SJ's Garden Thread

Discussion in 'User Created Art' started by S.J. Faerlind, May 2, 2013.

  1. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Did you grow that tomato from seed or buy it already started?

    I'd have to Google the difference between hot and cold composting. I have a black plastic can-like thing with a lid that I put compostable stuff in. From what I can tell, it seems to take about 2 years to break down in there. I would really like to try those worms you can get that crawl around in the composter and eat stuff down faster. I don't think they'd survive the winters here though.

    Awwww... here's hoping the cute critters make a return to your yard and that the kitties let them live.
     
  2. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Well, different house, different garden, so there won't be any new animals.

    As to composting; it does stay warm on the inside when it's composting properly.
    To get worms, just dig up a bit of earth and voilà!
     
  3. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    It was a seed, but I found out that it hadn't regrown any substantial root system when I transferred it into the ground so it's dead now. 11 pepper plant seedlings are sprouting now as well as a small cluster of oregano.

    How much moisture does the compost get? From what I've read its mostly a mixture of moisture and air that gets the bacteria cycle going in a much shorter period of time (weeks to a few months I think). I had a cold compost when I was at my friend's house and it wasn't ready yet, but it had the deep earthy smell within 2 months (oddly enough during the dry season when it got next to no moisture at all).
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    It gets only what moisture I put into it. When it looks dry I take the hose to it :D I think the problem is that the can should be in the sun rather than the shade. It inhabits an overgrown corner of the yard in the shade of a birch tree. I should probably move it somewhere sunnier.
     
  5. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    More stuff is out!

    This is native (or wild) Canada Columbine:

    [​IMG]

    and this is a domesticated relative:

    [​IMG]

    I don't know how they managed to convince those flowers to turn upside down in the process of domestication... :D

    I have two types of clematis vines growing alongside my deck. This variety is flowering right now:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    The peonies are just coming out now. I wish I could somehow post how great they smell but there are limits to the internet.
    The tall plants in the foreground (without flowers) are a native plant called "Swamp Milkweed". They will flower later in the year (hopefully), but monarch butterflies LOVE them. In a few weeks I should be able to start finding monarch caterpillars on them. They'll eat those plants down to almost nothing but if I'm lucky I might be able to find a monarch chrysalis or two around my yard towards fall.

    [​IMG]

    A closeup of the peony flowers. You gotta love these things... they smell amazing, they're gorgeous and they are completely maintenance free! It just doesn't get any better than that if you like to grow flowers.

    [​IMG]

    This is a crazy thing I found in one of my front gardens (where the tulips used to be):

    [​IMG]

    It's a walnut tree! I have no idea where it came from or what I'm going to do with it, but... there it is.
     
  7. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Well, you're definitely getting all the beautiful flowers now! Very pretty :)
     
  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I would make a wild guess by saying a walnut dropped there? :p

    Seeds (including nuts) are designed to spread. They mostly don't succeed. But, as it happens, some do :)
     
  9. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I'm guessing a squirrel put it there, which is still odd considering there aren't any walnut trees around the neighbourhood. Somebody must have been eating one outdoors and tossed it or something. I'd really like to see if it would survive the winter but I have nowhere to put it if it actually grows. I might have to move it to a park or something.
     
  10. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Beautiful flowers S.J! The peonies especially, absolutely wonderful. Not sure about the compost, I've only got a few bits of info really, got a book from the library though so if I find anything helpful I'll be happy to share.
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Oh yes please do! I'm all ears :)
     
  12. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Will do when I get through it, slow going unfortunately as I've been more focused on the hands on portion of gardening at the moment. What's your compost bin look like? I've never actually seen one, mine is just a pile of stuff with critters digging through it looking for the kitchen scraps.
     
  13. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    So what I've got so far.

    Compost is created primarily by the breakdown of organic matter by bacteria and fungi. To grow these need air and water. While there are bacteria that can grow without air, this kind of bacteria tends to emit a noxious smell that compost piles are known for, turning the pile encourages the non-smelly bacteria in a pile. Bacteria is excellent for turning green material into compost (grass clippings, kitchen scraps, etc) while fungus is much better at creating compost out of woody materials (limbs, sticks, paper, cardboard). Putting some paper or wood in the pile will dissolve slower due to bacteria being dominant in the pile, but its structure also should keep the pile from constantly collapsing on itself and suffocating the bacteria, its just a matter of whether or not sticks are acceptable in your compost. The compost pile should be kept moist, like a wrung out sponge, enough that it doesn't drip, but with a sure grip you should be able to wring out a few drops.

    Compost needs to have a 30:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio, green materials are high in nitrogen, while brown materials are high in carbon. Generally, a compost pile that is high in nitrogen is also high in calcium but adding eggshells to the pile can increase the calcium in a pile if not. A pile that has too much brown stuff can also be problematic in that it tends to create a more acidic compost, which can be great if you have a soil that is too alkaline, like clay soil often is, but really bad if you have a soil that is slightly acidic like the sandy soil that we have in Florida.

    Quick list of C:N
    Chicken manure 6:1
    Vegetable waste 15:1
    Grass clippings 20:1
    Tree leaves 50:1
    Straw 80:1
    Wood/paper can be anywhere from 100:1 to 500:1.


    I also found out that old soil is no good if it's been in a bag, since the lack of air kills that bacteria that you want and leads to poor soil structure in which many microorganisms live, makes burrowing more difficult for earthworms, and can make rooting difficult for plants. The smelly bacteria also has the negative effect of leaching nitrogen from the soil and turning it into gas nitrogen, while the non-smelly bacteria convert gas nitrogen into soil nitrogen.

    The big three chemicals that good compost and all fertilizers have is nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Phosphorous isn't added much into some of the newer fertilizers here, but given the industry here centers around phospherous extraction the soil here has plenty of it, so it may be different for you. The list of lesser nutrients include Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. Micronutrients are chlorine, boron, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, and molybdenum, but deficiencies in these are very rare provided the soil isn't very acidic or alkaline and the book recommends focusing on pH balance instead of going with a fertilizer that is specific to these as the most likely outcome is toxic levels of the mineral.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  14. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    ^^I should add more green leaves to my composter based on that I think.^^ We add a lot of wood ash from the woodstove to it over the winter so the C:N ratio is probably waaayyyyyy off...
    Thanks Dreamscaper :)

    Here's another challenge for you..

    [​IMG]

    I have one clematis vine that is unhappy. The rest seem to be fine. I don't see any chew marks from bugs eating it or anything. The leaves are just discoloured and I'm wondering if it's suffering from some kind of deficiency. Any thoughts?
     
  15. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    More updates!

    The veggie garden has gone from this:

    [​IMG]

    To this!

    [​IMG]

    Yes, the little stakes and strings the peas are leaning on are falling down. That would be my cat's fault. The little devil loves to play in my vegetable garden and keeps jumping on them. :p
    and the pumpkin vines are about to invade the lawn. This where the mowing is going to get interesting! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  16. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I also found this cute little guy hiding in my lettuce:

    [​IMG]

    .....only he wasn't really all that little after all :D

    [​IMG]

    My other type of clematis is now flowering. I love these ones.. they look like red velvet :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    The plants that escaped from my neighbour's yard into mine have started to flower. I wish I knew what they were. I think they look like some kind of geranium...?

    [​IMG]

    That grassy-looking wildflower ("spiderwort") I posted earlier in the thread is flowering like crazy right now. Each individual flower is only open for a few hours on one day.

    [​IMG]

    This is a domesticated relative of "black eyed Susan" (AKA Rudbeckia):

    [​IMG]

    And this is a shrub rose I got on sale cheap at a garden centre that was trying to get rid of the rest of their roses. I don't usually grow roses because they're supposed to be picky and I'm not into babying my perennials all that much. These were supposed to be hardy so I thought I'd give them a try. I'm glad I did because they're very tiny and very cute and they smell nice too. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I also have a few strawberry plants in one of my flower gardens. They've been giving us a few berries this year. :)

    [​IMG]

    All the stuff in pots has really taken off too. Annuals always look so sad when I first plant them. Now they're really starting to perk up and flower like crazy! Some comparison photos:

    Just after planting (beginning of June):

    [​IMG]

    Now:

    [​IMG]

    Beginning of June:

    [​IMG]

    Now:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Beginning of June:

    [​IMG]

    Now:

    [​IMG]
    These herbs are getting a haircut soon so I can start drying them :D

    All those teeny tiny pansies in my big planter are now just starting to flower (most of them are purple):

    [​IMG]

    In a month I think they're going to be spectacular :)
     
  20. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Gut reaction is magnesium deficiency, but that info is related to palm trees which do the same thing under the circumstance of a magnesium deficiency. Quick search and that seems to be the generally net accepted answer as well. Try sprinkling a little bit of epsom salt around the vine and it should be good to go, just watch and see how it reacts to it. Given its a smaller plant I'm not sure how much, but I'd go light and see if it improves after about a week as the 'shake some around it' was instructions from my old co-worker in dealing with the issue for a fully grown royal palm

    Is that the natural soil in your garden? Looks pretty good, very vibrant plant life outside the garden as well!

    So that's what pumpkin vines look like! How many of them did you plant right there? I'm concerned about mine, pumpkins are not supposed to thrive here this time of year so I overplanted, planning on some of them dying but every last seed has sprouted so I'm trying to figure out how to space them out as they're in little bunches of 6 at the moment.

    All those flowers are awesome, they have really gotten to getting big! Good to see everything perk up.