So what are you doing in your gardens right now?

squirrellypete(z7b AL)February 24, 2013

I'm nosy and starting to kick into high gardening gear! Anyone else doing bed cleanup? Ammending? Early Planting? Bulbs? Planning? Daydreaming? Inquiring minds want to know!

As for me, I've been raking leaves.....lots and lots of leaves. Some going into the compost pile, others going straight into beds to be tilled in later.

Last week I laid out black plastic on a couple of rows to warm the soil for a week and today I planted the first wave of carrot seeds there. Will plant some more in a couple of weeks.

Cut back all my roses, clematis, butterfly bushes, loropetalum, lots of lower growing perennials and some other odds and ends. Still have more things to cut back. Espaliered two of my Golden Showers climbing roses -- ouch!

Pruned all of my potted propagated shrubs to help encourage them to be bushy so people might actually want to buy them lol.

Planted out some broccoli and cabbage seedlings I started indoors. Hopefully that's not a mistake...I'm new to cold weather crops.

Fertilized all of my roses and clematis with Alfalfa meal, my butterfly bushes with coffee grounds and my blueberry bushes with cotton seed meal.

Started more flats of veggies for succession planting which I've never been very good at. I've always been too impatient and I want it all in the ground and then be done with it lol.

Next on the to do list -- transplant a 6 ft tall Crippsii chamaecyparis, a 6 ft Blue Pfitzer Juniper and a 5 ft tall Cryptomeria. Fingers crossed they don't up and die on me, especially the Crippsii.

-- Plant some English Peas on the ole' cucumber trellis

-- Clean up the dead winter foliage and weed the rows of the daylily field. Aphid control will probably have to start anytime now. Ugh.

-- Ammend and till the area where I'll be planting my summer veggies.

-- take down the pepper hoophouse. Those suckers have been dead now for about 2 months now lol.

So, what's going on in your corner of the world?

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

This is my week to attempt getting back outside to do some things (I hope). My plan is to do a bit of weeding, and if I can get a new cover for my greenhouse (plastic got torn up in some storms) I will start seedlings. Since I can't lift, can't sit, can't turn my body, it's going to be slow. I'm also going to call my friend who does handywork for me so that he can start replacing wood sides to my garden beds that are in desperate need. My other buddy needs to come and do some other projects he was working on that I can't finish. Luckily I have friends who enjoy gardening!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Shane86(zone 7b)

hay squirrelly im starting in mine too cleaning out flower beds and racking the pine straw now gettin ready to put in 2 new ponds and bout 50 flag iris which im sharing with mom and grandmother im new to growing flowers and was wondering if its the right time to cut back roses

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:56PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Oh Glynis, I ache for you, I can just picture you trying to do all those things with your back hurt right now. Sounds like you're being smart about it though. You're not one to let a little thing like a bum spine stop you. Enlisting your friends for some reinforcements is always a good call.

Shane, sounds like you're a busy bee too. I wish we had a pond, it's always been on my to-do list for years.....just waaaay down toward the bottom. I so wish I had pine needles to rake up, then I could use them for mulch. The family property had all the pines cleared this year so it'll be a while before I get free pine needles from mother nature again.

I'm no rose expert but from what I could find for our locale and given the current temps and leafing out that the roses are doing right now I'd say prune away, I sure did. Then if I'm wrong I get to drag someone else down with me lol.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Beautiful day today - cut down some old stalks to "tidy up" and put some wood chips down where I had some grass removed recently. We just had the fence around the pool pulled out so that took out some grass. But it will give me some great "deer proof" full sun gardening space. Can't wait to get it going! At last the 'Annabelle' hydrangea will have a chance to be beautiful, free of the constant browsing.

Looks like a gloomy day tomorrow. Glad to have had a pretty one on the weekend for a change!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:40PM
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pam_3(GA 7b)

I've done a bit of late winter cleanup. I let the Back 40 get a bit overgrown last year, so I've got my work cut out for me back there. I have grand plans, but I would like to get it done before the summer heat sets in. So, I really need to get to it!

Yesterday was beautiful, but we were inside with sick kiddies. :( I did have a chance to plant some carrot and spinach seed and some potatoes. Here's hoping they're more successful this year!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

Hey SquirrelyPete, my last two weeks sound almost just like yours. Tons of clean up with a lot of leaf tilling going on in compost piles and directly into beds for the summer garden. I also planted some sugar snap peas yesterday along with French Breakfast radish, Lacinto kale, and Tendergreen mustard (also called Spinach mustard due to its more mild taste). I'm worried about my former space for summer plants like eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, as we had late blight last year for the first time ever. Thinking about fungal clean up and what I should be doing now to avoid this again (if there's anything I can do about it).

Ooh, and I just emailed one of the tree companies in hopes of getting free wood chips delivered. That's something everyone could be doing now that's not so cumbersome:-)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:20AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Stellabee, thank you for reminding me about the tree companies. A few years ago on a whim I pulled over and talked to one who was taking out a tree in town and asked about what they do with the wood chips. They gladly came and dumped them on our property nearby for free but we haven't done that since. I keep meaning to call them and forget.

Well I'm off to see if the feed/seed place has any sugar snap peas. It's not raining right this second, maybe I can go play in the mud a little!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:53AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I still have a huge pile of mulch from our oak tree that had to be cut down this year. The tree guys were really great and set the canopy aside, mixing it in bit by bit so my wood chips would break down with really good composition. I can only carry max 3-5 lbs right now and because one side of me is 2" shorter than the other I'm not steady on the feet, but I can fill a gallon tub with wood chips and bit by bit mulch.
I also walked around two weeks ago and threw out some rye and clover seeds. I need to get the soil in better shape so that might as well go in with all the weedy grasses. Now if I can just convince the lawn guys to LEAVE my yard clippings in place, I'll be doing something. They are far too tidy :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Shane86(zone 7b)

yah i had one pond already then Saturday a lady from garden web gave me 2 preformed pond liners and a bunch of yellow flag irises and pond plants now thinkin of making some compost bins never tried composting tho

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:13PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Lots of clean up. Did the butterfly bushes last week, 3 of them I dug up and will plant roses in their place. I will do the hedges and crepe myrtles this coming weekend (weather permitting), then I will turn my attention to the roses. A few need a real whacking. My yard is really soaked and I can't move around the back yard too much, I keep sinking into the grass.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:06PM
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I am laying newspaper that I got and covering it with pinestraw that I raked from the forest to create weed free walkways. I am plating the overwhelming number of Chamomile volunteers that I have in seprerate raised beds,, and I am making plants and making fires .

Indoors, I am tenting the care of over 100 seedlings, just waiting for the spring.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:27AM
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Also, all you people gloating about the awesome day we had on Sunday the 24th, I was stuck inside working all day, but at least I had a giant window to look outside. And thought I knew today was gonna be cloudy, windy, and damp, I managed to take a full 1 hour break on sunday over my 9 hour shift, and I actually layed in the sunshine IN my garden, and soaked up the rays. The bright sun and warm temps were amazing and I just meditated on what I needed to do and hung out with my plants. Being so close to the earth I could feel the ground and the trees and plants around me and I was glowing for a while after my break, at work, until the fact of the matter of a full time job and what I had to to, hit me.

PS = I have a hand built fire pit, so I get a good fire going, and work on my garden and when my hands get icy or cold, I just chill by the coals for a moment, and even drink a beer with it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:51AM
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buford, you know that crape myrtles don't HAVE to be pruned, right? I know people do it, but they don't require it unless they've gotten too big for the space.

It's really grim this time of year seeing how people have PAID other people to whack them down to sticks. Lightly trimming off the old seed pods is fine, of course, but 90% of people go too far.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:02AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

herboil, that sounds lovely by the fire! I have a wood stove in the greenhouse that I'll warm up by if I've got it going but I am a lazy greenhouser so I only light it on mid-twenties or below nights.

I am jealous of your pond liner and iris scores. I was so tempted to reply to her generous offer but it's a long way from Alabama lol.

Right now I've got a BIG pot of homemade potato soup cooking for lunch and dinner that will feed us for days (taters, cabbage, onion, broccoli, celery, salt/pepper -- yum!!). Wish I could say it was from home grown veggies, maybe later in the year I'll actually be able to say that. I've got to find a spot to plant some potatoes, never tried them before.

I've also got a cup of English peas soaking that I can hopefully plant later today or tomorrow. Was gonna' get em' in the ground this morning but then I read online it's recommended to soak them first. I'm so impatient, I want to go play in the mud!

Yesterday I hauled home 40 bags of composted cow manure from Lowes that they are running on sale for $0.97 a bag, plus two big bales of compressed peat moss. My back is upset with me right now. I use them to make my own potting mix so at that price I'm trying to stockpile for the year whenever I go to town. I buy rabbit manure by the pick-up truck load for the outdoor garden but for the potted plants it's just easier and cleaner buying bagged stuff and using them one at a time for mixes.

I'll be bringing my tropicals and some other greenhouse plants back inside today. Shouldn't go below freezing tonight but the lows are starting to drift back down so I may as well...will be a cold weekend.

If it ain't gonna' snow anytime soon then Spring may as well just come on.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Hey everyone! I am Amanda. I am brand new to this site. Ive been using all the great information you all post for about a year now, then I finally decided to make an account. Im a new gardener in gainesville ga. I have an amazing husband, Josh, who helps me in the yard because I have alot of physical limitations. We bought a house two years ago and ever since I have been obsessed with gardening. Part of our yard was planted(incorrectly) and the rest was either completely bare or overgrown brush, which we have since cleared and started replanting. We have alot of space to work with so it should be fun year after year. Im really interested in meeting others who share my love for gardening. Im especially fond of hydrangeas of all types, butterfly bushes, and zinnias.

In the last two weeks we have been doing alot to get things back in order. Cleaning out beds. pruning rose after rose. Pruning limelight hydrangea, vanilla strawberry hydrangea, and various other plants.
We still need to cut back the butterfly bushes.

Also this past week ive been working on starting seeds indooors for the first time. They include:
Bells of ireland
Sweet pea
Texas blue bonnet
Lemon balm
Blue bedder sage
Dames rocket
Zinnias(purity, violet queen, purple prince, and envy)

Ill also start some chives outside. we also have liatris, lavender dahlia, and white dahlia bulbs that we need to plant.

I look forward to meeting you all! Thanks for letting me become a part of your community!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:48PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Welcome Amanda!

Glad you could join us =)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:36PM
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Ya Squirelly Pete, it is really nice to be able to have a fire especially when it's windy and starts to get cold while my hands are in the dirt I can just go on over and warm them up over the fire. This week I've planted two blueberry bushes, one apple tree and one pear tree. It's a lot of work digging the holes and mixing in all the stuff... that's the hardest part... planting them is easy, lol.

It's really cool, in my yard, there is a layer of dark topsoil, and then a layer of clay like material, but about one -2 feet down there is this layer of almost chalk white clay sort of stuff.

I'm pretty sure this white layer is called decomposing bedrock... because every now and then there will be a vein of quart in it. It's basically rock that is millions of years old that has "rotted" ... yes... rocks CAN rot, I've learned this while in Dahlonega during my gold mining days. I think the technical term is Saprolite.

Anyways,. I'm pretty sure this stuff is really rich in minerals, so I'm planning to dig a pit, and harvest some of it. and use it to mix in with the topsoil when I make new plantings...

Anyways I can't wait until I am able to set out my seedlings and also until probably next year when my new apple will be old enough to cross pollinate with my established one....

Today (Thursday) was kind of yucky, but I did get a little work done.

I really really wish I had more LAND.... more SPACE.... but I will get there eventually. My goal is to buy land and plant fruits etc, small farm type deal. With the world in chaos as it is now, who knows what the future will hold.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:35PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Hi Esh, I don't 'murder' my crepe myrtles. But I do want to remove the old seed heads and get rid of the suckers.

Now I've just heard that we may have snow on Saturday! That may put a crimp on my plans. We have Rose day until 1pm but then I was going to be out there pruning. Oh well...Hopefully there is no snow and it's not too cold on Sunday.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 7:15PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Well I planted another dozen broccoli seedlings outside yesterday morning despite the impending cold weather. But I have a bunch more I'm going to wait until next week to plant to fill out the rest of the row. I'm going to cover the planted broccoli and cabbage this weekend as per GGGs advice and hope for the best. In the unheated parts of the greenhouse the flats of younger broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and cilantro have been doing wonderfully.

Got roughly 50 English peas planted on the inside of the cucumber arbor and also started a row of radishes in the outer arbor bed where the cukes will be when the weather warms up. From what I read the radishes should hopefully be done or close to it by then. Will plant a 2nd row farther away in a couple of weeks. Tomorrow I till some coffee grounds, wood stove ash, etc....into the tomato garden and will also plant some onions along the perimeter of it.

I've got tom seedlings in a plastic benchtop hoophouse inside of the greenhouse with a heat lamp bulb on inside to keep them warm on chilly nights. Basil's in there too but I think it was WAY too early when I started it so it's not been happy at all for a while -- just hasn't been growing. The 2nd batch of basil I recently started indoors looks much healthier than that first flat. Wish I could say the same for my second round of tomatoes. Many of those are succumbing to some kind of wilt. I think the soil is staying wet for too long so I need to adjust how I make my mix and then sterilize the pots well before trying again. I still haven't added a fan to the indoor lighting stand so that's my screw-up....might have helped dry them out a little better. Germination rates on the eggplants and bell peppers has been spotty but there are a few sprouted and healthy looking. I planted them straight into pots instead of doing any pre-planting germination techniques which I will do the next time. The red bells seem to be the most stubborn.

Have over 20 flats of home hybridized daylily seeds out in the unheated part of the greenhouse too but germination has been very sparse since it still gets cold at night. Since moving some veggie seedlings out to the greenhouse, that freed up some space on my indoor light rack so I moved a dozen daylily flats back inside to help speed up germination. Also just seeded some flats of hollyhock, delphinium, and true lavender as well as some petunia seeds from a plant I overwintered. I've never done hardly anything with seeds before so the prospect is alot of fun! I can see how incredibly addicting it's going to be....oh boy. And I don't have any clue where to plant these daylily seedlings when it's time for them to leave the pots!

I'm not excited at all about gardening this year.....can't you tell? Holy cow, this was a long post.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:10PM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

Hello Fellow Georgians,

I am lucky this year. My brother purchased a 3 acre spot in the country last month and we have been busy clearing the property of overgrown brush and clearing a space for a veggie garden. The previous owner had a fabulous garden, but its been more than 5 years since anything was grown there. We have cleared enough space to start tilling next week (just to get an idea of how good the dirt is). I have some peppers and tomatoes and beans and corn in my winter sowing containers and tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, herbs and beans in my trays in the green house.

I am so new to gardening. My brother has always had a small garden in Louisiana (1x20) but this one in Ga will be 20x110. He has always purchased plants in the past since his garden was so small, but since we are on a grander scale this year, I thought I would try my hand at raising the plants from seeds for him. Seems to be working well so far, just tired of waiting to get the babies in the ground.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:57AM
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ritmatt(GA 7b)

It probably doesn't count for doing something in the "garden," but I have been out in the yard a lot this winter. Mostly hardscaping. I laid a new stone path a couple months ago and my most recent project has been to upgrade a hastily-put-together fire ring from last fall to a nicer, more permanent fire pit.

I did plant some camellias about a month ago and they've been holding up pretty good, so far. I also planted some bulbs (irises?) my mom gave me, as well as some tardiva hydrangeas. Both the bulbs and the hydrangeas are putting up shoots, so I suspect they are doing fine. The leaves on one camellia may be yellowing a tiny bit. I'm not sure what to do about it, but I hope it's going to survive.

I bought a bunch of lenten roses ($7.70/1gal at Woody's in Buford) and will probably try to get them in the ground next weekend. I've also picked up a number of butterfly bushes, azaleas, abelias, gardenias, a couple false cypress and a 'Jane' magnolia over the past couple weeks. Lots of planting planned for the next few months.

In a couple weeks, I'm having about 7 or 8 trees moved to better locations in the yard, adding a 'Cherokee Chief' dogwood and a 'Forest Pansy' redbud while the equipment will be here to make the installation easy.

I have a bunch of nandinas that I'll be pulling up (anybody want some?) as well as some belly-high ligustrum hedges that a previous owner installed. I'm not looking forward to digging up the ligustrums - I've heard they have extensive root systems.

Overall, there's plenty to do right now, but I am looking forward to more 60's and 70's temps.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:31AM
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I get to attend the funeral of my yard guy who was killed by a tree last week on his way back to college. He is sorely missed in our small town and I have no idea what I will do now for help. He got a big area half tilled for a new garden and he called my husband a few hours before he died about when he would finish up. This despite the fact that he was going to be scheduled for back surgery a few weeks later because his non-stop work and sports were messing up sports injury the surgeons had previously fixed. I had no idea how a tiller worked or he never would have been allowed to do the tilling in the first place (I knew nothing of the need for a second surgery until after his death and I thought a tiller was a ride on thing).

I've got to do something with the garden but I can't seem to bring myself to really get enthused about it now and every time I think I should just get a shovel and do it that way I find anything else to do. I haven't been able to bring myself to even going over and looking at it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:40AM
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ritmatt(GA 7b)

An untimely death is a very sad thing and I'm sorry for your loss. Grieving is natural and healthy, too. I think it's fine to allow yourself a bit of time to grieve. I think of a garden as being about renewal and growth. Wouldn't it be a wonderful way to celebrate that young man's life, when you're ready, by ushering in this year's Spring in your garden?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:50AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Agreed with ritmatt. That is so tragic, I am sorry for the loss of that man and what his family must be going through.

Eventually, for yourself you might even consider putting a little something in your garden to honor him. Remembrance stone, an angel, maybe a tree dedicated to him with a little sign on it.....something of that nature that honors his hard work and how he helped you.

My drummer friend also ironically lost his closest friend due to a fallen tree. He has a lovely little pond on his property. So he put his own remembrance/head stone down by the water to honor his friend. We saw it for years from the driveway every time we'd drive to his house and I finally asked him about it recently.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:41AM
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VaeVictus- I am so sorry to hear about the loss of any young man's life, Your special connection to him as your yard man means to me, that he has left a legacy, as most any gardener does. Embrace and and find some ways to memorialize his legacy as you are blessed b the work of his hands, and back labor. Grief is hard to put in a box, you will get there. My father was the town Gardener, that several uppity women did not want to share, his legacy is still remembered by many, and passed on to me. I feel that nothing else about who I am defines me more than Gardener. There are those who are even offended by my passion for dirt and bringing up life from it, not sure why. Then others who embrace and so appreciate it, because it is the biggest part of who I am. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend,etc, do not define like gardener does.
So as I impatiently wait for help to do all I can't, which is absolutely nothing in the garden, until? As I am recovering from a complete spinal reconstruction, 3 weeks out, today. A sweet neighbor came over and pulled weeds, and deadheaded pansies for me yesterday, I did beat a small weed loose with my cane and picked it up with my dressing aid. Should not have, the cane is to support me, got loose without the walker. There is so much soil work and bed preparation to finish, and maintain, I cant begin to imagine how it will get done, so that I will be able to get in there and do anything. So I wait.........

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:39AM
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So far I've only been able to clean out one of my raised beds in preparation for spring. The other two are still full of winter crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Those should be finished up in 2 or 3 weeks, so I can get the beds ready for spring. My main gardening project is in the house, with several hundred pepper and tomato seedlings growing. Just taking care of those is enough work at the moment.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:12PM
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This is my first year gardening. I've started seeds indoors and waiting for this cold weather to leave. I'm excited about planting in the new garden my lawn guy help me set up. Do any of you have problems with birds and squirrels? If so, what do you do? The garden isnt planted yet but we have tons of birds and squirrels running around in the yard and I worry about what their motives are when they stare at the empty open garden space. haha

Here is a link that might be useful: My youtube channel with my gardening videos

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Would any of you guys be interested in getting together and having a 'garden club?' I am in Marietta, off the square. I have tons of seeds and plants to share. Might be nice to sit down and have a pot luck lunch and talk about our plants! My super humble home has open doors. Maybe meet once a month? No rules or anything of that sort, just plant lovers!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:36AM
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I'd love a Garden Club! I'm new to the area and new to gardening so it would be great to meet others and share. :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:41AM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

Happy Spring Everyone,

We've been busy busy here in Columbus.

Tilled and prepped the small garden in my front yard (veggies)
Tilled, tilled and tilled some more the large veggie garden at my brothers "farm" It was a garden by the previous owner, but hasnt been tended in over 5 years.
Tilled and prepped the small garden plots on the lower area of his property. Six plots that are 6x2 or 6x4. We planted radish, cantaloupe and watermelon in these on friday. Radishes are already sprouting.
Cant wait to open all the winter sowing containers I have and put the babies in the warm ground.

Happy Gardening to all.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:53AM
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Decaturga, I am about 40 minutes from you in gainesville. I would love to be a part of a garden club.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:38AM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

So far we've applied a pre-emergent to the new (last year) zoysia and done some spot weeding in the beds. All the plantings we had put in as part of a complete front and side yard re-landscaping survived the Winter well and are or have been blooming (see my posting in Georgia Gardening forum for a pix of our "Weeping Cherry's First Spring").

The bonsai will need to wait to go back out to make sure the last frost has passed, and I'm still carrying the new composter around in the back of the truck, but will at least pick a spot for it soon.

The backyard, heavily treed, shady, and with a good crop of English Ivy (at least it's down from most of the trees) will be the focus of this year's efforts. We plan on erecting a fence along the back and one side (our neighbor has fenced in the other side), removing much of the ivy, creating pathways, planting some shade tolerant trees and shrubs,and leveling the one area that does get pretty good sun.

Also on the agenda is moving our garden work table from inside the storage area under the sunroom to a covered patio area that is next to the area that will be leveled.

Finally, we'll be looking at what to plant in a sloped raised bed area on the side of the house that was formed when we had the grade leveled and a retaining wall built along the side lot line. Our neighbor subsequently partially landscaped this area and we are cooperating on completing it.

All this would probably make more sense were I to post pictures. I'll do so as we focus on the various "projects" that I've enumerated.

Best Wishes--Carl

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:49PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

I've posted a number of photos on a separate entry entitled "A Once and Future Georgia Garden" in this part of the forum.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, Georgia

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Planted six rows (50') of carrots today, 3 each red cored chantenay and scarlet nantes. Still running the sump pump tossing water overboard trying to dry the last bit of the field (I have a high water table and have this issue every spring). Impatiently watching the taters ever so slowly break the surface, still waiting on beets and the third planting of sugar snap peas to come up. I have to be the most impatient of gardeners as I walk the rows morning and evening cussing and fussing waiting for them to break through.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:54PM
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