The Gardening Thread

Tin Man

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I'm a believer in "mushroom poop," as my grandsons like me to call it. My vegetable bed gets ~ a cubic yard of homemade compost every Spring. Till it in before planting.
 
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jp1

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Veggie garden in east Tn... when I lived in K-town, I turned most of my backyard into a garden. First 2 years I fought the clay and had to be very careful when I did the first tilling in the spring... wet or damp clay would make marbles that dynamite could not break up. Year 3 I borrowed a truck and went to the mushroom plant in Louden area (not sure it is still there) and bought a load of mushroom compost. This stuff has peat moss, horse manure and all the goodies mushrooms like, you even get the random horseshoe to add to your luck.

Added 8 cubic yards to that clay soil and tilled it in... it turned into black gold and gave me the best veggies I have every grown. Every other year I repeated this process. Recommend it to anyone fighting soil issues.
Still can get in Loudon just as you noted. Best stuff you can put on a garden. I recommend putting it on in the fall because it's still very hot.
 
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Go aeiou

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Still can get in Loudon just you noted. Best stuff you can put on a garden. I recommend putting it on in the fall because it's still very hot.
Agree fall is the time to get it, especially if hot. When I lived there I would ask for the old stuff. It's more decomposed.
I did get a load once that had a million nutgrass plants. Nothing worse.
 

golfballs

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It is a challenge with the shallow & alkaline soil. You can give them a good shot in an understory/sheltered location, then use a raised bed or pitcher mound style to transplant. Luckily they have shallow root systems so they can be babied here and do quite well but still, site selection and use of soil amendments are key. There are some pretty sweet Japanese Maple gardens in ATX but usually higher end landscapes. In containers the dwarf varieties do well. I will keep a look out for the varieties you mentioned, maybe even try to convince our buyer to contact the guys. I think we are both in similar zones so there might be some luck with the vendor.
Last fall I planted two Ever Red Japanese maples one on each corner of the front of my house. I need to study up on how to stake/prune them to reach a good height.
 

GVF

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I'm a believer in "mushroom poop," as my grandsons like me to call it. My vegetable bed gets ~ a cubic yard of homemade compost every Spring. Till it in before planting.
Best flower beds I've had are with mushroom compost tilled in. did it for like 3 straight years in my front beds while building up the perennial plantings. Didn't put a drop of fertilizer in those beds for the next five years. They were crazy.

I'm also into trying different heirloom tomatoes. I love tomato pie, so a selection of 3 or 4 colors and flavors is real nice. Cherokee Purple so far have been the best overall flavor for me. Heirlooms make the best tomato sandwiches. This year my step son left me some commercial varieties. See how they do in a ripen on the vine grow. Mixed in a Golden Jubilee and Black Crim. He had a sandwich bag full of Tammy G grape tomatoes in his truck he eats for a snack while travelling. Wal Mart and Lowes hybrid buy. Those things were one of the three best cherry varieties I ever ate. Sugar Gold and Rapunsel (mail order only) also fantastic. If you're a tomato fanatic, heirloomtomatoplants.com a great source of plants.

My tip for tomatoes if you don't already know (besides adding mushroom soil). Either 1/4 cup or so of Epsom Salt in bottom of hole, or a whole dead fish (bream or crappy will do size wise). Dig deep enough to put either in, cover with some soil, then finish planting tomato. You won't have to fertilize again all season. If already planted, I use that fish emulsion liquid diluted with water for my weekly watering.
 
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Volunteer_Kirby

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Last fall I planted two Ever Red Japanese maples one on each corner of the front of my house. I need to study up on how to stake/prune them to reach a good height.
Be selective with your pruning (especially on dwarfs). The lacy leaf varieties tend to be more forgiving if you screw up but I would be careful regardless. I would only trim the obvious (like branches that are growing into each other). Also maybe trim when the trees go dormant. Not sure about staking. Be careful about attatching lines to these trees. They are not as tough as other landscape trees, as they are most likely high grafted onto a root stock of another Jap Maple. I assume this means they will be weak at the point of the graft. If you are trying to keep the tree plumb and styling to particuar shape, you will be trimming and adjusting routinely. Good luck! The Ever Red looks like a nice variety.
 
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CagleMtnVol

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I got two "Red Latham" Raspberry roots on clearance at Walmart yesterday for $1.50 each. Maybe they aren't completely dead once I can get them in the ground.

Lowe's had plants that didn't look so well yesterday because they have got to big for their containers but I'm not going to pay full price nearly $5.00 for one plant just because it says its "organic".

Its a shame that Walmart and Lowe's etc.. doesn't mark their plants/fruit bushes down before their nearly dead.
 

GVF

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I got two "Red Latham" Raspberry roots on clearance at Walmart yesterday for $1.50 each. Maybe they aren't completely dead once I can get them in the ground.

Lowe's had plants that didn't look so well yesterday because they have got to big for their containers but I'm not going to pay full price nearly $5.00 for one plant just because it says its "organic".

Its a shame that Walmart and Lowe's etc.. doesn't mark their plants/fruit bushes down before their nearly dead.
A real shame is that I can go to a particular nursery in town and buy the same brands of plants that lowe's carries, for a whole lot more. I normally don't. I've known them for a long time. used to work there in grad school. but, they seed nothing, and have a much larger markup. and they make a killing.
 
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Tin Man

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My "French garden*" this year has tomato plants, peppers plants, basil, and giant zinnias. The sunflowers did not come up, not a one. Neither the Maximilian nor the black oil sunflower seeds planted sprouted. Given the divots in the flower bed this Spring. I'm tempted to believe my neighbor who blames chipmunks and squirrels.

The tomatoes include Better Boy, Celebrity, and Jet Star slicers, grape and cherry varieties. All but the cherry are productive (The cherry grew from seed and is likely to produce later). My peppers include a pimento (5 fruits so far), an Italian long sweet pepper (4 fruits so far), orange, yellow, and red bells (not much success), and cubanelles (starting to yield, now). My wife does not care for hot peppers, and the few I attempted to start from seed failed to germinate this past winter). I've already harvested the basil and made pesto base from the leaves. A couple of weak volunteers have sprouted from the base.

The giant zinnias are 2&1/2 to 5 feet tall when first they bloom. They're gorgeous, now, branching and producing new bloom stalks. Gold finches are attracted to them. They pluck the petals from some flowers and feed on the heads. A Cardinal regularly grooms my tomatoes and eats any caterpillars before they do damage. Unfortunately, a mockingbird pecks holes on my ripening tomatoes, forcing me to harvest them early and ripen them off the vines. The wife has seen rabbits, but I've no evidence of damage from them. I reckon there's other stuff in my yard for them to eat. Admittedly, I've found rabbit spore near the border of my yard, but I've only seen them in at my neighbors'.

*In the 70s, some US gardening publications made note of the French practice of mixing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in containers and small plots. I've planted this way since college days.
 

Obsessed

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Be selective with your pruning (especially on dwarfs). The lacy leaf varieties tend to be more forgiving if you screw up but I would be careful regardless. I would only trim the obvious (like branches that are growing into each other). Also maybe trim when the trees go dormant. Not sure about staking. Be careful about attatching lines to these trees. They are not as tough as other landscape trees, as they are most likely high grafted onto a root stock of another Jap Maple. I assume this means they will be weak at the point of the graft. If you are trying to keep the tree plumb and styling to particuar shape, you will be trimming and adjusting routinely. Good luck! The Ever Red looks like a nice variety.
This.

I’d be weary about trimming jap maples.
Staking shouldn’t be needed.
 

Go aeiou

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This.

I’d be weary about trimming jap maples.
Staking shouldn’t be needed.
I trim the taller ones so that they can be walked under, and so that I can get a view beyond the tree. It does depend on the tree. If a tree is a slow grower, dwarf, small or weeping training should be minimal.
If a tree will get 15 feet + tall prune away. A general rule of thumb is keep at least most growth on the top third of the tree.
We have strong winds occasionally in Nashville, and staking is helpful. I use pieces of garden hose or soaker hose around the tree trunk with rope running through them, and usually use three stakes. Sometimes staking is needed to keep the trunk growing straight up.
Growing Japanese maples is addictive. I have ten where we live now, and look at the younger ones up close every few days to think about how I want to prune in late November to get the growth started to get a more appealing(to me) tree as it matures.
I don't prune the year I set a tree out.
 

Jxn Vol

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Need some privacy hedge advice. I have a 6 foot privacy fence, but want a few more feet above it for more privacy. Not sure what to plant.

My concerns are taking up a lot of yard with a wide plant like a privet. I also have a pool so I don’t want a bunch of leaves or debris from what I put in.

Already have Leyland Cypress in a corner so wanting to go with something different.

Anyone have any experience with bald cypress trees? I like the look and am thinking about mixing in some with some other type of hedge.

Anyone know if clumping bamboo will grow in zone 7?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice is appreciated.
 

Coug

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Need some privacy hedge advice. I have a 6 foot privacy fence, but want a few more feet above it for more privacy. Not sure what to plant.

My concerns are taking up a lot of yard with a wide plant like a privet. I also have a pool so I don’t want a bunch of leaves or debris from what I put in.

Already have Leyland Cypress in a corner so wanting to go with something different.

Anyone have any experience with bald cypress trees? I like the look and am thinking about mixing in some with some other type of hedge.

Anyone know if clumping bamboo will grow in zone 7?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice is appreciated.
Check out Thuja Green Giant, Italian cypress, Arborvitae

Clumping bamboo thrives in zones 6 through 9 according to Google.
 
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Go aeiou

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Need some privacy hedge advice. I have a 6 foot privacy fence, but want a few more feet above it for more privacy. Not sure what to plant.

My concerns are taking up a lot of yard with a wide plant like a privet. I also have a pool so I don’t want a bunch of leaves or debris from what I put in.

Already have Leyland Cypress in a corner so wanting to go with something different.

Anyone have any experience with bald cypress trees? I like the look and am thinking about mixing in some with some other type of hedge.

Anyone know if clumping bamboo will grow in zone 7?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice is appreciated.
Leyland cypress will get 50 ft tall and 15 ' + wide. Bald cypress will get 50 ft tall and is deciduous.
You need to look at your yard. Are you planting near the property line or close to the pool.
Typically nothing over 3 or 4 ft tall near your pool. Within 15 to 20 ft.
 
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MWR

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Here is a video of a plow I made last year. It makes ridges to plant potatoes in. Since I used a lot of stuff I had laying around, I had less than $100.00 in it. This was my first time using the thing. The disks slide in and out, so you can make a pretty good sized ridge, if that's what you like. And then you can rotate the layoff plow on the back of it and make a row in the top of the ridge. I did this, threw the potatoes in the row and went back over them and covered them. Using a hoe or a rake to cover your potatoes is a job, but I didn't even break a sweat.

And the tractor seat came out of an old school bus.

[VIDEO=]
 

Tin Man

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Finished landscape project for ~1/3 of the hill facing in my front yard. Dug out hoary old bushes and rotting tree stumps, dug out weeds & vines with deep tap roots and tubers, recontoured the sloped surface, planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs in consistent pattern, mulched with long needle pine straw. I'll follow up with a picture of Spring blooms.
 

Go aeiou

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Hoary: not oft used.
Consistent? Same Variety. Same color, bloom time.

Sounds like hard work. I planted 400 hyacinth bulbs last year. Like to killed me.
 

jackcrevol

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Need some privacy hedge advice. I have a 6 foot privacy fence, but want a few more feet above it for more privacy. Not sure what to plant.

My concerns are taking up a lot of yard with a wide plant like a privet. I also have a pool so I don’t want a bunch of leaves or debris from what I put in.

Already have Leyland Cypress in a corner so wanting to go with something different.

Anyone have any experience with bald cypress trees? I like the look and am thinking about mixing in some with some other type of hedge.

Anyone know if clumping bamboo will grow in zone 7?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice is appreciated.
ive done plantars with mini Arborvitae (which i question the mininess). Planted Cryptomeria, Fir, Holly, spruce, etc.

Let me preface this with i didnt choose this path. My backyard was a black and brown canvass. Previous owners had let Juniper bush over grow for 30 years (counting three growth rings).

Red clay, limestone rock. Rented an auger. Unfortunately was a waste.Enter split/broken white oak mattock handle.

If you want a fir, try Douglas Fir. You might try staggering Arborvitae if plenty of sun, with a swamp magnolia or little gem. Only true variant that I know will work is Leyland, being a cross of two plants- one i believe is the Italian Cypress, i theorize based on this years brutal heat and lack of rain...they were hybridized to take a beating. Ive had lots of heat related issues this year with evergreens...

Leylands were not in that group
 

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