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Old 2022-08-08, 15:23   #45
kriesel
 
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What's an asparagus picker? Have you tried a posthole digger, which would increase your effective reach if the soil is sufficiently clumpy?
I had a mature honey locust tree and two large limbs of another removed recently. They are popping up new shoots widely scattered over about half of the lot. Ash stumps from the previous year's removals are still sending up new shoots, fortunately adjacent to the stumps only.
My garden is badly overrun with weeds right now. Fortunately about half are edible in salads and fairly nutritious.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2022-08-08 at 15:28
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Old 2022-08-08, 17:40   #46
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What's an asparagus picker?
An asparagus picker is an implement about a foot long, with a V-shaped notch at the business end. The inside of the V is sharpened. It is commonly used to cut out lawn weeds at or near ground level. The prongs on the V-shaped notch, together with the small size, make it ideal for loosening dirt or clay adhering to roots, or from between adjacent forks of a root.

(There is another implement with a V-shaped notch which is absolutely blunt on the inside, which has a fulcrum and a long handle. It is a weed puller, used to lift weeds out of the ground by snugging the V around the crown, and using the lever and fulcrum for lifting it out. Ideal for broad-leaf plantain!)
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Have you tried a posthole digger, which would increase your effective reach if the soil is sufficiently clumpy?
Believe me, I thought about using a post hole digger. Alas, it is not a good weapon for most of the digging of trumpet creeper roots. Fragments of root can grow into new plants, so have to be found and removed. This would be tedious using a post hole digger. And the roots can twist, turn, and change direction unpredictably. The operation is somewhat delicate and exacting, sometimes a lot like archaeological excavation. (And some of my digs have indeed turned up some interesting artifacts. People used to bury broken or worn-out items in times gone by, when there was no trash hauling service.)

When a root appears to be changing direction, the asparagus picker comes into play. But if I become desperate, and have already cut a single root off deep and need to go deeper, I may resort to a post hole digger.
Quote:
I had a mature honey locust tree and two large limbs of another removed recently. They are popping up new shoots widely scattered over about half of the lot. Ash stumps from the previous year's removals are still sending up new shoots, fortunately adjacent to the stumps only.
My garden is badly overrun with weeds right now. Fortunately about half are edible in salads and fairly nutritious.
For "starts" of trees coming up from roots, I recommend cutting them down to short stumps, and painting the fresh cuts, and the whole stump thoroughly with concentrated brush killer. Treat as many as possible in a given small area, within a short time frame to destroy as much of the root system as possible. Depending on how extensive the root system actually is, you may have to do this multiple times. I pour a small amount of brush killer into an empty food can, and use a small brush which I keep in the can, to apply it.

There is, or at least was, a product from Dow specifically for killing stumps. Also to be applied to fresh cuts. The trade name was Tordon. The version they sold retail was in a plastic container with a dispenser on the end of the cap, like for some kinds of dishwashing liquids. Slide up to open, back down to close. The stuff had a bright blue dye so you could tell where you had applied it. If there was a root running along the ground in a lawn from a stump you applied it to, the grass around that root could also die. Some locales require(d) a license to use the stuff. Nowadays, when trees are removed from roadsides, the stumps are often ground out instead of being poisoned.

Concentrated brush killer is also good for killing stumps. Apply to fresh cuts. If the stump is not too big or the bark too thick, paint everything above ground thoroughly. (I sometimes then cover the patient with a piece of plastic grocery bag and secure it with thin twine, to prevent rain from washing off the poison before it can do its work, and to protect curious animals from sticking their noses in it. Brush killer is nasty, nasty stuff.)

If it's shoots coming from or near a large stump, cut off the shoots and treat them. Also cut well into the bark all the way around the stump, and get brush killer into the cut.
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Old 2022-08-08, 19:23   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
For "starts" of trees coming up from roots, I recommend cutting them down to short stumps, and painting the fresh cuts, and the whole stump thoroughly with concentrated brush killer. Treat as many as possible in a given small area, within a short time frame to destroy as much of the root system as possible. Depending on how extensive the root system actually is, you may have to do this multiple times. I pour a small amount of brush killer into an empty food can, and use a small brush which I keep in the can, to apply it.

There is, or at least was, a product from Dow specifically for killing stumps. Also to be applied to fresh cuts. The trade name was Tordon. The version they sold retail was in a plastic container with a dispenser on the end of the cap, like for some kinds of dishwashing liquids. Slide up to open, back down to close. The stuff had a bright blue dye so you could tell where you had applied it. If there was a root running along the ground in a lawn from a stump you applied it to, the grass around that root could also die. Some locales require(d) a license to use the stuff. Nowadays, when trees are removed from roadsides, the stumps are often ground out instead of being poisoned.

Concentrated brush killer is also good for killing stumps. Apply to fresh cuts. If the stump is not too big or the bark too thick, paint everything above ground thoroughly. (I sometimes then cover the patient with a piece of plastic grocery bag and secure it with thin twine, to prevent rain from washing off the poison before it can do its work, and to protect curious animals from sticking their noses in it. Brush killer is nasty, nasty stuff.)

If it's shoots coming from or near a large stump, cut off the shoots and treat them. Also cut well into the bark all the way around the stump, and get brush killer into the cut.
For the honey locust shoots, it's unclear which are coming from the flush cut stump root system and which are from the pruned tree that remains. Grinding all the root system out is not feasible since some of it is in visible surface contact with the concrete foundation of the home. Also there is considerable 3D overlap in reach of the two root systems. These are/were ~60 feet tall trees and planted much too close together decades ago when the initial landscaping was done. The older ash stumps have been much less trouble but are still hanging around with stump-adjacent shoots springing up regularly in the same fraction of a square foot per stump. Generally I just tear off the green new locust or ash shoots when they appear, but the locust trees seem to be responding by doubling the numbers and locations. The lawn service was by recently and applied some triclopyr. They often appear and post their little keep off the lawn for two days signs just as I'm about to mow. (Peace-time first-world problems...)

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2022-08-08 at 19:24
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Old 2022-08-09, 02:07   #48
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Quote:
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For the honey locust shoots, it's unclear which are coming from the flush cut stump root system and which are from the pruned tree that remains. Grinding all the root system out is not feasible since some of it is in visible surface contact with the concrete foundation of the home.
<snip>
I had a large ash tree removed a few years ago. The top of the stump was just under 4 feet in diameter. It was far enough from any structures that burning it out was an option. It tried sending up new shoots the next year, so putting burning charcoal on top didn't burn it very far down. But I finally buckled down and took a hatchet to it to peel off the dead bark, made fresh cuts in the live bark, lopped off the shoots, and applied concentrated brush killer (triclopyr 8.8%) to all fresh cuts. That killed it dead. The next year, I again put lit charcoal on top, and the stump smoldered for three days, burning down to a foot below grade, leaving a relatively thin shell. I drilled some holes for drainage, and what's left has been rotting away very nicely.

I would recommend treating the honey locust and ash stumps similarly. If one of the stumps is the source of the roots against your foundation, so much the better. If I had actively growing tree roots against my foundation, I wouldn't care where they came from. They would have to go. I'd poison them, then rip them out when they deteriorated sufficiently.

It seems reasonably likely that the many honey locust "starts" are from the felled tree. I'm reasonably familiar with honey locusts, and they don't generally form colonies connected by root systems.

Trees or shrubs being planted too close together, and/or too close to foundations, is, alas, a common occurrence.
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Old 2022-08-09, 04:57   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The butterfly...
You were lucky! Such fearsome creature could eat you! Suck all your sweat out...
Joking apart, loved the story!
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Old 2022-08-09, 12:28   #50
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You were lucky! Such fearsome creature could eat you! Suck all your sweat out...
Joking apart, loved the story!
Fearsome creature, bwaaaahahahaha! Good one! Reminds me of the rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

After drinking my bug-repellant-laden sweat, that little butterfly probably transformed into Mothra!

Glad you liked the story. It was quite impressive seeing that delicate little butterfly standing steady as a rock on the back of my glove while I was tamping down the dirt. Wham! Wham! Wham! The thing didn't even twitch. The fabric must have afforded a very good foothold.

As to "fearsome creatures," we got 'em. Our native mosquitoes (mainly species of the genus Culex, floodwater mosquitoes) are bad enough, but there are also Asian Tiger Mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) which are active in broad daylight and carry several viral ailments. They probably think they're better than our native mosquitoes because they're imported.

Recently, there have been some very large flies (over 2 cm long) buzzing about. When I heard a low-pitched droning, and saw a huge fat fly homing in on me, I swatted it away. It looked like it might be a horse fly. Horse flies are the "big brothers" of deer flies. I've been bitten by deer flies, and those bites really hurt. They practically tear out chunks of flesh when they bite. Horse flies are in the same family as deer flies, but are much bigger.

But at least here in the good ol' USA we don't (yet) have to worry about Calyptra thalictri, AKA the "vampire moth." They live closer to your neck of the woods.
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Old 2022-09-07, 14:50   #51
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The leaves on much of my back yard Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) look to be infested with something like sooty mold. There won't be many seed pods this year.

Some of my Butterfly Weed looks similarly afflicted, but at least one plant is producing an abundant crop of seeds.

My Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana pennsylvanica sylvestris) did quite well. I had one plant last year. This year, I had a bunch of volunteers, and planted some deliberately with some of the seeds I saved. It is a wonderment to me that such tiny seeds (they are much smaller than poppy seeds) can grow into plants around 6 feet or 2 meters high within a few months. This year, some of the leaves became food for the Tobacco Hornworm, the caterpillar of Manduca sexta, the six-spotted sphinx (AKA hawk or hummingbird) moth. I saw an adult moth feeding ("nectaring") at the flowers one evening. The flowers are white, with very long "throats," and become very fragrant in the evening. It is the largest hummingbird moth I have personally seen. Some of the caterpillars have been picked off the leaves, to limit the damage.

My wave or trailing petunias, relict of a previous owner's garden, have also done very well. They are annuals, but self-seed. I call them Petunia monstrosa. They cover a large part of a garden bed, so help keep the weeds down. Their flowers also become very fragrant at night. Curiously, Petunias and Flowering Tobacco are both in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae).

My Rocky Mountain Bee Plant also did very well this year. One grew about 6 feet (2 meters) tall. I am gathering a good harvest of seeds, which are very dark, and about the size of mustard seeds. The plant has the synonymous botanical names Cleome serrulata and Peritoma serrulata.

My peppers have done well. I have two Thai Dragons producing well, also a Habanero, some Portugal Hot Peppers. I also have some Aji Dulce, Anaheims, Poblanos, and Bulgarian Carrot Peppers. In addition, some volunteers showed up to fill in the ranks that had been thinned by rabbits. One of these is a Tabasco pepper plant, growing near where I had one last year. If the weather holds long enough some of the peppers may ripen. I have some peppers dehydrated, and some smoked and dehydrated. They will be pulverized.

I have a new patch of volunteer Mexican Hats, with some Petunia monstrosa mixed in, growing near the front of my patio. They haven't had a lick of care other than weeding, which - along with not getting any water during the dry spell - kept those petunia plants from getting large. The Mexican Hats and Petunias got there from seeds that dropped during previous fall clean-ups, when I cut down stalks in my front yard and brought them to my back yard to compost, or to dry out and burn. The flowers look nicer than the weeds that would otherwise be running riot - crabgrass, oxalis, smartweed, purslane, spotted spurge, chickweed, and others. The weeds in that area are much more manageable than in previous years.

The New England Asters are starting to bloom in earnest. The show's almost over for the year.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2022-09-08 at 00:54 Reason: Correction of botanical name of flowering tobacco
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Old 2022-09-07, 16:55   #52
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The "will to grow" of tobacco seeds does not stop to surprise me. This year, I had nicotiana glauca, nicotiana rustica and the "normal" nicotiana tabacum. The first one grows more like a tree and if we get a mild winter, it will be a good drought-resistant plant next year0. It started to grow much faster as soon as it touched soil which was not in a pot. The second one is quite small, multiple plants have not exceeded a feet and a half, but it flowers rather quickly and I like the look. Since it has about five times more nicotine than "normal" tobacco, it is said to be an excellent insecticide, but I have not tried it yet. The third one, I removed the flowers in the first four weeks and they grew around eight feet in height. Now, they flower much more than the plant I had last year where I have not applied this radical procedure. Most of the flowers cut off resultet in three new "tries" of the plant.

0: We had a really dry summer with next to no rain and we had to water a lot, even plants which would normally tolerate weeks without rain. But not months... My salvia recognita seems to be the plant that was most comfortable with this situation (when looking at smaller plants, not trees). I have not watered it at all and it looks better than last year.
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Old 2022-09-08, 12:32   #53
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Late May and June were really dry in E central Illinois, too. When I took this snapshot of my Mexican hats (Ratibida columnifera) growing out by the street in late June, even a lot of weeds were shriveling up. The soil is very poor there, with a lot of gravel. Well-drained, though. The Mexican hats probably felt right at home.
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