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Aug. 15th, 2010 | 06:20 pm
posted by: mshrmit in rain_garden

My potato patch this year was an experiment. I kept reading about burying the plants with straw to increase the yield, so I decided to try it. Everything I read said to only leave two or three inches of leaves showing. This seemed like a bad idea to me, but I decided to try anyway.

Very quickly, several of my plants withered, but just as many seemed to thrive. One plant absolutely refused to be buried, shooting up a good foot and a half above the straw no matter how much I piled on. I never saw a single plant flower, though, and they died back a month sooner than usual.

I harvested them today, and sure enough, I had four or five times as many potatoes per plant than I have had in the past. However, each one, except for the plant that refused to be buried and the ones on the edge of the plot, was about half the size of what I usually got.

This method clearly produces more potatoes, but next year I'm going to listen to my instinct more than the books and leave a good six inches above the straw at least.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post this in case it helps somebody else.


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Apple Trees

Jun. 19th, 2010 | 09:21 am
posted by: mshrmit in rain_garden

I've got two apple trees, and I think they're both dying. One is absolutely ancient and had two hollow limbs that we have already had to cut off. Plus the apples never tasted that good, so I have no problem chopping it down. I'm not really sure what's going on with the other tree, though. It looks healthy, except that it's leaves are all minuscule this year. And when I snipped off a couple of smaller branches, it looked like the core could be dead. However, it was light enough that I can't be certain.

Does anybody have any ideas?

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Feb. 24th, 2010 | 11:27 am
posted by: cheekyassmonkey in rain_garden

hi peoples!  nobody has posted here in ages.

a couple of years ago i tore up my front lawn, and have been planting random plants and shrubs, going for a naturalized look.  it may take another 5 years, but it will be great when it is all done. 

i come with a question, my next 2 plants will be daphne and witchhazel.  aside from pdx nursery and 7 dees, any recommendations?

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Plant Identification...

Jul. 2nd, 2009 | 12:40 pm
posted by: h1s_songb1rd in rain_garden

Can anyone tell me what this plant/shrub/tree is?



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natural lawncare

Jun. 25th, 2009 | 12:39 pm
posted by: aquafemme in rain_garden

So I just bought a first home in February and want to take care of my lawn without using chemical fertilizers. I did a soil test and it looks like it's low in nitrogen, phosphorous but high in potassium with a pH of 7.0 (surprisingly, not sure I completely believe that because I have plenty of moss).

Anyway, I've got some work to do in the fall. Aerate, overseed and topdress with compost I think I get but I'm confused about fertilizing. One natural fertilizer I saw (http://www.planetnatural.com/site/ringer-lawn-restore.html) has an N-P-K of 10-2-6 but I don't need any more Potassium (K). Not sure that's my best option.

There's corn gluten that's 9-1-0, 10-0-0, etc. depending on where you read. Enough nitrogen but I'm trying to especially focus on phosphorous (the roots) for the fall feeding. Also, corn gluten helps with weeds but it also stops grass seed from growing so I'm not sure how I'd address that.

Can I put fertilizer into my compost? I've read that's bad grass seeds but possibly not the case for natural fertilizers? Does anyone have any advice on what they think I should be doing?

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Wanna show off?

Jun. 14th, 2009 | 06:03 pm
posted by: adventure_girl in rain_garden

I'm considering disconnecting one (or more) of our downspouts and putting in a swale and rain garden in the next few weeks. Has anyone done this before? If so, I'd love to hear about the process, and I'd love to see photos.

Thank in advance!

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help me identify a plant?

May. 26th, 2009 | 10:32 am
posted by: aquafemme in rain_garden

I have a series of plants just in front of some blackberry brambles that I've been fighthing. They resemble blackberry bushes that are just starting up, a little less than a foot tall with similar leaves. However, the jagged edges of the leaves are slightly smoother than my all too familiar blackberry leaves and the flowers are a cheerful yellow instead of white. So far, I haven't seen any thorns on them - only a fuzziness on the stems. Anybody know what these plants might be?

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a few questions...

May. 13th, 2009 | 02:59 pm
posted by: aquafemme in rain_garden

1. Like many, I have moss in my lawn. Do I really have to get a soil test or is it pretty safe to assume that the pH is acidic and I should add lime?

As an aside, I had a bare patch of lawn from removing an ugly barrel and put down 'guaranteed to grow' all-in-one grass seed w/ fertilizer/mulch (turquoise chunks of paper - can't remember brand) and watered it regularly. It's been 10 days and I don't see anything! Anyway, I have Moss Out but, given my lack of success with growing grass, I'm afraid to use it and end up with huge bare spots in my lawn.

2. I also have many evergreen trees on my property. I'd like to hire an arborist to thin them out. Anybody have someone they'd recommend? I'm in Redmond, WA.

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deadnettle substitute

Apr. 23rd, 2009 | 12:39 pm
posted by: aquafemme in rain_garden

I went on vacation for 2 weeks and came home to 40% of my backyard filled with Purple Deadnettle. It doesn't look too bad actually but, from what I'm reading, it's an invasive weed. I'd like to pull it all out and replace it with some native ground cover. Any thoughts as to how I go about doing this? What plant to replace the nettle with? I'm clueless!

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Apr. 21st, 2009 | 07:13 pm
posted by: khristle in rain_garden

OMG, is really a hill of strawberries???Collapse )

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