ramblings from the noisedoctor

May 19, 2009

not impressed with the arbor day foundation

Filed under: gardening, lame companies — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 11:34 am

I decided to “join” the Arbor Day Foundation (TM). To be accurate, I decided to take their 10-flowering-trees-for-$10 offer that I keep getting in the mail. And, for responding right away, I was to get a free bonus bush of some type. Yippie!

Now, I’m a realist. I know for $10 I wasn’t going to get massive, local-nursery-quality trees in the mail. I expected to get a box of bareroot, dormant trees. The key words in my mind were: box and trees. Okay, trees and box.

What I got was a plastic bag with tiny sticks. I’ve used bamboo skewers that were longer and thicker than these alleged trees. That’s not really the problem. As long as they grow (it looks like maybe half of them were actually showing hints of life, the others I’m skeptical), I’m cool with that. If I wanted big trees now, I’d go to the nursery and plunk down $100 and have it. I don’t mind waiting.

What really ticked me off the most was that none of the trees had any kind of label. I have 2 each of 5 different varieties of flowering trees (assuming they live) and no way to know which is which. It would be nice to maybe have some sort of plan to how I put them around the yard. Also, assuming some don’t live (not a stretch to me), I have no way to request them to send me replacements since I don’t know which is which.

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting amazing size and quality here for $10. But… if you can’t label the trees… come on, charge what you need to in order to do a decent job.


July 16, 2007

oh how sweet it is…

Filed under: gardening — noisedoctor @ 11:31 am

I just ate my first peach off one of my peach trees. I planted two of them 3 years ago. Last year each tree had 2 or 3 peaches, but the Japanese Beetles got them. This year, there are dozens of peaches. One finally ripened today. Granted, it was the size of a small plumb, but it was very sweet. I can’t wait for the rest to ripen!

May 13, 2007

fine, I give up, you win

Filed under: gardening — noisedoctor @ 8:16 am

I previously posted, tongue firmly planted in cheek, about thistle being a solution to end world hunger since the stuff grows so fast and is so hard to kill.

Well, I feel obliged to make a public admission that thistle has caused me to abandon my vow of organic gardening. Yep. I give up. Try as I might to dig the stuff out, it’s just proving to be impossible. I’ve been attacking the stuff in one section of my garden for four years now. It’s time to give up. I’ve turned to Round Up. I’m applying it with a paint brush so that it’s a localized application directly to the thistle plants. It seems to be working now.

Now, if this truly works, it leaves me with an interesting question. What am I going to do with all the hours that I normally spend each week digging thistle? hmmmmmm…

May 9, 2007

my solution to end world hunger

Filed under: gardening, humor, useless junk — noisedoctor @ 7:56 am

Short answer: we all learn to eat thistle. Here’s why.

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to rid my garden of some thistle that just keeps on coming back no matter what I did to get it out. Usually, I would use a weeding tool, getting down 8-10” and get what looked to be most of the root. But, it would still come back.

This spring I wanted to try to eliminate it. So, I started by trying to dig out the entire root. With most of them I’d get down 12-18” and then the root would split and run out in two opposite directions horizontally. Well, no wonder why my previous weeding didn’t help a thing.

Despite all my best efforts (and many hours) digging, I still have shoots of thistle coming up in several places. So, alas I’ve given up on my vow of organic gardening and have used a little bit of Round-Up (applied via a paint brush to localize the application) to try to finally kill the stuff.

Okay, so why would this solve the world hunger problem? If this stuff is this hard to kill, we’d never have to worry about replanting it. You cut it to the ground and in one or two days you have a huge plant back for more. It would be sort of like Manna. You could go pick your entire crop one morning only to return the next morning and find it regrown to where you picked it the morning before.

It doesn’t seem to care about soil quality either. I’ve found these roots happily tangled between densely packed rocks. I’d wager that you could add a tablespoon of dirt to 100 pounds of rock and thistle would grow there.

So, all we need to do is find a way to prepare this stuff that wouldn’t taste too bad (I’m thinking deep frying) and we’d have an amazing food source.

Who’s with me? 🙂

April 25, 2007

daffodil peak / celebrating last summer’s elephant task

Filed under: gardening — noisedoctor @ 11:54 am

Last summer I spent several weeks excavating the rock along my driveway so I could have a nice flowerbed there. It was one of what I call “elephant tasks,” a seemingly impossible task analogous to eating an elephant.

This year’s hot-then-cold spring delayed my gratification a bit, but most of the 800 daffodils (and 50 tulips) I planted in the fall have now opened. I am stoked at how great the flower bed looks right now. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Daffodils 1Daffodils 2
Daffodils 3Daffodils 4

April 8, 2007

cool-weather seeds planted

Filed under: gardening — noisedoctor @ 7:41 pm

This is the earliest I’ve gotten my cool-weather seeds (lettuce, beets, onions, snow peas) planted. I’m also going to try to be good this year and write down what and when I do things on the garden so I can remember these things next year.

February 7, 2007

i’m a snapdragon?

Filed under: gardening, web quizzes — noisedoctor @ 4:58 pm

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

December 19, 2006

remembering Adam’s curse

Filed under: Christianity, gardening — noisedoctor @ 11:13 am

I was outside trying to do a little weeding in the garden. I was really distracted all fall and didn’t take care of the weeds. So, there’s quite an infestation of daisies (why did I plant daisies along the garden?!?) that needs to be eradicated before they get any bigger. And, I discovered that some crown vetch somehow established in part of the garden. It’s one of those things that spreads rapidly by sending out roots. I was really frustrated pulling out bunches of crown vetch roots and hoping that I can eradicate them before they become a horrible problem.

As I was doing that, I thought of the curse God laid in Genesis 3:

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

Then I found this story this morning. It talks about a herbicide-resistant weed that is threatening to affect the cotton industry.

So I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised that I have to battle weeds in the garden. It certainly doesn’t make my job any easier, but in a sense, it’s not my fault, right? Okay, I’m kidding on that one.

We gardeners always wish we wouldn’t have to worry about weeds in the garden. Yet God promised us that we will.

I have been thinking that I (and I assume most people) like to think about God’s promises of blessing. But, it got me thinking today that I shouldn’t ignore “unpleasant” promises or predictions God has made. One that came to mind is John 15:20: “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

Not exactly common thoughts for the week before Christmas. But, I’m not exactly “common” now am I 😉

December 14, 2006

herb gifts

Filed under: cooking, gardening — noisedoctor @ 2:58 pm

Here’s a look at how I give dried herbs to friends and family.

Herb Jars

I save spaghetti jars for the large containers (lavender, peppermint) and use baby food jars for small containers (oregano, basil, paprika, cilantro, cayenne pepper, and my own “bread dipping sauce mix”). I have to ask around to get the baby food jars (though hopefully we’ll have the chance to use them here in our household some day).

December 12, 2006

carrot harvest

Filed under: gardening — noisedoctor @ 11:19 am

Carrots Last week was carrot harvesting time. I brought in four five-gallon buckets nearly full of carrots. After the washing, peeling, and cutting, the final count was 17 pounds of carrots for the freezer (not counting several pounds kept in the fridge for use in the next few weeks). Not bad. God definitely blessed the garden this year. Now, with the carrots out–the garden is finally closed for the year.

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