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Broomstick
02-16-2013, 11:29 AM
Here we are again. Why am I starting this thread in February? Because this weekend I found myself actually thinking/planning/shopping for this year's garden. I figure I can't be the only one. So, while feeding the compost pile with kitchen scraps yesterday I thought what the heck, start it early.

So... last summer my wheelbarrow went missing. Since I got it for free it was no big loss, and honestly, it was rusting out really bad and missing a handle. I suspect one of the local scrappers took it down to the recyclers. I was quite annoyed - that scrap metal money should have been MINE!!! - but what can you do? The replacement is a "garden cart" I picked up from Aldi for some ridiculously low price. It's heavy duty plastic, meaning it's much lighter, it's more maneuverable, and I can easily get it through my front door so I can store it inside if I want to.

My digging shovel is bent (I bent it on the prairie sod out back while expanding the garden a row last year) and my hoe is busted. I figure $20-30 to replace those, both of which were hand-me-down's and ancient so no big loss there, either. I saved the metal bits - this time the scrap is mine!

I spent about that much on trellises last year, and they seem to be surviving the winter so that turned out to be a good investment. Basic wooden things, but I gave them some extra support when I installed them and they made harvesting the climbing things easier. They form a sort of back wall to my garden, which seems to have cut down on the number of times the drunk guy in back of us plowed through the vegetables while going to and from the bar.

The two compost heaps are still composting.

I picked up some 4 inch coir starter pots for the the heirloom peppers. I am going to start them inside and wanted a good sized pot so if outside planting is delayed a week or two they still have room to grow.

I did not manage to accumulate mulch last year. >sigh< But the growing season was so crappy even the weeds didn't do well so I don't think cleaning them out in the spring will be too bad. I am wondering how to get more mulch as I will not be doing lawn mowing/landscaping services this summer. Hmmmm.... how to get cheap mulch....

Planned seeds this year are:

Beans: green, purple, yellow, wax
Onions: white, yellow, red
Bok choi
Chard
Spinach
Kohlrabi
Carrots
Lettuce mix
Radishes
Beets
Turnips
Brussels sprouts
Cucumbers
Acorn squash
Curly parsley
Dill
Indian corn
Popcorn
Sunflowers
Beaver dam pepper (this year's new vegetable, and a rare heirloom)

I am also considering leeks, as I've started using them as well. Might also pick up a couple jalapeno plants, too - my conure looooooooves jalapenos.

I am considering extending the main garden yet another row. I am no longer planting along the property line fence as the current bar owner has done jack for it since it fell over. Also, his solution to "mowing the grass" is "nuke the place with roundup". Fortunately, the guy he uses has decent aim, but there's still some bleed over along the fence which does my vegetables no good whatsoever.

I am tempted to try mushrooms as well. Never tried growing mushrooms before. Anyone grow mushrooms here? Any advice for a beginner?

Biggirl
02-16-2013, 01:32 PM
I am debating whether to start seeds or not. Probably not. I've started seeds every year since we got the house 5 years ago and every year out of the dozens I start only a very few are viable by planting time. I know my major problem is lighting. I've tried to rectify this but I still get leggy, floopy seedlings. The seedlings I buy on Mother's Day are much healthier and I suffer no frustrations.

The hurricane took my compost bin. I had one of those plastic snap together things. After Sandy we checked our house. A few roof shingles gone. The siding that kind of frames the roof was in our neighbor's yard and are compost bin was. . . gone. Just gone. I hope it didn't kill anybody.

I'm thinking of starting another columbine. I loved ole Columbie (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden%2010/Columbiemidmay.jpg). I grew him from seed. He just didn't grow back one year. I'm thinking of starting another and planting him by the stairs.

I'm staying very simple this year. 2 or 3 Anchos, a sweet pepper and some habanero type very hot pepper. And two types of tomatoes. A plum type for cooking and a beefsteak type for slicing.

In the smaller bed, I dunno. I so want to grow Brussels sprouts. But they need to go in the back of the bed so that they don't throw shade on whatever else is in the bed. However, the back of the bed is being taken up by garlic right now and will be until early to mid summer. The front half of the bed is free for maybe some radishes or carrots. I think I'll try carrots since I've never grown them before.


The lettuce and kale and cabbage will go in after the carrots and/or radishes. Like in very late summer. They have a tendency to bolt on me if I try to plant them any earlier.


I have no idea what kind of flowers I'm growing in my pots. I always do marigolds in the front border. The bed with the Endless Summer hydrangeas, purple and white irises and yellow Asiatic lilies usually gets creeping petunias to try to out grow the weeds. I have a large problem with weed suppression. No amount of landscaping material or mulch will hold it back.

And finally, my herb pots. I have 5 year old thyme and oregano plants that refuse to die. They come back year after year. I need to plant rosemary. Will probably grow sage. Pineapple sage if I can find it. I have had absolutely no luck growing cilantro. It bolts the second it comes out the ground and then dies.


Well, that's enough rambling for now. I tend to do that when talking about my garden.

Broomstick
02-16-2013, 02:01 PM
I am debating whether to start seeds or not. Probably not. I've started seeds every year since we got the house 5 years ago and every year out of the dozens I start only a very few are viable by planting time.
I'm not a big one for starting seeds indoors myself. However, I only have FIVE of the beaver dam pepper seeds (yes, really!) That doesn't leave much margin for error. I'm hoping that by using 4 inch pots and limiting the number to 5 pots (which would leave #6 as a leftover, but what can you do when you only have five seeds?) I'll have better luck than using teeny little pots. These are the sort where you just plant the entire pot into the ground, which is the sort I have the best success with. This will allow me to plant already started things, which I hope will eliminate the accidental "oops - that wasn't a weed I just pulled up!" incidents I sometimes have with seedlings. Yes, the lighting and legginess can be a problem.

I suppose if I get even just one plant that puts out two peppers it will still represent a net gain (whereupon I give some seeds back to my supplier and keep the rest for myself if it seems a good idea) but it would be nice to have at least three with a few peppers each.

Fluffy PickleSniffer
02-16-2013, 03:37 PM
The baby trees in my backyard all grew up and now shade my garden area too much. Last year nothing grew at all, so I converted my garden to a sitting area complete with patio blocks, cedar chips and a birdbath and chairs. I liked my trees too much to cut them down - they're good privacy at the back of the yard. Now I'm stuck with no garden and have been trying to decide if I want to plow up a new plot of land off to the side of the yard where it's mostly sunny, or if I want to try container gardening this year and have rows of pots along my sunny patio. I'm leaning towards the container gardening, just for something different. If it doesn't work out then I dig up a new garden plot. Or I might do both, since I'm not sure how well some things will grow in pots - carrots or potatoes for instance. So maybe both. I'm ready for spring :)

papergirl
02-16-2013, 03:54 PM
I missed my usual Valentine's Day lettuce seed scattering, so maybe this weekend--IF I get the beds cleaned up enough. I didn't do a good job getting the garden to bed last fall, and I have got to get out there and clean house.
I'll have to construct no-cat cages this year. Someone (I don't think it's my cats, actually--they're usually inside) have been using my garden as litter boxes. So there will be some cleaning up and covering with chicken wire to be done as well.
Planning for this year: lettuce (why do I plant it? I don't usually use it!), carrots, broccoli, sugar snaps, green beans, various herbs, strawberries, collards, and crazy amounts of tomatoes. Maybe some peppers--I always try, with little success. Brussels sprouts later in the season.
I'm really excited--I'm leaving the full-time job and will actually have time to enjoy my garden this year!

Broomstick
02-16-2013, 03:58 PM
I think I'll try carrots since I've never grown them before.
The thing about carrots is that you need to really do a good job of cultivating and loosening the soil down past where the carrots are expect to grow - that could be up to two feet down! So, to start, I recommend those midget varieties that don't grow much longer than about six inches, so you only have to go down about a foot.

A trick someone put me wise to a couple of years ago is to alternate carrot and radish seeds. This does two things: first, the radishes quickly sprout and mark the rows, which is helpful since carrots have a relatively long germination time and it's easy to forget exactly where you put them. Also, when you harvest the radishes pulling them out leaves a hollow space in the soil, which helps keep it loose and give the soil the growing carrots push aside somewhere to go. Since I've been doing this I've had much better results with carrots.

Biggirl
02-16-2013, 04:31 PM
I was in fact thinking of getting the middling sized carrots as I have a raised bed, the soil of which is nice and loose. It's also pretty nice-- the soil, that is. This year it isn't getting it's layer of compost, though. Unless I buy some, which I probably won't. Damn you, Sandy!

papergirl
02-16-2013, 07:53 PM
I did carrots last year in my raised beds. Only a few survived (rains, drought, cats, etc) but it was fun to harvest them in January!
I want to put in leeks too, if I can get sets before they sell out this year.

Jackmannii
02-16-2013, 09:07 PM
Brussels sproutsWhat variety?

I'm starting a Chiltern Seed variety called "Montgomery" ("Churchill" did just fine last year as did the plants of Jade Cross II that I found in six-paks, but I have this need for constant variety).

The brussels sprouts get started around Mar. 1 and the remainder of the seed-started vegetables later in the month (a couple of new tomato varieties from this hybridizer (http://www.wildboarfarms.com/), maybe a sweet pepper or two) along with Caryopteris "Blue Myth" (crepe myrtle seedlings are already up and growing under lights). Most of the ornamentals don't get seeded until late March or April.

And for the first time this year, I'm taking a crack at potatoes.

Broomstick
02-17-2013, 08:53 AM
What variety of brussels sprouts? Darn if I remember - last year was the first year I tried them and they grew well, it's just that something ate them before I got around to harvesting them. Hope to actually get something to eat this year.

Oh, and potatoes - it's important to cover the ground around the plants. I usually use straw or grass clippings, but others use newspapers or paper bags or about a zillion other things. You need to keep the light off the potatoes or they'll get green, and green potato isn't a good thing and you don't want to eat them (you can trim the green spots/areas off, but it's a pain in the butt). When it comes harvest time use a potato rake or even your hands if the ground is soft (wear gloves). If you use a metal shovel or rake you'll be cutting potatoes or puncturing them.

limegreen
02-17-2013, 12:11 PM
Papergirl, my mom swore by the lettuce being sown on Valentine's Day, too. I was a little late this year (just got it sown yesterday). And one lovely perk of having goats is the poopy hay I rake out of the shed and layer over my containers.
I plan to start heirloom tomatoes in a little bit, but I start them in toilet paper rolls, so you can plant the whole thing. And a freebie!

Courk
02-17-2013, 02:09 PM
My garden, if you can even call it that, is more boring than yours.

I planted two little north star cherry trees on my curb last year. I'll get to see them boom for the first time! Other than that, I plant a pot of chocolate mint.

I tore out some old, overgrown fire bushes last year. I want to replace them with a blue crop and a blue ray blueberry bushes, but I'm having trouble finding a place to get some that at least look bush-like. I want them to be at least a few feet tall.

Filbert
02-17-2013, 03:43 PM
I have a serious seed addiction, so I have a silly number of things to grow this year. I have an allotment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotment_%28gardening%29), so it doesn't have to look nice. I've already started off leeks, because the first tiny specks of green of the year always make me happy.

I'm also planning to start some tomatoes off in the next week or so- I don't hold out much hope for them though; the past three years I've had blight before I had a single ripe fruit.I have the seeds though, so I might as well try.

I've already got some broad beans, shallots, garlic and onions autumn planted out, I'm halfway through setting out my blueberry/cranberry bed, and I'm planting two more varieties of raspberries to join the existing two.

I'm also planning to grow: parsnips, purple carrots, kale, sprouting broccolli, spinach, brussels sprouts, something called a tree cabbage, turnips, more broad beans, french beans, runner beans, peas of at least three kinds, cucumber, potato (I think I'm up to 5 kinds bought already), more salady leaves than I care to mention, sweetcorn, courgettes (zuchinni), summer squash and about 8 kinds of winter squash/pumpkin....

carnivorousplant
02-17-2013, 03:57 PM
I'm waiting for Black Princess (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.waterlilies.com/image/water-lilies/black-princess.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.waterlilies.com/waterlilies/redwaterlily/blackprincess.html&h=343&w=428&sz=65&tbnid=wFU-jJbhgMbp_M:&tbnh=100&tbnw=125&zoom=1&usg=__mlZ1XrL6oDowwE4aIcquZ0BCuwQ=&docid=dmlg-nNDQr0mbM&sa=X&ei=9kMhUZnACcv-2QWrz4HICw&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAQ&dur=2243) to begin growing. One bloom the first year.

Silence Lenore
02-17-2013, 04:14 PM
My existing garden has the same problem as Fluffy Picklesniffer garden has, too much shade. But, we had to cut down our big maple tree (it was dying) so now I have a great, sunny spot for both vegetables & flowers. I just need the time to make it happen. I have to do box gardens because of all the fill in the yard, so new boxes need to be made. I also want to put garden cloth in between the boxes and cover it with mulch - mowing the grass between the boxes in the old garden was a PIA.
If I do get all that done, the usual will be planted - tomatoes, cukes, green beans, beets, squash. Now that there will be lots of sun, I'll try leeks again.

Broomstick
02-17-2013, 04:51 PM
Just a note - maybe we should include something about where we are located. From context, I think we already have people from the southern US to the UK in this thread but I can't be sure.

I'm in Northwest Indiana, just south of Lake Michigan. The mention of sowing by Valentine's Day and March 1 sort of raised my eyebrows as we still have plenty of snow and cold to go. I don't normally plant anything before the end of March, and we're not truly frost-free until May around here (it used to be May 31, but now it's May 15 or maybe even May 1 now - that's climate change at work I think). It's also why I usually either try to start peppers indoors or buy them already started as we don't really have a reliably long stretch of heat for them to mature before fall and winter come around again.

Courk
02-17-2013, 05:01 PM
NE Ohio. My newest rosebushes won't even bedelivered until the middle of April.

Not edible, but I love my roses:

Graham Thomas trained as a climber (the tag that said it would grow to 3 ft was slightly wrong)
Chrysler Imperial (very tall, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a climber) - she has the best scent
Lady Emma Hamilton - also a nice scent
Enchanted Evening
And soon: 2 Dublin Bays to be climbers

Plus whatever I can't help but buy this spring.

Biggirl
02-17-2013, 07:13 PM
Zone 7. Long Island, NY. About a half a mile from the Queens boarder.

limegreen
02-18-2013, 11:08 AM
Central Illinois. Family from southern Illinois. We always sow lettuce in the cold, even on top of the snow. When it warms up, the seeds are there ready to get started.

Filbert
02-18-2013, 12:37 PM
South of England.
The weather here is incredibly unpredictable, last winter we didn't get any frost until january, then had a cold snap in february, march was positively hot, then there was a random frost in mid may... It makes planting times pretty well guesswork for anything remotely tender.

Biggirl
02-18-2013, 12:39 PM
The birds (or squirrels or cats or bugs) always, always, ALWAYS eat my lettuce seeds. I'll sow cabbage, spinach and broccoli in the smaller bed and I'll get some of everything-- except lettuce. Every single time. And I always sow it. Every season I think 'this time I'll get some lettuce' and every season I am disappointed.

Another thing that I have yet to grow successfully is squash. I think I may have a squash specific germ in the bed. I plant the squash. The squash grows like crazy like squashes like to do. I'll get squashy flowers. I'm all ready for actual squash and then--- the plant dies practically overnight. Sort of shrivels up, gets slimy. Like it's rotting only instantaniously. After the 3rd time this happened, I stopped trying to grow squash.

August West
02-18-2013, 03:42 PM
Another thing that I have yet to grow successfully is squash. I think I may have a squash specific germ in the bed. I plant the squash. The squash grows like crazy like squashes like to do. I'll get squashy flowers. I'm all ready for actual squash and then--- the plant dies practically overnight. Sort of shrivels up, gets slimy. Like it's rotting only instantaniously. After the 3rd time this happened, I stopped trying to grow squash.

You have squash-vine borers, the most evil insect in the world!

A good friend of mine bought some kind of injectable thingy that she injected into her squash vines (nematodes, maybe?) and she didn't lose a single plant to the bastards! Meanwhile I was cutting open vines and squishing grubs and still lost 1/3 of my plants. I'm getting some nematodes (or whatever they were) this year!

August West
02-18-2013, 03:49 PM
Broomstick, I'm pretty sure I have some Beaver Dam pepper seeds I can send you if you need some more. I live about 25 miles from the Beaver Dam that is the pepper's namesake, so I grow it regularly.

August West
02-18-2013, 03:54 PM
Last year I grew a scant handful of Turkey Craw beans that I got ins some seed exchange a few years back, and boy am I mad that I waited so long to grow them!

They were tremendous in every way;
1) The rabbits left them completely alone while ravaging the Purple Queen beans planted right next door.
2) They grew in a manner resembling the mythical beanstalk of young Jack, one vine grew off the top of its trellis and latched on to a nearby apple tree!
3) They made the most delicious green beans I've ever had
4) They also provided me with a bounty of dried beans that were easy to shell and are really tasty.

I plan on planting a lot of Turkey Craw beans this year.

Broomstick
02-18-2013, 07:44 PM
Broomstick, I'm pretty sure I have some Beaver Dam pepper seeds I can send you if you need some more. I live about 25 miles from the Beaver Dam that is the pepper's namesake, so I grow it regularly.
Thanks for the offer, but I'll decline for now. A friend of mine actually already came to my rescue, looks like I'll be able to start some indoors and still have some "extra" seed to sow directly just in case.

Any tips on how to grow these?

Kimstu
02-18-2013, 10:44 PM
US Zone 5b here (Mohawk-Hudson valley region). Thinking about getting some stones or bricks to make a little barrier fence around the tulips and irises that I planted encircling the lamppost on the street median strip in front of my house, so the overzealous city-works mower won't keep chopping them down this year.

Last year the tulips were pretty much over before the mower got going, but he kept axing the iris (and later the morning glories) before I saw a single flower. Okay, it's not his job to tell the flowers from the weeds, but I'm tired of their not getting a chance to bloom.

For the veggie garden, have started looking at seed catalogs but haven't ordered anything yet. Thinking about planting a clematis in some of the recently filled-in root holes of the big maple (I think it's a Norway maple cultivar, with reddish-purplish leaves year-round), but I think the usual pink and purple clematis shades will look terrible with the maple leaves. Should I just get a white one? Is there a really blue clematis or other color that would look good with a dark-leaved Norway maple?

Broomstick
03-03-2013, 08:25 AM
Of course I start this thread and suddenly we have sleet, snow, and cold for two weeks... :)

Despite all that, the bulbs are putting up tentative green stalks, so between that and the lengthening days I know spring really is coming despite the snow.

It's been a mild enough winter overall that I never stopped feeding the compost heap out back - in past years if we've had a couple feet of snow or sub-zero weather I usually say heck with it and stop going out there. By that time I'm usually generating less kitchen scrap simply because I'm diving into the frozen vegees anyway which are already trimmed.

I'm trying to figure out how to handle mulch this year. I'm not mowing lawns this summer. Between a full time job and also trying to help my spouse with his business venture it's just too much for just a few extra dollars. Wonder if I can find out who the landlord will have doing it this year and ask them to drop off the grass clippings? Maybe a buck a bag? I do like the way it keeps the weeds down but don't really want to spend a lot of money on it.

Still considering adding to the garden area, maybe another 5x20 foot strip along one side of the current patch.

pulykamell
03-03-2013, 09:31 AM
Planted my seeds yesterday to get them started. Looking to transplant May-ish. I only do the chile peppers from seed, so this year we got: arbol, aji amarillo, aji limon (lemon drop), corne de chevre, piri-piri, rooster spur, fatalii, mustard habanero. I'm not bothering with the ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) or Trinidad scorpion this year. I'll probably also get some Thai red seedlings in May.

The rest, we'll see. I plan to get some greens going for a change. I always neglect the rest of my garden to concentrate on chile peppers. Oh, and tomatoes. There's always tomatoes. I'm also thinking of getting potatoes in, using one of those vertical methods for growing them.

Biggirl
03-03-2013, 09:47 AM
These came up in the last week. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden/earlycrocus.jpg)* Every time my crocuses come up I think, "Early for crocuses, no?"







*Sorry for the awful mobile pic. I usually take much more thought out pics for my yearly garden album. I've been waiting for the sun. We haven't had much sun in the last week.

Renee
03-03-2013, 10:09 AM
Gardening type people! I've been meaning to start a thread about this, but I'll ask here instead.

We bought an abandoned house on 15 acres in southern Maine last summer and have been renovating it. We were thrilled to discover a large asparagus patch behind the house, but it was extremely overgrown with thick grass last summer. We got horses at the end of the summer and let them graze the area down, and right now it's covered with a good 2' of snow. Anyway, my question is how do I help that patch thrive. I don't even know if it's possible to weed it, the grass was up to my waist and just ridiculously lush. Any thoughts?

Biggirl
03-03-2013, 10:39 AM
I'm a little to the south of you Renee, but I did find This on the University of Maine's site (http://umaine.edu/publications/2071e/).

Asparagus is a very poor competitor against weeds. Controlling weeds in asparagus beds is by far the greatest challenge to having a long-term productive planting. Be sure to eliminate all perennial weeds at the start of bed preparation. In the early years of bed establishment the asparagus will benefit by clean cultivation, keeping the row free of any weeds by hoeing or pulling weeds. Organic mulches, such as grass clippings (non-herbicide treated), straw/hay mulch, or bark mulch can be applied to suppress weed growth. However, the addition of organic mulches has its own problems, such as the introduction of weed seed, or the creation of future cultivation or hoeing difficulties.

I, myself, do not have any weed control. I've tried everything, if everything includes mulch, landscape material and frustrated hand pulling. I can hate on some weeds, lemme tell ya, but it doesn't help.


Meanwhile back on the ranch. . . The year before last I separated and gave away most of my Iris gone wild. My son insisted we keep what we call the Mother rhizome and 3 baby bunches. We also planted very old daffodil bulbs just to see if they'd grow. (as you can see my gardening terminology is mostly made up by me). I thought I had given them enough room but already today, even though there is fresh snow on the ground from last night, they are fighting each other. (http://media-cache-ec2.pinterest.com/550x/55/15/3d/55153df3ac7fe3d509b62201e17b4c6b.jpg) At least they'll crowd out the weeds until about mid-spring.

InsomniaMama
03-03-2013, 12:30 PM
Zone 5, Chicago burbs. I always start a zillion seeds, but I'm not quite feeling it yet. Maybe next weekend. I did acquire lots and lots of seeds yesterday. You'd think that would inspire me. So lazy today ...

Cat Whisperer
03-03-2013, 03:45 PM
Zone 3, Calgary, AB. I bought a big ol' bag of dirt at the Home and Garden show yesterday - one cubic yard, to be delivered in April some time. My garden has done very poorly; I think the soil is tired and worn out, and this stuff is supposed to refresh an old patch. We don't start seriously thinking about planting until the May long weekend (around May 24th) around here, but you can get stuff like potato eyes in the ground earlier.

Regarding carrots, I had some carrots from a previous planting come up last year, and I just let them go to seed. I loved them - they were a nice, tall, sturdy plant with big umbrels of pleasant-smelling white flowers on them - I'm going to plant carrots in my flower beds and let them all go to seed this year! (Except I just learned it takes carrots two years to flower - so next year I'll have great carrot plants again.)

Renee
03-03-2013, 03:56 PM
I'm a little to the south of you Renee, but I did find This on the University of Maine's site (http://umaine.edu/publications/2071e/).



I, myself, do not have any weed control. I've tried everything, if everything includes mulch, landscape material and frustrated hand pulling. I can hate on some weeds, lemme tell ya, but it doesn't help.

.

Hm. Would heavy mulch not interfere with the sprouting of the asparagus spears? I've heard it's a nightmare to transplant asparagus, but I almost want to just dig it up with the backhoe and try to pick the plants out of the root tangle, and then re-plant in a clean bed. Although this sounds like a lot of work which may well be futile considering my general disdain for weeding; I would likely end up back where I started in a year. I also don't know how old this bed is, could be 20 years and maybe at the end of it's life anyway. Maybe I'll just harvest what I can this spring and see what happens.

InsomniaMama
03-21-2013, 09:15 AM
I don't feel too bad that I haven't started my seeds yet. Since it's 14 degrees right now (Chicago suburbs). Went to buy my seed potatoes and they aren't even in stock yet! Last year at this time it was 80 degrees. Crazy.

August West
03-21-2013, 02:53 PM
Hm. Would heavy mulch not interfere with the sprouting of the asparagus spears? I've heard it's a nightmare to transplant asparagus, but I almost want to just dig it up with the backhoe and try to pick the plants out of the root tangle, and then re-plant in a clean bed. Although this sounds like a lot of work which may well be futile considering my general disdain for weeding; I would likely end up back where I started in a year. I also don't know how old this bed is, could be 20 years and maybe at the end of it's life anyway. Maybe I'll just harvest what I can this spring and see what happens.

Asparagus is pretty tough, I doubt heavy mulch could keep it down.

We had wild asparagus in a very poor location so I decided to dig down and transplant some of the crowns, I was amazed that I had to dig down through 3 feet of heavy clay soil! If the spears can push though that, I don;t think some mulch will foil them.

August West
03-21-2013, 02:57 PM
After 6 years in this house, the deer have finally found my yard. They've destroyed several shrubs already this winter and have been pawing through the snow to find grass underneath, so I'm definitely going to have to build a serious fence around my garden this year. That's an expense I wasn't planning on, but I guess that's life.

Clothilde
03-22-2013, 12:15 AM
Is anyone else near my part of the world? I'm trying to grow veggies in containers this year. I've got a few strawberry plants from a few years ago that I'm going to try to revive and hopefully get a harvest from. Everything else is starting from seed. Three days ago I started some cucumber seeds left over from last year and some zucchini seeds from this year using the damp-paper-towel-in-a-plastic-bag method. All the cucumbers are sprouting and one of the zukes seems to also be sprouting.

I also started cherry and beefsteak tomatoes, yellow squash, two types of bush green beans and bell peppers using little paper sprouting pots from the dollar store. I've got all six little sprouting pots sitting in a low plastic food container on top of a layer of gravel that I put some water in - the whole thing is in a big plastic bag and on top of the refrigerator (I just put the whole thing in the big plastic bag today to try to make things a little warmer for the seeds.) I've also got dill and chamomile in two small windowsill containers.

I'm impressed with the cukes and zukes sprouting so quickly - none of the others have sprouted yet. I've got to still get some roma tomatoes and better boy tomatoes and some yellow and white peppers, oregano, and one replacement blueberry bush, and that should have me covered. My plan is to start new sprouts about every two weeks so I'll have a pretty continual harvest all season. I haven't done it this way before, but I think it will work - at least, I hope it will. I'm in the Montgomery, AL area, which I think is zone 8a.

These veggies are things I cook regularly (right now I'm pretty much cooking everything from scratch,) and some of them are so expensive at the grocery store! For instance, even in the summer, red, yellow, and white peppers run about $1.50 to $2.00 EACH. That's outrageous! Even green beans stay well over $1.00 a pound all year long. That's just entirely too expensive. I'm planning also, if I can find an extra container, to try growing some potatoes as well, just to see if I can do it. Potatoes are cheap, and I don't eat them often - so the potatoes I'm just going to try growing for fun.

Some local fellow is advertising in the paper 25 Ghost Pepper seeds (Bhut Jolokia) for $6.00 postage paid. Wikipedia says that's one of the hottest peppers in the world. Not for me, thanks. I bet they burn a hole right through the envelope. :eek:

Jackmannii
03-22-2013, 08:32 AM
The first eggplant seedlings are up (indoors, under lights) and many ornamentals are making progress from seeds and cuttings (highlights include variegated rhubarb and dwarf crepe myrtles).

I have no idea why someone would grow Bhut Jolokia peppers, aside from bragging rights to the world's hottest pepper. The plants reputedly are temperamental to grow and you can't use the pepper except in very tiny quantities, with great caution on the preparation end (and I speak as someone greatly looking foward to the special hot salsa tonight at our local Mexican food joint).

carnivorousplant
03-22-2013, 08:55 AM
I have no idea why someone would grow Bhut Jolokia peppers,

The toothbrush of someone you do not like.

Clothilde
03-23-2013, 06:50 PM
Well, I lost the pot of dill. The seeds hadn't yet sprouted and I think I have some seeds left so I can start over. But the pot fell off the shelf (I must not have put it back far enough) and landed on the floor, spilling out most of the dirt. I put it outside to deal with tomorrow. I'm too irritated with it right now.

I picked up some oregano seeds yesterday. I'll plant those sometime tomorrow. Still have to get white and yellow peppers, roma and better boy tomatoes, and the replacement blueberry bush. I'm going to go pick up an organic potato from Earth Fare the next time I'm on that side of town ($2.29 per pound!!!) to get my potato starts from. It has been drizzling here today so I haven't been outside digging in the dirt at all today....

I just splatted a huge (about an inch! gahhh!) black FURRY spider in my kitchen! Not a good day today! Don't ask me what kind it was - I didn't inquire before I brought my mighty sneaker down on it.

Carnivorousplant, your toothbrush comment about the ghost pepper seeds made me laugh!

slowlearner
03-23-2013, 07:31 PM
I'm in N.E. Texas and we're under permanent water rationing. I saw a subsistence gardening technique online practiced in Africa called keyhole gardens, a raised circular bed with a donut hole and a cut in the side allowing access to the donut hole, which is your compost pile. In the villages where it is practiced all green waste goes into the composting hole, and all household gray water is poured into the compost and flows out into the soil helping to reduce water requirements. Since the bed is raised it eliminates most weeding and all stooping. I built one this winter and am going to plant in it next weekend, as it looks like our last freeze will be Monday. Imagine if your only vegetables all year were the ones you grew yourself...

Biggirl
03-23-2013, 07:54 PM
Burpees has engineered a sweet corn that grows in pots. I live in NY on Long Island just steps away from Queens. I do not have any space for growing things. Veggies grow in two beds I built, one is about 6x6 and the other 6x12. The instruction for the seeds are 9 in a 24 inch pot.

Corn. Is it really possible?

notfrommensa
03-23-2013, 09:03 PM
Any advice to a novice gardener (or a website) who wants to plant tomatoes and peppers?

I live in SE Missouri with pretty good soil (not in the Sandy delta). It gets real hot and humid starting in June. And we got lots of rabbits and squirrels.

I am single, interested in getting eating tomato every other day or so for BLT sandwiches and wouldn't mind plum tomatoes for roasting.

I am a novice so simplicity is more important than taste (I am not a picky eater). But I do want my tomatoes to get ripe.

Should have thought about this earlier, getting the soil ready etc. Or is there still time?

I m figuring about 5-6 plants and 1-2 pepper plants.

I can plant just about anywhere to get 10+ hrs of sun down to 4 hours of sun (either morning or afternoon). For Watering, the most convenient place would probably has Southern Exposure and shade after 4 pm. Or Western Exposure with sun starting about 1 pm until sunset.

The most inconvenient place to water is probably with strictly Eastern exposure.

Thanks for assistance.

carnivorousplant
03-23-2013, 09:21 PM
Burpees has engineered a sweet corn that grows in pots.

Corn. Is it really possible?

No.
Raccoons.

Biggirl
03-23-2013, 09:21 PM
Tomatoes and peppers are the best thing for novice gardeners to grow. Forgiving and flexible (tomatoes more then peppers, but still) all one needs to do in the beginning is find varieties suitable for their location and plant! Time? I dunno exactly what zone Missouri is in, but I'm sure it is pretty early to be planting stuff. You've got at least a month.


Find out if you'd like determinate or indeterminate tomato plants. Determinates grow in a bush and need less support. They also tend to let one huge load of tomatoes at once. Indeterminate are more vine-y and need a lot of support but will give you tomatoes forever and ever until you are sick of tomatoes.

My experience with peppers is that you will have to wait for them. I've had a problem with low yield for years with both very hot and bell peppers. What it is with them is that it takes a long time until harvest. Once they're ready to give peppers, they'll give until frost. Early fruiters (for me, at least) were sweet banana peppers AND Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.

Check out also the USDA plant hardiness zone. (http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/) It's a good thing to know about what you are planting and where.

Biggirl
03-23-2013, 09:24 PM
no.
Raccoons.

aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!

carnivorousplant
03-23-2013, 10:03 PM
The cilantro I bought to spend enough for them to sell me gunnera (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Gunnera_manicata3.JPG&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gunnera_manicata3.JPG&h=2112&w=2816&sz=2559&tbnid=Y_YHIfmT1tpKnM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=126&zoom=1&usg=__nTMQtTBOBo8YiFNBxJSUoOSitPo=&docid=wVQ9pGTgOpKjgM&sa=X&ei=q15OUbTtBsWHqQGDxoDICg&ved=0CEAQ9QEwAg&dur=522) seeds is sprouting.
I hope the gunnera does well. I'm waiting until Summer to start it in the garage, it needs to be warm.
I want that by the water garden so badly, have for years. :(

Clothilde
03-24-2013, 03:20 PM
Any advice to a novice gardener (or a website) who wants to plant tomatoes and peppers?

I live in SE Missouri with pretty good soil (not in the Sandy delta). It gets real hot and humid starting in June. And we got lots of rabbits and squirrels.

I am single, interested in getting eating tomato every other day or so for BLT sandwiches and wouldn't mind plum tomatoes for roasting.

I am a novice so simplicity is more important than taste (I am not a picky eater). But I do want my tomatoes to get ripe.

Should have thought about this earlier, getting the soil ready etc. Or is there still time?

I m figuring about 5-6 plants and 1-2 pepper plants.

I can plant just about anywhere to get 10+ hrs of sun down to 4 hours of sun (either morning or afternoon). For Watering, the most convenient place would probably has Southern Exposure and shade after 4 pm. Or Western Exposure with sun starting about 1 pm until sunset.

The most inconvenient place to water is probably with strictly Eastern exposure.

Thanks for assistance.

Here's a page for tomatoes from the vegetable planting calendar (http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6201-41#Tomato) from the Univ of Missouri Extension. Scroll down and pick your county from the map - that will tell you when to plant. If you're starting from seeds, you can start the seeds 4 -6 weeks earlier than you want to plant outside.

I noticed Better Boys on the list of suggested types on that site. Better Boys are really good to start with because they're an easy hybrid to grow. One tip from me. When you plant the plants outside, add in some crushed eggshells into the dirt (2 -3 should be fine) to give the plants a little extra calcium (it encourages more blooms.) Then, when they start to bloom, give them a drink of dissolved epsom salts in water. This will help prevent blossom end rot. This works well for both tomatoes and peppers.

Also, get some tomato food, and feed them a quarter or half serving every few days to every week. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and drinkers and too much food at once isn't good - it's better to constantly give them small amounts of food to keep them blooming and producing. But if the plants get two - three feet tall and they don't have any buds yet, cut out the tomato food and give them more eggshells to encourage blooming.

Another key to tomatoes is consistent levels of moisture. If you miss a few days of watering and then water a lot all at once while you have fruits growing, the fruits can split. It's at best ugly and at worst you can lose that fruit. I keep track of the amount of local rainfall in my area through weather underground (http://www.wunderground.com/). Most plants need at least an inch of water a week. Tomatoes need more. You may find during the hottest days that you're watering your tomatoes once or even twice a day. But all the effort is worth it!

You're going to have so much fun growing tomatoes!

notfrommensa
03-24-2013, 04:10 PM
Thanks for the help Biggirl and Clothilde.

What about soil preparation. To have to get someone till the ground or can I do it manually?

Clothilde
03-24-2013, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the help Biggirl and Clothilde.

What about soil preparation. To have to get someone till the ground or can I do it manually?

You're quite welcome. I'll post more as I think of more tips.

Regarding tilling, I grow in containers, not in the ground, so of course I never till. What kind of dirt do you have? Is it hard clay?

Around here, most people don't just plant directly into dirt - they amend the soil or simply use a soil-less mix in the holes. I generally make up my own mix using a combination of potting soil, cow manure (make sure it's sterile!) and construction sand. Sometimes I add in perlite if I have it, sometimes I don't. And, of course, the crushed egg shells.

You ought to be able to do it yourself with just a shovel. It's hard work, though. If you're planting a lot, you might just rent a tiller for the day. But I think if you're only planting a few tomatoes and peppers then a shovel will work.

When you plant your tomatoes, pick off all but the top leaves. Then plant the thing sideways with only those top leaves sticking out. The long stem you planted will develop roots all along it, giving your tomato plant a very strong root system.

Another thing just occurred to me. Have you had a soil termite treatment done? If so, you want to avoid planting where the treatment was done, so don't plant too close to the foundation of your house. Make sure you're a few feet away so you don't break the treatment barrier. Your termite company can advise you how far out to plant - they get this question all the time.

Clothilde
03-30-2013, 12:53 PM
How is everyone doing with their gardens/planting?

Biggirl, did you get your Burpee sweet corn? I'm interested in that for next year, so if you're growing it this year, I'm hoping it does well for you.

notfrommensa, did you plant your tomatoes and peppers?

As for me, I'm behind schedule. I was at Sam's yesterday and got a package of 4 blueberry bushes for $16, so that's more than "just the one replacement bush" that I needed, but it contains two Top Hats, which are low-growing, and two Spartans which can make big bushes. The two I already had (one died) were just "blueberry" in plastic containers from Lowe's - the container never said what kind they were, but I believe they're some low bush variety.

As for my sprouting, all 4 of the 2012 cucumbers sprouted on the paper towels, and all 4 are potted in little "toilet paper tube" pots until they get out of seedling stage. (Can you tell I really like "free" ways of doing things?) Only 2 of the 5 organic zucchini seeds sprouted on the paper towels. Zucchini just doesn't like me, for some reason. Anyway, I'm putting those 2 in the TPT pots until they're no longer seedlings. The 2012 yellow squash seeds I started in the paper sprouting pots all came up overnight (there are 3 there,) so they're fine in that sprouting pot for a little while. The green beans are growing like they belong to Jack! The green beans and yellow squash and both the beefsteak and cherry tomatoes were started in sprouting pots in a low plastic container with wet gravel on the bottom, all stuck inside a sealed gallon-size plastic ziploc bag, sitting on an old washcloth on top of the tv in the bedroom (for the warmth). The other 2 plants in there, the other green bean variety and the bell peppers, have not sprouted yet. The chamomile is surprisingly surviving in a little pot on top of the refrigerator. And, of course, the dill is no more since the pot fell off the shelf and I put it outside because I was so irritated over it.

In all honesty, I should have started all my sprouting back at the beginning of February, so I'm really 6 weeks behind. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up before summer gets here. So this week I've got to start more zucchini, more cherry and beefsteak tomatoes, and more bell peppers and green beans. I'm starting all these on paper towels. Otherwise I'm going to be REALLY behind! I'm also going to start the oregano in a little plastic pot - when that's up and ready I'll put it in a bigger container outside and keep it there.

I got two small organic potatoes from Earth Fare, and they are sitting on my kitchen counter trying to sprout. Once they've started putting out good-sized sprouts, I'll cut them up, let them dry out overnight, and then plant them. That's going to be a fun experiment this year!

I'm heading to Lowe's in a little while to get plants of roma tomatoes and better boys and hopefully white and yellow peppers. I also need potting soil, peat moss, and some azalea (acid) food for the blueberries. I'm hoping I can find some old black plastic pots from trees lying around that I can talk them into giving to me. :D

Biggirl
03-30-2013, 03:00 PM
The crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths have come up to beautify my front yard. I have white and purple crocuses. This year this beauty popped up a bit away from where the white and purple crocus bulbs were planted. (http://pinterest.com/pin/107734616058335484/") I don't remember planting it but that doesn't mean I didn't. It it be a white and purple crocus baby?


Also, I'm gonna buy those corn seeds (kernels?) right now!

Biggirl
03-30-2013, 07:15 PM
I don't think that link to Pinterest is working Here is my Iris Crocus (that's what I'm calling him) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden%2013/Iriscrocus.jpg). In hopes of encouraging more of these same, here's a link to my early spring blooms. (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Biggirl/library/Garden%2013?page=1) At least I hope the link works.

carnivorousplant
03-30-2013, 07:32 PM
Very nice, thanks. :)

Rhiannon8404
03-30-2013, 07:39 PM
This is my second year doing any sort of garden or growing anything edible. Last year we did peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and pumpkin. this year we have oh, so much more and I'm so excited.

Two different kinds of tomatoes
Anaheim and poblano peppers
zucchini
butternut squash
lettuce (3 kinds)
cucumber
string beans
strawberries

Everything from seed except for the strawberries and one tomato. Lettuce, zucchini, and beans are just poking through the dirt. Yay! We have a tiny yard with a few raised beds, but much of it is in pots/containers.

Biggirl
03-30-2013, 08:04 PM
Be careful with the strawberries. They'll take over your yard if you're not careful.

Rhiannon8404
03-30-2013, 08:06 PM
Be careful with the strawberries. They'll take over your yard if you're not careful.

Thanks for the tip! They are in containers, so hopefully well contained.

Biggirl
03-30-2013, 08:08 PM
Oh. Containers are fine!

Rhiannon8404
03-30-2013, 08:11 PM
Our soil is awful here, so everything is in raised beds or containers with nice soil. For living in an area with much farming, the area where out house was built is awful. I think the only thing that grows here on its own is blackberry vines. Cannot kill those things. Grrr...

carnivorousplant
03-30-2013, 08:11 PM
I have cilantro sprouting inside...:dubious:

Jackmannii
04-05-2013, 11:28 PM
Alright, here it is - the ultimate deterrent to cats getting into your garden.

Behold, the porcupine tomato (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HmEcIo4h5no/TDozfn-vwUI/AAAAAAAACW8/2cDjroRJTRE/s1600/*solanum_pyracanthum.JPG&imgrefurl=http://interleafings.blogspot.com/2010/07/from-anagallis-to-zaluzianskya-at.html&h=1200&w=1490&sz=2137&tbnid=iJf1AFLuTK1i1M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=112&zoom=1&usg=__OTmRl9tKl-Kfef-DdBTs9MbSoRA=&docid=8ky3tbfEZlOVbM&sa=X&ei=s5RfUbDWC5HE4APSz4D4CQ&ved=0CDsQ9QEwAg&dur=55), Solanum pyracanthum. It also has purple flowers.

I have about a dozen young seedlings growing on indoors under lights. No spines yet, but any day now...

Biggirl
04-05-2013, 11:34 PM
That's a tomato plant? Are there fruit you can eat? Also-- thanks for the pics.


I did, in fact, order the corn up there when I said I would. It's been might cold here and, as far as I know, corn needs warm ground to be sowed in. Which makes it a good thing I haven't gotten my corn yet.

Jackmannii
04-05-2013, 11:40 PM
There are Solanums with edible fruit, but I don't think S. pyracanthum is one of them.

It's for ornamental (!) use.

I should probably know better - I grew another variety of spiny Solanum a few years ago and it was uncomfortable even with heavy gloves to pull the plants out at season's end.

Maybe I should try growing Loasa roja (http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/item_819j_loasa_lateritia_seeds) from seed (an annual flowering plant known for the stinging hairs on its leaves, something like nettles).

Rhiannon8404
04-06-2013, 12:58 AM
Yay! Stuff is coming up!

Everything I've planted so far is starting to spout. It's so fun watching the little plants pop up through the soil. Every day something new. Oh, and the most exciting thing: pumpkins! Volunteers from last year.

HazelNutCoffee
04-16-2013, 10:53 PM
I have a question about growing basil. I bought a small pot of basil seedlings. There are three separate sprouts. I replanted them in a slightly bigger pot (they came in one of those cheap plastic things) but I'm wondering now if I should plant each sprout in its own pot. Will they start hating on each other if I keep them together? They're still pretty small - maybe a couple inches tall.

Cat Whisperer
04-17-2013, 01:09 AM
I'm going to start sobbing any minute here - I'm in between assignments, and I desperately want to get out in my yard and clean it up after winter and start working on my summer projects even if I can't plant until the end of May, but it's all still under snow. Bleah.

Biggirl
04-17-2013, 06:35 AM
Yes, you should replant the basil as they will grow and crowd each other. (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_He-xbNUiza4/TGy-7pCJpFI/AAAAAAAAFy8/Px-_DdVGku8/s1600/basil+plant.jpg)

Broomstick
04-17-2013, 07:46 AM
Managed to get the main garden plot cleared and cultivated. A friend beat my bent shovel back into shape and sharpened it. I'm thinking of slightly expanding the main garden, adding enough for another row of plants.

Bought a hoe. Still need to get oinon sets and spinach seeds. The spouse wants blue flowers on the side of the house this year, so I got some bachelor button's and purple alyssum. Still have to clean up the side beds, and I note that the squirrels have once again rearranged the bulbs - I have daffodils and tulips coming up in places they aren't supposed to be.

Have several Beaver Dam pepper plants in sprouting pots indoors. Don't trust the weather enough quite yet to plant anything outside. Maybe next week for cold tolerant stuff.

pulykamell
04-17-2013, 11:36 AM
Be careful with the strawberries. They'll take over your yard if you're not careful.

I wish I had that problem. The last three years, I've planted four strawberry plants in my garden. Every single time, some @#$@#* thing apparently ate them before I even saw a single one. I've literally only gotten to taste like four strawberries. None of my other plants. Just the damned strawberries. I've just about given up on them. I'll have to try again this year, in a pot, with netting or something and see if I have better luck, because I haven't had a good strawberry in years.

Anyhow, as for me, I've just got a bunch of peppers from seed that I started on March 1. Everything is looking good so far: chile arbol de yahualica, aji limon, aji amarillo, rooster spur, piri-piri, and corne de chevre. I'll probably pick up some habanero-type seedlings as well, but this year I'm concentrating on different varieties, as I'm capsicum chinense-ed out.

Filbert
04-17-2013, 12:40 PM
I'm having a squash dilemma today- I have far more kinds, especially of pumpkins than I have space for in the heated propogator, but I want to plant them all!

I'm trying oca (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalis_tuberosa) this year, anyone grown it before? I like growing things you can't find in the shops...

Biggirl
04-17-2013, 12:59 PM
Because I so wanted to grow something and I did not start anything indoors, this weekend I planted marigolds and zinnias in pots that are now residing ont the front steps. I've never grown them in pots before. I have had nothing but success with the marigolds (love 'em. So pretty, so many varieties, so hard to kill) both starting indoors and directly sowing in the ground. The zinnias, have not flourisned under my hand as of yet. We'll see.

I hope I am not tempting the Frost Gods by putting out pots this early.


The only thing that keeps marigolds from being the perfect flower plant is that they don't smell good. In fact, they smell a little off. Also, the perfect perennial plant has got to be hostas. Again with the plentiful varieties and the indistructibleness. That's a word, right?

InsomniaMama
04-17-2013, 09:47 PM
Sshhhh! Shh! Can you hear that? That's my seeds screaming as they are washed into the gutter. I've never seen my raised beds flooded before, and I've been here 12 years. So much for everything I started two weeks ago.

Sigh.

Zone 5, Chicago suburbs.

Cat Whisperer
04-18-2013, 01:31 AM
<snip>

I hope I am not tempting the Frost Gods by putting out pots this early.All my plants that are starting to sprout were frozen solid this morning, but by afternoon, they had thawed out and it didn't seem to have fazed them a bit. I guess if you're an early grower, you've got to be hardy (not like there's anything that *isn't* hardy in my yard).


The only thing that keeps marigolds from being the perfect flower plant is that they don't smell good. In fact, they smell a little off. Also, the perfect perennial plant has got to be hostas. Again with the plentiful varieties and the indistructibleness. That's a word, right?I love the smell of marigolds - it is weird, but I like it.

I think daylilies are the perfect perennial - nice, interesting foliage, beautiful flowers (and lots of them), extremely hardy and drought tolerant, and a billion varieties.

Sshhhh! Shh! Can you hear that? That's my seeds screaming as they are washed into the gutter. I've never seen my raised beds flooded before, and I've been here 12 years. So much for everything I started two weeks ago.

Sigh.

Zone 5, Chicago suburbs.Aw, I'm sorry to hear that. :(

papergirl
04-18-2013, 07:52 PM
I'm just getting around to clearing the raised beds of last year's clutter. Things got busy last fall and I let it all go.
Imagine my happiness to find that last year's collard greens are back! They love the cool weather and are about 10" high now. Next week I'll have a mess of greens with eggs!

carnivorousplant
04-18-2013, 09:50 PM
Next week I'll have a mess of greens with eggs!

I must ask how you prepare them.
My Ex Northern Wife was elated when I bought some grape leaves and wrapped them around ground beef, and never noticed when I switched to mustard and turnip greens. :)

HazelNutCoffee
04-18-2013, 10:37 PM
Has anyone ever tried growing gerbera daisies indoors? They're pretty and I've read they produce a lot of oxygen at night, but I've also read they're difficult to care for.

Biggirl
04-19-2013, 06:37 AM
I have never had a problem with gerbera daisies (unlike zinnias) but I've never tried to grow them indoors.

In my garden news, something has disturbed my pots. Birds or squirrels, I don't know which. I'm hoping it was birds having a dirt bath and not birds and squirrels looking for seeds.

Cat Whisperer
04-19-2013, 12:24 PM
My dirt came! A big ole bag of dirt (one ton, I think) that I ordered a couple of months ago has showed up in our back yard yesterday - out to go shovel it onto the garden now. My dirt in this new yard is terrible, I think - nothing is growing right here.

Biggirl
04-19-2013, 06:04 PM
My Night Flyer lily bulbs (http://www.jparkers.co.uk/csp/parkers/products/opt2/large/1006018.jpg) arrived today! This is a stock photo. But this is a photo of my already established yellow lillies (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden%2010/lilieslillyingmidmay.jpg). I plant to plant the Nights among the yellows for contrast.

Now, I planted the yellow Asiatic lilies in the fall but I was told these tiger lilies should go in in the spring. Don't know if I'll get flowers this summer from them.

MsBatt
04-19-2013, 07:55 PM
Biggirl, which ones are you calling 'tiger' lilies? The 'Night Flyer' ones look like Asiatic lilies to me. What I've always called tiger lilies are Lilium lancifolium. In any case, they *might* flower this summer. I believe my lilies flowered the first year I had them in the ground.

Someone was asking about basil. Basil is SO easy to propagate! It needs to be pinched back to keep it from flowering, so what I do is take 2- or 3-node cuttings and just poke them back down in the pot. About 90% of the take root, and by summer's end I've got a TON of basil through my gardens.

Do any of you start your seeds via winter sowing? Beats the heck out of starting stuff under lights, indoors. There's a great forum about it at www.gardenweb.com/

Biggirl
04-19-2013, 08:00 PM
That's what Burpee's calls them, Night Flyer Tiger Lily bulbs.

HazelNutCoffee
04-22-2013, 11:45 PM
ARGH the temperature dropped a few days ago (not below freezing) - just for a day, it was raining - and my begonias were not happy. The leaves have turned yellowish brown and the flowers as well. It doesn't look dead - the base leaves are still green - but I'm still pissed. Any advice? Should I prune the yellow bits and let it grow out again?

The hydrangeas and basil also do not look very happy, but the begonias suffered the worst.

Broomstick
04-23-2013, 04:47 AM
The first sprouts of my Beaver Dam peppers have poked above the soil for my indoor pots.

Meanwhile, we're still getting very cold nights, so just as well I didn't plant early. I'm still think end of the month for the cold tolerant stuff.

Ca3799
04-28-2013, 03:08 PM
My daughter and I manage a 21 bed community garden at our UU church. We have one private bed and manage 5 other beds, the produce from which is donated to our local food bank. We have taken 118 pounds of fresh, organic, local stuff to the food bank since January, but have been in a between season slow down for the last couple of weeks. I may be taking a bunch of onions and some 'this and that' tomorrow though.

We have had a very good winter that is just winding up and have been putting in our spring and summer stuff.

I may have to go to "Tomato Plant Anonymous' as I have over 20 tomato plants of different kinds. (Better Girl, Beefsteak, Abe Lincoln, Cherokee Purple and yellow pear.)

I do have a question about the onions, though. Many are not bulbing. I had read that you could knock the tops over to encourage bulbing. I did that two weeks ago, but the onions managed to straighten themselves out and continue to not bulb. I think I may have planted them too close together. Any opinions on how to encourage bulbing? It may be too late as I'm in zone 9a and it's getting to be 75-80 degrees already. These onions were planted last fall.

Some pics are located here: http://imgur.com/a/rXuqb
and here: http://imgur.com/a/lruSe

For spring, I have put in corn, tomatoes, red and sweet potatoes, bell pepper, snow and sugar snap peas, some watermelon, pumpkin, cukes, eggplant, okra, and some other stuff. I have one carrot bed finishing up as well.

Digital is the new Analog
04-28-2013, 06:54 PM
I haven't been to the community garden I normally volunteer at for a while, due to an arm injury. I know in March we hit half a ton of fruits and veggies donated.

In my personal garden, I currently have a few strawberries, some bell peppers, and some second generation lettuce. It's always fun to see where the lettuce seeds ended up, once the new generation sprouts.

I also have some herbs - basil, rosemary, etc.

I don't spend enough time taking care of these. Luckily, I have a friend who lives by who likes to garden, and doesn't have a yard. So I think he's going to start taking care of my garden for me, and add some more stuff.


I may have to go to "Tomato Plant Anonymous' as I have over 20 tomato plants of different kinds. (Better Girl, Beefsteak, Abe Lincoln, Cherokee Purple and yellow pear.)


You might want to check out Ample Harvest (http://ampleharvest.org/) for other banks to donate extras to.

twickster
04-28-2013, 07:34 PM
Ca3799, I merged your thread into one already underway in Cafe Society.

Broomstick
04-28-2013, 08:15 PM
I do have a question about the onions, though. Many are not bulbing. I had read that you could knock the tops over to encourage bulbing. I did that two weeks ago, but the onions managed to straighten themselves out and continue to not bulb. I think I may have planted them too close together. Any opinions on how to encourage bulbing?
I find the only sure way to get onions to bulb is to make sure they're sufficiently far apart. If they're in a line, pull out every other one, or every two out of three, to allow the remaining ones more room.

Kimstu
04-28-2013, 09:30 PM
Cleared the leaves off the herb garden today (the chives clump had come up with the daffodils as usual, looking bright green and happy), and whaddya know, there's parsley sprouting from last year's plant!

It has a slightly bitter taste, though. Tell me, parsleyphiles, will parsley do well as a self-sown annual or will I get better results just putting in a new parsley plant?

Also, last fall my housesitter kindly harvested seeds for me while I was away but put them all together into the same paper bag, so I'm just planting a bunch of dillantro seeds and hoping I can tell them apart when they sprout.

Also ordered from the seed catalogs (but forgot to order the marigold seeds, doggone it! and I don't want to incur shipping costs on a separate shipment just for one little seed packet) as well as that white clematis I was talking about back on the first page of this thread! If all goes well the clematis should look really cool twining through the bronze-red leaves of the Norway maple. :)

Broomstick
04-28-2013, 11:38 PM
I've got marigold seeds up the wazoo, mine always go nuts. PM me your address I'll send you marigold seeds for free.

I've had volunteer parsley do well at times, and other times not so much. It does seem to be slightly more bitter. Only time will tell in your case.

Zyada
04-30-2013, 10:14 AM
Here's my usual MO. Clean up one or two areas so they are looking nice. This takes from the time it's just warm enough to go outside without a coat to the time to halfway through the planting season. Plant the areas I've got cleaned up. Go do all the housework I've been ignoring for months. By this time it's too hot to do anything but spend 5 minutes outside looking at the jungle that hasn't been cleaned out and feeling guilty.


This year I got a contractor to clean out selected areas. He mulched one of the beds, but left the other two as bare dirt. Bob and I cleaned out a fourth bed(the rose bed in front and we didn't dig up the roses, just the other crap), took down a crepe myrtle that was too big for it's britches, and put down mulch on top of a cardboard/newspaper layer in two bare beds. Now hopefully I can keep these beds clean by just pulling up the occasional weed that finds a way around the cardboard. Which, by the way, the holly and ivy are doing by growing up right by the stems of the roses, sneaky bastards.


This weekend I bought several butterfly friendly plants, and a hosta for a particularly dark part of one of the beds. Buddleia, lantana, dill, Texas Hummingbird Mint (not really a mint)... they didn't have any milkweed, so I'm on their will-call for that.

No veggies yet, but my strawberries from last year are blooming, and I had a perfectly ripe one yesterday. Nom, nom.

Also, one apple tree is blooming, and the other is still acting like it's February. They were supposed to bloom together. Hopefully someone else in the neighborhood has a blooming apple tree!

If anyone wants to grow roses from cuttings, let me know. I have a bunch of antique roses and they grow wonderfully from cuttings.

Broomstick
04-30-2013, 10:26 AM
Well, the Beaver Dam peppers I started indoors are not filling me with optimism. I've gotten two sprouts out of 6 pots. Maybe they're just late starters? Still not time to plant them outdoors yet, so I'll continue to nurture them indoors.

Today is the day I go outside to actually start planting. I already spent one morning hoeing the garden patch and clearing the winter trash out of it, so basically today I just yank any incipient weeds, make rows, and plant. Going to start with spinach, bok choy, lettuce, and a radish/carrot row. The other early stuff - the kohlrabi, beets, onions - I'll do my next day off, weather permitting.

Broomstick
04-30-2013, 12:28 PM
Yay! Happy dance!

Distributed half my "cooked" compost pile and planted radishes, carrots, spinach, bok choy, chard, and the lettuce mix. On my way!

Ca3799
04-30-2013, 12:45 PM
I'm still trying to find something I like to eat using all the chard. It's such a beautiful and easy growing plant. Healthy to eat as well.

My first tomatoes are starting to turn color!

Somebody put either squash or watermelon or something like that in my sweet potato bed (community garden weirdness) but I'm gonna leave them there. They will either share the space or they won't.

Kimstu
04-30-2013, 12:48 PM
I've got marigold seeds up the wazoo, mine always go nuts. PM me your address I'll send you marigold seeds for free.

Thanks Broomstick, I did that! Very kind of you! :)

I've had volunteer parsley do well at times, and other times not so much. It does seem to be slightly more bitter. Only time will tell in your case.

I went a-googling and found this info (http://botanical.com/site/column_rita/parsley.html):

There are several varieties of parsley available for the home gardener. All are biennials, producing foliage the first year and flowers producing seeds the second year. But most people grow them as annuals. This is a shame because the flowers are a beautiful chartreuse color that looks great in a bouquet of red or purple flowers.

[...]the leaves of second year parsley are tough and bitter and it's going to die as soon as it sets seed [...]

So, looks as though I should put in some fresh parsley this year but keep the volunteer around for flowers (and seed-saving?).

HazelNutCoffee
05-01-2013, 02:31 AM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89690686@N05/8695970480/ - Can anyone tell me what is wrong with my hydrangea leaves? Some of them have started taking on this reddish tint that does not look healthy. Thanks for helping a novice gardener. :D

Biggirl
05-01-2013, 06:46 AM
Probably fungus. It won't kill it (nothing kills hydrangeas!) but it ain't pretty.


See here. (http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/hydrangeafaq2.html)
There are several fungal leaf spot organisms that attack Hydrangea. Leaves develop brown to gray lesions surrounded by purple halos (see image at left). These leaf spots are most common in late summer and early fall, and seem to be more common among plants grown in sunny locations. Again, plants are rarely killed, but severe infestation can be very unattractive. All the cultivated species of Hydrangea are susceptible to one or more of these leaf spots.

HazelNutCoffee
05-01-2013, 08:17 AM
Probably fungus. It won't kill it (nothing kills hydrangeas!) but it ain't pretty.


Hm, that's annoying. Maybe I should move it into a less sunny spot? Thanks for the link!

Jackmannii
05-01-2013, 03:36 PM
My three coldframes are filled to bursting and the weather is supposed to be mild and dry through the weekend. Looks like I've got no excuses for not planting, except laziness.

On the vegetable front, I have 17 brussels sprouts plants in (I know, too few, but more are on the way), half a dozen celeriac (too weird not to try) and the garlic crop is making excellent progress. Tomato plants are nearly hardened off and could go into their tubs within the week.

pulykamell
05-01-2013, 03:54 PM
Planted my seeds yesterday to get them started. Looking to transplant May-ish. I only do the chile peppers from seed, so this year we got: arbol, aji amarillo, aji limon (lemon drop), corne de chevre, piri-piri, rooster spur, fatalii, mustard habanero. I'm not bothering with the ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) or Trinidad scorpion this year. I'll probably also get some Thai red seedlings in May.

The rest, we'll see. I plan to get some greens going for a change. I always neglect the rest of my garden to concentrate on chile peppers. Oh, and tomatoes. There's always tomatoes. I'm also thinking of getting potatoes in, using one of those vertical methods for growing them.

So far, everything's going great. I'm still going to wait two weeks or so before I get the seedlings outside, but everything sprouted well except for the habanero types. Those I grew from old seed and from peppers I dried last year, and I guess I must've dried them at too high a temp or something, as not a single one sprouted. Last year, they all came up easily. I didn't buy a new supply of habanero-type seeds this year as I'm getting a bit burnt out (no pun intended) on those peppers. I'll pick up a couple plants at the nursery, though.

At any rate, I have about 50-60 pepper plants in the basement, so I'm going to give away about 40 of them. And that's from pruning them down from well over 100 viable seedings. I'm excited this year to try some of my new peppers, like the aji amarillo and the aji limon.

Rhiannon8404
05-01-2013, 03:58 PM
On the vegetable front, I have 17 brussels sprouts plants in (I know, too few, but more are on the way)...

I wish I had room for that many Brussels sprout plants! I might if I didn't grow anything else in my tiny back yard. I seriously need to think about fencing in and digging up the front yard.


Had 6 ripe strawberries Monday. YUM!

Thinned out my zucchini and butternut squash plants this weekend and gave 3 zucchini and 2 butternut to my mom. I have 4 of each left and they are doing great. So far most things are doing well. Started everything from seed this years except strawberries and tomatoes, and everything is coming up.

Mean Mr. Mustard
05-03-2013, 02:16 PM
I just dug mine this morning, first attempt in many years. Nothing fancy, just a 4x10 foot strip for 8 tomato plants (my favorite food on earth). Can't wait to bite into the first one. There is room to plant more; maybe I'll toss in some eggplant or cukes.

Oh yeah, the work was a lot more intense than I thought.


mmm

artemis
05-03-2013, 02:34 PM
Just tomatoes and parsnips this year. This past weekend was spent digging up last year's parsnips; now I've got to get the beds ready for planting. We're having an unusually cold spring, though, so I think it will be a week or two more before I can safely plant the tomatoes. (The parsnips could go in now, if I had the bed ready.)

Amateur Barbarian
05-03-2013, 03:22 PM
Why would you putt in a vegetable garden?

:)

This will be our third summer here and we're successively building out ground frames from the starting three garden boxes we brought with us Our yields of the usuals have been unimpressive, but my wife has learned to hate cute lil' bunnies and deer.

Mean Mr. Mustard
05-03-2013, 05:16 PM
Why would you putt in a vegetable garden?

:)

If my tomatoes get hit with the fungal rot I might get a hole in one.


mmm

Gatopescado
05-03-2013, 06:02 PM
Me!

Sudden Kestrel
05-03-2013, 08:09 PM
My husband grows tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, potatoes and onions in raised beds surrounded by an electric fence to foil the raccoons, and this year I'm growing mostly lettuces, herbs and edible flowers in containers on the deck. I even have a container-friendly sweet corn to try this year.

Of course, this all assumes it stops snowing sometime :(.

InsomniaMama
05-03-2013, 09:10 PM
Freaking squirrels are eating my seed potatoes. Luckily I'm doing them in bins this year, so I just put them in the garage for now. I'll bring them back out when they have sprouted.

Hari Seldon
05-03-2013, 10:00 PM
I am going to plant tomatoes, lettuce, beans, garlic (already up from unharvested bulbs from last year), zucchini, ramps (already up in my herb bed), sorrel (ditto), basil. I've been doing it for 40 years.

OldGuy
05-04-2013, 01:49 AM
Hanging tomato plants and cucumbers up on the patio to keep them away from the critters here. Cucumber seedlings have been started in the basement under grow lights.

Broomstick
05-04-2013, 07:34 AM
Have I already mentioned I only had 2 of the 8 Beaver Dam peppers I started inside germinate? Fortunately, those two plants seem healthy.

Do most people start all their plants indoors? I've never had much luck with that, I usually directly sow seed in the dirt. I started these peppers indoors because our growing season isn't reliably long enough for peppers.

Suburban Plankton
05-04-2013, 04:19 PM
We started one last year, after living in our house for 19 years...we had tomatoes, cayenne peppers, zucchini, and pumpkins.

This year we expanded, and have strawberries, tomatoes, four different types of peppers, zucchini, pumpkins, butternut squash, three types of lettuce, string beans, and onions.

There's still some space in the backyard, but I think we're going to wait until next year to fill that :)

Rhiannon8404
05-04-2013, 04:22 PM
Have I already mentioned I only had 2 of the 8 Beaver Dam peppers I started inside germinate? Fortunately, those two plants seem healthy.

Two is probably all you needs. Our two pepper plants last year produced so much we let the neighbor come over and take what she wanted, when she wanted.

Do most people start all their plants indoors? I've never had much luck with that, I usually directly sow seed in the dirt. I started these peppers indoors because our growing season isn't reliably long enough for peppers.

We probably have a much longer growing season than you, being in Nor Cal, but I never start my seeds indoors. I think about it, but then I just end up planting them in the soil as soon as the beds are ready. They usually do fine. Tomatoes, though, I always buy a started plant at the nursery.

Rhiannon8404
05-04-2013, 04:24 PM
Thought I'd share this cool website: SproutRobot (http://sproutrobot.com/). You put your zip code in and it tells you when to plant what. It also has instructions for container planting as well as bed planting.

Chefguy
05-04-2013, 04:33 PM
At this point we've got two kinds of lettuce in the ground, along with spinach. The herbs wintered over, but we've planted dill for pickling. We have our tomato starts (Sweet Millions cherry toms) and a sweet red pepper plant. I'm hoping we can do some pickling cukes later on.

Emtar KronJonDerSohn
05-04-2013, 05:50 PM
I built a raised cinder block bed this year, 13x5 or so. I filled it with native soil and mixed a liberal amount of amendment in the top 6-8". I really don't know what I'm doing though. It looks nice and is growing. I think we planted tomatoes cucumbers onions basil corn carrots and broccoli.

papergirl
05-04-2013, 07:59 PM
I have a 4x24' garden, using square foot gardening.
Some of the sfg will be not so sf this year. Last year's greens--I'm not sure if it's kale or collards!--came up again through the snow and they're HUGE! It's been nice to have greens without actually having gardened yet!
The strawberries are blooming in their permanent beds as well. In a couple of weeks I'll put in tomatoes, carrots, sugar snaps, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I also have leeks and a celery base growing in my kitchen, so I'll plant those and see what happens.
I never have luck with peppers, winter squash, or melons, so I'll just buy those around town.
But first I have to weed!

Chicken Fingers
05-04-2013, 09:32 PM
Fun website. Thanks for sharing. It may be my part of the country (DC area, and known for wacky weather), but its planting schedule seemed a bit conservative. I can plant a month ahead of its schedule with no worries.

I bought my tomato plants today, and will sow a bunch of other seeds tomorrow. My problem is lack of space. Last year I planted too much, too densely, and it all did great, but I couldn't reach into the mini-jungle to harvest half of it.

I forgot to buy the seeds this year, but next year I want to grow Roma Striped heirloom tomatoes. Had some from the farmers market last summer and they were both gorgeous and delicious.

Lynn Bodoni
05-05-2013, 02:44 AM
My husband and I are planning to kill about a dozen tomato plants this year, as usual.

My fig tree has survived. No figs yet, but it survived! We put it in last year, and usually we can kill a fig tree within a couple of months. Dare I hope to taste home grown figs again in this lifetime?

Broomstick
05-05-2013, 08:30 AM
Fun website. Thanks for sharing. It may be my part of the country (DC area, and known for wacky weather), but its planting schedule seemed a bit conservative. I can plant a month ahead of its schedule with no worries.
Really? Because I thought it was recommending things a bit early for my area. Then again when to plant isn't a perfect science. It's a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.

Mean Mr. Mustard
05-05-2013, 09:03 AM
Anyone have any luck with eggplant? I'd love to harvest some, but everything I read emphasizes how tempermental the plants are.


mmm

Mean Mr. Mustard
05-05-2013, 09:06 AM
I just now noticed Broomstick's 2013 gardening thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=682561).

Perhaps a thread merge is in order.

Mods notified.


mmm

twickster
05-05-2013, 10:16 AM
I just now noticed Broomstick's 2013 gardening thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=682561).

Perhaps a thread merge is in order.

Mods notified.


mmm

You got it.

Jackmannii
05-05-2013, 12:53 PM
Anyone have any luck with eggplant? I'd love to harvest some, but everything I read emphasizes how tempermental the plants are.I had spotty results before last summer, when the harvest was very good.

One key is to make sure you spray the plants regularly (especially when they're young) to control the worst pest (flea beetles, which chew a ton of tiny holes in the leaves and can easily debilitate or kill transplants). I use Neem or Neem/horticultural soap mix. Beyond that, if you provide sun and decent soil and keep up with watering during dry spells, there's no great trick to raising eggplant.

I have several heirloom varieties going this year, including Rosa Bianca which is terrific-tasting and doesn't need to be peeled (some varieties have tough or bitter skin).

Biggirl
05-05-2013, 01:36 PM
As I've said before, all my squash-type plants take off amazingly and then die very suddenly after they've flowered but before they've set fruit. My problem has been diagnosed as squash borers. They live in my soil and I can just forget about squash.

Today I put in my hybrid corn made for pots and small spaces. I am excitedly anticipating delicious fresh grilled corn in August.

I have planted some pots. Some have seeds (marigolds and zinnias), some seedlings bought from Home Depot (begonia, Gereba daisies and something I'm not quite sure about) and a very special pot with columbine seeds I put in yesterday. Columbines are slow starting little MFers and I won't know if these old seeds have taken for 30 days. That's a long time to wait for seedlings. And then I've got to wait until NEXT summer for a flower. But they are sure worth the wait.

Also, my tulips keep delivering. Man, they're gorgeous this time of year. The Bleeding Hearts and Hostos never disappoint. The irises have many, many flower pods and the Asiatic lilies have grown a good foot. I espect flowers soon from them. The established lilies, anyway. The newly planted ones, only time will tell.

Kimstu
05-05-2013, 04:01 PM
Yay!!!!! Broomstick just very generously sent me MORE MARIGOLD SEEDS THAN HAVE EVER BEEN SEEN TOGETHER AT ANY TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!! Thank you, Broomstick!

I'm always a little bummed that I never seem to get enough marigold seeds out of a packet to make a nice abundant planting along the edge of the garden and fence it off from the grass. But THIS year, whoo boy! :) I'm sowing these babies like salt on movie popcorn and I'll have enough left over to tuck into some flower borders and maybe some containers too. :cool:

Broomstick, I'm waiting to see if my saved dill seeds from last year sprout properly and if they do I'll send you a batch of those to return the favor, in addition to whatever I've got left over from the packets I ordered. So far that's some chard and romaine lettuce and creeping thyme, and I should also be getting some interesting flower seeds if Select Seeds ever manages to deliver them---I've been waiting over a week now. :dubious:

Today I dug the raised beds (a fancy way of describing a few rather lumpy hogbacks with short trenches in between them, but they do do a pretty good job of keeping the plants drained in my stiff clayey soil) and put in the lettuce and chard, as well as cukes (go cukes! I'm afraid I may have Biggirl's squash borers because for the past year or so my cukes have suddenly died after vining lavishly but not yet bearing, but I'm going to try once more, so go cukes!) and green beans and edamame. AND all the marigolds, of course. :) A couple of grape tomato vine seedlings will go in by the fence as soon as I get around to it.

This year's my first time attempting to grow Swiss chard; I got some of the multicolored stuff so at least it will look pretty even if I don't eat it as much as I should. (Do chard seeds look like something from another planet or what? They're these pointy little stellated polyhedra that look as though they might grow into jacks or caltrops or possibly Portal cubes but certainly not leafy greens.)

Broomstick
05-05-2013, 06:58 PM
Yay!!!!! Broomstick just very generously sent me MORE MARIGOLD SEEDS THAN HAVE EVER BEEN SEEN TOGETHER AT ANY TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!! Thank you, Broomstick!

I'm always a little bummed that I never seem to get enough marigold seeds out of a packet to make a nice abundant planting along the edge of the garden and fence it off from the grass. But THIS year, whoo boy! :) I'm sowing these babies like salt on movie popcorn and I'll have enough left over to tuck into some flower borders and maybe some containers too. :cool:
If you (or anyone else) needs more let me know - I have another two quart jars of seed at home. As I mentioned, I've been breeding 'em more for hardiness than anything else but they are prolific. Save seed and reseed next year from it.

This year's my first time attempting to grow Swiss chard; I got some of the multicolored stuff so at least it will look pretty even if I don't eat it as much as I should. (Do chard seeds look like something from another planet or what? They're these pointy little stellated polyhedra that look as though they might grow into jacks or caltrops or possibly Portal cubes but certainly not leafy greens.)
Yep, chard seeds look "fake" in a way. You'll love growing the stuff - it's hardy. I've had mine keep growing after an inch of snowfall, it takes several nights in the mid-20's or lower to kill it off. For some reason I also get more white and red stem than yellow stem chard, the yellow just doesn't seem to thrive as well as the other two. Mine is already up.

That's today's big news - I have sprouts! In the garden! Yay, spring is HERE!

I Like Pie
05-05-2013, 08:24 PM
I got my plants yesterday, Early Girls and Better Boy tomatoes, some sweet red bell peppers, cilantro and chocolate mint. I'm also contemplating some hot peppers. I plant in pots on my deck so the deer don't eat everything. Can't wait for tomatoes!

carnivorousplant
05-05-2013, 10:07 PM
I would like to grow herbs. I had cilantro sprout, and when I put it outside in the tray to toughen up, Something Ate Them. Also ate the potting soil.
:(
Whatever creature, it of course was just trying to make a living, as are you and I.

Jackmannii
05-05-2013, 11:01 PM
My fig tree has survived. No figs yet, but it survived! We put it in last year, and usually we can kill a fig tree within a couple of months. Dare I hope to taste home grown figs again in this lifetime?The best (and only) fig variety I've harvested fruit from so far in my figly endeavors is Petite Negra (http://www.logees.com/Fig-Petite-Negra-Ficus-carica/productinfo/R1710-4/), a semidwarf tree that bears well in pots.

From what I hear from various sources, fruit trees bear most prolifically when their roots are somewhat confined. You can do this in-ground in a restricted space, by root-pruning and by growing the trees in pots/tubs (I just set out a half-dozen potted plants that overwintered in the garage and are now leafing out).

I have two fig clumps in the garden that die back to the ground each winter and send up shoots that top out at about 8 feet during the summer, but no fruit. This year I think I'll root-prune the bejesus out of them, hoping they'll think the apocalpyse is nigh and it's time to reproduce before the end comes.

And I set out a dozen eggplant seedlings this afternoon - three kinds, including an Iraqi variety promoted by this, um, slightly unusual-looking child (http://www.rareseeds.com/aswad-eggplant/).

MichaelQReilly
05-06-2013, 09:35 PM
Obligatory link (http://www.marvelousgarden.blogspot.com/) to my garden blog.

Kimstu
05-09-2013, 03:55 PM
Woo-hoo, the dillantro seeds are sprouting! Gonna take me a while to figure out which ones are cilantro and which are dill, though.

Also, my flower seeds arrived, so this weekend should see some more planting!

In other news, the tulips that made such a glorious show in my little median strip planting came back this year with lots of tousled-looking leaves and two, count them, two flowers. Whoop-de-doo.

Moreover, last year I had at least a dozen lupines come up from the seeds I planted, and now in their second year when they're due to flower for the first time I have one, count it, one that seems to have survived the winter. Oh well, one's better than zero, but I wanted a nice little bed of lupines in that corner. :(

I've decided that this is the year I'm going to figure out what all the plants and shrubs are in my garden (rental house that I've been in for a few years, neither I nor the landlords know what all is growing around here). I'm sure I'll be back to this thread with photos and requests for ID help!

In the meantime, does anybody recommend a free online site or software for documenting your garden plan? I'm probably just going to sketch things in a notebook but I wouldn't mind having access to something more systematic.

Finally, is it just me or is this a really good year for dandelions? Some lawns I'm seeing are literally more yellow than green.

Kimstu
05-11-2013, 09:23 AM
And now it looks like it's going to rain all weekend. Yay for no watering, boo for no gardening.

Biggirl
05-12-2013, 05:24 PM
Petunias are in under the bay window. The lilies I put in earlier have spiked out of the ground and my irises, unlike everybody else's on my block, have not yet opened. But I think they're gonna look really great when they do. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden%2013/Irislowandlong.jpg)



Yeah, the bed under the bay window is getting pretty crowded. The newly planted petunias are on either side of the irises. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/Biggirl/Garden%2013/Irisfullfrontal.jpg)Way over to the right are the established lilies. They're yellow. The ones I planted around them are a deep purple.

Also, after six years of being tiny, little dwarfs, the Endless Summer hydrangeas behind the irises has decided it wants to grow and be a regular bush.

Not going to be able to put the veggies in the ground today. Which means it won't happen until next Saturday. I hope they don't mind their plastic pots for another week.

carnivorousplant
05-12-2013, 06:18 PM
Unimpressive compared to you guys, but when I moved my houseplants from the fish room to outdoors, I discovered that one of the potted Amorphophallus konjac (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Amorphophallus_konjac_CBM.png) is growing.

Arisaema outside are beginning to grow. Two are MIA due to the dipsomaniac tree guy dropping a tree in their area.

Broomstick
05-12-2013, 06:35 PM
Today I mostly cleaned up beds - weeding the beds along the south side of the building, and finishing the clean-up of the main plot where things had overgrown by the trellises. Also rebuilt the brick firepit.

Now I'm pooped.

I'll do some planting tomorrow.

HazelNutCoffee
05-22-2013, 05:00 AM
Does anyone have a recommendation for a summer flower that likes bright but indirect light? I had a potted cyclamen growing very well in a corner of my balcony, but now that the weather's getting hotter it's gone dormant. Something I could grow in a small or medium sized pot would be nice

I fed my begonia some ground up banana peels and it's blooming like crazy now. It was such a scrawny thing when I brought it home. I just want to pat it on the head, I'm so proud. :)

Kimstu
05-22-2013, 04:55 PM
I finally got all my flower seeds in this weekend and now I'm just hoping that the torrential rains of the last 18 hours haven't washed them all away! I managed to dig up the median-strip flower patch (and throw away the underperforming tulip bulbs), dig in a bunch of soil amendment, edge it with bricks (so the city mower guy won't keep obliviously mowing it), and plant a bunch of annual seeds in it, all without disturbing the few irises that are leafing out now---I hope.

(By the way: oh, Brooooooooomstick, watch your maaaaaaaailbox! :))

HazelNutCoffee, why not try a nice bleeding-heart plant or Dicentra formosa (http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/index.php/plants/327-grow-care-bleeding-heart) for your bright-shade balcony? It's not gonna be very long-blooming at this point, though. Violas? Busy lizzie? Pentas? Primula?

Check out their recommendations for shady balcony sites (http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/index.php/gardening/148-shady-garden) in general.

HazelNutCoffee
05-23-2013, 12:29 AM
Nice website. Looks like petunias might work. Thanks!

Rhiannon8404
05-23-2013, 01:52 AM
I'm so excited to share this salad (http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p4/rhiannon8404/478759_10151686051573313_871189057_o.jpg) that I grew in my garden. I planted 3 kinds of lettuce and I've been enjoying "free" salad for the last two weeks.

My zucchini and butternut squashes are taking over the yard. Green beans, cucumbers and pumpkins are doing nicely. My chili peppers are not doing so well. They sprouted, but haven't really grown. Next year I will start them indoors. Red and yellow bell peppers were transplanted out doors today.

Not really garden related, but I transplanted my oldest (10+ yrs old) African violet that was out growing it's pot and now it's awfully scrawning and I fear it's dying. I'm really worried. I did everything the ladies at the African violet society said to do. The others are all doing well.

HazelNutCoffee
05-23-2013, 02:37 AM
I want to try lettuce next year! This is the first year we've had space for any kind of plants (moved to a new place in January). This year it's all flowers with a few herbs.

I'm very excited because on my way to work I spotted a flower shop that's selling rose geraniums. I've been looking for those flowers for ages!

Kimstu
05-23-2013, 04:43 PM
A few stevia seedlings are showing in my seed boxes, how exciting! I'm growing some for a friend who needs to avoid dietary sugars so I'm hoping to plant some in their garden and also provide a couple potted plants for the kitchen. Any experienced stevia growers have any tips for best success? I'm being conscientious about the packet's advice to plant seeds within six months and not overwater.

Speaking of overwatering, more rain again today. Hang in there, flower seeds!!

(And Rhiannon, that salad does look yummy.)

Biggirl
05-23-2013, 06:44 PM
My veggies are still not in the ground. We've had nothing but rain for forever. The good part is I haven't had to water my outside pots in two weeks.

Kimstu
05-24-2013, 04:47 PM
My clematis seedling arrived! Yay!!! [kermit flail]

'Course, it's been raining for three days straight so I can't plant it yet. Looks pretty healthy in its little pot, though.

MichaelQReilly
05-24-2013, 08:35 PM
HazelNutCoffee, why not try a nice bleeding-heart plant or Dicentra formosa (http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/index.php/plants/327-grow-care-bleeding-heart) for your bright-shade balcony? It's not gonna be very long-blooming at this point, though. Violas? Busy lizzie? Pentas? Primula?

Check out their recommendations for shady balcony sites (http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/index.php/gardening/148-shady-garden) in general.

Depending on how shady the balcony is, impatiens are always a great choice. However, if the sun is too bright they will cook.

Torenia is another choice that can hold up to sun better but will still bloom profusely in the shade.

Jackmannii
05-25-2013, 09:26 AM
Depending on how shady the balcony is, impatiens are always a great choice. However, if the sun is too bright they will cook.And if Impatiens are hit by downy mildew (http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/fact-sheets/impatiens-downy-mildew) (a disease that has started ravaging plantings in many areas) they will croak. New Guinea impatiens are supposed to be immune to downy mildew but need a bit more sun than typical Impatiens walleriana.

I second the recommendation for Torenia.

HazelNutCoffee
05-25-2013, 09:59 AM
Depending on how shady the balcony is, impatiens are always a great choice. However, if the sun is too bright they will cook.

Torenia is another choice that can hold up to sun better but will still bloom profusely in the shade.
I will be on the lookout for both, thanks. Living in Korea means that I'm never quite sure what's available here and what it's called locally.

My mom bought me a pot of forget-me-nots and some alyssum, which look very pretty with their tiny blossoms. She also gave me a hug pot of bleeding heart (Clerodendrum) which will hopefully grow to cover our ugly metal railing on the one side of our balcony.

bathsheba
05-25-2013, 10:10 PM
I just bought camellias, cyclamen, red verbena and yellow russelia. Yup. There's no such thing as a quick trip to the garden centre.

Biggirl
05-26-2013, 06:57 PM
Finally got my Cherokee and Celebrity tomato plants down in the ground. Lost 2 of the 6 habaneros seedlings, but that's O.K. because there really isn't enough room in the bed for all the plants I want to put in. Especially not with the sweet pepper color mix.

The thing about the sweet pepper color mix is that it is supposed to have 5 different colors: Green, yellow, red, orange and purple. But there are only 4 plants. We'll see, I guess.

carnivorousplant
05-26-2013, 08:15 PM
Volunteer basil is coming up with the cannas we acquired.
When do you cook with it, young or old?

Biggirl
05-26-2013, 08:55 PM
If you're plant is very young, pick off leaves from the top. As it gets bigger take from the top for bushy plants, from the bottom for tall. And don't cut more than 1/3rd of a plant at a time.

carnivorousplant
05-26-2013, 09:15 PM
And don't cut more than 1/3rd of a plant at a time.

Not a problem, their name is Legion. :)

Thanks!

Chronos
05-26-2013, 09:59 PM
OK, I need advice. My sister's family went for vacation to (among other places) Monticello, and brought back heirloom seeds of Jefferson's own varieties as souvenirs. Which she just gave us today. So now I have a packet of pepper seeds, which should have been started two months ago.

Am I better off planting them now and hoping they mature fast enough, saving them for next year, or doing some of each?

Rhiannon8404
05-26-2013, 10:31 PM
You might try a couple of seeds in pot and see how they do. If they do well, transplant them. According to SproutRobot (http://www.sproutrobot.com/cleveland-oh/planting-calendar/44101) your best time would have been early April, but late May, might not be too late. Definitely save some of them for next year.

Jackmannii
05-26-2013, 10:48 PM
With a long enough growing season, pepper seeds started now could bear before frost.

If saving seed, keeping them cool and dry (in the refrigerator, for instance) is a good idea.

Vegetables currently in the ground: garlic, eggplant (3 varieties), tomatoes (about six kinds, including weird California multicolored hippie hybrids), celeriac, brussels sprouts, potatoes and pole beans. The ornamental garden is about 90% planted. All the potted stuff growing under lights in the basement has been lugged outdoors.

<Terminator>I need a vacation.</T>

carnivorousplant
05-26-2013, 10:52 PM
I'd plant some outside in the garden, and some in pots as a backup.
I presume they would wait until next year. You might search the web to see if they should be refrigerated to last until next year. I doubt that seed companies sell seed the first year they acquire them, or that they refrigerate them.

On edit, Jack probably knows more than I. :)

HazelNutCoffee
05-29-2013, 11:37 PM
I'm slightly worried about my basil. When I bought the seedlings the leaves were a deep green, but now they are a much lighter green. Does that mean it's sick? I trimmed them a bit because they looked like they were getting leggy (and also on the verge of flowering). It's started to sprout more leaves on the sides rather than simply grow tall, which is good, I suppose. Should I be worried about the color?

Kimstu
05-29-2013, 11:41 PM
I'm slightly worried about my basil. When I bought the seedlings the leaves were a deep green, but now they are a much lighter green. Does that mean it's sick? I trimmed them a bit because they looked like they were getting leggy (and also on the verge of flowering). It's started to sprout more leaves on the sides rather than simply grow tall, which is good, I suppose. Should I be worried about the color?

Way I heard it, leaf lightening on basil plants means either insufficient light or wrong amount of water. I defer to more expert basilators for more information.

Cat Whisperer
05-30-2013, 12:06 AM
The legginess is usually an indicator of too much shade, too. I see that basil likes a ton of sunlight.

Well, I've got my garden in! I'm trying a new way of supporting my peas this year - a fence between two rows, and planting them around a tent of support sticks. We'll see how it goes. I found a hardy shrub cherry (http://search.dunvegangardens.ca/11050004/Plant/5200/Crimson_Passion_Cherry) this year, and I've got it all planted up in the garden. I'm hoping for a nice, healthy shrub with loads of delicious cherries soon. :)

HazelNutCoffee
05-30-2013, 12:17 AM
I really could not give my basil more sunlight if I tried! :) It is sitting in the sunniest place on my balcony, getting full sun for pretty much the entire day.

Maybe I should try replanting it in a pot with better drainage? The thing is that it's planted in the same kind of pot as my rosemary, which also likes sunlight and dry soil. and the rosemary is doing fine.

Cherries sound awesome. They're so expensive in Seoul!

HazelNutCoffee
05-30-2013, 12:31 AM
Okay, I just checked and my basil is seriously pot bound. That's probably the problem. Will have to buy bigger pots.

Biggirl
05-30-2013, 06:55 AM
Sadly, my corn did not sprout. I knew the ground was too cold but I had to do it so that there was enough time for them to give me ears. I'll try again next year but I'll cover the ground with some black plastic first-- to warm it up.

Also not sprouted-- the columbine I put in a pot.

Cat Whisperer
05-30-2013, 02:03 PM
Okay, I just checked and my basil is seriously pot bound. That's probably the problem. Will have to buy bigger pots.
Ah, there you go. It's a victim of its own success!

I also planted a Coppertina ninebark (http://www.oclandscapesinc.com/Coppertina_Ninebark.jpg) yesterday. I'm hoping this one thrives - it should be quite spectacular!

AuntiePam
05-30-2013, 02:07 PM
When the seed packets say "Keep area moist after planting", they must mean it.

Years past I've been afraid of over-watering and haven't had much luck with seeds. This spring we've had a lot of rain. The garden has had standing water several times. Turns out (so far) the seedlings are doing better than ever. And this is the first year we've had decent radishes.

So yay for rain!

Cat Whisperer
05-30-2013, 02:16 PM
Here is my newest bed, 99% completed (just need to mulch it and finish cutting and placing the last two stones).

Left side. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/IMG_0084_zps6e9b737f.jpg)

The middle. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/IMG_0083_zpsd281d2b8.jpg)

The right side. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/IMG_0082_zps7b81721f.jpg)

A new bed sure does look kinda sad - I'll have to post pictures for the next couple of years to see how it develops. :)

ETA: AuntiePam, I just finished most of my planting, and it keeps on raining here, too - my timing has worked out pretty good this year!

RobDog
05-30-2013, 03:24 PM
Dear all,

I'd just like to share a small project that my partner and I have started.

Just across the street from our house (in south London) there's a small plot of ground outside a children's playground. As the plot is outside the playground it is beyond the purview of the local council's parks department; it instead belongs to the highways agency. The highways agency, unsurprisingly, are more interested in maintaining the roads than a small plot of scrub so it has become virtually abandoned.

We have decided to adopt this plot and have a go at a bit of guerilla gardening. A few days ago we finished clearing the plot of junk. We managed to collect 10 large rubble sacks full of bricks, stones, bicycle pedals and handlebars, miniature spirits bottles (which we suspect are crack pipes), heaps of junk food wrappers and weeds. This is what it looked like before we started:

http://sdrv.ms/1366ejc

If it ever stops raining I'll take an "after" photo.

We've now sown a wildflower mix of cornflowers, marigolds, chamomile, poppies, campion, daisies etc. Hopefully in a few weeks we'll be attracting some bees and butterflies for the kids to enjoy. Wish us luck!

Kimstu
05-30-2013, 04:26 PM
Dear all,

I'd just like to share a small project that my partner and I have started.

Just across the street from our house (in south London) there's a small plot of ground outside a children's playground. As the plot is outside the playground it is beyond the purview of the local council's parks department; it instead belongs to the highways agency. The highways agency, unsurprisingly, are more interested in maintaining the roads than a small plot of scrub so it has become virtually abandoned.

We have decided to adopt this plot and have a go at a bit of guerilla gardening. A few days ago we finished clearing the plot of junk. We managed to collect 10 large rubble sacks full of bricks, stones, bicycle pedals and handlebars, miniature spirits bottles (which we suspect are crack pipes), heaps of junk food wrappers and weeds. This is what it looked like before we started:

http://sdrv.ms/1366ejc

If it ever stops raining I'll take an "after" photo.

We've now sown a wildflower mix of cornflowers, marigolds, chamomile, poppies, campion, daisies etc. Hopefully in a few weeks we'll be attracting some bees and butterflies for the kids to enjoy. Wish us luck!

Good luck, RobDog! (Hey, did you go to any "Chelsea Fringe" (http://www.chelseafringe.com/) events in London last week? I like listening to the Radio 4 "Gardeners' Question Time" podcasts, and the most recent one was about the Chelsea Fringe: it sounded like a nifty event! Are you going to be one of the Edible Bus Stop (http://www.theediblebusstop.org/) projects?)

gracer
05-30-2013, 04:42 PM
RobDog, what a fun and exciting project! I would love to see some pictures once the sun comes out.

RobDog
05-30-2013, 04:54 PM
Good luck, RobDog! (Hey, did you go to any "Chelsea Fringe" (http://www.chelseafringe.com/) events in London last week? I like listening to the Radio 4 "Gardeners' Question Time" podcasts, and the most recent one was about the Chelsea Fringe: it sounded like a nifty event! Are you going to be one of the Edible Bus Stop (http://www.theediblebusstop.org/) projects?)

Sadly no. We nearly did. We checked the website for the "pop-up park" in Battersea Power Station which said dogs were allowed on a short lead, so off we set with the small hound. When we got there though the security guard refused us entry :(

On the bright side, on the walk back to our house we went through Battersea Park where we met a couple of Chelsea Fringe volunteers. We told them our story and they were very sorry, so they gave us great handfuls of wild seed packets... guess where they're going :)

Cat Whisperer
05-30-2013, 05:01 PM
That's a great project, RobDog. There are any number of houses in my neighbourhood where I'd love to volunteer to plant a bed or two for them - they've got a lawn and one shrub, that's it. I suppose they just like it that way, though. Sigh.

HazelNutCoffee
05-30-2013, 10:13 PM
I envy everyone with proper lawns and gardens! It's extremely difficult to get a place in Seoul with any kind of earth. Our house does have a bit of dirt but (I think I posted about it upthread) it's in full shade and pretty damp. I actually might try planting some forget-me-nots and let them just seed themselves. I'm also kind of afraid of digging around down there because last time I found a dead rat. o_O

On a completely different topic - does anyone have any experience with succulents? I've been resisting buying them because they seem to be the "trendy" plant nowadays but the flower shop near my school were selling some and they just looked too cute to pass up. I've seen a lot of fancy succulent arrangements on Pinterest where they're all crowded together in a bird cage or a terrarium. They look adorable, but - don't they eventually all choke each other and/or outgrow the container? Or are all those fancy arrangements understood to be temporary anyway?

HazelNutCoffee
05-30-2013, 11:02 PM
Also if anyone could help me ID one of my succulents that would be awesome: http://www.flickr.com/photos/89690686@N05/8897145823/ - I can't figure out what the bottom one (the one with the slender leaves) is, the others I managed to find by googling.

Cat Whisperer
05-31-2013, 03:20 PM
I don't know what the bottom one is, but the top two seem to be hen-and-chicks, which I have in my yard as sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants - are you sure they'll do okay in a shady, damp yard? They don't go crazy and take over my yard, but I'm in Zone 3 - they might go crazy in a warmer place. :)

Kimstu
05-31-2013, 05:18 PM
On a completely different topic - does anyone have any experience with succulents? I've been resisting buying them because they seem to be the "trendy" plant nowadays but the flower shop near my school were selling some and they just looked too cute to pass up. I've seen a lot of fancy succulent arrangements on Pinterest where they're all crowded together in a bird cage or a terrarium. They look adorable, but - don't they eventually all choke each other and/or outgrow the container? Or are all those fancy arrangements understood to be temporary anyway?

I've grown some succulent houseplants and they're pretty tolerant as long as they get good light, free-draining soil, and not too much water. I would be inclined to group them
in multiple pots rather than planting a whole bunch of different plants in one container, though.

purplehorseshoe
05-31-2013, 06:13 PM
Growing some yard-long beans this year for the first time (MIL gave me some potted starts) so we'll see what happens with those.

Cukes & 'maters are in the ground already, sunflower seeds are popping up, and I'm hoping for the same for the lovely new zinnia varieties I've sown - some years I have fantastic success with zinnias from seeds and other years, not so much.

I have a desert willow I started from seed years ago that's almost as tall as I am. Bloom already, dammit! BLOOM, I command thee!

Kimstu
05-31-2013, 06:33 PM
I have a desert willow I started from seed years ago that's almost as tall as I am. Bloom already, dammit! BLOOM, I command thee!
If you get that incantation to work you need to tell me exactly how you said it, so I can use it on my supposedly-yellow irises. I put a nice brick edging around the plot so the city mower can't cut them down anymore and they still just keep sending up more leaf blades with nary a bud to be seen. :mad:

HazelNutCoffee
05-31-2013, 08:02 PM
I don't know what the bottom one is, but the top two seem to be hen-and-chicks, which I have in my yard as sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants - are you sure they'll do okay in a shady, damp yard? They don't go crazy and take over my yard, but I'm in Zone 3 - they might go crazy in a warmer place. :)

Oh, we're going to keep them in pots on the balcony - the balcony gets lots of sun! :) That is where all our plants are actually.

Kimstu
06-02-2013, 02:55 PM
Was just reseeding parts of the flower plots after torrential washout rains last week, and it occurred to me to wonder how much I spent on gardening stuff this year and how much I can expect to recover of that cost, by harvesting things I'd normally buy.

With mostly seeds, one plant, a bit of soil and fertilizer and some S&H costs, it looks as though I'll have spent just about US$100 on all my gardening purchases. What would that work out to in foodstuffs picked instead of bought? (I'm assuming that all the flowers provide no monetary value in that I wouldn't have gone out and bought any if I weren't growing any; a bit conservative but probably mostly accurate.)

At about $4 per dry pint of organic cherry or grape tomatoes, I'd need to harvest 25 dry pints over the course of the summer, which I doubt will happen from six tomato plants, but I might get half that much. Romaine lettuce is a buck or so per head, and I should get a dozen or more of those, I hope; then there's the chard and the edamame and the bush beans and mayyybe the cucumbers.

If I harvest what I'm hoping to, I think I might well break even financially on my garden costs, even with this stringent accounting structure! What about you? (Or does that kind of thinking take all the fun out of it as far as you're concerned? ;))

AuntiePam
06-02-2013, 03:26 PM
We've spent about $40 for tomato plants and other seeds -- cukes, melons, squash, radishes, eggplant. We do it mainly for the tomatoes, for slicing and canning. I know we'll at least break even.

Maybe I'll keep track of the harvest this time. It'd be fun to know.

Biggirl
06-02-2013, 04:15 PM
I never count. It would be hard to figure. I make at least 5 stock pot full of tomato sauce with my own tomatoes, garlic, sweet peppers and herbs, plus at least a quart of hot sauce with the hot peppers. We never get to eat many strawberries, though and it doesn't look like the corn experiment will pan out.

The herbs are all old plants, except for the sweet basil.

Plus there's never having to buy tomatoes, garlic or sweet peppers for most of the summer.

Considering my veggies are my kid's and husband's Mother's Day gift to me every year, I guess I make out pretty well!

Cat Whisperer
06-03-2013, 12:09 AM
I don't really do the math either - for me, the taste of homegrown tomatoes and peas are what it's all about. :)

Cat Whisperer
06-03-2013, 11:11 PM
I just discovered that a weed I like the looks of (silverweed (http://radix4roots.blogspot.ca/2011/02/another-root-less-travelled-silverweed.html)), has roots that are suitable for eating! Between silverweed and dandelions, we should be okay when the apocalypse hits. :)

Kimstu
06-04-2013, 09:31 PM
Replanted flower seeds got hit by torrential downpour right after planting once again, :mad: but it looks as though my new clematis seedling is doing okay, and some of the previous flower seeds have sprouted!

Now hurry up and grow, everybody, hurryup hurryup hurryup.

Broomstick
06-05-2013, 06:01 AM
Well, got the last of the garden planting in last weekend, just before my long road trip (more on that in a minute). Wasn't sure I'd have room for everything but I managed. So... radishes, carrots, two varities of bok choy, spinach, chard, brussel sprouts, parsley, Beaver Dam peppers, dill, green beans, burgundy beans, wax beans, beans my friend gave me I don't remember what they are, kohlrabi, cucumbers, acorn squash, this French heirloom squash my friend also gave me, green Oaxaca (think I spelled that right) corn, and strawberry popcorn. That's the main bed. Also the Asian lilies were starting to bud, the roses starting to bloom (they actually look pretty scraggly this year), and I have planted the bachelor's buttons, the lavender, and the purple allyssum in the side bed.

Whew!

Then it was off to visit my dad. Seems dad wants to garden but being an old guy had the notion of drafting me to do the work. Sure, he's my dad so no problem. Well, yes problem, dad completely forgot I'm allergic to tomatoes. I mean, I've only been horribly allergic for half a century but whatever. Fortunately the spouse was along on this visit and I could draft him to handle the tomatoes. The rest I had no problem with. And the nasty bright red rash I got from accidentally brushing up against the spawn of evil tomato plants apparently retreated in the face of the allergy meds and will not be progressing to oozing blisters this time.

And the spouse found some blue lobelilia he just has to have. I have NO idea where we're going to plant it. I maxed out the home garden because, even when I asked for input, it was "whatever you decide, dear" and I'm just NOT good at uprooting plants. I mean, instead of ripping out the volunteer kale in the main bed I left it standing between two of the bean trellises.

Oh, well, I'll work it out somehow...

RobDog
06-06-2013, 09:12 AM
RobDog, what a fun and exciting project! I would love to see some pictures once the sun comes out.

Hi gracer,

Well, you asked for it!

Here's where we are so far...

Our pet guerilla gardening project started out looking like this (http://sdrv.ms/15DUlkA). After a little bit of muck, sweat and toil we've managed to get it into reasonable shape (http://sdrv.ms/13HQwcW).

But the most disproportionately pleasing thing of all, is that we've got young 'uns (http://sdrv.ms/17r96LN)!

I shall report back when we've got something actually worth looking at :p

Cat Whisperer
06-06-2013, 01:37 PM
That's awesome! I love it when all my little seedlings sprout - you put seeds in, you water them, and somehow they magically turn into plants!

Filbert
06-06-2013, 05:43 PM
Stuff's finally starting to grow at my allotment- I think I should be starting to pick strawberries next week, the plants are covered in flowers, also the currant bushes are actually fruiting, after doing a whole lot of nothing last year. You really can't rush with gardening... The vegetables got off to a slow start due to the cold, but they're pretty well all starting to get going now, if only the dratted birds will leave them alone.

If we get a reasonable amount of sun this year, I should actually break even for the first time. Almost everything has been from seed (and I generally buy that very cheap, or swap it), or established plants in the case of the fruit. I do have to pay to rent the plot, but it's very cheap.

After two years of basically throwing money and time at it, and getting almost nothing back (first year it was all overgrown and I wasn't able to dig very well due to health issues, second year the weather was suitable only for ducks and slugs), it'd be nice to get a good year!

HazelNutCoffee
06-07-2013, 07:01 AM
I separated my basil plants (I had left three of them growing in one pot) and planted them a much bigger pot with plenty of space between them. I was a bit worried initially because the roots had gotten all tangled so I had to kind of rip them apart - but they are doing splendidly. They've regained their dark green color and look perfectly healthy. So yay!

I'm having trouble with the kale - it keeps getting nibbled. I assume by bugs. How do y'all keep your greens from being munched?

Cat Whisperer
06-07-2013, 02:33 PM
I don't have much trouble with my greens getting munched; I do use bird-proof netting over my fruits because of birds and squirrels, though. Maybe you need some kind of kale powder or something. :)

I have shoots in my garden! Potatoes, peas and lettuce have sprouted! I also have an incredible amount of weed growth and a broken hoe - I need a good hoe STAT!

Broomstick
06-09-2013, 11:26 AM
Oh POO! Both my Beaver Dam pepper plants are now deceased. I think something ate one of them while we were away in Buffalo and the other seems to have simply fallen over dead.

I am beginning to hate these things and I haven't even tasted one yet!

Out of 10 seeds planted only two sprouted and grew and now they're dead.

>sigh< It's late in the season to start but I suppose I might as well plant a few more seeds and see if any of them survive....

Other than that, though, things seems to be progressing well, although the radishes may be a bit overgrown. They weren't quite ready when we left, and now they're oversized. I suppose I'll pull them up today and find out.

Jackmannii
06-09-2013, 02:17 PM
Weasels in the corn!

Sehmket
06-09-2013, 04:59 PM
That's awesome! I love it when all my little seedlings sprout - you put seeds in, you water them, and somehow they magically turn into plants!

This is seriously why I garden. It's awesome.


Oh, and since I haven't contributed, I have cantaloupe, tomatoes, yellow squash, watermelon, pumpkin, and a bag each of "hot pepper blend" and "sweet pepper blend." The yellow squash and pumpkins have come up, and I THINK the tiny things in the cantaloupe row might be cantaloupes and not weeds. Maybe.

I'm also doing some guerrilla gardening. I'm on a corner lot, and the lot across from me is empty and the lot to my side is foreclosed with no one taking care of it. I tossed several handfuls of wildflower blend at them, and since it's raining today, I'll toss another couple handfuls if we get a break.

Broomstick
06-09-2013, 07:44 PM
The radishes were HUGE, the size of small turnips or carrots. But they weren't woody and the spouse pronounced them good, snatching a couple almost before I washed the dirt off. Since I mainly grow them for him as a snack food that is very good indeed.

Between this morning and this evening the bean, cucumber, and squash sprouts all arrived. This morning - nada. This evening - little shoots everywhere.

The lettuce needs thinning, so we'll probably have salad tomorrow. I'll use the thinned ones to augment the lettuce already in the fridge, along with some radishes and maybe one of onions, which are also growing nicely.

Broomstick
06-09-2013, 09:20 PM
The corn is also up.

Also - I seem to have an excess of radishes. Can you freeze radishes? Would you want to? I need radish recipes! Help!

Rhiannon8404
06-09-2013, 11:07 PM
I love hearing how everyone's gardens are doing. I wish people would post more pictures!

Here are a couple:

Butternut squash (http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p4/rhiannon8404/butternut.jpg)

Green bean blossoms (http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p4/rhiannon8404/greenbeanblossoms.jpg)

Cat Whisperer
06-10-2013, 01:28 AM
Very nice! I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow - my garden doesn't look like much right now except weeds, though. I'm going to try to fix my hoe and get at them soon - I'll let the sprouts get a bit bigger to make sure I don't weed them out too, though. :)

Cat Whisperer
06-10-2013, 04:02 PM
Okay, I've got some pictures today - my irises blooming in the front yard; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7592_zps5a9217ee.jpg)
my shady plants; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7596_zps66983db9.jpg)
the front yard with garden beds and hedge; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7591_zpsf769e4ba.jpg)
the vegetable garden with bonus varmint. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7603_zps25577945.jpg) :)

carnivorousplant
06-10-2013, 06:47 PM
The two outside Amorphoplallus konjac are up.

Cat Whisperer
06-10-2013, 08:51 PM
A name like that and you don't give us any pictures?!?

Kimstu
06-10-2013, 09:17 PM
A name like that and you don't give us any pictures?!?

I got yer Amorphophallus konjac pictures right here (http://www.google.com/search?q=amorphophallus+konjac&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=PXq2Uc62Oriz4AP_loEI&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1438&bih=840), baby. Hee hee...those are kind of amazing.

Rhiannon8404
06-10-2013, 09:18 PM
A name like that and you don't give us any pictures?!?

Yeah! Pictures.

Those irises are really gorgeous, Cat Whisperer!

RobDog
06-12-2013, 09:47 AM
I love hearing how everyone's gardens are doing. I wish people would post more pictures!


Here you go then :)

We live in a Victorian terrace in south London. When these were built, space was (and still is) at a premium, as in most big cities. Subsequently, all that was provided in the way of a front garden was a patch about 3 * 8 feet. Many people have chosen to concrete or pave over this space, but we decided to soften it up by creating a couple of tiny beds using original Victorian edging tiles.

This year we've stuffed them full of hot and deliberately clashing colours (http://sdrv.ms/14wAxAV) to try and brighten up dull and damp old London.

The aliums have come up particularly well (http://sdrv.ms/16dnkNc) and are attracting a lot of bees.

RobDog
06-12-2013, 09:52 AM
Okay, I've got some pictures today - my irises blooming in the front yard; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7592_zps5a9217ee.jpg)
my shady plants; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7596_zps66983db9.jpg)
the front yard with garden beds and hedge; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7591_zpsf769e4ba.jpg)
the vegetable garden with bonus varmint. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7603_zps25577945.jpg) :)

Love the colour of those Irises. They remind me of the Wimbledon Tennis Club (http://www.wimbledon.com) colours... only 12 days to go 'til I have to break out the Pimms and the Strawberries & Cream!

carnivorousplant
06-12-2013, 10:42 AM
Very nice, Robdog. :)

Cat Whisperer
06-13-2013, 12:47 AM
<snip>

This year we've stuffed them full of hot and deliberately clashing colours (http://sdrv.ms/14wAxAV) to try and brighten up dull and damp old London.

The aliums have come up particularly well (http://sdrv.ms/16dnkNc) and are attracting a lot of bees.The great thing about plants and flowers is that it is really hard to get them to look bad - plants are so pretty, that they just look great together!

I need some aliums - those are so cool.

I have some new irises blooming in another bed - I'll have to get a picture of them tomorrow. This is the first time they're blooming, and they're yellow! I love those purple irises, too - they're just as rich a purple as you can get.

Jackmannii
06-13-2013, 05:06 PM
My A. konjac has begun sending up sprouts too (they are later this year for some reason).

I am looking forward to the mildly stinky blooms which attract pollinating flies. From a previous spring:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/touton/P5271178.jpg

Cat Whisperer
06-14-2013, 12:42 AM
My A. konjac has begun sending up sprouts too (they are later this year for some reason).

I am looking forward to the mildly stinky blooms which attract pollinating flies. From a previous spring:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/touton/P5271178.jpg
Freakshow!

carnivorousplant
06-14-2013, 07:16 AM
My A. konjac has begun sending up sprouts too (they are later this year for some reason).

I am looking forward to the mildly stinky blooms which attract pollinating flies. From a previous spring:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/touton/P5271178.jpg

My pots kept inside have been up for about a month; the ones planted next to the wall outside haven't been up a week. I'm in North Little Rock, AR and the temps are in the nineties.

Cat Whisperer
06-14-2013, 04:13 PM
More irises (the yellow ones this time) - yellow with purple lines; (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7634_zpsb442c9b1.jpg)
another view. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7630_zps6f8c71da.jpg)

This is what happens to cedars in Calgary. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7627_zps13203db5.jpg) The winter chinooks tend to dry out cedars, which they don't tolerate well.

Jackmannii
06-15-2013, 10:21 AM
I checked this morning, and there are not one but three grotesque, pale pink-purple spotted fleshy conical growths emerging from the soil in the Amorphophallus bed, like so many corpse fingers reaching for the sky. Three flower spikes on the way! This is going to create one heck of a buzz (literally).

And Clematis "Jackmannii" is in flower.

Nice irises ya got there, Cat Whisperer.

carnivorousplant
06-15-2013, 10:54 AM
I checked this morning, and there are not one but three grotesque, pale pink-purple spotted fleshy conical growths emerging from the soil in the Amorphophallus bed, like so many corpse fingers reaching for the sky. Three flower spikes on the way!

I hate you.

:)

What zone are you in, and how old are the plants?

Cat Whisperer
06-16-2013, 03:40 PM
My brand spanking new Emily Carr rose is blooming! (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7651_zps4c71b862.jpg) I love roses - I could have many, many more in my yard.

Rhiannon8404
06-16-2013, 11:34 PM
I love all these pictures! Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to plant flowers in the gardens instead of just veggies. I think I have my hands full with my African violets, though.

I have half a dozen decent sized butternut squashes, three pumpkins, and gobs of zuchhini. No cucumbers or green beans yet. The onions are doing their best against the cat who seems to loved snuggling up to them. The lettuce has finally gone to seed, but I will plant more in the fall.

Broomstick
06-17-2013, 08:07 AM
Thinned out the lettuce patch yesterday and we has a BIG salad for dinner. Also completely weeded the thing yesterday. The bok choy and spinach are ready to come out and land in the freezer, think I'll plant beets, turnips, and more carrots in their place. The brussel spouts have finally come up, both types of squash, the cucumbers, the kohrabi, the beans, and the dill are all making an appearance and growing. It looks like one of my Beaver Dam pepper plants survived after all. Either that, or I have Zombie Peppers.

Still waiting for the bachelor buttons and purple alyssum to bloom so I can weed those beds - until I know which bits are the wanted plants and which aren't I'm reluctant to do that. I'm also supposed to have some lavender but I'm not sure I can identify those yet, either.

My misplaced tulips and daffodils are dying back, thinking of moving their bulbs soon back to where they belong.

Seriously thinking of yanking out the damn ugly floribunda rose bushes. I love roses, but these aren't so wonderful, they throw out thorny octopus arms across the sidewalk, and really, I'm tired of these.

Filbert
06-17-2013, 01:09 PM
A few pictures from my allotment (http://s1217.photobucket.com/user/triskaidekia/library/Allotment%20pics%202013). It's messy, and needs weeding, but this year I'm finally actually picking things, not just planting them and watching the slugs scarf the lot. Hooray!

It goes up to the wall of near waist-high grass at the back, though I'm hopefully going to be expanding into that bit too soon, seeing as my neighbour appears to have given up. I'm just waiting for the council to decide.

Cat Whisperer
06-17-2013, 05:30 PM
I've got to get my netting on my plants, too - the strawberries and saskatoons are making berries, and the birds and squirrels will happily eat all of them.

Jackmannii
06-17-2013, 05:35 PM
What zone are you in, and how old are the plants?I planted a couple of Amorphophallus konjac tubers maybe 6-7 years ago and now have a fair-sized clump. They're up against the garage wall so it's a somewhat protected spot here in zone 6a.

One of the revolting fleshy growths has begun to sprout leaves, so just how many flowers I can expect this year is still up in the air. I'm hoping for a pestilential bouquet buzzing with flies.

carnivorousplant
06-17-2013, 05:59 PM
I planted a couple of Amorphophallus konjac tubers maybe 6-7 years ago and now have a fair-sized clump. They're up against the garage wall so it's a somewhat protected spot here in zone 6a.

One of the revolting fleshy growths has begun to sprout leaves, so just how many flowers I can expect this year is still up in the air. I'm hoping for a pestilential bouquet buzzing with flies.


Thanks! I have to wait four years, dammit.

I had Dracunculus vulgaris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracunculus_vulgaris) blooming for a while, and while the odor was not pleasant, rather like a faint smell of dead rat, not many flies visited it to pollinate, certainly not a swarm. :)

Broomstick
06-17-2013, 07:10 PM
Eating bok choy tonight! Yummy!

They did well this year, I'll be freezing a lot of stuff this week.

carnivorousplant
06-17-2013, 09:12 PM
Eating bok choy tonight! Yummy!
.

How did you prepare it? Mrs. Plant (v.3.0) likes it in stir fry.

I made curried pork (http://www.atasteofthai.com/index.php?page=recipe&id=461) with soba noodles instead of filo shells. Mrs. Plant (v.3.0) describes it as "White Person Curry". One must add more garlic and Sriracha sauce (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_sauce).

Broomstick
06-17-2013, 10:13 PM
Had the bok choy in a stir fry with beef and baby bella mushrooms. The sauce was cooking oil, soy sauce, and an onion. Pretty simple but very good. Had it over brown rice, with enough leftover to eat for dinner later in the week.

carnivorousplant
06-17-2013, 10:52 PM
Had the bok choy in a stir fry with beef and baby bella mushrooms. The sauce was cooking oil, soy sauce, and an onion. Pretty simple but very good. Had it over brown rice, with enough leftover to eat for dinner later in the week.

Cool!

Jackmannii
06-18-2013, 08:27 AM
I had Dracunculus vulgaris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracunculus_vulgaris) blooming for a while, and while the odor was not pleasant, rather like a faint smell of dead rat, not many flies visited it to pollinate, certainly not a swarm. :)Nice flower.

For another interesting if relatively mild stench, try Gynura bicolor (a.k.a. Okinawan spinach, which implies someone is eating it). The main ornamental attraction is the chocolate-purple leaves with green veins (makes a nice groundcover in warm areas), but the small yellow-orange flowers (http://avrdc.org/?p=4309), if you stick your nose right in them, smell like used sweatsocks.

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
06-18-2013, 10:14 PM
All right, here I go.

Last fall, I finally got the front and back yards taken care of. (This house was divided into five apartments when we bought it in 2007; we've taken it back to a single family house. The back yard was a parking lot; the front yard had crushed brick with no plastic or landscaper's cloth under it, making it a thistle conservation zone.)

I now have a lawn in the back, with a two foot vegetable and herb garden bordering the north and west fences. The second floor deck has a container garden, the third floor deck also has a container garden, and the front yard has a flower garden. After five years without a garden, I'm going a bit wild.

I'm just thrilled that so many of the perennials have taken, even though they've only been in for a few weeks. I've filled out the space with some annuals and vines, which are getting cheaper (because they're getting root bound).

I've also just today figured out how the 'macro' setting on my digital camera works, so here are a few photos of what I've been up to... I'll happily post more as the summer progresses.

Strawflowers (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02913.jpg) in bloom on the third floor.
A Black Eyed Susan vine (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02915.jpg) in a container on the third floor deck.
Zinnia (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02912.jpg) in bloom.
A third floor container (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02911.jpg).
Benji (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02907.jpg), the overseer.
Strawflowers (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02905.jpg) in bloom.
Celosia (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02904.jpg) in bloom.
Blanket Flower (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02902.jpg) almost ready to bloom.
Beebalm (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02901.jpg) almost ready to bloom.
Clematis, Forsythia and Monk's Hood (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02899.jpg). They might not do anything more than set their roots down this year...
Lily (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02898.jpg) almost ready to bloom.
Liatris (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela
/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02897.jpg) almost ready to bloom.

Kimstu
06-18-2013, 10:21 PM
Wow, everybody! :cool:

Meanwhile, here in the Hudson/Mohawk area we are getting our third straight week of near-constant rain. :mad:

I think my flower seeds are all drowned and the things I thought might be flower seedlings were just opportunistic grasses. All those beautiful marigold seeds, Broomstick! :(

Still, the veggies are hanging in there and last year's two, count them, two lupines seem to be growing well. Also the new clematis isn't dead yet. Could be worse! :)

Inter Alia
06-24-2013, 10:46 AM
I've been making insalata caprese from my Better Boys, Early Girls, and basil. I also cheated and bought local Creole tomatoes from a roadside stand since they're in season. I tried making refrigerator pickles with my Picklebush cucumbers, but they turned out way too sour to eat.

My neighbor gave me a whole bunch of plums from her tree, so I've been snacking on those for a few days. She and her husband have a mini orchard, so I get all kids of goodies. During the winter, I'd come home to bags of citrus on my porch.

Anyone else in harvest anything good lately?

Biggirl
06-24-2013, 11:10 AM
I guess it's harvesting-- This weekend hubby and I trimmed our out of control mulberry trees and I made jam. My fingernails are still purple.

Our tiny strawberry patch has enhanced our ice cream with sauce for two weeks now but I think they are done for this season.

No tomatoes or peppers yet but it is waaaaay early. I think I'll check on the garlic and see if they are ready.

Also just arriving-- My Purple Prince Zinnia has bloomed. He's so pretty. He bloomed before the marigolds, which is surprising.

Broomstick
06-24-2013, 11:34 AM
Had a very good bok choy, radish, and spinach crop this spring. In fact, this morning I plan to put the rest of them into the freezer. Also good showing in the lettuce patch, which I expect will keep producing at least another week or two as the weather hasn't been too hot and only variety has bolted.

I'm going to plant beets, and a few turnips where the bok choy was, and probably more carrots and onions as well. When the beets and turnips are done it should be time for the second round of bok choy and spinach.

The chard and the one volunteer kale are producing now as well, but I just trim them over the summer and into fall so they keep producing.

Broomstick
06-28-2013, 10:35 PM
Welp, it's official. God does not want me to grow Beaver Dam peppers. At least not this year.

To review:
1) I planted 10 seeds in starter pots
2) Only two germinated.
3) Two weeks after transplanting outside one of them just up and died.
4) THIS week, during one of the several storms that have rolled through this area, one of my trellises came down. It missed every single plant in its path to the ground. Except the lone remaining Beaver Dam pepper. Which is now most sincerely dead.

Given how late in the summer we are I ain't even tryin' anymore. I give up. Apparently bell peppers and their close cousins are not something I should be attempting.

Meanwhile, the lettuce overfloweth. I am taking about a bushel's worth to work tomorrow to share. Saturday is also traditionally Donut Day at work, too, so it will be Donut AND Salad day. I'm not sure I exactly how many varieties I have this year, it looks like everything survived. So that's green and red leaf lettuce, green and red oak leaf lettuce, some other green leafy lettuce, another green leafy thing, I think there's arugula (is that the same as rocket?), and at least three others... between 8 and 10 things under the "lettuce umbrella".

I got about half the bok choy into the freezer last week, what's left is starting to go to seed. The chard is charging along. The onions are still onioning (mmm - good!). Pretty much everything (except the late Mr. Beaver Dam) is doing its thing.

Still need to get the beets and turnips in.

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
07-02-2013, 01:53 PM
Two weeks later, and the plants are doing well. The 3rd floor deck is now known as 'The Refugium'. Some photos from this weekend.

A coxcomb celosia (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02940.jpg), or as my son likes to call them, Alien Brain Plant.

Blanket Flower (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02941.jpg) in full bloom.

One of the 3rd floor mixed baskets (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02942.jpg).

The other of the 3rd floor mixed baskets (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02943.jpg).

A pink trailing vine (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02944.jpg) that I've never planted before. (I saved the tag, but it's well buried in the foliage, so I'll look it up after the frost. Very happy with it, and I'll seek it out in future years.)

AuntiePam
07-02-2013, 02:20 PM
A pink trailing vine (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02944.jpg) that I've never planted before. (I saved the tag, but it's well buried in the foliage, so I'll look it up after the frost. Very happy with it, and I'll seek it out in future years.)

Some kind of morning glory? I'll bet the hummingbirds love it.

Yeah, look it up. I'd like to try it.

So far, we've had two crops of radishes. Everything else is doing well but it'll be awhile before we can chow down on anything. Ron's done a great job keeping the garden weed-free. He hoes and pulls weeds every day.

The corn is about 4 feet tall but no tassels yet.

Broomstick
07-04-2013, 04:46 PM
Spent about two hours in the garden today. Weeded everything, which was what took most of the time. Harvested some more of the bok choi, all of the spinach (starting to bolt), and an onion for lunch and dinner. Was going to remove the bolted lettuce but the bees were having too much fun with it and I didn't want to argue with the over the flowers so I'll get that later. Still have most of the lettuce being productive of leaves rather than flowers. Got the fallen trellis back up and steadied the other three.

Now I just have to decide what I'll do for mid-season planting. Turnips, beets... maybe more carrots?

Cat Whisperer
07-06-2013, 09:31 PM
Our garden is coming along very nicely - I have a lot of weeding to do, of course. :)

The beds are also doing very nicely - the oldest one is filled out beautifully. I tweaked it a bit with adding a couple more plants, but it was doing very well anyway.

A lupine I just planted this year. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7885_zps7129c4c0.jpg) Lupines are very photogenic, I just discovered. :)

Some small red lilies I planted last year. (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/featherlou/Plants/HPIM7884_zpse777e65a.jpg) They're a lovely dash of colour in the lush green bed.

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
07-15-2013, 05:57 PM
Some kind of morning glory? I'll bet the hummingbirds love it.

Yeah, look it up. I'd like to try it.

I got curious enough, I had a poke in back and found the tag. Great Cascade Wine Red - a Lophospermum (http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/lophospermum/great-cascade-wine-red-lophospermum).

By the way, the lily (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02945.jpg) finally blossomed (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02953.jpg). It was about 5 inches long, and an inch and a half across at its thickest point before it finally bloomed.

And the Beebalm flowers (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02949.jpg) are out.

Broomstick
07-15-2013, 06:37 PM
My red lily bloomed last week. It was gorgeous.

Then some [expletive deleted] STOLE it and the two white lilies that were just opening up. STOLE THEM!!!! They didn't take the whole plant, but they DID cut the flowers.

:mad:

Cat Whisperer
07-15-2013, 06:47 PM
I got curious enough, I had a poke in back and found the tag. Great Cascade Wine Red - a Lophospermum (http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/lophospermum/great-cascade-wine-red-lophospermum).

By the way, the lily (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02945.jpg) finally blossomed (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02953.jpg). It was about 5 inches long, and an inch and a half across at its thickest point before it finally bloomed.

And the Beebalm flowers (http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k340/LeMinistredelaudela/Decks%20and%20Gardens%202013/DSC02949.jpg) are out.That is one beautiful yellow lily!

My red lily bloomed last week. It was gorgeous.

Then some [expletive deleted] STOLE it and the two white lilies that were just opening up. STOLE THEM!!!! They didn't take the whole plant, but they DID cut the flowers.

:mad:Well, that truly sucks. Admire the flowers all you want, but hands off, man!

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
07-18-2013, 05:38 PM
We're in day three of ~35 degree temperatures here in Toronto - I've found I have to double water the container plants. I give them just a little water when I get up around 6:30-7 AM, and then give them a full watering in the evening around 7. Even with that, the Wee Willie has just about had it...

I'm curious if anyone here has tried mulching plant containers. I have a large supply of dog hair, and I was thinking of dropping it in on top of the soil as a way of retaining moisture. Any thoughts?

purplehorseshoe
07-18-2013, 05:52 PM
I've heard that carnivore hair (cats, dogs etc) can help deter squirrels from digging and burying nuts. And hey - you already have a ready, free, supply!

Let us know if it works!

Sehmket
07-19-2013, 12:52 PM
So, this is my first year actually gardening food and not flowers, and I'm wondering if I did something wrong, or if something was mislabeled.

I put down one packet of yellow squash - a straightneck variety. The plants look lovely, very healthy, but... The squash is green. A dark, solid green, like zucchini. My biggest fruit is up to forearm size, so it's well into mature ( probably six inches past where it should have been harvested). My google - fu seems to be failing, so... Should yellow squash turn yellow at some point? Or did I get zucchini seeds in my yellow squash packet?

InsomniaMama
07-19-2013, 10:28 PM
Yellow squash starts out yellow. That there's some zukes.

Sehmket
07-19-2013, 11:41 PM
Weird. I checked my little stash of packets, and there is for sure yellow squash and no zucchini. Ah, well, they still grill! :)

Cat Whisperer
07-20-2013, 12:35 AM
We're in day three of ~35 degree temperatures here in Toronto - I've found I have to double water the container plants. I give them just a little water when I get up around 6:30-7 AM, and then give them a full watering in the evening around 7. Even with that, the Wee Willie has just about had it...

I'm curious if anyone here has tried mulching plant containers. I have a large supply of dog hair, and I was thinking of dropping it in on top of the soil as a way of retaining moisture. Any thoughts?
I put mulch in the tops of my plant containers - it really does help retain moisture. Next year I'm going to put a layer of netting then the mulch, to keep the damned squirrels from digging and uprooting all my plants.

ETA: If you can, try moving them out of the sun for the day while it's so stinking hot, too.

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
07-20-2013, 09:47 AM
It's all very interesting - the old house was quite shaded by trees and so nothing in the gardens got more than 2 or 3 hours of direct sun. In contrast, the new house is much sunnier. The shadiest part of the garden gets about 6 hours of direct sun, and everything else gets as much sunlight as the day gives. The formula seems to be - whatever's actually in the ground gets watered every other day, and fed every two weeks. The containers get fed every two weeks, and watered every other day when the temperature is 25 or less, every day when the temperature is between 25 and 30, and twice a day when it's over 30.

There are a couple of containers I could move, but for the most part, they're too large/heavy, and most of them have vines that are solidly wrapped around the railings. I think I'm going to mulch them with dog hair while the kids are away at Grandma and Pappy's house...

Jackmannii
07-20-2013, 10:46 AM
I've started harvesting the garlic crop.

Basque and Spanish rocambole are both quite tasty and made a nice addition to the latest crop of spaghetti sauce.

I discovered that elephant garlic (supposedly an onion and not a true garlic) is pretty fiery when consumed raw.

Too bad the ramps seed never sprouted.

The biggest eggplants are about three inches across now.

Cat Whisperer
07-20-2013, 02:12 PM
It's all very interesting - the old house was quite shaded by trees and so nothing in the gardens got more than 2 or 3 hours of direct sun. In contrast, the new house is much sunnier. The shadiest part of the garden gets about 6 hours of direct sun, and everything else gets as much sunlight as the day gives. The formula seems to be - whatever's actually in the ground gets watered every other day, and fed every two weeks. The containers get fed every two weeks, and watered every other day when the temperature is 25 or less, every day when the temperature is between 25 and 30, and twice a day when it's over 30.

There are a couple of containers I could move, but for the most part, they're too large/heavy, and most of them have vines that are solidly wrapped around the railings. I think I'm going to mulch them with dog hair while the kids are away at Grandma and Pappy's house...
If you can't move them, maybe you could put up some shade for them. There's "full sun," and there's "full sun - Oh My God, you're frying us!" :) I have a new shrubbery that I just planted this summer, and while it is a full sun plant, it's new and doesn't have a deep root system, so I give it a little shade and a drink when it starts to look wilty.

Jackmannii
07-20-2013, 08:43 PM
I have a new shrubberyGreat, so now I've got the scene with the Knights Who Say Ni reverberating in my head.

"What is it you want?"

"We want...A SHRUBBERY!!!!"

Broomstick
07-28-2013, 12:52 PM
There is a big, brown rabbit decimating the lettuce and carrots in my garden.

Actually, that's not true - if he were just decimating, in the original sense of the term that is, eating/destroying 10% of the plants, that wouldn't bother me. His toll is more like 90%.

I've been complaining about him, making vague threats involving weaponry. Then it occurred to me - we have a live-trap cage we've used on squirrels and raccoons in the house. I could trap him, maybe...

Then, of course, there's the matter of what to do with him. Maybe I could ship him out to a friend's patch of land, like we did with the raccoons and squirrels. On the other hand, there's rabbit stew... the major issues with that being the mess of butchering an animal; I haven't, actually, dismantled a rabbit before although I've done other critters; and I'm not sure of the legality of eating one's backyard garden pests out of rabbit hunting season.

Broomstick
08-05-2013, 07:08 PM
I just wanted to say - had chicken and rice accompanied by carrots (purple and orange) and snap beans (burgundy, green, and yellow) from from the garden.

Also brought in the first of the kohlrabi tonight, and am starting to get too many cucumbers. The lettuce is slowly recovering from the Rabbit of Doom.

Filbert
08-05-2013, 07:34 PM
I'm finally starting to get some reasonably crops off stuff- climbing french beans, runner beans, radishes, carrots, salad mix- but not, oddly, my courgette (zuchinni- both a translation and the variety name). For some reason, the female flowers are just shrivelling up, turning yellow then dropping off- and it's not a pollination issue as they're not even opening first.

I had three good fruit off it first, so I really can't think what's causing it. Any ideas?

Ca3799
08-05-2013, 07:46 PM
I'm in the summer doldrums. Deer ate all of my corn, but I am getting watermelons, okra, cucumbers and a smattering of zucchini and yellow squash.

I am having my third round of horrible, itchy rash and I think I may have developed an okra allergy. I've had two rounds of antibiotics, steroid pills, diflucan (an anti fungal) and steroid/anti fungal cream from the same Doc. This worked, but I think it was just the steroid packs.

I quickly went to another doc for a second opinion who treated me for scabies with permethrin cream. This also worked, but again I think it was finishing the steroid z-pack that really did the trick. I just don't think it is scabies as no one else in my house has it and I've been having problems for about 8-9 weeks now, long enough to infect everyone. Also, the first two times it was just on my arms from wrist to elbow. The last time it was on my arms and bilateral ankles.

I have quit touching the plants and had my DD do the picking. The other day, I just moved the okra from the basket to the fridge and my palms started itching. I don't recall ever having itchy palms with okra- just arms where I brushed the leaves.

But this rash is vile. It starts as itchy bubbles, spreads in patches, the bubbles break and then I have a nice scab that heals slowly. I would call it poison ivy or oak, but there is no ivy or oak in my beds. I can't work with scabby, bubbly, itchy arms. It almost looks like splatter burns- thick and raised.

Last year I grew Clemson spineless and other that the usual itching of okra, I had no problem. This year I'm growing Emerald Green Velvet and Burgundy okras. Oddly, as much okra as I have been getting, I have eaten exactly none. I'm sorta afraid to eat it at this point so have been pawning it off on friends.

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