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Got some new "babies" today

Posted by Lamora 4 (My Page) on
Sat, May 11, 13 at 20:51

will post pictures tomorrow. Hi all! went to lowes just for a look-see today and found 3 new plants, thought I would give a Wandering Jew another chance. It looks much better and stronger than my other one that wants to die every time I try to plant it (what is left is in water)

Got me a fly trap, very small one, hoping it will eat some gnats flying around here.

And I also got me a Cryptanthus Pink Star, just because I thought it was interesting looking. Will need to look it up-- I hate buying on impulse!! lol

I was watching everyone else around, getting things for gardens, and I really wish I could plant a real nice flower garden here. There is a real good spot for one in front, tho it wouldn't get much sun light. Always in the shade, but it needs something, right now there are strawberries that are old and won't produce any fruit. But there is nobody here that is physically fit enough to get on the ground and do what need to be done. If my DH wasn't out on the road, I would ask him to make me a raised garden like thing, it is the only way for me to do an outdoor garden. /sigh..

But will post pictures tomorrow sometime.. and I hope that every one has a great day tomorrow! :)

Marjie-- really needing to stop this impulse buying thing!! lol

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Got some new "babies" today

If you've got more time than energy, like I do, smothering and lasagna is the easiest way to start a new garden bed for free, or almost. Sooo much easier than digging up grass. Just spread newspaper (about 10 sheets thick) or cardboard, overlapping well, until the area you want to be a bed is covered. Then cover the paper with 4-6" of finely shredded mulch and wait for the grass to die, usually 4-6 weeks but could be longer for some grasses. I've done this many, many times.

My latest one is really ugly but I'm just trying to make lemonade out of lemons with this one... drought (probably aided by grubs) killed the grass here so I decided that would be the new sunny front bed I was considering. I did dig out a little spot that had hardly any grass and put some Cannas and Gladiolus there, a tiny baby maple tree, some Hibiscus cuttings which still just look stupid 'cuz they're "dead" sticks in the ground, then kind of working around it with smothering, and bark chips, which aren't my preference but I had them available. They don't stay in place if it ever rains really hard. Anyway, with this, I'm not planning to leave the bark chips there, they're just making sure the newspaper is held firmly to the contours of the ground to block the air and light from reaching the grass, which is what is needed to kill it. Whenever I can find more shredded hardwood, I'll replace the bark chips.

Anyway, the newspaper decomposes and does not need to be removed later, just dig through it to add plants in the ground.

I've also smothered grass with stuff that was handy, but does have to be removed to use the bed, like sheets of metal, old egg crate mattress topper, the bags of mulch that will cover the spot, whatever's handy. I think it's easier to wait for the grass to die than dig it up, and I don't mind if it has to get more ugly in the process of getting more pretty.

One other benefit of smothering with a leave-in-place substance like paper or cardboard is that the weed seeds that may be in the ground are unable to germinate as they might be if you just dug up the grass and/or tilled.

The lasagna comes into play if you add amendment layers to your smothering. For example, you could put the paper/cardboard, then kitchen scraps, ready to use compost, leaves, yard trimmings, whatever organic material (OM) that is handy, then the mulch (or not, if the other stuff is a thick enough layer to hold the paper in place and block the light.) It's not necessary to have lasagna layers when smothering, but when planting later, there's a huge improvement if a lot of
OM was placed there.

AND, while you're waiting, you can set potted plants there...

I wrote this for someone complaining about clay, which you probably also have in ID so will paste it here also. Some of this is redundant...

Before I moved to AL, I started many new gardens in OH, in the sub-clay they leave after removing the top soil, when making a housing development, and always where there was grass growing, which exacerbates the problem. It's either muddy or concrete, packed hard from bulldozers and giant trucks. Clay is wonderful stuff, just not by itself. Sounds like you have soil with no organic matter (OM) in it, which is much easier and quicker to fix than you might think.

The more OM matter you can add, the better the soil will become, and more quickly. After two springs of doing nothing but adding a few inches (3-5) of finely shredded harwood, and all of the fallen leaves over the intervening winter, you should notice a difference in texture, drainage, color, tilth, fertility, ability to moderate both excess water and periods of no rain, by the next summer. By the second fall, you should be able to put 18" of leaves on beds and there should be enough decomposition for them to be completely gone by spring.

Now imagine how much you could improve on that by also occasionally adding other OM like compost that you can buy or make from kitchen scraps and yard waste, and/or other materials that can compost in place w/o being composted first, like (confidently seed-free) lawnmower bag trimmings, pine needles, small amounts/pieces of yard trimmings, coffee grounds, weeds you pull before they've made seeds (I lay them with the roots in the air, to make sure they die,) just never a huge amount of one particular thing on a particular spot. If it's dead plant material of a dry type that won't attract fruit flies or other pests, doesn't look too odd, I use it for mulch.

If the ground is really hard, it can be helpful to till initially, but after that, I don't believe it's beneficial because it disrupts the natural soil layers and the critters therein, which are very important for the soil to be healthy, and negatively affects the drainage. The microscopic critters on up to worms and such are all that is needed to distribute the particles of decomposing OM to where they are naturally intended to be, which is where they are most useful to plants. That's why the ground in a forest is so wonderful - spongy, moist but well drained, fertile, sweet-smelling. Nobody tills, the falling leaves and sticks are naturally decomposed and the particles distributed throughout the soil layers. I've found the improvement in being able to dig in these areas as soon as the 2nd year to be dramatic, no thoughts that "It's too hard to dig here unless I till."

This is an extremely ugly thing happening in the front yard, but it will be pretty. Very nerve-wracking the 1st time, but I know it works and is worth doing.

RE: Got some new "babies" today

Cannot wait to see your new babies, Lamora! I, too, recently acquired a pink star.

Wow, purple! Interesting... Thanks for sharing your knowledge! (:

RE: Got some new "babies" today

Just as purple described, I do similar to get new beds in without too much digging.
Here I had lots of turf friends of mine just removed, so I piled it up (grass side down/roots up) approx. 8-10" high right on existing grass. Then I put layers of cardboard on top of the sod & topped it with some shredded leaves and finally with some soil. The tarp is there more to keep it all intact, and will be removed soon (in the meantime it helps to create extra heat & hopefully speeds up composting). I don't think it will be ready to plant until at least fall since it is lots of turf. But next spring it should be definitely ready for some veggies.


This post was edited by rina_ on Thu, May 16, 13 at 1:03

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