Finally, I can voice my point of view ;-)

trudi_dMay 4, 2010

This link goes to a conservation I had with Australian garden writer Peter Damien Ryan, pull up a chair, go siss first becuase it's almost an hour long (lol) and you'll learn a bit about me and what I like and what I do with many aspects of gardening.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Gardening Concepts Audio Interview

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PVick(6b NYC)

Great "conversation", Trudi! Your voice is so light and young! Are you a native New Yorker - you've certainly got that "twang"! LOL!

Lots of good info there. Your counting the spots on the ladybug story had me laughing!

Thanks for posting this ........ I'm gonna have to listen to it again.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:15AM
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Yes, I'm a N'Yorker, born and bred ;-)


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:37AM
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pearlpark(5 (N.W. Ohio))

Trudi, your enthusiasm is infectious. There were a couple of interesting things in your conversation. The first is that your property is a Certified Wildlife habitat. Two years ago we certified our property. We put in a very small pond with a pre-formed liner to meet wildlife needs for water. We are having algae problems. We are thinking of getting algae eaters at the local pet store. Do you have algae problems in your pond? We are also having problem with weeds. We have a lot of thistle and creeping charlie. The first reaction is to herbicide the problem. How do you deal with weeds.

Thanks for posting your conversation. It is very interesting.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:31AM
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This year my pond has algae, I didn't notice the problem last year but I had started the pond later in the year, we've had a very warm spring so far and I think that accounts for the algae bloom. I am also going to get some algae eaters--I guess like minds think alike ;-)

For the thistle you can dig out mature plants, as best you can because they do have a long tap root, and then in the open hole dump a kettle of boiling water to scald the ground and likely kill the plant. Seedlings of thistle that are less than a month old can be killed outright with a spritzing of plain white kitchen vinegar, you may have to repeat the treatment a few more times with young plants.

Creeping Charlie can be hand pulled, shovel pruned, or doused with boiling water. Kitchen vinegar will have some impact on the leaves to weaken the plant but its best applied in the morning of sunny and hot days because the sun will concentrate the acetic acid in the vinegar while it evaporates. Frequent low mowing will knock off many of the blooms, and thus its seeds, and decrease the amount it does reseed.

In my backyard lawn I have a large patch of violets, I can dig them out and put down new soil and grass seeds which is a lot of work, or I can mow the patch, knock off the flowers and prevent it from expanding by reseeding. I still have violets pop up in the beds, but I just shovel prune them, they're not deeply rooted and do come up fast.

I've learned to live with a few weeds. I know what there seedlings look like so I can hoe them out early on if I get to them soon enough. But I'm not going to go on a purity purge and remove virtually every weed from the garden--so many of them have airborne seeds that I would be forever in battle to prevent any windblown seeds from sprouting in my garden. It's all a balance, you need to work assertively against the worst of the invasives year to year, and eventually it all becomes paced and routine.

I wish I could give you a better answer, but truthfully, if you're going to maintain a natural environment then you have to accept that weeds will be in that environment. Ideologically, Mother Nature doesn't know what a weed is; a weed is a human concept, and we can control the plants in our environments be we cannot control Mother Nature who has provided that larger environment. We tweak what she provides, but she remains the true owner of the garden.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 1:59PM
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pearlpark(5 (N.W. Ohio))

You are right about weeds. It's only been two years since my wife and I decided to turn our acre and a half into a wildlife habitat. The previous 18 years its been lawn with a 20 x 45 foot vegetable garden.

It is hard for me to consider a weed as something beneficial. In the past, weeds have always been something to remove from the vegetable garden by any means. But weeds can be useful. Even the thistle that I let go to seed way too may times, is used by Goldfinch's for nesting material and by butterflies as a nectar plant. Queen annes lace, also considered a weed, attracts beneficial insects and serves as a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies. .

I don't want to totally eliminate my weeds ,but there is way too much thistle and creeping charlie. I want to make room to plant the weeds that I want. Weeds such as butterfly weed, Joe Pye weed and Goldenrod. Ha.

Thanks for the advice on the vinegar and boiling water. I always enjoy your posts as well as your web site.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 3:55PM
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re: algae bloom..I've attached a link to a gardening/life blog of a woman who made her own biofilter, which significantly reduced algae buildup in her pond..I'll attach a link..

Here is a link that might be useful: Empress of Dirt's bio filter

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 3:07PM
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I don't know what I am doing wrong, I can't get it???

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 8:16PM
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