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Post Info TOPIC: Mooky Gardening Thread


Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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Mooky Gardening Thread


I'm bring this thread back because I love gardening so much, and I've spent the last two weekends doing some serious digging, weeding and preparation. Oh and I planted an evil rhododendron, too - evil because they're famous for spreading all over the UK, but with such lush dark evergreen leaves and such fast growing (20 cm a year) I could think of nothing better to but in my bare shady spot in the garden next to the ferns.

From seed, I'm planting cornflower and nasturtiums - they work so well as borders, windowboxes, pot plants, hanging baskets - they're tough and beautiful and make the garden look a little wild and don't give a crap where they go.

Question for any green fingers: My bay tree looks really sad. it's in a pot and its leaves are quite brown and wilted but its bark is strong. Every year it gets little white mouldy spots on the leaves which I just wipe off because I don't want to use insecticide. Is there anything kind I can do for my little bay tree to show it love?

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Lush Guru

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Ooh gardening thread! We have a large garden now - we're going to dig over some of the lawn for a veg patch and there's strawberries and lots of lots of flowers growing out there.

I am very keen to grow stuff that helps out bees though - does anyone have any suggestions? We've seen a few about, but I want to encourage them and let them prosper.

(What I actually want to do is give over half the garden to becoming a wildflower meadow but The Captain is reading this over my shoulder and he's not as keen).

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Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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Bees - LAVENDER! I have a whole row of it. Again, so hardy (although it doesn't like soil with too much clay). And it sounds like you have a lovely big garden - lavender and rosemary are both so easy to grow and take up lots of space if you want them too. A wildflower meadow sounds lovely, I hope you do. Or maybe it could be an area devoted to such things? Poppies are very wildflower and they seem to come back every year, which is nice and minimum effort. Also, if you like pretty plants that look more woodland than fancy, bees love borage. They love it :)

Oh I've just realised I could talk about bees for a long time too - yay bees! But no, I have to go and steak and game of thrones

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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I hate you southerners. I thought spring was early this year; I found some itty bitty signs of my tulips having survived and I have some chives in a sweet sunny spot that I've started to nibble on. But today my entire garden is covered with snow again :'( I'm SO team Stark right now.

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Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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When you talk of nibbling on chives in a sunny spot I picture you as a forest deer! I am sorry to hear about that pesky snow. I think I fear snow less than the frost that can come and really destroy those rootballs... I am lucky my figs have survived so far, I never take them in for winter. I keep forgetting to wrap something round them, even. Maybe one day their figs will ripen enough to eat... but it hasn't happened yet in English climes.

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Honoured Mook

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I'm so used to having snow this time of year, too, but we had such a mild winter. (However, then the temperatures went from 75F down to 32F within 2 days and that was a mess.)

I have never actually gardened before. I'm not a big fan of it. But, this year, I started some vegetables indoors and I'm getting ready to take them outside. I think something has already started to eat my beans.

But I am trying to grow herbs inside. I feel like once plants go outside, they are dead to me. But my spinach is looking pretty good in the pot.

For bees! I live in USA, so I'm not sure how available these plants are based on climates and the like, but we had purple coneflowers, yarrow, and black eyed susans around our beehives that they loved. We have problems with squirrels destroying them, but a friend of ours plants sunflowers and reports good things with the honeybees.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Oh gosh, I'm so excited about this thread! I don't have a garden anymore but I do what I can with my window space : )
I'd love to see photos of other mooks' plants! My photos are super outdated and I keep meaning to take new ones, so I'll do that later and show you guys my plant babies.

Magda - I love nasturtiums! I love how easy they are to grow, how quickly they grow, how beautiful and tasty they are...! I used up my old seed packet so I picked up another just the other day. Excited for some new nasturtiums.
I've always wanted to try planting cornflower, but I was told it probably wouldn't do very well stuck up on a window sill. What do you think?

Oh, I'm also hoping to start some climbing plants up on my balcony, mostly veggies. I had tomatoes there and they looked beautiful and flourished, but had to take them down when we were fixing up the balcony. I got so many tomatoes from them! Oh, on a similar note I've grown a pepper plant. I stuck some seeds from a storebought pepper in a pot of compost not expecting anything to happen, but bam!! It's been giving me lovely little peppers. They're small and I only get two or three at a time, but I'm so proud of the little thing.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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You should see me when I try to sneak up on elk Magda, then I quite literally go about nibbling on green stuff :)

Indeed, the snow isn't really that bad and it isn't uncommon this time of year. It was just the disappointment.. Also, the wind have massacred my growth tunnel beyond repair. Oh well, the sweet peppers and chillies in the windowsill already have several fruits on them.







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Mookish Deity Most High

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Well, it snowed here in Sweden yesterday, so my dreams of a lush balcony garden will have to wait. However, we've got some lovely little seedlings on the windowsill and they're doing really well and growing insanely fast! Coriander, romaine lettuce, chives, thyme, lemon balm, cherry tomatoes, and dill. Nomnom.

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Thanks for the bee tips guys! Magda I think I am right in saying Borage is an edible flower as well? So that would be nice, I like eating flowers.

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Honoured Mook

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Okay, I have no idea what's going on here:

I have a basil plant in my window box. It was doing good--got really big--but today, when I went to water it, FRUIT FLIES CAME OUT.

I guess I'm going to put it in a new pot with soil but I'm not sure where the fruit flies came from, or why they would be on my basil plant! has anyone had this happen before?

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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^Yes. I often buy basil from the grocery store and just keep that thriving instead of sowing seeds, since I always manage to kill the little ones. In grocery stores they also sell fruit, so where the fruit flies come from to lay their eggs is no mystery in my case.

In fact, it seems to me that the fruit flies prefer basil to fruit? Maybe the basil smell really delicious to them?

What I do to battle fruit flies:

1.Place traps. Little bowls of water with vinegar and a drop of dish soap.

2.Move all fruit into the fridge.

3. Being really careful not to water the plants too often, so that the fruit fly larvae doesn't thrive.

4. Cover the soil with sand. I've used the fine sand from the river so far, but it doesn't seem to bother the little buggers too much. Apparently I need coarser and grainier sand to make the fruit fly larvae die on their journey to the surface.




@Alka: Borage is one of my favourite flowers. They look pretty, taste yummy, the bumblebees loves them and they pretty much take care of themselves coming back year after year. As for other bee-friendly things to grow, I have a seed package meant for growing bee-food plants in front of me now. It contains: centaurea, chrysatheme, clarkia, papaver, githagos milas, godetia, gypsophilia an, lavatera, linum, nigella, saponaria, calendula, thlaspi and zinnia.

In my opinion, a very important thing one can do for the bees (apart from banning pesticides) -and indeed the whole local eco-system, is simply to not cut your lawn. Some people seem to love those sterile looking gardens with a tidy lawn and a few colour schemed poisonous flowers. I loathe those things, they are basically green deserts.

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Honoured Mook

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SCREAMS
IT IS NOW WAR, FRUIT FLIES.

Thanks for your help @Irilar! I'm going to have to move the plant, I think, because my cat is very interested in dumping the bowls of vinegar/soap/water onto the floor. I actually had a conveniently placed thing of sand, too, so I sprinkled that on top of it and my fingers are crossed. I really appreciate your help!

I was sort of freaking out because I had no idea what they could be doing on my plants! I found fruit flies on my cactus, too, which made a little more sense to me since I guess some cacti are technically fruits but...ughhh....I'm a first-time gardening person and there are challenges I was not expecting lmao.



Unfortunately, not cutting the lawn in several places in the USA will result in a pretty hefty fine from local governments. My mom used to work at a place that had a department that would drive around and make sure grass was trimmed. It's pretty ridiculous when I write it out; it's just one of those things i don't think about as odd until I'm trying to explain it.

I would absolutely love to do one of those yards that's 90% gardens or uses herbs as ground cover.

f418f35ab40ab7e45409e98cd6bbf1b0.jpg

Has anyone done this? or known anyone who has?

I'm unable to since I live with family but I'm hoping when I have my own place this is a possibility.



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^ Lokrais: Seriously? That's the most bizarre thing I ever heard. Watering bans I can understand, but how dangerous is an uncut lawn to society that a law needs to be passed against it? I have never had a fully no-mow lawn but I'm pretty easy with it and it's not entirely grass. Moss and all kinds of other little plants seem to make up the 'lawn' too. A traditional 'english' lawn is meant to be a chamomile lawn, but I've never seen one. I would love to walk on a chamomile lawn - apparently it releases an incredible scent.

I took some garden pics of things growing! Would love to see your pics too!

Seedlings

Seedlings are the cutest thing ever. They are coming up fast in the window of the music studio - lots of light and warmth, and often in my line of vision so I remember to water them. The cornflowers are winning, the nasturtiums are a bit sleepy still! Their seeds are much bigger, maybe it takes more time and energy for them to grow?

Mint

I love having herbs to cook with. My bay tree needs some love (I'll give it nutrients and brush its leaves down for wee critturs) but this mint comes back in a big green ball of goodness every year. I control it in a large pot so it's got more earth nutrients and is more likely to survive hot weather if I don't water it regularly enough. But I don't put it in the ground because it really spreads.

Lavender

I counted over 60 bees hanging out in this lavender last year! One lavender bush is great, but more than one and the bees seem to make a really big note of it in their waggledance and tell all their friends...

Toadlilies

Not my usual type of plant but you can't get more Alice in Wonderland than a frotillary lily! I don't know if it comes back every year but this is its second year. I am such a lazy gardener. I love things that come back.

Rhubarb

Surely there is nothing finer than rhubarb with its majestic green jungle leaves. It comes back every year without fail. Sometimes I force it with an upturned bucket, sometimes not. It doesn't care. It's one of the first things to flourish just after winter so it's just great.

Miniature pear tree

This picture is terrible but still! I have heard horror stories about miniature trees that didn't know they were meant to stay little! With a smallish garden and neighbours who hate us we want to make sure our trees only take up our space, not someone else's. Six years in and this pear tree is still just over a metre high, doesn't mind being pruned, and delivers lovely pears every year. Happiness is a pear.

Green man

I didn't grow him myself! I just really like this green man, found him for 35 on eBay and he's guarded our garden for a good few years now. He's around 80cm tall I think. Love him.



-- Edited by Magda Mookychick on Saturday 30th of April 2016 09:13:57 AM

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High Mookish Shaman

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Do any British mooks (preferably from the north) know where I can get chocolate daisies? Can't seem to find them anywhere

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Lush Guru

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Magda - I remember from my childhood home that mint spreads like buggery! We had a lovely herb patch, then POOF it was a mint patch all of a sudden.

I'm so excited to grow bee-friendly things! We've already had some nice bees around but I am so happy to encourage more (and make the cats wear bells so they don't eat them).
I guess now I need a definitive cat-friendly plant guide, so that I don't inadvertently plant something harmful to my lovely little guys. Apparently there's a couple of things in the garden that we'll need to remove before they go outside, and I know lily pollen is really poisonous to cats so that's the first on the "do not plant" list. (Shame, I love lilies).

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Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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^Yay Alka your garden is going to be amazing! Sadly I only really know about lilies and also morning glory (another favourite flower I can't grow) as being especially bad for kitties.

^Bliz I've never heard of chocolate daisies and had to look them up! Do you mean those little daisy-shaped things that are meant to give off the scent of chocolate? If so they sound incredible! Posh latin name for those is (uh, according to online search) Berlandiera lyrata and it looks like you can get them online from seed at chilternseeds.co.uk and probably all sorts of places, I guess Dobbies might be a big gardening centre near(ish) you but I don't know what they stock...

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High Mookish Shaman

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Yes! Magda they are exactly what I'm after, dobbies is extremely close so I shall give them a try, thank you

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Honoured Mook

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@Magda I think the law was originally put in place because of snakes, skunks, and mice using the uncut lawns. In our area, for some reason, uncut lawns seem to signify "this is a great place to dump trash" so the governments here are pretty good about enforcing that to try and cut down on the amount of people that litter for no reason.

I had to google chocolate daisies before! They're so cute ahhh!!

I'm glad you were able to find them!

I need to take some pictures of my garden but it's looking pretty sad right now. My spinnach is doing pretty well right now. My raddish look like they're about dead, though. I suspect, but cannot prove, that something is eating them. They're in doors. I have no idea why they're failing like this. :( It's also been long enough that they should have the root ready for harvesting but there's basically nothing :(

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Free bee friendly seeds!



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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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That is brilliant Inky!

@Lokrais: Radishes are a mystery to me. They are supposed to be about the easiest and quickest vegetable to grow -indeed my grandma gave me my own little patch in the garden almost before I started kindergarten and growing them was no challenge, but for years when being an adult my radishes only made leaves :( Never figured out why, and last year they turned out lovely without me having done anything different than the previous year.

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Honoured Mook

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Irilar, I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse. I think, better, because I'm thinking 'Ah yes I am not failing, raddishes are just jerks."
But worse because I have no idea what to do to make them thrive! I've done all sort of raddish websites and raddish Q&As and as far as I can tell Im doing what I'm supposed to.

I'm just going to grab those helpful bee friendly seeds instead and say "hell with you, raddishes!"

but i really wanted them.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Ah, we had a radish patch at my old house, and even my most green-fingered of housemates couldn't bring them to do anything more than look pretty.

I have a small patch of soil at my house which is currently rather dry and full of stones and overtaken by dandelions, which the rabbit loves, but the shop I work at is going to be closed for about four days for a refurbishment, and I plan to spend some paid holiday turning it into a bee-friendly flower patch.

I currently have some small pots of parsley, basil, catnip and oat grass, and today I'm going to do some repotting. The oat grass has been banished to outside because it was attracting flies, but everything seems to be doing okay. I work in a coffee shop so I very often take home the waste coffee, which is an excellent fertiliser and a natural pesticide. (Incidentally, I don't know about other high street coffee shops, but I do know that Costa will give you their waste ground coffee free if you ask).

I also have a beloved aloe vera plant that I've rescued from death three or four times (it was rescued firstly from a pub that was closing down, secondly from neglect in the bathroom of my old house, thirdly after it took a tumble on the move up here, and fourthly after the cat decided to knock it down the stairs) and is almost like a child to me, but is now thriving quite well and sprouting new leaves by the dozens.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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My garden have been sadly neglected this spring because I haven't had time for it, but say hello to Basil! Basil started out as three wee sprigs cut off a plant bought in the grocery store last month, but now he lives in my kitchen happily sprouting new leaves and sprigs replacing the ones I nibble off :) https://goo.gl/photos/6t8KLcXxp3DizTGb8



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Honoured Mook

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It is official: my garden is 100% dead.

I started a new job where I live out of a suitcase and am only home on weekends.

"Please water my plants on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday," I asked my family. I waved goodbye to my spinnach, which was doing quite well, and felt optimistic about those beans.

"Sure!" they all said, each family member assuming someone else was doing it.

The weather become humid and temperatures soared into the 90F's with no chance of rain. The weather said, "Screw you plants."



My basil is still alive. Long live basil.


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