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The Garden 2021

Old 03-11-21, 10:43 AM
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The Garden 2021

54 milk jugs started (Winter Sowing) several weeks ago. Most are natives. Not sure where I'm gonna go with all of them; I'll likely give some stuff away. I had six yards of wood chips (Free!) dropped off a little over a month ago. My front yard will be mostly wood chips with flowers and herbs this season. Less stupid grass to mow. Yay!
My 2020 garden kept me sane. It also kept me off the bike (only two rides all last season). Gardening is a wee bit addictive.
Have y'all got your green wheels turning yet?
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Old 03-11-21, 01:31 PM
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I started tomatoes, peppers indoors the weekend before last. All the tomatoes have sprouted. Still waiting on some of the peppers and eggplant (which I started yesterday).
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Old 03-11-21, 03:45 PM
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Working on a raised bed garden... I may have been a bit ambitious... I bought enough wood to make 4 enclosed beds of 4 feet X 8 feet... but as I look at my garden space, and the need for walk around room... that may be a bit too much.

I raised some great tomatoes several years ago, but two years back, a rabbit decided that my garden was his smorgasbord. This year I have better fencing.

I want tomatoes, peppers, a zuk or two, not sure after that.

I also have two well established hop plants... I did a brew with the hops from that two years ago, and hope to do it again, only this time with the understanding that fresh hops are quite strong.... no doubt I should use them to dry hop in the end, vice in the boil. (I missed my hop harvest season last year due to being in the wrong state at the wrong time and not being able to travel).
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Old 03-11-21, 05:51 PM
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The squirrel keeps digging everything up. The guard cat has realized the squirrel is too fast and he'll never catch him, so he stopped trying and spends his time patrolling for birds instead.
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Old 03-12-21, 10:57 AM
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My arms still hurt after trying to save my sago plants. I think they will make it and this time I’m not letting them over grow. The bulb in the center is ok so I’m confident they survived. Find out in a few months.

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Old 03-12-21, 11:13 AM
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Is that a voodoo doll?
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Old 03-12-21, 11:41 AM
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Yes, it took about a pint of blood and several pin holes in my arms. I need to take a hatchet to the rest of the stems but not today lol.
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Old 03-12-21, 01:02 PM
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Wow, looks like rhubarb stalks with pickers, and on steroids. Is any part of it edible? Oh, I see it's a palm. Cool!
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Old 03-12-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
My arms still hurt after trying to save my sago plants. I think they will make it and this time Iím not letting them over grow. The bulb in the center is ok so Iím confident they survived. Find out in a few months.

I used to trim tropical trees that are kept in atriums and such. I have literally seen birds and small animals impaled on Sago and Phoenix palms. Drawn blood from myself many times.
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Old 03-12-21, 05:04 PM
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My outdoor mouser Little Girl Cat is angry these plants are one of her favorite hunting grounds. Cat would hide inside the plants and ambush birds or whatever she wanted to kill.
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Old 03-13-21, 02:18 PM
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I just sowed 50 sunflower seeds and a few eggplants. Then collected a bunch of leaves to make leaf mold and just a bunch of stuff to prepare for more plantings. Going on a tomorrow for recuperation
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Old 03-20-21, 06:52 AM
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Very windy day today and I heard my front screen door banging in the wind, I had to open the door to remove a branch from the doorway and I heard a knocking sound about 15 feet directly in front of me, so I kept looking and all of a sudden a pileated woodpecker jumped to the top of the log he was knocking on with a grub the size of my largest finger in its mouth. He laid it on top of the log and stabbed it a few times with his beak and then ate it whole.

I wish I had my camera

This is a photo of another woodpecker from a couple years ago working on a log in my front yard...I got logs all over the place just for the woodpeckers.




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Old 03-21-21, 06:33 AM
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I'd love to have a garden, but I want to do it right. Thirty years ago, we bought this house, and removed 14 trees that were keeping the house completely shaded. Nice and cool, but it also promoted mold. So I cleared out those trees and opened things up. Its much nicer, but that was 30 years ago, and the trees around the edges of my clearing have grown exponentially, and now cast long shadows. Any one spot on my house and lawn is lucky to get 4 hours of sunlight over the course of a summer day. Not enough light to grow anything worthwhile imho, so I dont. What I really want to do is to clear land and have stumps removed, and plant fruit trees.
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Old 03-21-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Very windy day today and I heard my front screen door banging in the wind, I had to open the door to remove a branch from the doorway and I heard a knocking sound about 15 feet directly in front of me, so I kept looking and all of a sudden a pileated woodpecker jumped to the top of the log he was knocking on with a grub the size of my largest finger in its mouth. He laid it on top of the log and stabbed it a few times with his beak and then ate it whole.

I wish I had my camera

This is a photo of another woodpecker from a couple years ago working on a log in my front yard...I got logs all over the place just for the woodpeckers.
Beautiful pics
I've never seen a pileated in person. It's not quite woodsy enough in my neighborhood to entice them. Although there are some Downy and Red Belly that frequent my feeders.
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Old 03-21-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
I'd love to have a garden, but I want to do it right. Thirty years ago, we bought this house, and removed 14 trees that were keeping the house completely shaded. Nice and cool, but it also promoted mold. So I cleared out those trees and opened things up. Its much nicer, but that was 30 years ago, and the trees around the edges of my clearing have grown exponentially, and now cast long shadows. Any one spot on my house and lawn is lucky to get 4 hours of sunlight over the course of a summer day. Not enough light to grow anything worthwhile imho, so I dont. What I really want to do is to clear land and have stumps removed, and plant fruit trees.
How about some modest container gardening? Place them in the primo spot. Also, as I understand it, lettucey things do better without full sun...especially early season when temps are a bit cooler--they thrive.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:08 AM
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I love potatoes, but I can't grow them too well here, because of the heat and the cold. Potatoes are a finicky crop to grow here in Fl, because they don't like the heat, but they also can't take the cold, like all the brassicas I grow, so the growing window is very short. However, I've been following this guy for a while and he grows a lot of non-traditional crops and I've found them to be a very good substitute for potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite and they grow like a weed down here.

Here he (David the Good) just did a video on Yams and I think that'll be my next crop to try, it's more like a potato. This guy is now gardening in Alabama and he has some of the worst soil he's been trying to build up, so I've been following him on that front, since building soil is one of my most favorite things about gardening. He also has a very active website, called the Survival Gardener. https://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/

Interesting guy, if anyone is looking for an out-of-the-ordinary gardener to follow. Below is his most recent video on Yams

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Old 03-23-21, 02:48 PM
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Finally got a video of a pileated woodpecker hunting for and then eating a grub from one of the logs I put around my yard. Also there was a Red-bellied woodpecker that seemed to dive bomb him -- not sure what was up with that.

Be sure to turn on your speakers.


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Old 05-17-21, 12:11 PM
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Holy carp. Look at the switchblades on that dude! Titanium or CF?

In other news, I just direct-sowed five rows of various new-to-me plants. Borage, Daikon radish, Red globe radish, Arugula, Leaf lettuce, Detroit beets, Chioggia beets, Rutabaga, Collards, and Pak Choi, Also got a basic (but better) irrigation (soaker hose) setup in place. Hopefully the birds don't gobble my new seeds.
No tomatoes yet. I got a very late start seed-starting those. They won't go in for another two weeks or so. All in all, I'm looking forward to some rewarding roughage.

Also expanded the two beds in the front yard to swallow more native flowers, and various herbs. It's soooh addictive.
Now all we need is rain. It'd been crazy dry here. Also gotta install my two rain barrels
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Old 05-17-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Finally got a video of a pileated woodpecker hunting for and then eating a grub from one of the logs I put around my yard. Also there was a Red-bellied woodpecker that seemed to dive bomb him -- not sure what was up with that.

Be sure to turn on your speakers.


https://youtu.be/buy5Vbd9ipM
Excellent! Thank you so much for that. What a treat!
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Old 05-17-21, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
My arms still hurt after trying to save my sago plants. I think they will make it and this time Iím not letting them over grow. The bulb in the center is ok so Iím confident they survived. Find out in a few months.

That does appear a bit ambitious... they really are quite likely to push out new "fronds" though.

I helped a friend a while back with some sagos (Cycas revoluta) at his house... those were about 6 feet tall and had copious "pups" surrounding them... he wanted to trim them back, and remove the pups. "Make it look a lot more architectural." Also he was concerned as the pups are low, and he did not want his dogs chewing on those or the seeds... which can be poisonous to dogs.

We ended up with some 30 or so caudexes, and I was told to take what I wanted. At the time I was traveling in my RV trailer, so I only took 5. 3 of them sprouted nicely.

I told him to put the rest in dirt and water them, and he would soon have a crop to trade with others. About half of them made it. (I suspect "casual" watering...).

These are robust plants and can take a brief freeze. They look great in the house at the moment.

I think your plants will come back quite nicely. I usually trim them tighter than what you did, as the remaining bits can be quite sharp.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Finally got a video of a pileated woodpecker hunting for and then eating a grub from one of the logs I put around my yard. Also there was a Red-bellied woodpecker that seemed to dive bomb him -- not sure what was up with that.

Be sure to turn on your speakers.


https://youtu.be/buy5Vbd9ipM
Oh, look at his tongue! (Whilst ignoring the fact that he's slurping up nasty slimy grub innards.)
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Old 05-19-21, 06:26 AM
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They're planning to ban peat, which is a common ingredient in potting soils. I've never used it, but some really like the stuff. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland...lands-57159649

Here are some ideas to make your own potting soil.


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Old 05-25-21, 10:11 PM
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My wife's bitter melon (aka Ampalaya) sprouts and succulents. Ampalaya is a vine, thus the trellis.



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Old 05-31-21, 07:10 AM
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Red Russian Kale

I planted Russian Kale late last year (first time) with a bunch of other brassicas, which have all bolted by now and mostly died; however, my Russian kale plant hasn't even bolted as of yet. It has been a relatively mild/cool spring, but the weather has started to get hot, but the kale looks fine. It was drooping, but after watering it, which I haven't done for a very long time, it did perk up.

Anyone grow this plant before from a growing zone of about 9 -- I'm in hardiness zone 9a? Does it take a very long time (normally) for this plant to flower?

P.S. It's a pretty cool looking plant with the blue-green foliage with purple stems, so I'm not complaining, just curious, since I've never seen a brassica not bolt so late in the season.




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Old 06-24-21, 04:48 PM
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I was chopping and dropping a bunch of dying plants and I actually found a broccoli plant within all the growth I cut down and it actually had broccoli with flower buds on it. That's crazy, broccoli sprouts on June 24th in Florida. Every night I go out and chop up some greens from my yard for a salad and today I got to add broccoli flower buds

I'm guessing the shading provided by the surrounding plants allowed the broccoli to not only live, but produce a flower head.


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