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19 messages
11/03/2014 at 17:41

 Today I was supposed to run a new power line to my back garden but it is raining away outside so I am sitting at my computer looking out at the gray scene. We have had an excess of rain in the last month, about a foot, so the ground is saturated and the bayou is almost completely fresh. If we do not have a good dry spell the local oysters will begin dieing from the lack of salinity.

 

 I have planted 60 fruit trees and bushes this year - crowded into a very tight place, and those dry rooted, so the rain will be good for their survivability. I have run amouck with planting. The trees are so crowded in I will be pruning them into bushes - something I saw on line, and is exciting - if you are into it like I have become.

 

 I found a place which sells low quality dry rooted fruit trees 5 for $20 and just kept going back again and again...............then have been collecting plants from people's gardens and the wild.

 

 Also I grow veg in a set of raised beds, again too many, and the seasons are changing so lots to do there.

Lyn
11/03/2014 at 17:45

Welcome Flora, nice to have people from far off countries. Let us know how your friut trees go on.

11/03/2014 at 17:46

Flora dog..........sounds as if you suffer from  that well known gardener's syndrome.............can't resist a bargain

That is bad news about the Oysters tho.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of all your work.

11/03/2014 at 17:48

Welcome Flora. I have an American book on organic gardening and it mentions the 'blue grass line' can you tell me if that is the line below which you don't get frost? I have been puzzling over it for some time

11/03/2014 at 19:31

I get that bargain syndrome, Smith, and in a synchronistic way am just back from a dash to Wal-Mart (between these posts) on that exact thing.  My wife called me saying they had house paint and some outdoor gear marked down dirt cheap..... so she rushed home and we went back and bought $160 of bargains. They add up fast. So just home with:

 

 Two good quality (each) fishing rods and reels - a very good fishing lure, two sets ladder hooks, a window air conditioner bracket, a boat bilge pump, 7 peanut bars, box candy -  8, one quart, good, interior/exterior gloss paint, a folding drink cooler, 30 lb bag dog food and 6 cans, and 4 small packs of raisin/peanut trail mix. (!)

 

 The rods and reels are Penn and I wanted a good one for my wife - just one of the sets was $150 at full price. The department manager was just marking it to move. Saving ones self broke - or making a great deal; depending. We fish a lot.

 

Artjak, The Blue Grass line; State, is up in Kentucky so is where good freezes happen still. I live on the Gulf of Mexico and we had real freezes this year - one period for three days the bird bath stayed frozen three strait days getting to minus 8 C (18 F)

11/03/2014 at 20:05

Flora dog...........phew.......that's a lot of stuff in one day

Know absolutely nothing about fishing..........are you talking about inland or sea ?

What fruit trees have you planted ? Also what veg are you growing ? Be interesting as such a different climate from ours.

Sorry........a lot of questions.

Have a good evening

 

12/03/2014 at 10:08

Floradog'll be asleep now, I expect - but from what he says I think he could be on the Gulf Coast - Texas perhaps? - mention of "bayou" and shellfish needing some salt in the water.............  my D lives in Texas, not far from the coast, and I know they've had some really cold weather at times in the past couple of years.  Lots of the sub-tropical plants, which are common in gardens there, have really suffered.  Hailstorm damage too - resulting in some cars being so badly battered  by huge hailstones that they've been "written off", and people needing to have house roofs repaired and even completely replaced in some instances........and we think we get odd weather here in the UK!

12/03/2014 at 12:00

 I am on the Gulf, on a salt water bayou. We fish a lot, and trap crabs and net shrimp.

 

Thanks for asking Phill.  This year I planted: 5 muscadine grapes (American natives) two table grapes, 8 blueberries, 1 kumquat, 1 Myers lemon, 1 blood navel orange, 1 Satsuma, 2 grapefruits, 1 guava (died from freezing as well as a lime tree), 10 bananas (dug from an aquintance's garden that needed thinning), 6 plums, 2 apricots, 2 peaches, 2 five on one tree - apple, 1 Dorset apple, 18 blackberries, 3 persimmons, 6 mulberries, 1 plucot, 2 native Chickasaw plum, 2 native mayhaws, 1 elm, 1 native chestnut, 2 pecans, 13 palm trees (tiny, I collected them as seedlings and kept them in pots all year till last week), 2 sago palms I was given, 3 asparagus beds (collected from a garden of a house for sale - with the blackberries in exchange for removing the beds; took the wood of the raised beds they were in as well), 1 patio peach (ornamental, in a pot), 3 pears, and some other stuff.

 

 I live at 3.5 foot elevation (3.5 foot above mean tide - we get 3 foot tides when full so my land is six inches above high tide - rising to 6 foot elevation on the small bit of high land. and 10 to 12 on my spoil pile hills) and we flood all the time with salt water. Also the soil is silty muck with the water table virtually at ground level much of the year. The land is mostly wooded with wild shrubs, oaks, pines, and other native stuff - and my low lawns of St Augustine grass - which do not mind salt flooding at all.

 

 I had a pond dug 4 years ago and deepened to 12 foot this year. The spoil piles at each end of the pond are my proper high ground and is where most of the fruit trees and bushes are - crammed right against each other. In the last 8 years we have been swimming down the road in front of my house 4 times - with lesser floods regularly.

12/03/2014 at 12:31

 I do not know how to edit - not 'This year' but in the last 12 months I planted all those - many this year though. Also 3 figs which I forgot.  I have to walk the dogs and go to work so no time to learn to edit.

12/03/2014 at 14:55

That's a lot of trees. Had to google Mayhaw, which turns out to be a Crataegus, which is a relation of our hawthorn tree.

12/03/2014 at 19:34

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3783/12707754174_cbc8fb5c5b.jpg

 trying a picture - those are the 5 for a dollar dry rooted trees. almost no root, and dug long before the sale so not fresh, but cheap. And some of my dogs, the big one, Flora, is not included. They are standing on the banana plants - I had great banana plants last year but the freezing has wrecked them. They will come back from the roots - these ones are also killed back from freezing so will restart small - and no bananas this year. Here they are biannual, then the trunks die after fruiting, and young plants sprout from the roots. I am making a bigger banana grove by taking out some invasive trees; giving room under the edge of an oak tree.

 

 The mayhaw is a hawthorn, American native, and is used for fruit jellies, Fleurisa. It likes wet soil and I have one planted right on the pond bank. They are thorn covered so will have to keep it controlled because it is between the pond and path.  A funny thing happened with that. I had planted one of those dry rooted persimmons there last spring. It sent out a few leaves and then died - just being a big, dead, twig all year sticking out of the wet soil. So I was given a couple mayhaw's by a group wanting to spread native wildlife trees and planted one beside the dead persimmon. Now the persimmon is growing a couple buds! And the mayhaw is growing extremely well.

 

 I had two persimmons die after planting last year - spending all their first year looking completely dead - and both now have buds forming on the stem. Odd plants.

13/03/2014 at 15:25

I bought 18 of the small plastic seed starting pots $2 - each holds six plants, and began my seed starting this week. Most of my seeds are the ones I get from seed giveaways where out of date seed packets are given to a garden club so have dubious germinating rates. The Dollar Store sells 4 packs for a dollar and I use them, and for row crops buy them at the farmer supply house where they sell from bins by the pound or oz, or 1/4 oz, at a good price.

 

 So yellow pear tomatoes, my favorite - big boy, early girl, celebrity, tomatoes. Jalapenos, sweet banana, hot banana, various bell, cubana peppers. Two kinds of water melon - sugar baby for tiny ones and a big 30 pound verity, 6 packs of zinnia and moon flower, and cocks combe. and ten kinds of herbs, and 2 kinds of okra (I had some more pots)

13/03/2014 at 16:14
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7387/12060269683_78b2ffb516.jpg

 

 Time to start the sweet potato slips. I am starting one batch from a sweet potato left from last year's garden, one orange potato bought, and a white sweet potato I bought yesterday. One puts them in a shallow bowl of water on a window sill and lets them grow 6 inch long sprouts. Cut those 'slips' off and put them into a vase with water and it grows roots. Those are then planted.

 

 My purple potatoes are getting to the tops of the pots seen above. As they grow I add soil till they reach the top of the pot. I bought a bag of tiny purple potatoes from the market and just plant them whole. Next to it is a pot I have now emptied and then planted with seed potatoes, red ones, given to me by someone who bought 20 pounds of them and only needed 4 pounds. They are just breaking the soil now and will begin their way to growing up the pot. I also have purple ones growing in a trench in my mail raised bed that are almost to the top as well.

 

 Last year I planted some of these supermarket purple potatoes late and got a bowl full. They are very tasty and great fun. Purple all the way through. This year if I get a good crop I plan to boil then and freeze in vacuum bags with a lump of butter and parsley.

 

 I love my vacuum packer, it really increases the quality and lifespan of frozen foods. (Wash and reuse the bags, they are a bit expensive)

 

 

14/03/2014 at 13:25

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2843/13146577263_9ce014c053.jpg

 

I am an obsessive composter. Here the main tree is the live oak - called that because it does not lose its leaves in autumn but has a change with old dropping and new emerging over Jan - March. These are huge oaks (with a wonderful epiphyte, the resurrection fern). So they drop and will kill lawns so are raked and put out for the garbage collection in bags. There are many mansions (modest ones - very big houses on big yards) and their lawn care will put out a truck load of bagged leaves at a time.

 Smaller houses put out half truck loads of bags - also live oak leaves are small, oval, flat leaves and nestle very tightly so a bag weighs 30 to 50 lbs if it has much dirt raked too. I collect thousands of pounds a year and compost them in a heap in the woods.

 

 

14/03/2014 at 13:54

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3825/13146753704_651819df47.jpg

 This is the pogy bread I make for the chickens - made of their cracked corn feed, flour, any thing else like bacon fat or old peanut butter, and pogy fish I net. they are a filter feeding fish that is actually the largest tonnage of fish caught by the USA fishing fleet. pogies are of the sardine/anchovy group - high in fats, omega3, and grow so quick they do not accumulate toxins. They use them for fish farming feeds and industrial uses. I feed them to the chickens daily either raw and whole or cooked in these loafs. The chickens love them, and I believe they make the eggs especially natural.

 

 I actually started this post to talk about composting and wandered: The biggest work in large composting is wetting the leaves. Dried leaves are like thatched roofs, they shed water. Just piled up in large amounts they would take years to do much - and then the lower sections would just mummify instead of rotting. We have almost no worms here to get in and work the compost - we flood with salt and fresh water too often for them to survive.

 

 Water is metered here and expensive because of the swer costs tied to the water volume used. (where normal sewer treatment facilities always have lined ponds - here it has to be in huge above ground, concrete, tanks because of flooding). So I put in a well. It is 45 foot deep and took two men (me and a helper) 8 hours of hard work, and $150 of materials - then free water for my gardens and ponds.

 

 So one opens a bag and dumps it, the other rakes it back and forth on the pile as the hose is sprayed on the leaves. A truck load takes me and my wife an hour to wet, and has the hose running the whole time over them and one gets very wet feet. 8 to 12 months later you have compost - the chickens really help by turning the compost about looking for bugs, and I put the chicken pen litter with their manure over the pile (I do not use chicken manure on anything except for where it can be left 6 months to compost before it will go onto gardens. - I keep two compost piles so the manure can be made safe for food crops)

14/03/2014 at 20:32

 I am taking a break, just ran the 200 ft of wire. I had to put 100 foot in conduit where it crossed some dirt roads - and bury it all. I used some old 1/2 inch PVC and pushing 12/2 UF wire into long pieces of half inch pipe is a horrible chore - then digging into the packed gravel and then the packed clay under that - tiring. Most of it went through a bit of marsh I own so it could be just exposed.

 

 I was pleased at how well I still can dig trenches. Having put in many plumbing and electrical services I am good at it - and not bad for a used up carpenter. I hit sixty recently and my body just gave it up. tendons gone in my shoulders from throwing steel overhead too many years, feet wrecked, back has to be taken easy. old tradesmen usually wear out at about my age.

 

 I came in for a piece of pie and glass of water and to sit down out of the sun, a warm day today. Next I have to make up a junction box where three different circuits meet (old ones from when I had electricity from a different direction.) and then tap into the house wiring with a GFCI, a switch to kill the whole line, and a socket in weather proof box outside.

 

 This morning I made a couple bamboo grape arbors. I had cut the bamboo a wile ago to let it age - hopefully long enough or it sprouts where it is driven into the soli and begins growing. I use a lot of bamboo because I can collect it from a grove I know in the woods.

14/03/2014 at 20:43

I suddenly worried I was blogging here - should I move to somewhere else? I am up to something pretty much every day so may talk too much. The time to leave is soon if I should go - I understand this forum is not really about the sort of gardening I do.

15/03/2014 at 18:13

Flora, this forum, as far as I understand it is conversations about gardening techniques, a few jokes (especially about cake) but it is also a place where people ask for advice and get it. I don't expect most gardeners have the time to read long accounts of what other people are doing....We are too busy gardening

15/03/2014 at 21:19

Thanks artjak

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