Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Midatlantic Garden Chores and Challenges

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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 8, 2014 9:35 AM CST

Moderator

For me the main challenge in this region especially this time of year is the heat and humidity! Makes it hard for me to spend much more than an hour or 2 outside at a time! That combined with the lack of rain this time of year leads to crispy plants and a tired gardener! Smiling

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"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Aug 8, 2014 4:36 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #676317 (1)
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Aug 8, 2014 12:34 PM CST
I think one of my problems is the humidity also. But, I think the sun has, over the years, gotten warmer. Maybe it is me, but I have never had a problem with sunburn or the sun since I am naturally dark skinned (thanks to my Spanish Grandmother) but when I am mowing for more than an hour, if the sun is bright, I can feel it burning especially on my feet. I wear shoes, but my feet feel really hot. I also notice the plants are drying out quicker than before. The new soils for containers just does not hold moisture the way it used to. Also, the fields seem to dry out quicker too. I just think the sun has either come closer to the earth or I am getting too old to be out anymore. Confused The weather has been a problem for me the past two years.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 8, 2014 1:58 PM CST

Moderator

I've noticed this too, JB! Things seem drier and hotter this year--plants in my yard are getting leafburn that seemed fine last year.

This year, I have 'sandal tans' on my feet--definitely gets remarked on! Hilarious!

I also agree about soils seeming increasingly light and porous--guess everyone is aiming for 'well-drained' soil. Either that, or the soil is 'moisture retentive' and drowns everything. Seems harder to know where to look when you just want ordinary potting or garden soil.

"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Aug 8, 2014 4:33 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #676444 (3)
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Aug 10, 2014 9:21 AM CST
Ha! Sandal tans, me too! Green Grin!

And also me too, not able to deal well with humid heat. I've been grateful that the weather here has been mostly sweet and relatively mild this summer.

There may be a better place to post this but a challenge I am taking up right now is to locate and grow some white ginger lilies! I believe I have identified the variety I *think* I can grow here -- it is Tai Monarch and is called a hardy ginger. Most places I look say it's hardy to zone 7b, and one guy I read a comment from said he successfully overwintered in in New York. Apparently the key to its winter survival is letting the frost-killed foliage stay on the ground or else heavily mulching to insulate the rhizomes.

Anyway.

I have yet to locate a source of the rhizomes! So if anyone knows of one I'd appreciate the tip. I thought I'd found a place, in NC, which grows and sells numerous varieties of ginger, but though the search led me there, their actual site had no listings for this particular ginger.

(I have experience with growing it in coastal North Carolina several years ago which is why I have hopes Richmond might be possible for it also.)
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 10, 2014 9:35 AM CST

Moderator

hi, Kyla. Have you looked on the 'classified and group buy threads'?
http://garden.org/forums/view/forsale/

I'm not familiar with this plant. Would enjoy hearing more about it! :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Aug 12, 2014 12:07 PM CST
Speaking of chores and clallenges in your gardens, I think we all have challenges on our properties that affect our gardens one way or the other. One of our challenges is taking care of the large, very old trees here on the farm....their shade and beauty is just not easy to preserve when they get as old as some of our trees are. The storm Sandy took many down and each year we have the tree service come and trim the old ones and make sure they have no bores and are healthy otherwise. Today they are here removing two of the older ones. It is a sad day here because those trees are older than I am and they are just not saveable. They are hollow in the centers and we have tried over the years to keep them healthy. We have been fortunate not to have the storms take them before now but we have them trimmed before each storm season to help minimize the damage if we get one. This year, they must go for good.They are no longer safe and could fall on to the road during a storm depending on which way the wind was blowing. Usually East to West here.

If you have old trees, I would suggest you take care of them and treat them with the love and kindness and care you treat your plants in your gardens. They give so much to the environment. We know we have a family of squirrels in the one and that upsets me because I am sure his stash of food for the winter is there also. Poor baby, he worked so hard to save it for the winter and now we just took it away.

I can not help but think of all the years of enjoyment these trees have given us and in a matter of hours, they too are gone. Then, I am a tree freak. I love trees of all kind. Growing any thing, large or small is a definite challenge.

This shot shows just how big this old boy was.


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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 12, 2014 4:21 PM CST

Moderator

So sorry to see these trees go for you, JB. Last summer, my neighbor lost a huge old tree that was in her backyard. I didn't realize that it was providing my garden with a little shade also. One bed that had been perfect for morning sun plants became much too bright for them. The birds that had used it for nesting had to find other spots. I'm sure we lost butterflies and moths that had been hosting on it. Loss of a big mature tree like that really has a ripple effect on our gardens. Sad

"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
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speediebean
Aug 13, 2014 4:34 AM CST
Aaaw JB, that is sad about the loss of that beautiful tree! I also love old, "interesting" trees... well, actually, almost all trees are "interesting" to me. Over the years I've even got my Hubby into "tree watching" with me when we're driving together somewhere, heehee! "Ooooh, look at that one!!" Hilarious!
Last summer we had to have one (an Oak) taken down in our back yard because its lean toward the neighbor's house became too pronounced and precarious, and man would that sucker wobble and sway HARD during storms. Now my "back shady container garden" isn't as shady as it used to be!

Now, about those chores... my biggest problem this time of year is NOT getting out there to weed like I know I should. I've got these 2 huge things right now that are over-taking my mint and Coreopsis... don't remember what they are (I used to know!), but they are the ones with square stems and get really tall. They're actually quite lovely, really, except for the fact that they're noxious, aggressive thugs! Blinking OK, well, today (she says, full of bright and energetic good intentions), I will get out there and yank those suckers, yank out some of their friends, and water. I will, I will!! nodding Whistling
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
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speediebean
Aug 13, 2014 4:36 AM CST
Ooops, I forgot!! I, too, have the "sandals tan", and mine is NOT a good one!! I wear Keens; great for support and comfort, BAD for tan lines!!!


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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 13, 2014 6:08 AM CST

Moderator

Hilarious! I hear you on the weeding thing, Speedie! Got a few weeds out there myself. Whistling

I wonder if they are pokeweed? Do they get really big and have tiny white flowers?

Well, I think my sandal tan has faded a bit since I sprained my ankle, but here it is:

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"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
speediebean
Aug 13, 2014 6:20 AM CST
LOL, everybody, show your sandal tan!!! Rolling on the floor laughing That is just toooo darned cute, Robin!! Is your ankle doing much better now? I sure hope so!!

Well, I'm showered and dressed, the house is ready to receive chairs... come on motivation!! Hilarious!
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Aug 13, 2014 7:29 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks Speedie! Smiling
Looking forward to seeing photos of those comfie chairs when they arrive! :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
speediebean
Aug 13, 2014 11:06 AM CST
In 2 hours the countdown to butt-in-chair starts! Hilarious!

Well now, I can't believe I actually got all the stuff done that I wanted too, Wheee!! Weeding done, propped the tomatoes and one of my Poblano plants up a bit better, reinforced the support for the Coreopsis, amongst all the weeds I found 2 rescued Iris plants and one rescued Lambs Ear that I'd totally forgotten about ( Whistling ) so I got those installed. Rolling on the floor laughing

I was so sure those tall weeds out there were that thing whose name eludes me, but it turns out the "trunks" weren't square at all. They might look sorta octagonal in the picture, but they felt totally round to the touch. They had REALLY long tap roots though, so I'm pretty darned confident that I didn't kill anything I'd rather have kept! Confused

First group of pics shows how those weeds were overwhelming the Paeony and other babies in that corner, then close-ups of the blooms and "berry" things on it, and then a close-up of the "trunk".


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I think it's "that weed" but I'm just not entirely sure. Shrug!

Got a nice closer-up look of the mater plants and, Wheeeee, there's LOADS of greenies on the Grape Tomato plant!! Hurray! Mmmmmmm, I LOVE grape tomatoes!! Lovey dubby A nice cluster or 2 on one of the Early Girl plants... funny how the "Early Girl" is producing so late, huh? Shrug!

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And, more to come.... :)
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
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speediebean
Aug 13, 2014 11:12 AM CST
So, on my B-day, DH got me some wonderfully adorable Gnomes that I've been wanting for a few years....


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Here's me and my Honey playing "patty cake" under the Hostas. Hilarious!

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Apparently the play time made him tired -- here he is sneaking a little snooze under some other Hostas.


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Ooops! How embarrassing, I've been caught falling asleep reading!! Whistling



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Finishing off a little "family pic", and one of a "couple" of Gnomies. There were 2 of those, (2 couples), and they are solar lighted. They are on the deck.

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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 13, 2014 12:11 PM CST

Moderator

LOL Speedie on those gnomes! Cute! :-)

Congrats on the growing tomatoes. My tomato plant has several fruit on it now too but all still green. Nothing on the cuke or watermelon plant yet.

Speedie it looks like pokeweed to me!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
speediebean
Aug 14, 2014 4:30 PM CST
Ah-HA!! Yes, that's what I remember it was, thank you @Catmint!!! Thank You!

Peeked at the tomatoes on the way into the house from work today -- nope, still as green as they were when I left for
work. Hilarious! Getting an overwhelming urge for fried green tomatoes. Drooling
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Aug 14, 2014 5:50 PM CST

Moderator

Rolling on the floor laughing

I took a closer at my (barren) cuke plant and suddenly noticed that a lot of the stems look like they were cut--like someone snipped (chewed?) them, leaves, flowers, baby cukes and all. hmmm. No deer in our neighborhood, haven't seen any bunnies... My mind wanders towards the poor lean ferals. I wonder...? Or is there some other garden mammal that likes cuke plants? Well, it certainly explains why I'm not having any luck with it...
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Speedie
Southern Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
speediebean
Aug 15, 2014 5:48 PM CST
Oh NOES!! I wonder if you have a groundhog in your neck o' the woods, Cat? They are notorious for eating veggies and their plants. At work we used to always have a garden growing, and had to keep groundhog traps out there, 'cause if the traps weren't set, sure enough those suckers would demolish stuff; cukes, tomatoes, squash, and pepper plants. (yeah, even the hot peppers). Crying Grumbling
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In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Aug 15, 2014 5:58 PM CST

Moderator

Interesting about the ground hogs, @Speediebean! I have definitely found some rather large poops that don't look like they belong to the ferals... Glare
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Aug 15, 2014 6:12 PM CST
Tomorrow I shall take and post y'all a picture of my sandal tan. It is awesomesauce!

Rolling on the floor laughing

I think I have been staying out of this thread cause the title scares me. Whistling

My main challenge is that darn devilvine. Well, and amending all this soil.

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