Busy Time in the Gardens

| 4/21/2012 7:56:30 PM

A photo of Nebraska DaveHey everyone, how does your garden grow?  My seed starting station was a great success.  In fact too much so.  I didn't monitor it too well and after a week I decided that maybe a few seeds may have sprouted.  Yeah, the tomatoes looked like bean sprouts and hit the plastic top, curled over, and had grown half way back to the seed pellet.  The bell peppers were just about touching the plastic top.  I decided to just pull out the white stemmed spindly tomatoes and restart them.  The bell peppers were good and look great.  After four days the tomato seeds have popped up and are well on the way to producing tomato plants.  They may be just a little small when I plant them around May 15th but that just means I'll have tomatoes later in the season.  I'll probably buy a six pack or two just to have some earlier tomatoes.  The lesson learned is to monitor those seed starts every day.  The weather has been so nice that I don't even use the grow lights but just set them out side during the day to get the real thing sunshine.  It looks like I have four nice and sturdy Rutgers volunteer tomato plants already growing in the garden.  I'll let them get a little bigger and transplant them to their proper spot for this year.
Wood Border

Here's the plan for the bottom of the fence.  The last 30 feet of fencing will be cut into strips two foot wide and thirty feet long.  They will be attached to the bottom of the existing fence which then will be tacked to the wood that will be in a shallow trench.  Hopefully this will deter any digging critter from digging under the fence.  If that don't work then I do have a plan "B".  Plan "B" is to lay a two foot strip of chicken wire horizontally down in front of the wood and pin it to the ground with the big staple looking pins and cover it up with dirt.  The idea is that if a digging critter decided to dig, their claws will catch in the wire and keep them from digging.  That has been put on hold until the inside of the fence garden is finished.  I don't think any thing is going to eat the tomatoes, cucumbers, or bell peppers.

You can and see the weeds are coming back with a vengeance.  Sadly I had to resort to chemical measures to contain the weed population.  I really wanted to deep mulch them with broken bales of hay but I'm having a difficult time getting permission to haul the old hay away.  The property that they are sitting on is owned by a limited liability corporation.  I think a few folks got together and formed this corporation to buy investment property.  The real estate company gave me a number to call. The fellow that answered had no idea what I was talked about.  The address that I found from public records for the company was a house for sale.  My only recourse is to keep a watchful eye on the property and wait for the farmer that grows crops on the 25 acres to show up so I can ask him if I can haul it away for mulch.  However, as you can see weeds wait for no one.  The plan is to only do the chemical control once and not on my inside the fence garden.
 Gate Day Lilies

Here's my lovely free daylilies.  Yeah, they just happen to be right smack dab in the middle of my gate.  Aren't they really healthy and looking strong.  I decided that I'm not so much in love with daylilies any more.  My original plan was to transplant them along the outside of the fence.  Aaaaa, well, I can do that later if I really want.  I discovered they are a little tougher to transplant than I thought.  It looked a lot easier in mind.  So they have to go.  I have several other patches about this same size on the property so there is not going to be a lack of this resource if I decide to get crazy and use them for border plants.  Although, I would like to see a rabbit try to dig through those tangled roots.
Daylilies all Gone

OK, nothing but a pile of compost to be hauled away.  The good old pick axe and I rooted them out of the dirt in short order.  Let's get on to the next step in the taming of Terra Nova Gardens.
Pathway for garden

Here's one path and two garden beds almost finished.  Now why on earth would anyone dig a trench in the garden.  Some years ago I read an article about building raised garden beds.  The article said that since the path would only be used for walking skim off the four inches of good top soil and put it on the garden bed.  Not that I really need to do that here since the top soil goes down at least 18 inches.  My idea is to get more height for the garden beds and then to fill up the trench with wood chips.  Maybe a tree service would be willing to donate a load or two of wood chips for my garden paths and parking area.  It would do wonders for looks and be nice to walk on.

5/6/2012 10:39:47 PM

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to your rugosa questions, Dave. I'm guessing if you mailed ordered them, they'll come bare root. In that case, yes, soaking the roots is necessary before planting - a good 12 hours is not too long. Adding a root stimulator to the tub of water the roots are soaking in is a great idea; I like either "Plant Starter" or "Root n' Grow" both made by Bonide, and readily available at garden centers or box stores. Searching my memory - I think it's 6 tablespoons per gallon of water. (If the roses arrive bare root and you're not quite ready to plant yet, make sure you heel them in....just dig a big hole and plop the bunch of them in, covering the root zone with soil or mulch until you're ready to soak and plant.) If they come potted instead of bare root, using the root stimulator is still a good idea - just water it in after planting. I agree - planting a rose that's supposed to get six feet wide only 2 feet apart seems too close. Yes, they will grow together to make a nice thick hedge, but they will do the same if planted 3 or 4 feet apart; even at 5 feet apart they will eventually fill in to make a hedge; it'll just take longer. It just depends on how long you're willing to wait. Are you a patient gardener? Is there such a thing?

5/5/2012 1:31:51 PM

Mary, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have plants ready to be planted as well. This week will be big time planting week. Well, that is if weather cooperates. I wish I could send you some rain as it is starting to get to the point that we could use a break for awhile with rain. Weather still seems to be on the side of extreme this year. It's just a continuation of last year. Today the temperature will be in the 90s again. It's the second day for high temperatures. It's really starting to heat up early this year. I'm not sure how that will affect gardening. Have a great planting time in the garden.

5/5/2012 1:26:45 PM

Shannan, thank you for your encouraging words. The fence will eventually keep all critters out. I haven't quite finished it yet. After the inside is completed and all planting is done then the fence will get finished. I have a vision of how my gardens will look as well but sometimes my mind's eye sees things a little different that what happens in reality. :0) Have a great day in the garden.

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