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Old 07-13-2009, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Near the Rincons
263 posts, read 24,418 times
Reputation: 159
I've only seen citrus in CA,AZ,FL. Not that I've been everywhere Didn't know they could grow in MT. About the termites. Never thought they'd have them here.

 
Old 07-13-2009, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,306 posts, read 6,948,999 times
Reputation: 1929
Lots of grapefruit in Texas I didn't think citrus would live in MT either, but durned if the lemons we grew from seed didn't survive the winter. They never got very big and never had fruit, tho -- unlike the one in Bozeman. I never saw that one but a friend told me she used to eat lemons from that tree -- would pick 'em on her way home from school. (She loves sour stuff!)

There was an apricot tree in Bozeman too, it made the news for being so unusual there. Looked very healthy and made fruit like crazy.

I was amazed to find the desert full of termites too... and that they'll eat practically anything that used to be a plant, including newspaper and cardboard and dead grass tufts!
 
Old 07-14-2009, 04:40 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,244 posts, read 10,931,252 times
Reputation: 4536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Sounds like your so-called soil is worse than ours, if that's possible! Yeah, if you have termites you can't use sawdust -- we have the same problem here (you can't lay a board on the ground overnight, it'll get infested that fast!) Leaf mulch is okay once it starts to break down, but anything made from wood, and even straw or dead vines or anything like that, will draw termites. You wouldn't think there'd be termites in the desert, but they're everywhere!

You can get soil testing kits at your local garden shop, but I don't bother. My previous tenant did some tests because she was surprised at how poor her garden did... its real problem was not enough water. She was from up north and didn't quite grok how quick heat dries out sand.
Our friends who've lived here all their lives and have a very large lush veggie garden (almost a farm) suggested using lawn clippings as mulch. I thought it was nuts but last year when I mowed I did it and it worked great! It also tended to keep bugs away since they don't like grass much and as it dries out provides heat and humidity to the plant.
We don't use any bug spray on the veggies so anything that works is a help. We are on mostly glacier sand so we mix in Glacier Gold and horse manure and water every night. We tried to follow a "normal" watering like every other day or so figuring we didn't want to over water but found the water dropped out of the soil way faster. It don't hurt to feed every week (we use miricle grow) since we're laying so much water on it tends to wash it out of the soil fast. RIght now we're lousy with grasshoppers so I sprayed some bug spray in a wide perimeter a few feet out from the garden on a calm day so it wouldn't drift and that seems to be working.
 
Old 07-14-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,306 posts, read 6,948,999 times
Reputation: 1929
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
Our friends who've lived here all their lives and have a very large lush veggie garden (almost a farm) suggested using lawn clippings as mulch. I thought it was nuts but last year when I mowed I did it and it worked great! It also tended to keep bugs away since they don't like grass much and as it dries out provides heat and humidity to the plant.
We don't use any bug spray on the veggies so anything that works is a help. We are on mostly glacier sand so we mix in Glacier Gold and horse manure and water every night. We tried to follow a "normal" watering like every other day or so figuring we didn't want to over water but found the water dropped out of the soil way faster. It don't hurt to feed every week (we use miricle grow) since we're laying so much water on it tends to wash it out of the soil fast. RIght now we're lousy with grasshoppers so I sprayed some bug spray in a wide perimeter a few feet out from the garden on a calm day so it wouldn't drift and that seems to be working.
Lawn clippings are also good for warming up the soil in the spring, and keeping it warm longer in the fall -- they generate considerable heat as they decompose. You do have to watch out that it doesn't get soggy underneath, but doesn't sound like you have that problem!

Miracle Grow is wonderful stuff, all right. The standard fertilizer component, you can get anywhere, but what MG provides that most don't is the micro-nutrients. The nursery that provides citrus trees for this area swears by it for young trees that are still in pots -- same problem, daily watering flushes out micro-nutrients so needs serious replacing! If the soil is really bad (or if you're cheap do the main fertilizing with the generic stuff, and top it off with MG. With soil as worthless as ours, by the time you get enough nitrogen with MG alone, it's way overboard on metals (and too much iron makes plants turn black and shrivel up). So I use a lot of ammonium sulphate and just a little bit of MG.

Yep, spraying the perimeter is a good alternative to spraying the plants themselves -- it won't stop the flyers but it'll keep the crawlers and hoppers out. I like to lay down a swath of diazinon all the way around the garden. (This trick also works to keep ants out of your house.) I've still had to spray for tomato hornworms, tho -- a few you can pick off by hand but sometimes they get so thick so fast you can't keep up. I used some soap-based stuff meant for roses and it worked pretty well.

A trick I've found for getting rid of an invasion of tumbleweeds is to put down a good layer of mustard (freshly cut or pulled plants) and just let 'em lay there. Nothing will grow there that year, and the next year grass will start to take over again. Other mulches don't seem to bother the tumbleweeds much, but mustard worked a treat.
 
Old 07-17-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,081,547 times
Reputation: 3321
Hello neighbors!
Summer gets so busy here on the porch, company, work, school. Of course grilling and a few cold ones. Seems we have a fellow with living questions in Montana, hope he will moter on over
Great weather here in the east, guess we have just about had it with the mild temps, heading towards the 90's again. I will say that the storms have been terrific lately, wind, clouds, an a twister in ND.
May not be Kansas but it looks like it!
 
Old 07-17-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: upland, ca
107 posts, read 317,704 times
Reputation: 62
zoom zoom!! motoring over.
 
Old 07-17-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,081,547 times
Reputation: 3321
Welcome to the porch, we enjoy visitors, name your beverage
Montana is a huge state! I followed the eastern side because of real estate and the low, low population and of course the hunting, can't be beat. Of course you do have the high winds, low temps, low moisture but I am truly enjoying living here.
Look at my Eastern Montana album to see some of the landscape. Others here have many pics also. Have you gone to the Sturgis run? I do not ride but have friends who do and they love it there!
69th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally | Sturgis Rally | Events | Concerts | News | Guide | Lodging | Black Hills | Mayors Ride | Bike Rally | 2009 | City Of Riders
 
Old 07-17-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,306 posts, read 6,948,999 times
Reputation: 1929
Today I believe it'll be ice-cold lemonade (made fresh!) cuz it was 108 degrees today.. maybe summer is finally here? I'll believe it once we hit 110.... at which point I'll have to break down and fix the swamp cooler.
 
Old 07-17-2009, 10:50 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,081,547 times
Reputation: 3321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Today I believe it'll be ice-cold lemonade (made fresh!) cuz it was 108 degrees today.. maybe summer is finally here? I'll believe it once we hit 110.... at which point I'll have to break down and fix the swamp cooler.
Oh boy, we have just been riding a cool streak here!
Sure we will be in the triple digits any day, here is some crushed ice.
 
Old 07-18-2009, 05:36 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,244 posts, read 10,931,252 times
Reputation: 4536
Good morning fellow porch "dwellers"! Well, I guess I'll have to be only a vacationing porch visitor now as we finally sold our house. We had it on the market for most of the last 2 1/2 years and took it off last year figuring to heck with it we'll just stay and then the financial blow up happened over the last several months and I decided it's time to get out of so much debt. I figured what the heck, I'll put it back on and if it sells it sells and if not then oh well...
It sold in a month so I guess it's ment to be so now it's off to TN and a bit cheaper cost of living.
I'll still stop by if that's ok, please leave the light on for me.
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