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Thread: so you think you can garden

  1. #1
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    Cool so you think you can garden

    ok you guys. i have lawn. its stale. i want a garden. ive scoured ye olde internets and instead of tilling, its been suggested i smother the lawn with cardboard and newspaper. anyone ever done this? im afeart.

    in other news, if you already rock a cracking garden, show it to me! i love idears


  2. #2
    Strangerer Rum 509's Avatar
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    I'm trying to get my garden going this year. We have gophers. It's tragic. It's comical.

    How big is your garden and what kinds of weeds are you trying to kill? Some, like Bermuda grass, are really tough, mulching like you described may not be enough. Newspaper and something to hold it down, like straw may work, but it takes time. On the other hand, you can open up space and plant through the newspaper. Black plastic is more effective since it also heats the soil.

  3. #3
    We battled weeds for 4 years before finally calling a local lawn service company. We pay $40 every three months and they come out and work their magic with sprays and whatever other crap they put down. It looks beautiful, though it's probably not environmentally friendly.

    Otherwise I am still learning and don't have the visionary gift that some people have with their yards.

    My parents are master gardeners. Their property looks like a freakin' tropical dream...I'll take some pics when I'm there on Sunday. When they first built the house, the entire property had to be dug up to put in pipes, etc... so that fact that they've done it themselves makes it even more amazing!

  4. #4
    Why is this happening to me? beanstew's Avatar
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    Here's my garden before and after blitzing because the letting agency were coming around for an inspection.





    It's now pretty much back to being like the first picture. It's normally full of birds and other creatures though and they make me happy.

  5. #5
    Cardboard and newspaper? Can't say I've heard that one. Putting on high heels and walking around the yard to aerate the soil - that I've heard of.

    We have a mini yard in front of our townhouse. It was dirt and sparse ratty grass when we moved in. We tore it out and built a flower bed. It was a LOT of work but so worth it. We also put two rows of tiles along the side of our driveway at the same time. We get so many compliments (and requests for jobs) from our neighbors. Pretty good feeling.
    A few pics:

    The back yard will be the next project. Still a small space but MUCH more work to do there. We want to do a small stone wall with some plantings and probably a lower deck. Still in the planning stage.

  6. #6
    I spent two hours manually pulling weeds in our backyard because the dog's lead kept catching on dandelions and she kept getting stuck. I eventually gave up and we did weed & feed. Now two days after mowing the yard isn't two feet high again. It shocked me how well one application worked.

    Now my goal for next year is to plant more perennials, work up some borders along the garage, and maybe if I'm lucky clear out some ugly brushy trees and replace it with a vegetable garden.

  7. #7
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    i love it bear1 super idea. i am torn between a more manicured garden, and one with native plants. or both!

  8. #8
    CocaineLipgloss Lo's Avatar
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    My extent of gardening is, buy some flowers that are already blooming, dig a hole in my yard, and stick them in it. Looks pretty enough for me! Our lawn isn't the greatest but I'm very resistant to the idea of spraying and weed killing and all that. We did put some fertilizer down, but I made sure it was kid and pet friendly. We also tried to plant some wildflowers, but they aren't really blooming yet and I can't tell what green sprouts are weeds and what are the potential flowers...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by fux n sux View Post
    i love it bear1 super idea. i am torn between a more manicured garden, and one with native plants. or both!
    I think both would be nice. I like the look of having some plants in big containers interspersed within the landscape too. Having a blank slate is exciting and a bit overwhelming!

  10. #10
    I wouldn't have gone the weed kill route normally, but it was a desperate measure after the weeds completely obliterated what lawn we had in the back in just three years (of neglect on the part of the homeowner *coughnotmeIjustmovedincough*). At this point it wasn't so much about saving the backyard as preventing it from spreading to the sides and eventually the front. We are going to seed it heavily this fall and hopefully we'll have a decent yard by next spring (which the dog will promptly destroy with her digging).

  11. #11
    Royal Bitchess of Snarkdom Em's Avatar
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    I have a bit of garden, but nothing fancy! When we first moved in here 8 years ago it was fucking weed city in the front garden; we dug all that shit out and I transplanted wild/native flowers - mainly yellow iris, daffodill, and jack in the pulpit. I then put in several different types of mint, 2 blueberry bushes, hollyhock, some roses, several lily types, garlic, and strawberry -wild, ornamental, and uhm... I forgot the other kind that's actually grown to be eaten. Some wild blackberry are now growing in there, as well as oregano and catmint that rooted from a container. Oh, and tulips!

    So, then I decided to put in an actual herb garden on the other side of the walk, and HAD 3 kinds of thyme [which all died over the winter after about 4 years of growth...], a giant sage plant, and now that we've yanked up all of the dead thyme, we've temporarily got 5 basil plants and two hot banana pepper plants, as well as some wild chives.

    Then... around the front deck I have a giant climbing peace rose, along with two miniature roses, more wild chives, and my tomato plants with a bit more catmint and some chamomile.

    On the deck in containers I have some St. John's Wort and some lavender.

    Our yard, beyond the half acre we mow, is generally eat up with [my cherry tree, and] roughly ten bazillion blackberry plants.




    it sounds lot more impressive than it actually looks, though.

  12. #12
    streak his blood across my beak PoorMatty's Avatar
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    When I was a little kid, I became obsessed with morning glories when I found a wild one growing in a flowerbed at a rest stop on a road trip. It looked like this:



    The color and pattern just struck me. It seemed so otherworldly. So, this year I decided to plant a bunch of my own. Mostly they are of the Heavenly Blue variety, straight off the Wal-Mart seed rack:



    That photo is not doctored, they are absolutely that color, and they're mind-blowingly beautiful in person when you've got a wall covered in hundreds of those flowers, each one at least 4 inches across. They're also super easy to grow; you stick the seed in the ground in the sun, keep it wet till it sprouts, and the vine grows, I'd estimate about a foot a week once it gets going. Of course, the downside is, the flowers close by about 10 or 11 a.m.

    Anyway, while I was looking at different varieties, I was really amazed at some of the fancy Japanese types:



    They don't even look real! I want them all!

  13. #13
    Went to my parents' house today and took pics as promised (although I forgot to take my camera, so I had to use my iPhone). My parents did all of the planning and work themselves. They've created a tropical paradise in their backyard, and it's really inspiring:

    PART I

    PART II

    PART III

    PART IV

    PART V - A Surprise Critter!

  14. #14
    The New Classic marci's Avatar
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    ^ That's gorgeous. They did a lovely job, it looks very much like an oasis. Home and garden magazine material! I just hope the mosquito aren't too brutal. I can't wait to one day have a garden of my own. For now, my window boxes and pots on my yucky concrete balcony will have to do.


    My boyfriend's parents have a teeny tiny yard (it's common in the area to just have a patch of grass), though they have done a fantastic job with it. His dad is big into Japanese zen gardens. He takes care of the backyard while his mom gets the side. We bought him a big book full of history, photos and do it yourself type things for Father's Day, so I'm sure he will be making (more) updates shortly.

  15. #15
    Wow. Marci and JayPea, those are amazing. Makes my yard look so...gnarly. :-(

    I need/want something like this, but something that isn't $200+ dollars. http://www.insituwallplanters.com.au...wall-planters/ My google fu hasn't found much yet.

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