Let's Talk about Gardens

Posted by Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor @rosemarya, Mar 31, 2020

Spring is on it’s way and many of us are looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather and being outdoors…and gardens!
Perhaps you look forward to digging in the fresh spring time soil as you prepare for a summer garden? Do you plant flowers? Do you plant vegetables?
Do you garden for enjoyment? Do you garden for health benefits? What do you want to share about your garden?

My gardening work actually is a year round responsibility. The cows and horses generate compost that I put in a place to cure for a year and then I dig into the planting hills, along with the kitchen compost that goes out there year round, where I plant cucumbers, various squash and in rows where I plant onions (already in), tomatoes and peppers. I got the tomato and pepper starts from the greenhouse between home and town. They're in the cellar under grow lights until the end of May when the danger of frost is past (usually). I need to look in my seed drawer and see what I need. I bought seed potatoes the other day and need to get them in the ground.

I put out soaker hoses in the garden and have watered a couple of times, but yesterday we had 2/10 of an inch of much needed rain. I'm still working on my riding mower, now waiting for a new drive belt which I hope will get me going. Walking behind my mower is too pain generating, given that I have around 10,000 square feet of lawn. My garden area that's fenced is 50×50'.

Gardening is a fair amount of work, but it's mixed with a lot of pleasure. My beds of phlox are blooming, daffodils are opening, iris are starting, fruit trees are in bloom, grape hyacinths and forsythia and the peonies are pushing up their new stalks. It's nice to see these harbingers of spring.

Jim

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Wow, Jim. I got a thrill just reading about your garden!

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@lioness

@gingerw Goodmorning . Good soil is the first thing . After you till it to break up the clogs then a good fertilizer is need work it into the soil ,my husband did this then plant the seed whatever you want . Way before this in the winter we planned out garden the space we would need . Then just watch it grow . Have fun I had a embroidered piece at home that said Your closer to God when you in the garden

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@lioness There are spots of good soil, then areas of clay. I am such a neophyte when it comes to all this.! I want to go visit @jimhd and learn from him!! I went in to town this morning, and saw all kinds of flowers at the nursery, but couldn't bring myself to get some. I have no amendments. Guess I should start with that.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@lioness There are spots of good soil, then areas of clay. I am such a neophyte when it comes to all this.! I want to go visit @jimhd and learn from him!! I went in to town this morning, and saw all kinds of flowers at the nursery, but couldn't bring myself to get some. I have no amendments. Guess I should start with that.
Ginger

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@gingerw Good soil is certainly a key. Depending on how large a space you have, you can get amendments by the bag. You might send samples of soil taken from different places on your property to a field agency, and get their recommendations. I get mulch by the yard – I get it from a local supplier who lets me use their dump trailer, which holds 3 yards.

Jim

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@gingerw

@lioness There are spots of good soil, then areas of clay. I am such a neophyte when it comes to all this.! I want to go visit @jimhd and learn from him!! I went in to town this morning, and saw all kinds of flowers at the nursery, but couldn't bring myself to get some. I have no amendments. Guess I should start with that.
Ginger

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Ginger, Local nurseries are the best because they have plants that are appropriate for your location. I have found it is helpful to talk to the locals and ask how they prepped their soil which is like yours. (or was like yours)

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@jimhd

@gingerw Good soil is certainly a key. Depending on how large a space you have, you can get amendments by the bag. You might send samples of soil taken from different places on your property to a field agency, and get their recommendations. I get mulch by the yard – I get it from a local supplier who lets me use their dump trailer, which holds 3 yards.

Jim

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@jimhd I was pulling weeds from along the driveway and sidewalk this morning. The area tips downhill, so previous owners used Oregon rock to line the edges to help erosion. Yep, a lot of clay under it all. I am thinking to get an above-ground compost/garden bed combo to get going for next year. We will have grass clippings, leaves, bark from our downed trees to mix in with mulch/dirt.
@rosemary Yes, except we don't have anything local. Unless local is 25 miles away ;)) I do need to find ugly smelling flowers, as the deer around here are very happy to much on pretty much anything. This morning a young one was in our yard "helping" trim the trees just budding out.
Wonder if there is a "Composting for dummies" book…
Ginger

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Today I weeded and prepped a border of one of my flower beds, added some well aged manure and planted potatoes. I like to plant them as part of the landscaping because they're both productive and nice looking. I did mow the orchard with the walk behind because it's kind of tight quarters for the 48" deck of my rider. It needed to be mowed today before the weeds went to seed. Our place is overrun with goatheads this year, but way too much work to rake them all out. All I can do is try to keep the gardens clean. They do rake up quite easily with the back of a garden rake. I wish the deer would discover them and think they're a delicacy.

I've used several things as compost, depending on what was available for free or cheap. One year when we lived in town I got some manure from animals that had eaten sugar beets. My garden had a bumper crop of sugar beets that year. I've used hulls and trash from a seed mill, and from a nut mill.

I'd better quit writing and go to sleep so I'll have the energy to dig weeds tomorrow. I can only say tomorrow for 6 more minutes.

Jim

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@jimhd I enjoy reading about your gardening and also envy that you have the space. I have an 8' x 6' which is a V shape. Not much room, but it is something and my perennials are doing well. Will likely cut my Zebra grasses back as I leave them all winter-I like the added privacy. There are no weeds to deal with as I managed to discourage them. Also mostly shade. Yup, those Hosta are growing like weeds. Hoping to be able to get bedding plants or things will be dull this summer. Did not bother with trying seeds this Spring. Will see what happens. I don't plant annuals until after Mother's Day in this area. We are called zone 5, but I have learned it is more zone 6.
I do miss the smell of manure. A comforting aroma for an old farm kid.
I hope your rest was refreshing so you can pull more weeds. I always liked pulling weeds. I cannot even use a shovel now as last Spring mine bucked me off and I landed on my hind side. I laughed and once again realized my own limitations.

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@gingerw

@jimhd I was pulling weeds from along the driveway and sidewalk this morning. The area tips downhill, so previous owners used Oregon rock to line the edges to help erosion. Yep, a lot of clay under it all. I am thinking to get an above-ground compost/garden bed combo to get going for next year. We will have grass clippings, leaves, bark from our downed trees to mix in with mulch/dirt.
@rosemary Yes, except we don't have anything local. Unless local is 25 miles away ;)) I do need to find ugly smelling flowers, as the deer around here are very happy to much on pretty much anything. This morning a young one was in our yard "helping" trim the trees just budding out.
Wonder if there is a "Composting for dummies" book…
Ginger

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@gingerw Have you checked youtube for composting for dummies? I have done so in a 5 gallon bucket. I layer green and brown. Easiest info I can give.

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@parus

@gingerw Have you checked youtube for composting for dummies? I have done so in a 5 gallon bucket. I layer green and brown. Easiest info I can give.

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@parus I think I am going to order a raised bed garden from Costco, that is 4'x4', with a center receptacle for composting stuff. Never thought of youtube, thanks for that tip! Now to figure out where in the yard will be best for setting up that raised bed. We have an area that gets full sun since we cut the cedar trees down, another area that gets partial shade because the huge/tall trees in empty lot next door shade a big area, and another area that is mostly shade.
@jimhd I am following your gardening progress, since we share the same state. Today we expect showers later today. Yesterday i pulled a bucket of weeds from the area next to sidewalk. Like you, I wish the deer would find some of these weeds tasty. Hmm, maybe we need to rent a goat?!
Ginger

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@parus

@jimhd I enjoy reading about your gardening and also envy that you have the space. I have an 8' x 6' which is a V shape. Not much room, but it is something and my perennials are doing well. Will likely cut my Zebra grasses back as I leave them all winter-I like the added privacy. There are no weeds to deal with as I managed to discourage them. Also mostly shade. Yup, those Hosta are growing like weeds. Hoping to be able to get bedding plants or things will be dull this summer. Did not bother with trying seeds this Spring. Will see what happens. I don't plant annuals until after Mother's Day in this area. We are called zone 5, but I have learned it is more zone 6.
I do miss the smell of manure. A comforting aroma for an old farm kid.
I hope your rest was refreshing so you can pull more weeds. I always liked pulling weeds. I cannot even use a shovel now as last Spring mine bucked me off and I landed on my hind side. I laughed and once again realized my own limitations.

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@parus I've been having trouble with losing my balance when I'm digging. My poor plants. I've stepped on them, sat down in them and fallen down onto them. For the most part I seem to land on perennials and other things that can survive such mistreatment. When that happens I'm reminded to pay more attention to what I'm doing.

It's kind of drizzling periodically today. Not very conducive to working outside. I spent a few minutes arranging the soaker hose on the potato bed, and along the way pulled a few weeds. I hardly ever walk outside without pulling a few weeds. I have to restrain myself from weeding out weeds in landscaping around stores.

My hostas are just starting to poke up out of the dirt. I'm afraid mine aren't as healthy and prolific as yours. Most of them are on the north side of my house where the sun never shines. I suspect that part of the problem is that the ground is cooler there, so my dog likes to lie down there. I should probably put up some sort of barrier. And they might benefit from a layer of mulch.

My fenced garden is 45×50', and the orchard around 20×50' ., and the lawn is just under half an acre. I've created for myself a permanent job position. But as jobs go, it's both therapeutic and enjoyable to look at.

It looks like the rain has stopped, so I should get back to work.

Happy gardening.

Jim

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@gingerw

@parus I think I am going to order a raised bed garden from Costco, that is 4'x4', with a center receptacle for composting stuff. Never thought of youtube, thanks for that tip! Now to figure out where in the yard will be best for setting up that raised bed. We have an area that gets full sun since we cut the cedar trees down, another area that gets partial shade because the huge/tall trees in empty lot next door shade a big area, and another area that is mostly shade.
@jimhd I am following your gardening progress, since we share the same state. Today we expect showers later today. Yesterday i pulled a bucket of weeds from the area next to sidewalk. Like you, I wish the deer would find some of these weeds tasty. Hmm, maybe we need to rent a goat?!
Ginger

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@gingerw

I've thought about goats, and though it would be fun to watch them, like deer, they aren't very selective about what they eat.

Jim

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