Clippings by Isara

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Building a brick garden structure next to a rotting fence

posted by: Isara on 01.31.2014 at 08:19 pm in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Hi everyone:

I have one of those never-ending projects and I hit a roadblock and wanted to get some advice.

We're in a rental where the landlord has given us carte blanche to do whatever we want. So I've been trying to build a keyhole garden using reclaimed bricks. Location option A was eventually rejected because an orange tree would eventually grow up and crowd out much of its sun, and it was next to where a fence would soon need to be replaced. So I moved the project to another, sunny spot where there was nothing impeding the build...

... until I discovered today that the sprinkler irrigation line does not run in a straight line from sprinkler to sprinkler, being instead 2 feet in from the sprinkler, directly under my build site. ARGH.

So back to Option A. Unfortunately, the fence area right there is rotting, but the landlord isn't really super-excited about replacing it (probably has a couple of years before it actually falls down). There are cement garden boxes right next to the fence on the other side, so I doubt those would be easily moved.

Since I would like to actually finish this project ASAP, I'm wondering how much space I should leave by the fence to ensure it can actually be replaced?

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clipped on: 01.31.2014 at 08:20 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2014 at 08:20 pm

Killing an ornamental pomegranate

posted by: Isara on 01.20.2014 at 06:17 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi everyone:

I've got an ornamental pomegranate I'm trying to kill off. Someone planted it in an area that is completely surrounded by other trees, so the pomegranate itself isn't happy, and it's got a LOT of runner shoots all over the place, where it trying to find sunlight.

There're a few other complications with the location, too. It's right in the middle of a row of plants:

Tall Eureka lemon tree
Unhappy rose bushes
Pomegranate
Unhappy rose bush #2
Tall mandarin orange tree

These plants are all spaced about 1 foot apart (!!), and I'm trying to save the citrus trees, so I'm nervous about trying to kill anything with salt and vinegar or borax, not knowing what that will do to the trees.

Does anyone have any advice for clearing out the pomegranate? And if it kills off the roses, too, even better...

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clipped on: 01.20.2014 at 06:18 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 06:31 pm

What to do with undersized mandarins on a diseased tree?

posted by: Isara on 01.10.2014 at 08:18 pm in Citrus Forum

Hi everyone:

I have a large mandarin tree that is absolutely bursting with fruit. Last year, before we moved in, the tree didn't produce anything. This year, after regular watering, it made up for lost time, despite its diseases, and produced a truly insane amount of very delicious fruit.

Unfortunately, about 60% of the fruit is quite small, ranging in diameter from the size of a nickle to a half-dollar. The full-sized fruit is all up at the top of the tree, where it got more sun.

I feel pretty terrible about just tossing the runts, but peeling and seeding them for marmalade would be very time consuming for not much flesh and juice. I'm hoping that someone might have some advice on what to do with the fruit, as well as ensuring that the tree will produce properly next year.

I did get some 3-in-1 for citrus trees to try to combat the scale and sooty mold. Not shown in the picture are the bare branches. This poor tree did not get enough love before we moved in!

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clipped on: 01.20.2014 at 06:29 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 06:30 pm

Drought worries

posted by: kathy9norcal on 01.18.2014 at 02:56 pm in Roses Forum

I have been growing roses in California for over 17 years, and we have never had a drought like we are in right now. We should have had about 8 inches of rain so far and we haven't had even 2. It is warm and spring-like with NO rain in sight.
We are already being told on our water bill that we use more than average. What am I going to do if I can't water this summer? Will I lose all my beautiful roses (and daylilies)? If I do, it is over for me. I just won't do it again. It will be too painful to bear.

Has anyone else experienced a drought which severely limited your watering ability? Is anyone else worrying like I am right now?

I know we still could get rain--it sometimes comes in March. But what is with this warm weather in January? We should be getting frosts here but instead, I have had to dig out the t-shirts to garden in.

One more question, if you are still reading. Is it better to prune severely or a bit higher if you are expecting not to have enough water? Really need to know this.

Thanks for reading this post!

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clipped on: 01.20.2014 at 06:28 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2014 at 06:28 pm