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DVOM









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 7:57 am
Hi everyone!

We purchased a lovely little old house last September, and since April we've been seeing beautiful flowers and flowering bushes bloom all over our property. It's gorgeous! Someone obviously put a lot of love into the garden and yard, but the house was empty for many years before we bought it, and the garden neglect is showing.

I'm looking for guidance, and I'm hoping that some of you are experienced gardeners who wouldn't mind coaching me. Is it even possible to take care of our property ourselves? I really don't want to have to hire a gardener. I don't know what I'm doing and have never gardened before, but I'm finding gardening weirdly therapeutic. I feel like it's also so great for my kids, who have been helping me a lot. I really like it!

We have a large front and side lawn, a very narrow lawn on the other side bordering our side porch, and a paved patio in the back with woods and a pond beyond that. The whole property was covered in dead fallen tree branches that we've been clearing away. There are mountains of branches and logs that my husband chopped up waiting to be hauled away by the township. We tried to prune and neaten up bushes that were very overgrown (one enormous bush was growing halfway into the street). We mucked out the window boxes and I replanted them with potted perennials and potting soil from home depot. They look so beautiful!

So... Now what? Surrounding the back patio are bricked flower beds. Someone planted them with a lot of wisdom. They have been flowering continuously since the beginning of April; when one plant's flowers start to fall out, a new flower comes up. It's gorgeous! Problem is it's also full of weeds. Just pull up anything that doesn't look like a flower? How do I tell what a weed is? A neighbor told us that some bushes growing right up next to the house attract carpenter ants and need to go. Do we just dig them up? What can we put in their place? We have ivy growing up one wall of the house that we were told is bad for the house because it allows ants and bugs to get in the house and can damage the walls. Is that true? I kind of love the ivy! We'd love to start a small fruits and veggies patch. I don't know the first thing about it though! There is a big spot on the front lawn that is very sandy and has no grass growing. There used to be an underground oil tank there that the previous owners dug up. How can we get grass to grow there? We'd love to pave or brick a path through the woods down to the water; it is pretty steep in spots and needs some sort of steps. We'd love to pave out a sitting area close to the water. It's so beautiful down there; the trees are covered in tiny droopy purple flowers (lilac?) and we sometimes have geese on the water. Any ideas? I know we probably won't get to all these projects this year, but I have no idea where to start.

If any of you have gardening experience and wisdom to share, I'd love to hear it. Also, if anyone has any links to websites of gardening for beginners or books that would be helpful, I'd love to hear it. We've got really great raw material to work with here, and I'd love to make it really beautiful! Thanks!
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oliveoil









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 2:44 pm
Where's MagentaYenta when you need her?!
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southernbubby









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 2:46 pm
oliveoil wrote:
Where's MagentaYenta when you need her?!



She admitted that she wasn't frum and left and got taken off of the list of members as well.
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oliveoil









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 9:21 pm
southernbubby wrote:
She admitted that she wasn't frum and left and got taken off of the list of members as well.


Lol. I'm well aware.
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southernbubby









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 9:24 pm
As far as gardening, I bought some kiddie pools and drilled holes in them and filled them with soil and put them on bricks and I have zucchini and yellow squash plants growing in them. I don't want the rabbits in my vegetables.
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thunderstorm









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 10:07 pm
DVOM wrote:
Hi everyone!

We purchased a lovely little old house last September, and since April we've been seeing beautiful flowers and flowering bushes bloom all over our property. It's gorgeous! Someone obviously put a lot of love into the garden and yard, but the house was empty for many years before we bought it, and the garden neglect is showing.

I'm looking for guidance, and I'm hoping that some of you are experienced gardeners who wouldn't mind coaching me. Is it even possible to take care of our property ourselves? I really don't want to have to hire a gardener. I don't know what I'm doing and have never gardened before, but I'm finding gardening weirdly therapeutic. I feel like it's also so great for my kids, who have been helping me a lot. I really like it!

We have a large front and side lawn, a very narrow lawn on the other side bordering our side porch, and a paved patio in the back with woods and a pond beyond that. The whole property was covered in dead fallen tree branches that we've been clearing away. There are mountains of branches and logs that my husband chopped up waiting to be hauled away by the township. We tried to prune and neaten up bushes that were very overgrown (one enormous bush was growing halfway into the street). We mucked out the window boxes and I replanted them with potted perennials and potting soil from home depot. They look so beautiful!

So... Now what? Surrounding the back patio are bricked flower beds. Someone planted them with a lot of wisdom. They have been flowering continuously since the beginning of April; when one plant's flowers start to fall out, a new flower comes up. It's gorgeous! Problem is it's also full of weeds. Just pull up anything that doesn't look like a flower? How do I tell what a weed is? A neighbor told us that some bushes growing right up next to the house attract carpenter ants and need to go. Do we just dig them up? What can we put in their place? We have ivy growing up one wall of the house that we were told is bad for the house because it allows ants and bugs to get in the house and can damage the walls. Is that true? I kind of love the ivy! We'd love to start a small fruits and veggies patch. I don't know the first thing about it though! There is a big spot on the front lawn that is very sandy and has no grass growing. There used to be an underground oil tank there that the previous owners dug up. How can we get grass to grow there? We'd love to pave or brick a path through the woods down to the water; it is pretty steep in spots and needs some sort of steps. We'd love to pave out a sitting area close to the water. It's so beautiful down there; the trees are covered in tiny droopy purple flowers (lilac?) and we sometimes have geese on the water. Any ideas? I know we probably won't get to all these projects this year, but I have no idea where to start.

If any of you have gardening experience and wisdom to share, I'd love to hear it. Also, if anyone has any links to websites of gardening for beginners or books that would be helpful, I'd love to hear it. We've got really great raw material to work with here, and I'd love to make it really beautiful! Thanks!

Sounds like a stunning property. It's nice that whoever planted the flowers knew what they were doing. The libraries have tons of books for gardening . Maybe you can start doing research to find out how to deweed it. I know my DH puts something called "Weed and Feed" fir the grass. There may be something similar for the flowers.
We've had a vegetable patch for a few years. I planted from seeds. But you would have had to do it Pesach time beginning indoors and then transplant the seedlings into the ground around now. Also, it needs full protection from groundhogs, deer, rabbits and other creatures. We laid fencing on the ground so that the groundhogs can't dig up from under and built a four foot fence with chicken wire around the frame of the patch. We built a frame out of 2 x 4s and filled the frame with topsoil. (You need a lot a lot of bags of topsoil the first time around , after that it lasts from year to year)
You can by ready plants of cucumber , tomatoes , Zuchinni etc. from Home Depot . It needs to have a lot of sunlight and daily water . Note : taking care of your lawn and gardens means a higher water bill.
I also find gardening therapeutic but only had success with flowers on pots and hanging planters inside my screened in porch. Otherwise the animals just eat it all.
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amother




Chocolate


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 10:28 pm
Check YouTube for James Prigioni , and his suburban food forest in Tom's River, NJ and Patrick of One Yard Revolution in Chicago for tons of veggies.

Google Permaculture and Back to Eden gardens. The process is amazingly beautiful and so in synch with nature. It's a gift of peace.
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amother




Blush


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 3:19 am
southernbubby wrote:
She admitted that she wasn't frum and left and got taken off of the list of members as well.

Is that what happened to others I haven't seen on in a few years (other than FS)?
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mo5









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 6:35 pm
When we moved in, I hired a professional gardener to help us clean up and to tell me what was actually in my garden and give me some suggestions of how to use certain spots.
Maybe it's worth doing that (so you only pull the weeds and not the flowers!)
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amother




Purple


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 7:05 pm
mo5 wrote:
When we moved in, I hired a professional gardener to help us clean up and to tell me what was actually in my garden and give me some suggestions of how to use certain spots.
Maybe it's worth doing that (so you only pull the weeds and not the flowers!)

Make sure it's someone that really know what they're talking about. Some expensive landscapers doesn't always know what they're talking about
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southernbubby









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 7:27 pm
amother wrote:
Is that what happened to others I haven't seen on in a few years (other than FS)?



No, I think that some just got out of the habit. I know people who used to post and then their lives got busier and they may be logging in and reading but not participating.
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DVOM









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 7:33 pm
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone!

Thunderstorm, yes, the property is so so so beautiful. We fell in love with the house itself (weirdly enough, I think it was pouring rain almost every time we came to see it!) but have fallen in love with the property too.

I'm very interested in the precautions you took in your vegetable patch against animals. I've seen chicken wire fencing in neighbors gardens. I'm going to have to look into this more. I think we'd need chicken wire over the top of the garden too because we have very precocious squirrels who spend a lot of time in our yards (we have huge chestnut trees) and would probably eat everything. But then how would we get to the plants? Some sort of door? This is a puzzle for my husband...

Mo5, I'm considering going the gardener consultation route, which might really be helpful. I just don't know enough about what I'm looking at to make decisions. There was one shrub we were talking about getting rid of because it was in such an awkward spot, but now it's covered in vivid purple flowers- I think azaleas- it's a keeper, and silly us, we would have chopped it down! Anyone know of anyone good in Lakewood?

One of my projects for the week is gardening books. We will be visiting the library! Any particular books people have liked?
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thunderstorm









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 7:52 pm
DVOM wrote:
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone!

Thunderstorm, yes, the property is so so so beautiful. We fell in love with the house itself (weirdly enough, I think it was pouring rain almost every time we came to see it!) but have fallen in love with the property too.

I'm very interested in the precautions you took in your vegetable patch against animals. I've seen chicken wire fencing in neighbors gardens. I'm going to have to look into this more. I think we'd need chicken wire over the top of the garden too because we have very precocious squirrels who spend a lot of time in our yards (we have huge chestnut trees) and would probably eat everything. But then how would we get to the plants? Some sort of door? This is a puzzle for my husband...

Mo5, I'm considering going the gardener consultation route, which might really be helpful. I just don't know enough about what I'm looking at to make decisions. There was one shrub we were talking about getting rid of because it was in such an awkward spot, but now it's covered in vivid purple flowers- I think azaleas- it's a keeper, and silly us, we would have chopped it down! Anyone know of anyone good in Lakewood?

One of my projects for the week is gardening books. We will be visiting the library! Any particular books people have liked?

So we have squirrels and chipmunks going in. They like to dig in the soil but they don't eat the plants.
Also, I forgot to mention, one side of the fencing has a gate we made . So we could get in and out.
We actually built the frame in the shape of a Ches, so that we have a narrow path between the two legs of the Ches for us to stand, bend, and pick. Not sure if I'm being clear enough with my description.
We stapled the chicken wiring underneath the frame and also have fencing ( which we found lying around from the previous owner) around the frame / patch. My DH built supports on all four corners so the fencing is straight and taut .
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DVOM









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 8:19 pm
thunderstorm wrote:
So we have squirrels and chipmunks going in. They like to dig in the soil but they don't eat the plants.
Also, I forgot to mention, one side of the fencing has a gate we made . So we could get in and out.
We actually built the frame in the shape of a Ches, so that we have a narrow path between the two legs of the Ches for us to stand, bend, and pick. Not sure if I'm being clear enough with my description.
We stapled the chicken wiring underneath the frame and also have fencing ( which we found lying around from the previous owner) around the frame / patch. My DH built supports on all four corners so the fencing is straight and taut .


This is very helpful. I get what you're talking about with the shape of your garden patch; I think I've been seeing similar on Pinterest. We're going to go with something much smaller this year for our first try at vegetables, a simple square.
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thunderstorm









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 8:46 pm
DVOM wrote:
This is very helpful. I get what you're talking about with the shape of your garden patch; I think I've been seeing similar on Pinterest. We're going to go with something much smaller this year for our first try at vegetables, a simple square.

That's how we started . We started with a 4x4 square our first year. We didn't have a gate to enter that one. We just leaned over the fence to pick . We planted first and then built the fence around after on that one. Each year after we made it bigger and more convenient.
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samantha87









  


Post  Wed, May 16 2018, 9:57 pm
southernbubby wrote:
As far as gardening, I bought some kiddie pools and drilled holes in them and filled them with soil and put them on bricks and I have zucchini and yellow squash plants growing in them. I don't want the rabbits in my vegetables.


In my area the rabbits are quite athletic and have no problem jumping and climbing into planters on the patio. We also use a chicken wire fence and cayenne pepper spray. Groundhogs and chipmunks haven't been a problem, but deer love tomatoes!
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samantha87









  


Post  Thu, May 17 2018, 7:03 am
Also, if you want to do your toe in the water with growing edibles start with herbs like basil and rosemary. They are very easy to grow and animals don't eat them. Plus, nurseries will have different kinds of basil that are very visually appealing. Ie Thai, purple, pesto, etc.
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DVOM









  


Post  Thu, May 17 2018, 7:07 am
samantha87 wrote:
In my area the rabbits are quite athletic and have no problem jumping and climbing into planters on the patio. We also use a chicken wire fence and cayenne pepper spray. Groundhogs and chipmunks haven't been a problem, but deer love tomatoes!


Tell me more about cayenne pepper spray! Is this something you buy? make?
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DVOM









  


Post  Thu, May 17 2018, 7:08 am
samantha87 wrote:
Also, if you want to do your toe in the water with growing edibles start with herbs like basil and rosemary. They are very easy to grow and animals don't eat them. Plus, nurseries will have different kinds of basil that are very visually appealing. Ie Thai, purple, pesto, etc.


Hubby and I are visiting a nursery today! I'm so excited! I'm planning to ask them for the easiest plants to grow...
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southernbubby









  


Post  Thu, May 17 2018, 8:21 am
samantha87 wrote:
In my area the rabbits are quite athletic and have no problem jumping and climbing into planters on the patio. We also use a chicken wire fence and cayenne pepper spray. Groundhogs and chipmunks haven't been a problem, but deer love tomatoes!



I put all my plants on the deck and so far, so good. I have sunflowers, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, radishes and one lone pepper plant (I intend to get more, I"Y"H")>
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