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Gardening 2024

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By now the seed catalogs are likely showing up in your mailbox, and dreams of what to grow, what to try begin to fill our minds.

This year’s gardening megathread is now officially open, so let’s hear what you’re planning, doing, and harvesting throughout the yea

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Here's the first idea I have for this year, and it's kind of ambitious, kind of not. Depending on what equipment I'll have available I suppose. 

After thinking a LOT about my post in the Monarch Butterfly post yesterday, it occurred to me that it was kind of blindly... I don't know, presumptuous to ask someone not to do something that I have been doing for 25 year, which is mowing down what was once a wild area. It also occurred to me what a waste of time it is to mow all of that area on a weekly basis or more. So I came up with the following idea: we're going to return it to Nature, but in a way that's pleasant to look at and keeps it from becoming overrun with invasive species and scrub. 

Screen Shot 2024-02-01 at 11.55.14 AM.png

We're going to turn it into a haven for pollinators, songbirds, and perhaps the odd rabbit or two. 

  1. A milkweed patch will be sown and encouraged for the Monarch Butterflies. We'll start it relatively small in comparison to the other areas, but I'm certain it will expand. 
  2. The wildflower area will have to have the sod scraped up to allow a robust growth of wildflowers that will be planted to grow. This will be bulk seed, but could also be bordered with things like Black Eyed Susans and Bee-Balm over time. 
  3. A walking path, approximately 5-6' wide ( two mower deck widths )will be kept between the hedgerow and the wildflower area. This will not only make for a nice walk around the new garden, but will also help keep invasive species, namely Japanese Knotweed, from encroaching on and taking over the flower area. An already mowed walking patch to the creek will be kept. 
  4. The "lawn" that remains will continue to be mowed. ( As with the paths, every effort will be made to blow grass clippings AWAY from the flower section.)  But if my eyes are correct, will be cut in about half. 

What I'm thinking is, from the road or the front porch, there would be an easy and purposeful transition from cultivated to wild. Here's a REALLY rough cross section of what I mean:

Screen Shot 2024-02-01 at 12.10.38 PM.png

( My photoshop guy aint here, so work with me. )

Over time a bench, some birdhouses, etc. could be added. I also intend to work in some mason and carpenter bee boxes. 

As for seed, I've been eyeballing this company for a while. 

I'll get to my gardening plans later, but I thought this would be a good topic to kick off conversation. 

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At those prices they should have a really high germination rate ! I would suggest looking closer to home and maybe starting by cultivating the area then trying a small variety of seed to see which ones thrive best in your soil / location . The County Soil and Water sometimes has specialized seed they advertise. 

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i have a bag of milkweed seeds here btw, i picked them last fall

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15 minutes ago, Adam said:

i have a bag of milkweed seeds here btw, i picked them last fall

I still have the ones you gave me last year as well.

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2 hours ago, Hal said:

I would suggest looking closer to home and maybe starting by cultivating the area then trying a small variety of seed to see which ones thrive best in your soil / location .

Good thinking, but nice to know that company is an option. Theres no filler, it’s pure seed according to their site. But worth comparing.

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The other thing I’m thinking is, I have to replace the potato bed this year and I think the easiest way to do that is cement block. Cheap, and certainly more weather resistant. I’ll only need 16 or so, but I may look into what a pallet would cost. We’ll see.

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I’m cutting way back on taters this year as we still have close to 50# left in the cellar. When i get to feeling better i have to prune the orchard and maybe catch some nice warm sunshine ( anyone remember sunshine) on my back .

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On 1/1/2024 at 12:16 PM, Twin Tiers Living said:

By now the seed catalogs are likely showing up in your mailbox, and dreams of what to grow, what to try begin to fill our minds.

This year’s gardening megathread is now officially open, so let’s hear what you’re planning, doing, and harvesting throughout the yea

No seed catalogs at this house!! I've always looked forward to their arrival to peruse again and again, dreaming of bright and beautiful flowers to come... and now, even tho I made some purchases last year, but no catalogs have arrived to date and likely will not be coming...  Otherwise, will just work with what I've got or look at those companies online of last year's catalogs and see if there's anything I can add to the gardens.  A far cry from years ago when I grew a very large garden to can and freeze the produce. Cannot do that anymore, sadly.  

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It’s going to be Winter squash this year . Butternut , Acorn etc. . I seem to have lost taste for potatoes the last few years but can make a meal of squash 🤔🤷‍♂️. And go figure , the very thought of my eating tomatoes up till a few years ago would have been met with a huge NO ! But now … cherry type and a heritage type called Xanadu , green goddess ( yes ripe and excellent when green ) right off the vine . 

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Here’s the company that was featured on Growing A Greener World. They have a wide variety of mixes, something that might be worth varying a little bit. 

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I just did some measuring. The "wildflower area" I was planning got a little bigger as I stood out there looking at it ( and thinking about how much less I'd like to mow ). It came up to a roughed out 4200 sq feet alone. For the "monarch area", I'm looking at about 200 sq feet, maybe more, depending on how I shape it to the exiting hedgerow. I also left 4' between the two for mowing and to help avoid encroachment. 

Time to draw a new plan. 

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I just ordered seed for the big Spring project. I ended up buying 5# of Northeast Pollinators Wildflower Mix, as well as 1/4# of the Monarch Mix and 1/4# of Black Eyed Susans seed because we like them and they'll look nice spread around the property. I did some really rough measuring yesterday and figure about 4000 sq feet of wildflowers alone. A slightly altered plan is below, although I plan to have more sweeping curves for a more natural look. I'll likely add a bench somewhere and perhaps some stonework down the road:

Screen Shot 2024-02-14 at 11.33.41 AM.png

 That's a lot less mowing. 

I was going to pay for the seed out of my "play" account, but Abby said no need to, it'd come out of the house account. So now I'm thinking it's time to look into a portable, gas powered pump for irrigation so I can water this section and our garden directly from the creek.

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Here’s a cool idea for anyone who may need it:

IMG_6154.jpeg

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And with holes strategically placed in the bottoms of the two top rows of buckets this could be self watering ! 

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Six pounds of wildflower seed arrived, now I just need it to be Spring!

 

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The way things are not shaping up , my plans will be on hold . And haven’t had a chance to talk with the “tiller fella “ in some time so you may have to give him a call . We have a 1/4 acre spot that has been let go to field and last year was heavy with Chicory , Timothy and some Milkweed so that will suffice for this year .   

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40 minutes ago, Hal said:

And haven’t had a chance to talk with the “tiller fella

I'll either do that or just rent one so I can get things done on my time schedule. We'll see

 

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