Gardening talk? Yes please!

We’re in our 300th month of winter here, and I desperately miss green and being outside in warm air and constantly having dirty fingernails. I’d like to talk about gardening and plants and plans and all things green and growing - who’s with me?

Seconded even though winter has not been quite that long here in Texas. I need to plant new elephant ears and take out my mother in laws tongue for spring time

Last spring I started some seeds all that survived was a jalapeno that I planted in a self-watering container. It never produced fruit but hung on all summer and then in the fall had a growth spurt and started producing jalapenos and has been doing so since then. I never knew they were perennials.

Anyway, I have to get busy making more of those self-watering containers because they are great for keeping things alive in the hot Florida summers.

I am trying to start some seeds which I planted around 5 days ago. Some tomatos, eggplant and peppers.

I knew that if I just put the pots on the windowsill, my cat would mess with them. So I rigged up a system. I bent, twisted and cut some wire coat hangers into improvised wall brackets and pounded them into the wall. I took a small plastic storage box and punched holes in the sides through which I ran wires for hanging. Then I cut some plastic gutter guard to the size of the box, and epoxied some pill bottles to the bottom of it - this created a raised floor for drainage. Then I put the peat pots inside and hung the whole thing up.

Here is a pic of the whole setup.

The last few days it has been overcast and rainy. Will the seeds in these pots die without sunlight? I am afraid that they’ll never grow, if it doesn’t get sunny soon. But there will be a few more days of gray, according to the forecast.

Should I set up a light to shine on the pots, to help them along? Thanks.

Most the state here had blight on their tomatoes due to an extremely wet late summer into fall last year. In my garden it also spread to the eggplants and peppers. Now I’m not sure if I should even try my favorite veggies this year, or if it would work to move them to another area. Not that I have a lot of room to work with, but there is some. Then I’d have to figure out what I want to fill out the garden to replace them, or to just let it sit fallow for a year, or just let the pumpkins and squash take over. Indecisive I am!
Other than that, I’d like to get in more herbs, and some ground cover in the beds under my morning glories, and I want to try some more varieties of morning glories. Right now I have pink, purple, and white with purple hearts, and sometimes I get hybrids of a couple, which can turn out some interesing colors. Maybe a couple more rose bushes instead of the hostas, if I can remember what I planted before.

I haven’t found any bulbs starting to come up here, yet, which is a downer… friends with more sheltered gardens report that they are seeing some, though. Last fall we planted a shload of fancy pink, white, and orange daffodils that I am eager to see… the daffodils always make me so happy.

I have been paging through the flower catalogues and feeling greedy. I really want some echinacea “Green Envy”, and I definitely need to get in on the Supertunia action–one of the catalogues I got yesterday had a variety that is a pale, pale, pink with red veins. Yum. I hope my local nursery carries something good.

This year I am going to sow an annual cutting garden. I’ve got poppies, california poppies, love-in-a-mist, giant snapdragons, and three varieties of zinnias. My luck with growing flowers from seeds has been… not so lucky… so we’ll see how it goes. I also have a packet of purple foxglove hybrids for the front bed.

There are lots of perennials I put in last year that may or may not come back… my sea holly appeared to die off halfway through the season, and a lot of delphiniums and lupins. I think the shasta daisies need to be moved somewhere sunnier, and something more shade-loving put in their place. Then there are the ones I put in in the fall, which seemed super-happy… geraniums and columbines and one, experimental hellebore. Gosh I love hellebores. They’re so expensive, though, I have to make sure they’ll thrive before I get any more.

Vegetable-wise, my husband is going to build two more huge cold frames (soon I hope!). We decided to give up on turnips, parsnips, and peas. We’re trying fennel for the first time this year. We’re also hoping, after two years of rotten luck, that we can finally grow some freakin’ zucchini and cucumbers. If those do well, I’ll want to try decorative gourds, too.

I’ve got to add some herbs to my yard, too - thyme smells so wonderful whenever it’s brushed (or cut with the lawn mower - oops!). I’m planning to overseed the extremely hot and dry front yard with clover and grass seed this year - I’m really interested to see how that turns out. Less mowing and watering is really okay with me.

Give up on peas? But…they grow like weeds!

Argent, a grow bulb wouldn’t be a bad idea.

This winter was more severe than normal for us (Texas Gulf Coast) so several weekends ago I was removing burned growth and the occasional dead plant. That though also provided opportunity and room to try something new, so it was off to the nursery for stock.

I had 4 large trees delivered over winter, oaks, maple and a palm, so it’s been nice seeing each start to come out with our warming weather. Even the lawn is going great guns after a weed n’ feed two weeks ago.

Last weekend I weeded all my beds and transplanted a bunch of things to spots I’d been eyeing for awhile; ruellia, liriope, giant liriope, Bird of Paradise, Yesterday Today n’ Tomorrow, aztec grass, purple fountain grass, society garlic and assorted junipers.

Man, I love spring.

Getting them to grow wasn’t the problem, they just weren’t good. We missed the 30 seconds between them being immature and being tough. And frozen peas are so good, you know… we’re trying to focus on things that are either too expensive or not good at the supermarket.

Argent, your seeds will be fine. The three varieties of seeds you planted do not need light to germinate. How deep did you plant them, by the way?

I have radishes, beets, carrots, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, and peas in my garden. All were planted from seed about 3 to 4 weeks ago. I have about a dozen Serrano and chocolate habanero, 6 cauliflower, 6 thyme, and 4 dozen heirloom tomato seedlings all perched by a sunny window right now.

I’m dying to plant but it’s not going to be until at least Mother’s Day for us. There’s still a foot of snow on the ground. Sucks. :frowning:

This is the first year I’m trying to grow stuff from seeds. I want a small herb garden and some tomatoes! I planted most of the seeds in a little “greenhouse” kit I bought, and the rest in an egg carton. I have them sitting in a window and I’m starting to see some green in the oregano, basil, and cherry tomato sections!

I’m scared about rabbits eating everything, so I bought an upside-down tomato planter thingy to hang from the deck. Has anyone here tried those? Do they work? It came with very few, badly-translated-from-Chinese instructions. Will rabbits eat oregano and chives? Should I keep my herbs in the sunroom, in planters? I’d really rather have them outdoors, but if they’re going to get eaten…

I have some bulbs pushing through, also - can’t wait to have all the bright colors in my yard! I planted tulips, crocuses, and daffodils, and so far it looks like most of them survived to sprout, and didn’t get eaten by the squirrels.

I’m working on a plan for the front and back gardens, trying to decide what perennials to buy. Hooray for spring!

They were planted a quarter of an inch deep, as the directions on the seed package said. They really don’t need light to germinate? It says to put them in direct sunlight.

They need heat and moisture now, but will need light as soon as they come up. Even if they did need light to germinate, a couple of cloudy days wouldn’t do anything more than to delay germination by a couple of days. Just make sure they stay moist.

I use a plastic syringe to water my tiny seedlings, by the way. It’s much more gentle on them than dousing them with a watering can.

I have a garden started at a friend’s house, and I need to get back over there to see how it’s doing. I’m sure it’s going to need some weeding. Southern California is warm enough you can grow all year long, but you do have to make sure things get watered regularly. Of course, it’s been an extremely wet winter, so that hasn’t been as much a problem. Just wait for summer though.

My garden is 300 square feet, and I planted about a gazillion things, all heirloom seeds, because I want to collect the seeds of whatever grows successfully. I tend to go whole hog and then burn out, so I need to get off my butt and go see how it’s doing.

You know, I cat-proofed our back yard (for values of “old, don’t jump any more” cats) by putting screens around the bottom of the fences, and it seemed to keep the rabbits out of our yard (we had about a billion times more lettuce than we could eat, and none of it was getting nibbled). You could try that if you like.

Yay gardening! Northern CA here.

I built new raised beds and filled them last weekend but I think I’ll need to amend the soil; what I bought seems a little sandy.

My bulbs - planted this fall - are all coming up, and all around me the daffodils are up. I can’t wait for mine to actually flower. This evening after work I walked the garden and was thrilled to see a rose I transplanted in January is starting to bud out. Woo hoo!

Speaking of roses can anyone recommend a very aggressive, long blooming climbing rose to go up an ugly tree? Not Lady Banks though.

I just discovered that the two young Azalea bushes that I planted last fall have been munched down almost level to the ground.
Azaleas are mildly poisonous but apparently not to rabbits. <shakes fist>

Maybe they’ll grow back.

I have been working since early December on the yard. Every Sunday is spent digging. Dad, bless his heart, planted trees, lots of trees. I own the property, Dad and Mom and my brother live with me. Brother and I have taken out 3 banana tree cluster (of about 15-20 trees each cluster), about 25 trees and dug up the roots, ok we still have 4 more stumps to go and since I am taking off Friday, it will be stump digging day. The backyard was like a jungle, seriously. I did move an orange tree that was in the wrong place, no tree should be in the middle of where you go from the side of the yard to the back of the yard plus 3 ft away from a huge established tangerine tree.

I hired gardeners who rather than use a regular hoe on Mom’s roses that line each side of the property in front, they used a weed wacker, plus they cut back the roses on one side and cut them too far down so they came out from the roots, Mom cut back the other side. I have since fired said gardenersWe spent one whole day replacing 9 roses. I have another to replace but Mom wants a purple rose there so I am looking at different Home Depot/Lowe’s for one that carries that color.

I have added a couple of palm trees in the spot where one fo the banana tree bunches were. Plus added flowers there. The soil is so nutrient deficent, I am adding crap.

I have a long way to go. Right now I am getting quotes on putting in a sprinkler system. But it might be that I have to do it myself, I am still waiting on those who have looked at the place to send me their quote.

Previously I just let dad do what he wanted, but now that dad can no longer care for the gardens/lawn, I am trying to make it so that I can have a BBQ in the backyard. (Dad has advanced alzheimers and I think a nice lawn for him to sit on and watch a few trees is good for him, plus he gets to watch us work right now)

Looking at cutting back azaleas, they might come back - there are all kinds of recommendations for cutting back azaleas. Of course, they’re talking about old, overgrown ones…fingers crossed for you!