2022 Gardening Thread

Has anybody heard about the “No Mow May” initiative? It aims to give more pollinators for bees. At first I thought it was a local city idea, which I don’t think will get much traction due to HOA rules and homeowners like me worried about dandelion takeover. But I’ve seen it in other news too.

Although not (or not yet) a fan of the No Mow May idea, we do have a patch of lawn along our driveway that I’ve been considering conversion from grass (would turn off sprinkler on that zone) to some tbd plants or materials that are more eco friendly.

I love Dandelions… We just had our massive spring bloom of them and they were so beautiful everywhere. Now I get to go around blowing the puffs to reseed for next year (or mainly have fun since they’d do the reseeding themselves even without me). Places that used chemicals to get rid of them and other spring flowers looked so bland comparatively driving around. I’ve never been able to figure out the mindset against them - other than some advertising campaign from those chemical companies.

I love Chicory too when it comes into season. Now Dame’s Rocket is taking off, and we still have Wild Violets. Prior to Dandelions we had Grape Hyacinths.

I might just as well admit it, I love flowers. Period. I don’t have to buy them to love them.

But to address your post, I’ve never heard of No Mow May. We purposely keep many things around for pollinators though - and later on Monarchs. I despise the golf course/country club look of bland cut short green. Nature is far prettier if one lets it show off.

We mow, but our mower is set at 3.5" to not go too short. The ponies mow it before we do most of the time. Then we top off what they didn’t eat.

We also get rid of some weeds, Multiflora Rose, Cockleburs, Burdock, and Poison Ivy come to mind as regulars we’ll hunt down to dispose of.

ETA: It’s probably obvious I’d never buy into a HOA that made one keep the country club look. :sunglasses:

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Not a fan of lawns or dandelions. Don’t have either in our yard - thank goodness! :slight_smile: It has been too cold here in my neck of the woods for the pollinators to come out… our farmers might lose a big chunk of cherry and other stone fruit harvest. :frowning:

Definitely know about No Mow May. No can/will do here though. We’d never be able to cut the grass by the end of the month with our home equipment. I’ve already cut our lawn a half dozen times or so and I’m in Ohio. Twice a week right now.

I get the concept but also think that it’s an excuse for some people who don’t want to start mowing! lol.

BUT speaking of bees, our neighbor posted a video of some special little houses he has for MASON BEES. Here is the concept:
The Mason Bee House is a bundle of bamboo tubes that provide a place for mason bees to reproduce and gather pollen and nectar for their young . After laying eggs, the adults die, leaving a new generation to take over.

And here is what they look like:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Nature-s-Way-Better-Gardens-Bee-House-Teal/1000618535

My husband must have acted too interested and now neighbor has brought us a house! It’s a little hard to accept having a swarm of bees in your yard! According to the neighbor this is just like a 2 week process then it’s done.

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It sounds like we have the exact opposite preferences. I don’t mind traveling to places without a gorgeous green carpet dotted with flowers, but each time we return back home I know I could never live in such a place. I feel the same about rolling hills being superior to flat or mountains, but I’ve lived in both of those - just always with natural grass.

I wonder if humans are naturally predisposed to liking what they grew up with or if it’s something else? (As a majority, I’m sure folks “flip” both ways.)

I suspect it would be the same here, even with the ponies helping us out. I’ve already mowed twice, both times in May. We have areas we don’t mow in order to let nature be nature, but if I were to try to mow them now we’d have to weedeat first I think. I don’t consider those areas our “lawn.” They’re in fields.

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There’s a great company called Crown Bees which you should check out. They sell bee nesting stuff and actual mason & leaf cutter bees…will ship the baby bees to you based on your locale and whatever is the right time of year for them to soon emerge.

My neighbor didn’t not order bees, only houses! The bees just appeared once the houses went up!

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Went to Home depot today, ostensibly to buy spearmint plants for D.
What surprised me is the variety of trees and bushes HD had for sale. I keep forgetting this is CA and all sorts of stuff grows here. There were avocados, figs, citrus of many varieties, bananas, persimmons, guavas. I was so tempted… But I’ll wait until my apartment is finished. Maybe I’ll put a lemon tree in big pot out on my new second story deck.

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Does anybody use blood meal for bulbs? I have some in garage from my mom’s gardening days, so many years old… but seems worth a try to use it. There are directions for use when planting bulbs, but per Google check it seems I could also use as fertilizer(?)

You can use it a slow release high nitrogen fertilizer. Blood meal has nearly zero phosphorus or potassium so it’s not a good all purpose fertilizer.

I’ve used it in my vegetable garden along with other soil additives like biochar, perlite, coco coir to improve soil texture and prepare the ground for planting. (I had basically a mix of caliche, clay hardpan and sand in the yard when I moved there.)

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I use blood meal and bone meal with my own compost to fertilize all my vegetables. Less blood meal than bone meal otherwise you get a lot of foliage. I don’t feed my bulbs anything.

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So I just bought some plants for the veggie garden (tomato, zuc, basil, arugula). I was debating about when to plant them, because there is a rainstorm coming… which around here can mean lots of wind. My husband said, “aren’t you supposed to wait a day before putting them in the ground?” True?

It depends on the conditions that plants were kept in before you bought them. If they were in a semi shady area or are fresh from the greenhouse, then a couple of days acclimating to the high mountain sunshine might help prevent sun scorch.

If it’s going to be really windy, think about giving the new plants some protection. Cut the bottom out of the plastic pot/cup that the plant came home in and invert it over the tomato plant and weight down the edge with dirt. Or use an open, bottomless card box, or wrap some foil, plastic, newspaper around the lower edge of a tomato cage. High winds whipping back & forth can break tomato & basil stems.

I don’t think anything can hurt a zucchini plant. Except maybe squash bugs and it’s too early in the season for those.

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We love living in Colorado. But it is not without its challenges. I did hold back most of my garden plants, due to the impending snow. But the arugula I planted (in a planter, now inside) got blasted by the blaring sun/80s.

It’s a blessing to have the upcoming moisture. But I ran around this morning in the cold rain covering many things with inverted trash cans etc.

One of my sunflowers finally opened up!

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