Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: March: Mar 22-05: Tuesday-What'sUP
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By Jim&Pam, Calumet on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:30 am:

Good Morning
First Post

By joe on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:36 am:

morning from Ann Arbor

By smf in troll land on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:38 am:

Good morning.

By Susan, Fl on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:42 am:

Top o' the mornin to you all and a good night too, from this midnight shifter on her way home to sleep!

By Yooper on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:42 am:


By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:00 am:

Mornin'. I see the bird's a singin' this mornin'.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:13 am:

Good morning! The house finches have made it back north for nesting; there were a dozen at my feeders yesterday, males in their rusty red mating plumage. And the male goldfinches who were so muted in color all winter are turning bright yellow. I wonder if they moult their grey and olive feathers and grow new yellow ones, or if the old feathers change color. It is a bit cold to be out there with no feathers on.

I found an alternative to shoveling last weekend's wet snow off my walk: I tromped it down flat with snow shoes, stomping it till it was nice and compact and made for a firm walking surface. It will melt soon, so I wont need to worry about ending up with a path to the front door that is five feet high.

The path underneath the snow is made from shredded bark on top of newspaper, so I never shovel it clear anyway. This is an easy way to make a path across lawn: layer newspaper thickly, whole sections at a time, overlapping by at least half so they are ten or twenty pages deep. Then cover with shredded bark deeply. This is cheaper than cement and more easily patched, and looks very natural with perennials spilling over the edges. I think I'm ready to garden...

By R. Ollila Westland, MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:19 am:

Morning All. Hope you are having the same Beautifull Sunrise we are getting down here in Livonia.
Therese, how did you discover the novel way of path making?

By Therese from just below the bridge on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:31 am:

I read somewhere, maybe in Organic Gardening magazine, about taming weedy garden plots by entombing the crowns below layers of newspaper and mulch, then planting into the mulch. I thought I could use that method to build a temporary path from porch steps to my drive, until I decide what kind of pavers to use. It has worked so well that I never paved it. It needs renewing every other year or so, but that is easier than hauling mortar and stones, especially for us older gardeners whose years of work have left their mark on joints.

To renew, scrape away the mulch and lay fresh newspaper (I store mine in the garage all year round), rake the old mulch back and add a fresh layer. Be careful to keep the path lower than the surrounding flower beds so that the acid from decomposing mulch doesn't bring soil pH down too much. Hardwood mulch would work better if you can get it, but I just keep the beds to each side raised and have no pH problem.

By R. Ollila Westland, MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:55 am:

Therese, Thank you for your reply.

By Vicki Rae in Mi. on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 08:45 am:

Therese, go to the Garden Web and look for "lasagna gardening" and you'll find they build their gardens similarly but without the mulch.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 08:55 am:

Thanks, Vicki Rae, that may have been where I got the idea; it was too long ago to recall. "I used to have a photographic memory, but around age 40 I ran out of film." (I don't remember who said that.)

I have mice nesting in the stored newspaper this spring, so there are some problems attached to this method. But it saves the back-breaking labor of installing paving. I use the same method to convert lawn or meadow to garden: I layer newspaper and cover them with top soil and compost, and then plant right into the 'lasagna'. I also mulch weedy areas with thinner layers of newspaper covered with straw. Newspapers are great: you get news and nice photos, comics, the crossword, and garden tools.

By LZ, MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:12 am:

A "heritage tomato" gardener recommended the newspapers to me last year and I tried it for the first time this past season. Really helps control the unwanted growth as I am continually fighting to keep the "woods" back.

By knit-wit on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:25 pm:

If anyone is interested, there is sight concerning Terri Shavio at www.terrisfight.org

By jshdfpoyha on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 10:59 pm:

please email the editor directly at: gallery@pasty.com

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