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.

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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.



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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. 



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Comment by Chief Walks on September 29, 2019 at 11:58am

Why Are Barns Painted Red?
Ever wonder why are barns painted red in color? Red is (or, perhaps, was) a popular color for older barns due not to its color shade but for its usefulness.
Many years ago, choices for paints, sealers, and other building materials did not exist. Farmers had to be resourceful in finding or making a paint that would protect and seal the wood on their barns.
Hundreds of years ago, many farmers would seal their barns with linseed oil, which is an orange-colored oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant. To this oil, they would add a variety of things, most often milk and lime, but also ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was plentiful on farms and because it killed fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, and it was very effective as a sealant. It turned the mixture red in color.
When paint became more available, many people chose red paint for their barns in honor of tradition.

Comment by Chief Walks on September 22, 2019 at 6:20pm

Comment by Chris Durbin on September 7, 2019 at 5:12am

My favorite!

Comment by Chief Walks on September 6, 2019 at 3:14pm

Comment by Chief Walks on August 19, 2019 at 7:34am
Comment by Chief Walks on August 19, 2019 at 7:32am

Using Epsom Salts To Help Overcome Transplant Shock
Transplant shock is typical when moving plants from a small container to a bigger one, from the greenhouse to the outdoors or transplanting into the garden for plants to wilt.

Epsom salts come in handy and help the roots overcome the transplant shock.

When transplanting, the shock might make the plants become weak and wither. With the use of Epsom salt, the shock is minimized considerably. When preparing the soil, use one cup of Epsom salt per 100 square feet.

Personally, I like to use more of a drench when transplanting.

Here are some tips on using Epsom salts during transplanting.

#1 – Fill up the destination point with soil, be it potting containers, or the target holes in the garden.

#2 – Water all the plants to be transplanted well before transplanting. Also, water the area and or soil which will hold the new transplants.

#3 – Mix Epsom salts at the ratio of one tablespoon to one gallon of water and saturate. Ensure that the saturation of the transplanting hole is with water before saturating it more with the Epsom fertilizer.

#4 – Remove the plant from the previous destination, holding the plant base with a flat hand to ensure that the topsoil does not fall off. Try to make sure the roots are as “undisturbed” as possible.

#5 – Place the plant in the destination hole or container taking extra care so as not to damage the roots in the process.

#6 – Lightly water the plant with the Epsom salt solution.

Comment by Chief Walks on August 18, 2019 at 8:44am

What Is Spanish Moss: Learn About Trees With Spanish Moss

Often seen growing on trees in southern regions, Spanish moss is normally viewed as a bad thing. Oh contraire. Trees with Spanish moss can actually be welcome additions by adding something different to the landscape. That being said, there are still those who would prefer to get rid of it. So what is Spanish moss and is Spanish moss removal for you? Continue reading to learn more about Spanish moss and then decide for yourself.

What is Spanish Moss?
What is Spanish moss anyway? Spanish moss is an epiphytic plant that makes its own food from nutrients and moisture that it captures from the air and absorbs from surface cracks and crevices on the host plant. It clings to the supporting tree by wrapping itself around the branches.

So will Spanish moss kill a tree? Spanish moss is sometimes blamed for problems it didn’t cause. Spanish moss takes no nourishment or moisture from trees, and only uses them for protection and support. Therefore, since it doesn’t obtain nourishment from the host plant, it does little or no harm. In fact, a heavy growth of Spanish moss is often seen on trees that are declining in health, but it is not responsible for the decline, though it can, however, strain branches and make them weaker.

Spanish Moss Information
Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is not a true moss but is a member of the bromeliad family along with tropical plants, such as pineapples. Trees with Spanish moss are a graceful and elegant sight. The tiny blue-green flowers are hard to see, but they give off a fragrance that is most noticeable at night. The plant drapes from the limbs of trees in masses that may be as much as 20 feet long.

Several species of songbirds use Spanish moss as nesting materials, and some build their nests in the clumps. Bats may also live in clumps of Spanish moss, and reptiles and amphibians use the plant as a hiding place. Unfortunately, if you experience severe itching after handling Spanish moss, you’ve discovered chiggers, or redbugs, which also live in the plant.

Spanish Moss Removal
There is no chemical treatment to aid in Spanish moss removal, though herbicide sprays may be applied. The best way to remove Spanish moss is by hand. When the moss is growing on a tall tree, however, this can be a dangerous task and best left to a professional arborist.

Even after thorough removal, Spanish moss grows back after a few years. You can reduce the growth rate of Spanish moss by providing the host tree with proper fertilization and watering.

But instead of attempting a frustrating and ultimately futile attempt to remove the moss, why not try to enjoy the way this mysterious and graceful plant enhances the garden.

Comment by Chief Walks on August 11, 2019 at 8:03am

Bulb Planting Depth Guidelines: How Deep Should I Plant Bulbs

Bulbs always seem a bit like magic. Each dry, round, papery bulb contains a plant and everything it will need to grow. Planting bulbs is a wonderful, easy way to add enchantment to your spring or summer garden. If you are considering adding bulb plants to your beds this year, you’ll want to get the how-to info well in advance, including site preparation and bulb planting depth. Read on for tips on planting bulbs, including how deep to plant bulbs of different sizes.

About Planting Bulbs

Most bulbs are either spring flowering or summer flowering. You can plant spring bulbs in autumn, then summer bulbs in spring. The preliminary steps for planting bulbs are very much the same as for garden plants. You need to cultivate the soil down to a depth of 12 to 14 inches (30-35 cm.) and be sure that the soil drains well. Organic compost can be added to clay soil to increase drainage. Next, it’s time to blend in required nutrients to help your bulbs bloom well. To do this, you must first figure out the planting depth for bulbs you have chosen. Then work nutrients, like phosphorus, into the soil at that depth before putting in the bulbs. You might also mix in a general bulb fertilizer. All nutrients should be placed at the appropriate bulb planting depth, that is, the level where the bottom of the bulb will sit in the soil.

How Deep Should I Plant Bulbs?

So, you’ve worked the soil and are ready to begin. Now is the time to ask: how deep should I plant bulbs? The key to figuring out how deep to plant bulbs is the size of the bulb. The general rule is that bulb planting depth should be between two to three times the length of the bulb. That means that a small bulb-like a grape hyacinth will be planted closer to the surface of the soil than a large bulb like a tulip. If your bulb is an inch (2.5 cm) long, you will plant it about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) deep. That is measured from the bottom of the bulb to the surface of the soil. Do not make the mistake of planting too deep or you are unlikely to see flowers. However, you can dig up the bulbs and replant them at the appropriate depth the following year.

Comment by Chief Walks on August 8, 2019 at 11:17am
Comment by Chief Walks on August 5, 2019 at 8:11am

Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden As Recounted

by Maxi'diwiac (Buffalo Bird Woman) (ca.1839-1932)

of the Hidatsa Indian Tribe

Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden Recounted by Maxi'diwiac (Buffalo Bird ...


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