Today in the garden, I...

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Congrats on all your successes Kyla. It certainly feels good to see things growing that you picked out and where you put them.

Good to see you on the forum again Angele: its been a little while. Sorry about your Monarda. I like them too. I got some seeds for one this past year, but not have sprouted yet. I plant to try again.

Pajarito, I don't know your husband but I can guess at his reaction to your request to pee in the garden. Putting myself in his place, I could see him suggesting that if its that if you want pee in the yard you should go ahead and put it there. Have dinner outside, feed him beer, and lock the door to the house (or not). Us DH's get asked to do some really weird stuff.

As an alternate, I could rent you a cat that has at least proven successful at catching and eating Morning Doves. He brought one in the house Friday night and was eating it on the runner inside the front door. All that was left was the head, wings, and lots of feathers when I found him. He was quite pleased with himself too.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj, except for the gopher part, it sounds like your day was lovely!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

This weekend in my garden I discovered that rolly-polly bugs had eaten every tomato seedling in one of my raised beds. I used to think they were sort of cute and innocent but after witnessing the destruction of my newly planted veggies I delighted in scooping them out of the garden and stomping on them. My garden will be well fertilized with smashed bugs this year.

I did find something to spend the t-shirt money on, replacement tomato plants! And a very cute garden hat to keep the sun off.

A fledgling robin decided that my raspberry patch was just the best place for a young bird hang out and eat bugs. This means that the ferocious tiger was locked in the house all weekend. He felt it was his duty to let us know (at full volume) exactly how traumatic it is for him to be locked up while a bird has the run of the yard.

Santa Fe, NM

Kyla, it sounds like you have been quite successful with the seedlings! Everyone sounds quite caught up in "garden fever" these days. This morning in the garden I practiced tai chi and cut some of the early lavender stalks! I watered some yesterday and threw down a little more Happy Frog for the roses. I will do a heavy watering tomorrow. My dahlias are up and running now that we are getting more sun. Roses are at their peak!

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Wow, everyone here has been super busy planting, debugging, and everything else one could do in a garden.

I now have 36 of the big tomato plants in the ground. I wanted to be all done but will probably put in about a dozen more. I have friends waiting for the leftovers. I have not destroyed a plant yet in this process, and I generally break one or two, so this is amazing since these are taller and more unwieldy than usual.

Got stung by a bee that crawled into the right forefinger of my nice soft tight stretchy fabric garden gloves. It has been so many years since I have been stung it took a bit for me to realize what was happening. I shrieked and tore the glove off, throwing it on the ground. Right on the pad of the finger I touch everything with...

After I decided not to go put baking soda on it, I carefully rolled the glove inside out and the bee flew away. It did not leave a stinger in my finger so it will live. To my surprise within a few minutes I did not have any more problem with the sting either. Wierd.

But the two 8 foot benches are now out of the hoophouse and the big tubs in place where the benches sat. The hoophouse is starting to look like summer, but too many basil etc. not planted in the ground yet. Going as fast as I can plus trying to keep up with painting and gallery orders.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Glad your finger didn't get it any worse Mulch. And 36 tomato plants, I couldn't deal with.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

I would be heartbroken if I did not have a bunch of tomato plants. They and the poppies are the top priorities in the garden.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Gee, dParson's. Any idea if your cat likes gophers? If so I could offer it a vacation in a mountain town with lots of gophers. Hmmmm....

Katlian, they always told me that roly-polys ate nothing but decaying materials. Not sure I buy it though.

My first poppy bloomed to day. It is the oriental (perennial) kind. More to follow soon. More than last year, but I still want to have more poppies next year -- some of the annual kind as well.

I know what you mean about not having stuff in the ground yet. I have lots more to plant.

Thumbnail by pajaritomt
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

We can certainly try it. I don't know how well he'll take to being transplanted though.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Oh a POPPY!!! Yay! There is hope for us all...

I have a bazillion roly poly bugs living in the mulch in the hoophouse and I have never seen any indication they have ever bothered anything. They just roll about their business...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

The friend's house where I had lunch yesterday had beautiful annual poppies. The peony style ones. She also had beautiful peonies and she tells me deer, gophers and rabbits don't eat peonies. Maybe you would like to try some. To me peonies are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Peonies do well here once you get them established. I am not as fond of painting peonies as a lot of other flowers, so I don't have any. I had some once but due to a difficulty with DH finishing his project so I could plant them where they would best thrive, they died. He STILL has not finished the project either, and it has been four or five years.

I may paint the front door red in protest this year. I would like it red and I am sure he would not, but he took the trim off the front door and abandoned that project too. If he did not work so hard on the gallery and did not have the old back injury acting up, I would have painted it red two years ago. But my patience may give out entirely one of these days, and red will happen then...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I like the idea of a red front door. I say go for it! Too bad about the peonies. I could see why they would be hard to paint, though.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Way too many petals and not necessarily dramatic forms.

I may yet paint it red. We shall see...

P.S. The way I found out he would not like it red is I painted the chimney red to surprise him once. It was meant to be a good surprise, but he ended up sheathing the chimney in cedar, which I like, and it goes with the cedar shingles. But he never finished the little part at the bottom, where he has to bend down a lot, a process that is particularly hard on him.

I am gradually concluding an unfinished chimney and front door project is hard on me too...

This message was edited Jun 1, 2009 3:25 PM

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Mulch, I think a big red poppy would look lovely on your front door. I'm sure you would get lots of compliments and it would be easy for guests to find your house.

I thought the rolly-polly bugs were just innocent little detritus eaters but I guess when you have a million of them they develop a taste for tender little tomato plants. I go out every morning and evening to pick them off the plants. The replacements are a bit larger than the original home grown seedlings but a few of them have still lost leaves to the little buggers. I'm thinking about pulling the perennials (onions and asparagus) out of that bed so I can turn the soil easier. The bed that got tilled this spring had some of the bugs in it but they'didn't bother the plants at all. I have heard they also like to chew holes in strawberries so I'm going to keep an eye on them this summer.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Strawberries? Now that would mean war. I will keep my eye on those innocuous looking little critters.

P.S. I wanted a red door to go with my poppy gardens, but I am not sure I want to paint on the front door. I would rather do a painting and put it in the gallery...

This message was edited Jun 1, 2009 3:46 PM

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I think in Chinese traditional culture a red door is considered extremely attractive to great good fortune. I recommend you go with your impulses on this one.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Those roly poly bugs wrecked havoc in my garden last year. Anything I direct-seeded germinated but 'mysteriously' disappeared. I kept reseeding and they would disappear. I covered them with plastic mesh and they would disappear. I thought it was the birds or tree rats getting them. Then while searching for a lost sprout in the mulch I saw those things. There were a lot of them too. I pulled the mulch quite far away from where I was seeding and had no problem from then on. It took me a while to figure out what was happening (sometime in July!). At least I got a few cucumbers. They also got at my mini hostas I was trying to get established.

When I lived in Chicago, quite a few apartments I lived in had door trim that appeared pink. I was told that certain cultures painted them red for good luck and/or to keep evil away. It was pink because they just covered the red in white paint. I think it was german or polish... not sure.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I have come to the conclusion that mulch is wonderful for established plants but is not at all good near germinating seeds. It harbors numerous critters that consume newly germinated seeds. I am referring to both earwigs and roly polys or sow bugs. I don't believe that they only eat decaying matter. I believe the mostly eat decaying matter but enjoy a bit of sprouts with their leaves every now and then.
Interesting about the pink door trim. Mulchmania could paint her door trim red also if she could get her DH to put it back up!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

OMG, so much information, so many questions, one really strong opinion (yep, everyone has one)...opinion first, Mulch, wouldn't a fabulous poppy painted on your door be a great compromise? And absolutely fabulous! And why wouldn't you want the entry to your home to be not only welcoming, but also an expression of you (and your DH... that's why it's a compromise....his door with your painting). I think it would be incredible.

Okay, stupid question on one of the other topics... what is a rolly-polly bug? (Be kind, we didn't have whatever they are in AZ, lol!).

I'm sure there is more but I'm quite exhausted....

Brenda

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Well, Bern built a beautiful inlaid door with turquoise etc. in it for the kitchen outside door and plans to do one for the front as well. So a red door would only be an interim event, whereas a poppy door would be a design clash, and I love the inlaid door.

Plus, he took the trim off the front door itself, not from around it. He was planning to do some geometric designs on it when he switched to making the inlaid door. So the front door looks ridiculous and painting it red would fix that for the few years it appears to be taking for him to do the next inlay one. I suspect painting the door red might speed up the process, ha!

And a roly poly bug looks sort of like an armadillo that does not have a head or tail and rolls up into a little round ball to protect itself when frightened. They are quite small.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Roly Poly Bug aka's:
Potato Bug
Sow Bug
Pill Bug
Woodlouse - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodlouse

They are grey and about 1/4" long. They are crustacians and have seven pairs of legs. They hide in cracks and under rocks - anywhere it is moist. Mulch gives them a wide field of moist cover to roam under. As for mulching: mature plants or young sprouts - it is best not to mulch immediately around the base of the plant. Aside from the Woodlouses and earwigs you can promote mold problems or other things. Out around the drip line is a definite for mulch.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

OMG don't tell me the roly poly bugs are turning into badguy bugs! I luv them! I did hear that they had started munching on hostas last year and now tomatos and seedlings! I shall have to have a stern talking to my rolypolys. I'm hoping cuz I leave alot of leaf mulch in the soil they will leave my plants alone. This weekend in my garden I was blushing alot cuz the goodguy black beetles were up to hankiepankie everywhere I was trying to work. I planted out and made up containers and took down the greenhouse shelves and gifted dahlia plants this weekend.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Wow! That is a lot of work. I am familiar with those black beetles. I think we have the same thing in Louisiana. Everyone has to pretend not to notice what they are doing which is hard when they are EVERYWHERE!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

The beetles don't seem to mind.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

True. They are very intent on their own activities. This morning I went out to the iris raised beds to photograph. Then I went out around 1:00 to cut some flowers. Would you believe that a gopher had eaten about 3/4 inch out of the bottom of the stalk on one of my newly blooming irises -- I mean one that had never bloomed before and had only one bloom on it. They don't seem to go with the ones that have been in the ground for a while. The go after the ones I just planted last year and that are blooming. Here is the one they ate. It is called My Ginny: It is now in a vase, but I wasn't planning to cut any that were blooming for the first time. Grrr!
I am on the way to the store for more gopher traps.

Thumbnail by pajaritomt
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I prefer young, tender leaves in my salads too.

Santa Fe, NM

Very nice iris pic! I have never trusted the roly-poly bugs. They are probably good for breaking down soil thingies but so are centipedes and I'm not especially fond of them. Today in the garden I watered heavily which caused it to rain later in the day. And hail a little, so had first real hail drill of the summer! I fed roses with Happy Frog 5-5-5 fertilizer. I went to Payne's nursery where I bought more Happy Frog specifically for Roses, a somewhat fancy, orange flowered impatiens plant, a small 4-pack of gangly, pink Rocket snapdragons, a jumbo 4-pack of very healthy looking might be pink Rocket snapdragons, a small 4-pack of reddish purple petunias and two purple ornamental millet plants! Got the unhappy snaps planted in with cornflowers right away. It was hard to find Rocket snaps this year in any color other than yellow. They seem to like the little, short snaps now which are irritating because they don't act right!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes,I like the rocket snaps and I like every color in the rainbow, not just yellow. We had a tiny amount of rain, some thunder and clouds, but no hail. Just enough to make the dogs not want to go outside, not enough to wet things down. Had to turn on my sprinkler system again. Sigh.
Now I have some gopher traps and the phone number of a gopher trapper in case it doesn't work.

Reno, NV

The last few days I haven't managed much outside. It's been raining. Then it stops and I run outside just to get wet and cold a moment latter. Did manage to get my tomotoes in. I feel very slow this spring just too much else going on. Oh well.

A gopher trapper! That's wonderful. I totaly see a miniture Davey Crocket seeking thru the garder check his traps.

Santa Fe, NM

With a gopher fur hat and a little gopher tail hanging off it? Dark, windy, rainy here. Of course, I had a friend over to see the roses. We huddled inside drinking hot tea.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

It 's been rainy and cold here also. Very odd. Not really cold, but chilly. And the pattern seems set to continue at least through tomorrow.

Today I transplanted some clumps of chamomile out back.... in between rains. And admired my flowering clumps of wildflowers which are looking very nice -- the blue flax has begun to open.

A big mean wind gust broke off one that I think is a Clarkia just ready to bloom. I put some short bamboo stakes out in strategic spots hoping to avoid more such breakage, as there are a number of large plants about to bloom and acting top heavy in the rainy weather.

Avoided doing much else..... My snow peas are starting to flower and make peas, that's nice, I was wondering if they'd ever!

Reno, NV

Bingo Roybird. Lol.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yesterday was cold and rainy here. I sprinkled gopher repellent in the iris bed -- the first part of it -- night before last, then we had a good rain.. You are supposed to do it in stages. Too soon to tell if it worked.
We actually got nearly 1/2 inch which is great for the yard. I will turn off my watering system again for a few days.
My sweet old keeshond, Keisha who is almost 17 is fading fast. We are debating whether it is time to put her down. She still eats, but not a whole lot and refuses treats. She has never been very active, but now she just lies around. She is awake and curious, so it is hard to know if it is her time. Horrid decision. She can still walk, but it is hard for her to get up.
I will be watching her carefully all day.

Reno, NV

Oh Paj. That's so hard. Sending lots of hugs.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

That is very sad Pajarito. I think Keisha will let you know when she is ready.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Always sad when our dog pals become old and ailing. Our old Plato is hanging in there, but she is a slow old girl these days too.

Thinking of you and Keisha today Paj. My heart goes out to you.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

{{{{{{{ Paj }}}}}}}

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Hope you are doing okay paj. Losing a great pet is a terrible thing. Wishing the best for you guys.

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