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Old 01-31-2019, 06:44 PM
Eva Luna is offline
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The SDMB 2019 Gardening Thread


So to take my mind off the current Midwestern subzero temperatures, I have been daydreaming and ordering seeds and scheduling a small seed swap. This year we should be able to be more ambitious, now that the 8 (!) raised beds are built, plus the 2 long, skinny ones on each side of the garage from the bricks from the chimney that we had knocked down before we moved into our house a couple of years ago. Trellises were built last year and plant supports acquired, but I was somewhat hamstrung by plantar fasciitis, so didn't get to do everything I wanted last year, especially planting many of the flower seeds.

So far the new stuff acquired for this year is:

Syrian Stuffing Eggplant
Mitoyo Eggplant
Carouby De Maussane Snow Pea
Laxton's Progress No. 9 Garden Pea
Lemon Squash
Rugosa Friulana Squash
Arka Surymukhi Squash
Berkeley Tie-Dye Green Tomato
Striped Roman Tomato
Brandywine Tomato
Lakota Squash
Red Kuri Squash (Hokkaido)
Sucrine Du Berry Squash
Lucid Gem Tomato
Solar Flare Tomato
Quadrato D'Asti Rosso Pepper
Lipstick Pepper
Shishito Pepper
Beit Alpha Cucumber
Marbles Mixed Four O'Clocks
Double Carnival Rosy Red Hollyhock
Swiss Giants - Pansy
Grandiflora Mix-Salpiglossis
California Poppy - Rainbow Mix
Leutschauer Paprika Pepper
Arroz Con Pollo Pepper
Catnip
Collective Farm Woman Melon
Little Fingers Eggplant
Ha'ogen Melon
Armenian Cucumber
Hmong Red Cucumber
Aswad eggplant
Purple Dragon Carrot
Shanghai Pak Choi

Left over from last year:

Peppers: King of the North, Criolla de Cocina, Padron, Corno di Toro, Mehmet's Sweet Turkish, Firecracker, Orange Jalapeno
Squash: Acorn and Butternut
Eggplant: Black Beauty, some lilac variety that one of Tom Scud's cousins gave us, and I swear I had some of those awesome fat Iraqi ones left but I can't find them
Melon: Green Nutmeg, Charentais, Minnesota Midget
Kale: Nero di Toscana, Scarlet
Turnip: Nagasaki Akari Kobu
Radish: Purple Plum
Parsnip: Hollow Crown
Swiss Chard: rainbow
Kohlrabi: Blauer Speck
Chinese Cabbage: Chirimen Hakusai
Tatsoi
Radish Chinese Red Meat
Beet: Chioggia and Okragly Ciemnoczerwony
Carrot: Cosmic Purple
Cabbage: Brunswick (these were a freebie)
Sage
Ground cherries
Tomatillos
Sweet peas

I don't know that I will bother with the tomatillos or ground cherries; they both take up a lot of space, and they didn't wow us. And the Mehmet's Turkish peppers were super prolific, but we like our peppers fleshier for sauteeing and roasting, so I may just give away a bunch of those seeds. And the acorn and butternut squash were OK - I wouldn't have bothered planting them left to my own devices, but a friend gave us the seeds so I thought I'd try it. But I think it's more fun to plant varieties that can't easily be bought at markets. And the above list doesn't count flowers, which will mostly get planted in the front or on the side of the house. I want to plant a flowering shrub or two on the side of the house, maybe something that gets trellised? Ideas welcome.


What are you guys planning?
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:03 PM
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:: bump :: Nobody else around here is obsessing about seed catalogs yet?
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:57 AM
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Not until the end of the month, really. I might get some chillies and tomatoes started soon, but for the rest, I'm just starting to think now.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:38 AM
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Wow, that's quite a list Eva Luna! Puts my efforts to shame. I'm in zone 9B, so I'm actually a little behind schedule. The only vegetables I'm doing for Spring are two tomatoes - Big Beef and Cherokee Purple - and bell peppers. The tomatoes were bought in pots last week and are only about 10" tall now. I have yet to get the peppers. I would love to have some poblanos, but for the last 2-3 years my poblanos have had no 'bite' at all. Is it possible that they cross-pollinate with the bells and don't produce the normal share of capsicum? I didn't think it worked like that.

Almost all of my flowering plants are perennials, but I do put in some annuals here and there. This past week I planted zinnia and marigold seeds in flats and put them out on the patio, so they won't be ready to go in the ground for about a month. I wish I could have spread those seeds on the ground and thinned them as they grew, but there is too much mulch everywhere and the germination rate would go way down. I had already planted some dwarf euryops seeds that were taken from my existing plants last month, but I fear they will not sprout - it's been too long already. I'll probably just do some softwood cuttings from those now.

My biggest concern is when to trim my orange trees. Everybody says to wait until March 1st, but I'm afraid they will bloom before that and cutting them back will destroy a big chunk of the crop. My neighbor's ratty mulberry tree is budding out with new leaves already, one of my gardenia bushes has flower buds, and the hibiscus never stopped blooming(fortunately no freeze this winter). I'm sure the orange trees won't be far behind, so maybe I'll just give it another week and then do the deed. Are there any Dopers on the Gulf Coast with citrus pruning experience?
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:55 PM
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I have only one thing to add: Spring can't come soon enough!

(DST in 5 weeks )
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:26 PM
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I planted some garlic and artichokes and one broccoli plant late in the summer and never got around to moving them outside. They are all living in my kitchen garden window (and doing quite well).

If I can stand them a couple more months, I'll move 'em out (and that will insure a late frost, killing them) and get a jump on the season.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:33 PM
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My zinnia and marigold seeds have sprouted and are growing like Topsy. Looks like about a 90% germination rate. That's way too many, but I'll plant them all somewhere even if they don't all work out too well in the end. I might amend my previous plan and get them in the ground in a couple of weeks. There is a cold front coming through and nighttime temps are going to be in the low 40s, so I'm going to cover the tomatoes just in case. But that should be the last gasp of winter!
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:11 PM
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Oh, pity me! I have moved to a old neighborhood with large, large trees (read: reduced sunlight)and quite literally <1% of the space I had before. I dug up some red crinum lilies to bring with me and I have no idea where to put them. I will probably plant a couple of tomatoes in containers and rely on the farmer's market.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:57 AM
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Crinums can adapt well to filtered or partial shade, so if you have an area that isn't deep under a shade canopy they might be OK. They can also grow in containers and do well even when pot-bound(the huge bulbs probably achieve that state quickly) as long as they get some fertilizer.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:29 PM
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:: bump ::

Well, the tomato and eggplant and pepper seedlings, along with some flowers and dill, are currently chugging away on the back porch on a greenhouse shelf with a space heater. Today in the backyard, we:

Put down another 5 bags of compost, plus the entire contents of our giant tumbling compost bin and the 2 remaining bags of horse manure from my friend's 4 decrepit rescue horses. Oh, and some slow-releasing organic granular fertilizer. The veggies had damn well better be happy after all that work!

Then planted 6 raised beds full of veggies on top of the 1 bed last week and the long, skinny bed on the south side of the garage that got peas and various greens planted last week: beets, chard, carrots, bok choy, kale, radishes, parsnips, kohlrabi, and a few other things that I don't remember. Today we added various radishes, kale, mustard greens, collards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli rabe, green onions, a few different kinds of carrots, bok choy, and I think I'm forgetting things. And there's still the empty bed on the far side of the garage: about 20' by 3". Thus today's additional seed order:

Golden Beet
Pusa Rudhira Red Carrot
Russian Red or Ragged Jack Kale
Chinese Kale, Yod Fah
Red Picotee Morning Glory
Carnevale Di Venezia Morning Glory

(The morning glories are to cover up the ugly-ass chain-link fence that separates us from the neighbors to the south.)

Later: plant 6 bags of various bulbs, 2 bare root lilac trees, our potted Christmas tree which is still sitting on the back porch, and put down the other 5 bags of compost in the front yard. Possibly not this weekend, though. Oh, and repot the tomatoes and peppers and eggplants that are outgrowing their flats. And seed the basil and sage. And over the next few weeks, figure out where to plant all the annual flower seeds that I didn't use last year because the plantar fasciitis knocked me on my butt.

Ah well, if the house is still messy, at least it's for a good cause!

I am hoping some of the greens will be just about done by the time we need to plant the tomatoes and eggplants and peppers outside in May. Or at least enough of them that I won't feel badly about clearing a few spots to plant the tomatoes, and sow the cucumbers and squashes and melons.

How are the rest of you guys coming along?
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:42 PM
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The wife pointedly noted that I rather over-planted the peppers last year, so I'm cutting back a bit. So far I've containered 3 hybrid beefsteak tomatoes, jalapeno, Santa Fe Grande and Yellow Banana peppers. Tomorrow I set out the Anaheims and Poblanos. Lots of bedding flowers have been potted, and the bougainvilla are getting a running start on Summer. I found a few packets of random sunflower seeds from a few years ago, so I planted them for a lark. They are all popping up! Soon they will be transplanted to their appropriate beds.

All in all, the season is off to a pretty good start.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:42 PM
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I see that Eva Luna gets seeds from Baker Creek - at least, I haven't seen anyone else offer Aswad and Syrian Stuffing eggplant.

I am growing Lucid Gem and Cosmic Eclipse tomatoes (just potted on seedlings of both this evening, seed obtained directly from the breeder, Wild Boar Farms). Lots of eggplant seedlings are growing in community pots - Patio Baby, Machiaw, Oriental Express and Mini Round among them. I'll look for Little Fingers eggplant at a local nursery later; it's a great, highly productive variety.

Seedlings of several ornamentals are doing well indoors, including Cleome "Color Fountains", Petunia exserta (slender crimson flowers) and two varieties of purple Datura.

Oh, and a bunch of potted figs went outdoors today, as they're waking up from their winter dormancy in the garage.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:00 PM
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A surprising amount of my herbs overwintered - I've got parsley, bay leaf, oregano and chives from last year, so I've only purchased another oregano plant and some basil so far. I may get some dill and thyme, haven't made up my mind about that yet.

My strawberry plants overwintered for the second year as well, so we'll see how those do. They're in a planter, so I might need to find a spot in the ground for those in the fall; they'd really like to spread but can't do it from a planter and they sure seem hardy enough.

I need to find a place for the wintergreen as well - they're also in a planter and I think it's time for those to go in the ground. Not sure they can compete with the weeds that always want to come up in the front garden beds so I may make a new place for them.

The raspberries I planted last year are looking good and I hope they flower this year. The blueberries are also looking OK and they didn't get singed by the last frost this year so that's a plus.

Tomatoes and peppers have been planted and so far so good for those.

I have a new American cranberry bush and a lilac that I just planted. We don't have good luck with bushes so if they last for a few years I'll be pleased.

The snap peas I planted from seed are just coming up and if it stays warm through this week I'll plant my cotton seeds.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I see that Eva Luna gets seeds from Baker Creek - at least, I haven't seen anyone else offer Aswad and Syrian Stuffing eggplant.
Yeah, I like the wide variety of things that they offer that I haven't seen anywhere else. The Aswad eggplant, in particular, was the most awesome thing we grew last year. (Out of the vegetables, anyway - we also have a garage wall full of raspberries and a bed of strawberries, and eating those straight from the backyard is a totally different experience than eating anything you can buy in a store).
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:33 PM
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Got snow yesterday ffs.

Have ordered bean, soybean, lettuce and flower seeds.

Fingers crossed for last year's hops having survived the winter (despite distinct lack of mulching, sorry hopsies) and coming back!
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:28 AM
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My new apartment has absolutely zero gardening space so I thought there would be none of that this year.

But it looks like I might be helping a friend get a start in gardening.

Went out to look at her previously failed (as in everything died) garden. It was better than I expected. Came up with a plan and nothing too elaborate - figure on some lettuce and kale (her husband is a big fan of kale), some onions, tomato and pepper, and I'm giving her my four trellises from The Old Place for beans and maybe a cucumber and squash. She has plenty of space, but I wanted to keep it to things fairly simple to grow. Her husband is going to layout a soaker hose for water. The ground is in good condition - prior tenants had a fine garden there, and it's full of nightcrawlers and creepy-crawlies.

Gonna start her with the lettuce and kale in a week or so, meanwhile we'll get the ground ready.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:57 PM
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This will be my fourth year - always wanted to but never had the time etc etc.

After yr 1 the raised beds (at home) which used to be a pilot plant for the allotment (Community garden in US?), have morphed into a kitchen garden with herbs (thyme, lemon thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, basil, tarragon, mint, coriander - all bar basil and coriander overwintered); berries (gooseberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant) and salad to sow imminently (mixed salad leaves, spinach, chard, rocket, land cress, spring onion, beetroot) also chives, garlic chives. Last frost risk hereabouts is historically second week of May.

The allotment is the workhorse - as yet untouched, but will start this week with new potatoes. Aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini, squash and two types of pumpkin (pacific giant and mystery African) are on the windowsills. Runner beans, broad/fava and peas (a mystery heritage variety) I'll start in the shed shortly. French beans and chickpeas/garbanzo I sow direct. My mentor (J, no relation) is providing tomato plants for the patio and has directed me to buy cucumber plants.

The asparagus beds can be harvested for the first time this year. Turnips get sown when the potatoes come out.

BTW - any suggestions gratefully received. Bear in mind that my style is distinctly - ah - pragmatic.

j
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:50 PM
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You know what works well in a garden?

Piss works well in a garden.

There, I said it and I stand by it. You take healthy unmedicated urine collected in a clean jar, dilute it with water in about a 1:10 ratio, and pour it on your soil and/or your compost pile (without getting it on the edible parts of your food plants, although even that wouldn't really matter after a good rain rinse), and you've got high-quality, fast-acting fertilizer rich in potash and nitrogen.

It may be euphemistically referred to as "flowerdew" in honor of the renowned British organic gardening expert Bob Flowerdew who promotes urine use in gardening.

Plus, it reduces wasteful water use from flushing perfectly good liquid fertilizer into the sewage system several times a day.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:11 PM
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I planted an apple tree (karmjn de sonnaville on g41) today, along with parsley and pansies. The peonies and epimedia are in bud, as is the apricot. My cornus mas is in full bloom.

Spring has finally arrived.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:10 PM
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We're already getting green onions. The snow peas are climbing, the lettuce and squash are in, as are the radishes and beans. Trying bok choy this year. I just dug space for the tomatoes, eggplant and more beans. With all the rain we got, the ground is really easy to dig.
The compost giveaway is next Sunday, where we get the contents of our green can back in usable form, so I'll spread that and then do the tomatoes. And we got alfalfa for mulch.
Last year we were gone so much that things were a bit of a mess. This year we are sticking around more.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:58 AM
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There is still way too much snow out back and three times as much out front, so my thoughts have turned to what else I can do.

I've decided I'm going to bite the bullet and go with square foot gardening this year. I'll build a 4 x 3 box, with the bit against the trellis being raised. The trellis is already home to a grape vine, but I know from experience there's also room for cucumber and tomatoes, so that's what will be in the back.

The other boxes will be occupied with brussels sprouts, kale and spinach (for a short time), carrots, bush beans, beets, and something else which I cannot recall just yet. Beside the box I'll plant a strawberry or two and we'll see how that comes along. The sheltered area near the shed is already home to a rhubarb which produces 3 crops a year, so that's all set.

Herbs will go, as they did last year, in a large planter by the kitchen window. I'm thinking I want to find something cheaper than dirt to to fill the bottom 2/3 of the planter, so ideas are welcome.

The apple trees in the back corner will be espaliered this year (I've been meaning to do this year two years and keep forgetting, but we'll see).

I'm also thinking about sticking a blackberry bush in the back alley, since the existing plants there are not doing as well as I'd hoped after the neighbour's tree came down.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:31 AM
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In spite of a relatively chilly(for Coastal Texas) and too cloudy Spring, my tomatoes are doing OK, with about a dozen golfball-sized fruit on each of them now. The peppers have blossoms but no fruit yet.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:42 AM
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Near Chicago I've got peas, lettuce, kale, chard, carrots, and radishes seeded out.

I don't start my own tomatoes or peppers anymore. But in a few weeks I'll get the fumes and shoes started. Ha ha, that's autocorrect for cukes and zukes.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:52 PM
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Grafted some scraps from the apple tree I planted onto some other apples in the yard. I can't let the baby tree fruit for a couple of years, but I might be able to coax a fruit from a graft and see how it works locally. I also tossed fertilizer under everything.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:53 PM
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It suddenly got really warm, and the early daffodils bloomed. The forsythia will bloom soon, and all the buds are swelling. I love spring.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:18 AM
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I planted a butt-load of stuff (and spent a semi-butt-load of money to do so) a week or so ago, and yesterday a cold front drops down from the North.

Weathermen are all freaking out, warning against hard freezes and telling us to cover all our plants. Now, I always blow this off. And last year got burned, or frozen as the case my be. Well, I decided, "Not again!" and spent all day scrambling around to wrap tomatoes and beans and peppers in plastic and covering them up. Disconnected the irrigation system and stored the timers inside.

I get up this morning, let the dogs out, walk outside and it's just a beautiful, nice day. Sunshine, birds, not really cold at all.

Oh well. I feel good that I at least made an effort. I'll uncover one later to see how it fared. Supposed to warm right back up, and quick.

Last edited by Gatopescado; 05-01-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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!@#$%^&* Squirrels! I have lost every tomato to the little buggers. Finally put up the "bird" netting last week. For some reason they haven't bothered the peppers and I do have several good-sized bell peppers now.

I also put in about a hundred more caladium bulbs/corms a couple weeks ago and it looks like a lot of the existing bulbs won't come up this year. I think they stayed too wet over the winter and rotted.

Most pleasing is that I have about a dozen tiny pomegranates on my young tree and a couple more blooms appear almost every day! If even a quarter of them mature I will be ecstatic.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:55 PM
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Between all the rain and having to deal with the damage the Giant Tree From Next Door that came down in our front yard things aren't going too well.

All I have producing now is the leaf lettuce.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:14 PM
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The crepe myrtle in my front yard looks dead

We're in the Northeast, Zone 7, and every other shrub or tree is either in full leaf (like the red maple right next to it) or budding, like the fig tree which looks like a collection of sticks with tiny green knobs on it. The crepe myrtle looks like dead sticks, with no signs of growth at all.

Last edited by gkster; 05-01-2019 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:07 PM
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A $#$#% squirrel ate all the flower buds and a lot of the leaf buds off my epimedium. I hope it didn't kill the whole patch. A chipmunk nearly destroyed my new-planted parsley, but I chased it away, and weirdly, it hasn't returned. Maybe it got a tummy ache.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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The crepe myrtle in my front yard looks dead
[Hooper]I got that beat.[/Hooper]

I have crepe myrtles in front of two power poles. (One in my yard, one in "no man's land" by the edge of my yard.)

A giant tree from said no man's land came down a couple weeks ago taking out both those poles and broke a third one. The power company people just whacked away at the bushes and tree to get in to clear things out and install new poles and all.

The bushes are not looking good at all. They had been sprouting growth and all that's gone.

Uck.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:41 AM
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The bushes are not looking good at all. They had been sprouting growth and all that's gone.
That shouldn't be a problem as long as they were healthy. They'll just be smaller for a while.

I had a crepe myrtle that sprouted up underneath a large rhododendron and I just kept cutting it off at ground level without making a real effort to dig it out and get rid of it. One big springtime storm knocked over a 40' oak onto the rhododendron, and all I had left was a rhododendron stump next to the tinier, but still sprouting crepe myrtle stump. I let them both grow, and by the end of that summer the myrtle was 6' tall and had flowered. By the end of the next summer it was a respectable 12' and beautiful.

The only problem was that it was really not the right place for it, so last February I determined that the slow-growing rhododendron was big enough again to take that space on its own and cut the myrtle down to the ground. I 'painted' the stump with Roundup, sprayed new shoots as they appeared, re-painted with Roundup after drilling holes in it, etc. It still sprouts.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:19 PM
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Looks like I lost 4 or 5 to the cold. Most of the new ones I just bought.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:27 PM
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Grafted some scraps from the apple tree I planted onto some other apples in the yard. I can't let the baby tree fruit for a couple of years, but I might be able to coax a fruit from a graft and see how it works locally. I also tossed fertilizer under everything.
Puzzlegal - I know nothing about grafting but......In the garden of the Alcazar in Seville there were fruit trees where lemon had been grafted onto orange (or possibly vice-versa) to make a tree that produced lemons on one side and oranges on the other. They were spectacular - is this the sort of thing that you are doing?

Aside from that - today I finished fertilising and digging over the allotment. My back of an envelope calculation is that I have turned over 10 tonnes of soil. It certainly feels like it.

Been eating the asparagus out of the beds for a couple of weeks now. Wonderful. The early potatoes and broad/fava beans have just appeared. And I have Tuesday pencilled in for mass planting - courgettes/zucchini, squash, pumpkin, runner beans and peas, all straining to fight their way out of the shed at the moment. Cucumber, aubergine/eggplant, french beans, chickpeas/garbanzo to follow, after which I'll assess if I have space for anything else.

j
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:16 PM
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Been eating the asparagus out of the beds for a couple of weeks now. Wonderful. The early potatoes and broad/fava beans have just appeared. And I have Tuesday pencilled in for mass planting - courgettes/zucchini, squash, pumpkin, runner beans and peas, all straining to fight their way out of the shed at the moment. Cucumber, aubergine/eggplant, french beans, chickpeas/garbanzo to follow, after which I'll assess if I have space for anything else.

j
Be very careful planting out tender stuff yet- I can't remember whereabouts you are, but we had bit of ground frost here in Cornwall last night, and we're likely to get more tonight. Some people at my allotment had been optimistic, and there were a lot of dead tomatoes, squash and runner beans there today. Even if the cold doesn't kill them, below about 5C it'll slow growth right down and actually delay the crop.

The peas should be fine, if they're hardened off, but if I were you, I'd hold back on the rest right now. I normally don't put any frost-tender stuff in the ground outside before the last week of May.

I'm being a bit late with everything this year anyway, 'cos of uni deadlines sucking up all my time. I'll be sowing the beans and squashes this week, I think. Or I'll forget and have to buy in plants again. That works too.
  #36  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:52 PM
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My first cotton seedling just poked its head above ground. Blueberries have all set fruit, so now I wait for that to ripen - those take awhile. Strawberries and raspberries are flowering and have some fruit - the first strawberries will probably be ripe in the next week or so. The jalapeno and cayenne peppers are just starting to get flowers. Snap peas are climbing. I am fascinated by peas - how do they know where the closest thing is to start climbing on?
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:48 AM
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If it ever stops raining long enough to dry out just a little I will get my rototilling started. Sad part is I'm even further behind this year than I was last. ☹️
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:01 AM
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Be very careful planting out tender stuff yet- I can't remember whereabouts you are, but we had bit of ground frost here in Cornwall last night, and we're likely to get more tonight. Some people at my allotment had been optimistic, and there were a lot of dead tomatoes, squash and runner beans there today. Even if the cold doesn't kill them, below about 5C it'll slow growth right down and actually delay the crop.

The peas should be fine, if they're hardened off, but if I were you, I'd hold back on the rest right now. I normally don't put any frost-tender stuff in the ground outside before the last week of May.

I'm being a bit late with everything this year anyway, 'cos of uni deadlines sucking up all my time. I'll be sowing the beans and squashes this week, I think. Or I'll forget and have to buy in plants again. That works too.
Thanks for the guidance (and I certainly need it). We're south of London, and the old, wise heads say last frost day is 12 May. So my approach is to get as close as I can to that date and then trust the weather forecast - but that has actually got a little worse over the last few days. Predicted nighttime lows are: 6th = 5C; 7th = 8C; 8th = 6C; 9th = 5C; 10th = 5C; 11th = 5C; 12th = 6C; 13th = 7C; 14th = 7C. So it's marginal. Or at least, closer than I would like.

Problem is, the cucurbits have taken over the shed, to the extent that they sucked up all the light and the aubergines had to be brought back indoors to an emergency eggplant infirmary. Mrs Trep is not pleased. Plus the peas are now growing horizontally to get to the light. If they come back indoors, it'll be me and the cucurbits fighting it out for sleeping room in the shed.

So: predicted nighttime lows of 5C, but always with a little breeze - safe enough?

j
  #39  
Old 05-06-2019, 11:08 AM
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The ideal would be to put 'em outside in a sheltered spot for the day, the bring them back in at night. Assuming you're not already doing that.

I'm not sure how much growing experience you have, so apologies if this is stating the obvious, but it's always a good idea to do that for a week or so before planting out, it toughens the leaves up and it's less of a planting shock.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:31 PM
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The ideal would be to put 'em outside in a sheltered spot for the day, the bring them back in at night. Assuming you're not already doing that.

I'm not sure how much growing experience you have, so apologies if this is stating the obvious, but it's always a good idea to do that for a week or so before planting out, it toughens the leaves up and it's less of a planting shock.
I'm picking things up as I go along (so feel free to point me in the right direction). I had been told about the hardening-off-before-planting process; problem is, I have so little space in the shed, and germinated plants are so crowded, that untangling plants to move them around is something I really don't like to do more than once (ie, back of the car and off to be planted) for fear of damaging them. If growing food has taught me anything, it's that things would be better if they were better, but they're probably not (and nor are they ever going to be) because of some constraint or other. And as it goes, Pea Boot Camp (as you describe, but without the going indoors at night) has had to be implemented just to free up some space in the shed.

Anyways, BBC are now forecasting lows of 3C on Saturday, and that's just too risky. So mass planting has now been put off til Sunday, and I'll have to find overnight housing for peas on Sat.

j
  #41  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:49 AM
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If the pampered peas have had a few days exposure to cool outdoor temps they should be able to handle a light frost just fine.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:39 PM
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I'm a bad community garden member. I stopped by today and my bed is full of weeds. There are a few leeks which seem harvestable -- who knew I even planted leeks?!

So, if I get up the wherewithal, this weekend I'll clear it out and plant some cantaloupes and sauce tomatoes. The things I love to grow and eat, but that are too big to fit in the patio pots. I think I've left it too late for watermelon, and it's been a cool spring, so maybe not the requisite 100 days of sun. Maybe some peppers...
  #43  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:19 AM
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We picked up our tomato, squash, green bean and lettuce starts. The soil is still too cool to put them in the ground, so they'll sulk on the back porch for awhile. The OP's list is staggering. How on earth do you manage to use all that produce? We can't even keep up with our two tomato bushes.
  #44  
Old 05-10-2019, 02:04 AM
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The two blueberry bushes I bought two years ago have survived another winter on the balcony, are now growing nice and thick and have finally started producing berries.
  #45  
Old 05-10-2019, 04:29 AM
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Gotta love Chicago weather; a couple of weeks ago it was snowing, and then Sunday it was 75 degrees.

As usual I appear to have bitten off more than I can chew, even with 8 raised beds and the 2 long skinny ones against the garage. I was hoping that the kale, radishes, bok choy and other Asian greens, carrots, beets, peas, and spinach would be petering out by now, but they are really just getting going in earnest. So I think the only way I will be able to plant the rest of the peppers and eggplants and sow the squash and cucumbers and melons will be to intersperse them wherever there are bare spots. (Or maybe sacrifice a few sprouts.)

That shouldn't be too difficult for the cucumbers and melons; those will climb up a trellis in the 20' skinny bed, and that trellis is already in the bed and doesn't have anything planted behind it, so I can just stick the seeds at the base of the trellis behind the other greens that are growing there. But then I will end up with a giant jungle of vines, because the peas are just now getting going. If it warms up, though they will probably start growing 6" a day! Remind me about this next year.

The squash were supposed to climb up another trellis which was supposed to go where the spinach is currently growing faster than I can eat it, and one of the varieties of carrots is just starting to get feathery tops. I guess I will just have to sacrifice a bit of spinach toward the back of the bed so I can stick in some squash seeds and be able to see what they are doing?

There are a handful of sprouts that look a lot like garlic in the bed of beets and kale, but the leaves don't smell like garlic. What could they possibly be? Should I leave them, or yank them?

Also, remind me next year not to sow seeds so thickly. I think we will need to be eating radish and bok choy and cabbage and cauliflower thinnings for the next couple of weeks. What can I do with them? If they are really tiny, I have thrown them into salad, or sometimes in with scrambled eggs. Bizarro mixed tofu stir-fry? Soup? Any other creative ideas?
  #46  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:10 PM
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The OP's list is staggering. How on earth do you manage to use all that produce? We can't even keep up with our two tomato bushes.
Not all of it is produce; some of it is flowers. We eat much more vegetarian than we used to, especially during the growing season, and go through a lot of eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. We also bought a standing freezer for the basement, and I was roasting a sheet pan of tomatoes and onions every couple of days last year during harvest season and we didnt eat the last of those until a couple of months ago. Hard-shell squash also last a long time (we just ate the last one a week ago). And I definitely gave away some cucumbers last year when it got overwhelming.
  #47  
Old 05-15-2019, 12:51 AM
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The hanging succulents on my enclosed patio are in bloom, for the first time in several years. Three big red blossoms so far, and several buds. They used to bloom on the summer solstice, so this is very early for them.

And my aloe plant has had two spikes.

Maybe my night bloomers will blossom this year as well. I don't even remember the last time they bloomed.
  #48  
Old 07-05-2019, 12:50 PM
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Midsummer bump.

Man, those sunflower seeds were mega-viable! Multicolored blooms 8 inches across and 6 feet high all over the place. The Roma tomato I planted is yielding about a tomato a day, with no end in sight. Plenty enough for salads and such. The beefsteak all have set tons of fruit - now we just wait for them to ripen. Started the harvest of Anaheims and Santa Fe Grande. Just repotted a hab to a much bigger pot, because since the weather turned hot they've been growing like teenagers.

Flowers galore, and the hanging pots looked kinda cool swinging in yesterday's earthquake.

How does your garden grow, so far?
  #49  
Old 07-05-2019, 01:10 PM
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Have finally been spending some time in the garden so not too crushed with guilt to respond to this thread. Actually watered the garden on Wednesday, first time this year: we've had so much rain that I just haven't needed to get the hose out.

Veggies are doing well, hop vines came roaring back, flowers a bit slow to get started but growing apace.

Missed the window for harvesting Mertensia seed again this spring, keeping a closer eye on salvia and columbine to try to get some of them.

The mock orange is just a massive shaggy beast so I am going to start its 3-year pruning regime this month, and get some of the aggressive bindweed around it too.

Trying to identify whether one of the volunteer flowers is the milkweed for monarchs that I was hoping to get, but I don't think it is, but don't know what it is. Also, the plants with huge burdock- or rhubarb-like leaves by the front steps have got WAY too big, will remove them at end of season but have zero idea what they are.

Last edited by Kimstu; 07-05-2019 at 01:12 PM.
  #50  
Old 07-05-2019, 01:17 PM
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I live in Calgary and we don't get the best weather for growing things like vegetables. This year I am just concentrating on herbs in pots. Some I grow from seeds ( I have strong growing lights) and some I buy in pots. But the rain. It is just rain, rain, rain - and the herbs are dying. I have brought about half of them back in the house and put them back under the grow lights to give them another chance.
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