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teddytn

Little bit of everything project thread lol

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teddytn

I love PalmTalk! But not gonna lie, I sometimes have trouble finding a space to post certain things I have going on. Probably need to start a blog, but eh nah lol, we’ll go with this! :shaka-2:

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teddytn

Here’s a little way into excavating for this buried greenhouse I’m building. My house is full of close to 150 plants, I have to have a place to expand into to keep my plant experiments going muahahaha! Using the soil to initially fill the beginnings of raised beds around the perimeter as well. I have a ton of raised beds I have partially filled, hopefully get most of them filled with the rest of it. 200A6F3D-8E08-4AD3-AA40-793477E40268.thumb.jpeg.5089d814baafd199dacdfbee59f6bd35.jpegI’m facing north in this picture, this is perfect for catching the winter sun the greenhouse will be facing directly south. E9794E05-59A7-410A-8141-5D39D1E21A05.thumb.jpeg.544ae73d5f1c4d1b070627cb2dcd842f.jpeg

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Here’s some of the raised beds I need to finish filling. I use as much yard waste, kitchen scraps, there’s scrap pieces of wood in there, branches, leaves, and I just put a few bales of straw in all of these. Basically create an in place compost pile, and save on having to fill the beds with just bagged soil bought from the store. The first pic of those 3 in a line down the fence was a continuous lower bed down the entire 220’ fence, the weeds and Bermuda grass will take over anything here. So tore up a bunch and reused to build these three taller beds (much more manageable). 8386307F-02FC-4619-AD4E-646CB445F2A8.thumb.jpeg.4ea86043f310298ec6ef9dab05efea58.jpegThis is a series of cascading curved raised beds I finished a few months ago. Really happy with the way these turned out. Completely built out of scrap wood we use to load steel on our trucks at work. 13353A42-3E71-4AB0-B544-95BE98E12AAC.thumb.jpeg.1d914e62ffa9929796dd83a481c877fb.jpeg9E42E5F6-9D19-4B7E-93B3-BF4527985A33.thumb.jpeg.d341d71adcd5cba5105b34d9dbfef5a4.jpegHere’s the start to a treehouse for my son. Just got him a little ground level hut right now, I’m going to keep adding on and go vertical as he gets older. My daughters who are all in their teens are not happy they didn’t get one when they were little by the way lolB1CBC998-36EB-4F3A-8B51-C6CF34A23436.thumb.jpeg.90ea9cdcffb29ce33098d773dcf5be96.jpeg

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This is adjacent to the future greenhouse. Little patio area/ garden steps going up the slope next to the fence. Around this patio will be new raised beds I’ve mentioned to a few people already. Bad thing about so many plant interests, I have to find a place to put them all lol. Excavating and dry stacking the blocks and getting all my rebar hammered in. As soon as I’m happy I’m going to core fill every block with concrete. D87165D7-ACDA-487A-98DA-D94AFDEEE270.thumb.jpeg.6b1f6c85357be793354e6e116d296a6b.jpeg

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Using all the excavated soil to fill a bunch of raised beds (well fill in technically) these all started out as hugelkultur beds with no border. I surrounded them with wood and am just backfilling against the wood. 5B41E3B7-92F3-457E-A5C6-E9D7ADB4BE14.thumb.jpeg.f5baa8fc7a52f11f6337dc480b6dc2cf.jpeg950029BC-81F2-45F5-8A01-51A48325516D.thumb.jpeg.4b6d48f17c995742267c0f36a3e0a7a8.jpeg0EF5159B-4C93-4F09-AE91-6DB65A7135C4.thumb.jpeg.3fde7c3f549e0ee2aa713ce62a1df35e.jpeg

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This raised bed in progress is next to the stairs. Trying something new and burying these rocks vertically. Not sure if I like it yet…Looks like teeth so I put a gold tooth in the front lolD522273B-1EA5-43E1-BB2F-AC7EC5F32CA4.thumb.jpeg.e117f324646e7a646b21a1980824696f.jpeg33742B92-6B25-4156-9538-F955CD8519CC.thumb.jpeg.2e7ca02f8de916f70cdeaf0951ccf07c.jpeg

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Silas_Sancona

Steady progress on projects here:  Step #1:  Cutting out planting beds out front..

Goal is to get beds cut essentially around the edges of the front, planted.. As much as i hate Grass, esp. Bermuda,  leaving a nice sized area of it < only because removing it all wouldn't work w/ this specific yard > ) Planting areas will be filled w/ stone / plants, hopefully before April..  There are a couple other areas i'm also planning to tear out but, we'll see if i get to them before the heat sets in..  Also converting out certain sprinkler heads in a couple zones to drip. ( for the planting areas )

Unlike the last yard, because there is working irrigation here, ..that is on a timer ( whoo hoo!, haha )..  can put in plants that aren't quite as desert-y, but are still plenty drought tolerant ..That said, there will be some cacti in certain spots..

This yard also has a large Olive Tree as the centerpiece, that provides nice, all day shade area for a planting bed that runs the length of the front of the house for playing around w/ sun sensitive things..The special Plumeria i'd flip flopped on transplanting from the old house, is in this area, along w/ a specific, hardy Ginger i've had locked up in a pot for sometime( If i want to take some of it elsewhere, i can divide it later ).  Contemplating trying Chamaedorea microspadix here also. Some other stuff is already planted / other stuff will go in later as well. You'll see why later,  Anyway.. Pictures already!

Views of the side bed separating the yard from the junk collecting / cat herding neighbors..

Before ( w/ the neighbors car collection blurred out, lol ) Can see the Olive tree / shaded bed area up against the house in the picture as well. Will be laying a gravel walkway along the length of that bed also.

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Various angles of the bed as i'm cutting it out..  Planted some Beavertail Opuntia / Scarlet Hedgehog ( Echinocereus ) cuttings/ offsets under a ratty looking Juniper i cleaned up ( ** Toward the back of the bed in the before digging picture above ). 
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More Beavertail and Echinocereus will go in/ around this area where the Light post is / near the sidewalk.
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Will be planting Torch Glow Bougainvillea, and maybe one or two types of shorter Texas Sage varieties ( Lynn's Legacy, Thundercloud, or Cimarron ) and letting them get tall enough to block views of the neighbors and provide plenty of color.  May also put in a couple Baja Senna ( Senna purpursii  ) for different foliage texture / winter flowers if seed i have germinates / i find plants this year.. Room for other perennial stuff here too.

Scalloped " landscape border"  in the pictures is being moved from where it separated their driveway and our yard, to where it will separate the grass from the planting area.. Will use larger " rip rap " - type rocks to separate the driveway from the bed. Will make it easier to spray what bits and pieces of Bermuda can't be removed from under the driveway ..and will try to regrow / take over later



Rest of the " edge  bed " area to be cut out, running down the sidewalk, and around where the mailbox is.. Mainly short stuff will go in here.. But should be room for including a couple taller things.  Can see the entryway walkway edge bed.. and the larger rectangle area that will be torn out as well. That is where another specimen tree will go in to provide shade to the house / break up the view between the street and house. ( flowering, and drought tolerant of course )  Bed follows the slightly raised "outline" line of grass you see. May do Rip Rap along that edge.. ( where it meets the lawn area )


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Side bed along the entryway walkway.. planting mainly low stuff here. inc. some native grasses ( specifically, False Rhodes Grass , Lepto / Tri-chloris crinita ).. Can see part of the rectangle area to be torn out on the right..  Can see where a gravel path will run to the left from near the front door, and along the shaded bed.
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Shaded bed against the house, and some stuff that is already planted..  Aside from being able to run drip here, roof has no gutter, so any rainfall ( when it rains, lol ) runs off right into the bed.
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The special Plumeria, of course..

T
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Alpinia " Pink Perfection " released from 5 years of imprisonment..  We'll see how it does in this spot.. Will be shaded in summer due to sun angle at that time. ( Green " Blob " near the edge of the bed is Gregg's Mist flower )
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Rescued Sierra Madre Nightshade ( Solanum tridynamum  ) Seedlings.. One of two planted.. Should get big w/ the added shade / moisture here.
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Yerba Mansa, Anemopsis californica, collected from a boggy spot somewhere nearby..  Will act as a tropical looking ground cover as it fills out. Same w/ Gregg's / Palmleaf Mistflower,  Conoclinum greggii,  planted which should hopefully pull in the Queens -and other butterflies-  later.  Throwing Tropical Sage (  Salvia coccinea ) seed in here come spring for them and other pollinators / neighborhood hummingbirds. " Chiltipin " Pepper < in the last picture >, stays put, haha. If offered for sale again this coming year, in the right size, a couple Hymenocalis sonorensis ( Sonoran Spider Lily ) will be put in )

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West facing, shadier side of the " Groovy " trunk on the Olive might be an interesting spot for some snaky / hanging- type Cacti ( Echinocereus petalophus.. and/ or E. morricalii ) ..maybe the right sized Bromeliad or two?
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teddytn

@Silas_Sancona wow so many things! That olive tree is an amazing yard centerpiece. The perimeter planting beds are perfect, we all know you have a horde of potted plants lol. 

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Silas_Sancona
On 12/29/2021 at 5:09 AM, teddytn said:

@Silas_Sancona wow so many things! That olive tree is an amazing yard centerpiece. The perimeter planting beds are perfect, we all know you have a horde of potted plants lol. 

..Sort of, lol.. Regardless, a few things you'll never see most people try here may be included at this house later.

Corner by the light pole / city's electric box cleaned out w/ easy cacti installed.. Will be moving one of the Beaver Tails a bit.. Not liking where i put it when i look at the picture. Nearly hidden hedgehog ( Little green " dot ",  to the left of the electric box.. One planted on the right of it also ) will be adjusted once gravel starts going in.  Other things will be going in the empty space / quarter circle in front of them ( yard facing side ).
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Rounding the corner, Next area ready to be torn out this week.. Then comes the" fun" area,  ..around the mailbox..
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In the meantime, next set of Cone-tainers lined up, and awaiting the next batches of " stuff " to start.
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teddytn
On 1/2/2022 at 6:53 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

..Sort of, lol.. Regardless, a few things you'll never see most people try here may be included at this house later.

Corner by the light pole / city's electric box cleaned out w/ easy cacti installed.. Will be moving one of the Beaver Tails a bit.. Not liking where i put it when i look at the picture. Nearly hidden hedgehog ( Little green " dot ",  to the left of the electric box.. One planted on the right of it also ) will be adjusted once gravel starts going in.  Other things will be going in the empty space / quarter circle in front of them ( yard facing side ).
DSC08811.thumb.JPG.bae7f773b858955af13ef4d013fe542b.JPG


Rounding the corner, Next area ready to be torn out this week.. Then comes the" fun" area,  ..around the mailbox..
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In the meantime, next set of Cone-tainers lined up, and awaiting the next batches of " stuff " to start.
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Those cone-tainers are legit!!! I’ve been slowly gathering up liner pots, pretty cheap on Amazon (don’t care for the giant X opening in the bottom…). That frame/ caddy to hold them is the bees knees! Are the cone-tainers themselves really rigid or semi flexible?

Looking at the yard, curious I guess, are there grass varieties that survive there unirrigated? 
Funny how “people” take for granted what they can grow. Speaking for myself for sure as well. I can just see people where you are wanting the “Americana” yard, grass, picket fence, maple trees, roses, peonies lol. Probably put a crazy amount of effort to keep something’s alive. Same here, people would look at some of the stuff I try growing and laugh lol. If I lived there I would have a yard full of cactus, agaves, and yucca. On that note I’ve been slowly trying to plant more regionally native plants myself. Honestly hard though sometimes, rather spend money on “cooler” plants like palms, agave, and yucca lol

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Silas_Sancona
35 minutes ago, teddytn said:

Those cone-tainers are legit!!! I’ve been slowly gathering up liner pots, pretty cheap on Amazon (don’t care for the giant X opening in the bottom…). That frame/ caddy to hold them is the bees knees! Are the cone-tainers themselves really rigid or semi flexible?

Looking at the yard, curious I guess, are there grass varieties that survive there unirrigated? 
Funny how “people” take for granted what they can grow. Speaking for myself for sure as well. I can just see people where you are wanting the “Americana” yard, grass, picket fence, maple trees, roses, peonies lol. Probably put a crazy amount of effort to keep something’s alive. Same here, people would look at some of the stuff I try growing and laugh lol. If I lived there I would have a yard full of cactus, agaves, and yucca. On that note I’ve been slowly trying to plant more regionally native plants myself. Honestly hard though sometimes, rather spend money on “cooler” plants like palms, agave, and yucca lol

These are the semi- flexible option.. Not sure why but the rigid ones are more expensive even though ( unless i read it wrong ) those are made from recycled plastic.  As far as the holes, on the 2.5" X 7" sized pots, i plug the hole in the bottom w/ a cotton ball. Trying something else w. the 2.5" X 10" i have ( wider bottom opening, not easy to find something that will plug it.  )

Only widely used grass that does well here is Bermuda which will usually go dormant in the winter when you essentially scalp it..  and is overseeded w/ Rye, Fescue,  or Bluegrass to maintain " green " grass.   Bermuda will usually  green up by April if given a ton of water.. If not, it often waits until Monsoon season to really start growing. ( Rapidly,  almost overnight after the first good soaking ) 

There are some native grasses that could work as a lawn here if they were more widely available but they are also C4 - type grasses ( only grow during the warm season )   You'd keep them a little taller than Bermuda..  Which actually looks better, imo.

Roses actually do pretty well here, if placed correctly ..the other stuff?   Nope,  not in the desert.   Flagstaff? / maybe some other town up on the rim?, maybe ..but forget any of the " Back east / North east "- type of landscape plants here,  for any length of time anyway ( have seen a couple horribly crippled maples / Bradford-esque Pears in the area ).  Lawns themselves are quickly falling out of favor as well. ( mainly because Bermuda is the only widely available option, and wastes wayyy too much water to look great )

All new housing developments aren't allowed to include lawns ( mainly front lawns, i believe )  Arid / drought tolerant / desert scape is the name of the game, though you'll find some areas around Phoenix where homes still have good sized front lawns ( aka:  wasted space / resources )..  Agave, Cacti, Yucca, etc usual Arizona-scape suspects are a dime a dozen in most yards.. Though usually the most commonly offered options.   You know a collector's / plant geek's  yard when you see cool stuff planted that aren't things you'll see in everyone else's yard. 

No shortage of unusual, non- succulent  native / regionally native things one can add to their yard here as well, esp. if your yard has numerous micro climates to take full advantage of..

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teddytn
22 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

These are the semi- flexible option.. Not sure why but the rigid ones are more expensive even though ( unless i read it wrong ) those are made from recycled plastic.  As far as the holes, on the 2.5" X 7" sized pots, i plug the hole in the bottom w/ a cotton ball. Trying something else w. the 2.5" X 10" i have ( wider bottom opening, not easy to find something that will plug it.  )

Only widely used grass that does well here is Bermuda which will usually go dormant in the winter when you essentially scalp it..  and is overseeded w/ Rye, Fescue,  or Bluegrass to maintain " green " grass.   Bermuda will usually  green up by April if given a ton of water.. If not, it often waits until Monsoon season to really start growing. ( Rapidly,  almost overnight after the first good soaking ) 

There are some native grasses that could work as a lawn here if they were more widely available but they are also C4 - type grasses ( only grow during the warm season )   You'd keep them a little taller than Bermuda..  Which actually looks better, imo.

Roses actually do pretty well here, if placed correctly ..the other stuff?   Nope,  not in the desert.   Flagstaff? / maybe some other town up on the rim?, maybe ..but forget any of the " Back east / North east "- type of landscape plants here,  for any length of time anyway ( have seen a couple horribly crippled maples / Bradford-esque Pears in the area ).  Lawns themselves are quickly falling out of favor as well. ( mainly because Bermuda is the only widely available option, and wastes wayyy too much water to look great )

All new housing developments aren't allowed to include lawns ( mainly front lawns, i believe )  Arid / drought tolerant / desert scape is the name of the game, though you'll find some areas around Phoenix where homes still have good sized front lawns ( aka:  wasted space / resources )..  Agave, Cacti, Yucca, etc usual Arizona-scape suspects are a dime a dozen in most yards.. Though usually the most commonly offered options.   You know a collector's / plant geek's  yard when you see cool stuff planted that aren't things you'll see in everyone else's yard. 

No shortage of unusual, non- succulent  native / regionally native things one can add to their yard here as well, esp. if your yard has numerous micro climates to take full advantage of..

This is what I’ve done with these pots, make a little bird nest out of pine needles and put it in there, add some soil and take another pot and pack it a little bit like a musket to get the pine needles to the bottom. Really good drainage and air through the bottom. I’ve used big pieces of wood mulch/ bark, not a terrible option, but surprisingly holds a huge amount of water at the bottom of the pot. 56F922D2-83A3-46CB-9385-F88CE61F44C7.thumb.jpeg.88edb0112e1d664024698c031ad7d152.jpeg424D95FD-59A2-4262-8731-DC58B1DB6F99.thumb.jpeg.5d76a2673047f231d944550692f039e9.jpegAF0E6E1B-D403-4CFD-B793-AF48855EEF55.thumb.jpeg.a9a0da9735ab37ebb4b6f3fd2125e28e.jpeg

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Silas_Sancona
5 hours ago, teddytn said:

This is what I’ve done with these pots, make a little bird nest out of pine needles and put it in there, add some soil and take another pot and pack it a little bit like a musket to get the pine needles to the bottom. Really good drainage and air through the bottom. I’ve used big pieces of wood mulch/ bark, not a terrible option, but surprisingly holds a huge amount of water at the bottom of the pot. 56F922D2-83A3-46CB-9385-F88CE61F44C7.thumb.jpeg.88edb0112e1d664024698c031ad7d152.jpeg424D95FD-59A2-4262-8731-DC58B1DB6F99.thumb.jpeg.5d76a2673047f231d944550692f039e9.jpegAF0E6E1B-D403-4CFD-B793-AF48855EEF55.thumb.jpeg.a9a0da9735ab37ebb4b6f3fd2125e28e.jpeg

Have a few Anderson Bands like these.. Would cut fitted pieces of Shade Cloth -w/ holes cut in it for any bigger root growth to easily push through ( if they weren't air pruned as they reach the openings ) Stuff like straw or Pine needles might break down too fast and allow too much soil to escape before a solid root system could form. Would also wonder whether or not the organic material might transfer / provide an ideal environment for spores of potentially harmful fungi to gain access to developing roots as it breaks down inside the bottom of the tubes.. The cloth is less risky, imo, and also helps keep out unwanted, soil dwelling bugs that might try to make a home in the base of the pots ( ..and transfer any spores ).

Do this anyway w/ everything ( using cloth to cover drain holes in all containers ) to keep any soil digging critters out. Will see piles of soil that had been moved -by the bugs- outside the drain holes on things i hadn't used a barrier on. It is surprising how much soil they can move, even from large pots lol.  Over time, the amount of soil lost can be enough that when you go to water, that hole the bugs dug out can transfer half of the volume of the soil in the pot, to a pile laying outside the container.   Rocks work for plugging drain holes  too, but notice they don't always allow enough excess water to drain, and some bugs still manage to get past them..

Reminds me, need to cut up a few pots for planting seed of hard to grow ( in pots ) things directly into the ground because certain things either rapidly produce a taproot , and/ or are touchy when transplanted from pots.. ( use the bottomless pots as a removable sleeve for protecting such seedlings until they establish themselves in their planting spots.

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teddytn
6 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Have a few Anderson Bands like these.. Would cut fitted pieces of Shade Cloth -w/ holes cut in it for any bigger root growth to easily push through ( if they weren't air pruned as they reach the openings ) Stuff like straw or Pine needles might break down too fast and allow too much soil to escape before a solid root system could form. Would also wonder whether or not the organic material might transfer / provide an ideal environment for spores of potentially harmful fungi to gain access to developing roots as it breaks down inside the bottom of the tubes.. The cloth is less risky, imo, and also helps keep out unwanted, soil dwelling bugs that might try to make a home in the base of the pots ( ..and transfer any spores ).

Do this anyway w/ everything ( using cloth to cover drain holes in all containers ) to keep any soil digging critters out. Will see piles of soil that had been moved -by the bugs- outside the drain holes on things i hadn't used a barrier on. It is surprising how much soil they can move, even from large pots lol.  Over time, the amount of soil lost can be enough that when you go to water, that hole the bugs dug out can transfer half of the volume of the soil in the pot, to a pile laying outside the container.   Rocks work for plugging drain holes  too, but notice they don't always allow enough excess water to drain, and some bugs still manage to get past them..

Reminds me, need to cut up a few pots for planting seed of hard to grow ( in pots ) things directly into the ground because certain things either rapidly produce a taproot , and/ or are touchy when transplanted from pots.. ( use the bottomless pots as a removable sleeve for protecting such seedlings until they establish themselves in their planting spots.

I’ll have to try some cloth in the next pots I fill. Man, the bugs!!! Ugh lol. Think you’ve got everything taken care of. Good topdressing in a pot to deter fungus gnats….oh you have the pots raised? No problem fungus gnats will go through the drain holes lol :rant:. Had a few run ins with some beetles doing some nightly excavation without a permit in some of my potted Sabal minors, just as you said an almost unbelievable amount of soil dug out through the drain holes :rant:. Yeah if plants are in the pots with pine needles for a year or more I’m certain there will be some decomposition for sure. Hmm what about a piece of window screen? 

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Silas_Sancona
4 hours ago, teddytn said:

I’ll have to try some cloth in the next pots I fill. Man, the bugs!!! Ugh lol. Think you’ve got everything taken care of. Good topdressing in a pot to deter fungus gnats….oh you have the pots raised? No problem fungus gnats will go through the drain holes lol :rant:. Had a few run ins with some beetles doing some nightly excavation without a permit in some of my potted Sabal minors, just as you said an almost unbelievable amount of soil dug out through the drain holes :rant:. Yeah if plants are in the pots with pine needles for a year or more I’m certain there will be some decomposition for sure. Hmm what about a piece of window screen? 

Here it is mainly Pill Bugs ( Rolly Pollies ) Suriname Cockroaches ( Many people call them " Sand " Roaches ) a smaller sp. of Earwig, and occasionally some sort of small beetle that will seek shelter in the soil in containers.. Pill Bugs and the Roaches have the biggest impact ( pushing around / excavating out the most soil )  Certain native bees will also tunnel into the soil via drain holes, but they aren't much of an issue since they dig and use a single chamber, often several times. What sucks is they inevitably get dug up when stepping up plants between containers.

Window Screen would work as well as cut Shade Cloth pieces for sure.. Depending on how rigid the screen is, it might be easier to shape it to sit over the hole.  W/ shade cloth, i'll cut it to fit, and carefully keep it in place over the drain hole while filling the bottom of the pot w/ enough soil to hold the cloth in place, so it won't shift or fold over on itself.. Then continue filling. 

Used to sell cut pieces of it in a pack of 5 or 10 for placing in the drain hole of more expensive / decorative pottery.  Was one of those " If a customer is buying pots, don't let them leave w/ out purchasing screens " kind of selling point, which made perfect sense.

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Silas_Sancona

While i give myself ( ..and my back, lol ) a break from tearing out the next section of Bermuda out front, taking the first step in doing something w/ all the natural gaps in the trunk of the Olive out there.. 

Think Echinocereus pentalophus wiill work well in some of the lower spaces.. ( and be an incredible sight when they fill out more and flower.. ( Hopefully, lol ..others at the old house never did. Might have been in too much sun / not enough water where i planted them there ) ..and help keep the neighbor's cat herd from climbing the tree..  May try to root some ropey, climbing Selenicereus i have that like more filtered sun, ..maybe Epi. oxypetalum, if i pick one up later.. various small clumping Mammilaria would work too.  Lots of possibilities for a spot like this..

North facing side base of the trunk..
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Southwest facing side..
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East / street facing side..
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Toying w/ the idea of a couple easy Orchids out here as well ( Dendrobium kinginum,  Heat / desert tolerant, black flowered Aus. Cymbidium like " Australian Midnight " or " Little Black Sambo " ) near where the Echinocereus are on the southwest side of the tree ( should be the shadiest side of it in summer ).. maybe a couple other things in pots hanging higher up ) Want to see exactly how much shade the tree will provide thru the summer before putting serious thought into that though.  Won't be too hard to keep watered / keep humidity somewhat higher under it once i fix the sprinklers, maybe add something that will mist from above. Calling  @epiphyte

If only i had the $$ ( ...$$$$$, lol ) to dig up this tree, < ..and the Mesquite at the old place, The beast out back >  and relocate somewhere else.    Gotta love dreaming :D!

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teddytn

@Silas_Sancona the wife is Italian, showed her your olive tree. Her eyes lit up and asked why we don’t live in Arizona where I can grow cactus and she can have an olive tree….lol

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Silas_Sancona
6 minutes ago, teddytn said:

@Silas_Sancona the wife is Italian, showed her your olive tree. Her eyes lit up and asked why we don’t live in Arizona where I can grow cactus and she can have an olive tree….lol

Your cue to:  ..Pack up everything, and come on out!  :D

..Seriously though, Might visit once or twice before pulling up any stakes, ..jusst to be sure. ( ..You'll be that much closer to San Diego too )

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Silas_Sancona
16 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Your cue to:  ..Pack up everything, and come on out!  :D

..Seriously though, Might visit once or twice before pulling up any stakes, ..jusst to be sure. ( ..You'll be that much closer to San Diego too )

..I should add:  While out yesterday, saw at least two Tenn. License plates in Tucson.  Talking to someone i know down there, told me he's been seeing lots of people moving to the area from the Midwest / parts of the south, not just from CA. too. Mainly to escape the cold / crazy weather back that way.

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teddytn
2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

..I should add:  While out yesterday, saw at least two Tenn. License plates in Tucson.  Talking to someone i know down there, told me he's been seeing lots of people moving to the area from the Midwest / parts of the south, not just from CA. too. Mainly to escape the cold / crazy weather back that way.

I’ve been called crazy before all good lol, what tempts me most is oh idk I could grow just about every cactus, agave, yucca, and at least every Sabal palm there is. You know the things I spend money on, my blood sweat and tears, and my skin on lol!! I know it’s a harsh environment on the opposite spectrum in its own right, but man I’m envious of the southwest

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Silas_Sancona
46 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I’ve been called crazy before all good lol, what tempts me most is oh idk I could grow just about every cactus, agave, yucca, and at least every Sabal palm there is. You know the things I spend money on, my blood sweat and tears, and my skin on lol!! I know it’s a harsh environment on the opposite spectrum in its own right, but man I’m envious of the southwest

Sabal are just the tip of the ice burg palm-wise, < depending on where you landed..  And how your property is laid out, and what micro climates are on-site / you create of course.. >  Can grow a lot more than that and all things Cacti, Agave, Yucca ..etc  too..

Heat is about the harshest aspect here,  ..more so up this way / Yuma / along the CO. River, then say in / near Tucson where they also get more rain, esp. in the summer, when water is most important and tempers the heat more..  That said, plant a lot of big trees, heat a lot easier to deal with, compared to having none  ..or few on your property.  Lots of tree cover also helps raise humidity on really dry days.  Overall,  water situation is better down there than it will ever be up here as well. ( not as crowded either.. Phoenix is literally "  L.A. in the Desert" )

Wildfire concern is only a big deal if you live in or very close to the mountains, where it is much colder ( in winter )

Never have to worry about ..or deal with.. Ice, snow, bitter cold  ..Move up -at least-  a zone < or two.. >  One of a kind sunsets, amazing landscapes  ..And   the wife gets her Olive Tree :D

Telling ya, ' you should visit   ( Just not in June or early July! haha.. )

 

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Silas_Sancona

A few things planted;
Area around the light post:

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Plants:
* Grass:  False Rhodes Grass, Leptochloa crinita.. Need to get one more to even things out.

What it should look like when filled out in summer:

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* AZ Milkweed, Asclepias angustifolia.. One of  4 or 5 Milkweed sp. i hope to install here this year.

* Shrubby Senna, Senna wislizeni,  Bare, sticky looking on the far right.. Will leaf out shortly.  Will eventually reach about 4-7' x 4' Like the Milkweeds, hoping to have all 5-7 native Senna / Cassia sp. planted by the end of summer.

Direct sowing seed of some other stuff that is hard to start in / transplant from pots into cut out, bottomless 1 gal cans in some of the empty spaces between the Rhodes Grass / other spots.
Those include; Yellow / Perennial Devil's Claw,  Colorado Four -O- Clocks,  and Bush Morning Glory ( Ipomoea leptophylla ) Morning Glory can form a massive / deep root system over time once it establishes itself.


Side bed between the yard / neighbors driveway:


Side Bed Centerpiece ( ..And my calling card.. ):  Guaiacum coulteri.   Stakes represent where " Torch Glow " Bougainvillea will go  ( 2X on either side of the Guaiacum ) and be allowed to grow to 5 or 6 ft.  Tex. sage ( possibly 2 vars : Lynn's Legacy and Thundercloud < 2x each on either of the tree )  will go in front of.. and staggered between  the Torch Glows  >
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teddytn

Not much progress on outside projects lately. Seems like everything hits at once sometimes. There’s always time no matter what to dig a few shovel fulls of dirt or dump a few buckets of gravel. The one project I’ve been consistent with everyday. I bring four 5 gallon buckets back and forth to work everyday. Fill them up with gravel at the pretty big excavation site out back, haul them home and dump them on the berm I’m building up for spring/ summer planting of all the succulents I’ve been collecting for months and months. Going for at least 18” high. Planted with agave, yuccas, cactus and definitely going to mix in a fair amount of drought tolerant flowering perennials. One on the list for sure is asphodeline lutea, super cool drought tolerant perennial from Italy. The wife can’t have an olive tree…here babe next best thing! Lol.9450CC0A-AEA0-4792-8F4A-C379AF979A7A.thumb.jpeg.bdb995ea7120580f1d92f2ea4aa779b2.jpeg

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Silas_Sancona

Almost.. done w/ this bed... 

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Two plants here:  2nd Guaiacum coulteri  and " Papache " or Randia echinocarpa ( stick-y looking thing ), One of North America's interesting, Gardenia relatives native roughly 200 miles to the south that produces Sea Urchin- looking, edible Fruit  planted..   Now anyone who might have seen the other Guaiacum coulteri  planted in the old yard  -from a distance,  can get a much closer look at this amazing small tree as they walk by.  Being close to the hospital/ medical parks, Apartments nearby,  have a lot of foot traffic here.

As far as i am aware, Papache might be the first of it's kind planted in a non- botanical garden setting anywhere here, in the valley at least,..  Occasionally offered by a couple nurseries in Tucson, so there could be some hiding in yards there..  Room for one more larger " bushy " thing in this section of the overall bed, near the mailbox..

Open area that runs down the sidewalk between the light pole / wide area of the bed, and the bed that runs up the entry walkway will be dedicated more to short stuff.. 

Perennials ...Stuff like Mexican Hats, Ratibida columnifera, Orange Cosmos, Native perennial Senna sp.,  Desert Marigold, Penstemon,  Salvia reptans ( sometimes called " W. TX.  Grass Sage " ..Have 2 on the way next month. )  Not many " leafy " things that will tolerate our heat + full sun.

...Seasonal Annuals like Desert Bluebells, Phaceia campanularia > for winter / early spring < / Kallstroemia grandiflora >  for the Monsoon show ( adding in some rarer, S.E. AZ " Monsoon Season " perennials here as well )  ..A couple clumps of some short Cacti, ..like Mammillaria grahamii / Coryphantha sp,  ..& short Grasses ( Blue, Hairy, or False  Grama, Curly Mesquite,  AZ Cotton Top. ). 

While a couple feet wide,  each space may be too narrow for anything that might get really tall or wide, esp. up closer to the house, where you want to see the rest of the yard when you walk out the front door / look out the living room window..



Might be hard to tell in this " head on " shot, but the city's water meter sits in a depression where runoff will collect ( There may have been some water line issues here in the past and the soil level in this area was allowed to settle, instead of being properly back filled / packed when fixed ) Will be collecting some larger " rip rap " type rock out in the desert to fill in around it / help keep soil / smaller gravel from washing over the meter box... maybe throwing in some rain lilies that ( hopefully ) will come up / flower through the rocks when it rains enough to pool here.  Still need to cut out the strip of grass i left along the Sidewalk also.


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Final area to cut out.. Maybe tomorrow / Sunday if expected showers are light / few between..  Tossing around ideas for the mailbox itself as well.. ( Are some leftover bags of Mortar from when floors inside the house were redone ) Thinking of using it w/ brick ( or collected stone ) to enclose the wood pole. Would certainly look better.. 

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Aside from the gravel going in ( Settling on probably using 1" size, to help keep the cats out.. 1/2" sized rock used at the old house did very little to deter them in some areas )  ..and unlike the yard at the last house, will be scattering more, larger rocks throughout all the planting beds here..

Once the last of the grass is out / " rough stuff " cleaned out ( ..and double checked, to make sure i have pulled every obvious piece of Bermuda i can find ),  Selected sprinkler heads get converted to heads that will allow me to run 1/2" Drip line ( buried under the Gravel ) & Spaghetti through the beds, " Torch Glow " Bougs / Tx. Sage  " Natural Wall " Plants for the side bed get picked up, ..then the gravel, ..and remaining, easy to install  as - i - go plants..  go in.  Just in time to settle in / push some growth as it starts warming up..

On to the next area after that..

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Silas_Sancona

After a delay yesterday, more due to a persistent headache than any passing showers, .. Front bed is DONE!!..  Tearing out the grass - wise anyway..  Now onto taking measurements again ( for the rock ),  and pricing all the stuff for drip after cleaning up what piles of rough stuff remain around the yard..  Little " Square " of grass left behind is to mark where the sprinkler head i'll convert to run drip is. Other one further down that was never properly buried and sicks up wayy too high is getting capped.  Don't need it.

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 Hard to tell, but decided rather than leave the depressed area around the water meter enclosed, decided to run a bit of a trough between it and out to where the sidewalk ramp comes close to the level of the road / gutter ( veering to the left of the meter box ).. Hopefully this will help keep too much water from pooling around the meter box, esp since there are no gutters on the house and can tell runoff will work it's way to this area, esp. during stronger summer storms ( Rare that winter rain events cause flooding here ).

What looks like where i exposed the the Cement " post " around the mailbox is actually dirt formed and cleaned up after skimming off grass so i can plan out how i'll stack block / brick around it and up the post itself.  Big rock looking thing is actually another old post i dug up. Burying it a bit to blend in, but leaving it pretty much in the same position..


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Couple things in: Sticky thing: Caesalpinia palmeri, medium - sized shrub / small patio-type tree that will flower on and off through the year. See a cross between it and another common caesalpinia sp. planted around town, but not often you see the real deal.. Will partially hide the mailbox when looking out the living room window once bigger as well.

Smaller thing in front of it, closer to the street is Acalypha monostachya " Rasberry Fuzzies "  one of the few " not so flowery " things that will take the sun/ heat here. native to Chihuahua / West TX.  Rarely gets taller than about 6" and spreads to about 3-4' X 4'. Attraction is the fuzzy, bright red / pinkish " bracts" produced on and off throughout the year, esp. by female plants. While a recommended ground cover option here, rarely see it.. Adding two more to balance things out closer to the street side of the bed.

Cleared out a bit of a runoff channel alongside the driveway / and where it meets the entry walkway..  Water likes to pool on the driveway in that area, so hopefully now it will run into the rock and move down the " hump " at the foot of the driveway, and out into the street.

Grass covered hump on the opposite side of the drive is being carved out next w/ the end of it being filled w/ rock and nothing else.. Driveway entrance at this house is kind of narrow ..which isn't always ideal when you live on a busy road, lol. Can see where a corner is already regularly driven over when entering.


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teddytn

@Silas_Sancona I can’t wait to see what you do with all these beds rockscaping wise. I plan on working more rock gardens in. Every time I’m building a raised bed out of wood I know it’s just a matter of time lol. The stained concrete retaining wall bricks were my go to for a few years, built all the terraced beds going up the side of my house with them. Still love them (need to finish capping them at some point, on the list), but definitely going to try with some more natural looking rock gardening with the berm and one side of the green house I’m mainly going to plant palms. The other side agaves, cactus. Going to try and tie the two together with yuccas and similar flowering color perennials through out both. Just watching this area more closely this winter it is a south facing slope and is a definite microclimate in my yard. Not that I plan on pushing anything in any of these new plantings but the more sun and warmth I can get I’ll take for the agaves I’m going to plant. 
Going back to the rockscaping. The desert bed I did in the spring, there’s things I like more than others about it for sure. The steeper sloping areas “up top” turned out better in my opinion. The whole thing is a crevice garden waiting to be planted with more small goodies. I plan to take the two bigger opuntias out that I put in there and use those to anchor the transition between a cherry blossom tree and the start of the descent down the garden steps. Good thing about rock gardening is the ability to move things around fairly easily. 
I guess I’m also slightly jealous you have a blank canvas to sculpt anew. Lol 

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Silas_Sancona
35 minutes ago, teddytn said:

@Silas_Sancona I can’t wait to see what you do with all these beds rockscaping wise. I plan on working more rock gardens in. Every time I’m building a raised bed out of wood I know it’s just a matter of time lol. The stained concrete retaining wall bricks were my go to for a few years, built all the terraced beds going up the side of my house with them. Still love them (need to finish capping them at some point, on the list), but definitely going to try with some more natural looking rock gardening with the berm and one side of the green house I’m mainly going to plant palms. The other side agaves, cactus. Going to try and tie the two together with yuccas and similar flowering color perennials through out both. Just watching this area more closely this winter it is a south facing slope and is a definite microclimate in my yard. Not that I plan on pushing anything in any of these new plantings but the more sun and warmth I can get I’ll take for the agaves I’m going to plant. 
Going back to the rockscaping. The desert bed I did in the spring, there’s things I like more than others about it for sure. The steeper sloping areas “up top” turned out better in my opinion. The whole thing is a crevice garden waiting to be planted with more small goodies. I plan to take the two bigger opuntias out that I put in there and use those to anchor the transition between a cherry blossom tree and the start of the descent down the garden steps. Good thing about rock gardening is the ability to move things around fairly easily. 
I guess I’m also slightly jealous you have a blank canvas to sculpt anew. Lol 

It's fun though i wish there was less grass to have to carve out ( and a little more space, lol )..  Will be interesting to see how each area turns out once everything is in and establishing itself.. 

After the front is completely done, i start on this area..  Lower end, near the street, will essentially be gravel ( as mentioned ) ..w/ a few things planted closer to the tree where i'm eradicating a weedy perennial " filler " that everyone plants here and is a pita to deal with.. ( that's the twiggy- looking " mess " up close to the block wall after i chopped it down to clear out.. Pulled it but what bits and pieces still remain are already trying to re-sprout.. )

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Upper part, that is somewhat protected by the carport will be where i throw in some really experimental things.. There is a stump of an old Pine there, but can work around it.  Space on this side of the tree, between the end of the carport and  it will have some other not quite desert, but not super tender tropical stuff planted..  Very little grass here so ground here should be easy to work.

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The one thing i wish wasn't here is this empty space on the back side of the house ..between it and the neighbors.. not really used for anything and have toyed w/ the idea of using it as a garden for veggies / edible stuff  but since this may not be the last move, not sure putting in all the work would be worth it.. 

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Might be hard to see but both block walls are under planted w/ Cacti ( Acanthocereus tetragonis ) to hopefully help deter the neighbor's cat herd from getting into the yard ( at least force them to have to cross onto our property closer to the street where passing cars hopefully scare them off )..  Will also keep anyone thinking about doing so from trying to enter the back yard via that wall.. Spines aren't long on the cactus, but they're very stout and each stem can get pretty heavy.. I've had more painful stabs from that thing when cleaning out grass that grows around it / trimming it at the old house then pretty much any other cactus i've got. The " Barbed Wire " common name for it fits perfectly, lol.

More than likely, i'll put something easy like Turk's Cap ( Malviscus drummondii ) against the wall of the house to at least have something interesting and colorful back there / soften the wall itself.. Honestly, the block wall should have been brought forward, closer to the front of the house to make this space part of the back yard part of the property..  Could make it a summer patio space ( since w/ the sun angle at that time, the house will provide some shade through the day there. )  May talk to our landlord to see how difficult it would be to move/ re-build..

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Josue Diaz

I love looking at these sort of projects! Keep it up 

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teddytn
On 1/23/2022 at 9:20 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

It's fun though i wish there was less grass to have to carve out ( and a little more space, lol )..  Will be interesting to see how each area turns out once everything is in and establishing itself.. 

After the front is completely done, i start on this area..  Lower end, near the street, will essentially be gravel ( as mentioned ) ..w/ a few things planted closer to the tree where i'm eradicating a weedy perennial " filler " that everyone plants here and is a pita to deal with.. ( that's the twiggy- looking " mess " up close to the block wall after i chopped it down to clear out.. Pulled it but what bits and pieces still remain are already trying to re-sprout.. )

DSC08540.thumb.JPG.ef68716b3c87dbfbebbc942016c618a2.JPG

Upper part, that is somewhat protected by the carport will be where i throw in some really experimental things.. There is a stump of an old Pine there, but can work around it.  Space on this side of the tree, between the end of the carport and  it will have some other not quite desert, but not super tender tropical stuff planted..  Very little grass here so ground here should be easy to work.

DSC08539.thumb.JPG.acb498716daab3f32b5b81b502b07aee.JPG


The one thing i wish wasn't here is this empty space on the back side of the house ..between it and the neighbors.. not really used for anything and have toyed w/ the idea of using it as a garden for veggies / edible stuff  but since this may not be the last move, not sure putting in all the work would be worth it.. 

DSC08649.thumb.JPG.2b4a9db733c2967e9da66b8d68312a35.JPG

Might be hard to see but both block walls are under planted w/ Cacti ( Acanthocereus tetragonis ) to hopefully help deter the neighbor's cat herd from getting into the yard ( at least force them to have to cross onto our property closer to the street where passing cars hopefully scare them off )..  Will also keep anyone thinking about doing so from trying to enter the back yard via that wall.. Spines aren't long on the cactus, but they're very stout and each stem can get pretty heavy.. I've had more painful stabs from that thing when cleaning out grass that grows around it / trimming it at the old house then pretty much any other cactus i've got. The " Barbed Wire " common name for it fits perfectly, lol.

More than likely, i'll put something easy like Turk's Cap ( Malviscus drummondii ) against the wall of the house to at least have something interesting and colorful back there / soften the wall itself.. Honestly, the block wall should have been brought forward, closer to the front of the house to make this space part of the back yard part of the property..  Could make it a summer patio space ( since w/ the sun angle at that time, the house will provide some shade through the day there. )  May talk to our landlord to see how difficult it would be to move/ re-build..

Maybe overplayed in the southwest, but nothing like a block wall with columnar cactus planted against it. Careful choices in planting the walls could definitely leave the center open for a patio area. 
I’m not one to criticize from afar normally, but agreed that wall was poor placement. Moved up to the front column of the carport and maybe a lower knee wall with a middle gate perhaps to lead into the back. Walls are very handy for plants as well though. Using one to block summer sun may be very valuable there where I may use one to catch the sun. 

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    • Paradise Found
      By Paradise Found
      I've been thinking of planting one soon.  and like to know if anyone else has any experience with them in the PNW? Good or Bad results. 
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