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Spring Is Here...


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Randy

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 09:00 PM

It's gotta be Spring, cuz I finally got around ordering all of the stuff for the garden and yard today.

This year it's four varieties of tomatoes, three varieties of peppers, some cantaloupe and pumpkins for my little hillside and some Darrow blackberry plants to go in an area where I'm going to have to take down* a tree either this year or next.

That's in addition to my asparagus "bed" (it's not really a bed anymore when it's 20 feet wide and 60 feet long) from year before last that were added to last year, my rose bed from last year and my <cough> little strawberry patch from a few years ago. The neighborhood kids love that last one, and it's big enough to keep them all happy.

If I can keep this up for another few years I may not have any grass to mow anymore! hysterical.gif Just kidding. Big yard, plus the veggies I do in containers. Not to save yard space but because it's easier and I can get them started earlier without having to worry about a late frost. Containers I can move into the garage overnight when necessary. This one little trick got me tomatoes a good month before anybody else 'round here last year. And saved mine the year before last when everybody else lost most of their plants.

I also heard the first purple martin of the season while I was outside early this morning. Only one though, even though I was playing their little cd I have to attract them. So I dug out the martin houses and got 'em all power washed. I'm gonna wait another week or so to put those up so the sparrows don't try to move in before more martins get here to fend 'em off.

Yup, Spring has sprung in good old Misery. At least as far as my sundial is concerned.

* - Some silly person who wasn't me planted a pear tree directly under the powerline leading to my house before I bought it, and it's finally getting almost tall enough to reach the wires. I may give it another year to see if it stops growing taller so I can keep it. Problem is nobody seems to be able to tell what variety it is. I know it's a Bradford, but there's more than one variety of Bradford. Some grow 30-35 feet tall and others up to 50-60 feet. Right now it's at almost exactly 35. If it knows what's good for it the tree will stop growing vertically this year.

#2 ScottSalwolke

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:35 PM

Is there nothing better than spring. The birds come out, my son's begin playing baseball, and I spend my time driving one to practice and then playing catch with another. Your garden sounds great Randy. Are you someone who likes to cook or just who likes to supply the cook with fresh food?

#3 Randy

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:02 AM

Oh, I love to cook. If I didn't we'd never eat. Or eat take-out every night. lol.gif

Spring is by far my favorite season. Even with the crazy weather we sometimes get, nothing else compares.

And there are a couple more Martin's out here with me this morning. appl.gif

#4 Hyperformance

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:55 AM

Ahhh Yes,

The motorcycle (Ginger) has left the GARAGE...


(Love to garden myself, would have never guessed you for a garden guy Randy)

#5 Ron Carnell

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

Tomatoes? Peppers? Cantaloupe? Gee, I get all that stuff just half an aisle over from where I buy my beef and pork. I mean, I'm out in the sticks and stuff, Randy, but we DO have grocery stores at least. smile.gif

Still, I guess I can relate even if on a somewhat different level. I have one room in the house pretty much devoted to growing lights and tray after tray of annuals (with a few perennials also getting an early start). My crop this year includes:

Angel's Trumpet - Black Currant Swirl
Bee Balm - Bergamo
Bee Balm - Panorama Mix
Bee Balm - Panorama Red Shades
Chrysanthemum - Rainbow Mix Tricolor
Firecracker Vine - Jungle Queen
Impatiens - Jambalaya Blue Bayou Mix
Impatiens - Xtreme Red
Larkspur - Choice Mix Giant Imperial
Morning Glory - Crimson Rambler Morning Glory
Pampas Grass - White Feather
Petunia - Avalanche Lilac
Petunia - Avalanche Tropical Red
Petunia - Easy Wave the Flag
Petunia - Opera Supreme Blue
Petunia - Tidal Wave Cherry
Petunia - Tidal Wave Hot Pink
Poppy - Black Peony
Poppy - California Poppy Mix
Poppy - Giant Double Red Peony
Poppy - Giant Doubles Formula Mix Peony
Poppy - Lady Bird Flanders Poppy

It won't be until almost Mother's Day, in May, that they can safely be moved outdoors, though. For me, these Spring-like days are being spent pruning trees and shrubs and setting up a few fountains and bird baths. All the not-fun stuff. Monday, I picked up four 12 foot 4x4's for a pergola I hope to build this year. It will be the center piece for a new garden of daylilies, though it's unlikely I'll get those in the ground until next Spring. I'm a woose, and by the time it's warm enough to work on the pergola it'll be too warm for new daylilies to thrive. No need to rush things.

The flowers are for my hummingbirds.

By the time the hummer season peaks and the babies have left their nests, I'll be going through about two to three gallons of nectar a day. Hummingbirds can't live on sugar alone, though. They get their protein by eating tiny little bugs as they dart from flower to flower. So I need to have lots of flowers for them. Unlike us, I can't send them to the grocery store to pick up their tomatoes and asparagus. smile.gif

BTW, Randy, I don't know what part of Missouri you're in, but according to the Purple Martin Conservation Association's 2009 Scouting Report, the state has had individual sightings for a few weeks now. Most of those will be scouts, of course. If you've had birds in your nests before, they should be returning any day now. If you're trying to attract a new community for the first time, the sub-adults are the most likely contenders and they probably won't reach your area for at least two more weeks, maybe as much as four. As you implied, that can be a long time to battle sparrow infestation.

Oh, and Randy? Your purple martins won't eat tomatoes, either. smile.gif

#6 Yoshimi

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:35 AM

Randy, can I come and live at your house, it sounds lovely!

#7 Randy

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE
Oh, and Randy? Your purple martins won't eat tomatoes, either.


hysterical.gif Thankfully! Since one of the bird houses is right next to the driveway. And my tomato planters end up lining both sides of the driveway all summer! The martins do an excellent job of keeping the mosquito population down so I don't get bitten to death while I'm watering, picking and tending. Same goes for the deck w/ hottub in the same general area. No mosquito problems at all around here, no matter how much it rains.

My martins are established. And yes I do keep an eye on the scout reports each spring and noted the reports showing up in southern Misery earlier this month. I actually saw a couple of scouts when I was down at the Lake of the Ozarks/Branson area last week. We've had beautiful weather the last several days (60's and 70's) and no real cold snaps are in the forecast. That's why I started looking out for them early in the mornings this week. I'm glad to see they're back.

FWIW, if anybody is going to start a new community of Martins it can be frustrating. Mainly fending off the sparrows and starlings. Ron's spot on. If you're starting a new community you're going after the 1 year olds who are nesting for the first time. They don't arrive until 4-6 weeks after the adults.

I've established new communities a few times now. And what's worked for me is to put up the house(s) for the new community a month after the rest start arriving and to play a little CD I bought many moons ago called Purple Martin Dawnsong. And check the house every day or every other day to shoo away the interlopers.

If you go the CD route, and I highly suggest it, your neighbors will think you're nuts if you have any nearby. Mainly because you need to play it very early in the morning (between say 4-5am to dawn) but it works! I've never had to do the decoy thing or anything else. Just erect the house at the right time and play the CD each morning for a week or so to get the ball rolling. From there on out they'll keep coming back each year as long as you're good with your timing of putting the house up again each spring.

I've not gotten into the flower side of things here. I just don't enjoy it quite as much. At the old house though my renters do love my tulip beds I planted all around the house several years back. Gotta love those low maintenance flower beds. lol.gif I don't remember the exact number, but I think my tulip bulb count ended up being somewhere north of 500. Of varied colors It really is pretty for the time they're in bloom. I used to supplement those with Annuals. The renters don't do that. No gardeners there now.

#8 Andy_Seo

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:50 AM

Ahh yes we've had some lovely weather here in the UK as well. Hopefully it lasts!

#9 Yoshimi

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:56 AM

QUOTE(Andy_Seo @ Mar 18 2009, 04:50 PM) View Post
Ahh yes we've had some lovely weather here in the UK as well. Hopefully it lasts!


Uh oh, now you have jinxed it, we are doomed to a weekend of fog and rain, and I am totally going to blame you! Surely you have realised that we only get sun in the UK during the working week, and perhaps 1 weekend in August?

#10 Andy_Seo

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE(Yoshimi @ Mar 18 2009, 04:56 PM) View Post
Uh oh, now you have jinxed it, we are doomed to a weekend of fog and rain, and I am totally going to blame you! Surely you have realised that we only get sun in the UK during the working week, and perhaps 1 weekend in August?


haha - sorry about that! Although I have a weekend of house hunting (boring!) ahead of me so the weather won't be too much of a bother! Having said that I looked up the weather on the BBC and seen they've updated the section - looks pretty good to me.

#11 Yoshimi

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE(Andy_Seo @ Mar 18 2009, 05:01 PM) View Post
haha - sorry about that! Although I have a weekend of house hunting (boring!) ahead of me so the weather won't be too much of a bother! Having said that I looked up the weather on the BBC and seen they've updated the section - looks pretty good to me.


never trust the Beeb weather, during the recent snow, I sat and watched a foot fall in half an hour, when the beeb was saying it would be cloudy. Bad weather is probably best for house hunting though, lets face it, 9 timesout of ten you will be seeing your house in the rain smile.gif

Have I mentioned I love living in Britain and wouldn't change the crappy weather for anything! thumbup1.gif

#12 torka

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:40 PM

QUOTE(Yoshimi @ Mar 18 2009, 01:04 PM) View Post
during the recent snow, I sat and watched a foot fall in half an hour, when the beeb was saying it would be cloudy.

It isn't confined to the Beeb's weather reporters. Many were the times when we lived in the NYC metro area that we spent a couple of hours shoveling several inches of "partly cloudy" out of our driveway. snow.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#13 maleman

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:35 PM

What's a beeb?

#14 Randy

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 06:22 AM

umm... The British Broadcasting Corporation. wink1.gif Saying one shouldn't trust the Beeb weather is about like saying one shouldn't trust Willard Scott's weather forecast here in the states. Well not quite since WS's main duty the last 20 years has been to wish happy bday to really old people and pitch Smuckers and not anything to do with weather, but you get the idea. Don't trust any weather forecasters. They're all wrong at least 40% of the time. giggle.gif

#15 maleman

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:04 PM

British Broadcasting Corporation!

Well bust my britches embarrassed.gif Sorry, I don't get out much.





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