Newbie in Montana!

vic_zn5June 29, 2008

Hi All!

I'm not all that new to GW, but just moved here to South Central MT from Michigan. I thought I would pop in and say Hi.

I've been told that gardening is quite a challenge here, hot dry summers, hard, rocky, clay dirt, but I am not going to give up easily! I've been trying to get some plants in the ground (after digging it up with a giant pick axe!)

I figured this would be the best forum to get some helpful advice! And I see also some nice plants too! (I was looking at Highalttransplants photos......I've got to get to know Skybird! "G" I just loved those plants!)

I do know that it is a big change for me from my MI home with rain, humidity, and sandy soil! Oh, and I didn't have a HEARD of Rabbits living under my porch back there either!

Any helpful hints are welcome!


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Welcome, Vic! I wanted to say hello, so, "hello"!

I'm not in Montana but I know there are several Montanans here.

'Tis a good group here; I've really enjoyed it.

I was new to gardening in this climate last Spring and now I feel so knowledgeable.

One thing I think you'll really like is getting good answers or tips on how to find answers.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:13PM
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Vic, my hint is - get rid of the rabbits.

And, welcome to RMG!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:27AM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Welcome Newbie in Montana!
Please let me know if you have a shortage of rabbits, Id be happy to ship a few out to you. :)


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:13PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Vic, welcome to the RMG forum! I moved here from the mid-south 8 years ago, and had to throw what little I knew about gardening out the window, and start from scratch. Hey, I've heard that if you can garden here, you can garden anywhere!

At our last house, a rabbit had babies under our deck. When I went to take the trash can out to the street one garbage day, I discovered that one of the babies had been hiding under the can. Let's just say it was not a pretty sight, and now DH calls me the bunny slayer!

(BTW, it's nice to have new blood around here, that hasn't seen all of my photos a hundred times, LOL)


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Thanks All

Jennifer, You are right, I'm already getting great tips (Thanks Digit!)

Azura, I'm sure I will never need to replenish my bunny population, but thanks for the offer!

Bonnie, You have given me the best info so far!!! The rabbits live under our deck and seem to keep having babies!
I'm going to move all my trash cans out there! LOL

Oh, and I've learned that the bunnies around here evidently have not read the list of "Plants Rabbits don't eat" so I am going to print it out and put it in the yard for them to see!

Vic (wanna be Bunny Slayer)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 7:31PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Hi Vic, and welcome to Montana! I'm in Billings - if you're in South Central MT, you're probably somewhere near here, anyways. We have rabbits and squirrels too - our neighbor plants extra just because he knows the rabbits will be partaking in his garden every year. ;-)

I don't think it's all *that* challenging to garden here...a few soil amendments, lots of watering, and things seem to grow quite well in our mineral-rich soil. The challenge is really water...getting plenty of it to the plant roots, and keeping things mulched over well to hold the moisture in.

In any case, welcome...I hope we'll see pictures of your garden here soon (says the person who has been meaning to post more pictures for awhile now...). :-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Jamie! I am in Billings!! Well, just west of anyhow, off Grand Ave. I don't know what great soil you have, mine is hard rocky clay!

There will not be any pretty pics of my flowers for a LONG time! This yard was/is a mess when I moved in and I am trying to get it cleaned up and planted.

Today I am out searching for a box of plants that were sent to me by a GW friend, it contained over 50 plants and the sub mail carrier left the box at the group of mail boxes out by the road (which is 1/2 mile from my house! and they will not deliver a box to my house here!) I'm sure it was someone that didn't want plants and just dumped the box some where and I'm hoping to find it! :(((

Oh, BTW, my other halfs name is Jamie too! What a coincidence! It's nice to have a GWer so close! In MI there were a lot of GWers but not any close to me!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Welcome Vic! What part of Michigan are you from? My hubby is from Frankenmuth. We've been here in Montana for 10 years now, and it truly is a completely different gardening experience for this gardener who grew up in Tennessee! It's still fun though. Just means we have to be a little more creative with the plants that will grow for us.

I've had great success with raised beds in some of the tougher parts of our place. I would venture to say that you can't get too much organic matter incorporated into your soil! The clay really eats it up.

Again, welcome, and enjoy this beautiful country!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Debby, I was from the northern Flint area, not very far from Frankenmuth at sll! Thanks for the Welcome and encouragement!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Welcome to Billings! I am in Briarwood just south of Billings and have not found gardening too difficult. I started gardening in southern CA which did not take any talent, then in Denver which I found very similar to Billings. The soil is generally clay but I always dig down two feet and integrate one part peat and two parts compost to that which I dug up (not sure that makes sense reading it back, but bottom line is I add in a lot of compost and a little peat). I then top it off with compost (organic) seasonally. My flowers look like they are on steroids and I never fertalize (I have deer and they like the taste of fertalized plants :()

My favorite plants here are the white profusion butterfly bush (amazing and flocks butterflies!), lupine, delphinium, catamint, russian sage (boring but faithful), red yarrow (another faithful one) columbine, clematis, lilacs (for bushes), petunia wave for annual (they like it hot and we get hot here!)...I could add many more, but those are my favorites...did I mention my profusion buddelia are my favorite though?

I also have a small pond which is a ton of fun. You'll love it here, we are so close to the beartooths and Yellowstone. Just remember it gets hot!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:10PM
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