Summer Garden battles about to begin

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I read an interesting article today about dragon flys they are the most efficient predators on the planet they love to kill snd eat almost all garden bugs . All you need is a small pond for them to propagate in something like a kiddy pool. If you put a little corner of dirt then plant bamboo they love it a little running water a little still water and you have the best mosquito trap known I think their kill rate is in the high 80- 90% . They don’t miss often not many bugs or even birds go after them . There is almost no maintenance except to keep the pool operating They leave almost invisible larva that you just leave alone .
its getting closer to spring here too. The annual battle over weeds by he fence . I have the makings for ultimate wed killer again . I sprayed and outed the stuf on the weeds. Stopped all green froth right there . Including massive holly hocks and towering sunflowers . I have a Kant that the former owners put in grass has sprouted in its midtst they also place bricks with corners up or down makes mowing a nightmare . Have tools to dig these out then I do a no grow strip around the plant it gets some mangy blue flowers for a few days in the spring. If I still had my big truck I’d rip it out. I don’t have a big yard but this plant adds about a half hour to grass mowing asvinhavevto make multi passes around this thingy he stupid bricks mak it so the mower can go over them then drop down nickingvthe blade I got rid ofvthe landscape rocks last year so mowing that section is the easy part
Google "Vertical Vegetable Gardens" They take up very little room and are almost maintenance free.
My son has a mowing and land scraping business. A small pond made from kiddie pool with dirt rock island a couple floating plants maybe some bamboo shoots will attract dragon flys and maybe a few praying mantis . These guys are really apex insect killers they both love mosquitos And eat their body weight in bugs every day . They both are fun to watch and not pests themselves .
"They both are fun to watch and not pests themselves ."

I have been bitten by praying mantises more than once and I can say that their bite will definitely wake you up. If you see one in your way, don't try to pick it up with your fingers.

(Does anyone know why prying mantises seem to like hanging out on the gas cap of my car or the pump nozzle at the convenience store?)

Never grow bamboo. 20 years ago I planted bamboo at the house we lived but it never grew that summer. The next summer we sold the house and moved away. Neighbors told me bamboo never grew until after we were gone. Bamboo is small grass plants for a while very easy to cut down with lawn mower and weed eater but it hides along, fences, trees, bushes, where it is hard to cut down. The man that bought our old house died 2 years ago wife does not cut grass in back yard it is now a 25 foot tall bamboo forest. Neighbors are having trouble keeping bamboo out of their yard. Bamboo is known to grow under city streets and highways and come up on the other side.
I just read that mantis is can be trained to pick bugs off you . We had on in the Carolinas that was huge it lived on a green house plant on the back deck we called it “ green jeans” it was always eating something ng we would turn the deck lights on at night and watch it snatch bugs righ out of the air . We had a little creek that flowed behind or house so I suppose it lived there . Lots of bugs in Carolinas fire ants everywhere hornets bees mosquitoes beetles termites everywhere . House had to be treated every year ants everywhere
Never grow bamboo. 20 years ago I planted bamboo at the house-.................edit................
(I tend to ignore statements that say "never"or always", because there are usually exceptions. But with bamboo........)
Aggressively invasive. That label should strike fear into any plant-person.
------ As a quick, pointless aside, when I first read the label on a contact cement can years ago, it said to apply the glue to both surfaces and then wait for them to become "aggressively tacky." I thought that was hilarious. Like Christmas sweaters or bad hairdos. But I digress....
Bamboo, kudzu, autumn olive, oriental bittersweet. Those are some of the scary aggressively invasive plants where I live. They all spread by roots/rhizomes, and some also by berry seeds from bird droppings. They will all choke out the native plants that have been supporting the local wildlife for hundreds of years. The results are not good. Kudzu and autumn olive were both introduced with the best of intentions to stabilize the soil on hillside projects and reclaimed strip mining land. They definitely stabilized the soil, but then they "escaped" and took over wherever they went. The area I circled in the picture is an example of 2 seasons of growth from an area that was cleared of trees. Goats will help with keeping it under control, but you have to keep the goats under control, too.


Unfortunately, it takes herbicides to control these. No way can you remove the plants and get all of the roots.

Trichlopyr (Crossbow is one commercial name), mixed with about 4 parts diesel fuel, and then, either: 1) sprayed on the bottom 16" of each small trunk, 2) cut them down and then paint the stump within 5 minutes with the same mixture, 3) hack a notch or 2 in the bottom 16" of a larger trunk, and immediately squirt the trichlopyr mixture into the hack-marks. These 3 methods with trichlopyr work in the dormant season, also. Glyphosate (Round-up) is much less effective and only works when the plants are actively growing. In my experience on these super aggressives, the Trichlopyr seems to be about 80% effective and the glyphosate is 50%.

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(LOL tossing down the gauntlet!)

I think I have all the shrubs and trees that want ordered.
Last spring in February I found that a number of things I had wanted to plant were 'sold out' so I was working earlier this year.

Some sites also aren't having what I want to get so those items will have to wait for 2024 - - - - argh!

Likely order garden seeds I want to add to my rota in early January.

(Outside its definitely on the cool side - - - think -20 C and winds from 40 km/hr gusting to 60 - - - - so she's not friendly out there!!!)

over to y'all
Our garden did good, 85 garlic, 350 onions, 61 lbs potatoes, 350 ears of corn, about 15 watermelons, 6 cantaloupe, lotsofsweet bell peppers, 8 gallons of Bread & Butter pickles made, 100 lbs of tomatoes, 6 gallons blackberries. View attachment 140802
View attachment 140803
View attachment 140804
Rocket Man,
I am envious of that garlic. We just put a bunch of cloves in the ground of hard neck garlic. Our winters are mild where I live in Virginia. A few short periods of 15F temps, but I was out in shirt sleeves 2 days ago.
When do you plant your garlic? and what is your weather like. That rich looking black soil is something we definitely do not have here. Raised beds and purchased top soil is often required.
So.... got any tricks for the garlic?
Thx, Lloyd
Rocket Man,
I am envious of that garlic. We just put a bunch of cloves in the ground of hard neck garlic. Our winters are mild where I live in Virginia. A few short periods of 15F temps, but I was out in shirt sleeves 2 days ago.
When do you plant your garlic? and what is your weather like. That rich looking black soil is something we definitely do not have here. Raised beds and purchased top soil is often required.
So.... got any tricks for the garlic?
Thx, Lloyd

I planted 98 garlic Sept 1st it will be growing tops by Oct 1st. Our winter low is about 15°f. Garlic harvest is about June 15. Plants do good with 6-12-12 fertilizer. TN soil is hard and heavy. June to Oct garden is 100°f hot and dry as desert about 1" of rain per month. Jan to April rain 6 days a week garden is a swamp. I never do raised beds, boards act like a levee to hold in 5 gallons of water once a week. Garlic is planted 4" apart and 4" between rows. 400 candy onions are planted the same way.





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We just got our garlic in the ground the other day, so not too much chance of seeing green till the spring. I might tent a third of the row with that white fabric to see if it gets different results than the un-covered ones.
Thanks a bunch for the info. Nice garden! The mud looks like fun, ha ha.
This year it might have worked to plant garlic in the fall.
We had cooling weather and then a bunch of snow before it started getting to the always freezing stuff.
Most winters are not quite so nice.
An older friend of mine at about the 54th latitude says the older Ukrainian background ladies taught him to plant it early in the spring.
Gardening gurus here seem to think that fall planting is better - - - - I haven't tried garlic yet.
Interesting what you consider low rain (1"/wk) - - - - here I would consider that not bad at all and our highs are not 100 F but we are definitely over 85.
I generally have to water to get to or over 1" a week!
Last spring it was 5 double rows of about 110' of spuds.
Think this year I'm going to stop at 4 rows - - - LOL - - - digging them in the fall was just too much work.
Thinking of trying some sweet potatoes this year - - - assuming I can get some slips.
I do square foot gardening. I squeeze as much as I can into the smallest space I can. I have done a lot of experiments in the past 47 years to learn what works best. Corn seeds can be spaced 5" apart with 32" row spacing 4 rows minimum for good pollination. Beans seed spacing 2"apart with rows 16" apart with several rows side by side like a bed but its not a bed. Onions & garlic in beds 32" wide 34 ft long. Tomatoes & peppers 18" apart. Garden row spacing 32" between all rows. Melons & sweet potatoes full sun all day, rake the vines in a circle round the plant to save space. Grow cucumbers on tomato cages to save space. Potato plants 6" to 8" between plants and 3 rows side my side 8" between rows, 150 plants in a 33 ft long bed. When 1 crop is gone plant something else in its place, beans can follow corn. Potatoes can follow onions & garlic. If we don't eat it I often will not grow it. Last year I planted Zinnia flowers its the best thing I ever did, we had a lot of enjoyment from the birds and flowers. Zinnia flowers attracted 100s of butterflies and honey bees that I have not seen in many years. Zinnias also attracts Blue birds I could count 6 blue birds ever day and 4, 5, 6, yellow finch birds every day. We had brown trasher birds this year I have not seen them in 47 years. Birds are my friend they eat bugs, my garden never has bugs. I have 9 blue bird houses paints black mounted in full sun to attract blue birds that start nesting March 1st. I have 4 Wren houses painted white that arrive in warm weather May 20 every year. Bird house color in important, Blue birds need a warm black color house in full sun March weather is cold. Wrens want a cooler house painted white color located in a shade tree. Both birds houses need to be 6' to 8' up from the ground. I build nesting boxes not bird houses, birds like them better. I never do raised beds they are too much work, too dry in 100°f hot blistering sun June to Sept. We only get about 1" of rain per month June to Oct. Boards that look like raised bed are used as a levee to hold in water, onions, garlic, potatoes, get several 5 gallon buckets of water 2 times a week, I want water to stay where I put it, I don't want water wasted running all over the whole garden

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I clicked the wrong thing not sure how to delete the mistake? My son said, typing error does that sometimes.
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