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message 1: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments For all our gardening tips and aspirations


message 2: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments my gardening friend laughed at me for still using my old organic gardening books. Yes they are dated, but what has changed? The main thing is to get some seeds into some dirt.
With a bit of loving attention, the plants do all the work


message 3: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Petra have you considered vegetables or berries?
MaryAnne are you starting from seed?
Anyone else polishing a green thumb?


message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments I need help! All my house plants love me and are doing well but my outside plants die. No matter what. I had moderate success with some hostas last year. I’m hoping to start an herb garden I my kitchen window.
Any tips for outside plants is welcome!


message 5: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments Magdelanye, I agree with you. There may be some minor changes in organic gardening techniques but the "old ways" work so why get new books.

I have tried vegetables. Our yard seems too shady for much of a crop. Tomatoes are completely out; they just don't ripen. I can grow cherry tomatoes along one side of the house.
I planted a few berry bushes a couple of years back. The currant bush is doing okay and gives us a handful of berries. The blueberry hasn't even grown but it's holding it's own and looks healthy...… no berries yet.

The side beds that I'm starting with are on the shady side of the house. They get sun from about noon - 2 pm. The very front part of the front-most bed gets sun in the afternoon (approx. 4-6pm) as well when the sun moves towards the west.

Megan, can you tell us more about your garden? How much sun? Soil conditions?


message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments I have a planter in the front of my house that gets mostly shade (that's where the hosta and fern plants are).
My side deck is container plants and it is full sun all day long (I'm sure 8 hours of direct sunlight), so not too many plants are happy out there


message 7: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments Hostas like shade but when we moved into this house there was a hosta out front where there's a lot of sun and it did wonderfully well. Maybe that would work?

How large is the planter? Is the hosta rootbound? Maybe split the hosta into two?

How often do you fertilize the soil? There are some fertilizer time-release pellets that work well or some liquid versions that you mix with water every couple of weeks.

You can add your used coffee grounds and used tea leaves to the soil and dig it in. That's a good fertilizer, too. Crushed egg shells (washed) are good to dig in, too.

On the side deck with sun, do the pots get hot? It could be that the roots are getting too warm. Perhaps try shading the pot with a piece of cardboard or something more decorative to see if keeping the roots cooler will help.
Flower like daisies like the heat. They should do well in full sun and give plenty of flowers over the summer.

I'm not sure if any of this will work.


message 8: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments lettuce likes shade and there are many varieties. peas dont require a lot of sun and their blossoms are so fragrant.
squash likes sun
but harder to grow in containers.
A handful of seeds in a pot gave a glorious bunch of nastursiums which i am spelling wring i think but spellchecker doesnt know either! They are lovely and tasty too and seem very tolerant


message 9: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Thursday was the optimum day in April for those of us planting by the moon. I got in 3 varieties of lettuce, basil arugula, mustard and soaking nastursiums and peas. The weather is still chilly but i hope they sprout


message 10: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1217 comments Congratulations and good luck!


message 11: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments It's so nice to hear of gardens being planted. I hope they sprout, too, Magdelanye.

It's a beautiful day here today. I'm just having my morning coffee and thinking that this is a perfect day for getting out and starting to clear one of the flower beds I'm planning out.


message 12: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Way to go Petra!
Have you figured out whats going there yet?


message 13: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments And thanks Ellie
Good wishes always help!


message 14: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments I started digging out the stump of the tree I cut down a few weeks ago. It's a small bed surrounded by sidewalks and retaining wallks. That tree was probably meant for somewhere larger because those roots have spread throughout the bed in many layers. I've got to expose and cut of each root separately; some in many places because they are so long and thick (can't be pulled out). I'm tired!.....and have only done about 1/4 of the stump roots.

That said, it was a nice time in the garden, even if it was more work than I'd anticipated.

Magdelanye, I haven't figured out what to put in the beds yet. I thought I'd prepare the beds as I'm researching it. The next step on that end is visiting the Nursery and hopefully finding someone with expertise and time to give some advice. Either that or contact a Gardener/Landscaper school to see if a student can be of help. I'm not sure if there are any such schools around here.


message 15: by Ellie (last edited Apr 21, 2019 07:37AM) (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1217 comments Good luck Petra deciding what to put in the beds. I'm looking forward to reading about what you do. I love reading gardeners: it seems that your work is so much like the process of writing; so creative and painstaking.

I'm no gardener myself--no land and no talent but I enjoy reading everyone else's shares so thank you!


message 16: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Hmm Petra thats a lot of work! Could you not use whats left in a decorative way?
My landlord has several stumps planted i now see with flowers.
Ellie, for me its containers all the way. Even one pot of favorite herb and veg mix.
The argula has sprouted!


message 17: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments The roots have taken over the small bed and have to be removed in order to make the dirt workable. The actual stump itself might make a good garden feature. I'm considering it. But the roots have to go and that may make the stump unstable. We'll have to see.

That was quick! How long before you are harvesting? Yay for sprouted gardens.


message 18: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1217 comments Magdelanye wrote: "Hmm Petra thats a lot of work! Could you not use whats left in a decorative way?
My landlord has several stumps planted i now see with flowers.
Ellie, for me its containers all the way. Even one po..."


Sounds very tempting. I might try it although even mung beans died on me.


message 19: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments What great plans!!

I'm going to start an indoor herb garden in my kitchen this year. Start small, work my way up to a vegetable garden out in my yard. :)


message 20: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments I finished preparing my "holding" bed. Now I have a place to store plants I want to keep while redoing their beds. I've moved in a bamboo plant and a grass (don't know the name of the grass). I split it before planting. I hope grasses can be split. I'm not sure they can. But as I'm trying to learn as I go, I have to take chances.

I've also started on the front, at the side of the house, bed. What a mess and no wonder plants don't grow well here! There are chunks of clay and big pockets of pure sand just a few inches below the soil.
I made slow progress as I am digging down deeper than I had planned, digging out the clay and removing it, removing rocks & gravel and shovelling the sand to dirt piles to mix it in evenly.
This is the bed that I chopped down the tree a few weeks back. Those roots are throughout the bed, so I'm removing these as I come along them. I'm still thinking of keeping the stump part (about 4" in diameter and 12" tall) as some sort of garden feature (maybe a carving?). I have my thinking cap on.
Another option is to bore a hole down the center, fill it with soil and put a small plant in there.

I'm going to try to get out there today to do some more digging. I'm limited to the size of my green waste container. Thankfully, the City is now emptying them on a weekly basis. Yay!


message 21: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (last edited May 04, 2019 09:17AM) (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Petra wrote: "I finished preparing my "holding" bed. Now I have a place to store plants I want to keep while redoing their beds. I've moved in a bamboo plant and a grass (don't know the name of the grass). I spl..."

Way to go Petra! What a lot of work!
But it sounds as if you have a good set up and will get a lot of rewards for your efforts.

I got a bunch of containers for free from the garden shop. This after spending a small fortune on two large planters that have rail in the middle for placement on railings. I hope the sun blazes today so I can finish scrubbing and rinsing my cache.

My arugula is looking leggy but still too small to transplant. The lettuce has almost caught up.

Megan, what herbs are you planning to grow? I have basil germinating

Ellie wrote:
I might try it although even mung beans died on me.

that does sound tragic but in fact mung beans are tricky to sprout. Most everything else is a lot easier to get started and you can even buy babies to give a head start. However my biggest thrill is when the seed emerges and the early efforts of the seedlings.



message 22: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments I have 6 pots for an indoor herb garden. We still don’t have any plants for sale out here because it’s still snowing. I assume after may long weekend the garden Centers will be ready


message 23: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments From another post you just wrote I gather that winter is over and now summer is on in Edmonton. Good that you have got some time off. Hope you got your herbs in. You dont need that much energy after the initial effort, especially if you can get some help with lugging home huge sacks of earth, and certainly not for watching the seeds emerge and grow. Patience yes, and equanimity.
yesterday i transplanted the lettuce and the arugula all to their own little pot. They all seemed to surive. and the nastursiums! happy to have room to grow.

MaryAnne that so sucks that critters got your peas and beans. Hope you have figured out a way to deal with them I think they get used to the essential oils. Blocking access is the best solution but thats not always possible.

So...whats a good natural spray against aphids and spider mites, that one can make at home?


message 24: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Petra thats hideous what you found under the stump was it? Is that the tree that gave you so many problems?
But dont push yourself too hard to finish by a tight deadline because remember in gardening one never is really finished and so often, like you are doing or usually less dramatic, having to go back quite a bit before its possible to go forward. Im thinking of double digging especially and disinfecting pots.
Planting by the moon is so great, there are even included days to do nothing


message 25: by Petra (last edited May 09, 2019 06:56PM) (new)

Petra | 779 comments Magdelanye, this one looks promising:
https://kailyardnkitchen.blogspot.com...


Yes, the stump is from the tree that I cut down earlier this spring.

Contractors leave their junk wherever it falls. It's really a bad habit and shouldn't be allowed. Surprisingly, the 2 owners of this house before us must have never dug in the garden. That doesn't bode well for the other 3 beds on this side of the house.

Luckily, I have time and am just plodding away on this project. One bed at a time, that's my goal.

Magdelanye, I'm not pushing myself, I promise you that. I don't want my back to go out or to hurt myself in any way. I muck about until I feel like I've had enough, clean up the area and stop. It ends up being about 2-3 hours, which I quite enjoy......well, not really the tugging at roots and fighting with clay part.

On the good side, I've found a few large rocks to use as accent pieces later on. One pays big bucks for "decorator" rocks and I found them dug down in my flower bed. LOL...….

One does sometimes have to go backwards in order to move forward. This is one of those times.

Here's a picture of the bed when I started this morning:

description


message 26: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (last edited May 10, 2019 11:12PM) (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments ‘Muerte Caliente’ for aphids, thrips, spider mites

2-3 Garlic Cloves

6 large or 12 Small Hot Chili Peppers (or 1-2 Tbs hot chili powder)

1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Natural Liquid Detergent or Soap
4 cups Water
3-4 cups for Dilution
Thanks Petra for pointing this out


message 27: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Petra how did you post the picture?

I see a gorgeous flowering bush somewhere


message 28: by Petra (last edited May 11, 2019 08:00AM) (new)

Petra | 779 comments The picture has to be uploaded to my profile.

Then I use the html code:
< img src="https://www.goodreads.com/image..." width="40" height="100" alt="description"/ >

Then go to the picture, click on "largest picture" and copy that URL. Paste it between the " " of that code.
(I had to put spaces between < and img, as well as between / and > in order to be able to post the code. Remove the spaces).

Then fiddle with the width and height numbers to make the size right. The picture I posted is width="250" and height "250".

The flowers are bulbs popping up around another plant that will have yellow flowers throughout the summer. I don't know the names of either.


message 29: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Petra wrote: "The picture has to be uploaded to my profile.

Then I use the html code:


Then go to the picture, click on "largest picture" and copy that URL. Paste it between the " " of that code.
(I had to ..."


yikes! that is a lot of fiddly detail. I know that once I was able to do it but it was from a facebook link and it took a long time to disentangle fb from my GR account.Ellie and Ice might remember me flipping out when they started importing friends.

That said, I will look forward to you posting pictorial updates on the space. How fun it will be to watch the unknown flowers bloom.


message 30: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments I've been using this on the weeds growing on the driveway for a couple of years now. It works like a charm but doesn't kill the roots, so the weeds do come back.


Shell Busey's Homemade Weed Killer

Mix the following ingredients together:

4 cups (1 Litre) of white vinegar
1/4 cup (50 mL) of table salt
2 tsp (10 mL) of your favorite liquid dish soap

Put this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on your weeds when it is sunny and hot out.

NOTE: Remember, this formula really works and is only recommended for driveways, sidewalks and the like. If you spray it onto the weeds in your lawn, you are going to kill the grass too and create a big ugly brown spot.


message 31: by Mary (new)

Mary | 203 comments Hi all - this section is fun to read. I used to have a huge garden and grew all the family's veggies. Backthen, i used to have a wringer washer ad could lead the water out to the garden in the summer and the squash loved it. I have always grown organic.
Now I have plants mostly in pots. Herbs I bought as small plants: tomatoes, thyme, lavender, rosemary, coriander, vietnamese coriander, russian and spanish tarragon, basil, oregano, peppermint, and some violas for their pretty and tasty little flowers.
I started from seed green pole beans to climb up my painting easel that I treated for being outside, kale, tomatoes, zucchini, catnip, and loads of basil.
A tenant in the building left, and thus left behind control of some garden patch along the fence! So this year I can plant some things in the ground. The landlord took apart a compost bin and put the innards on another section along the fence so I get even more space to plant. I dug all the earth where I will plant the kale, tomatoes and zucchini and maybe put them in the ground next week.
To get rid of weeds in a driveway, I found that boiling water worked and no salt or soap to mar the driveway. To get rid of weeds in the garden, either get a few chickens or weed by hand to fill up the compost bin with weeds for great earth.
There is nothing like fresh herbs for salads.


message 32: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments I tried the aphid spray without the chilies and I think the plants will live. So are the driveway weeds...maybe needs repeat applications. I will try the hot water trick
This morning I was finally transplanting the strawbwerries - was waiting for right conditions and today it seemed the rain was done and it was pleasantly cool, but halfway through it started to pour so I have half a planter done. Is it a bad thing to transplant in the rain?

Fresh herbs are great indeed; but take so long to start from seed I usually buy babies. I do have some basil germinating, MaryAnne you say you've got basil from seed, how long did it take?

I love watching the first leaves pushing up through the earth
Some seem so shy and tentative and some just burst forth.
Yesterday I thinned a couple of mustard sprouts. For something so tiny they were pungent!


message 33: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments We went and purchased plants for the flower bed (picture above) yesterday. Today we arranged them on the bed and I planted them this afternoon. I think they'll look good once they grow and fill in.

One day soon, I'll put mulch on the bed and then it'll be completely finished. I'll post an update picture tomorrow.


message 34: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments congratulations Petra what a pleasant accomplishment!
look forward to seeing photos.
Today was an optimum day for transplanting. I got a couple of planters of salad greens done and some of the wee ones that may be kale may be mustard greens or mizuma but most of those I left till they get a couple more leaves.


message 35: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments @Petra I'm super impressed!!!

My mom came up last week and planted my planters for me, so I have geraniums and petunias in the 4 planters of in my backyard and 2 hostas and 2 ferns in the shady planter in my front yard. Now to keep them all alive!


message 36: by Petra (last edited May 31, 2019 09:25AM) (new)

Petra | 779 comments Good morning!
Here's a picture of the new flowerbed. The plants are small but will hopefully grow quickly.
This is looking from the opposite direction of the picture above. It's looking from the back of the bed towards the street.

description

While digging, I noticed that there were no worms in that bed (I found 2). I read somewhere that putting coffee grounds into the earth will attract them, so I put some in one corner to see if it would work.
About a week later, I saw indications of a mole! The tunnel went right to where the coffee grounds were put. Since then, no new mole activity.
I did a quick search and found that moles really enjoy a meal of worms. I guess the coffee grounds did attract the poor critters, which then alerted some mole. Poor worms. I won't try that again but the bed won't have worms either. That's too bad.


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary | 203 comments Lovely beds of garden Petra. It is fun to watch plants grow and produce leaves or fruit for us to eat.


message 38: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments Thanks, Mary Anne. I hope the plants grow quickly and fill up that space.

I've chosen the next bed to start clearing out and have lifted some paving stones out of it. I'm ready to start on Wednesday. I think (and hope) that the clearing of the bed will go easier than that front bed.

I've also started clearing a small bed at the back of the house. The railway tie retaining wall is rotted and the weedy plants have overgrown into the lawn.
Now......how do I remove the railway ties and spikes? I hope that if I break away the rotten ties, I can eventually pull out the spike.


message 39: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments If anyone is interested, Home Depot has 56.6L bags of bark mulch on for 3 bags for $10. It comes in 3 colours/shades: brown, red, black.

I've finished clearing out the second bed at the side of the house and added chicken manure today. Phew! What a smell! I dug it under really quickly and hope the rain will help it blend with the dirt.
Next week is supposed to be warm & dry. I'll plant the bed then.


message 40: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments My news isnt half as good...my landlords back and he he did warn me...the vegetables have got to go. Me too obviously.


message 41: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments Oh no! Magdelanye, that's a shame.

Don't move from your lovely cabin if you don't need to. It sounds like such a lovely retreat and home. I can't imagine that your landlord wants you to leave. Stay if you can.


message 42: by Megan (new)

Megan  | 224 comments @Magdelanye, you have to move? or you don't want to live there without your veggies? Either way, it's not great. Really sorry. :(


message 43: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments the vegetable wars are not over here but things have calmed down somewhat and I am now working on a month to month arrangement with the landlord. Thing is, nothing he says can be trusted or counted on. So I am looking for a place but I dont think I'm evicted.

And the vegetables! The strawberries and the beans never did recover but the tomatoe plant did and has little green fruit ripening. The greens are awesome, except the kale I planted in a bad mood on an astrologically iffy day.

Now for some updates from all you gardeners!
MaryAnne did you get more beans in?


message 44: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments I'm glad to hear that things are calming down for you, Magdelanye. I do find it hard to think that a landlord would evict a good, solid tenant for growing vegetables. That is very odd thinking. I'm glad that he's coming around. Too bad about not trusting his word.
I hope you find a new and stable home quickly. Are you planning on staying in that area?

I've started digging out Flowerbed #3. Step-dad and I are currently on our road trip but I will get back to the digging next week.


message 45: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 740 comments You may have noticed my quiet prescence, even though 50 years have passed since my namesake landed on the moon.

My wife celebrated 23 years survivorship from her breast cancer on the 4th July, sadly on the very same day she passed away. I had 23 years more than I might have had. In September we will hold a service of celebration, and will be taking her ashes to Gozo (her favourite island) to scatter next month.

She's in a better place, even though her passing has left a hole in so many people's lives. Which I am trying to fill by giving them many tasks at present.

As ever I am continuing to work most days, re-learning housework and gardening ! The youngest grandson is concerned that I can't cook and don't eat many vegetables !!


message 46: by Petra (new)

Petra | 779 comments Ice, my condolences to you and your family. I cannot express how sad this news makes me. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.


message 47: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 740 comments Thanks, we have had a bumper crop of Potatoes this year, grandma's special touch.


message 48: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2245 comments Ice Bear, this is harsh news!
It seems you have come to terms with this but I know how difficult it must be feeling obliged to be strong. It's a good thing that you have someone around to remind you to eat your vegetables!
Thank you for sharing your sad news.
Take care


message 49: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 740 comments Part 1 of seemingly many events is over, next up scattering of ashes, then celebration service in September.....


message 50: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1217 comments Ice wrote: "You may have noticed my quiet prescence, even though 50 years have passed since my namesake landed on the moon.

My wife celebrated 23 years survivorship from her breast cancer on the 4th July, sad..."


Ice, I haven't been following this thread so I missed your very sad news. I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you have others like your grandson to be with you but it must be terribly hard right now. My condolences to you and your family.


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