The 2019 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by eisman, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    New Year's Resolutions (Gardening and stuff)
    • Spread the peppers out a bit in the garden (more light).
    • Continue using the large containers for tomatoes. Maybe one plant goes in the regular garden.
    • Do some landscaping in the back yard. I want to add some shade tolerant stuff (bushes and so forth). Margins will get flowers planted in them.
    • Finally get around to making a new railing on my deck and decide what needs replacing on the floor boards. I honestly kind of like it without a railing.
    • Replace some siding on my house that is damaged and paint as needed the new areas.
    • No new onions in the regular garden. Do all of them in one container.
    • Peppers!! I had a fair number of bell and other peppers in 2019. Want to do the same but pay more attention to the ones (varieties) that actually did okay rather than a shotgun approach. Other than regular Bell Peppers, Pimento were my favorite.
    • Switch curbside garbage collection services at the house after 20 years. Discovered I can get the same service for half the price I have been paying. "They" always said they were "competitive" and I believed them.... not even close!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  2. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Zone 4a heritage specials :eek:
     
  3. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    A worthy list, 22-rimfire :thumbsup:

    Railings ... I find them confining too but depending on how far I might fall (and building code requirements with this in mind). The first thing I dismantled here was to remove a section of privacy railing right by my main door. That's where I now put all my tomato planters (year round) to keep me from walking out the door and turning left absentmindedly to a shallow drop - but one that would break an ankle handily.

    Garbage collection ... here, the district picks up, but because of my long laneway and the 'smarts' acquired with advancing years, I simply bag recycling for metal, paper and containers under the sink (a little garbage) and toss it into the van on the next trip to the transfer station in town on my way to shop groceries. I say 'smarts' because it makes no sense for me to store and load the bags into containers and wrestle these containers into the van just to drive them to the road for pickup - bags alone need to be covered against the ravens - only to drive back down to pick up the containers or remove any covering. I do what makes sense to me.

    BTW - snow is deep following a day of squalls. Looks like 2020 starts off with the ROAR of a snowblower for me, here in zone 4a!
     
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta I got my first seed catalog yesterday in the mail. There is a tomato variety called Celebrity Hybrid which is a determinant variety that catches my eye. Regular Celebrity is a indeterminant variety and one of my favorites for the regular garden as it gets 5 or 6 feet tall in my concrete wire cages. I assume Celebrity Hybrid is a Parks or Burpee variety. Already thinking about planting stuff when the season starts but I would probably have to grow this one from seed.

    I capture my metal, card board, glass, plastic for recycling. There is a place down the road a couple miles from me that takes it operated by the County. Newspaper, I generally use for the kitties but it piles up and I'll grab some and recycle. I drop the stuff off about every two weeks or so.

    Today, one of the things I do is check the NOAA weather documentation for yesterday to get my official totals for the year. Officially we got 0.3" of snow last year. But sometimes we get hit with one of these "Perfect Storms" where the temp is low enough for snow (and abundant moisture from the Gulf) and we get a pretty good amount that shuts everything down for a day or so. Last significant one was about 16 inches of snow in one storm. 4 to 6 inch snows are not uncommon, but obviously didn't happen in 2019.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  5. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    I'll say they are special! Soooo pretty!
     
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  6. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    Dang. Spoke too soon on the weather conditions. That's one heck of a workout! You must have thicker blood than I! Bet you dress warm for this one and eat like a varsity swim team when you finish!:p (I wimped out after a 20" walk in the 38*F windy weather today. Cold hands.)

    How deep is deep in zone 4a?
     
  7. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    Just catching up since 12-13! What kind of broom do you use on your van?
     
  8. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    My take is that deep for here is 10 - 15 inches in a single snowfall. My vehicle likely could make it to the road going downhill at a good speed but perhaps not over the town plough leavings at the end - going that fast downhill knowing I must make a 90 degree onto the road - river is right there on the far side :eek: No way I could make it uphill again, nor could emergency vehicle such as a fire truck - so it must be cleared to keep the insurance in place.

    This region is East of snowsquall generating Georgian Bay but every town and district experiences different depths and conditions in the same storms.

    Last winter I could snowshoe over-top of the upright tomato cages with accumulation. :thumbsup:

    Yesterday

    DSCF8252 SNOWSTORM BIRDFEEDER 650 MED.jpg


    First I shovel the porch and steps, then a path to the woodpile, then a path to the van and I clear it. Priorities.

    DSCF8255 VAN SNOW 650 MED.jpg

    At first light this morning I tackled the lane and yard with the snowblower - to take advantage of the colder temps overnight which make the snow lighter. Still, after hours of working away the snow got wetter and heavier - very hard work as the temps rose! I took pics while the sun was out - here's Dez enjoying a favourite - a roll in the snow. At this moment temps are above freezing and rain is forecast - no rural dwelling Canadian likes these conditions - get on with a true, crisp, white winter, please :)

    DSCF8275 DAISY DEZ ROLL SNOW LANEWAY HOUSE 650 MED.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    annr likes this.
  9. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Most snow can be pushed (not swept) right off the van from the side with this broom. I need two of them, one I keep stuck out of the snowbank beside the parked van for clearing here ... and another inside the van for when I am in town. I know, very girl scout of me :D

    DSCF8286 BROOM SNOW 650 MED.jpg
     
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta Brush quality matters. I would think a slightly stiffer brush would work better with snow and still not scratch. I use similar brushes to yours by the way. Learned over the years, all brushes are not equal.

    The lane clearing looks like a hell of a big job. Never really considered the snow clearing from an insurance point of view. Let's hope insurance (fire) is not needed or EMT service either for that matter.

    My sister has to call the EMT's if her husband falls indoors just to lift him back on his feet. He is too heavy for her and her daughter to lift. Apparently this happens more often than one would expect. I believe he's about 70 and not in great health with many bone related surgeries and reconstructions. I suggested to my Sister that he might really enjoy going to the Blade show in Atlanta, but I told her he would have to be in a wheelchair.

    One thing about winter weather, at least you have something to take pictures of. If I took a picture now, it would look about the same as just after the leaves dropped.
     
  11. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Yeah ... this is a cheap broom ... the base is what actually pushes the snow well, the bristles just buffer ... as you noted. I don't sweep the vehicle with it - from the side, I just push the snow off the other side of the van where I can clear it with the blower. When the snow comes down as it did yesterday, I use a light plastic-bladed shovel to push the snow off.

    The laneway in winter - and the weeds-pooped-by-moose fields in summer - make me wonder what was I thinking when I tackled this property yet again!! :rolleyes:

    Gravity and birthdays and health - It must be very frustrating for your sister's husband at times. I've done a fair amount of caregiving and have seen firsthand how difficult it is to accept not being able to do what seemed so easy earlier on. Still, it makes sense to use a wheelchair at such a huge public event like the Atlanta Blade Show. Perhaps they would have those electric carts like in the grocery stores? At least he could drive it himself.

    As you know, I pick my images and compositions for high interest - so I don't show the grey woods with boring white ground that is what winter can be like! But at end of day I took some of a large barred owl who was stalking my bird feeders. The jays were livid! I sent Daisy out to warn him off - my chickadees are hard to take on the wing. I think he may have been waiting for the squirrels or nocturnal four-legged snackers to come to the ground under the feeders. If the pic turns out at all, I'll edit it in here.

    low light, long zoom ... 20" big bird

    DSCF8297 BARRED OWL 600 MED.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    My sister more or less said she didn't want to push him around in a place she has absolutely no interest in the subject matter (Atlanta Blade Show), but he loves knives. It would be something done for love (for them) and not for yourself. If he went, it would probably be his last big knife show in his lifetime and hence special. Makes me sad to think about that actually.

    Owls are really vicious. I recall years ago finding a nest and stupidly put myself in harms way trying to take pictures of the big chicks. Owls are known to attack if something threatens their young.
     
  13. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Owls and fishers are the reason I prefer medium to large dogs for pets and for camping here in the country. When I took in my dad's mini dachshund she needed for me to walk her after dark - as he had - in winter when the large owls, finding little food in heavy snows, moved south.

    And the reason I am not feeding birds and squirrels on the big platform as I did last winter to entertain Busby, is because I know I lost one jay (blood dripping and feathers on the tarp covering the snowblower) and probably one squirrel (blood on the platform itself). I had posted last winter about the barred owl (likely the same one) actually sitting on the platform waiting at nightfall. Nature aside, I don't want to be making the creatures into sitting ducks.

    I've read that the large owls, when hungry, will strike an animal (like a small dog) to break its back then return for the meal - now to me that's gruesome. I can't say this is true but it makes sense to me - they are huge birds and must get pretty desperate for food in winter.
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta That's why I don't want any eagles nesting close (like a half mile) to where I live. Nothing I could do about it if they chose to nest, but the primary food supply is fish and the big TVA lakes here. The population is slowly increasing here and they may be my next photo objective.

    My older brother's son-in-law (daughter's husband) is big into birding and photography as is my older brother. Anyway, he just recently took an incredible picture of a wild mink on the shore of a marshy area in PA. That opportunity does not present itself often especially if you have a camera at the ready.

    My sister has Dachshunds and loves the little dogs. They seem intelligent and good natured. They barked like crazy when I visited on Christmas as I was a stranger.

    Added: Wanted to ask you, do you see Moose in the vicinity of your home?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  15. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    It's less common to see moose on the property over the last 10 - 15 years or so - the area is slowly becoming more built up ... but in spring they are a driving hazard on the highways in this area especially at dusk and dawn. Whether drawn out by the road salt or driven out of the woods by blackflies, that's the best time of the year to see them out in the open.
     
  16. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    Yes, I'm from the "be prepared" school of thought/practice; master of redundancy.

    I was wondering if you tried one of the foam-type rectangular brooms and how it compared. We got a foam one a few years back, and it works much better than our broom--though we had been using a full-size-bristle broom. (I figure someone from the North is going to know far more about the right equipment for the job than I.:)) snobrum-snow-shovels-ice-scrapers-3002-001ths-64_1000.jpg
     
  17. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    No snow here in PNW, but it's rained every day for over 2 weeks. We see the sun for an hour or two and then back to drizzle. I can't say i'm enjoying it, but it's better than snow. Birds are hitting the feeds heavy, even have crows coming around, but they don't do the seeds much. I think it's partially because all the other birds are coming. Hummers are going thru about 1/2 gallon of food a week from 2 feeders. I have quite a few, but of course it's hard to know just how many. They don't tend to share much, but I know they're not exclusive individuals using the feeders.

    Love the owl pic! We rarely see them here. We do have eagles, and when I went down to the ferry dock a week ago for a walk around the guys said the otters had come thru in the morning. Lot's of broken clam and crab shells around, and there's lots of big crabs visible working on the pilings; it's going to be a good year for those guys.

    The main thing growing now is moss; it's everywhere.

    Should we start a 2020 thread? It might be easier to load up.
     
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  18. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    I don’t know if you remember the Michael Peterson trial—he was convicted of killing his wife at night. There were numerous lacerations to her head which created massive blood splatter in a staircase corridor where she lay exsanguinating.

    He maintained his innocence and is now out of jail after 96 months inside and making an Alford plea—where he asserted his innocence. It was a LONG legal ordeal.

    Anyway, one of the defense’s theories (after he went to jail) was that the wife’s wounds were caused by an owl. There were microscopic owl feathers in her hair—never revealed initially—and there were accounts of viscous attacks in the area, the wounds were consistent with owl attack, etc.

    Also, lead CSI was fired for mishandling and manufacturing evidence…
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  19. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    This thread has been kind of passed along from contributor to contributor ... first rupestris then me, then 22_rimfire ... then yourself. You might wish to message anyone new you have in mind to start up 2020 to gauge their interest - it's not a demanding thread ... gardens/property enthusiasts are a chatty lot and will jump right in :D. This past year the interest has almost tripled ...:thumbsup:

    Each spring, when I place the swimming ladder on the dock, I find rafts of clamshells under the deck boards - otters at play and mealtime for sure. I love having the time to observe.
     
  20. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Thanks a lot :p, annr - finding out I didn't invent the "snow-push/pull move" organically myself is shocking. I have been so happy (it seems forever) with my system that I never even check the inventory of snowbrushes at Canadian Tire - and so I have not tried one.

    In principle, I can comment that the shape of this rectangular broom looks improved over mine with the sharp corners to clear along the bottom of the windshield. I like that the handle appears to be telescoping. It looks light - perhaps aircraft aluminum. I trust that the handle stays screwed tightly into the broom head even when pressure applied might turn it? Nice! Yet the bristles do have their use getting at those tight spots around the wipers and spray ports.

    As for the North ... the earliest I noted of brooms being used to clear snow: brooms discarded due to wear following curling season have always gone into the 'trunk' ... sorry, even I am not old enough to date this phenomenon ;)
     

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