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Old 07-23-2015, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 45,800,600 times
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Can't remember if we convinced you to save some of those foundation plantings and to just prune them or if you are ripping them plum out. Remember , pruning encourages new growth and that tender new growth will get zapped by frost so I wouldn't be pruning much more past now. I understand you get early freezes up there. That is why pruning is best done after last frost on most shrubs.
looks very nice. We can tell you are working very hard.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,696 posts, read 13,548,672 times
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Default 7/31/15 update and more questions!!

OK, I continue to work out in the garden every day or two (I also have to get some OTHER work done too, so I can't be out there as much as I'd like ... and I refuse to be out there on 90+ degree/high humidity days, which is what we've had the past few days -- just can't take that kind of weather any more, I am too old!! ).

When it's too hot to be outside I sometimes do more in the garage ... I have a fan in there that keeps the space pretty cool. Here's the latest garage-organization picture ...




I added a bunch of small hooks for smaller things like my keys, a flashlight, small gardening tools, etc. (I am trying to put my keys on that hook every time I'm in the garage or garden so I don't panic and wonder where I dropped them!!)

Outside, I have been digging in the foundation-planting area -- realized pretty quickly that I need to re-grade the area before I put down the hardscaping rocks, as the back 2-3' section is lower than the front ~5' (where the plants were), and I don't want water to puddle near the foundation. Here's a photo to show what I mean ...



Yeah, I already starting laying down cardboard at the back, but the more I looked, the more I thought, "I should REALLY re-grade this first, NOW, while I can do it relatively easily." So I will have to pull up the few big pieces of cardboard that I already put down, but at least I didn't do the whole area and then decide to re-grade!!

I have a few questions ...

- Can I just take the dirt/etc. that I've been digging at the front of the area and move it to the back? I would then re-cover that area with cardboard, then the rocks. Of course it has weed seeds etc. in it, but everything should die under the cardboard, right? Follow-up question: if I CAN'T use this dirt/etc. for some reason, can I just use bags of topsoil?

- Digging is hard work ... duh! Should've known that of course. Could I use my electric tiller to loosen the soil here? I can't think of why I WOULDN'T be able to, but I haven't used it yet and I want to be sure. Note, I am finding a few rocks in the soil (6-9" down, which is as far as I've gone down so far and that deep only in a few places) -- no big ones (nothing bigger than maybe 1-1.5"). Is it OK to use the tiller with those size rocks or will they damage it?

- I keep seeing my little toad friend out there. Do they hide under soil? I would hate to kill him with the tiller!! Seems like he pops out from SOMEWHERE as soon as I start working in the area he's in -- just haven't seen him actually popping out so I don't know where his "home" is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Can't remember if we convinced you to save some of those foundation plantings and to just prune them or if you are ripping them plum out. Remember , pruning encourages new growth and that tender new growth will get zapped by frost so I wouldn't be pruning much more past now. I understand you get early freezes up there. That is why pruning is best done after last frost on most shrubs.
looks very nice. We can tell you are working very hard.
Thanks, NK. I was planning to transplant the rhodies to different areas in my yard (right side or back) -- but did I need to do that right after cutting them down as much as I did? If so, I didn't realize and it may be too late to save them. Should I still try?!! I can dig/till transplant holes this weekend.

Oh, and one more question for anyone/everyone ... what do you think of this as a lawn ornament?




I've seen lots of windmills and this is similar, but it's a ferris wheel. It's about 36" diameter (quite large) -- I bought it from Pottery Barn many years ago (on sale of course! ) and I still really like it. At my last house I often had it in my bay window, but I don't really have a place for it here. I would spray rust-proofing all over it before putting it outside -- hopefully that would be good enough to protect it (for a while, at least).

That's all for now. Comments/suggestions/etc. always welcome!
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 45,800,600 times
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you definitely want to get any rain flow away from your foundation. Why do you think you have to take p the cardboard and rocks you already put down? If you don't plant to plant where the rocks are, just pile dirt up on top of them till you have to slope you want but give it a good rain or watering cause there will be much settling. now if you plan to plant in there the rocks will have to go.

I like this ornament. Be sure to make sure it is very weather proof. I have all sorts of fun things in my garden. I need to take some pictures and post them. They are for my enjoyment--not any body else. I have a couple of st francis statues and I am the least religious person you will know but I love the concept and they are works of art, one being hand carved from sante fe and on my front porch. I have a fun rabbits, cats, frogs, metal flowers, butterflies. All are very discreet and peek out from behind things to be pleasant surprises.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,696 posts, read 13,548,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
you definitely want to get any rain flow away from your foundation. Why do you think you have to take p the cardboard and rocks you already put down? If you don't plant to plant where the rocks are, just pile dirt up on top of them till you have to slope you want but give it a good rain or watering cause there will be much settling. now if you plan to plant in there the rocks will have to go.
I meant just the cardboard directly in front of the foundation on the front of the house (NOT the little side area with the marble chips -- that area is OK). I guess I could put dirt right on top of those front-foundation cardboard pieces, but I would rather put the marble chips on top of cardboard than loose dirt, especially because I want to kill everything underneath the cardboard (including any weeds).

For the dirt: can I use what I have dug up from the front, or should I just place new topsoil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I like this ornament. Be sure to make sure it is very weather proof. I have all sorts of fun things in my garden. I need to take some pictures and post them. They are for my enjoyment--not any body else. I have a couple of st francis statues and I am the least religious person you will know but I love the concept and they are works of art, one being hand carved from sante fe and on my front porch. I have a fun rabbits, cats, frogs, metal flowers, butterflies. All are very discreet and peek out from behind things to be pleasant surprises.
Yes, please take photos -- I would love to see them and I'm sure others would too! I have a little "leapfrog" set of 3 frogs, well, leapfrogging over each other plus the wishing well I just bought and haven't placed yet plus now the roller coaster. I love things like that, but I don't want to get carried away -- I love how you put it though, the "pleasant surprises" that peek out!
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,696 posts, read 13,548,672 times
Reputation: 24446
Default DIGGING, aagggghhhh!!!

The last several days were mostly too hot to be outside much, but it's mid-70s for the next few days, and I took advantage of that today.

I keep digging around the shrubs that I cut down ... this is the one that was at the far right (the "tree" that I had to finish cutting with my electric saw) ... I am digging digging digging and I still don't know if the end is in sight!



I bought a mattock (basically a pick-ax for those who don't know ... I didn't as of a few days ago!!) and it works great -- had to get a 2.5-pound one as the 5-pound one felt really heavy. So I dig, and I use the mattock, and I lop off the roots, and I dig some more.

I am hoping this shrub just has extra-deep roots ... otherwise it's going to take me forever to get all the plantings out!!

Any helpful hints? Pretty please? (And note, I can't do the tie-it-to-your-car trick ... nothing to tie it to at the back of my car, alas!)
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 45,800,600 times
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since they are mature the tap roots and major roots will be set in there like concrete. You can go through a few chains on a chain saw or hire somebody to ruin their chain saws instead.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
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Karen, I am in pain just thinking about how sore and tired I know you must be. I've tried to do what you're doing and I know how hard this work is. You mentioned that you don't have a towing ball on your car but Home Depot rents Stump Grinders - it may do the job for you. Look on their website and see what you think. They may even deliver it for you since you've mentioned how many trips you make up there - they probably know you pretty well by now!!! They could explain how it works and give you safety tips and also see if it will take care of all those roots.

If not - is there somebody locally who could do the log chain thing and yank it out of the ground? If you just chain saw it you're still going to have that giant root ball to dig out -if you leave it there you can't plant around it - and it will be in the way when you excavate there for your porch later on.

You're probably going to have the best pair of biceps in town - but if you can't even raise your poor little arms to drink a glass of wine - who cares?? You're really starting to worry me!!!! Take it easy and try and get some help...please???
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,696 posts, read 13,548,672 times
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Default Friday 8/7/15 update on digging ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
since they are mature the tap roots and major roots will be set in there like concrete. You can go through a few chains on a chain saw or hire somebody to ruin their chain saws instead.
I'm finding this out ... although the 2nd shrub (more below) was MUCH easier than the first, which is still in the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoulke View Post
Karen, I am in pain just thinking about how sore and tired I know you must be. I've tried to do what you're doing and I know how hard this work is. You mentioned that you don't have a towing ball on your car but Home Depot rents Stump Grinders - it may do the job for you. Look on their website and see what you think. They may even deliver it for you since you've mentioned how many trips you make up there - they probably know you pretty well by now!!! They could explain how it works and give you safety tips and also see if it will take care of all those roots.
I checked -- my local HD DOES rent stump grinders. The rental is a bit expensive ($111 for the first 4 hours) -- I would need to have everything ready so as not to waste any time. This might make sense if I take down a few very small trees in my backyard too ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoulke View Post
If not - is there somebody locally who could do the log chain thing and yank it out of the ground? If you just chain saw it you're still going to have that giant root ball to dig out -if you leave it there you can't plant around it - and it will be in the way when you excavate there for your porch later on.

You're probably going to have the best pair of biceps in town - but if you can't even raise your poor little arms to drink a glass of wine - who cares?? You're really starting to worry me!!!! Take it easy and try and get some help...please???
My across-the-street neighbor came over when I was digging ... she offered to do the chain thing as she did it herself when she and her partner were expanding their driveway and needed to dig out a large shrub. I HATE to ask for help (unless I am paying for it!!) but she offered so I will likely take advantage -- although I am hoping I would only need it for a couple of the shrubs.

And about that: I have continued to dig around that first shrub but it is still not yet "rock-able." I needed to see SOME progress so I went on to shrub #2, one of the rhodies. I started digging a bit around it yesterday, then kept going today, and it is OUT!!



Above ^^^ you can see shrub #1, which I'm still working on, and the HOLE where shrub #2 used to be. It was nowhere near the time/effort of the first -- took probably 1-1.5 hours total to get it out, although I can only dig for about 30 minutes at a time before I go insane and have to do something else, so I could be wrong about the time.

I have a question: today when I was digging the rhody, I noticed new growth, which you can see in this picture ...



Does that mean that this rhody IS transplantable and I should get it to a new location ASAP? (NK, I need you! ) If so, I will do that this weekend!! (The growth is definitely new, since I cut it down ... that seems like a good sign, no?)

Oh, besides the digging, I mowed the lawn ('til my mower cut another belt -- that is THREE BELTS it has sliced in about 6 times mowing -- I am frustrated beyond belief at my $1,500 mower!!) AND got one of the window boxes up ...



Um, the PICTURE is crooked, not the window box (or my house! ). That was when I only had 3 brackets installed -- wanted to check to make sure it was centered and level before installing the last 2 brackets. It wasn't too hard -- the hardest part was finding the studs inside (that's a dining room window) as I think I have plaster walls and they are NOT the easiest to "read." Anyway, I really like how it looks -- I'm glad I went with the 60" instead of the 48"! I did realize that I should have painted the brackets white -- before I load up the box I may take all the brackets down, paint them, and re-install them. Yeah, what a pain, but still -- I don't know why the company doesn't send WHITE brackets with WHITE boxes.

More soon!
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 45,800,600 times
Reputation: 47518
What it means is this little rhoddie wants to live. Is there no way you can leave it where it is and let it become NEW? If not try moving it but get as good a rootball as you can and have your new hole ready with great soil right there for immediate transplant. Let us know how this works.

Hopefully the growth in those boxes will hide the brackets so it might not mean you have to paint them.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,696 posts, read 13,548,672 times
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Default Wednesday 8/19/15 update ... that ornery shrub is finally OUT!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
What it means is this little rhoddie wants to live. Is there no way you can leave it where it is and let it become NEW? If not try moving it but get as good a rootball as you can and have your new hole ready with great soil right there for immediate transplant. Let us know how this works.
I did end up transplanting that rhodie (rhoddie? rhody?) ... put it in my front-right-side yard in front of some other flowering shrubs ... so far, so good. I check on it every couple of days. Will post a photo if it survives, which I am hoping for!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Hopefully the growth in those boxes will hide the brackets so it might not mean you have to paint them.
Yeah, you're right, but the black just bugs me since the boxes are white. I figure now, before I've planted anything in the boxes, is a good time to paint the brackets, if I'm going to (I haven't yet put up the 2nd box as I have to find studs from the living room side, then mark the corresponding places outside ... and my walls are not good for locating studs!!).

And here's the latest update ...



I FINALLY got that first shrub out -- took about 45 minutes early this morning (we've had temps in the high 80s/90s with VERY high humidity lately, and I can't be out in that!!). Felt great to get it out -- it was HEAVY!! Now I am working on the far-left one in that same group -- it was a boxwood I think? The snowfall BADLY damaged it (splitting it into pieces) and its roots seem to be EVERYWHERE. I will be back out there early tomorrow morning trying some more -- I put the timer on my phone on for 30 minutes as that is about my limit for digging -- even after just 30 minutes I am sweating like a pig as I can't wear shorts for fear of ticks.

I haven't been out much in the last couple of weeks -- had new tenants at the rental house move in last Friday so had to prepare for that, then have been over helping them settle in (they are fantastic so far). At least I am not going back to work next week when everyone else is!!

So as of now I have all the right-side foundation plantings out except for the left-most one -- I may spend another hour today out there filling in the holes with all the dirt I dug out, then making sure the grading is OK, so I can put out more cardboard & marble chips. That's nowhere near as strenuous as the digging, and at least then it will be closer to what it will end up looking like -- right now it's pretty messy!
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