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Sunday, August 30, 2009

You Bet Your Blooms I'll Tell You !!! (or at least try)

bench I built 2008
My inbox is loaded...loaded I tell you!!! It is full of all kinds of questions about some of my recent posts! So I am taking a little time today to answer what I can! My draw for the giveaway is tonight...the post will be made Monday to announce the winner of the rooster cups from Thursday's post... if you have not entered...or want to enter again....go for it. Leaving a comment here will get your name in the draw too! I am overwhelmed with the response...and shocked to see all the rooster posts from the rooster party...I never would have guessed how popular those little buggers are!
Lets get started!

"Queenmothermamaw has left a new comment on your post "Fertilizer Friday/ Flaunt Your Flowers Aug28/09":
Ya I want to know how often do you fertilize them and what do you use.?
Think you can answer all our questions?

Well Queenie...I will certainly try to answer everything...and if I don't....ask again!!!
I use Miracle Gro...the all purpose water soluble fertilizer. It is the packages of magic blue Powder that you put in the little canister thing that goes on the end of the garden hose. You are safe to put it on the leaves..(as the leaves will absorb some too!) I soak them the morning, as they will benefit from the fertilizer and heat of the day, and the sun will dry the leaves so that there is less chance of mildew or other fungal issues....I always fertilize one time per did try to do it more than that...and realized that it does not do anything to make them bigger...and in some cases will cause root diseases or burns!
I think Miracle Gro should be paying me for all the advertising I have given

"Laura has left a new comment on your post "Fertilizer Friday/ Flaunt Your Flowers Aug28/09":
First of all everything looks beautiful.
Secondly I have a gazillion questions:

How often does it rain there?
Do you do this all on your own?
How often do you feed your plants?
Do you plant special fall plants?


Hi Laura!!! We get rain here...but not on a regular basis. Mostly this year our rain has been from storms...I live near a farming community, thus we get enough rain to sustain crops...but I still have to water my gardens daily. It takes me about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to water all of my yard front and back. The pots NEED water daily, as I do not use much soil. Those large pots only have about 6 inches of soil in them, the rest is filled with upturned pots, or Styrofoam blocks. That way they are light weight to move if I need to...(and I do) lol. The pots also have a LOT of plants in each one...the hanging ones have 8 or more...and the larger least 6 wave petunias...maybe 8...and several fillers of lobelia, alyssum and then either one Dahlia, or a geranium in the center.
I plant every single plant from seed in my garden. I do not have help. I do not spend a lot of time dead fact this year I still did not get to do any...I have been lucky...and if you got up would see a lot of spent blooms hanging around. I normally spend about 3 hours a week weeding...if I have time...but I plant quite thick, so I don't have to worry too much about that. The last two years I have had a LOT of chick weed taking over so I have had to do some work.
I feed with the fertilizer one time per week.
This is the first year I have done any fall type plants. I purchased (oh I hate saying that) for the first time some MUMS. If I like them, I will try some for next year from seed. I have not ever planted for fall...I fight the fall with my garden hose and a load of bed sheets! I will be posting about the fall in my gardens soon. This season is too short here to give up without a fight!

"Rose Whisperer has left a new comment on your post "The Making of My Cement Patio....Rock On (for two ..."

So, fabulous, Tootsie!!! I've been wanting to do this in my weed pile for years, and every year, I get older and weaker - Did you rent the (new) mixer? and what kind of concrete was that you used? Also, your mold is unique; I've only seen the smaller paver molds. If I can, I may start said project this fall in a corner, and work my way out next Spring!"

Hey Girlie!!! I rented the big mixer to finish what I did this year. I had been using that small one bag barrel that you roll on the lawn until ready...the rented machine made my job much easier! It only took two days to do what I did! I purchased the mold online at a shop called Lee Valley Tools. They shipped it within 10 days...(and those 10 days took forever !!!) There are several different ones to choose from
I used ready to use cement...all I had to do was add water. There is also a quick set type that I have dries in 15 was good for when the dog or kids were "helping" but is about a dollar a bag more....AND it dries a different shade of white...much I went back to the regular stuff that most use for pouring into post holes when they build fences.

"Blondie's Journal has left a new comment on your post "The Making of My Cement Patio....Rock On (for two ...":

I have seen these molds but never knew the process involved. How cool!!

2 questions. About how much does a bag of cement cost?? I know it will be a bit different in the U.S. Just want a little idea. 2nd question. How did you do the edges and corners?

Love it!!


Hi Jane! Each bad of cement here in Alberta Canada cost be about $6. (including tax) Not bad for the regular stuff...$7 for the quick set.
My mold is a square piece...if you look in the post you can see a photo of it. To do a just don't fill one or more of the spaces. Each space does a separate "stone" you can pick up and move each one around if you want to change the shape of things a bit and make your own pattern...You could even just do one or two shapes all the way through. I put the mold down...fill the spaces...and pat them in to make sure each one was filled solid...then about 1 minute later...pick up the mold and I move to the next spot! I don't make the cement really runny...kind of pudding like...that way I can move along faster!
I did two posts on this here for the first...and here for the second

"Janean has left a new comment on your post "The Making of My Cement Patio....Rock On (for two ...":

I like it when grass grows up between the "stones." Will you set your mower on a high level and mow over them?
So cost-wise, was it worth it?
Details, girl! Details! I've wondered about these molds since seeing them at home improvement stores."

Thanks Janean for the comment!!! It was totally worth it! not only did I make it myself...for that huge sense of pride and accomplishment...but it was far cheaper than purchasing stones...or hiring it out!
When the grass grows up...I like it to be level with the I use the weed wacker. I have also lowered the blade on the lawn mower in the past and just skimmed the top when I was is harder to do with the mower than with the edger thing.

"onlymehere has left a new comment on your post "Let's Get Dirty!!! Planting the Geraniums":

I honestly didn't know which crown you'd made either bz you did such a great job!! I would love to know how to keep geraniums alive and blooming longer. My MIL grows gorgeous ones on her porch that faces north but mine faces south and I tend to kill them. Any hints for me? I hate murdering plants! Cindy"

Oh Cindy...this comment is so old!!! I am so sorry it took so long...I actually forgot I had it in my "to answer" file!!! Geraniums do not like to be toooo hot...or toooo cold. I tend to keep them in both areas though. I water daily, and not too much. A geranium does not mind a little dryness...just not a horrible drought. My garden faces primarily south...and I don't seem to have issues. My North facing ones are not as bushy as they are not in full sun all day...but they are still blooming and thriving.
I tend to plant three plants in proximity of each other that may be why I have better luck. I also do not use clay pots...they dry out too fast. I make sure they are properly drained or they will rot...and I just water as they need...Usually daily.
I have had a LOT of you comment to me about garden tours...or features in local papers.
NO...NO ONE knows I even exist other than you guys and the people who visit the neighbors on either side. (and they seem to be used to it!)
Justine asked me a while back if I challenge myself to do bigger and better every year...YEP!!! I DO....AND EVERY YEAR I WORRY THAT THEY WON'T GROW AT ALL!!! ( this year, my Lavatera and Malva are bigger than they ever have been) I also choose a couple of new annuals to seed that I have never done before...just to see if I like them...I call them the visitors or the experimental trials.
A couple of years back, the people who used to live on one side had their wedding in their back yard and they borrowed some of my large pots to spruce up their area. All of their guests were very impressed with them, so they asked for tours...(I felt so silly)
This summer the guy next door (who's yard I tend to) volunteered to water for me while I was away one week. He told me that he gave all of his friends and family tours...They said they wanted to see it from the "inside"...and they were very amazed that I grew them all from seed...His Dad came over and shook my hand...(I felt very silly) He said that he watched me start from nothing but dirt...and it seemed like overnight it was full!
I really don't think that there is anything super special about what I do. I just do it. I love it and I don't consider it work. I don't use a lot of I like to change my mind a lot in the garden...and perennials are permanent! (Yes they can be moved...but still) I do however plan to take the inspirations that so many of you guys have in your blogs....and possibly plant my front gardens in perennials...I don't spend much time out there but to water...and it is very I have put some Hostas in....and am snooping in your gardens for others that might work for me here in zone 3...and survive the long cold winters...AND be pretty!!! (not that I ask a lot of one
I don't know how I know a lot of what I do about the gardening or the plants in general. I have purchased a few books and if I need to know something because I am falling flat on my face, (and I do) I will figure it out. I am just a girl with a greenhouse and a few seeds to sew. No special secrets or education here!
You all flatter me with your comments and let me say it does my heart good. I enjoy answering questions, making suggestions when I can or helping you name a plant or plan a garden! I have no problem sharing what I have learned...or sending a Tootsie Tip out when I get one! I do have several posts that are called Tootsie Tips in my labels...they are anything from how I made my edges for pulling seeds from your annual the way I plant my pots!
Thanks for building my ego...and for being such a great and inspiring audience! You all have made such a special place in my have no idea.
Now...are there anymore questions???? let me have it!


Sue said...

Tootsie, this was such a wonderful post. It answered a lot of the questions I had (but never thought to ask!).I hope you love the mums and though they should overwinter for you(with lots of mulch), you could take cuttings from them and propagate that way. Cheap, and you get the ones you already love!
Have a great weekend.

Darla said...

Great post Tootsie~~~you should be very proud of all you do~~~!

Anonymous said...

Tootsie that was a great post. I once used that Miracle Gro a long time ago, but with age I am just too lazy, I guess to get it all out. I have had a pretty good season. You deserve all the praise you get. yes you do because you love and enjoy the flowers. Good things always have a way of getting around. Our little town has a garden tour each year, and I wish yours did. We have a club called Master Gardener put on by the county extension agent, that sponsors the tours.

Anonymous said...

Tootsie I wanted to recommend you read my friend's post Ima Weed. I know you don't want to cultivate weeds, but it is so interesting to see the beautiful blooms and learn about the beautiful blooms that don't even know we call them "weeds."
She is at don't know how to link from comments. You will find her on my blog list.

Justine said...

I think it's so great that you took the time out of your busy schedule to answer all of these questions!

I really don't think you give yourself enough credit, nor do I think you even realize just how talented you are. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you should be doing this for a LIVING, especially since you love it so much. Get out of Cananda and move somewhere that has a long growing season (FLORIDA?) and go bonkers! You're amazing!

Justine :o )

squawmama said...

Wow Tootsie you're the queen gardener for sure... How nice of you to answer all of those questions and it was all very interesting. Thanks for all you do!

Have Fun!

Tamara Jansen said...

Hi Tootsie, I am sad to tell you that our mums are not hardy in your zone :( The varieties we grow are not from seed but come from a cutting that we get from a Belgian breeder.....or I think the red ones you got are from Yoder. I think that all commercially grown mums come from cuttings. Not sure why but it probably has something to do with quality and crop timing.

Good luck with seed mums. I'm curious to see how that would work!

9405018--Pat said...

Tootsie!!!! this was a great post...thanks for all your hard work...Pat H

Dawn Marie said...

this will sound silly, but I dont care anymore. summer is coming to a close so nothing i can do now--but hey I'll be ready next summer!

for petunias..yes I know we are suppossed to cut back-pinch etc. I want to know HOW to cut back. actually a picture would be nice. and when do we cut back. I dont do a thing with any of my flowers all summer and i'm beyond tired of them looking horrid by August!

trash talk said...

I just have to say I think you are missing a golden opportunity here. You need to send your blog address to Miracle Gro and others. I see a future writing a blog Q&A for them. Girl, don't wait for someone else to promote it yourself. You have a wonderful talent not just for gardening, but for explaining the process to those of us less "green"! Go for it.

momstheword said...

Your gardens are so beautiful. I'll bet if you contacted a garden tour they would put you on it in a heartbeat.

Of course, then you have all those people (and some bring their kids I'll bet) in your yard.

Why don't you submit pictures to Better Homes & Gardens? They would love it! I know they would, girl!

What red flowers are picking through the railings on your front porch?

Oh, and I want that bench you made. I love it!

onlymehere said...

Oh Tootsie, you make me laugh! I had forgotten that I'd even asked the question. I hope you're having a great weekend and that Busy heals really soon. That sounds so painful!

Dirt Princess said...

Well I hate I missed the give-a-way, but you know I have been gone out of town for several days! I am going to come take a tour of your garden oneday!!! Hopefully sooner that later! Love ya!

Blondie's Journal said...


You are such a sweetheart to answer all those questions! I told my husband about the molds because I have a perfect place for them and he seems to like the idea (that rarely happens as he usually only likes HIS ideas!!). I am going to show him your patio.

You mentioned that you water daily. I have always heard 1 or 2 thourough waterings per week if no rain. If you stick your finger in a pot down 1 inch and feel moisture, you don't need water. I really keep an eye on my garden beds, but the lawn, just can't afford the water bill. I have to face it, I'll never have the greenest!! I am too cheap!

Thanks for all the info!!


Becca's Dirt said...

What a great post Tootsie. I love your gardens and your gardening style. It is great to know how you get the look in the gardens to be so full. I learn so much from your blog.