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Old 06.02.2021, 11:15
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

We had 1m50/60 but then heavy rain for a few days- so I can see green in my garden for the first time- but there is no way I am doing any gardening.

One thing I so love here, is seasons, real seasons- and I garden in 3 of them and not at all in the other. Beginning of April is when gardening starts- and it stops en of October. It's good to have a rest
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  #2102  
Old 06.02.2021, 14:49
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

The snow has mostly melted - and it looks like the mice/voles/moles/whatever have spent the winter keeping their tunneling skill sharp.

Most of lawn has been torn up, there are only a random tufts of grass left.

So mud season, which should be starting any day now, should be extra fun this year.

On the bright side - Mr and Mrs Hedgehog seem to be awake...
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Old 06.02.2021, 14:51
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Most of the snow has melted - and it looks like the mice/voles/moles/whatever have spent the winter keeping their tunneling skill sharp.....

They have here too. Loads of holes everywhere and itís a bit like being on a rollercoaster walking on our lawn now, ups and downs all over the shop where I guess their tunnels run.
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  #2104  
Old 06.02.2021, 15:09
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

I pruned back the grape vines the other day, and a while ago I hauled out a bunch of the pond plants. Not much more to do for a while though.

The spring onions and garlic are coming in nicely though!
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Old 06.02.2021, 15:40
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Actually, this thread inspired me to get out there. Lots of mole holes and tunnels, and it looks like they have eaten my 'topinambours' (Jerusalem artichokes) - made me wonder if moles fart? lol

The leeks I bought for 2 francs per tray in autumn and planted just to see ...
have been covered by 1.50 + of snow, but are bouncing back nicely. Probably will have lots of early leeks, great.

Picked lots of branches from the grass (could not really call it a lawn- but that's OK), and made a big pile in the orchard at the bottom, in a corner - hoping this will become a second sparrow igloo- as it has been so entertaining all winter. Finally cut down all the big clumps of sedum.

Weeding will wait- but it is always my first Spring job- so much easier to do if you do it early when nothing else is up, the roots young and soil very moist.

Felt good - enjoying a cuppa and a few British Digestive biscuits as a reward.

Wow Melon, a bit early for the hedgehogs- dn't forget to feed them and provide water for them x
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  #2106  
Old 06.02.2021, 22:33
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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A
Wow Melon, a bit early for the hedgehogs- dn't forget to feed them and provide water for them x
Fortunately both hedgehogs look quite round.

Right now they are feasting on the high fat 'winter' birdseed that the birds kick out of the feeder. I've put down some dry mealworms in the same place, don't know if they will eat those, or not. There's water a-plenty in the garden.

I am hesitant to put out cat food or similar yet, as the temperatures are set to drop in the next days and I don't want to do anything that would interfere with them going back to hibernating.

If they are still out and about after the temps drop, I'll contact the Igelzentrum.
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  #2107  
Old 06.02.2021, 22:58
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

If there is anyone we can trust to look after them well and do the right thing, it is you, for sure. Bravo.
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  #2108  
Old 14.02.2021, 09:22
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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We had 1m50/60 but then heavy rain for a few days- so I can see green in my garden for the first time- but there is no way I am doing any gardening.

One thing I so love here, is seasons, real seasons- and I garden in 3 of them and not at all in the other. Beginning of April is when gardening starts- and it stops end of October. It's good to have a rest
Wish I could wait until April but there is much to do and some of it now. Was a bit chilly yesterday but once hard at work I didn't feel a thing. Today it is sunny but cold. Need to get rid of the neighbour's bamboo which has wandered over here.

Do you or does anyone else have experience creating natural paths with wood chips and bordered with logs? Here is a picture giving a general idea of what I want to do using materials we have on hand.

As it is a slope, the idea is to do paths on an angle with the borders held in place with stakes. Should these be metal or wood?

Also any recommendations for the best machine to mulch wood.
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  #2109  
Old 14.02.2021, 09:57
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

I popped over to the garden the other day and found this brave little soul:





Not much to do in the garden at this point. I've pruned back the grapes and have decided not to prune the apple, pear, and Mirabelle tree this year. I do have a "strawberry tube" that I need to set up this year, so I might take a few minutes to mull over where and how to do that.



At least the garlic is overwintering nicely.
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  #2110  
Old 14.02.2021, 10:01
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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As it is a slope, the idea is to do paths on an angle with the borders held in place with stakes. Should these be metal or wood?
This looks very pretty, Mrs. D. We did the same at our woodland house in the Rockies. Engineer OH insisted on sledgehammered rebar to hold the logs in place, and he was right. Anything else either rots or is too flimsy.

Please post pics of the results!
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  #2111  
Old 14.02.2021, 11:03
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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As it is a slope, the idea is to do paths on an angle with the borders held in place with stakes.
How steep a slope?

I ask because I ended up taking a tumble down our sloped woodchipped canine race course path a few times. When the chips were wet or frozen the path got rather slippery. Finally we decided to cut steps into the path, using the same materials, to save my knees and dignity. Now that I'm fast turning into a wobbly old crone, I'm even considering adding some kind of natural hand rail at the steepest part.

Likely not needed if your slope is gradual, or if your Ticino weather is nicer than ours in SZ.

And by the way - thanks to the thundering herd and our wet weather, the wood chips sink in quite a bit over the course of the season. We add new every year to build the path up a bit.
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  #2112  
Old 14.02.2021, 12:27
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

If your path is going in the uphill/downhill direction, small shallow steps are a good idea, bounded by logs. However, you might have an area where your path is higher on one side than the other. In that case, you will have pressure on the upside log border (from the upslope) and pressure on the downside log border (from walking on the path and from erosion). On both those sides, you are best advised to pound rebar in every meter or so, down as far as you can. There is a *surprising* amount of movement in these constructions otherwise!
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  #2113  
Old 15.02.2021, 00:39
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Thanks for all the replies.

Rough measurements are as follows. The slope is south facing. It is about a 6 metre drop from the base of the garden wall to the lot line and is 10 metres in length on one side and 14 on the other. The width is 30 metres.

At the moment the ground is covered by fallen leaves and branches which is making it difficult to see where the natural rock formations are. These will affect the placement of paths as will the existing trees. The area is really a mess as no one looked after it for years. The bramble and bamboo are out of control.

Yes, we might need to consider a few steps. A handrail makes sense too.

This is not going to be a dog play area. We might fence it as I am worried about the "wildschwein". I see they have been near the vineyards at the bottom of our slope but it is flat there.

I also see that one can also make borders with bamboo cane. I have enough of that. Seems it has to be dried before you can work with it.

At the moment it looks like a jungle. Basically we want to clean the area up and be able to maintain it, as needed. The goal is minimal maintenance. Hopefully the wood chips won't need replenishing too often.

As for the weather, we had quite a bit of snow this year, but this is unusual. Winter is milder than here than SZ but the slope will still be wet and slippery in winter. I will probably stay off of it during that time.
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Old 15.02.2021, 08:36
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Do you or does anyone else have experience creating natural paths with wood chips and bordered with logs? Here is a picture giving a general idea of what I want to do using materials we have on hand.

As it is a slope, the idea is to do paths on an angle with the borders held in place with stakes. Should these be metal or wood?
Don't forget the membrane underneath and you'll need a much deeper layer of mulch than you think.

I'd use metal stakes (as others have suggested, get some rebar cut up). It weathers nicely to a dark brown).

Wooden ones rot too quickly.

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Also any recommendations for the best machine to mulch wood.
I looked at these once. I decided that if I wanted one that would actually do the job and not jam the whole time, it would be better to hire a large professional one.
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  #2115  
Old 15.02.2021, 08:46
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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I looked at these once. I decided that if I wanted one that would actually do the job and not jam the whole time, it would be better to hire a large professional one.
We have a Bosch mulcher, the green one which I think is their home/hobby line.

It's mostly a 'regular tidying-up' machine. Fine for mulching small branches, but not for anything bigger than IIRC 5-6cm diameter or so. To give you an idea, we mulch what is left after chopping a tree into firewood and kindling.

The mulch it creates is not as pretty as what you might want, at least for the top layer of your path. We use the mulch it makes for underlayers or for working into soil.

Bottom line, I'm inclined to agree with Tom - if you have a lot of branches, especially larger ones, renting a profi machine is a good idea if this is a one-off need for major mulching.

Good luck with the project!
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Old 15.02.2021, 08:48
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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Don't forget the membrane underneath and you'll need a much deeper layer of mulch than you think.

I'd use metal stakes (as others have suggested, get some rebar cut up). It weathers nicely to a dark brown).

Wooden ones rot too quickly.



I looked at these once. I decided that if I wanted one that would actually do the job and not jam the whole time, it would be better to hire a large professional one.
The forest firm has a serious mulcher but it is creating sawdust like wood. Not chips. Maybe we can find a decent machine to rent.
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Old 20.02.2021, 09:07
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

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We have a Bosch mulcher, the green one which I think is their home/hobby line.

It's mostly a 'regular tidying-up' machine. Fine for mulching small branches, but not for anything bigger than IIRC 5-6cm diameter or so. To give you an idea, we mulch what is left after chopping a tree into firewood and kindling.

The mulch it creates is not as pretty as what you might want, at least for the top layer of your path. We use the mulch it makes for underlayers or for working into soil.

Bottom line, I'm inclined to agree with Tom - if you have a lot of branches, especially larger ones, renting a profi machine is a good idea if this is a one-off need for major mulching.

Good luck with the project!
You are spot on about the mulcher. It is great for cleanup but for a path surface, not nice to walk on. Still we couldn't manage the cleanup without it. I think we might postpone the path project so we have more time to look at other options and see if we can get rid of the bamboo. There are a ton of leaves to clear up (far too many to mulch) before we can see the ground.
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Old 20.02.2021, 16:20
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

What a glorious day today!!

I just HAD to tidy the high rise beds & pots and also harvest most of the last remaining vegetables (kale, swedes, celeriac and parsnips).

Now only sugar loaf- and lambs salad as well as spinach and a few stems of leek are still growing outside.




On to the planning of this year's bed rotation and what I want to grow this year.

Can't wait for the gardening year to start porperly!!
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Old 20.02.2021, 18:02
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

I also popped over to the garden for a couple of hours today. The sun was so hot, it gave me a harsh reminder of just how unbearable full summer heat is I need to appreciate this "temperate" spring while I can.

It was hard not to pull out all of last year's deadwood - I love a tidy garden! But it is still too early and I want to leave shelter for the insects and rodents for a while longer.
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Old 20.02.2021, 18:30
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Re: How about a gardening thread?

Growing Saffran on our terrazzo. So far all good.
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