The 2020 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by annr, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Oh, that is terrible news about Daisy. She was well loved. I know you'll miss her.

    Hope you're right on the Spring thing. To me, March 1st is the beginning of Spring. I also picked up some Crocosmia (Lucifer) at WM the other day. Been looking for them and probably will plant them this coming week during the next warm spell. I really don't have a suitable spot for Glads.
     
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  2. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    OK - if I post it here - they will grow! I think that's the magic chant. Here are two heirloom tomato seeds (catalogue pic) that I've chosen for old fashioned taste, not looks. Indeterminate 70 to 78 days ... trusting they will be worth the wait in my growing zone.

    IMG_20200302_0001 HEIRLOOM TOMATOES 650 MED.jpg

    Also on order are seeds for a flavourful pink beefsteak - 80 days, which is pushing it. to offset the wait I've ordered one aptly called Red Racer - described as cocktail size that is super early, determinate, maturing in 57 days from transplant.

    My plan is to really work the garden soil, manage the watering much better than in past years ... and test out these varieties for harvest and a little experimentation fun. There, it's posted - make it so :D

    Radio this morning speaks of tornadoes in TN. Hope all well @22-rimfire. Is this a season that can generally see tornadoes there?
     
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  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Spring is THE season for tornadoes in the South; March especially. The tornado(s) hit just north of the downtown portion of Nashville and towns immediately East of there (~just north of the I-40 corridor).

    25 fatalities so far. These night time tornadoes are serious stuff. Anyway, all is well in my neck of the woods. We had HIGH winds at about 7:30-8:00 AM ET (near horizontal rain). Blew some of my step ladders down that I had leaning against the house... normal wind stuff. Ruined my flag... bent the aluminum pole into an L. Checked on my Sister but she is out of town. But the tornadoes were North of where she lives in Nashville.

    I think you'll like those varieties. I just don't have good light conditions for growing tomato plants from seed. They have always gotten tall and spindley.

    After the rain late last week, the warmer temps hit and we're around 60*F at the moment. Supposed to stay pretty warm until Friday night. I planted my onion sets in the same soil in the City Pickers container yesterday. Didn't feel like dumping the old out.

    Added: The storm path was about 150 miles West to East with the tornado on the ground in the Nashville vicinity for more than 10 miles. It started near the Tennessee River (Camden) and tracked all the way East to just North of Knoxville TN. The tornado was rated an EF3 in the Nashville area. Cookeville TN got it particularly bad (EF4) where there were 18 deaths and I believe 20-something people missing (most found). Houses were simply leveled. A umber of the more serious injury cases were transported to my city hospital. They have pretty good hospitals here. They are saying that there were 4 tornadoes associated with this storm path.

    I think it is a good thing to take a young indestructible boy to see some of these things..... especially if they have any idea of what it looked like before the twister hit. They need to learn that they aren't as indestructible as they might think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  4. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    @taldesta

    My mouth is watering now just hearing about those juicy tomatoes. I believe public posting or verbalization of said plans will optimize probability of desired outcome.:D
     
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  5. Shann

    Shann

    Sep 2, 2004
    Aerating a lawn? Has anyone ever rented a machine and aerated their lawn? I have a fenced in area for part of my yard, about a half acre, that is very bumpy and uneven. Not to the point of filling in holes or needing an excavator, etc. From what I've read, aerating could help. I've seen the walk behind machines but haven't ever used one.

    This is an old yard, house is probably 150 years old. The yard was probably used for grazing for 100 years, and the last 50 have just been mowed lawn and I've done nothing else for the last 25. I'm not interested in a carpet, just not something that feels somewhat uneven or rough to walk on.

    Thanks!
     
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I rent the core type aerator (walk behind) generally every two years and do my yard. I then over seed. Usually do this in the early fall of the year (September-October). I skipped last year as we were in the midst of a severe drought at the time and I didn't want to be watering a couple times a day (time and cost).

    The powered aerators will level out your yard a bit and you can spend more time on the high spots chewing them up and then perhaps rake the soil into the lower areas. I think it will work for you. Our local Ace Hardware store rents the machines and I can usually knock my yard out in about half a day so I don't even pay for a full day rental in most cases. I would say that you can expect a long day on a half acre depending on how often you go over the areas.

    The machines beat you to death, so be prepared for some physical activity.
     
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  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Depends where you are located (geographically). But in general, tomatoes planted from seed are done about 60 days prior to when you intend to plant them in the garden. So, if you plant in April normally (after the last frost) it is time to plant the tomato seeds in pots/planters. You plant cucumbers after the last killing frost in the spring. Of course you can start them indoors in pots if you like.

    Added: Do a search on USDA Plant hardiness zones for your area. Same goes for average last frost in the Spring and first killing frost in the fall. Dave's Garden website does nicely. Why is this important? It gives you a guide so you can determine what plants and trees will normally survive winters in your area. Average last frost will usually be a range of dates with percentages. For me it's April 1st with 50/50 chance of frost after that point. I will cover the plants if I need to if it gets cold enough to freeze if I plant early. Absolute normal last frost is April 17th here.

    Welcome to the garden thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  8. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    So many fatalities ... what devastation. You're right - reality is brutal. Long ago I saw the aftermath of a bad hurricane that travelled up the Eastern seaboard from Florida Northward; camped through horrendous winds that dropped my tent but I did luckily stay ahead of or behind the worst of it on my way South. Coastal Florida was flattened; campsites were full of work crews and hydro workers from out of state. Tornadoes must be horrific with their suddenness, especially at night. I can't imagine the terror of it.
     
  9. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Same thoughts here in zone 4A but snow is still deep :eek: and last frost is "24th of May" for planting out.

    Often seed packs give instructions for early results - that is ... planting indoors anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks prior to last frost. I mark the front of seed packs with the early planting date and order these packets in date order and try my best not to rush to plant (window space on South is in short supply) - but when spring is in the air, I don't always go with sensible. Leggy stems and weak plants can result from rushing as the sunlight filtered through a window has far less strength than direct sunlight.

    Good luck with the garden.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  10. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Petunias are pretty amazing plants, tough and common - probably because they bloom even if not pampered. So this year I noticed a climbing variety and ordered the seeds - has anyone tried climbing petunias? Pic from catalogue.

    IMG_20200302_0002 CLIMBING PETUNIA 650 MED.jpg


    Squirrel update - I have to say my bird feeding system has worked perfectly all last summer, fall and all winter. Jays and grackles are no problem with this feeder design, nor have squirrels been able to breach the smoke pipe used as a baffle.

    But I have been waiting for the big black squirrels to find that the snow drift was high enough and finally made firm enough for a good leap by the warm/freeze cycle of spring. Well, one has.

    Plotting

    DSCF8568 BLACK SQUIRREL SNOW PLOTS AT FEEDER 650 MED.jpg

    Executing

    DSCF8564 BLACK SQUIRREL SNOW ON FEEDER 650 MED.jpg

    This feeder design isn't cooperating with big faced squirrels - not much worth the bother for this guy but I don't want him shooing the chickadees, finches, nuthatches. I'll be glad when the snow drops a foot or two and he loses his springboard!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I like the spreading petunias quite a lot. These could be quite nice along with your other stuff. Go for it!

    I see your pictures of snow and just yesterday I thought to myself, it's time to warm up my little tiller and plant some red beets. That assumes I can get it started as it can be a pain in the butt at times. My red beets were not a complete success last year and I am going to try again. They say to plant red beets 4 weeks before the last killing frost. So, it's time here. Could do the same thing with lettuce and other cold season stuff. The problem is that my garden is small and I have broccoli and scattered onions from last year blocking me from much tilling. Ah... decisions, decisions.

    I have some Columbine that are sending up their bloom shoots now. I need to dig some of those out of my garden and place them some place I actually want them to be. Hyacinths from years past are just about to go into bloom. Spring is starting to "spring" here noticeably. The early wild flowers should start appearing in two weeks in the woods. Love this time of the year!

    Added 3/10/20: Spring has sprung here in Southeast TN. Lots of trees and shrubs going into bloom now. There is no going back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  12. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Yup! Spring has sprung ... snow is down about a foot :D and there are bare patches on the south facing sections of the laneway. This little red ... I'm calling the clogger. As fast as he's nattering at the competition, his little feet are just bouncing up and down on the planter, little arms pumping ... whole body indignation. Spring waltz and chase routine.
    DSCF8588 SQUIRREL CLOGGER PLANTERS SNOW DOWN 650 MED.jpg

    Here's a pic of the river on the 7th - it has been open most of the winter. One more foot of snow down and the canoe may peek through :thumbsup:
    DSCF8571 RIVER OPEN SNOW DOCK 650 MED.jpg
     
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  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta Thanks for the pictures. Definitely moving toward Spring there!

    A couple pictures from yesterday.
    DSC03944eed.jpg DSC03943eed.jpg
     
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  14. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    @22-rimfire what time of day is the deer image taken? BTW this shot makes me think that daffodils could be the state wildflower!

    Well ... I still have squirrels and chipmunks so my climate envy is in hand :p
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta Early morning; probably 8:15 or so and not long after sunrise. The pictures below should help. It was very foggy first thing in the morning. Very foggy with the doe picture above and the dense fog picture was taken very shortly after the deer. The less fog picture was taken about an hour later and things were clearing up. It is very pretty and makes for nice pictures if you can "see" the potential for images.

    I like this scenic shot a lot with the layering and the bright sunny foreground. Been putting my re-born DSLR camera to work and this is the first time I have actually depended on it (since it died in October). Yes, this was in Cades Cove, Smoky Mt NP. I love that place!
    DSC03953ed.jpg DSC03915eed.jpg

    If I make the effort to spend a day there, I always try to get there just before sunrise. The routine is to stop for breakfast on my way and hope for the best in terms of what I might see or experience. Hiked up to a water falls that I hadn't visited before after I left the Cove.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
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  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    DSC03938c1ed.jpg
    Different doe, but same spot. Kind of interesting in the early morning. I saw a few small bucks that still hadn't dropped their antlers. Most have at this point. Photo opportunities were very limited on them.
     
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  17. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Yes, it's the background haze that made me ask. You've isolated the doe, just enough background to give the feel of the landscape. I enjoy these natural shots a lot. The blue toned fog with tree and receding fence is a moody piece - I could see that enlarged for a wall in a relaxing spa! Good work on the camera recovery - it's doing well.

    The Smokies ... the rolling depth kind of invites a person to hike further in every picture I've ever seen of them. Nice.

    I've had email conformation that my seed order is shipped along with a tracking number - got the pots thawing by the woodburner because I filled them last fall like a good scout.
     
  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Using the library's wifi today - just burned through the second recently purchased (and my last) external modem so no dialup until I resolve this issue. The internal modem blew years ago and I'm sure I've gone through at least 4 external modems

    And then this morning the power went out as well :rolleyes: WHY NOT, EH? Oops, talking Canadian again.

    Yesterday I pulled on my tall snowboots but in fact had to crawl, not walk, across some deep snowbanks because I had spotted what goes for pure gold in fire-starting terms ... a beauty 15" length of birch bark (whole circumference intact) emerging as the snow melted away. Deadfall and held off the ground - the core was rotted out. I am low and actually set more small fires in spring rather than bank the fire overnight. This piece will make enough 'fuses' to last me all of next winter. I know, it's the little things in life :D

    DSCF8591 PAPER BIRCH BARK 15 INCHES 650 MED.jpg
     
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  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I am mostly a day hike guy. I suspect I never see the best spots in the Smokies. But to be quite honest about hiking, I need something other than trudging through miles of open woods to keep my interest up and motivate me to hike. There has to be some natural feature that I am hiking toward and photography just gives me more of an excuse to do it. The blue toned fog was the way the camera reacted to the fog. We are blessed in Middle and East TN with many natural features (abundant waterfalls, mountain streams, and so forth) to keep a outdoors person motivated. But there are many places just as nice throughout the US where you have some mountains. I am not going to burden anyone here with gobs of pictures from there in general. That kind of thing is more for the Outdoors forums.

    Birch bark is good stuff for starting fires!

    Camera recovery..... I didn't even use my new used camera body that is supposed to be "better". I had it attached to a large lens for wildlife, but all the wildlife I saw that was picture worthy was fairly close. May will tell the story in terms of the big lens and its usefulness for me. I call May "bear month" in the Smokies. The cubs are just big enough that the mother bears bring them out where you can see them. They are still small like puppies at that point and to me a fairly magical opportunity to see a normally pretty reclusive animal.

    My older brother said the doe picture was "interesting". Two years ago he would have thought it great, but he has had many more opportunities to take deer pictures in the last couple of years. He does seem to be very focused on birds these days and he has taken some remarkable pictures.

    Might be time to invest in a new computer. They aren't real expensive these days. But you still may need to get a modem.
     
  20. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Am at Laundromat wifi because library closed (covid 19). Checked out new computer, windows 10 last week - good price and - wow - with dialup internal modem! Went in to look it over and ask more questions today and would have walked out happily with it ... except that it is clear that windows 10 requires constant updating (otherwise it will corrupt) which brings dialup into the question. High speed? This would be a costly undertaking, and likely result in a lot more screen time. Also I am told my MS professional suite won't work on w10, nor will my (new to me ancient monitor) plug into a new one. So 1) I could buy laptop, monitor and software and trip to wifi regularly to update or 2) buy external modems with built-in obsolescence in bulk until they don't exist or I reach my expiration date ... whichever comes first :D

    Good news is that (I am told :rolleyes:) my Bluetooth and wireless usb connections for keyboard ad mouse should work in new laptop? Whew ...

    Looks like computers are evolving like printers. Priced to ease the sale, hit 'em hard with ink ... aka accessories!

    Just read the above and I am going for it. I think ...
     

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