Clippings by dr.liz

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Seed Bomb Recipe

posted by: docmom on 10.05.2013 at 09:38 am in Butterfly Garden Forum

Seed Bomb Recipe
5 parts dry clay ( can be purchased in craft shops, or use natural clay)
1 part compost
1 part seeds

Mix in small amounts of water slowly just until the mixture starts to hold together when compressed. Make marble-sized balls and set them out to dry. Distribute at will. If too much water is used and they take too long to dry, you may have early germination resulting in "duds".



clipped on: 10.06.2013 at 01:45 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2013 at 01:45 pm

Newbie needs help with first moss garden

posted by: dr.liz on 09.21.2013 at 06:13 pm in Moss, Ferns & Cryptogams Forum

I have an area under a crabapple tree where not much will grow except moss. There is some moss growing there naturally.

I bought a starter box from Moss Acres and went out today to start planting. I put down a few sheets of the sheet moss, which looks quite a bit like the stuff that is already there. I then decided to try the cushion moss on a brick, which they show on the website. I cannot for the life of me see how that is going to stay in place. Is there some way I can secure it, or should I forget about the brick and simply put it on the soil? The clumps are sort of falling apart and they are pretty tall, so it is really confusing to me how those are supposed to get established anywhere. Any help would be appreciated.


clipped on: 09.21.2013 at 06:14 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2013 at 06:14 pm

Just starting out

posted by: dr.liz on 06.22.2013 at 11:56 pm in Butterfly Garden Forum

I live in central NJ, the heart of suburbia. It's an upper-middle-class neighborhood, which I mention because it is largely professionally landscaped and the lawns tend to be pretty heavily chemical-saturated. Last year, I started bucking this trend by concentrating on native plants,I began by cleaning up invasives (definitely a WIP) and planting things like clethra, chokeberry, serviceberry, and viburnum nudum for the birds. This spring I got the bright idea of expanding my interests to include butterflies, about which I know next to nothing. I have a little butterfly garden which includes Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Agastache, Coreopsis, balloonflower, and Helenium. I have a ton of Viola sororia, and a nice weedy lawn full of clover and plantain. We have oaks, lots of cherries, hackberries, tuliptree, native dogwoods, pecans, and way too many black locusts (invasive here.) I haven't had a chance to plant spicebush or milkweeds yet, but I'm planning on it. I won't plant buddleia or anything else non-native.

Butterflies are few and far between, though. I usually see cabbage whites, silver spotted skippers, and tiger swallowtails. Last fall there were lots of red spotted purples. I saw an Eastern tailed blue last week.We used to see lots of Monarchs, but no more.I also usually can't identify what I see unless it's one of those real common guys I mentioned.Maybe one of you kind folks can tell me what skipper that is in the picture. I took it last fall on my balloonflowers.

I have one acre, a corner lot. (This is a problem because everything is on public view. I have a very small back yard.) My neighborhood is full of lawn and more lawn, and hardly any native plants. Am I really going to be able to attract butterflies if there are so few in the general area? It seems like such a sterile environment around here, except for the the plague of deer.

What else should I do to improve my habitat?


clipped on: 06.22.2013 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2013 at 12:32 am

Replanting after garlic mustard

posted by: dr.liz on 04.23.2013 at 10:18 am in Woodlands Forum

I am in the process of creating woodland gardens on two small patches of my one acre lot. I'm estimating they are each about 40x100.' Last summer I cut vines and treated the stumps, and I have seriously slowed them down or killed them. I also uprooted the privet growing wild on the property. I haven't tackled the autumn olive yet, but it's on my list. I've started replanting with understory natives--serviceberry, clethra, Fothergilla, and Aronia. Everything is individually protected with cages to keep away from the deer.

This spring I've started pulling the garlic mustard, prioritizing 2nd year plants. My question is what to plant instead. I'd like a native for the woodland floor that will fill in rapidly to replace the garlic mustard and help suppress weeds. Any ideas?


clipped on: 04.23.2013 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 04.23.2013 at 10:18 am

Spanish bluebells

posted by: dr.liz on 04.17.2013 at 12:33 pm in Bulbs Forum

I am trying to reclaim a long neglected woodsy garden. It was badly overgrown with vines and weed trees, and last summer I chopped off the vines and thinned out some of the trees. This spring, I discovered a long neglected stand of Spanish bluebells. They have been blooming so little over the past years, that I had forgotten all about them. There is a lot of vegetative growth, however, and they have spread quite nicely. Is there anything I can do to encourage more bloom? Should I expect that they will bloom better now that some of the shade has been removed?


clipped on: 04.17.2013 at 12:33 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2013 at 12:33 pm

Price and quality comparisons of frameless brands

posted by: dr.liz on 04.02.2013 at 09:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've been trying to price out frameless cabs. aat a number of local dealers. The brands I've found so far are:

Brookhaven/Woodmode (I've only considered the Brookhaven, though)
Dura Supreme
Bertch Custom.

I'm still collecting quotes, but so far the Greenfield came in around $13K delivered and the Brookhaven $13K installed. The Bertch dealer is drawing up a quote now, but he said it would be maybe $1K or so more than the framed, which are $12,000 in furniture board and almost $14 in all plywood. Greenfield only does 3/4" plywood.

Some of these lines of cabinets are not commented on much around here--Greenfield and Bertch, especially. Does anyone have any info on the relative quality and price brackets of these lines?

My kitchen is about 10x12', BTW. Thanks.


clipped on: 04.02.2013 at 09:12 pm    last updated on: 04.02.2013 at 09:12 pm

Cleaning appliance grates

posted by: dr.liz on 03.31.2013 at 10:55 am in Appliances Forum

Sorry for opening a subject that has been dealt with before, but...

I am embarking on a kitchen remodel and compulsively researching everything. I'm onto appliances and thinking about alternative brands and finishes. I'm concerned about the cleaning issue. I currently have a bisque range (9 years old) with taupe grates. It's very pretty, but boy, those grates are impossible to keep looking good. The inevitable grease spatters get brown and baked on just in the time it takes to cook the meal. If I start with them clean, and then clean up right after dinner, It's a half-hour with Bon Ami and a blue scrubbie and there still will be resistant spots. Even hours of Easy Off in a plastic bag will not necessarily remove them all. I just replaced the grates because the old ones chipped, and the new ones already have indelible spots. Pardon the rant, but this is very frustrating!

I think the basic problem is, with taupe enamel, the spots SHOW. Maybe with the new black cast iron they will be less obtrusive? I gather that the cast iron on new ranges is still porcelain coated, just like mine.


clipped on: 03.31.2013 at 10:55 am    last updated on: 03.31.2013 at 10:56 am

Kitchen designer, general contractor, or both?

posted by: dr.liz on 03.28.2013 at 12:21 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm a little confused about who to hire for my job. I'm not changing layout much, but will need some electric work, possibly minor plumbing or moving of ductwork. Some of the kitchen cabinet retailers do not install, some do, some GCs insist you buy their cabinets (which I don't like--I'd rather choose my own and hire someone to install.) One of the designers will only use their own (custom) cabinets--otherwise they charge $500 nonrefundable for the drawings.

Even though it's not a complicated job it will take more than simply hanging the cabinets, since a little electric/plumbing may be needed, Also, there's removal of old floor, install of new, counters, tile, paint. I know I don't have the time/expertise to be my own GC. So who do I go to? Designer? GC? Both? I'm trying to keep to $30K budget, but the first contractor I spoke to quoted high $30s, and I don't think that even includes materials such as flooring or tile.


clipped on: 03.28.2013 at 12:22 am    last updated on: 03.28.2013 at 12:22 am

Looking for Amish cabinetmakers near NJ

posted by: tamlif on 03.19.2013 at 10:24 am in Kitchens Forum

I have been reading that I would get the best price for custom cabinets from the Amish.
I have a quote from a kitchen designer who gets his cabinets made in Lancaster, PA by the Amish, but he is crazy expensive. I would like to try to contact them myself and see what kind of price they can give me directly.

I just don't know how to contact any Amish cabinetmakers.

Has anyone near Bergen County, NJ had any experience with Amish cabinetmakers? If so how do I get in touch with them?



clipped on: 03.28.2013 at 12:08 am    last updated on: 03.28.2013 at 12:08 am