BRsg)

106 new vlad one

Posted by: seamrog at March 14, 2015 03:41 PM (0SSQ2)

107 A point regarding the post details: The Missouri Botanical Garden is not the oldest in the country. The U.S. Botanic Garden was founded in 1820. Longwood Gardens was founded in 1798.

Posted by: RioBravo at March 14, 2015 03:44 PM (NUqwG)

108 60 degrees and sprinkling here, no wind.

*Perfect* gardening weather. See ya later!

Posted by: JeanQ Flyover at March 14, 2015 04:37 PM (rhjQp)

109 Y-not, you can grow Lily of the Valley even on the Wasatch Front. Some people find it to be invasive. http://tinyurl.com/q3yefgb

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 06:36 PM (qahv/)

110 On the Flower Color Calendar: I used to find it irritating that no one offered mixed colors of flowers like Impatiens or Portulaca in colors that harmonized. I was inspired by landscapers where I worked twenty something years ago, who planted beds in just two related colors of marigolds. Why couldn't seed companies do something like that? I wrote to Park Seed about offering limited color mixtures. I particularly like to separate the cool reds from the warm reds unless going for a "tropics" feel.

One duo of mixtures from that suggestion still survives in their catalog: Sundial Passion Fruit Portulaca (cool red) and Sundial Tropical Fruit Portulaca (warm colors). Other limited-color mixtures have since shown up in seed catalogs. I think the world was ready for some harmony, at least in the garden.
http://tinyurl.com/sunportulaca

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 06:52 PM (qahv/)

111 Wow, those cherry trees are gorgeous. I don't think our area is suited to them. There are some commercial sweet cherry orchards, for early cherry cultivars. Usually the only rain we get in spring comes at the right time to crack the cherries.

I would expect plum curculio to be a big problem for cherry growers in your area, WeirdDave. But somehow, I thought there were wild black cherries (different species) in the forests in the Southeast. Just a romantic, I guess.

Have you started your famous cocktail tomatoes this year, WeirdDave?


Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 07:14 PM (qahv/)

112 Love the "hell-strip gardening" information. Some plants actually like those conditions. Not many, though.

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 07:27 PM (qahv/)

113 Thanks for the urban gardening idea. Stateless Infidel.

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 07:28 PM (qahv/)

114 I think that Southerners tend to call daffodils "jonquils" because the fragrant "Narcissus jonquilla" is one type of daffodil that doesn't need much winter chilling.

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 07:32 PM (qahv/)

115 I did not know that about sweet allysum. I have a bunch in the yard, love the smell but now I will plant a ton with my milkweed plants which the aphids adore.
Went to a tomato festival in SD county today. Got way too many tomato plants--they had some of the coolest varieties. But I will have to get up early tomorrow morning to plant them because the heat is unbearable here today at 94 degrees!!
My ranunculus are in full bloom and sweet peas are opening up. Can't wait for my red baron peach tree to bloom. That thing is spectacular when in bloom.

Posted by: keena at March 14, 2015 07:44 PM (RiTnx)

116 Red Baron peach is a great one for California, Keena. Looking forward to hearing about your tomato varieties.

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 08:33 PM (qahv/)

117 I wonder if those cyclamens are native to Israel?

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 08:33 PM (qahv/)

118 Keena, one of the taller types of Sweet Alyssum would probably be nice with your milkweed. Might be easier to cut back for repeat bloom, too.

I was really surprised how much the leaves taste like wasabi, given how much the flowers smell like honey.

Posted by: KT at March 14, 2015 10:01 PM (qahv/)

119 KT, yes I love the smell of honey from allysum!
I will keep you posted on those tomato varieties for So Cal. Last year I had the best success with a Better Boy so I got one of those but also a whole bunch of new ones.
I have to really protect the red baron fruit. Last year the crows and squirrels pretty much got them all!

Posted by: keena at March 15, 2015 12:05 AM (RiTnx)

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