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Saturday Gardening Thread: Inside Out [KT]

spring bird.jpg

Weather: It's all relative.

Hello, Horde. Is it gardening weather yet where you are? We've had a couple of days with temperatures in the mid to high 80s this week, but also fog some mornings. I think winter is over here in the San Joaquin Valley. On the other hand, there was Winter Storm "Stella", mentioned here at AoSHQ more than once this week.

Who has plants indoors waiting to go outside? Some plants adapt to indoor/outdoor culture quite nicely. Some outdoor plants can stay indoors in winter, but may not like it too much.

Kalanchoe

Birds and Blooms magazine, a favorite of some members of The Horde, also has a blog. Here's a piece on growing Kalanchoe indoors and out. It includes some nice photos and directions for getting plants to re-bloom. The most familiar species, K. blossfeldiana, is often kept outside from spring to fall. People enjoy its blooms indoors in winter and early spring. It is a short-day bloomer.

It will grow outdoors all year in San Francisco, coastal Southern California, Hawaii, Southern Florida and similar climates. Here in the Valley, Walmart was selling blooming plants for outdoor bedding yesterday. The plants can be forced into bloom at any time and the blooms last for a long time, but when they fade, you can cut them off to appreciate the succulent foliage.

Kalanchoe-4.jpg

Kalanchoe flowers can be toxic to pets. If you have a pet that eats flowers. This genus of plants includes several other species you may have seen as houseplants, or in the garden outdoors (in mild winter climates).

Last fall, I picked up some assorted close-out succulents at Walmart. They were in sad shape. One died, but the rest look better now after a winter on the porch. They are still small. One is Kalanchoe hildebrandtii. It is very drought-tolerant. Not sure about its hardiness. We only had a few light frosts this winter. Mine has not bloomed. I think it has a simple, restful look.

K. hildebrandtii and Kalanchoe bracteata are similar looking and sometimes mistaken for each others. They are distinguished by their flowers. K. hildebrandtii has white flowers that are not as attractive as the red ones of K. bracteata.

They are both called "Silver Teaspoons". Here is a photo of the latter in a garden, getting ready to bloom.

Silver-Teaspoons.jpg

Kalanchoe beharensis is known as the "Felt Plant" or "Velvet Elephant Ear". It starts out compact, eventually forming a tall, narrow plant. In the West, it can be grown outdoors all year in the mildest parts of Southern California and in Hawaii. In the low desert, it needs a partly shady spot. It apparently does well in full sun in Southern Florida. Here it is grown into tree form. It is valued for its "sculptural" form.

beharensis.jpg

Kalanchoe beharensis, tree form

There is a curious cultivar called 'Fang' that has scalloped edges on its leaves (sometimes with brown hairs on them). It develops fang-like protrusions on the undersides of the leaves. Here's an easy way to remember the species name. Below, K. beharensis x 'Fang' and Joy Behar.

fang  3.JPGjoy b.jpg

The species came from Behara in Madagascar, a place where life is hard for people. A search for the origin of the species name led me to Cooch Behar, which was annexed to India after India became independent. There is something of a separatist movement there now. I don't get the impression that they have a real clear plan. Here is a palace from its glory days, fronted by some nice Cannas.

rajbari2.jpg

Canna rhizomes can be overwintered outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and above where drainage is good. They can be wintered indoors in Zones 6 or below, or where soil is wet in winter. Or, treat them as annuals. They grow pretty fast if they get a nice start indoors.

Over-wintered Outdoor Plants

My cousin's 30 pots of geraniums have spent the winter near west-facing windows in the basement of her Utah home. They will look better when they get outside. Not time yet. Here are a few of her plants, waiting for frost-free weather.

myrno.jpg

Have you been keeping some outdoor plants alive indoors this winter? How do they look?

Gardens and Photos of The Horde

The wildflowers Kindletot seeks out generally spend their winters outdoors.

One of the signs of Spring, according to Mom was the Trillium, or "Wake Robin" as the old timers called it, Trillim ovatum. It is amazing to find one in the woods, but it is even more amazing to find a lot of them all together.

24 trillium (1).JPG28 trillium.JPG

Bright white flower dusted with golden pollen and enormous leaves, peeking through the underbrush. My books say it is spread by ants taking the oily seeds. I am told it is a delicate plant, and if you pick the flower it kills the plant.

26 trillium.JPG

When the flower ages it turns pink.

32 trillium.JPG

30 trillium.JPG

Beautiful. Thanks, Kindltot!

I have acquired some more tomato plants, still all hybrids, and potted up some of them to give to friends. Can't plant a six-pack of each kind. I've also distributed some cuke and squash seeds to Cub Scouts. They were surprisingly receptive.

Anything going on in your garden?

Have a great week.

Note: You can send garden photos, stories, etc. to
ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:17 PM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon greentumbs

Posted by: Skip at March 18, 2017 12:11 PM (GPaiX)

2 Covered my daffys and chives just sprouting with drywall spackle buckets before the snow, so they are doing ok.

Posted by: Skip at March 18, 2017 12:13 PM (GPaiX)

3 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 - sin valor at March 18, 2017 12:17 PM (0mRoj)

4 The cardinal in the earflap hat is hilarious.

Posted by: Insomniac - sin valor at March 18, 2017 12:20 PM (0mRoj)

5 Ha! Mom was fond of cardinals, she'd have loved that pic! (Not sure she'd have known what to make of this place, though...)

Posted by: Brother Cavil, at Provisional Basestar at March 18, 2017 12:22 PM (66CWr)

6 Love that pic.


Hello, Horde. Is it gardening weather yet where you are? We've had a
couple of days with temperatures in the mid to high 80s this week,



We had a week of 80s now we're having 20s. This is garden killing weather. My small Jane's Magnolias had just started blooming now frozen solid. I doubt if any will survive. I am so tired of this shit here.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:23 PM (mpXpK)

7 Skip at March 18, 2017 12:13 PM

Drywall spackle buckets are so decorative in the garden, too!

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:25 PM (qahv/)

8 I live in the San Joaquin Valley too. I have a few veggie plants ready to go but I'm getting them acclimated first - put them out during the day, bring them in at night.

I'll spend the next week prepping the ground and then transfer them next weekend.

Posted by: Jaqen H'ghar at March 18, 2017 12:25 PM (5fSr7)

9 Skip at March 18, 2017 12:13 PM

Kitty litter buckets are more colorful.

Posted by: Jaqen H'ghar at March 18, 2017 12:26 PM (5fSr7)

10 "(Not sure she'd have known what to make of this place, though...)"

Brother Cavil, I didn't know what to make of this place at first, either.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:27 PM (qahv/)

11 Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:23 PM

Dang, Dang, Dang.

Dang.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:28 PM (qahv/)

12 11
Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:23 PM

Dang, Dang, Dang.

Dang.


Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:28 PM (qahv/)


Yeah, last spring it was my Japanese cherry tree. I am ready to give up.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:29 PM (mpXpK)

13 Jaqen H'ghar at March 18, 2017 12:25 PM

I do that out during the day in at night thing when I start plants indoors, too.

All mine are outdoors now, though.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:29 PM (qahv/)

14 I have some tomato seedlings sprouting now-Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy and some cherry tomatoes. But It's going to be a long while before I can transplant them outside, so I am thinking of doing an intermediate transplant into larger pots, so the roots can grow.

Is this a good idea, or should I just give up and start over?

We've had the same winter crap as Vic, so everything I had planted in the fall for spring is now a frozen brown mess.

Posted by: moki at March 18, 2017 12:31 PM (wuzmq)

15 Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:29 PM

We have lost a few trees to a combination of drought and disease. It's a horrible thing.

In one location, I'm thinking about blueberries in containers instead of tress. I think there is something in the soil that kills stone fruits in that location.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:32 PM (qahv/)

16 Have you been keeping some outdoor plants alive indoors this winter? How do they look?

Boston ferns, scented geranium and agastache. Although technically the hummingbird mint could have been left outdoors, it's a perennial.

So far so good. The ferns got kind of scraggly and the other plants would have been fine except for the days I put them back out on the deck when it was unseasonably warm. The temp dropped all of a sudden and a few of them wilted.

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:33 PM (nNdYv)

17 15 In one location, I'm thinking about blueberries in
containers instead of tress. I think there is something in the soil that
kills stone fruits in that location.


Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:32 PM (qahv/)


What is funny is I have three apple trees still surviving. This warm/freeze crap doesn't seem to bother them, but they do not start blooming until late.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:35 PM (mpXpK)

18 my daffodils bloomed under cover ... was 18 a couple mornings ago, then 70 two days later. (west central Illinois)

Several big swings like in the last two months, but the grapes didn't bud out yet so that's good. Lots of winter annuals jumped up early, and cold doesn't kill those weeds. Ground is warm and dry already, so time to plan the garden ... next week maybe.

A road on one side of me was nicknamed "blue heaven road" because of all the blue wildflowers ... blue boys, little boys britches, violets, umm ... Big storms knocked down a lot of trees, and that opened the canopy for invasive bush honeysuckle which tends to crowd out everything else. So the war is on to protect the native culture of plants ... not just people. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, I guess.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 12:35 PM (BrMft)

19 moki at March 18, 2017 12:31 PM

Sorry about the weather woes.

By all means, do an intermediate transplant of your tomatoes. Two if necessary. Makes the plants grow better.

Gently spread the roots out. Bury part of the stem, from which you have removed leaves. Make sure you use an airy potting soil and have good drainage. Let the top of the soil dry out before watering.

Hope you get a good harvest. Did you plant a specific kind of cherry tomato?


Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:36 PM (qahv/)

20 Brother Cavil, I didn't know what to make of this place at first, either.
Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:27 PM (qahv/)
---------

I still don't know what to make of this place.

Great post, as always, KT. You always write about such interesting things.

Kindltot, I love the trillium pics. When my kids were younger I used to take them to Shenandoah NP to see the wildflowers in the spring. We saw a fair amount of trilliums. And a ladyslipper, once. Ahhhh.

Posted by: bluebell at March 18, 2017 12:37 PM (sBOL1)

21 Oh I have 2 red Hilti fire caulk buckets, 1 orangey Home Depot and plenty of square yellow kitty litter buckets which I like for my truck tools as square fits better in the space allowed.

Posted by: Skip at March 18, 2017 12:40 PM (GPaiX)

22 I have bees in my refrigerator They are mason bees, hibernating in their nesting tubes. They need to stay dormant until things flower, so, refrigerator. This is my first release--I got some bees last year for fun and a) my fruit trees EXPLODED with fruit and b) the cute little bee house I got was No Vacancy by summer and some of them had to build their mud nurseries in my windows (oops...). I will attempt to have enough housing on hand this year. They are great starter bees--they are solitary, so non-aggressive, and native. Little and cute.

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at March 18, 2017 12:41 PM (mDjbp)

23 ha ... I said "blue boys", but after seeing "bluebell" comment, I'm pretty sure they are called bluebells. Guess I was thinking of tomatoes ... big boy, early girl.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 12:41 PM (BrMft)

24 kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:33 PM

Nice that you have had good luck with your outdoor/indoor plants.

Some of my cousin's geranium plants are 15 years old. I think that includes some restarts from cuttings along the way. I have kept one scented geranium going for about 20 years, but it generally stays on the porch all winter.

Wonder what your Boston Fern would look like in 15 years.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:42 PM (qahv/)

25 A road on one side of me was nicknamed "blue heaven road" because of all the blue wildflowers ... blue boys, little boys britches, violets, umm ...

That does sound heavenly! I have volunteer violets in the raised bed on the side of my house. When I had the bed dug, I left the patch of violets alone, they're intermixed with wild strawberry. They were in full bloom just before the frozen tundra erupted in PA last Tuesday.

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:43 PM (nNdYv)

26 Vic We Have No Party at March 18, 2017 12:35 PM

Glad to hear about your apple trees. I think the late bloom does make a difference in surviving early season fluctuations.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:43 PM (qahv/)

27 bluebell at March 18, 2017 12:37 PM

Thanks bluebell. I love the trillium photos, too.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:45 PM (qahv/)

28 Longwood Gardens' orchid extravaganza is still on display through March 31. I need to get there, missed it last year. They also have rare blue poppies on exhibit.

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:47 PM (nNdYv)

29 illiniwek at March 18, 2017 12:35 PM

Yes, it's a shame that weeds are so good at survival.

Eternal vigilance is right. Heh.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:47 PM (qahv/)

30
Hope you get a good harvest. Did you plant a specific kind of cherry tomato?


Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:36 PM (qahv/)

I'm trying Southern Exposure Seed Company's Red Cherry, which they call an old-fashioned red. I love cherry tomatoes, probably more than slicing tomatoes, especially with a little salt and balsamic vinegar.

i'm anxious to try the Mortgage Lifters, since I've reda the lore about them recently.

Posted by: moki at March 18, 2017 12:48 PM (wuzmq)

31 Apropos of nothing, slideshow of Linda Rondstadt's Tucson abode. Some lovely pics of her garden:

http://tinyurl.com/l2tyyur

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:49 PM (nNdYv)

32 " I left the patch of violets alone, they're intermixed with wild strawberry. They were in full bloom just before the frozen tundra erupted in PA last Tuesday. Posted by: kallisto

yeah, I like any natural ground cover like that better than grass. They seem to find their own preferred places.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 12:50 PM (BrMft)

33 "Oh I have 2 red Hilti fire caulk buckets, 1 orangey Home Depot and
plenty of square yellow kitty litter buckets which I like for my truck
tools as square fits better in the space allowed.

Skip, you might consider charging admission to your yard. Post-modern art display is a real possibility.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:50 PM (qahv/)

34 Sabrina Chase at March 18, 2017 12:41 PM

Hope you can get a colony of those bees started. I tried that once, but it's too hot here for them to make it through the year.

We do have some other native bees, though.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:52 PM (qahv/)

35 Wonder what your Boston Fern would look like in 15 years.
Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:42 PM (qahv/)


Good question! Trying to figure out how to transplant the ones I've wintered over, they are bursting out of their pots. Maybe Skip's garden buckets??

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:52 PM (nNdYv)

36 kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:43 PM

I love violets in spring. Did you get to pick some?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:54 PM (qahv/)

37 Great post and pics, KT! (as usual!)

Love trilliums. They grow in the woods near here and onceuponatime I successfully transplanted a bucketful. (private land, so I *think* it was legal.) They came back for several years, then we moved and left them behind.

Anyway, HomeDepot now has them-- in a bag of mixed spring bloomers-- didn't buy, but still considering.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 12:54 PM (044Fx)

38 kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:47 PM

ORCHID EXTRAVAGANZA. Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:57 PM (qahv/)

39 moki at March 18, 2017 12:48 PM

There are several strains of Mortgage Lifter, so if you don't like that one, you might try another next year.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:59 PM (qahv/)

40 I love violets in spring. Did you get to pick some?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:54 PM (qahv/)


No, they would have looked so pretty against the backdrop of the snowscape outdoors. Wish I'd have remembered.

Posted by: kallisto at March 18, 2017 01:01 PM (nNdYv)

41
There are several strains of Mortgage Lifter, so if you don't like that one, you might try another next year.
Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 12:59 PM (qahv/)

Thanks! And thank you for an awesome post. I have really learned a lot from your threads!

Posted by: moki at March 18, 2017 01:01 PM (wuzmq)

42 Have two (small) fig trees inside, along with a couple geraniums. The fig trees are in front of floor to ceiling windows and are doing okay, actually one has a fig on it. The geraniums are hanging on. Have two small evergreens from Christmas that are doing well--this year I put them on the porch when it was above freezing and brought them in when it was too close to the 30's. This is the first year I've managed to keep something like that alive! They do not do well indoors.

I just bought Mason bees; I've had a colony going for a long time but the last couple of years a fungus or something got in the nest house. I have all new materials and am hoping to get it going again.

Posted by: Lirio100 at March 18, 2017 01:01 PM (JK7Jw)

43 I'm in the same vicinity as the San Joa valley, need to find some flowering ground cover the peacocks wont wreck

Posted by: The Butcher at March 18, 2017 01:05 PM (OonSC)

44 kallisto at March 18, 2017 12:49 PM

The photos are lovely. But I would say the home was closer to Southwestern Style than Mediterranean Style. The climbing rose is fantastic.

This would be a good time of year to visit Tucson.

Incidentally, the palace photo above in India is called "idealized" Italian Renaissance style.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:05 PM (qahv/)

45 I think I have successfully transplanted Indian Plum along the back fence, they are leafing out and one of them has blossoms on it already. They are supposed to bring in the native bees to your area, so I am pretty pumped.

One year I took a drill to a chunk of stove wood and nailed it to the fence upright by the garden to make a bee apartment. I was told later that was only good for a year since the mites would get into it. But each hole was caulked with a blob of mud by the middle of the summer.

I like the five gallon buckets for watering. The round ones I just drill a hole in the bottom, the square ones in the past I have used a cobbled together bulk head fitting and a section of drip irrigation line to let me soak right at the bottom of the plant I wanted to water.
I find that if I soak just at the base of the plants, the ground in between stays dry and I am not watering the weeds between the plants.


Today, however, I have standing water in my garden. I have had so much standing water I have pond algae growing in the puddles.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 18, 2017 01:06 PM (WQX/u)

46 Lirio100 at March 18, 2017 01:01 PM

Nice report! Gives some of us hope.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:09 PM (qahv/)

47 Will be transplanting the 2 Beefsteak tomatoes today-- an intermediate move-- and potting another package of begonia rhizomes. About half of the first ones have come up so far.

Got some primroses for 50cents apiece, to put into the big purple strawberry pot.

Lenten roses are in full bloom, daff's maybe next week. Been so cold and wet this year, compared to our usual...

Wonder if it's too cold to plant out new lily bulbs? Mostly still 50s days and 30s nights.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:11 PM (044Fx)

48 The Butcher at March 18, 2017 01:05 PM

I'll look into peacock-proof flowering ground covers. Prostrate rosemary comes to mind, but you might want something else with it.

How many inches tall can you go?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:11 PM (qahv/)

49 I have crocuses in the snow. There's no point worrying about planting until after Memorial Day, although I can lop and top in the garden when it dries out a bit. Have a dead hydrangea that needs to make way for a squash mound.

There's four geraniums, two impatiens, and some trailing plant overwintering in the window at work. My begonias died, though.

Posted by: NaughtyPine at March 18, 2017 01:12 PM (G8B7r)

50
The Butcher at March 18, 2017 01:05 PM

Ajuga forms a nice thick mat and is mowable to remove spent flowers, but can be invasive.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:18 PM (044Fx)

51 So we've given in to calling every snowstorm it's own personal name. Thanks KT.

Posted by: Billy Dumbass at March 18, 2017 01:20 PM (4QldK)

52 Bunnies eat our crocus flowers and leave just enough greenery to mark where they once were.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:21 PM (044Fx)

53 It's been quite the invigorating week here in Idaho's Treasure Valley! Mother Nature may still decide to mess with us (our local last frost date is May 26th!), but it feels great after surviving the Snowpocalypse! We've had days that reached 70 F already. Some rain on and off, but that's just helped things green up.

The barberry bushes out front are starting to show a fuzz of green leaves. The daylilies are sprouting, as are the Dutch (?) iris and bunchgrasses (I need to finish trimming dead leaves off, very soon). The tulip leaves are about 5 inches high. The backyard hyacinths now have flowers on both the whites and blues, and the front sidewalk hyacinths (having worked their way through harder soil) are racing to catch up. My potted Siberian Squill looks like only 3 or 4 bulbs survived, but the strongest one put on a flower yesterday. The biggest surprise is that my chives are about 6-7 inches tall already! And the smaller English thyme plants did survive - I'm still unsure about the largest one. I just took a minute to check on my crabapple tree out front - it does have tiny green leaves starting!

Husband and I completed building and installing the last 2 raised beds in our 2nd row this week, bringing the total number of beds to 12. (We'll still need to buy and haul soil.) We plan on growing our potatoes in cloth pots this year. Rows of corn will go directly into the ground (like last year), and I believe some tomatoes and squash will be moving out of the beds too. This will give us lots of room in the beds to grow lots more green beans, and try a few new crops - this year, some field peas and spinach.

I started cutting the dead leaves off the strawberries - I was worried about the plants, but they seem very healthy under the dead upper layer of leaves. And, of course, I'm still raking leaves off the lawns! I did get them all out of the drainage ditches out front, but I need to rake a lot of spots at least a bit, due to something called Snowmold, a fungal disease I'd never heard of before. Apparently, raking the affected areas to aerate them is the first thing to do, and usually the blades of grass grow back.

Around the area, I've spotted forsythia bushes blooming, daffodils just opening, and some crocus already fading.

Our neighborhood irrigation is likely going to start up mid-April, while we're on a trip out east to see family, so our planting season will start when we get back. Given the huge snowpack (and rivers currently brimfull and beyond) I don't think we'll lack for water this year!

(In other news, we squeezed in a brief range day on Monday - a little practice with rifle and handgun. And we teach a juniors smallbore rifle class, thrice monthly, which has attracted 2 counties' worth of 4-H students who are eager to learn!)

Posted by: Pat* at March 18, 2017 01:28 PM (qC1ju)

54 Kindltot at March 18, 2017 01:06 PM

Good news about the Indian Plums. Sorry about the standing water.

The bucket watering system sounds like a good one for certain kinds of plants. I'm thinking hills of melons or squashes.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:33 PM (qahv/)

55 Joy Bigmouth and a plant named Fang....there is a song in there somewhere.

Robert Reich looks kinda like a cardinal (bird not Priest) in that picture.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at March 18, 2017 01:35 PM (5VlCp)

56 JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 12:54 PM

I'm a little surpised at trilliums from Home Depot. Not surprised about mixed bags of spring bloomers at Home Depot.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:36 PM (qahv/)

57 NaughtyPine at March 18, 2017 01:12 PM

I have never overwintered impatiens. What kind of begonias were the Dear Departed?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:38 PM (qahv/)

58 Billy Dumbass at March 18, 2017 01:20 PM

Ironically. Heh.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:39 PM (qahv/)

59 JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:21 PM

But they're so cute.

Right?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:40 PM (qahv/)

60 Exactly, the bucket watering works for tomatoes and it is really good for eggplants too. It isn't good for beets, onions, peas and beans, and corn. Those still need broadcast water.

The eggplants are surprise, since they need the moisture, but they need the heat too. Here if I water too much it cools them down too much, but by spot watering them I get more eggplants than I can eat. I think my peppers did good here for the same reason.

The main reason I do it is because it stunts the weeds and the ground is dry enough that I can go out a couple times a week and do the zen-garden thing with the garden rake and uproot all the weeds easily. (doesn't work for bindweed though, that I have to use a shovel on every time.)

Posted by: Kindltot at March 18, 2017 01:40 PM (WQX/u)

61 Earth is still moist, perfect for pulling out what weeds you don't want by the roots before mowing. Song birds are magnificently happy with the bugs which we see little of given how many bluejays and robins visit and nest. This Spring, our block's "mature" landscaping got visits from various arborists. Ours pruned to where we can see the sky again in back. There was nothing but a massive field of sunflowers when we first moved in. I saw a young woodpecker decide to look elsewhere this morning, no dead wood here. We've decided to garden peas, beans, parsley and herbs this year -- keeping it simple.

Posted by: maverick muse at March 18, 2017 01:40 PM (hCdMd)

62 Pat* at March 18, 2017 01:28 PM

Invigorating! Lots going on at your place.

What kind of green beans do you plan to plant? Any pole types?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:44 PM (qahv/)

63 KT-- I was surprised to see Trilliums available commercially. Would've been great to buy *just* them, not the whole bag with other stuff I didn't want.

And, yes, the bunnies ARE so cute. They can have all the crocus but no veggies, lol.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:47 PM (044Fx)

64 A friend has just written me about the Philadelphia Flower Show. Tomorrow's the last day. Looks pretty great; bazillions of tulips.

https://theflowershow.com/follow-the-show/videos/

Posted by: m at March 18, 2017 01:48 PM (3jGss)

65 KT, Love that photo of the cardinal. What a hoot!

That 'massive' snow storm, Stella, proved to be more ice than snow, followed by a few days of cold weather. We had banks of daffodils in our area and I was pleasantly surprised to see most survived. (That damn ice shoveled like wet cement. I'm still sore from moving it.) I'm hoping this was the last nasty ice this year.

The birds are very active right now and the house and purple finches are getting close to full color. It's a gorgeous shade of red and rivals the make cardinals. The female cardinals are taking on their warmer colors and are as pretty in their own way. I love the way those colors blend softly into the adjacent areas.

While putting out bird seed this morning I glanced over at the container with last year's chives. They were green and sturdy. A few weeks ago they looked dead. It's a nice reminder of the coming season. And a few are going in tomorrow's breakfast eggs.

Posted by: JTB at March 18, 2017 01:50 PM (V+03K)

66 My lawn was half green until the cold frost (24 F) hit mid week. It has gone back to being brown. Yippee! I don't have to mow it anytime soon.

Posted by: JAS at March 18, 2017 01:51 PM (Kresa)

67 Vic,

You should move to Wyoming.


Posted by: JAS at March 18, 2017 01:53 PM (Kresa)

68 We had enough dry weather for me to mow about half my yard, the dry half. Now it is raining again.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 18, 2017 01:54 PM (WQX/u)

69 JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:11 PM

Love that you have Lenten Roses in bloom.

Sunset says to plant the bulbs as soon as possible after you get them. I assume that they are cultivars which are hardy where you live.

We should maybe write a little more about lilies.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:54 PM (qahv/)

70
Still snowing here.
Won't be spring until mid may. Maybe.

Posted by: Tommy Knockers at March 18, 2017 01:55 PM (45F3h)

71 Kindltot at March 18, 2017 01:40 PM

Interesting about the eggplants.

Bindweed is horrible.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:57 PM (qahv/)

72 My father got a Picasso "Pedro Manache" (a photocopy plaque) because he thought it looked like his Dad.


Posted by: JAS at March 18, 2017 01:57 PM (Kresa)

73 The Abruzzi rye we planted as a cover crop in the main garden bed has continued to thicken through the winter. We are hoping it chokes out the weeds that plagued us last summer. Per the local Extension Service, we're going to plant the tomatoes and others among the rye. Don't know if it will work but the garden is an experiment every year.

Posted by: JTB at March 18, 2017 01:58 PM (V+03K)

74 Sorry, but that plant is both more attractive and intelligent than Jo Behar...

Posted by: Kortezzi at March 18, 2017 01:58 PM (98FOO)

75 Oh! The hops are still in their deck boxes, starting to sprout again. Will be cutting back these "Bull Shoots" to strengthen the plants.

They can stay on the deck for another season, blocking the living room south window from hot sun.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:59 PM (044Fx)

76 57 NaughtyPine at March 18, 2017 01:12 PM

I have never overwintered impatiens. What kind of begonias were the Dear Departed?
Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 01:38 PM (qahv/)

Bright yellow wax begonias. So pretty that they always got compliments.

The impatiens surprised me. A colleague asked for potted plants we had in the fall. She teaches special ed and last year the kids got into gardening, growth charts, etc. So they filled in the dead spots with impatiens.

Posted by: NaughtyPine at March 18, 2017 01:59 PM (G8B7r)

77 Hello. The snow is all melted and you know what THAT means! It's Poop-Scoopin' Day!!!

McGyver, Out (enjoying the poop-scoopin')

Posted by: McGyver at March 18, 2017 01:59 PM (6hAG+)

78 maverick muse at March 18, 2017 01:40 PM

I like your plan. Thanks for the bird report.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:01 PM (qahv/)

79 m at March 18, 2017 01:48 PM

Thanks for the link, for those of us who can't attend the Philedelphia Flower Show. Looks great.

Sponsored by a Horticultural Society. Pretty impressive for a volunteer organization.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:07 PM (qahv/)

80 JTB at March 18, 2017 01:50 PM

Thanks for the report. Love to hear about the birds.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:09 PM (qahv/)

81 My cat loves to eat kalanchoe even though it makes him throw up. I have to keep it where he can't get to it. Lovely plant, but I haven't been able to get mine to rebloom. I should probably get a grow light.

Posted by: Aunt Luna at March 18, 2017 02:13 PM (Zd2ZF)

82 It's still raining. It's been raining since October. Over and over again. All that's growing is water lily and swamp grass.

Good thing I ordered that load of gopher wood.

Posted by: Headless Body of Agnew at March 18, 2017 02:13 PM (FtrY1)

83 Just got back from The Outside and it's glorious. I was pleased to note that the hardier flowers managed to survive the freeze.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at March 18, 2017 02:15 PM (EnKk6)

84 It's finally warm enough to venture out, so gotta go.

Happy gardening, all!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 02:18 PM (044Fx)

85 The day lilies that are common on country roadsides here are orange and make for a lot of nice color. Once they have a good stand they seem to hold their own and spread at the edges.

I've been trying to get some going by my pond, but the critters tend to dig them right up, then grass and weeds crowd them, and the deer eat them. I fenced some, even laid chicken wire over them to keep critters from digging them and hope to get them maintenance free in another year. Glyphosate on a cotton glove is my next approach for safe herbicide application on the weeds around them.

Daffodils are deer resistant, but blooms don't last very long.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 02:19 PM (BrMft)

86 I have some tomato seedlings sprouting now-Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy and some cherry tomatoes. But It's going to be a long while before I can transplant them outside, so I am thinking of doing an intermediate transplant into larger pots, so the roots can grow.

Is this a good idea, or should I just give up and start over?

We've had the same winter crap as Vic, so everything I had planted in the fall for spring is now a frozen brown mess.
Posted by: moki at March 18, 2017 12:31 PM (wuzmq)
---
Moki, When I grew 'maters here in MD we always had one last freeze before the official planting time (which I ignored at my plants' peril - once). Because I started the seedlings early, I usually ended up transplanting them three times to bigger and bigger pots. Totally worth it. I had nice, hardy triffids ready for planting.

Make sure to harden the plants for a few hours a day outside before transferring them to your garden.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at March 18, 2017 02:21 PM (EnKk6)

87 Aunt Luna at March 18, 2017 02:13 PM

A grow light might not work. Kalanchoe needs extended darkness to trigger bloom. Heh.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:22 PM (qahv/)

88 Top 100!

Please don't EVER refer to a winter storm by the silly name The Weather Channel gives it.

I despise those things.

However, you are in charge of the post, so you can do whatever you want.




Posted by: Deplorable Ian Galt, still loving the Cubs, even though they are WINNERS! at March 18, 2017 02:23 PM (8iiMU)

89 St Arbucks coffee

Posted by: undocumented SMOD at March 18, 2017 02:23 PM (e8kgV)

90 JTB at March 18, 2017 01:58 PM

Let us know if planting tomatoes in the rye works. Is it expected to die down to cover the soil?

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:24 PM (qahv/)

91 Kindltot, I love the trillium pics. When my kids were younger I used to take them to Shenandoah NP to see the wildflowers in the spring. We saw a fair amount of trilliums. And a ladyslipper, once. Ahhhh.

Posted by: bluebell at March 18, 2017 12:37 PM (sBOL1)
---
At my home growing up we had a place down by the "crick" that had trillium, and like you, I was ecstatic to find the occasional yellow ladyslipper.

Mostly, we had skunk cabbage and jacks-in-the-pulpit.

And snakes.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at March 18, 2017 02:24 PM (EnKk6)

92 Don't be a tool of a Meteo-archy!


Posted by: Deplorable Ian Galt, still loving the Cubs, even though they are WINNERS! at March 18, 2017 02:24 PM (8iiMU)

93 Cats eat things, like grass, to induce vomiting.

Bulimic they are.

It's nature's way of purging the bad stuff out.

Posted by: JAS at March 18, 2017 02:25 PM (Kresa)

94 Pet-safe (cat-safe / dog-safe) gardening might be an interesting topic.

Posted by: @votermom @vm at March 18, 2017 02:26 PM (Om16U)

95 Headless Body of Agnew at March 18, 2017 02:13 PM

We may need to come help you build if spring flooding happens here.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:26 PM (qahv/)

96 JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 01:59 PM

You might want to look for Red Admiral Butterfly caterpillars among your hop leaves late in the season. I've seen a reference stating that it is an alternative host to stinging nettle.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:28 PM (qahv/)

97 62 KT, since you asked:
Last year, we planted 'Provider' and 'Improved Tendergreen' from Victory Seeds. We were not impressed with the yields, though. I'm pretty sure I planted them too close together, which probably accounts for part of the problem. This year, we'll have enough room to try some of these, and some cheap Earliserve from a random seed company. This time I'll plant them further apart and see if that improves things. (No pole beans planned.)

Posted by: Pat* at March 18, 2017 02:28 PM (qC1ju)

98 My begonias made it all winter in my screened porch. Some other indoor plants died. I should have put them in the green house.
I have a Rex begonia and an escargot. I have another one but I don't know the name. The fiddlehead ficus made it as well.

We don't move the geraniums. They all made it.
I did move the ferns, hydrangeas in pots, gerbera daisies to the greenhouse. They bloomed all winter.
If I move the plants from the porch inside in the winter most of them don't make it.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 18, 2017 02:29 PM (u8Ywb)

99 All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at March 18, 2017 02:15 PM

Glorious! Nice to hear.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:30 PM (qahv/)

100 illiniwek at March 18, 2017 02:19 PM

Have you got daffodils by your pond now? There are a few that take damper soil. Maybe we can think of some other critter-resistant plants for pond side.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:32 PM (qahv/)

101 If that's a cardinal, they're winter birds.

Posted by: Mr. Peebles at March 18, 2017 02:37 PM (oVJmc)

102 Pat* at March 18, 2017 02:28 PM

"Provider" is a New England bean. It does not produce AT ALL in our hot valley. Here, I go for early beans and then commercial "harvest all at once" varieties, mostly.

For the early season, before the soil warms enough for white-seeded beans, a purple bean and black-seeded yellow might be fun. Contender is the early bean for the South.

Later I go with a the most heat-tolerant one from current catalogs. They change. I also like Romanette from Crosmans and Maxibel, a filet type.

If you change your mind about pole beans, Fortex is truly superlative. Seed is expensive. The only bean I would consider starting indoors.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:39 PM (qahv/)

103 90 ... "Let us know if planting tomatoes in the rye works. Is it expected to die down to cover the soil?"

I forgot to ask if the rye will die down. That will be next week's question to the Extension agent. I might use a sickle to shorten the rye before planting. I'll certainly let the thread know how it goes as the season progresses.

I hope planting through the rye (cue old song) works. I'm 6' 5" tall and unless I use very long handle garden tools, turning over the soil doesn't agree with my aging back. :-)

Posted by: JTB at March 18, 2017 02:40 PM (V+03K)

104 And Pat*

My sister-in-law in Utah swears by Top Crop. She freezes. It's a flattish bean. Not as flat as a Romano.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:40 PM (qahv/)

105 94 Pet-safe (cat-safe / dog-safe) gardening might be an interesting topic.
Posted by: @votermom @vm at March 18, 2017 02:26 PM (Om16U)

I am really careful about what I'll bring into the house because my cats eat everything.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 18, 2017 02:42 PM (u8Ywb)

106 CaliGirl at March 18, 2017 02:29 PM

I love that you have a greenhouse where you can put plants like gerbera daisies. It's impressive that you keep a Rex begonia going, too.

Geraniums are a gamble here outdoors in winter, but they make it most years. If they are close to the house.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:45 PM (qahv/)

107
Make sure to harden the plants for a few hours a day outside before transferring them to your garden.
Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at March 18, 2017 02:21 PM (EnKk6)

Thanks, I appreciate the input. I had read about hardening fruit trees, so it makes sense to do the same thing with garden plants you start indoors.

Well, off to the garden store for some larger pots.

Posted by: moki at March 18, 2017 02:47 PM (wuzmq)

108 If a Behar sh*ts in the woods, does it make a smell?

Posted by: Bishop Berkeley at March 18, 2017 02:50 PM (W8bn5)

109 KT,
I'm really surprised they made it. They are in a screened porch on the north side of the house. I move everything close to the house.
I've tried bringing them in the house in winter and they looked worse last year. I think it's too dry.
As soon as it warms up at night I'll move everything closer to the screen so they get more light.

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 18, 2017 02:52 PM (u8Ywb)

110 I planted all my pepper and tomato seeds in 4" pots about a week ago and today I spotted the first sprout. Makes me pretty happy, even if actual planting in the ground is six weeks away. I have grown my own for the past three years and it's far less expensive than plants from the garden store and the plants don't develop some of the diseases I've had with their plants.

Posted by: huerfano at March 18, 2017 02:52 PM (jkkMG)

111 huerfano at March 18, 2017 02:52 PM

Nice to hear about your success starting tomatoes and peppers. Maybe some day you can let us know in detail how you do it.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:57 PM (qahv/)

112 Pet thread up.

Posted by: HH at March 18, 2017 02:57 PM (DrCtv)

113 KT thanks ... I have daffodils nearer the house, some by the creek (away from the house) have been there over a decade with no deer problem.

The stand of day lilies are surrounded with grass but may be OK. I would like other color around the pond though, since I see it from my computer seat. Some bushy thing came up on its own, all around the pond, that blooms yellow in fall, but only for a week or two. Cattails are a nice feature but only want those in moderation. The deer eat them in fall and winter as well, but that is fine by me.

Little willow trees are always coming up, but I keep them off the levee, and only want a couple others. I've tried a few other trees or specialty plants but the deer are merciless. Even if they just chomp once to try it they can kill young plants. Any ideas for low maintenance color would be awesome. I like to experiment, but have a low tolerance for long hours of maintenance. My spring plan eyes are bigger than my summer weeding stomach.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 02:58 PM (BrMft)

114 BTW, Joy Behar was recognized last year on the "Celebrity Fame Walk" or whatever it is at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. No indication from stories that she knows anything about plants, or cares about them.

But you can always skip the Celebrity Fame Walk.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 02:59 PM (qahv/)

115 oh, another thing I considered was some tall grasses that retain some color and structure in winter. I don't really want evergreens so much, but anything that has nice non-brown accents in winter breaks up the winter doldrums.

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 03:01 PM (BrMft)

116 illiniwek at March 18, 2017 02:58 PM

We'll think about it.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 03:01 PM (qahv/)

117 I'm sad. Still winter North-of-Boston. I won't even start my seeds indoors until the latter part of April. Memorial day is our "planting out" date. That pic was great!

Posted by: plum at March 18, 2017 03:02 PM (E4HEb)

118 I have planted feed oats as a cover crop, I especially liked it for rehabbing some of the barren areas in my yard that sheds used to be on.
Feed oats, at least, are annuals and they don't survive a second year if you mow them with the lawn.

I have had trouble getting them started the last couple of years due to very wet winters and birds, but I liked having a plot of them ripening and going to straw; if you have a spot you can do that in, it is quite fetching.

The cats also like to hang out in the tall oats too.

I also admit that in past years I have left a plot about the size of a kitchen table of my annual rye-grass lawn to grow unmowed and strip the seed when it gets ripe so I could re-seed other areas.

Posted by: Kindltot at March 18, 2017 03:10 PM (WQX/u)

119 Kindltot at March 18, 2017 03:10 PM

Interesting about the oats. And the cats can safely nibble on them.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 03:14 PM (qahv/)

120 By end of month want to start seeds, maybe in basement starting out. Think last year dirt warmth was a issue.

Posted by: Skip at March 18, 2017 03:22 PM (GPaiX)

121 KT my fava beans are just finishing up. Should I mulched the plants underneath the soil or should I just pull them and compost them? I know they have a lot of nutrients but I think I've also read that turning plants under in a bed where you are going to plant right away just uses of nitrogen.

Posted by: keena at March 18, 2017 03:37 PM (X1jOm)

122 KT,
My lawn and the trees are looking really nice from all the rain. We've had over 20 inches at this ranch.

You've made me think I may need to move the geraniums up against the house next year. It can get really cold here.

It looks like spring.

http://tinypic.com/r/29nfm09/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at March 18, 2017 03:44 PM (u8Ywb)

123 beautiful location CaliGirl ...

Posted by: illiniwek at March 18, 2017 03:59 PM (BrMft)

124 You might want to look for Red Admiral Butterfly caterpillars among your
hop leaves late in the season. I've seen a reference stating that it is
an alternative host to stinging nettle.


KT-- I kept looking last year, after you'd mentioned this.

Nope, and didn't even see those butterflies. Only swallowtails, and very few of them.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 04:56 PM (044Fx)

125 The cats also like to hang out in the tall oats too.

My old cat loved to hide out in the landscape, too.

In my mind-- a heavily accented voice, narrating the scene:

*...and here we see the lioness, reclining in the tall grass of the Serengeti...*

Posted by: JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 05:04 PM (044Fx)

126
First hummingbird of the season here today.

Posted by: Spun and Murky at March 18, 2017 05:14 PM (4DCSq)

127 Skip at March 18, 2017 03:22 PM

You might think about one of those little heat pads for starting seeds. I use one to germinate tomatoes, then take them off the heat when they sprout. But they are still at room temperature then, so if it is colder, you might leave them on the pad for a while. With light and circulation.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 05:34 PM (qahv/)

128 keena at March 18, 2017 03:37 PM

If you are going to plant immediately where the fava beans were, you might just cut them off at soil level and compost them. Sometimes green tops in the soil can hurt new plants. If it will be a few days before you plant again, you can probably turn them under with some nitrogen.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 05:37 PM (qahv/)

129 Caligirl,

That photo is beautiful. Geraniums can take some cold. They may not take cold and wet soil. They cannot take much frost.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 05:39 PM (qahv/)

130 JQ Flyover at March 18, 2017 04:56 PM

Red Admirals have to migrate from the South. They may not make it every year.

Posted by: KT at March 18, 2017 05:41 PM (qahv/)

131 Testing

Posted by: ibguy at March 18, 2017 10:39 PM (vUcdz)

132 Hmm

Posted by: ibguy at March 18, 2017 10:43 PM (vUcdz)

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