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Filthy Hands (A Gardening Thread)

kuba

TRIBE Member
I am horrible at gardening. How can that be? Easy, I suck at it.

However my front yard and bushes has been overrun with weeds. I just had a kid so not much time to do things, and may be I have time now.

Where to start? How to prioritize? Any tools/tips on deweeding? SHould I just let it go and restart next year?

Argh.
 

jocelyn dee

TRIBE Promoter
I am horrible at gardening. How can that be? Easy, I suck at it.

However my front yard and bushes has been overrun with weeds. I just had a kid so not much time to do things, and may be I have time now.

Where to start? How to prioritize? Any tools/tips on deweeding? SHould I just let it go and restart next year?

Argh.
It depends where the weeds are and what you currently have planted.

I am having good luck with covering the beds with a layer of newspaper (maybe 4-6 pages thick) then putting cedar bark mulch on top of that. (I have left some room for the shrubs and decorative grasses).

Before I layed the paper and mulch though I dug up as much weeds as I could then I turned the soil with a spade to expose weed roots to the sun/air to hopefully dry them out and wither them up. In theory though, the paper/mulch should smother any weeds that are currently growing and then act as a barrier so no sun reaches weed seeds so they don't germinate.

This method involves a few hours of work but then (hopefully) you can get by with just watering for the rest of the summer.

(The paper decomposes so you may needs to lay new paper/mulch next year but that's better than spending all summer weeding).

For the dandylions in the lawn I am having good results using "Weed B Gone" it somehow uses iron to kill the weeds but leaves the lawn OK.
 

Aerius Zension

TRIBE Member
I am horrible at gardening. How can that be? Easy, I suck at it.

However my front yard and bushes has been overrun with weeds. I just had a kid so not much time to do things, and may be I have time now.

Where to start? How to prioritize? Any tools/tips on deweeding? SHould I just let it go and restart next year?

Argh.
If you think you don't have much time now, you'll have even less when the kid is older, or you have multiple. Prioritize!

Figure out which kinds of weeds you can live with, and you can live without. Plant a bunch of perennials that will overtake the weeds. Really, you just have to keep at it thru the year with weeds. Depending on where you live, Black-Eyed Susans grow really well with little maintenance, but they can overtake everything. If you like ground covering, try some purple thyme, but again it takes over too. Both love full sun.
 

peko

TRIBE Member


Late in the game this year, so the weeds are huge! Got some portulaca, morning glories and some kind of annual black eyed susans (don't remember the name) although they do return very sparsely the next year. Also sourced some Sweet Williams!

I think I pulled most of my Yarrow out by accident. We were using it as a raccoon deterrent, so I will look around for some more.

There are a quite a few more perennial plants I'd like to invest in and have three more garden areas to develop, so I'm estimating that all of my gardens will be complete in the next 2-3 years.
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
Re: Pumpkins.

The male flowers started to bloom about 3 weeks ago. I never noticed any female flowers, but never really kept an eye out that closely. Yesterday, while looking again - I came across a grapefruit-sized pumpkin I had somehow missed.

i see one or two female buds in a 15ft x 3ft patch currently, and i'll be self polinating thems when i see them to ensure a better chance of yield.

Now my question is...How often do female flowers bloom? Will this be it?
 

greginhali

TRIBE Member
Gardeners please help.
i have a hedge in my front yard. I dont know the type. (Little green leaves. Not cedar.)
I want to trim some of it back, but im worried that it is the wrong time of year. If I trim out the green leaves, will new ones grow back later on?
Thanks for the input. Ill take a picture and post it in the morning.
 

greginhali

TRIBE Member
It is! Nice call.

I want to take it back about a foot on the one end. I could do it in stages. But what i dont want is to prune? or cut it back then never have any more leaves grow back, therefore having a big bare spot. Is there a special technic or way to do this?
My gardening skills are beginner like.
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
WOW!!! the garden is just busting out right now...I have so much amazing stuff, just in time for thanksgivr! and what a beautiful week! did u guys get any frost? I lost my zukes and squash, but everything else seems to be ok. one of the lastest frosts ever!
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I hired a local sketchy jack-of-all-trades guy and his assistants to trim down some of the overgrown shrubbery and banana palms that are blocking the sea view. What a huge job, as you can see by the scale of the guy in the hedge (he is standing on a large stepladder). This is the before shot:







Two guys have been hacking away with machetes for and hour and a half and have barely made a dent in it.
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
^ Nice, Alex : )

Considering the weather, I started looking for this thread - Strangely enough the first choice at the top of the search list after 'Nobody Cares' was the 'pot' thread. :p This one was 6 down.

I wonder how this winter's weather may have affected this year's crops? your garden's?

As it's so nice, I'm going to start some seedlings. Weather has got me in the mood.
 

MBoy

TRIBE Member
Crocus party in full effect.

I've spent some time raking the grass and even cut back a few of last year's dried out perrenials (sedum, chrysanthemum). I may rue that decision when the sedums get frostbitten, but I have a feeling that a lot of them are going to get nipped anyway when we (inevitably) get the next frost. They've already budded up so much!

Loving the great weather. Also loving that yard waste collection has started again.
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
Your crocus are up already? Holy crap! Such pretty flowers :)

On a side note, I heard from a friend you have a new addition to your family. Congratulations!
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
First harvest of baby lettuce! ALso put the tomato plants in the ground. This year I am also trying 4 bean plants - I hope the grow nicely!
 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
Plant Sale in Etobicoke on Sunday May 27th put on by the Etobicoke Master Gardeners.

There will be thousands of cheap plants there, many of which were dug out by the Master Gardener's themselves from their own gardens. It's good when plants are acclimatized to our area and not imported from many miles away. Plants for sun, shade, moist or dry - all kinds of perennials and annuals and herbs and vegetables.

It's from 10:30am - 1:00pm at Sunnylea Public School (35 Glenroy Avenue) which is about 3 blocks south of Bloor Street and just east of Royal York.

There will also be free advice clinics there, so if you have gardening questions, we would be happy to help you out:)
 

kirstenmeows

TRIBE Member
Spent another amazing day working on the deck. Only 4 more containers to plant, just can't make up my mind what to put in them this year. 1 will probably be mixed baby greens, so easy and perfect for salads.

All of my heirloom tomatoes are already over a foot tall and many have flowers. I am looking forward to a delicious multicoloured mixture this year. I've planted black, purple, red, yellow and stripey versions and I can't wait for my 1st tomato sammich of the year. :)

Everything is being grown in containers on the deck this year. No choice as Japanese Knotweed has taken over the veggie patch in the garden. Somebody dumped a bunch of soil back there during the winter and I guess the soil was infested. I am NOT digging out 3 metre roots nor am I mucking around with herbicides. Good thing I like the challenges of container gardening. :D
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I hope the hail and tornadoes don't kill my tomato plants - there is even a tomato on one of them!
 

Jme

TRIBE Member
It depends where the weeds are and what you currently have planted.

I am having good luck with covering the beds with a layer of newspaper (maybe 4-6 pages thick) then putting cedar bark mulch on top of that. (I have left some room for the shrubs and decorative grasses).

Before I layed the paper and mulch though I dug up as much weeds as I could then I turned the soil with a spade to expose weed roots to the sun/air to hopefully dry them out and wither them up. In theory though, the paper/mulch should smother any weeds that are currently growing and then act as a barrier so no sun reaches weed seeds so they don't germinate.

This method involves a few hours of work but then (hopefully) you can get by with just watering for the rest of the summer.

(The paper decomposes so you may needs to lay new paper/mulch next year but that's better than spending all summer weeding).

For the dandylions in the lawn I am having good results using "Weed B Gone" it somehow uses iron to kill the weeds but leaves the lawn OK.
The lasagne technique, it works very well. I did this with my garden last year. You still will get weeds coming up believe me, but not to worry. Everything in nature works in harmony with each other. Never pick all the weeds out, you can cut them down or at least keep one of each kind in your garden, why? Weeds take toxins out of the soil, they help protect your vegetables against disease. We are told to rip out any weed, spray the ground with chemicals, then feed our food with toxic blue crap called miracle grow. There is a purpose for everything in nature.
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
Bad news. Just spoke to the next door neighbour who has confirmed that he has a *very* hard time keeping the raccoons out of the garden. He's done fences, he's done sprays.

I've yet to be able to eat a tomato from the garden, as they're disappearing before they're even close to ripe.

Today surprised me even more when my chills were gone. These critters will eat anything.

:(
 

kmsmith

TRIBE Member
@Bacchus;

Not from personal experience, but my cousin who lives in TO told me he was having the same problem which he temporarily abated with LOTS of black pepper surrounding his plants. Apparently it works.

We don't have a raccoon problem here in Ottawa, but ants had been the bane of our existence in our garden until my wife and I heard of the broken egg shell trick. Crumple eggshells all around your plants, and they won't walk on it. Too sharp. Has helped immensely.

Anyways, hope that helps/works.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Here is the latest update on the giant 4 meter tall spout coming out of the center of my stegasaurus plant (Agave). The giant stalk that appeared overnight... This plant has looked exactly the same and stalkless for decades and then, BAM! I giant stakl is on it one morning.

According to my cousin who is an expert horticulturalist down here in South Africa, that stalk is the plant's flower. He says the plant only flowers once every 20 years and then dies shortly afterward.

That totally sucks because that plant is awesome and has been there, well, 20 years, at least!. I am going to miss the giant thing. But I suppose seeing one flower is quite rare, so I am going to liken this whole tragic stegasaurus plant experience to seeing a unicorn. That will make the loss easier to bear.

Sorry about the giant picture, but unicorns are worth the extra pixels...

 
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