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Old 12-11-2018, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Now I just move rocks from place to place.

So you are a (literal) rock gardener?

(sorry, could not resist, lol)
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:59 PM
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Used to grow all kinds of things from veggies to flowers.

Now it is only tomatoes. I can't give up the homegrown tomatoes.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:16 PM
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We have clay soil. Clay has a lot of nutrients, but you have to break it up so that the roots can get to it. Also, clay holds the water on top, so the roots rot

So we had a couple huge truck loads of mulched leaves from the county dumped and paid a guy with a tiller to till it up into the clay. Made the whole area into a raised bed. Grew great cucumbers, zucchinis, beans, peas, peppers, lettuce, .... Used the fabric pots to grow tomatoes with compost in them.

I love going out and picking supper and having extra to give away to neighbors.

When my knees give out, I'll grow in huge pots.

I probably should get that organized.

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Old 12-11-2018, 03:23 PM
Location: on the wind
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As for so many things in my life, whether it is pre-retirement or post-retirement makes little difference. Retirement wasn't a move to the fifth dimension. I have always found gardening tedious. You have to do it while seasonal bugs are at their worst. I prefer properties that have the most established native vegetation that is quite good at taking care of itself. The most I do is transplant favorite native perennials into areas where I can see them more often. As soon as I spend money on something "exotic" the moose make a beeline for it. They can smell what you paid for it and devour the most expensive plants first. Oh yeah...I do mow the ubiquitous nonnative grass that was planted over the underground utilities so the neighbors don't get too upset, and I do pull invasive nonnative weeds (but then, the grass is technically an invasive weed too )
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:02 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Been a Master Gardener now for almost 40 yrs, so plan to keep it up. (and a farmer / 4H for many more yrs)

I like the MG volunteers / good ideas / experiments / training / events and mentoring youth. Especially fun to run the Phone Clinic, as it is amazing what people ask !

A very good way to stay engaged in gardening and food preservation is volunteering with "Gleaners" (or your local community garden).
Gleaners all souped up | Opinion | pentictonherald.ca

We also formed a 'mobile Farmer's Market that goes to different small towns each day (usually stopping at a senior center / CCRC).
like this,

and a food security network (Especially handy when living overseas / new climate / culture / produce types)
Food Security Information Network (FSIN) -Home
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:48 PM
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Years ago, I kept my garden pristine with absolutely no weeds, always with new and perfectly clean mulch, and perfectly clean paths--it looked like a magazine cover. I gave that up because I didn't have time to keep it up while working. For several years, I didn't have time for the garden at all, and it became overgrown and neglected.

Now that I've retired, my garden is booming again, but I don't feel the need to make it look like a magazine cover anymore.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:52 PM
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
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I love puttering around the yard. I’ve gone from clay soil in NY to sand and shells in FL. Digging holes is so easy here. I had to relearn the rhythm of planting here, it’s different. I finally figured out to plant tomatoes in early October and again after the holidays. Summer is too hot and wet for vegetables here. Nematodes are in the soil so I plant vegetables in pots. Plants that need a cold cycle don’t work here, but there are enough others that prefer no cold and I have those instead.

I have a Meyer lemon tree that is producing ripe lemons now in time to make lemon curd for gifts. I have a Thai mango tree that I pinched off the blossoms last spring so the energy would go into the tree and root system, it should fruit this summer. I have a dwarf key lime, they are perfect for quartering and fitting into the neck of Land Shark beer bottle. I have a olive tree that produced olives that are in brine and should be ready for Christmas. I planted a gumbo limbo start my son gave me and I have various clumping bamboos and several interesting palm trees. I have a vanilla bean orchid growing 20 feet up into my live oak tree. It’s too chilly and dry here for it in the winter, but I’ll try anything once, it’s worth a try.

I’m happy spending hours in nurseries looking at plants, the only shopping I really enjoy. My Dad loved to garden and really loved trees, as does my son, it runs in the family.

Last edited by jean_ji; 12-11-2018 at 06:01 PM..
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:14 PM
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What I bemoan is the lack of independent small retail nurseries in my part of the country. I can remember when there were at least a dozen local nurseries within a 30-minute drive that propagated their own perennials, and in some cases shrubs too. There was one that specialized in rhododendrons and azaleas. Their perennials were grown in 4" pots that were easy to fit anywhere, and were affordable too.

Now there are only four of those independent retail nurseries left within an hour's drive. The best one is about 40 mins away. But none of them grow their own stock anymore! They are all getting the same stuff as the so-called nursery department at Lowes and Home Depot, and ordering everything from the same big wholesalers like Monrovia. Also I hate that most places are selling perennials only in gallon containers which means they are either (a) grossly overpotted or (b) a nightmare for an elderly person to plant, especially in clay soil.

The only way to find anything unusual (i.e., the same thing that ten thousand other people are planting or having planted in their yards) is via catalog ordering. I don't mind that for perennials but I hate doing it for shrubs and trees, even young ones, because I am picky about size and shape. But my chances of finding a specific shrub cultivar locally is somewhere between zilch and zero. I got my previous one from one of the local nurseries that went out of business during the early-mid 2000s.

Last edited by BBCjunkie; 12-11-2018 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Nothing grows here. Too hot and too dry. And I was darn tired of mowing, raking, and shoveling that acre I used to have! But I do miss the birds and all the creatures. I used to grow beautiful carnations!

Now I just move rocks from place to place.
I can sympathize with you as I also live in the Mojave Desert but not Vegas. The soil here is nothing more than pulverized rocks with patches of clay. The dry hot winds shrivels up many vegetables which should be easy to grow regardless of how much water you give them.
I have a bachelors degree in Horticulture and have worked in that field since I graduated university many years ago. One of the things I look forward to the most in retirement is moving to middle America where the soil is decent, the air is humid, and it rains. Yes, glorious wet rain on a regular basis, not just 3-4 times a year if you're lucky.
Just for kicks I planted heirloom tomatoes a few years ago but I planted them in large plastic totes. I did five varieties, one in each tote. I drilled holes in the bottom for good drainage and used good potting soil. I put the totes on rollers so I could move the tomatoes in and out of the shade depending on how hot it was. I had a wonderful crop, so tasty. By mid July it was over. The tomato plants stopped producing because of the heat. Even so, I became a slave to those darned tomatoes while they were growing. I'd rush home from work to water them before they started wilting most days and move them into the shade.
Never again will I go through that much work and expense for tomatoes, but I still pat myself on the back for having home grown heirlooms in the desert, short lived as it was.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:28 PM
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,842,106 times
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I am gardening in retirement. Last year I was helping the wife and her mom with a garden. This year I am adding in a plant (marijuana) Woo Hoo. Should be fun. I haven't grown pot since I was a teenager.
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