Gardener's Corner

Join us for tips, helps, questions and answers about the gardening world. Monitored by a Certified Master Gardener but wisdom is shared by ALL.

Members: 42
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Gardener's Corner

Chief Walks In Shadows is a Florida State Master Gardener.
He will post information that he feels will benefit everyone as a whole. But basically this will be a question and answer group.
Chief Walks will answer all questions asked to him directly. He has over 40 years of experience. And a sizable personal research library.

We are here to meet ALL of your gardening questions and/or related subjects.



If an article, or post to the 'Comment Wall',

is larger than 4000 characters long

it will have to be created as a page. 

See 'Pages' to the right.  ----->







(USA Eastern Time)


The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. If you see a hardiness zone in a catalog or plant description, chances are it refers to the USDA map. To find your USDA Hardiness Zone or use the map below. 



Join the campaign to reach 1 million food and habitat sites for pollinators. Anyone can help.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Gardener's Corner to add comments!

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:48am

Little Miss Muffet had it all wrong. There was no need for the famous nursery-rhyme character to be frightened by her eight-legged lunch companion. In fact, these beneficial critters are great friends to gardeners.

Spiders are arachnids, not insects. They have two body segments instead of three, eight legs instead of six, and no antennae or wings. Unlike insects, spiders possess special body parts, called spinnerets, that allow them to spin webs.

All spiders are predators. They immobilize their prey with venom injected through specially designed fangs. The vast majority of the roughly 3,000 species that inhabit North America, however, are completely harmless to people. In fact, most species lack mouthparts that can penetrate human skin. Of those that can, there are only three that pose any threat to people: the black widow, the brown recluse, and the hobo.

The stereotypical spider spins a web in the vegetation and waits patiently for an insect to stumble or fly into the sticky threads and become trapped. Many of the most commonly seen spiders use this method. Other species don’t use webs at all to capture their prey. Wolf spiders, for example, stalk and actively hunt for their food on the ground. Jumping spiders also stalk their prey and, as their name suggests, capture food with impressive pounces many times their body length. Other spiders, such as crab spiders, lie waiting in camouflage for an unsuspecting insect to come within striking range. Some spider species even inhabit tunnels or funnel-shaped webs from which they snatch prey.

One thing is true of all spiders: They’re phenomenal predators of a vast array of insect pests. Collectively, spiders consume everything from aphids and beetles to moths and mosquitoes. Anyone with a garden—indeed, anyone who spends any time outdoors—should welcome spiders.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:47am

Understanding Fertilizer Labels
Fertilizers can provide plants with nutrients that help them grow. But before you use it, it's important to understand the fertilizer's label. The label includes a series of numbers that indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, by weight. For example, a 16-4-8 fertilizer contains 16 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphorous, and 8 percent potassium.
The label also lists all of the other nutrients as part of the guaranteed analysis, and information about how to properly apply the product. The fertilizer label specifies if the fertilizer is water soluble or controlled release, indicating if the nutrients will be available immediately to plants or slowly over time.
Remember that you should apply only as much fertilizer as plants can use, and always fertilize responsibly.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:47am

Farmers’ Almanac Top Ten Gardening Hints
1. Harvest your vegetable plants often. The more you pick tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, the more they’ll grow.
2. Place freshly picked, green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen. (Contrary to what many people believe, its temperature, not sunshine, that makes tomatoes turn red).
3. Animal pests don’t like strong-smelling plants. Surround your garden with marigolds, zinnias, or wormwood. Sneaky yet easy: To keep small animals out of your garden, cut an old hose in three-foot lengths. Place the pieces around your garden. These fake snakes will scare away small animals.
4. Plant dill near tomato plants to prevent tomato worms. It works.
5. Start seeds in eggshell halves. It’s economical and earth-friendly. Fill shell 3/4ths of the way to top with planting soil and seed, then store in egg cartons. This will keep the shell safe and allow you to easily carry the seedlings to sunnier locations or out to the garden. When ready to plant, leave the seedling in the shell. The roots will break through and the decomposed shell will act as a fertilizer.
6. When choosing annuals, bigger isn’t always better. When shopping at your local greenhouse, choose the plant that is well proportioned, not the tall one that has become root bound. Watch out for signs of insects or diseases.
7. Sprinkling the lawn out of habit is wasting a natural resource and money, too. A healthy lawn will signal it’s thirsty when walking on it makes footprints.
8. Some vegetable gardeners use newspapers as a mulch when cold weather threatens. This practice is ecologically good but don’t use the colored sheets. They contain harmful chemicals.
9. Position garden stakes so the wind blows plants toward the supports, not away from them.
10. To catch slugs, put a dish of beer in the garden at night. They will desert the plants and drown in the brew.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:46am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:46am

4 Best Ways To Use Fall Leaves In Your Garden

The tree leaves that accumulate around your yard or garden can be a valuable natural resource for you to use because they provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients.
Leaves don’t always seem like a good thing however, especially when you have a lot of raking to do, but if you can, be thankful and hang on to your leaves.
Leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season, so if you can, use and recycle your leaves around your property rather than raking them up and throwing them away.

Here are 4 of the best ways to use leaves in your yard, garden, or landscape:
1. Leaf Uses – Mowing
Mowing leaves that have fallen on your lawn area is most effective when a mulching mower is used, but if the leaf drop is light, a regular mower will work just fine. In fact, during times of light leaf drop, or if there are only a few small trees in your yard, simply leave the shredded leaves in place on the lawn. They will act as a beneficial mulch and compost and will help your lawn.
2. Leaf Uses – Mulching
Leaves can be used as mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds and around shrubs and trees. The best way is to rake the leaves into a pile and then shred them with your lawn mower or a shredder if you have one.
It you have the option, use a lawn mower with a bagging attachment because it is a fast and easy way to shred and collect the leaves. Leaves that have been mowed or run through some other type of shredder will decompose faster.
Leaves that are not shredded won’t decompose as well and will only smother what they are put on. Try and never let leaves remain on a lawn without raking them up or they can smother the grass underneath.
* Apply a 3 to 6 inch (7.5 to 15 cm) layer of shredded leaves around the base of trees and shrubs making sure not to put any right up against the trunk or main stem of trees or shrubs.
* In annual and perennial flower beds, a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) mulch of shredded leaves is good.
* For vegetable gardens, a thick layer of leaves placed in between the rows work both as a mulch and as an all-weather walkway that will allow you to work in your garden during wet periods.
3. Leaf Uses – Soil Improvement
Leaves that have been raked and shredded can be worked directly into your garden and flower beds. A 6 to 8 inch (15 to 20 cm) layer of leaves tilled into a heavy, clay soil will improve aeration and drainage. The same amount worked into a light, sandy soil, will improve water and nutrient holding capacity.
Note: A basic strategy for using leaves to improve soil in vegetable gardens and annual planting beds is to collect and work them into the soil during the fall. This allows sufficient time for the leaves to decompose prior to spring planting. Adding a little fertilizer to the soil after working in the leaves will hasten their decomposition.
4. Leaf Uses – Composting
Leaves are great to add to your compost pile or bin. Once again, shredding them first will help them decompose faster, but whole leaves can be added in as well.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:45am

Active compost pile
An active compost pile means building a simple container; usually a three-sided wooden box. Be sure to balance the nitrogen and carbon-containing materials that you add to your compost pile; you can find helpful charts for this in most organic gardening manuals. Keep your compost pile moist and turn often. The hotter your compost pile gets, the more likely it is to kill off diseases and unwanted weed seeds.
A successful compost heap contains a proper ratio of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials. Some of the best materials to put into a compost include composted dairy manure, composted chicken manure, worm castings, bat guano, kelp meal and ground oyster shells. Also, kitchen scraps are generally nitrogen-rich and hay, straw, bark and black and white newspaper articles are examples of carbon-rich materials needed to balance the nitrogen levels. These are often referred to as the “green” and “brown” ingredients in a healthy compost heap.
It’s important to remember, though, that a long list of popular plant food products actually derive their nitrogen content from petroleum. Not only is that gross, but it’s far from organic.
While almost any waste can ultimately be composted, some things should not go into your garden compost. It may seem obvious to many gardeners, but we it’s worth mentioning that cat, dog and human feces are big no-no’s in composting. That’s because they may contain unfavorable bacteria, which you do not want spread into your garden.
In addition, bones and meat are unfavorable as they will attract raccoons and rats, dairy and high-oil content wastes will take a very long time to compost and metal, rubber, glass and plastic may take decades to biodegrade! It is also important that you avoid adding pest or disease-ridden material to your compost as this will spread to the healthy plants in your garden.
Animal manure (provided it’s not from cats or dogs) can be added to your compost as a means for activating the decaying process. Fresh, rather than rotted manure is best for this as it still contains the necessary living bacteria. Also, manure can raise the temperature of the compost pile, thus helping to activate the existing bacteria and further speeding the decomposition process.
You will know your compost is ready to use when it is soil-like, odor free, moist (but not wet) and dark. Now it is time to add it to your garden. Only a little is needed, but it will make a world of difference. Compost not only adds nutrients to your garden, but aids with drainage, nutrient and water retention and disease prevention!

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:45am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:44am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:44am

September is a wonderful gardening month. The last of the summer vegetables are ripe and ready for eating or preserving, apples are at their peak in many places, and it's time to clean up and preparing for next spring. The days are bright and mornings can be crisp. In more moderate climes, summer stretches yet a bit longer but autumn is in the air.

Once plants have started to peter out, it's time to pull spent annuals and vegetables. If you've had no significant plant problems like bugs or fungus, add them to the compost pile. If you have had problems, don't compost. Burn if you can, otherwise trash them.

Cut out dead shoots on roses. Destroy leaves with evidence of mildew or blackspot to diminish the probability of a recurrence in the spring. And stop feeding your roses. They need to prepare to go dormant.
Plant spring bulbs, peonies, and iris

September and October are the best months for planting spring bulbs. Decide where your bulb beds will be, then build them up with fresh compost. Beds should be deeply dug and well drained.

* Early planting in September is important for anemones, snowdrops, and winter aconite.
* Make sure tulips and daffodils go in the ground six weeks before freezing weather sets in.
* Plant lilies as soon as you get them.
* Peonies and iris can be planted from August through September. Anticipate a great show in May and June next year.

Also, now is a good time to prepare bulbs for indoor forcing. Fill clean, dry pots with fresh soil. You can leave them outside in a protected area and cover them with straw or leaves. In a month or so, after root development has had a chance to occur, you can store them in a basement or garage and gradually expose them to light and heat. They should begin to show signs of life in December.

Begonias will live happily inside throughout the winter. Next spring, you can create many new plants.

Prepare for next year's perennial vegetables now.

* Mulch rhubarb.
* Cut off old asparagus tops.
* Set up cold frames to prepare for early spring vegetables.

Annual veggies need attention now too. Where an early frost is typical, pull up tomato vines and hang indoors. The sap will be sufficient to ripen fruits. Half ripe tomatoes will ripen indoors on the counter. Green tomatoes can be turned into jam or chutney. Harvest onions before they resprout. Squash should be picked before frost. Root vegetables like beets and carrots, pulled before the first heavy frost, will do well stored in sand in the garage or basement.
September can be busy huh? Happy gardening.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:43am

Birthdays ~Happy Birthday from Warrior Nation!

Latest Activity

Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Mike Sarko
38 minutes ago
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Dancing Butterfly
39 minutes ago
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Cynthia Lee
39 minutes ago
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Torch Mills
40 minutes ago
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Ruben Bravo
40 minutes ago
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Craig Macdonald
41 minutes ago
Loretta Riddell (Elohi) left a comment for Mike Sarko
5 hours ago
Loretta Riddell (Elohi) left a comment for Dancing Butterfly
5 hours ago

Blog Posts


Posted by Jorgelito Hagens on November 18, 2018 at 4:45pm 0 Comments

The Light Of My Heart And Soul

Posted by Jorgelito Hagens on November 18, 2018 at 4:30pm 0 Comments


Posted by Jorgelito Hagens on November 18, 2018 at 4:14pm 0 Comments

For the Warriors who fight and Die...

so the rest of us may fight to Live.


© 2018   Created by LadyHawkღ.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service