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RBM

Gardening and the like

31 posts in this topic

Since I recently, this recent fall, bought a real estate property, I'm looking to learn about this topic. I humorously call the topic 'diggin' in the dirt'. I'm most comfortable with machines and inanimate object, so living things, like flowers and grass, really befuddle me.

I'm hoping to find links that will help me get up the learning cure, whether the be on this site or other site's ?

Suggestions ?

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What sort of land do you have: forested, cleared....can you describe what it looks like, size, etc? Do you want to stick to decorative gardening, or are you looking to plant fruit trees, vegetables, herbs? We can tailor our advice if we have a bit more data.

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The first thing you'll want to do now is retrofit your bathroom(s) with composting toilets. :thumbsup:

 

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some great points have been brought up already

similar to machines, what do you need? what's the goal? what are you working with? how much time and care will you be directly involved in? budget? what are the limitations [soil, weather, hoa restrictions, will certain trees block view of the road on maturity, are certain plants more prone to disease, will you need to hire a monthly service company, are some trees/plants/etc going to smell bad but look good, which will get the most sunlight, do you want shade, do you want decorative/curb appeal/water feature that requires really digging up some dirt, do you have outside pets [you don't want plants that might be poisonous to them], do you have a fence/walls [will you have to worry about kids or animals walking through], etc]?

you could take a look around the area, see what the neighbors have done that you like or dislike. try to look at the older properties nearby, those will usually have the trees and flowers and greenery that will survive. you can also get some great free advice from your local nursery even before you begin. i'm not sure how you are about talking to your neighbors, but i would consider talking to them if you like what they've done to their property.

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Oh, had a little look-around the net, Mr. RBM, and found these:

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:nice:

 

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Thanks for the reply's, All.

The land itself, is an urban property with very old shade trees that need maintenance and very, very rocky soil. I'm not too sure on the rocks, but there's some that seems to be natural to the property. The rest of the rock is landscaping. The property is 140 ft by 50 ft(?) next to a city alley. All foot traffic is located around the property because of fencing.

The house is facing North on the south side of a major two-lane artery. Both front and back yards are heavily shaded. I've got lots of roses that look like they are old, and a next door neighbor who's advising me on those, as he's got much experience of growing roses in Nebraska soil. He's adamant about how bad the soil is. I've also got a couple flower beds with stuff in them. Meaning, I don't know just yet what the plants are. He's a rental as is the neighbor on the other side who's a carpenter. I'm friendly with both but they do limited work in their yards.

In the short term, I don't expect to have much time for hands on, as I have major architecture issues that have priority before next winter. The house was built in '55, on cinder block with a crawlspace. Windows are likely original and HVAC system is 20 years+ old.

My gardening goal is to attract birds(already have lots of urban squirrels and bunnies) with flowers and maybe a  bird bath, and a couple more bird houses, to add to the one I have.

I'll be, eventually, digging into the links Madden, so thanks for those.

Toki, I've scoped out the local nurseries of which I'll visit to see which has good customer service for my lack of knowledge. For example, grass is really really sparse, so when it rains, the rain sets and mud is everywhere as my drive is sideways off the alley and stone is the covering. I've already experience the alley hill crest delivering all rain runoff, directly into my garage.

That may require an dry well installation, which is as close to compost toilets that I'll be getting, Swamp Yankee.

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Posted (edited)

Ah. If your soil is cruddy, as your neighbour told you, find out what the specific issues are, and then you could begin now by improving the soil, @RBM. I think there is information about doing that via the links I provided.

If you want a low-maintenance garden, I'd suggest keeping things simple, going for evergreen plants/shrubs, perennial flowering plants (lilacs, etc.) that bloom in rotation, and require very little interference, and raised garden sections, to keep the weeds down, to create order, height and elegance, and to cut down on lawn and lawn care.

Spoiler

Please login or register to see this image. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.modbox.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Raised_Garden_Bed_800_600-600x450.jpg&key=99fa52e5e99949e8609e96812456ffdc6efd17e54b0dfa6dd8f4dc163859807d" />

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11-front-yard-landscaping-garden-ideas-h

landscape_raisedbed_100416_nowm.jpg

Castlemaine-spalls-wall-2.jpg?resize=262

 

 

If you plant annuals, go for shade-loving plants:

Alyssum.

Begonia.

Calendula.

Impatiens.

 

Another idea is to create a patio area, where you could grill, eat, read, lounge, visit with people. Potted plants and hanging baskets. :nice:

 

Spoiler

81679ff36fc52cf83ff20d52ea00e749.jpg

york-stone-crazy-paving-flagstone-patio-

lush-patio-wisteria-landscapers_3800.jpg

Awesome-Pea-Gravel-decorating-ideas-for-

 

 

 

Edited by Madden

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for the water you could look into installing a garage door threshold seal, like a mild rubber speedbump looking thing. in addition you could maybe install a drain and check/adjust your gutter runoff.

i love that raised garden bed idea from madden, sounds like low hassle and low maintenance enough too.

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Get rid of the rocks and add a layer of topsoil.

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12 minutes ago, toki said:

for the water you could look into installing a garage door threshold seal, like a mild rubber speedbump looking thing. in addition you could maybe install a drain and check/adjust your gutter runoff.

i love that raised garden bed idea from madden, sounds like low hassle and low maintenance enough too.

Yeah, it seriously is! I think Mr. RBM doesn't want to be gardening 24/7 (not that I blame him...I wouldn't want to either), so I'm thinking outside the box - basically, by creating spaces which have easy high impact, multiple levels of usefulness, and demand relatively low effort over the long term. 'Rooms' within the larger garden area, so to speak.

6 minutes ago, Distance said:

Get rid of the rocks and add a layer of topsoil.

Agreed...and save the rocks.

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1 minute ago, Madden said:

Agreed...and save the rocks.

Good idea since you can create some interesting things with the loose rocks.

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Posted (edited)

40 minutes ago, Distance said:

Good idea since you can create some interesting things with the loose rocks.

Depending on the size of the rocks, you could use them for patio material or low-rise walls for the garden sections. :thinking: Also, Mr. RBM, you mention that the grass is quite sparse. The heavy shading will be contributing to that, and perhaps the tree roots sucking the nutrients out of the soil as well. Rather than remove the trees though (anything but that, unless necessary), I think it would be better (and perhaps easier in the long run) to introduce hardy bedding perennials. My folks' last house had a veritable forest in the back garden, and very little lawn to care for, but there were a lot of thick, ground-hugging plants. If I find pictures of their garden, I'll share them here, perhaps for inspiration. Lots of trees might affect the lawn growth, but on the other hand it brings the temps down in the air surrounding your home, which is a good thing (cuts back on A/C needs, for example). And it's definitely attractive to birds and other wildlife. They had all sorts of birds in their back yard, bunnies showing up, chipmunks, squirrels. :smug: 

What would you do with the rocks, Distance?

When I lived in Cornwall with my folks, my dad and I spent part of the first summer there going around the back section of our back garden on our hands and knees, removing loose rocks by hand, piling them up. I think he ended up using these rocks as the 'bed' layer for a patio area or path. They made a good solid base. God the soil sucked at first where we were: full of rocks and clay, but after working it, it became some of the richest, blackest edible-looking soil (looked like cocoa).

By the way, RBM, I don't recommend doing it the way my dad and I did (my dad was a frugal Scotsman, and it wasn't a huge section of garden we worked :laugh: ). You can get specialised equipment for this sort of thing that will make it a dawdle.

Edited by Madden

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27 minutes ago, Madden said:

Depending on the size of the rocks, you could use them for patio material or low-rise walls for the garden sections. :thinking: What would you do with them?

When I lived in Cornwall with my folks, my dad and I spent part of the first summer there going around the back section of our back garden on our hands and knees, removing loose rocks by hand, piling them up. I think he ended up using these rocks as the 'bed' layer for a patio area or path. They made a good solid base. God the soil sucked at first where we were: full of rocks and clay, but after working it, it became some of the richest, blackest edible-looking soil (looked like cocoa).

By the way, RBM, I don't recommend doing it the way my dad and I did (my dad was a frugal Scotsman, and it wasn't a huge section of garden we worked :laugh: ). You can get specialised equipment for this sort of thing that will make it a dawdle.

Very nice!

When my parents bought their new home, the kids were responsible for shoveling and sifting the rocks out with a screen.  We did it every day after school and to this day, they have the most groomed lawn in their neighborhood. The rocks were small so they were used on top of landscaping fabric in specific areas of the property.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Distance said:

Very nice!

When my parents bought their new home, the kids were responsible for shoveling and sifting the rocks out with a screen.  We did it every day after school and to this day, they have the most groomed lawn in their neighborhood. The rocks were small so they were used on top of landscaping fabric in specific areas of the property.

Oh hey! You too?! :laugh:

That is so funny. And you're right, it's amazing the impact it can have. Makes a huge difference. Yep, as you say, the loose rocks can be used to suppress weeds, using landscaping fabric. :nice:

 

Edited by Madden

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18 hours ago, Madden said:

Oh hey! You too?! :laugh:

That is so funny. And you're right, it's amazing the impact it can have. Makes a huge difference. Yep, as you say, the loose rocks can be used to suppress weeds, using landscaping fabric. :nice:

 

I remember when I was 4 years old or so, and my parents had just bought their first house. They were out in the side yard sifting rocks from the dirt and tossing them over their shoulders down onto the lower level by the river. I, like an idiot, walked directly into the path of a rock thrown by my mother - which beaned me on the forehead and sent me fleeing into the house where I hid under the kitchen table. :ninja:

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure I got hit in the head by a piece of hardcore helping my parents' landscaping part of their garden when I was little. Or was it a hammer... Or maybe it was me who hit my brother with something. :facepalm: I think it was me that got hit, bending down to pick something up where he was throwing bits of hardcore. Either way it was my fault. I wasn't very aware of my surroundings back then.

Edited by holdyourhead

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2 hours ago, Swamp Yankee said:

I remember when I was 4 years old or so, and my parents had just bought their first house. They were out in the side yard sifting rocks from the dirt and tossing them over their shoulders down onto the lower level by the river. I, like an idiot, walked directly into the path of a rock thrown by my mother - which beaned me on the forehead and sent me fleeing into the house where I hid under the kitchen table. :ninja:

 

 

2 hours ago, holdyourhead said:

I'm sure I got hit in the head by a piece of hardcore helping my parents' landscaping part of their garden when I was little. Or was it a hammer... Or maybe it was me who hit my brother with something. :facepalm: I think it was me that got hit, bending down to pick something up where he was throwing bits of hardcore. Either way it was my fault. I wasn't very aware of my surroundings back then.

Ah, I see. Clarifies a few things. :whistle:

<---being evil.

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2 hours ago, holdyourhead said:

I'm sure I got hit in the head by a piece of hardcore helping my parents' landscaping part of their garden when I was little. Or was it a hammer... Or maybe it was me who hit my brother with something. :facepalm: I think it was me that got hit, bending down to pick something up where he was throwing bits of hardcore. Either way it was my fault. I wasn't very aware of my surroundings back then.

Your yard was full of pornography? :thinking:

 

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6 minutes ago, Madden said:

 

Ah, I see. Clarifies a few things. :whistle:

<---being evil.

You are evil. Poor Swamp. No argument from me, though.

 

5 minutes ago, Swamp Yankee said:

Your yard was full of pornography? :thinking:

 

:p Yes.

Some good hardcore action here: Please login or register to see this link.

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Construction aggregate or pornography - either way it would have sent my 4 year old ass to hide under the table :laugh:

 

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Don't grow your bell peppers to close to your hot peppers.

That's all I learned from my year of gardening.  

*reads thread for future use, when I can afford property.

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Posted (edited)

Have started from scratch a few times now over the years buying property, building and landscaping, just about had my hands on everything you can think of.

I noticed you mention the sun and how your house sits on the property. If you can visualize the sun and the seasons and how it traverses over your property it can help with identifying your plants according to the amount of sun they may need.  Rain collection systems to help feed the plants as plants love rain water. Which plants according to the zone you are in?  Ph values for plants according to the ph of spoil.

My wife and I friend Homestead groups as these people are going through the things we had in the past. Rocky soil? Well you can pot just about anything these days.....raised beds, etc. We are just getting active again ourselves  through a transition, after moving back into town after being in the rural setting for many years.

Edited by PlatoHagel

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Posted (edited)

On 3/19/2017 at 3:28 PM, Madden said:

Ah. If your soil is cruddy, as your neighbour told you, find out what the specific issues are, and then you could begin now by improving the soil, @RBM. I think there is information about doing that via the links I provided.

If you want a low-maintenance garden, I'd suggest keeping things simple, going for evergreen plants/shrubs, perennial flowering plants (lilacs, etc.) that bloom in rotation, and require very little interference, and raised garden sections, to keep the weeds down, to create order, height and elegance, and to cut down on lawn and lawn care.

Please login or register to see this link. Reveal hidden contents

Please login or register to see this image. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.modbox.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Raised_Garden_Bed_800_600-600x450.jpg&key=99fa52e5e99949e8609e96812456ffdc6efd17e54b0dfa6dd8f4dc163859807d" />

Please login or register to see this link.

11-front-yard-landscaping-garden-ideas-h

Please login or register to see this link.

Castlemaine-spalls-wall-2.jpg?resize=262

 

 

If you plant annuals, go for shade-loving plants:

Alyssum.

Begonia.

Calendula.

Impatiens.

 

Another idea is to create a patio area, where you could grill, eat, read, lounge, visit with people. Potted plants and hanging baskets. :nice:

 

Please login or register to see this link. Reveal hidden contents

81679ff36fc52cf83ff20d52ea00e749.jpg

york-stone-crazy-paving-flagstone-patio-

lush-patio-wisteria-landscapers_3800.jpg

Awesome-Pea-Gravel-decorating-ideas-for-

 

 

 

I've got a 10 X 10 or so raised deck mounted inches from the house right outside the back door. I'm redoing part of that. I might post an back porch thread looking for ideas ... next year ?

 
 
...... added to this post 2 minutes later:
 
On 3/19/2017 at 3:51 PM, toki said:

for the water you could look into installing a garage door threshold seal, like a mild rubber speedbump looking thing. in addition you could maybe install a drain and check/adjust your gutter runoff.

i love that raised garden bed idea from madden, sounds like low hassle and low maintenance enough too.

The speedbump/threshold seal is what popped into my head at first sign of the water. I'll look into that.

 
 
...... added to this post 5 minutes later:
 
On 3/19/2017 at 4:51 PM, Distance said:

Very nice!

When my parents bought their new home, the kids were responsible for shoveling and sifting the rocks out with a screen.  We did it every day after school and to this day, they have the most groomed lawn in their neighborhood. The rocks were small so they were used on top of landscaping fabric in specific areas of the property.

I'm considering making a rock sifter to sit on my wheelbarrow, like the video's that I've viewed, show. Thing is I've got several, if not more sizes of rock. From big pink ones to little sharp edges ones.

 
 
...... added to this post 7 minutes later:
 
On 3/20/2017 at 2:08 PM, holdyourhead said:

You are evil. Poor Swamp. No argument from me, though.

 

:p Yes.

Some good hardcore action here: Please login or register to see this link.

That aggregate is what the driveway is made of, which is adjacent to the city alley and it's larger rocks. The driveway is in dire need of a serious refresher of aggregate, eventually.

 
 
...... added to this post 12 minutes later:
 
On 3/21/2017 at 9:26 AM, PlatoHagel said:

Have started from scratch a few times now over the years buying property, building and landscaping, just about had my hands on everything you can think of.

I noticed you mention the sun and how your house sits on the property. If you can visualize the sun and the seasons and how it traverses over your property it can help with identifying your plants according to the amount of sun they may need.  Rain collection systems to help feed the plants as plants love rain water. Which plants according to the zone you are in?  Ph values for plants according to the ph of spoil.

My wife and I friend Homestead groups as these people are going through the things we had in the past. Rocky soil? Well you can pot just about anything these days.....raised beds, etc. We are just getting active again ourselves  through a transition, after moving back into town after being in the rural setting for many years.

I've got 3 roofs to use for rainfall sources - the house the garage and the toolshed. I've started looking online and found some DIY rainbarrel video's that look inexpensive to implement.

Edited by RBM

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Marigolds emit a strong odour which repels certain types of flies which is useful if growing vegetables. That's my random tip.

 

It's good that you want to create a garden attracting wildlife though having a balance between wild and low-maintenance could be tricky. Log piles are good for attracting insects, in turn attracting more birds.

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50 minutes ago, RBM said:

I'm considering making a rock sifter to sit on my wheelbarrow, like the video's that I've viewed, show. Thing is I've got several, if not more sizes of rock. From big pink ones to little sharp edges ones.

Not sure about the exact type you're referencing but that's how we handled it, a hand sifter on top of a wheelbarrow.  

For the larger rocks, there are landscaping walls, rockeries or raised flower beds.

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