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Filthy Hands (A Gardening Thread)

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Just before sunset today I walked around the garden and shot all the hibiscuses that were in bloom. I have been planting different varieties of hibiscus at my place down here for almost 2 decades. Here are some of them:










 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
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.
This is very similar to the Agave's they have down in Arizona and so forth that usually flower about once every 25 years... I'm used to them being called 'century plants'. I remember seeing them when going hiking in the Sedona area.

The ones in Arizona don't usually die though if I recall correctly - they still have shoots that will grow from the basal area and potentially flower again, but the parent dies off. They are very interesting plants with an awesome flower that I've seen get about 15-20 feet high.
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
Nice foliage D! :cool:

@Shane Sedona and surrounding area is one of the most interesting places I've ever been through. One drive was from Grand Canyon, all the way to Yuma.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Too much gardening today and the temperature was nearly 40 degrees.

Planted 2 huge beds of geraniums, cut back other geraniums, cut the normal leaves out of the variegated hibiscus bushes, trimmed back the salt bushes, sprayed the top hydrangea beds for red spiders, enriched the front house beds with compost, cut the English lavender way back.

There were huge bushes of English lavender in the front bed at one time but they have slowly died off. It is sad really, because they used to attract bumblebees. And you could smell the lavender when you unlocked the front door. I would have to be living here all the time to make sure they got attention to get them to their previous grandeur. Oh well.
 

agentRC4

TRIBE Member
Where in the east end can I get sod? Does Home Depot's garden center have it? I need to replace a 4X4 square. Is it too early to even get sod?

Thanks.
 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
There is a garden center on Queen Street in Leslieville called East End Garden Center. I recall buying sod from Home Depot in the past. It might be a bit early to buy sod, because of the weather and because most sod farms would not be cutting just yet.
Ideal root zone growth occurs when the outside temperatures are above 15deg consistently. So, if you wait a bit, then you can ensure that your sod grows properly. Wait a few more weeks at least before laying the sod down.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I just planted a bed of mixed lettuce and made the other beds ready for the tomato plants to put in when the weather gets warmer. May also plant swiss chard.
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
Is there a particular version(?) of fertilizer that you're supposed to use? I see numbers on the bags like 38-0-0 and whatnot. Any real difference?

Lobo
 

Persephone

TRIBE Member
I just planted a bed of mixed lettuce and made the other beds ready for the tomato plants to put in when the weather gets warmer. May also plant swiss chard.
Nice selection!

I grew swiss chard in containers last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Grows really easily and you can either continually harvest smaller leaves with reseeding every so often, or let them get big and harvest less frequently. My few pots produced plenty and were easy to care for. I highly recommend chard!
 
Nice selection!

I grew swiss chard in containers last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Grows really easily and you can either continually harvest smaller leaves with reseeding every so often, or let them get big and harvest less frequently. My few pots produced plenty and were easy to care for. I highly recommend chard!
MMMmm swiss chard is best when you harvest after a frost. Gets so sweet!

I have so much to do in the next few weeks in the old gardens before beginning brand new when I move to my own home soon. At least due to appartment living my gardens are part of my parent's yard so I get to cheat a bit and take all my favourites!
 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
Is there a particular version(?) of fertilizer that you're supposed to use? I see numbers on the bags like 38-0-0 and whatnot. Any real difference?

Lobo
Those numbers are the N-P-K ratio representing the Nitrogen(N) - Phosphorus(P) - Potassium(K) content in the bag/container. Each number represents a % of the total weight of the bag. So a 100lb bag with NPK of 5-3-4 contains 5% Nitrogen, 3% Phosphorus and 4% Potassium, or 5lb of N, 3lbs of P and 4lbs of K. The total weight of NPK in this bag would then be 12lbs with 88 lbs of filler.

There are huge differences in fertilizer. Granular fertilizers are usually slow release and liquid fertilizers are quick release. If you must use a synthetic fertilizer, please read up on it before doing so - there is a wealth of information out there.

Instead of fertilizing, I always recommend that clients should aerate when needed, topdress their lawns with something that has good organic content every year (ie compost), mow the grass high (3"+), leave the clippings on the lawn, and never use a synthetic fertilizer unless they have done a soil test and know that their soil is specifically deficient in a particular nutrient. Natural fertilizers will build soil fertility while synthetic fertilizers will deplete soil fertility by hurting beneficial soil organisms and make the lawn dependent on fertilizers. It's also worth noting that plant need much more than NPK - they need over 15 essential nutrients for healthy growth - which can be provided by feeding the soil, not just the plants.
 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
Is it too late to spread fertilizer on the lawn?

Lobo
It's not too late to fertilize. The best times to fertilize are fall and spring. Make sure you do not fertilize too close to summer (4 weeks). Grass likes to go dormant in the intense summer heat and fertilizing it would create too much top growth with too little root growth which leads to premature drying out and death. The best time to fertilize is in the fall when there is no crazy heat approaching and the grass therefore gets two growth cycles before the next summer heat comes.
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
So my aloe is dying quickly. I transplanted it to a soil with higher sand a few months back, and the outer leaves went flopy and dark. I've trimmed them down and i still have a big stub of a root.

What do i do??
 

kirstenmeows

TRIBE Member
Bacchus, by the way you are describing the leaves, it sounds like over-watering. Try removing the root stalk from the soil and let it dry out for a few days. When you replant it, make sure the pot you use has holes in the bottom for drainage. Heavily sanded soil tends to let the water collect at the bottom which can drown the plant if there's no escape for it. Hope this helps.
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
Yeah , seems like I was making the mistake of keeping it wet on the hopes that it would root. I really wasn't treating it like a succulent.

I trimmed the outer rotting leaves and let the soil get completely dry, and it seems to be doing better.

A bit sad , as it really grew we'll over the past year...but now I know
 

The Truth

TRIBE Member
planted some grass seeds a only last month which I thought was a bit late in the spring, but this cool and wet weather has been great for the lawn!
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Any tips of how to keep a cat from eating your houseplant? My main plant is getting big and sprouty but I came home one day to find half of the leaves chewed away. I put some garlic and pepper seeds in but these won't grow for a while so no garlic smell to drive him away.
 
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