May 30, 2015

Saturday Gardening Thread: Texas-sized Fun [Y-not, KT, and Weirddave]
— Open Blogger

Y-not:

Good afternoon, gardening morons and moronettes!

This week's gardening thread is brought to you by Spring flowers:

SpringFlower.JPG

Last weekend we had a request for an archive of the Saturday Gardening Threads. Although the sidebar provides links to HQ archives by month, that's not much help if you are looking for a specific thread and don't happen to remember the date!

It took some work, but I've assembled a Gardening Thread Archive by hand. That's right, your lowly cob spent last week doing the work that even illegal aliens don't want to do!

Here's a link to the Gardening Thread Archives. I will update it from time to time, but bookmark it for future reference.

KT was inspired by all of the news out of Texas (and Oklahoma), so her contribution this week will feature two plants generally associated with the Lone Star state: tumbleweeds and roses (perhaps yellow ones, let's find out!).

To kick things off, how about a song?

Take it away, KT:

Texas has been on my mind, with the flooding there and in Oklahoma. In last week's comments, there were several nice reports from gardens in Texas and nearby states. I hope the weather hasn't done too much damage to gardens belonging to members of The Horde.

I have personal ties to people in Oklahoma, but the news seems to have been mostly focused on Texas this week. Oklahoma deserves its own week. So I am writing about tumbleweed, which reminds me of Texas. I also want to recognize the Texas Rose Rustlers.

To get you in the mood to read about tumbleweed, Marty Robbins, NASCAR driver, sings Tumbling Tumbleweeds:

autumnhantam.jpg

Wait! The plants above are South African tumbleweeds. Sorry. I think they would grow outdoors in parts of Texas, though. According to Dave's Garden, Brunsvigia bosmaniae can also be grown indoors. Scroll down to the Gardener's Notes to learn more about the beautiful photos on the Dave's Garden page, which show these plants in their native habitat.

There are apparently several plant families with species that use the "tumbleweed" model of seed dispersal. Brunsvigia bosmaniae is related to Amaryllis belladonna, and it shows. This Amaryllis (Naked Ladies) also grows most readily from fresh seed. I have grown some. You can see tiny green leaves inside the translucent seeds even before you plant them. Some species of plants that are adapted to grow from seeds this fresh will not grow from old seeds. Others will, but germination may be erratic.

Both the Amaryllis and the Brunsvigia come from dry-summer climates where they produce flowers in the fall, before their leaves start to grow. Many people plant dwarf, evergreen Agapathus in front of Naked Ladies to disguise their leaflessness - at least where Agapanthus is hardy.

Brunsvigia bosmaniae may grow leaves and flowers at the same time when it gets summer water. Some plant specialists are more fascinated by the leaves, which lie prostrate on the ground, than by the flowers. But I like the flowers. Below, a flower head just opening:

brunsvigiabos4.jpg

Tumbleweeds inspire some unusual art, and a few inventions with some potential practical uses - like minesweeping. Tumbleweed Rovers are being tested by NASA for possible use in a trip to Mars.

But enough distractions - on to Texas-style tumbleweed.

This week, I removed some young tumbleweed plants (and toritos, but that's another story) from the side of our neighbor's driveway, where some of our Garden Kitties hang out. Four of the kitties were born in the neighbor's yard and were brought to our house to eat when their mother thought they were old enough to handle solid food. Our neighbors don't spend much time outdoors. Spooky Mama is shy and preferred to raise her kittens by herself, mostly.

The tumbleweeds were fairly easy to pull out because the leaves were not too sharp yet, and because the ground still had a little moisture in it. It will be a different story for the remaining plants in their yard in a week or so. It is getting hot now.

I expect that it will be a banner year for tumbleweed in Texas and in several other states. The earlier any plants in your yard are tackled, the better. If you pull them when they are really young, you may be able to eat the tender stem tips. Tumbleweed is related to spinach and beets.

One close relative of tumbleweed, Agretti, is a trendy vegetable in Italy and is now showing up in foodie circles in the USA, too. Seed must be sown when fresh. There is a savory ricotta and agretti pie recipe from Modern Beet. Feel free to substitute young tumbleweed stem tips.

Another close relative, Okahijiki, or "Land Seaweed" grows in salt marshes in Japan. I have seeds, but have never planted them. Maybe I should. You can buy seeds from Pinetree, Johnnys, Nichols, Evergreen or Kitazawa.

080723-121956.jpg

Chicken Garlic Saute and Okahijiki

If you want to substitute tumbleweed for the veggies above, the Eat the Weeds guy recommends that you check with a local expert if you are not sure which species of tumbleweed you have. If you are confident that you have regular tumbleweed, he recommends eating it raw or, even better, cooked. I tasted some raw tumbleweed this week, and it had a nice, mild flavor. His summary page on tumbleweed is full of interesting information. A sample of the information for gardeners and farmers:

Young plants make good fodder and it grows well in low-water areas. In fact, when dry Salsola is a good source of fuel. It also has been used to make soap since Biblical times. Salsola soap can still be purchased around the Mediterranean.
Now some warnings: The plant, a relative of the Chenopodium, can contain as much as 5% oxalic acid thus folks who are sensitive to oxalic acid should avoid the genus. It is also a severe allergen for some people. And if you eat it when it is too old the shape of the leaves -- fat and pointed -- will irritate your throat. Lastly, Salsola kali is a host plant of the Sugar Beet Leafhopper. This insect carries curly-top virus, a disease affecting sugar beets, tomatoes, and beans. This puts it on the farmers' hit list.

This pestiferous, if often tasty, weed is associated with the Old West, but it is originally from the Ural mountains in Russia. It first became established in South Dakota. It moved quickly across the country with the railroads. It can grow on salty roadsides in the North or it can fill large swaths of land in Southwestern deserts. It can be a fire hazard.

Many people have unfortunate encounters with tumbleweed on the road. To help maintain peace with the neighbors, I recommend getting it out of your yard. There is enough tumbleweed out by the highway for most people in the "Old West", and in a lot of other places, too.

"Two years ago, driving down a lonesome highway towards Amarillo, I ran over a baby tumbleweed..."

L5XC6RB8.jpg

Vengeful parent tumbleweed?

There are a few uses for mature tumbleweed, though. In addition to using it as fuel for fires or selling it on eBay, you can make it into snowmen. I am afraid that Albuquerque, New Mexico has beaten out Texas towns in building the largest tumbleweed snowmen. But they have helpfully posted photos showing potential competitors how to build one.

c188bb00cade74e88f4cdf312363cc48.jpg

I wasn't kidding. People buy tumbleweed.

Texas Rose Rustlers

Most people who think of roses and Texas probably think of The Yellow Rose of Texas. The original Yellow Rose seems to have been a pretty woman of African/European heritage. By the time Mitch Miller's arrangement topped the charts, all racial references were gone. Miller's version was featured in the motion picture Giant, and hit #1 on the U.S. pop chart the same week Giant star James Dean died. James Dean was killed in his Porsche Spyder in the dry, hilly country near Cholame, between our house and Paso Robles.

Stan Freberg did a version of The Yellow Rose of Texas, too. Used the same drummer featured in Mitch Miller's hit. Heh.

The plant most often associated with this song is Harison's Yellow, a tough, thorny old pioneer rose that blooms once a year.

harisons-rose-blog4.jpg

The Yellow Rose of Texas?

The first Texas Rose Rustlers lived in a part of Texas where growing the typical Hybrid Tea rose is something of a challenge. They sought out cuttings from roses at old pioneer cemeteries and homesteads. "If dead people can grow roses, anyone can."

They saved some historic roses that were on the brink of extinction. Eventually, they even caught the attention of the New York Times. I have tried their technique of placing plant cuttings in "willow water" to enhance the probability that the cuttings will take root. I pounded the willow stems lightly to loosen the bark.

Nowadays, the Rose Rustlers mostly exchange cuttings instead of "rustling" roses, but I think they have some fun, too.

Personal Gardening Notes

Our last, experimental cool-season crops

On Memorial Day, I picked the last of our cool-season crops, a few turnips (Hakurei) and kohlrabis that I started in late winter as an experiment. Quality was not up to fall-planted veggies of the same cultivars. The turnips were stringy and the kohlrabi lacked flavor. Neither had a strong cabbage flavor, though.

First Tomatoes of the season

Our first tomato this year was a Sungold cherry. We have since picked several Sungold, Gardeners Delight and Tomatoberry Garden fruits. I like Sungold the best of all small cherries and Tomatoberry Garden is my current favorite large cherry. "Large Red Cherry", a genuine heirloom, hasn't ripened fruit yet.

The day after Memorial Day, Mr. Bar-the-Door jumped the gun a little and picked two Cosmonaut Volkov tomatoes a little early. It is hard to tell when this cultivar is ripe because it is green-shouldered. For some people, it ripens in midseason rather than early.

We let them sit for a couple of days before eating them. They were great, especially with a touch of salt. Soft texture like many old heirlooms, easy to peel without blanching. Great flavor.

There were two cosmonauts named "Volkov", one from Ukraine and one from Russia. I believe that this tomato was named after the Russian one, who died in a space-related accident.

Our next "big" (medium-sized) tomato was a Sweet Tangerine Hybrid. It is determinate and productive. Early for a non-red tomato. Beautiful golden-orange color. It is tasty and peels easily.

There is a Jetsetter Hybrid on deck and a few other tomatoes that will be ripe soon.

Golden Girl and Gary'O Sena don't look happy, assuming they are labeled correctly. Golden Girl did very well for me last year. Gary'O Sena is not particularly heat tolerant, but the tomatoes have been nice when I have grown this cultivar in the past. Gardening is kind of a gamble sometimes. Hope your gamble is paying off.

OK, now let's see what Weirddave has for us. Wait, what's this on the AoS garden shed?

shed note.jpg

Well isn't that just a kick in the teeth?

Y-not: To wrap things up, here's a fun rendition of the San Antonio Rose:



San Antonio Rose-Asleep at the Wheel with Johnny Gimble & Herb Remington of the Bob Wills' Texas Playboys... "San Antonio Rose" was the signature song of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. was a song written by Bob Wills, who first recorded it with the Playboys in 1938. The Rolling Stones performed this song live in Austin, Texas at Zilker Park for their DVD The Biggest Bang. In a 1968 issue of Guitar Player, rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix said of Wills and the Playboys: "I dig them. The Grand Ole Opry used to come on, and I used to watch that. They used to have some pretty heavy cats, some heavy guitar players." Fats Domino once remarked that he patterned his 1960 rhythm section after that of Bob Wills


What's happening in your gardens this week?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:30 AM | Comments (114)
Post contains 2011 words, total size 16 kb.

1 That agretti stuff sounds fun. Has anyone ever tried it? Interesting that tumbleweeds are related to beets. I thought everything was either a member of the pea, rose, or mint family! LOL

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 08:33 AM (RWGcK)

2 Thanks for the thread. Now to learn something.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at May 30, 2015 08:35 AM (VPLuQ)

3 I kinda have to be in the mood, but when I am, I like "Asleep at the Wheel."  They are what they are and they do it well. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 08:35 AM (RoiEH)

4 >>I kinda have to be in the mood, but when I am, I like "Asleep at the Wheel." I could listen to them in the background all the time, the way some people listen to "classical" music. And I love Delbert.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 08:36 AM (RWGcK)

5 Weed, it is in full season here all the time.

Posted by: California Dreamers at May 30, 2015 08:36 AM (/WmRg)

6 In my garden I slice through the tendon on my left thumb, I'm getting it repaired Monday but I suspect my next eight weeks are going to be like the last one; dang that really needs to be done and I wish I could do it. I'm so glad we had it so this little farm didn't need to make any money this year. I suspect that I'm shortly going to have a weed garden everywhere except in the hydroponics. Not that I'm whining

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 08:39 AM (gv6Xi)

7 Had my garden in for a few weeks now. Nice easy rains and temps in the mid 80s enough days to have everything looking perky, but tonight and tomorrow night are supposed to be in the low 40s. Looks like it's going to be one of those years.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 08:41 AM (ahBY0)

8 Posted by: dartist at What part of the country?

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 08:44 AM (gv6Xi)

9 Posted by: dartist at What part of the country?

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 08:44 AM (gv6Xi)

10 Chandler, AZ, builds a tumbleweed "Christmas tree" every year.

They stack a bunch of tumbleweeds on a frame, then paint them white.  Once the paint dries, the lights and other stuff goes on.

Darn thing must be 15 or 20 feet tall, and so far I haven't heard about anybody torching it.  Maybe the paint is fire resistant?

Posted by: Blanco Basura at May 30, 2015 08:44 AM (UVfht)

11 "Maybe the paint is fire resistant?"



Water based?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 08:47 AM (RoiEH)

12 So sorry about your thumb, Traye. Is there someone who can help you?

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 08:47 AM (qahv/)

13 Ok, so I have a new issue with my problem plot in front of my house... It's basically a miniature swamp with a of this rain. Water collects there like crazy. I'm thinking that anything planted there will get swept away in our flooding. No, granted that's not going to be a huge issue most years, but water running off our roof is definitely going to be an ongoing concern. I was thinking if turning the area into a rock garden or something. Any good ideas?

Posted by: Lauren at May 30, 2015 08:48 AM (A6xmT)

14 I was thinking of this place when I went to my local gardening guy for a weed solution to my asparagus. He said to use salt.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 08:48 AM (ahBY0)

15 The bio on Marty Robbins mentions that he fell in love with Hawaiian music. Slack string guitar may have had an influence on subsequent country music. Do you hear it in those videos?

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 08:49 AM (qahv/)

16 " He said to use salt."

How so?  Salt ain't good for the soil. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 08:50 AM (RoiEH)

17 Posted by: dartist at

What part of the country?

I'm near Chicago.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 08:51 AM (ahBY0)

18 Dartist, asparagus is more salt-tolerant than many weeds, but if your ground is already salty, you might think twice about using it on your asparagus. I think one key to keeping weeds out of asparagus is not to plant it in a really wide bed. Do you have nasty perennial weeds in with your asparagus?

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 08:52 AM (qahv/)

19 How so? Salt ain't good for the soil.

He said asparagus is very salt tolerant and that salt is an old time way of controlling weeds. I was afraid to try it.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 08:53 AM (ahBY0)

20 Yay just got my postholes done now I'm gonna crash

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 30, 2015 08:54 AM (IbB6g)

21 I've been watching a new well installed. The Chevy motor was installed yesterday and hooked up to the gas line. We have water.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 30, 2015 08:54 AM (BHl9S)

22 This morning i successfully dug a bush out of the bed. Yay! The tree thing is still there though. Gardenias have been in pots waiting to be planted for like a month. I think I'm going to give up on the tree maybe and just go ahead and plant? But the bed is old wood and falling apart so it's possible I should completely redo it but it sounds like a huge job that I have no idea how to do. Hmmm. Maybe I should go to lowes for a bit...

Posted by: Lea at May 30, 2015 08:56 AM (vmMMi)

23 Do you have nasty perennial weeds in with your asparagus?

Yes, and it's partly my fault. After the asparagus is done I kinda let the weeding go till after winter and then start pulling again when they start up again the next spring. It was really bad this year though.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 08:57 AM (ahBY0)

24 "He said asparagus is very salt tolerant and that salt is an old time way of controlling weeds. I was afraid to try it."



Don't know anything about growing asparagus.  He may well be right.  I just hate to apply salt to any ground.  It'll kill the weeds but what else as well?   

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 08:59 AM (RoiEH)

25 My nephew is coming to help move our pigs to new pasture sections, the hydroponics I'll be fine with, the soil based garden is going to take the hit. Southeastern NC is weed heaven and keeping them knocked down is work. But it's fine, I'll just let whatever can outcompete the weeds do that and then when it's done I'll let the pigs and chickens in and it all becomes food. The circle of life around here.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:00 AM (gv6Xi)

26 Ah gardening thread.  Sorry but it's not Spring here anymore.  The last week nearly everyday hit 90+.  It's already 91F out there now.


Tumbling Tumble Weed song.  Original that I remember was done by the sons of the pioneers. Roy Rodgers who sang with them for a while also did a version w/o the rest of the crew.  But any cowboy band you have nowadays has a cut of it.  My favorite modern cut with better recording stuff is from Riders In The Sky.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgZr566enq0


As for the Yellow Rose of Texas that was originally a civil war tune and yes, it was about a black woman. If you want to hear the original version done in the original style pick up a copy of the CD "Dixie and Other Love Songs" by the 97th Regimental String Band.  But you can't get that from Amazon the last time I checked.  These guys are a specialty group that do local concerts at Civil War reenactments.  They are good too.

Posted by: Vic[/i] We Have No Party at May 30, 2015 09:00 AM (GpgJl)

27 Y-Not.


Thank you for all you do.  We should rename the place, Y-Not Ace's Place.



And JJ is 55!  I have coats older than that.  Seriously.

Posted by: Nip Sip at May 30, 2015 09:02 AM (0FSuD)

28 Re: Marty Robbins videos. Some may find these relatively rare Marty Robbins tunes on Yew Tube of interest: https://www.xxx/watch?v=3BFVoHYCyk0 https://www.xxxx/watch?v=tRb9khdOUNs (xxx= you tube dot com) Note: These actual recordings may possibly have vocals from a Marty Robbins sound-alike. I do not know the actual provenance. But interesting Robbins tunes regardless. His record label balked at releasing them in the 60's.

Posted by: RioBravo at May 30, 2015 09:03 AM (NUqwG)

29 Those Dianthus flowers are pretty, Y-not. I just bought some for the porch. I got some Profusion Zinnias, too. Mildew-resistant, attract butterflies. I'm separating the cherry and apricot ones from the orange and "flame" ones, which I'm giving away. Sweet Ginny likes the weeds (Mexican Evening Primrose) better. https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/604709998648647680

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:04 AM (qahv/)

30 Rain gutters and water barrel Lauren? Check first to make sure a rain barrel doesn't violate local water law. If it does you can get various gutter extensions, hoses, etc to take water farther from the house. My tater that I planted when the last few in the bag were sprouting eyes is doing great. I think it is now warm enough to see if I can get 1 or 2 hills of Zucchini started in the other tire towers where mom used to grow tomatoes. Dad found a neighbor that sells excess tomatoes and we never had any luck getting them to ripen before summer was almost over. I should harvest some more of our rhubarb but didn't buy eggs to make pudding or pie.

Posted by: PaleRider at May 30, 2015 09:04 AM (iA/+T)

31 traye, you a "naturalist" or some sort?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 09:05 AM (RoiEH)

32 -I have no idea but- What about borax for the asparagus? It's toxic to plants in high concentrations, just don't know about the tolerance for it with asparagus.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:06 AM (gv6Xi)

33 I just hate to apply salt to any ground. It'll kill the weeds but what else as well?

I agree, I'll never grow anything but asparagus in this particular area and thought I might try it in a small area to see what happens. I get weeds that travel underground and are near impossible to even dig up completely so I'm getting desperate. I poured my salted pasta water in an area outside of the patch hoping to stop the travelers so we'll see.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 09:08 AM (ahBY0)

34 What about borax for the asparagus? It's toxic to plants in high concentrations, just don't know about the tolerance for it with asparagus.

Never heard that one but did read some about using Epsom salts thinking it might be milder than rock salt. I'll have to do a lot more research before I'll risk my precious asparagus.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 09:11 AM (ahBY0)

35 Lauren, the flooding problem in your front bed is one reason not to jump the gun with permanent plantings the first year you are in a house. You might think about raised beds. And a way to drain water away from the house. You might want to go stick with annuals in pots this summer until you work out a permanent plan.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:12 AM (qahv/)

36 "30 Rain gutters and water barrel Lauren? Check first to make sure a rain barrel doesn't violate local water law. If it does you can get various gutter extensions, hoses, etc to take water farther from the house. " The problem is that the water runs off directly in front of the house so the barrel would be the first thing you see when you drive up. I'm a bit irritated by that "feature". I do think that in the long run we're going to have to put up some sort of gutter system though. I'm thinking of something like this as a compromise for now https://tinyurl.com/okqzmmq It wouldn't be in a raised planter though. Would this work or am I going to cause myself more headache somehow?

Posted by: Lauren at May 30, 2015 09:12 AM (A6xmT)

37 Thank you, Nip! >>And JJ is 55! I have coats older than that. Seriously. Really? Today's JJ's b.d.? It's my sister's b.d. Also 55.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:12 AM (RWGcK)

38 No, I'm just the first generation on three sides of my family dating back to before the founding that was not a farmer. Took me 46 years to stop denying my blood. Every thing I'm doing out here (except the pigs) is what I've done all my life on a smaller scale in the city.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:12 AM (gv6Xi)

39 >>https://twitter.com/KTbarthedoor/status/604709998648647680 So sweet! How many kitties are you up to at present, KT?

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:14 AM (RWGcK)

40 Dartist, have you got grass or broadleaf weeds in the asparagus?

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:14 AM (qahv/)

41 @38


No, interesting.  You in NC?  How many acres.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 09:14 AM (RoiEH)

42 The pig adventure sounds like fun, traye. I'd be interested in trying chickens someday. A lot of my neighbors have them. Pigs would be awesome, but would require more land than we have.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:16 AM (RWGcK)

43 Lauren, what about an actual water garden? With over flow into a French drain. My brother did this and he has flowers none of the neighbors have.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:16 AM (gv6Xi)

44 So, KT, I may not get to the other thread until tomorrow. Depends on if I can get my chores done first. I'll give you a heads up.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:17 AM (RWGcK)

45 Dartist, have you got grass or broadleaf weeds in the asparagus?

I'm honestly not sure what they're called. I have grasses and these big leafed things with a thick tap root that goes more than a foot down. Clover, nasty things that wrap around everything and choke it, sticker plants. It's a devil garden in the spring.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 09:20 AM (ahBY0)

46 Columbus county NC, 25 acres, right in the middle of about 1000 acres of mostly forest and swamp.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:20 AM (gv6Xi)

47 Well... Looking out the window, I see things are growing. Yup. After today, we're not supposed to get rain for a while. Dry and in the 80s? It might be nice to be in the garden! What a concept. The Red River is starting to flood a few places and is expected to get several feet higher next week. Will limit where we can drive, but would have to get 20 feet higher than that before I'm worried about the house.

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 09:20 AM (0xTsz)

48 We're in zone 4a, Minneapolis. The wife says (finally) it's okay to plant our expensive grafted tomatoes outside. She's a farm girl from near Sioux City, so there's no arguing with her about planting early. The clematis I planted last year exploded in the last week. Growing like crazy and lots of blossoms forming. It's interesting, learning this garden stuff.

Posted by: Gordon at May 30, 2015 09:20 AM (///9r)

49 The clematis I planted last year exploded in the last week. Growing like crazy and lots of blossoms forming. It's interesting, learning this garden stuff. --- That was one of the coolest things for me, too. The year after I planted clematis, I thought it had died. But WOW does that stuff take off!

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:24 AM (RWGcK)

50 The "Columbus county NC, 25 acres, right in the middle of about 1000 acres of mostly forest and swamp."


Hmmm.  Well, a small piece.  The 1K a state park or something? 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 09:24 AM (RoiEH)

51 Trays, I'm not sure what my drainage options look like because we have a sewer access point in that bed. Speaking of which, the little entrepreneurial boys I paid to now my lawn last week mowed over the cover there so now that plot looks like brown Bermuda grass (thanks to it getting far too tall with all the water) with a speckling of PVC. *cries*

Posted by: Lauren at May 30, 2015 09:26 AM (A6xmT)

52 I think we have 16. We lost George - hit by a car as he was playing near one of our almost-homeless neighbors as she looked for cans by the side of the road (in the dark). She was devastated. Insisted on helping me bury him. I've been gathering up photos of him. Many made in preparation for the Gardening Thread. Spooky Mama seems to be on vacation again. Her one-eyed daughter Sophie just got back after several weeks, skinny and without some of her tortoise shell coloring. She let me pick her up. I have no idea where they go. They are not particularly human-friendly.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:26 AM (qahv/)

53 Traye* stupid autocorrect.

Posted by: Lauren at May 30, 2015 09:27 AM (A6xmT)

54 Y-not, if you want to know about pigs, Sugar Mountain Farm in VT. The owner, Walter, is a frigin genius. He does it right and is very generous with information. He has been blogging about his farm for a long time. I found his blog about three years ago and reading that is what gave me the confidence to jump in with both feet.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:28 AM (gv6Xi)

55 Traye, what do you grow? My father in law lives in Wilmington.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 30, 2015 09:28 AM (BHl9S)

56 Dartist, If it isn't grass it is a broadleaf weed. If you have both, you may have to bite the bullet and start digging them out as best as you can. If you cut them really close to the ground regularly, many weeds give up eventually.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:28 AM (qahv/)

57 Dartist, Goal makes a weed identification book. I'm not sure if it is online.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 30, 2015 09:31 AM (BHl9S)

58 On the other thread, Y-not, I'm generally gone on Sundays from 8 to 2 Pacific Time, just so you know.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:33 AM (qahv/)

59 "Dartist,
If it isn't grass it is a broadleaf weed."


May sound stupid.  Maybe not. 

I use a broadcast weed spray on the yard.  It does kill weeds and does not kill plants, trees, etc.  I don't know what it will do to asparagus though. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 30, 2015 09:33 AM (RoiEH)

60 Great idea on archiving the gardening threads. Thanks for doing that - I know it was a lot of work. I just want remind everyone NOT to comment on those old threads! It's a surefire way to accidentally ban yourself.

Posted by: chi's sandwIch (previously shredded chi) at May 30, 2015 09:34 AM (RLkf9)

61 On the other thread, Y-not, I'm generally gone on Sundays from 8 to 2 Pacific Time, just so you know. --- OK. I'll try to plan around that.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:34 AM (RWGcK)

62 Speaking of pigs, this butcher we found that used to be business to business, I think, but now has a "store front" will do up a pig, cow, lamb, or whatever. While we were there picking up some goodies, I guy walked off with a whole dressed fresh hog, head off but in a bag. There are a fair number of Pacific Islanders here, so people do luaus from time to time. Pretty cool.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:36 AM (RWGcK)

63 I just put a pic of my wildflowers up on Twitter. All the other flower beds in the neighborhood are pretty little nicely manicured rows of flowers. Mine is the awkward teenage flowerbed that is way taller and not dressed the same. Or I'm having a flashback.

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 09:36 AM (0xTsz)

64 One of Ray's better versions:

http://tinyurl.com/qdowgno

Posted by: Lloyd Loar at May 30, 2015 09:36 AM (TaO1J)

65 . The 1K a state park or something? Posted by: Ricardo Kill No, the land is just very marginal. You have to cross a swamp in my driveway, then about a half mile past the end our property is another swamp. It's not great for soil crops, but the pigs love it here.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:37 AM (gv6Xi)

66 Mama AJ, I saw your wild flowers on Twitter. Looks like you have a bunch of tall Cosmos. It can take a while. If is hasn't started making buds, you can pinch back the stems a little so they don't get too rangy.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:38 AM (qahv/)

67 All the other flower beds in the neighborhood are pretty little nicely manicured rows of flowers. Mine is the awkward teenage flowerbed that is way taller and not dressed the same. --- LOL! Mine is even worse than that. People around me have lots of lovely annuals. Me? I can't/won't plant annuals in this crap soil and I can never keep a hanging basket alive more than a week, so I have virtually no flowers out front until the roses kick in.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:40 AM (RWGcK)

68 Dartist,
If it isn't grass it is a broadleaf weed. If you have both, you may have to bite the bullet and start digging them out as best as you can. If you cut them really close to the ground regularly, many weeds give up eventually.

Thanks KT. I think you may have the only real solution there. I really hate put anything toxic near food I'll be eating. Maybe if I mulch again and keep up the weed pulling it'll be better next year. I wish weeds were tastier, I'd just eat them instead of trying to plant a garden. Thanks to everyone else for suggestions and to Y-not for giving me a place to ask.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 09:41 AM (ahBY0)

69 My father in law lives in Wilmington. Ha, we just moved from there, still have our little house there. I'm trying to grow anything and everything, to see what works here.

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:41 AM (gv6Xi)

70 Actually, KT, do you know fool-proof ways to set up hanging baskets so they look nice for a long time? Mine get over/underwatered and/or one or more of the flowering plants will die off or get "leggy." It's always depressing as heck. I love petunias, but mine always look like poo. (Poo-tunias!)

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:42 AM (RWGcK)

71 Y-not, is that butcher Frody's?

Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 09:45 AM (gv6Xi)

72 Lauren, those meditation gardens are more work than they look like. Especially if you rake the sand. You might think about a base of rock, or bark mulch with a water-tolerant groundcover, and big containers. Maybe a smaller raised bed which could include some seating.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:45 AM (qahv/)

73 >>If is hasn't started making buds, you can pinch back the stems a little so they don't get too rangy. Thanks, I'll try that if glaring at them doesn't work. So far I've just been scowling, but I'm planning on upping my game.

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 09:46 AM (0xTsz)

74 You are a trip, Mama AJ! Making me chuckle here. Thanks!

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:48 AM (RWGcK)

75 74 I imagine the humidity is tough during the summer. We are going to start growing blueberries in pots. They are doing that in Oxnard. The hydroponics are a nice setup. The only hogs I have been around are the 4H projects.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 30, 2015 09:52 AM (BHl9S)

76 Y-not, hanging baskets made with sphagnum moss in wire can be gorgeous in areas with more humidity in the air. They are often drip-watered. There are self-watering hanging baskets with a water reservoir, but they need the right kind of soil (not "moisture control", and the right kinds of plants. Mixed plantings can help with the die-off thing, Something else just takes over. Leggy plants can often be cut back. Here, petunias and regular geraniums sometimes get geranium bud worms, which are the same as the caterpillars that attack ears of corn, more or less. The "wave" series, planted in the ground, often seems to outgrow the worms, though.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 09:52 AM (qahv/)

77 KT I saw plants growing in a field in Mendocino that look almost identical to the South African tumbleweeds but the pink flowers coming out of the stem look just like lilies. Very unusual and pretty! How can you have tomatoes already?!? I am jealous. Only getting Sungolds for now but getting a bunch of cucumbers and zucchini this week.

Posted by: keena at May 30, 2015 09:53 AM (RiTnx)

78 71 Y-not, is that butcher Frody's? Posted by: traye at May 30, 2015 02:45 PM (gv6Xi) --- No, but he's great! This is a place called Springville Meat Company, just south of Provo (in Springville). Great prices, even not in bulk. Bison for $6.20 a lb, for example. I got the following today: 2.25 lbs ground grass fed bison 3.5 lbs "cottage bacon" 2 1lb T-bone steaks 3+ lbs oxtail For $62, which is pretty good, I think. Bison is usually $10/lb at Harmons or online. Here's their web site: http://www.springvillemeat.com

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:56 AM (RWGcK)

79 It's possible that getting the kids out of the house for summer camps is something I really really needed! I think I'm going to put on my rain boots and see if any blackberries are ripe...

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 09:56 AM (0xTsz)

80 Just made a batch of strawberry jam and one day I'm going to grow my own strawberries.  I don't have good luck here in Texas growing things (the soil and location of my home is poor).  But maybe I'll try doing them in pots if I can find a sunny place.

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod (tm) at May 30, 2015 09:57 AM (q20+R)

81 traye, I can't remember if you're in Utah. If you decide to check out this Springville place, you can spend a couple of nice hours at the Springville Art Museum. It's a lovely building with a sculpture garden as well.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 09:58 AM (RWGcK)

82 I think I'm going to put on my rain boots and see if any blackberries are ripe...

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 02:56 PM (0xTsz)

Well keep an eye out for Mr. no shoulders

Posted by: Velvet Ambition at May 30, 2015 10:02 AM (R8hU8)

83 The salad greens are here big time! We have to keep bringing some in so they don't bolt Hurray!! The second and third plantings are going well. Wish we could coordinate the tomatoes with the greens. All the seedings are outside and we haven't lost any yet. In fact, they are thriving. Since so much of this is experimental I'm always waiting for a garden SMOD to hit our backyard. Vic ... Riders In The Sky is my favorite cowboy group. I miss their radio show, which was just so much fun. Also like the cowboy albums from Michael Martin Murphy.

Posted by: JTB at May 30, 2015 10:03 AM (FvdPb)

84 Has anyone ever successfully let parsley go to seed and come back?

My parsley is in it's second year, so it's pretty much stopped growing leaves and is shooting up these tall woody stems that end up in flowers.  I'm hoping that if I leave them, they'll reseed themselves and I'll have more parsley next year, but I've never tried it before.

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod (tm) at May 30, 2015 10:04 AM (q20+R)

85 MANY, MANY thanks for the garden thread archive. I already have it in Favorites. Seriously appreciated.

Posted by: JTB at May 30, 2015 10:05 AM (FvdPb)

86 It may be a wasted vote, but Rand Paul will have won mine if he does indeed force expiration of the Patriot Act. The peoples' rights taken under the auspices of 9/11 security measures MUST BE RESTORED!

Posted by: Manolo at May 30, 2015 10:08 AM (Z+kHZ)

87 >>Well keep an eye out for Mr. no shoulders Good point. I'll send the kids out first. Kidding...

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 30, 2015 10:10 AM (0xTsz)

88 It finally quit raining here. Been too cool to plant anything. The growing season will probably be over before anything matures. Garden Tower almost ready to plant something. Probably a waste of money.

Posted by: Ronster at May 30, 2015 10:13 AM (eS5Pe)

89 My parsley is in it's second year, so it's pretty much stopped growing leaves and is shooting up these tall woody stems that end up in flowers. I'm hoping that if I leave them, they'll reseed themselves and I'll have more parsley next year, but I've never tried it before.

I covered mine last year and looks like you describe yours. Looked it up and parsley is biennial. So, last year for mine. I cut it way back in hopes of getting new shoots. I think if you let it go to flower it will quit on you like basil, but I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people than me here.

Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 10:30 AM (ahBY0)

90 Weeds and snakes. Two topics I can speak of from some experience! I grow world class goldenrod and ragweed crops. When the soil is moist is the best time to pull them and maybe not break off any of the roots. Should be doing that right now, but... If only I could develop a market, I'd be rich! Basket weaving materials? Putting up the chickens at dark last night, I almost stepped on a five foot black king snake leaving the coop area. Fortunately, it was light enough to see it wasn't a cottonmouth. The terrier walked right over it and didn't see it. I wish they would spend more time hunting rodents and poisonous snakes than raiding for eggs!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 10:37 AM (4DCSq)

91 Weeds and snakes. Two topics I can speak of from some experience! I grow world class goldenrod and ragweed crops. When the soil is moist is the best time to pull them and maybe not break off any of the roots. Should be doing that right now, but... If only I could develop a market, I'd be rich! Basket weaving materials? Putting up the chickens at dark last night, I almost stepped on a five foot black king snake leaving the coop area. Fortunately, it was light enough to see it wasn't a cottonmouth. The terrier walked right over it and didn't see it. I wish they would spend more time hunting rodents and poisonous snakes than raiding for eggs!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 10:37 AM (4DCSq)

92 First double post!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 10:39 AM (4DCSq)

93 >>I grow world class goldenrod and ragweed crops. I specialize in some sort of thing that looks like a ginormous dandelion, except this one is thorny.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 10:42 AM (RWGcK)

94 I specialize in some sort of thing that looks like a ginormous dandelion, except this one is thorny. Hah! I have those, too. They are edible, though, if you trim the thorns off the edge of the leaves with a sharp knife.

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 10:48 AM (4DCSq)

95 What are they?

Posted by: Y-not on the phone at May 30, 2015 10:51 AM (RWGcK)

96 I covered mine last year and looks like you describe yours. Looked it up and parsley is biennial. So, last year for mine. I cut it way back in hopes of getting new shoots. I think if you let it go to flower it will quit on you like basil, but I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people than me here.
Posted by: dartist at May 30, 2015 03:30 PM (ahBY0)



I've cut mine back too, but the only shoots I'm getting is the tall woody flower stems, no new leaves.  Research seems to say that the second year is the seeding year and you can't get much in the way of leaves out of it. 

Posted by: DangerGirl and her 1.21 gigawatt Sanity Prod (tm) at May 30, 2015 10:57 AM (q20+R)

97 95 What are they? Well, this is what I have. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonchus_asper

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 11:02 AM (4DCSq)

98 Keena, the plants you saw near Mendocino sound lovely. I started tomato seeds in January this year. We had some periods of hot weather followed by more moderate weather, which may have speeded up tomato production. Cosmonaut Volkov is quite early for many people. Some sites say it is determinate, others say it is indeterminate. I've grown it before, and it did its best stuff early in the season in our hot weather. Sweet Tangerine is determinate. I think it's a pretty good bet for short-season areas. It is also quite heat tolerant. Burpee won't say which diseases it is resistant to, but I read somewhere that it is nematode resistant.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 11:24 AM (qahv/)

99 KT, I'm going to put your thread up.

Posted by: Y-not at May 30, 2015 11:27 AM (RWGcK)

100 On parsley: Yes, it is biennial. It may be annual in our climate. There's an old saying that parsley seeds go to hell and come back before they sprout . . a slow germinator. My favorite is Giant Italian. There are some curly parsley cultivars that are advertised as not tasting like soap. I believe in not just planting any old parsley seeds you find. Plus, old parsley seeds may not sprout as well as old seeds of many other veggies.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 11:28 AM (qahv/)

101 Lea, If the bush and tree were alive, you might want to wait before planting gardenias in the area, until you are sure the roots are dead. You could put the gardenias in pots in the meantime. Loose, acid soil.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 11:30 AM (qahv/)

102 Spun and Murky, Goldenrod gets a bad rap because of its association with ragweed. I looked it up, and apparently it's edible. Don't know if it tastes good.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 11:35 AM (qahv/)

103 Mrs. E has 2 of her trophy deer antlers on the wall in our den. On one hangs a tumbleweed,  and on  the other hangs a cotton stalk with open bolls on it. A  USN CPO cover hangs on the antelope antlers.

Posted by: Eromero at May 30, 2015 12:09 PM (go5uR)

104 My hydrangeas: http://tinypic.com/r/1zbrqz7/8

Posted by: lindafell is cruzin' at May 30, 2015 12:17 PM (xVgrA)

105 KT, you're right. Both, release their pollen at the same time in the late summer. Goldenrod sends out huge clouds of visible pollen, but the particles are too large to cause an allergic reaction. Meanwhile, the tiny ragweed pollen wreaks havoc. I'll have to check on the palatabilty of GR. I can't imagine what's edible. Maybe the root tubers or flowers? I do like to know what I can gather in my environment...

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 12:19 PM (4DCSq)

106 TL R - That is my favorite Delbert McClinton song. Thanks for sharing that one . Saw him last bout 4-5 years ago at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Great show. My garden on the other hand - well, I got the corn, beans and squash in today - finally warm enough. Potatoes are going great & non edible plants are looking good.

Posted by: cfomahm at May 30, 2015 12:42 PM (RfzVr)

107 JTB, I saw Michael Martin Murphy once live, in a small outdoor venue. The band was very down-to-earth, they got sort of personal about missing family. They invited a local cowboy poet to join them. He was great.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 01:02 PM (qahv/)

108 Spun and Murky, Here ya go: "Liberty Tea", made with goldenrod. http://www.eattheweeds.com/solidago-odora-liberty-tea-2/

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 01:07 PM (qahv/)

109 Spun and Murky, Here ya go: "Liberty Tea", made with goldenrod. http://www.eattheweeds.com/solidago-odora-liberty-tea-2/

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 01:07 PM (qahv/)

110 Cool, KT! Tire rubber and medicinal poultices, too. Thanks!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at May 30, 2015 01:33 PM (4DCSq)

111 Unlike most it's been dry as a bone since spring. But tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes slowly coming along with hand watering.

Posted by: skip at May 30, 2015 01:49 PM (7L9rc)

112 Just saw your hydrangeas, Lindafell. I like them!

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 30, 2015 06:40 PM (qahv/)

113 Replaced pygmy date palms this week. Got to shopping for new planters (20 gal minimum.) Anyone have a good website for a SoCal biz that might have favorable prices?

Posted by: Rooney Looney at May 31, 2015 03:28 AM (aXCDY)

114 No website, Rooney Looney, but it is generally a good call to keep palm trees in planters rather than putting them in the ground.

Posted by: KT bar the door at May 31, 2015 04:56 AM (qahv/)

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