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I had those SoilSaver composters like jodi's for a long time. They were nice because they were covered and look kinda nice. On the down side, they were a bit smaller than I like and I had a hard time turning the compost with my pitchfork. And the little doors on the bottom where you're supposed to retrieve finished compost....well, they never seemed to work that way for me...

This is our old three bin (each bin is a cubic yard) composter that we built maybe 25 years ago. The boards in the front are removable, which makes it much easier to get the compost out with a pitchfork because you can come at it from the front rather than the top.



In theory you're supposed to put everything in the first bin, and then turn it into the adjoining bin as it starts breaking down. Then you turn it again into the third bin where it becomes finished compost. We never ended up doing that, rather filling all three bins to the top in fall, adding kitchen compost during the winter. I add grass clippings a bit at a time starting in spring and mix/aerate everything in place till it's ready to use.

Mr wtg sifts it into a big tumbling composter that I picked up at Costco. It ended up being a big storage container for finished compost. There's no way you can turn it when it's full of material; it's too damn heavy.

The old bin was falling apart and we had it rebuilt, downsizing to two bins instead of three. I'm leaving munched up leaves in the beds instead of raking them out so I don't have quite as many leaves. Plus I have the tumbling composter for storing finished compost. Seems to be working out well.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

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Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jodi:
forgot to add a link about hugelkultur:
A lot of the the youtube homesteaders I follow seem to be really into it.

https://www.permaculture.co.uk...benefits-hugelkultur


I think pj started doing hugelkultur a few years ago...maybe he has an update on how it's going....


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

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Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by jodi:
Yes, it’s all about drainage. Put some rocks or big gravel in the bottom of your big pots so there is room (air spaces) for the water to drip and drain, and the hole in the bottom doesn’t get filled in. It doesn’t really matter if things freeze as long as there is room for the ice to expand somewhere, up or whatever. The only one I’ve had crack was a small one that got frozen to the ground and it had a really small opening and there was no room for expansion. I’m still using it, it didn’t crack all the way through. Potting soil is better than natural soil because that has too much clay which tends to hold water.


Oh this explains why we don’t have issues! I put plastic water bottles in the bottom of my large pots to take up some space (it’s what we had on hand and the added bonus is the pots aren’t quite as heavy to move).


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Posts: 3896 | Location: Ontario, Canada | Registered: 29 June 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What a great idea! ThumbsUp


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Posts: 33514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I went to a big garden center today - Petittis. It’s the most spectacular garden center I have ever seen! Maybe 5 acres under glass roof, more acreage outdoors and a large indoor area with houseplants, seeds, furniture, tools, and such. It’s a beautiful place to spend time, especially on a sunny day after so much gray weather.

I had a long talk with a guy who works there. This guy loves plants and loves to talk about them. He has 3/4 acre of plants at his house, 150 different kinds, all cold hardy. He’d visited CA recently and spent a lot of time comparing the plants he saw there and how they grow here if they grow at all. Interesting that he had heard of camellias but has never seen one. Guess they don’t grow here.

He told me that nothing overwinters in pots unless you take them in, but except for Rosemary I can grow the herbs I want in the ground with good results. Rosemary is strictly an annual. The trend to planting shrubs 3’ apart and trimming them in to little balls is strictly a local style thing - massing plants together works just as well.

I thanked him and went in to check the place out. That was when I figured out why there are very few mass plantings here - a 2 gallon common juniper is $50! In fact, none of their 2 gallon plants are less than $50 and some are more than that. Yikes! Eeker

And Home Depot isnt much cheaper. False cypress - I have a few in my yard - is $30 for a 2 gallon pot. Mind boggling.

Time to rethink my design, and perhaps learn to propagate landscape shrubs from cuttings. I have a few more plant nurseries to check out as well.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sedum and sempervivum (hens and chicks) will overwinter in pots, they are incredibly hardy. They are really nice to grow in short/wide containers - They are slow growing but will cascade over the edge in a nice way eventually. I love camellias - my mom has them in Seattle, but they won’t grow anyplace I’ve ever lived.


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Posts: 20152 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I often have stuff that pops up in the yard that I intend to move or give away but don't get around to before the snows fly...I have kept red currant bushes and hostas and other perennials in pots that I carelessly toss in the back of the yard during fall cleanup. Most of the time they survive, but we've also had some pretty mild winter weather in recent years.

I think if we had an extended super cold snap during a bad winter, then all bets would probably be off.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

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Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The paperbark maple is at the top of my list of favorites.

Almost considering taking the risk, which with Costco is like zero....

https://www.costco.com/longfie...oduct.100853175.html

I don't know how large these bareroot trees are. edit: Looked at the specs more closely - they're 5 to 6 feet; that's a nice size tree.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

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Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice tree but I can’t imagine that much raking.

Dwarves and conifers for me.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's a small, slow-growing tree. Great exfoliating bark and fall color to die for.

Rake the leaves into a pile and compost them. Free soil amendment of the highest quality.

But dwarves and conifers are nice, too....


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No compost here. HOA. Maybe in a plastic box or something. No fences. You schlep the leaves to the curb and the city sends around a vacuum truck to pick them up and haul them away.

It’s the only place I’ve ever lived where I have to dress nicely and shave to pull weeds in the back yard.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ha! Internet to the rescue! I can buy nearly anything I want online and have it shipped at a small fraction of the cost of buying locally. A lot of what grows here goes dormant in winter so it’s available bare root.

Do deer eat day lilies? I’m finding a lot of conflicting info on the net.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Paging LL....

I've never had daylilies in an area that has deer, and I don't currently have any in my yard. But when I did have a lot of them I don't remember them being bunny food, which might mean they are generally not appealing to animal grazing.

It's also possible I had other things that were tastier and they went for those plants first.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love hanging around garden centers/nurseries during the growing season, so I've tended to buy nursery stock locally.

This is the first year I've done significant shopping online. My yard is pretty full these days and now I'm just filling in or buying some specialty plants that can only be found online. I've purchased hostas in the past and if they're from a good grower they've done well. It's good to look for reviews of online sites. Some places try to accelerate the propogation process and the result can be plants that aren't especially healthy. But then the big box stores like Home Depot are bringing in plants that were grown in a completely different area, and they may not thrive where they end up being planted.

Gardening is one giant experiment. Kind of like life.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 35338 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The deer here LOVE my day lilies. Just the flowers and buds, not the leaves. If I am religious about spraying them (after a rain) with the stinky garlic egg mint deer repellent, they leave them alone. But otherwise, they are toast. Tulip bulbs too.


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Posts: 20152 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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