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Learning new gardening techniques in new places

 
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 05:43 pm
Gardening here is different from all my past experience. My soil is sand and the sun more punishing to my garden efforts so far. But hey, I'll get sharper on all this soon. Meantime, I let some weeds go in the back yard last year. It's gotten warm enough for gardening and I've been meaning to go back there and clear them. Heh... nature already did, with wind.

I now have a very very large tumbleweed. So, I decided to implement my very own segment-the-tumbleweed technique, in order to place the segments into black plastic garbage bages. Not so easy to get the segments into the bags. And then there's the wee stickers...

Diane told me tumbleweed is the invasive russian thistle. Ok, this year I'll weed in a more timely manner.


How about things you're learning in a new garden or a new area?
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 05:47 pm
Since I gave up on the landscaping idea and my younger son has taken up agriculture, I'm letting him experiment in the backyard. The weekend after this one he's going to construct a mound system using some of the unwanted woody vegetation. I can't remember the name in German, but I'll try to find more info on the net and fill in the blanks.
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 05:58 pm
Osso, my dear...

Someone has to break it to ya.

You live in the desert. Everything you can grow easily will not like you, or any other soft skinned creature.

Ima bring you a square of Kentucky Bluegrass that you can grow under a light in yer back office. :wink:

Cactus is your prickly friend. (still working on the bamboo hookup...)

RH
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 06:11 pm
Rockhead, don't work hard on the bamboo... even if it grows here it seems very wrong to me, though amusing in a restaurant patio..
I do tend to like to choose natives or at least plants that make some sense here. Maybe this year I'll plant a couple of Forestiera neomexicana before the high heat of the summer. (We have at least two good native plant nurseries, including one at Pueblo Santa Ana.)

The grass thing reminds me of a teacher that had some terra cotta pots with grass in them on his window sill. He sent a photo out of them as a c. card entitled "the western lawns". I'm also not a lawn fan, somewhat in general and specifically not in arid climates... but I do like native grasses.

This is all big talk. First I have to get the horrid thorny hedge shrubs the developer planted by the driveway outta there.

Swimpy, that sounds great about your son and the garden..
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 06:12 pm
I didn't really garden in any of the places I lived. I did watch and learn. One weed you may like to grow in NM is flax. Irises seems to do well enough. I imagine daylilies could be coaxed.

But, rockhead makes a good point. Cacti are your friends. And yucca.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 06:19 pm
I do like yucca, or at least some of them.

Do you mean Phormium or Linum re the flax?

I brought some irises and daylilies with me... managed to kill off most of the daylilies before I got them planted, but Dys got the ones I gave him planted. I trust I can get daylily babies from him one of these years.
I've a colleague/friend who runs a dayliliy nursery so I may be beefing up my stock of them. (The one that made it has survived the winter ok.) And my irises look happy.
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Swimpy
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 03:05 pm
I finally got the name for the type of garden my son is putting in. It's called Huegelbeete or Hill Bed. He cut down one of my many undesirable trees, a hemlock. Then he removed sod from an area that is roughly 4' x 15'. He stripped the branches from the main trunk and place the trunk in the shallow trench. On top go all of the branches to form kind of a windrow. Next the sod will go on top of the branches, grass side down. The lext layer will be leaves, followed by a layer of compost. A layer of topsoil will cap it all off.

My son and his wife are doing all the work. They're in the backyard as I type. The whole thing probably wont get done until Mothers Day.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 03:09 pm
Osso, had to go look them up. It'd be the linum I am remembering. It's sort of a weed out there, but it is a very sweet and pretty one.

http://www.delange.org/Flax/Dsc00020.jpg
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 03:13 pm
I know I've mentioned this catalog before, but here it is again. Not for buying, maybe, but for ideas...

High Counry Gardens
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 03:14 pm
Thanks, littleK.

Swimpy, I'm befuddled by the hill bed. I'll have to study more about it.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 03:17 pm
I'd post some links but they're all in German. The idea is that the brush will break down slowly over time creating a continuous source of organic matter. I'll let you know how it goes.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 05:32 pm
Swimpy wrote:
I finally got the name for the type of garden my son is putting in. It's called Huegelbeete or Hill Bed. He cut down one of my many undesirable trees, a hemlock. Then he removed sod from an area that is roughly 4' x 15'. He stripped the branches from the main trunk and place the trunk in the shallow trench. On top go all of the branches to form kind of a windrow. Next the sod will go on top of the branches, grass side down. The lext layer will be leaves, followed by a layer of compost. A layer of topsoil will cap it all off.

My son and his wife are doing all the work. They're in the backyard as I type. The whole thing probably wont get done until Mothers Day.


I'd be REALLY interested in hearing more about this as I have lots of debris that I could use for such a thing.

Does it make a berm sort of thing?

How deep does the trench have to be?

How high can you build it up?

Can you get some photos?

My backyard is a complete disaster. We've been spending days cleaning out stuff. I would love to put some of it to use. I have lots of branches and compost type matter but I would have to truck in some good dirt.

Drainage is a big problem in my yard. I would love to hear how this would work in soggy, shady areas.

I would love to build something up a few feet high and smack it full of ferns or something shade tolerant.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 05:46 pm
Some of out native australian plants or sth african plants should suit Osso.

Grevillia, acacia, banksia, kangaroo paw, dianella longifolia or revoluta.

There are hundreds of different types shapes and colours of these. its best to look in your local nursery and see what they have.

Ask em to get some if they don't have Aussie plants.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 06:32 pm
I know all those, dadpad.. and like them. Love dianella, actually, precious flowers... gorgeous royal blue 'fruit'. Rhizomes from hell....

http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/923/726634.JPG

Am about to plant two Forestiera neomexicanas (New Mexican privet, also known as Desert Olive) think I'll put them together like these two..


http://www.thequercusgroup.com/Images-Photos_Port_E_P_Tr/Forestiera_neomexicana.jpg


Well, as soon as I finally make my little front yard central square with the landscape ties so I know exactly where to put the Forestieras.

I killed two others last year waiting for myself to do the square bit, which I was going to do after I took out all the landscape stones...

Anyone want some sand? I observed rather late in the buying process that my yard must have been where they got rid of other sand in the development construction. I originally thought I should get rid of the excess by dumping say a gallon sized amount in my trash each week. I should have, I'd be two years of gallon sized containers to the better by now, thus room for compost, bla bla bla.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 06:40 pm
I'll have to see if Anigozanthos grow here. If so, they would work in my thinnish driveway strip where the shrub of thorns resides.. that is, the two I haven't ripped out yet.

http://www.anbg.gov.au/anigozanthos/index.html

Nope, Sunset says they don't. I suppose they would as annuals, but I've enough hobbies.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 07:36 pm
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40/dadpad/Dec2007008.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40/dadpad/Dec2007007.jpg

These are from my garden this year.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 07:42 pm
Sand is a good base for building on
Instead of getting rid of the sand try to shift it to where you want it. Then build it up with compost and organic materials.
Get kitchen scraps from a nearby restaurant, friends and neighbours. Add a little all purpouse commercial fertiliser and some lime to your compost.

Look up how to build a no dig garden bed.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 07:47 pm
I suspect most of those you listed, Dad, don't work because of some of our few days of real freezing. Not that I checked Dianella yet. I say I am interested in going native, and am working to it.. there are, for example, native whatchacallits (back when the word shows up on my brain pan, tubular flower, starts with P., one of the varieties is "appleblossom".) But I also love herbs and roses... and my lavenders did make it through the winter.




Penstemon, that's it.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 07:55 pm
I know quite a bit about cut and fill, and about compost. Trust me, there is no place for fill. That is why I am taking out every single stone, for example.

A principle of landscape architecture for a variety of reasons is to minimize soil removal and soil import to a site. Clearly the developers here used my lot for fill to the brim, only the soil is sand, completely sand, and there is no great need for local sand at other sites in the city.

I'm long familiar with no dig gardening, design them, you know, although I do admit I haven't seen a worm in Albuquerque yet. I plan to do a raised terrace in the back, but there is another whole bunch of extra sand there. In the front, I added a retaining wall to hold it all.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2008 08:05 pm
I like the idea of going native to your climate but sometimes find it a bit limiting.

Like most desserts ours experience pretty damn cold temps at times, frost but not snow.

Getting things established is always a trial though.

Australian arid lands botanic garden
http://www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org/general/plants/p_wifl.htm
Trees and shrubs
http://www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org/general/plants/p_trshr.htm
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