PLANT ADDICTS CHAT #5

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

So we ended last thread with an invigorating discussion of counting plants a-z in order to sleep....interesting!

Came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1379679/

So I need to get me one of these little baddies:



This message was edited Jan 4, 2015 10:03 PM

Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Let us know if you like it!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Who's Hanna?

I have one of those; it used to be called a "Wovel", but it looks like the manufacturer calls them "Snow Wolf" now. It took me a while to learn how to use it, and I didn't find it much easier than a normal shovel at first. I warmed up to it last winter, though, and find it particularly useful for my sidewalks. I like that the shovel is much wider than most.

Wovels work best on light snow that's not more than 12" high. You can use it to push heavy wet snow, but I probably would use my shovel to fling that kind of snow instead.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Has anyone tried their leaf blower on snow? I use mine all the time, 0n 2-3"s of powder it's awesome. That pre Thanksgiving snow showed me I will not be shoveling, esp. the fling it kind. My new shovel is a 24" Troy Built. It flings snow just fine. I got a 2 stage for our wet snows, they clog less. I may yet invest in an electric for the decks and patios, but will wait until the end of season for possible sales.
Garden digging is much easier than snow shoveling, to me anyway. I prefer to turn the soil with a fork to pulverizing it with a tiller. My technique is pretty simple, I just push the fork in, tilt it back to pry the clump loose, and roll it over. I'd love to try a broad fork, but at the price I'll have to build one to try it.http://www.easydigging.com/broadfork.html

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

No not on snow, but one of my discoveries is how good a leaf blower works to get the bonfire pile going. For years Mike would scare the you know what out of me by pouring fuel all over it when it wouldn't take off, lighting it on fire and then the big compression boom as it blew up, with little to no results in actually getting the bonfire going. When I first suggested using the leaf blower instead to act as a bellows, he looked at me like I was crazy, but then had second thoughts that hey, that just might work. It did - like a champ. Who says girls don't know squat about manly things light setting bonfires LOL.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Ric, you mentioned using a leaf blower before and I totally forgot about it! You're right, it would have worked really well on the powder snow. Next time!
I hope you're feeling better.

About the Sno Wolf "Wovel": After having used it to clear the season's first snow, I have to change my recommendation to "Don't buy one unless you can try one out first.". I put my positive review above; now for the negatives: You need a bare minimum of 4 cubic feet to store it. A regular shovel is easier to use in small areas such as my front stoop, around gutters, etc.. It may take less core strength and be easier on the back, but it takes more upper body strength to use than a shovel, in particular arms and shoulders. You have to push down really hard and really fast to make the snow fly.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I use my leaf blower on the snow. It's especially handy when blowing off the deck and a path through the grass from the front yard to the back yard. This last snow it wasn't too helpful on the sidewalks and driveway though.

Oh and I forgot to mention that the broadfork looks like an awesome way to clear sod. I don't think I'd pay that much for one though.

This message was edited Jan 14, 2015 8:12 AM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I noticed some nice plants at Wegman's last week for $12 or $13... big foliage plants. There were several monstera (the "swiss cheese" ones) and even a couple of Xanadu philo's. I'll be up that way again this week, so if anybody is looking for something LMK.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Aspen, good for you for coming up with that idea! I'll have to remember that.

Ric, broadforks look a lot like pitchforks. I wonder whether you could make a broadfork by piecing together 2 pitchforks? I do almost all digging and sod stripping with an old, dull straight edge shovel.

Critter, Monsteras are awesome - I used to have one that grew to be about 6' wide - but I do not have a suitable sunny place in this house.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Muddy, you might try sharpening the edge on that shovel...

I have a monstera that I'm deliberately stunting so it doesn't outgrow my reading nook... it survives long periods of "drought" and only occasionally puts up a new leaf. I do love the look of it!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Yeh, I know...someday!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I've always used digging forks. I caught that from my GF, he used fairly large forks to prepare his huge potato patch, and again to "raise" them. I have 2 styles, a wide 6 tine, that works well in a prepared bed or garden, and a narrow one with 3 heavy tines for digging. They don't work for heavy jobs, especially where you encounter stones. A broad fork is built to be punished and would really work well with a lasagna bed method, increasing aeration and drainage to the substrate. It would also be good in an established garden to break up the claypan that can form in heavier soils. It could virtually eliminate the need for double digging. I do my double dig in rows rather than the whole garden because of the difficulty of the job and find this is adequate to prevent claypan.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I bet those broadforks would work great to dig out dahlia tubers in the fall.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

This is what I use when I encounter stones too big for my shovel: http://www.amestruetemper.com/products/detail.aspx?ProductId=2603&FamilyId=96&LineId=95

It has helped me dig some pretty good shrub holes.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

That's a diggin iron!! I do not have one of those (yet). I use a pick ax to get out those stubborn rocks. It's fun seeing the sparks fly when it hits rocks. I've broken the handle once too. Luckily the Ames tools have a lifetime warranty. I kept the head and just got a new (shatterproof) handle.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I use it to pry loose big rocks. I get some nice landscaping rocks that way.

My neighbor loaned us his digging iron when my husband and I were trying to remove a huge clump of Miscanthus. The top part broke off, so we kept the broken one and bought a new one for him.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah I should probably get one. I'm sure it would make getting those rocks out much easier. My best find was a huge rock, probably 90 pounds. Man, that was a tough one getting out but I use it as part of a garden and it can be seen right as you walk up the front walk. It was about 1 cubic foot large.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

anybody who likes rocks... bring work gloves and we'll raid the construction sites behind me... there are generally some nice rock piles there. Wish I were able to take advantage... I got a lot of great rocks from our street during construction though! and Martina has been bordering all her new beds with "local rock."

I'll check on Feb. 6.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

When I get my rocks, I usually ask permission from someone on the job site. They haven't ever cared but I feel better about asking.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I generally do the same. But this construction supervisor sneered at me as he told me I might as well let him cut down my trees as he'd be digging in the fence so close to them that they would die anyway. So I'm not real worried about playing nice. However, another neighbor did ask and was told no problem as long as she wasn't removing truckloads LOL

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh wow, that fellow sounds ornery. Rocks are great to line the gardens though and a lot of our gardens have them as a border.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I've been using a digging iron almost since I could lift one. LOL Digging post holes in stony ground or hard clay makes it a must have item. I have learned a new trick though. The day before you dig the hole set a leaky bucket directly on the spot and fill it 2-3 times. It will not soften the rocks much, but does a great job on the hard clay.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Fellow heuchera addicts, you might like this article from the Washington Post.

They finished the heuchera trials at Mt. Cuba!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/heuchera-is-a-popular-perennial-for-shade-but-which-variety-is-best/2015/01/20/5af03cd2-9ce6-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Great article!

Burpees is doing free shipping still... use "FSHP15" They also have an offer of $10 off orders of $40 or more for signing up for their emails, but the free shipping is probably the better deal.

Also, Swallowtail Garden Seeds is doing a free shipping promotion this week, on orders over $40.

If you want to split packs or share an order, please go to http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1383527/#new You might want to "watch" this thread until the swap, just in case something that interests you pops up.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I ordered from Pinetree last night- Sun Sugar is sold out

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Swallowtail Garden Seeds has Sunsugar, 20 seeds for $3.49. I put them in my cart... still seeing if I can make the $40 minimum for free shipping.

My box from the "Piggie Swap" came yesterday, and I have some fun bonus seeds that I can't use... I'll try to get them listed on my "haves," or they will be added to the "free to good home" assortment of single packs. I especially want to find a home for some "true potato seeds," the result of a landrace breeding program. :-)

That stuffed box is keeping me from going wild at Swallowtail site, too. I had just put some carnation seeds in my cart... and I got a pack in my extras bag!

Please remember to put a "wish list" on your "haves & wants" post... even a description of your garden or a general idea of what you're looking for ("color for shade," "butterfly plants," "cutting flowers") will help me dig through my stash to find you a surprise or two.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sun Sugar was just a passing fancy on my part, and possible share. So don't go to any effort to get them, if sharing with me is a factor. Two plants of GIta's Sungold gave me more than we could use of delicious sweet fruit for snacks and taking to work.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Sally, I enjoyed your article about visualizing your garden in lieu of counting sheep.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

If I get to that minimum, Sally, do you still want the Sunsugar? Maybe a couple of people would want to split off 5 seeds for $1, to try them. (bet you could talk Joyanna into it LOL)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I am sure "Sunsugar" seeds will be available everywhere on seed racks.
Burpee seeds cost about $1.29 per pack at HD. New products--maybe $1.99.

I believe that the same packs of seeds are priced different for different stores.
But--the price is still printed on the packet.
Like-look at the exact same seeds in a fancy Nursery to compare.
HD and Lowes seem the lowest. Mass marketing???

Why go through on-line ordering--shipping costs and meeting minimums???

I just don't "get it"......G.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Between SSG & myself, we have the following cucumber varieties in our Burpee & Swallowtail carts at present. All are disease-resistant, and the parthenocarpic ones can be grown in a greenhouse or under row covers. We're averaging about 20 cents per seed, so if anybody wants to try 5 seeds for a dollar let me know. Otherwise, we'll save extra seeds for another year. :-)

I think it's going to be "the year of the cucumber" in my veggie bed!

Sugar Crunch
Pick-A-Bushel (compact)
Supremo (compact)
Spacemaster (compact)
Diva (parthenocarpic)
Tasty Jade (parthenocarpic)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, for me it's about the varieties... often I can't find what I'm looking for on the seed racks. Burpee's 'Biker Billy' jalopeno seeds are a case in point -- they never carried them locally, and they're Jim's favorite (jumbo size and extra hot).

Sally, I don't remember who else wanted the Sunsugar... do you?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks Muddy!

And no thanks, critter, I'm not burning up to have Sunsugar.

My veg plot suffers greatly from less than good sunshine as it is. I only have good room for a few tomatoes.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

ssg may want Sunsugar

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, please! Jill, can you add a Sun Sugar on your Swallowtails order? I'll take a look to see if there's something else.

I see that they have Sugar Baby watermelon.

Has anyone else grown watermelon? I hear they don't do very well in this area.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I would think the little ones would have a shorter time to maturity (which is probably the issue in our area), but I haven't tried them.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I don't have the space in full sun to devote to watermelon. I've dabbled in melons, halfheartedly, with little to show for it.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

i checked on the extension service site and found an article on various viral diseases affecting watermelons in our area... most have to be transmitted via aphid from a nearby infected plant, and since aphids don't travel far I think SSG's watermelons would be safe unless her cucumbers came down with CMV.

You can trellis watermelon vines (regular or "bush" ones), but supporting the developing fruit can be an issue. I did see a photo on DG once where somebody was using an old bra for this purpose, with a "melon" in each cup ROFL.

Let me know if I should add 'Sugar Baby' to my cart for you, SSG. I'm tempted by 'Sangria', but we've gotten such good watermelons in the grocery store recently that I'm not sure it's worth the space/effort, although we should grow them some time just to see how they do and for the novelty of it.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm about to put in an order with Collections Etc, since they're back to doing their free shipping offer. Does anybody want Easy Reach Plant Pulleys (2 for $10) or a set of plant hanger hooks (6 for $12)? Both should actually be $1 less if they give me my extra discount.

I have the plant pulleys and like them, although out of 6 I've purchased (not all from them) I did get 1 that never really worked right. see http://www.collectionsetc.com/Product/easy-reach-plant-pulley-for-hanging-baskets--set-of-2.aspx?xsell=A1

I think Holly has purchased those black metal hanger hooks; they get good reviews, and I like that they are larger on one end so you could put them on tree branches. see http://www.collectionsetc.com/Product/outdoor-plant-hanger-hooks--set-of-6.aspx/_/Ntt-plant-hooks

Let me know TONIGHT please

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Jill, I'd like that Sugar Baby, please!

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